Have a Cuppa

I’m a mug kind of gal –
Spot of tea – Earl Grey or herbal –

Feet up, mug in hand
a warm sip and I’m calm

Save the fancy china
for the birds!

(For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: glasses, cups, or saucers.)


Travelling is a challenge when food allergies are a concern. While in Ottawa, we stumbled upon a The Mill Street Pub, a restaurant overlooking the river, that offered gluten-free pizza, and it was delicious!

Our youngest granddaughter, on her second birthday, preferred the watermelon to cake. There is nothing more satisfying than watching someone enjoy their food:

At one point sushi was a favourite, but now I have to be careful, and well, some sushi connoisseurs are a tad off-putting:

For Lens-artists Photo Challenge: delicious.

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #35: Balance

I don’t think I’ve possessed good physical balance since that time I went down in tennis and cracked my kneecap, despite physiotherapy’s best efforts. Now that chronic illness has been added to the mix, I’ve learned to live without that certainty. I’m wobbly; what can I say?

Balance in other areas of my life, however; continues to be a work in progress. I have an inkling I’m not alone in this. This week, I am challenging us to think about how balance plays a role in our lives: Are you a master, whose life flows in perfect balance (if so, do share), or are you a student of life, like me, constantly being tested?

Maybe balance has a particular meaning for you; or maybe you’d best explain in photographs or art. My inspiration for this theme came from watching these beautiful but awkward birds balancing on one leg, like yoga gurus.

To participate, just create a post on the topic and link back (or drop a link in the comments.) Tag it VJWC if you remember, and enjoy the creative efforts of our community.

Look forward to responses.

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #33: Upside-Down

Strong-minded, I am not easily swayed. In fact, I like to say that life has to hit me over the head with a frying pan in order to get me to pay attention. Another analogy I use is that I have to be tied around the ankles, dragged to the fire and hung upside-down – much like the Hanged Man of tarot.

Stubborn might be another good word to describe it. I’m working on that – too old now to survive much more bashing from life.

This week, let’s turn things upside-down, reach for a new understanding or perspective.

Looking forward to your interpretations.

To Participate: Create a post, link back here, or leave a link in the comments. Tag VJWC, and take a moment to peruse the work of others.

Nailed It Dad!

Did you try some of the soup, Mom?

I glanced around at the many pans, ingredients, and baking paraphernalia lining the kitchen counters; not to mention my son-in-law and granddaughter who where firmly planted at the stove.

No, I messaged back. It’s a little busy here.

An unexpected trip back to Ontario landed me smack dab in the middle of my children’s busy lives. After two nights at my son and daughter-in-laws – where the bed was comfy and convenient – my body had a reaction to their dog, so I moved to my middle daughter’s home to couch surf for a bit.

While Mom and the two-year-old resumed their normal weekday activities, six-year-old Sloane and Dad were still on Christmas vacation and on this day they were attempting a “Nailed It” challenge.

Apparently, “Nailed It” is a baking show, which Sloane frequently watches. The premise is that the contestants are shown professionally decorated cookies, cupcakes, and cakes and challenged to reproduce them and then judged on the outcome. By default, I was nominated to be the judge.

Unlike the television version, Sloane and her dad did not race the clock, but dedicated a whole five-and-a-half hours to completing the task. I was beyond impressed by the organization and commitment that went into completing this task.

My judgment: cookies – nailed it; cake – nailed it; parenting – A++

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #25: Un-lived Lives

I met one of my un-lived lives at a party last night” is the title of a post on bone&silver’s blog.   I loved this post, and idea, so much I decided to make it the focus of my challenge this week.

How precarious are our lives, or are they pre-charted?  Does destiny hold all the keys, or does free will determine outcomes?  And who would I be if…..?

Come on…don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it?  This week let’s have fun with the possibilities – be outrageous, be descriptive, dare to imagine…and then…like bone&silver…let reality bring us back.

Here’s a film trailer for “Sliding Doors” to get your creative juices flowing:

Look forward to your responses.

To Participate

  1.  Create a post on your blog, or leave a comment below.
  2. Link your post back to this one or drop a link in the comments
  3. Tag your post VJWC
  4. Don’t forget to mingle.


V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #24: Deviation

Without deviation from the norm,
progress is not possible.
– Frank Zappa

For several years running, I was invited to speak to the Sociology of Deviancy class at our local university.  Each visit, I opened by joking that I was never quite sure whether the invitation was a good thing or not.  Truthfully, though, I think Zappa is on to something.

I won’t get into the specifics of what makes me a deviant, but I will say that the ability to alter ones perspective – to shift certainty to openness – allows for a deeper engagement with life.  It is the opposite of that adage about insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  To deviate is to dare.

Let me be perfectly clear, here, I am not talking about criminal deviations or corruption.  I am speaking about life affirming and inspirational movement, akin to wonder.

Enough said.  This is about your experience, not mine.  I’m offering as inspiration this piece I found on YouTube.  It is listed as Neoclassical piano music, and is titled Deviation.
The composer is Phillip Weigl.  As a suggestion, it might be interesting to write while listening to this piece and see what emerges.

As always, I look forward to your input.

To participate:

  1.  Create a post on your blog.  Don’t have a blog?  No worries.  Leave your contribution in the comments section below.
  2. Tag your post VJWC.
  3. Either create a link back to this post, or leave a link to your blog in the comments.
  4. Read and respond to the work of others.

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #11: Point of View

We recently attended a dramatic version of To Kill a Mockingbird in Stratford, Ontario.  Written by Harper Lee in the late 1950’s, this has been one of my all time favourite reads. Although some of the language is antiquated and no longer acceptable, the themes of the novel are timeless.  Atticus Finch, the patriarch extraordinaire of the story, is a man directed by his moral compass, and his willingness to put compassion for others above the social dictates.

This week’s challenge is inspired by the spirit of Atticus Finch:  point of view.


At the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean-Louise  stands on the Radley porch and views her neighbourhood from Boo’s point of view – a moment of revelation for the young Scout.

“I turned to go home. Street lights winked down the street all the way to town.  I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle.”

This week, let’s focus on point of view, challenging ourselves to “walk in (someone else’s) skin” or at the very least, to see something from a new perspective.

Ideas include, but are not limited to:

*  Photographing a scene from a new viewpoint, i.e. from a child’s sight line, or that of a     pet.

*  Re-writing a piece from a different point of view.  For example, if a piece is written in first person narrative, try switching it to third person, or better yet, switch narrators.

*  Take a character from a dream, and write re-tell the dream story through their point of view.

*  Heard something interesting in the news – try writing about it from the victim (or perpetrator’s) point of view.

Be creative, have fun, and as always, I look forward to your responses.

To participate:

  1.  Publish a post on your own blog.
  2. Create a link back to this post, or leave a link in the comments.
  3. Be sure to visit other participant’s contributions and comment to keep the community growing.