In the News; Against All Odds

Last September, after  I restarted dialysis after about 31 years with my kidney transplant from July 1987, I wanted to raise awareness about organ donation. 

That lead to my calling the Penticton Western newspaper, and a reporter interviewing me and printing a story in the paper showing me on dialysis.

Now it’s nearly six months since my April 24, 2019 surgery and I decided  to call the Penticton Western newspaper again so they could do a followup report.

October 11, 2019 – appropriately close to Thanksgiving, this is the story that they printed. 

You can read here or below. Continue reading

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Cake around the corner !

A few days ago I posted a post called Pass The Muffin !   with photos  which could have been confusing, because the pictures from my 60th birthday in 2018 as in last year. 🙂

What a different situation it was last October. After more than 30 years my kidney transplant had failed and I had succumbed again to relying on dialysis 3 times a week, 4 hours each time, in order to stay alive.  That sad change was just before my birthday last year and so I asked for a special birthday celebration in 2018.   It could have a somber birthday but it wasn’t.

Last October, what a wonderful amazing group of friends from hither and yon came!  Amazing people, they boosted my spirits exactly how I needed it.  What medicine for me that was!


October 7, 2019

I’m almost six months post transplant which was April 24. 2019 and I celebrated in a different way.  I only had muffins on the 7th,  but I have it on good authority that CAKE is on the way this weekend !

Not being able to go more than a few days without dialysis meant last year I couldn’t go far, so this year and feeling so much better I wanted to celebrate my health by going away.

5693103Away we did go, to Sooke, BC. (click here to learn about Sooke), it involved a day of driving from the Okanagan valley where I live, to the west coast and Vancouver, BC.  The next step was a 1 hour 45 minute ferry trip to Vancouver Island.

We still had about a two hour drive and groceries to buy because we were staying where the rainforest met the sea in East Sooke, trees and moss behind us, and the Juan de Fuca strait in front of us (no stores). We stayed at Sookepointe, click here if  you want to learn more about the location.


We were on the extreme southwestern tip of Vancouver island, and the view from our deck was awesome.

To the west we could look into the harbour of Sooke, and see seals swimming along, boats entering and exiting as they headed out to fish, and to the south we watched freighters slowly exit or enter the strait.  You can see in the map how far we are below the Canada/USA border.

If you imagining ocean and a panoramic view, along with a warm fireplace, you have got it! Salty air, the sound of waves on the rocks, playing crib and a short holiday – very cool.

This was a wonderful memory created this year with my Dad, my son Dave, my wife Sue.

The cake is coming that is true but having my health back, and freedom is the best present ever. 

Huge thank you to all my readers, and your encouraging comments and ongoing support – hugs !         I hope you enjoyed this post. 





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Pass the Muffin!

A year ago I celebrated my birthday surrounded by kind family and friends who joined together to make my 60th birthday special despite being forced by my kidney transplant failure to return to dialysis.

Wow, it was so amazing that so many made my day last year so special and recharged me to keep up hope.

Today a year later I am almost at the six month anniversary of my new transplant!

Daily I pinch myself that life has blessed me so much to have more time with my Dad, Susan, Amanda, Tyler, and David along with the other wonderful family and friends who I treasure.

No cake today but I spy a blueberry muffin and that’ll be my cake 😁

Pass the muffin !

I feel a little teary as I sit here looking outside, hugs and thanks to everyone who reads this! I am grateful for everyone who reads, likes, and comments!

TODAY I will post pictures from last year including my Super Dave cake!

In a few days I will post some from my birthday this year!

I hope you will enjoy them also.

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Istanbul – In front of Hagia Sofia

There are many beautiful blogs, and i have found wonderful blog writers, together with amazing photograghers and I am a fan and follower of quite a few and some i am honored to consider as friends.

This blog i found today and found it interesting, colourful and am reblogging to share. This post includes photos not in, but in front of the famous Hagia Sofia in beautiful historic Turkey.

We are a huge supportive community after all, and I wondered if my friends would like to reach out to applaud this fellow bloggers posts. 🌍

Flavia Vinci

Hagia Sofia has millions of visitors every year, it is undoubtedly a masterpiece of the Ottoman Empire but I desperately fell in love with the Fountains and Mosaics located right in front of its entrance.

Here you have some shots…

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Ben, Bread, and Inspiration about Living

This post is in memory of an amazing man, I was just a customer but he let me be his friend;  his wonderful cooking, his passion for healthy food that meant he followed his heart to create Walla Artisan Bakery and Cafe.  Ben Manea would be there at 3 in the morning to begin, working 12 hour days.  Walla was Penticton’s treasure of taste and quality food.

I loved going to the cafe and having his wonderful soups, always with his bread, and real butter and I would loiter to soak up the taste and experience. I loved being welcomed by Ben each time, and left each time feeling full and mentally refreshed. Moments I will miss in the future.

I hope you will enjoy this post in honor of Ben, it’s difficult to explain what a difference he made to so many in Penticton and in the area because of who he was, how he lived, and his food creations. – Dave


Ben Manea was born in Romania and raised in Israel. He emigrated to Toronto in 1999 where he met his wife Sharon, moving with her to the Okanagan in 2005. 

Like his father, He had always loved working with his hands: for 6 years he maintained the fighter jets in the Israeli Air Force, then he worked in the technology sector, and finally owned a printing and packaging business.

When Ben and Sharon moved to the Okanagan, he realized he missed chewing on a good, crusty, crunchy bread with a soft, open and airy crumb inside that would be tasty enough to be eaten all by itself. Since he couldn’t find such a loaf anywhere in Penticton, so he set out to see if he could make such for himself, and his passion for baking was born.

He chose to leave his technical career behind and follow his passion for excellent baking and food, teaching himself old-school artisan bread baking and cooking so he could bring the flavours of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods to his new home in the South Okanagan.


He set upon a 12-year quest to create something that everyone loved but that not all could enjoy: a flavorful bread with a crusty loaf that could easily be digested by all bread lovers, including celiacs, diabetics, etc.

Bread that improved people’s lives one bite at a time.

Ben passed away on June 15, 2019 due to complications from ALS. He was working at the bakery right up until his passing. Walla opened in 2007 and closed permanently on June 22, 2019.

 His wife Sharon shared Ben Manea’s final blog post, something he had been working on before he passed:

I embraced every obstacle and mountain as a challenge to overcome, and every failure a lesson to be learned. This was one of the few times in my life when rogue and unchecked instincts directed me towards something that defied logic (baking bread) and seemed like sheer madness to others. I ignored everything, every voice of reason, and just went for it.

 And in doing so he built a successful business over the past 12 years with bread that “improved people’s lives one bite at a time”.

 Words of wisdom about LIFE from Ben:

 Yet we should not be afraid of death, just of a life unlived and dreams unfulfilled. When life gives you a challenge, go ahead: dare to charge with gusto and abandon, and harness the courage to follow your instincts. Otherwise, forever you will be doomed to shed tears for lost opportunities and possibilities while longing for something that is no longer there except for vestiges of the past. It is not about the length of life, but the depth of it you are willing to explore challenging your “safety and comfort zone”, and remember that only those who live deeply do not fear death.

 (I think this was his favorite saying)   But, hey what do I know; after all, I’m just a baker!

What Ben said about being diagnosed with ALS:

 “It is my good luck that, although this has happened to me, I can bear it without pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearful of the future. Because such a thing could have happened to any man, but not every man could have borne it without pain.

 So why see more misfortune in the event than good fortune in your ability to bear it?” – Ben, June 9, 2019.

 Click here for a short youtube about Ben, his amazing bread and his Walla Artisan Bakery and Café.  

If you are interested to learn more, and see more pictures of his food and learn more about Ben’s life, please Click Here.



Posted in okanagan related, Some of my favorite posts, South Okanagan Restaurants and Other Jewels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Maybe I should eat first

Two days ago, I woke up early, as usual, about sunrise and it was raining lightly so I decided a short walk for a coffee (a reward for getting up early and exercising) was in order.

Mornings are always nice in a small city like mine, it’s especially quiet and calm and I can mosey along alone with my thoughts.

My trip to the coffee place went as planned, one tall roasted coffee.   They don’t offer newspapers anymore to read,despite my written protest, so I read the news on my phone, and enjoyed a leisurely coffee just sitting looking out at the puddles in the parking lot.

On my return, taking a zig zag route, I was lost in my thoughts and I found I was standing quite close to four deer in a front yard.

This is not unusual in my neighbourhood, in fact if I don’t have deer in my yard at least once a day, that is unusual.  The deer were expressionless, big mule ears calmly watching me, their expression seemed to say “move along pal, or we were here first !”

The male had a broken antler with something new, some plastic netting hanging on it, and the others were nibbling or relaxing, probably thinking about whose front yard they would invade next.

The next house had quail everywhere, on the grass, by the trailer, and then they panicked and flew up on the roof. Quail are super cute, and love watching them, but not Harvard graduates for certain.

As I wandered the last block in the light rain, I looked down and noticed quite a few long earthworms on the  road. I often pick them up on my driveway and throw them back on the grass so they don’t get run over or drown in a puddle they wander into. But on the  road, as there were lots of them so I left them.

Here is where my lack of breakfast maybe worked against me, as I will explain.


Harvey the earthworm, not the rabbit


I began to think about earthworms escaping water in the ground, only to be driven over in the road.  They can’t see so they act on instinct and just venture forth because they can’t stay where they are.

People do that too, jump from the pan, into the fire.  I call it reacting, not respondingReacting is instinctive, and often the mistaken action. Sometimes we react verbally, and that is problematic, because a reactive word can’t be unsaid, much better than reactive I think is a thought out response we don’t regret.

There you have it,  the meandering thoughts of a hungry walker in light drizzle, plus some wandering opinionated deer, and cute but clueless quail. The quail really are cute, especially when first born and they are like little cotton balls with legs almost invisible.

As always, I hope to hear from readers on ideas, suggestions and I appreciate you reading and following my blog. 

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