Saturday, July 1, 2017

June ~ come and gone

Let me share a few random photos from the past month...
as well as some of our comings and goings.

I just have to include one photo of my favorite June blooms.
I cut the last of the peonies on June 9th and brought them indoors to enjoy.
Two weeks later, I took this photo.
Since when do peonies last that long?

There was a birthday party over at the farm...
for Chester!
He is a big one-year old.
Emme and Spencer made him a doggie cake...
bought him a party hat...
and marked the occasion in style.
Chester looked pretty blasé about the whole thing.

Sunshine, grey clouds...
and white-faced beef cattle.
It made for a nice photo one night as I was going for a walk down our road.

A BBQ with good friends on a lovely June evening...
the perfect way to finish off our year together as a 'small group'.

Micah played soccer this spring.
I had to smile as I watched him in goal.
He obviously wasn't letting the pressure get to him!

We took in the 'Ryder Lake Ramble' earlier this month...
a chance to visit some beautiful farms and gardens in the upland community of Ryder Lake.

How's that for a view...
with Cultus Lake in the distance.
This was our favorite place
...that of a good friend who has lived in Ryder Lake for many years.


...and irises gone wild!
It was lovely.

By mid-June the spring cropping was done on the farm...
and we were able to get away for a few days.
We decided to go somewhere we had not been before...
and landed up at a provincial park near Merritt.

We hiked every day...
relaxed, read books...
and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

We spotted this yellow-bellied marmot scampering over a rock shortly after we arrived.

He disappeared over the top and a chipmunk scooted up to take his place.

Who knew chipmunks liked red licorice Twizzlers?
While I was cleaning up our dinner dishes...
he helped himself to the Twizzlers which were in a bag on the table.
There were three left...
and he made off with them all.
I caught him as the last one was disappearing.

This osprey kept his eye on us from above.

Apparently there are lovely beaches at Nicola Lake...
but they were beneath the 'high water' during our stay.

The park is surrounded by ranch-land...
looking quite lovely in June.

The boss was strutting his stuff!

We were just a few hours from home...
but it seemed a world away.

When we see that peak in the distance...
we know we are soon home.

We returned home just in time to take in Ranen and Micah's year-end violin recital.
They both did a fine job!

There's a 'new to them' ATV on the farm...
and the grands rode across the field to show us.
Love their back seat driver!

Though Emme and Spencer are still two years away from graduation...
we had the honour of being 'surrogate grandparents' at Rosalyn's grad.
Rosalyn has lived next door since she was wee,
grown up with our granddaughters,
and milked cows on the farm for the past few years.
She no longer has grandparents...
and invited us to her grad banquet in their place.
How special!
It wasn't many years ago that Rosalyn and my grands 
operated a candy store in the neighbourhood every summer.
Grandpa spent all his spare change there!
Where have the years gone?
Rosalyn is leaving on a trip of a lifetime to Europe next week.
In fall she will continue her studies at our local university...
and milk cows when it suits her schedule! 
She will do well in life.

June was also the month of track meets.

Both Maggie and Ranen were representing their respective schools at the district track meet on the same day.

Both ran their hearts out in the heat!

Maggie took first place in the 1500 meter for nine year-olds.
Whoaa! That is a long race.
She runs like the wind.

Last Saturday we watched her play soccer with her team in Bellingham. a beautiful soccer park with Mt. Baker keeping watch.
She gave it her all on a day when all-time temperature records were broken.

On the eve of Canada's 150th birthday celebration...
we took in an outdoor concert in Abbotsford featuring amazing local talent.
Youth orchestra,  drumming band, skipping club, children's choir...
and last but not least...
Ranen was on stage with the Sionnaine Irish dance academy.
It was a wonderful evening to sit outside, 
catch up with friends and family...
and eat B.C. cherries.

Happy Canada Day from our home to yours...
on this the 150th year since confederation!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Month of May ~ Musings and Memories

Why does it seem like this was a very long month?  Could it be because we experienced both winter and summer weather and everything else in between during the month of May?  We waited patiently for spring to arrive...and then went from cold and wet weather right to sizzling summer temperatures.

I'll post one photo of the first of the grass being harvested on the farm (our latest spring cropping ever) and then go back to the beginning of the month.

Ranen had a birthday and the two of us went on a birthday outing.
It began with mango ice-cream waffle cones at Birchwood dairy...
(which we ate on the lawn in the sunshine)
and then on to Michael's and Bath and Body Works.
We each found a few things to take home.

I also went to hear her play violin at the Abbotsford Music Festival...
where she played beautifully!

Since Ranen and Auntie Broni share a birthday, we usually have a joint family celebration.

We tried something different this time...
booking a room at a local restaurant for the whole gang.

The separate room was a brilliant idea!
We kept our noise to ourselves.
At least we tried.

Ranen is now 11.
I won't share Broni's age without permission.
But here's a clue: She is the same age I was when she and Jeremy were married.

Wishing them both a fabulous year! 

We had a few outings this month...
mostly on Sundays, since the weekdays were all about getting fieldwork done on the farm!
'Tis the season.

Cheam Wetlands Park is just a 15 minute drive from our doorstep...

...and a lovely place to walk on a Sunday afternoon in May.

We had a provincial election on May 9th.
I voted in the advance polls, since I knew I would not be around that day.

Four of us...
who were best friends in high school...
took a little trip to Victoria for two days.

We had not been all-together since graduation. 
Since we all turn 65 this year...
we decided that was a good excuse to plan a bit of a celebration.

Vi, myself, Darlene and Carol.
What fun we had!

We sailed across to the island in the morning...
checked into our condo on the waterfront...
and then walked to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch.

While in Victoria we walked around the inner harbour...
toured the old Empress Hotel ...
did a 'Hop-On Hop Off' city tour...
visited Beacon Hill Park...
had a lovely lunch at the White Heather Tea Room in Oak Bay...
and did a lot of catching up!

We had a wonderful evening together in our suite...
enjoying an appetizer buffet, birthday cake, and refreshments...
while reminiscing about old-times.

We talked family. 
And faith. 
And politics.

We tuned in to see the results of the provincial election.
There was no clear winner that night.
There still isn't. Really.
We aren't cheering.

We discovered that after all these years...
we could just pick up where we left off and have a wonderful time together. 

We are all on the same page when it comes to things that matter most in this life!
We are also committed to praying for one another.
Friends are the best.
I love these true friends-of-a-lifetime!

Here are a few more pic's from Beacon Hill Park.

We had an 'up close and personal encounter' with this peacock.
He was a pretty boy!

We walked through this sea of blue flowers to a viewpoint over the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Apparently they are satin-flowers...which thrive during a cool spring.
Beacon Hill Park is worth a visit!

And one last photo from Victoria...
Fisherman's Wharf as the sun was setting, taken from the deck of our hotel.

I'm not sure how we managed to pick the only two days in early May with half-decent weather.
It was cool...but we never had rain!

Mother's Day 2017...
with Jeremy, Heidi and Kris.

And just for fun...
we re-enacted a photo taken on Mother's Day in 1981.

The five youngest grands ~ Micah, Maggie, Ranen, Lucy and Ryder.

Photo taken Mother's Day afternoon...
a little sunshine.
A lot of clouds.
Then rain.

On May 20th...
the sunshine arrived.

The grass harvest began.
Temperatures soared to the 30's (90' Fahrenheit).

We were not expecting a windstorm with that kind of heat!
Many of the young leaves on the trees shriveled and wilted.

Another Sunday afternoon walk took us through the new community forest on the eastern hillsides, not far from our place.

Moss covered boughs, ancient trees and silence.
It's a great place to spend some time! 

My mom's irises bloomed in my garden for Mother's Day.
They are a beautiful reminder of her.

Though teeter totters and merry-go-rounds have long since been removed from school playgrounds...
one can still get injured there.

Lucy fell from the monkey bars and broke her elbow last week.
Thankfully, her uncle was working when she showed up at ER and was able to look after her.
She will be carrying around a heavy arm for her last month of kindergarten.

We walked along the  Harrison Lake promenade at the end of a very hot day this past weekend.

Harrison Hotsprings is one of my favorite local spots...
whatever the season.

I've taken a few photos here over the years.
Quite a few. :)

And then on Sunday afternoon,
with temperatures soaring into the 30's Celsius again...

...we packed up a picnic and headed to Silver Lake near Hope.

It was cooler...
and peaceful.
We read books and relaxed.

Late in the afternoon...
some friends joined us there. 

It was a lovely Sunday in May!

These last few days have been all about trying to get the corn planted on the farm.  
About half of it is done...
the rest will happen shortly.
Never before have we planted corn in June.

And that was the month of May 2017 ~ through my lens.
  I have much to be thankful for!