Sunday, April 3, 2016

April in Victoria...

This past week the sun shone and the weather was warm and so mild.
It felt a wee bit like summer.
So I walked to town to meet a friend for lunch at Milestones on the Inner Harbour.

 Beacon Hill Park has many native lilies growing in the grassy sections naturalized under the mighty oak trees.
They are putting on a spectacular show.

a closer look...
I had to get down low to capture this view
they are so delicate
stunning in their simple form and beauty.

The walk was invigorating but I wore fashionable shoes and by the time I had walked around all afternoon and then walked back home I had a blister on my heel and now I am limping around, grimacing with every step.
The silly thing is that I thought I "should" wear my walking shoes, but opted for fashion over function...a mistake I will not make again!

I sat in the sunshine waiting for my friend to arrive and "played tourist" in my own town.
Observing the scenery and people watching.

clear blue skies prevailed
and you can see how crisp they were against the clock tower above the Victoria Visitor's Information Centre

people were out enjoying the sunshine
whale watching boats were loaded with passengers
the little harbour ferries were busy
the street vendors had their kiosks loaded up with wares
buskers were performing
the bag piper was playing and the sound carried across the harbour
the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages as they made their way along the causeway

this pretty combination caught my eye
I might steal this idea and use it here in our garden

We shared a meal...both of us watch our weight and so we opted to split a burger and a salad.
We did indulge in a glass of wine which we normally do not do but it felt like we were on holiday so we thought it would not hurt.
She is planning a trip to San Francisco so we chatted about what to see and do and where they might want to stay. It has been over 10 years since Mr. HB and I enjoyed a week in that lovely city.
SF is a walker friendly city with charming vintage cable cars that you can hop on and hop off on several downtown lines.
I remember that we walked for hours and hours every day exploring the sights and we ate really delicious meals and I did not gain any weight!

I spied this sign on my walk while going to visit Mother.
Mom is on a Spring cleaning and de-cluttering kick.
Helping her sort, pack and donate what my sister and I do not want.
I think she is grappling with her own mortality 
her 89th birthday is coming up this June
and several of the elders in her condo have recently passed away.

Here in Victoria we are having a real estate boom.
The prices have sky rocketed and there are bidding wars.
It is not uncommon for a home to sell for over 150,000 over the asking price.

On our street VERY close to The Humble Bungalow 
a wee 1912 home that straddles two lots is listed at 1.2 million dollars!
We saw on the news that a 1950's bungalow facing the Fairfield Plaza parking lot sold for a cool million!
I cannot help but think that with these prices there will be many young people who will never be able to afford a home and many will have to move away.

Spring sunshine 
 has persuaded the blooms of this lilac to open up and flower.

This week should yield some answers on my shoulder issue...
part of me wants to stay in the dark and not know 
because IF the diagnosis is surgery
or something more sinister
ignorance might be bliss.

One thing that has come out of this experience 
is that I have SO much more empathy for those who live with chronic pain.

Our health is something we should never take for granted
for many many years I have been guilty of this...
Mother has very few aches and pains
she had a bout with breast cancer and has arthritis in her hands but she has a great attitude.
I wonder if it is her nursing career that helped her put things in perspective or if she is just very accepting of her circumstances and presses on...
she rarely whinges or complains about her health.

Get her started on how much tax she pays or politics 
and fasten your seat belt as she will be on a tirade and her rant can go on for a LONG time!

Well this post just went sideways...
it started out with one thing in mind and now has gone off on a tangent.

Thank you for stopping by...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Your flowers are lovely and it sure seems like spring has sprung for you Hostess, and for us in New Zealand, our autumn has begun with cooler weather and shorter days.

    My own dad died just six weeks ago, and it was good that he had sorted his belongings and all his bills out before he passed, as it made it much more bearable. I am impressed that your mother is being thoughtful and thinking of you two girls. I hope though that her good health continues and you get to share many more months and days together.

    Julie Q

    1. I am sorry to hear of your loss...I hope that your memories will sustain you through this difficult time.
      Our mom continues to surprise us and I think she is paving the way for her demise...she has her finances in order and we are aware of her wishes...I hope that she will be here for many more years as long as she has her health.

  2. The area you live in is gorgeous. A tranquil setting. So sorry to hear about your pain. Hopefully they get to the bottom of it soon.

    1. Got the diagnosis today and so we proceed with treatment and wait...
      in the meantime, the scenery is beautiful and I plan to take pictures to share with readers for as long as there is an audience

  3. March went out in a blaze of sunshine and April has come in on the same. Hasn't it been wonderful? Now, if it would just rain during the night, it would be heavenly.
    Fashion versus Function - I'm sure we've all been there, with a blistered heel after a too-long walk in fashionable shoes. Next time, perhaps a pair of light walking shoes in a roomy handbag - you'll be ready for anything!

    1. Oh if only I had you to advise me on this...before I walked!

  4. I love those lilies, Lilac and Pansies

    1. They are all lovely...all seen on my walk.
      Our lilacs are far from blooming.

  5. No worries! Love to hear about your mother! Write more about her, e.g. does she still do everything for herself? Clare

    1. Mother is very independent...drives her BMW convertible to Oak Bay...does her own banking, shops for groceries, fills her prescriptions, buys her own clothes...we see her often and I live a short 5 minute walk to her condo...I am often at her place. We have tea, chat and do the crossword in the paper. Once a week my sister and I take her out and shop, then walk and have dinner with Mom.

  6. I am green with envy as I sit here and watch the wind and snow fly by the window. We are leaving for a two week trip south on Thurs. and can't wait to flee this extended winter. Hopefully, spring will have arrived when we return.

    Think of the fun your mother would have with the political climate in the US right now. Our crazy election season would give her much to rant about as so many of us are doing right now. It's a circus.

    1. BRRR...hope that you are feeling warm and cozy.
      Happy Holidays!
      I have been following the highlights from the US election proceedings and cannot deny that you have some very interesting characters running.
      Mother watches CNN and so she has her opinions...I think it keeps her engaged so I am grateful that she is able to be informed and can chat about current events.

  7. Sydney Australia has had a ridiculous housing boom, we are saying the same things that you are. Your spring flowers look delightful, it is Autumn here and the heat continues, 32degrees centigrade tomorrow, roll on the cool weather please.

    1. Oh so HOT...hope you are able to find some shelter or have a pool to dip into for some relief.

  8. Hopefully the news about your shoulder is the very best - that some physiotherapy and/or time will be sufficient to heal it. You are so right about the real estate prices driving young people away. My oldest son and his wife are currently renting their home in Oak bay and have just received notice that it is going to be torn down at the end of June. The owner is going to build a home on the lot to live in himself. They have been searching in vain for over two years for a house but haven't found one. If they don't by the end of June they are moving away from Victoria, and I am heartbroken about it because I know they will be going somewhere quite distant. Is the bungalow near you still for sale? Maybe they should go take a look at it.

    1. I am happy that we have connected and I will text you any listing I see on my walks...we MOMs need to stay together and keep those grand babies close!

  9. From Margie in Toronto - I am very envious of your sunshine and beautiful flowers - we woke up to 4 inches of snow this morning and there is a cold weather alert in effect tonight!
    The housing situation is the same here in Toronto - ridiculous prices, don't know how people do it - I rent my little apt. as, short of winning the lottery, I could never afford a place on my own.
    My 82 year old stepmom has just had her second shoulder replacement (along with having had both knees done - we call her the bionic woman) and while no one wants to go through surgery she expects to be in physiotherapy by next week and back to full strength within about 6 to 8 weeks - its amazing what they can do now. I hope that you get good news about your shoulder but try not to be too nervous if surgery is recommended - its amazing what they can do.

    1. I am not facing surgery ...cortisone shots and a year of recovery is the prognosis. It feels good just knowing what to expect.
      So I move on...
      Your Bionic woman sounds amazing!

  10. Hi Leslie. I really enjoyed this post. Lovely to hear about your mum long as she's not stressing over her spring cleaning and reorganising I think it's such a positive and thoughtful thing to be doing. My mum was just the opposite, always organised and had an immaculate house but happy to leave any "sorting out" to me when the time came. I think she found it hard to let go of things. I hope your mum's in good health ..she sounds an amazing woman and a lovely mum! I often "play tourist" in my own town. Great fun, especially on a sunny day. Have a good week.

    1. Mom is feeling like she is in control...
      I am happy to help her realize her goals.
      Letting go has been a gradual process and she seems to be adjusting quite well and it is all her doing.

  11. My mum is 85 and has a hard time "moving on". That being said, she has formed new acquaintances and begun volunteer work since my dad died 3 years ago. Arthritis slows her down a bit and I expect that 20 years from now, I'll have similar aches and pains. What a good idea to share the burger. When I don't have salad, I enjoy a tuna or chicken burger with yam fries but there are really too many calories. A share would be perfect. I love SF. Once I stayed at a little French-inspired hotel. I think that it was called the Cornell. Wonderful walking and great ambiance.

    1. Your mom sounds like she has a great attitude and is making positive adjustments.
      Mr HB and I spent our last day in SF in a lovely cafe...Cafe de la Presse, very French and a haven on a rainy day. It stands out in my mind and I would like to think that it is still there when and if we return.

  12. Come to San Francisco again! And, when it comes to feet, no, never fashion over function;).

    1. I love SF and will return and when I do I hope that we will meet!

  13. I just sold my Oakville home dating from the 1920. It's crazy what they are selling for here too. Your mum sounds like a delight!