Sunday, June 21, 2009

Businesses, birds beasts and blooms

Walking with Black Jack a few evenings ago, we encountered this cat.  It was lying on the sidewalk at a street corner.  It watched Black Jack calmly.  Black Jack tried to be cool, but wasn't successful for long.
Two or three minutes later, we saw this cat.  Again, it was about as calm as a cat could be.  Poor Black Jack.  The ones that stare calmly just about put her over the edge.  
Some time ago, I stopped at the Garden Party Flower Shop at the corner of West 4th and Alma. I was looking for a hanging basket.  I'm not sure that hanging baskets are the main focus of Amy's business, but I could tell that she really wanted to make me happy.  She asked me about the colors I like, and we exchanged several e-mails after that. I still don't have my hanging basket, because Amy is searching for the perfect one.  However, she e-mailed and asked me to stop by.  She had a gift for me.  She said she wanted me to have something beautiful to look at while I was waiting for the basket, and knew I loved the color blue.  Seeing that lovely orchid gives me a jolt of pure happiness.  I have come to appreciate, lately, the people who run small businesses who genuinely love to see their customers happy. 
On Saturday, I had my hair cut by Majid at Spring Hair Design on 10 Avenue.  I had to cancel my last appointment, as it was scheduled for the day after my cycling accident.  I didn't reschedule, as I dreaded the thought of letting anyone touch my head.  But, I will be attending my niece's wedding in Ottawa this coming weekend, and there was no more stall time.  Majid is a gem.  He is kind, gentle, and, like Amy, truly wants his customers to be happy when they leave.  I was.  Actually, I felt like a new person. 
Bill walked Black Jack while I was at the salon, and then sat with her in his lap, until I was finished.  He is so supportive, sometimes I can hardly believe my good fortune.  This next part is positively amazing! We went directly from the hairdresser's to a clothing store called Changes, and Bill sat for ages, while the staff there found two outfits for me.  Other women shopping in the store were ready to kidnap him and take him home to give their husbands some tips.    
A (handsome) man and his truck.
These flowers were near The Wicked Cafe.  With the sun on them, they shimmered like magic.  
The next 8 pictures were taken at Jericho on evening lately when i walked with Black Jack.  I wonder if this heron was EvenSong's Ned.
This bird seemed so small in that tall grass.
The ducklings are growing and becoming more independent.
Black Jack loves to gain altitude any way she can for her observations.
So many shades of green...
... and one beautiful, orange tree.
The sign on the post made me smile.

I thought of the fun the gardener may have had arranging these plants in a circle. 
These were on a street walking home from Jericho.  The combination of blue and purple works for me.
These are the clothes I bought at Changes.  I like the people in this store so much, I sometimes feel, as Bill said, that I will never need to shop anywhere else again.  I know it's a little strange to lay out the clothes on my bed and take a picture of them, but that's how happy I felt.  This from someone who hates shopping. Black Jack loves to go to Changes as well (sometimes, they give treats), but I guess the attraction doesn't have much to do with the clothes. 

And, another angle to show off the blue/purple flowers, and conclude this post.


  1. Lovely orchid! Is it just cut and placed in the water? How long will it "survive"? I, too, love blue toned flowers (tho I'm not really a flower type person).
    How much was the gardener charging for the weeks? I may have you pick some up for me!
    Bill has one up on my Al: I don't think Al would sit thru that kind of shopping (which I also hate)--he'd probably find a bookstore nearby, or snooze in the car...
    Your outfits are lovely--I like the swirly purple one--very stylish, yet comfy looking.
    Have fun at the wedding!

  2. I agree that small business people such as your florist and hairdresser deserve to be supported since they do tend to emphasize friendly service. I try to leave a review on if I have a pleasant experience somewhere. I have been a fan of Greens and Gourmet restaurant for a while so finally, here is my review.

  3. That blue orchid is amazing - what a jolt of happiness it brings!

    I, too, value the small businesses that offer personal service and really aim to please. It is sad that so many are being squeezed out by the mega-stores, who not only don't aim to please but often don't seem to HAVE any personnel available!!!

    Have a great time in Ottawa - one of my favourite Canadian cities. Your outfits look cool, comfy and yet classy.

  4. Thanks, EvenSong. Amy dyed the orchid. She said it would last a week, but it's almost that now, and it still looks as beautiful as the day I brought it home. There was no price mentioned for the weeds, but I could make one up. I'm the one who thinks they are pretty, so I guess they might be a bit pricey. dp, on the other hand, would probably give you better rates:)

    Bill, great reviews!

    Thanks, Jean. Actually, my sister lives in Ottawa and I'll be there one night, but the wedding will be in Gananoque, where we will spend two nights. I hear it's really gorgeous there. I'm in the middle of a frustrating conflict with Telus right now, so the small businesses around me are all the more appreciated.

  5. Carol you look beautiful! Good luck with your wedding. btw I love the observation deck photo is so so cute, along with all others. Anna :)

  6. The shimmering flowers at the Wicked Cafe are astilbe. Reminds me that I have bunch of them which all badly need dividing....
    Have a fun trip out east.

  7. Hi Carol!

    I still just love your photographs! You always seem to take us on excursions with you. I do lurk more than I comment, but wanted you to know I love hearing about life with Bill and Black Jack.

  8. Thanks, Anna:)

    Hornblower, thanks for the info. Much appreciated:)

    Lurking or commenting, it's all good:) Thanks, oregonsunshine.

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