Photo by the very brilliant Anabel
I'm a former Snowlander and even though I've now lived in the land of alternating glorious sun and torrential rain for about 16 years, I still can't get over how stunningly beautiful our Autumns here can be.  The air is so clear and bracing, you tell yourself you very literally feel energized by it.  We live in this unique patch of land wherein you can look about and simultaneously gape at mountains, ocean, lakes, river and a whole other country (we're a stone's throw (or two) away from the USA).  There are endless things to do outside here, all of them featuring the most fantastic natural beauty you've ever dropped your jaw alongside to. 

I feel very lucky to live here.  I love being able to go out for my runs still in a tank top and thin running pants.  There's no question that it's chilly for the first ten minutes or so, but then you finish the rest of your run congratulating yourself on your tremendous insight and wisdom which have allowed you to be running still in November thus scantily clad because you were so clever as to move here to begin with. 

Right around January, I start to feel the psychological drain of what feels like incessant gray, but then along comes February.  I don't know why, but we almost always seem to have the world's most stunning February here.  Remember the Olympics? 

Our flora and fauna here are truly something to write home about.  In my own backyard, I've personally seen raccoons, black bears (two of them), deer and rabbits.  My neighbor once saw what he believed was a wolverine, early on one silent summer morning.  There are regularly cougar sightings here.  The trees I gaze upon in the forest just beyond my backyard are a cacophony of green, each vying for your attention.  There are massive cedars that look to be centuries old and these are just the grandfathers of the tree hierarchy.  They are stalwart.  They look down upon the myriad young  with a steady patience, uncompromising in their roles as overseers.  They (and our lawns) stay green all winter long, providing a heady flash of color when you find yourself in the middle of all that rain that makes a perpetual damp of our winter here.  I love it.  Barring perhaps a swift move to Maui, I can't see myself ever living anywhere else.

And another one from Anabel's collection
In high narcissist fashion, I'm about to elaborate upon my fave's and their polar opposites, my yucks.  Brace yourselves.  Be forewarned, no one here ever asserted that there was anything very particularly others-focused about this post!

I love San Pelligrino, rose-bud-lipped children, people who emanate a sparkly personal wholeness, the words melodic and mellifluous, holidays in Maui, running both in and out of the rain, Bengal Spice tea, my sheepskin slippers, Black-Eyed Susans and their more elegant cousin - the Daisy, loud-laughers, the elusive intelligence/humility combo, Victorian literature, thick, hand-knitted cardigans, reading, my bed and it's all-white accompaniment, beautiful tea towels, Nigella Lawson, the Barefoot Contessa, birds, seafood, the triumph of order over chaos, C.S. Lewis - both his writing and his take on Christian faith, British accents (I don't care who you are - you seem brilliant to me), mushrooms, The Lord of the Rings, going to the library and then Starbucks, darkest of dark coffee with cream, confidence, kindness not caught up in wondering if one looks stupid, the JoyKids and the JoyBoy.

On the other end of the spectrum, I feel a bit repelled by people with visible yucks in their eyes, ears or nose, raisins, mess, prolonged noise, months and months of incessant grey damp, most movies, boy food like mashed potatoes and stew, ketchup,  the colors burgundy and forest green, liver, bickering people, gory halloween decorations and costumes, chapped lips, litter (who still does that?!), bumper stickers or t-shirts featuring tasteful comments like when this van's a'rockin', don't come a'knockin,  people who don't espouse the idea that kids are people worthy of full respect just like their adult counterparts, and lard.

Jump in!  Tell me some of yours!  I'm just dying to know!
I've chatted with several of my real-life friends, and I want to share another favorite new thing with my cyber buddies as well.  Go quick from here and google these words (if you're a lucky British Columbian, that is):  LadyBug Organics. 

These people have changed my life in a beautiful way.  Every Friday, they deliver - right to my doorstep - a big box full of a variety of organic fruits and vegetables.  It's a surprise everytime and we've never eaten more healthfully in our lives.  I'm also known as El-Cheapo and so it kills me to have anything rot and go to waste, which in this case, is a real advantage to me and to us.  I spend an inordinate amount of time prepping it all that first day it arrives and we proceed to spend the week eating all manner of interesting, often unusual, organic vegetables. 

We've never before eaten more swiss chard.  We've discovered that we love it!  When it's sauteed with a splash of olive oil, some feta cheese and some dried cranberries, it takes on a beautiful earthly flavor that only needs a bit of salt and pepper to make it spectacular.  Who knew?!

When you call to sign up (and I highly recommend that you do), mention my name.  It's not like this blog is so well known that I can procure for you a discount, but you will be getting me a $5 credit, which I will appreciate so very much.  Happy late Summer.
Here's the brand-new blog of one of my very Fave's.  I love her.  Her animation spills out all over the place as she talks.  She's smart and she's vibrant.  She's creative and she loves Jesus.  She's always passionately describing some book or other to me that I invariably find myself checking out from the library.  And, what's more (no pressure at all, LP!), she and I are doing our first half-marathon  together next year!!  Check her out!  You can find her here:  http://passionateeclectic.blogspot.com/