Saturday, November 29, 2014

november remembered...

 We spent the first part of the month where the sun always shines...
the palm trees sway...


...and our favorite resort in the desert beckons.


My sister and BIL (Dot and Terry) were there when we arrived...
and we spent some time catching up with them.
Why is that so much easier to do when on vacation?
We live in the same neighbourhood and don't see each other often enough.

Then we had some friends join us for a week...
and shared some fun times!

We found more friends...
and drove out to Nuevo for a Sunday morning church service.


Olive Grove Church  is a friendly place...


...in a rural community of Riverside County.
Their Pastor Steve happens to be the brother of our good friend, Ellen.
He made us feel most welcome...
and gave us some 'food for thought' from the pulpit.

After church, we headed up the mountains to Idyllwild for lunch. 
We were dressed for Palm Springs...
not for Idyllwild.
42°F (that's 6°C) was a bit of a shock!
But the restaurant had the fire going...
and some wonderful baked French onion soup on the menu...
and by the time we left we were almost warm!


We also were not dressed for collecting pine cones up in the mountains...
but couldn't resist!



On another day we visited the Coachella Valley Preserve...also called Thousand Palm Oasis.
It is a 20,000 acre sanctuary for endangered desert species...
located on the San Andreas fault-line.
How strange to see pools of water  in the middle of the desert...
the result of underground springs along the San Andreas fault.
We took a wee hike and wandered among the fan palms...
which grow up to 45 feet tall and are well over a hundred years old.


Back at the resort...
we made the most of our stay.


We floated down the lazy river...
and read one book after another.
We even managed to keep them dry...
for the most part!


We enjoyed poolside lunches...
and good company!

 
Some of  'the poolside company' we  could have done without...
but with guests continuing to feed them...
the ducks are in no hurry to take up residence elsewhere.

Back at home...
we had November birthdays to celebrate.


Sweet Micah.
Five years old...already!
Where do the years go?
Why it seems just yesterday that these two arrived!
And now they are teenagers.
Did I ever tell you that being a grandparent is a lot of fun?
So blessed to call them my grands...
and have them all living nearby.


One Sunday afternoon we had some surprise visitors show up at the door.
Emme and Spencer had a lot of puppies to look after this past while...
and decided to bring a few for a Sunday afternoon walk across the fields to our house.
They all look the same to me...
but the girls knew each one by name.
They were not anxious for them to be adopted out...
and it seems they have persuaded their dad that one should stay.
Forever.
Now there is just one.
And Mamma Indy...of course.


Why is it always so hard to find a nice day to hang the Christmas lights on the house?
We had barely lugged out the ladders and the lights when the skies opened up...
and the rain poured down on us.
We packed everything up...
to be continued later.
A few hours later...
the sun was shining and we tried again.
Once more we got drenched.
 
 It wasn't a great day for hanging lights...
but it was the perfect day for photographing rainbows!
Inside it is also beginning to look a bit like Christmas.
We are ready to count down the days... 

...with an 'advent calendar' that my DIL made for me last year.
Wee canisters with glitter numbers on top and a magnet on the back...
attached to a vintage metal tray.
I'm sure I'll have help in 'opening up' the days!
Wishing you all a blessed advent season...
and a Christmas filled with joy.

Friday, October 31, 2014

october ~ gathering the memories

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
~Anne with an "e"
 

Morning fog...and turning leaves.



The final grass harvest of the year...

 

...all wrapped up and stored for the winter.


A mound of white blooms covering the arbour...


...and fresh snow capping the local peaks.
 

A Sunday afternoon hike up Teapot Hill...
on leaf-strewn pathways.


Helping Uncle Jake celebrate a milestone birthday.
 

Heidi hosted us for Thanksgiving Dinner...
where the grands had their own table.
Maggie and Lucy helped with all the prep...
and were the most enthusiastic of hostesses.
We had a lovely time.
 

On the farm...
Emme and Spencer spent countless hours playing with their nine puppies.
What joy!
 


And for our fix of fall colour...
we took a drive up to Whistler near the end of the month.
Beautiful in every season!

And those are just a few of my October memories...
gathered and shared.

I concur with Anne of Green Gables...
I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
 

As the sun sets on the month of October...
the red oak is hanging on to its leaves.

And we have followed the birds...
south.

Wishing you all a wonderful November!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

september ~ come and gone...

Some things come to an end in September...and others begin.


We enjoyed our last camping trip of the season...with an excellent adventure on Vancouver Island's west coast.  The RV is packed away for the winter...but the memories linger!


September is corn harvesting time on the farm.  We couldn't have asked for better weather than we had this year...and the bumper corn crop filled the bunker and then some!  Once the corn was off the fields...the winter crops were seeded.

It seems many of our friends and family chose to celebrate their birthday this September.  Well, every September, I guess! 



A friend marked his 65th with a big backyard party.  They went all out...or should I say 'whole hog'? 



Several days later, hubby had his 65th.  The plan was to climb Mt. Cheam on THE day...September11th..  It just so happened that the road leading to the Mt. Cheam trail head was closed due to a rock slide...and so we went with Plan B.  We hiked up Grouse Mountain...the Grouse Grind, as it is called.  The climb itself  is rather hard work...but the view at the top makes it all worthwhile!  We celebrated with a family dinner the following day.  It's official...no getting around it anymore.  He is a senior!


My dad also had a birthday this month...his 92nd.  We took him out for lunch on his birthday...to a restaurant that had no apple pie on the menu. He prefers apple pie to birthday cake...hands down!  The red Lotus in the parking lot made a nice prop for a birthday photo!

Maggie also had a birthday this month...


 ...celebrated with her cousins just a few days ago.


And...she started grade one this year.  How is that for an enthusiastic first day of school? 


Last Thursday, I enjoyed a lovely lunch with Ranen at her school.  As 'student of the week' she could invite someone to come have lunch with her in her classroom.  I was honoured to be her guest.

In other news...the grands on the farm have enjoyed the 'dog days of September'.  Their Rottweiler had nine puppies...the cause for a lot of excitement over there.


One would think that ten dogs should be sufficient...but the girls volunteered to babysit a Jack Russel Terrier this past weekend.  Just because.  They love dogs...those two!

Though September and summer will soon be distant memories...I am enjoying the last reminders of the season.  The 'sweet autumn clematis' is in its glory...a fragrant addition to the fall garden.

Wishing you all a Happy Autumn!

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