Capris by any other name

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When I was a child in the 1950s and early 60s, they were called pedal pushers. I had no idea at the time that the name was derived from the style of pants worn by cyclists which was, of course, quite different from the padded spandex shorts worn by serious cyclists today.

I also remember them being called clam diggers or deck pants, both names that made perfect sense to this coastal girl. After all, who would want to swab a deck or dig clams with pant legs flopping around your ankles and getting wet and dirty?

It wasn’t until I was a little older that I learned to refer to them as capris. Apparently that name also originated in the 1950s though. It was taken from the Italian island of Capri where the pants rose to popularity in the late 1950s and early ’60s. The island was emerging as a popular European holiday destination at that time and American actress, Grace Kelly, was amongst the first to wear the new style there.

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Capris, by one name or another, have been an enduring trend ever since, but the style has evolved over time. Though some use the term as a catch-all for any pant that is longer than shorts, but not full length, the dictionary defines them this way:

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Though I’ve finally started wearing crop pants and I do occasionally wear shorts, capris are easily my favourite summer pants. A tapered pair that ends just above the widest part of the calf is much more flattering than a wider, baggy pair or one that ends at the widest point. Capris are very versatile. They can be worn with heels or flats and dressed up or down depending on what you wear them with.

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Here I’m wearing a favourite denim pair that are a couple of years old. I paired them with a t-shirt from Ricki’s that has also been part of my summer wardrobe for the past few years worn over a white camisole. Though it doesn’t show up well in the photos, a bit of bling on the t-shirt takes it from boring to attractive. I’m also wearing my super comfortable flats from Payless ShoeSource with their memory foam inner soles. This simple, casual look was perfect for wearing to a fun / sports day at my grandson’s elementary school.

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Special dates with Sam and Nate

Separated by distance, we aren’t able to spend as much time with our Vancouver grandsons as we’d like and when we’re here, we also need to spend time with my very elderly father and my special brother, Donald. Fitting in quality time with the boys is a priority, however, and this time we managed to go on a special date with each of them. Though they enjoy a lot of the same activities, Sam and Nate are as different as night and day personality-wise, so one on one time with each of them individually was great.

Sam is just finishing first grade, but Friday was a professional development day for the teachers at his school. Nate was at preschool that morning, so it was a perfect time for our date with Sam. He decided that he wanted to go geocaching, a hobby of ours that we introduced the boys to a couple of years ago. We started by searching out a couple of caches within easy walking distance of his house. He was especially intrigued by this old gent sitting very near the location of the first one.

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Here he is retrieving the next one from beneath a cedar tree!

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Found it!

Here in North Vancouver you are never far from nature and forest trails are easy to find. Part of our morning was spent in Princess Park. The clue for one of the caches there included this description: “You are steps away when you see a trunk that looks like a bird bath, or a water bowl for a Great Dane.” What in the world could that mean?

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It was obvious when we saw it and sure enough, the cache was hidden nearby.

Sam loves sushi and so do we, so when we asked him where he wanted to go for our lunch date, he chose Valley Sushi, a great little restaurant close to his Lynn Valley home.

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This morning, Sam was back at school and it was time for our date with Nate who only attends preschool three mornings a week. He knew exactly where he wanted to go; Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. He’d been there once before with his other grandfather and had shown me a brochure containing a map of the trails that criss-cross the park the day we arrived. He wanted to hike to Juniper Point and after hearing about Sam’s geocaching adventure, he also wanted to find some caches. There were two of them along that trail. The hint for the first one said, “Horizontal tree meets vertical tree.” The GPS doesn’t work really well under tree cover, but we thought we’d found the right spot when we found a fallen tree right beside a standing one. When we didn’t find the “treasure” right away, Nate grew bored and wandered a little ways away. Suddenly we heard his shout, “I found something! I think this is it!” Sure enough, he’d located the cache all on his own, tucked into the end of another fallen tree.

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Another cache was found near the beautiful rocky point where we enjoyed a snack overlooking the ocean.

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After completing that trail, I also managed to convince Nate to hike out to the lighthouse. Look closely and notice the bald eagle perched on the weathervane!

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Nate’s date ended just like Sam’s with lunch at Valley Sushi. Even his order was the same; California rolls and Dynamite Rolls. Yum!

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Making memories with the boys on our special dates worked out so well that I think this should be the beginning of a new tradition. I wonder where they’ll want to take us next time we visit?

Starting them young

At five and six years old, our Vancouver grandsons are already avid skiers; a passion passed on to them by their mom’s side of the family. We, on the other hand, look forward to the day when we can play a round of golf with them!

Today, Victoria Day here in Canada, we left our daughter-in-law at home preparing a delicious turkey dinner for later in the day and headed for a driving range with the boys.

Nate’s club of choice was a putter, but he did a pretty good job of whacking it off the tee.

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Oops! The ball’s still there!

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Sam got some tips from Daddy then made some great shots.

We finished off the morning with a fun round of mini golf.

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Unlike their Gram who didn’t take up the sport until I was about 40, these two are starting young!

A new look!

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 11.07.24 PM 3It took me awhile to get used to the idea of wearing crop pants. For a long-legged gal who’s often had trouble finding pants that are long enough, purposely buying a pair that end at the ankle seemed counterintuitive!

I quickly fell in love with the comfortable feel of  Ricki’s Universal Sateen Crop with their 26 inch inseam though. They have just enough spandex to give them a bit of stretch.

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White is also a new look for me. In fact, I’ve never worn white pants before, but after seeing them on several of my favourite fashion bloggers, I decided that it was time to give the crisp, clean look a try. They would never have worked during my child rearing or school teaching days, but nowadays there’s a better chance that I might be able to keep them white!

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My top is several years old from Reitmans, the Alfred Sung braided mesh necklace is from Mark’s, and I’m wearing my new Zoey’ ghillie low wedges from Payless.

Now, what about you? What is your favourite pant length for summer?

Seaweed and crabs

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When I spoke to my five year old grandson, Nate, on Mother’s Day, he told me how excited he was about our upcoming visit. I asked him what he wanted to do while we were here and he immediately told me that we should go fishing together, so this afternoon we spent some time fishing and crabbing off West Vancouver’s Ambleside Pier.

No fish were caught, but the boys were happy to catch and release large globs of seaweed!

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Big brother, Sam

Crabbing yielded greater success with a couple of red rock crabs and one dungeness finding their way into the salmon baited trap. None were big enough to keep, so back into the water they went.

Our oldest son, Matt, was once one of my little “prairie chickens”, but he’s definitely become a coastal boy! I love visiting all our children and grandchildren, of course, but coming home to the coast and seeing one of my kids fully embracing the environment that I grew up in does this Mama’s heart good.

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 Measuring the dungeness crab

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Summertime toes

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 11.07.24 PM 3Summer seemed to come early to western Canada this year and we’ve experienced some record high temperatures over the past couple of weeks. After being hidden beneath the warmth of socks, shoes and boots all winter, my toes are out in the open again! I’ve been padding around the house in bare feet and wearing sandals much of the time.

With barefoot season comes my trademark gold toenail polish! I don’t remember when this tradition first began, but I’ve been wearing gold polish on my toes for many years.

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They usually remain polish free over the winter months unless we’re in sunnier climes, but here they are enjoying a beautiful beach in Costa Rica a few winters ago.

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Far more important than my toenail colour, however, is what I do year round to keep my feet healthy and ready for these barefoot days of summer. The last thing I do before sliding my feet between the bedsheets every night of the year is apply lotion to them. No dried out, calloused or cracked heels for this barefoot girl!

I’m not particularly fussy about what kind of lotion I use and I don’t usually bother looking for a cream that’s specifically designed for feet. It’s the consistency of doing this on a daily basis that works for me, not the brand of lotion or the ingredients in it.  There are always a variety of scented and unscented body lotions on my bedside table to choose from. That being said, however, I do have a special tube of Ahava foot cream that I purchased at the Dead Sea in January that I’ve been saving for this summer!

How do you take care of your feet?

What’s your favourite toenail colour?

 

Disaster! What should we do?

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photo credit: Edmonton Journal

 

The images coming out of Fort McMurray, Alberta over the past few days have been terrifying. A city on fire and its entire population of 80 000 people evacuated!

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photo credit: CBC

 

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photo credit: CBC

 

We appreciate the messages of concern received this week from friends around the world who heard the word “Alberta” on the news and immediately thought of us! Fort McMurray is about 500 km north of us. Though the entire province is experiencing an unusually hot, dry spring and the risk of fire is high everywhere, we are safe!

It has been gratifying to see the outpouring of support from people across Alberta and beyond our borders for the residents of Fort McMurray. As Missions president for our church, I have been fielding questions about how we as a congregation can help. Here is Church of the Nazarene Canada West District Superintendent, Dr. Larry Dahl’s, response to similar questions:

We have had a number of inquiries regarding how people can provide support and help for the disaster in Fort McMurray.

We are suggesting to those who are interested in making a donation to send funds directly to Samaritan’s Purse, who are presently working on organizing a response. They were quite actively involved in helping with the Slave Lake fire and then with the High River flood crisis in the past.

Additionally, if they wish, they could send funds to the Salvation Army, designated to help with the relief for the area. I received the following information from Major Ron Cartmell, Divisional Commander:

“The Salvation Army has been mobilized to feed 1,000 first responders south of Fort McMurray. Our portable kitchen is in place, and as I write, three other teams from Alberta and Saskatchewan are en route to help.”

I concur with Dr. Dahl and would add that the Red Cross is another organization that you might consider sending a donation to. The Canadian Government has agreed to match all donations made to the Red Cross Alberta Fires Emergency Appeal.

Cash donations, even small ones, are by far the most effective way to help those recovering from any disaster of this nature, but what should a person not do?

No one wants to see the collective community’s goodwill offerings end up in the landfill, but sadly, in situations like this one, when people start filling trucks and trailers with used goods and hauling them into the affected area, that’s often exactly what ends up happening. It happened following the 2011 Slave Lake fire, it happened following the High River flood in 2013, and unfortunately, it will happen this time too.

Compassion tells us that we need to help these people get back on their feet by replacing the things they’ve lost, so we start collecting food, clothing and household items without thinking about the fact that someone has to sort, warehouse and distribute what we collect. Also, people may not realize that for heath and safety reasons a lot of what is collected can’t be distributed at all. If you do want to donate material goods during the first few weeks following this or any other crisis, the wise thing to do is to find out what specific needs have been identified by the emergency shelters and meet those needs which usually include things like disposable diapers, baby formula and toiletry items.

Many of the larger needs will come later. For example, during a wildfire, electricity to the community is lost. That means that by the time the Fort McMurray evacuees return home, if they have a home to return to, every single fridge and freezer in that city will be full of rotting food and will probably need to be replaced. We’re talking thousands of appliances. This is not a need that can be met by shipping individual donated items. It will require negotiations with manufacturers, huge buying power and major logistical coordination. Organizations like the Red Cross, in cooperation with government, are equipped to handle this kind of need, but they can only do that if they receive adequate monetary donations.

So give wisely. Instead of sending material goods, give a cash donation to Samaritan’s Purse, the Salvation Army, or the Red Cross. If you have clothing, furniture or other possessions to get rid of, hold a garage sale and donate the proceeds. Disaster victims don’t need your discards!

Donate:

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