Thursday, July 12, 2007

photo by our daughter Melanie
(on her cell phone, no less!)

Baby its hot!

We are grilling - no, not food, its ourselves. I know we're not alone either. BC is experiencing a heat wave - not too unusual for summer, especially us living in the Okanagan, and more specifically in Canada's only pocket desert. What is unusual is that our parent's hometown of Abbotsford, at the coast, is as hot as here. Mom hates heat and wind, and this week they're having more than their share of it.

Luckily for us, we've got our beautiful lake (the warmest freshwater lake in all of Canada) to cool off in. I took advantage of that fact twice yesterday. Once intentionally, the second time on impulse. The first dousing came in the mid-afternoon to wash off the heat and dust of an excursion into town. Miles had an appointment and we did all our running around at once. I'd organized all our recyclable bottles which we took with us. We have several containers we like to fill up in town - not at the store, but just from the tap. We are blessed with delicious, clean drinking water. The water we have at home is good too, for most everything, only for drinking I like town water. Maybe my tastebuds are citified while the rest of me is countrified now. So, we just take several refillable containers with us each time we hit the metropolis of Osoyoos.

layout by blog reader Senati

credit: Super Hero Kit by Barb Derksen

postcard by ???

Thanks Senati - Readers, there's a story behind this layout which you may read in Senati's July 8th post! Thanks for sharing Senati!

I would love to feature your own layouts using any of my kits or elements - just send me a link and credits.

Seems we are a minority in our drinking tap water. These days folks are drinking more bottled water than ever. It makes me shudder to think of the millions upon millions of plastic water bottles that go into landfills. We do buy a few bottled waters every so often, but we just reuse them over and over. Truly, we only go through perhaps a dozen in a half year. Its more work, but its so worth it, I think. Recently, there were a few insightful and informative articles on this very subject on NPR. They addressed all the areas I had wondered about... for instance, most people think that bottled water is safer than tap water... and in most cases, thats simply not true. Boy, if your tap water is not safe, thats pretty sad in this day and age. Yes, I know it does happen, but not to the extent that we all need to get our only drinks from individual plastic bottles. Not only that, its the cost factor. I have a real problem with paying for water - well, for paying for more water. After all, we are paying for clean drinking water through our local taxes, no?

I'm not going to preach on you here about whether you should or should not use your tap water only won't you take a moment to listen to the following article on bottled water from national public radio? Just click on the following link to enjoy the full article in audio format:

Also, here's another article by national public radio which explains how the good folks in New York City are trying to persuade people to drink right out of their taps!

Do you have good drinking water? I would love to hear from you!

As I was waiting for Miles yesterday, at his appointment, I was reading a parenting magazine (always gleaning for tips to share with you) I came across a good one. One clever mom got a large piece of cardboard and had her child lay on it. She then drew an outline around the child. Then, she cut out the child's 'form'. The mom bought some of those office alligator clips. Now, at night, just before bedtime, the child picks out his/her clothes for the next day and then 'clips' them to the form. This way theres no casting around for the right clothing!

The lake was just luscious yesterday afternoon. Miles bought me a set of scuba gear back in spring and I've been brave enough to use it. I spent about 1/2 hour yesterday floating around in the reeds on the shoreline. I felt like a mermaid - and it has opened up a whole new underwater world for me. I was discouraged that I hadn't seen any life, when I saw a black shape like a fishes tail slide by me in the gloom. I did a few more power turns in the reeds and was rewarded by coming across the path of several pairs of carp. They're not particulary afraid of me... they sort of check me out and then curve off to another section.

The second swim I had yesterday was in the late evening. We had chosen to go for a walk in the soft, velvet darkness to clear the fog from our having been staring at the computer screens for too long. By the time we arrived at the lake's shore the water was beckoning me... come in... coooommeee in... so, with prompting from Miles, in I went, dress and all. I floated about in the cool water while Miles enjoyed the tail end of the sunset. He had to coax me reluctantly from the depths, and I slowly made my way to the water's edge, the voluminous pockets of my dress filled like buckets!

Have you ever just jumped in with all your clothes on? Been pushed? Come on, share with us here!

Today in History:

1817 - The German Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn demonstrated his newly invented "Laufmaschine" (Running Machine), one of the predecessors of the modern bicycle. Made entirely of wood and without the use of pedals, the Laufmaschine was propelled by pushing one's feet against the ground.

1862 - The United States Congress authorized th Medal of Honor.

1912 - The premiere of the first foreign-made film to be shown in the United States occurred. The film was "Queen Elizabeth," a French film starring Sarah Bernhardt and Lon Tellegen.

1933 - The United States established a 40 cent an hour minimum wage.

1958 - The Coasters' "Yakety Yak" became the United States' number one song in "Billboard" magazine. It became the first stereo record to reach the chart's top.

1960 - On sale for the first time was the Etch-A-Sketch. For the next 25 years, over 50 million units were sold.

1982 - "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" broke all box-office records when it surpassed the $100-million mark in ticket sales for its first 31 days of opening.

1982 - In taxicab production since 1922, Checker taxicabs saw the last of the distinctive-looking cabs roll off its assembly line in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

1990 - Tim Lennox, a radio talk show host in Birmingham, Alabama, was suspended indefinitely for barring black listeners from speaking on the show when they phoned in. Lennox said he was upset because a black man was seen breaking into a station employee's car and had stolen her purse. He told his listeners about the theft the previous day, and then prohibited blacks from speaking on the air by cutting them off. Station WERC-AM apologized for Lennox's inexcusable actions.


I will leave you with some humor here... and something for my friend Becky to ruminate on... see Becky just escaped an office fate herself, right in time for summer - though she's trusting her dream job is waiting for the right moment to surprise her. It is a huge adjustment no matter how you look at it, no matter how you may have longed for just that when you were mired in the day to day. Though it was not fun, its difficult to go from a tight weekly routine to no routine at all. Just in case you're feeling like the proverbial fish out of water at this time, my friend, think on the following. PS: I'm leaving the spiritual end of things to Becky's blog - its thought provoking and insightful and an entry I encourage you to ponder!

IN PRISON: You spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell.
AT WORK: You spend the majority of your time in an 8X8 cubicle.

IN PRISON: You get three meals a day.
AT WORK: You get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it.

IN PRISON: You get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK: You get more work for good behavior.

IN PRISON: The guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK: You must often carry a security card and open all the doors for yourself.

IN PRISON: You can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK: You could get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON: You get your own toilet.
AT WORK: You have to share the toilet with some people who pee on the seat.

IN PRISON: They allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK: You aren’t even supposed to speak to your family.

IN PRISON: All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required.
AT WORK: you get to pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN PRISON: People spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out.
AT WORK: People spend most of their time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON: You must deal with sadistic wardens.
AT WORK: They are called managers.

Hmmm... do I hear you firing off to all those you left behind, Becky? (lol) Well, enough said. You all have a Blessed Day and I will be back to visit at you soon!


  1. Good Morning Barb:)
    How cool! Audio!! Now I can dust my office and hear your blog at the same time.:)
    That lake sounds great! I want pics of you in your scuba gear.:)I can see an underwater camera on your list of things "I want".:)
    I really need to get to that laundry now.Can't stay this time but wanted to stop in first to say Hi.:)


  2. AnonymousJuly 12, 2007

    Thank you Barb for the lovely thoughts on water, we have a well and although it's clean I do wonder for how long. A shift in the earth plates can change the water quality in a heart beat.

    I have a fliter on the tap and I am seriously thinking about installing a more effective unit, I am also a town bug, when I lived in Pen I didn't worry about the water quality, but several years ago beaver fever was an issue and I boiled my water, at the time my boy was very young and I feared for his safety.

    Keep cool, I'm heading outside with my two little girls to beat the heat and have some playground time before the BIIIGGGG Heat wave of the day!

    As too jumping into the lake fully clothed NotMe, I'm afraid I haven't been so inclined! Not even when I was young.

  3. Thank you Barb for all your research on water.

    1- Rain, rain, rain GO AWAY! It has been raining here in Montreal since the beginning of the Summer. We hardly used the pool, except for swimming lessons.

    2- We do a lot of recycling here in QC. We recycle everything from yogurt container, to milk carton, to glass bottle and newspaper, etc ...

    3- We do refill our water bottle with tap water.

    4- And we PAY for our water .. not every QC town does but we do in mine .. so there is NO WASHING YOUR DRIVEWAY AS A HOBBY. We are allowed a certain amount but after that, they do charge us extra $$$$

    Have a great sunny day! Love ya.

  4. Heheh - yes, I often thought of my office desk as prison for those same reasons :)

    Although, in this dreadful summer heat, sometimes the house feels the same way. Thank goodness for a/c in my car to allow me a few glorious escapes.

    Love that you had a sunset swim fully dressed you funny girl. I swam in the river in Oliver yesterday aft. A little cooler than the lake & so refreshing to just let the current carry me.

    I'm not much of a tap-water drinker. I'm very sensitive to how water tastes...if it does taste like anything I don't like it. Even some bottled water has a 'taste' but some don't and those I like. If all else fails, I'll just add some ice tea powder to it & that makes any tasting water taste ok. But yes, I agree, the waste those bottles cause at the landfills are getting rediculous. Recycle recycle recycle. And we do!

  5. Hey there girl!

    Your serendipitous swim sounded fun. Swimming sounds like a good thing as the days heat up! Our lake has leeches. Ugh! But they are usually worse in August.

    We drink tap water up here as our water is good (even though it is hard) ... no chlorine, no floride. At the coast we use a Brita filter. We are non believers in bottled water! Plastic leeches out xeno-oestrogens and probably other things that we can do without ... besides filling up the land fills. Amazing how we buy into advertising though .. you saw my previous rant on sun screen!

    My Mom is in Abbotsford too and I lived there a good part of my adult life (1968-2005). It has become a yucky place to live and I am so thankful not to be there anymore. And yes, one REALLY feels the heat in Abbotsford! So muggy, so polluted as things heat up.

    I was so happy to finally escape my office fate, let me tell you, but I had to wait until 50 when I got married! I was lucky in that most of my jobs I had an office with windows and mostly an office to myself. I hope Becky finds her way into something more creative and fortunate her, to escape young!

    Loved your prison/work analogy. Ha ha. I've already shared it.

    Got several letters written today so must needs go mail them. I got a new outfit yesterday so I'll put it on and step out in style. I'm a sucker for skirts. Skirts are so airy and cool and unconfining ... I far prefer them to pants. Maybe I'll get D to take a picture and put it up on the blog tomorrow. It is really quite girlish ... but cute.

    TTFN ... Cicero

  6. love the swim Barb ...and thanks for the lesson you soon you hugs and tugs

  7. I am LISTENING to your blog right now. This is great! I like to listen more than to try and read, to be honest. Although I would like it more in your voice I am sure :)

  8. I think the idea of broadcasting or podcasting the blog is great. :)

    About the water question, I have a filtered system myself. It's a jug and I regularly change the filters. Once or twice a year I buy them so I spare myself the work of carrying bottles of water plus the amount of money and time that it would take me to buy it. It's also more ecological, too.

    The reason to have the jug is that I come from I region of Spain with high quality tap water, and I do notice the difference in the taste of water even if I go to the South of my country. The water in the South has lots of limescale and so does the water in Ireland. And also my stomach does not feel the same way, it's not only taste (that also as one person above has explain) but digestive discomfort. The filter system actually makes it healthier as gets rid of chlorine and other stuff. :)

    And yes you're right. Sometimes bottle water is even worse than tap one, and you pay more. There is no reason to believe in normal circumstances that tap water is worse than bottled one. :)

    No, I've never gone into the water dressed, neither on purpose or "accidentally". Surely it's fun, but the thought of having to wear my wet clothes afterwards is not very appealing. LOL

    And the analogy between work and prison is very good. LOL

    The layout is very good, thanks for sharing it with us, and best wishes. :O)

  9. Barb!
    I haven't commented in awhile and it's for so many reasons. Mainly Emma & hubby have kept me aways from the computer but I've also been lazy and uninspired- so I'm fearful you'll want me to work on the project more while I'm in a slump. I hope you aren't being kept too busy by the mister. On the upside I did find a nice brush set we can use for our project!!!
    Lots of love,
    -Amy: the uninspired one

  10. Barb, Thanks for visiting me :) A prayer from a person as wonderful as you is worth more than anything money can buy. Thank you for making my day as usual :) You help me keep my chin up.

  11. First of all thank you for the fabulous new tapes.
    Next, I have a PUR water filter on my faucet, so I can drink water from the tap. It filters out the added chlorine and other stuff I really don't want to be drinking. I also have a Brita water pitcher that also filters out impurities. I fill it from the tap with the PUR filter, so, in essence, I'm drinking double filtered water. Bottom line - that double filtered water tastes great! Finally, thank you for the terrific comparison between prison and work, I really got a chuckle from it. I'd rather put up with work any day though, cuz at least I get to leave and go home! Have a great day!


Your comments are a blessing to me!

Follow by Email

Total Pageviews

Popular Posts