Monthly Archives: July 2015

My Shelves (3)

Read, read, read! 😀

So, you know I used to read a lot. And you have some idea of what my favourite titles are. And you also know that I have been searching for quite some time for a book or series to fill the gap that was left by the finishing of several of my most loved series and literary works.

This summer, I want to get back in touch with the crazy bookworm that I know I am and dive into something fun and engaging. And I’ve found it; that something is Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.

Now, strictly speaking, this book, this series is not new to me. But I can look at it now with fresh eyes, and no distractions, which is a real treat! PLUS, there is now a superb TV series
adaptation of the books in the works, and catching up on the text is a great way to pass the time until the next season/episode premiere!



My Shelves (2)


Some of my Favourite Reads:

*This is not an exhaustive list and is in no particular order…

  • Julie of the Wolves series
  • Mine for Keeps
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden
  • My Side of the Mountain trilogy
  • Awake and Dreaming
  • Roots
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend
  • Unbroken
  • Harry Potter series
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
  • Earth’s Children series
  • Redwall series
  • Pendragon series
  • The works of JRR Tolkien

My Shelves (1)


“You’re a wizard, Harry.” –JK Rowling

I remember my first glimpse of the wizarding world. I was 9 years old and I was unimpressed. It was the year JK Rowling took my generation by storm and everyone was talking about Harry Potter, “The Boy Who Lived.”

Now, understand, I read A LOT. I was interested in stories, in the art of story telling and I read everything and anything of quality that could feed that hunger. But this just didn’t appeal to me at all, this boy-wizard.

So the kid’s a wizard. What’s the big deal? Lord Volde-who? What’s a Muggle, and who in their right mind would name their kid “Hermee-on”? Boring! Let me get back to my literary feast of Redwall (Brian Jacques) and Narnia (CS Lewis), Roots (Alex Haley), and Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George).

Fast forward to my first year of high school, when in spite of what I thought of as all the hype, I decided to give Harry a second chance. I fell in love.

I devoured the first three books and their accompanying films. I re-read and re-watched everything. And Harry Potter became my summer obsession. The Goblet of Fire, book then film. The Order of the PhoenixThe Half-blood PrinceThe Deathly Hallows, and all subsequent films.

I have several distinct memories of sitting by my locker, eyes glued to the page and of striving to complete my homework as fast (and as well) as humanly possible, to race up to bed and be rewarded with a new chapter of life at Hogwarts.

For literary instalments 5, 6 and 7, when I wasn’t swimming in the pool, I was parked at the picnic table. This is just absolutely perfect! Yes! Don’t interrupt me, I’m READING!

They were the best summers on record. I re-read. I re-watched. I waited for the movies, I waited for the books and kept the Fantasy fire roaring with King Arthur, and The Lord of the Rings, and Bobby Pendragon.

And when all of it came to its final conclusion a few years back, I cried. What a ride! What amazing work! And what the heck was I supposed to do NOW? 🙂 No more Hogwarts. No more Camelot. No more Travellers. No more Middle Earth.

These books, and others like them, were (and still are) my dear friends. Being able to create such a vibrant, fascinating world with words is a gift, and I am always looking for works that can bring that sense of adventure and mastery.


A short note regarding the images seen on this site/blog:

All images are my own OR have been cleared for commercial use, no attribution required.

I’ve recently discovered the site Pixabay, where one can find beautiful images for free, with no attribution required.

So, while I figure out the best way to give credit where it’s due, let me just say THANK YOU to all my friends and family, to myself, and to the image authors on Pixabay for capturing such amazing images and allowing me to share them with the world 🙂

The Whole Enchilada

Friday: I worked. I walked. I ate dinner, watched some Netflix and fell asleep listening to some tunes. It was great.

I woke up 12 hours later, had brunch, curled up on the couch for a power nap, cleaned house and then headed out. I snagged a few finds from the thrift shop, grabbed some frozen yogurt, stopped by the family restaurant for a solid meal and some lighthearted spanish banter and hospitality, and then walked around Waterfront Park before heading home to pajamas and a movie 🙂

Just the kind of everyday awesome that makes me so happy to be myself, alive and independent 🙂

Good night, friends.

Forest wilderness

Gone Girl

Oh, man! I am so happy to be getting back on track, and for the the rain and the weekend!

Gone Girl is the title of this post because the film was on my mind, and because it is rather dark and slow-building, and unsettling, but still very well-done — all things which, during this last little chunk of time, I feel I can relate very well to.

I’ve been unsettled, off-kilter for the past little bit. But things are looking up, I’m feeling better all around and I’m looking forward to continuing this happy trend after having a difficult time dealing with sentiments like, “Ugh, this is no fun! And, I’d really rather not…”

And the drought, and the fires get some RAIN today! Good old, steady Vancouver-type rain! After a jumpstart on a toasty, bone-dry, brilliant summer totally uncharacteristic for our region, beginning in May, it is honestly comforting to hear the rain on the roof, sheeting from the sky as is common throughout most of the year.

Last, but not least, the weekend! Feeling more centred and looking for fun, perhaps I’ll visit with Grandma, or take a myself on a little adventure around town (if anyone wants to join me, you’re welcome to!).


Pretty darn quick – I’m gonna be looking for some water, some comfort, some media and some dinner. Maybe I’ll play the fiddle.

And tomorrow I’m going shopping, for, among other things, some dizzy chicken to put in my planned pasta salad 🙂

Egg shells


I’ll admit to feeling overwhelmed.

Action, follow-through, commitment, closure. In plain freaking english! I’m tired of being treated like a second-class citizen, fighting like hell, being the bigger man and getting nothing back.

Maybe it’s not a big deal to you, but it’s a big deal to me.

I’m tired of dealing with lawyers and ancients and people who have no idea what they’re talking about. Why are some issues that are too big to be given to one person, given to precisely one person?

Why is it that the pivotal moments are left to chance? What happened to common sense, common courtesy, justice?

I’m tired of scripts: “Sorry.” “That’s how it is.” “That’s unfortunate.” “Can’t make it.” “Been busy…” I want to be known, to be understood, to matter to those who matter to me.

I want to laugh, to start fresh. I want to escape this backwards, traitorous system of assistance where the only way to get by is to become docile and dependent, to sit on the couch and wait and to believe them when they say: “You’ll never amount to anything, you’re not supposed to, and if you try, we’ll take your faith in humanity and blow it to smithereens.”

I’ve been walking on eggshells, and I’m sick of it. Sick of having the short end of the stick, of no closure, having to share personal details, having my motives and integrity questioned. Being penalized for exercising common sense. Having nothing to sink my teeth into, and no one who really “gets” what it is I am trying so desperately to say.

The Sammy Shuffle: part 12

Mom and I have driven across town, on our way to welcome Ruby home off the plane at YVR after 6 months away travelling with Canada World Youth.

It’s dark, cool and crisp. The passenger pickup area outside is a thrum of activity; people, baggage, carts and cabs moving in and out and back and forth.

We creep along, casting out eyes around for that combination of brown hair, brown eyes and confidence that is my sister- and that sweet parking spot out front. No such luck. Mom pulls to the curb. There is parking attendant checking cars about fifty feet in front of us, his florescent vest blazes in the headlights.

“Stay here and watch the car ok?”

“Ok,” I say. I know exactly where this is going.

Mom climbs out and walks purposefully towards the attendant. I shake my head, smile and settle back to watch the show.

Mom approaches. The attendant turns. A short conversation follows; Mom gestures back towards the car, and the attendant nods, smiling.

“He said it’s fine. We’ll have to be quick, but we can park here.” Mom says, “I told him…”

“I knew it! You played the kid on crutches card!”

Mom smiles, “Well, yeah… 🙂 Can you get out ok? I don’t see Ruby. Come on, Sam.”

She holds the door and hands over my crutches carefully, as the attendant sends a friendly glance our way. I do my part to look suitably affected, slowing my movements and allowing my toes to drag a little more severely across the pavement.

The attendant moves on, and Mom and I bolt through the doors, push through the crowds and within a few short minutes, find Ruby standing with the CWY crew and several parents, making introductions.

There are hugs, smiles and stories all around, as those who have become family part to welcome parents and siblings.

Welcome home 🙂

Another level:

Yesterday was entertaining. I got on two different elevators without reading the signs – always read the signs.

I got off the train, rode up to the main level, back down and up again before realizing that there were only 2 options and up was where I wanted to be. I got some funny looks from the other passengers and the station staff person wiping down the interior.

“Sorry,” I said, “I’m going up again, I wasn’t paying attention the first time.”

“Oh, Ok. I wondered.” She smiles. I disembark at the top; she stays to finish her work.

Five minutes later, I return with Mom by my side. As I press the call button the car comes into view, along with a familiar station staff uniform.

“Oh, man. The lady’s going to think I’m nuts.” I tell Mom with a laugh.

“Hello again!” The doors open and with a small start of surprise and warm smile she welcomes us in.

“She just likes riding elevators,” my mom informs her, laughing. And down we go again 🙂

Four hours later, history repeats: I hug Mom goodbye in front of the elevator, hit the call button and step inside. I hit P1, thinking to get off at Platform 1 – makes sense, right?

Nope. The car descends. Down, down, down. Looking through the doors, the view changes from that of transit travellers rushing to and fro to old, dirty, concrete walls. All I can think is: I don’t want to get stuck in here, not today in 30 degree heat, surrounded by concrete, alone with no way out – yet.

Finally, it stops and the doors open. I step out.

“Ok. Where the hell am I?” I glance around, spotting one lonely car in this dungeon of what appears to be a parkade. Apparently there’s parking. Who knew?

I turn around and ride back up into familiar territory. I get off and look at the signage.

“Elevator: To Parking and Concourse.” Well, that would be why I didn’t see any trains. That particular elevator would be around the corner, identified as “Elevator: To Trains” 🙂

— I made it home without further incident. But look me up if ever you want to elevate your transit travels to the next, fun-filled level 😀