Over the Top Tourist Trap: The Log Barn

Tourist trap. What comes to mind? Garish, tacky, and generally unappealing. Yet in the effort to see from ‘the eyes of a child’, a tourist trap could offer a rich and surprising diversion while road tripping. Childhood Road Trips Recalling road trips as a child, I held little sway over my parents. “We don’t have…

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Wildlife Encounters in the City

Growing up in the very urban city of Vancouver, the closest I ever came to encountering wild animals were the feral cats that roamed the back alleys of my neighbourhood. So it continues to surprise me to encounter wildlife in any urban or suburban setting. Yet, wildlife are adapting to our cities in increasing numbers…

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But the Smoke Gets in My Eyes

After a lovely vacation in recent weeks, I hoped to share stories and photos of our adventures. I may yet do so, but at the moment I cannot focus. The smoke is getting in my eyes. It’s summer in the Okanagan, and the inevitable happened: smoke filled skies from wildfires. I assumed that our particularly…

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Book Notes and Road Trips

A book lover I shall always be. A traveler I choose to be. When I travel, a book travels with me. An actual, physical paperback book. I tried to go book-free while traveling in Europe last year, as I only allowed myself a single carry on backpack. Keeping to the essentials was key. So I…

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A Bird’s Eye View

When life gets chaotic, and pressures increase, my natural inclination is to keep my head down, my actions on auto-pilot, and my brain on standby. I get going and get ‘er done, just to keep from falling to pieces. If I pause to think, I will be undone. This season has brought a wave of…

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June is the Very Best Month of the Year

June is my absolute favourite month out of all the months of the year. I love to celebrate June, as it contains both spring and summer, the very best seasons in the whole year. Birthdays are celebrated with great frequency throughout my extended family in June. In fact, my own birthday falls in this most…

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When the Waters Rise

I live in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. An unusually wet spring, coupled with a higher than normal snowpack resulted in an excess of water flowing into our streams and lakes. Unfortunately, many low lying areas along the lake are affected. Homes are flooded, beaches have disappeared and the lake is filled with debris from…

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Blooming Iris: Featured Flower

An iris clump seems to grow at lightning speed once the rains abate and the sun comes out. Within days the buds open wide to reveal their hidden secrets. These hardy flowers are a favourite of mine, as they meet my gardening criteria: they are pretty; they bloom every spring; they need next to no…

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Canada 150 Mosaic Project Comes to Town

Canada’s 150th Birthday celebrations are taking place throughout the country this year. Communities from coast to coast are commemorating this milestone, called a “sesquicentennial”, by many unique and varied events in unique and varied locations. One event that captured my attention is the Canada 150 Mosaic Project. Painting tiles to form a mosaic sounded intriguing,…

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Hooked on Rug Hooking

Never one to remain idle for long, my friend Laura Harris embraced early retirement with gusto. Volunteering in our community took precedence, as did baking and hosting meals for friends and family. Then I learned that she’d taken up rug hooking. First of all, what exactly did she mean by rug hooking? My only experience…

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