Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the slippery slope

This summer our garden has flourished.
The roses are disease free. . .

. .and the limelight hydrangea is daily begging to be worthy of a vase.

Tell me the truth. .
if you were to come home from town and observe this in your backyard. . .
what would your assessment be?

He had a perfectly reasonable explanation ..
he really did.

all for now. .

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


On Wednesday evening after dinner at Charlotte's . .
we drove the distance between Winnipeg and Steinbach and arrived at Betty's home.
Her John ..had our bags tucked in our rooms.. .which her daughter Allison had helped her prepare.
OH. ..such care.
Beds made and welcome gifts .. .
towels rolled and water ready.

In the morning ..
Betty and John were up early  ..
making us pancakes. .and pots of coffee and making it all seem effortless.

Before lunch. .
we visited the Mennonite Museum and found ourselves back in the era when our parents arrived in Canada.

We ate our lunch there and signed stacks of books for the staff there.

After lunch. ..we headed to Ten Thousand Villages where we signed books for another two hours.
We arrived back at Betty's home to find her dear girl Brenda and her sister Norma making us dinner.

We laughed. .and ate. ..and visited and felt the love between our dear Betty and all "her" girls.

They left us a table of evening snacks which took us late into the night. . .
and Norma left us a stack of crocheted dishcloths to share.
Imagine that!

And what of those that we came to see?

We are so grateful to each person who buys a book.
Whether you are in here in our home town. ..or Winnipeg. .or in Steinbach ..or in Kansas . .Europe or South America.. .
all of you are appreciated.

Without all of you ...
there would be a handful of children fed between the ten of us. .
but now. .the possibilities seem wonderful and our dream once just a flicker . .
has grown to a flame that glows!

all for now. .

Monday, August 29, 2011


Kathy and I left from the Abbotsford airport on the 6:30 flight.
We left behind the berry fields and the coastal mountains and headed towards the sun in the east.
We switched planes in Calgary  and landed in Winnipeg half way through the first signing at the Ten Thousand Villages.
Betty's John was there to greet us and rushed us to the waiting vehicle . .tucking our carry-ons in the back and off we were.

We signed at both Ten Thousand Villages stores in Winnipeg and our assembly line was kept busy for two hours at each store.
I am still amazed that anyone comes to have their book signed and to think that there is a line up for two hours is just beyond anything I could have imagined.

Such dear people all with stories of why they bought the book ...what they have made from the book. .
who they are giving the books to for Christmas. .birthdays. .weddings. .and often have specific requests for which pages they would like signed and what they would like us to say.

At the end of day one. .
we went to Charlotte's home for dinner where we met her family and found a beautiful dinner waiting for us.
The three beautiful girls in the photo are ones we feel we already know. .
though we met them in person for the first time.
The one on the left is Ellie. . .she is indeed very special to me since she introduced Charlotte to my blog.
The two girls standing on either side of the table are Charlotte's daughters.
These dear ones. . .
met us with such warmth. . .
made the beautiful dinner and when we were finished. .
cleaned it all up.

Still . ..I am always finding new and delightful surprises in my friendships with these dear nine girls who are called the Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

all for now ..

Friday, August 26, 2011

Seen in steinbach yesterday!

I loved Winnipeg and steinbach. Three very successful author signings, meeting well over five hundred people.

Today....start the truck honey, I'm coming home!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And at the end of the day, Charlotte blesses us with the gift of a loving hand.

Ten thousand village store front Winnipeg Henderson

Ten thousand villages plaza drive Winnipeg

Kielke. ..because he's batching

See how happy he is?
If you have the book ..
you'll know why.

Today I'm heading to Winnipeg, Manitoba to attend  a few author signings at Ten Thousand Villages.

When I looked in the garden yesterday . .
I "saw" a pot full of Green Bean Stew. ..
so I whipped him up a batch of that to tie him over until I return.

I want my beloved to miss me ..
but not so much that he forgets why he wants me  to come home.

I can't wait to see my Winnipeg girlfriends. .
and meeting some of you at the author signings is just icing on the cake.

all for now.  .

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

eating bananas

How many blog posts do you expect I can work out of the Sunday grand day?

I'm pretty sure that I don't have even one picture of our sons eating bananas.
It's okay though ...since I have a good assortment of their offspring peeling and eating bananas.

I wanted them to eat their bananas outside before going back in the barn to see Grandpa.

Technically. . 
they were outside the barn.

As I watched them peel their bananas. .
I thought about my cousin Grace. .
who loves bananas.

There is a pretty good chance there are some pictures of her peeling and eating bananas.

Are you still reading this?


I have more pictures of this banana post than I have story.

I'm noticing now. .
in this picture he still has the banana in his right hand.

I'm guessing he was just telling Grandpa not to worry. . 
he'd be in the barn soon. .
very soon.

For those of you who are asking and emailing me about the Winnipeg/Steinbach 
 Book Signings. .

August 24 ~ Winnipeg Ten Thousand Villages Plaza Drive ~ Charlotte, Betty and Anneliese  12-2
 Ten Thousand Villages ~ Henderson Highway ~ Charlotte, Betty, Anneliese, Kathy and Lovella  4-6
August 25 Steinbach Ten Thousand Villages ~ Charlotte, Betty, Anneliese, Kathy Lovella ~ 3-5

Hope to see you there!

all for now . .

Monday, August 22, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Yesterday was a grand day.
All but Little Oh spent  some time at our house and for a bit of the day ..
we had cousin camp.

Other than a bit of a squabble over who would be holding Little Miss Muffet in the wagon. .
they are four peas in a pod.

In the end. .she opted to sit on their feet.

The wagon stopped at the ever bearing strawberry plants .. 
and they squabbled a bit over who would feed Little Miss Muffet  strawberries.

The jam in the wagon began when I plopped Miss Muffet in the wagon and suddenly it was the place to be.

The funniest line of the day was when Grandgirlie asked Grandpa to tell her a story about when he was a little boy and there were dinosaurs. 
She was serious.

all for now. .

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Sausage

If there was one thing I missed on vacation it was home made whole wheat bread.
All I wanted for breakfast was a decent slice of toast.
Monday morning between opening mail and sorting bills to be paid ..
I mixed up a batch of bread.

When my beloved came in for lunch ..
this is what was sitting before him for his lunch.

We laughed and I got out the sharpest knife I own ..and cut thin slices of Summer Sausage that we brought home from Waterloo.
The sausage was a gift from Kathy who manages the Herald Press Warehouse in Waterloo.
We visited the St Jacobs Farmers Market on Saturday morning before out signing and she bought this sausage for us to take home.

According to the seller of the sausage ..
it lasts indefinitely ..
does not need to be refrigerated. .
and indeed is quite tasty.

I had the sausage in my carry on.
My carry on will forever remind me of my trip to Waterloo.

I think I'll keep a tally on how many lunches we can get out of that sausage.
If you get invited to the bungalow for lunch ..
bring mustard.

I'll let you know.

all for now ..

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grandgirlie. ..summer 2011

Grandgirlie and Little Miss Muffet came over yesterday for a Grammie Day.
Misis Muffet went home after she had her lunch but Grandgirlie stayed on for the afternoon . .
with nothing pressing her attention at home.

When grands arrive early in the day before it is necessary to be dressed in street clothes. .
I dress them in their farm clothes.
Clean clothes that arrived in the backpack. .
go home clean in the backpack. .
and this Grammie doesn't worry a speck about them rolling around in the grass.

One of these days I'll do proper picture in in the carefully considered outfits of the day.

Seeing the garden through the eyes of a three year old ..
is simply priceless.

Why can't we pick the pumpkin now? It's big! 
Why don't we pull out all the carrots now? It's fun!

Grandgirlie has kept her eye on the blackberry patch at the back of the property all winter.  .
all spring. .
and finally she can pop those sweet dark berries into her mouth.

She suggested the pie. .
and participated in every step.

It might not be the prettiest pie I've ever made. .
but I've never had more help ..
or been more entertained during the process.

See her little bracelet?
I selected it from Kathy's beautiful little etsy shop.
Grandgirlie loved all the sweet little beads ..
and when Mommy came in the door. .
she ran to show her even after wearing it all day.

The hardest part of the whole day ..
was waiting for dessert!

Did I mention I missed my grand babies?

It's good to be home!

all for now. .

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Broadway . .Empire ..and a few last looks about


We hadn't purchased tickets ahead of time to see a Broadway play ..
but when we were walking down Broadway on the evening we arrived. .
the sign that we've seen so many times shone brightly and we approached the ticket counter to see what was available and to see how dear it would be.

The ticketmaster must have been in a cheery disposition and gave us second level seats for the same price as the third level and so we saw the Broadway play on the second night we were there.

Why oh why can a person not take pictures inside the theatre?
"after the show is over. .you can take pictures of the lobby".
Okay here is the picture of the lobby ..
after the show.
We were so pleased with our decision to head straight away to the harbour cruise in the morning and walked right onto the boat while the rest of the passengers waited for us to arrive with our ticket  seller who's job it is to accompany us to the boat.

After that we did our wandering around the Ground Zero site .. .
and then we caught up to the crowds at the Empire State building.

A three hour event. ..from the beginning of the line up . .
back and forth ..
back and forth.  .
back and forth until we finally made it to the elevator.

Expecting to see the top of the world upon exiting the elevator. . .
we were instructed to take one last elevator for the last six stories.

That led us to yet another room. .
and back and forth.
and back and forth some more.

When we were nearly to the last elevator entrance. .
we were told that the stairs could have been used if we wouldn't mind walking the six stories.
The large crowd behind us made a rush for the stairs and we all met. .
around a million people. .
at the top of the world.

I'm glad we went. .
but I won't go again.
You get the drift.

I really wanted to go inside the largest Macy's store.
When you have one afternoon to see all the stores that are so famous. .
entering Macy's and seeing an entire floor dedicated to handbags. .
was just a tad overwhelming.

We went to the Starbucks overlooking the handbags. .
looked at them all from a safe distance and left without really looking around.

New York  ..New York. .
thanks for the smiles ..
and the entertainment. .

and reminding me of the reason I love being a country girl.

all for now.  .