Title of picture

Fall Colours on the Cowichan River, B.C.

Monday, 1 January 2018

What's been happening with the Kyles?

Boxing day found Larny, Ray and I driving to Coquitlam to my aunt and uncles for a lunch visit. Especially to help them eat their turkey leftovers! lol A lovely but sad visit as I not only lost my Dad, my Uncle Ken lost his brother and is the last one out of 3 boys still alive.

Steve, Kerri's husband, picked up Ray at 5:15 am and drove him to the airport for his flight back to Phoenix. The weather was crappy with freezing roads and drizzel or snow flurries. I was not too sure driving my rental car in that kind of weather and Steve has snow tires and a SUV. Thanks a bunch Steve. I spent the day on the phone with necessary phone calls regarding my Dad's estate. The rest of the week was kind of a blur with appointments and phone calls.

Ray made it back to Queen Valley Resort in good time and had a very happy puppy to great him. Malcom made Ray Thai Curry Prawns for dinner. Freya had a great time with Malcolm over the holidays.

Freya with her buddy Sage

Freya on a hike with Malcolm

I celebrated New Year's Eve, with Larny, Garrett and Kat. The kids decided to drive back from their holidays in Kamloops today, where they stayed with Kat's family. I bought a lot of snacks to heat up in the oven so we all had a good time. The girls kept the food coming.

Kat and Garrett

 Pardon the fuzzy pictures with my phone .... my photographer is not with me!

Larny and Kat
Garrett and Kat with her family, painted a tribute to my dad and mom on a canvas over Christmas. It is fabulous.

The story behind this painting.... from Garrett

but with a sailboat instead of the rowboat and a more intense colours.

Unfortunately I messed the painting up and was about to throw my hands up at it until Bill encouraged me to keep trying and then I came up with a fairly cool background image.

I had mentioned to Bill that I wanted to have a sailboat under full sail sailing toward a lighthouse, symbolizing grandpa's final voyage with the homage to lighthouse park given that we sailed past it all the time.

From there Bill suggested the water/streamers spilling forth from what was to be the lighthouse and I insisted on them being bright colours.

At that point I was just going to call it a day until I thought hey, let's get each member of the Lee family to add their own personal touch to the painting.

Instead of a lighthouse Kat suggested the angel (given that she knows I like  them (Deb) and knowing the story of grandma) and she did the research and came up with the image of the angel and painted it along with Bill's help.

The whales aren't really symbolic of anything (intentionally at least), it just seems to be a surreal painting type thing because it's so ridiculous to have a whale in space.

The yellow submarine thing is a throwback to listening to the oldies like the Beatles while growing up while also fitting in with the "underwater" theme.

I insisted on the scuba diver given the space/water theme and our past voyages under the sea.

I painted the background, most of the yellow submarine and the streamers that come forth from the angel.

Ana painted the stars, Kat painted the angel and Bill painted the spiral galaxy, the shooting star, the fish, the sailboat, the scuba diver and the whales.

The sailboat is painted with the same red and blue stripe that gramps' sailboat had and I even wrote "Stasha" on the bow of it though it is hard to make out.

I insisted on the sailboat having a spinnaker because we never did get a chance to use it in all our time sailing.  The design of the spinnaker is that of the scottish flag in homage to gramps scottish heritage and the figures on the boat are grandpa and grandma.

The idea being that it is their final voyage together to heaven.

Oh and there is a smudge in the bottom left which was Ana's fingerprint and I (in true Noel Watten style) turned it into a "man in the moon".

Thank you so much Garrett and Kat. I absolutely live this painting.

Garrett kept Kira amused by flying a small drone which she chases in the house.

See the red lite up thing top right corner.

She is mesmorized by it.
Mark, Larny's husband, left about 7 pm as he had to work early in the morning at the chicken farm where he lives. The rest of us decided to have our New Year's watching the New York Celebration so at 9 pm we dutifully had our champagne.

Happy New Year!!!
New Year's Day after breakfast, Garrett and Kat headed home to Squamish and Larny and I took down Christmas. I also emptied out my Dad's file cabinet and went "treasure hunting". Managed to find some missing silver dollars that Kerri had looked for when her mother died 18 months ago, as well as some old bill currency that her mother stashed. Also in the cabinet was some silver dollars that belonged to my deceased brother as his name was written on the coin jackets. Wow who knew! There also was some Haida Jewellry that belonged to my mother that was tucked away in the bottom. So that job turned out to be very worthwhile. 

Around 3:30, Kerri showed up to go through the Christmas stuff and pick out the things that meant the most to her ... this stuff was mostly Betty's things she collected over the years. She thought she was only going to take a few things and brought only one small box ..... I had her go through the china cabinet, kitchen cupboards and any other nook and cranny that had "Mason" stuff that was of value and/or memories and take it home with her. She left with the back of her SUV full! Ha Ha Ha ... gotta love when I plan to get rid of some stuff comes together!

Tomorrow I hit the ground running, first an appointment at the lawyers and then make the phone calls I have been waiting to do.

In the meantime, Ray here reporting from Quartzsite.  A little time off to relax before starting the long trip home.

While flying out of Vancouver International, I shot this Thunderbird near our departure gate.

My campsite for New Years Eve and a Full Wolf Moon, also my lone companion for the festivities.

Full Wolf Moon

 For some reason Freya didn't want to howl at the moon with me.


  1. So nice that Garrett and Kat were there to celebrate New Year's Eve with you, Deb!

    Beautiful moonlight shot at Q, Ray...Glad you have your trusty companion to keep you company!

    1. It was really nice that they stayed over as the only day I actually saw them was the afternoon of the 22nd and half a day on the 23rd and we had all of the stuff happening with Dad's death. It was nice to have an "up beat" night.

  2. Absolutely love the painting, what a great tribute!

    1. I am extremely proud of Garrett expressing himself through art. He feels things very deeply but hardly shows that side of himself to the world. I think this helped him with his grieving too, to remember the good times with my Dad ... not just the last few years where Dad was "different" after his stroke a number of years ago.