Wednesday, May 30, 2007

is it summer yet?

Yesterday was just a beautiful day here. I read a book outside in the afternoon a bit. I walked around the yard and checked to see how the flowers are doing. This is my climbing lace cap Hydrangea. I'm not sure why, but most of my hydrangea's seem to have met their demise. I'll be having to do a serious pruning on them and then I'll see if they come back next year.
I wanted to show you the picture of the tulip tree in our backyard. The wind at our place either comes from the south west or else the north east. This picture doesn't even really do justice at how sloped it looks. Even the Alberta Spruce in front of it is a bit sloped.

My magnolia continues to bloom. It puts forth its first blossoms long before the leaves are seen and then continues to send out more blossoms into the early part of summer.

We decided to have Barbecued Hamburgers for dinner. Oh look, there was two extra, you should have come. For years we had a gas grill and then a few years ago we went back to the old fashioned charcoal briquettes. I love the smell of it. We reasoned out that though it takes a bit longer, we shouldn't be in that much of a hurry anyways. It gives us time to relax while dinner is in the making.

This was the first time that we really ate dinner in front of Indee. She was quite relaxed sitting on the porch and then when we sat down to eat, she managed to maneuver herself into the chair beside me. We just kept laughing because she just didn't take her eyes off my burger.
We thought the training we going really well. Karlee warned us a while ago that "she'll get stupid at four months". Oh boy . . . .she wasn't kidding. It's like she turned into a rebellious teenager. She knows the commands but chooses generally to run instead of sit. She prefers nibbling on my hand when I go to pet her. She performs her bang and she's dead trick quickly enough to jump back up and nip at your ankle all in one swift movement. We thought we may not even need puppy training school but we are starting to rethink that. We are having a lot of fun with her though. She has put a bit of spring back in Otis's step as well.
All right, I'm off for my walk. Have a wonderful day my friends.

Monday, May 28, 2007

regifting . .priceless

I have always enjoyed this picture of my mom teaching me how to knit. Let's look at it together. First of all the floor. . . no that is not shiny hardwood around the edges. . . it's linoleum . . all of it. Next, the curtains . . . plastic. The shine on the windows is plastic storm windows on the outside of the glass. A poinsettia . .. on it's way out. My brother included in a photo op. (apparently in the early 60's you didn't take pictures every 10 minutes. The foot stool is large juice cans upholstered over.
From my earliest recollection Mom did her best to teach me how to enjoy handiwork. I have done some of that but really we relied on her to knit the essentials.
A while back our friends Scot and Kathy invited us over for dinner. It was a celebration of our upcoming grand parenting. Twenty eight years ago Kathy and I shared the joy of having our first children with in one month of each other. That was essentially when our friendship began.
Within two years we both had our second child. They had two girls, and we had two boys.

At this point I want to say something that makes me sound very aged. Back in the olden days (snicker) we didn't know whether we would have a boy or a girl so preparations were made for either outcome. My mom knitted baby sweaters for boys and girls. She was ready. When our second child was a boy she decided to give the little pink sweater set to my friend Kathy's little girl Carissa since we were so close.

You can see that when I opened up the gift from Kathy I was overwhelmed with her thoughtfulness. Not only had she carefully preserved the sweater set for its eventual regifting, she had taken it to the cleaners and had it perfectly cleaned and pressed and wrapped as if it was brand new.

I recognized it instantly. Is her gift not just amazing? It truly blessed my heart that she would have cherished something that my mom had made for her daughter. My heart could hardly take in that she would understand as a young woman twenty five years ago that someday she would return it. She hid that idea away in her heart for more than half her life.

Now of course, I don't know whether we will have a little grand daughter or grand son. My preference is not to know . .I just love surprises. I just loved raising my little boys, and it doesn't matter to me if its a girl or a boy. We just pray for a healthy child. I may never have a granddaughter to wear that little pink sweater, but Kathy returning it so perfectly just because she knows me and understands my heart is absolutely priceless. Am I not blessed?

Have a wonderful day my friends, I'm off for my 30 minute walk.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

come to a wiener roast

Yesterday afternoon we got one of our favorite phone calls. "Hey ,. .do you guys want to come for a wiener roast?" . . . . .Of course we did. Not only do we love hot dogs, we love the short little pretend camping expedition that goes along with a wiener roast. We hastily finished up our Friday chores and off we went to the B&B.
They have the perfect wiener roast pit and we didn't even need to turn over a stump to sit on. Luxury pretend camping. Richard and Dorothy are amazing hosts . .thus the B&B. They have the gift of hospitality and share it so willingly with all their friends.

Monica and Hilda carefully roasted their marshmallows for the dessert smores. This was one of our first really warm evenings and we sat outside until it got dark.

After years of real camping Terry has discovered that if you put your graham wafer on some little sticks near the fire, and then set your chocolate on top of the graham wafer, it begins to gently melt. Some careful slow roasting of the marshmallow makes for a perfect smore. I didn't show you the picture of me eating mine. I needed to stay on the grass so as not to ooze chocolate and marshmallow all over the brick. No sense in walking around with sticky marshmallow on our shoes the rest of the evening.

The beauty of being the author of a blog, is the choice of pictures that goes up. I'm not showing you the shots Terry took from his vantage point when I was roasting my marshmallow. Boys.

So, that is what we have done so far on our weekend. Today, of course, I'll clean the house, the sheets are in the wash and I'll make a rhubarb platz later . .(recipe . .Sunday Feb 4, on my sidebar).
Have a wonderful weekend my friends, we'll see you on Monday. Next week I plan to show you what my friend Kathy had tucked away for me for the last 26 years . .
Thank you for your kind compliments on my new template . .my brother Gerry did that for me . . .what a sweetie.

Friday, May 25, 2007

celebrating times two

Yesterday the women of my family celebrated. We actually had two reasons to celebrate. The first being that it was my niece Tanya's 30th birthday. (she is sitting at the end of the table)
The other reason we celebrated was that she had her new little son Jaydon with her. You might remember awhile ago I shared with you that Tanya and Chris were hoping to adopt a child. Their prayers were answered and now Jaydon has joined the family.
In the picture above you see from left to right my sister in law Mary, me, Karlee (my daughter by love) then Chrissie, (Tanya's sister and my niece), Anneliese and Jaydon (Tanya's children) and Tanya in the middle.
In the picture above you see Tanya in the middle, then Lori (my niece), Natalie (my niece), Colleen (my niece) and Leona (Tanya's mother in law) . .Heidi (Tanya's mom took the picture),

There you see the two proud grandmothers (Leona and Heidi) and me holding 12 day old Jaydon. Heidi arranged a surprise for Tanya at a spa with treatments for herself, Leona, Chrissie and Tanya. I had the privilege to babysit the sweet little guy. In the picture below you see Anneliese proudly holding the little brother that she has faithfully prayed for.

As I sat enjoying the lunch together with the women of our family, I looked around the table missing those that couldn't be there.

We are incredibly blessed to enjoy each others company. We are incredibly blessed to have reasons to celebrate. We are incredibly blessed to have each other.

Really, when I thought about it later, though we are all different in our personalities, (some of us are quiet and some of us are exuberant) our common thread is our desire to belong to our family.

No one is more important than the other. No one is absent without being missed. No one knows joy without the rest of us rejoicing and no one knows pain without our heart aching along with them.

Sitting at the table with me yesterday was my two nieces (Tanya and Chrissie) Tanya's daughter Anneliese and Tanya's son Jaydon (who are all from my brother Gerry's family). The rest of the table was all filled by marriage. Are they any less my family? Absolutely not.

Our family is like a rope with many threads twisted together. If one thread is loosened, the rope isn't as strong. I am thankful for every thread represented to make our family rope. We are in the midst of a family expansion with four of the girls at the table expecting. Our parents have gone to be with the Lord for quite some time and yet their legacy lives on. Yesterday as I looked at those girls, and the little guy of course . . .. my heart just loved them all.

Have a wonderful day my friends, I'm off for my walk.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

things you never knew

My new friend Kimmie from Over the Moon with Joy has tagged me. She has fascinating blog that takes you through their adoption journey. She has asked for eight random things about myself. I delighted in this exercise simply because I have a pick me personality.

  1. When I was young, my brothers were paid to go into the barns at night to catch chickens and I was paid (not much mind you) to stay inside. My dad didn't want me to be a tom boy.

  2. I don't sweat. I can't take the hot sun. I absolutely wilt. At 48 years old I am experiencing for the first time in my life dampness. While I do find these damp moments come at the most inopportune times, I quite enjoy the cooling after the dampness when hit by a breeze.

  3. After the birth of our first son, I lost the baby fat off of my face. People always remarked at how different I looked after that.

  4. I've been to Niagara Falls when there was ice frozen to the top of the fence. It gave me the willy's but I stood there anyways, . . .even back then I couldn't resist a picture op.

  5. I get incredibly car sick. I will never look at the person next to me in the car when we talk. If it is raining, my car sickness is far worse. Recently I discovered natural Gravol Pills and they work like a charm, Terry is even considering a cruise with me. (something he always vowed would be a huge waste of money.

  6. I won't eat in a restaurant that has smoking in it. I'm so spoiled. When I was growing up my family doctor smoked in his office, can you imagine that now?

  7. I never ever heard my mom and dad raise their voices at each other

  8. Linda was my science partner in grade nine and is now my youngest son's mother in law. She is very smart. (I'm glad we liked each other) I told her that year that I was going to marry Terry. We still laugh about that.

So there you go, I feel like I've shared so much about my life already in my blogging, I was hard pressed to come up with something you didn't already know. I'm going to tag Julie since I think it would be fun to see how she would work this into her devotional blog. I'm going to tag Jill, even though she is on vacation, she blogs faithfully and will get to it when she comes home at the end of the month. I'm going to tag Haylee since she is #8's other daughter. I'm going to tag Candice since she has the most beautiful pictures and I'm certain she'll incorporate a few into her 8 things. I'm going to tag my nephew's wife Natalie (my niece) who is busy getting ready for either packing to escape a possible flood or knitting for her new babe on the way.

So, run on over to the girls in the next week and if they don't respond to my gentle tag, maybe give them a reminder.

Have fun girls. Ill be back in a few days.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

where does the morning go?

So this last weekend we enjoyed some pretty chilly weather. Good thing to since it was a long weekend . .(tongue firmly in cheek). We celebrated Stuart's birthday at Stuart and Karlee's house. He fired up his new barbecue and Grandma brought her famous potato salad, I brought the ice cream cake and rhubarb bar. Good times were had by all. Karlee's family was there as well, it's a good thing when two families can join together and celebrate and enjoy each others company.
Yesterday, I did the unthinkable. I was sent an email by a friend asking me to join face book. I debated and then the curiosity got the better of me and the button was pressed. I had heard about this new phenomena geared mostly to (in my opinion) young adults. Oh, but they said, you will be able to find high school friends. It's amazing they said. The network is just crazy.
All right, I thought. I entered in my high school and the year that I graduated, zip. Apparently this new craze hasn't yet caught on to last generation. I did find it quite fascinating however to find quite a few of my blogger friends and am now considered their friends. Essentially how it seems to work, is you put down your profile, as much or little as you like. Since you have probably been invited by someone, you have at least one friend. You can state for the record how you know these friends. From there, you can take a peek at their friends. You may then "poke" someone. The poke basically is saying. . .hey I'm here, you want to be friends?
So, it doesn't take long to find a bunch of people you know. Younger people mind you, but I didn't let that destroy my enthusiasm for the new time wasting endeavour. I just poked my younger generation friends willy nilly and was happily poked back.
The one thing about Facebook is that only people that you already know have access to your info. So, if lets say you had a lot of family living across the country, you could all link on this system and have a dialogue. It really is quite amazing.
I did find quite a few younger cousins. So, all in all, will I network with my generation? I'm somewhat doubtful. I'm sure I'll pull a few friends in. Did I feel younger and with it? Definitely not. I proudly announced to my kids last night at dinner . .(we celebrated once more) . .hey, I'm on facebook. Stuart already new this since he had gotten a good poke from me earlier in the day. The rest of them, just looked at me like . .Oh mom.

Having said all this, I have been feeling like my time has not been used as wisely lately as it should. I'm going to set some goals. It's very easy when not punching a clock to whittle away time. My sewing room is in need of some company. My flower gardens need more care, (I have been watching the weather channel and it is looking optimistic). I'm going to start cooking some new dishes. I bought a new cookbook on the weekend . .Martha Stewart's "good food fast". It seems like lately I have been rotating our favorite dishes and I'm bored with them.
So, what does this mean to you? Well, I may not blog everyday. I want to be a little more flexible. We'll play it by ear. I find the morning goes so quickly. By the time I write my little piece, which generally takes me under 30 minutes, and then I read some blogs, another 30 minutes, go for my walk another 30 minutes, come back to see if any friends stopped by to leave me a comment, another 15 minutes. . . . poof the morning is gone.
So, for today, I'm off to the market to see about a few ingredients I'll be needing. I'll let you know if any of the new recipes turn out. Does anyone else have that cookbook? It would be quite fun to cook from the same book wouldn't it? I just bought mine at Costco.
Okay, that's my thoughts for today, time to get something done. I'll be back later to see if you stopped by . . .(smile)
Oh and what is blooming in my garden right now? Pictured above is my clematis, 100 plus stems of pink peony and climbing hydrangea.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Stu

Years ago Stuart went through a card making phase.
Every card that he made for me had his picture on it.
I particularly loved this mother's day card.
On the inside it said Happy Mother's Day . . you did a good job. Thanks Stu.
The funny thing is, you were still so young.
My job of mothering was already seeing its end.
There is not much I know about raising little girls,
but I do know some about raising little boys.
I know that when they cling to you and people say . . .
"oh . . it looks like he's a momma's boy" inside you agree and the wonder
of this little boy loving you more than anyone else is staggering.
Deep inside, I knew that it at some point it would be time to start letting go,
but it seemed so far away. Twenty years at least.
Little boys do grow up and it is good and right.
To be able to be good husbands and fathers they need to
leave and cleave . . . .
and even though you did it gently . . .you did it.

I suppose it is a tricky business being a little boy.
On one hand you are learning to be loving,
and on the other hand you are learning to be strong . .
both so important to be a well balanced husband and leader of your home.
As a mom of a little boy you cherish loyalty.
Mothers of little boys encourage lots of hugs and promises to love no other.
Even when those promises were being made I smiled,
knowing that someone as special as you would be snatched up.
Would you choose wisely? Would you choose a girl worthy of your affection?
These are things a mom of a son wonders.
The transition seemed to happen overnight.
I still remember the first time I saw . .you see Karlee for the "first time".
I knew you were lost to me in the sense of "me being your best girl".
I applaud your leaving. It is as it should be.
A mom of a son dreams that a son finds true love.
Your Karlee is the perfect wife for you.
You chose well.
The two of you are a family unit.
Though you include us as parents into your life,
there is nothing the two of you can't manage on your own.
As a mom of a son my job was to raise you to be independent.

As a mom of a son, I am so proud that you only speak of Karlee to me with the highest regard.
As a mom of a son, I am so proud that you are motivated to work hard.
As a mom of a son, I am proud that you are a good steward of all the God has blessed you with.
As a mom of a son I am proud that you follow through on your promises.
As a mom of a son, I am proud that you are so much like your father.
As a mom of a son, I am proud that you have achieved your educational goals.
As a mom of a son, I am proud that you are developing leadership skills that are honouring to the Lord.

The verse that was given to your Dad and I at your dedication service when you were a few weeks old is found in Joshua 1:8.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Stuart you are embarking on yet another new phase of your life. Just as Karlee is already a mom carrying your little one safe under her heart, you are already a dad.
We are confident that you will be the best dad ever. You will raise your child in a Godly and loving home. Just as we have prayed for you every day of your life, so too are we praying for this new little life.

We wish you the best year ever Stuart.
May God bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you and give you His peace.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

saturday peek

This is really one of my favorite times of year. Everything is lush.
The spring rains don't warm the bones through but they create beauty.
All the tall grasses growing in the ditches are green and even the weeds
have a beauty of their own. This is a glance of my flower garden.
Today I have typical Saturday work to do. Do you have a day of the week that you clean, bake and do laundry? What is your typical Saturday?
The sheets are in the wash, and the laundry is sorted.
I have a batch of no knead multigrain bread on the counter, did you try to make it?
I'm going to give the floors a wash today and give the bathrooms a good scrub.
I'm going to make a rhubarb pie. My plant is out of control.
I think we'll have some dinner guests later in the evening, kind of impromptu.
Sometimes that's what I enjoy most.
I'm pondering my sons birthday post. I'll probably spend some time on that through out the day as I feel inspired.
So, that's it. The window into my day. Whatever you do on your Saturday, I hope you have a wonderful day.

Friday, May 18, 2007

the inside of the farmhouse

Sometime ago I gave you a picture into our beginnings on the farm. Good times.
Today I'll give you a peek into what I saw on my first day here. These are
the Polaroids that I brought to Safeway to show Terry.
The before shots are all he saw of the house before moving day.
I had great confidence in his Mr. Fixer Upper abilities.

This was the living room. When we peeled away the fake brick there was a big dark burned hole in the wall. At one point the house had nearly burned down.
What a pity, Terry said.

We completely removed the fireplace. We felt that the space could be used to put our antique cupboard that my grandfather built in 1939 for my parents first piece of furniture.

The kitchen had dark paneling all around it. I didn't want to take too many pictures because the lady that lived in it followed me around. They had recently removed a eating nook from the opposite wall.

These are actually our second renovation pictures. When the boys moved out we went to it once again and redid the floors and removed walls.

Remember I told you that they had recently removed the breakfast nook. I found it.
They had two lawnmowers in the house. One of them was in the hall closet and the other one in the family room.

Terry often says he is glad he was only 35 when we moved to the farm. Tackling that now would seem quite overwhelming.

This is where we spend our evenings. It's all quite small and cozy. It doesn't take too long to clean from top to bottom and that suits me just fine.

When I went to see Terry that day at the store, he kept asking me for more info. I told him there was a peculiar odor that I couldn't put my finger on. I did feel a little concerned about that. When we began to rip the walls apart, we found part of the odour.

We still laugh when we think about the first few months living here. We were very thankful to have friends that came and lent us a hand. We'll never forget their kindness.

I can't believe the weekend is here again. I do hope you have a wonderful weekend. I'll be posting a birthday post for my little one.

Have a great day my friends.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

tobee's house

It seems like lately I'm rushing out the door. Today, I'm heading out with my mom in law for a mother daughter day shopping. Not wanting to leave without a brief word, I thought I'd show you a few pictures from a few evenings ago at Stuart and Karlee's. Karlee was heading to work, Terry and Stuart were working on their basement. That left me and Tobee to entertain ourselves. Every year I look forward to the Rhododendron bush that blooms in the yard behind them. It is just huge and beautiful.

Tobee already knows the drill. Um, . . . Tobee, can you go sit nice by that pot so Grandma can take a picture of you?

After enjoying some time on the patio we decided to head out for a walk. I had never taken Tobee for a walk before. Stuart put on his vest and leash and away we went.

We made sure we were back in time to watch Gilmore Girls. Stuart told Tobee that he shouldn't watch it with me, on account of it being a girl show. He's a sweet little pup though and I bribed him by throwing a sock over the coffee table no less than 100 times for him to fetch. Occasionally I needed it to dab my tears. Crazy show.

Well, I'm off to get ready for the day, I'll do my 30 minute walk while shopping.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake for Ethan.
It was my pleasure to make a chocolate cake for little Ethan's boy shower. Todd is adamant that there will be no girly things for his son so I tossed aside my idea of a baby shower cake and went for chocolate cake appropriate for a toddler.

This recipe is one that I have used for ages and it always turns out really nice and moist. A bit heavy but it holds up well with frosting.

The one key trick is to sift together the flour and cocoa. After i sift it once I resift it once more just by scooping it up and letting it fall through again.

I just use an ordinary sieve. Nothing fancy for this recipe. I just mix it with a wisk. No beaters needed but you can use them if you like.

3 cups of flour

1/2 cup of cocoa

2 cups of white sugar. ( I saw that grimace)

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

2 farm fresh eggs (smile)

1 cup of oil (more grimaces)

1 cup of buttermilk or sour milk (sour milk is 2 tsp. white vinegar added to milk)

1 cup of hot coffee

1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together flour, cooca, sugar salt and baking soda into a large bowl.
Make a well into the center.

Set aside.

In another bowl . ..

beat eggs, add oil, and buttermilk.

Pour this into the well. Add the coffee and vanilla.

Pour it into a 9 X 13 pan or two round pans.

Bake at 350 degrees

35 for round or up to 45 for rectangular.

You should check it towards the end with a toothpick. It should come out clean.

I cut the layers in half and spread some runny raspberry jam on them.
I whipped some cream and added a little instant chocolate pudding to that

to make is more stable. I put the filling between the layers,

and let it set until I finished the frosting.

I made some butter chocolate frosting.

To finish it I threw some john deere impliments on top.

then Ishowed it to Ethan and he was happy with it.

Is he not the cutest little guy? He had on his big boy overalls.

Richard and Dorothy graciously hosted the party. Todd and Nancy

still look so pleased with their new addition.

Ethan was being passed around through out the entire evening.

Fun was had by all.

I'm off on a date today. I'm posting early so I'll be ready to run out the door.

Have a wonderful day my friends.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

bedding plants

Well the bedding plants are in. Last week, it was a mad dash to plant when Terry said he was going to go get a load of bark mulch. He loves his bark mulch. Normally I don't put my bedding plants in until after the May long weekend but we've had a nice stretch of weather so . . .in they went.

My chives are blooming so pretty. I need to plant a little bunch just for eating, these have become more of a flower than an herb.

This little pot was a wedding gift from Terry's Uncle Elvin and Aunt Wendy. A sweet little antique pot. It's been planted many times over the years, and this year it will sit on my patio table.

Tonight is the series finale of Gilmore Girls. What is with that? I didn't know the show was going to end. I only got into it a few years ago when Karlee and her sister Haylee told me about it. Now it is about to end, and I'm not happy about it. How abrupt. I can't imagine any ending that will suit my idea of grand finale.
Terry watches car shows while I watch Gilmore girls, in opposite ends of the house. I suppose I'll be watching car shows at his end after this. How sad. Terry has affectionately referred to the show as the fast talkers. He has watched about 15 minutes with me total.
I realize this is a totally useless post, but in my state of mind, that is about all I can come up with. Perhaps, with a good ending to Gilmore Girls, I'll be back on top of my game tomorrow.
Today is Willies 50th birthday. We have been praying for him and Trudy and their family. They have been seeing answers to prayer everyday. We will continue to pray that God will bring Willie back to full health.
Have a wonderful day my friends, I'm off for a walk.