Thursday, June 27, 2013

the garlic harvest

I pulled up my garlic.
Tell me what you know about storing garlic.
We love it but this is the first time we grew it.
Who knew it was so easy to grow garlic?

Auntie Loretta gave us some to plant last year around this time.
It sat in a bucket for a month or so and then we finally popped it into the soil
The rest of the garden was cleaned up last fall and the garlic stayed in and now we are eating garlic!

I'm glad something is doing well in my vegetable garden.
Carrots have been sewed twice and still are spindly.
We were so late planting our garden this year with all the Celebration book festivities that by the time I went to buy onion sets they were all sold out.
I've planted onion seeds and I see some fine green threads coming up.
Maybe I'll be harvesting onions next time this year.

Rhubarb, garlic and potatoes.
That's what we will be eating this year.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

kindergarten 2013

Born ten days apart...
they have always lived within driving distance.
Not too close...
and since the move from the far house to the near house last year...
not too far away either.

They are different like boys and girls should be.
I hear them once in awhile chatting about things that matter most to them.
They most often ask me if the other one is coming when they come to visit.
I like that.
I wonder if I'll notice when they stop asking that.

It might be like the sparrows who are suddenly gone in fall and then suddenly are back in the yard again in spring.

The younger ones invited me to dance...
while the older ones danced to their own beat.
She loves dancing and was quite happy when she managed to teach him some vital steps to her latest recital piece.
He obliged...
that's what nice boys do.

There was some twirling as per her instructions.

Today is their last day of kindergarten.
They have been in the same class.
In the beginning of the year he came over after school one day and reported that she had taken ill during the day and went home sick.
"I prayed"...he said.

(okay... I know it is blurry...but through my tears it doesn't make a difference)

It's been such a good year from my vantage point.
They have loved their teacher who has poured her love into these children.
Her tender and respectful way of speaking to her class has set deep into my soul.

Kindergarten 2013.

all for now...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Family Weekend Away 2013

The photos look so similar from one year to the next.
We take a weekend at the very beginning of summer and find our favorite spot at Harrison Hot Springs Resort which works whether the weather cooperates or not.

We check in and take a few minutes to put our feet up because they are all not far behind.

A year older...
a little bit taller..

a little less of a baby...

enjoying each moment...

having family dinner..
and making it special.

This year everyone made sure they had a swim suit.

We spend all day in the water..

except for breakfast...
lunch and ice cream breaks.

Every year...
we swim a little bit better.

We cooperate ...
a little bit more.

Ice cream is ordered up at least once...
and sometimes twice a day.

Sometimes we conserve energy for the pool and enlist a ride to the ice cream shop.

Chatting about bugs and ants...
is fascinating.

When we are super tired...
we still enjoy ice cream...
and cuddling.

We also enjoy veggies and hummus...
and hard boiled eggs. 

We make our picnics right by the pool so that we don't lose precious pool time.

Did I mention we spend all day in the pool?

Family get away...
a special and most wonderful time!

Like a special little girl prayed in the morning at breakfast...
"Thank you for my family!"
"Yes Lord...
thank you for my family."

all for now...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

He wins his first BMX race

We attended our first ever BMX race.  It was fun to see the competition in the 5-7 year old category.  Look at him go!  I nearly bowled him over at the end in my grammie excitement when I high five him.  I love seeing his little sister high five sweet how excited she was.
He sure won't win every race and he didn't win them all last night ...but we celebrate big and small victories...right?  Right!

living on the prairie

Last week when we took off in the evening as we headed to Saskatoon I thought the world below looked so beautiful.
Flying out of Abbotsford gives us the additional benefit of lifting off to see our daily surroundings from the birds eye view.

Those rows and rows...
and rows of raspberries are perfect this time of year.
They are lush and carefully tied waiting for the fruit on the canes to ripen.

Abbotsford is a hop and skip to the American border and within a minute we were flying over the border and admiring the beautiful farms below.

People living outside our area often think BC is all mountains...
but we live on a prairie too allbeit a small one.
With the ocean on one side and the coastal mountains to the east...
we live in an area boasting beauty all around.

We crossed this winding river and then turned back to cross it once more.

After the stress of trying to get on that flight...
and then finally buckling up...
I was truly soaring high!

all for now..

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

breakfast sandwiches

Our alarms were set for 3:30 but our internal alarm clocks which never ever need alarm clocks buzzed us awake at 3:15.
The coffee maker switch was flipped on and our clothes which were carefully laid out the evening before were pulled on and we were in our car in time for our 4 am meeting with other egg farmers  .

Dozens of eggs were prepared by Chefs and carefully packaged in biodegradable wrappers.
They were then transported in containers to keep the heat in.
We had lists and addresses and off we went.

We felt a bit nervous.
What exactly do you say to someone when you are handing them a sandwich?
We practiced between the two of us and laughed.
He has always been glad that it is me talking to media.
It's not my thing...he says...
and yet here he was...
about to leave his comfort zone.

We visited various places where people were already working before we even woke up.
Two were especially special to me.

We went to the Hospital where my Dad had quadruple bypass surgery in 1986.
The ER was already busy and to be able to appreciate the doctors and nurses in this way was a true privilege.
We quickly forgot our "lines" and just chatted with those coming to the nurses desk.

We can now add...
giving Vancouver PD swat team breakfast...
onto our "things we've done".

Over the years..
they have had the job of giving us something on occasion but this time we were stopping them and giving them something.

By 8:30 we were wrapping up our unique morning.
We found a coffee shop  where the sun was shining on their outdoor veranda.
We bought a muffin and coffee and laughed...and chatted.

Did you click on the link yesterday?
I hadn't had a chance to see it earlier as it only went live yesterday.
There is a contest...which would be so lovely for you to win if you are eligible.
Remember who your friend is if you win...

Today I expect less excitement here...
and maybe I will get busy and post more about my time in Saskatoon.

all for now...
with love,

Monday, June 17, 2013

Get Cracking

Almost 19 years ago my Auntie Betty bought me this T-shirt when we moved to the farm.

This morning...
we are going to get cracking at the crack of dawn with the hens.
Usually we give them a sporting chance to get a start on the days work but our alarms are set for 3:30 and we'll be doing something we've never done as farmers before.

We will be finding the unsung heros that make a difference everyday to our communities and we'll be serving them breakfast where they are.

Good Morning British Columbia!

I'll let you know how it went.

all for now...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dad's visit to Summer Camp and feeling Homesick

Last night I was tucking Grandgirlie into bed and she asked for a story of when I was little.
Because it is Father's Day weekend it seemed fitting that I tell her a story of my Dad when I was a little girl.

I asked her if she has ever been homesick?
"Homesick ?"

I went to a small country church when I was young and for whatever reason my parents thought that it would be a real treat for me to go to our Church Summer Camp.
I wonder if they asked any of my friends parents if they wanted to send their daughters?

It was exciting to pack up my suitcase and the adventurous spirit in me took over any qualms that I might have had.  Perhaps it was the distance we drove which was further than I might have expected.  It was the summer I was going into Grade Four.
I wonder what it cost my parents to send me to one week of summer camp.
It would have been a sacrifice for them I am sure and I can well imagine they sent me to give me a special treat mid summer.
Maybe the family all needed a break?
No..that couldn't have been the reason.

When we arrived at the camp I quickly realized that I didn't know anyone.
Other girls seemed to come in pairs and their excitement of being left was plain to see.
Parents were not encouraged to linger and so soon my parents hugged me goodbye and left me in the capable hands of a camp counsellor.

The cabins were clean and musty and had four or five bunk beds.
I had fun.  I enjoyed the camp food.
Each day consisted of swimming, hiking, crafting, devotions and free time.

I suspect it was the free time that did me in.
I began to experience home sickness for the first time in my life.
I missed my family and wanted nothing more than for that week to end.

My Dad worked for the Highways Department and in summer they fixed roads.

What would it take for a man to say to the crew he was working with that he wanted to drive up a mountain with the asphalt truck to see his little girl?
Would he have asked them plain out...
or would he have asked them if they knew there was a camp up above Cultus Lake where they were paving pot holes that summer day?

I was on my way to the scheduled daily swim when I saw a familiar orange Highways Department Truck come up the gravel driveway.
I stood still and held my breath.

Was my Dad wondering how on earth he would locate me in the middle of the day?
I watched the men all hop out of the truck and then I saw him.
I can't remember if I ran...or if he ran...
but I remember asking him if I could come home with him.

I couldn't of course and it seemed so sad that he would leave me there again.
I cried...and my very soft hearted Dad had to gulp hard.

Parents came to pick up the kids on Sundays.
I was ready.
My suitcase was packed and I was happy to go home.

My Dad was 41 when I was born.
He was cleaning eggs by the phone taking care of my older brothers while waiting for my Mom to call with news of the new baby.
Lovella is here...she said.
I'll be right there...he said.

Remembering that orange asphalt  truck and wondering at the conversation that must have taken place to bring his crew up the mountain...
just makes me smile.
God blessed me with my Dad.

all for now...
with love

Friday, June 14, 2013

Saskatoon Welcome

It is quite the story of how we finally got here to Saskatoon.
I felt so at home here...
and it wasn't just because of the rain!
The weather man is wrong here sometimes too.
I so wanted to see Glenbush but it wasn't meant to be.
I said to my beloved l feel like Glenbush came to me.

I have stories to tell..
pictures to share...
but tonight  I am tired and we fly out of Saskatoon at 6 and will be home in time to do chores back in Abbotsford at 8:30.
We really don't live that far away.
Perhaps....I'll come to Glenbush another time.

For those of you who came to see me...
my most sincere thankyou!

My parents were married in Glenbush, Saskatchewan 71 years ago today.
I felt a real tug to be here ...
I'm glad I came.

all for now...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Good morning Saskatoon

I was so excited to open my curtains this morning and see Saskatoon! It's a (land) moving and shaking city!
Looking forward to this day. My GPS had Ten Thousand Village. Store on 45th and McNally Robinson already routed. I'll check in a bit later,
Coffee is ready.  They are talking thunderstorms later.  =)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Saskatoon here I come!

Missed my first flight. Water restored to the farm and new boarding passes on hand. Grateful to God for praying friends and family tonight.
Walking to the plane!!!

At the well

Yesterday morning we turned on the taps and nothing came out.
The alarm in the barn was blaring and it was soon clear that there was an issue with our well.
We live out in the country and waterlines do not come this far.
It is amazing how for granted the tap is ...
the shower...
the toilets.

In the 19 years we've lived on the farm this hasn't ever happened but of course pumps don't last forever.
My beloved paced between the barn and the house and did what he could as far as providing water for the hens.  

Texts between the kids and I were flying back and forth.
Don't you just roll your eyes at the auto correct?
Text from me...
I think we will be fine for supper.  I have a salad and cold chicken and I think Dad will want to stick  close here until the chickens are sleeping. We might come shower them.


Text from me..
Shower then..not them.
You don't want a bunch of wet hens even if they would love your bath.

My flight this morning to Saskatoon was postponed.
There is a book signing at McNally Robinson and Ten Thousand Villages store there tomorrow that I made a quick decision to attend with Anneliese and Bev.
God willing...
I'll be on that flight at 5 pm tonight.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lilly / Lunch / Seat Mates and Soccer

A little while ago Anneliese shared about the wonderful Sunday School teacher she had.
She shared the story here.
She asked us to watch for Lilly at the book signings and sure enough..
we met her and hugged her tight.

We had several new experiences this trip.
It was a first to be invited to a home for lunch after signing.
Margaret from the Ten Thousand Village store in Winnipeg on Henderson made us a most delicious Mennonite lunch.
We will never forget this meal.
See the twinkle in the eyes across the table?
We had a lot of fun.
Thank you Margaret for your wonderful hospitality!

Our plane was scheduled to leave right after our last signing at the Ten Thousand Village store on Plaza so the staff there served us a light and delicious supper in their staff room.

We were so happy that we were able to switch our seats to sit together.
I sat with Ellen.
She and I chatted it up... while she focused on the game at hand.
So handy to have the soccer game on TV between the Seahawks  (Ellen emailed me to say she was watching her Sounders now Seahawks...shows how much I know about soccer) and Whitecaps.

Judy and Kathy talked and talked and talked...
still beautiful and fresh.
Judy actually made herself do some Sudoka to settle down.
Who knew ladies of a certain age would have to use such measures to stop the giggles.

The plane was a bit bumpy.
When you ask the ladies in front to take a picture...
it is tricky with the bumpy ride.

We landed back in Abbotsford near 11 pm.
There was no photo op once we landed.
I made one bee line for the one who dropped me off.
I hugged my friends tightly and waved good-bye and happily hopped into the truck for a quick ride home.

It was a wonderful few days away.

all for now..

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Breakfast special / Signing Books in Steinbach /storm watch/ Norma and Jack

I woke at the crack of dawn again.  
It may have been early for me but below me Joy was already busy down in the kitchen.

You can see the cheer on her face and in the beautiful breakfast she served.

OH so lovely.  If only I could eat as much as this delicious breakfast deserved.

We headed straight to the Heritage Mennonite Museum first and I made a bee line to see if I could find the trunk that Shirley mentioned to me in her comments several days ago.
Here is what she said..
What an exciting time for you! Lovella ~ we met in Niagara-on-the-Lake when you were there together with Anneliese. I see that you will be at the museum in Steinbach! I had mentioned to you that my grandparent's trunk (dowry chest) was donated to the museum and is on display. I hope you will have a chance to see it when you are there :-) 
(They came to Canada from Russia in 1924 from the Molotschna Colony.)
~ Shirley ~ this the one?
What a beautiful gift to share.

After we signed books we wandered around the beautiful grounds.

There wasn't a lot of traffic.

No horses seemed to need harnesses.

But we did find our way to the kitchen.

The sampler plate was calling out to all of us.

The kitchen window was so beautiful.

I love a picket fence.

I had to check their rhubarb.

We went then to the Ten Thousand Village store in Steinbach.
Look at the amazing treats they made from our book.
I just marvel over and over again at the amount of work that goes into these signings.

Our aprons are spread out...

We meet the staff that hosts us for the few hours we are there..
and we have a wonderful time meeting people...

When we came out of the store...
my heart jumped with delight to see storm clouds.

We hightailed it over to Betty's so until dinner time.
She makes us feel so at home!!!

I ran outside to see how the storm was coming along.

When we left we had a chance to see her sweet grandgirl Kaila.

Betty's sister Norma and brother in law Jack graciously offered to have us over for dinner.

It was oh so wonderful.
I felt so spoiled.

Jack served us and Norma sat with us at the table.
We love Betty and her sister is already such a part of us too.  
the blessings are so wonderful.

I just have to show you the house that Jack built.


We came back to our retreat center just as the sun was setting.
We stayed up until midnight and then I came up to my room to chat with my beloved and quickly put up this post.

Tomorrow we go home.
Before we do though...
we have a wonderful day of book signings in Winnipeg.
We hope to see all our Winnipeg friends there.

Our flight leaves at 8:10 and we'll be back in Abbotsford at 11.
I'm just a little homesick.

all for now...