Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Festival of Light--Here and There

It's Solstice time, it's Christmas time, and coloured lights are shining everywhere now on shrubberies and trees and houses here in Canada. It's the part I like best about this year I sometimes think. Despite the fact that I won't climb about in the cold and storms to bedeck my own house, I will happily admire the neighbours, and content myself with the lighting of candles. Besides, I feel like I've already just celebrated in a festival of light that moved and amazed me.

In November, I witnessed a beautiful spectacle along the banks of the Ganges River.

On the night of the full moon in the month of Kartik, the gods descend to earth to celebrate in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, and the people there welcome them in a festival known as Dev Deepawali (or sometimes Kartik Purnima). Candles and earthen lamps known as diyas line the ghats (steps down to the river) and the many, many temples at the river's edge are hung with lights and decorations. Miles of temples!

I am in a hired rowboat, one of hundreds, maybe thousands out on the Ganges tonight. Varanasi is a pilgrimage city, home to millions, and a good portion of the populations has turned out for the celebration both on land and water. The gathering of boats is so great that flower-sellers and food-merchants are able to jump from vessel to vessel with ease.

We have bought special votive candles from a young boy that are circled with marigold flowers. When we set these floating candles out on the river (make a wish!) to drift like tiny lanterns I am fondly reminded of the times at home when I've set candles on the river at home on the winter solstice.

But unlike the quiet and icy peacefulness of remembered Yuletides, this celebration is filled with the clanging of bells and gongs, the chanting of Brahmin priests performing the fire aartis by the river's edge, and wild Indian flute and drum music broadcast with loudspeakers over the dark water. There is the sudden and constant pistol-shots of firecrackers going off at close range, launched from the prow of a neighbouring boat, there are crackling bursts of fireworks, and shouts from the shore as a large paper lantern released into the air lodges in a tree and sets it alight, endangering the building it grows beside.

The Youtube clip below is short (and not my own), but gives you an idea of the soundtrack of that night.

It was chaoes. It was magic. :)
And somehow, thousands of miles from home, I felt very, er, uh, Christmasy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm Back From India and Shovellin' Snow

I'm home again!

Well, most everybody knows that already, but few could tell from looking at my poor neglected blog. The good news (well, I like to think of it that way) is that I took about two thousand photos while in India and Nepal and so I have plenty of things to post soon. Very soon. Um, I just have to go shovel the blasted driveway again. :)

I leave you with a few pictures from a very marvellous and thought-provoking trip, and wish you a very Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Week till We Go

The last week before I leave on a trip I go into list-making mode with a fury.

On my List of Things to Do Before We Go there is a eclectic bunch of tasks ranging from the fairly significant (confirm flights and make copy of passport pages/visas) to the fairly trifling ( take back library books and paint toe-nails pink).

That last item is actually something I don't want to forget--here in Canada it is no longer sandal-wearing weather, but I've been following the weather forecasts for India and Nepal and this morning it was 34 degrees Celsius in Delhi.

Also I need to: clean out the fridge, bring in all the clay pots in from the garden, do a huge laundry, pack my bag (this may be the lightest pack so far!), confirm with various wonderful friends who are dropping us off and picking us up at the ferry next Tuesday, find something to read on the airplane, make a rupee to dollars conversion table, make something to bring to Sherry's potluck party, and er, you know, breathe deeply.

There's other stuff on the list, but you get the picture.

This last week before we leave finds me poring over traveller reviews of the hotels we have booked ---anything with the words "miserable hovel" or "cockroaches" needs to be reconsidered!

Also, I find myself desperately trying to avoid the stomach flu that is circulating at work while at the same time shopping for immodium tablets for the inevitable upset that people who pick India as a holiday destination will most likely encounter.

I've been reading, reading, reading about the places I'm going to be: Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Lumbini, Pokhara, Kathmandu......

I'm spending a week in the Kathmandu Valley! And last night Jeff's mom came over with a little gift---money ear-marked for a small chartered plane flight over Mount Everest. Between that, and my own mom's gift of money for two theatre nights in London on the way back home I can't help but feel that presents don't get much cooler. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

As well, Ritika, my friend in the village of Aru Bari outside of Kathmandu is sending little excited emails to me. I've never met her, but I'm really glad I am.

I'm getting those little travel butterflies.

List of Wondrous things I Want to Do

See the giant fruit bats that hang out in trees in Kathmandu---bonus points if I can see them flying out of those trees at just the right time at dusk.

Breathe in some Himalayan air.

Meet a sadhu, an Indian holy man.

Eat three things I've never tried: momos (Tibetan-style dumplings) for sure, but I'm game for anything that is not viscera of some sort.

Ride down the Ganges River at dawn (or dusk) in the ancient city of Varanasi--this is a city so old that it was a contemporary of Thebes, considered the oldest continually inhabited city in the world even.

Visit a cremation ghat (from a respectful distance). I am so interested in funerals, and India is one of the few countries where death is not always hidden behind closed doors.

See rhinos safely from an elephant's back in the forests of Chitwan.

Go to an Indian theatre and watch one of those so-dreadful-I-like-em Bollywood films.

Write in my journal every day. Could I not do this?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things to Do: Wash an Elephant

Our trip to India and Nepal is getting closer and closer: it's just over a month until we go!

I'm starting to make a mental list of things I want to do, am really going to do.... We've already signed up for an elephant-back safari in this national park (it's the best way to get close to rhinos around that neck of the woods) so why not take the whole elephant thing one step further?

Number One on the List of Things to Do: I'm going to take a bath with an elephant in Chitwan Park, Nepal. Apparently I'm going to get very wet. Have a look at these people doing just that. I'm going to be just like that girl who had a bit of trouble figuring out just exactly how she was going to climb up on its back, I'm betting. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bug Whisperer

Today it was gorgeous and sunny and as I walked around the playground at work an enormous dragonfly with luminous blue eyes landed on my hip.

I called the children to come over and have a look at it, and quite a little crowd of three year olds toddled over to peer at the large insect on me.

The dragonfly stayed put for quite a while, and two of my co-workers drifted over too. I cupped my hands gently under the dragonfly and lifted it up so the children could see better.

The dragonfly seemed quite at ease while I touched it gently and showed it to all the big and little people gathered around and only flew away when I lifted my hand up into the air above my head.

"That was magic!" said one little girl. "You are magic with bugs!"

Yes, agreed my co-workers, bugs seem to really like me. This sort of thing is not an isolated incident.

"She's the Bug Whisperer!" said Terri.

I kind of like that thought actually.

My co-worker told me of a story she'd heard about a man who one day had a butterfly land on his clothing while he was at work. The butterfly stayed with him all day, and then stayed on him as he travelled home. It was still with him the next day, and, much bemused, he placed the insect carefully in his garden.

It stayed for quite a while among his flowers, lighting on his clothing every day before fluttering away again.

At last, on the very last day he saw the butterfly, it sat on its shoulder for a while before flying up and up and up until he couldn't see it any more.

While it may or may not be a true tale, there is something deeply appealing in it to me.

Sixteen Years

Sixteen years ago... Jeff and I were still shaking the blasted flower petals out of our formal clothes---it's amazing how the pretty little confetti can fall right down one's wedding dress into the most confounded places.

Sixteen years ago.... we were sharing our first meal together as married couple---ravenously wolfing down sandwiches made by the B.C. Ferry Corporation because we were so busy running around smiling till our smile muscles were sore and posing for pictures at the wedding that we barely got to taste the wedding cake before zooming off to catch the boat.

Sixteen years ago...we were flying off to Disneyland on our honeymoon to ride on the teacups and visit Tomorrow Land and stay in a hotel themed like a castle with a stream running through the lobby.

The wedding day went by really fast and the honeymoon was lots of fun: it's kind of like the last sixteen years with Jeff.

It's gone by rather fast, and it's been rather fun. Happy Anniversary to us! :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Shopping Binge

What?! Spider Girl went on a shopping binge?!

Yes, armloads (two) of stuff came home with me in a unprecedented, out-of-character consumer frenzy. It was hours of trooping from shop to shop with my friend Sherry, and the shopping beast was temporarily unleashed within me yesterday afternoon...

The good news is, of course, that the stores were all second-hand ones and no credit ratings/bank accounts were drained in the process.

Do NOT, do NOT buy clothes at retail prices.It is INSANE how much they are charging for things when you can get the same thing in brand-new condition for three bucks.

It's amazing, actually, how much a girl can wring out of a twenty-dollar bill: two pairs of shoes, five tops, a very pretty skirt, two sparkly dressup purses for my preschool kids, two bags of building blocks (also for the kids), and this amazing bright and beautiful-ugly prism bead curtain which I am planning on taking apart so I can hang strings of it in a window at the preschool to catch the light.

And the good thing is that when I buy stuff for the preschool I can pay myself back from the recycled-bottle fund that I take care of. Excellent use of a frighteningly huge amount of empty juice boxes in my garage.

So, all told, I didn't spend a whole lot of cash....but I was reminded of why I stay well away from thrift stores and garage sales usually. Note to self: I BUY stuff. Good gravy.

It was a very fun day though,and I managed to catch up on things with an old friend. Also, we had dinner at the Gatehouse in Cumberland: their wild mushroom salad is divine!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Monster Art

I present to you these two powerful pieces filled with raw expression. I work with the artists. They are largely unknowns in the contemporary world of art...for now. They work mainly in mixed felt-pen media.

Also, they are really short.

Exhibit A:

A gruesome mouthful of teeth. Sinister eyebrows. Might be Mr. Potato Head's unbalanced cousin.

Exhibit B:

Menacing claws. Dilated pupils. Bizarre appendages. Artist claims it is a portrait of sibling.

Anybody care to analyze these works further?

And what do you think? Do I have the seeds of an art show here?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blogging on my Birthday

Ten Things I'm Happy About:

1)The tickets are paid for, the visa applications filled out--we are flying to New Delhi on November 5th for a month in India and Nepal! I'll be travelling again soon!

2)The roofers have arrived and a new roof is going on the house. No more buckets catching the deluge underneath the living room window every time it rains!

3) This time tomorrow I'll be at the spa having a hot-stone massage. A little birthday present to myself.

4) I saw four moons of Jupiter through Kim's telescope the other night. And the bright geography on the face of the full moon. What a gorgeous summer night!

5) My friend Tai is visiting this weekend!

6) I am halfway through writing a short story and so far I'm happy with it. It's a writing game that three friends of mine and I sometimes play.Actually, part of the reason I'm happy maybe is just that we decided to give the writing game another try!The rules this time are I somehow have to use the words shame, well, wine, escape, amplitude and slumgullion.

7) After three months of gardening in someone else's yard instead of my own, I'm finally getting some time in my own. The extra money for the gardening job is nice, but

8) I decluttered the Linen Clost of Doom the other day. My house is about fifty bazillion old sheets and towels lighter.

9) Terri brought me back earrings from Murano for my birthday. The sweetie!

10) I'm happy that I'm off to my birthday dinner at Toscano's! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rosetta Stone

This is a picture of the Rosetta Stone, that ancient stone that provided the key to unlocking the mysteries of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, now housed in the British Museum in London (where I surreptiously reached out and touched it years ago---its behind glass now probably because of curious hands like mine).

The key to deciphering this famous stone was that its text was the same passage written out three times in different languages. And once you know how to read the classical Greek and the Demotic Egyptian bits, understanding the once-indecipherable hieroglphics come easy. If, you know, you're a scholar of ancient languages and you are good at sticking with this sort of thing.

Me, I've spent the past weekend trying to decipher my own kind of Rosetta Stone. The computer software version of Italian Levels I and II.

I'd heard it was a very good program to learn languages because it follows a sort of immersion process, the same way a child would learn a language. It doesn't translate the vocabulary for you, it doesn't provide a list of grammar rules to follow, it just assumes you are reasonably attentive and can figure out what's going on in the little pictures.

It's FANTASTIC! It's addictive in that 'I'm-playing -a-video-game-and-must reach-the-next-level' sort of way. I wish, I wish, I wish I'd had this before travelling to Italy.

So, anyway, a few of my friends and I were recently talking about goal-setting, and what really happens if you are serious about doing something. But what goal to set? That is the question. Because these things take time and energy.

But here's a worthwhile goal: learn a second language. Maybe Italian because it's a beautiful language. Maybe French, because after all I'm supposed to know it already....I'm tired of being one of those Canadians who took French in school but is too embarrassed to speak the few phrases she knows when faced with an actual French-speaking person. (My poor French friend Edith did her best but I distinctly remember freezing up when introduced to her mom who only spoke French.

Yes, I can forsee acquiring the French version of the Rosetta Stone sometime soon....

And best of all, I recently read an article that has really encouraged me to try harder: it explained that it's a myth that adults are not able to learn a second language as well a child can. It's a rather discouraging belief for grown-ups who feel like trying after all.

Children do pick up new words and language quickly of course, but adults have the advantages of learning context and grasping grammar faster. The barrier to adults learning languages is mainly the embarrassment of making mistakes, not an innate inability past a certain age.

It's a relief, right? As long as I don't mind talking funny, I can do this thing. In theory.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our Italy Trip Photo Album

Hi everybody,

Jeff's been working on uploading some of our photos from last year's trip to Italy. If you're interested, have a look. (A co-worker of mine just returned from Italy this week and now she's got me missing it all over again):

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


See this grey beastie here?

He's pushing twenty years old and still thinks he can take on the neighbourhood.

That's partly why he's an indoor kitty. Other reasons include him being deaf as a post, and as we live on a busy street, and as he has a brain the size of a walnut (love him, but it's true) that could be a dangerous combination.

But we still leave the upstairs balcony door open much of the year day and night so that him and Colby can wander out and enjoy the sunshine/fresh air/watch the birds and bats flying by. (And so Jeff and me don't swelter on these freakin' hot summer nights.)

Anyway, the other night about three in the morning, there was a blood-curdling yowl and my grey beast either leapt or fell off the balcony in pursuit of Louie, the mostly mild-mannered orange tabby that lives a few doors down.

(Louie has been in the habit of visiting our second story patio to check out the air up there lately. How does he jump up? We just don't know. He's quite portly. It's quite a jump. I'm guessing he levitates. Seriously. I briefly considered the possibility. )
Anyway, the other night it was Lestat's turn to initiate things. Well, at the very least he was nowhere in the house or on the balcony, so we figured that was the most likely explanation.

Jeff and I spent a long while searching the neighbourhood by flashlight, but he was just gone .
Aargh. Nothing like being woken up like that. There was nothing for us to do but go back to bed and hope he'd return. I was really worried he'd hurt himself.
About a week ago, there was a cat funeral in the family (my mother-in-law's cat Taylor) and I've been commissioned to select and paint the grave marker. I was dearly hoping I wouldn't have to worry about more cat-related funeral items.
Well, the suspese ended the next morning when I heard piteous mewing sound coming from outside. There he was,making a beeline for the front door and his breakfast bowl.

He's fine. Not a mark or a limp. (Well, he always walks a bit stiffly because twenty years old is like being George Burns in cat years.)
Okay, cat, no more making me worry!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ghost Hunting Weekend

This is Helmken Alley at eleven o'clock yesterday night, a squalid and ghost-infested little hole between buildings where all manner of dark things have occurred all around and nearby. Prisoners beaten and murdered. Hangings. Suicides. Mysterious bodies unearthed in the foundations of buildings.

And recently it seems, a number of folk have also taken a whiz here. Grim.

So what was Spider Girl and friends doing in such a place you might ask?

Well, we were listening to local historian and talented storyteller John Adams tell us unearthly tales and spooky legends on one of Victoria's nightly ghost walks, a walk which took us from the Inner Harbour where the Tall Ships are visiting--- past the very-haunted Empress Hotel, past haunted walkways, haunted restaurants, haunted hotels, and even haunted chocolate shops. We concentrated on the Bastion Square area.

It seemed as if every building had a tragic story or a tale of passion and woe, indubitably ending in a resident spirit or two. Even the pub we'd had dinner in (The Bard and the Banker) was rumoured to be haunted by the poet Robert Servicewe found out afterwards.

Victoria is often billed as the most haunted city in British Columbia. Easy to believe that (or not believe I suppose, depending on your level of skepticism).

In fact, a four-day paranormal conference is being held here just next week. I'm predicting a imminent rise in spook-based tourism.

As for me, I'm quite interested in the possibility of ghosts. Although I've never seen a ghost, enough things have happened that have raised the hairs on the back of my neck to make me go hmmmmmm in a thoughtful fashion. That, and I was raised with many, many family ghost stories which I would bug my dear old great-auntie to tell again and again.

Aside from the Ghostly Walk walking tour (which I'll recommend as good for both exercise and entertainment),this weekend in Victoria took me from the haunted fairways of Victoria's golf course to the peaceful lanes of Ross Bay Cemetery to eating samples this morning in the delicious chocolate shop that was on the ghost tour the night before.

Saturday afternoon my dear friend Tai drove me out to the golf course where one of Victoria's most famous ghosts resides. It was a glorious summer afternoon out there on the manicured green where I briefly trespassed (most assuredly not being a member of any golf club whatsoever). I wasn't sure where the notorious seventh fairway was located, but if we were anywhere nearby the ghost of poor murdered Doris, she was lying low. Apparently she can be quite a startling spirit to observe--flying around in the air and even walking right through cars on the road we came in on. No such luck this day.

Next we went to the very old and beautiful Ross Bay Cemetery. It's my favourite kind of cemetery with mossy mausoleums and tall, leaning moss-covered gravestones. Not like those soulless modern places where evey marker has to be flat as a pancake so that the ride-on lawnmower can sail over without a fuss.

And the best thing about Ross Bay is the huge, beautiful trees that grow along the carriageways and among the old graves. Wouldn't you love to be buried underneath a tree like those? So serene. A walk here left me feeling tranquil and happy.

It's rumoured to be haunted of course. But the only unusual thing we saw was an extraordinarily approachable crow that lit in a tree right beside us and studied us closely as we looked at the graves.

This morning, after Tai once again showed off her mysterious powers at finding a parking spot in the hideously crowded downtown core, we retraced some of the steps on the ghost-tour. We revisited the yucky haunted alleyway, purposefully walked along a street where a ghost has supposedly shoved a few people into the path of traffic (yep, we laugh in the face of danger, uh huh), didn't get shoved...
We also had a delightful conversation with an employee of the Maritime Museum (the former site of the coutroom of Matthew Begbie, the "Hanging Judge"), which is known as a place just chock-full of grumpy ghosts.
He was one of those folks that starts out the conversation seeming to call the whole idea of ghosts "ridiculous nonsense" and then goes on to qualify that statement by mentioning all the times things have mysteriously levitated across the gift shop in front of multiple witnesses. Including himself. Heh. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pond Building Party

A chance conversation with a waterscape designer led to an invitation to a Pond Building Party this weekend. That's the kind of party where instead of BYOB the invitation says: Bring Your Own Shovel .

Strangely enough, this kind of party seemed like just the way to spend my Saturday. I've been trying to make connections with other gardeners and horticulturalists of various types. I have an inkling if I ever decide to make a career change, this is the field I'd like to be in.

Doesn't hurt to network, right?...Well, unless you hurt yourself networking by carrying large rocks to build a pond. Nah.....I'm stronger than I look. :)

In the beginning.....There was only lawn.And then there was digging. A whole lotta digging. It was like that show Two Feet Under . Or something. Of course, with fifteen people digging, the work seems a lot less arduous than you might think.

Also, our spirits were kept buoyed by good coffee and treats from Tim Horton's.
Three feet deep is not extraordinarily deep for a body of water, but regulations classify anything deeper than that as a swimming pool, so we had to keep our depth to about two and a half feet. It may not sound like much, but that's a lot of dirt when the pond is going to be eleven foot by sixteen foot (plus a ten foot stream with waterfall). The dirt that came out was recycled into a large berm that the stream would run down.

Dave (our very charismatic pond-building teacher) taught us how to dig a pond in several tiers.... to fit the two layers of liners.... and how to select and place the rocks.
The shape and size and location of each rock is important to the overall effect of the finished pond, Dave taught us in his enthusiastic manner. I've seen some of his stream/waterfall work around town and in gardens and he has quite a talent for making the whole effect seem genuinely nature-inspired.

He showed us how to construct "fish caves", natural hiding-places for pond fish fleeing from the inevitable herons and raccoons attracted to backyard ponds.
I learned about pumps and filters, acid-producing rocks, PVP piping, Ph levels, and the biological cycles of pond bacteria.
I learned nifty ways to lift boulders using two-person slings, the value of constantly applying sunscreen, and to never ever get any of that black gooey stuff used for sealing rocks together on your hands. It may never come off till you're dead. :)
It was a hot day. It was hard work. But frankly, I came away from this event inspired.
When the pond was filled and the first water came tumbling and rushing musically over the edge of the waterfall that I had toiled to build, it was a beautiful moment. Sweaty, but beautiful.
The owner of the home has invited me to come back when all the plants and edging and gold fish have been added, and I think I will.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Guy Who Rear-Ended My Car

In the new Indiana Jones movie there are people who are flung off the back of jeeps, who fall into pits with stone floors, who free-fall off waterfalls, and oh, I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the more painful incidents that happened to our protagonists.

Ah, yes, there was an incident involving that atomic blast and a flying household appliance. Ouch, That's gotta hurt.

But Indy and those around him (at least the ones we're cheering for) end up a little dusty and dishevelled, but otherwise apparently feeling fine. What I want to know is...will they be stiff and sore the following day?

Cuz if they aren't going to feel a little uncomfortable the next day, I feel like a major wuss.

Some guy barrelled into the back of my car yesterday with a sudden crunching noise that, let's say, didn't make me enjoy the beginning of my day more. My poor, dented bumper. My poor, discombobulated morning.

Anyway, I was going to rant here a little about how the guy reeked of marijuana, and phoned me up later that day to beg me not to report the accident to ICBC (um, too late there, my new not-paying-attention-in-traffic friend...) and that he'd give me a thousand dollars in cash if I wouldn't. Hmmm...well at least he's not trying to say it wasn't his fault....

But, anyhoo, today I'm feeling unpleasantly stiff along the tops of my shoulders. I'm rather annoyed by this, and I'm hoping it goes away before I have to whinge to a doctor about it.

Hey, I just know Indiana Jones (or any of his side-kicks) would be able to brush off a mere fender-bender without a second thought. I bet his hat wouldn't even fall off.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Garden Tour Day

Garden Tour day finally here.
Happy. Very happy.
Tired. Very tired.
One hundred and seventy five people in my garden today...

The cherry trees were in bloom. The birdhouse Blackcrag gave me is being loved by the birds.

I love having a stone lantern in the Haunted Garden.

That's me, Spider Girl, your garden tour host today.

It's all cheery and pink by the mailbox.
Some visitors to my yard. Just beyond these ladies is the magnolia tree that I planted after being inspired by my friend Fireweed's tree-planting project. That whole area used to be just a pile o' dirt until a month or two ago. It's come a long way in a short time.

My youngest visitor, who was scolded by her mother after picking one of my yellow flowers. "I thought it was a dandelion", she protested. Easy mistake. :)

So many, many cars parking in front of my house. I wish I got this kind of traffic when I have a garage sale. Actually one fellow stopped by thinking it was a garage sale. He was right disappointed it wasn't. Flowers schmowers.


More tulips! (The bunnies didn't get them all after all.)
The pond and beyond.

I love the driftwood in the background--thanks Nik and Linda.

I'm rather in love with these blue and white pots but they belong to my mom. I'm going to very shortly go clay-pot shopping and get something like them for my very own, you better believe. I love 'em.

This is the patio underneath my wisteria arbour. See the little garden mirror peeking out from behind the honeysuckle vines? A very appreciated gift from my brother.
Anyway, the experience of having all these people here was a very positive experience overall.
Hearing people exclaim in delight over something I worked hard on.
Finding out the names of your own plants that you didn't know from experts wandering by.
The enormous amount of calories that must have been burned during one hundred and forty hours of digging, pruing, and weeding in three months.
Meeting other gardeners.
Dirty fingernails.
Wearing out the knees in your jeans weeding.
Not being able to resist running up the tab at the local plant nursery.
Worrying about the weather forecast for today weeks in advance. (Mostly sunny, one rain shower that deterred nobody apparently.)
This morning, total butterflies in my tummy!