28 November 2010

Mom Little, chicken soup, and another fine day

At Tim's I unexpectedly met my adopted Canadian mom--oh, joy!--and she
asked me to join her while she ate her lunch. I'd already devoured my
bowl of soup, so I carried my cup of steeped tea over to her table and
we visited merrily for a pleasant hour.

Afterwards we went grocery shopping together (no fish for a while!)
where she bumped into a dear friend--whom I'd chatted to in church
that morning--and the three of us went to McD's for free coffee. Soon
I began to fade (the usual symptoms: blurry eyes, slurry words) and
Mom Little kindly drove me home for my weekly Sunday afternoon nap.

I am feeling decidedly more perky and less queasy tonight after eating
some ginger in the bath and sipping on ginger ale while I wrote some
notes (until my pages got too soggy from the steam).

Bedtime. Another fine day.

Nov 28 Tim's 0366.JPG
Nov 28 Tim's 0369.JPG
Nov 28 Mom Little at Tim's 0371.JPG

Nov 28: worship, and a walk in the snow

This morning I chose to worship locally--more about that on my
CrossLight blog--and after the service I took myself out for lunch.

Here are some images I captured along the way to our neighbourhood pub
(where I'd intended to eat, since I felt like being alone). Alas, the
Cumbrian Arms was closed, so I walked across the road to Tim Horton's
for a bowl of chicken noodle soup--a sure cure for any ailment!

Nov 28 trees 0356.JPG
Nov 28 sun, trees 0357.JPG
Nov 28 BVBC 0358.JPG
Nov 28 BVBC 0359.JPG
Nov 28 Hill 0360.JPG
Nov 28 DQ TH panorama 0361.JPG
Nov 28 sun 0362.JPG
Nov 28 Chinese 0363.JPG
Nov 28 snowy stairs 0364.JPG
Nov 28 Cumbrian Arms 0365.JPG

Ginger (treats) and Jean G at Norma's

Friday, Nov 26, was a perfectly wonderful day (until after supper,
when I was violently ill from some fish I ate: not my own cooking,

My dear Calgary friend and retired massage therapist, Jean G, comes to
Cochrane every so often to meet me at Norma's. This time I told her I
had written something (my "Ginger and Auld Lace" piece) to read to
her--we've been trying to lure each other's writings from their
respective bottom drawers for years--and, bless her heart! Jean
arrived bearing eighteen sweet 'n' spicy homemade ginger cookies ...
just for me. I took them with to Norma's and ate a couple with my chai
latte. In the third photo our dear Norma blissfully bites into one.

Later in the day, as I went to collect my mail, I bumped into Dutch
neighbour (and my twin), Irma--and promptly retrieved yet another of
Jean's treats from my crammed pocket to share with a willing
recipient. Irma had presented me with a perfect plateful of Christmas
goodies last weekend; more about that later...

Back to Friday:
It was one of those rare and memorable heart-sharing, goal-setting
days that have the potential to change one's life. I wrote late into
the night (despite some unfortunate symptoms from the above-mentioned
amd most regrettable supper), and awoke on Saturday with a renewed
sense of purpose and courage for the season ahead.

Ah: a fine day indeed.

Nov 26 JG, ginger 0345.JPG
Nov 26 JG, EP at Norma's 0352.JPG
Nov 26 Norma 0353.JPG

11 November 2010

Eleven eleven

Perhaps I will start a new book every Nov. 11. I certainly enjoyed starting my new book tonight! :)

"There are many ways to die in Africa."

My book begins (as did my recent CBC literary awards contribution): 

“There are many ways to die in Africa.”

There. My first line is written! Time for bed on this special day of Remembering.

Nostalgia: Not What It Used To Be

Nostalgia: Not What It Used To Be

That’s the working title of my new book, officially started tonight. I’ve done much brainstorming and have divided it onto three sections, based on beloved Canadian author Peter Gzowski’s Morningside chapter headings: “Friends,” “Moments,” and “Countryside.”

My hope is to write about the special people and places it was my privilege to visit this past winter. What I have in mind is a photo-travel-journal format.

Between late May and early July I spent six splendid weeks in my homeland … and realised anew how much I love the voices and languages of South Africa. I also became aware (and was made aware by others!) just how Canadian I’ve become, eh? It’s true. I am now a foreigner in my native land. But I love being there and will return as often as possible in future. I do not take for granted my frequent flyer status: I’ve been back to Africa half a dozen times in a dozen years: an absolute privilege in today’s economy.

Memorial Drive photos

Earier this week I said I'd post my Memorial Drive photos today, and here they are:

I'll also post a couple of entries my students wrote for Remembrance Day (with their permission) later this month.

I worked today but developed a rather miserable migraine, and so had to quit halfway through the day. I'm feeling marginally better now. As Robin reminds me, "We'll try again tomorrow." Every day is a fresh start, workwise, healthwise, soulwise.

Lots happening this weekend. We have company ... and other comings and goings; details to follow after Sunday.

11/11 is a special day for me, beyond Remembrance Day (which I celebrate each year with gratitude and reverence for our veterans). 11:11 is also my magical minute. It's the time of day, 7 years ago now, that I began writing my very first book (which I eventually co-authored and published in 2007). Tonight I plan on officially starting a new book (I already have two underway: one is being co-authored with a new writing companion--we're at least halway!--and the other has been on my heart for years).

Tonight I will begin writing a mini-memoir of my recent trip to South Africa. Working title? See my 11:11 post, as I begin writing the first lines...

09 November 2010

And now: November

That about covers October, folks. 31 entries should suffice, although 100 wouldn't be enough to share all that happened last month. October was rich and full and sweet from the first to the 31st.

November is proving to be quieter, people-wise, but every bit as full. Tomorrow I'll share the first of this month's joys and jubilations. On Thursday I'll post some photos I took on Memorial Drive in honour of Remembrance Day.

Until then, wishing you all a sacred week and a memorable month.

31. Avis & Julia

See entry for November 3: "Penpals meet at last".

Bee & EP in Banff.

First photo, taken by a complete stranger at the airport.

Sniff. Bee flies east.

30. Barb Glennie heads west

October 28, Thursday

On the last Thursday of the month, I finally met singer/songwriter, Barb Glennie, from Ontario; we attended the Covenant Awards in Calgary and were delighted to hear Barb sing three of her original compositions, including her new song, Firefly. (I was moved to tears by the power of Barb's voice and the beauty of her message.)

How did we first connect? I interviewed Barb (HoneyB) over the phone for an article I wrote in the spring; we'd been hoping to meet face to face for months already.

The next day I met her sister and my kindred correspondent, Bee Baker. The extended Baker/Glennie family has adopted me, and I am well pleased....

29. There's a chef in the kitchen

October 25, Monday
On the Monday night after our return to Alberta, my adopted nephew-chef cooked dinner for his family (a rare treat: tasty cod with garlic, butter and red pepper; lemon rice with a dash of sea salt and black pepper; broccholini; for dessert, my favourite: creme brulee with a caramel crust...superb).


28. Alberta snow

In BC during our October week away, fall had hardly made its presence known; in Alberta we returned to a crisp week of cool mornings and fresh snow on the morning after we came home.

26. Misty mountain view

When I manage to stay awake on the drive home from BC to Alberta, I enjoy the diverse mountain views around each new curve in the winding road.

25. Mountain goats safely graze

24. Wildlife warning

This blurry photo was taken as we left Fairmont. The next photos (and
the previous one) are of mountain goats ambling along the main road.

23. Mountain goats

Just as we were leaving Fairmont, we saw a sign warning us of possible wildlife on the highway. Within minutes we came across several mountain goats in the main road.

22. Slow children


21. White-tailed deer

20. Window view

These white-tailed deer were visible from my window as I sat and wrote
at the kitchen table during Reading Week in October.

08 November 2010

19. Waterfall

More later...

...19 photos are more than enough for one evening.

18. Mini waterfall

Well worth the walk.

17. Walk in the woods

These last few photos are all from my walk in the beautiful BC woods
towards a little waterfall.

16. Take a hike

Second BC bridge.

Resting before walking uphill.

15. Walking on sunshine

Every day during Reading Week I tried to go out at least once,
tempting though it was to stay cosily ensconced in my silent
sanctuary; this day was particularly sunny and I hiked quite a
distance before returning home, hot and happy.

14. BC bear alert

Please be aware!

Bears in the area.

Use caution while walking and hiking.