Thursday, January 13, 2022

Update: Mom-Day Adventure: Down Memory Lane in Blue and Yellow

Update: Mom sent me some more info on a few things, so I've added in her comments below, as applicable. 

Welcome back to our Mom-Day Adventures! Mom and I had planned to go for a walk, but she woke up stiff and sore, and I was feeling groggy and achy from my booster shot, so instead we had lunch out, followed by a visit to her house, where I helped Mom hang some pictures and dusted/cleaned out a couple of shelves for her.

I'd dressed for the walk, but my outfits are always transferrable to other occasions. I could easily wear this to work or for brunch. 
It's not a good clothes shopping outfit, though. Too many layers and fussy bits. 

  • Sweater - Maison Scotch, consignment; last seen here on our not-quite trip to Powell River in December 2021
  • Yellow top - Desoto; last seen here in August 2021 with mixed mustards
  • Skirt - Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, F/W 2011, consignment; last seen here with a fox in October 2021
  • Boots - Woodland East End, Fluevog; last worn here in November 2021 with bold yellow
  • Coat (below) - Elizabeth and James, consignment; last seen here in December 2021

Ah, it's nice to have the stair picture again, isn't it? 
I do love the view. 

Lots of layers was the key today. 
If I'm walking, I generally start with my shoes - which led me to this awesome Vivienne Westwood skirt. 

The yellow top was far too much on its own, so I layered this grey sweater over it. 
Throw on a belt and we are ready to go. 
The yellow plaid on the boots pleases me immensely. 

Showing my underlovelies. 
A black half-slip and some blue tights. 

Masked up. 
I love this blue/yellow mix - this outfit made me happy. 

Outerwear - I was even happier when I added this bright blue leather coat. 
I added a silk scarf at the neck.
Got my cross-body bag. 

It's all harmonious. 

  • Purse - Danier Leather, thrifted
  • Scarf - Forele, vintage, Lazy Susan's
  • Gloves - Parkhurst
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
I did quite a bit of walking in these - they were great. Such comfy boots. 

Blue bling: 
This necklace has been an excellent purchase (love that it's reversible). 

  • Belt - Rohesia belt, Fluevog; last seen here in November 2021
  • Necklace - Stella & Dot, thrifted
  • Earrings - Alexis Bittar, consignment, gift from L
  • Lapis lazuli ring/Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

Now, this is a good time to get a cup of tea or cocoa or whatever. Lots of pictures coming! 

Mom and I popped into Michael's (craft store) to pick up a poster frame for a project she wanted my assistance on, and then we went to Floyd's Diner for lunch. 
Looking classy in teal and wearing my favourite 1970s necklace of hers.

We spotted two of Chloe's paintings from when she was a kid and my mom came to her school to teach the children oil painting. 
I'm sure hundreds of kids have variations of this oil painting! 

We went back to Mom's place, where she showed off her new interior paint job. 
The living room area. 

Mom checking it out. I like the warm colour. 
Mom's wearing the knit Glamour Jammy Pants I bought her for Christmas. Lookin' sharp, Mom! 

The dining room table is covered with puzzles - one on each end, hiding under the tablecloth.
My brother Dave made the dining room table, and the coffee table, in high school. 

And it's his birthday today - Happy Birthday, Dave! I did a tribute to Dave for his 40th birthday (here), but now he is an Old Man of 52. Aw, my little bro! 
I snagged a pair of "loaner slippers" out of the basket on the floor. 

In the breakfast area, which is where Mom works on her stamps. 
She did all three of the paintings on the wall there, and also the needlepoint on the left. 

I admired this one, which is amazing. 
It's the first one she did after my dad died (in 1997) that she didn't throw away - she worked through it with the help of her art. 

Such a huge kitchen! 
Mom and I picked out the flooring when we did our Mom-Day Adventure in Sidney in the summer (here). 

This is my dad's drafting course test.
Very hard to see. 

The red notes are where he got deducted marks. 
Wow, that's a lot of detail.

I like this bit.
I have no idea what that thing is, but it was amazing to touch something that my dad did so long ago, all by hand. 

He got 48/50 on it. 
That's awesome! 

He completed it March 16th, 1969.
I was less than two years old! 

Now to the hanging. I howled when Mom handed me the hammer. 
Dave etched that in. "Can't touch this"  sez MC Hammer. 

Standing on the bed in the spare room, pounding nails into the freshly painted wall. 
"Take my picture, Mom!"

Here's the finished areas, pictures hung. It's hard to see the detail on Dad's drafting but that's where Mom sits at the computer, so she can look at it nice and close 
The other drawing is not by my dad. 

It's by Mom's dad, my grandad! 
I have some books that my Grandad illustrated - he loved to doodle and draw, but I had no idea this picture existed! The squared-off shadows are not quite right, but that's pretty good! 

Mom pointed out the label on the back. 
This is when my Grandad lived in Oakland, California while his mother was getting her second divorce. Although I think the date there is Oct 30, 1927, Mom didn't think that date was right. If it was 1927, Lester would have been 17. 

I thought this was another one of Mom's early paintings, but NO. 
This was one that Mom helped my grandmother do! This was painted by my paternal Grandma J, she of the copper jewelry collection. 

These two paintings were done by me (the top right one) and Dave (the bottom one). 
We both did a class with local artist Ivah Bryant way back in the 70s. I think I was around 9 or 10 when I painted this (I vividly remember doing the white cloud smudges with my fingers), so Dave would have been around 7 or 8). He was a holy terror back in the day (Mom's words!) and Ivah wouldn't let him come back, but I did classes with her for a couple of years. 

This is pretty good. 
Oil painting isn't something I've done for many decades, but I do remember how to do it. 

To my utter surprise, this painting was done by my other grandmother, Mom's mother. 
I love the colours in this. 

Gram signed it and dated it: June 1983.
Always sign your art. 

The poster on the left is from when Mom and Dad did a Rim-to-Rim walk/run at the Grand Canyon in the early 90s. 
Mom admiring my hanging prowess. The pile of books are part of her collection of Harlequin Romances that she's sorting through. 

This needlepoint was also in the room (above Mom's head in the previous pic).
Another one by Gram. 

Fresh from our picture-hanging victory, we moved into the TV room, where we started sorting through Mom's panorama photos from her (and her and Dad's) travels. I left the TV in, as you can see Mom sitting and watching me - I see you! 
From left: Bermuda; Staithes (England, where our family is from); Melbourne, Australia; the White Horse from England; the Great Wall of China; and a temple in Mexico. Mom's getting floating shelves to go over the TV, and wants to do little displays of her pictures plus the knick-knacks she brought home as souvenirs. 

I dusted the TV cabinet (it's the years of working in retail - I can't help it), but opened the middle cupboard and went "nope, not doing this."
I spy...two Burning Boot awards (about them here - these are from when they gave out actual plaques with little burning boots), a pirate ship, Dad's drafting tools (including a slide-rule), a couple of pen-knives and some rocks. 

I also found a gun! According to Mom, this belonged to my great-great-grandfather (who fought for the south in the US Civil War), and it's a Belgian "boot" gun, called the "Last Chance."
As in, once you're out of bullets, you pull this out of your boot. 

I couldn't find anything online about it, but I'm pretty sure those are ivory handles. Note the collapsible trigger.
I only found a couple of markings, underneath this little hinge where you load the bullets. 
It is likely from the 1800s, and was a "conceal & carry" firearm, very popular, and was indeed from Belgium. 

From Mom: When the new law came in that all guns must be registered with a certified gun collector I went to see a gunsmith. He checked it over and it is unusable and there are no bullets available that fit it so we are safe having it. It was made in Belgium for the officers of the South. It is poorly made. The same type of gun was made for the officers of the North in France and it is a better quality.

I found all kinds of treasures and pictures while I dusted. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon. 
This is my dad and my Aunt Lois (his younger sister) sometime in the 80s. This is how I think of my dad, how I visualize him. 

I found a couple of early pictures of me and L. I'm wearing a chartreuse satin dress, my top hat (still have it!), purple velvet sunglasses and black pumps. 
Yes, this is what we gave Mom for Christmas one year! Party pictures of ourselves. That's the old chalkboard green our house used to be, plus gross beige wall-to-wall carpeting. 

And here's L - this was our "Sunglasses" party. Everyone had to wear sunglasses. That is L's real hair!! I blow-dried it out to a massive afro. That's our friend Gerry on the right. 
I still have those sunglasses (here I am wearing them in 2013), and L still has his golden lion-head necklace. 

Aw, here's my Aunt Lois and her husband Brent. 
This was from L and my 20th anniversary dinner back here in 2017. 

Oh my gosh, this is the only picture I have seen of my Grandpa J!! This is likely in the 1970s and it's at Christmas (at our house - I recognize the fireplace behind them, and the record player cabinet on the right). Love the pink shirt! He died in the mid-80s, I think. This is the alcoholic, abusive father that my dad grew up with. 
So let's focus on Grandma J, she of the copper jewelry (which she's not wearing). Get a load of that sheer black ruffled blouse, and WHERE WAS THAT SKIRT when I was a closet-ransacking teenager?? See the style influence there? I wanted to dress like this! Ironically, I am probably close to my Grandma's age here now. Yikes. 

I also found a picture of my Dad's grandmother, my Great Grandma Bradley (all these people are long dead, don't care about the names). She was the mother of Grandma J, above. Here, she is holding a luggage/loading rack at a train station somewhere in Saskatchewan, likely sometime in the 80s? 
She was born in Oklahoma Territory (before it was a state - it was her father who fought in the Civil War, his pistol above), and her father was a barber - she remembered the James Gang (as in Jesse James, link here) riding through town when she was a little girl. 

This is her son - my Grandma J's brother - Leonard, my great-uncle. 
He died 10-15 years ago. He was a lovely, gentle and kind man - we last visited him about 20 years ago (my mom, Dave and I). 

And I found my graduation picture (Grad 2000!) from the University of Victoria (UVic). 
Dave picked this moment to whisper, "Dad would be so proud of you," so I am barely holding back tears there. 

Moving along! I remember Mom making these owls back in the 70s when she went back to university (we are both UVic alumni, as is L).
I just get a kick out of them. 

Under the mum owl is an egg! 
So cute.

I found Mom's degree - 1977, I think? 
Bachelor of Education, way to go, Mom! 

Look how beautiful she is. 
"I'm pissed there - they just mispronounced my last name." It was a difficult last name - I took L's when I got married. 

I made Mom show off some of her race-walking accomplishments and awards. The medal is a "Finisher" one from the 2014 Times-Colonist 10K race (I did that race about 10 times). She was one of four people who had done every race for the full 25 years at the time. 
On the left, the Prairie Inn Harriers award from 2006, when she won the Race Walker of the Year award (which was named after my dad). On the right is her Leadership Award from 2009 - I went with her to the 2011 awards, when she won it for the fourth time (here).

This picture made me exclaim, "You should have pink hair!" It's mom's retirement picture - she retired when she was in her early 50s, same age as I am now. 
I really think you have potential for pink hair, Mom. You look beautiful! 

I dusted a ginormous bookshelf and helped Mom go through some of the ephemera she'd collected. 
This collection features Mom's and Dad's Elk-Beaver Lake Ultra(marathon) trophies. 

They both won in the same year, 1997.
That's the year Dad died. 

And the double-picture is when they both race-walked in the Royal Victoria Marathon. 
This is such "classic Dad" to me - he had very funky taste in shorts! 

And here's Mom. 
Aspirational leg muscles! Very impressive. 

Mom was a volunteer for the 1994 Commonwealth Games, which were held in Victoria. 
Along with some books and stuff, we found her "thank you" medal. 
It's from Birks - classy! 

I found a book that I'd obviously bought for Dad. 
Mom read it. 

I found some of the old philatelic memorabilia. Mom's dad was very big in the stamp collecting world for many decades, and both Mom and I (not so much Dave, although he did go to the Junior Stamp Club meetings) won this award. 
"I won it twice." Yes, you're very special. 

It's the "Annual Junior Award" - the figure is of a carved bison. 
This was in my Grandad's den the entire time I remember him. 

Then I found this package of goodies. That's my Grandad - isn't he a handsome fellow? What a shock of hair! 
The certificate in back is a recognition from the UN (yes, that UN, the United Nations), and the one in the foreground is his Life Member certificate from the Greater Victoria Philatelic Society. 

Fancy UN cover.
Look at that! 
He didn't go to the UN (in New York City), but a delegate came to Victoria for some sort of presentation, and it looks like a multiple day shindig ensued. 

That's Grandad with the red ribbon on. 
I do not recognize the venue, but it's pretty fancy, possibly the Lieutenant-Governor's mansion or the Empress Hotel. 

From Mom: The UN show was at the Empress. It took up the whole lower floor of the Empress. The three of us kids got bored and started exploring. We found the back stairs and went to the top floor where the luxury suites were. When we rounded a corner we bumped into the prince of the Netherlands and his body guards. We spent a lot of time after that trying to be invisible. George Pearkes [Lieutenant Governor of BC, 1960-1968, is the gent is the white-haired gent with the grey tie next to Grandad, wiki here - S.] was there because he was a stamp collector. He lent us a display of some of his collections. He came to all of our shows.

I'm guessing this is the UN guy, posing with Mom's mother (who did that lovely yellow-toned beach painting above). 
Grandad is on the left and has been cut out of the picture! I am enjoying his green shirt and knitted sweater-vest. Dave and I used to refer to him as "Polyester Lester" but he loved colour and expressing himself through his clothes. 

After a few hours in the Wayback Machine, I was starting to fade - my third jab has worn me down. 
I walked through the countryside to the bus stop. 

Saw a duck swimming on a flooded field. 
Tis the season for moss on trees. 
A very mossy bit of scenery. 

The farm was very quiet. 
No sheep outside at this time of year. 

It was a heavy mist as I waited for my bus to take me to town. 
I tied my silk scarf around my head to keep it dry. 

I walked home from town, to find this seething mass of fury. 
"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? It is dinner time!"

Right you are, bud! I'm off! I hope you enjoyed this little walk down Memory Lane. Love you, Mom! 


  1. Great family photos. The picture of your mother in her youth shows me (for the first time) her resemblance to you. And a gun! Don't carry that into this country or you could face legal troubles, even if it's a non-working antique. New York will put you into prison for carrying it in your suitcase.

    1. Thank you, Ally! I've always been aware of the resemblance, but it is more striking when you see Mom younger.

      Do not worry - I will never carry a gun anywhere! They are illegal here without a permit.

  2. What a wonderfully interesting post! I really enjoyed it, thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow, I really enjoyed this wonderful sharing about your family, and all the accomplishments of various individuals, including you. What a wonderful set of creative people! You come by your creative accomplishments very naturally. I agree with Shybiker that the pictures of your mom from decades ago made me realize more than ever how much you resemble your mom. How wonderful that the two of you get to spend all this special time together!

    Almost forgot to mention that I adored this ensemble--every element is fantastic, and they sing together beautifully. I covet those boots!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Linda! I love being able to get these pictures and stories from Mom, and to share them. I'm so grateful for all this time Mom and I have been able to spend together. It's one of the best things to come out of the pandemic.

      Thank you! They still have the boots at Fluevog - we could match... :)

  4. What a lovely post! I read every last bit of it. Your outfit is fabulous with all it's layered glory but the day you had with your Mum oh I am so happy that you had a day like that (feeling achy from the booster it must have been such a comfort to go down memory lane) I can only dream of that with my Mum so far away but it was such a joy to read. It would appear your whole family is artistic. My mum can draw and knit and do charcoal drawings - me not so much. Have a fab week end and thanks for all the work in this post Shazxx

    1. Thank you, Shaz, I really appreciate that. It was such a lovely, comforting afternoon, and I felt so good to be able to help Mom do some of the little things she's not up for herself. Yup, lots of art in my family - I am glad to have inherited a bit of talent. Happy weekend to you, my friend!

  5. I do hope your Mum's stiffness and soreness has gone, and that you're no longer groggy and achy!
    That said, what a perfect outfit you've created. How amazing are those boots and they do indeed work splendidly with your VW skirt. Love the pop of yellow from the blouse and the blue tights you're offering a sneaky peek of! I'm also swooning over your Mom's 1970s necklace.
    I also loved the sneaky peek into your Mom's house and at all your family pictures. And it is clear now that talent obviously runs into your family! xxx

    1. It's part of her Post-Polio Syndrome, Ann - it will get worse as she gets older, but she goes to physio and does exercises. I'm feeling better today/Fri, thank you.

      Thanks so much - I have worn these boots with the skirt before, I love them together. I covet Mom's necklace!

      Aw, thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Really interesting post. That's former Lieutenant Governor George Pearkes on your Grandad's right where he's wearing the red ribbon. According to Google, Pearkes was LG from 1960-68; does that fit with the timing of the award?


    1. Thank you! Oh, how cool is that? Yes, this is probably from around 1968 - and that means this might have been at the Lt. Governor's mansion here in Victoria. I so appreciate that info!

  7. The owls are superb!
    They most definitely have a 70's creative something about them, it might be the heavy glaze, I'm not quite sure why but they bring back memories. The pistol could potentially get me four years inside in the UK!

    I'll stick with arts and crafts ;)


    1. I get a kick out of them - I remember when Mom made them. We had a potter's wheel in our basement for years, and both of us kids got to make clay pots and slam the clay around. They are definitely from the 70s.

      Ha, I know, I worried about posting pics of the gun. It won't be leaving Mom's house, I promise! :)

  8. How lucky you are to have these moments with your mom. If my mom were still alive, no way would I find all that you did. My mom was a minimalist in every way! She didn't keep much at all! Your family is very talented...that's for sure! I can't believe all of that gorgeous artwork! Do you know of Ron Parker, the artist? His wife is a friend of mine. I believe they lived in Victoria for a while but have relocated to Squamico Beach (or something like that). Love the blue and yellow's one of my favorite color combinations though I rarely wear it (I think)!

    1. I am grateful for them, and appreciate my time with Mom. I am lucky to have been born into an artsy family, for sure. No, never heard of Ron Parker, I will check him out, thanks.

  9. I love how you share personal things on your blog. This was such a lovely trip down memory lane. I don't have any photos from earlier days and that is such a pity. L looks really cool with his afro!

    1. I didn't use to do this, Nancy, but it gives me a way to share and preserve these things.

  10. How fun to get to know your family. What a lot of talent. I too have a degree from 2000- pregnant with child 3 when I graduated. I had gone back to school when my middle started 1st grade. Different experience than my 80's college. Love L's hair. Your mom is just a gem.

    1. Thanks, Sam! Oh, how funny - it was so different to me, being at school when I was an adult vs. late teens.

  11. Sometimes it's nice to have a day/or an afternoon indoors. Not every adventure has to take place outside. I loved seeing all your family photos. Seeing more photographs of your parents from different times in your life, I can see more resemblance to both of them in you. It's nice to see photos of your other family members such as your grandparents. Lovely to have a peak in your mother art collection, she's a great painter.
    I'm amazed at how much artistic talent is there in your family. So many accomplished paintings. I love the one you did as a kid!
    Happy birthday to your brother Dave!

    1. I agree, Ivana, I like the indoor adventures too. :) My mom is a fantastic painter- I'm so proud of her.

      Thank you!

  12. I loved delving into your family history and looking at those photos. What a lovely smile your Dad had, those cheeky dimples! I can see both your Mum and him in you!
    I hope your Mum is feeling a lot better today. It's wonderful that you are able to spend time with her and learn about your family hisstory, so many of us regret not asking more when we had the chance, I know I do.
    Your outfit is fabulous, the boots are utterly perfect with that kick-ass skirt! xxx

    1. I thought of all the family history you share, Vix - I love being able to do that with my family too. Yes, I got dimples from both parents - lucky me.

      She is, thank you! I am glad to have all this time with her now.

      Thank you!

  13. Firstly, totally understand that this outfit made you feel happy, it's a joy for my eyes too!. That skirt, the accessories, The Boots, everything is fabulous! and you rock it!
    And it's lovely to see some old photos and read about your family!, and such a talented and artistic family!. Lots of drawings and pictures!, love them!

    1. I did feel awesome in it, thank you!

      Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  14. Love this post! I attended George Pearkes Junior High School- you brought back some unexpected memories with that name!

    1. I did not know there was a junior high named after him, Lee!

  15. What a special way to spend an afternoon immersed in your family's history. It's nice to see the way the creativity gene has been passed along through the generations. Your Mom's paintings are lovely.

    1. It was a lot of fun going through it all, Shelley. Thank you!

  16. The colour palette of this outfit is something deeply special. I feel like it bridges the hues of winter and spring superbly, while also being both bold and understatedly upbeat at the same time. A serious winner in my books!

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. It's one of my favourite looks - I love the punk edge from the Westwood skirt. Thank you!


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