Flowers On Display

Flowers on Display.

Along with the Fall decorations that I used in my last post, we have a basket full hanging on the wall. I took a picture, but I was sitting on my motorized chair…and the basket  is not straight… and I cant remember how to straighten it! Tilt your head just a little and that will straighten it for you!Fall decorations

Have you seen those Phony flowers? They come in all shapes and sizes. We have some of those, but also ‘live’ plants. The real thing!

Time to wander!….

My friend Janice has two green thumbs… and she loves her ‘garden’. A lot of it is in large pots out on her deck, but more fill up the spaces in her suite. She is generous in sharing, and when there is something special in smaller containers, she takes them down to the craft room, or the main lobby for all of us to enjoy.

Amarillas 1Right now she has three fabulous Amaryllas in bloom!

They all belong to the ‘WOW’ family! All three are on display where we can enjoy them. She was really pleased to get the photos I took for her records.amrillas3 copy

I am so thankful  that I had figured out how to use my camera in time to get photos in the past couple of days.ama3

I have just started taking pictures while sitting in my ‘mobile’ chair…not that easy! I do stand up to take some of them, but I am a bit shaky working that way.

Today is Thanksgiving, and is a holiday. We had our turkey dinner and stuffing with pumpkin pie at noon yesterday…At supper tonight we had a delightful surprise. Cream cheese and lox on a croissant. Our new Chef is really making a difference!

Waiting In Line!

Waiting In Line

We have two elevators in this building, but ever since Friday only one is working. The other one is “out of service”.

We have around eighty-four people… with two sittings for meals… one lot are going down while the first sitting is trying to go home. Remember, most of those people have a walker, or are on a scooter, so that the elevator fills up very quickly.

I just made it home yesterday before my oxygen ran out!


One full week of waiting in line ups to go anywhere on the elevator. Once again it is ‘back to normal’…the elevator has finally been fixed.

We have a new tenant on my floor…and her name is “Norma”. I haven’t met her yet, but a lot of people have told me that there is now another ‘Norma’.

We have four ladies named Dorothy. The one that is one of my table mates at meal times fell a few days ago and is in the hospital with a broken arm, I think at the elbow. She will be 104 on the 29th of this month! Not the best kind of a gift that she wanted…or needed.

It’s another beautiful fall day…I went out and took a close up look at the begonias in tubs along the edge of the patio. There is a briskness in the air…almost got me to think about doing some work…but not quite!

No pictures again. My camera is working, but I have to figure out how to upload photos from the camera to the computer program in order for me to share them.

It has been so long since I used the camera that I almost forget that I have one! Maybe that would be a good thing to work on after lunch. I have to load pictures from the card now, and it is a bit different. For me, anyway!

And More Changes!

And More Changes!

For the last while I’ve been having problems with my oxygen. It’s complicated, but finally, as of this morning, it got “fixed”.

It goes like this. The cylinders were not filling properly part of the time. My setting is 3.5, and they turned it back to 3 so that the machine would work properly…but I didn’t! This has been going on for a couple of weeks or more. We had to supply a paper trail to prove what my setting was supposed to be.

Okay? Once we got the paper trail (via computer email and fax machines,) they brought me a different machine that would handle the higher number.. Clear? Maybe not? All I really know is that it makes a big difference in how I feel with my oxygen setting at the right level for my breathing.

Here I go again… wandering all over the place.Danielle, Louise, Quinn, Norma and Elsie

I have a niece who lives in Quesnel, B.C. About five hundred miles or so from Vancouver… in the Cariboo. We hadn’t seen each other for a few years, although we’ve kept in touch by phone or emails.

I got a call to let me know that she and three of her family were coming down and would come for a visit. I thought there might be some illness requiring a doctors appointment…but no, they came to visit me!

The first visit included Ra and Debbie, my son and daughter in law and was very special… Five generations were here! Of course I’m the oldest, then my niece, Elsie, her daughter, Louise, Louise’ daughter, Danielle, and Danielle’s daughter, Quinn…a sweet little miss who is four years old.

They stayed in a hotel down by the beach, and the second day just my niece and her daughter came, while mom and the little one got to play on the beach. And the third day, they all came in the morning, and left for Vancouver at noon, and flew home the next day.

I love them dearly, and this visit proved just how important family is.  Hard to hold back tears when you think that we might never see each other again. I feel so blessed that they came to see me this time.

As my son keeps telling me “You’re a lucky girl”!

Yes, I am!


1958:08:24 career, PNE Gate designed and built by HArryPNE.

I mentioned that the PNE was on now. (Pacific National Exhibition)

That was a very busy time for us as we built some of the booths. One customer wanted a ceiling put in their booth. I got a bright idea that we could use pea vine , tacked all around the sides and gathered to the middle.

We went back out after supper, and took the boys with us.

They got pretty tired while we were trying to get the ceiling in there… so we drew up some chairs, covered them with newspaper and they went to sleep….while we struggled on. It wouldn’t drape like we  thought it should, so had to take it all down and come up with a better idea. I don’t remember what the better idea was.

Another customer was a furniture store. (Not the one that wouldn’t pay us!) We got burlap and had it dyed black and fire proofed. I cut it and sewed it together for a large drape. Our house looked like a barber shop after a full day of cutting hair! We draped the back of the fairly large booth. Mickey cut “frames” out of plywood,and even though they were flat, with some painting they looked three dimensional.

He wired large branches into the three frames…and I made large flowers from some kind of foam, and wired them onto the branches…some leaves, as well. They looked pretty good. It was a very attractive looking booth.

The first year we put the paintings in the PNE we were on our own. We were set up across from a food court, and they had an organist playing there. He got to know our favorite songs. He would look over and see that we were tired, and starting to sag a bit, so he would come on really loud with “our” song, and it helped to get through very tiring days.

The following two years we went as part of a group. MIckey had a broken leg during one of these sessions, so I had to do all the “bull” work.

Before this time, while the boys were around six or seven, we would take them to the PNE. I made sandwiches to take so we could save on food. They had a pretty good time, even though they didn’t get to ride on the train that took you around the areas.

One year we had ‘seen everything’ and were heading for the exit gates. Ra found five dollars on the ground, and was so excited… he paid for all of us to go on that train. What he didn’t know… his dad  dropped the fiver for him to find!

The PNE runs from the middle of August until Labour Day, and then School starts. For the exhibiters, it is a long stretch… we were there from before ten in the morning when the buildings opened to the public….until late in the evening. I’m not sure, but I think it was ten at night.

When I was a kid, the PNE booths would give out small boxes of their samples… that was fun to collect them and then we could play ‘store’.

The PNE parade used to go through the main part of down town Vancouver, ending up at the PNE grounds. Even that has been changed!

My husband designed the view that greeted patrons as they came to the main gate one year…., and quite a few of the booths.

Hotel Vancouver.

Hotel Vancouver

Hotel Vancouver called us…they wanted some sign work..banners for the Grey Cup (I think!) Anyway, they wanted to be sure he could paint portraits that would look like who they were supposed to be… so… we took some of his paintings down to show them.

At this time they were renovating the dining room, and while that was going on, they set up for meals on the main floor. There was an area that you had to pass through from the lobby to the dining area…The manager asked us if we would put a painting display in there. One condition… we had to raise the prices! Sales would be allowed, no commission. I doubled the prices, and Mickey kept saying ”they’l never sell.”

Mickey set up a great display. These were his black velvet paintings, so he had lights spotting them. Every night at five o’clock I put dinner on the table at home and headed for the hotel….and sat with the paintings until eleven…. Anyone that wanted to buy, just had to come to me!

1954-05 PNE Float,I sold three or four paintings that first night… when I went home , as I showed the money to my husband, I kept saying “They won’t sell, eh!”

We had that spot for three months, then a friend of the managers wanted it, so we were out. We were there long enough. I wanted some time at home with my family!

I got to know security really well… they kept an eye on the display during the day for me.

One day this woman started coming to visit me while I was there…and actually phoned the hotel to talk to me. That I put a stop to right away. She would  go in and look at the paintings for a while and then take off. She would maybe come back later.  I finally smartened up… she was using our painting display as a good spot to pick up guys, and would go to their room with them! I didn’t need that reputation to get mixed up with the paintings, or me!

I talked to security. They followed her right to the guy’s room and put a stop to it. Then he came down and with her standing there he bawled heck out of me for allowing that kind of behaviour..  Later he came and appologized  (spelling?) to me, he did it so she wouldn’t know that I had “fingered” her!

My husband had said he didn’t want  to do any more portraits. He had been charging fifty Dollars. Most of the portraits were of people who had died…and it became very depressing.  O.K At the hotel a man wanted a portrait of his daughter who had become  Nun. In the photo of her that he had, she was dressed in the Nun’s habit.

i told him that my husband really didn’t want to do portraits any more…… but he kept insisting.  Finally I said “ all right… but it will have to be one hundred and fifty dollars.’

“That’s just fine !” I wish you could have seen that portrait…it was like there was a light shining out of her face. It was beautiful, and the father was well pleased.


Another man asked me if I had a catalogue. I said “No, these are one of a kind paintings and a catalogue wouldn’t be much use.”

“That’s what I wanted to know, he said.” Over a period of time, he ordered a clown painting for each of their offices across Canada…Theatres International. They supplied the candy for the theatres.

Sign Shop

Sign Shop

Here I go again… all over the place! Want to follow along?

My husband worked for a sign shop.  He made wages for the jobs that he did, and the company “got the gravy”. He was discouraged  thinking about how much he took in for the company with his days’ work, and how little they paid him. No overtime…straight time, no matter how long he worked to get a job out on time. They showed no appreciation for his talent… and he had a lot of that.

He had served his apprenticeship with them to become a ‘Pictorial Artist’… but when the time was up, they refused to give him the papers. Jobs were difficult to come by in those days, so he stayed there until the war came along. When he came home from the army, he went  to his old working place and got his old job back.

I had complete faith in his ability to handle any of the sign or display work, including gold leaf.

We had three little kids, and ninety-six cents in the bank! We took a huge chance…and started out on our own.  It was well worth it to see his confidence in himself come back.

This was one very big reason for not buying anything that we couldn’t pay for…a very good habit to get into!

We started going looking for sign work. If I remember correctly, the first thing we got was a show card… so I went to Henderson’s Paint store and bought one sheet of show card. When we got a silk screen job, I went to Henderson’s and got one piece of Profilm to cut the stencil.

This way, we paid cash…. but when we could afford to pay for more , we saw how much difference there was if you bought in quantity.

A roll of Profilm was $21.00. Buying a sheet at a time, for three dollars…. it would have cost over a hundred dollars for that same roll!   If we bought 12 sheets of show card, it was like getting two sheets free over what we paid for a single sheet at a time. It didn’t matter, we didn’t owe anyone!1959:12 Christmas windows

One time Mickey was out on a job and ran out of something he needed, so went to one of the other paint stores that we dealt with. The young clerk would not let him have what he needed without cash.  Mickey didn’t carry much money with him, so asked for the manager.

He told the clerk to let him have anything he wanted in the store. His reference card did say ‘cash’, but meant that he ‘preferred to pay in cash’.

Time Line!

Time Line.

There is no such thing as a time line in my ramblings! If anyone is trying to figure it out I don’t think they can do it!My ‘head’ doesn’t care about “time”… when it happened… just that it did happen.

Where our house was situated on Muirfield Drive was on a crescent. We were the fourth house down from the main part of the Drive. When we moved there it was all bush across the street from the main part of the drive.

The Minister of the Church phoned me to see if I knew of any molestations that had happened in the bush. I phoned the police and said I knew they wouldn’t release any of that information to me, but would they release it to the people that were responsible for clearing the bush if there was proof. It was cleared out, and the school and a park replaced the bush.1954:07 Gary, wagon

By the time Ra was ready to go to school, the bush had been cleared and a school built. It was  David Oppenheimer, an elementary school, going from Grade one to grade six.  Our boys came home for lunch every day.

Here I go a…wandering again!…. From the time we were married any cooking I had done was on a wood and coal stove…..Muirfield was different. We bought an electric Range. I loved it!  I loved baking!

Before moving there we had lived in a basement suite. This was about 1955. Gary was three.  There was a wood stove. We bought ‘dry’ wood that wasn’t. Had to have wood in the oven to dry it out enough so that it would burn!

Oh yes… that basement suite… One night we were both sound asleep and were awakened with a start as the bed went through the floor.

If you had kids, landlords disliked you immediately… and three kids made it hard to find another place to live! But we did find one.

We moved there on Ra’s Birthday…I don’t remember which one..either four or five….and had the party the following weekend. The night before as I was working in the kitchen getting things ready, I heard someone out in the lane trying to start our car… called my husband and he got out there in time to chase them off!1954:05 Ramon, front steps

I did my mom and dad’s wash for them every week…also     ironing and mending. The washing machine had to hook up to the kitchen sink…didn’t leave much space! And with two extra people there it made the suite look even smaller than it was.

It was a wash day for Mom and Dad. and Central Mortgage and Housing  (CMHC) came to check out our application for one of the veterans homes. They wanted to be sure we really needed one! Boy, did we need one…We qualified for a home ..and were given a key to take a look at it. Brand new,,,It looked like a castle to me!

We packed up what little we had and moved in as fast as we could.

1955:08 Gary, smell the flowersThe boys grew up there. Maybe we did, too! We lived there for thirty five years.

Play Time

Play Time.

When my sons were small, I didn’t just ‘turn them loose’ as so many of the mothers did. At first we didn’t have a fence, so I would sit on the back porch steps with a cup of coffee, and keep an eye on them while they were playing. I insisted that they have nap time as that was when I could get most of my work done!

When we did get the fence up, I still sat out there, watching what was going on. I would not allow much older kids to come in to play with them.

I can still remember one day that my aunt and uncle were visiting me…there was a knock at the door and this woman started tearing into me because I wouldn’t let her thirteen year old son in the yard to play with my four, five, and six year old boys..I finally got through to her that I had company and would talk to her later.

That brings up another memory….The boys and I had been for a walk and were heading down the lane a  little ways from home. I spotted a bank bag… one they cary money in, so I picked it up and took it home…and called the police. I had to show them where I found it ( we thought it had been thrown out of a car as the robbers fled the scene. You guessed it…. it was behind their house!

She accused me of telling the police that they robbed the bank! We never did become close friends!

If you have read my blog posts before, you will know that I wander..!

I’m not sure what I started out to write!1961:07 Our Pool!

One thing leads to another.

Our yard was fairly wide, and was fenced all along the lane.. It was a hot summer, so my husband took some plywood that we had…and a large sheet of plastic. He set up the plywood and  draped the plastic over…so that we could now have a pool! It took all night with our hose and our neighbours hose to fill it!

It was shallower at one end, and not too deep at the other. My husband would come home from work and go in there with the kids before supper! The boys had a wonderful time playing in there. One friend at a time was allowed to come in to join them.

After about a month, a fourteen year old girl slashed the plastic from the lane… and was very lucky she didn’t get hurt when all that water took off! End of pool!

What Would You Do?

What would  you do?

Three little kids, and with a sum total of 96 cents in the bank… OK. Time to take a big chance… we would start our own business and the profit made from his sign painting would come to him, not some other guy he was working for.  And, we would have complete say over what we did.

We bought materials as needed, and paid cash for everything. Paying cash for everything was our way of life… we never bought what we couldn’t pay for. That way, we never got in ‘over our heads’.

I was the bookkeeper, and the ‘goffer’ and any other ‘hand’ that was needed! I refused to learn how to clean a silk screen… messy job! I could cut a screen if needed, but not as good as my husband.

One time I told my husband that I was going to phone the head office of Super Value. He said, “They don’t want to talk to you.”  Yes they did!!

I asked if they would like anything painted on their windows for a special time?1961-12painted windows

Great idea!

My husband had to do a sketch of what we would paint… I remember it was their eleventh anniversary and we had eleven stores to paint as a trial. They wanted to know how much time it would take.  I was the one that took the sketches to head office, so I got to know them (and they, me). From there on we did windows for them in the spring and at Christmas as well as special times.

Other stores liked the idea, and had us do their windows as well. Not just food stores! Banks, hardware stores, clothing stores, barber shops, etc. One Christmas we did 105 stores!

We had fun doing them, even though we were working. We stopped doing them when we started selling our paintings… his and hers!

The photo is of our front room windows, with our three sons standing in front of them.

A New Painting.

A New Painting


As  you probably know it has been a while since I’ve done any painting. I’ve been “itching to” draw, and that includes painting.


Yesterday I did a drawing, and today I got busy and painted it. I was happy that I had finally done one, so decided to turn it into one of my greetings cards. This picture is one of the greeting cards.

Common yellow throat.T.T.IMG

Management here where I live have put in a small convenience ‘store’ for the tenants. A great idea for those of us who have difficulty going shopping….or who just need one or two things.


Tenants asked them to carry greeting cards… and management asked me to put my line of cards in!


I wont make a fortune as the cards are only three dollars each…covers my expenses and gives me a little profit…also allows me to continue making them.