Sunday, July 31, 2011


was our 35th wedding anniversary!

(picture taken in Africa, 2009)

Nobody I'd rather be sharing the journey with than you, Bob!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Five on Friday


“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t. ”
Thomas Edison (1847-1931);
inventor, businessman

2.  I'm doing Ali Edwards' "Week In My LIfe" project this week - and it's been fun being more aware and intentional with recording things.  Hopefully I can get it all together in some sort of scrapbook form next week (and the weeks after - I expect it will take awhile!).

(stack of treasures to take to town with me)

3.  My fingers are stained purple from all the saskatoon berries I've picked this week.  They are so beautiful and big and juicy this year, definitely the best ones we've had ever, I think.

4. Today Ann at A Holy Experience writes "when food's a hallowed thing" about preparing food and the famine in the Horn of Africa  - you must go and read it!  And she recommends three cookbooks, which all look so interesting.  I really want this one!

5.  Marta's Coconut Krispie Chocolate Chunk Cookies are on the to-do list for tomorrow!  They look delicious and that secret ingredient will make them very interesting. 

(photo from Marta's blog)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #30

Listography #30 - Places I Would Like To Go

In no particular order!

1.  Australia and New Zealand

2.  Disneyland with our whole family

3.  India

4.  Hawaii

5.  Antarctica

6.  Chile and Peru

7.  More of Europe, especially Italy and Switzerland

8.  Greece and Turkey

9.  All 50 states in the USA

10.  England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales

11.  Galapagos Islands

12.  Russia and Ukraine

13.  Iceland

14.  The Netherlands in the springtime

15.  On a special trip with each of our grandchildren individually, when they are older

I could make this list much, much longer!  Pretty much anywhere in the world is a place to travel for me!
All pictures are from Pinterest links.

Wordless Wednesday

In Drumheller enjoying all things to do with dinosaurs -
and grandchildren

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Creating Pillows

Melinda wanted to make their living room more inviting by adding some pillows to the chesterfield so we found a fabric store and got busy!

We made 4 envelope pillows using the Sandy Gervais line "Lovely" and the plaid pillow matches the lamp shade that we recovered.  The fat quarters included Dots in Rain, Plaid in Rain, Circle Flowers in Rain, Floral Garden in Rain and Daffodil and Dots in Daffodil.   The last pillow was pieced together and I think it turned out to be Mel's favourite.

What a difference a few pillows can make to a room!  And the project was very easy to do - definitely something we'd both tackle again.  It was fun to help Melinda do some sewing and gain some confidence in an area where she hasn't done much.

Gratitude Gifts Today

Deep in the days of summer (rainshowers, mosquitoes and all!), the last week has been filled with family and friends.  I flew safely home from New Brunswick, although it was very hard to leave Samuel, Melinda and Tyler.  I had such a wonderful, relaxing time with them in their lovely new home.  I did miss Bob and it was good to be in my own bed again.  He took such good care of the yard and house - I was very impressed!  This weekend we celebrated a good friend's 60th birthday and our anniversary (this part of the  party was a complete surprise to us!) and Bob's hockey team from way back when got together for a picnic.  There was much laughter, visiting and catching up on family and retirements.

I start this week feeling so filled up with goodness.  Beauty all around, rich relationships, events to anticipate and so my list lengthens with the goodness God gives.

#2780 - #2805

- Bob waiting at the airport for me
- catching up in quiet conversation
- sharing details about my trip
- showing videos of Samuel playing
- talking to Melinda on the phone

-  seeing and hearing about Meadow's new waterskiing skills
- laughing and reminiscing
- filling in details to make her life picture fuller
- zinnias blooming - a reminder of my grandmothers
- fresh, juicy, plump BC cherries

- picking the first raspberries and saskatoons
- fresh berries with brown sugar and cream
- new menu ideas from Melinda
- Maëlle cooing and making beautiful baby sounds
- summer Farmer's Markets, even in the rain

in Fredericton, NB

- first tomatoes turning orange
- reading
- clean clothes hanging on the closet rod
- leftover dessert
- hugs from grandchildren

- sharing potatoes from our experiment
- letters to mail
- doing Ali Edwards' "A Week In My Life" project
- being missed by hailstorms
-  friends writing 'Audrey, Audrey' for her birthday

So amazing the gifts my Heavenly Father puts in my path every single day!  I am so thankful for the gifts and for the counting and recording of them.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #29

Listography #29 - Superpowers I Wish I Had

1.  Fly - so I could visit our grandchildren often

2.  Wave a magic wand and the house would be sparkling clean

3.  Stay fit

4.  Grow money on trees - or at least bushes :)

5.  Feed paperwork into the computer and it would be magically entered with all calculations finished

6.  Snap my fingers and change the weather

7.  Photographic memory to never again forget a birthday or anniversary - and to have all childhood memories recalled

Friday, July 22, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  It was good to sleep in my own bed last night but I missed Samuel (and Melinda and Tyler)  alot today.

2.  We had broccoli from the garden tonight for supper.  It seems that the heads are starting to bolt despite the cool weather and rain we've had for the last 2 weeks.   I'm surprised and need to do more reading

3.  Fresh B.C. cherries from the Farmer's Market are so delicious right now :)

4.  There's been almost 10 inches (that's 24 cm) of rain this spring!  It's crazy wet everywhere and when I stepped into the garden today, my boots sank in and made a 4" deep track.  Needless to say, my plants are looking pretty drowned.

5.  Bob did an awesome job of yard maintenance and housework while I was gone.  It looks great and I was completely - and very pleasantly! - surprised.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A lovely evening stroll across the wooden bridge, 
set aside for walkers and cyclists -
just 2 blocks from home :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Mel had a list of things that she wanted to do when I came to visit and we are getting checkmarks up beside many of them!

One was going to the u-pick farm (we've actually gone twice) and then freezing berries and making jam.  We've got 5 containers of strawberries and 2 big bags of raspberries in the freezer and we've made 3 jars of strawberry jam plus 5 jars of raspberry jam.

Mel wanted to make the jam with honey 
so we found this new Pomona Pectin and mixed it with honey.
We had 8 cups of mashed berries and 1 cup of honey 
(which is much less sugar to fruit than most recipes use).

They got nice and thick and are ready for winter eating.

Another item was making their apartment more homey with a few decorative touches.  Today's project was taking this lamp that we bought at the thrift store for $20 and recovering the shade.  It was the first time either of us had done anything like this and it was very easy.  It looks great!



That's Tyler's medical textbook in which he has to read a chapter for tomorrow's lecture.  

Tomorrow we are going on a hunt for pillowforms so we can make some throw cushions for the living room, using coordinating prints to the lampshade fabric.  It's going to look like a magazine home around here very soon with us two Martha Stewart wanna-bes!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest light to the world.”
~God in the Moment Calendar via (in)Courage
There is no question in my mind about why I do this counting.  It's because He gives me so much and sometimes I am so bogged down with the world and its expectations that I don't see and feel and hear the goodness all around me.  I listen to Satan comparing me to others, leading me into doubts and worries, herding me away from the Father.  But when I stop and look and really see and count and write, then my soul is lifted up and my eyes rest on Him and I see all that He has given and done for me.  As the sermon at church yesterday said I must be converted like Saul was on the road.  I must turn away from all that is leading me away from Him and truly follow and live in Him.  And my counting keeps me fixed on and in Him, the source of all joy!

So I continue the count on a Monday in New Brunswick -
#2740 - #2780
- supper with dear friends, Edward and Linda
- conversation around the table and across the living room
- walking to see the lighthouse
- learning a little more history in this new place
- watching Samuel play - and playing with him

- cool breeze blowing through the shutters
- a parade with fire trucks, bagpipes, drums and comrades marching to the church on a Sunday evening to honour a fellow fire-fighter
- strawberries and raspberries
- a good and patient helper
- a new "guitar" raquet
- Samuel playing drums after church
- flea market finds
- summer meals
- Melinda's vegetable box
- sending postcards
- working together in the kitchen
- conversation with our daughter and son-in-law
- beautiful old houses
- blooming flowers everywhere
- a swimming pool on hot summer days

- watching a little boy and his parents 
- studying God's word
- reading the Bible with this family after every meal 
- "Please, may I be 'scused?"  from a little boy when he's done eating
- a mommy and daddy who are smitten with their little one

- a new haircut for a little man
- jars of summer all lined up
- Samuel playing soccer in the rows between the raspberries
- giggles and much laughter, something usually reserved for Grampa play
- daddies who play with little ones as soon as they get home from work

- good food, like salmon and honey,  from the Farmer's Market 
- fresh batch of jam
- trying new recipes together
- beautiful weather
- a trip to the Farmer's Market

- u-pick farm and 6 more quarts of raspberries
- the hospital where Tyler is learning and working
- playing games in the quiet of the evening
- an overhead fan
- hearing again how much God desires a relationship with me (and you!)

Thank you for the richness of the life you give me, Father.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Right Now

right now, I am ...
:: marveling at how quickly the summer days are flying by, filled up with so many good activities and people we love
:: revisiting friends that I haven’t seen since Samuel was only a few weeks old - and picking up right where we left off!
:: plotting what to cook for supper tomorrow night
:: finishing another great day
:: stopping to head to bed since New Brunswick time is 3 hours ahead of Alberta and it’s getting late here!
:: wondering how Bob is doing at home all alone this week
:: casting around for ideas of what to look for at the flea market tomorrow afternoon - things like a wool blanket, fabric, a canner and jars, and a coffee table
:: listening to the fridge hum as it cools down the good food we bought today
:: queing a list of things still to do, make and enjoy
:: feeling like I am definitely on summer vacation
:: loving the Farmer’s Market experience we had today
:: hoping that Tyler doesn’t get called in to the hospital tonight - he’s on a 24 hour weekend call and spent 7 hours working today.
:: wanting to make as many memories with Samuel as possible since it will be a while until I see him again 
:: thinking about worship tomorrow
:: reminding myself that I am blessed beyond measure!
:: making a space in the living room for my bed
:: planning to go for a walk across the walking bridge on Monday

Enjoying every minute with this little guy
who had to have a rest and put his feet up because
"he was too tired from cooking (play) pancakes"!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Berry Picking

After Tyler got home from the hospital this afternoon, we headed out to the Sunset Berry Farm to get some fresh berries.  It was only a 15 minute drive away and in an hour we picked 2 pails of strawberries and 5 quarts of raspberries.

Tyler and I had our pails full of berries in about 15 minutes - the plants were just hanging with huge berries!  There was heavy rain here at the beginning of the week and as a result, there are so many spoiled berries now.  I felt so bad for the farm as so much of the crop is not usable.   There were lots of people picking which was nice to see.  

 While we picked strawberries, beside us Melinda picked raspberries!  They are her favourite and she was quick to head over and fill these baskets right up.

Samuel loves these just as much as Mel does and he helped himself to lots!

I'm sure his little tummy was stretched to the max between the 2 berry patches!

Smart Mommy knew that little boy would need a diversion so a bottle of bubbles was tucked in with the pails.  The ever-present golf club made a great bubble bat!

But the best part of all was the field tractor sitting beside the fruit stand!  Sitting up on the seat and moving that steering wheel "really fast", made one little boy very, very happy.  In his words, "I driving like Grampa Bob.  Go fast!"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  Samuel got new golf clubs last week from Auntie Abby and Uncle Patrick - and he is definitely putting them to good use!  He loves to give out the 3 clubs and always keeps the blue 'iron' for himself.  He goes out on the lawn and "whacks" the ball around and around, with great success at hitting and getting it up in the air.  It's really quite amazing!

2.  This is the beautiful historic home in which Melinda and Tyler have an apartment, on the right hand side, in what used to be the servants' quarters.  Their apartment is on 2 floors and looks like a little add-on to the main house. 

The house has 3 other apartments., including the rest of the main floor which is where the owner lives.  

This is their view from the back deck and you can see the lawn to the left where Samuel loves to play.

Over the next 2 years all of the exterior wood on the house will be replaced - a huge project!

3.  Here is the view from the dining room table with the house right across the street and about 3 blocks away, the New Brunswick Provincial Legislature.   This whole area of the city is a designated historic properties zone and all the homes are wonderfully restored and beautifully painted.  

4.  I am enjoying this little man so much!  Here he's trying out the special chair at the greenhouse where Mommy was buying some pots for her plants.  (On a side note, most of the plants at the greenhouse were $1 a pot, including the begonias!)

5.  This summer Melinda signed up for a weekly Community Shared Agriculture fresh vegetable box from The Jolly Farmer organic farm.  She picked her order up at a local shop and I was amazed at what was inside this week!  

So many fresh, delicious vegetables to use and the added fruit box had 3 quarts of fresh strawberries!

And next Thursday another one comes :)  

Have you guessed that I'm in Fredericton, New Brunswick this week?!!  I'm enjoying every minute of this visit and these people!!

Flower cauldrons all along the downtown streets

Lists of 2011 - #27 and #28

Listography #27 - What I Would Do With A Million Dollars

1.  Donate a big chunk to Compassion International to use for schools and hospitals

2.  Take our whole family on a big trip to a sunny destination like Hawaii

3.  Travel to Antartica, Australia and New Zealand - and other places!

4.  Help our kids pay for their homes

5.  Do a major bathroom renovation and finish the basement

6.  Re-landscape the yard - and have it maintained every spring

7.  Wipe out our debts

8.  Put money away for our grandchildren's education

9.  Donate to Canadian Lutheran World Relief to build wells in villages in developing countries

10.  Support Aboriginal women's projects in Canada and abroad

Listography #28 - Scary Things

1.  Mice, rats and other rodents

2.  Snakes - any and all of them!

3.  Big spiders

4.  Icy roads

5.  Extreme weather like hurricanes and tornadoes

6.  Losing my senses

7.  Something seriously bad happening to our children and grandchildren

8.  Traffic accidents

9.  Deep water - like above my chin deep

10.  Roller coasters and other crazy rides

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Summertime fun has been in full swing around here!  We went away on a little quadding trip with family and celebrated some special birthdays with the other side of the family last week.  The weather was hot and sunny and then turned stormy and very rainy.  The mosquitoes are growing bigger and hungrier by the minute - it's ridiculous!  But so many good times have been had and so many great memories have been made that we aren't letting little things interfere.

God's goodness is filling every day and so I count on with the little moment-by-moment wonders that He puts everywhere for me.  How very blessed I am!

#2710 - #2740

- safety while travelling
- time spent with loved ones
- laughter around the campfire
- smoke that sends the mosquitoes away
- a snug camper

- wildflowers blooming everywhere
- tall, tall trees
- rivers, clear and running fast
- firewood
- beautiful vistas

- watching others with their grandchildren
- a visit with our grandchildren who are safely home from a vacation
- a kind and beautiful daughter-in-law
- working together
- abundant, delicious food

- baby smiles
- cooing and sounds from Maëlle
- shy smiles from Blake
- great big hugs from Meadow
- pictures of vacation fun

- pancakes cooked on an outside grill
- breakfast stacks
- grilled salmon and new potatoes
- delicious birthday cakes
- birthday celebrations

- travel opportunities
- safety while driving through windy rainstorms
- the mail moving again
- intense discussions on convention resolutions
- childhood memories shared with great laughter

Thank you God for these wonderful days of summer and the times we share.