Sunday, March 26, 2017

The last dose

For the last six months these blister packs of pills have been a big part of our existence. For two straight weeks Harry took the contents of a blister every morning and evening, with a week off in between. Tonight he took the last dose of the chemotherapy pills.  Hooray.

To celebrate we had Prosecco and appies at our place and then went out for dinner with our dear friends Liz and Ritchie. Our destination was Zambri's, a wonderful Italian restaurant downtown. We feasted on three and four-course dinners and lots of wine. Tomorrow Harry will start to recover from the treatment.

Actually the pill form of chemo is less intense than the usual infusion type. Harry has experienced huge fatigue and a few minor side effects. But he didn't lose his hair and he wasn't throwing up. It was a manageable six months. Nonetheless we're so happy that it's over. And we have confidence that it will be a clear path forward.

Thanks to all of you who have helped and supported us along the way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The pond on Mountain Road

Last weekend we spent a few days in a magical spot on Saltspring Island on a house exchange. The home was beautiful, set on eight acres on a knoll. And the best part of all was the pond. I spent some magical time there with my camera at dusk and again the next morning finding gorgeous reflections in the still water. Here are some of the photographic results.

This first one is to show the view across the water to the trees on the other side.

The rest are closeups. Sorry to include so many. I simply couldn't select from these amazing reflections.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Laura's watercolours

My friend Laura took up water colour painting about a year ago and has made great progress. It took her a while to find her niche but she's now excited about painting village scenes.

Wow! I'm so impressed with her cheerful and charming paintings.  Take a look.

Laura and her husband went to Wales and England last year and you can really see the inspiration in her village scenes. I love the vibrancy of the colours and somewhat folk art feeling she creates. 

Wouldn't you love to have one of these paintings for your home? If so, let me know and I'll put you in touch with Laura.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Puppy wonderfulness

Last year a number of old dogs departed from our lives. But now it's puppy time--and we couldn't be happier.  In January I drove up to Cobble Hill with my sister to help her choose a puppy. And she brought home a darling Havanese puppy she's named Toby. Oh he's just so cute. He looks like a plush toy that's come to life.

He's turning out to be a most wonderful companion for her, smart and cuddly and fast. You can see here how much Jan is in love with little Toby.

Today she's taking him to puppy class for the first time. How wonderful to have this little fluff-ball in our lives. We're the auntie and uncle and want to be part of his life so we can puppy-sit when she goes away.

And just this week we got to visit our other puppy pals, Raven and Rogue, two 13 week old border collies who are lucky enough to be new family members of my friends Linette and Mark. These two are seriously adorable and smart as whips.  Again, we get to the be auntie and uncle so we can get our BC fix from time to time.

Here you see Rogue and Rave looking up at "Uncle Harry."

We're not ready to commit to getting a dog ourselves so these puppies are perfect for us. They can come and visit but we get to give them back after a few days so we can pursue some of our travel plans in the coming months.

We've been enjoying dog sitting for a couple of canine buddies this year. We've spent time with Piper and Emmy, two different dogs both of who have some Border Collie in them. (I'll add their photos once we're back home.)

Our lives are full of dog wonderfulness.

Monday, February 13, 2017

This is community

Our friends Bill and Jackie live on a lovely old street near downtown Victoria. Jackie has built a little street library box where neighbours put books they've finished with for others to pick up and read. This is pretty common on many streets near here.  But today, being the day before Valentine's Day, they got together with a couple of neighbourhood kids and filled the library box with valentines bouquets and handmade cards. Don't you wish you lived on that street?  What a wonderful community!

Happy Valentines Day to all, wherever you live. Valentines Day is a wonderful celebration of love in all its forms. Here's to love and community.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Snow in Oak Bay

We're hanging out at a friend's place in Oak Bay for the month of February. She very kindly offered us the use of her condo because of a mix-up with holiday dates resulting from Harry's chemo. It's lovely really to be in a new part of town and it's kind of revitalized Harry who's in the last stages of his treatment.

Here's part of the reason we're enjoying it so much: the fabulous view from the living room. This was taken last week when the sun was shining and it felt spring-like.

But in the past two days winter has returned with a vengeance. Snow, snow and more snow.  Here's the same view this afternoon.

This the morning I took a little walk through the Oak Bay Native Plant Garden, a place I've driven by many times but never had the inclination to stop. It's filled with mature Gary Oaks and Arbutus--very pretty.

Oak Bay is named for the Gary Oak trees that predominate here. They really are lovely in the snow.

Our new temporary digs are a pretty nice place to snuggle in and wait out the snow....

Sure hope it doesn't last too long though, because we're scheduled to go to Vancouver on Wednesday to care for our niece while her parents are away doing important things. Cross your fingers that we can get to the ferry then. Victoria kind of shuts down in the snow so the trip may be a bit difficult if this doesn't turn to rain.