Wednesday, June 30, 2010

no more pencils, no more books....

School is out!  That would mean summer has officially arrived...according to my granddaughters. 

Ye-haw!  That's reason enough to do a cartwheel or two...not that Emme needs an excuse.

They had only a half-day of school yesterday...and since their mom had an appointment...Ryder and Grammy went to pick up the girls. 

They were all smiles...and quite confident they would be in the fourth grade next year! 

Their first order of business at my place...was to check out the report cards.  They both showed me the most important part...promoted to grade four!  We had walking tacos for lunch...

...and then drove to the nearest ice-cream parlour for dessert.  The last day of school deserves a celebration!  How does a root beer float ice-cream cone sound to you?  It got the thumbs up!! 

I stopped by the farmyard late yesterday afternoon to get the lawnmower...and saw this box of brightly coloured balls sitting there.  Hmmm. 

Though there was no one around to explain what they might be...I'm thinking the girls are getting ready for a water fight.'s summertime!  What fun. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a Canadian twist....

We have a favorite snack around here...especially with the grands.  It's an all-Canadian snack made by Old Dutch...called popcorn twists.  Though I love comes with hulls and kernels...and bits that tend to get stuck in teeth.  Popcorn twists are a yummy alternative...fluffy, salty and crisp.  When my children were little...they knew they could count on grandma to have popcorn twists whenever they went for a visit.  When my own grandchildren arrived...I continued the tradition.  When wanting a snack...they head for the pantry in search of popcorn twists.

Maelyn finished off the dish of twists...

...and thought she should replenish the supply.

Oh...such yummy goodness!

Never mind the bowl...she decided she would eat straight from the bag.  After all...four cups of popcorn twist have a mere 300 calories.

Old Dutch popcorn recommendation for a snack for the grands...and for the Grammy as well! If you have never tried might want to check them out on your next visit to Canada.  Or place an order...I'm sure they ship around the world!

Canada Day is just around the corner...and we are making plans.  Today is the final day of school for my grands.  Sunshine or's summertime! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

to catch a thief...

The crows have been mighty busy...and noisy...around our place recently.  They are also quite skittish...and don't care to pose for the surveillance camera...but every so often they are caught unaware!

I noticed that my roses were being picked...and picked apart...without my permission.  Saturday I watched the crow club in action.  First they called a meeting on the fence...and then they went at it!  By the time they were done...the roses looked defeated...and the crows were caught red handed by my trusty Canon.
Last week as I was mowing the lawn...I noticed cream coloured disks lying on the grass...and in the flower beds.  I finally stopped to take a closer look...

...and noticed they were sand dollars.  Rather odd...since we live quite some distance from the sandy shore.

About that time I noticed a crow struggling with his heavy he left my front porch.  Aha!  Now I knew exactly what was happening.  I have a basket of rocks from our travels...and sand dollars from the beach...sitting on the porch.  The crow is going after the almighty dollar...but he will discover soon enough that the loonies don't have much value these days! looks like he's brought in the troops!  When they start making off with the rock collection...I'll call in help as well.

 Have a great day...

Friday, June 25, 2010

picture this....

The years fly by quickly...and soon we are left with only memories.  It seems that in time the memories become a little dim...and so it is nice to document our lives with words and pictures.  And though I take many photos...we have not had an official family photo taken in almost a decade.  The grands have all arrived since that time....and so our kids organized a family photo session this week.  Do you know how difficult it is to co-ordinate fourteen people's schedules with that of the photographer...and have sunshine at the appointed time?  We managed to do just that!

We all met at a beautiful spot in the hills nearby...the same spot where we send our young cattle to pasture every summer.  I certainly hope they appreciate their summer camp...since not many cattle have surroundings like this. 
We crossed the bridge...and headed up the hills in search of the cattle.

'Watch your step' took on new the cattle had left their tracks.  The photographer had no problem maneuvering her way around as she grew up in this neighbourhood.

This little city girl had no fear...and thought she should help them find their next bite!

These are campers that love a visit from home every now and again!

Our photographer took group photos...and individual ones of all the grands...and Grammy snuck in a few of her own from the sidelines.

Once she was all done...we just made ourselves right at home and had a watermelon and rollkuchen picnic beside the lake.

The kids pumped water they way it was once done...

...and went rafting on the lake...

...and some of us just watched the entertainment from the dock. It really is a lovely spot...and is part of a farm belonging to friends of ours.  They have always been so generous with their 'park'...and we have been here for weddings, celebrations and picnics many times over the years.  As for our cattle...they too return year after year.  It is a hidden jewel in our hills...but we are so glad we know about it!

Enjoy the weekend...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

name that flower...

I wandered through Minter Gardens with a friend last weekend.  A shower had just passed through...and the blooms looked lovely decked out in droplets of rain.  The rose garden was smelling heavenly...and we enjoyed reading the labels that identified each variety.  I especially thought the 'singin' in the rain floribunda' was appropriately named!  But throughout the rest of the garden...the plants came with no name.  We pooled our limited plant wisdom...and were able to identify many of the plants...but some remained nameless.  Though I am not that good at remembering names...I still like to be properly introduced.  I'd love to see the plants wearing their name tags.  It would make for more of a learning experience.

But...until that happens...does anyone happen to know the name of plant in the centre of the bottom row above?  The leaves looked rather like those of a rhodo.

 Or what do you think this flower might be called?
And did you know that each one of these gerbera daisies comes with their own name.  We toured the daisy greenhouses last weekend...and enjoyed reading the names of each variety.  We asked the grower if he knew all their names...of course he did! 

I rather liked these formal looking white and black ones....and I think they may have been called tuxedo daisies.

I am very happy to see the hydrangeas are about ready for cutting.  Hydrangea bouquets are my summertime favorites. Whatever is blooming in your garden today...enjoy (whether you know what they are called...or not)! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

we're on the board...

There were a lot of good things about yesterday...not the least of which was the sunshine!   Mount Cheam had been obscured by clouds for most of the past month...but came finally came out of hiding.

It seems the mountain had good reason to show it's it will soon be a peak that will be recognized by many.  It is the face of fair of twenty-two Canadian cities to have a home on the new Monopoly Canadian Edition.  Hasbro announced the winning cities yesterday...after allowing fans a chance to vote for their favorites during a six-week period earlier this year. 

Chilliwack will be the 'Tennesee Avenue' space on the board...available for $1.8 million.  The picture on that square...

...will be Mt. Cheam. 

 Whatever the's always a good view!


If you want to have a chance to buy Chilliwack...and catch a glimpse  of Mt. Cheam...I happen to know that the new Monopoly game is going on sale on June 28. 

Though you may never have heard of Chilliwack...we managed to get more votes than Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Kelowna.  Oh yes...we are a loyal and patriotic bunch over here...and we like our city just fine.
And since I encouraged you all to join me in voting for my hometown ...I would just like to thank those of you who helped put Chilliwack on the new Monopoly: Canada Edition. 

I can't say we have spent much time playing Monopoly over the past few decades...but it holds many good memories for me.  I remember playing Monopoly with my grandmother when I was just young...and getting my own Monopoly game for Christmas one year.  After I was married...we bought Monopoly...since every home should have one.  We played occasionally with the kids...and now the grands like to play with the Monopoly money.   And so...I think a Canadian edition of the old board game is a fine idea.  And maybe we can learn a little about other Canadian cities that made the board. What do you know about  Kawartha Lakes?  I know a little more now than I did this morning!

So that is my news for today.  Oh...and today's forecast?  Sunshine!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

garden surprises....

As promised...I am taking you on a tour of gardens today.  
And though you are expecting to see more flowers...
you will see that a garden tour is about so much more than the flowers!

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.  ~
Thomas Fuller 1732

 So join we walk through the garden gate...

...are serenaded by fine music

 ...and offered lemonade and cookies by two sweet girls. 

There is always a nice spot to rest awhile...

...and some gardens offer a view of the valley.

And did you know that folks like to have vintage cars in their gardens...and sometimes vintage tractors...

...and others have exercise bikes...that see no exercise? 

A few gardens came complete with art shows...

...and I discovered a new local photographer/artist,  
who I knew only in his role as a chiropractor to this point.  
He takes amazing pictures...

...including this one that became his trademark during the 2010 Winter Games when it was used in a wall-sized mural at one of the Olympic offices. 

There were peaceful gardens that were all about bonsai and greenery...

...and others that featured ponds and waterfowl.

 Real fish and pretend herons...

...or real herons...and no fish!

Though there were plenty of flowers...
I thought I would share with you a garden show that is about so much more than the flowers.  
A twenty dollar ticket that supports a local Rotary club...
is a license to snoop in gardens where we would not normally be invited.  
At some places we were also encouraged to snoop in the garage...or in the house...
or in the tree house...or the photographic studio. 
If you ever have an opportunity to participate...I'd recommend it.

And when you are finished snooping...and the day is'll sleep like a dog.
There's something relaxing about spending a day in the garden! 

 Did you still wish to see the flowers?