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  • Blog Posts 
    • Category: Features  (243)

      A written profile accompanied by pictures of a business or organization, product, artist or artisan, home, hobby, event or destination in the greater Okanagan (or neighbouring) area, as well as other musings by the editor.

      • that time of the term 

        February 17, 2016, 12:11

        And this is where the desire to blog about homeschooling is overshadowed by the need to actually, ahem, homeschool the bright young things. I just survived another portfolio deadline. There are many ways to homeschool. The way we have chosen to do it is actually less "homeschool" and more…

      • Walking in big shoes 

        February 3, 2016, 15:00

        To cap off their social studies unit on Canada, my son's teacher had him and his homeschool co-op classmates create a living, mini museum featuring prominent Canadians. Each student had to pick a well-known Canuck to represent, putting together a report with up to 10 facts about the person, and…

      • colouring in the lines 

        February 1, 2016, 09:35

        So that cold that's been going around? It finally caught up to us. We're sniffly/stuffy/sinusy/coughy and just that little bit irritable today and I think, as fat flakes of snow drift down YET AGAIN (!) that we're just going to lie low today. We'll do some basics - language arts, maths,…

      • coffee corner 

        January 28, 2016, 14:19

        Let me introduce you to my official coffee station. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. Not only do I love to use it, everything nice and close at hand (spoons in the drawer directly below, coffee and tea accoutrements in the cupboard above), it makes me glad just to see it. So organized.…

      • imagination station 

        January 27, 2016, 16:06

        My kids are big fans of the Adventures in Odyssey series. If you haven't encountered it before, it's a radio drama-style program for kids, but with Bible messages. Anyway, a regular feature of each episode is the Imagination Station. From what I can make out, it's some kind computerized,…

      • pizza night 

        January 26, 2016, 13:50

        It was pizza night last night at Chez Pear Tree, and, while I’m definitely a proponent of ordering in, I occasionally feel inspired to bake my own. The first few times I tried making my own pizza (with a purchased crust), I placed the pizza proudly on the table, glowingly revealing that I…

      • blackboard, baby 

        January 25, 2016, 13:04

        I was feeling trés français a few days ago, and felt the impulse to write out the months of the year en français. I wasn't sure if I'd remember them all. I'm quite chuffed that I did - although one or two accents may or may not have been misplaced. I left it there because it's a kinda-sort…

      • keeping the home fires burning 

        January 22, 2016, 11:38

        When I first moved into our home, so many moons ago, I remember thinking that some of the features that came with the place were superfluous luxuries. Three bathrooms, for example. The kitchen island. And the little gas fireplace in the corner of our dining room. Now, if we ever move, all those…

      • back to blogging??? 

        January 21, 2016, 11:51

        After another extended break from posting, I made a resolution (it’s just taken a few weeks to kick in) to get back on this here old blog. I’m going easy on myself, this time. I have no aspirations to be any sort of celebrity blogger. I will likely not impact the world. And while a few…

      • at a crossroad 

        August 24, 2015, 13:22

        There has been some heavy-duty thinking going on at chez Pear Tree this summer. Last school year was our first with both kids doing homeschool, and it was a doozy. I was definitely challenged - some days it felt beyond capacity - and there has been some serious consideration about what we’ll…

      • Father’s Day fixer upper - wainscoting DIY 

        June 24, 2015, 16:24

        This past Father’s Day weekend, Mrs. Pear Tree and the kidlets were out-of-town, attending a friend's graduation. So I had the whole place to myself for two days - and while the cats were away, the mouse could play! I took this opportunity to finish a large project that began back in November…

      • lavender blue 

        May 28, 2015, 14:51

        Yesterday morning we had the luxury of whiling away several hours at the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm on Takla Road in South Kelowna. I wrote, previously, about the local, outdoor attraction, here. I can't believe that was coming up to five years ago! At the time, the garden was about to…

      • kindness balls 

        May 22, 2015, 11:55

        We've been having some pretty fractious days, lately. Too much together time, I think. Too much sitting at a table completing the last few pages of maths when the green grass outside is calling. The result is a lot more poking, taunting, teasing and general irritability over being in each…

      • how does my garden grow? 

        May 19, 2015, 13:48

        Well, our portfolios are complete and handed in and it's time to turn our focus to other, more relaxing occupations while we wait for our final grades to be released. We've been adding to our micro-garden. After years of talk, Mr. Pear Tree has taken the plunge and purchased our first…

      • it's all fun and games until the grades are due 

        May 14, 2015, 15:54

        This is my dining room table right now. Dinner is supposed to be in just over an hour, but I'm still cranking through papers, photographing the best work of my two busy students. Evidence, to our Heritage Christian Online School support teacher that we haven't been having too much fun. We do…

      • en plein air 

        May 12, 2015, 15:54

        We are big fans of turn of the 20th C educator Charlotte Mason, at the Pear Tree Skool. She was a slightly older contemporary of Maria Montessori, who believed that a child's education should be experiential, immersive and alive. While I wouldn't say we're hard-core Charlotte Mason, I do…

      • climb a tree 

        May 8, 2015, 20:17

        We were in England on holiday one year ago, and I stumbled upon a free booklet at National Trust sites, called 50 Things to Do Before You're 11 3/4. Apparently, it's an initiative to get kids out and moving and exploring their surroundings. It's like a little journal or scrapbook that helps…

      • mother's day cards 

        May 7, 2015, 13:00

        Mother's Day. The time of year when children in schools are gently coached by teachers to craft a heart-felt gift for Dear Ole' Mum. It's a somewhat awkward occasion when you're homeschooling. "Now, Sweetie Darlings, it's time to make presents. For me. Knock yourselves out!" I'm also not…

      • how does your garden grow? 

        May 1, 2015, 14:43

            We don't have much in the way of a yard. I call it our postage stamp. But there's enough room for a few pots, and the opportunity to feel like we're exercising our green thumbs and nurturing a little (very little) corner of our planet. Mr. Pear Tree recently brought home…

      • household maths 

        April 30, 2015, 12:24

        Here at The Pear Tree Skool we use RightStart Mathematics for our maths curriculum. It's based on the Asian style of learning about numbers and it's done wonders for my own understanding of this terrifying fascinating subject. But there are other outcomes involved that we like to approach…

      • getting my blog on 

        April 29, 2015, 11:12

        It’s Wednesday, 29 April. Just a random day, near the end of the school year. And I decide to start blogging. About school. Our quirky little homeschool, The Pear Tree Skool, to be exact. While it might not be the most obvious day to start, I decided that there really is no time like the…

      • Here's to You, Raise Your Glass for Everyone 

        December 5, 2013, 21:51

        Around the time my kids were really becoming aware that Christmas was on its way - Costco had been loaded with holiday paraphernalia for months, advertisements for the top toys of 2013 was were arriving daily and the Christmas lists were already as big as they were - something happened. It…

      • Can This Monday Be Saved? 

        October 21, 2013, 14:50

        This Monday has lived up to its manic reputation. A long, cranky, everything-going-sideways sort of day. But this morning. Oh, this morning started with the most beautiful shroud of mist hanging over the park near my house. And the autumn colours were virtually luminescent through it. Be…

      • Mr. Pear Tree at The Cat 

        September 23, 2013, 14:19

        What? You mean I haven't told you? (Oh, that's right, I haven't been blogging much AGAIN!) Mr. Pear Tree has had his art - selections of his 100 for 100 project - hanging at The Marmalade Cat Coffee Shop this month. About three dozen of his 100x100 inch series are currently gracing the walls of…

      • What I Did Last Summer 

        September 9, 2013, 14:56

        We never went anywhere far distant; we never did anything "big." But, in retrospect, our summer was full of the simple kind of specialness that comes from lots of small adventures with people you enjoy. As I look back over some of the pictures we took, I see a lot of "quintessential" in our…

      • The Pear Tree Skool is Now in Session 

        September 3, 2013, 15:00

        We do not have, as some of the more enviable homeschools, do, a specially dedicated room for our school work, outfitted with floor to ceiling built-ins, superfluous wall space for over-sized maps or entire chalkboard walls or pretty much anything that defines, for me, rockin' the homeschool…

      • A Birthday Tea 

        August 5, 2013, 11:44

        We recently celebrated Thing 2's fourth birthday - a most auspicious year, as far as I'm concerned because it's like they become "real" children without even a hint of toddler or baby left (bitter sweet). To celebrate the milestone, we threw a little girl's tea party, complete with fancy…

      • Posterity and All That 

        July 19, 2013, 14:36

        Okay, I'm going to admit it: I'm one of those mums who would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it. I don't like being confronted with my personal body issues, frozen and preserved for posterity (linking up with What I Wore Wednesdays is one way I'm confronting my neurosis and…

      • Motoring 

        July 15, 2013, 13:52

        It's an old tradition. One that doesn't seem to be practiced much these days. What with time crunches, not to mention the high cost of gas... But recently the Pear Tree clan indulged in the art of the Sunday Drive. Of course we had to do it in style, so we parked our usual SUV transportati…

      • A Little Bit of Slow in City Centre 

        July 11, 2013, 14:37

        This little guy, creeping through Kasugai Garden, sent a very powerful message to me and Thing 2, during a visit earlier this week: Slow down. And pay attention to the journey. So much is said these days about slow living, and yet we continue to live our lives at duple metre speed.We squeeze…

      • Coffee and Books 

        July 9, 2013, 13:45

        It was a rare and amazing morning. The kind that is so precious largely because it is so scarce. The kids are currently in an art camp, at the Kelowna Art Gallery and I have every morning this week .Entirely. To. My. Self. There are so many things I could be doing. Should be doing. Productive…

      • What I Wore This Rainy Wednesday 

        June 19, 2013, 12:20

        I'm not actually in mourning over the loss of our summer to (ahem) rain, clouds, and the occasional thunder clap and lightening bolt. But feel free to interpret my all-black garb, today, as just that if it pleases you. Perhaps, somewhere in the recesses of my subconscious, that had some…

      • Happy Father's Day! 

        June 16, 2013, 11:15

        To all you dads (I think there are a few of you out there who check in from time to time)... For all your hard work... And hard play... For the example you are... The support you offer... The love you give... For teaching... Even as you're learning yourself... For…

      • What He Wore Wednesday 

        June 12, 2013, 13:31

        Funny thing about being a mother: It seems I put more effort into dressing my kids most days than myself. And I have way more fun shopping for them than for me, a) because they're so much cuter and b) you can buy so much more for the price of one adult article of clothing. So today I thought…

      • A Turn Round the Garden 

        June 11, 2013, 14:42

        I can't remember if I've complained to you before about the size of our back yard. If not, it was only a matter of time, rest assured. It's pretty much non-existent. It takes about three steps to run across - six, if your legs are small, but that's not nearly enough space to let out as much…

      • Decisions, Decisions 

        June 7, 2013, 13:56

        So Pear Tree peeps, I have a dilemma. I have been collecting Aeroplan air miles for some time, now, and am about to loose them if I don't use them by the end of the year. I've got enough to get me almost anywhere on mainland North America (probably not Mexico, though), and, yes, the travel bug…

      • Getting My Stamp On 

        May 30, 2013, 11:48

        I just had to show off these stamp sets I picked up a while back, on clearance, at La Bonne Vie in Kelowna's Mission. Vintage-style rubber stamps with a distinctive en français flavour. J'adore. Now. My problem is that I'm not really a stamping enthusiast. I don't do the cards or…

      • What I Wore Wednesday 

        May 29, 2013, 14:31

        Okay, I'm just going to put this out there. It was one of those days. Or rather, one of THOSE days. Bad hair day. Woken up to early and then, horror of horrors, THE COFFEE'S ALL GONE!!!! Things were not starting off well and the most appropriate outfit for the day, if we're matching mood to…

      • A Picture of Me, and You 

        May 28, 2013, 12:31

        I just have to share this fun project with you, going on at the Kelowna Art Gallery right now. The gallery, which just happens to be where Mr. Pear Tree works, is planning to fill one entire wall with some 4,000 4x6 photographs that define, in some way, the people who submit them. Dubbed…

      • Flutter, Flutter, Butterfly 

        May 24, 2013, 12:25

        I can't tell you the number of caterpillars I caught as a child, and held hostage in a glass jar, holes poked through the canning lid for air, in hopes of raising my own butterfly. These experiments with nature proved largely futile. Generally the caterpillar would appear to cocoon, never to…

      • What I Wore in the Rain Today 

        May 22, 2013, 13:52

        So it's raining here. It has been all week. I have mixed feelings about it because, while part of me actually LOVES the rain, most of me gets tired fast of all the time spent indoors when we could be out doing almost anything else! But taking out my springtime rain gear almost makes up for…

      • A Place on Pandosy 

        May 20, 2013, 13:04

          So, let me tell you about my addiction: house porn. I love looking in houses. Show homes, open houses, magazine layouts of professionally styled rooms, house-themed blogs, you name it. And a couple of years ago I discovered MLS (realtor.ca), where I can actually tour local homes for…

      • Giveaway news 

        May 13, 2013, 14:22

        So the results of our completely random (wink) draw are: Marc, Jodi and Sandra! Thank you guys for commenting! We'll get your videos to you asap. In the meantime, for anyone interested, the Fountainview orchestra and choir are performing here in Kelowna on Sunday, 19 May, 4 p.m. at the Evangel…

      • Mother's Day Giveaway 

        May 10, 2013, 13:28

        Mother's Day is almost here and, while I'm racking my brain trying to think of a perfect, last-minute Mother's Day gift for my mum and my mother-in-law, I have something for YOU! I'm giving away three music DVDs featuring the talented Fountainview Academy kids. Fountainview Academy is a…

      • Meet Me at the Pear Tree 

        May 9, 2013, 16:49

        Did I ever tell you why this blog is called "The Pear Tree?" And its flagship company Pear Tree House Productions? Do you know why I go by "Mrs. Pear Tree" (or more likely, mrspeartree) on Instagram,  Twitter or other social media sites? Why I refer to my husband (his name is actually Kyle,…

      • For the Love of Dandelions 

        May 8, 2013, 15:34

        I shouldn't tell you this. You might think I'm crazy. Then again, maybe I am. I have this thing about dandelions. I'm kind of partial to them. I know, I know, but I did warn you, didn't I? I love the little spots of yellow dotting an otherwise ordinary, boring old green space. They make…

      • Girl Time 

        February 11, 2013, 16:05

        Near the beginning of this school year, I enrolled Oliver in a co-op class for social studies and science, one morning a week. Partly it was to give him some exposure to a classroom, but mostly it was to give his little sister, Amélie, and I a morning together. Doing homeschool the other days,…

      • The Coffee's On 

        January 21, 2013, 09:05

        One of my favourite things about the morning... or afternoon, or sometimes even the evening, is a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Café. Joe. Liquid Spirit. A good ole' cuppa. Even in the days when I was a starving writer, I made sure to have a good quality coffee maker, and my favourite,…

      • A Frozen Mantelscape 

        January 13, 2013, 14:11

        The world outside our home is frozen hard. A cold snap has turned our formerly slushy side-roads into outdoor ice rinks, and even the once-soft snow has become crusty and dry. As I packed away the last of our Christmas decorations, a few days ago, I pondered what to do with our fireplace…

      • Resolve 

        January 8, 2013, 16:48

        I was contemplating a good Word of the Year for myself for 2013, and was not coming up with many ideas. Last year I picked "Grace," and was moderately successful in working toward a more forgiving, accepting and generous me over the course of the year. Part of me would like to continue with…

      • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree with the Pear Trees 

        December 4, 2012, 21:18

        Leave it to Christmas to motivate me, after an embarrassingly long absence on this here website of mine, to start blogging again. After a bout of blogger’s block, though, I’m feeling renewed and ready to put my life back out into cyber space. So we’re going to kick things off on a…

      • Upon the Mantel Shelf 

        August 8, 2012, 13:02

        Earlier this summer I set out a new spread of decorations on the mantel. I like to mix it up every now and then, to keep it fresh - for myself, if no one else. The clock (a repro) was my grandmothers, the tea light cups were a gift for mothers at my church last Mother's Day, and the twine-wrapp…

      • The World Through His Eyes 

        August 6, 2012, 15:06

        A certain aspiring young photographer has been harassing me for several weeks now to go out for "a picture-taking walk." After lying dormant for close to a year, his Fisher Price camera was discovered and Oliver has been a photo taking machine. So, this morning we went out into Ben Lee Park…

      • Pay it Forward Recap 

        July 23, 2012, 13:44

        So did you do it? Did you buy a coffee (or other specialty drink) for a stranger last weekend? Here's my story... Equipped with my computer, camera/phone and bank card, I headed over to my neighbourhood Starbucks for a little bit of quiet time to work on my presentation at the downtown…

      • Join the Club - Pay it Forward 

        July 20, 2012, 14:21

        "It is more blessed to give than to receive." - Acts 20:35 I have been suffering from selfish issues lately. Watching what other people have and wondering, why not me? Why am I not traveling more? Why don't I have a bigger  clothing budget? And when, when, WHEN will I get that big back…

      • Winner Announced! 

        July 9, 2012, 09:39

        And we have a winner! Thank you to everyone who commented and/or followed the new Tales of The Mother Load Facebook fan page. Your support means so much! The winner of our random draw is... Carole Johnston! I'm so excited about this because Carol (better known as Ms. Johnston by…

      • A Sanctuary in Nature 

        July 8, 2012, 15:15

        One of my favourite places in Kelowna is the Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary. It's located just off Abbott Street, a few blocks from downtown, and when I live there (someday) I'll make this little haven part of my morning walk or run. It's an awesome place for taking pictures - pictures in nature…

      • O Canada 

        July 1, 2012, 18:11

        Today is (almost was, now) Canada Day. My country's 145th birthday. Now if you've read this blog for any length of time at all, you'll know how I pine away for England. But come July 1 I, like all otherwise modest Canadians, swell with pride for my home and native land. So today I want to…

      • A Graduation Tradition 

        June 28, 2012, 11:48

        This photo was taken just yesterday 17 years ago, when I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Newbold College, in England. My niece, Avery, was just over a year old then, but made the trip over with her mum and grandma to help me celebrate. Last weekend, she turned the…

      • A Museum Home That Welcomes Snoopers 

        June 27, 2012, 14:52

        I wrote before about the Baillie House in Merritt, B.C. and what a pleasant surprise it was to learn about this treasure in the small, Western town. Well, I was driving with the family through Merritt again last weekend, and made sure to include a stop at the most friendly information centre…

      • Under a Canopy of Pear Trees 

        June 25, 2012, 13:09

        Well, scratch another item off my bucket list. This weekend I went camping with my family, when we attended my niece's high school graduation from Fountainview Academy near Lillooet, B.C. (more on that later). And because the boarding school has only so many extra rooms for visitors, family…

      • Fiddling Around 

        June 20, 2012, 13:35

        We've added a new instrument to our fold. It's a 1/10 size (read: eeny, teeny) violin for my son, Oliver. Believe it or not, it's not the smallest one available. I think they go down to a 1/16 size, which is miniscule. Since we're not actually trying to raise a baby Mozart, though, we…

      • Easy, Breezy, Beautiful White 

        June 18, 2012, 11:44

        "A woman can never be too fine while she is all in white." -Jane Austen I think I was in high school when I started my hate-on with white. It's been decades and decades since my wardrobe veered from it's sophisticated palette of dark greens, browns, reds, aubergine and (my favourite) black. But…

      • Oh the Rain it Raineth 

        June 13, 2012, 14:39

        I've shared with you, before, my love of the rain. I just can't resist taking my camera out as soon as the raindrops start falling. Or donning my rain jacket, wellies and a fun umbrella. Some of my best, most romantic memories (speaking in the literary sense) involve rain. Running in…

      • A Portrait of Sylvia's Garden 

        June 12, 2012, 10:43

        I think my favourite painting from Mr. Pear Tree's 100 for 100 series of original artworks is this one, above, from Sylvia's Garden. Sylvia's Garden was - and still is - part of my university in England, Newbold College. During my time there I lived in a dorm called Moor Close that was once…

      • Running Through an Orchard 

        June 11, 2012, 12:52

        I entered my first organized race over the weekend. I had plans of sharing an inspiring story of adrenaline, triumph and afterglow. Sadly, it was more a conquest of "let's just do this" and getting by. It was a 5k/10k race (I opted for 5k), up through the orchards of East Kelowna, and…

      • Poo Poo Paper 

        June 8, 2012, 16:41

          I thought Mr. Pear Tree was joking when he brought this pad of paper home, declaring it was a poopy gift from a friend. After all, it's an attractive little block of note paper. Then I read the back. Made by The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company, the beautifully-finished…

      • Exercising the Right Not To 

        June 6, 2012, 07:41

          I've been jogging this spring. Three times a week, heading out for about an hour and alternating walking and running, slowly shifting the balance so that there's now, as of this week, more running than walking. It's actually been pretty good. The hardest part has been waking up…

      • Confections From Paris 

        June 4, 2012, 11:53

        A couple of months ago, a very dear friend of mine travelled to England and Paris, as a little birthday present to herself. Naturally, her little adventure elicited slatherings of jealousy from me, and the majority of her friends. But I was so flattered when, upon her return, she presented me…

      • Coffee Break 

        June 1, 2012, 17:19

        I discovered a new coffee shop today (well, new to me - it's actually about two years old), in Lake Country, just 10 minutes north of Kelowna. It's called the Lake Country Coffee House, and it's an intriguing little place to while away an hour or two. I stopped in with my mum and two kids,…

      • Farmer's Market Wednesday 

        May 30, 2012, 14:17

        Today being Wednesday, I loaded the kids into their bicycle trailer, hopped on my bike and headed to the Kelowna Farmer's and Crafter's Market, on Springfield Road. We started going again when it re-opened for the season, back in March - but it's only now coming into its own, with an…

      • A Watery Adventure 

        May 29, 2012, 15:25

        There is something magical about kayaking. Less struggle than a canoe but dryer and more controlled than an inner tube, the kayak slips, almost effortlessly, over the surface of the water to places you didn't know you could go. I discovered the wonders of kayaking last summer, when I took…

      • Tablescaping for Spring 

        April 8, 2012, 22:46

        Most days, our dining room table stretches itself across the room, sad and bare. The only ornamentation on it is a collection of deep scratches and scars, inflicted by two over-zealous preschoolers, who would no doubt have a hay day with a setting of fine china. Not that I would lay fanciful…

      • Ode to the Pansy 

        April 4, 2012, 15:23

        "And there is pansies, that's for thoughts." - Ophelia from Shakespeare's Hamlet I think I was about three or four years of age when pansies became my favourite flower. It all started with my great Aunt Rex, my grandma's sister, who was visiting from Toronto one summer. She was, up to that…

      • Hello Hello! 

        March 26, 2012, 14:44

        Well hello there - long time no see! I haven't said 'hello,' or much of anything else, for far too long and so, today being Monday, I think it's time I said, once again, HELLO MONDAY!!!!!! Hello readers - the faithful few still checking in! Thank you for not giving up on me - so good to…

      • Guest Posting 

        March 13, 2012, 11:47

        I know, I know, it's been a while. Rest assured, I have been writing... it just hasn't been for The Pear Tree blog. One of the things I've been working on will be revealed in due time, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a link to a guest post I did over on an online publication called…

      • Once Every Four Years 

        March 1, 2012, 12:19

        Our local newspaper is collecting photos taken by Kelowna residents yesterday, which was Leap Year 2012. Some of them will appear in an upcoming issue, and the rest will be posted online. My first impulse was to do something really spectacular - not so much to get our pictures in the…

      • A Valentine's Day Greeting for You 

        February 14, 2012, 10:12

        "Nobody has measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold." -Zelda Fitzgerald I hope your heart is holding lots of love today, and everyday. Happy Valentine's Day from The Pear Tree! We'll be making and distributing cards to our nearest and dearest today. What do you have planned…

      • A Book of Days 

        February 2, 2012, 13:53

          I tried, this year, I really did. I tried to make the transition from traditional book-form agenda packer to techno-savvy iPhone calendar user. But alas. Mid way through January I caved, nipped over to Chapters and picked up one of the last remaining agendas in stock. Happily,…

      • Old Meets New at a Heritage Photo Shoot 

        January 24, 2012, 14:49

        There are two ways I've found of getting through the winter. The first is to hunker down in a warm place and bide my time safely removed from the elements. When I get sick to death of that, I force myself outdoors to confront my discomfort with the cold, and attempt to find some pleasure in…

      • A Practical Pastime  

        January 18, 2012, 14:32

          A way back in October I told you about the new skill I had gleaned: Knitting in the round. You can read about it here. At the time, I didn't tell you what I was making, because it was going to be a Christmas present for someone in my family. Well, as luck would have it, I didn't…

      • The Mother Load: Grace is the Word 

        January 6, 2012, 15:24

          I’m finally giving up. I’m flying the white flag. I’m done with resolutions. Loosing weight, eating better, exercising more, getting organized, not procrastinating, quit this, start that, on and on and on. They’re always the same, year after year, because I never manage to get…

      • Tasteful in the Kitchen 

        January 4, 2012, 14:16

        I want to show off a couple of my Christmas presents. Not everything, you understand (a girl's got to have some secrets) but some that I thought were especially "Pear Tree-ish" (read practical mixed with fanciful, and somehow connecting us with the past or tradition). But first, I'm going to…

      • Hello 2012 

        January 2, 2012, 15:06

        Hello 2012! Hello January. Hello stark beauty, melancholic underpinnings and long, steely lines and silhouettes.  Hello free coffee from Starbucks all. Month. Long. Mr. Pear Tree and I got in on the chain coffee shop's "12 Days of Merry" promotion last month and bought this…

      • A New Year, A New Anniversary 

        January 1, 2012, 14:47

        Happy anniversary to Mr. Pear Tree! Happy New Year to everyone else! Getting married is certainly an extraordinary way to bring in the New Year. What's your favourite way to celebrate? - Photos by Melissa Rowat

      • Auld Lang Syne 

        December 30, 2011, 14:51

        I have no plans this New Year's Eve. It will probably be a quiet one, at home, just Mr. Pear Tree and I. We'll watch a video. Crack open something bubbly at midnight. It will be lovely. Quiet. A simple start to 2012. But it's got me thinking about New Years' past. The ones that have…

      • A Tale of Two Shades 

        December 28, 2011, 13:33

          I am having a conundrum. I got a lamp, from my mum, as an early birthday present. I picked it out myself and ultimately chose it because I love the base. At the time we got it, though, I wasn't so sure I liked the shade that came with it (above, left). So we got an alternative shade…

      • Christmas Greetings 

        December 23, 2011, 13:36

        A very happy Christmas and a merry New Year from our house to yours! Here's to tinsel and snowflakes, boughs of holly and feeling jolly, presents given and received, family, food and lots of fun! Much love, The Pear Trees

      • Gentle at Home 

        December 21, 2011, 13:46

        "Gentle, at home,/ amid my friends I'll be/ Like the high leaves/ Upon the holly tree." -Godey's Lady's Book, 1890 This year The Pear Tree House will be hosting our annual family Christmas get-together. We do a traditional turkey dinner (despite the fact that about half of us are vegetarian!),…

      • Hello Last Monday Before Christmas! 

        December 19, 2011, 13:56

          Hello toboggan hill! Our last snowfall didn't stay long but it was fun while it lasted! Hello panic setting in - only five more days, and many more presents to buy... and house to organized... and goodies to bake... and, and, and... Hello favourite Christmas movies. Many an…

      • More Hellos to the Festive Season! 

        December 12, 2011, 12:25

        Hello Monday! This past weekend we dropped by the Willow Park Church's 20th annual Living Nativity to help bolster the spirit of Christmas. Actually, it was just my mum, Thing 1 and I, since Thing 2 was recovering from a bout of croup-turned-cold and Mr. Pear Tree kindly agreed to be the one to…

      • Decking the Halls, Fa La La La La! 

        December 9, 2011, 14:16

        There used to be a holiday home tour in Kelowna called Homes for the Holidays, that had professional decorators work with private home owners to turn their places into festive things of beauty. The homes would then be opened to ticket holders to come and tour and gather ideas and inspiration…

      • Hello Monday! 

        December 5, 2011, 11:15

        Hello Monday and only 19 days until Christmas! Hello old nutcracker from the now defunct Bombay Company home decorating shop. When I bought you there some 20 years ago you were almost all I could afford from that pricey shop. I never imagined my kids would fight over you some day! Hello…

      •  

        December 1, 2011, 14:05

        Mr. Pear Tree has been feeling so holly jolly now that December's here that he's decided to offer free shipping the first 12 days of December! Have you been following his 100 for 100 painting project? He's doing 100, 10x10 inch paintings for 0 each. The image above contains a sampling of…

      • Home Sweet Gingerbread Home 

        November 30, 2011, 12:06

        I was ready to move into more than one of the little houses on show at the second annual Gingerbread House Event at the Parkinson Rec Centre in Kelowna last weekend. With their royal icing eves troughs, gumdrop shingles and icing sugar snow, who wouldn't be tempted? The sweet infused…

      • Hello Monday! 

        November 28, 2011, 10:11

        Hello Instagram! You might be my current favourite iPhone app so far. You've certainly been the most used - I absolutely adore the vintagey filters I can apply to all my pictures - everything from "Poprocket" and "Gotham" to "1977." They're small, but so delightfully yellowed, scarred, colour…

      • Black is all the Rage 

        November 25, 2011, 08:57

        I may be on my computer a lot today. Shopping. Deals. Black Friday. Well, Christmas is coming, after all, and we might as well take advantage of the generosity of shop owners who are offering deals with a purchase, right? The online shopping world being what it is, I won't actually have to…

      • Celebrating 30 With 30 Days of Giving 

        November 23, 2011, 16:02

        On the first day of giving Lindsay Goertzen gave to the Kelowna Community Food Bank a donation of baby food and formula. On the second day of giving Lindsay Goertzen gave to the Kelowna Women's Shelter a package of pampering and hair products. She's now 21 days in on a 30 day journey of…

      • Hello Monday! 

        November 21, 2011, 11:21

        Hello Monday - please be gentle on me today. I started with a less than perfect cup of coffee and fear that could be an omen. Hello new (to me) iPhone - I've finally entered the world of smart phones and have been having. So. Much. Fun. It's only a 3G, but I've been loving this foray. Hell…

      • Early Influences 

        November 18, 2011, 09:45

        I grew up on Little Golden Books. The older ones – like How Big and The Little Book and Bow Wow Meow. Like most kids, I was taken in as much – if not more – by the illustrations as the words that accompanied them. But it wasn’t until I re-discovered them, as a mother, that I realized…

      • Giveaway Winner Announced! 

        November 18, 2011, 09:02

        The randomly selected winner of the new Kim McMechan CD, Paper Sun, is Jeremy! Thank you to everyone who commented, and stay tuned for more fun giveaways as Christmas approaches! Meet me at The Pear Tree....

      • Whispers of Winter 

        November 17, 2011, 14:59

        "Wake up, mum," a small, excited voice permeated my sleep. "There's snow all over the ground. I think it must be Christmas! I hope you have the presents ready!" They had seen the snowflakes coming down last night, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Plans were made for stringing lights and obtaining…

      • A Little Poetry, a Lot of Life on Paper Sun 

        November 15, 2011, 14:55

        I like to think of Kim McMechan's songs as life, put to music. It's letters in the mail, a garden in bloom, kids asleep in the back seat during a long car ride. It's memories and emotions and the stuff that our subconscious takes in and turns to echos of something in our head that we just…

      • Lest We Forget 

        November 11, 2011, 15:40

        A good crowd gathered at the Rutland Cenotaph this morning, despite the drizzle, to pay tribute to those who have served or are serving their country at war. This was the first year the whole Pear Tree clan took in the service, and it's something I plan to make an annual tradition. I want my…

      • A Bed for a Boy 

        November 8, 2011, 11:27

        We recently passed another milestone at the Pear Tree House. The sweet little toddler bed my son moved into when his sister required the crib was recently retired, and replaced with an even bigger "big boy bed" with a full, twin-sized mattress. It was, I must admit, a bitter-sweet moment as…

      • Hello Snowy Monday! 

        November 7, 2011, 13:25

        Hello Monday! Hello first snowfall of the year! I'm trying to work out how I feel about you - definitely a mix of excitement and disappointment! It's really coming down, as I write this, but still hard to see in the picture, above - those white dots you can just make out if you really squint…

      • High Flight 

        November 2, 2011, 14:42

        “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of...” - Pilot Officer John G. Magee, Jr. It started as a small enough…

      • Hello Monday, So Long October! 

        October 31, 2011, 12:48

        Hello Monday, so glad you're back again! Hello Maisy - our pet Westie has been feeling excluded because she hasn't had any photos up since she was a new puppy. So today she got a place the prominence. Hello to my favourite rubber boots - I just love sloshing around in these wardrobe…

      • Hello Again 

        October 24, 2011, 14:08

        Hello again Monday and hello to a new week, a new cycle beginning and a new post looking forward to what is in store... Here are a few other things I'm saying 'Hello!' to this week... Hello knitting in the round - I just picked up on this technique and it's opened up a whole new world of…

      • In Ode of Small Businesses 

        October 19, 2011, 14:42

        "We might not be big but we're small" -Stuart McLean, Vinyl Cafe It's Small Business Week in Canada. A trademark event of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), I suspect it might be a commercial in disguise for their various financing, venture capital and consulting services. However…

      • Hello Monday in Autumn 

        October 17, 2011, 14:06

        Hello you scrumptious box of freshly picked apples, left by a friend on our front doorstep! We'll be gorging on Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Spartan apples for a while... Hello pies, tarts and crisps I hope to make from this gift - if we can stop eating them whole for long enough,…

      • Nutty for the Nut Farm 

        October 12, 2011, 15:31

        I've been meaning to visit the Gellatly Nut Farm, in West Kelowna, for years. Years! Finally, late last month, I did it, with two adventuresome kids and my mum in tow. Located on Witworth Road, just off Gellatly Road on the lake-level of West Kelowna, the farm - or orchard might also be…

      • Hello Thanksgiving Monday! 

        October 10, 2011, 13:25

        Hello Monday and hello Thanksgiving Day in Canada! Hello eating until your eyes roll back in your head (we had our big dinner last night)... Hello quality time with family and friends - two things we at The Pear Tree are eternally grateful for... Hello handmade clay name tags - you…

      • Giveaway Alert! 

        October 6, 2011, 13:36

        The Pear Tree is holding a giveaway over on Mr. Pear Tree's blog today! One lucky commenter will win a set of six, personalized clay tags! These hand-made tags are an attractive way to personalize anything from place settings at a dinner party to canned fruit. Or, use one as a gift tag. Cl…

      • A Treasure Trove of Books: The Bookshop 

        October 4, 2011, 15:12

        It's almost overwhelming when you walk inside. The books. The books. The books. For a bibliophile such as me, it's almost too much to handle. It had been a long time - at least three years - since I stepped foot in one of my favourite stores, The Bookshop on Penticton's Main Street. I had…

      • 100 for 100: An Art Project 

        September 29, 2011, 12:16

        The mantel over our fireplace currently boasts a growing collection of original, 10x10-inch paintings. At last count, there were 14 of them – although that number changes daily as new ones are added and others, once purchased, are packed up and sent off to new homes. Included in the…

      • Hello Monday... 

        September 26, 2011, 14:31

        Hello first flushes of fall colours... Hello black, ribbed turtleneck pulled out of storage just this morning. I missed you, old friend... Hello brisker walks, prodded on by the little bite in the early morning air... Hello hot, soothing cup of Indian Spiced Chai, purchased from…

      • Hello Monday! 

        September 19, 2011, 10:01

        Hello Monday, you started out rainy but it's a sunny blue sky now! Hello Indian Summer - thanks for coming back after a few years away. We missed you! Hello cup of coffee in my favourite mug (the only one remaining from a set of three I bought in Korea 11 years ago). Hello front page…

      • Hello Monday? 

        September 12, 2011, 10:33

        Hello Monday, what are you doing back here so soon? It feels like I just said goodbye to you... did you jump the queue this week? Hello sunshine, so glad you're still around! Hello Shirley Temple - we've been watching a lot of you lately, and your songs are getting stuck in my…

      • Hello Monday! 

        September 5, 2011, 15:07

        Hello one of the last blooms of summer... Hello back to school week (but not for us!)... Hello socks, time to start taking you out of the drawer again... Hello peaches off my father-in-law's tree - you will soon be a tasty crisp! Hello slight chill in the morning air... Hello photos of…

      • Welcome September, Make Yourself at Home... 

        September 1, 2011, 15:01

        As much as I hate saying goodbye to summer, I have to admit that a little part of me thrilled at the overcast sky this morning, the current wind gusts and the temptation to put on some socks and take out a sweater (note: I am currently in shorts and a t-shirt). While I love all four seasons…

      • Winning Sisters 

        August 30, 2011, 13:18

        Thanks to those who submitted pictures to our No Friend Like a Sister photo contest - our winning entry is Melissa Feddersen, who wrote, "My sister is the BEST human I know... love her more than I have words for... and I have LOTS of words." Melissa and her sister will receive a one hour…

      • Setting Up Shop 

        August 26, 2011, 14:35

        I can't believe an entire week has gone by and I've hardly had time to turn around twice. This summer, in addition to getting out with my family and enjoying the sunshine and working on my all too infrequent blog posts, I've been busy plotting ways to expand Pear Tree House Productions. One…

      • Movie Inspired Picnics 

        August 19, 2011, 15:07

        The Baroness Karen Blixen wrote in her book, Out of Africa, about champagne in the forest out of her good crystal glasses, and bringing the gramophone on safari. Naturally, such indulgences were not overlooked in the 1985 film by the same name, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford (pictured,…

      • Grin and Bare It 

        August 16, 2011, 14:36

        One of the things I love about summertime is packing away the socks and donning flip flops or sandals everyday. And what I love even more than that is loosing the sandals (just figuratively, of course) and walking barefoot. From sand and grass to carpet and hardwood, it feels so light and free.…

      • No Friend Like a Sister Contest 

        August 9, 2011, 14:06

        "For there is no friend like a sister/In calm and stormy weather;/To cheer one on the tedious way,/ To fetch one if one goes astray,/To lift one if one totters down,/To strengthen whilst one stands. -Christina Rosetti, Goblin Market I've had a hankering, for some time, now, to do a post…

      • A Jaunt Along Mill Creek 

        August 5, 2011, 16:00

        Last weekend the Pear Tree Family ventured out to Mill Creek Park in Kelwona's Ellison area for a woodsy stroll and picnic. We discovered the 15.3 hectare regional park about three years ago, and were charmed by its easy terrain, lush foliage and waterfall reward at the end of the main trail. Th…

      • Summer Reading for New Gardeners 

        August 3, 2011, 15:17

        Despite the fact that my yard is about the size of a postage stamp and will accommodate only a scattering of pots for a garden (that is, if I want any space at all for the kids to turn around twice), I jumped at the chance to receive a review copy of the new book, No Guff Vegetable Gardening by…

      • Down Time 

        July 18, 2011, 14:31

        It's been a full and crazy summer - the number one reason I haven't been on here much lately. Between wrangling kids and keeping the house semi-operative and trying to fit a smattering of summer activities in, I've had a miserable cold that's hung on for more than a month, and a notable lack of…

      • A Morning Walkabout 

        July 14, 2011, 14:52

        Waking up early enough in the morning to go walking is a struggle for me. I'm not pointing any fingers, but I have been having a difficult time waking up before 7 a.m. for the last four years. Conversely, my son, age four, and his two-year-old sister, who only started sleeping through the night…

      • A Case for Books 

        July 7, 2011, 15:01

        "The contents of someone's bookcase are a part of his history, like an ancestral portrait." -Anatole Breyard There has been so much buzz about e-literature lately, via such technology as the Kindle, iPads, smart phones and just straight ahead computers. I have to admit that the idea of…

      • Teascaping 

        June 30, 2011, 14:39

        A few years ago, I interviewed a wonderfully eccentric lady who ran a home decor shop downtown, for a story in a local newspaper. Apparently she liked the story, because she left for me at the front desk of the newspaper office a beautifully wrapped box of fine crystal glasses. When I went into…

      • Slow Cycling 

        June 28, 2011, 14:25

        A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about taking my old Kuwahara mountain bike out of storage, dusting it off and getting back out on the road with it. It was liberating. It was good. And it inspired me to do something I had been thinking about doing for a couple of years now, but just didn't do…

      • Stepping Back in Time: A Visit to Merritt's Baillie House 

        June 21, 2011, 15:01

        It's been a quiet week on the blog front, thanks, in part, to a bout of illness (everyone's had a turn), a weekend road trip, and keeping the Pear Tree House running in between times. But we're back and getting settled into our routine again, and have some fun pics to share. Last weekend…

      • A Teddy Bears Picnic 

        June 3, 2011, 14:47

        If you went down to the woods last weekend, you would have been in for a big surprise. It was picnic time for teddy bears, and - as far as I could make out - those little teddy bears were having a wonderful time that day. And so were their mommies and daddies, who were invited to my son,…

      • I Like to Ride My Bicycle, I Like to Ride It Where I Like 

        June 1, 2011, 15:04

        It’s Bike to Work Week across most of British Columbia this week, and this year, for the first time, I’ve gotten on the bandwagon and signed up. Of course I work from home, which should make the commute easy. But don’t think I’ve been lax about my resolution. I used to be an avid…

      • It's Raining, It's Pouring... 

        May 26, 2011, 13:45

        Tenuously the first drops come. And then more, And more, And more. It’s overcast, and raining. It’s been raining all day, and on and off yesterday, as well. I’m not complaining, though. I love the rain. I love the soft, wet drops on my hands and face. I…

      • Little Pleasures for a Great Long Weekend 

        May 20, 2011, 14:50

        Hope your long weekend (if you're fortunate enough to be enjoying one) is full of pleasures both small and great. - Photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

      • Tamed by Floral Beauty 

        May 18, 2011, 15:15

        "'I am beginning to understand,' said the little prince. 'There is a flower... I think that she has tamed me...'" -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince *** There's something about a blue sky and a light, fresh breeze that makes me feel like pottering. I'm not a gardener. I was…

      • The View From Here: Window on Alberta 

        May 15, 2011, 14:07

        A frequent commenter on The Pear Tree site, Elaine Phillips recently sent us these snapshots of her office in Cochrane, Alberta (near Calgary), where she usually reads TPT and writes to us from. Originally from South Africa, Elaine moved to Canada about a dozen years ago and apparently loves…

      • A Banner Word 

        May 12, 2011, 14:20

        I've been seeing banners popping up everywhere - made from cloth, pewter and other materials. Many (although not all) have sported inspirational words, such as “HOPE,” “LOVE,” and “JOY.” It didn't take me long to become enamoured of these decorative messages - especially hung…

      • Some Big Shoes to Fill 

        May 10, 2011, 15:13

        It is a longstanding tradition in my family that, on Mother’s Day, all the women get together and treat themselves. Many, many years ago, the whole family would get together for a picnic or a lunch spread organized by, of course, the women. Then, one year, someone clued into the fact that it…

      • The View From Here: The South End of Town 

        May 9, 2011, 13:27

        Kelowna resident Suzan Wood-Young recently sent us a snapshot of the view from where she reads The Pear Tree. “My laptop is usually at one end of my dining room table so I don't have much of a view,” she said. She called her pic “The South End of Town.” Suzan recently started a…

      • An Evening of Elegance and Eloquence 

        May 4, 2011, 14:47

        Wouldn’t it be exquisite to go back to the days of old school Hollywood glam? Where hair was always perfectly coiffed and paired with kitten heels and a flirty little black dress? Where men sported tailored suits and slick hairstyles and knew how to make tweed look sexy. The Kelowna Art…

      • The View From Here 

        May 1, 2011, 15:28

        I love learning where The Pear Tree readers are checking in from. So far Canada, the U.S.,  England and Australia top the list of most common countries, but there are lots of others. And we know that lots of you travel to fascinating locales. Take your eyes off the computer screen for a…

      • Old Font 

        April 26, 2011, 15:19

        I came across this article on Mashable today, hailing the demise of the typewriter - or, more specifically, one of the last remaining typewriter manufacturers. Despite my surprise that there are still typewriter manufacturers in existence in 2011, I was a little bit sorry to learn this. About…

      • Giveaway: French Butter Dish 

        April 20, 2011, 14:27

        I first heard about the French butter dish through my friend and Pear Tree contributor Darcie Hossack. There was a pottery studio in Peachland, B.C., that used to make them and, after falling in love with hers, I headed straight there to get one of my own. An admirable blend of quirky and…

      • A Day at the Beach 

        April 11, 2011, 15:14

        Spring has been inching its way into our lives this year, dropping only the subtlest of hints here and there that it's around. During one of the more pleasant mornings recently I packed up the kids and headed to Gyro Beach on Pandosy Street in Kelowna for a little preview of what's to come…

      • A Harbinger of Summer 

        April 6, 2011, 13:40

        The Kelowna Farmers' and Crafters' Market celebrated the grand opening of its 16th season on Saturday. While we couldn't make it out for the festivities, we did make sure to stop by today. For the last couple of years, our Wednesday mornings have been defined by the ritual of heading out to…

      • Candlelight a Highlight 

        March 28, 2011, 13:51

        I want to say I took part in Earth Hour, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. last Saturday night, for noble reasons. I want to say it was to help raise my awareness about sustainability issues and take a stand against climate change - I really do. And it was partly those things that motivated me to turn my…

      • Putting the Art in ‘Heart’ 

        March 22, 2011, 15:03

        Two of my (many) favourite things are original art and a good cause. And so I was excited to learn about Artists for Japan, an art-inspired fundraiser to help victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Kelowna-based artists Carrie Harper and Tomoe Afseth started the Facebook group…

      • A Birthday Coffee 

        March 21, 2011, 14:02

        Mr. Pear Tree and I celebrated a good cup of coffee and the one-year birthday of giObean Espresso at the downtown coffee shop, yesterday morning. The milestone celebration included treats, cake, coffee, a speech by the mayor and live music courtesy of Kelowna Secondary School jazz students.…

      • What I Wore Wednesday (on Friday) 

        March 18, 2011, 15:43

        Every week, over on the blog The Pleated Poppy, author Lindsey Cheney hosts the What I Wore Wednesday link party, showing off some of her favourite outfits from the week before and asking readers to do the same. After keeping up for some time, I finally decided, just today - just this very…

      • A Visit to Wonderland 

        March 16, 2011, 15:25

        I went with Mr. Pear Tree to Wonderland last weekend. The Arts Council of the Central Okanagan and a group of art students from UBC-O, led by professor Byron Johnson, teamed up to turn the former Ponderosa Motel off Hwy 97 in Kelowna into a Wonderland-themed art instillation. Dubbed The Mad…

      • A Bone to Pick 

        March 14, 2011, 16:12

        Kelowna artist and jewellery maker Lori Mairs suspects there’s something the littlest bit mystical about her jewellery. Like maybe the handcrafted pieces of antler mounted in silver have some of the magic of the forest contained within them. “People say that once they buy it, they wear…

      • A Nook of One’s Own 

        March 7, 2011, 15:21

        I spent most of Sunday organizing and reorganizing a very special corner of my home. Or at least it's special now. Since our daughter came along and claimed our former office as her own space, I've made do in a corner of our main floor, near the back door, just off the kitchen. Perhaps "made…

      • The Piano 

        February 23, 2011, 13:29

        We recently acquired a piano at the Pear Tree House. A lady in my church is moving into an assisted living residence and can’t take it with her, so she was just giving it away to a good home. I started learning to play the piano at the age of five, and continued into university –…

      • Sharing the Love 

        February 14, 2011, 12:29

        Today being Valentine's Day, we at The Pear Tree want to share a bit of love with you. So. We're giving something away. It's a love story, of sorts, although not the kind you'd expect. Our food writer, Darcie Hossack, wrote about the book Prairie Feast: A Writer's Journey Home for Dinner, by…

      • In the Mood for Love 

        February 11, 2011, 13:13

        Chocolates and roses and dinner out are great. I mean really great – and there’s a reason why they’re so tightly entwined with the traditions of Valentine’s Day. But it’s also fun – and extra romantic – to mix it up a little every so often. So this year The Pear Tree has compiled…

      • Everything’s Coming Up Roses 

        February 4, 2011, 11:01

        "It is by believing in roses that one brings them to bloom." - French proverb I got these beautiful roses for my birthday recently, and wanted to share them with you. Here's to wonderful things in bloom this cold, February weekend... - Photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

      • Resolutions for a New Year: Follow That Dream 

        January 26, 2011, 10:19

        So you know that book you’ve always wanted to write? The CD you really should record? Or maybe it’s a hobby that has the potential to become a career – or just an advancement you’ve had your eye on in your current vocation. We at The Pear Tree want to declare 2011 “The Year You Make…

      • Inspiration in a Cup – Coffee Shop Authoring 

        January 24, 2011, 16:15

        Ernest Hemmingway did it quite famously. So did J. K. Rowling. But they’re just two of the myriad writers who have poured their ideas, their stories, sometimes their very souls out on paper or keyboard whilst soaking up the atmosphere of their favourite coffee shop. Counted in their…

      • Just Our Cup of Tea 

        January 21, 2011, 13:27

        "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." - Henry James

      • Resolutions for a New Year: Culturize Yourself 

        January 19, 2011, 10:41

        One of my (many) fondest memories of living in England during my university years was the visits I made to the Tate Britain, in London. I would head for the Pre-Raphaelite room and absorb every stroke and nuance of paintings by Rossetti, Burn-Jones and Millais, among others. While I had seen…

      • Under the Winter White 

        January 14, 2011, 09:35

        Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. - Chinese Proverb *** Don't forget to comment on this post for a chance to win a pampering gift basket from Aura Beauty. - Photo by Lori-Anne Poirier

      • Resolutions for a New Year: Pamper Yourself 

        January 12, 2011, 09:39

        Years ago, someone predicted that the people of the future, with their dishwashers, microwave ovens, remote controls and computers, would have more leisure time than ever before. And yet all those conveniences seem to have opened up more time for us to work longer hours at higher stress jobs.…

      • A Lettered Existence 

        January 10, 2011, 09:14

        There was a time when I was quite an avid letter writer. Living abroad, first in England and then in Korea, away from my family before the days of Hotmail or affordable long distance phone plans, it was my main method of communication with home. And conversely, when I was home it was the only…

      • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 

        January 6, 2011, 22:45

        Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He…

      • Resolutions for a New Year: Drink Your Water 

        January 5, 2011, 10:46

        Coffee, tea, soda, juice, energy drinks and alcohol – all can take the edge off a parched palate. But there’s nothing like a good, clean glass of water to quench a thirst, and keep the body working like it should. So if you’re not drinking your six to eight glasses of water a day (or…

      • For Auld Lang Syne 

        January 1, 2011, 08:17

        “We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.” - Robert Burns Five years ago this morning I was giddy with anticipation. In addition to being the start of a new year – 2006 – I was about to embark on a new life as a married woman, greatly intensifying the wonderful mystery…

      • The Tale of A Lute For Christmas 

        December 24, 2010, 10:18

        “Shed the growling and grinding, scraping; peel away the snick and rattle to listen to the old sounds. Hear the leaves breathe, the water droppling in a calm pool. Feel the rare and precious quiet.” - Susan Adams, A Lute for Christmas There’s nothing like a good Christmas story this time…

      • Never a Christmas Without Music 

        December 15, 2010, 10:16

        *** It just happens that one of my favourite bloggers out there is a former neighbour of mine. Kirsten Nilsen of Nilsen Life lived one door over in our  college dorm - a re-purposed Jacobean mansion in the Berkshire foothills of England. It's not just because I know her that I'm a dedicated…

      • O Christmas Tree 

        December 13, 2010, 10:29

        “O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, much pleasure doth thou bring me! for every year the Christmas tree, brings to us all both joy and glee. o Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, much pleasure doth thou bring me!" If you’re looking for Christmas magic, you won’t find it in a box of…

      • Ringing in the Season 

        December 6, 2010, 08:58

        “Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away.” -Carol of the Bells When they were first developed in England some 300 years ago, handbells were actually intended to be a practice tool for bell tower ringers (also called change ringers). After all, it’s not…

      • Bought: Christmas Heirlooms 

        December 3, 2010, 16:58

        Those who have been following this blog from the start no doubt read last year of my tradition of buying a tree ornament for each member of the Pear Tree family in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s a tradition my mother started when I was young - although those ornaments have gone astray, no…

      • Happy Birthday to US! 

        December 1, 2010, 10:02

        One year ago today, The Pear Tree went live to the world. It’s been a fun 365 days, complete with learning curves and tweaks aplenty, but also enlightenment, adventure and wonderful people we never would have encountered otherwise – both through our stories and readership. The year has…

      • Launch of The Mother Load 

        November 25, 2010, 16:26

        Here at The Pear Tree I like to write about some of the things that are dear to my heart. Things or people or places or endeavours that hark to the past or traditions (old and new), beauty, pampering and gentle living. It’s an escape for me, and hopefully for you as well. Obviously, with…

      • Sweet Home à la Gingerbread 

        November 21, 2010, 22:32

        Sugar frosted eaves and candied window panes - what’s not to love about a gingerbread abode? In the hunt for a sampling of Christmas, The Pear Tree checked out the first of what organizers hope will be an annual "Building Our Future" Gingerbread House Building Competition, held at the…

      • The Zen of Housework 

        November 18, 2010, 10:32

        Back in the days when I was in university, I had a part time job, cleaning house for a couple of homes off campus. It was hardly lucrative, but it supplied me with an entertainment fund (a necessity when London – the English one – is only an hour away) and an opportunity to peek inside some…

      • A Passion for the Past 

        November 15, 2010, 10:57

        “Why did a past I have never known possess me so completely?” -Daphne DuMaurier Photographer Melissa Rowat suspects she was born in the wrong era. A child of the ‘80s, she looks back at previous decades with fondness and just a twinge of envy. The hair. The fashion. The sense of decorum. …

      • We Must Remember Not to Forget 

        November 11, 2010, 14:00

        A couple of years ago I was sitting in a coffee shop with Mr. Pear Tree on a Remembrance Day morning when 11 a.m. rolled around. Being 11 a.m. (according to my watch), we decided to take a moment of silence, while everyone around us chatted, laughed, and continued slurping their coffees. I…

      • Casting On to a New Pastime 

        November 7, 2010, 14:18

        Last winter I learned how to knit. It was a big step for someone as consumeristic as me. Why devote hours, weeks or even months to making something by hand, I’d ask, when I can buy something mass-produced and just as lovely in mere seconds? But recently, something has changed in me. I…

      • Small Sentiments in Silver and Bronze 

        November 4, 2010, 14:42

        Rachelle McGlinchey’s oldest son, James, was 15 months old when she went back to work full-time, working as an office manager. It was a difficult time for her – as it is with most moms who go back to work when their kids are very young. As a gesture to her more emotional side, she went…

      • November Notes 

        November 1, 2010, 22:42

        As I write this, I am alternately dabbing at my nose with a Kleenex, sipping camomile tea from a teacup and squeezing my sinuses with my fingers. Welcome November. We’re off to a great start, then. Good thing November is – I have always considered anyway – a quieter month. It’s a…

      • Happy Halloweeeeeeen (and giveaway winner announced)! 

        October 31, 2010, 20:55

        It was a big night for the two young Pear Trees, who went out trick-or-treating (or “tricker trucking”) for the first time. My son dressed up as Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp, while my daughter was the Kid (Jackie Coogan). They only made five stops, but came home with tonnes of candy. Way…

      • A Birthday Fete for a Bechstein 

        October 25, 2010, 16:26

        One of the highlights of my weekend was a house concert I was privileged to be invited to, Sunday afternoon. The venue was the home music studio of pianist Susan Adams, in West Kelowna. The room is generally filled with an assortment of harpsichords and small pianofortes. Susan is an early…

      • Taking Comfort in the Familiar 

        October 20, 2010, 14:43

        When we first started going to the Farmer’s Market Wednesday mornings, a couple of years ago now, I tried to take the opportunity to introduce my son to a variety of foods he might not normally encounter. There was a Turkish lady who made something that looked like a mini bagel but was…

      • The Coffee’s On Us! 

        October 18, 2010, 13:38

        Whether you have kids to chauffer from school to lessons and play dates, a garden to dig up, a harvest to glean or just work to catch up on after taking things easy over the summer, fall can be a busy time of year. We’ve been busy, too, organizing stories for you and working behind the…

      • A Visit to the Farm: McMillan Pumpkin Patch 

        October 13, 2010, 14:23

        I want to call the McMillan Pumpkin Patch one of Kelowna’s hidden treasures, but judging by the number of families that descend on the 110 acre working farm every year, “hidden” is probably the wrong word. I first heard about the Berard Road property (just off KLO, heading toward East…

      • Happy Thanksgiving! 

        October 11, 2010, 16:23

        I’m going to admit something personal: I’ve been a little bit covetous lately. I’ve been watching status updates by Facebook friends and hearing news from friends and acquaintances all over the place about wonderful opportunities – work opportunities, travel, shopping sprees. And while…

      • Random Acts of Poetry Week 

        October 8, 2010, 13:51

        I just found out that this week - Oct. 3-9 - poets across the country (and the UK and Ireland) will be delivering Random Acts of Poetry. On the streets, in the parks, at bus stops, schools, cafes, shops and libraries, they'll be accosting regular passers-by and reading them poetry. The…

      • A Visit with Stuart McLean 

        October 4, 2010, 15:22

        When I first started listening to The Vinyl Café, I don’t know how many years ago, it was the stories about Dave and Morley and their friends and neighbours that caught my interest. I would be driving on my way to some errand or appointment, between noon and 1 p.m. on a Sunday, and would…

      • Colour Me Autumn 

        October 1, 2010, 14:47

        “Slip Montreal’s first red leaf of autumn into the envelope.” -Karen Connelly, One Room in a Castle After reading that passage, back in the mid 1990s, I made it a practice to slip a pressed red maple leaf into a letter to my friends each autumn. These leaves made their way around the…

      • A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words 

        September 24, 2010, 14:20

            We’re trying something new this month. Every Friday through the month of September we’re opening this space up to you. I give you a topic and you write about it on your own blog. Then, in the comments section of this post, provide a link to your blog so that everyone else can…

      • A Love Affair with Coffee 

        September 22, 2010, 15:12

        When Giovanni Lauretta was growing up in his native Italy, he never cared for the coffee his family and neighbours had brewing throughout the day. In fact, it wasn’t until he was age 27 and living in England that his passion for the other black gold set in. “I never liked the taste,”…

      • A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words 

        September 17, 2010, 10:16

        We’re trying something new this month. Every Friday through the month of September we’re opening this space up to you. I give you a topic and you write about it on your own blog. Then, in the comments section of this post, provide a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit…

      • The Itsy-Bitsy Spider 

        September 16, 2010, 15:55

        I found a spider, the other day, prowling about on my kitchen countertop. I hate spiders. Despise them, in fact. So, I devised a way of removing the awful thing without killing it and getting spider juice all over the surface where I prepare my food. My cunning plan was to place a jar over…

      • Bloggin’ Okanagan Featured Bloggers 

        September 14, 2010, 16:00

        With less than two weeks to Bloggin’ Okanagan, I wanted to take a moment to introduce our five panellists. Pear Tree House Productions, in partnership with the Kelowna Art Gallery, feel fortunate to have assembled such a dynamic group of lady bloggers (sorry, men, hopefully you’ll have…

      • A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words 

        September 13, 2010, 14:05

        We’re trying something new this month. Every Friday through the month of September we’re going to open up this space to you. I’ll give you a topic and you write about it on your own blog. Then, in the comments section of this post, provide a link to your blog so that everyone else can…

      • A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words 

        September 10, 2010, 13:06

        We’re trying something new this month. Every Friday through the month of September we’re  opening this space up to you. I give you a topic and you write about it on your own blog. Then, in the comments section of this post, provide a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit…

      • Giveaway Winner Announced! 

        September 9, 2010, 19:46

        Thank you to everyone who left a comment. This contest's randomly selected winner was Dawn. We'll be in touch by email shortly to work out details of getting your signed copy of Darcie Hossack's Mennonites Don't Dance to you. To everyone else, stay tuned for more giveaways to come!

      • Stories to Savour 

        September 7, 2010, 21:00

        An unassuming box, filled with paper and words, tells much of the story of Darcie Friesen Hossack’s last 10 years. A manuscript of stories, dotted and lined with penciled edits, the occasional coffee stain decorating its margins, takes up the bulk of the hold. With it is stashed a certificate…

      • A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words 

        September 3, 2010, 15:40

        We’re trying something new this month. Every Friday through the month of September we’re going to open up this space to you. I’ll give you a topic and you write about it on your own blog. Then, in the comments section of this post, provide a link to your blog so that everyone else…

      • Back to Fall 

        September 1, 2010, 23:01

        It’s been 15 years since I’ve needed to partake in the ritual of back to school shopping for myself, and it will be another couple of years before I have to start it for my kids. But every year, when September hits, I feel this inexplicable need to buy pencils, pens, notebooks and maybe a…

      • Beyond Bedding and Breakfasts, a Pampering Retreat 

        August 23, 2010, 10:57

        I’m standing in Karen Goetjen’s kitchen, chatting with her as she makes us breakfast. The light floods through the wall of north facing windows, and every now and then she dashes out the back door to pick a tomato or some spinach or a couple of flowering nasturtiums out of her garden to add…

      • Recipe for a Summer Supper 

        August 12, 2010, 14:40

        As the clock tick-tocked its way toward dinnertime, one recent afternoon, I was uninspired. I didn’t feel like cooking and if it wasn’t for two small dependants I could have happily gone without. Fortunately, inspiration came home to roost, and just in the nick of time. An old summer…

      • Millions of Peaches 

        August 9, 2010, 16:54

        “Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?" -T.S. Elliott, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock There was a time, when I first read The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, that I interpreted that line to show just how indecisive and insecure J. Alfred was. And it's true, a man…

      • Linked Up 

        August 5, 2010, 16:26

        I have been a bit lax with posting on The Pear Tree as of late. I do know. I have not been keeping up with my self-imposed requirement of at least three posts a week. What can I say? It’s summer. I’ve been at the beach. At the farmer’s market. In the park, at the playground. I’ve…

      • Summer Simplicity 

        August 2, 2010, 15:17

        One of the best parts of summer is its simplicity. From light, unencumbering clothing to fresh food picked from the garden and packed with flavour, there is so much to embrace about this season. This month at The Pear Tree we plan to explore some of these easy delights and would love for you to…

      • Summer Reading 

        July 29, 2010, 15:23

        Last month I wrote about how I was exchanging books with my 16-year-old niece, Avery, for my summer reading selection. She would read a book of my choosing, and I would read one that she picked out. I gave her Treveryan, by Angela DuMaurier, and she gave me The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks. …

      • The Gift of Lavender 

        July 23, 2010, 22:36

        Since shooting pictures at the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm for the Legacy of Lavender story we ran earlier this month, I have had the above picture as my wall paper on my computer. The lavender dancing across the screen and the bold combination of colours both inspires and entrances me. And,…

      • Patio Love 

        July 21, 2010, 22:04

        I love having a patio. Especially on days like today, when you can’t get the kids in bed fast enough (bless them, but you know what I’m talking about, right?), the house looks like it was hit by a hurricane (or worse, two tiny but busy little people) and the urge to escape it all is…

      • A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan 

        July 14, 2010, 13:39

        We recently lost a member of our family. Our dear cat, Sarah Vaughan, recently went to live in a new home. After sharing my abode for the past seven years, fate (aka two vivacious children) determined that it was time for Sarah to move on to a place she would experience more of the…

      • A Legacy of Lavender 

        July 12, 2010, 16:54

        “Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green, when I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen. who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so? twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so." Even before the row upon row of lavender bushes at the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm greets…

      • Bought: 0 worth 

        July 9, 2010, 16:46

        Not long ago I posted something on a 25 Club I belong to. There’s 12 of us in the group and we meet once a month. Each time we get together we bring to put in a jar. Before the evening ends, someone’s name is drawn and the winner goes home with 0 that she must (must!) spend on herself…

      • A Return to the Simplicity of Childhood 

        July 7, 2010, 23:29

        “Life is deep and simple. Society has made it shallow and complicated." -Mr. Rogers I envy my mother’s childhood. Growing up in the orchards of East Kelowna, she had one of those childhoods where the kids would hit the countryside shortly after breakfast and stay out until lunch – or…

      • A Honey of a Wine 

        July 5, 2010, 20:16

        Judith Barta whipped up her first batch of honey mead in her kitchen about 10 years ago. Just for fun. She recently came upon some remnants of that batch – properly sealed and stored, naturally – and was pleased with the way it stood up over the years. Of course it can’t compare with what…

      • Happy July 1! 

        July 1, 2010, 15:51

        For Canada’s 143rd birthday, we pulled out all the stops - as we do every July 1, pumping up our stereotypically modest patriotism for the day. We took our flag out of storage, donned red and white attire, and - best of all - feasted on pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream (red and…

      • Book Exchange Part II: The Last Song 

        June 27, 2010, 11:23

        -Editor's note: The Pear Tree is pleased to welcome Avery Philip as a guest columnist today. Avery is participating in a summer book exchange with her aunt, Pear Tree editor Lori-Anne Poirier, and is writing to introduce the book she chose. At the end of the summer, we will post our reviews of…

      • Book Exchange Part I: Treveryan 

        June 24, 2010, 15:30

        “Treveryan. I like to think of you stately and once so loved, at the end of the avenue of beeches; where once a yew tree stood; where a lake was in which swam wild swans.” -Angela du Maurier, Treveryan I first heard of the book Treveryan, by Angela du Maurier, in 1993. One of my dearest…

      • Bought: Baby Doll Cradle 

        June 18, 2010, 15:50

        This morning I popped into the Women’s Emergency Shelter Thrift Shop on Lawrence Avenue, downtown in Kelowna, on a treasure hunting expedition. I hadn’t even gotten all the way through the door when my eyes fell on this little beauty. It’s a wooden, swinging cradle – presumably hand…

      • Under Cover 

        June 16, 2010, 11:27

        This spring and early summer in the Okanagan (and other, more far distant places I’ve read about) can hardly be described as balmy. Not so much gloriously sunny as one might hope. In fact, it’s been wet. And while it’s certainly not the rainiest June in memory (does anyone remember the…

      • At Home with Pampering Beauty 

        June 11, 2010, 13:27

        Lindsay Goertzen has always loved being pampered. When visiting family in Kelowna, back in the days when she was a paramedic living in Manitoba, a spa visit was usually on the agenda. Occasionally, however, there were challenges. Like booking a party of friends or relatives for a treatment…

      • Motorcycle Diaries 

        June 8, 2010, 08:55

        Can a person fall in love on the back of a motorcycle? There was a time when I would have guffawed at the suggestion. Maybe in the movies, I would have said, but not in real life. Not in my life. Because I’ll also admit that there was a time, in my not too distant past, I when I was a…

      • Vintage Beauty, Soft and Fragrant 

        June 4, 2010, 16:59

        Beauty, according to West Kelowna entrepreneur Jannine LeMere, comes from a love of life, passion for what you do and a little bit of shimmer around your face. These key ingredients have helped launch Jannine’s burgeoning business, Vintage Beauty Skincare Inc., into a going concern with a…

      • Summer Beauty (and a giveaway!) 

        June 1, 2010, 16:24

        As the weather warms and new plants and seedlings take root, it sometimes seems that the Okanagan itself – soil, water, air and all – is about to burst into bloom. And indeed, within a couple of weeks there will be colourful blossoms around every turn. It’s hard to compete with a…

      • 25 

        May 20, 2010, 16:57

        Near the end of last year, I was invited to join a '25 Club.' Have you ever heard of one? It's a social club - or group (it's pretty informal) - with a mandate to gather once a month to socialize. But there's a twist, and this is the clincher: One lucky lady (ours is all women) leaves at the…

      • Bought: Legendary Moleskine Notebook 

        May 17, 2010, 11:13

        It's small, black and dignified. But that's not why I bought the Plain Reporter Pocket Moleskine Notebook. No, I fell, hook line and sinker, for the sales pitch: "Moleskine is the legendary notebook used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from…

      • A Summer’s Day 

        May 12, 2010, 23:43

        Here in the Okanagan we claim to celebrate four seasons, but in truth it’s more like two – winter and summer. The weather usually stays so mild through the autumn months that if the leaves didn’t change colour you might not know that summer is passed. And no sooner does the snow melt and…

      • A Flower for an Okanagan Mom 

        May 8, 2010, 23:05

        In the language of the flowers, a carnation can mean anything from a woman’s love (if it’s pink) to disdain (white), my heart aches for you (red) and capriciousness (purple). But since the early 1900s it has, at least in most of North America, come to be the symbol of Mother’s Day and…

      • Brunch Out in the Orchard 

        May 5, 2010, 14:43

        It’s a little bit off the beaten path, tucked, as it is, away up in the orchards of East Kelowna. But if there’s a time when a leisurely country ramble to visit The Ridge Restaurant is really a must, it’s Mother’s Day - when the pace of mom’s day should slow down for a change, giving…

      • A Month for Mothers 

        May 2, 2010, 20:12

        I inherited from my mother my dark hair, my love of reading, a sense of independence and a bit of a stubborn streak. And in my three short years of being a mother myself, I can see that most of these characteristics are already being passed down to my son (the jury’s still out on the…

      • Decked Out in Fragrant Finery 

        April 21, 2010, 23:25

        “The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.” - The Last Samurai In countries such as Japan, Korea and China, the arrival of the cherry blossom is a not-to-be-missed event. Old people, families and young lovers alike…

      • A Table Fit for a Queen … of Hearts 

        April 12, 2010, 23:58

        -The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: ‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. ‘There's PLENTY of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table. ‘Have some wine,’…

      • Jazz in a Tea Cup 

        March 1, 2010, 20:19

        When jazz singer Anna Jacyszyn launched the Jazz Café in the Kelowna Community Theatre’s Black Box Theatre a year ago, she wanted to evoke the atmosphere of an old-time speakeasy from the 1920s. To help with the illusion, she amassed a large collection of tea cups to serve drinks in - a…

      • Pretty as a Picture 

        February 15, 2010, 20:25

        Walk through the downtown of most European cities and villages, and the scenes in store windows will make it difficult to resist ducking into shop after shop. Whether they’ve created a look that is quaint or avant garde, those shop owners - or the window dressers they hire - know how to set…

      • Pick a Card 

        February 1, 2010, 23:15

        “Plush velvet, lush berries, red ribbons and bows and all my love I here enclose.” - G.S. Enter any greeting card store the morning of February 14 and you’re sure to see a large handful of people - sons, daughters, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends - picking up a last minute…

      • A Winter Ramble 

        January 11, 2010, 23:20

        “In winter in the woods alone against the trees I go ... ... I link a line of shadowy tracks across the tinted snow.” - Robert Frost It is so tempting to hunker down on winter days that don’t require us to be somewhere. A hot drink, a favourite book and a chenille throw for chilly…

      • Woven Together With Character 

        January 1, 2010, 12:17

        “There she weaves by night and day a magic web of colours gay.” -Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott It’s not uncommon to hear music coming from Susan Adams’ West Kelowna home. After all, the concert pianist and Early Music specialist has a room dedicated to housing her…

      • Home for Christmas 

        December 21, 2009, 20:35

        “Gentle, at home,/ amid my friends I’ll be/ Like the high leaves/ Upon the holly tree.” - Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1890 While it’s admittedly tempting to visit warmer reaches at this time of year, and hardly uncommon for families to dispense with gift-giving in exchange for a holiday…

      • Christmas Dreaming 

        December 7, 2009, 20:18

        There was Christmas bling for her and Bing (as in Crosby) for him when Martin Lofts on 700 Martin Avenue in Kelowna opened up two decorated apartments for the Rotary Centre for the Arts’ annual Homes for the Holidays fundraising tour. Tammy Cunningham, from Centre Stage Interior Decorating,…

      • Decking the Halls for Christmas 

        December 1, 2009, 00:34

        “Let every house be ready tonight – the children gathered, the candles alight – that music to hear, to see that sight.” - P. Cornelius, German carol   Three years ago, when designer Nicola Consiglio was decorating a Marilyn Monroe tree for the Rotary Centre for the Arts’…

      • Welcome to The Pear Tree 

        November 29, 2009, 23:27

        We’d like to introduce you to The Pear Tree, an Okanagan-based, online publication celebrating the art of graceful living. Located in the centre of the Okanagan Valley, our goal is to inspire readers, both home and away, by showcasing people, places and things from around the region that…

    • Category: Food  (34)

      A monthly Food missive and recipe contributed by Kelowna-based food writer Darcie Hossack.

      • Sassy Sask Follow-up 

        July 3, 2013, 15:17

        So I just know you've been waiting with bated breath to learn what I did with those Saskatoon berries I got last week. There were so many tasty options (thanks for the pie recipe, Elaine) and I am definitely planning on visiting the Kekuli Cafe in West Kelowna for some Saskatoon berry bread…

      • An Easy Cough Elixir 

        July 2, 2013, 11:06

        So I was a little bit down and out last week, having succumbed to a rather nasty June flu. Is it just me or are summer colds and flues much more miserable than their winter counterparts? Anyway, I was laid up for the first few days of last week, and then struggled along as that aching flu…

      • The Sassy Saskatoon 

        June 26, 2013, 14:38

        "Are these blueberries? Or cranberries," I queried, knowing they weren't quite the right colour for either. "They're Saskatoons berries," the farmer's market vender replied. "Saskatoon berries," I effused. "Saskatoon berries! Well, I'll buy a carton." (Just an aside: "Saskatoon…

      • That's a Wrap 

        June 17, 2013, 14:28

        I just had to share my lunch with you today. It was so scrumptiously good, and this is coming from someone who went the majority of her life being an avocado hater. It's a cheese and avocado panini wrap. Nothing gourmet, by any means, but boy did it hit the spot! Ingredients: 1…

      • Nothing Like Freshly Baked Bread 

        July 18, 2012, 13:05

        A warm, slightly yeasty aroma flooded the house as my first loaf of home made bread browned in the oven. The kids were so excited, they had to keep checking its progress. To see how it had changed. To make sure it was still there. As though it was some sort of delicacy like pie or cake or…

      • A West Country Tradition 

        May 31, 2012, 12:51

        One of my favourite places in the world is England, and one of my favourite parts of England is the West Country, or Cornwall. Dotted with old villages and steeped in tradition, the far west peninsula of old Blighty is more rustic and laid back than the mainland. Steep cliffs line much of…

      • Bong Twiggy Birthday 

        May 28, 2012, 13:03

        I first discovered bong twiggy - a light, crispy rice treat - when I lived in Korea more than a dozen years ago. It's more fun than rice cakes, and just a hint sweet. I brought back a bag full when I came back home to the Okanagan, and my mum became an instant fan. She, however, favours it…

      • Something for the Bleak Midwinter 

        January 13, 2012, 15:10

        It's so easy to find fault with January. The snow is not so pretty now (if you have it at all- we don't). All is bare and the biting air is far from inviting. But there's an upside: Roaring fires, cozy sweaters and comfort food. When could we ever enjoy these things if the weather was always…

      • A Treat Too Good for Santa Claus 

        December 14, 2011, 11:10

        I've never left cookies out for Santa Claus. My mum had a hard enough time keeping them in the cookie jar when my brother and sister and I were growing up, never mind out overnight on a plate. I'd like to say that if I was going to leave the jolly old elf a midnight snack all these years…

      • Have Your Cake and Wheat Germ Too 

        August 1, 2011, 13:31

        In our mom’s mind, we didn’t get enough vitamins. Vitamins, minerals or roughage. She might have been right. After all, my sister and I preferred our noodles with cream gravy instead of tomato sauce. Cream gravy and Roger’s syrup, if you must know. And if there was a food group we…

      • When Life Hands You Lavender 

        July 22, 2011, 14:48

        I picked up a little bottle of pure lavender essential oil from the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm, recently, for a project I want to try here on The Pear Tree. But before I got to it, I started to discover all these other things I could do with it - including adding it to a pitcher of lemonade…

      • Teascaping 

        June 30, 2011, 14:39

        A few years ago, I interviewed a wonderfully eccentric lady who ran a home decor shop downtown, for a story in a local newspaper. Apparently she liked the story, because she left for me at the front desk of the newspaper office a beautifully wrapped box of fine crystal glasses. When I went into…

      • Flaking out 

        June 13, 2011, 15:28

        I made a terrible mistake. Followed by another. First, I bought Martha Stewart’s new Pie and Tarts book. Then, at my favourite discounter of housewares, a ceramic pie dish. Next thing I knew, all the ingredients for a pie showed up in a grocery bag, and my husband fixed me with a look…

      • Totaling tea 

        May 16, 2011, 14:30

        Were you to look into my kitchen cabinets, it might be reasonable to assume a few things about she who accumulated their contents. Not unlike judging a book by it’s cover, of which I am in favour. For example, the eleven cutting boards (seven dishwasherable plastic, two bamboo and one…

      • Resurrection Cookies 

        April 18, 2011, 14:31

        While we can't resist indulging in chocolate and eggs and baskets stuffed with shredded tissue at The Pear Tree House come Easter, I also want to emphasize the Christian perspective to my kids, and the message of hope that it brings. Last year, I came across a fun recipe over on the blog Fly…

      • Tasting memory 

        April 13, 2011, 13:48

        “Couldn’t you at least put out a little cheese?” By my assessment, Betty Jane Hegerat has already baked plum kuken, and a batch of apfeltaschen. The teacups are set out, coffee on the ready, and invited guests beginning to arrive for an afternoon of in-home author readings. The…

      • Doughnut Bakery 

        March 25, 2011, 14:23

        Grandma Friesen never made anything in small amounts. A mother of ten, and grandmother to twenty five, I can almost never picture her outside of her kitchen. Like a lot of women born more than a hundred years ago, Anna was a stranger to certain luxuries her whole life. Even when my…

      • Four if by Teacup 

        February 21, 2011, 08:44

        I’m hanging up my ice skates. Bought new for in 1990, for the occasion of a tenth grade skating party at Calgary’s Bowness Lagoon, the skates don’t so much fall into the category of footwear as foothold traps. Simply put, the boots were not made with the shape of human feet in…

      • Berries Plucked from the Prairies 

        January 17, 2011, 09:18

        “If salt makes food taste better, nostalgia makes it taste great,” says Amy Jo Ehman in her new food memoir, Prairie Feast: a writer’s journey home for dinner. Home, for Ehman, is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Which is just a hop, skip and a puddle-jump away from my own original backyard in…

      • Christmas Breakfast with a Side of Nog 

        December 21, 2010, 08:30

        Feeling misguidedly creative one Christmas Long Past, I decided to treat my family to a special Yule-themed breakfast Christmas morning. The central feature of this indulgence was something I dubbed “nog eggs.” Basically, they were scrambled eggs made with eggnog instead of milk. I…

      • Sucre Pie, Sweet to Taste and Rich in Tradition 

        November 9, 2010, 10:05

        There was always something about them, the way they’d come into town, aproned and polka dotted, that made me want to put on a kerchief and slip into the middle of their other-worldly little flock. Maybe it had something to do with the way they looked so unselfconsciously well fed. Still,…

      • Soup Season 

        October 15, 2010, 16:51

        “Beautiful Soup so rich and green, waiting in a hot tureen! who for such dainties would not stoop? soup of the evening, beautiful soup! beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? who would not give all else for two pennyworth only of beautiful soup” - Alice’s…

      • Radio Ga Ga with a Side of Paninis 

        October 6, 2010, 15:45

        The scene is a charming townhouse bordering a family park. It’s Sunday morning, just before noon, and friends and family are gathered around the table, tuned into CBC Radio. It’s almost time for Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe. We’ve all arrived half an hour early, shedding our…

      • That's a Wrap 

        September 19, 2010, 22:15

        It would be an accurate description to call me an occasional vegetarian. This, even though I grew up, for the most part, in a farming family, where the very idea of a meatless meal stirred up worries of grave malnutrition. Fast forward to the ninth grade. It was a year of transitions,…

      • Peter Patty Pans 

        August 16, 2010, 20:41

        "Second star on the right and straight on till morning.” Or, if you’re a foodie with an invitation to visit the not-open-to-the-public Okanagan Culinary Farms, just “Look for the rows of purple kale, and turn right in.” And so it happens that, on Sunday morning, we find ourselves…

      • Wrapped in Tradition 

        July 19, 2010, 14:01

        When Marie Hasper - my grandma - was a little girl, she used to sneak out of bed at night, on those special occasions when her mother made beet rolls, and sneak one... or two, or sometimes three... to nibble on in bed. Sometimes she was egged on by her older sister, Rex, and her friend Anne,…

      • Wrapped in Tradition 

        July 19, 2010, 11:09

        When Marie Hasper - my grandma - was a little girl, she used to sneak out of bed at night, on those special occasions when her mother made beet rolls, and pinch one... or two, or sometimes three... to nibble on in bed. Sometimes she was egged on by her older sister, Rex, and her friend Anne,…

      • Edible Flowers 

        June 21, 2010, 11:10

        For the first time in my adult life, I have a little garden. It’s close to the size of a postage stamp, but it’s a garden nevertheless. This ownership of land and soil now has my farmer’s grandaughter’s heart aglow with generational pride. For 10 years previously, I pottered around…

      • A Taste of Home 

        May 10, 2010, 21:11

        “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” - George Moore, The Brook Kerith One thing I’ve come to know for certain is that no matter how long you live in a place, you can never entirely get your roots out of the soil where you grew up. For…

      • One a Penny, Two a Penny...  

        April 1, 2010, 15:47

        It doesn’t occur often that the astronomical and ecclesiastical moons line up. When it does, however, a few things happen. First everyone stands around confused, wondering why I care and why I think anyone else should. Next, both Western and Orthodox Easter meet on some of the same…

      • Lemon Tea Cup Chiffon 

        March 8, 2010, 22:33

        A couple of years ago, prior to a trip I was taking to England, my mother decided to educate me on the ins and outs of shopping for secondhand tea cups. Her hope was that I would unearth some treasure for her in one of the markets or shops along my travels. Now, I’m the first to admit that…

      • Make Love, Not Music: Spaghetti Sauce 

        February 7, 2010, 22:53

        It was a week or two after I started taking lute lessons that I met my husband, Kyle. He was our teacher’s only other pupil, a classical guitar student, and since a) I was learning the preliminary techniques of lute playing on guitar and b) we were both beginner adult students, our teacher…

      • Currying Flavour 

        January 17, 2010, 22:36

        There’s a little restaurant sandwiched in an artsy corner of Kelowna that, among other lunchtime savouries, serves the most marvy butternut squash soup this side of the pumpkin patch. As comfort food goes, it’s Diazepam in a bowl. It’s coming home on a freezing January afternoon to…

      • A Cookie Cutter Christmas 

        December 13, 2009, 20:00

        The calendar strikes December 1st. And with the brightest of holiday intentions, a bit of amnesia, and dreams of white-frosted Christmas cookies that sparkle with silver nonpareils, we buy a 20kg package of cane sugar. As it happens in the Okanagan, this is often the day of the first snow.…

    • Category: Artist Studio Tours  (10)

      An inside look at the spaces area artists use to draw the inspiration they need to create.

      • Layer Upon Layer: Artist Dawn Emerson’s Studio 

        November 29, 2010, 09:33

        Kelowna artist Dawn Emerson’s studio has so much in common with her artwork, it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other one ends. The mixed media artist, who likes paper and layers and keepsakes that mean something, fills her canvases and her room with lots of each. She’s been…

      • A Place to Paint and Dream: Patty Feist’s Artist Studio 

        October 28, 2010, 20:30

        Artist Patty Feist just wanted a place to turn out some art. Maybe the space over the new garage/mechanical room, she suggested to her husband, Bill, when he was drawing up the plans. Knowing her husband like she does, she shouldn’t have been surprised that what started out as a wish for a…

      • An Artful Nook: Liz Van Golen 

        September 29, 2010, 15:16

        They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. And nestled into a corner of Liz Van Golen’s kitchen (formerly Liz Woodside) is a little art studio - if not the heart beat than certainly an important artery for her life and home. Liz, who married recently and chose to go back to her…

      • A Room of One’s Own: Artist Meghan Wise 

        August 29, 2010, 20:18

        Virginia Woolf said that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” The same might be said about the woman who wants to paint pictures, as artist Meghan Wise will attest. The Kelowna-based wife and mother of one gave up her downtown studio several years…

      • Fine Art in a Rustic Setting: The Barn Gallery 

        July 26, 2010, 14:27

        Ambling through the winding back roads of Oyama in the Okanagan’s Lake Country, more than one barn – derelict or new and in use – dots the landscape. Only one, however, has the distinction of housing a treasure trove of local, original art. It’s called The Barn Gallery, and…

      • Where Art and Nature Blissfully Abide: Lori Mairs 

        May 28, 2010, 11:58

        It’s hard to know where Kelowna artist and jewelry maker Lori Mairs’ studio begins and where it ends. Being an artist who favours natural materials - she is especially partial to shed antler, bone, wood, clay, steel and paper - Lori’s work space frequently extends beyond her little sun…

      • Locked into Creative Mode: Wanda Lock 

        April 26, 2010, 21:28

        Playful, colourful paintings line Wanda Lock’s art studio walls, from ceiling to floor. We’ve come to visit at a good time, she tells The Pear Tree when we remark about it. In a few months the walls will be bare, the artwork shipped out to show in galleries. But now, like a garden in early…

      • A Reverence for Art: Jim Kalnin and Lois Huey-Heck  

        March 25, 2010, 16:48

        Many artists consider their studios to be sanctuaries of creativity, but few have as literal a claim as Lake Country artists Jim Kalnin and Lois Huey-Heck. Since 1991, the two have both worked and lived in a repurposed church, drawing inspiration from its history, architecture and spiritual…

      • A Pear of Artists: Carrie Harper and Kendra Smith 

        February 21, 2010, 21:01

        When Carrie Harper started looking for an art studio to set up her Pear Workshop two years ago, she visited a long line of warehouses, basements and dark spaces during her hunt for the perfect spot. Then she met fellow artist Kendra Smith, who had just moved into a spacious, well-lit room…

      • Something Old, Something New in Artist Emil Nagy’s Studio 

        January 24, 2010, 21:21

        I first encountered Kelowna artist Emil Nagy’s (pronounced Nahj) home studio a couple of years ago, when I interviewed him for a story in the local newspaper. If I were an artist, I decided, I would want exactly this studio. Despite being quite talentless in the fine art department, I would…

    • Category: Projects  (20)

      Fun, easy projects to try at home.

      • Father’s Day fixer upper - wainscoting DIY 

        June 24, 2015, 16:24

        This past Father’s Day weekend, Mrs. Pear Tree and the kidlets were out-of-town, attending a friend's graduation. So I had the whole place to myself for two days - and while the cats were away, the mouse could play! I took this opportunity to finish a large project that began back in November…

      • A Grand and Terrifying Moment 

        July 5, 2012, 14:00

        I want to come off cool as a cucumber. Casual as a... ummm, what's casual, anyway? Well, as casual as that. But the truth is I'm a bundle of nervous energy now that MY FIRST BOOK IS ON THE MARKET!!!! Did I just scream that? Sorry! I'll try to reign myself in a bit. So the last few steps…

      • The Big Reveal 

        July 3, 2012, 13:29

        For the last year and a half I've been writing a weekly column in the Penticton Herald called The Mother Load. It's been a sort of outlet for my thoughts, feelings, and experiences as a mum of two young children and, for a while, it also appeared here, on The Pear Tree. It's been a way for…

      • Peer Through My Window  

        October 26, 2011, 14:21

        For the four years that Mr. Pear Tree and I have lived in our current abode, the space above our headboard has been empty. You see, I don't like to rush into things, and I didn't have "just the right" art work or decoration or feature of any sort to place over it. What's more, I didn't have a…

      • Rock-a-bye Baby Doll 

        September 21, 2011, 13:56

        I bought this wooden doll's cradle for my daughter, Amélie, more than a year ago, for at a Kelowna thrift store. I don't know if it was handmade, but it was in brand new condition, and while she had yet to discover the world of dollies, I had a hunch that it would be a much-loved piece…

      • A Teddy Bears Picnic 

        June 3, 2011, 14:47

        If you went down to the woods last weekend, you would have been in for a big surprise. It was picnic time for teddy bears, and - as far as I could make out - those little teddy bears were having a wonderful time that day. And so were their mommies and daddies, who were invited to my son,…

      • Resurrection Cookies 

        April 18, 2011, 14:31

        While we can't resist indulging in chocolate and eggs and baskets stuffed with shredded tissue at The Pear Tree House come Easter, I also want to emphasize the Christian perspective to my kids, and the message of hope that it brings. Last year, I came across a fun recipe over on the blog Fly…

      • An Art to Aging 

        April 4, 2011, 14:08

        We celebrated a birthday recently at the Pear Tree House. Mr. Pear Tree's, to be precise. And since one of his great loves is art, we threw a little bash for him with a fun, artsy theme. I hand-made the invitations, using an artist's palette as inspiration. Detail of time and place were…

      • Channelling the Painter Within: Lesson VI 

        March 9, 2011, 14:31

        "She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful." - Terri St. Cloud All good things must come to an end, as we know, and Monday night saw the wrap-up of my six-week art class, Exploring Acrylic Painting Mediums, at…

      • Channelling the Painter Within: Lesson V 

        March 2, 2011, 14:34

        Here is a rundown of my Monday evenings since I started my weekly, six-week art class at the Kelowna Art Gallery: 4 p.m. The beginning of what I’ve come to call “The Arsenic Hour” in our home. Generally, I’m trying to come up with something healthy, quick and agreeable to eat for…

      • Channelling the Painter Within: Lesson IV 

        February 25, 2011, 10:08

        I missed my last art class at the Kelowna Art Gallery because of a family gathering I attended this week. Fortunately, though, it was an evening of working on our projects without a lot of new information being added. So. I took an evening to myself, set up at the dining room table and…

      • Channelling the Painter Within: Lesson III 

        February 18, 2011, 08:07

        There’s a saying I’ve heard, that goes, “beautiful hands are lazy hands,” or words to that effect. The point is that only hands that are idle can be kept beautiful. I happen to disagree. While I acknowledge there is a certain distinction in having flawlessly smooth, well-proportioned…

      • Channelling the Painter Within: Lesson II 

        February 9, 2011, 11:25

        I had a Zen moment during my Kelowna Art Gallery painting class this week. It surprised and discomfited me just a little bit. You see, one of my challenges as a would-be artist seems to be generosity. With the paint, I mean. My teacher, artist Megan Bernard, gives us these inspiring…

      • Channelling the Painter Within: Lesson I 

        February 2, 2011, 09:41

        After coaxing you all to adopt a resolution to “culturize” yourselves this year, the Kelowna Art Gallery decided to turn the tables on me and invited me to do a little bit of culturizing on myself with a six-week art class. Those of you who have been following The Pear Tree for a while…

      • That's a Wrap! 

        December 17, 2010, 16:10

        Anyone out there planning to start wrapping your Christmas presents this weekend? I started this week but still have a long way to go. Here's a fun, easy trick I learned several years ago, for giving presents a bit of flare. It reminds me a bit of a tuxedo. 1. Measure paper…

      • A Handmade Christmas 

        December 10, 2010, 15:09

        I’m a sucker for gifts. Big gifts, little gifts, expensive gifts and those of the it’s-the-thought-that-counts variety. So, several years ago, when my brother and sister and I had become our own respective units and when the next generation had started to emerge, we had that inevitable…

      • Cute as a Button 

        August 19, 2010, 20:30

        This summer we celebrated a most auspicious occasion: my daughter’s first birthday. Being only one and not yet consumed with friends, we decided to keep her party small, with just extended family – all of whom have a good few years on her. But I did want a theme. I came up with the Cute…

      • Switch it Up 

        May 24, 2010, 21:39

        Show homes are great – always stylish and enviably tidy – but there’s inevitably something that’s missing. You can call it the heart or call it the soul of a room. We sum it up to personalization. A home should have something about it that makes it distinctively yours. Whether that’s…

      • On a Roll 

        April 18, 2010, 22:24

        What is it about spring that makes us want to scurry about, cleaning and reorganizing our homes? Perhaps it’s the fresh wash of sunlight that inspires us to clean away the mundaneness of winter. It lights up the corners and puts a spotlight on the dust and cobwebs that have crept in while we…

      • Flame in a Teacup 

        March 19, 2010, 19:08

        Many years ago, perhaps - but my memory so far back is far from precise - during my university days, my mother passed along a teacup to me which quickly became a favourite. The bottom calls it “Sunshine,” by J&G Meakin, England. The bowl and saucer have hand painted (I believe) pictures…

    • Category: Events  (4)

      Various events by Pear Tree House Productions.

      • Tales of the Mother Load Officially Launched 

        July 25, 2012, 14:25

          It was a small but supportive crowd that filled the seats of the downtown Okanagan Regional Library's meeting room last night (Tuesday, 24 July) for the debut reading of Tales of The Mother Load. About 25 men and women (but mostly women) came out for the event, which featured…

      • An Evening of Elegance and Eloquence 

        May 4, 2011, 14:47

        Wouldn’t it be exquisite to go back to the days of old school Hollywood glam? Where hair was always perfectly coiffed and paired with kitten heels and a flirty little black dress? Where men sported tailored suits and slick hairstyles and knew how to make tweed look sexy. The Kelowna Art…

      • Bloggin' Okanagan Follow-up 

        September 26, 2010, 23:10

        Months of brainstorming, organizing and rejigging what was organized came to a head this afternoon when the first Bloggin’ Okanagan mini conference unfolded at the Kelowna Art Gallery. Some 65 bloggers and aspiring bloggers gathered together, surrounded by colourful works of art, to…

      • Bloggin' Okanagan 

        August 26, 2010, 22:08

        Calling all bloggers! Pear Tree House Productions, the parent company of The Pear Tree, is working in partnership with the Kelowna Art Gallery to host the Okanagan’s first blog conference, Sunday, Sept. 26 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the gallery. For some it's the new journal - for others a new…

    • Category: Book Club Touring  (5)
      • Book Club Touring: "The Book Club" 

        November 9, 2011, 13:54

        The room was abuzz with chatter, punctuated by laughter and the occasional juicy tidbit of gossip when members of "The Book Club" met for their monthly get-together last summer. "It's actually just called "Book Club," but we added the 'the' because it sounds more professional," joked…

      • Book Club Touring: Chicks’ Picks 

        June 9, 2011, 14:53

        They started out looking for adventure on skis, but after 10 years on the slopes, the Chix on Stix downhill ski club morphed and expanded into the Chicks’ Picks Book Club, seeking out adventure of the armchair variety. They’ve found it in such novels as Keeper’n Me by Richard Wagamese,…

      • Book Club Touring: Everyone’s Welcome and it’s Never the Same 

        March 30, 2011, 15:23

        You never know who you might meet at the Okanagan Regional Library’s Kelowna branch book club. Being a public, or open club, there are usually a few newcomers mixed in with the regulars. “Sometimes they come because they love the book, sometimes because they're new in town,” said Fern…

      • Book Club Touring: One Part Book, One Part Party 

        February 28, 2011, 15:32

        The night The Pear Tree crashed February’s featured book club, it was only the group’s third meeting, and the members were still learning each other’s names. But when the conversation got going, talking about the book of the month, it flowed and meandered the way it does between old…

      • Book Club Touring: A Long History of Bonding Over Books 

        January 31, 2011, 08:37

        They’ve been through marriages, births, divorces, deaths, grandchildren and menopause together. They’ve laughed, they’ve cried, they’ve eaten and reminisced. And they’ve read. Countless books. When Nancy Crouchman started her book club 33 years ago, she never imagined how long it…

    • Category: What I Wore  (2)
      • What I Wore 

        October 16, 2013, 15:22

        I'm doing a new twist on The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday theme. Instead of showing you what I wore ON Wednesday, I'm showing you, on Wednesday, what I wore... at some random point in the previous week. Because sometimes, when Wednesday comes around, I don't actually want you to see…

      • What I Wore Wednesday 

        May 15, 2013, 14:35

        I've been watching What I Wore Wednesday submissions over on The Pleated Poppy and Lisa Leonard's blog for some time now, but have demurred at posting my own because, well, a) I haven't been blogging (blush) and b) I figured no one would be interested in my low-maintenance wardrobe. But two…