Searching for the Perfect Home

Feeling in a frivolous mood and what better way to express this. . . .to all the little girls who believe in fairies, elves and gnomes. . . .

Searching for a home is universal–whether for fairies, elves, gnomes or humans. It is the same requirements: location, location, location. And the price has to be reasonable.

If brand new, the right tree in the perfect location has to be selected and must answer the many questions asked by the potential buyer,

Is the entrance (hole) facing the right direction? Is it high enough for an excellent view? Would the architect be able to design a 3-bdrm/2-bath plus a small attachment for Grampa?

Or perhaps a penthouse with its private ladder access might appeal . . . .?

Then there are all the other choices available. Did the buyer want a fixer-upper? A handyman’s special? Or maybe just a fresh coat of paint? What about landscaping? A basement suite?

Or maybe a nice ready-to-move-in home—–complete with nicely painted steps and door, a tiny table and is that a mailbox to the left. . .?

And there’s always that very secluded stone mansion in the woods . . . . .

Add a handy-dandy “Beware of Gnomes” sign to ensure no trespassers come through the woods uninvited. . . . .

See, those Tiny Folks are just like us when it comes to house-hunting. . . . .


After a resting Winter, Spring is always a delight to welcome with open arms. I like to search for signs of Spring wherever I do my random walking routes. I hit a looloopalooza day yesterday, when I spotted a bountiful treasure of blooms, popping out of the ground and bursting forth from ornamental bushes as well as boulevard trees.

Daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops all vying for the attention of people passing by. . . .

This beautiful Dogwood tree, in early bloom, is BC’s provincial flower. It is definitely an early Spring surprise.

Whenever I see the simple sight of a row of yellow daffodils, lifting their heads to the warm sun, framed against a white picket fence, it makes me want to whip out my paint brushes and sketch book. . . .but I whipped open my senior cellphone’s camera instead. . . .

Magnolia trees are in various locations. My favorite has always been the deep pink, large as dinner-plate blooms. . . .

I love the sight of Spring crocuses bursting onto bare ground and a sparse lawn; it’s almost as if it couldn’t wait and just wanted to be out of the dark and into the sun.

And a rambling walker has to admire the trees too—-trees prove Spring is here. Pink camellias are in bloom. . . . .

Ornamental cherry blossoms makes the heart sing. . . . . .

Crocuses grow in the most unexpected places—rocky and bare. . . . .

Blossoming trees plus a blooming camellia bush are all positive signs that Spring has arrived in all her finery. YAY, SPRING. . . . .and that means, Summer is not far behind!


I’m a “landmark” person. That means you tell me to turn right at the yellow house, continue until I see Caffe Henri, then turn left and stop at the house with the red Spanish tile roof. That’s a landmark person. That’s me.

A “direction” person will follow differently worded directions to reach the same destination. He/She will head north on Turcotte, turn east on Sumter, keep moving until he/she see Caffe Henri and turn north-west at Birch. That’s a direction person. He/She has a brain like a compass and know exactly where they’re going. Lots of people grasp directions. I don’t.

I think that’s probably why I enjoy my rambling walks because I start in no particular direction and each of my random routes are peppered with landmarks.

This tiny Zen nook, nestled in a corner of a garden, lets me know that I’m very close to a laneway. Oak Bay is known for its numerous laneways and connectors. Each one leads a walker onwards to new “adventures.”

This is a fun house to walk past because the fence along the driveway is filled with art.

But along another route, through a laneway, there is a house with a decorative post. It shows a cheerful “Welcome” on one side and a ‘Come Again” on the other.

This has got to be an early sign of Spring—-tiny crocuses tucked among the grass and rocks.

A tiny blue guitar, placed in a tree. Perhaps, a trendy bird-house for just the right fun-seeking birds. . . .?

There are numerous free neighborhood libraries, scattered all over Oak Bay. Some owners are quite creative making these accessible libraries visible and fun. The one below was an entertaining landmark to a neighborhood park, but someone—-not fond of books—vandalized this funky library and the new replacement is just not the same. . . .

When I see my favorite bike rack, marked with a miniature bicycle, I know I can stop for my cup of coffee and snack at “Serious Coffee.”

I do enjoy seeing all my landmarks on my rambling walks. There’s always something that makes the random routes amazing. I just hope urban development doesn’t destroy any of these . . . . .


I have gained more white hairs than Santa has on his entire face and head since I got a new computer. I’m not exaggerating. My computer hates me.

My desktop died two Christmases ago and I got a laptop to replace it. This was my new start in a New Year. It would give me more space on my desk. I had visions of me tapping away in my neighborhood coffee bar, writing that great Canadian novel.

Scratch that lofty thought out the window. This laptop had its own agenda. Remember that diabolical doll called “Chuckie?” That’s my computer.

The first thing happened while I was typing merrily along and everything froze. I truly mean froze—nothing moved—neither cursor nor keys. I gently tapped on the enter key and then I tapped a bit harder, a few more times.

Well okay, maybe I tapped a tad too hard as Hubby shouted that he “heard that” from the next room. When nothing happened after all that pounding, I did what we all do in those uncertain techie times, I turned the computer off, waited 2 minutes and then turned it on again.

It worked. Perhaps, this was a glitch. You know, new tech toy, new operator.

Then, the laptop got quite creative. It began to switch bits and pieces of my writing in an egg-scrambley way. I had cleverly killed one of my characters by having his ex-wife push him into a vat of rising bread dough. (He was the baker and owner of a fancy bakery). Well, Chuckie had switched pieces of written bits around when I checked my progress. It was the baker who was attacked by a vat of rising bread dough that was somehow dumped on his ex-wife. Mind you, this was kind of creative too, but it wasn’t what I intended.

Today was the ultimate attack. Microsoft had another update—a 4-minute one. So I left the computer to “shut off and restart” when it was done. As usual, extra bits were added to improve on things I never use but are all part of the Window 11 package.

The scenic view on my screen was spectacular. But, there was no access box for me to sign in. In fact, there was nowhere and nothing for me to access—just a big screen with a big picture. I hauled out the manual I had downloaded and printed out when I got my laptop. There was nothing that even remotely resembled my problem.

Hubby came to my rescue. “Hold your finger on the power/turn-off button for 30 seconds. Then turn the computer on again.”

It was a miracle. It worked.

At least the computer behaved. I was able to sign in and check my email. However, when I tried to reply, the keys didn’t type. The keys weren’t locked, they just didn’t type.

Back to the darn manual. It wasn’t any help at all. I couldn’t even tap out a “help” to Microsoft.

Finally, in exasperation as well as desperation—I turned everything off and unplugged the power cord, the printer and the internet. Then, I plugged everything back and turned Chuckie back on.

Holy macadoodle, it worked. I suppose after 4 hours of hasseling me, Chuckie called it a day. I know I’m exhausted but keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the computer continues doing what it should be doing, being a normal laptop tomorrow.

I’m going to call it a day too by baking a pan of Dark Chocolate Brownies and melting my Godiva dark chocolate bar on top—after all, chocolate makes everything so much better. . . .


If it stops you in your tracks, then that’s the window worth a good look.”

Sometimes I like to do a slow window stopping walking route. The variety of shops and businesses along this route often have eye-catching windows. It makes it worth-while to pause and capture whatever caught my attention with my handy-dandy senior cellphone’s camera.

These distinctive little shoemakers, in the front window of the shoe repair shop, always makes me stop. They have me smiling to see these busy shoemakers working so industriously.

A few doors down is the buy-n-sell with its ever changing hodge-podge of “treasures” –or, just a fun stop to check out all the “what-nots” previous owners considered junk. Did you spot the old Singer sewing machine?

One of my favorite stops is Gardenworks as it has such great displays in their large display windows as well as inside their fascinating store. Their current eye-stopping window display shows off these beautiful orchids.

Perhaps it was a salute to the West Coast and being on an Island, but this Gardenwork’s nautical theme appealed to my senses and captured my camera’s attention.

Sharing the other half of the Avenue Butcher’s building is a talented chef/owner. He specializes in curing and preparing meats utilizing the “whole beast,” or animal in a variety of tasty methods. The name of his business is on an amazing mural on the side of his building.

Another window makes me pause as I ponder what type of service this store provides.,

Apparently, it is the Herbal Path, a store specializing in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Further along the street is an antique store with its front windows often capturing my attention. Sometimes the displays are large, ornately carved pieces of furniture; other times, the window display is quite simple.

Depending upon my mood, my walks are always an adventure. It could be a challenging walk with steep hills or a scenic walk along the water. Sometimes, it could be a walk through the residential side streets and laneways. But now and then, there is the leisurely fun stroll to simply window stop. . . . .


A brand new year always make me think of a fresh snowfall. It’s Day 5 of the new 2023, but I like to view my year as an unblemished canvas, free of footprints so far. It would be unthinkable to have anything marring the progress of a new beginning. However, this is real Life and Fate has a habit of intervening when least expected. And footprints tend to tread in unexpected places.

As the Holiday Season winds down, I started a search for frivolous, not-serious, fun facts that will put any thoughts of war, climate-change, Covid and other sobering thoughts aside for the moment.

The first gem was how to eat a croissant properly. I had never thought one way or the other how to tackle a flaky croissant. After all, flaky crumbs aside, devouring a freshly baked almond or chocolate croissant–even a plain one–warm from the oven, usually results in crumbs on your lap and on your plate. Well apparently, there is a protocol, written by Clarice Knelly, here is the link:

Have you ever wondered what Astronauts nibble and nosh on up there in their space jammies? Me too. Guess what? According to the following link, heat resistant Hershey chocolates made a trip to the space station. Why “heat resistant?” Because silly–no one wants melted chocolates on their clean space suits. Here’s the link to “The Time Hershey’s Chocolate Went To The Moon.”

I really love what people throw out on the Internet. Who hasn’t enjoyed unwrapping a Terry’s Orange Chocolate Ball? It is such a novelty to unwrap the orange foil, gently tap the round ball of chocolate and watch the ball fan out with chocolate slices. You’ll have to watch this brief video to see there is a purpose to a piece of the packaging—who would have thought?

I saved this gem for last. Wouldn’t you love to impress family and friends by “sabering” the top off a bottle of bubbly. Click on this very helpful link. . .and apparently a sword/saber isn’t necessary. https://msn,com/en-ca/health/wellness/how-to-saber-a-bottle-of-champagne-using-a-sword-spoon-or-even-a-watch/ar-AA15GzKr?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=50eaebe7cb6349ceBbbb6a7f0fe18532

Hopefully, I’ve plunged us into 2023 with smiles and a bucket of useful information. After all, not everyone knows how to eat a croissant properly or sabering off the top of a bottle of bubbly. . . . .


“Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling.” Edna Ferber

“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.” Dr. Seuss

Christmas is a gathering of family and friends; the comfort and warmth of home and hearth; the sharing of the joy and pleasures of the Holiday Season. It is the sound of excited children and laughter; the special smells of pine trees, roasting turkeys, the spicy scent of mince tarts and gingerbread; colorful holly and chrysanthemums including boisterous renditions of familiar carols are all part of the Holiday scene.

It is a kaleidoscope of Christmases past and new Christmas memories of ones yet to come.

Thank you for following my blog. I have been fortunate meeting new friends who have discovered me as well as the encouragement of old friends whose humorous and observant comments are always welcome.

One of my Christmas cards said exactly what I feel: “May this Christmas warm your heart with Hope and light your World with Love.”



I’m not sure if it’s the dreary weather of fog, ice, rain and broody gray skies, but lately little things have caught my attention.

Tracy Ewens, in her blog, “From the Laundry Room,” ( mentioned how little things have captured her attention—things taken for granted or barely noticed before but now examined with a critical eye.

I, too, have noticed this phenomena. Hubby did point out that we are getting older, but I made it clear that one of us was and it wasn’t me.

My theory is that retiring from the work world gave us an opportunity to slow down our insane rushing here and there. Every day is a weekend so there was plenty of time to enjoy all the mundane, ordinary stuff we had missed when working. This was our time to enjoy our morning coffees and leisurely breakfasts. Our time to relax and plan a day filled with all the things we had put aside for this new chapter of our lives.

I had planned on reading through my stack of books set aside for when I had time; fun lunches with friends; side trips around the Island and over to the Mainland. I would spend more time on my needlecrafts and photography AND write the great Canadian novel!

Hah–that was 10 years ago. So much for great plans.

No one had ever mentioned how the days would slide quickly away. Suddenly, it was the end of another week and you’re asking yourself, “What did we do?”

The other day I was doing my weekly grocery shopping and darn if an energetic senior didn’t pop out from another aisle and almost slammed me to the ground. I moved but my cart didn’t. He looked 99 but had the moves of a 70 year old. My scream of alarm didn’t slow him down at all. His mission was getting to the cashier before any lineup formed. Visions of me possibly lying unconscious in the soup aisle with grocery cart wheels rolling down my body didn’t elicit any guilt or remorse.

It made me realize how our lives can end in a nano-second. One small incident could change a life forever. I was not going to end my life in the soup aisle.

Are we getting older or are we just getting wiser? I like to think we are getting wiser. My list remains the same except my stack of books-to-be-read continues changing. I don’t grocery shop as early as I use to—-that’s the dangerous hour for maniac seniors whose mission is to charge through the store to beat the non-existing rush. I have definitely slowed down to see all the things I missed before. I love photographing all the bits and pieces I see on my walks as people have a playfulness that shows in their gardens or nooks or fences or in tiny corners where walkers like me, wander by and really notice whatever it is.

I want to reassure my friend Tracy, “From the Laundry Room,” that we are both very fortunate in finally having the time to appreciate all the little things and small special moments in our day-to-day life. It’s wonderful to do what we want when we want most of the times. Let’s embrace our freedom from clocks and schedules with laughter and joy; a bag of Cheetos and a good movie; a new coffee bar and a chocolate dessert and the list keeps growing.

Now, if I could only find time to write my great Canadian novel. . . .


Halloween is not my favorite holiday,. I don’t think it ever was even as a kid. But on my recent rambling walks, it never fails to amaze and amuse me whenever I pause to admire a homeowner’s enthusiastic display of gloom and doom. I discovered that there is a definite creepy creepiness versus creepy entertainment that’s more vintage horror movie and atmosphere. My choices are entertaining. The Halloween decor can be as simple as hairy spiders and cobwebs. . . .or pumpkins and cobwebs. . . . . .

Last year, the trend was headstones, skulls and skeletal bones scattered above the ground. . . . . .

But this year, it seems two or three cackling witches stirring their cauldrons dominates many Halloween yards with an additional “guest” or two such as the creepy butler waking up his “beloved” or the ghoul and ghost meeting by the stone steps.

Enroute home, it was almost a relief to see normal scenes celebrating Autumn and not Halloween–apples ready for harvesting. . . .

Sunflowers reaching for the sky and a pumpkin, hopefully the first of a “bumper” crop of more to come. . . . .

October is rapidly coming to a close and November is standing in the wings, ready to wrap its late days of Autumn around Winter’s arrival. . . . .I give you this wonderful display of pumpkins, squashes and Fall flowers.

I wish each and everyone of you a safe Halloween and a bountiful Harvest.


When I take my morning walks, I have no specific routes in mind. My area has an amazing number of connectors and lanes that beckons; and I enjoy the adventure of discovering something new or unusual that captures my attention.

On one of the many lanes and connectors, there is a fence that is a delightful and whimsical display of the many “treasures” an imaginative homeowner had found at garage sales or collected over the years.

Gates are often a sight to enjoy. I came across the “Spirit Deer” gate which stopped me in my tracks.

The homeowner also had another “Spirit Deer” gate at the

front of his house. I was passing his back gate that faced a lane.

On another morning I discovered a pair of ornate gates that shielded a medical building’s parking lot. I had passed it many times and only discovered they showed a pair of hummingbirds. . . .

And what about nooks and crannies? Don’t you just love what creative homeowners do with small spaces? One homeowner made an artistic display of their short driveway fence. And, by a Rooster back gate, there is a rustic seat beneath a shady tree.

On my route homewards, a swinging cat and a vintage bike on a rusty gatepost ruled the scenery. . . .Where do people find these?

It’s amazing what a person can see. . . when a person really looks.