Monday, July 31, 2006

Victoria with Hiromi

On Friday morning, Hiromi and I got up really early and caught the ferry into Victoria.

We left some nasty weather behind

tsawwassen looks yuckyand traded it in for blue skies and sunshine.

nice weather the other way!
We did the super-duper, time constrained tour of Victoria. We took the bus into town, did a quick run up and down Government. Hiromi was in awe in the Christmas store and Rogers Chocolates. We went inside the Empress and had our picture taken in front of the Legislature building.

the legislature

the empress hotel

hiromi and shannon at the legislature
We had a quick lunch and then had to head out to Saanichton. While we were waiting for the bus to come get us, we saw this lovely accident...we're not sure how the moving van got backwards on the street or how it rammed into the building. As we left, the Jaws of Life arrived...we think to remove the van from the building, not someone from the van.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sarah and her mom are here now too...

That's everyone...for now...

So far this visit has been great - and involved a lot of food! Hiromi and Edna were most interested in the salmon we had for dinner the other soon as it came off the barbecue and before I'd even opened the foil, they were sniffing it to see what it smelled like.

does it smell okay to eat?Now that we can see it, does it look okay to eat?

Tonight we had take-out sushi with beautiful lacquered chopsticks Hiromi brought for us from Japan.

sushi sushi sushi

Then we took in the Celebration of Light (Symphony of Fire?!) from one of the little parks in Kits. The people with the balcony next to the park who usually play the radio really loud so that everyone could hear it weren't home last night, so we just got to see the fireworks without the accompanying music.


hiromi and shannon
look at my lovely quadruple chins


sarah, pauline, hiromi
Sarah, Pauline and Hiromi


sarah, hiromi, pauline and edna
Tired ladies: Sarah, Hiromi, Pauline and Edna


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hiromi's here too!

and we had other visitors last night....

Our deck is a pleasant place to spend the evening and last night there was a bit of a breeze, so it was even better.

As we were sitting around the table chatting, the tree at the end of the deck started to shake and rattle...we looked up to see this little guy watching us.

furry visitor with scary eyes

He looked quite young, so we quickly got everything except our glasses in the house in case his mother made a surprise appearance and we had to make a run for it. He watched us scurry around the deck and once we had sat down again, he waited another 10-15 minutes.

Not long after we saw him wander up the neighbour's stairs. The tree on the other side of the deck started shaking like mad and he reappeared there, saw us and ran back down the tree and up into his little nest.

These guys live in that tree though...we stayed far away from them!

evil nest

Kelsey went home last night and Hiromi arrived...


It's balcony party time...just like summers at Pax Lodge!!!


Hiromi brought me a sparkly ring...

look at my pretty ring from japan!
look at my pretty ring from Japan!

Alex *really* liked it ;)

whoa...where'd ya get that thing?
whoa...where'd ya get that thing?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Edna's here!

When we got home from Bard on the Beach last night, Edna had arrived! It's so very exciting to see old friends...and she is at the airport right now, collecting another friend, Hiromi.

Edna, Kelsey and I checked out the new pub on campus, Mahoney's, this afternoon. We liked it! It's an Irish pub and has a great atmosphere, but someone needs to tell them that U2 is NOT the *only* Irish band out there!

shannon and edna


Did I mention, Edna's here!!!

(Yeah, just a little bit excited!)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bard on the Beach part 1 - A Midsummer Night's Dream

Alex and I got season's tickets to Bard on the Beach this year. We saw three of the four shows last summer and really enjoyed it (Alex even went back and saw As You Like It twice!) so we figured we'd try to get all the shows in this year.

Last night was our first show A Midsummer Night's Dream and it was great. Puck was hilarious, Bottom was sufficiently nasty and the view and sunset were great! If we didn't have tickets to the other three, I'd go back again!!

weddings everywhere!

Alex's friends JJ and Tracy got married on Saturday in the middle of our crazy heat wave. We had a great time. The reception was next to a very pretty little pond and once the sun went down, a bit of a breeze came up and cooled us down a little.

jj and tracy
JJ and Tracy

jj and tracey signing the register
signing the register

leaving the church
leaving the church

alex caught the garter

Look who caught the garter!

We're off to Hans and Megan's wedding next's definitely wedding season!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

heat brings out the crazies...

or people do crazy things, but I'm not entirely sure what the difference is though. Or maybe the heat has caused my brain to melt and I just think normal stuff is crazy...

In any case, it's way too hot to's apparently 20C out right now and it's midnight (or close to it).

We've had a bit of a strange evening. Alex and I were walking down Broadway and we bumped into Duncan, who just happened to be talking to Gwen, so I spoke to her briefly.

Then we went to pick Kelsey up from the bus station. That was a bit of an adventure as there is a huge fire around Ontario/Quebec and 3rd Avenue. It's stinky and there was a huge bunch of looky-loos looking. We had to take a bit of a backward-forward route to get there. But we got there.

And just now someone pounded on our door. I opened it to discover a plainclothes policeman standing on our front porch. He wanted to know if we'd called 911 about an intruder...not any old intruder mind you, a raccoon. Considering the wildlife that has been hanging out in our backyard, it could have been us, but it wasn't.

It turns out the guy next door called the police on behalf of his neighbour who lives across the alley, so they were looking in the wrong block.

But my question is, who calls the POLICE about a raccoon?

Friday, July 21, 2006

why I love my office (also published as why I currently HATE my house)

view from the coach house

This view, and everything that goes with it, is why I love my office. What you can't see in this photo (from the photo archive because my camera is "somewhere safe" at the moment. I hate "somewhere safe!") is that it's about 3000 degrees above hot today, but right outside the office door there is a lovely breeze blowing in off the ocean.

I was standing in the high UV rating sunshine for a few minutes, waiting my turn while Israel used the photocopier, and the nice breeze made the crazy heat bearable, a huge bald eagle flew by and just where the chain link fence is there are blackberry bushes that had nice, warm, plump, juicy, ripe blackberries on them. MMMM...yes, I love my office.

And why I HATE my reason, other than it's TOO HOT. Even the soles of my feet are sweating...

Going to get another popsicle. I like popsicles (I had to add another "I like" to counteract all the heat induced "I hates")

That's all.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

email from zouzou...

I got an email from Zouzou this morning telling me she and her family are safe. They are in a catholic region that has so far had no attacks. Thank goodness! Hopefully this will all be over soon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

That's my goddaughter!!





and more Alice!


I like her, can you tell?


PS to Alice's Mummy...I can't get enough of her! When is she coming to visit????

ma zouzou

Just before I went on holiday, I was chatting with my friend Josephine from Lebanon. She was not impressed that she had not been mentioned on my blog and asked if I'd write something about her...of course I said yes. I kept meaning to write a Josephine story, but it was busy in k-town...

So, here I am...and as I write this, I really hope she's okay. I haven't heard from her since our chat.

I met Josephine, aka Zouzou, my very first day at Pax Lodge. She was among those who thought I was crazy for ordering tea at the pub my very first night in London (I didn't think it was soooooo crazy...I'd only been awake for 36 hours and you're not supposed to drink beer until you've been awake for 37, right?).

She was then the oh-so-lucky person who got to train severely jetlagged me for two days. Zouzou was so excited that I could understand French that she spoke to me in a (somewhat interesting) mix of French and English (her emails and our chats are still like that).

After five short days at Pax Lodge, we congregated in the foyer and sang the Pax Lodge song as Zouzou and Greta left us...that monthly gathering came to be an important event for every HA/staff member who wandered through the Pax Lodge doors...but that's another story....

A year and a half later, Zouzou came waltzing back through the doors...this time for the 10th Anniversary of Pax Lodge. We had a great time catching up - Vibeke had also worked with Zouzou and Paula got to know her quite quickly.

zouzou, shannon, vibeke and paula

Return visits of former HAs and staff require at least one visit to the local pub, so we had to make ourselves comfortable at the Rat and Parrot and the Garden Gate...

vibeke, paula, shannon and zouzou at the garden gate

After Zouzou returned to Lebanon she hatched this crazy idea of trying to visit every member country of WAGGGS and if that wasn't possible, at least visits as many countries in each region as she could.

Sometimes Zouzou has the craziest ideas, but somehow she made this one work. She travelled around the world, visited many of our friends from Pax Lodge and made many new friends along the way. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to meet up when she hit Canada as her itinerary took her to Montréal.

Zouzou is still one of the most enthusiastic members of Girl Guides/Girl Scouts I know. Her enthusiasm and excitement about her organization are incredible...

So Zouzou, here you are...a story about you and some pictures too. I hope that you and your family are safe and I'm thinking about you. (If you read this, leave a comment so we know you're okay)

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Across the Lake Swim, Part Seven

On Saturday morning, we all got up bright and early...6:00 am is bright and early on a good day and far too early on a Saturday, especially when that Saturday is part of a vacation.

But, we all got up bright and early on Saturday morning.

My sister, Kelsey (a.k.a. Team Hardcore), was back in action, accompanied in her insanity this time by our other sister, Rebecca (a.k.a Punk)...this time for the Across the Lake Swim, for the seventh (unconsecutive) time. Our parents dropped us off on the west side of Okanagan Lake with Jared and drove back across the bridge to await our arrival at Hot Sands Beach.

No, Alex, Jared and I didn't decide to join the girlies in their morning paddle across the lake...not in the water in any case. We were their spotter crew. Jared was alongside Rebecca in a kayak and Alex and I were charged with locating Kelsey and canoeing beside her...There were only about 200 swimmers out there, all wearing yellow swim caps and most wearing black it was easy to pick Kelsey out...HA! not likely. But we found her.

The race encourages a friendly competition between our two swimmers...Kelsey won the contest this year, but wait for next year (Part Eight!). You never know what might happen...except maybe that I will *never* join the competition!

pre race swimmers
ready set go!

isn't the lake a bit chilly?
brrr...isn't it cold?

bye bye swimmers
bye bye swimmers...see you on the other side

jared and punk
Jared and Punk


post race swimmers
all done!

spectator man
spectator man

happy spectators
James, Tiff and Jared...happy spectators

alex canoeing
Alex canoeing

beautiful day in k-town
beautiful day in k-town

After naps for everyone, we reconvened at James' uncle's house for a bbq, non hardcore food, and some fruit salad with ice cream...Ahhhh...summer in K-town!

teamhardcore, punk and jared
teamhardcore, Punk and Jared

tiff and james
Tiff and James (see James, I do take your picture!)

punk with dessert
Punk with dessert


back to the real world

I'm back.

Not much has changed in the few days I was gone...although the sun has gone away. But if I'm not on vacation anymore, then the sun can go away and I won't complain. Maybe then I won't feel so bad about not being on vacation any more!

Sooooo...I've decided a week isn't enough. You just get into the swing of hanging out and relaxing and not rushing through the morning paper and ignoring work email and all that stuff and then it's time to go back to the real world. I got up half an hour early this morning just because I knew I was still in vacation mode. Sure enough...I needed every second of it! And then of course the bus didn't come...the 99 is starting to drive me crazy with its long waits.

My mom decided that this birthday I turned 254...

this year i'm 254

dunno...I guess that's a consequence of having too many birthday cakes?

While in K-town, we had a quick visit with my great-grandma. She's 94 and has Alzheimer's. It was difficult to see how little she recognized and knew...she doesn't know us anymore, but she knows that she knows my mom. She knows who my grandma is and when she understood that her daughter was my grandmother, well, then I was okay.

shannon mom and gramma

She's a happy person though. She laughs a lot and doesn't complain. When it was time for us to leave, she was upset that we would go before she had a chance to feed us and she wanted us to stay for dinner and was worried if we didn't, we wouldn't eat properly that night.

Our little holiday ended yesterday...sniff sniff...I wish we'd had more time in K-town. We stopped by Alex's parents' place on our way home and were treated to a beautiful sunset when we left.


Coming home is always nice, even when you wish the vacation wasn't over yet. AND we came home to a renovated bathroom. Our new shower and bathtub are very nice...we'll really like them once the holes in the wall are patched and all the dust is gone. Hopefully they'll finish today or tomorrow!!