in year 2009, I bought a BC Magazine to celebrate its 50 years featuring a list of what to do in the province I live for the past 45 years. Here I will remain for the rest of my life.
We call this province beautiful British Columbia!
The list could go on. These are just a teaser.
A bird on guard for thee.
HIKE the West Coast Trail
DIVE the Emerald Sea
HUNT for mythical monsters
CYCLE the Trans Canada Trail
BE ALONE with nature
MOTORCYCLE through the Kootenays
HURL YOURSELF from a great height
SURF a West Coast wave
BACKPACK the Chilkoot Trail
SET FOOT on every Gulf Island
SAUNTER along the Seawall
GLIMPSE BC’s wild horses
DANCE at a powwow
GO TUBING in the Okanagan
GAWK at Squamish eagles
PADDLE the Bowron Lakes
PHOTOGRAPH a wild bear
BARE IT ALL on Wreck Beach
MOSEY through hoodoo country
SUMMIT a mountain
Walking towards the lake to check it out.
TOUR the Duffrey Lake loop
DRIVE BC”s Alaska Highway
WHALE WATCH at Telegraph Cove
RIDE the Seven Summits Trail
WITNESS the northern lights
SOAK in a natural hot spring
DISCOVER ancient petroglyphs
BOAT up Bute Inlet
GET GOBSMACKED by mountain light
BOARD a BC ferry
View from higher grounds. Beyond is the frozen lake
SKI into O’Hara Lodge
RUN a wild river
VISIT a volcano
DEVOUR BC at Feast of Fields
FOLLOW dinosaur footprints
FLY A KITE on Wickaninnish Beach
WALK BAREFOOT in the forest
BOUNCE through Barkerville
BITE into a BC apple
TAKE the road less travelled
41. REVEL in a wildflower meadow
42. SCALE THE Stawamus Chief
43. MAKE A 50-YEAR PLAN to visit every BC Park
44. SAIL through Haida Gwaii
45. WAKE UP some place wonderful
46. PLAY HOMAGE to the Cheewhat Giant
47. ZIP across the sky
48. HEAR THE ROAR of a mighty waterfall
49. DO some good
50. RAISE A GLASS of BC wine
Well, I’ve only done half of this. If I was born here, probably, I would have done most on this list tripping along the back country roads with a bumper sticker “Get those rocks off my road!”
We chose to stay at home to be surrounded by love ones.
Photographers and people who have let themselves be photographed assume that someday people will see their images and do something in response to what they see, she argues. They imagined you, their future viewer, hovering above them at the moment the picture was taken, and you must live up to their expectations.
Azoulay asks her readers to project themselves into the scenes of photographs, to notice the power dynamics at play, to identify the participants, and to view the outcomes not as inevitable but as one possibility among many. Looking at photographs this way, Azoulay thinks, can loosen events from their seeming inevitability and reveal that history didn’t have to proceed the way it did. Things could have been different. Viewing a photograph becomes a kind of reanimation: the still photograph begins to move, and though this motion cannot erase inequality, it can trouble oppression that might otherwise seem intractable. Azoulay understands that actions in the past are irreversible, yet she insists that photography introduces a kind of malleability, the potential for change. “The photograph is out there, an object in the world,” she writes, “and anyone, always (at least in principle), can pull at one of its threads and trace it in such a way as to reopen the image and renegotiate what it shows, possibly even completely overturning what was seen in it before.
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket save it for a rainy day ~ Perry Como
It’s snowing. Finally, I’ve been waiting for it. The last time it snowed was on Christmas. As it falls, I tried catching a flake. As soon as it touches my skin, it melts into water. I figured that my body temperature is not cold enough to keep it for a second or two. Trying to take a photo using an iPhone 6 seemed to be a futile activity, but I persevered. This flake stayed long enough, and I have used a burst of shots.
Since it rains so much here in Vancouver, it’s so easy to forget the snow.
Today is a good day to inspect the snow. The air is so dry and the flakes are hardly sticking. I tried looking at the snow on various surfaces and colours. Red, blue, green, yellow, orang, umbrella, nettings, plants and even on my jacket. It’s was fascinating to seem them glitter like diamonds.
“The snow crystals . . . come to us not only to reveal the wondrous beauty of the minute in Nature, but to teach us that all earthly beauty is transient and must soon fade way. But though the beauty of the snow is evanescent, like the beauties of the autumn, as of the evening sky, it fades but to come again.” ~ Wilson A. Bentley
Miracle. All of it! That’s the sum total of my year.
There are miracles and miracles. It is regarded as a miracle if God does someone’s will. The best miracle is if someone does the will of God.
For two years, I nurtured the pineapple sage from sampling to maturity. It grew into a huge bush, mostly leaves. Pleading to the plant to please, please, please, flower for me; even just one flower. It did not. Maybe I placed it on the wrong side of the garden where it only receives 6 hours of full sun. I thought, next year, I have to give this plant a rest. On the first day of winter, I saw the most beautiful shade of red. It’s flowering despite low temperature and snow.
Oh, baby, baby. Our newest addition to our family, Sawyer, finally moved closer to home, from the east coast to the west coast at the beginning of this year. Needless to say, we are all ecstatic. I am proud to say I knitted this blanket that he is finally growing into. The pattern is called minted square. One square is completely different from the rest — an error – I found out when it’s all finished. That’s okay. Sawyer wouldn’t notice the difference.
The annual camping tradition was not canceled. Thank goodness our provincial park did not close our playground due to the virus. We were good abiding citizens and practiced social distancing during camping. The kids booked their own campsite side by side and we have one big site for communal all day cooking and eating. The pleasure of being simple in the woods, keeping voices low, not breaking the sound of silence, and kumbaya is the balm to these city slickers’ souls.
Just go with the flow, said the stone to the river and I’ll wait right here.
Apart from growing plants, painted rocks are additional ornaments to brighten the garden. Inspirational and spreading kind words written on the rocks such as joy, love, peace, live life pass it on, you rock, gratitude, etc. is becoming the norm. I must say I enjoy reading them.
During the pandemic, people are keener on having pets to keep them company. This senior cat got it made having a human servant to push her carriage around. I am happy for the cat yet feeling a tinge of jealousy at the same time. Jealous because I was thinking of those seniors in retirement, care, or nursing houses where their children cannot even visit them due to the restrictions.
Pay attention to what gives you joy. These gifts of joy are meant to help us during times of desolation.
On my birthday, as the celebrant, I pick where I want to go with my golden ladies. We are golden in terms of age. There are three of us. Trust me, I always take them where the wild things are. This time destination Garry Point. It’s a 75-acre waterfront part with an open and rolling landscape that provides spectacular vistas across the Salish Sea and beyond Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Snow geese are ubiquitous in this area. Needless to say, it was another day to remember with the golden girls as we make memories and not count years.
While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.
Two days after my birthday is another day to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, The Day of the Dead. No better way to spend it in the boneyard on a beautiful autumn day to rattle and wake the skeletons, bring food on the sacred ground to feed the hungry ghost, and blow kisses to the faithfully departed.
If you think long enough about what you see in a cat, you begin to suppose you will understand everything, but its eyes tell you there is nothing to understand; there is only life.
Back at the beginning of the year, I adopted a cat named Grace. I remember when she was a kitten. When I used to stay overnight at her home, I wake up with Grace beside me. She is so adorable, charming, and loving. Lucy loves her. How did she come into my life? Well, because my younger cousin died. She left behind three cats. I don’t know who took the others. With my cousin’s demise, Grace will always remind me of her.
What did I truly find out this year? I found out that 2020 made me live with little of what I have. I laugh at myself a lot. There’s not a hell lot I can do.
Ending 2020 with a high note, I watched the Death of 2020. This is the best monologue that I replayed over and over again.
With no cure for Covid in sight, life for millions has been reduced to a creepy and a seemingly an endless lockdowns.
I live on my own and after a while got so lonely. I developed multiple personalities on purpose, so I can keep myself company. But, then, of course, I had to try and keep two meters away from myself at all times. Don’t know if you’ve ever tried doing that, but it’s a bloody nightmare. So I started doing video calls to keep sociable. I did so many, I sometimes glitch in real life now. Like, I just freeze now and then.
Wicked as what the brits would say. I went to bed in stitches with a smile on my face.
Today is Winter Solstice marks the beginning of winter. It is the shortest day that celebrates light triumphing over darkness, and as the day ends, we prepare for a new year.
In 2018, we welcomed the winter solstice at Stonehenge, UK. We said goodbye to long days of darkness and rejoice in the coming of Christmas.
Let there be Light of Hope is the message of St. Paul’s Hospital Church. It’s the time of year that we remind the Star of Bethlehem shone brightly to light up the path for the three wise men. This year, the Star of Bethlehem will be visible on the horizon. Jupiter and Saturn will align in the night sky on Dec. 21, also referred to as the “Christmas Star” — marking the planets’ closest encounter in nearly 400 years. The two planets may appear as a bright light point that will be easily visible in the night sky.
Every year, my sister sets up Christmas decorations for the children equipped with Santa’s workshop, electric train, angels, snow, christmas carols. Here’s little Jimmie is so proud to show off his twinkle toes.
To see a baby snuggly ensconced with a knitted baby blanket smiling in his sleep is the centerpiece that makes the Christmas atmosphere peaceful. But in reality, we were all gogo-gaga around Henrik, making noises to wake him so that we can all take turns to carry and play with him.
Family: A crazy bunch of people who deeply care for each other, who live, laugh, forgive, dance and love together.
I think this is the last Christmas photo of my mother. Christmas for us is all about celebrating the birth of Infant Jesus.
My sister is a Jesus freak in a good way. Here she is at the Church of Nativity carrying Infant Jesus. She managed to have her photo taken before the guardian of the church said to the crowd that the statue is off-limits to visitors. Too funny, that she was the only one who got away with holding the infant. When it comes to telling me the story, it’s really difficult for her to share stories of miracles about her experiences as a servant of Infant Jesus.
The center of the holiday season in my family is Christ-mas. It’s all about the birth of Jesus whether we lose faith, we always return to Him.
On Christmas, we gather around telling tales, jokes, memories, eating, drinking, singing. There is one great story of my sister Susan on lost and found.
One thing that I find miraculous is when I lost my mini statue in Mexico in 1997. While in Mexico, I went to church daily and prayed to Our Lady of Guadalupe that I want my Baby Jesus back. I was so heartbroken leaving Mexico without him. Many years passed, in 1999, my friend contacted me if I am interested in receiving bales of clothing coming from Montreal for free. My first thought was it would be great to sell them for fundraising to pay for Novena booklets’ production. So I accepted 19 bales of clothing. I discovered when I opened the bales, they were second-hand clothing and not brand new. I was disappointed, left the clothes for three months, and did not do anything about them. My daughter and her friends opened two bales just for fun to check them out. My daughter found some clothing for her and left it on the kitchen table. I moved the clothes to another area of the house, and something fell off. It was a mini statue of the Infant, and I just put it with the rest of my alter. This happened on Holy Thursday. On Easter Sunday morning, I was praying the rosary. When I reached the 4th mystery, The Presentation of Child Jesus at the Temple, I heard a voice: “I came back to you.” I ignored it and returned to my prayers. As I recited the 5th Joyful Mystery, “Finding Jesus in the Temple,” I heard the voice again: “I came back to you. Remember, you’ve lost me?” When I listened to this, I remembered the statue that fell off from the clothing, and I quickly went down to look at it. When I honestly look at the figure, my Baby Jesus I lost in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, three years ago. I checked all the clothing tags to appease me, and it said: “Made in Mexico.” With the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Baby Jesus came back to me.
From my family to yours, we wish everyone a Blessed Christmas. We made it this far!
All things bright and beautiful, All creatures, great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings.
The purple-headed mountain, The river running by, The sunset, and the morning, That brightens up the sky;
The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one.
The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, We gather every day.
He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell, How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.
Alexander, Cecil Frances (1828 – 1895) wrote this poem to help explain to children the Apostles’ Creed’s opening words, a Christian statement of belief. She was known to be a generous woman who cared for the poor and opened a school for the deaf with her sister.
It was a busy night of shopping. January sales all over the city. Even though it was cold, shoppers are taking advantage of the event. I notice a group of men warming up to a good conversation field with laughter drinking Starbucks coffee. One man has a sign hanging from his neck, scrawled “Free Hugs.” People passed him by, not even glancing at him. Nobody wants a hug from him. But I did. It was that hug from a stranger that warmed me on a cold night in January, and I can still feel the memory lingering in my mind.
The day starts early for us to prepare healthy home cooked meals at the soup kitchen. Hundreds of people come here not just for food but also to warm up and meet common folks like me. We are the hoi polloi talking the talk and walking the walk. The hoity-toity will not survive here.
Oppenheimer Park across the soup kitchen was a tent city inhabited by the homeless. Some are addicted to drugs and alcohol. The combination of these could is deadly. The homeless take care of one another. They erected a first aid tent. Do not go to the park on your own was the first advice from the soup kitchen. But I did. One thing I noticed, they love their pets.
I love purchasing calendars for fundraising purposes. Megaphone features winning photos taken with disposable devices distributed in the Downtown Eastside. One of my favorite vendors has the most beautiful smile even though she is physically challenged, using an electric wheelchair to get around the city. This is her livelihood.
his vehicle has so many stories to tell, from reality to religious decals, such as: “You mean shopping for more useless crap isn’t the meaning of life?”; “Cheer for Canda!”; “Jesus is coming. look busy.” What a fascinating vehicle. The owner of the car has so many stories, too. One thing that stayed in my mind how it all started was due to a mid-life crisis. Yes, he is still married. Yes, he has a good job. Yes, he has children. They all are still together — what a fascinating man.
‘Everything’s a story. You are a story. I am a story.’ ~Frances Hodgson Burnett
“If you think long enough about what you see in a cat, you begin to suppose you will understand everything, but its eyes tell you there is nothing to understand, there is only life.” Leonard Michaels
My cats helped me define myself, just to be, to have inner peace. Every since I started living on my own, without companionship, I will be suffering on my own. Being with the cats, they are very sensitive to my needs in such a way they will just sit beside me saying “Here I Am.”
Looking back in my old post, I want to include this to remind myself that the Earth is a sanctuary.
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with a new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer from memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
My reason for going
Err in the side of caution
Sakura spring blooms
It’s so beautiful to see the Cherry trees in full bloom in spring. Japan Sakura Festival is one of the significant events in welcoming the arrival of a new season, a new beginning, a new life. Here I stand, in an empty parking lot at Metrotown, celebrating spring. The fragrance of the flowers permeates the entire lot—no exhaust fumes to contend with.
Bonsor Pipeline skate rink.
You are limitless
Grown-up man springing along
Lone never lonely
It was exciting to watch him rolling away all by himself in the skating rink. Usually, this place is pack with people. The weather is mild and overcast, a typical spring day. There are so many ways to continue your daily activities on your own as long as we practice self-distancing.
Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite exhibition in 2010 located at the Wild Bird Trust sanctuary
Shangri La to Shangri La
Community of squatters
Springtimes and sweaters
Forest bathing at Wild Bird Trust Sanctuary is a perfect spot to go thoreau-ing. “I love to see clear crystalline water flowing out of a swamp over white sand and decayed wood, spring-like.—Journal, 18 July 1852.” A breath of fresh air, birds friendly enough to eat on my hand, red and green buds emerging from the branches and twigs, plenty of room for a quiet reflection and contemplation amidst the turmoil what this new virus brings about. The meditative journey gave our inner self to expand and make room to focus on what is essential in life.
Forget Me Not garden
Forget Me Not fleurs
A gift that keeps on giving
Spring twenty twenty
Out of the blue, this plant suddenly appeared in my garden. I let it stayed. Two years later, I am delighted to see how beautiful it is to have a mass growing in the garden this spring.
Legend said that God named all the flowers except for this one tiny plant. As God was about to leave, the plant cried out: “Forget me not, O Lord!” The Lord decided, “That shall be your name.”
“I would like to use this little flower as a metaphor. The five petals of the little forget-me-not flower prompt me to consider five things we would be wise never to forget….first, forget not to be patient with yourself…second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice…third, forget not to be happy now…fourth, forget not the why of the gospel…fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Forget Me Not
After a while, you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.
Weather forecast for the first day of summer. Rain.
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain.
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
Lavender Harvest. A good day. Rain the following day.
After a while, you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn and learn.
With every goodbye, you learn.
I originally posted this title on June 13, 2013, here. According to Dear Abby, it was a poem AFTER A WHILE by Veronica Shoffstall. Much to my surprise, this is my top post and most visited. As a curious person, I wonder who Veronica Shoffstall is?
In my searches, I cannot find a reliable source to indicate that Veronica is the real author. In the Urban 75 forum, this question Who is Veronica Shoffstall came up. Apparently, it was a Spanish poem written by Jorge Luis Borges. With the help of google translating it to English, much to my surprise (again} so it was his poetry.
I really don’t know whether it was plagiarism. That is not for me to judge. I just want to throw some more light into the validity of who I am quoting.
It’s a long road to freedom, a winding steep and high.
But when you walk in love with the wind on your wing,
And cover the earth with the songs you sing,
The miles fly by. (Song by Medical Mission Sisters)
It was a hazy, hot day when I took this shot from the top of Mt. Nebo. I can’t even tell you what the Promised Land is? There are so many roads that would take you there, but the question is what path to take.
From this road, it appears that the path I thread on was smooth. Paved. Hot on my feet. Vehicles zooming by. I wished for trees along the way to shelter from the blistering sun. There were no short cuts but to stick to this road until we reach our destination.
A thought came up recently from one of the articles I read.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
An elderly couple walking hand in hand
Metaphorically speaking, the road is the way to a destination. Roads have mostly been destroyed to use the comfort of a vehicle. Fast. Furious. Get those rocks off my road!
I’ve been thinking lately about my sister and her husband, who passed away recently. When her husband had his first bout of illness, the doctor gave my sister something to think about. The sickness is operable but no guarantee of a good result. It’s either the blood clot in his brain to be left alone, live a good quality of life and monitor his health.
My sister, with her infinite wisdom as a nurse, opted to provide a quality of life for her husband as she made a vow for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health at their wedding.
The fog of unknowing
From then on, we entered into a foggy road having to stick together along the path. We cannot see what’s ahead, nor can we know what’s behind us.
FOG. F.O.G. How can I eliminate this fog on the road? A light in my head and I thought. FOG. Focus on Gratitude. FOG. Focus on God. FOG. Focus on Goodness. I could think of so many meanings of fog.
Miles flew by.
Many events and memories happened between my sister and her husband. Their two younger children graduated from high school, entered university and received their diploma. Some got married and four grandchildren soon. They travelled. A lot. Two significant trips that they have wanted to do: Holy Land and going back home to New Zealand, the birthplace of her husband.
Five years. Ten years. Fifteen years.
Map guide starting from France to Santiago de Compostela
To be on the road, we need a map to guide us to our destination to provide us with some knowledge of the place. But the path we take is more important than the roadmap. In our way, it becomes personal how we face the unknown, exploring the possibilities of quality life instead of quantity.
My brother-in-law lived for another 15 wonderful years receiving the best care one can ever get from my sister.
Back to the question: “Where do I see myself in 5 years?”
I am using the word saturated instead after finding out that “All Wet” is a slang word during the 1920s, meaning “full of crap!” Please note that I am not implying that your post in this week’s Lens-Artist is cr*p but quite the contrary. You are all brilliant!
Phew… to save my skin, English is my second language, and I enjoy looking for meaning and definition of words and phrases.
Are you thinking of visiting the beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada? If you are, it’s essential and fashionable that you bring an umbrella. Out of 365 days in a year, we get at least 180 days of rain. It’s only water, and nothing stops us from staying outdoors.
Another thing that is useful here is to bring your rubber boots with your rubber ducks to add fun to your adventure in the rain.
It’s raining, the children are splashing in the puddle, and I just have to join in.
Vancouver made a great impression on the world during the 2010 Olympics. To commemorate what an artist thinks of us is this “all wet” blue raindrop.
At the Manor, there are 48 suites with two or one-bedrooms and bachelor suits. Most of the people who live here are immigrants from the Chez Republic, Bosnia, India, Ireland, Iran, Korea, Japan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Yugoslavia and other countries that I can’t think of.
I am one of them.
The Birdhouse took over by bees.
Now, we are citizens of Canada. We made The Manor our home.
“O Canada, our home and native land” is the first line of our National Anthem.
Front entrance rock garden.
The residents here are lovely, approachable and pleasant. We enjoy chatting from the balcony, window or entranceway as I potter around the garden. I must admit the garden is an icebreaker for many, even from passersby.
Bloom where you are planted.
One of the tenants took up photography and had a field day taking macro shots of all the flowers in the garden. The end product was framed and gifted to our lovely manager of the building.
When I cut flowers from my hard-earned gardening, these go to the manager as well.
From single to couple to third-generation residency, I’ve witnessed them. Most of these people love to have their family around living in the same roof. It’s good to see a couple having a child or two and be able to bring a surviving parent to add the responsibility of taking care of their children.
Of course, I get to play with the children when they were younger in the garden.
The Blue Room
Kindness plays a big important role in living in this community. If you are unkind, who else will help you but your neighbour?
I must admit I find myself special because the manager allowed me to paint my suite when I had one of my episodes on mental breakdown. The activity kept my focus away from living in my head.
The end result was brilliant.
Pistachio green paint in the living room, kitchen and hallway. A hint of a rose colour for the bathroom. Skyblue for my bedroom to calm me down.
Note to me: Wake up early. Full Moon. April 16. 2020.
This is a rare day for me to get up early just to witness the full moon high up. Usually, the moon rises from the east and very low on the ground at night. With my balcony facing west, I get a good view.
Most days, I do nothing but watch the stillness of the morning. Breathing the fresh air, looking at the full moon waning as the dawn breaks, listening to the silence.
The sight of the garden is enough for me to brighten my day all year round. The poem I posted here is a reminder to plant my own garden, decorate my soul.
Again, from my balcony, there is plenty to amuse myself, especially the birds. Crows. Starlings. Finches. Woodpeckers. Robins. Seagulls. Sparrows. Hummingbirds. We feed them. Currently, the crow is busy building a nest on the holly tree. Crows are the least of my favourite because the smaller birds disappeared since they started nesting. And that’s ok. It’s only during the spring.
Life is short without coffee drinking from my precious cup. The cup’s original writing is, “Fortunately, there’s still sex.” I have to change that now.
Thinking of sex, one has to be mindful of sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS was the number one killer then, now it’s COVID, and you don’t even have to have sex!
So, the trending word now is CATS.
Our local SPCA is busy providing cats and dogs as companions for all those lonely people during this shelter in place.
Thank God, I have cats. I’m alone but not lonely.
And here they are, all over me, waking me up to feed them breakfast. The time is past 9 a.m.
No, I didn’t forget to get a spray tan, it’s me, I’m dead. Let’s not get into the details, but I’m embracing the weightlessness of afterlife. I’m not usually one for surprises but get ready for the adventure of a — well your — lifetime.
Instead of gathering you all down the road at a church, park, or something totally average and un-me, I’m inviting my besties and a few people who owe me from my living days to my destination funeral in Tulum (please use #Tulumeral).
This isn’t your Grandma’s funeral. I flew around the world, took weekends off, and maybe went into credit card debt for your birthdays, bachelorettes, weddings, second weddings, children’s birthday parties, mixers, whatever, so I’ll be cashing in this last favor. Get your Pilates bodies and designer wallets ready to fiesta in the name of your girl.
As described in my will (written via Notes App), the schedule is STACKED. Please review the itinerary below and RSVP to my mom. See you on the beach.
DAY 1: Set Your Intention (To Party)
Please coordinate to stay at the eco-lodge. It’s $400 (American) a night. A steal. While I won’t have to deal with the impending apocalypse, I took the liberty of ensuring we stay somewhere that is preserving your home, Earth. You’re welcome. A yoga class will be held on the roof while an art piece projecting collages of images of me mashed with audio from my voicemail greeting plays. If you have photos to contribute, please contact Jordan, that artsy guy I dated last summer.
DAY 2: Open Casket & Open Bar!
I’ve arranged for a little bit of the funds from my Save The Goldendoodles Foundation to cover flying our fave hair and makeup girls from Glam Squad to do my open casket makeup1 and get you ready to mourn all morning and spend the night partying on behalf of the departed! The dress code is hot widow. There will be an open bar that my cashed out 401k is covering following the ceremony. A cash bar is getting very tacky post-30. Please take note of that for your future gatherings. Remember, now I’ll always be watching you.
Lauren, you are in charge of overseeing this to ensure my makeup is smoky, sultry, don’t you wish you had made a move while I was alive, etc.
DAY 3: A Weekend to Die For
Before you head back home, swing by the lobby to nurse your hangover and grab some brunch. The menu is limbo-themed, so enjoy eggs in purgatory and our signature cocktail, the Diablo Michelada. Vegan options will not be available. There’s nothing like creating an awkward vibe in the office when you’re asked about your weekend and extra day off and explain it was for a funeral. Revel in that. Use it to elicit empathy from your office crush, make an IG post dedicated to our times together using photos where you look hotter than me. Death has changed me. I’ll allow it.
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Never have I seen such clarity that this water is teeming with life. The river bed is crystal clear. The shallow water can easily knock me off my feet should I am not careful will all the rocks. I do … Continue reading →
As I was writing this post, a bee entered into my sanctuary. All the buzzing and the cats chasing it, I said to the bee “hang on” and let me finish what I’m doing. Nope. With all the commotion going … Continue reading →
“The amazing thing is that chaotic systems don’t always stay chaotic,” Ben said, leaning on the gate. Sometimes, they spontaneously reorganize themselves into an orderly structure.” ― Connie Willis, Bellwether All it takes is one to start a commotion or chaos on … Continue reading →
”No one is ever born into life alone. Everyone has shared the bond of family, at least at birth, and for many people, it is a bond that will follow them throughout life. For many people, it is the most essential bond of all.”
I was lucky enough to have in my life a family filled with love, compassion, acceptance, and tolerance. I am what I am as a direct result of a family life where belonging is imperative. It is gratifying to my health and one of the reasons why I am still alive. Without my family’s caring nature, I cannot conceive living alone.
Reflection 25 years ago
When I was younger, I tagged along with my sister, her husband, and two boys. Have a van, and we travelled anywhere. I was more than welcome to join since I can chop woods and carry water on top of being a babysitter. Stopping on a pristine crystal clear rocky river bed to cool off on the way to the campground is always part of the fun.
Reflection of my 17-year-old nephew
I used to drive the children around and take them on a field trip. Sometimes, I am the one that takes them out for the weekend of cub scouts or brings the boys along on a camping trip without the parents. Yes, they trusted me with their children. Trust is essential.
Years flew by, and I am the one being driven around by their fifth child. Making a short conversation so that I don’t distract him while driving, I asked: “Aren’t you much too young to drive as a sixteen-year-old?” He quickly exclaimed: “I’m seventeen years old!” “Oh, pardon me, young man,” I responded. His father beside him was chuckling while he teaches his son to drive. No, I wasn’t scared of a young person driving me home. I trust him.
Reflection of a one and half-year-old child
Life is all about the play when I am with my sister’s grandson. At his age, everything is magical, even playing hide and seek behind a jug of water. ROAR, he screamed as he was trying to scare me with his dinosaur sound.
Through thick and thin, our family will pass the bonding to the younger generation. I am hopeful that we have shown them the importance of forming an intimate family unit as a cornerstone of our existence.
A bigger than life bronze sculpture is exhibited at Downtown Vancouver sponsored by Chali-Rosso Art Gallery. A faceless woman to symbolize all women. The height is 360 centimetres equivalent to more than 11 feet. It weighs 500 kg equivalent to 1100 … Continue reading →
I remember my mother used to tell people that her greatest treasure is her children. She is right, I am one of her thirteen children. Without children, there will be no future in this world. On a low tide, combing … Continue reading →
Skinny or narrow homes are now back in style and in demand. The land is getting expensive, population booming, the rate of single dwellers are some of the changes in the real estate market. Gone are the days of mega … Continue reading →
For the future to take root, first, you have to plant a seed. When a seed is buried on the earth, it may sound it’s the death of it. In reality, this is our hope for the future. Eventually, it … Continue reading →
I would like to think that Vancouver, BC, Canada is the capital of British Columbia since this is the city with the major airport hub for international flights. Also, in 2010, the Olympics was held here. This larger than life … Continue reading →
We all have something in common Red, the color of our blood Pulsating through our veins That keeps us alive I may have a different shade of skin tone I may not live in an upscale neighborhood I may come … Continue reading →
Little do I know that the road I travelled in 2017 will become the theme for unity in the Christian world this year. Malta. Photos taken were stored, collecting dust. Now, I am revisiting the pictures I’ve made and reflect … Continue reading →
The rainy season is here. It hasn’t stopped for a week now, and I longed for a place where the sun shines in other parts of the world, from December to January. My mind wanders to some places where I … Continue reading →
On top of the mountain plateau in Norway, close to Dyranut Turisthytta, is a place seems to be frozen in time even though it’s summer. The land is covered with snow and ice with a single shack in the middle … Continue reading →
What is it that most people are afraid of dying, death and the dead? There’s really nothing to fear for the celebration of the deceased since death is for the living. When I was in Thailand, volunteering for the AIDS … Continue reading →
People are taking more pictures of other people than ever, candidly, while they are not looking. I am guilty! Ever since I was given an iPhone, I take shots indiscriminately. Sometimes as a shred of evidence, most of the time, … Continue reading →
When I see a person carrying a real camera, I am always intrigued by what they see that warrants to be in a frame. During the Mural Festival, frames are provided that give us an idea of what to shot … Continue reading →
Rannie recommends 10 Celtic attractions in Scotland. I’ve only visited one since there is so much to see in this small country: that is the Isle of Staffa, Fingal’s Cave. Staffa means “Pillar Island” from Norse derivation, an understated description … Continue reading →
Have you ever heard of the saying blinded by the light or experienced seeing dark after looking at the intensely bright light of the sun? It’s blinding, and we see dark. It’s the exact opposite that darkness cannot drive out … Continue reading →
As part of our assignment on precious pets, today, I spent the better of the day at Downtown East Side where homeless people live. Even though they are homeless, some of them would prefer the company of their pets. One … Continue reading →
Even if you are not a coffee drinker, a toast to all participants of Lens-Artist, especially to Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya for keeping our imaginations active in so many ways. Thank y’all! And I wish for everyone to share … Continue reading →
For those who have sight, our ability to see is our common thread, yet we have a different perspective, different points of view, different angle. The gift of sight and mind are incredible. It is my dream to be able … Continue reading →
When traveling with a group, we are shown beautiful sceneries, taken to historical places, impressive architectures and told stories to tell. That is all good. For me, I want to add flavor to my journey, take the good together with … Continue reading →
Sometimes, when it’s coffee break time, I just sit in my cubicle for 15 minutes and do personal stuff which is not really a good thing. Coworkers will come to me and start talking business. And I would say: “I’m … Continue reading →
Thinking of sea, a form of a heavenly body, it comes in waves. Here in Vancouver, we love to just sit on the beach and watch the sunset. When the tide is low, we could walk and walk for miles … Continue reading →
As I walk on a mild summer day, my mind wanders, when my surrounding is a bit dreamy, an atmosphere of heaven is a place on earth. The sail summer camp season is on full steam ahead. There are many … Continue reading →
“The Things I Do For Love”; who said that? I would in a good way but this quote came from Game of Throne (GoT) loaded with dark humor which I will not touch upon the details. With me, I went … Continue reading →
In reality, Vancouver is mostly cloudy with intermittent rain at night or morning during this week. It’s remarkable that the temperature is warm and I could soak the tepid rain. No need for umbrella. Temperature July 11, 2018 Now: 21Celsius … Continue reading →
I choose you. All of you for gracing me to see the world through your lens., for opening my mind, for expanding my heart and soul. Needless to say, choiceless. Thank you! For fun, the tag lines for the past … Continue reading →
Knotty problems or is it the way it is! Let me count the ways … Otis is using the raspberry container as his litter box. Computer is in the clinic. Trying my best to post using iPad and iPhone … Continue reading →
If you are a tree hugger, you just have to wait for these trees to grow older, bigger, and taller to withstand your bear hug. These are the trees that I have in my own backyard. A mature maple tree … Continue reading →
A good joke. I could use a great laugh, especially on my mugs all given to me. Notice that Starbuck’s mermaid has a belly button. This mug has been discontinued it’s not politically correct. What a joke. When I am … Continue reading →
It is such a fantastic campsite that they look forward to spending the week together every year. It’s a tradition that we started when the children were younger. This area is surrounded by mountains, lakes and trees. All five elements: … Continue reading →
In poetry what is not said and yet gleams through the beauty of the symbol, works more powerfully on the heart than that which is expressed in words. Symbolism makes the very style, the very artistic substance of poetry inspired, … Continue reading →
The sea, land, sky, and air are in constant perfect harmony. A glorious day walking along the Spanish Banks of Vancouver. It feels that winter is over then but not yet. A group of us walking together as one called … Continue reading →
You can look but you cannot touch. You can touch but you cannot bite. There are some people that are just so delicious to look at. Look, that’s just about it and feast with your eyes. Here, little Jimmy was … Continue reading →
I’ve kept these shots for the longest time and just don’t know when to share it. Now I dared myself to show and tell about my cousin, Jesse, taken when we were younger. The photos reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger … Continue reading →
A Light exists in Spring Not present on the Year At any other period – When March is scarcely here A Color stands abroad On Solitary Fields That Science cannot overtake But Human Nature feels. It waits upon the Lawn, … Continue reading →
Around the neighborhood, The Habitat Island, an island was created as part of the development at Southeast False Creek, site of the 2010 Winter Games Athletes Village. It’s an urban sanctuary not just for people but as well as birds, insects, … Continue reading →
“I want my work to disappear into the landscape and then take a viewer by surprise. After he gets over the shock of being fooled, it becomes an emotional discovery. Then he owns the sculpture. People often revisit their favorites. … Continue reading →
Painting the surface of the building is one way of repurposing a blank space. The wall becomes a wall of art bigger than life itself that makes me chime for “who’s afraid of the big bad wolf, the big bad … Continue reading →
“It’s the one place on earth heaven had kissed with melody, mirth, and meadow and mist. ~ Irish Proverb.” Never have I seen so many shades of green in this rolling hills of Dingle Peninsula. According to the song Johnny … Continue reading →
It never fails to amaze me how Lucy loves to burrow and crawl under the blanket. The minute I start changing bedding, she’s the first one to go under the blanket. What else can I do but smile and join … Continue reading →
“Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage, there is an opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber … Continue reading →
Ireland is a country of Gaelic people and mystical land. I could not understand their thick accent unless I ask them to speak slowly. I don’t know which one has the best accent: Irish or Scottish? There is a Gaelic … Continue reading →
“If you want to identify me,” he says to the British officers who are questioning him, “ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think … Continue reading →
Mark your calendar, February 5 is Chinese New Year. Red lanterns will be floating all over the place, red packet of envelopes, red dress, red dragons, anything, and everything red. 2019 is the year of the Pig. I did find some … Continue reading →
The children’s attention is all fixed to the sky on this field trip anticipating for the airshow. There is so much story to this picture that brings nostalgia to my soul. “Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and … Continue reading →
Life is supposed to be just ducky, but weather-wise, we know we are in trouble when ducks start wearing raincoats to protect themselves from the wet winter season. But for the sighting of Mandarin duck at Deer Lake maybe they … Continue reading →
Every time I look at the moon, it reminds me of a conversation with a Thai lady that I lived with in Chiang Rai. We were sitting in the dark, looking at the full moon and she asked: “Can you … Continue reading →
He’d never had a partner in all his time alive. But Lucy came into his life. Can I be your partner every night? “I… I’m not a very good partner,” he lied. “I want a partner – someone I … Continue reading →
It was a time for the community to gather together as a family during the Vancouver Mural Festival. A half block of the building surface is free for all to “write graffiti” The writings on the wall indicate good thoughts … Continue reading →
History reveals that life was a big circle, curves and spirals when we visited Newgrange, Co Meath, Ireland. The place of the prehistoric site built during the Neolithic age 3200 BC. According to archeology, the mounds are older than the … Continue reading →
I hate to burst your bubble. Today is the last day of Christmas. It’s time to put all those decorations away, The manger of tiny figurines of the three wise men, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus All go in the box. … Continue reading →
The year 2019 sounds so futuristic remembering a 1996 visit of Thailand. I feel nostalgic tonight. Photography then was archaic when we have to use a real camera, a film and the negatives processed. I could never tell whether the photos … Continue reading →
How do I describe Dali? One word. Intriguing. A bronze sculpture of Dali sitting on his famous lobster phone and melting clock. The melting clock means it is losing its power in the passing of time of the dream world. … Continue reading →
Recently, we were battered by a storm of heavy rain and strong wind. Thank goodness, it wasn’t as bad as we had last year. Electricity and telephone lines remain intact including the tall grasses still standing. Life maybe stormy, this … Continue reading →
When a journalist becomes the story, it’s not good news. That’s what happened to Daphne Caruana Galizia, the best investigative journalist in Malta, killed by a car bomb. Her name is not mentioned in Times: Person of the year. I … Continue reading →
To remember the exact time my cousin Jessie was born, he made sure it’s permanently fixed on his skin. I thought that is very original. There was a man who had a tattoo of his birthdate, a hyphen and blank … Continue reading →
This past Sunday was the first day of advent, the first day of the liturgical year in Christian tradition for the new year. Our church is decorated with Christmas wreath with five candles representing one candle per week that we … Continue reading →
Rain or shine, its ice cream time. There is no letting up on today’s weather forecast that is causing concern for us with a bit stormy for the commuter’s taste especially when we are the recipient of a splash of … Continue reading →
To shed some light on a photo, I can’t help but tell a story. The air is crisp, the sun is out and the day is breezy that pushes the clouds away. Light is brighter in the dark as I … Continue reading →