Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘People’ Category

My brother, the computer genius and talented musician, just created a new website for me and I am excited to share it with you. Let me know what you think about it.

www.darlenefoster.ca

I also have a new profile picture, taken by a good friend and excellent photographer, Karoline Cullen.

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To start the new year, my publisher extraordinaire is running a promotion called Start a New Series where Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask is being featured as an e-book for .99 US, 1.99 CDN and .99p UK on most sites, Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Indigo etc. until January 16. If you know anyone who may enjoy reading Amanda’s first adventure, please let them know.

Other great books are on sale as well. http://centralavenuepublishing.com/

I am surrounded by such wonderful and talented individuals who just make my day!!

Check out my brother’s music here

The new year has started out well for me. How has it been for you?

 

My good friend, Sheila MacArthur, hosted me while I was in Calgary and drove me to my events and family visits. We had some time to spare between appointments and she treated me to a visit to the Lougheed House, a local historic site and museum.

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Since it was the beginning of December the house was all decked out for Christmas, as it would have been in Victorian times. What a treat to be transported back to the time of Lady Isabella Lougheed and Sir James Lougheed. It felt very Downton Abbeyish.

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This 14,000 square-foot sandstone prairie mansion, built in 1891 for the Lougheed family, was the political and social hub of fast-growing Calgary until 1938. The Lougheeds were among Calgary’s most influential citizens. They entertained many notable guests in this house including Princess Patricia, Edward, The Prince of Wales, Stanely Baldwin and Price Erik of Denmark. Their grandson, Peter Lougheed, served as the Premier of Alberta from 1971 to 1985.

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The house sparkled with 16 decorated Christmas trees, thousands of lights, holly draped bannisters, candle-lit hearths, ornaments, original stained-glass windows and more. A warm, festive atmosphere was created as the temperatures outside dipped to -25 celsius.  Scattered throughout the mansion, furnishings and artifacts from the turn of the 20th century included original objects from the House.

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Lovely stained glass windows

 

 

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I love the birdhouses on this tree.

 

The dining room was open for lunch. It looked appealing but we had another commitment. Perhaps next time. The spacious gardens are open in the summer for tea or lunch as well.

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As you can see, we were very comfortable in the surroundings and were reluctant to go back out into the cold.

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A cosy nook to relax with a good book.

 

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year full of joy, wonder and adventures!

I barely get over my jet lag and it’s time to get ready for Christmas! I keep thinking about the wonderful time I had with friends and family back in Canada and I feel happy all over again. So I thought I would share some of my memories.

In between promoting my book, I managed to meet up with many friends in three different cities. They fed me well, gave me places to stay,  and were a joy to spend time with. Here are a few pictures.

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Homemade pizza waiting for me at a friend’s after a busy schedule in Vancouver. Do I purposefully pick friends who are good cooks?

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Workmates from Medicine Hat, many years ago. So glad we have kept in touch.

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A group of friends from elementary school days

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Good friends from BC

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A friend I worked with in Vancouver who made high tea for me!

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A dear friend from my first job in Medicine Hat who provided me with a comfy place to stay, fed me well and was great to relax with after a busy day.

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My good friend and travel buddy who drove me all over Calgary in the snow, gave me a warm place to stay and also fed me well.

I am truly blessed when it comes to friends.

Precious time was spent with family too.

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Spent three fun filled days with my daughter. We got to babysit a puppy too.

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Cousins from Vancouver Island who made the trip over to the mainland to have lunch with me.

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My aunt and best pal from Arizona, with a cousin from Calgary.

My Aunt, who is my age, came all the way from Arizona to support me and my book tour. How special is that?

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My great-aunt and great-uncle in Calgary.

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Visiting Santa with  second great-granddaughter

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Visiting first great- granddaughter at her school. Almost as tall as me!!

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My youngest grandson, not so little anymore!

My oldest grandson, all grown up but still my buddy. Treated me to a sushi meal.

My oldest grandson, all grown up but still my buddy. He treated me to sushi.

I spent a good amount of time with my dear mom. We made her an early birthday/Christmas party as she will turn 88 on Christmas day. She was delighted to have all of her siblings there, even her sister from Arizona.

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Mom with all of her remaining siblings

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Five generations, mom, me, my son,  grandaughter and great grandaughter

It was a wonderful time as you can see. Full of family, friends, fun and food. This is what makes life worth living!!

I hope you are all ready for the Holiday Season. Make sure you enjoy fun, food, family and friends!

As much fun as we are having here in Spain, we do miss our friends and family back in Canada. So when friends come to visit, it is pretty special. We were delighted when my bestie Jayne, and her hubby, Bob, came to spend a week with us in September. We had so much fun together, as we always do, and did lots of catching up. There was beach time and shopping time, as well as visits to historic sites and a Roman and Carthaginian festival. We hung out with gladiators and ate tapas, paella and much more delicious Spanish food. My hubby was happy to drive us to many interesting places.

Jayne at the market, stopping to smell the flowers

Jayne at the market, stopping to smell the flowers

Jayne and Bob enjoying the Mediterranean.

Jayne and Bob enjoying the Mediterranean.

An evening walk on the beach.

An evening walk on the beach.

Hanging out with gladiators at the Roman Feista

Hanging out with gladiators at the Roman Fiesta

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Romans and archers

Romans and archers

by a mural in Cartegana

by a mural in Cartagena

The amazing church in Novelda, designed by a student of Gaudi.

The amazing church at Novelda, designed by a student of Gaudi.

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Old friends in Spain

Coffee at the mall after serious shopping

Coffee at the mall after serious shopping

Relaxing by the sea in Torrevieja

Relaxing by the sea in Torrevieja

Ice cream in Torreveija

Ice cream in Torrevieja. That was the small size!

Of course Dot loved Jayne

Of course, Dot loved Jayne

Jayne is an English girl from Nottingham who has lived in Canada for a long time. She was the first friend I made when I moved to Vancouver in 1989. We have done some fun things together over the years. I am so glad she came to visit me in Spain. Jayne and her husband had a great time and loved our new relaxed life.

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Jayne is having surgery on October 18. She is such a positive individual, I know she will be fine. But I would like to ask you to please send some positive thoughts and prayers her way.

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Jayne in Spain

Isn´t it great to get together with a long time friend!

I was honoured when my blogging friend, Marcia Strykowski, gave me a spirit animal award some time ago. This is a special award for me as choosing a First Nations totem or spirit animal was an activity I used when I taught job finding skills. It was a good way for individuals to discover their attributes, which could then be put on resumes and used in interviews to answer questions like, What are your strengths? or Why would you be successful in this job? It also helped build confidence which job seekers need. The question, If you could be an animal, what would it be? is one some employers ask so it is always wise for job seekers to have a good answer. So thank you very much Marcia and I am sorry I took so long to respond. But as my dad would say, better late than never!
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Spirit Animal Blog Award Acceptance Rules:

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their page.

Thank you so much, Marcia, for including me. Please check out her wonderful blog full of  gorgeous pictures, interesting libraries and book lists. 

2.) Post the award on your blog.

3.) Write a short paragraph about yourself and what your blog means to you.

I began my blog 6 years ago and like many others I was not sure what to write about. My slogan is dreamer of dreams, teller of tales. Ever since a young girl, my dreams have been to travel to interesting places, meet amazing people and write books. So I decided to blog about my travels, my family, books (mine and others) and the amazing people I have met. Through blogging, I have met some incredible people and I am so glad I have kept it up. I have the best followers ever!

4.) If you could be an animal, what would it be?

As a facilitator, I  did most of the activities along with the participants. For this activity, I would usually choose a hummingbird as I felt it best described me.

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Despite its small size, this fascinating bird is capable of the most amazing feats such as travelling great distances. The hummingbird is adaptable and resilient and has a playful and optimistic outlook. Words that describe the hummingbird are messenger, timelessness, healing, warrior, energy, vitality, infinity, affection, playfulness. In First Nations culture, hummingbirds are considered messengers of peace, healing ones body and soul and guiding one through life’s challenges. Hummingbirds are very independent and seem to have an unlimited energy supply, symbolizing wonder and joy. I like to think this is me.

5.) Pick and notify ten nominees.

It is difficult to choose ten nominees from all the wonderful blogs out there, but here goes off the top of my head and in no particular order. There is absolutely no obligation to participate. I just like spreading the word about your awesome blogs!

Beth Ann Chiles at It´s Just Life

Marian Beaman at Plain & Fancy 

Pam Wight at Rough Writing

Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life

Patti Jarrett at A New Day Dawns

Christa Polkinhorn at Bookworm Press

Laura Best at My Little Corner of the Web

Lynn Davidson at Polilla Writes

Sue Slaght at Travel Tales of Life

Patricia Tilton at Children´s Books Heal

Lorna McInnes at Lorna´s Blog

Barbara Fisher at March of Time Books

Okay, so I picked twelve. What can I say? I´ve never been good at following the rules exactly! Please check out these amazing blogs filled with great information, stories, pictures, books and laughs.

I would love to hear what your spirit animal would be in the comments.

For a list of totem animals and their meaning check out this site.

 

Hugh’s Views and News challenged us to post a photo of something ‘Vintage.’

 

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I took a picture of this vintage photo given to me by my great aunt. It was taken in the early 1900s. On the back, in handwriting, it says, “The Old Maids,” a term used for unmarried women at the time. According to my aunt, these two women were my great grandfather’s cousins from North Dakota. There is also something written in German in faded ink, but I don’t know what it means. No one seems to know their names and those who did are long gone. I am intrigued by them and feel they have a story to tell. One day, I plan to write a story and give them names. Thanks for this challenge Hugh.

Check out Hugh’s Views and News and join the photo challenge fun.

Happy BD

It seems another birthday cropped up on me. How did this happen? Didn’t I just have one? This is my second birthday in Spain. Last year I celebrated at a historical Spanish Finca turned into a restaurant. I wrote about it here. This year hubby took me to a Thai Restaurant called the Papaya Tree where we were joined by my in-laws and friends, including my sweet nine year old friend Ana-Lucia. We had a great time. The food was delicious and the company wonderful.

The birthday guests

Special birthday guests

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Enjoying her dessert

Enjoying dessert. Don’t you just love her crown.

The cocktail bar next door had a special drink just for me (or so it seemed!)

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Here are a couple of pictures from past birthdays.

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My twelfth birthday with my curious brothers. The gift I’m opening was my very first watch.

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My son found this one from my nineteenth birthday!

I have been blessed with many fabulous birthdays over the years. They are always best when shared with good friends and family. I was overwhelmed this year by the many birthday wishes I received from all over the world via social media. I felt so loved!

The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been. Madeleine L’Engle

 


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