Wednesday, February 28, 2007

flower count

Just a quick good morning post. I'm off for a dental appointment this morning. I'm taking my camera along. I'm convinced that people will begin to recognize a blogger from a distance not by the obvious tourist look that we are accustomed to mocking, but rather the camera slung about our necks every ready for a blog shot. This morning I was unconvinced that the weather forecaster was telling the truth about the impending rain and so I began to weather surf. I was not happy with the Global News weather so I watched the American weather to see what they would say about Canadian weather. Still not pleased I switched over to the Weather Channel to see the Long Range Forecast. At this point I was even less amused.

How are the Spring Flowers expected to bloom with abandon when they are regularly subjected to ice pellets? They have begun the annual flower count in our province Capital, Victoria. They do this every year, I think to gloat a bit. It truly is a beautiful city to visit as I'm sure many of you already know. How is the flower count coming along in your back yard? I'm sure that Argentina has lovely flowers this time of year. Is it summer for you there? Australia has been enjoying a good bit of warmth, and perhaps we could send you a drop or two of our rain. Texas has been busy planting sweet little pansies ages ago and no doubt have blooming trees already. Only my friends in Toronto, the Prarie Provinces, New York and the Midwest States have mountains of snow to dig away to find the buds of spring. I'm curious is there a bud to be seen in the lovely province of Prince Edward Island? Or is there blooms everywhere on Vancouver Island or is Victoria busy counting them all? I suggest we do our own flower count. Tell me . . . do you have a flower to count in your back yard?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

little mother

The picture you see is really four stories that I can count without a moments thought. One of them is Terry saga #2 for obvious reasons. The one I want to tell today though is Tanya's story. Tanya is my niece and the daughter of my brother Gerry and sis-in-law Heidi. She is the little girl in the left bottom of the picture protecting little Stuart. As you can see she was only a few years older than him and yet her mothering instincts were well under way.
Tanya had many ambitions in life and because she was an intelligent little girl it was evident that she had what it took to become most anything she wanted. She continued to grow strong and healthy and eventually earned a university degree and married the young man she fell in love with. Every thing went according to plan. They both worked and she became pregnant and they had a sweet little girl named Annalise. Still everything went according to plan until she experienced her first miscarriage. Who of us doesn't know that sadness of either ourselves or someone very close to us never holding the baby that was kept safe below their heart. They quickly acknowledged that this was not unusual and began to hope for another child. After the next miscarriage they became somewhat more alarmed and prayers began to go up in earnest for my niece and her husband and also for little Annalise who by this time although still a young little girl herself longed for a sister. After several more futile attempts and many trips to the doctor accompanied by related tests they experienced more miscarriages and they realized that their dream for another child would be arriving in a different form.
They began the process of adopting a child. Tanya's own grandfather (my dad) was adopted and so this child in waiting already shares a bond within our family and this situation was already known by God years before Tanya and Chris ever imagined. Isn't is amazing how God knows all our needs before we ask or even think about them?
So now Tanya, her husband Chris and little Annalise are with hope. They have completed all the necessary steps that are required. They have written a letter to the prospective birth mother and are essentially waiting on the Lord for the child that He knows will best fit into their family. They have had the support of family and friends who have joined with them not only in prayer but also many have become involved in fund raising and daily encouragement. When this child who needs a loving home becomes a part of their family it will have been a team effort and we will all weep with joy on the safe arrival of their child. Tanya has throughout this process become inspired to offer hope and assistance through telling her story. She has teamed up with her friend named Jenny who has a heart for couples waiting for a child of their own. You can visit Mended Hearts and perhaps you will find hope and an opportunity for you to share your own story. Tanya has developed her own site that you can visit to see pictures of her, Chris and Annaliese and you can read her own words of the journey that they have been traveling. As a family we pray daily for this little one and the birth mother who has no doubt experienced some of her own difficult days. I have been so encouraged by the many kind people I have met through this vast network of blogland. I have felt my heart grip at the challenges that you face daily and the real life stories that effect so many. You my friends have been an enormous source of encouragement through your comments. There are days when I just need a smile and I know who I can go read to make that happen with haste. When I asked Tanya if I could post about her situation she was quick to agree. I suppose it is like any other challenge faced, once it has been your experience you have a heart for others that have a similar story to tell. I will be sure to tell you the outcome of Tanya's family since you now have become a part of it as well.
Well, I'm off for my 30 minute walk and just for the record yesterday I lied and never did make it on that treadmill. Perhaps I will do that first today and then come back and read my favorite list.

Monday, February 26, 2007

dinner and the oscar dresses

Stuart and Karlee blessed me with these beautiful tulips and dinner.
"Home is an endless circle of love". Terrence and Bea gave me that beautiful picture. I hope they will always believe that to be the truth. Bea made a really yummy Caramel Apple Trifle.

Later we went back to Stuart and Karlee's where Tobee performed all his best tricks.

Currently his best performance is retrieving his rope. He also excels in sitting, laying down and coming. He received a perfect score at puppy classes last week.

Notice the gift bag. Pretty funny. That was from Terrence and and Bea. Tobee belongs to Karlee and yet they saw it and thought it was appropriate.

We made it back in time to see a good part of the important Oscar awards. My favorite part is the dresses of course.

I've all but given up capturing the essence of our family on camera. I have many pictures that I will now delete because of fingers in others face orifices. Boys.
Did you watch the Oscars? I have the link to the dresses, I invite you to watch the slide show and then come back to vote on your favorite. So which was your favorite Oscar dress. ? I was happy to see that for the most part they were dressed. I quite liked Helen Mirrin. I thought she looked really regal. We really don't see a lot of movies and I haven't seen "The Queen" yet but will very soon. Has anyone seen it and did you like it? Any other movies out there worth a watch?
Oh and by the way, yesterday I jumped the gun (so to speak) and I posted Ken and Natalie's 1st anniversary hoping I would get an email of permission to post it. I never heard back from them so I put it back into draft mode. Perhaps, they'll still grant permission and I will put the post back up. Obviously they had better things to do on their first anniversary than read their email. Happy Anniversary Ken and Natalie.
I'm off for my 30 minute walk and then lunch with Terry and mom. That will officialy mark the end of celebration week. Phew.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

happy anniversary ken and natalie

Happy 1st Anniversary Ken and Natalie.

It was such a wonderful day. Having the blessing of family weddings is such a joy. I felt since this was your first anniversary it would recieve special mention. Ken is my nephew and the youngest son of my oldest brother and sister-in-law Ken and Mary.
Have a wonderful Sunday.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life . . . .for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:8

Saturday, February 24, 2007

serenaded and spoiled

Oh goodness, this is what we woke up to today. The raspberry patch view out our front door.
Well . . let me take a moment of your time to tell you of all my birthday blessings. I'm truly in awe of the kindness of family and friends. In the beginning of the week I was treated to lunch and we were out for coffee and little blessings were sprinkled throughout the week. Normally the first thing uttered by my beloved in the morning . . with a smirk on his face is "I don't smell no coffee . . . chop, chop." Yesterday however, I heard, "it's your birthday, we're going to town for breakfast". How he can give me that same chop chop line every morning and make me laugh is beyond me.

Off we went to Whitespot and we shared a yummy breakfast of . . .eggs (of course) and bacon and french toast. My beloved gave me that new clock for our family room. When we got married 28 years ago we combined all our loot into one account. The only problem with that is on occasion inadvertently I have noticed purchases before I should while doing my online banking. I love surprises and don't want to know that I'm going to the Spa before the Spa certificate is presented. So, knowing this to be an ongoing problem, he set about to prevent a gift giving surprise debacle. We have in our community noticed recently . . .wire thieves. They help themselves to wire from houses under construction, from power poles and where ever else they care to help themselves. Terry being the clever man he is remembered that when we recently replaced the wiring in our barns, the old wire was left where it was. He went up into the barn attic, pulled out a nice length of wire and went in stood in the line up with the wire thieves at the recycling depot. He earned enough money to buy my new clock. Is that not love? Later I went for lunch with two of my dear sis-in-law's Mary and Heidi. I brought my camera along but neglected to remember a photo op. We had so much catching up to do and we were having such a delightful time that I forgot to take a picture.
After that Terrence and Bea stopped in. Bea spent an hour making me a card with the swanky new card making kit I found at Costco. I don't have the card yet because celebration week ends with family dinner on Sunday. Terrence showed me how to change the comment field which I had been racking my brain to figure out. Stuart phoned me and told me he loved me and said I was a great mom. My eyes got a bit damp at that.
On Thursday our friends Ray and Becky called to see what was up for my birthday evening. I said I wasn't sure but Terry would get back to them. They invited us to dinner and so Terry left a message saying that we would love to come, thank you very much. The problem was that he left the message on Ray's office phone and the message was not received. Fortunately when the mistake was realized they quickly pulled together a delicious Italian meal. Ray has become quite the chef since their visit to Italy last year. Unfortunately for the rest of the care group (who they were planning to invite as well) time constraints kept the party small.

I put this picture in because Becky and I were discussing my birthday picture from yesterday and I was telling her that I purposely pulled my face taut and thought I was quite clever to do it. She had wondered about that and so pulled her face taut as well. She being a home Ecenomics teacher had no problem quickly baking a scrumptious chocolate cake for our dessert.

There is a picture of a blogger at work. We are always looking for a photo op are we not? Their sweet big boys added to the celebration with a few clever comments.

After their eldest son Riley finished his dinner, we were serenaded to a piano concerto. We spent a good bit of time marveling at his talent. He performed several pieces even one that he himself has written and had won awards for. Becky and I decided that we really need to find him Wedding work. We told him he could be the "Wedding Player". His talent truly needs to be accessed and we will set about coming up with a plan helping him to do that. Perhaps you are in need of a wedding player and would be interested in having a consultation with his mom. (smile)

After dinner we propped up the cameras to take pictures. Such fun. After a nice long soak in their hot tub, we set out for home. I read through all my email cards and beautiful comments from all you sweet blog friends and was amazed again at how blessed my life is.

Here is a sampling of the delights of the day. Notice the new rose pruners embellished with roses from my friend Kathy. I received a few delightful books for the curious minded from my friend and co parent of our kids . . . Linda. I got the sweet posy bouquet from Mary and the Red Truck California wine from Heidi. The beautiful orchid was from another co parent of our kids . . .Monika.
The day was simply a delight and I thank you all for your well wishes. Today its a bit back to reality. I have sheets in the wash (they will dry inside today) and I'll set about cleaning the house. I hope you all have a wonderful day, my friends.

Friday, February 23, 2007


What fun, I'm forty-eight. I will never ever bemoan turning a year older. I had a close friend die of cancer before she reached the age of 40 and I promised myself to be thankful for each year that God gives me life. I'm sure that if you are a curious sort you will have already clicked on the above picture to enlarge it and have a better look. Well, enjoy. I've earned every line and wrinkle. Some of them thankfully are laugh lines, the creases in my forehead are from the famous look that my boys friends said I had when they were up to no good. The crown was from Todd and Nancy who made me wear it when we went out for coffee the other night. Such fun. Even though I have been questioned as why I post so many nostalgic pictures (it's my blog and I will if I want to) I wanted to post this sweet birthday party picture. You can see that my mom made cute little birthday clown ice creams. The little girl in the front to the right sent me a birthday email this morning, thank you Shirley. I'm in the black jumper in the back.
I didn't know what to post about this morning and I'll leave all the delights of this day for tomorrows post. My beloved suggested I look into my mom's life story and see what she had to say about this day. I had four older brothers when I was born. So here it is as my mom told it . . .

Another baby coming to join our family. Of course our thoughts and wishes were would it be a little girl this time? But my prayers were for a healthy baby and that all would go well - God knows best. We were very excited and many with us wishing us well. I thought, should I knit something in pink this time or sew a frilly little dress? I could always give it to some one else. Time went by so quickly and before we knew it was almost time for our baby to arrive. We were hoping it would come a few weeks early to make it in time for my birthday gift but it chose to come two weeks later February 23, 1959 on a Monday at 12:40 pm weighing 6 lbs. 11 0z. just tiny - The Doctor said "Its a girl". I could hardly believe my ears. I was very excited and could not wait to let Aron and every body else know. So as soon as we were ready, the nurses wheeled me passed the desk, dialed our number and let me break the news to Aron. He was sitting in the corner where the phone was and cleaning eggs, waiting for the phone call. I just told him Lovella is here - he could not make out what I was saying, after repeating several times I said Congratulations, you have become the father of a little girl. Oh then he was wide awake and wondered if I was phoning myself - well yes, I said and he ordered me to bed and said he would be right there. He was out of breath when he came to the hospital as though he had run all the way.

Thanks mom and dad for always making me feel loved, what a wonderful gift you gave me. Have a wonderful day everyone and please have a piece of chocolate cake where ever you may be.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

pruning . .little and big

It was such a gorgeous afternoon yesterday that after lunch we decided to get outside and do some pruning. My job is to prune the roses down to size and the perennials of their winter deadness. I am given equipment according to my size and Terry uses equipment according to his size.
Here is my little JD trailer all filled up with rose branches. I actually took a picture of my hands to show you that I did not completely win the war but they were too hideous and my vanity took over and they were deleted. My favorite rose bushes are David Austin roses. They smell so beautifully fragrant.

Terry was pruning our ornamental Japanese cherry trees down the drive way. It seems a bit sad to prune off the buds but they've gotten a bit too gnarly and now must receive a good cut back. As you can see he has been allowed to use the big equipment. He said at one point, "I wonder if Terrence will stop here after work "(as he often does) "then I could just stay in the bucket and he could just drive me around". I said to him "Do you want me to drive you around?" and he smiled and said "No, its OK, thank you". It was hard not to take offence at that. I suppose since he was listening to me try to start the little JD garden tractor and had to once again come show me how, he felt it was in his best interest to manage the big JD on his own.

Now as you already know I'm a curious sort, I was busy trying to capture the best side of my beloved in the bucket when we both stopped and watched this big Ball drive by. We both just watched and I said "What was that?" . . .and he said"I have no idea". Any guesses out there? If you click on the image below, it will give you a better look.

I was a little slow capturing the big ball driving by but you can see it there going down the road. I'll have to mark that down as one of the stranger drive bys. As I write this I think about all the different climate zones that read this and I'm curious about how warm it is where you are today. I have people from all parts of this globe who stop in and peruse my latest comings and goings and I'd love for you to tell what the temperature is where you are today. Just make sure you specify Fahrenheit or Celsius. If you don't know just tell me if its warm enough to do your pruning. I just went out and checked on the porch it is 5 degrees Celsius or about 4o degrees Fahrenheit. I'm off to go for my 30 minute walk, have a delightful day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

how does a cast feel?

At the risk of boring you with yet another family picture I have one more to share with you. The picture above was taken at my parents silver wedding anniversary. I had gained one sister by marriage. My oldest brother Ken had married Mary the previous summer. My mom made matching pink dresses for herself and I.
I've always been a curious girl. I'm curious about people who aren't. What is it that they think about? Sometimes while in a conversation I'll notice that I'm more curious than others, why is that? Curious people constantly have to work at not appearing nosey. I like to think of it as being interested in others. The year I was in grade two was a bit tough. I came home from school one day and my mom was sitting at the sewing machine appearing quite upset. She told me that my dad had an accident at work and was in the hospital. He had broken his back. He had started to fall off the back of a dump truck only to catch his leg and thereby snapping his spine. After what seemed like a long time he finally came home from the hospital in a cast. I sure was curious about that cast. I would often ask him what it would feel like, and he assured me I wouldn't want to know. My brother Gerry (if you're curious he is the one at the far right beside my dad) is four years older than I. He spent a great deal of time perfecting the tree house in the old willow tree in the back yard. Occasionally I would stand beneath the tree asking if I could come up. I couldn't because the trunk was massive and only a big boy could straddle the first part of the tree to get to the big branches. One afternoon, I happened to come outside when Gerry called me over to come have a look at his newly constructed foot holds. "Come on Up" he said. With delight I began to take one foot at a time. I was nearly at the big Y in the tree when one of the the foot holds which had one nail in the center gave way and down I went. It was immediately apparent by the shape of my arm that things were amiss. Gerry went flying down the tree and yelling to the house "Vellie broke her arm" at which my mom who was quite accustomed to his bend for exaggerating said "no she didn't" until she saw me and from a distance had to digress. After a night in the hospital I sat along side my dad at home comparing the difficulties of being confined to a cast.

A few weeks later my parents were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and it would have been unheard of not to have a family portrait done before the big church celebration (at which I had to recite a poem). My mom opened up the back of my Dad's suit pants and put in a strip of fabric so that his cast could be accommodated. The morning before the big event I stepped on a nail behind the barn, and my foot was swollen beyond the capabilities of my new white shoes and so I had to wear my brother Gerry's old black dress shoes with my lovely pink lace dress. Oh, if your curious, my sister-in-law Mary did my hair. My dad looks a little shell shocked don't you think? I love the way I'm hiding my broken arm, it kind of reminds me of Bea hiding her broken arm last year when we went to Maui as a family but that is another story for another time, (if you are at all curious that is)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

why me Lord?

Who hasn't at some point in their life asked that question? I was born into great wealth. I have a heritage that is rich with faith. My grandparents left the only country they knew and loved when they realized that staying would mean being persecuted for their faith. They moved to Canada and as many immigrants did promised to work the land which meant homesteading in the prairies and being quite poor. They may have been poor financially but they were wealthy in faith and knowledge of the Bible. I have many times wondered how I was so blessed to have that heritage. It wasn't enough though for my parents to have faith, I realized I needed to have a faith of my own. Never underestimate what a child understands. It was July 8, 1965. I was six years old my brother went to Bible Camp and when we went to pick him up he wasn't completely in the car when he declared that he had asked Jesus into his heart. He was excited and I felt sick. When I think back it is almost inconceivable to me that my tender young conscience was bothering me, but it did. When we got home I went into the bathroom where I knew I would have privacy and knelt down and asked Jesus to come into my heart too. Even as a young child I knew that I did wrong things and I needed to be forgiven. It was so simple and yet I know He heard my cry. I got up and went to my mom and told her that I asked Jesus into my life. She hugged me and held me on her lap and prayed with me asking Jesus to Bless me and make my faith real throughout my life. My mom taught two year old Sunday School for 30 years and she strongly believed she was teaching, not babysitting. So my faith grew as did my knowledge of the Bible. The Bible says in John 3:16 . . For God so loved the world that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. I believed that then and I believe it now. When I met Terry in High School his faith was a bit weaker. He had grandparents that believed in Jesus but his parents had not yet realized their need for Christ and although he was sent to Sunday School he didn't have the encouragement that I did. He had asked Christ into his heart but couldn't really remember when it had been. When we started to date we went to church together and he made a strong committment and has never looked back. We both were baptized as teenagers which we did to publicly declare our faith. I could tell you so much more but I like to keep my posts short. I wish I could say that we have steadily become more like Christ but we have often failed and had to once again determine to live our faith every day. When ever I have seen a Billy Graham crusade I've always marveled at at the simplicity of the gospel. God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross so that we could be saved from our sins and live forever with Him in Heaven when we die. If we believe that to be true we can begin to understand what grace is because we don't deserve what we are offered. At the end of a Billy Graham crusade they always sing "Just as I am". Even as a little girl, I would feel teary and I would feel my heart beating and I would feel a longing to be ever closer to Jesus and I'm sure I invited him in many more times because that was my heart's cry. Have you a story to tell? Has your heart cried out wanting to know beyond any doubt that when you die, you'll be in heaven?
Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee, O lamb of God I come, I come.

Monday, February 19, 2007

barrel roasting boys

Last summer we had a 70th birthday party for my mom-in-law at Sweet Dreams Bed and Breakfast. They have the loveliest setting for out door events in the summer and a wonderful space to host parties inside. Putting on a party of this size would be difficult to manage on our own but we have some terrific friends who love to help one another. I told you the end of last week that we would be returning the favour and so this weekend we helped to put on a 70th birthday for Nancy's dad. Oh and by the way in the picture above you can see two of my brothers Ken and Gerry and also my sis-in-law Heidi. Of course they would be invited to my husbands mom's birthday, we've kind of grown into one big family.

The barrel roasting boys had the job of roasting the chicken. Basically the chicken thighs are marinated for 24 hours and then roasted in a briquette barrel barbecue. It tastes fabulous. In between we brought the barrel roasting boys (Todd and Terry and later Rob) some wieners to roast for their appetizers. They regularly sent word that they were crispy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside. Funny guys.

The rest of us were inside putting together the rest of the meal. Roast beef, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables and salads. It was pretty yummy. Dorothy is busy at the sink washing the dishes and Nancy is keeping us all organized and directing the party. She was amazing. Last summer after the event for my mom-in-law she said, wow, this is what I'd like to do for my Dad, would you guys be willing to help me then? Oh course we were glad to help.

Dorothy and I are busy doing something at the counter and Richard, Dorothy's husband is helping on the other side. Oh is that Rob in the background? Um, yes it is no doubt waving at his dear wife who was out of town for the party.

The well smoked barrel roasting boys minus Todd are resting themselves on the comfy couches, nothing left to do but the clean up.
Richard and Dorothy are the queen and king of hosting. They have a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast. All who enter the doors are immediately aware of the peaceful and restful surroundings. The breakfasts are all made completely from fresh ingredients and always include something fresh from the oven. In our busy life styles we don't often experience a time of uninterrupted rest. We work and work for what? We all need a time of rest and reflection from time to time so that our marriages can be refreshed and renewed. Perhaps a night away is just what you need.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

word picture

I was visiting some of my favorite blogs this afternoon and found this fun little word picture on my friend Becky's site . I thought I would give it a try for a quick Sunday afternoon after Nascar treat. This is the site if you would like to try it too. It's called

snapshirts . It's interesting to see which words stand out in your blog. Try it out and let me know so I can come visit your word picture too.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

learning to cleave

This morning my beloved Mr. T. invited me to go to McDonald's for a coffee and muffin. We like their fruit and fibre muffins and we've thought about going and buying a muffin at McDonald's and then scooting across to Starbucks for our coffee, but we don't. While we were sitting there having our coffee I said to my beloved . . ."You know what? . . . No what? . .. .Today is going to be my 100th post. . . .. Wow, what are you going to write about? . . . I don't know, it should be significant, don't you think? . . . . Hmm, . . . .I was thinking about writing about "those" years. . . .Oh, those years? . . . mmmhmmm, (meaning yes). . . well that would be worthy of 100 posts for sure, he said.

There are times when I do wonder what has made our marriage work when so many others around us have struggled and faltered, some having survived and others having failed. Of course I know that our shared commitment to the Lord has been the biggest reason but I know that when a couple needs to cleave to one another, needing each other more than we needed our moms and dads, . . something special begins to happen. On May 21, 1981 we had our second son. I was 22 and Terry was 23. I had another excellent pregnancy and the delivery was non complicated and our child was again healthy. Our life was happening pretty much as we had planned. No worries, no concerns. I went for my six week post natal checkup the Friday before the July 1 long weekend. I mentioned to the Doctor quite casually that I was a little concerned about a lump that Terry had at the top of his leg. "Kind of in the muscle, right at the top of his leg" I said. "Hmm, how long has it been there," he asked. "A long time, he says, its nothing, it doesn't hurt", I said. "How big is it" He asked, "Big, like half an orange, I would say", I said "Tell him to come in today after work, I'll wait for him" he said. Terry went and the doctor did the biopsy the day after the long weekend. What began after that was a long series of tests and and lots of waiting for results and a diagnosis. Sometimes the news was hopeful and then our hopes were dashed. He had more biopsies. The results came back that he had Hodgkin's Disease which is a cancer of the lymph nodes. After that began a series of tests to determine the extent of the cancer. His spleen was enlarged, but his liver looked fine, as did his chest. His cancer was for some reason very difficult to pin down. I won't bore you with all the details I have recorded but I count 14 different dates of detailed procedures and what not all lasting until the following February when his first treatment finally started. Now, I have to say, that all this cannot happen to a young family without a lot of cleaving. Where we would have been without our family for support and our close friends, I don't know. I literally sit here and cry when I remember how kind everyone was. We had letters from so many places telling us they were praying for us. We had help with the children, while I drove the hour with Terry for his daily radiation treatment. Secretly and between me and my girl friends I wondered what would happen, bravely with Terry I held fast to the hope that the Doctors gave us. People say that men make bad patients, I know one who was strong and stoic and refused to allow me to be with him while he spent hours in the bathroom. Our parents had the wisdom to allow us to cleave to one another. They helped with the kids and allowed us to help each other. Rather than trying to fix our problem they allowed us to feel what we felt and didn't intervene as most parents would be tempted to do with bits of advice and lots of hovering. If there is one piece of advice we can give young couples it would be, when you get married, make your center of gravity in your new home with your husband. If there are issues in your marriage, learn to work out your marriage together with your spouse not over at your parents house.

So, obviously my beloved Mr. T. survived. The picture I have posted is probably the only one I have of him during that time. He took the opportunity to grow a beard because as a Safeway employee facial hair was not allowed and he had plenty of time off of work to see what a beard would be like. As you can see, the boys were oblivious. We cried and fretted about Doctor appointments and check ups and they played and laughed. We learned so much during that time. As often is the case after difficult circumstances, we saw later how this time in our marriage became a blessing. . . . . . So this morning while we had our coffee Terry asked whether I was going to tell everything that happened in those years to him. I smiled and said . . ."oh no, I'll save some for the 200th post. He smiled and said and maybe there will be some left for the 300th post. I smiled and said . . "oh yah".

This afternoon we are going to a wedding. I just love weddings. I hope your day will be filled with delights. I'll see you on Monday.

Friday, February 16, 2007

inukshuk of our farmyard

Meet my Inukshuk. If you travel the mountain roads of British Columbia you will from time to time see these stones heaped one on top of another to symbolize a life like person. My little guy is made of jade which incidentally is British Columbia's Gem Stone. The Inukshuk's were first created by the Inuit people of Canada and were used for centuries. They were originally used in the far north to act as guides for travelers, to give direction to all who pass by. This is the symbol that has been chosen by the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee. Today the Inukshuk stands on the road that has been traveled as a symbol of welcome and of warm relationships to all who travel by. This little guy is my friendly little greeter standing beside our goldfish pond.
While much of the 2010 Olympic Games will be held in Whistler British Columbia, there is of course much that will be held in Vancouver. The above vintage postcard shows the Capilano Canyon which is passed on the way to Whistler. Make sure you click to enlarge the postcards. The details are so interesting. The above photo appears to be a group having their picture taken. The highway is undergoing a major upgrade and will be ready for the huge increase of traffic during the games. The scenery on the way to Whistler is nothing short of spectacular. We have travelled that route on our Vacations several times and find it breath taking.

This Vintage postcard picture shows the highway to Grouse Mountain. There won't be any competitions held here but it is one of the local mountains that can be seen from downtown Vancouver and is a favorite tourist destination and a local ski mountain. I said to my beloved Mr. T "now why is there no pictures of the road to Whistler" and he said "because when they made these postcards there was probably just a little dirt road going there". . . "oh," . . . I said.
So, this week they started the countdown clock, and I was hoping to be able to add a link of a countdown clock and I thought that would be very clever. I couldn't find one. Grrr. Three years from now the games will begin and the whole world will be invited to British Columbia. So, I've given you the official link and if you are interested in checking the remaining days, click on that.
Today, my beloved and I are helping some friends put on a 70th birthday celebration for her father. This is what we love to do. Last summer Terry and I put on a 70th birthday party for his mom and our friends helped us and now we are happily returning the favour. Preparing a meal and serving with a group of friends simply becomes the party. It doesn't matter that we are not recipients of the party. We have found that sometimes the best of times happen in the kitchen, behind the scenes. We've often thought that there is more laughter and joking around that goes on upstairs in the kitchen than downstairs at the party.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

spinach and strawberry salad

You know that your Valentine is a really good sport when you are taking pictures during your romantic dinner and its pretty obvious why. The one recipe that I assume everyone has but maybe you don't is this really yummy spinach salad. The picture looks a bit washed out. It really has beautiful color and such a taste of spring.
It makes a great starter but also a really nice buffet salad. What I like about this salad, is that I can make one batch of dressing and store it in the fridge for the week and cut up fresh strawberries as we need them.

My beloved Mr. T barbecued some beef tenderloin. I steamed some fresh crab. We also had Fettuccine Alfredo and Steamed Broccolini and some fresh crusty bread. It was pretty yummy.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
1 package of fresh and washed spinach
fresh cut up strawberries, more or less how many you'd like
Poppy seed Dressing

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup oil
1 small finely chopped onion
Add the dressing to the salad at the last minute before serving and top with toasted almonds. I think that there are lots of variations to this salad. I've used mixed greens and you could also add some goat cheese.
Well, I'm off to accomplish some domestic things today and of course, I need to go for my 30 minute walk. We have help on the farm today and I need to make a lunch worthy of farmhands. Have a great day my friends.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine

I fell head over heels in love with my beloved Mr. T in grade nine. Grade nine? Well, it was the end of grade nine. I wasn't old enough to date. We had to wait until I was 16 which was 9 months away. We met in grade nine English class. Our teacher was involved in a vehicle accident and we were left in a rather unruly class and a substitute teacher. We had plenty of time to visit, and so it began. Terry was unbelievably shy, I was not. I invited him to eat lunch with me and my girl friends on the soccer field, he came and ate lunch with us every day after that (with out another invite). That summer he rode his bicycle 10 miles to see me and we talked on the phone. The next spring when I turned 16 he invited me to go see "The Sting.
We continued to date through the rest of high school. After High School we got engaged and we married. Quite simple. Not always a breeze but never regretted. A good marriage takes a bit of effort.
One summer early in our marriage we were camping and we shared a Popsicle. Later I came back to the tent and saw this little sign hanging on the tent door. He made the little sign with a piece of broken glass and the sunshine. He thought I would like it. I loved it. I think it was maybe the most romantic sweet thing he ever made me. (The embroidered heart was my grandmother's pin holder)
I know we have something very special . . .not perfect, but special. We will continue to work to make our marriage better. I wish you all a Happy Valentines Day my friends. I sincerly hope that you are shown love today. "This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth and of insight." Philippians 1:9

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

fresh air

Do you remember what it smells like to dry your sheets outside? Saturday was the perfect day. It may not have been very warm although I think we hit 12 degrees Celsius, but a gentle breeze dried the sheets in just a few hours. While I was hanging out the sheets, I spotted an eagle in the back of the yard.

Of course, I grabbed my camera, but I didn't get terribly close. My beloved Mr. T. observing this suggested that it could have been my bright pink pajamas to blame, reminding me of their "eagle eyes". Ah, that is where that saying came from. He was beautiful as he flew away but of course I didn't do a really good job of capturing that either.

Even though the air was a bit brisk, I opened up the bedroom window to give it a bit of airing out as well.

Today, I'm going to make a Valentines dinner for my beloved. I tend to cook a bit on whims. I'll go to the market and see what looks good and plan my menu while I'm there. I already have a homemade chocolate cake baking, which I'll layer with some decadent fillings and cover with ganache. I'll no doubt serve some sort of pasta because that is his favorite and probably a Strawberry Spinach Salad for some energy and perhaps some beef tenderloin.

I remember when we were in our early years of marriage, there was tension that would sometimes surround Valentines Day. I have since then realized that there is far too much pressure put on men to provide the perfect date or surprise for their girls. We have long since stopped bowing to the commercialized idea of what the day "should" be and created our own less stressful traditions. After nearly 29 years of marriage I'm just thankful I have one (a marriage that is). I'm thankful that I have a husband that loves me, and he doesn't have to jump through hoops to prove it. He proves it everyday that he happily shares a home with me. I really realized that I don't need all that and I've been much happier since then. When I think back to some of the most romantic things that we've done together there has been very few that involved money or gifts, they have been directly related to the care and nurture of our marriage. You just can't be tense and stressed for days and then expect to have it perfect and romantic. Marriage is rarely as it is in the movies, we all create our own script to a large degree. Some are given scripts that are terribly unfair and I don't know how you get through that and I'm sorry for you if that is the script you've been given.

Whether you plan a special dinner for your children and then later your husband or if you call up some girlfriends and have a chocolate fondue together and watch a chick flick, I hope you have a day filled with happy thoughts and a day that will build your ever growing memory bank.

What are your plans to do sweet and kind things for those you love? I still have time to change mine.

Monday, February 12, 2007

velcro balls and hiking

Early, early . . .early Sunday Morning we took Stuart and Karlee to the airport. They are off to see Mickey Mouse. Terrence and Bea called while we were having coffee at Starbucks and invited us over for lunch and a hike. After some yummy wraps we headed up the mountain behind their house. If I could be as fast as they were, you would see them coming up the mountain instead of going up the mountain.
I thought the ferns looked so nice against all the dead leaves. Ferns look so fragile and yet they don't die in winter.

Boys will be boys. I caught Terry poking Bea on her right shoulder (trying to be tricky). She was trying to look at something on the ground. It's really nice having daughter-in-laws. They now share the teasing with me, I don't bear it all alone.

Terrence insisted that we were following a trail. I had visions of search and rescue coming up in the middle of the night. We found plenty of evidence that something had walked on our path and it wasn't horses either.

Well, I suppose it was a trail at some point.

Moss and other strange growing things. This time of year the moss grows really well. We are actually considered to be living in a rain forest.

We're nearly at the top. Time for some posing. I snapped about 100 pictures on this hike and only on a few are the people posing are behaving themselves.

Like a said, only on a few pictures were people behaving themselves.

At some point. Terry found this natural Velcro ball and attached it to Bea's sleeve. He thought he was pretty funny.

Then, we caught him with this walking stick. Note the pink survey flag attached. Such a Kook.

Bea attached a few Velcro balls to Terry along the way.

Luckily we didn't need search and rescue. We came back down the mountain on a completely different route. It was all good. We spotted their house. Only a retaining wall to hop over and we were back on their street.
We had a great day. Later we rented the video RV and watched that with the kids. If you haven't seen it yet, it really is quite fun and clean.
Today, its back to reality. Bill paying day and organizing a busy week. I'm off for my 30 minute walk. Have a really nice day, my friends.