The Hobby?

I went to a glorious outdoor market in Qualicum Beach.  (Google Qualicum Beach–it’s a seriously gorgeous town!)

The market, which spread over most of the village’s outdoor areas, included antiques, crafts, farm produce and locally produced wine and spirits.

There was even live entertainment!

I didn’t buy anything, but I came away with something way better than a bunch of radishes or half a cabbage.  I discovered what I want to do when I retire:  Clog Dancing!

Have you seen Cloggers in action?

They have snappy music, noisy shoes, and a leader who calls out the moves as the dancers go through their routines.

I can see myself happily clogging through my golden years.


The Point of No Return!!!

My recent success with bathroom DIY has led me down a dangerous path:  I’ve decided to tackle the hideous kitchen cabinets!

They’re white melamine with an oak-ish strip at the base of each door.  One decorating blog politely referred to them as “lower end” cabinets popular in the 80’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I like me some 80’s culture–Top Gun is my favorite movie and my hair is naturally big.  However, Maverick and Ice Man are the only 80’s touches welcome in my kitchen.

I’ve completed step one of this risky painting project–removing the doors that didn’t have stripped screws (the others will be painted in situ) and lightly sanding them.  Next step: slapping on the super duper primer necessary for slick melamine surfaces.

Since going door-less doesn’t work for someone with my hoarding tendencies, a complete kitchen remodel isn’t in the budget, and I’ve just destroyed my cabinets with sandpaper, failure isn’t an option.

Wish me luck!

Going Grey!

I’ve got DIY fever!

I painted my dated bathroom vanity.  This was more involved than you might think as it involved removing the doors, drawers and hardware and then putting it all back together again once the pieces had dried.

I painted picture frames, wooden ornaments and even the mirror frame.  For a couple of days, I was painting machine and nothing was safe from my roller.

Now it’s finished, my normal summer schedule of Netflix and naps has resumed…until my next project.

I’m thinking a grey kitchen would be nice.

The Breakfast Twin


My Boy is a cook at MacDonald’s for the summer.

I occasionally (most days he works) turn up at the Golden Arches for a coffee or a smoothie.  Because the kitchen is open concept, I can watch him toiling while I await my order.  I don’t know why, but this makes me happy.

Yesterday he told me he knew I’d been in.

“You saw me at the counter?  Why didn’t you wave?”

“I didn’t see you,” he said, “but I made your Egg McMuffin.”

“I didn’t order an Egg McMuffin.”

“Someone ordered one with no butter or back bacon.  That wasn’t you?”

It’s heady stuff to learn I’m not some lonely weirdo who annoys restaurant staff with her complicated orders.  I have a breakfast twin!


Say Hello to Jiminy Cricket!

I try to do my bit for the environment.

My car is ridiculously fuel-efficient, I keep the thermostat turned way down through the long Canadian winter and I reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

However…I’m a long way from embracing insects as a protein source.

To be honest, I don’t even want to buy non-bug food that was processed at the cricket factory.

The Mini-Break

The moment school ended, S and I hit the road.

Our destination:  The Kingfisher Resort in Courtenay.

We partook of the amenities offered by this beautiful property–spa treatments, pool, hot tub, yoga, bistro and…the world famous Hydropath.

The Hydropath is a treatment like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  Guests progress through all manner of water features–steam room, five different kinds of showers (our Hydropath Guide warned us not to scream under the icy cold one!), a water walking track, saltwater pool, jetted tubs, and probably others I can’t even remember.

In between all this scheduled relaxation, we met and chatted with an assortment of–wait for it–teachers and principals who’d headed to the Kingfisher the moment school ended.  (I suggested an end of June teachers’ special to one staff member.)

My verdict:  It was a low key stay-cation, meant to restore and relax, but my soul was most soothed by the walks I took on the beach and the view of my beloved Powell River across the strait.




Back in the ‘Hood

I took my favorite teenager on an extra long walk.

We went back to our old hood–a quiet, magical place on the edge of a popular walk-way.

I loved living there.

Even a garage in need of a paint job is charming in our old neighbourhood.  House proud residents display their affection for the area with details like the pretty copper sun on a garden shed.

Unfortunately, residents also show the love by being alert and vigilant to strangers with Chihuahuas lurking in their back alleys.  (This explains the bad shot of the lovely blue cottage.  I had to move…fast!)

I don’t know if Penny recognized her old stomping grounds, but she did lots of sniffing (and peeing.)

Two Broken Clocks

I’m trying to minimalize, organize and downsize my stuff.

It would be easier if I didn’t form irrational sentimental attachments to things.

An example of stuff I can’t get rid of:  two broken clocks.

I don’t even like the dome clock.  My mom bought it when I was in elementary school.  It’s shiny, fussy and broken…but my mom touched it once.

The wooden cottage clock is even older.  My parents brought it back from my grandparents’ home in Wales when I was little.  It didn’t work then–probably the reason my Cissie and Bampa were willing to part with it.

It’s fairly non-descript, but once you get to know it, you realize it has a sinister side.

You see, it’s not just a clock, but also a music box.  The sunflower next to the face is the wind-up mechanism.  Like the clock itself, the music box doesn’t work…mostly.

In all the decades this clock has been in my life, the music box sprang to life twice–both times immediately prior to harrowing and life-changing events.

My broken Welsh clock played music on the mornings of my mother’s funeral and my wedding.

Why do I hang onto something that creeps me out a bit?  Well, you see, my mom touched it once…

The Maximalist :(


I’ve donated an enormous amount of stuff over the course of my recent nomadic years.

Last January, I tackled the last bastion of clutter–the extra bedroom in the basement.

I bought a bunch of colour-coordinated bins, and spent a couple of days down there.

I hung all my unused art work on the wall to get it out of the pile.  I sorted through the boxes, and got rid of everything not deemed worthy of space in my bins.

I felt good–really good–about my efforts.

But lately, the bins have been bothering me.

They’re neat.  They’re tidy.  They’re a pretty robin’s egg blue…

…but they’re full of stuff.

Other than my Christmas decorations, I haven’t looked at any of it for years.

My sole interaction with this stuff has been transferring it from ugly cardboard boxes into expensive bins.

I can safely say none of it is bringing me joy.

What’s a wannabe minimalist to do?

I can move it all the garden shed where I’ll (hopefully) forget about it, or I can go through it again, whittling away at the pile.