Feel-good Friday: Picnic in the Park

Some say life is no picnic.  I say make a picnic part of your life.

Summer isn’t complete without one.

Essentials: blanket, wicker picnic basket, sandwiches, cherries, cider, salad….dog.

A little history on the subject:

The word “picnic” comes from the French language where it became a popular pastime in France after the Revolution (1789) when royal parks became open to the public for the first time.

The term derives from pique-nique, used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine. The concept of a picnic therefore had the connotation of a meal to which everyone contributed something.

Picnic may be based on the verb piquer which means ‘pick’ or ‘peck’ with the rhyming nique meaning “thing of little importance”, or on “pique un niche” meaning “pick a place”, an isolated spot where family or friends could enjoy a meal together.

During the Victorian Age picnics were ways for people to escape the restrictions of etiquette and formality and offered the rare opportunity for young men and women to spend time together in the open air. They could also be quite elaborate since a picnic for twenty people might feature sandwiches, fruit, a selection of cheeses, and a variety of baked food!

The modern-day picnic is much less complicated.

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

 

 

Monday Mood: my hood

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood…

Love, Peace, Wisdom, Happiness, Courage, Tranquility.  Everything we need for a Happy Life.

Love breathes life into the heart and brings grace to the soul.

To being Peace to the Earth, strive to make your own life peaceful.

Wisdom: knowledge, intuition and experience combine to guide us in thought and deed.

Happiness: when one’s spiritual needs are met by an untroubled inner life. Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.

Courage: not the absence of fear or despair, but the strength to conquer them.

Tranquility: the peace that comes when energies are in harmony, relationships are in balance.

Photos: d. king

Feel GOOD Friday – Passover – Easter

It’s finally here!  Very Good Friday indeed.  Not only a holiday, but the day my 14 day mandatory stay-at-home Covid-19 quarantine finally ends.  Of course I’ll still stand my distance when outside, but I can now go for long walks in fresh air. I promise never to take walking along the beach right outside my home for granted ever again.

Photo: Tamara Gauthier

The past two weeks went pretty smoothly with my two dogs and my boyfriend, all things considered.  We kept quarantine quarreling to a minimum although I cannot pretend we didn’t have a few trying moments.  Shades of a shot-gun wedding! 

For dog walking a good friend of mine who lives around the corner walked Layla as she requires more exercise than Jia Jia.  Then she sent me the pictures to prove how much fun they had while I was holed up at home.

 Actually to tell you the truth, it wasn’t too bad.  Fourteen days goes by fast  even when you don’t have any plans. I started getting used to not having any reason to get out of my Pajamas.  I started cooking again and getting creative with ingredients. Some of the things I made turned out pretty good considering the ingredient substitutes for some of the meals.  Things like using Chinese vegetables for making Mexican, etc. Using vegetable rice to make Risotto and smooth peanut butter to make peanut butter cookies. Crunchy is much better.  I cooked a lot and the not having to go out to get groceries myself meant having to be more creative with what I already had in the house.

Luckily the weather has been mostly sunny, so we’ve been able to get some natural Vitamin D by sitting on the upstairs deck.  For exercise, moving plants and furniture around have helped to a degree. 

But the icing on the cake was taking part in an on-line choreographed dance class from The Dance Lab (a London, England based dance studio) via Zoom.  Courtesy of my good friend Masako who lives in London.  The lesson was 8:30 pm London time, 12:30 pm Vancouver time.   

I joined Brazilian Samba lesson which was lots of fun.  Our instructor Brian Dibnah was excellent. 

Brian Dibnah. Nice to look at. Even if you can’t follow you can look at him for one hour.

 Brian has a good sense of humour too.  He went slowly at first with the moves while we watched and then tried to copy bit by bit until it was formed into a dance routine set to music. We could see the other dancers on the split screen gallery view of our computers. Little dancing icons.

Brings social distancing to a new level.  We were social distance dancing. 

Here’s a sneak peek from The Dance Lab Facebook Page.  (btw, the Canadian he mentions; that’s me!). https://www.facebook.com/thedancelabputney/

If anyone is interested here’s the link to join.  You can pay via PayPal.

http://www.thedancelabputney.com/bookings/

Have a Happy Passover & Easter! 

Monday Mood: March

Let the magic of March begin

It’s in the air! There’s something about the approaching of Spring that makes us want to make a fresh start.  Flowers are beginning to bloom, weather will be warmer, our wardrobe will become lighter and brighter, and we have the urge to clean house. To lighten our load.

Everyone needs a little inspiration now and then! Whether its just to get through the day or to change your outlook in life, make a big decision or start something new.

If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. – Thomas Jefferson

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. –  Mark Twain

I’m not sure who said this one but it’s so true: Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.

Have a most amazing month!

 

Climate Change – Colder Weather Wear

Coveting Cover Ups: from Peacoats to Parkas and all kinds of cozy sweaters.  Here are some chic and practical style options to consider for this time of year:

Jlo often chooses a fur lined parka when making her casual runs.  Wise fashion choice.

Try Houndstooth, Animal print, Max Mara’s Teddy Coat and/or Faux Fur if you don’t have anything like this in your wardrobe.  It will make going out in the cold more fun.

Do you have a favorite style?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Mood: the Calm after the Storm

I’ve driven by them countless times yet never took the time until only recently to visit a few of the astonishing  Buddhist temples of Vancouver.  What a humbling experience, especially after having come from the shopping meccas of the likes of IKEA, COSTCO and Home Depot on a dull and rainy afternoon.  I’m not kidding when I say those places gave me a headache, however my mood changed and I immediately felt calmer and more relaxed after stepping inside a much more peaceful environment. Not to mention a whole different world.  Here are some photos I took of the impressive Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist temples.  I hope you like them.

 Thrangu Monastery Canada

Located in Richmond, British Columbia, it is the first traditional Tibetan Monastery in the Pacific Northwest.

The Monastery teaches in the Buddhist tradition that one needs to accumulate both merit and wisdom in order to generate the auspicious circumstances for realization.  photo: d. king

The Monastery serves as The Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s seat in North America. Here, Rinpoche continues his teaching activities in the West. Students come to study and practice under his direction in a traditional monastic setting.      Photo: d. king

The International Buddhist Temple

Photo: d. king

This truly impressive complex of gardens, ornate buildings, shrines and statues of Buddha is also located in Richmond, B.C. Modeled after Beijing’s Forbidden City in China, the temple showcases elaborate carvings and stonework, beautiful Chinese gardens, and art gallery-quality paintings, works of calligraphy, ceramic murals and sculptures.  Totally exquisite!  Let’s walk through the garden:

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

I like this quote: How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours – Wayne Dyer

 

Creator Talk: Calling the Shots

Meet the Showstoppers:  FIVE FABULOUS FEMALES in charge.

YEAH LADIES

This is the first time I’ve attended a creator talk as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).  What was so special about this one is that it was with a panel of five fabulous female powerhouses (names below) responsible for creating and producing some of the current top rated TV shows.

Tim Goodman, chief TV critic from the Hollywood Reporter was asking the questions and it was very inspiring to hear what everyone had to say about the challenges and responsibilities, good and bad, of  being a showrunner.  From manipulating scripts and mapping out plot lines to what they look for when staffing a writers room, they provided an insider’s peek into the dynamics of working in this competitive industry.

They also talked about what they’re currently watching and what excites them.  And they were funny.

Session Participants

Gloria Calderon Kellett
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, One Day at a Time
Sera Gamble
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, You
Alexandra Cunningham
Creator/Executive Producer, Dirty John
Jami O’Brien
Creator/Executive Producer, NOS4A2
Jennica Harper
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, Jann
Tim Goodman
Chief TV Critic, The Hollywood Reporter
Presented by
Pacific Screenwriting Program
You had the power all along my dear.”
—Glenda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Monday Mood: Wake up

Satisfaction and fulfillment are essential to living your best life. You can be satisfied when you meet your own expectations. You cannot please everyone and there will always be someone who is happy with a lot less than what you have.

Words from a wise woman

Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way.

One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves, because, for some reason or other, we don’t feel that kind of satisfaction in a full and complete way.

Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness.

We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.

– Pema Chodron