Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July ~ moments to remember

I know.  The month is not yet done and already I'm doing my monthly review.  But since I'll be away the next few days...I'm posting this a wee bit early.  I might just add a footnote later...should anything noteworthy happen before August arrives. :)


July began with a bang...as it always does.  Fireworks and Canada Day go hand-in-hand...and this year we actually joined the masses to watch our local display.


At the beginning of the month...we went camping with the youngest grands.  First...Maggie, Lucy and Micah joined us at Camperland.  They remember exactly what we did last year and don't like to change things up at all! We eat the same foods, hike the same trail, play the same games...and always buy treats at the general store.


On the second day...Ryder and Ranen joined us for a day at the water slides.  What fun...even for the oldsters!

Then the younger ones went home...and Ranen and Ryder stayed for night.  Like I said...some things never change!  One minute they are sitting in their chairs having a good time...and the next minute Ranen is on the ground.  Funny...but I thought back to their first camping trip with us when they were just three...and had a similar experience.


And I have the photos to prove it.  They found it a little funnier now though!


It was a good time again! How quickly these years are flying by.


Can our youngest grand really be four already?  We celebrated Lucy's birthday with a picnic at BenAnna Lake earlier this month.


Also in July...we celebrated the arrival of another grand-niece (a granddaughter for my sister Dot).  Teeny as could be and cute as a button!


And then there was a mid-week hike up Mt. Slesse with Heidi, Maggie and Lucy and some friends.  I figured if four and six-year-olds could do such a long hike, I should be able to make it.  We hiked up to the monument that marks the place where a Trans-Canada Airlines plane crashed into the rugged peak on Dec. 9, 1956...killing all 62 people on board.  Due to the remoteness of the area...the plane was not found for five months.  It was a six-hour round trip for us...with plenty of stops for snacks and 'reading breaks'.  I was amazed at the wee ones and their determination to make it to the top. It was a great day!



One night...we drove into Vancouver to meet up with Debi and Bob who were vacationing from southern California.  I knew Debi from her blog...Echo of My Heart...but how nice to meet face to face for the first time!  We rode the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain...had dinner together...and watched as the sun set over the city.  It was such a lovely evening...with much to talk about and lots of laughs!  We plan to meet again one day...and carry on where we left off. Next time they will stay longer!



Last week we had a family BBQ at a wonderful local venue...a new RV resort that my brother-in-law has been involved in developing these past few years. Lots are now on the market...but we were there as guests of my sister and BIL and had a wonderful evening with all who could make it.


And then there was the 'just for fun' party at the farm of friends on the weekend...which included a wonderful BBQ dinner, great entertainment (Abba Again), many friends to connect with and a field full of antique tractors and pick-ups to check out.  I'm thinking 'just for fun' is a really good reason to throw a party! Did I mention that there was also a new barn to gather in...which turned out to be a good thing, since we actually had a few showers on Sunday.

We have had three very hot and dry months here...with little or no rain since the beginning of May.  The crops are parched...the lawns are brown...and we were in 'stage three' water restrictions. 

 

So...needless to say...we welcomed the rain that fell on the weekend. It can only help the grass and corn fields which are really suffering in the valley...and put a bit of a damper on the forest fires that are raging throughout the province.  

The sun is shining again...the Okanagan is calling...and we are off to enjoy the last few days of July with family in another part of our province.  

Here's hoping you are all having a wonderful summer!





Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June in the rear-view mirror...

Happy Canada Day to all my friends, family and fellow Canadians! 

(photo @ Whistler, B.C.)
 
As we celebrate our country's birthday today
...may we be reminded once again
of what a great country it is!

And now...a re-cap of 'the month that was'!

While in other parts of North America the rain is falling...
and folks are dealing with floods...
we here on the west coast have seen one of the hottest, driest Junes on record. 
And that following a hot and dry May. 

Needless to say...
no events were cancelled due to rain and we spent a lot of time out of doors!



We checked out a new trail not far from our place early this month.
It was short and sweet...
with a nice view of the valley.
When the valley floor still looked green!
Things are pretty brown everywhere these days.


Our 'care group' wrapped up the year with a picnic  earlier in the month.
It's always a good time...
meeting with these friends!


On the farm...
there was hay to be made...


...with no danger of it getting rained on this time!


We attended the retirement party for our long-time veterinarian and friend...
Dr. Dick Clegg.
I thought the centerpieces were quite unique...
and appropriate.
And amusing.


For Father's Day...
we took my dad on an outing.
Our first stop was Canada Place...
where we had tickets for Flyover Canada.
Who knew you could 'fly over' our amazing country so quickly?
A wonderful experience.
Just too short!


It was a picture-perfect day on the waterfront in Vancouver...
and we spent some time just soaking it all in.


Our next stop was Steveston...
a fishing town not too far from the city.


It is the best place for sitting on the dock...
and enjoying fish 'n chips.
Dad is 92...
and quite enjoys 'going out on the town'!



And he enjoys sports.

Usually he observes from the comfort of his recliner...
but a few weeks ago he came to watch Ryder (great-grandson) play at the local arena.
 

And he quite liked seeing his grandson in action as the coach.
Time hurries on...
and the 'skates' are passed to the next generation.

Ryder is playing in a summer league...
three on three hockey.
Great fun!




Another fun event this month was a luncheon which I was privileged to be a part of.
Kathy's mother-in-law, Eileen, invited us to come join her around the table...
as she hosted a party to honour her daughter-in-law.
It was a most special time...
and we all came away blessed.


The school year came to an end...
with all the grands bringing home good report cards and happy to have the summer off.
How fun to have a grad ceremony to attend...

 


...that of Micah as he graduated from pre-school.
I'm hoping to be there when he graduates from  high-school with the Class of 2028.


Come fall..
Lucy will be our only pre-schooler.
She is having a wonderful and carefree summer...
chasing bubbles or butterflies...
or whatever catches her fancy.


We took Emme and Spencer on their annual camping trip last weekend...
to Whistler.
We had a wonderful time with those two...
riding bikes, making giant smores, riding a gondola,
checking out the suspension bridge, visiting Brandywine Falls, 
and playing Dutch Blitz (again and again).
 Oh...and listening to 'The Best of the Beach Boys' on the drive...
as we do every summer.


While we were in Whistler...
we pedaled our bikes to the Nicklaus North golf course.
Ten years ago Emme and Spencer were flower girls at a wedding...
right here at this spot.
They don't actually remember the wedding at all...
just the gondola ride that morning...
and that they were wearing shorts in the snow at the top of the mountain. 
Sweet girls...then and now!


Like I said...it's been a hot month.
We have been to Harrison Lake several times.
On Saturday we packed up a picnic and enjoyed the evening there...
cooling off in the shade with a book.


As the sun was setting...
we enjoyed our favorite ice-cream on a bench at the lagoon...
and watched the geese swim off.

I'm thinking they were practising for the Canada Day parade...
swimming in formation!

Wishing you all a wonderful Canada Day...
and a Happy 4th of July to my American friends!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

the merry month of may ~ musings and memories...

It's been a lovely month in the valley...sunny and dry.  
And hot!

 

It's not often that it's dry enough to bale second-cut hay in May in the Fraser Valley!


And sunflowers bloom in late summer. Typically.
This year they are the blooms of May...
beneath the bird feeder in our back yard.


Ranen and Auntie Broni had birthdays that needed celebrating on May 3rd...
and so we had a picnic and gathered the whole gang together.


Ranen came for a sleepover to mark the occasion as well.
Where did nine years go?
We had such a fun time together...
the two of us.
I'm a little reluctant to let her grow older..
Nine suits her perfectly!


Cousin Ryder joined us in the morning for a little jaunt out to the Cheam Wetlands Park.
Little did we know they were having a celebration there that day...
with park rangers on site...
and free donuts for all.
The grands thought we timed that just perfectly!
The highlight for them, however was seeing snakes.
Several.
I have a good zoom lens...
so I kept my distance.
Not my favorite!


Maggie and Lucy came for a sleepover on another warm 'summer' night this month...
and we also spent some time at Cheam Wetlands.


It is just a wonderful, quiet place with several kilometers of trails...
as well as boardwalks and elevated viewing platforms into the marsh.


Maggie lost a front tooth just before she came to spend the night...
and wondered if the tooth fairy would find her tooth at Grammy's house.
Whew...it all worked out!

She left here as a 'rockstar'...
on her way to a themed birthday party of a classmate.
The missing tooth worked well with the look!


Also this month...
we took part in the 125th anniversary festivities of East Chilliwack Elementary School.
It was the school that both my husband and I attended way back when.
Then our daughter was a student there many years later...
and then four of our grandchildren.
Ryder is currently in the third grade...
and we visited him in his classroom the day we were there.
It was rather fun to return to the school together with some of our 'old' classmates.
It's come a long way since it first opened as a one-room school in the country.
But it is still a country school.
A good one!


With this being the driest May on record in the valley...
it was perfect spring soccer weather.
With four grands playing soccer...
we watched each of them in action. 
We cheered for Germany...
for Argentina...
for Italy...
and for England.
At half time...
they dug into the oranges and had mom fix the 'owies'.
Some things never change.
It's a good game!


Maggie and Lucy had been asking if and when they could go for a ride in the old car.
An after-soccer-game trip to DQ seemed the perfect time to have passengers in the back seat.
They were quite thrilled that the booster and car seat rules did not apply...
since there were no seat belts.
We He drove very carefully those few blocks to the ice-cream shoppe!


One lovely Friday evening in May...
we took a trek across the border to Fairhaven...
Bellingham's historic south side.

The plan was to check out the charming village and then enjoy some seafood down by the water.

As it happened...
the ferry bound for Ketchikan, Alaska was just loading...
so we joined those gathered on the dock to see it off.

It was good entertainment...
and we met some lovely locals who knew all about the happenings in and about Fairhaven.
They also knew that for $238 we could ride the ferry to Alaska.

And they sent us to the Hearthfire Grill for dinner with a view...
where we watched the sunset on the bay!



Though May brought many good and pleasant happenings...
there were others as well.
One night I went for a walk and noticed smoke billowing up some miles to the east of our place.  
Strange...since there is no outdoor burning allowed in our area at this time of the year!
leaving the community reeling.
Lives stolen and wasted.
How could this happen?


And...for the record...it did not always smell so pleasant around here in May!
Once the grass was off the field...
the liquid fertilizer went on (all organic, of course!)


The peonies...on the other hand...did their best to sweeten the air over here.
They are the grand matriarch of the May garden.
If only those blooms would hang around a little longer!

And that was May...
a bit of this and a bit of that!

Until next time...

 


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