Monday, March 31, 2014

reflections on the month of march...

While the Fraser Valley had a touch of winter earlier this month...


...we were happy to be enjoying 'summer' in Palm Springs.


We spent the first few days at a lovely place we found on-line...
in Rancho Mirage.
Sunnylands...
also known as the Camp David of the West...
was right nearby.
And so we toured their gardens one day...
and the visitor center....
all free to the public.

The estate was the home of Walter and Leonore Annenberg...
and is a national historic site. 

It was (and still is) a retreat center 
 ...a place for national and foreign dignitaries and diplomats to gather for summit meetings and retreats.

The list of guests who have relaxed at Sunnylands include seven US presidents, the British royal family, and many in the entertainment industry.

The Annenberg home is open to the public for tours on a limited basis...
but there were no tickets available during our time there.
Next time!

The BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament was happening while we were there...
formerly known as the Indian Wells Masters.

About 400,000 people turn out to watch world class tennis at this event.
We decided to join them one day.


We mostly cheered on the Canadian and American players (very quietly though)...
as they faced opponents from around the world.

Having never watched live professional tennis before...
I had no idea a sporting event could be that quiet.
One cheers by clapping after the play...
and standing up to take photos is not a good idea.
I know. :)

We spent the second week of our stay in Indio...
at our usual spot.


We walked above the golf course every morning before breakfast...
played tennis when we could get a court...
and floated down the lazy river on a double tube with books in hand for hours at a time.

We met up with friends for dinner on several occasions...
visited the weekend market...
and attended Southwest Community Church on Sunday.

 

Time went quickly...
and all too soon we were heading back home.



After two full days of driving...
we arrived back in our community just as the sun was setting.
 Home...always a good place to be!

We were ready for spring.
A wiener roast seemed like a good idea...



...and they thought so too!
The kiddos ran through the pasture...
quickly, before it got spread with liquid gold.
And we had paska for dessert.
After all...
Easter is coming!



This is what spring in our valley often looks like...
the view from the kitchen!

We've had our share of rain...


...and some sunny days for playing tennis or taking a hike.

The pansies are blooming...
many trees are blossoming...
the lawn has yet to be cut (though it would have liked a trim by now).
Time marches on...
and we are ready for spring.
Are you?



Friday, February 28, 2014

February...come and gone

February 2014 began like spring...
and then brought a dose of winter mid-month...
and a big dump of snow several days ago. 
And just to round things off...
we are ending the month with a bit of summer.
In our favorite oasis...



...Palm Springs.

A few of the month's highlights included...


...a violin recital by our granddaughter, Ranen.
We also spent some time together working on 'sharpie plates'...
Valentine's projects.

Mennonite Girls Can Cook have helped raise funds for the kitchen at Matthew's House...
and were invited to come for a tour.



Matthew's House is a respite home given to caring for children
who live with serious healthcare issues.
  Here they can be left in a safe place,
while parents can get some much needed rest.
What a privilege for us to have even a little part in this project.


Prior to our tour of the new facilites...
we met together at Lovella's for a wonderful time around her table...
and fabulous food.
Of course!

And then there was Valentine's Day.


The grands all came for a party...
and we had a chocolate fondue this year.
Ryder had a whole plate of bacon to go with it...
just because it was Valentine's Day.
And apparently bacon is his favorite food!

And of course we spent a fair bit of time in Sochi this month...
figuratively speaking!


Among my favorite moments...
seeing the Dufour-Lapointe sisters take gold and silver medals for Canada in mogul skiing.

And...


...the Canadian women's hockey team defeating team USA in overtime to take gold.
And for the grand finale...
we awoke at 4 am on Sunday morning to watch the final men's hockey game...
and see the Canadian guys take the gold medal there.

Our athletes represented us well...
at the winter games of 2014 in Sochi!



And that was February in a glance...
and update sent from another 'front porch'.

Thank-you all for your continued visits and comments.
Enjoy the month of March, my friends!


 

Friday, January 31, 2014

seeing january in the rear-view mirror...

Many of you know that I am on a blogging break.  
There are a host of things that need attention and projects to complete. 
We'll see how that goes!  
I'm not ending my 'sabbatical' just yet...
but have decided that I will post a monthly update for now....
a few pictures and a few words from 'the life and times on my Front Porch' 
while I am missing in action.  
That being said...
here is a re-cap of January 2014 in my part of the world.

While we watched the reality of winter play out on our TV screen in other parts of North America...
we had a very mild month.  
Most of  January felt more like spring than winter.


Every Sunday afternoon found us on an outing of some sort...
 usually a hike.

The first Sunday of month we walked along the Vedder River Trail...
along with a multitude of others who were enjoying the beautiful weather.

My Uncle George Baerg passed away...


...and on January the 8th we gathered with friends and relatives to remember.

He was one of my dad's eight brothers...
the one who I knew the best...
since I grew up just down the road from his place.

He was a master-craftsman...
whose career involved working miracles on car bodies.
He owned an auto-body shop.
During the day he worked with metal.
In his spare time...
he built things from wood.
He also loved music.
In the last decade of his life he began making musical instruments...
creating 18 violins, 6 mandolins and a ukulele.
 His children and grandchildren all have an instrument as a souvenir...
as do some others.
One plays on in the Winnipeg Symphony.
Another was given to a local jeweler in exchange for diamond earrings for Aunt Kay...
 a 60th wedding anniversary gift.
He was a life-long learner...
and learned to play these instruments as well.

The last years of his life were not always easy as he battled cancer.
He had 26 surgeries...the last one in November.
We went to see him just before Christmas...
not knowing it would be our last visit.
He loved the Lord and is now in a better place...
free of pain and suffering.

 

While he is making heavenly music...
we cherish the memories of him here below.

Bill and Jeanne (my brother and sister-in-law) arrived from Iowa just in time for the funeral...


...and stayed with us for some six days.

Though it was warm while they were out...
it also rained almost the entire time.

They left on January 13th...
and so did the rain.

We had some good times together...
and even went on a valley tour in the rain!

Another highlight of the month...
was our stay at Harrison Resort.


Friends made arrangements for us to spend some time with them at one of our local gems...
so near by yet a world away.


Also in January...
another birthday came and went.

Good food, good friends and family make birthdays quite OK.
Even special!



Last Sunday afternoon we hiked up Mt. Thom from the base.

This was a first for us...
though we had done the short loop trail at the lookout many times.

It's a great hike...
not too long or too short
...nor too difficult.

We'll be doing it again!

I know you were expecting a few pic's of the grands...
but I thought better of it in light of the Christmas gift they gave me.



What happens at Grammy's
stays at  Grammy's...

Large vinyl lettering that I put on a wall in the bonus room...
also known as the playroom.

That makes me smile!


I'll leave you with one last photo of the sun setting on the Vedder River...
taken from the Rotary Trail on a January afternoon.

Those who live this this area and use that trail on a regular basis...
are most appreciative of the local Rotary Club that funds it.

If you happen to feel any inclination (or obligation) to support them in this venture...
I know someone who is more than willing to take your offerings.
Though it seems to me that if you know my hubby...
you will already have had your arm twisted. :)

I would just like to say thanks to all of you who are regular visitors over here...
on my front porch.
Though I have not posted for a month...
still my friends are stopping by.
I appreciate you all!


LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails