Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July ~ Summertime

A light wind swept over the corn,
 and all nature laughed in the sunshine.
~Anne Bronte


The corn fields in our neighbourhood exploded this past month...
from knee-high on the first of July to well over my head.
Every year a miracle!

Before I go back to the beginning of the month...
let me share a few photos of our trip to Iowa corn country last weekend.


We spent the weekend at a family reunion at my brother's farm in northeastern Iowa...
with family from British Columbia, Manitoba, California and Texas.



We toured the Amish community nearby, the John Deere factory and museum,
visited Backbone State Park...


...and hung out at the farm.
Did I mention a lot of good food?

Family gives us two things; one is roots, the other is wings.

We have both!
It's always good to gather the family.

And now...back to the beginning of July.


We took the youngest grands camping early in the month.


 First Lucy and Micah... 


...then Ryder, Ranen and Maggie.


Ladder golf is the camping game of choice...


...and cooking over the fire is always fun 
(even if the fire is not a real campfire!)


Our grand finale was a night at the water slides with with whole gang,
followed by a picnic in the park and a bit of a birthday party.
Sweet Lucy is seven!
How can that be?

Since the RV was packed anyhow...
we decided to head for hills after camping with the grands.
We had a fun time in Tulameen!


On the farm...
the third crop of grass was harvested.
Most of it is in the bunker...


...but one field got baled.
I delivered more twine to the field...
and Lucy rode with Grandpa on the tractor for a bit.


The grands have mostly outgrown the swings...
but can be found swinging from the crossbars on occasion.


Dad has had his ups and downs this past month...
but he's up again. :)
Last week we took him to visit his old friend, Harv...
and got a picture of the two of them with the Model T Ford that they restored together some 30 years ago. 
Some things get better with age!

Where were you on July 20th, 1969?
It was the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
We watched it on a black and white TV.
And then the youth group that I was a part of,
 headed to Harrison Lake.
My friends and I caught I ride in a blue 1969 Nova (Acadian).
The driver and I began a friendship that night...
that eventually led to marriage two years later.
That was 49 years ago.

On July 31st we celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary.
That was yesterday.
We had very sad news in the morning...
and weren't in a very celebratory mood...


...but in the evening we had dinner on a patio at Harrison Hotsprings.
We counted our many blessings.
I am so thankful for these forty-seven years of 'togetherness' we have shared...
...and we are looking forward to journeying on through our sunset years together.

And now...
on to August and the last of summer 2018.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Tulameen, Coalmont and Granite Creek

I am interrupting my monthly updates to add a mid-month travel post...for the record!  Though I prefer things to stay the same for the most part, when it comes to travel I like to visit places I have never been.  So our destination for our RV trip last week was Tulameen, a little place I had heard of but never visited.



It lies within the Cascade mountain range and is surrounded by beautiful and rugged terrain. The wildflowers were just amazing when we were there.


Tulameen is located on the south end of Otter Lake, about 3 1/2 hours northeast of Vancouver and 45 minutes from Princeton.  It was at one time known as Otter Flats.



We took the scenic route on our drive in...through Merritt, Aspen Grove and then a long drive down a gravel forest service road.

 

It was mostly lovely, lonely and peaceful...but for the few logging trucks that roared by far too close for my liking!


Tulameen is located on the Trans Canada Trail, which winds its way through every province and territory in Canada...the longest trail in the world (16,000 kms).


This portion of the trail uses the rail bed of the historic Kettle Valley Railroad and  passes through stunning landscapes.


 We brought our bikes and cycled in both directions from Tulameen...over trestle bridges and through stunning landscapes.



Since railroad tracks never exceed 2% grade, we knew we wouldn't be climbing any steep hills.
The trail goes through...rather than up and over. Good thing!


We cycled north from Tulameen along the shore of Otter Lake one day and could see the provincial park on the opposite shore.


Fishermen, kayakers and pleasure boaters were out on the water.



Another day...we headed south to Coalmont.



Though we passed by a few farms and ranches...it didn't look like there was much farming happening there these days.



We followed the Tulameen River for some 10 kilometers...


...the same path followed by those seeking to make their fortune in gold a long time ago.


At Coalmont we found the remains of a once thriving town that was established in 1912 to serve as a supply point to the neighbouring coal mine at Blackburn.  Today there are about 100 full-time residents.


We carried on to Granite Creek...


...where we enjoyed a simple picnic lunch on the rocks.


Granite Creek was  thriving town during the gold rush in B.C....once the third largest town in our province.  Really?  We enjoyed our walk down memory lane at Granite Creek.



After a few delightful days in Tulameen...it was time to head home.

The drive back to Princeton is along a scenic mountain highway...where the road clings to the side of the hill and offers amazing views of the valley far below.



Once we reached Princeton, we crossed an old single lane bridge and began the familiar part of the journey home...through Manning Park, Hope and on to the Fraser Valley.


It's a beautiful province with no end of places to explore.  We always enjoy our little adventures on the 'roads less traveled'!


Saturday, June 30, 2018

June ~ Memories and Moments

As we are about to flip the calendar page once more...
let me share just a few 'memorable moments' from June.


The month began at Scotch Creek...
on Shuswap Lake.


Flood level high water made it difficult to sit on the park bench...
or eat at the  picnic tables...
or access the beaches at all.


The geese have no concerns about high water!



We spent the weekend at the 'Baerg cabin'...
guests of my sister Dot and Terry.

How nice that Dad could join us once again!

It was once my parent's cabin...
and we all have many good memories of time spent here in bygone years.

We had a relaxing weekend...
good food, good visits,
bike rides and lots of Rook games.


We sat under the trees...
with the campfire going...
and listened to stories being told and retold. :)

It was a good time...
and likely the last time we will be at the cabin with dad.
He turns 96 in a few months.


We took a detour through Kelowna on the way home to visit my SIL Martha in Kelowna.
She invited us for coffee in the early afternoon.
Coffee?
We arrived to this spread!  
Thankfully  a few nieces and nephews joined us.
We spent the night...
and caught up with all the Kelowna family while we were there.
We don't see them often enough these days.



It seems most of my photos were of 'birds and blooms' this month...
but I'll just post a few.

I moved my bird feeder closer this year...
and have enjoyed watching the birds from the kitchen window.
Peonies and roses were my favorite picks this month.
The dogwood tree barely blushed pink...
where it normally blooms a vibrant rose colour. 
Does it need fertilizer?
 

Earlier this month we had a Mennonite Girls Can Cook '10 year anniversary celebration' dinner at Lovella's.  
We made a decision to quit posting new recipes to the blog...
though the blog will remain as a very large on-line cookbook!

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and support over the years.
We are so grateful for all the opportunities that came our way...
including all the monies raised to feed the hungry through cookbook sales.

And I am so thankful for the friendship of these ten women.
That was an unexpected gift from God.


After a very hot and dry May we had quite a mixed bag in June...
some heat, some cool weather and a little rain.
Even a rainbow or two!
As June comes to an end...
everything is quite green in the valley.


Emme brought her other 'Nana' on a farm tour across the fields...


...as they were harvesting the second crop of grass.


Father's Day...
a drive in the old car...
a relaxing afternoon with a book...
and evening with the whole gang at Kris and Lina's.
Love her little French country garden!


We took in Ranen's last Irish dance feis of the year.
Several costume changes...
soft shoes and hard shoes...
rolls of tape to keep the shoes in place...
bobby pins to keep the hair in place...
and always a smile.
Number 302 danced her heart out!


Ranen and Maggie both have very 'fast feet' and both represented their respective schools at the district track meet last week.
Running is their thing.
Very fast! 

And then there were the year-end music recitals.
Ryder wowed us on his drums.


Ranen and Micah performed at a violin concert in a park in Abbostford.
A beautiful setting and a lovely evening of music.
Keep it up, Ranen  and Micah.


We had good times with friends in June...
around the table or the fire.


Last Sunday afternoon we cycled to Harrison Lake through the countryside of Agassiz.
Sunshine.
Corn fields and Brown Swiss cattle.
Blueberries hanging ripe on the bushes.
And then...Harrison Lake.
Lunch at a patio and bistro and ice-cream cones on the beach with good friends.
A perfectly fine June adventure.

Before I close this post...
let me just share what was happening on the home front.


Some three weeks ago...
a pair of killdeer decided that our front driveway was a good place to build their nest.

They couldn't have found a worse location ...
since it was right where the normal flow of traffic would pass.

What to do?
We put up barricades on either side of the nest...
and allowed mama to sit on her eggs.
Those were a very long three weeks...
with no easy access to our front door.
But we have our driveway back.
And the waning  killdeer population got a bit of a boost over here.


I just happened to be out on the yard when I noticed mama killdeer was off her nest...
and there were two brand new killdeer chicks.

She was soon back on the nest...
but before long the chicks were out and about.


Papa killdeer seemed to be their guardian.


The nest has now been abandoned.
The killdeer are here, there and everywhere...
and you are free to drive up our driveway if you so wish.

It was an 'awesome' experience...
watching these birds this past month.
What an amazing Creator we have.

As this month comes to an end...
let me wish you all a very happy Canada Day weekend.

May God keep our land 'glorious and free'!