Feel-good Friday: the RULES of LIFE

A little lightness going into the weekend…

Jeanne retained sharp mental faculties. When she was asked on her 120th birthday what kind of future she expected to have. Her reply, “A very short one.”

The image is a piece of art by L. Lichtenfells

Here are the Rules of Life from Jeanne Louise Calment:

“I’m in love with wine.”

“All babies are beautiful.”

“I think I will die of laughter.”

“I’ve got only one wrinkle, and I’m sitting on it.”

“I never wear mascara; I laugh until I cry often.”

“If you can’t change something, don’t worry about it.”

“Always keep your smile. That’s how I explain my long life.”

“I see badly, I hear badly, and I feel bad, but everything’s fine.”

“I have a huge desire to live and a big appetite, especially for sweets.”

“I have legs of iron, but to tell you the truth, they’re starting to rust and buckle a bit.”

“I took pleasure when I could. I acted clearly and morally and without regret. I’m very lucky.”

“Being young is a state of mind, it doesn’t depend on one’s body. I’m actually still a young girl, it’s just that I haven’t looked so good for the past 70 years.”

At the end of one interview, the journalist said, “Madame, I hope we will meet again sometime next year.” To which Jeanne replied, “Why not? You’re not that old; you’ll still be here!”

Have a wonderful weekend.  See you back here in September (or maybe before).



Alimentaria Mexicana

Alimentaria Mexicana, located at Granville Island, is second to none for Mexican food and cocktails here in Vancouver.

In actuality it is second to none for what I’ve tasted and tested anywhere outside Oaxaco; known as the gastronomic capital of Mexico. That’s saying a lot. I went there with my friend Rosa who is from Mexico City and she said the same thing.  You’ll need to make a reservation as this place is becoming very popular and gets filled up quickly,  Now I know why.  Vegetarian options available.

The cantina offers exceptional quality, locally and internationally sourced artisanal products and provisions. And a few other extras…

Coming soon!


The first dedicated tortilleria in Canada.  Handcraft artisanal tortillas comprising non-GMO native corn that is ethically sourced and traceable to families from an array of First Nations communities in Oaxaca.


The mercado will offer a curated selection of Mexican and Canadian specialty provisions as well as handmade textiles, pottery, tortilla presses and more.

Soon we’ll be able to pop by the cute ‘El Caminero’ take-out window and grab a bite to take and enjoy in the park, on the beach or in our own backyards.

Taken from Website:

Behind every chile, kernel of corn and native grain  sourced from Mexico are stories with thousands of years of heritage, genetics and biodiversity attached to them. 


Location: 1596 Johnston St. (across from the main market entrance – Granville Island).

For reservations: (236.521.8440)

Only Churros for dessert but with dulce de leche it’s enough to complete the evening.


Photos: d. king


Vintage Fundraising Fashion


Everyone I know has been busy cleaning out their closets lately.  Not necessarily to make way for more clothes/shoes/accessories although  but because we women have become to realize that we don’t need so much stuff.

Ethical and sustainable fashion is a growing movement worldwide.  Fashion blogs are talking about affordable fashion and  more conscious style minimalism.  Here in Vancouver we have a gently used boutique that fundraises for the Vancouver Hospice Society.  The Vancouver Hospice is where my late husband spent his remaining days four years ago.  Believe me when I say that this topic is not at the top of my list of things to talk about, however it was the most caring place to be for end of life care.  They have an amazing staff and a support system that continues after your loved one has passed.

Vancouver Hospice Society (VHS) was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in 2003 by a group of dedicated individuals who recognized the need for a society that could advocate for people and families facing end-of-life issues.

A few years later, volunteers Dell Whelan and Jenny Shaw spearheaded the concept of a charity shop as a fundraising arm of VHS. The first HOB (Hospice Opportunity Boutique) opened its doors in 2006 selling quality gently used women’s clothing. HOB Too followed later, selling vintage treasures, housewares and furniture.

Vancouver Hospice  – located in the residential neighbourhood of Shaughnessy.

Both stores rely solely on items donated from the community.

They are volunteer operated by two separate committees with over 140 volunteers in total. All funds raised go directly to VHS’s 8 bed hospice home on Granville Street.



If you’re in Vancouver check them out:

VISIT: The HOB Thrift Boutique

2236 West 41st Ave






The Red Accordian

THIS PLACE is considered one of Vancouver’s Best Kept Secrets.  And like most secrets you want to keep it all to yourself…

but sometimes you can’t help but share the news.  Like right now.  So get in the mood because if you’re…

feeling nostalgic? Or; feel like leaving the comfort of your home to go to the comfort of a place that feels like an extension of your home? Only one with amazing cocktails and menu?  Is this beginning to sound like an ad?  Its not!

It’s the Red Accordian. It’s my new comfort zone.  It’s here in Vancouver’s downtown West End. I’m happy to endorse it.

I love so many things about this place.  For starters I like the sign that points the direction as you walk around trying to locate it.  I love the homey (not homely) building. I was last there when it was a French restaurant called “Le Gavroche” many years ago.

The ambiance now is a warm combination of part bordello, part your grandparents furniture, part old movie set.  There’s a friendly bartender (co-owner Jaime took care of us) and lots of nooks & crannies to sit yourself down.  Not only that; but an outdoor deck, a downstairs patio and a lounge.  Good service, good food (our bread that came with the best hummus ever was actually fried dough – I would live on this, although I know better). I’m not kidding when I say it was that good.

They have a wine list however the cocktail list was too intriguing not to try. I had Grandma’s Garden Gin & Tonic Copa with odd society wallflower (light pink) gin, fever tree aromatic tonic and flower petals. My friend ordered long table cucumber gin, fentiman’s tonic, cucumber ribbon and pea tendrils.  See what I’m talking about?


As for the name of the place…it’s named after the accordion that used to belong to the mother of the Serbian wife of the other co-owner who’s name is Cale.  I feel nostalgic because the only instrument my dad played was an accordion.  He once came home with a red accordion for me when I was very young  (I know; I know…like what was he thinking?) so to indulge him I took a few lessons and could actually play a few tunes. Until I got tired of it.

But I won’t get tired of this Red Accordian – it’s a tough place to leave.
















Photos: d. king


Address: 1616 Alberni Street, Vancouver, B.C.

August Reflections – new beginnings

Can you believe it?  The first week of August is almost over.  Or; the second week of August is almost here.

Any way you look at it everyone seems to relish the month of August…soaking up the remains of summer.  Maybe it’s because school starts in September and people begin to get ready for Fall.  In any event, the month ahead is when many people begin to get more serious about…all kinds of things.

I’ve started early.  I’ve started my New Year as of August 1st even with a few new resolutions.  And I feel really good about it.  Out with the old, In with the new so to speak.  Some unexpected changes have occurred.  And just like that…a new beginning has emerged.  Sometimes something pushes you to get over the hump.  You never see it coming but in hindsight it all makes sense.  Listen to your intuition (it’s always right) and if you get red flags pay attention. As Maya Angelou wisely said “when someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”  Try not to let them show you time and time again before you realize who they were all along.  Personality is different than Character. Someone with a strong personality might not have strength of character.  Someone else can be quiet and unassuming but have a trusting character.  Yes; there’s a big difference.  Both are important but if I had to choose – character would win hands down!

So without looking back I choose to forge ahead and make new beginnings.  This website is still a passion and will carry on (with more content next month; after all, I want to enjoy what’s left of August) and I’ll introduce something new and find out where it leads.

Oh; and I learned about Lughnasadh (prounounced lunasa) exactly on August 1st.

On the first day of August a little hummingbird appeared out of nowhere while I was sitting outside enjoying coffee and laughing with a friend. He flapped around us for about 30 seconds before flitting off – perhaps he felt the positive energy. My feeder wasn’t even out and I hadn’t seen one for a few months.  Hummingbirds represent joy, healing, good luck, messages from spirits, and other special qualities. An uplifting sign.

So getting back to Lughnasadh…celebrated halfway between summer solstice and autumn equinox.  It’s the so-called festival of light which ushers in the harvest season to celebrate with friends and family.

Lughnasadh is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and has pagan origins. The festival itself is named after the god Lugh. A Gaelic event that historically was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

And also very important: the festival is also a time for change, rebirth (not in the sense of physical death, but death of what we no longer need on our path) and thus for the new beginning.  Ahhh yes!

Therefore, a straw doll is often burned on August 1. It stands as a symbol of evil, the dark, the shadow. Burned also because the element of fire also stands for the light. And Lughnasadh is the festival of light. And August 1st is the beginning of the harvest of fruits.

And when we have reaped the harvest, then we are prepared for the dark and cold winter. We spend it in the close circle of our self-chosen family. We use it to gather new strength and discuss new ideas.

So here’s to strength of character, new ideas, growth and harmony.  Oh; and the harvest.

PS: Speaking of harvest – I have a harvest of home grown tomatoes that are starting to ripen.  That’s a story in itself.  I’m growing both beefsteak and little grape tomatoes.  I’ve been tending my garden for a few months now…only to find out that as soon as they began to turn red a few bites were taken out of 4 tomatoes.  Oh those crows!  No problem – I have lots more where that came from, so off to Canadian Tire I go to buy  bird netting.  Then my boyfriend made a trellis around the plants which when he was finished included not only the stretch netting, but also wire hangers and scotch tape.  As you can only imagine, I wasn’t fond of the aesthetics.  But if it kept the crows away I’d take it down once all the tomatoes were eaten.  Then that evening we were invited next door to a friend’s house for dinner.  My boyfriend decided to go back into my place to get something else to drink.  I went home to find out what was taking him so long.  He took longer than expected because he had to loosen a mouse from the netting as he was eating the tomatoes (the mouse; not the boyfriend – at least that’s what he told me!).  I didn’t bother to find out what is sold to keep mice, rats and/or racoons away because

the tomato project will not continue. 

To be continued…