Thursday, March 31, 2011

a new title...

We are seeing pink around here these days...
and it's all good! 

As of yesterday I have a new title...that of great-aunt.  
It sounds good to me!  

And my sister is a grandma for the very first time.  

And my niece, a Mommy.  
How did that happen so quickly?

It seems not long ago that I was out shopping for a wee outfit for my niece
...and she wore it in this photo when she was 18 months old.  

Now I'm ready to go shopping...
for an outfit for my new grand-niece.

And once we have met properly...
I'm sure I will introduce her to you all.

Congratulations Lauren and Chad...
and your sweet baby girl!

Children are a gift from God... Psalm127:3

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

projects with a purpose...

I'm crocheting a pink afghan in my spare time these days.  And I'm wondering what she will be like...the one who will be wrapped in the blankee.  It's a girl...that's all I know. 

Well...her sister was quite willing to share the baby's name with me...but I don't think I am supposed to know that! So I'll keep it to myself for now.  Will she have a head of curls like her sister...and blue eyes like all of our other grands?  Will she be blond or brunette...right-handed or left?  Only time will tell.

Big sister Maggie is going to be getting a new bedroom...all mauves and greens and whites.  She is quite excited about that!  It's quite a large room...with space for a chair.  Hmmm.  The blue and white chair that Heidi bought at a garage sale for $5 for her first apartment back in the nineties was the right size...just not quite the right shade.

We found some fabric (of unknown fibers) in the clearance bin and for an additional $5, Maggie will have a chair with a bit of mauve and a hint of green.  I hoping this is the last time I recover that chair!

Heidi commissioned me to do another renovation job for her...that of making jeans that would fit comfortably for the next few months.

Finding maternity jeans when one has very long legs is a bit of a challenge.  So she brought me some jeans that fit from the hip down...and I followed a wonderful tutorial to make her some comfy, fitted jeans.  One old cotton/spandex T-shirt made the panels for two pairs of jeans.  After being resigned to wearing 'crop pants' for the next while...Heidi is enjoying her new, tall jeans. 

All that to say...we are thrilled to be having another grandgirlie joining the family this summer.  Though summer seems a very long time away...she will be here before we know it.  And we will be ready!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

dressing for the occasion...

What to wear?  It's often the big question...and we don't always get it right.

Ryder earned his orange-stripe belt in karate over the weekend...all dressed in white.  Back on the farm...the white was quickly discarded in favour of grubbies.

He made the trek across the fields all on his own last week...and landed at my back porch.  He is riding his sisters' little ATV now...and finding all the mud puddles along the way.  Funny...I don't remember it ever being this dirty before!  Good thing the karate whites stayed indoors.

My dilemma these days is whether to pull out the spring clothes...or stay with the warm winter wardrobe.  I think I'll opt for something warm and cozy today...and maybe an umbrella!

Monday, March 28, 2011

of gift shops and cookbooks...

I still think I live in a small town...where nothing slips by un-noticed.  So how is it, that I just discovered this little gift shop over the weekend?
Winks ...on location for four years and it had somehow missed my radar screen.  It's one of those places that smells heavenly...and has room after room chock-full of wonderful goodies for your home...or for your friend's home!  Why...I even found a souvenir from Paris.

It was much simpler bringing it home from the gift shop...than dragging it around from one flight to another a few months ago.

And here's what else I found out.  Winks will be carrying the new Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook...just as soon as it is off the press.  So if you happen to live in my might just want to go visit Winks in about a month's time...and leave with a cookbook in your shopping bag. 

And for all the rest of you who are wondering where they will be available for purchase...check out (in Canada) or (in the USA).  The cookbook is now available for pre-order on both those sites. 

It's Monday. Have a great day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

where I am from....

It has been said that you have to know where you are from to know where you are going.  I was reminded yesterday that I had once done the 'where I'm from' exercise...and it was still in my files...unshared.   So today I'm telling you where I am from. 

I am from a dairy farm in the country…Ford cars, trucks and tractors…and everything homemade.

I am from the old farmhouse with double porches, dormer windows, creaky stairs and farmhouse smells…from wood-burning stove, wringer washer and long clothelines.

I am from lilacs, rhodos, climbing roses and hummingbirds…from transparent apples, Italian prunes, Royal Anne cherries..from bullrushes in the ditch and blackberries along the fence.

I am from Bill and Helen…who were from John and Susanna and Jacob and Justina…from Faspa on Sundays with Zwieback, Kotletten and Platz.

I am from sleeves too short and shoes too small…from fair skin and blue eyes.

I am from ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’…from ‘hard work never hurt anyone‘.

I am from scary bedtime stories of bears and black widow spiders…which I both loved and loathed.

I am from a Mennonite country church where the men wore suits and the older women wore hats…where the congregation sang in beautiful four-part harmony…and where the words from Psalm 29:2 'O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’ were posted at the front of the sanctuary. …where the German language was frequently spoken…where families visited in each others homes. I’m from baptisms in the river and Sunday school picnics at a farm…and a rich heritage of faith in God.

I am from German school and polishing shoes on Saturdays…from cinnamon toothpicks and sen-sens…from root beer floats and onion rings…from five cent cones and chocolate bars. I’m from hopscotch, marbles, yo-yo’s , Chinese skipping and tether ball. I’m from playing Red Rover, Prisoner’s Base, Beckon-Beckon, Eevie Ivy Over and 500-Up. I’m from pop-tops and pedal pushers .

I’m from spelling bees and reciting poetry…and competition in the classroom. I’m from climbing trees and building forts and having sleepovers in the hayloft. I’m from recycling before it was vogue…from re-using my lunch bags and wearing hand-me-downs on occasion. I’m from picking berries in the summer and swimming in the slough…and riding my bike wherever it was I wanted to go.

I’m from neighbours lending a hand and sharing a party line. I’m from shopping at Eaton’s Department store and the five-and-dime.

I’m from the heart of the Fraser Valley…from farm fresh milk and famous Chilliwack corn. I’m from a story teller extraordinaire who could fix anything and his best friend and listener who was a wonderful cook and welcomed friends and strangers into her home.

I am from good people…what more could I ask? Where are you from?

Have a wonderful weekend...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

the first of the season...

The sun was shining. 
It felt like spring...
and so the word went out to the family.
Meet you in the backyard for a wiener roast...tonight!

Those who were free came...
and had a swinging good time!

The grands from next door came for a visit earlier in the afternoon...
and suggested that it would be the perfect day for a wiener roast.

I had to break the news to them that we were planning to have one...
but without them, since they had other plans

It seems we'll be having another one sometime soon!

Have a wonderful day...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

walking the wetlands....

I love having a few daylight hours after be out and about! 

A change of scenery is always a good thing...and so we drove the few miles to Cheam Wetlands regional park on Saturday night.

Ours was the only vehicle in the parking lot.   We struck out on the loop trail...a short two km. trail along the ponds. 

  It was peaceful and perfect! 

Other than the was just the two of us!

Fresh air and silence...with the smell of spring in the air.

We walked...and we talked.  This place happens to hold many memories for Elmer...who worked here some four decades ago.
He drove truck back in those days...hauling marl lime from this location to the farmer's fields.  The area is located on the debris of a massive landslide that came off the peak of Mt. Cheam thousands of years ago.  From the 1920's until the 1980's it operated as an open pit marl lime mine.  It has since been restored to it's original state...and is now a lake and a wildlife reserve.   In 1990 it became a 93 hectare regional park...about half of which is covered by the lake.  It is a popular place for bird-watching...or just walking on a Saturday night!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

creative deterrent to tagging...

I did a double-take last week as I drove my usual route to town and noticed we had new Canada Post drop boxes in our community...

...that looked like this.  Before they were were solid red...and now they sported a jumble of letters, which turned out to be postal codes from across the country.  I learned that Canada Post has come up with a new and creative way to deter graffiti artists from vandalizing their drop boxes.  Let's hope it works.

As we were out and about on our Sunday afternoon drive...I noticed that BC Hydro has much the same idea. 

The green service boxes that once blended into the landscape...

...have now been replaced with works of art.

Petunias, evergreens and clematis are replacing...

skunk graffiti.   What do you think?

Monday, March 21, 2011

golden ears...

Yesterday was the first day of spring...and actually felt like it.  We decided it was a good day to go for a drive...and do a little hiking...and visit Golden Ears Provincial Park where we had never been before.

The park is about an hour's drive from our an area of beautiful rugged mountains of the coastal range.  It lies on the opposite side of the Fraser River from us...and somehow we just never head in that direction. Yesterday was the day!  

We took our handy '52 Best Day Trips from Vancouver' guide with us...and set out on our adventure sometime after lunch.  We took our time...and stopped at Tim Horton's for coffee...thinking we had hours to hike before the sun would be setting. 

We arrived at the park entrance after 4 pm to discover that 'winter hours' were from 8 am until 5:30 which time the gates were locked.  The hike to the falls that we had planned would have taken two we were clearly too late.  It seemed B.C. Parks were still in winter mode...and we were not!

So we drove a few miles into the park...took a sneak peek at Allouette Lake...and carried on our way.  We'll be back to hike another day...when there is no threat of being locked in!

Our route home took us over the 'new' Golden Ears Bridge...which opened in the summer of 2009.  Prior to that time...the only way across the river at this point was a ferry.  

It was a quick trip across the river...almost free sailing (though we know we will be getting a bill in the mail sometime soon, since it is a toll bridge).  

And that was how we spent the first day of spring. How about you?

Friday, March 18, 2011

on this day....

A few weeks ago, my sister and I stopped by to visit my uncle and aunt.  The plan was to drop by for a few minutes and see how they were doing. 

We had no idea we were about to be treated to a fancy-schmancy tea party.   Aunt Maggie had not been feeling all that well lately...and we were not expecting to be served refreshments at all.  From the finest china to all the little was most special.  Oh...and the tea was excellent.  I took a photo of the two of them that day...and today seemed like the perfect day to post it. 

On this day fifty-five years ago...

...Uncle Jake and Aunt Maggie were married.  I was the wee princess in the pale blue organza and tulle dress who carried flowers for them on their special day.

I have no idea where the years have gone...but today they are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.  I wish them both much joy as they continue to face each new day...together. 

Happy anniversary,
Uncle Jake and Aunt Maggie!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

of shamrocks and such...

It's St. Patrick's Day.
I always knew it had to do with shamrocks and wearing green...
but since I have not a speck of Irish in me...
that was about all I knew.

Now I know why it is such a special day...
and who Saint Patrick actually was.

He was the one who brought Christianity to Ireland...
and used a three-leafed clover to teach the people about the Trinity.
He explained that God is three divine beings in one...
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

What a great object lesson...
then and now.

 Irish or not...
it is a special day!

I'm wearing my green purse! 
Have a wonderful day...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

spring tea...

It's spring break over here...and though it doesn't feel much like spring...we had us a wee 'spring tea' yesterday.  The grands next door were playing outside in the rain...and by late afternoon I thought they may want a 'spot of tea' to warm up a little.

Besides, I needed an excuse to brew some tea...since the supply I brought back from the tea plantation in Kenya was still unopened in it's package.

Oh...and I have some fun new tea party things.  When my sister was out last month, we went to one of my favorite little shops in town...and I spotted a little tea-for-one set.

It just so happened to be Cream Lace...the very same as my large tea pot and cream and sugar.  I reasoned that I needed it, since most often I have only one guest at the table who prefers tea...while the rest of us drink coffee.  And so I brought it home with me.

They also had the cutest miniature tea set in Cream Lace...but I couldn't really justify buying that.  It seems my sister thought I needed it ...and went back later to have it gift-wrapped for me.  And so it was time to have a spring tea party...just to check it all out.

The girls conceded they would try tea for the first time...with plenty of milk and those wee little cups. No thumbs up.  I'm thinking they'll be drinking coffee with me one day!

Ryder managed a few sips...and then moved on to juice and chocolate mint brownies. Outside the rain continued to fall.  Inside...we had spring tea!

As for the tea from Kenya...I quite enjoyed it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

chuckanut drive...

Who wouldn't want to drive along Chuckanut Drive?  Even the name is inviting!  It happens to be a winding and scenic highway along the base of the Chuckanut Mountains...a road the follows the shoreline and is a few hundred feet above sea level.

It begins at Bellingham, WA in the north and ends twenty miles south at Burlington.  It was built in the late 1800's as a one-lane dirt logging road.  Eventually the road was paved and became part of the Pacific Trail.  In 1931 a less curvy and more direct highway was built inland...

...and Chuckanut Drive became a scenic highway.  Funny thing...we live so close by and yet have never really taken the time to explore this route.  It seems we are always in a hurry...zipping down the I-5.

On Sunday we had plenty of time.  And so we stopped by Larabee State Park...and enjoyed the ocean views.

Boats were passing through the sound...but other than that, things were quiet around the bay.

A few miles further up the winding highway we arrived at our destination...Chuckanut Manor.

We had had a table with a view...

...and fine seafood too!  (When dining with other bloggers, it's OK to take pictures of the plates.)

The food disappeared in short order...but we lingered on.  The view and the conversation never seemed to end.

It was the ideal place to watch the sun set...on our first day of extended daylight hours.  Chuckanut Drive...a perfect Sunday afternoon outing!