Sunday, August 31, 2008

In My Next Life I am Going to Marry a Cowboy

I hope you will enjoy with me for a moment the sights and sounds and almost smells, it's so real, of the Armstrong Fair. We go every year and love it all, every bit of it!! Especially me and my girl!! I eat this stuff up, not the stuff on the ground! Why- oh why was I born a city girl?? I am totally marrying a farmer/rancher/cowboy named Kevin in my next life! With bulging biceps from hauling hay all day and tight Wrangler jeans - OK - NOooooo I really don't like the tight jeans! I love my stay at home cowboy and wouldn't trade him for anything!!

What a fun day of visiting the 4-H booths and seeing all the livestock, eating fudge, and smelling (no eating) cotton candy, hearing rooster crowing contests and watching cows being milked, seeing all the different farming implements and machines that you can buy, and staying up late to watch the rodeo and all those crazy fools who maim themselves riding bulls and wild horses. Lots of spills and thrills happened this night!

I am so glad I am not pig!! Or that I didn't have this many babies at once. Can you say milking machine??

My boy's favorite the Super Dogs! This is actually a friend of ours and his dog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Amazing Girls

If you can't see my girl's blog here are a few highlights of their mask making yesterday:
If you like to be an invited reader to "Horse Freak", let me know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer in a Jar

Come February or so when the doldrums of winter are hitting hard and you think it may never end, you open one of these up, and it just tastes like "summer in a jar". Del Monte cannot even compare! Now on to salsa making!!!! Maybe a little jam, and a few more peaches when our tree comes ripe :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Camping at Kettle River

A little campfire action...

A little swimming action...

A lot of fetching action...

A little ice cream action... we biked 10 km to get there so wore it all off...

A little fishing action...

Success!! My girl catches 2! Boys=zero :(

A peaceful evening with no action, nothing to do...

Things I've Recently, or not so recently, Discovered

  • I sometimes really have nothing interesting to say, or anything to say at all, so I just keep quiet. That may come as surprise to some of you. So I'll copy Randi's post.
  • Towels get really stinky when you leave them in the washer for a few days without drying them
  • A good way to tire out a border collie is to take him for a 10km run on your bike and then play fetch in the river for an hour.
  • You can count on rain when you plan a summer BBQ with 5 young boys coming with their families. It's always better to clean the family room AFTER, not BEFORE.
  • People you've known for awhile can never cease to amaze you with some new idea or personality trait
  • It's always better to wait a day for the peaches to ripen than to fight with peeling them the day before. With plants and gardens, patience is a virtue.
  • A novel on a cloudy summer day is a good way to spend an afternoon
  • 44 cents for clothes at Superstore is a good way to load up your closet, but if you don't like it now, you won't later, and it's still not worth 44 cents. It can make 2 new pairs of shoes pretty exciting for a 13 year old
  • The last week of summer often feels boring and dreadingly dreadful, especially for children. Note to self: next summer plan to go away the last week :)
  • An evening with friends is a good way to make a heart feel not so lonely
  • A bee sting can really put a damper on a sleep over
  • If you don't work you don't get a pay cheque
  • Cheesecake is always good for breakfast, just ask Kevin

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

That's just Peachy

PEACHES!!!! are PEACHY!!!! and they are orangy-yellowy- reddish in color.
(thanks to my girl for the lovely description of the fruit while I went away from the computer momentarily)

It's time! Did I tell you I'm a bit of canning junkie?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Work schmwork

I am so tired after working 2 shifts this weekend. Probably has to do with the fact that I haven't worked much for about 5 weeks. You really get out of the groove. Thankfully on my first shift back, my LPN who would normally work with me on my team called in sick and was replaced by my favorite RN. We had a smashing time together caring for the sick and injured. Only 2 hand injuries, so men please be careful with your table saws and grinders, especially if you're over 50- that is our biggest client for that type of thing- sewing your fingers back on. Thankfully for those 2, it was their non-dominant hands on both accounts.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just Hanging Out

Hello Blog!

There isn't much to say today. There are officially 2 weeks left of summer today. The kids are starting to get a little bored, so I am planning some outings this week. We've been doing lots of hanging out at home just relaxing, watching the Olympics, reading, and putzing around. I can't believe how fast the summer went. I feel like next summer might look a lot different with a full on teenager having more things to do than be with us, so am enjoying just being together and relaxing. Buying new underwear, going for ice cream and slurpees, all the essentials. But also friends are away and it feels a little lonely. Fall brings good routine and busyness. So it's all bittersweet. Remember when you were like 19 or 20 and summer was just full, felt so long, rich with friends and late nights and work of course, summer romance- oh wait that never really happened to me. OK maybe it did but I'm not telling. I need some more purposeful busyness this fall, so I am praying, looking for something to invest in.

Funny photos from summer:

Ditto and Misha (Marcia's dog)- she's looking suspiciously at him out of the corner of her eye, not quite trusting the young and crazy boy.

Smiling Misha

Ditto moving in for the kiss- she's old enough to be your mother!

That's better

Friday, August 15, 2008


There are a lot of philosophies out there these days that encourage you to look to your power within, your own strength, to dream the best for your life and go out and accomplish it. They tout that you are the creator of your own destiny and that you can make whatever you want happen in your life a reality. Take hold of life and be all you can be!! While I believe in that last part I think the rest is a load of crap! How does that help us deal with everyday life? Life that sometime throws us things that we have absolutely no control over. Life that is in many moments not all we dreamed it would be, life that in the late nights is boring, lonely and not quite full of all the moments, people and experiences we imagined. How does this world philosophy help us deal with disappointment?

Lately I've been on the giving end of listening to a few who are in the disappointment of life. It doesn't make sense, it is hard, it is requires the most patience they've ever had to give, and it isn't what they had planned or hoped for their lives, but nothing they can do can change it. So where do you go from here? How do you have victory in these circumstances? I've thought of this a lot, OK a bit, over the last few days.... I just want to fix it, make it better, and make it go away. But I know that this is how character is built and that is the best result. Jesus said, "Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest". His idea and life philosophy seems to make the most sense of all. We are all broken people with some things that need to get fixed. We have lots of disappointments and He wants to worry about them with us. He's the one putting us together into the glory of what He created each one of us to be. Jesus is the one that fills all the empty, disappointing holes in life. And then we can see each other as works in progress and live with more grace and more love for each other. I'm glad someone knows what's going on!

Tooth Fairy

I have the sweetest boy! You know sometimes you just wonder if your kids are going to turn out or if you're totally messing them up. I hope that they don't turn out in the least like myself. And sometimes you just are amazed at their sensitivity and kindness. Well this is one of those moments. My boy had his friend sleep over last night and just before bed, the friend's tooth fell out. My boy found a Ziplok to put it in so he could take it home to the tooth fairy. I told him he should just put it under his pillow tonight thinking that I'd put a little surprise in there until he told me that for his last tooth he got 5 bucks! Being the wonderful mother I am, I completely forgot!
This morning as I'm in there helping them move the mattress out of his room so they have more play space, he looks under the pillow and is so excited to find 50 cents! How sweet is that?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blueberry Obsession

Kevin has a new little obsession he shared with me last night.
Pour a little bit of whip cream- unwhipped, straight out of the carton into a bowl. Add a little bit of milk so it's not quite so thick, I think this also decreases the calorie count for those of us who care.

Then add blueberries.... Enjoy....

The berries somehow just burst with flavour when you do this--- Amazing! I have read quite a bit on the anti-cancer properties of blueberries so fill right up!!! I'm sure the whip cream is good for that too.

Tara Love

This is why people hire interior designers.... except I didn't hire her, she's just so great!
I would never come up with these things on my own....

Tara's ideas: What do you think?
Behind door #1 - photo wall (you certainly have no lack of material) with square, black frames and lots of white matte. If you didn't need the sewing machine there, you could make it floor to ceiling. I recommend the 20.5 x 20.5 Ikea Ribba frame. It would really pop if you had a darker color on this wall - something in the same tones but a more dramatic shade. Would look very cool in all B&W photos - even cooler with some gallery lighting directed at the wall.

Behind door#2 - a photo rail. My Dad made one for my Mom out of mdf moldings. I recommend painting it the same color as the wall so that it becomes part of the wall. The advantage of this is that you lean the frames against the wall and there are no nail holes if you swap out the art. I personally like the layered-photo-look but you could space them evenly. Same story on the wall color.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Empty Canvas

I need to give some "Tara love" to this wall! Help me! One of the problems is the small furniture piece below, but if there's too much on the wall it looks top heavy. I finally bought a new piece of furniture to house the tres messy corner of ancient, but still good sounding stereo equipment and other paraphrenilia, and that took 3 years. I don't think more furniture purchases are in the near future and there's not a lot of space there, but I don't like what I had, it has been moved...

The new "side server" made into stereo cabinet--- very clean area compared to how it was! That pic. is going on the wall above. Sorry no "before" photo...

Get on it girls, give me some advice....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This Week in the Garden

Ahem.... What is in my garden today?? A little out of the ordinary....

A 7 minute drive to visit Stormy became a 45 minute ride each way to bring him home to prove that a horse can fit in the backyard and to surprise Dad.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Honey it's Time to Gird the Himrods

Isn't there a verse somewhere that talks about girding your loins?
"Stand therefore having your loins gird about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness: Eph. 6:14

I need a definition of that funny word before I can talk about himrods
1. to encircle or bind with a belt or band
2. to surround or enclose
3. to prepare oneself for action
4. to provide or equip as with power or strength

Totally! Don't you see it all makes sense now!

I think of girding your loins with truth as a perfect picture of definition #4. We get ourselves prepared, we know the truth, we seek the truth, we want to live the truth every day. We can't go out into the world and know what we stand on, what we believe, why we live the way we do, unless we are equipped with truth. The truth permeates every spot of our being, and exudes out our pores. So what is your truth? Your absolute that you know if nothing else in life matters, you can hold fast to that one truth? In our world that now touts no absolutes (which is an absolute all on its own), there is a longing for something real, autheniticity, feelings and experiences of truth and realness, but yet to turn to some age old "religion" or set of beliefs is stifling. So contrary to " you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free"!!!!!!!! Freedom!
Now don't ask me why it's our loins we are girding. Maybe there's a good reason for that being the chosen spot. Maybe it's like a girdle keeping all the parts in the right places :) I think the NIV version calls it a "belt of truth". So then definition #2 makes all the sense in the world. We can have anything in life going on, but if it isn't encircled with truth, then what's the point? If someone tells you a lie, it seems to defeat everything else they are in that moment. It makes everything else about them seem like a pretense, even if only that one small part of their word was a lie. Truth is the surrounding factor, preparing us for action!

So what does this have to do with himrods?? Well it's time to gird them! Himrods are my favorite variety of grapes. They are lovely cross breed making a crisp, green, seedless grape perfect for fall eating. When we first moved here we happened across the most wonderful grape farmer, I wouldn't call him a vineyard owner, though he is, he's more of a farmer and only grows table grapes not wine varieties. He is a lovely older gentleman who we visit many times every Sept. After trying all his varieties, in our 3rd or so year here we planted a himrod. It's not doing so well because I don't know anything about growing good grapes and mostly like the effect of the vines over my shed. I haven't taken the time to learn or give it prime conditions, but then we wouldn't get to go visit Bert. Last year, Bert told Kevin that you must gird your himrods for better production. Right about now it's time, to "encircle them with a band" around the vine just above the fruit. You actually use a tool that strips away the bark around the vine so that the nutrients stop at the fruit and don't continue on to the leafy parts. "So come on over and borrow my tool so you can properly gird them, and I'll show you how. Just watch for me out in the fields." I guess it's time for a walk....
(not my himrods)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Who Broke the Rules?

I like rules. Rules are good. Rules are put into place in various capacities to control or guide behavior. Rules are meant to protect people, to keep each other safe, and to provide order to our society. Without rules it would be anarchy! I am big on schedule and routine and certain household rules, like no shoes in the house, don't hit your sister, attempt to use silverware when eating, not going to bed angry with each other, taking turns to clear the table, feeding the dog daily, cleaning your rooms weekly so that the floor can be at least seen and vacuumed, these to name a few. Then there are the unwritten rules like treat each other with respect, close the fridge after opening, put the seat down after use, read at bedtime. Rules help to keep things running smoothly... without them life would be so much less mundane!

But sometimes rules are just meant to be broken! Like whoever said NO dogs in the pool?? Just don't tell Dad, or will he find out the next time he cleans it??

Skaha Bluffs

We spent last Sunday on down south a little ways at a place called Skaha Bluffs near Penticton. A place the boys have always wanted to see, so we made the day of it. It's a huge rock climbing area. The men didn't bring any rock climbing gear, but just planned a little hike around the area. After 2 hours of hiking going by our little hand drawn map, we realized it is much bigger of a place than we anticipated. Our entourage was a little unprepared having drank, or is that drunk, our 1 liter of ice tea, and with no snacks to rejuvenate the small ones among us in 32 degree heat, we turned back. We were amazed at how big it was and also how cool!

View of Skaha and Okanagan Lake


Tracy, always the rowdy one! Stayin' alive!

There were tonnes of climbers to watch, who came from all over BC and even Alberta to check this place out. All levels of climbing abilities challenged here from the Asian outdoor adventure tourists with their brand new gear, to the toughest seasoned climbers on overhanging precipices. I sound like a travel brochure.

Interesting note: the one time Kevin took me climbing ages ago at Heart Creek and I belayed down a waterfall, we went home and I found out I was pregnant with Erin.

We stopped by the lake for a freezing cold dip and a BBQ lunch at 4 pm :) What is with the lake this summer? It's not warm!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Calling all ABBA fans! Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard in this movie! You have got to see it. You just will wish your life was a musical afterwards. Next time you see me, you'll want me to run towards you singing Dancing Queen and then gather all the women of the village to do a little Dancing Queen number through the streets! Totally a must see! You know I also LOVE Meryl Streep. I think she is an amazing actress, and singer, and she does not disappoint! You know my daughter would love this movie and I might cave and take her despite the fact that the whole movie revolves around the fact that the Mom slept with 3 men in the same month and so doesn't know which man is the father of the daughter. That is a bit of a a stumbling block for taking her, although she's probably going to read this blog- oh no. I better conceal it somehow. This is a family friendly site. You must NOT take your husband, brother, male cousin or what not to see this movie- you must go with girls!!!! I think our theatre which was 90% full, was 90% full of women. I did hear quite a few singer-alongers in our midst. And when was the last time people clapped at the end of a movie?? Definitely 2 thumbs up!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy 40th

Here's a couple of shots of the lovely birthday girl who turned 40. It was the funnest party, with all 120 of her closest friends and family (I think over 80 were family- they are big) ! We danced the night away, had a fabulous time, and celebrated the life of a wonderful woman!

Jan and her niece.... having 4 boys doesn't make for too many of these moments.

Surrounded by many kids is the BEST way to turn 40, and one way to have lots of help in blowing out all those candles.

Makes me think mine is coming up a little too fast! At least I have many friends going on before me to warn me of any possible dangers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Floor of Heaven

Some cool sky photos... I like clouds...