Sunday, April 2, 2017

March 2017

We started out the month of March with our annual get away/egg producer meetings in Vancouver.

If we were feeling deprived of summertime, the best place to see color was at Granville Island Market. 

At one of the luncheon's we attended, there was a challenge to compete in an omelet making contest.  I of course volunteered.   Chef Lynn Crawford who is a very well-known chef and judge on Chopped Canada.... thought my omelet looked just fine!  

It's was a fun way to spend a few minutes that I wasn't expecting! 

In the evening, we attended the gala and it is always fun for us farmers to clean up now and then. 

We hunted for cherry blossoms and in all of the streets we walked, this was the only tree that was just beginning to open. 

The pots outside the hotel were so beautiful!  

On the 4th, we celebrated our anniversary and walked past the hotel that we stayed in for our wedding night.  Back in the day, it was a pretty classy joint. 

T and B were taking their family to Mexico on a family missions trip so we had B's parents and our family over for dinner to bless them and pray for them.  

The lenten rose started to bloom and so I regularly picked fresh blossoms to add to this centerpiece that we had at our tables at the egg producers gala. 

It rained so often during March.  
We had 295 mm of rain and 8.4 cm of snow.  

We didn't bother waiting for a nice day to go with Anneliese and her H to Vancouver and take a walk around the seawall.  We ended up at Cactus Club on English Bay and enjoyed dinner with a view of the ocean.  

Did I mention that it rained a lot?  

It seemed that everyone was heading south to escape the rain and winter weather.

I was going through a box of old photos one afternoon and was surprised to find this old slip of paper from a trip that we had taken back in 1989 with our two boys.  We took them to California twice during the years they were growing up.  Both of those times were saved for and planned carefully and then executed with a firm hand on the wallet.  As you can see... we came in under budget.  $90 for Gas?  Wow.. I wonder how much that trip would cost us now in fuel.  

This year we stayed home for spring break and others that matter most to us did as well.

We had the girls over for a few days while their parents worked. 

I can't win matching games with the littles so I thought I would try bingo.  Also... a bust. 

If all else fails... bake.

I love that all the grands have a good sense of how Paska is made. 

 My aim is that every one of them will know how to make their own Paska by the time they are in high school.

While the Paska cooled on the rack,  they went and watched cooking videos on my computer.  

Grandpa convinced them to run to the used building supply place with him.  
While they were there they found a section of barely used decor items that were made in Indonesia.
They each picked out something and came back to clean them up.

We painted.  Almost everytime the kids come over they ask to paint.
I'm even getting into painting!

Dessert that evening was ...

I've noticed that those first bites every year are extra special. 

It doesn't matter how old they get, they still think it tastes better with sprinkles. 

One Saturday we were amazed that the sun came out and we saw blue sky so Terry washed the car before we went out for the evening.

By the time we came back home that evening, we were caught in a shower. 

I woke up early enough one morning to see this beautiful sunrise. 

The kids all made it home safely from their missions trip and we loved hearing their stories of what they had seen, the friends they had made, the food they had eaten, the miseries they had survived and more. 

Since it was still spring break, all the littles came over for cousin camp. 

They played with playdough. 

They decorated sugar cookies for their freezers. 

I'm amazed at their patience and their attention to detail. 

These two little waitresses had their work cut out for them with the people they were serving.

I started to watch the rhubarb. 

The bees started to find a source of pollen. 

We went to a wedding.
It's always a blessing to be invited to share in the joy of friend's children who we have known for many years, being married.  

I found some cushions for our living room.  It just seemed to brighten up the space!

On the last day of March and which was Friday, we picked up all the littles from school. 

They played a game of Twister. 

We spent some time having tea. 

Taking tea together has become one of their favorite things to do when they come over. 
We went through two pots of Roobios tea.  

For dinner, we had chili and hot dogs and french fries.  The waitress did her best while I kept the orders coming. 

And that was our March!  
It's always such a joy for me to see how our month was spent.  Believe it or not, there are many moments and photos that don't even make the blog. 
My life is very wonderful and I know that I have so much to thank God for.

Have a most wonderful Easter! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017

Our February started with chilly breezes and blue skies.
Sheets hung outside were dry in a few hours and the real outdoor fresh air fragrance lasted well into the week.  I'm still curious to know why it would last so much longer than it does during the summer months.

And then....
we had a skiff of snow and it blew onto the porch and the daffodils that I planted the weekend before complete with buds were soon looking at a losing battle. 

Temperatures plummeted and we had below freezing temperatures day and night for ...
it seemed like forever.

Every morning the first task was to dig a path to the hummingbird feeder.

The hummingbirds came for an ice cold drink.

The snow continued and soon he was plowing the shoulder so that plows didn't leave our driveway blocked. 

The snow continued to drift.

I kept my section of the yard clean.

I went into the barn and looked outside towards the back of the barns through the window and realized that that door wouldn't be opening anytime soon. 

Kobe was completely unfazed by the weather and probably thought she was back at her birthplace in the Yukon.

Every few hours everything had to be opened up again. 

I did a fantastic job of my section... 
just sayin'.

The snow drifted half way up our bedroom window but we never did completely close that window at night and I was fine because I sleep on the left side.  

I kept the dog path open to the dog food and water.  

The piles of snow continued to grow. 

The next night he woke up in the middle of the night and suddenly realized that the intake for the generator was under these stairs....

so we got to work and got to shoveling it open. 

I liked the way he looked here.  (insert swoon)

And then ...
we got the door open again and we made sure we kept the intake open after that!

the daffodils were looking rather defeated.

The hummingbirds were looking grim. 

All manner of cleaning equipment were employed. 

The dog path became narrower and narrower. 

The bedroom window was still open... a pinch. 

And then...
came the man from Edmonton for a Cost of Production Study on our farm.
I had received notice that we were "selected" to participate and though I tried to unselect us... it was decided that on February 6 we would meet and have our findings added to the other farms across Canada. 

In Canada, we have a supply management system where farmers are paid a set price for eggs.  We pay every week for the right to sell our eggs and in return, we are paid a fair price.

What most people don't know is that the price of eggs is established through very careful and precise accounting of what costs are involved in raising baby chicks that will start to lay eggs at 19 weeks. 

In addition to the price of raising pullets, costs for feed, heat, electricity, wages and supplies are all considered for the year of production.  

I spent hours preparing and in the end, it was a satisfying experience.

I sent the man from Edmonton back to his hotel (with a kitchenette) with soup, buns and dessert to eat later.  

He left happy when he left and I was happy when he left. 

But in the meantime...
It continued to snow.

The hummingbird feeder was put out every morning and taken out after dark at night. 

The children stayed home from school for a whole week.
When I asked what they were up to...
the kids at this house were working on posters for their upcoming fundraiser for their family missions trip.

I got tired of putting on boots every few hours to clear my porch so I started to just walk out the door in my slippers.

Having snow that dry is pretty much unheard of here on the wet coast.

But then...
the temperatures began to moderate and the snow turned to rain and the freezing rain changed our farm into an ice castle. 

Trees were hanging heavy and I kept waiting for the big crack. 

The hummingbirds enjoyed their ice water.

 The truck finally made it to pick up eggs.

He continued to move snow off the driveway. 

It was pretty but I said this very softly since the whole weather drama was getting mighty old.  

It looked at last like things were melting quickly. 

We went to go support the kids at their fundraiser.
Note how the one on the right has a glove.  He handed out the donuts.
The one on the left handled the money. 

This little donut girl had her Daddy handle the cash box for her.  

Finally... half way through February the snow melted and we celebrated Valentines Day. 

And Grandparents Day.

We carefully divided our time and ourselves and the kids knew when they would have our designated 15 minutes.

It was fun to share this time with her other Grandma (Omi).

It was fun also to be introduced properly to the teacher by the oldest ones. 

One afternoon after school we had an afternoon of games.

They didn't think I could twist like this and so I twisted in ways I haven't twisted in a long time to prove them wrong. 

So... the good news is that the little daffodils not only survived...
they thrived. 

The other good news is that the birds were shipped and the barns have been cleaned out and life is back to normal here on the farm. 

To celebrate... we've practiced life skills.

We said that this was Eight Hand Cinnamon Buns. 

Dental floss was twisted around the dough to cut the slices.

In the meantime, the Easy Bake Up was fired up and I was treated to a delicious strawberry pudding cake! 

We joined in the fun of working together once again at the Pastors Appreciation Dinner at Sweet Dreams. 

The flower arrangments at the dinner were again so gorgeous!!

Every February we celebrate my birthday...
because that is when it is.  ;)

Thank you, Lord, for the good health and for all the blessings of the last year and thank you for giving me 58 years to live and love!

On Sunday I listened to the weather forecast and shook my head in dismay!
After he checked the chickens in the morning I looked him and suggested that maybe his beard is keeping spring at bay!

Being the loving man he is,
he shaved within the hour.

This morning I watched him as he went outside.

It is safe to say...
that shaving off his beard didn't make a speck of difference. 

The daffodils amazingly persevered and I'm pretty sure that when I come back to report at the end of March, there will more daffodils and maybe even Rhubarb growing.

With that hope...
I'll let you go!

Thank you for bearing with me in this very long essay of our West Coast February! 

all for now..
with love,