Archive | May 2013


Way back in January, 2013, I began having some very serious eye problems. I had a friend visiting and as he was talking to me I saw his face change… first of all he had 4 eyes, 2 noses and 2 mouths… and then it turned into two heads. Pretty scary when you don’t know what is happening to you.

That happened a second time when he visited. So I made n appointment with my Doctor. He referred me to my ophthalmologist… and I waited a month to get in. She is a very talented doctor and both my husband and I have gone to her. She thought I might have Temporal arteritis, but after some tests she found that was not the case.Then I had to have a temporary prism on one lense and wear it for a month. That didn’t help, so she referred me on to another specialist.8533776149_1b29c07721_n

This time the doctor said I needed new glasses, especially the left eye… and my new glasses should be ready in one more week.  Yeh!

It has taken 6 months to finally get  new glasses.

I just got a call on my answering machine to let me know my glasses are ready to pick up! What a great surprise after being told it would take ten days.

Guess where I’m going tomorrow?


People Watching!

Tonight at supper time in the dining room we had to wait a short period while the servers were  going around. Sometimes we are the first to be served, and sometimes, like tonight, we are the last. That’s okay, it gives us time to people watch!

We all start out pretty much with the same neat little body… but what happens to some of us isn’t that beautiful. I have a “baby image” to represent the beginning.  I went on the internet looking for pictures of “over weight”  people. What I saw was enough to gross me out… so I refuse to post any of them on my blog… I don’t want to offend any one.

1950:08:27 Ramon 5The apartment where I live has 84 suites….some with two occupants, but most with singles. Our meals are served in two sittings… I’m with the first sitting. So that means there are around 45 to 50 people to a sitting.

That gives a pretty good variety of “body shapes”, from very thin (too thin) to overweight, and even some obese. Even our servers have this range of shapes to speculate over. How did they get that way? Why don’t they try to do something about losing some of the excess weight?

Will power doesn’t seem to do the trick…I have lots of will power….maybe what’s needed is some WON’T POWER! What do you think?!


An honour bestowed.

Many years ago my husband wanted to paint some Indian kids… and we didn’t know any Indians. (First Nations now, and those who came from India were East Indians.)

Ernie Phillips and Norma

Ernie Phillips and Norma

I phoned a radio station, and they told me to call Clifford Paull, who referred me to Percy Paull. Percy invited us to come over and he introduced us to some of those with small children. They were preparing for a Potlatch the following week and were trying to make signs for the different booths. Mickey told them he would make the signs for them. That was the beginning of a very fine friendship.

For every painting he did of one of their children, he did a second one and gave it to the parents.

A couple of years later Mickey was the guest of Honour at the potlatch. He was presented with the full head dress and a talking stick, carved by Percy Paull. I was presented with a head dress. AND he was given his Indian name… Secumlesqualone, meaning a chief, and a kind person who helps others.

Harry and Norma - 1967

Harry and Norma – 1967

A  few years later we were invited to  a banquet where Chief Louis Miranda was going to pass his chieftanship down to Phillip Joe. We were always put at the head table. Sitting next to me was the mother-in-law of Lenny George and her husband. She said to me, “Isn’t it wonderful what’s happening today? We are both getting our Indian names!” I agreed that it was quite an honour.

Two people spread a blanket on the floor down at the other end, and four people came to get the two honorees. They came down, and around the end of the table, passed the first two sitting there, and stopped at ME! They took me and the other lady. Husband would be done later. They sat me in one of the chairs, put a blanket around my shoulders, tied a scarf around my head and then I had to go around and “pay” the witnesses with money, blankets and scarves. All of mine were provided for me by Uncle Louis Miranda. Because they surprised me, I didn’t have to supply them myself. I cried all the time that I was passing these out! There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that I appreciated what they were doing for me. The Indian name that they gave me was Hautsqualwon… meaning a kind person who helps people.




Many year ago, we showed our paintings in some of the malls.  Brentwood Mall was going to have an “Hawaiian Days” promotion, and Art,  the manager asked us to participate. They had a water area, and they made an  island in the middle of it, and then asked my husband to be Makahuku, the ship wrecked artist.

Anyone that wanted a pastel portrait  done had to go across a little bridge to where the artist was set up. I was in the mall right where the bridge was, taking names and arranging time for them to have their portrait done.

They also brought entertainers from Hawaii. Jessie Nakoka, Loretta Chin, and three younger girls to dance. Moanalonj, Aloaloni, and Kauimiolikukanaokala Kamakaokilanie, who was called Kaui.

It was Gordon Gibson (from Vancouver) who brought the dancers there, as he was advertising his vacation resort, the Maui Lu.

The Hawaiians kind of adopted us, and Kaui and Moana invited us to come to their graduation in June. Loretta invited us to stay at her place… they had a suite across the back of their home that had been built for her mother.

Loretta wanted us to attend the Holoku Ball that would be held in Honolulu… we were to stay with her mother…

Loretta and I went shopping for material… and I made a holoku  for myself, and a matching sash for my husband. I practiced walking in the holoku There would be a prize for the best Hawaiian couple, and one for the best Haulie couple ( non Hawaiian).Mickey, Norma

Then my husband got a kidney stone attack, so we left the next day… no  staying in Honolulu…no Holoku Ball… but better to be home if he needed to go to the hospital.

We got to wear our Hawaiian outfits on painting displays when there was a Hawaiian theme… and even won a prize for the best dressed of all the staff members.

First sale!

Years ago my husband and I belonged to a couple of art groups. I always was there to look after his paintings, but I had been encouraged by the manager of Guildford to set up my paintings as well.

So I had put a few of mine at Guilford, but there was no “action” on them.

One of the clubs we belonged to was having a display at English Bay, in Alexandra Park, and we went along. We set up my husbands paintings, and then, over to the side, I put mine, and then more or less ignored them.

While I was standing over by my husband’s paintings, a man came up to me and said “Are you looking after those paintings over there?” When I replied “Yes”, he said ” Oh, good…I want to buy one of them.”- First painting

I don’t think you would ever guess my response to this! The great salesman that I was I said “You’ve got to be kidding!”

He bought it anyway! And that was the very first painting of mine that I ever sold!

Cloverdale Rodeo

The 24th of May long weekend has always been the time for the rodeo in Cloverdale, and it starts off with the Rodeo parade.

We usually had a painting display at Guildford, and management would ask us to be part of the team that represented Guildford Town Center. They rented horses for all of us.Cloverdale parade

We headed up the “team” with my husband walking  beside me while I rode… in a dress! I just figured it out… that was about 45 years ago!

cloverdale rodeoOne year we had Linda Rivers and Evie Joseph  with us.  At the pancake breakfast at Guildford before we went to Cloverdale for the parade,  Linda and Evie stole the show… the Rodeo queen and her entourage were not happy, as all the attention was going to our girls.  They were both very beautiful young ladies.


I have a difficult time expressing my feelings on paper… I will try again, as I scrapped the first try.

I am surrounded by flowers, tokens of the love that my family has for me. Can you feel it? It has a very real presence here in my suite.

Carnation and yellow

The love is expressed in so many ways. Like cooking a special dinner for me… or taking me out for dinner…. Like playing a steel guitar and singing for me… like picking up groceries that I forgot to order from the delivery store.

boquetThey are there when I have a trip to the Hospital, or  whenever I need them…. and I am forever grateful for the love they share with me. I am truly blessed.

I am also grateful for the love I feel from my contacts on Flickr, and also for those that visit and comment on my blog.

Like my son keeps telling me…”You’re a lucky girl”, and I agree with him. I have so many things happen that prove “I am a lucky girl.”

How Old Am I?

How Old Am I?

As you know, I asked my contacts to guess how old I am.

Today is my birthday, so it is only fair that I give the correct answer to that question.


I have had a wonderful time with Ra, Debbie and my grandson Connor at Ra’s place today. A home cooked meal of ham, scalloped potatoes, and green beans was awesome, as was the birthday cake….and I have a “doggy bag” in my fridge.

So… here’s the scoop! Dave, I think you were just being kind when you said “ 80”. Judith was a little closer with “82-84”, but both are wrong.

I was born May 9th, 1923… which makes me 90 today!mom, roses

May 9th.

A guessing game.

Tomorrow is May 9th.

Nonie Grace’ birthday!!!

When I look back, so many memories flood my mind. So many changes over the years. From Vancouver, where I was born, to Beaver Valley in the Cariboo, back to Vancouver, then to Langley.  Then back to Vancouver again. And that’s just some of them!

I remember some of my birthdays! There’s quite a few of them!Norma

The reason for this post is to see how many of you can guess my age! I wont be insulted if you think I am older than I really am…  and will feel good if you guess younger!book

So, give it a try!cards

Wanderings of my mind

Has summer arrived?

It really feels like it today. It is supposed to be breaking records.  I know it feels like summer… and the beach is crowded with others who think the same way!P1020071

We have two patio areas here where I live… one on the sunny side, and one on the shady side.  Begonias for the shady side have just been planted and that inspired me to take my camera with me to photograph them. The sunny side will have geraniums (already planted)The “fill” plants are still waiting to join them.P1020074

As you probably have figured out, I wander around in my posts! Summer reminds me of the summer cottage we had at Boundary Bay, on the Canadian side, when I was a kid… 7 or 8 years old. We had big bonfires on the beach at night, roasted marshmallows and wieners… and told stories.

Braden’s had the cabin right behind ours. He was the minister at Ryerson United Church, where our family attended. Bernie Braden, their son, was a real comic, and he was always there. He later became a famous actor in Londion, England.

My brothers and sister used to go at night and watch the rum runners crossing the border between Canada and the United States, with the police chasing after them! Quite exciting, but I “wasn’t old enough to go.” It was still exciting to hear them tell what they had seen.