Friday, February 26, 2010

kind words and thoughts

Just about the time I was personally running out of steam. . .

I spotted . .

Brent Butt from the Canadian Comedy sitcom . ..Corner Gas.

He was walking with two of his comrades and they all stopped for the picture op.

If I could sum up my experience in visiting Vancouver during the games in one word I would say friendly .. okay .. maybe two words ..and enthusiastic.

While we were walking we often found ourselves in conversations with those who shared our stride. We exchanged our home towns. . .our favorite part of the Olympics and the events we most looked forward to seeing.

On one of the days we were soaking up the sunshine when a small little Japanese student who is here learning English approached me and tentatively asked if I would mind helping her with her survey. Of course I didn't mind and it pleased me to see her visibly relax and begin to enjoy asking questions. It is such a small thing to give a moment of kindness to another person and I hope that many visitors felt warmed and welcomed to this beautiful city.

As I watched the hockey game on TV yesterday I of course felt thrilled for the Canadian girls to have won on their own soil.

I also felt sad as I watched the downcast faces of the American girls who had achieved so much but not enough to make them smile as they received their silver medals.

Something has changed in the attitude of our nation since the games began. We have begun to feel patriotism in a renewed way. I am proud of what our athletes have achieved .. .but maybe it was all the commercials in between showcasing our beautiful land that has me seeing again how blessed we are in this great land.

It has been a pleasure being a part of this Olympic experience . . .

thank you for coming along with me . . .

All for now . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

body guards

I seriously have the best group of friends that read my blog. The comments. .the emails. . and the phonecalls all made my birthday delight even sweeter yet.

Thank you so much dear ones.

After the visit at the top of Grouse Mountain. . .we took the Skyride down that was bringing more young budding Olympic hopefuls up to have a hockey game.

We stopped off to have a look at the wolves at the base of the mountain and scouted out the base of the trail that I still need to conquer to the top.

I worried not one speck about the trail. . .

since I've learned to say "never say never".


Arriving back in Vancouver City center. . .

we stopped at the daffodil bed and observed a moment of silence for the winter that never did arrive this year.

The city is in full spring bloom and full of national enthusiasm.


If you are locals. .

I need not tell you who these fellows are.

They are the faces we often see on the television in connection with our local police force.

They may not be in uniform but trust me. . .they are the boys in blue.

I saw them. . . I stopped. . .they saw me. . and they stopped.. .

and the picture op was a natural progression for all of us.

Naturally I informed them of my 51st birthday . . .

and naturally they insisted on having me in the picture that I was about to take of the two of them.

For the record. .they do not have me cuffed behind my back . ..nor are they my body guards. .

though the thought of telling you they were. ..did cross my mind.

It really was buzzing.

I was buzzing too. .

and after a lap from the Olympic Cauldron from one edge of the city. . .

across to the bay on the other side where the Russian Pavilion is at Science World . .

we called it a day.

We decided a birthday lunch at the Spaghetti Factory was in order.

On our way to the car. .

I spotted one more celebrity and I'd show you today . .. but I need a post for tomorrow. .

so you'll have to wait for that picture op.

I am finishing writing up this post after a tasty bowl of spicy Borscht.

I made a pot in honour of the Canadian vs. Russian Hockey game.

Is was a fantastic game. . if you are Canadian.

All for now. . .


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

51 is Fun!

Sure. ..life isn't always like a bowl of cherries .. .
but yesterday for me. .
it was.
We had our alarm set for 2:30 . . .
we had our clothes all laid out. . .
and by 2:45 we were on the road.
When we got to the parking lot at Grouse Mountain we could see a line up at the gondola.
Terry dropped me off and parked and I went to go buy my birthday present ..
the tickets for the ride up.
The ticket price was cheaper than Olympic event tickets. . .
more expensive than the Victory Ceremony tickets . . .
but as far as penny for penny for fun times. .
the cost of the gondola was worth the priceless fun at the top of the mountain.

When we got home later on we reviewed the show that we had recorded and wrote down the times that we were spotted for our next family dinner entertainment.

Of course our children will want to witness their parents once in a lifetime guest star spots on the Today show.
For the record. .by the third hour we had figured out where to stand and slowly edged towards the spot directly behind the Today show folks.

Every weekday morning . ..
we watch our Today show friends for awhile together and then they are my diversion from boredom while I do my walk on the treadmill.

I wondered . . .
would they be as kind and friendly as they always appear on TV?

The answer is YES.

Al Roker signed the birthday poster that my beloved made for me!

Over and over again I was so impressed to watch the Today folks smile for the camera posing with fans and then most often ask if the shot was okay . .and then always said. .Thank you . . the pleasure was mine.

I just have to slip in this little bit about later in the day to go with this picture. We stopped back in Vancouver to see how the crowds were faring and when we walked past the Royal Canadian Mint and saw the two block line up to see the medals inside. .
we kept walking.
As you can see in the picture above I not only saw a Gold Medal ..
I held it.
I asked Scott Moir the IceDance Gold medal winner if I could see his medal please.
He said. .."of course. ..but you need to hold it too."
I said .. ."really?"
He said. . ."yes of course. .but take off your mitten, you have to touch the gold with your bare hands"
So . ..I did .. as you can see.
Scott and Tessa were both so sweet and spent so much time talking to the crowd.
They had not slept yet since their win the evening before.

Ann is just as nice as with the crowd as she appears on the program.
I watched her for quite some time before she came close enough for me to snag.
She truly has manners and grace of a lady.

I put this picture in because it was just as she was coming closer for me to snag and as you can see I had a glint in my eye as I looked at Terry.

I added this picture.
Natalie was having some touch up's done.
The make up girl on the right. . and the hair girl on the left . .
buzzed about the Today folks in between air time.

Meredith gave me a big hug and a peck on my cheek after reading my sign.

About 15 minutes before the end of the show we looked at one another and agreed we had been satisfied with our morning accomplishments.
It was still early . . .near 7 AM and now light and we headed into the Chalet for some breakfast.
After breakfast we watched these kids play their own hockey game on the ice rink.


We sat near the local radio station morning people . ..listening and watching what we normally just listen to.
After our omelet toast we headed back outside and took a look around before heading back down the Gondola and over the Lions Gate Bridge toward Vancouver City Center.
Terry's cell phone rang now and then. . .
as we were spotted on the show by family and friends.
In the evening my beloved fetched a pizza. . . where he found some of my blog friends sending home greetings....Thank you. . .and we watched our Canadian Boys play hockey. .
What a fantastic Day.
There is always fun. . . if you know where to look.
I just want to thank you all for your sweet Birthday wishes yesterday.
You truly are so kind .. it is most humbling.
Thank you for coming along for the fun.
It really is true that life is richer. ..when shared with people you care about. . .
and who care about you.
All for now. .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Snowshoe Event

On Sunday afternoon we were invited to participate in a Snowshoe event.
We travelled to the Manning Park where we camp each summer.
We were promised a hot chili tail gate party. .
and who .. tell me who ..
would say no thanks to that.

The sign that normally says ..
Lone Duck Group Campground now boasted the Winter version.

We set out to find some picnic tables in the day use area . .
and thought for awhile that they must remove them for the winter.
How is a person supposed to have a picnic with no picnic tables we wondered.


We located one. .
and the boys proceeded to remove the snow. . .
telling us that there was no snow under the table top.
Us girls were not overly impressed and we suggested that we find somewhere more suitable to lay out our picnic.


We came to the group shelter that has two long picnic tables and a wood stove.


The boys. .
ever hopeful to please. .
hauled the wood from the truck and built a fire.
What is not to love about a shelter with a real wood fire to warm the toes?


While Kathy heated up her chili on their Thunder Range . .
I took pictures of the surroundings. ...
. . .and set the table.

After lunch we put on our snowshoes and began our hike walk on the Lightening Lake.



I was happy that I could squeeze in one more first time experience in my year of Jubilee.

After walking straight up one and a half lakes. .
we cut up to the trail and headed back.



The sky was perfectly blue. .
not a cloud nor a breeze.

Scot and Kathy did some synchronized moves which we documented for the Snowshoe event.
This may not have been an official Olympic event . .
and we worried not one speck of how the official team was doing.
We had our PVR set to tape the game and had plans to eat pizza while watching the game ..
post time.
As in all sports ..
there are dangers lurking.
We observed the lesson on making ourselves large if a break in the ice should occur.

We were officially warned that snowshoeing on the ice was not recommended ..
and the occasional crack had us walking softly.

The ice crystals which formed on sheltered areas where the snow could not reach. .
were so beautiful and tempting to touch.
I resisted to allow the next blogger. .
photo material too.
We noticed one plane after another crossing the sky above us.

We stopped often to marvel at the beauty around us.

The bridge which we have crossed dozens of time in summer . .
looked lonely in the winter.

On our way back we walked past the campground where we camped last summer and compared calendars for this years camping.



When we got back to the shelter . .
the embers were still hot and a fresh log was laid to warm us once more.

Eventually we had to turn in our snowshoes and head back down the mountain.
It really was a mountain top experience. .
and I was relaxed and peaceful feeling incredibly blessed.
**************************
What a fantastic year I had.
Today I turn 51 and officially am in my 52 year (as Anneliese kindly reminded me).
I'm starting it by crossing off one more thing on unofficial bucket list.
We're visiting the folks from the Today Show on NBC.
By the time you read this. .
we'll be at the top of Grouse Mountain for the 4:00 AM PST taping of the show which airs at 7:00 AM PST.
I may be 51 but in my heart .. .
I'm still a girl. . .
in love and loving life.
All for now. . .

Monday, February 22, 2010

wedding

On a gloriously blue sky day in February we went to a Saturday afternoon wedding.
At my age. .
it is not about my friends getting married.
Weddings are all about my girlfriends children's weddings.
It does make me wonder if thirty one years ago my mom was discussing endless plans with her girlfriends.
Was she dropping hints of the dress she would wear?
Was she giving weekly updates of how the arrangements were coming?
It would have never occurred to me then that she was talking about plans with her friends while I was talking about plans with my friends.
I never knew that about my own mom on the day that I married...
of course she would have loved chatting about plans with her sisters and girlfriends.
Of course we were anxious to see the beautiful bride.
Us girlfriends though. .
really are most anxious to cheer on the mother of the bride.
She is the one who we celebrate for her beauty and grace.
She is the one who melts our hearts with the love she has for her daughter.
She is the one who has demonstrated love unconditional.
I saw a likeness of the mother in the bride on Saturday.
The radiant smile. .
the beauty and grace. . .
and I pray. .
that she will have a love that lasts a lifetime. .
just like her mother.
********************************************
Today is the last day of my year of jubilee.
Tomorrow morning. . at two thirty AM . . .
we will leave for Grouse Mountain. . .
and on the first day of my fifty first year . ..
I'll be watching the Today Show on NBC live.
This is also a one in a lifetime chance to see the show taped in Vancouver during the Olympics.
I'm just telling you. . .in case you want to tune in to witness it yourself.
All for now. . .