Sunday, June 29, 2008

from sea to shining sea...

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.
Psalm 72:8

As we approach Canada Day...I am reminded of our great country and those who have been given the authority to govern it.

I also think back to my one and only visit to Ottawa a few years ago...and a most memorable tour of the Parliament Buildings. What most people would not know is that there are many scripture verses engraved into the exterior walls of this magnificent building...a permanent testimony to the convictions of our forefathers. Psalm 72:8 is over the east window. Over the west window we find Proverbs 29:18..."Where there is no vision the people perish". These are just a few of the many scripture verses etched in stone throughout the building.

How special to have an enduring reminder of the faith of those who once ruled this country...written in stone for all to see.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

making hay while the sun shines...

I was thinking about the lazy days of summer...but not just yet.
There's hay to be made!

We are off to the desert for Canada Day (forecast to be the hot spot in Canada), but there's no leaving yet...when the sun is shining, we have to bale hay.

I went out to the field to deliver drinks...

...things definitely go better with coke when you are stacking hay in the heat of the day.

I know the pictures make it all look quite appealing...but loading hay bales is actually not a whole lot of fun. Let's just say, there's no need to go to a gym once the job is done!

Once the hay is all in the barn...I hear the corn needs to be sprayed as well. Oh well...I'll start packing.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend...have a good one!

Friday, June 27, 2008

the good old summertime....

Bring on those lazy days of summer...we are ready.

As of yesterday, the school year is over...we had a little celebration last night with Emme and Spencer, who have completed the first grade. How time flies! And the first long hot spell is on it's way, so let's just say that summer is here.

I love this picture of children enjoying the beach in another place and circa 1905. Sandown is a beachside resort on the Isle of Wight that has been captivating visitors since Victorian times...when broad seafront promenades and beautiful gardens and parks were put in place.

I have a book of postcards that are all over one-hundred years old...and this is one of many beautiful antique photographs from that album. My grandfather found the album in the attic of a house he once lived in...and passed it along to me when I was about 10 years old. I treasured it only for the stamps at that I am so glad that I kept Miss Lillian Arnold's collection of postcards...

...sent from around the world.

Summer may not look quite like the postcard around here, but it looks mighty fine the way I recall...

...and I'm ready for it. Family reunions...weddings, camping...beaches and bbq's...and a few trips in the works.

I also have a new text book that I am planning on using over the's called 52 Best Day Trips from Vancouver by Jack Christie...the favorite day-tripping destinations of a well known out-doors reporter. I see there are many wonderful places nearby that I have never you might just be coming along!

I don't think those chaise lounges on the patio will be used much this summer...too many places to go and things to see. Oh yes...we are off to Oliver for a family reunion for Canada Day!

Have a wonderful summer weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

snow-capped peaks and ice-cream cones...

Yesterday was a beautiful day...sunny and breezy. Towards evening we took a drive out to the eastern valley to check up on our friends who are in the process of moving into in their lovely new the shadow of Mt. Cheam.

We were looking forward to the tour...but had to be satisfied with peeking in windows, since there was no one around. We'll be back for the guided tour sometime soon!

We took the scenic route home and passed by acres and acres of nursery stock and greenhouses. Once see my favorite mountain peak in the background. Mt. Cheam is in the northernmost part of the Cascade mountain range (elevation 6929 feet)...and dominates the skyline of the eastern Fraser Valley.

As you can see, there is still plenty of snow on the mountains. I always laugh at hubby's story that as a child he wasn't allowed to have ice-cream until all the snow had disappeared from Mt. Cheam. I'm thinking it would have been a pretty short ice-cream season some years! The last time I hiked Mt. Cheam we slid down snowy slopes near the summit in August...and by the end of September the snow could be falling once again.

He can count himself lucky that he is no longer under those rules...or he would still be waiting for his cone. As it is...he has ice-cream whenever he so desires. Ah...what freedom we enjoy!

Have a wonderful day...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

lavender blue...

Lavender...blooming in a garden near you! There's English & French...white, pink and blue...purple and lavender in every hue.
Lavender looks best grown in large masses...or long purple rows that make you think of Tuscany or some other romantic place. It's soothing and peaceful...and apparently will heal all manner of ills (I wouldn't know about that)...but I do know that it smells heavenly and you should have at least a plant or two growing in your garden!

And the bees love it...that's a good thing as well (although my granddaughters can't be convinced of that).

After determining there were no bees nearby...they were OK with a 'quick pic' in the lavender.

The spring flowers have long since finished blooming...and my hydrangeas are still just a dream (there are tiny buds, but it will be awhile)...but I have a bumper crop of lavender, and so that's what I've been filling my vases with. I snipped a big basketful the other day...and put lavender in most every room.

Who needs a room freshener in the washroom, if there's lavender?

There's nothing quite like walking through a field of lavender...this particular one is in the southern Okanagan right next to all the famous vineyards. We may just have the opportunity to see it again next week when we meet in Oliver for a family reunion.

I've never really tried using lavender in any recipes...but am tempted to try Rachael Ray's Lavender Lemonade. I love we'll see how it goes over with a little lavender twist.

The sun is looks like a lemonade and lavender kind of day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

celebrating the little joys in life....

Since I'm sure you are all just wondering why I would be so thrilled to have a large post in my backyard...and what it could possibly be used for...I thought I better invite you to join me in 'the inauguration of the pole'.

Once we were sure that the post would stay in an upright position, I got up on the ladder and gave it a quick coat of paint. Before the paint was dry, the hardware was being attached. So that was how we spent last Friday night...the longest day of the year. When we had the post ready for action...we rewarded ourselves with a DQ treat and hoped for sunny skies on Saturday so we could give the pole a trial run.

The sun didn't really come through for me...but it wasn't raining...and we had I thought I'd try out my new washline with a load of white linens. Yahoo! I am so happy to have a washline...and am so looking forward to line-dried sheets. I would have loved to give the swings a good trial run also...but was informed it might be better to allow the concrete footing to set for a few days. Okay.

So yesterday was the big day...inauguration ceremony for the post. As you know, one always invites friends and dignitaries to join in on such celebrations...and I was all ready for the event.

So who exactly joined me for the celebration? Two of my bloggy friends were more than happy to do the honours...

...and Marg and Lovella showed up at 'my front porch' at the appointed time. We obviously don't need much of an excuse to have a party...and a new washline/swing seemed like a good enough reason!

First it was off to the Wildcat Grill for lunch out on the patio. We had a lot of things to chat about...since it's not often that we actually meet in person (this was in fact a first for the three of us!).

From there it was back to the business at hand. The swing had a good workout...and was given the stamp of approval. It's a good thing to have friends share in those little joys of life...what a fun time we had!

They were no sooner gone, than I saw my grandkids coming across the field. They have been eagerly awaiting the completion of the new swings, and were coming to check them out...

...and that they did. What fun!

Emme lost one of her front teeth a few days ago...and she found a four leaved clover near the it's all good.

The girls picked the first few ripe raspberries in my garden......and raided the strawberry patch.

So now you know the full story of post in my back yard. Most of you had it all figured out (a few were a little off the mark)...but I thank you all for your interest. And I especially want to thank my hubby who made it happen...and my friends and family who came to check it out yesterday!

Have a wonderful day,

Monday, June 23, 2008

the great garden escape...

Do you ever drive by the lovely places in your community and wonder what their backyard might look like? Once a year, I get to tour some of the lovely gardens behind those beautiful facades.

One of the rotary clubs in our community sponsors an event called "The Great Garden Escape". With the purchase of a ticket (proceeds to the Rotary Club) we are given admission to some of the beautiful gardens in our area and can tour these places at our leisure. Along with two of my sisters, I have made this an annual event...and we know from experience that we need to start early in the day, if we want to see all the gardens on the list.

One of the world's most spectacular show gardens is situated right in our community...I have a seasons pass and visit regularly. However, on Saturday we had the privilege of touring the owner's private gardens. Would you not like to sit in his garden swing for a spell? His yard also featured an environmentally friendly swim pond...shared equally by the frogs, birds and grandchildren!

My favorite stop on the tour were the gardens surrounding this rambling country estate.

The gardens were all well established...weathered statues peeked out from among the blooms.
We walked through rose gardens...formal English gardens...

...and lush gardens surrounding the pool.

Beyond the pool lay open pastures...a most beautiful setting.

As we left the yard, we passed by old farm buildings in immaculate condition...and a vine covered silo which stands as a reminder of a by-gone era.

We toured several urban gardens...and it's always amazing to see what can be done in a small setting.

From inviting front pathways... picture-perfect sitting areas...we saw it all! Oh yes, and did I mention mosquitoes? They also came on the garden tour with us...I'm left with a few reminders.

It was a fun time...and now I need to get out and do some gardening of my own!

The sun is shining, and it looks like a good day to try out that new pole in my backyard. And having lunch on a patio with a friend or two sound sounds like a wonderful idea! Who knows what today will bring?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

come and worship...

All the nations you have made will come
and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.

Psalm 86: 9-10

People from every 'tribe and nation' in our community will be uniting this morning at the annual community-wide service. The gathering takes place in our civic is always a joy to come together as one body to worship God.


Friday, June 20, 2008

this and that...

My memories of the fifties are more about running barefoot on carefree summer days and listening to children's fables on the radio than wearing poodle skirts and idolizing Elvis. But a few days ago, I had a chance to relive those fabulous fifties, along with all those who volunteer in any capacity at our church. The church staff and leadership sponsored a wonderful fifties-themed evening as a thank-you to the many who work tirelessly in so many ministries throughout the year.

Some arrived in their fifties cars...others wore their poodle skirts and oxfords...and all were served fifties fare by our friendly pastoral staff. Then came a surprise visitor from the past...who said Elvis was dead? He was very much alive the other night...

...he had no trouble maneuvering about on the table-top with his blue suede shoes! It was a fun time...and it's OK to have fun at church once in awhile. Elvis actually resides in my hometown...and is also known as Steve Elliott. He takes his show on the road throughout the US and Canada and if he's on your road, be sure to 'take a listen'.

* * * * * * * * * * *

On a totally different topic...I have a book recommendation. I just finished reading 'Mistaken Identity"...the story of Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak, who are in a fatal car crash that claims multiple lives, and the wrong girl is identified as the survivor. Five weeks later, when the survivor emerges from a coma, the mistake is discovered. That this could actually happen is unbelievable! Both families have a strong faith in God...which is evident throughout the ordeal. It's definitely worth reading.

* * * * * * * * * *

So what’s going up behind my house…
Could it be a gift from my spouse?

Yahoo…say I and my grandkids too,
We’ve been waiting to see what this pole can do.

If you know the function of this dual-purpose pole,
Just leave me a comment as to it’s role.

Once it’s firmly in place…and doing it’s duty,
I’ll show you my post in all it’s beauty!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

strawberry season is here!

I'm used to following all kinds of slow moving farm equipment down our country roads, but this is something I don't see too often!

I was actually quite happy to toddle along behind this strawberry shack a few days could only mean the local strawberries were about ready to be harvested. I went out and checked my little strawberry patch, and discovered the birds were already busy harvesting...they weren't willing to wait any longer!

The strawberry season is a few weeks later than are most of our crops this year. But, as of yesterday the local strawberries are out at the stands.

There's nothing quite like fresh-from-the-field strawberries! I quite like sitting out in the strawberry patch and eating my fill. However, if they make it to my kitchen there are so many yummy ways to serve them.

Here's a quick and simple shortcake recipe...

Hurry Scurry Cake

1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat.
Combine dry ingredients...add alternately with milk and vanilla; blend well.
Turn into a greased 8 inch square pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Slice strawberries...put about 1/4 of the strawberries into the blender, adding sugar to taste.
Stir the sliced strawberries into the pureed strawberry mixture and spoon over the shortcake.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and/or whipping cream.

Strawberries, cake & cream...a summer delight!