Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bill and Carol's Post #12 Welcome to 2014!

For the benefit of any new readers, I am repeating an introductory paragraph.  Bill began contributing to the blog twelve posts ago.  He is recovering from the affects of delirium that resulted in cognitive dysfunction after surgery at the end of April for colon cancer.  His short-term memory suffered at first but is now completely back to normal.  A book called "Over My Head" by Claudia Osborn helped us to understand the "initiation" and "flooding" challenges that still crop up from time to time.  However, these, too,  are showing steady progress. The journey back to health isn't over but the trend is very, very encouraging.  Bill will have surgery on Thursday to reverse his ileostomy. We are nervous and optimistic at the same time, but having done everything possible to make sure this second surgery goes more smoothly than the first, all we can do now is to put our faith in the medical team and go forward with hope and determination in our hearts.  Thank you to each one of you for your good wishes.  They are deeply appreciated.     

Important note: Blue font indicates writing by Carol and Black Font indicates writing by Bill.

This is a catch-up picture from our supper on December 18th.  The particular shade of red that comes in Red Chard is unmatched by that in any other food/flower/item I can imagine.
Thursday, December 26th
We walked downtown in the late afternoon.  On the way home, I took reflection shots along False Creek as I have done many times lately, but this was the first attempt to incorporate the fence patterns.      
.  And, one shot looking towards the Cambie Bridge.
Friday, December 27th
We walk by Chintz and Co almost every day and, though we are the inveterate non-shoppers, love something about the artistic displays and constantly changing decor.
I don't require a new set of dishes, do I?  
How did Carol and Bill get inside this glass case?
Saturday, December 28th
I couldn't believe we were back at Chintz so soon, but Bill's longtime friends, Bev and Geoff, came downtown to spend some time with us and to hunt for treasures.  After enjoying treats at Harrison Galleries we walked over to Chintz to offer our opinion on the two patio tables that Bev was trying to decide between. It was fun to see Chintz through their eyes.
Bev, Geoff and Bill admiring the giant dinosaur eggs on Bev's possible new table. 
This is out of focus but I love it.  My dear sister sent Bill this cool pair of pyjamas and Bill tried them on that evening. 
Bill and Black Jack both have the same dentist.
Trying the pyjamas on brought out Bill's comedic side. I've put a complete set of his martial arts moves on facebook.  They are hilarious but also heartening in that they show that his sense of humour and strength are back!  You can check them out at this link.
Bill doing karate, or is it tai chi?
Monday, December 30th
We walked to English Bay..
and admired the.. 
Burrard Bridge.
 Tuesday, December 31st (New Year's Eve)
We had lattes at Bean Around the World before walking downtown to see a movie.  Check out my new ring from my sweet sister, Sherrill.  As for us, aren't we adorable?
I love the architecture and ambience in this part of town..
and had fun taking crazy angles of the Sun Building.  Those shots will continue to appear throughout the next section of this post.
The movie, 12 Years a Slave, adapted from an 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, tells a true story.  Solomon was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery.  Twelve years of indescribable suffering ensued before he was able to make his way back to his family.   
It was a beautifully made movie and important to see, though tough to watch.  
This review is the only one of the many I've read that discusses some of its negative aspects.  
Bill and I feel that the points made in that review are valid, though we both appreciated the stellar acting and the Brits' courage in dealing with a subject so raw that American movie-makers have yet to find a way to address it adequately.
A little before midnight, we decided to go for a New Year's Eve walk.  We ran into this fellow and learned that his name is Dave.  He was ending the year with a flat tire but his attitude was upbeat.  He told us he is a recovered addict and has been clean for a year.  Bravo, Dave!  It was fun meeting you!
We regard this is as "our" tree.  It is in George Wainborn Park, and a year ago, we took quite a different shot of ourselves in front of it.  For 2014, it was delightful to meet some young people by the tree who said their only wish for the new year was world peace.  We took pictures of each other and exchanged thoughts about our common wishes for a peaceful world.  I can't think of a better way to welcome the new year.
Wednesday, Jan.1, 2014
On New Year's Day, we again walked downtown and admired this mural showing Johannes Gutenberg.  Our knowledge was a bit scanty but we later googled Gutenberg :)  Here is what we learned: "The world's first movable type printing technology was invented and developed in China by the Han Chinese printer Bi Sheng between the years 1041 and 1048. In Korea, the movable metal type printing technique was invented in the early thirteenth century during the Goryeo Dynasty. In the West, the invention of an improved movable type mechanical printing technology in Europe is credited to theGerman printer Johannes Gutenberg in 1450."  I hadn't realized that moveable type printing technology was first developed in China and then Korea, before Gutenberg introduced printing to Europe.
Various sights along the downtown streets caught our attention. 
My Camera and I were happy to click away.
This church's steeple stood out, even a street away, and Bill suggested I try this shot between tree branches.
Our lattes and Eightfold Eats vegan treats at The Coffee Bar were excellent, but sadly, I left my camera bag on the back of our chair.  The camera was around my neck, so that wasn't a problem but we had brought along the new Kindle my sister had sent me for Christmas and discovering that loss later in the evening was upsetting.  A quick email to the coffee shop netted an immediate response from Naj.  They had the bag and my kindle and would keep them for us to pick up the next day.  They even wished me a good night's sleep!  Thank you so much, Naj!
More sights on the way home..
included the Hotel Europe and a very handsome gentleman posing in front of it.
This shot of the Millennium Gates at the entrance to Chinatown also included the Sun Tower on the left and other famous Vancouver landmarks that some of you might be able to spot.
You can learn about The Healing Lodge and this magnificent totem pole at this link.
The "W" over The Woodward's building made its own beautiful reflection in the apartment windows at its right.
In the darkness, this shot of a young girl on her skateboard was a bit fuzzy but the camera did catch her energy and balletic grace.

Friday, Jan.3
We discovered a new room at Harrison Galleries.  
Having coffee there feels like home.

Saturday, Jan.4
We walked all the way to Stanley Park, our longest walk since Bill's surgery.  This tree by English Bay has been catching my eye lately.  It appears earlier in this post.
I took many shots of Black Jack running on the beach.  
Here are a few of my favourites.

She looks so lean and mean in this one.

Getting air in this one.  I never stop appreciating her athleticism.

This gives you an idea of the lovely long distance we had for Black Jack to run between us.  Can you see her?  She's just a speck in this one, on her way to Bill.
I thought it might be a good idea for Bill to test out his regained strength and balance by doing a bit of boulder hopping.  He started out with a suave pose.  
Before long, he was virtually running over the rocks.  He jokes about this next shot but I have to say I was impressed.
Bill reaches the summit of the "Pile of Rocks Mountain" at Sunset Beach
Bill singing "Climb every Mountain" from "The Sound of Music".
When we reached the lagoon, reflections seemed almost Autumn-like.
Is that seagull about to land on my head?
I thought that making it to Lost Lagoon had been a milestone in Bill's recovery and we agreed that it might be wise to take a taxi home.  Later that day, Bill helped me pick up some groceries.  He accompanies me on almost every shopping excursion and below, was collecting some organic walnuts to put on our morning cereal.
So many bins, so little time.
Sunday, Jan.5
We took the aquabus across False Creek to Granville Island and then walked in beautiful weather to the Cambie Bridge, where we caught the ferry home.  These reflections were mesmerizing.  
The picture below shows the derivation of those reflections in the photo above.
Very rare capture of a bird flossing its beak.
As you can see, Bill's sense of humour is alive and well and his physical strength is nothing short of astounding.  I am concluding this post just before midnight on January 7th.  This afternoon we saw "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and this evening, Bill read to me for well over an hour from the new Kindle that we are both enjoying immensely.  (More about the books we are reading in another post.)  I think we have prepared ourselves as well as we can for the upcoming surgery.  I will do my best to keep the blog updated with Bill's progress.  Keep your positive thoughts coming in whatever form works best for you.  We surely do appreciate them and will add them to the bank balance of positivity  that we plan to draw on to meet this next challenge.   I am going to post this to Our World Tuesday, an inspiring blog meme that allows people from all over the world to share their stories.  Drop by to read some of them if you possibly can.  In the mean time, thank you so very much for stopping by. 


  1. you two ARE adorable! you three, actually. ;) lovely weather scenes and reflections in the waters. fun and fit you are and it is nice to see. bill, i do hope thursday's surgery is a complete success!

  2. Lol … it is early morning and I hope I didn’t wake my Bill by laughing out loud at the very thought of your Bill and Black Jack having the same dentist. I did notice a hint of a similar smile but I think that must be the Carol effect. Boulder hopping? If Bill can do that he certainly can overcome the next surgery with ease! :))

  3. Carol your photos are amazing....I must go back and "digest" them all when I get more time. And I must say your blog is so much more fascinating now that Bill is a big part of it! The excitement in your life is quickly returning. Bill I have to say I have honestly never seen you dressed so well as in your new pjamas. I'm serious, there is something about that shade of blue that bumps you up to GQ status - you looked terrific!! I too split a gut when I saw the "same dentist" comment. My thoughts will be with you tomorrow, very best wishes for a super speedy recovery. Much love, Bev

  4. Max ( two years and five months old) have just looked at all the pictures and enjoyed them! Max loved Black Jack and I loved all the pictures of brother, Bill! I am looking forward to the return of his excellent good health with more boulder hopping and comic dancing! Hugs for you both. Max has requested that we look at the pictures a second time. Phyllis

  5. Ah Carol, you make me wish I lived downtown...but then, I stop and think "No, I love my little village across the river." When "our boys" are feeling better, we MUST get together! Good thoughts are being sent your way for a successful surgery for Bill. Lorne continues with weekly chemo until the middle to end of February - a weaker "cocktail" as the full one nearly killed him. So - stay strong, both of you and keep us up to date on Bill's progress, okay?

  6. What a great post! The photos are terrific and I'll be checking back to see them again and again. Your dentist will be proud of this photo endorsement by you and BJ. I wonder if he/she had anything to do with teaching that bird to floss its beak. Hmmm... a common theme here. Carol, I love that tree and look forward to seeing it in subsequent posts and seasons. I'm so happy to see you both looking adorable, healthy and happy. 2014 has started well and will continue to get better and better. Sherrill

  7. Great Blog and update, you two. I enjoyed all of your adventures. It sure makes my life of work to home and back again look pretty dull. I am impressed with Bill reading for an hour, I don't think he ever really did much reading aloud before,so well done! BJ looks as cute as ever and continues to be a very lucky girl! Carol, I love your photos, a great eye! All my positive thinking is headed your way Bill, I am looking forward to hearing that the operation was a great success and that they did a much better job than the first time around. Love & Hugs, Raven

  8. Your Jan 5 Reflections shot is right up my alley!! And your other photos and stories show me a world very different to mine - so of course I'll be back for more!

  9. Black Jack LOVES to run and I love to see her running. She is just so totally engrossed ingallopping speed. By the way I have seen a copy of Gutenberg's Bible printed on the Gutenberg press in the British museum. Fascinating.

  10. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours!