Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Crutches Story and a Beautiful Orchid Planted by Mother Nature

Thank you everyone for your comments and concern. Unfortunately I am on crutches permanently. I had a hip replacement surgery done in 2010 and for the first 6 months things were going okay except when I sat down I could feel the metal pushing against my muscle and then one day when I was walking our dogs and I was using 2 canes and it became so painful that I could not walk without crutches. At the same time I was also diagnosed with Severe Osteoporosis and they found two vertebrae with compression fractures that just added to the problem. So for now it is crutches.

On to a happier topic. We have a tree in our backyard that looks more dead than alive but it is covered in different types of Orchids, Bromeliads, and Ferns.

This week we noticed that one bunch of the orchids were going to bloom so this is how they looked the first day.

On the second day they opened and looked amazing, but the next day all the blooms had died. Oh well they were pretty while they lasted.

Saturday, August 22, 2015



I would like to say I am sorry to those who follow my blog for my lack of postings so far this year because I know how it must annoy people who check in because that is exactly how I feel when I visit a blog and there are no postings for a long period of time.


That for at least the next six months I will post something new at least once a week. The posts will be about the wonderful nature that surrounds me, inspirations, life and of course some of the crafts I am working on.

My partner went for a walk last week to see the waterfalls that are about 2 miles from our house and took a lot of pictures so I could see what it was like. Here is what they look like.

Here is the reason that I could not go with him. 

There is something about rope suspension bridges and crutches that just do not work. I hope you enjoyed this and I will see you soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Member of the Family

Hi Everyone

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our Family.


Nigel is a Standard Schnauzer and is a ball of energy. Unfortunately he is a puppy and needs to be house trained. It is funny how you forget the work that is involved to do this and Nigel seems to be real dumb about this. If you want to feel your age get a puppy because it does not take long before you realize that you do not have the patience or energy that you once did so you really have to remind yourself very often that it is worth it and that you are going to end up with a well behaved loyal companion.
Well it is time for a dog walk so I have to go. I promise that the next post will be about Tatting and how I am progressing with the Jan Stawasz 32 inch doily.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rainy Season

Hi Everyone.
Well rainy season was supposed to start in mid April and normally you would receive a downpour almost everyday but for the first year that people can remember we have only had rain 4 or 5 times. One thing that you have to realize is that there is a rainfall and then there is a Panamanian rainfall. The difference is that a regular rainfall is measured in millimeters and a Panamanian rainfall is measured in centimeters. It is amazing how hard it can rain here. In a matter of minutes there can be an inch of water sitting on top of the grass. This year we are not receiving those rains and they are badly needed. It is crazy the changes that are happening to regular weather patterns because of global warming.
On a happier note. I have put out a feeding station for the wild birds which is covered with banana and papaya each day and all the birds are having their babies right now so the feeding station is very busy with mother's getting food for their young and bringing them to the station to eat. One who is very busy is this woodpecker and the food of choice for the babies is banana's.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tatting and Spanish

When we first were planning on moving to Panama I thought I would teach myself to speak Spanish before we moved. Unfortunately I did not realize how much of my time was going to be taken up by planning the move so it did not happen. I have finally reached a point in time where I have decided that I need to make learning to speak Spanish a priority so I am trying to devote 30 minutes a day to doing this. We shall see how it goes with this old brain of mine. 
Now as promised a scan of my tatting WIP (work in progress). The pattern is from the book Tatting Theory and Patterns by Jan Stawasz and the pattern is called Doily 1 and the finished size when tatted in size 10 thread is a diameter of 80cm so mine will be a little smaller because I am using size 20 thread.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

They are Growing and News on Tatting.

Well our three little ones are growing fast and the hand feeding is almost done. It has been a lot of work for Gregg but it was a good thing to keep him busy.

On the Tatting side I just received 2 books by Jan Stawasz. The tatting patterns are very nice and his method of Tatting is interesting. It is sad that such a talented Tatter has passed away. 
In my next post I will include a picture of my work in progress. I promise.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It's a Boy, It's a Girl, It's a Boy

People will tell you that when you retire things slow down and your life is quieter. Wrong, we are so busy now that the weeks are just flying by because we are trying to get used to a whole new way of life. One thing that we are learning is that Panamanians take their holidays very seriously and they take a lot of them. Trying to get anything done here is a challenge as you have to fit it between the holidays. The Christmas holidays start the last week of November and go the second week of January and then there is another holiday in January. February had a holiday or two. Easter holidays start on Thursday and so on. You get the picture. Another thing is that all holidays are celebrated with fireworks which go off at any time of the day and night. It takes some getting used to.

We have had an addition of 3 babies to our house in the past two weeks and here they are.

3 baby Yellow Fronted Amazons which my partner is hand feeding. With there scheduled feedings and constantly cleaning it feels like we have become parents again. They are really cute and growing up so fast it is unbelievable. Well that is all for now. I will try and blog a bit more frequently in the future.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Life Is So Busy

Sorry it has been so long since my last post but retirement life seems to busier than before. It takes a lot of adjusting when moving to a new country especially when you are not fluent in the language nor used to there way of life. It seems that in Panama there is a holiday almost every week and boy do these people like to party. The weather and scenery here are unbelievable and just this week on our way to town we saw a Toucan perched in a tree. Right now we are in dry season so things are starting to look a little worse for wear but rainy season starts next month so things will green up in a hurry. It seems that every few days something new comes into bloom and right now the mango trees are covered in fruit. The only problem is that there are three of them on our property and each is the size of a large maple tree so we are going to have thousands of mangos raining down on our heads soon. I have included a few pictures of the beautiful hibiscus I have seen. Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Proper Species of Birds and Life in Panama

Hi everyone, sorry I have not posted sooner but retired life in Panama seems to be really busy. This past week has been taken up by trying how to get my new oven to work and tracking down my medications. When we bought the stove they told us that it worked on propane (wrong) it needs a conversion kit to run on propane but it took a week to figure it out so now we wait for the part. As for my medications I needed to refill 5 prescriptions. I go see a doctor and get the prescriptions no problem. But when I go to the first pharmacy they can only partially fill one. After going to seven pharmacies I still have one and a half prescriptions to fill. Yes I should have remembered that I am living in a third world country. This week Gregg and I are off to Medellin, Colombia for a short adventure. 
Now for the birds and I have a couple to add.

Crimson-backed Tanager

Blue/Gray Tanager

Grey Crowned Yellow Throat

Barred Antshrike/Female

Barred Antshrike/Male

Plain-Breasted Ground Dove

Baltimore Oriole

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Hi Everyone. I would like to thank those who have left comments and I will try my best to find out the species of birds we are seeing and update on the next post. Life here is very exciting and everyday brings a new adventure. Today we decided to put out a bird feeder for the humming bird that visits the flowers beside our porch and we were wondering how long it would take for the hummingbird to find it. We put it up and decided to sit out for a bit and even with us sitting on the porch it only took 10 minutes for him to find it. By this afternoon we have had 3 hummingbirds find it. Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures soon. 
Now for our visitors. The other day we were looking out our front window and what did we see. This.

Yes it is a sloth with her baby. They stayed for the day but were gone the next morning. The wildlife is amazing even though we are close to town.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Colorful Visitors and the Winds

In my first post from El Valle I was talking about the strong winds we get well last night they were so strong that they blew off part of the roof and this morning the winds have not let up so it should be an interesting day. Below is a few pictures I took the other day while enjoying my morning coffee on our porch. These colorful visitors were all around one of our orange tree's.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Plant life in El Valle and Our New Home.

Hi everyone.
 I was talking in the last post about how lush the plant life is here in El Valle and it has to be seen to be believed. Below is a picture of a dead and live tree both covered in orchids, ferns, mosses and bromeliads planted by mother nature.

If I had to describe our rented house in one word it would be HUGE. It is 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms a sunroom, large open kitchen and a living room, dining area of about 30 feet by 24  feet with 18 foot ceilings. It has a dining table that seats 12 people and a bar that would seat 5 people. Below are a few pictures.

There are 3 covered porches with the largest being about 20x30 feet. The breeze blows through the 56 windows that are opened each morning and closed each night. It feels strange to have all our windows open each day because living in Canada you were lucky to have your windows open 7 times a year because it was either too cold or too hot. Here the weather is great and we are loving every bit of it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year and A New Life in El Valle, Panama

 My Partner Gregg and I have now officially retired and moved to El Valle, Panama.
Never again will we have to endure a Canadian winter. Here in El Valle, Panama we have 2 seasons wet and dry. The average daily temperature is about 27 and the night time temperatures average 22 and it is like this year round. The one thing that is really different is the winds we get here are crazy. Last night they were blowing so hard they were blowing furniture across the patio. The town of EL Valle is in the crater of a dormant volcano. It is the second biggest inhabited crater in the world. Located about 2 1/2 hours from Panama City at an elevation of about 600 meters and with a population of 5,000 this tropical wonder has to be seen to be believed. The town is surrounded by lush green mountains and there is vegetation everywhere you look. Every tree that you look at is covered with orchids, bromeliads and ferns planted by mother nature.
This year my blog will have lots of pictures from here and some tatting here and there.

This is the view that we get to look at each morning as we have our breakfast on one of the covered patio's. Below is a scan of the snowflakes that I made and gave to friends this Christmas. This is a Celtic Snowflake and the pattern is from Ruth Perry. Thank you Ruth these made impressive gifts for my friends and they loved them. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brantford Parks and Moving to El Valle, Panama

Here is a picture from our garden this year.
Hi everyone sorry I have not posted for a few days now but this will be my last post for for about 3 weeks as we are moving to Panama to retire. It is going to take a while to get internet service figured out so the next time I blog it will be from El Valle, Panama. Two days to go and counting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brantford Parks and Wednesday's Inspiration

"The secret of joy in work is contained in
one word-excellence. To know how to
do something well is to enjoy it."
-Pearl S. Buck

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Brantford Parks and Tuesday's Inspiration

Outdoor art exhibit at Glenhyrst Art Gallery. This sculpture is made out of welded rebar which is usually used to reinforce concrete in cement structures.

"To act is to affirm the worth of an end."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Brantford Parks and Monday's Inspiration

"There are times to stay put, and what you want
will come to you, and there are times to go out
into the world and find such a thing for yourself."
-Lemony Snicket

Friday, November 14, 2014

Brantford Parks and Friday's Inspiration

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly,
despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow,
but through it all I still know quite certainly that
just to be alive is a grand thing."
-Agatha Christie

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Brantford Parks and Thursday's Inspiration

"Never, never rest contented with
any circle of ideas, but always be certain
that the wider one is still possible."
-Pearl Bailey

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In Memory of Ali and Tuesday's Inspiration

"No matter how good you get
you can always get better
and that's the exciting part."
-Tiger Woods

After being a source of entertainment, companionship comfort and healing has passed away. Although in leaving you leave a hole in our hearts, we will strive to forget that and instead remember all the years you brought joy to our lives.