Photo of the Month – Butterflies

Hi Folks:

Well, it’s a little late in the day but it’s still the last day of the month, and time for my ‘Photo of the Month’.  Each month I pick my favourite image of the past month, although lately it’s often been more than one image.  Most of my work involves landscapes, but sometimes I also stray into macro work.  My dedicated macro equipment is in storage at the moment, but I have enough to get me through temporarily.  I found two new (to me) species of butterflies this month.  The first is an Anise Swallowtail, seen up on the top of Christmas Hill in the Swan Lake/ Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.  The second is a Lorquin’s Admiral I found at the Oak Bay Native Plant Garden.  I trust you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. Continue Reading →

Marcia’s Meanderings – Making Room for Rumi

Hello Dear Ones!

The clock is ticking down to June 30th – the deadline date to getting my first book to the publisher.  At this point I may even be successfully completed all the finite details today – that would be grand!

Rather than stressing about the potential time constraint, I thought to inspire myself with some of my favourite quotes. Rumi is one of my most inspirational and uplifting authors. Here then are, in my estimation, some of the best of the best of his quotes – the simplicity and wisdom that is Rumi: Continue Reading →

He Says, She Says… Sunday Cinema

Hi Folks:

Sunday has wound its way around again, and that usually means our ‘He Says, She Says…‘ post, but Marcia’s still happily ensconced in editing her book of poetry and mostly all I get is an occasional nod or a “What’s that, dear?”   For that reason, this week’s post will be strictly a ‘He Says’.

However, since yesterday marked our 92nd Monthaversary of being married, we did take some time off this afternoon to go to the movies.  We wanted to see ‘Letters to Juliet‘, and while I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, I will say that it’s a wonderful movie and Vanessa Redgrave was stunning as always.  It’s a little slow in places, but it’s also hopelessly romantic and features some wonderful scenes of the Tuscan countryside.  I’ll admit it; I cry in movies, and this one warrants a few happy tears. Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria – To Market, To Market!

Hi Folks:

In our last several ‘Food‘ posts we’ve discussed our adventures at several of Victoria’s restaurants, from the humble coffee shop to the Bengal Lounge at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.  There are still many more fine dining establishments to visit, but it’s summertime and in summer one’s thoughts turn to picnics and backyard barbecues.  There are quite a number of markets that pop up in the Greater Victoria area (from Sidney to Sooke), on up the island to Duncan, Nanaimo and points north and also out into the Gulf Islands, but since we live in this ‘City of Gardens’ we’ll refine our discussion to the ones down here in the south (at least for this post… 😉 ).  We haven’t been to all of the markets here yet, but virtually all of them share one common theme: one must make it, bake it or grow it in order to sell it.  Eating local food is definitely a ‘green’ choice, but there’s a different feel, a different energy to local markets.  One connects directly with those who are providing their wares, and each bunch of carrots, each loaf of bread and each link of sausages have a history.  There’s also a more direct sense of community, and we appreciate that.

So, starting from the north and working south and west, here are at least some of the markets you can discover for yourself.  If you know of others, please feel free to leave us a comment below! Continue Reading →

Being Green… but is it fun?

Hi Folks:

Friday once again, and that means it’s ‘Being Green‘ day here on our little corner of the web.  BTW, if you’re looking for one of my ‘Being Green’ posts you can reach them all from this link:  It’s a lot easier to remember.

If you’ve read our other posts for this past week you’ll know that Marcia and I are putting the finishing touches on her book of poetry before sending it off to the publisher, and that’s been taking up most of our attention.  I’ve been helping out with cover design, editing and technical support.  It also means this might be a little shorter than usual.  Or not.

So.  Yesterday I was reading the June 2010 “Responsible Travel Report” from Sustainable Travel International, and the opening paragraph contained, “You shop for food, clothes, cars, energy, and maybe even your job with a conscience, but how about your travel? If you’re planning summer travel, how does sustainability factor in to your booking decisions?”  That got me thinking of a couple of things.  For one, green travel is certainly as important as green building or any other issue regarding green living.  As with green building there are standards and certifications for green travel, such as the “Green” Hotels Association, or the Green Key Eco-Rating Program.  The American Hotels and Lodging Association also has its own ‘Green Resource Center‘, although these are ideas for ‘best practices’ and not covered under certification.  Every hotel or other lodging must be built of something, and so the rules for green building apply here as well, and some have done much to curb their waste stream and both water and energy use.  Should one provide individual (branded) soaps and cosmetics in the guest rooms for guests to take with them, or is better to buy in bulk and use dispensers instead?  Hand dryers or paper towels?  There are both energy use and health issues to consider.  Cleaning products?  The list goes on and on and can effect every aspect of a hotel or resort’s operation.  Marcia and I both have experience with the hospitality industry, so we’ve looked at this from both sides of the proverbial coin. Continue Reading →

Poetry Corner – Poetry ‘n’ Pics II

//poetry and pics / the perfect combination / revealing one’s heart//       (senryu)

***//origami gift / crafted by my husband’s hands / and his loving heart//       (senryu)

*****//music from teen years / saddle shoes and bobby sox / worn out from dancing//     (senryu)

*******//moss and river beds / happy childhood memories / sense of scents recalled//       (haiku)

//listen carefully / revelation of  wood lore / songs of the faerie//       (haiku)

***//candy apple red / country fair transport to buy / candy floss pink//       (haiku)

*****//loving intention / energy expended then / tossed away like scrap//       (senryu)

*******//patio table / only patron a wee bird / any scraps for me?//       (haiku)

//sunlight reflections / car windshield captures brilliance / kisses passersby//       (haiku)

***//beautiful sun dogs / early evening summer gift / divine rainbow arc//       (haiku)

*****//summer night cruising / revving/ antique car engines / not for girls / for grills//       (gogyohka)

*******//deep breath draw to me / scents of summer fragrance lush / exhale winter thaw//       (haiku)

//simple village life / ensconced amidst gentleness / neighbour / greets neighbour / with smiles//       (gogyohka)

That’s all the poetry I have to share for now, Dear Ones! Create an incredible week for yourselves!

In Light and Laughter,


(Note: new to this post? Please go here to learn more about my apophysis fractal art work and the various poetry  styles shared today.)

Marcia’s Meanderings – Yes, the book!

Hello Dear Ones!

The crunch is on – a mere 9 days left to get my book to the publisher. Hence Marcia’s thoughts and attention are meandering to the final edit procedures – the finishing touches and tweaks that will add that je ne sais quoi to the overall effect.

As long as I figure out what that je ne sais quoi truly is so that my readers can sense its presence within the covers, then I will have succeeded well for us all to benefit.

More to follow in the days ahead. Like a good book – leave the reader hanging …

In Light and Laughter,


He Says, She Says… Book?

He Says: “So, how’s the book coming along?”

She Says: “Pretty well.  Coming down to the crunch though.”

He Says: “So, what’s our topic for this week?”

She Says: “Hmmm?  Sorry, honey, but this is taking all of my time right now.”

He Says: “Until next week then?”

She Says: “That would probably be best.”

Have a great week, folks!


Being Green – Questions?

Hi Folks:  Friday once again, and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post.  I was originally going to call this post ‘Being Green – Tradeoffs’, but decided to change it.  Let me explain.

A couple of decades ago I was hired to do environmental work for a gas pipeline construction contract taking place across several Canadian provinces.  The pipeline company was ‘looping’ – adding extra lengths of pipe that would eventually be joined to make another line.  Basically this involved widening the existing right of way and digging a trench some 15′ deep and wide enough for a 4′ diameter pipe.  As the environmental inspector on the job my function varied depending on where I was working.  On the prairies the largest consideration was topsoil preservation, whereas in northern Ontario it was timber removal and water crossings.  There was a manual that outlined the job in some detail, and there were of course existing provincial and federal laws; part of my work was acting as liaison with local agencies with regard to environmental concerns.  The bottom line was that the pipe was going in the ground, and my challenge was to work with the gas company and the contractor to do it in a way that caused the least environmental impact without overly inflating the construction costs.  In practical terms, every day was about trade-offs.  I’m sure just about everyone reading this has experienced this in their own way.

Earlier this week I listened to a webinar with  “Interior Designer and Green Building Insider” Patricia Gaylor, called “Living Eco-logically: Sustainability with Style”.  In her talk Ms. Gaylor mentioned doing a kitchen remodel where the clients insisted on having granite countertops.  As granite is a mined resource and not renewable, it’s not exactly a ‘green’ option.  Ms. Gaylor’s suggestion to her clients was that to offset using granite for the countertops they might agree to using “Energy Star“-rated appliances… a trade-off. Continue Reading →

Poetry Corner – Poetry ‘n’ Pics!

Hello Dear Ones!

Today’s Poetry Corner is being dedicated to a new category within M&M’s Musings: Poetry ‘n’ Pics.

Seems that two creative passions vie for my time and attention each day – poetry and fractal artwork. Many of you who know me through Twitter will be familiar with my micropoetry.  Individual tweets of my poems get sent out in that fashion on occasion. Yet there are days – like today – when I write six, nine, a dozen or more! I don’t like overloading inboxes with tweet after tweet of my verse.

The majority of you would be unaware that I also do art work through the computer. Many of my pieces have found their way to our Flickr site (click on Fractals: my work shows up under Marcia’s Apophysis Galaxies). Here are two of my favourite pieces – the Beribboned Buddha plus Mother and Child: Continue Reading →