Saturday, December 21, 2013

An Island Winter Solstice

Today, we were invited to a Solstice Open House by Cynthia and Michael who live about an hour or so from us. With one eye on the weather (it had snowed two days before) and temperatures (it had been freezing) we were blessed by the Solstice fairy with misty rain and above zero C! Hooray, as the C and M's driveway is, can we say, challenging at best, and next to impossible in slush?
Before we left, we ensured good driving conditions by filling the bird feeder, knowing that this wonderful custom brings good luck during this time of the year.
At C and M's the groaning festal board was spread. This is only a partial photograph as all through the afternoon and on into the evening, platters of food such as smoked beef and chicken fresh from the smoker out on the balcony, were brought out along with a varieity of homemade liquers and spirits and of course Desserts!
It was not only a Feast for the eyes, but for the senses as well! I think Mr Bear and I rolled out there stuffed (as the Irish would say) like an egg.
Due to the fact that I had re-microfractured my heel (again) I played 'granny in the corner' and brought out my lucet and made wreaths for each couple that showed up. Here is a picture of Noreen learning how to lucet.
We had a wonderful time and tonight the drive home was a typical mild west coast winter drive; as Mr Bear remarked, 'this is the kind of westcoast Christmas that I love - wet and mild'.
Blessings of the Return of the Light to all who read this:
Tonight I light my Lantern for all those who are struggling against the Dark.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2shot Twosday - Downtown Duncan - Art & Coffee

Dear Perusers:
While waiting for Mr Bear to finish with his appointment, I wandered into the Twisted Mug and ordered a Breve Latte.
I also took advantage of  the close proximity of a shop's window display to snap these Pillar Candle stands.
Wouldn't they make a wonderful 3 Kings Display?
Blessings of hot coffee to all on a cool winter's day.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Week 2 - December photos - here there and everywhere

Dear Perusers:
1. My friend Bette's favourite colour is turquoise and as it is Scandinavian custom to hang hearts on the Yule tree, I thought to do a crocheted blue heart for her. It may be a bit lopsided, but was sent off with 'heartfelt' blessings. (g)
2. Mr Bear's Birthday Present from me or what do you give the Man In Your Life who is a Big Bang Theory Fan?
Answer: a replica of Leonard and Sheldon's shower curtain of course! 
3.Downtown Duncan merchants have a Holiday Window Display Contest in which each get the same critter (this year it's a hamster) and have to include it in their display.
4. Wrapping prezzies for the little ones in front of the TV watching BBT of course!
5. and FINALLY Finding the Xmas Tablecloth after doing an archeological dig through the stacked boxes in the laundry room!
Blessings to all those who have gone out to capture a Live Tree for the Season - be careful out there, they have been known to 'bark' and 'pitch' at you! (g)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mr Bear and St Lucia - Together again!

December 13 is not only Mr Bear's birthday, it is also St.Lucia Day in Scandinavia!
The photo to the left shows the traditional 'lussekatte' which is served with coffee on this Day.
Re: Mr Bear's Birthday:
This year, Mr Bear's natal day falls on a Friday and as there was no way I could let that pass, I decided to put the invite out to a Good Luck Cake and Coffee Party and asked invitees to bring something lucky to give him (ie a penny, a horseshoe nail etc).
It will be interesting to see what folks come up with!
I will try to post pix of the celebration later on but in the meantime enjoy the video link to the Light Bringer of the North.
Blessings of Light as we head into the Darkest Night of the Year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

HOORAY! The Tree is Up and Lit!

Dear Perusers:
Mr Bear put down his knitting (thats my half finished beret on top of another half finished sweater)  and manfully struggled to get the tree into place in the tree holder.
We were very lucky this year as First Time is the Charm: the tree managed to right itself and actually stand straight!
Quentin Quail decided that this year he was going to be the Top Bird so up he went.
Blessing to all those who found that the strand of garland beads so carefully wrapped up from last year have somehow unwound themselves and are now a tangled mess!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Dear Perusers:
For some strange reason, there were no Balsam Firs available this year at our favourite lot - no matter; after some hemming and hawing over a few specimens, Mr Bear chose a lovely Douglas Fir  which was delivered to our door tonight.
One advantage of living in this area, Free Tree Delivery to those folks who are looked on with pity (ie don't have a Behemoth Vehicle - 4x4) such as we.
Now to clear a space downstairs for it.
Blessings to all who are in putting up their tree - may your ornaments have survived the year long hiatus in a box under the stairs.

Monday, December 09, 2013

I know its early but..New Year's Stream-A-Thon or WHat Was i THINKING?!

Dear Perusers:
One of the most delightful, talented, funny, and a real Ruler Whizz, Ozegran (or Jen) from Down Under, hosted a New Year's Eve Stream-A-Thon last year. This Now Famous (some say Infamous) Event was where other Ustreamer Artlies each took on an hour or two of crafting wonderfulness online during the first 24 hours of the New Year which began in Australia (where Jen is) and ended up on the West Coast.
This year, she has the complete 24 hours filled and o my - guess who 'volunteered' Mr Bear and I to host the Midnight Show on New Year's Eve for an hour, in which we get to welcome in the New Year for the Pacific Northwest? I will leave you to guess who the 'volunteer'er' was!
Here is a link to All the Excitement: 2013 New Year's Eve StreamAThon
Now, what can I do for my hour that will fill people's hearts with love and joy? (pretty tall order)?!
Last I heard there was a Theme: Journals (I think) but if it's A Series of 3d PopUp Cards that go Pop and Bang! when opened, well then, I'm sunk. Period.
So far I've been blithely ignoring any information to the contrary and have doing drafts of an ArtBook (in my head and at the kitchen table) that I have named the Secret O R F Booklet in honour of Jen and her daughter Mandy. I think I may do 3 Variations if time permits. I first have to get my PDFS and supply list together first!
I am not sure at this point what Mr Bear will be doing, he may decide to crochet an egg cozy (lol) -God love him, but he Is One of those irritatingly talented individuals who can read someone's directions in crochet (Swedish no less!) translate it and come out with THIS!
I rest my case.
In the meantime, I am hunting for my glue gun, trying to think of how to arrange a table downstairs for the PC and where the heck will we put the tree.. o yeah. in all the NYE Streamathon beeswax, I have semi - forgot there were a couple of important dates beforehand: Mr Bear's Birthday on December 13 (yup it's a Friday!) and of course Christmas! Maybe that's why I can't find anything, it's buried under wrapping paper?
In the meantime, we have continued albeit slowly (due to the unusual cold we have been having) to hang more lights on
ComeWhatMay's balconies.
We will be adding more around the door, it is very much a Work In Progress around here!
Ok, back to business, Blessings to all those who are thinking about the Feast Day coming up and wondeirng if you have room in your deep freezer for that large a turkey?

Sunday, December 08, 2013

1st Week of December Wrap up

Dear Perusers:
As my one of my favourite bloggers (Ms Mary Ann Moss  - Dispatchfromla) would say:
Oh hi!
Continuing on with the first week of December in pix and words:

Dec 3 - 2shots Twosday

Mr Bear stapling Christmas lights to our balcony boxes while skillfully avoiding his thumb!
And here is the reason for all the hoopla: the Neighbours across the way added EVEN MORE lights to the front of their house..
(will this madness never end? lol)

Dec 4 - Wonderous Wednesday:
Our first Real Hard Frost, then a marvellous package arrived!
You may recall that I took part (with much loss of sleep and hair) in a 12 Days of Christmas Ornament swap?
Here is the end result: a box chock full of Seasonal Blessings and Goodness! Next we drove into town and I was able to get a good shot of the CVRD Building's Gigamungous Wreath.
(Every year they get a crane to hoist it into place)
Finally,  one of those 'I can't believe I saw really saw this' shots taken in the WalMart parking lot - two poinsettia leaves perfectly pressed into the pavement. This may yet show up on a card!

Dec 5 - Thursday:  First Snow at Quail Hill
Kiwi Leaf Snow Covered and First Snowball

Dec 6 - Friday - 
Bless Yer Sox and Undies Day
and a Quail Hill Card

Dec 7/8 Weekend WrapUp
We ended the weekend
by having breakfast out with friends at the Dog
Cafe -
I actually found (miracle of miracles!) and wore my Holly Red Hat for this August Occasion!
Blessings to all and how is your December going?
Well, I hope and not too stressful. (here's a hug, you look like you need one )

Monday, December 02, 2013

Cyber Monday? Holy Moly..

Black white or otherwise: Holy Intel: just how many more 'special' days can we possibly fit into the Season?  Now we have Cyber Monday? 
(No, I did not take my deck chair, porta-potty, food hamper, generator, down sleeping bag, and sleep outside in the parking lot outside a BIG BOX STORE for two nights, just so I could be one of the first to snag a Big Screen whatever!)
Since I have no idea how to celebrate such an Important Date, I have decided to write about today in my Cyber Office (ie Starbucks coffee shop) and why I love this town. 
I had re injured my left heel and was clomping along with my medi-boot, when the door was held open for me. Wow, that was nice.
Then as I went up to get my drink, I left my tablet, keyboard, plug, all set up in the corner of the shop, knowing that I would be coming back to it completely untouched.
Not only that, there was an iphone lying on one of the small tables, all by its lonesome while its owner went up to the counter to order her drink.
Again, she like me, was not worried about coming back to find it 'gone'.
As Mr Bear says, This is Not The City.
So here I sit, juice available for my thirsty tablet, a free Vente Hot Apple Caramel at hand and my Planner to update - What could be more wonderful on a Cyber Monday?
This is the view of the setting sun on Mt Tzhouhalem seen through the Front Window  -
Blessings of the Cyber Honesty Kind to all cybermonkeys (like me) out there.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sunday: First week of December - Unexpected Gifts are The Best

Dear Perusers:
Somewhere in the midst of wrapping presents and slurping bean, December managed to sneak in and produce a week while I was not writing!
I personally think that if I don't blog on here, that should make the Calendar 'stop' and allow me some time to catch up!
On my balcony (where I should be checking my plant pots more often!) a Very Rare Snowdrop variety have taken it into their silly heads to Bloom in December rather than wait 'til February!
What a unexpected delight!
Then in the Post we received  a wonderful  'just because' gift from our dear friends the F's. It was the complete series of the Brit TV show 'Pie In The Sky' which we had honestly forgotten how Good It Was!
What a great gift and reminder!
We decided to make a Night Out Of It, so Mr Bear went out and chopped some kindling, after which we lit a good blaze in the Copper Woman and settled in to watch.
Blessings of unexpected Gifts to you all.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturnsday: The Last Weekend of Nuvember..

Dear Perusers:
The neighbours have thrown down the 'Light Your House Up' Gauntlet and we have been trying to get our balcony lights up before the S**W falls (predicted for Sunday)
Blessings to all those wobbling on tall ladders and stringing Christmas Lights!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Freyas Day: Free For All - Clean Sweep

"If everyone swept their own front porch, then the whole world would be clean." (Dutch saying)
Blessings to those who are busy keeping their front porch swept.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Over the Malahat to a Movie: Ender's Game

There was a rumour going around town, in the second year we moved here, that yes indeed, we were going to get a Decent Stadium Seating type theatre: Cineplex was the name mentioned.
Sadly this never happened.
So when we want to watch something in comfort (and in my case actually SEE the screen without some huge body blocking my view) we hightail it over the Malahat mountain to the Tillicum Mall Cineplex Odeon.
Knowing we have to do this trip. has caused us to pick our movies carefully. otherwise we just wait for them to be on Netflix and save ourselves driving and gas.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, has been on the top of our must see list for some time and I for one, did not read the reviews ahead of time, as I wanted to make up my own mind.
Our verdict: 8/10 - well crafted, good story, stayed more or less true to the book (probably because Orson Scott Card the Author was one of the Producers) and didn't try to make the props more important than the people involved. I particularly liked the zero g practice arena: incredibly realistic.
On the way home, we both agreed that it was a great way to spend an afternoon as I think we both have been missing our 'movie fix' for some time.
Blessings to those involved in the Industry who craft such wonderful stories for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Week's Rambles: Make Room For Joy!

Dear Perusers:
Arbutus on Malahat Mountain
It will be a week's jumble due to various appointments which have kept me from my keyboard but not thankfully from my pocket camera which goes everywhere with me.
It has become a daily mantra, cellphone, camera, wallet, keys. With these four I can face the world along with A Gigamungous Cup of Bean as well!
Now that Nuvember is pulling his hat from the peg on the wall and is holding the door open about to depart, I have decided to write down some of the things I have learned in dealing with this Month.
First Thought: Nuvember will always be a month of Memory:  a lot bad, some good, so I will continue to allow room for more good memories to pile up in that Bank Vault of Time.
I had thought by joining and in some cases purchasing online creative classes would be a big help. This was not so successful. All the ones I chose for this month had either a due date built in with a goal (like Nanowrimo) or were daily email prompts ie check ins (like !Spark! run by a great group of Cosmic Cowgirls)
My inner spirit rebelled to the point where I invited a guest to stay for a week during the second half of the month.
Since I have left the corporate world and am no longer concerned with time and clocks other than lunch coffee and dinner and the occasional appointment such as airport pickup and dropoff, my creative ebb and flow mirror this and do not in any Way 'fit' the slot assigned to it by these courses.
So what have I learned from all this?
Not to book myself into courses that require word counts, daily shares, checkins or prompts.
The immense wave of 'whoosh'' that came over me when I realized this morning that I no longer HAD to write much less finish That Novel was a sure sign that the La Musa agreed with me.
I Am Constantly Writing either in my head or in my journal or online, so to tack on another Writing assignment for me during This Month of all months was a 'bridge too far.'
Now, with that being said, I do admit, I have gotten further than ever in writing that Novel than I have in years and yes I do need to be encouraged to drag it out every once in a while but not during Nuvember.
Second Thought: Surrounding myself with and photographing Beauty helped. Loads. It was even better and more memorable when I shared it with our guest, who is a photographer as well.
Third Thought: Make my Art Space Sacred and my Self Care Time Sacred as well. Book a facial, pedi or massage. Have my hair style revamped.
I will print these out and put them in next year's calendar as a Reminder to Not Overdo. I think the words here should be 'Thou Shalt Be Gentle On Thyself'.
So to recap: I am thankful for the Nanowrimo experience: I went further than I ever thought I would so Kudos to me for even trying!
The !Spark! Forum is fantastic and would have been sufficient by itself had it not run into my daily commitment to write for Nanowrimo.
(Next year, if inclined, do not try both at same time, one will do)
Continue to get out and shoot daily.
More hands on crafts for Solstice as opposed to bought.
More Self Care.
I think that's enough for next year's Nuvember. I will most likely revisit some of those thoughts and probably add to the list.
In case you were missing it, here are Shots of the Week (so far)
SockMonkey Bolens Books Victoria
2Shot Tuesday: A Court of Quail on the Hill
 Blessings on those in this Hemisphere facing the early darkening days and blessings on those in the Southern Hemiisphere as you go from Spring into Summer.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday: Brief Beauty

Rare Nuvember sunshine
striking the stone wall -
a brief burst of joy.

The quiet primrose
moon-white in the shadows,
shyly pokes their heads out
there is no snow.

How truly it is said
that one kind word
can warm three months of Winter.

Blessings to all those who read this on the last few days of Nuvember.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturnsday: Mr Bear Takes Me For A Walk

I was peacefully lounging in my jammies and the clock had just gone on past noon thirty.
Mr Bear came bouncing in to the bedroom, briefly disrupting my reading of the exploits of Poirot which I had downloaded to my tablet.
"OK", he said brightly, "Here's the plan for the day. Get dressed have breakfast and we are going OUT. I don't know where, but just Out as it is Too Nice A Day to stay indoors!"
We didn't go too far, as the sun sets really early around here, so we only have about four hours of daylight until it gets dark usually around 4 pm.  The Momentous Dike Project which stretches like a dragon's tail and curls around the edge of a cornfield and ends in a small willow tree park was deemed to be our goal.
Perfect walking: smooth and straight and once you get back to the car,
Coffee is only a short 10 minutes away.
We tried our usual Starbucks but since they have removed the comfy seats and dimmed the lights, we went instead to what is becoming our new favourite: the Twisted Mug.
Back home, after unloading the groceries, I happened to look out our kitchen window and saw this.
What a Spectacular Ending to a Great Day!
Blessings to all weekend walker and picture takers out there!