Saturday, December 31, 2011

New years thoughts

Right now I'm finishing up a bottle of French sparkling white wine, Veuve du Vernay, but if I had my boyfriend by my side or I was at his,it would be a case of us sharing the same, and I have a bottle of Spanish white to share as well (not even opened).  My thoughts are on Brad at the moment and I hope all is well, both for him and who he's with.

I am looking at properties in Nova Scotia at the moment (onlline). Once my debts are paid off there is money to invest and what better way to invest than in property that we can both benefit from.  Since the money that I came out here with is gone due to health issues, there are adjustments necessary.  Life is full of this!  Land prices here in British Columbia are insanely expensive, so the funds will stretch further back east than they will here.  I am looking at retirement and those years are not that far away.  Moving east to the Maritimes would be like a new adventure.  I'm still not to old for that nor is Brad by any stretch of the imagination.

Have a happy, healthy and safe celebration and all the best for 2012!  - V

New Years Eve

New Years Eve is fast approaching as is 2012 and all it has to offer.  Currently, its just past 1 pm here on Canada's west coast.  There is light snow falling which is melting on contact with the ground.  The ground is still too ward to have the snow stay, until in higher elevations such as the mountains.

I am planning to make a light lunch shortly but this evening it'll be a quiet, restful evening with some pizza and a bottle of French sparkling white wine (Veuve du Vernay) stretched out over several hours.

Most of the Christmas decorations have been put away though I have left a little out, something cheery and uplifting to start off the new year.

Have a safe and fun evening for those that are yet to celebrate, and for those that have, may you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!  There will be more later...  - V

Friday, December 30, 2011


This evening after work I dropped in at the supermarket at the mall across the street from where I live and then went to the liquor store to get some wine and sparkling wine but while at the checkout in the latter store there was a lady ranting in the mall outside the store.  It sounded like she had mental issues (she was very excited and saying "f..." this and "f..." that).

It was familiar to me for some reason but I couldn't put a finger on it immediately.  Then when I left the mall it came to me.  I used to work with a lady north of Toronto who had mental issues (bi-polar I believe).  She was usually okay when I was around but usually men would get her excited (she didn't like them), into a rage, though not with me.  She was divorced and her ex had been a well known psychiatrist.  That experience had put her in an institution for a bit.  Since I was her supervisor and somewhat familiar with her situation, I tried to keep her on regular shifts and not have her work all over the clock at all hours.  

That wasn't the first time I worked with someone that was bi-polar.  I worked with someone in Thornhill (near Toronto) with the same condition.  While on his medications, he was okay.. Those with bi-polar are known for severe mood swings.  The medications are supposed to help reduce the extremes in moods.  Otherwise, life can be a challenge for them and the same for those they live or interact with.

Anyway, I arrived home without incident and put all my purchases away.  There was even a small bar of dark chocolate that came with the bottle of sparkling wine from Spain.  The second bottle is from France.  I didn't bother with champagne since its become rather expensive. The sparkling wines serve the same purpose and save on money at the same time.

Enjoy your celebrations what ever you decide to do.  Have a safe and rewarding 2012! - V

P.S. - Are you waiting for the new year to arrive like our guy above?  I wish you all the best.  So, have you made some resolutions for the new year that you can honour and keep?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Today would have been my late brother's birthday and he (Norbert) would have been 57 if he had survived the event of early 1974.  I was fourteen months older than him.  This is a photo of us during the first Christmas in Canada in December 1957.  Norbert is in the foreground and I in the back.  I was able to suppress the emotions for years but since the last of our parents passed on in 1999 (mother), an event last year brought it all out and may have lead to the first of my two mini-strokes or may have been at the same time as the stroke.  Who knows!  I had been waiting for months for Brad to show up from the east coast.  When he didn't show up, I was scanning earlier photos of my brother and others.  The emotions came out and I wept for days in private as I was trying to make sense of everything.  I do not fault Brad  for anything.  I'm sure he had his reason and was dealing with his own demons!

Anyway, Norbert and I had spent most of his years sharing the same bedroom, so his passing was very difficult in the beginning.  Later as I was occupied with other situations and events over the years, the emotions concerning his death were pushed back in my mind.  The event of 2010 brought it all out again.  Such is life.  We take the good with the bad and make the most of it as best we can.  Its a difficult time of year so close to Christmas! - V

Monday, December 26, 2011


I slept in this morning and didn't get up until late.  It was after 11 am when I did.  Then I took a shower and slowly got dressed, and I do mean slowly, a T-shirt first and then more as time went on.  After brunch, I hit the computer.

I even had Brad on my mind for hours before I got up out of bed.  In cases like that, he's likely got me on his as well.  If he was here, we wouldn't be bored, not one bit!

After hours of online research on genetic mutations, mitochondrial DNA and related matters in the hope of finding the cause of my high blood pressure issue (well, one of many possibilities), I've decided to set that all aside and do something else to rest my eyes.

I may watch a movie or two.  I have enough of them on DVD when there's nothing of interest on TV.  So, what did you do on Boxing Day? - V

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Season's Greetings and all the best for the coming new year, 2012!  Have a safe and wonderful holiday season.

That's a photo of a small cypress tree I have on my dining room table.  Its foliage is of a lighter green than the tree in the dining room window.  That one needs repotting and is from last Christmas.  I'll do both of them in January or February.

Back east in southwestern Ontario I bought a little Italian Cypress tree before Christmas in 1999.  The foliage was a blue-green colour but I haven't been able to find that colour here on the west coast.  The tree ended up being repotted twice before it was left with the new owners of the house when I sold the property.  Anyway, before all that I had the tree outside the front door from the spring to autumn and brought it inside in late September (the winters were too cold to keep it outside).  It was set in the front bay window over winter and even dressed up a bit for Christmas.

So, this afternoon its off to get some laundry out of the way, three loads of it, and then I'll start supper, which today is duck leg with cabbage along with some potatoes.  I've had a German recipe for goose legs with cabbage since the 1980s (perhaps earlier) and use duck legs instead since they are easier to find unless you purchase a whole duck or goose.

I start off by softening finely diced onions in a large pan using olive oil (this time it will be butter since I'm out of the other).  Then I brown the duck leg with the skin side down first and then brown the other side.  Then I add diced green cabbage (I am using Savoy cabbage this time but you can also use red cabbage).  I add freshly boiled water to that, enough so it doesn't burn  and then slow cook it on low heat until done.  This time round I am also added some Riesling wine, a white from the Mosel River in north-western Germany.  If the wine is good enough to drink, its good enough for the stew pot!  I am also adding a bit of honey and some white wine vinegar to make the cabbage dish sweet and sour.  If I had more coming, I would add more duck legs to the dish but since its only me this evening, there is only one leg.  I use sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season the cabbage and have salted boiled potatoes with that when its all done.  The German dish its adapted from is called Gaenseschenkel mit Schmorrkohl.

Enjoy the season.  Have a safe and wonderful time! - V

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas wish

What I'd most like for Christmas is to have my favourite friend (Brad) with me even if its a short while.  I know things are a challenge at the moment for him to do so but I'm always hoping for the best and keeping my thoughts on the positive.  My cell phone is always with me, even at night.  Regardless, I hope you have your dreams fulfilled.  Have a wonderful Christmas! - V

Merry Christmas!

Regardless of where you are and how you plan to spend it, have a safe Christmas and enjoy yourselves!  I'll have some photos to post once they have been edited.  By the way, this image is one of a series that I took in Surrey, BC after a weekend snowstorm.  The header spot currently used is from the same time period (November 2006).  Have a wonderful holiday season, and spread that warmth and hospitality around!!! - V

Sunday, December 18, 2011

do you feel lucky?

Bedtime is fast approaching.  Its been dark for hours and I set up my ironing board to press some pants for work tomorrow.  I'm just waiting for the iron to heat up before going to it.  The pair of pants were washed over a week ago and have been waiting on a hanger but time has been short.  Now I'll get to it.

Meantime, have a good night, guys!  Maybe you'll get lucky.  It seems Christian's rabbits foot can't hurt!  Later. - V

wrestling dudes and other stuff

You like this?  Well, you're up next!  Can you take the pressure sat on and twisted like a pretzel?

Speaking of pressure and such, I went over to the Metrotown Mall in south Burnaby this evening.  The trip was by bus and then the SkyTrain.  The mall was crowded and busy certainly with Christmas flying at us fast.  I got my stuff done as fast as possible and got out of there after I got my groceries.  I never like the energy when its that busy and have get out.  Are you ready for the holidays? - V

Saturday, December 17, 2011

more abercrombie

This is more of the series that I showed you last weekend.  Quick, get the place cleaned up, we've got guests coming!  Well, I wouldn't mind if you don't... - V

winter is nearing but...

Although winter is nearing we haven't seen any snow on the ground here in the valley, well, anything that's going to stay that is.  This is how Queens Park looked like after a snowfall but this was a couple of years ago.  The best we can do now is a few frosty nights.  Well, we know Jack Frost has been busy!  The mountains on the other hand have had plenty of snow.

Friday evening after work I stopped by the pharmacy in downtown Vancouver to pick up the rest of my meds. Then it was a quick stop at Chapters before starting the homeward journey.  On the train I saw this cute blond-haired guy with green eyes sitting in the opposite row of seats, you know, a dark brown leather jacket, blue denim jeans and the hair swept forward.  I got off at Sapperton station to head over to the grocery store and he stayed on likely heading over to Lougheed station like a lot of other hotties!

Today has been spent taking it easy, not doing anything especially straining or stressful.  I bought another small tree to dress the dining room table for the season, a cypress with a lighter green foliage than the one I have had for a couple of years.  I once had an Italian cypress tree that was bought as a small 8 inch tree in 2000.  It had blue-green foliage and was re-potted twice before I sold the house and left it with the new owners.  I would leave the tree outside from early spring until late autumn (usually October) and then bring it inside for the winter to spent its time in the front bay window.  It was around 3 feet tall when I gave it away, like I did with my other plants, though I should have given some of them to my cousin, as I later found out.  He and his wife would have appreciated them.

So, how's your weekend been? - V

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Well, the holidays are coming fast!  It would be awesome to have someone waiting for you at home.  I have someone in mind, do you?  I hope you all had an awesome weekend!  - V

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Well, Abercrombie recently opened a store in Singapore.  After these guys are done there, they can come on over to my place.  Well, we can dream, can't we?  What I want for Christmas is....   - V

Christmas Cactus

 My Christmas Cactus plant in the dining room window is in bloom once again.  I was thinking about when it might produce some flowers and then the following week the flower buds were produced.  That was three weeks ago.  This adds a little colour to the place this time of year.  The top image is a crop of an original photo and then lower one shows the plant on the window sill.  There is a Zebra plant next to it.  That one flowered about a year ago not long after I purchased it from the store.  They must all be comfortable where they are! - V

Sunday, December 4, 2011


There's a certain freedom that we experience having a motorbike, a freedom you don't get from a car or other vehicle.  You'd have to have had a bike to know the difference.  Even a bike has its limitations, depending upon the situation and the season.  For one person its efficient on gas and covers quite a distance without breaking the bank but its not so great on ice and snow, there other modes of transportation are far superior and safer too!

I had a motorbike of my own back in the 1980s and have also driven a car, a variety of them, so I know the difference first-hand.  There are drivers that are nuts and perhaps shouldn't have a license and be on the road.  I've had my heart in my throat a number of times in the 80s and its not a pleasant experience.  If you have a bike, be safe and take precautions.  Riding within the limitations of this mode of transport will keep you living for a long time.

In the meantime, enjoy the freedom! - V

Saturday, December 3, 2011

muscles and surf

Well, you guys in the southern hemisphere are lucky.  You get to see summer very soon while the rest of us suffer through winter and all it has to offer.  Enjoy the warm weather, the surf and the cute guys, but regardless of where you live or what season it is, make the most of it! - V


There are some guys out there with such cute butts regardless of whether their pants are falling down or not.  In this image we even know his favourite underwear or have an idea.  Life is too short and over before you know it.  Live your life to the fullest and take the time to appreciate the beauty around you, regardless of the season or time of year.  And if you've got a cute ass, let's see it!  There are those that will appreciate it and even take the time to compliment you.  Enjoy life an all it has to offer! - V


There's something to be said for the warmth of companionship.  We can't  have enough friends and certainly close friends that we can call companions in our journey through life.  What do you say? - V

christmas and candles

Back in Germany in the mid-1950s we had a Christmas tree (Weihnachtsbaum) at Christmas (Weihnachten) which had candles. The candles were only lit when we were present and snuffed out when elsewhere, so it wasn't a case of leaving the candles burning on the tree and going elsewhere in the apartment or house.  That's a good way to burn the place down.  But I love the aroma of candles, especially when they are snuffed out and the little bit of smoke rises up along with the scent.

I still have candle holders for such an occasion but there will be no tree where I live currently.  Perhaps when I have a house of my own once again.  Have a wonderful Christmas but do remember to be safe about it all!  That time is not all that far away.  Time is flying! - V

P.S. - The top photo shows a Christmas tree in our apartment in Knittlingen, Germany.  The image below show me, a younger version, with my parents.  My younger brother was asleep.

the look part 2 - tattoos and sunglasses

I find this guy hot despite the tattoos which I'm not too fussy about.  For some reason the look of him wearing his sunglasses reminds me of my friend Brad.  Well, we can dream, can't we?

I'm taking another easy weekend.  Earlier in the week I developed a hangnail on one of my fingers.  This condition crops up in the colder months of the year.  Well, I took a pair of clippers to rid myself of the hangnail.  Unfortunately, I developed an infection and had to disinfect a needle so I could drain the pus that had developed in a pocket to one side of the fingernail.  The infection usually clears up after that from past experience.  The pain in that finger is much less since the draining too!

There are a number of Christmas themed movies on television now.  I guess that will be with us until the season has passed.  Meantime, we'll just have to put up with it until we're tired of it all.  Then we can always turn off the TV and listen to music or have a conversation with someone.  That would be a novel idea!

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend and have a great time of it! - V

Thursday, December 1, 2011

the look

Clayton has the look that many of us want but need the inspiration and motivation to make a reality in our own lives.  Well, here's some more motivation to add to what you've seen for years.  Exercise and doing those things that will help us achieve that muscular look is the way to go.  There are all kinds of websites that offer tips on fitness training.  One such link is located in the right-hand sidebar of this blog.  Check what Scott Herman Fitness has to offer.  Meantime, those that are working on this, I wish you lots of luck and motivation.  Keep us informed on your progress.  If you'd like to have your photo posted here, let us know and we'll make it reality for you plus post the comments.  Good luck! - V