Canada: summer 2016

On our way back to Canada we stopped off in Santa Fe New Mexico for a Zen retreat with Yamada Ryoun Roshi. He may look like a small man, but when you're meeting him one-to-one he's as big as a mountain...! That spaced-out look is what you get when you go to two retreats within three weeks.

Santa Fe has a Museum of International Folk Art that houses the Girard Collection with over 100,000 individual little dolls, animals and figurines from around the world, all collected into different scenes. This is a small scene with a few hundred little figures. Some are full little towns with all sorts of little dramas playing out...

Oliver caught this mouse at Grandma's and Roxanne incarcerated it. The mouse was later relocated to a new, cat-free abode...

Peggy's cove, Nova Scotia.

Peggy's cove, Nova Scotia 2.

Lobsters at Clyde and Zeita's (parents-in-law's). These were the best lobster John has ever had and the first lobster Roxanne has ever had!

Lobster empathy...

Egypt Falls, NS. We hiked down to these falls, and ran into someone who told us that the adjacent land has just been bought for a PTSD retreat centre prescribing marijuana.

Through sending greetings from a friend to one of their friends, we ended up invited to a drumming circle in the most amazing yoga/meditation studio on St. Margaret's Bay near Hubbards.

Roxanne's favourite Nova Scotia house - Mahone Bay.

We spent the month of July cat-sitting Oreo in Kingston.

Visiting John's Mom in Calgary. Madge is 93.

Deer in Madge's neighborhood. We watched as it ate all the flowers in 5 of the 6 flower pots in front of these people's home, plus most of the flowers in the big planter - maybe we should have rung the doorbell or something...!

Walking on Lasqueti Island in BC for August, preparing for a long walk across France in the fall.

Lasqueti Island has flocks of wild sheep wandering around. In this flock, only 2 out of about 18 had been sheared - the others were a bit quicker on their feet...!

Living fence around the Lasqueti community centre. Someone wove together hundreds of small trees over several years to make this.

John's youngest sister Lorie lives in North Vancouver. We visited with her, Jeff and their family and went for a walk along the harbourfront.

North Vancouver harbourfront at night.

Jeff and Lorie drove us up to Whistler one day and we stopped along the way at an old forest.

Mossy trees in the old forest.

Back to Lasqueti for some more walking. We pick up a lot of our veges from this stand on the road outside an organic farm.

John's older sister Von lives in Victoria. We went for a visit and discovered that Darth Vadar is alive and well, playing violin at the inner harbor in Victoria.

Favourite birthday card.

We spent a lot of time on ferry boats on this trip. In Victoria Harbour there are what looked like bumper car tugboats that dance around the harbour and give rides to tourists. We christened them the Canadian Navy after they came rushing up to the ferry pretending to attack.

Back on Lasqueti, we still dream about buying one of the mountain top on Lasqueti.

We had a 6-hour layover in Winnipeg on the way back, so went downtown and found Louis Riel's grave in the cemetery at St. Boniface Cathedral. An interesting man, he has been viewed variously as "a dangerous half-insane religious fanatic and rebel against the Canadian nation, or a heroic rebel who fought to protect his Francophone people from the unfair encroachments of an Anglophone national government."

The Velvet Glove is the formal dining room in the Fairmont Hotel (formerly the Winnipeg Inn) where John worked in the kitchen as a saucier almost 40 years ago.