Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Story in Wanderlust and Lipstick!

Although I didn't win the Wanderlust and Lipstick travel writing contest, the website liked my story and asked if they could publish it anyway. Here is my risky entirely-written-in-the-present-tense story!

(And yes! Those are my and Melanie's feet jammed into hamam slippers!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Morning Walk through Naramata

Every morning my sister takes the dog for a walk. Now that I'm back in Naramata, I often join her. Here are some pictures I took last week along the route. 

Lilacs have come early this year, usually there are buckets
 full for May Day, on May 24th long weekend, but this year 
it looks like they'll all be gone by then.

Looking across the lake to Summerland

Wine boxes

Symbols of the past. 
These big red fruit bins were everywhere when I was a kid. 
These days you see them less and less as vineyards replace orchards.

The Heritage Inn, just down the street. 
Today the Inn houses a restaurant, hotel and spa, 
but in the past it was a girl's school and when I was a 
kid, the private residence of Mr. Robinson, 
one of Naramata's founders. My Grandma used to 
be Mr. Robinson's housekeeper, so I remember 
exploring the old rooms as a kid. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Help My Sister Become a Winner!

As many of you know, my sister has been living in a van down by the river for the past 4 months. (Ok, really a fifth-wheel next to a creek.) but in her Chris Farley existence, there is a glimmer of light! We're talking about having her picture chosen as a finalist in the "Istanbul Eats Photo Contest"!

The contest has two sections, one is National (Turkey) and the other international. Mel's picture is of noodle makers taken a few years back in Shanghai, so look for her under the "international link" labeled "Melanie Noodles".

Simply e-mail your vote for "Melanie Noodles" to

What does she win if she's successful? Kudos and bragging rights! That's it! But it's a lot, when you're living in a van, down by the river!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teahouse Fox Visited by Ghosts!

If you have igoogle as your homepage you already know you can choose your own theme. I'm loyal to my teahouse fox, (except in December, when I switch for the month to the Christmas Village.)

Why the teahouse fox? Because he wakes up in the morning when I do, and  through the day he keeps himself busy, picking oranges, feeding the birds, washing the laundry in the lake. A night he gazes at the stars before putting out a plate of persimmons and lighting 3 sticks of incense. Then he snuggles under his blanket and goes to sleep.

But during the night something happens, I've noticed every morning that the persimmons disappear and the incense goes out. What's going on? I found out last week.  

Ghosts come.

Apparently they come for only one minute, and since my igoogle refuses to move off Istanbul time, my little teahouse fox's schedule is upside down, so at 5:15 in the afternoon the ghosts crossed the lake of fire, took his persimmons and put out his incense. 

Mystery solved!