• Life

    Brave No More

    It’s St Patrick’s Day and usually I would be thinking of Ireland and my pals there but the only thing on my mind today, again, is New Zealand and the terrible events of the past week. I was born in England and I live in Canada now…but I spent 45 years of my life in New Zealand and identify as a Kiwi. I am proud of that heritage. On Thursday night I saw the news via a post from Gracie, my niece, and had all the same shocked reaction as everyone. No need to describe the disbelief, fear and panic I felt – we ALL did.   Inadvertently one of…

  • Life

    A Shaggy Dog Story

    Anyone who has tried to adopt a dog will understand the heartbreak and frustration of scouring the classifieds, Kijiji, Petfinder and the local shelter websites looking for a dog that’s the right age, breed, gender and that’s actually available. There is a shelter in Mission I have phoned and emailed many times and never heard back from. We ended up buying our wee Molly from a breeder because we had spent months unsuccessfully trying to find a dog as a companion for Josie. And we love Molly to pieces – she is a joy to both of us but she was a bit of an accident because we did not…

  • Life

    Gifts From Abby

    Our friend, Angie, lost her beloved best friend last week and it affected me deeply because it brought back the loss of our dear, sweet, unique and very naughty Abby. Abby was not a rescue dog from a shelter, but it transpires that we actually DID rescue her from, what we later discovered, a puppy mill. She was the runt of the litter, and was so cute, she really chose herself. She was a shih tzu/yorkie cross and we were smitten, as you are, with her puppy antics. Seven years later, she still entertained us with her puppy antics. She was incredibly playful and had a vast collection of toys:…

  • Life

    For The Birds

    I don’t call myself a “birder” (heaven forbid) but I do love my wildbirds: we’ve counted 25 different birds who’ve visited our feeders and property. Man, they cost us a pretty penny too: I go through a 20lb bag of seed every 2 weeks then there are big sacks of whole peanuts, suet blocks by the dozen and woodpecker seed and nut squares. My guests LOVE the birds and many of them spend hours taking pictures of them. Europeans are particularly crazy about hummingbirds, as they’re native to the Americas. I love seeing some of the amazing “traveler photos” on tripadvisor on my B&B page. Jim built a great feeding…

  • Life

    A Kaleidescope of Memories

    The title isn’t mine. It is how my friend Honza described our four days down memory lane. Prague is my favourite city and if you’ve been there you’ll understand why. The amazing Gothic and medieval architecture, the castle overlooking the Vlatava River, Charles Bridge with it’s incredible statues, the unique buildings in old town square and of course the famous clock tower. I love the people, the food, and the culture. There’s art everywhere: glass, ceramics and fabrics. Ancient and modern monuments and installations. And Crystal…the whole city literally sparkles with Bohemia and Swarovski glass and chandeliers. I first met Honza in 1995 when I started working in Prague –…

  • Life

    Happy Happy

    2017 was a decent year. Not a stand-out, stellar, best-year-ever one but not terrible, can’t wait for it to be over either. We got away a bit. Not a LOT and not nearly enough, but Jim and I went to Costa Rica and fell in love with the place and the people (and the monkeys). We started on the coast at the beach and then went to Monte Verde to the Cloud Forests before heading over to the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna. It was a great adventure and made us want to just move there forever…something we’re still actually considering. We also managed to get away camping which was…

  • Life

    IMAGINE!

    Last month my dream came true. We finally picked up our new Travel Trailer. I have yearned for a trailer for YEARS. After our camping trip last September we decided that we’d NEVER tent again. Ever. We began our search. We decided we didn’t want to change vehicles so we started looking for something we could tow with my Santa Fe SUV. R-Pods seemed like a good idea. But even then it was touch and go whether we could tow it comfortably…not to mention, it was pretty small. We went to a couple of RV shows and went into every Travel Trailer brand imaginable. And then we saw the Grand…

  • Life

    TENT FOR SALE

    God, I love camping. I love sleeping in a tent, I love cooking on a campfire and grilling. Nothing tastes better than coffee cooked in an enamel pot on a Coleman propane stove. Well, that’s apart from the new camping cooler drink I invented: San Pellegrino Lemonata and Titos Vodka is pretty awesome. We spent 4 days at Ross Lake – about 1.5 hours from here, and about one glorious hour out of cell/wifi range. The campground we stayed in was just across the US border in Washington State in a beautiful place called Hozomeen. The campgrounds are nicer than 2 minutes up the road on the Canadian side and…