Monday, June 1, 2020

Marvelous Marvin Monday

Marvin was much more photogenic this week.  My sister had five pictures to choose from.  She selected the one below, because his stretched-out neck reminded her of someone on the executioner's block. She thinks he's begging for mercy.
Please don't behead me. I didn't mean to do ...whatever he did...I'll be good again, I promise. Please!!!!! Remember how cute I am and how much you love me? Remember how you came into the shelter and our eyes met and locked? There was compassion in those eyes. Please have compassion't that bad...please don't chop off my head!!!

In reality, he's irritated because I woke him from his nap to take a picture.  Besides, my sister should know that I'm too squeamish to decapitate anything.  The worst punishment Marvin ever gets it a strong scolding, or perhaps some forced snuggling. 

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Sunday, May 31, 2020


Hubby and I went for a short drive today.  It was good to get out of the house, particularly when our outing included an unplanned stop at the beach.  

As you can see, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Other than distant birds, this little crab was our only company.

I almost missed it.  If it hadn't moved when I stopped to take the photo below I wouldn't have known it was there.

The crab is actually in the photo.  It's in the lower right corner, and is no bigger than my fingernail.  I can't believe I spotted it.

I also spotted a couple of hearts on the rocky beach, though I'm less surprised that I noticed them.  As we all know now, hearts are everywhere.

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Today, as I walked along, I photographed several random things.  I snapped some clover flowers and wild daisies.  Drifts of cottonwood fluff caught my attention, as did these abundant mushroom/fungi things.  It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had taken a picture of a heart! Do you see it?

How about now?

Perhaps this will help.

Hearts are everywhere, whether you notice them or not.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Walking Around

Went for another long, socially-distant walk with a friend today.  While I won't share any of our conversation, I've included some photos below.

Spotted a couple of decorated rocks.  I'm pretty sure the creators of the "smile" rock caught me taking pictures of it, so they got to smile too.

The Nootka roses were blooming madly, and the bees were madly busy.  The fragrance was amazing.

Thanks S for reminding me of the actual name of these wild roses.

It was so good to connect with my friend even though we couldn't see each other.  And I did discover a benefit of our socially-distant walks - our paces don't have to match.  She was energetic.  I was not.  It didn't matter.  We were able to walk together anyway.   One more reason to smile.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

We Thought We Were All That

Photo courtesy of Dad

Something about this picture led my sister to conclude that she is, and has always been, cool, whereas I lack, and have always lacked, that aura of authentic coolness.  She compared me to Sandy in the movie "Grease".  In her opinion, the transformed Sandy at the end of the movie is merely trying to be cool.  She's fake-cool.  As am I.

I don't pretend to understand how my sister's mind works.

Of course, as soon as my sister brought up "Grease" my mind went off on its own tangent.

My sister, Auntie P and I were all tween-agers when the movie was released.  It obviously captured our imaginations, and we often performed musical numbers from the movie when we got together.  From time to time we even made our parents sit though our performances.  (Proof indeed that our parents love us!)

Photo courtesy of Dad
Auntie P on the left, me on the right, and my sister in the middle.

Rehearsals for these performances usually took place in my grandparents' basement.  Not only was it suitably removed from the rest of the family, it had the added benefit of stage props.

First was a two-level coffee table.  Perfect for performances of Greased Lightin'.  My sister would take the top level as Danny Zuko, while Auntie P and I flanked her on the lower levels.

As Auntie P puts it, "Your sister was lead singer and, of course, we were backup.  She took charge and somehow you and I were never coordinated to her liking."


Also in my grandparents' basement was a metal, floor-to-ceiling pole.  In reality,  it was there to support the upper storeys.  To the three of us, it was our dance partner for the slow numbers.   We were all, in turn, hopelessly devoted to that post. 

Scenes from musicals weren't the only things getting re-enacted at my grandparents' place.  On seeing the photo above, Auntie P flashed back to my sister's most-memorable recreation of this Brooke Shields' Calvin Klein ad.

My Denim Journey * Age of Grace
Photo "borrowed' from random website

The three of us had been roller skating. My sister and the boy she was couples-skating with wiped out.  The fall may have stressed her denim, because later that day, when she attempted the pose above, her jeans experienced a complete structural failure.  

Auntie P and I still laugh ourselves to tears over that memory.  My parents, grandparents and possibly other family members gathered in my grandparents' living room. My sister, on the floor, arguing that anyone could pose like Brooke, then throwing her legs over her head to prove her point and RIP!  The ass of her pants explodes. My sister still remembers that her entire right butt cheek came through the hole.  At least, as she says, it happened at Gramma's and not at the roller rink.  

In the words of Auntie P, "The three of us had many years of fun, laughter and tears as we navigated our youth like sisters."

Thanks to my sister and Auntie P for helping me with today's post. I had so much fun reliving these memories with you. 

(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Picea Orientalis Aureospicata

Picea Orientalis Aureospicata!  What a magical name.  It's like a spell from the Harry Potter books.  I wave my wand and the whole world sparkles.

Fortunately, no magic was required here.  This tree just seems to grow like that, sparkles and all. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Fangirl Forever

Until Saturday, I had only ever written two fan letters.  Both were school assignments - likely the teachers' way of making letter-writing lessons fun.

The first was to Maureen McCormick, aka Marcia Brady, when I was in about third grade.  That was so long ago that I don't remember much about the experience, but I'm fairly sure I didn't hear back.

The second, written in about grade six when I was much more mature, was sent to my heartthrob Eric of the Bay City Rollers.  The sole remaining memory of that experience is of my bursting into tears when the letter was returned due to insufficient postage.  Apparently our lesson in letter-writing didn't cover the intricacies of international postage. Oh the heart-break of discovering that the love of my life was unaware of my adoration.

In spite of these failures, on Saturday I decided to throw caution to the wind and send out my third-ever fan letter.  Given the wonders of the internet, I didn't even have to worry about postage.

This time, the object of my admiration was Stephanie Kay.  I've mentioned Stephanie's cookbook "Red's 5-Ingredient Meals" a few times here on the blog. This has become one of my most-used cookbooks.  Stephanie also regularly shares recipes, tips and, most importantly, lunch ideas on Instagram.  I was pretty sure that she had said somewhere that she welcomed questions from readers, so I decided to reach out to her with my question.
Here in BC we are looking at going back to work in the near future. I usually bring my own lunch, and I rely my staff room's fridge, toaster over, and microwave. I'm predicting that those things won't be available when I get back. (The staff room is just too small for more than one person at a time under current restrictions.) Any ideas for packed lunches that don't require refrigeration or re-heating? I'm already feeling stumped.
Given my past experience with fan letters, I honestly didn't expect a response. I thought that Steph (notice how it's "Steph" now?) might share some ideas in a blog or an Instagram post if she felt enough readers were in a similar situation. So, imagine my giddy surprise when this landed in my inbox Monday morning.
Hi Laurie, 

Thanks for reaching out, I hope that all is well with you!

Depending on how long it would need to be without refrigeration, you could probably get away with simply eating any hot dish or leftovers cold, especially if it’s a vegetarian dish with beans, lentils or grains. They would easily withstand several hours without refrigeration.

Alternatively, I have a few no-cook or no-refrigerate lunch ideas on my website. You can find them at the links below:

I hope that helps!

Talk soon,
This seriously made my day.  Steph's suggestions are just what I needed to get me back into meal-planning mode, and her kindness and generosity have ensured that I'll always be a grateful fan.