Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Day's Work

My nails are berry blackened and chipped,
  knees are dirt crusted,
  arms and neck swell with mosquito bite welts, 
the pail is full 
the eight jars of raspberry jam 
on the counter stand as proof -
summer's work and goodness.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


A good summertime for us often involves quadding - something that might be new to some of you, like Margaret :)   And Mel asked for more details too so let me show you a few pictures from our little getaway.  I hope you can see why we enjoy this activity so much.

Use of off road vehicles, like quads,  is regulated to specific areas in the province and we have a great area just an hour west of us.  There are lots of trees, creeks, and trails that meander along and present interesting opportunities.

Sometimes the rutted tracks in the trails get filled with water, especially after all the rain we've had this summer. 

And that means alternate routes have to be chosen which sometimes don't work out too well!

The creek bank was too steep and the water was running too fast so Aime' had to get winched out. 

The area that we were in has many, many oil and gas wells so there were lots of open spots where we could stop and relax - and take pictures.

More work to get through tough spots -

which means more relaxing.

The guys often have to direct, instruct and help (sometimes literally by pushing and pulling) less experienced drivers, like us girls,  through muddy spots.  You can imagine the laundry piles after a few days of this!

We camped in a recreation area and had the whole big spot to ourselves - well, we did have to share with the deer and an owl.  It was beautiful weather during the day and on the night of the full moon, we watched a spectacular sheet lightning show with the light of the full moon shining down too!  Just as we went to bed, it started raining and hailing but we were safe and snug in the campers.

And we even played a game of Jack Attack (also known as Sequence) around the evening campfire.  Good times with good friends - one of the best kinds of summer fun!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gratitude Gifts Today

We went away camping and quadding with friends for a couple of nights - a great little break!  As we were riding along yesterday, I was mentally composing my list - my abundant list - of things for which I am thankful.

holy experience

- tall, tall trees

- a quiet spot to camp with only one other family across the way

- wild flowers blooming in all the hues of the rainbow

- friends who are patient with the sometimes chaos of farming

- a great horned owl gliding across the campground and visiting awhile

- watching an amazing lightning storm

- the reminder of the One who creates it all

- celebrating their 13th anniversary together

- reminiscing about the wedding

- the amazing cool, sweet smell of the forest

- mushrooms nestled under the spruce trees

- a nap after lunch, on the moss

- homemade granola bars

- a trail through the wilderness

- that God saves me from the wilderness of life where I sometimes get lost

- machines that work

-  firewood left behind

- food that tastes so good when eaten outside

- ponds full of clear blue water

- making it through the mud

- safety

- little black and white butterflies everywhere!

- a full moon

- mosquito repellent (they were everywhere!)

- plump juicy cherries

- water to wash in at the end of the day

- corn on the cob, dripping with butter

- blue skies

- an amazing daughter-in-law

- phone messages from loved ones

- that God gives me each new day to live

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Simple Woman #96

For Today . . .  July 23, 2010

Outside my window . . . hot, sunny and very humid!  We've had over 7 inches of rain in the last 2 weeks so when the sun comes out, it's very muggy - and thunderstorms continue every night.  We have had some spectacular lightning shows!  High for today is +28 degrees C and the forecast is for more of the same through next week. 

I am thankful . . . that my Dad is doing okay while  my Mom is away.   

And I also am thankful . . . that we are blessed with such an abundance of food, especially all the fresh fruits and vegetables at this time of year.  

I am praying . . . for patience - I need some today.

I am thinking . . . about what meals to plan for while we are camping.

I am creating . . .   a photo album out of stacks of pictures from the birthdays and happenings we had in May and June - great memories preserved for me.

I am celebrating . . . my sister's birthday this week.  Happy Birthday, T!

From the kitchen . . .  fresh bread, homemade granola bars, blueberry muffins and tons of fresh fruit.  Also the first cabbage of the season, purchased from the Hutterite ladies at the Farmer's Market yesterday - it's huge!

I am wearing . . .  black shorts, lime green polo shirt and crocs. 

I am reading . . .  John 12:  "I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay                                                                in darkness."

                         Exiles from the War  - The War Guests Diary of Charlotte Mary Twiss by Jean Little  This is part of the Dear Canada series for children and chronicles events during World War II when some British children were sent to safety in Canada.  I can't imagine sending our children so far away when they were so little but I also can't imagine what it's like to live during a war.  

I am hoping . . .  for great drying weather so the very sad looking hay can at least be taken off the fields around here. 

I am hearing . . .  the CTV National News.

I am going . . . to have a shower before I head to bed very soon.

Around the house and yard . . .  grass is cut, garden is growing, and I vacuumed first thing this morning.  I love a clean floor!

One of my favourite things . . .  fresh raspberries with brown sugar and cream :)

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .  some silage to cut, a little camping and quadding with friends, our anniversary and raspberries to pick.

A quote for today . . .  

“You can gain more friends by being yourself than you can by putting up a front.                                                 You can gain more friends by building people up than you can by tearing them down.                                          And you can gain more friends by taking a few minutes from each day to do something                                        kind for someone, whether it be a friend or a complete stranger.                                                                                       What a difference one person can make!”
—Sasha Azevedo
(1978-); Entertainer

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . . thunderclouds building yesterday afternoon.  The sky is so amazing!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Capturing Summer

- in a jar!!

Actually - 15 of them!  

Rhubarb chutney, a year's supply, ready for the pantry shelf.

Next up - raspberries in the freezer (first 2 containers went in yesterday) and raspberry jam!

How is summer going in your little corner of the world?  Are you enjoying the season's bounty?  I sure  hope so!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Marta at the dear diary stories makes these wonderful mini-diaries and I asked her if I could use the journaling ideas for a blog post.  I am delighted that she graciously agreed - I know I'm going to enjoy using these every so often.  Thanks, M!!

July 21, 2010

I love the smell
of oatmeal crispie cookies fresh from the oven.

I love the sound
of birds chattering in the trees outside the window.

I love the taste
of  the first new red potatoes, 
smothered in cream with dill.

I love the sight
of heavy scarlet raspberries 
hanging under the green leaves
waiting to be picked.

I love the sight
of fresh washed fruits,
home from the market, 
plump and juicy.

I love the feel
of bread dough as I shape it into a loaf
and slip it into the pan to rise.

(in all their unfocussed glory!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sewing Projects

With the warmer weather, Helayna decided she needed some new pyjamas and ordered "blue flower ones"!  I was very happy to sew them up for her.

They'd already been slept in here but I really wanted a picture to show you :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Picture Summer

More Picture Summer assignments from Big Picture Scrapbooking.  This class has been challenging me to look in new ways and inspiring me to take my camera everywhere!

So Subtle

Treasure Hunters
(my gramma's pearls on the shore at the lake)


Making Memories

Treat Yourself
(an addition to my tea mugs via the antique mall)

Simple Solitude

Juicy Fruit
(first raspberries picked today)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gratitude Gifts Today

holy experience

Looking around today, I am thankful to notice:

- the sound of gentle rain on the roof

- all the shades of green outside the window

- horses grazing contentedly in the rain

- little wires to reconnect and restore our phone service

- my bread machine whirring away

- antique store finds

- memories of my grandparents that resurface as I see similar objects

- the worldwide web resources for how to do things

- fleece jackets

- colorful note paper

- a summer bag

- nectarines

- a light soup for a chilly day

- watching her do what she loves

- returning books

- buying no extras at the grocery store

- conversation with a friend

- dough rising

- fresh loaves of bread

- melting butter on steaming slices

- a tub full of rhubarb

- photos of happy times

- thinking back to when our son loved toy tractors

- time to spend with those I love

- putting empty jars into the dishwasher to sterilize for a new season's offerings

- Sunday sermons that make me think and adjust my living

- knowing that even when life is hard, God still loves me and gives me a new day every morning

Sunday, July 18, 2010


We had a lovely visit with this family and enjoyed seeing their new home.  It really is well designed and just perfect for a family.  The yard needs some work including designing, leveling, topsoil raking, planting, watering, fence building and on and on - but that will all come in good time.   We hope to have many more visits and good times in their place!

There's always a whole lot of playing with these three!!

Busy -

We are very busy enjoying summer!

A new silage cutter and forage wagon with a tractor just like Grampa's for Silas - he was totally engrossed!

Watering the community garden plot - which is full of beautiful chard, lettuce and spinach.

A trip to the playground where the troll was trying to catch kids who went over her bridge.

"Whooosh" fun at the spray park.

Where someone is very brave on her own already.

Ice cream for dessert!

Just a little glimpse into our very good day :))

Friday, July 16, 2010

Simple Woman #95

For Today . . .  July 16, 2010

Outside my window . . . it's raining again!  We've had over 4" this week!  Historically, once it starts raining in our area, every cloud bursts open and a downpour results.   We've had enough for this week and could use some sunshine now, please!  

I am thankful . . . for time spent with friends and family.

And I also am thankful . . . for serious conversations and heartfelt sharing.

I am praying . . . that God will go ahead and prepare the way, just as He's promised.

I am thinking . . .  about all the hay that's been cut down and rained on, over and over, this week.

I am creating . . .   a layout of Blake, our youngest grandson with the most winsome smile, and the one who has fewest layouts in my books.

I am celebrating . . . my Mom and Dad's 56th wedding anniversary today.  I teased Dad that he was celebrating by sending Mom away and he just chuckled :)

From the kitchen . . .  Eggs In A Frame (the very first thing I ever learned to cook in Home Ec class in grade 7) - and I don't think I'm cooking for supper :)

I am wearing . . .  jeans, a green sweater and my fleece jacket!  I know - in July - but it's a rainy day and our furnace is turned way, way down.

I am reading . . .  John 10: 14 "I am the good shepherd: I know my sheep and my sheep know me"
                          "On Every Side" by Karen Kingsbury - a clash between human rights and personal freedoms pits the members of a community against each other.

I am hoping . . .  to visit some of our family this weekend.

I am hearing . . .  thunder as the clouds gather again.

I am going . . . to get our bedroom purged by the end of the summer - stage 2 is underway!

Around the house and yard . . .  a very, very wet garden, wind-whipped flowers, soggy lawn (which thankfully I mowed on the one dry day we had this week) and puddles everywhere.

You can see the water gathered in the cucumber rows but it soaked in very quickly.  I hope they can handle this moisture.

One of my favourite things . . .  Super Blueberry Lemon Muffins from The Best of Bridge cookbook series.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .  some visiting this weekend and hopefully silage to make next week when the weather clears.

A quote for today . . .  

If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.
Jonathan Winters

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . . crabapples growing on our tree.  In another month they should be ready to eat :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ten on Thursday

1.  We had 2 days of rain and big storms earlier this week.  In all, the rain measured 3 inches and the ditches and depressions in fields are all filled up.  We have a shelterbelt of spruce trees, carragana bushes and willow trees and the wind whipped lots of branches - some of them really big ones - off onto our lawn.

2.  I used a really cute basket as the gift box for my sister's birthday present and while it came with a bright summery liner, I sewed her something that could be changed up for winter too.  I like how it turned out!

3.  I've been purging stacks of stuff and while leafing through a stack of old Simple Scrapbooks magazines, found some awesome ideas for layouts.  I miss that magazine!

4.  My mom, sister, aunt and niece are leaving for Europe today.  I'm going to be thinking about them every single day!  

5.  Check out the Big Idea Festival over at Big Picture Scrapbooking!  It starts in August and is FREE!  You can click on the button on to top of my sidebar and it will take you directly there too.  Please come and be inspired!

6.  I spent a little time reading Kayce's blog (she's one of the Big Picture Scrapbooking partners) today and want to share this story that she posted earlier.  

Two Wolves Inside Each of Us
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.  “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
 “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other wolf is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person too.”
The grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

7.  A certain little miss has requested some new pyjamas for hot days so I'm tracing a pattern for a nightie and hope to work on it later today.  I love when people ask for specific sewing projects.

8.  All the rain around here is growing some very interesting mushrooms!

9.  I spent a little time on Pat's Back Porch today and enjoyed pictures of the area around her home in Missouri.  I really hope to visit that part of the world someday.

10.  Patterns in clouds and the sky have fascinated me lately and this was over our house today.

Pounding rain followed and then an hour later the storm circled back and it poured again.