An Evening With Friends, Another Wedding and Thanksgiving Dinner

HellOooo everyone. Well, it’s been a soggy Fall so far which is really disappointing. When I look back on photos from this time last year, it was beautiful sunshine, crisp Fall days and evenings around the fire pit with hot chocolate!

But, it warmed up the one weekend we went into Vancouver to do some shopping and visit friends. We stayed in a cabin at an RV Park in White Rock

Cabin at Hazelmere

and while Tori went to a meeting, I sat outside at the picnic table and ate my lunch, accompanied by one of the resident cats

lunch buddy

In the evening, we joined friends at a local pub for a birthday party and what fun it was. Lots of laughter and Tequila!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in South Africa, another niece got married. What a beautiful bride she makes – brings tears to my eyes.

Last week began my transition to a new position within my company. I moved over to the Freight Forwarding division, and hit the ground running. Previously, I was arranging the deliveries of containers to our customers which, if am honest, was a little boring. I became a Logistics Coordinator 15 years ago and loved it from the day I started, so I’m really happy to be back in that field again.

Our tomatoes were not ripening on the vine, so I harvested them all and put them in box with an apple in it. Many fruits, including tomatoes and apples produce ethylene gas, which accelerates ripening. Apples produce more ethylene gas than most, so placing them near any other fruit will ripen it faster. It’s working …

I took out the ripened ones and left the others. If the green ones don’t ripen in the next week or so, I’m going to see if I can find a recipe for tomato chutney or something like that. Any suggestions you can give me are welcome. 🙂

While we’re on the subject of our garden, it’s doing okaaay, but not very happy with all the rain, so I’m not too sure if everything’s going to survive. The brussels sprouts are growing – slowly

as are the chard and lettuce. I’ve harvest the chard leaves 3 or 4 times to add to various dishes

A couple of weeks ago, we planted garlic

and covered it with a layer of hay (given to us by our neighbour)

So the plan is to have a lovely crop of garlic by next Summer. It looks like we’re going to get a run of sunshine next week which will allow me to get into the garden and clean it up a little – pull up the tomato plants and harvest the rest of the herbs. Let’s hope the brussels sprouts and butter lettuce perk up a little.

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and we invited a friend to join us for dinner last night. I haven’t entertained properly for quite a long time and I love doing it, so this was my re-entry back into it again. Instead of having a roast turkey, I made stuffed, roasted turkey breast and, for dessert, Apple Crumble. It took all afternoon to prepare, starting with prepping the vegetables – yes, those are brussels sprouts on the right. I fry them with bacon, garlic and onions. If I don’t, nobody will eat them. But they are much yummier this way. Everyone went up for seconds which warms my heart.

and the apples


And then I could concentrate on the turkey breast using, among other things, herbs from our garden for the stuffing

Stuffed Roast Turkey Breast

and decorating the table, starting with a beautiful runner from Africa

And building it from there. The leaves, plates and wine glasses are from the Dollar Store (I’m a bit of a clutz and broke all our expensive wine glasses!) and I bought the napkins on a whim at the grocery store on Saturday. The candle stick holders were a thrift store find a few years ago for a couple of dollars each.

No dinner prep is complete without a cheeky drink (or two)

Dinner was a success, considering it was the first time I’d made turkey that way


The day ended with this beautiful Sunshine Coast sunset taken by a friend.

See you all soon.


But First, Tequila




Stay-cation at the Beach, Friends & a Wicker Chair

Hello. How are you all? All well here. I took a week off last week but decided not to go anywhere because where I live is a permanent vacation. We’ve been living on the beautiful Sunshine Coast for just under a year, but haven’t had much time to explore due to having to work – quite annoying. After I’d got over the need to declutter and organize everything, I spent my week off going to the beach

Beach toes

Catching up on my reading

Porpoise Bay

watching canoes drift by

napping every afternoon and generally relaxing. It was bliss.

Our vegetable garden has given us lovely beans and peas for the last 3 weeks.  Home-grown vegetables are a taste that I just cannot describe, but it makes me hope I never have to go back to store-bought vegetables again. Next year when we move our little temporary garden to a more permanent site, we’ll grow enough to freeze and eat all year round. In the meantime, we’re enjoying eating what we grow so much

We planted Broccoli and Swiss Chard to eat in the Fall and at the end of the month we’ll plant Brussels Sprouts and Garlic.

In between all this napping and relaxing at the beach,  Lauren (my niece) and Simon got married in a lovely civil service in London. They’ll be flying to South Africa for a small wedding with the family.

I lucked out at a flea market and found a white wicker love seat that I’ve been looking to get my hands on for so many years I’ve lost count. Isn’t she lovely?

It was scorchingly (is that a word?) hot and humid here and I spent many happy hours in this lovely, shady spot reading.

I ended off my little staycation with a barbecue/party on Saturday night

and a visit from friends and a bike ride on Sunday

Just before our ride, a visit to the beach

Talk to you soon


But First, Tequila


A Birthday Dinner, More Toddler Fun, Ruby Lake and Spring

Being with good friends is always an amazing experience. After celebrating a life at last month’s funeral, that night we celebrated a birthday

The following weekend was warm and sunny. Tori was still in Vancouver completing his course, so I decided to take a drive out to Ruby Lake. Ruby Lake is named because the water turns red at sunset.

It was worth the hour’s drive from Halfmoon Bay – stunning views

hiking trails and a beach.

This is definitely somewhere we’ll come back to over the course of the summer.

The following weekend we took the opportunity of having Neil for the weekend. His parents have decided  to move back to Edmonton, which broke our hearts. The sunny weather turned cloudy and cold, but that didn’t stop us from visiting the beach and eating ice cream

Spring has come in with a vengeance at Halfmoon Bay – the daffodils and tulips that I stuffed into a window box last September when we moved, started to bloom

So beautiful – I just adore Daffodils. Of course, they were too crowded, so not all of them bloomed. When they’re done, I’ll separate them out.

The first of the Rhododendrons – we have 4 surrounding our little cottage

and cherry trees

And then these little flowers that are dotted around all over the place

Last weekend saw us back in Vancouver for some shopping and one last visit with Neil and the family

Until September.

It was Mother’s day the next day and Na-mee and Alex gave me a mug with chocolates in it (love chocolate)

The weather soon warmed up again and animals and humans alike spent many happy hours on the patio enjoying the sunshine

All too soon it was Monday and back to work. I guess Willow felt it too

Until next time …


But First, Tequila




September Stuff

Sunset at Sunshine Coast

Hello everyone. The above photo is the sunset at my new home! I’ve been trying to post in here for at least 3 weeks now, but something always gets in the way!

September was an exciting month. First of all, it was Neil’s 2nd birthday on the 12th. He had a party on the 16th, but we couldn’t be there, so we visited on the actual day. We gave him some little wooden trains from Ikea to add to the set he already has, and he just loved them.

Neil's 2nd birthday

He played with them for the rest of the evening. Alex and Namee made us a delicious dinner of Shepherd’s Pie and Corn. Corn is Neil’s favourite food.

On the 14th we moved to the Sunshine Coast. We loaded the moving truck the night before and left for the ferry first thing in the morning.



And then the fun began.  We moved approximately 1,100 sq. ft. of stuff into a 650 sq. ft. Yikes!

Cottage at Halfmoon Bay

moving boxes - new cottage

Looks a bit overwhelming, yes? Well, it was, and I remember saying things like “I hate this house” and “I’m too tired to do any more”, but that first day we set up a working kitchen

and the couch

cottage couch

and called it a day. I think there was vodka involved.

That evening after supper, we sat on the beach and watched the sun go down. That, alone, made it all worth it.

Halfmoon bay sunset

Over the next week or two we slowly got organized – the entryway

Cottage entry way

Living room

dining area

and bedroom

Cottage Bedroom

cottage bedroom2

 Finding little spaces for the things that used to live on the mantle in our old house

There was also Tori’s ‘man cave’, but it’s a work in progress 🙂

The cats settled in quite well after exploring everywhere

We finished off by tidying up the patio/deck – placing the little birdbath, angels and frog surrounded by the grasses we bought a couple of months ago

And moved the sun-loving plants to a sunny spot

and hung some other stuff

And then sat back and admired our handywork (this involved more vodka)

Once we were, er, refreshed, we took our dogs to Cooper’s Green – the beach across the road

Until next time ….

But First, Tequila










A New Adventure, A Girl’s Night Out & a Birthday Party


Hello! It’s been very hot a muggy here in Vancouver – too hot to do anything constructive after about 11 am. It’s even too hot to sit outside on our shady patio – no breeze at all. Still, I’m not complaining because we had nothing but rain, rain and more rain this past winter and I’m not missing it at all.

I have some exciting news! I got a job on BC’s beautiful Sunshine Coast! In my opinion, it’s paradise and I can’t believe we’re going to live there. Whilst it is, technically, part of Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, because of it’s mountainous/watery terrain, it can only be reached by ferry. It does seem to get more than it’s fair share of great weather, and then of course there’s the beaches and little coastal villages to explore. The drive from one end to the other is 180 km (110 miles). LOVE.

It was a bit of a shock when it finally sunk in that we have to move from our beloved townhouse to a place where, technically, we had never been before. Tori was a little upset, but, after much discussion, we decided that we could definitely make this work. He would stay on the Lower Mainland during the week and then come home on the weekends. But, as he’s on WCB at the moment and his work future isn’t really clear, it’s a matter of ‘wait and see’ for the next month or so.

So, last Monday, we took the ferry across to the Sunshine Coast to look at a couple of houses. The scenery was breathtaking from the ferry.

and 40 minutes later saw us landing in Langdale and on our way to our first viewing. We had about an hour or so to kill, so we stopped at Gibsons for lunch.

And dined at the famous Molly’s Reach where the series The Beachcomber’s was filmed. I used to love that show when I was younger (much younger!). The food was amazing – and reasonably priced.

After lunch, we drove up the only highway to our first viewing. The wooded cabin-type house looked good from the photos, but in actual reality was awful and not what we were looking for at all – so we passed on that and drove to Halfmoon Bay

where we found this cottage … and fell in love

It’s quite a bit smaller than what we’re used to – 2 bedrooms instead of 3, and whoever designed the kitchen didn’t have food prep in mind, but it’s nothing that a kitchen island won’t solve and I love it.  All our friends want to visit.

And so, we begin packing for our move on September 14th.

The day after we got back from Fort Vermilion, Tori left for a motorbike ride for 4 days with 18 other bikers

and the wives/girlfriends had a girl’s night out. We all met at the RV park where one of the girls lives, and she gave us a ride in her golf cart to her house

where we all got into the limousine that she hired to drive us around for a couple of hours.

Before long, the party was in full swing with champagne and, er, other beverages

Loud music, singing and generally having fun, as you can see by the blurred photos! 🙂

Why risk spilling your wine by pouring it into a glass when you can drink straight from the bottle? 😀

And then onto the pub for some supper and dancing. This was the only clear-ish photo I managed to salvage of that night.

Not long after that night, I got a FaceBook message from some friends I had not seen in about 35 years! I spent most of my teenage years at Kay’s house. She and her husband Paul, were high school sweethearts. They had traveled from South Africa to visit a friend in America and were now in Vancouver!! I couldn’t believe my luck. We dropped everything and drove an hour to North Vancouver for a reunion – drinks and supper – it was an amazing evening and wonderful to see them again. We chatted (and drank) like no time had passed at all. Kay and Paul are on either side of me.

And then a couple of weeks after that – a birthday party. Champagne was replaced by shooters – home made Apple Pie Moonshine

And love was in the air

The birthday girl

A lot of fun with old friends and new

Whew! That’s enough partying for a while, I think!


But First, Tequila