Monday, November 2, 2015

Fringe Hours

I'm breaking the routine I've set here of posting once a month to chat a bit about the book I've just read for  Ellen's book club .

As I dove into Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner I found myself making a mental list of those that I would like to share this book with.  I'm in the Autumn season of life and have the advantage of an empty nest for time to pursue passions that satisfy my soul but so many young women in my life are busy serving others from the moment in the morning that they open their eyes until they drop into bed at night.

My husband and I are full time farmers and one of the areas in my life that I tend to feel guilt is in leaving my husband to fend for himself while I go to meet friends in town for lunch.  Truth be told, he probably appreciates some time on his own and when I do let him know I'll be gone over the lunch hour he is always so glad for me to have an outing with the girls.  The chapter on Eliminating Guilt and Comparison resonated with the feelings I've had and I aim to let the guilt go and start regularly scheduling time for lunch dates.

I really identified with the chapter on Cultivating Community.  I couldn't agree more with Jessica's encouragement to blend community, passions and responsibilities. I found a group  much like she describes when I began Mennonite Girls Can Cook. We have blogged together, worked in our community together and shared in the responsibilities of publishing cookbooks together.  We have grown in our love for one another and grown as individuals as we have encouraged each other in the areas that each are particularly gifted.

 I appreciate Jessica Turner's encouragement to balance things that are truly necessary to accomplish with time to rest, regroup and feed not only our bodies but our souls so that we are equipped when we spend time with those that matter most to us.  This book is a great tool with all the practical suggestions to help overcome the hurdles that prevents many women from taking a healthy balanced amount of time doing things that will enrich their lives and ultimately their families.

I'm honored to be part of Ellen Graf-Martin's  Ellen's Picks community and looking forward to visiting the book club participants to see what they gleaned from Fringe Hours. Ellen sends us the book in her efforts to resource women leaders, we get to read it and at the end of the month we link up with her.

I am part of Ellen's Picks

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October 2015

I've put my shorts and flip flops away and put on my muck boots for walking around the yard.
Fall arrived with  a beauty that never fails to amaze me.

My walks around the property in the mornings now leave trails of where I've come from.

The hummingbirds that chose to not migrate are eager to visit and enjoy the nectar provided. 

Our Thanksgiving table was full of those we love.

We have much to be thankful for and know that God has blessed us and all of it undeserved.

I just had to include a photo of this precious child who smiles a lot except when his van is pulling into the preschool parking lot.  Perhaps by next month I'll have something different to report as to his love of school.

On the night before the election we went to the Conservative rally to see the Harpers and wish our own Ed Fast all the best for the next day.  

Imagine our surprise when we got to the booth and discovered our riding had changed and there was someone else to vote for!

The political posts on Facebook have slowly ebbed away.

In the days following the election I wrote to Prime Minister Harper and wished him and his family the very best and thanked him for his diligent job as our Prime Minister.

I also wrote to Mr Trudeau to congratulate him and assured him that we would be support him in prayer as he begins this overwhelming task of being our new Prime Minister. 

Time will tell. 

One early Sunday morning I thought our barns were collapsing.

It was a terrifically loud crash. 

It was only a vehicle crashing through our fence.

He didn't stick around to share in our shock. 

As you can see from his tracks he nearly stayed at the scene and he's very lucky his tracks were not just to the left into that pole. 

The police didn't come but one called and left a message on my cell phone and said to call them if we had any firm evidence. 

Since I had his phone number I texted him photos and included this piece of car that was left behind.

We haven't heard anything.

We've had the fence fixed.

 Last Sunday we took a drive through the Canyon to see if there was still some fall foliage to enjoy.

When we go to Manning Park we take the #3.
When we go to Summerland we take the #5
When we take the Canyon route we take the #1.

Taking the canyon reminds me of the many times I drove this route as a child with my parents and the series of tunnels that take us through the canyon.
My Mom would always announce which tunnel was next. I read the signs as I haven't them memorized but think of her each time.

The Fraser River flows below with railway tracks on either side of the river.

The leaves had mostly fallen but every now and then in a sheltered area there were gorgeous splashes of colour and my capable driver would pull over so I could hop out and take a few shots.

The scenery was truly lovely.

On the road between Spences Bridge and Merit, horses roam the range free and we had to stop to allow them to cross the road.

We stopped along the river for a while and walked in the leaves. 

Someone else gets credit for leaving these Inukshuks to greet us.

We stopped at the Othello Tunnels where the railway once ran through the canyon. 

We've passed these tunnels so many times and this was the first time we stopped to walk through them. 

There were some truly beautiful fall days and we took full advantage of them by cleaning up the yard and getting ready for rainy days ahead. 

I picked the last of the tomatoes and basil and made a delicious sauce.

We rototilled the garden and I harvested a bunch of parsley and made chicken broth for the freezer.

We planted our garlic. (at the right time we think)

We watched for the flocks of geese and ducks migrating south. 

This last weekend we celebrated our oldest grandson's birthday.

The weather forecast didn't look promising at all.

Invitations had been sent out and the boys would be coming rain or shine.

There is not much a Grandpa won't do for a grandson is there?

This grandpa made a derby car track and had cars ready to be painted and raced.

So he's technically not eight years old yet but his party has come and he had a lot of fun... even with a broken wrist!

And the rain?

It didn't.

What a blessing to be able to have the wiener roast outside. 

Later the cousins arrived and the family party continued. 

The kids couldn't get enough of this apple bobbing and by the time they were done...
they were drenched. 

We celebrated the son and the dad.

At the end of the day we lit the candles which lit the forest on fire which was eventually put out.

And that was October 2015.

So much to be thankful for!

The clocks have been set back and we're ready for the month ahead. 

Have a wonderful November my friends.

all for now... 

Monday, October 5, 2015

September 2015

September came in with some chillier nights that started to turn the leaves. 
I walk around the farm everyday and when this leaf fell to the ground in front of me, I picked it up to document the beginning of the color change.

The Italian plums had been slowly picked off the tree and we enjoyed walking past and grabbing a snack. 

I picked the tree clean with a few bags and tucked some Perishky into the freezer. 

This guy started in his 4 year old preschool class. 
He remains unconvinced of the benefits. 
 He is happy for his home days. 

He's a good helper and even is happy to clean up his mess.

The butternut squash that was supposed to be Russian Doll squash according to the stake in the plant was harvested.  
For the longest time I just couldn't figure out what was growing.
Now I that I know... I have recipes for these guys.

I love harvesting onions.  I go through so many that I'm thinking we better plant a few more rows next year.

We don't go through nearly as many potatoes and so next year we will plant less.

If you need a potato.. I have some you are welcome to.

I loved our cherry tomatoes and I'm still picking them for instant taste delights.

We lost a very dear friend to the family in September.

Sally was my mom in law Pauline's  best friend.

They had met during a grief recovery course when they both lost their husbands in the mid 90's.
Since then, they had travelled to Europe together, and solved the world's problems over morning coffee.

They looked forward to their Oscar parties, shared novels back and forth, and enjoyed lunches at their favourite little stop in Clayburn village. They supported each other in their joys and disappointments.

She passed away suddenly with no chance for goodbyes.  

Sally and Pauline were dear friends for each other and there are no regrets in the years of their time spent together. 

I'm reminded of the verses in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

With September comes the beginning of fall programs in church.
Church Kickoff is enjoyed the most by the kids and by those that love to see them have fun! 

The annual MCC sale is a must attend in our books.

We love to stand in that lineup to get the food we can just as easily make at home. 

Apparently there were over 25,000 Wareneki, 1,600 pounds of farmer sausage and 466 pies consumed.

We helped. 

This year the sale raised nearly $700,000. 

The quilt auction  of 19 quilts raised over $21,000.

I helped there too.

I brought home this beautiful quilt made by the MCC quilters.

Look at that detail!  

I need a new bed skirt so I'll show you the full quilt on my bed another time.

We were invited to Scot and Kathy's for a Big Green Egg cooking extravaganza.

The guys had three Eggs on the go.

Kathy set up a beautiful table where we enjoyed the delicious meal.

 There were some bedtime stories.

We were making dinner one night watching our hummingbirds when the sky broke out in this beautiful rainbow.

I wanted to get the full rainbow on the other side of the barns but my camera couldn't capture the full rainbow.  

There was a  little trimming of the hedge after a few good wind storms. 

To end off the month of September we took a few days away before chicks come this week.

We have driven past the Chief in Squamish many times and have often watched the climbers scale the front.  

It was our turn to tackle the hike from the side of the mountain to the top flat granite rock on the top.

We started at the bottom of the trail at 10:30 on the dot.
We got to the top of the first peak after lots of grunting and groaning from this girl at 11:50.

The trail  to the top is the most amazing trail we have ever hiked. 
As we hiked we wondered about the people that built the steps from wood and moved boulders into place to make natural steps.  

There were several ladders which I held onto very tightly.

The stairs were not your average stair height.  They were tall and came 3/4 up my calf.

The old growth forest is thick and even quite dark in some areas.

Near the top there were several chains to pull ourselves up and later lower ourselves back down the boulders.

I actually quite enjoyed this part.

In the last few minutes Terry went on ahead not able to resist seeing the view of Howe Sound.

One quick selfie before digging into our lunch.

After lunch we played around up there for a half hour or so before heading back down.

There were moments that I felt rather nervous.

It's funny how it is easier to stand at an edge that it is to watch someone else to stand at an edge.

I didn't go quite as close to the edge as he did. 

Heading back down I was struck by the trees growing out of the rock.

How many people have held on to these tough trunks for support?

Some branches have been rubbed completely smooth by those passing by.

The massive granite rocks moved into place to make stairs.

It took just around an hour to get back to the bottom and my legs were twitching by the time we sat down.

The next few days my thighs reminded me that I should probably stair climb train for these kinds of hikes.

We kept going north down Highway 99 to Whistler.

The foliage was beautiful and the patios were warm in the sunshine.
I found myself smiling as we sat and enjoyed our meals outside.  

The next day we decided to take the Super Fly  Zip Line at Cougar Mountain. 

The zip lines have you going speeds up to 100 km per hour.

The hardest part is saying... ok.. I'm ready.

There are two lines side by side.

This picture is taken by their photo op high speed camera.  
It looks fake but it's real.

This is taken right near base camp as the tour was finishing right above the forest floor.

On the second morning we enjoyed one more breakfast outside before heading back down the highway toward home.

We made one quick stop at the campground we had wanted to stay at.
Our truck was in the shop so camping was not possible. 

We've seen Porteau Cove Campground now and we'll be back. 

That about sums up our month of September.

October has come in with beautiful sunshine.

Have a most wonderful October!

all for now...