Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #34

Listography 2012 - #34 - Things I Love About My Son

1.  He loves his wife and daughter and is affectionate with both of them.

2.  He is smart and asks questions and continues learning.

3.  He loves kids, plays with them and teases them.

4.  He is a careful driver.

5.  He has a creative side that we are seeing more and more.

6.  He is organized - his closet is awesome - and he rarely leaves things laying around.

7.  He is a man of integrity - his word is his word.

8.  He is adventurous and athletic.

9.  He helps in the kitchen and around the house.

10.  He helps others whether it's moving, building fence or painting.

11.  He reminds me of my Dad.

12.  He is conscientious about staying healthy.

Love you, D!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Gentle Start to the Week

Once again inspired by SouleMama, whose family has been sick this month and is slowly recovering, here's

A Gentle Start to the Week

Finishing a book
Loading some boxes
Caring for chicks
Processing cucumbers
Stamping and writing
Labelling jars
Picking crabapples
Savouring snuggles with each grandchild yesterday
Curious about the family photo we captured
Looking at a nearly empty fridge
Packing a suitcase

Quietly beginning another week of summer :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

At the Fair

Judging at local fairs is one of the rites of summer for me.  I love seeing the baking, sewing, crocheting, quilting and photography that so many people have done over the year.   I admire the (mostly) seniors who are still showing their projects and volunteering to see that the bench shows are held.   And I applaud the young men and women that are becoming involved in their communities in this way too.

My mom always encouraged us to exhibit things in the local fair and our years in the local 4-H clubs helped too.  My still packs up the car with all kinds of baking, canning, handiwork and garden samples to enter.  She amazes me!  And now we often meet at other fairs and judge at opposite ends of the hall.  Important note to self:  I must take a picture of the two of us together next summer!

Let me show you some of what I've seen at fairs this summer!

There's always great baking.

This painting is really beautiful.

In the "All Things Christmas" section, this tiny creche' with molded figures
was also awarded the best of section ribbon. 

Great photographs are some of my favourite exhibits.

And then there are the quilts - 

of all sizes -

from baby crib

to king size-

in every pattern you can imagine!

The detail on needlepoint makes for exquisite designs.

There are beautiful flowers, vegetables and fruits 
in the horticulture section to admire too.

And in this town, outdoor gardens and yards 
are judged as well.  The winning yard had a beautiful 
outdoor fireplace and living area - it looked so inviting!

So there you have a little walk through a day at the fair.  If your community has one, I highly recommend a visit to check it out and then encourage you to participate next year.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Five on Friday

Quote of the Day
“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894);
essayist, poet, novelist

2.  At book club last night we had a great time discussing 

and catching up on all the news, including engagements!,  from everyone's summer.  Good times!

3.  Beet relish and zucchini relish on the work order here today.  I have 3 jars of each left from last year so that worked out pretty good. 

4.  I'm planning a little road trip for next week to get some of these lovelies. 

I can just imagine how good they are going to taste :)

5.  Photo of the week:

licking the whipped cream beaters!

Lists of 2012 - #33

Listography 2012 - #33 - The Best Snacks

1.  Nachos and cheese

2.  Fresh fruit

3.  Cheese, crackers and pickles

4.  Chocolate covered almonds

5.  Salted nuts

6.  Shrimp dip on crackers

7.  Seven layer Mexican dip

8.  Chicken wings

9.  Surprise spread

10.  Popcorn with butter

11.  Cookies

12.  Fresh veggies - yes, with dip :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4552 - #4588 -  August 13 - 20, 2012

- 3 gifts in green: garden full of growing plants, green leaves + yellow sunflower faces, green walls in our kitchen
- our very own "Green" family!
- cucumbers from Mom K's garden
- a wedding gift sent
- my engagement and wedding ring set - a reminder of our partnership

- defusing a situation with a smile
- tomato globes slowly turning color
- more new baby chicks
- beans hanging heavy on plants
- cucumbers hiding in the leaves

- text messages to keep us informed
- birthday present shopping
- pictures at family gatherings
- an old, old car
- celebrating 50 years with my aunt and uncle

- my girls cooking supper
- cousins playing together
- raspberry jam on toast
- devotions with Bob
- a bit of reading, here and there in the day

- waking up with a grandson
- rocking Malachi
- words from Ephesians
- singing and reading with grandchildren
- keeping meals ready and the kitchen ticking along

- hearing exciting news about an engagement
- watering the greenhouse with a little cuddler
- friends for supper
- sharing travel stories
- playing games together

- weiner roast lunches
- all the good things our Father places here for us
- watching them read the Bible with Samuel
- his prayers at mealtimes

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello, Monday

Hello second half of August.

Hello New Brunswick visitors - we are thrilled you're here.

Hello, grandsons - we've been waiting for you!!

Hello days of cutting silage.

Hello hot weather - +31 again this summer.

Hello time spent watering plants.

Hello ripe tomatoes :))

Hello yellow beans and burgundy beans, so many of you.

Hello pickling cucumbers and dill.

Hello big zucchini.

Hello relish making.

Hello squash - so many of you growing so nicely.

Hello book club - I missed you last month.

Hello early birthday party.

Hello wonderful life!!

(And good-bye to our last chickens from batch #1.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Creative Writing

Today's prompt at the Creativity Portal -

If I had one week to live,

I would gather my family close by and bask in their love and energy.
I would take all of us on a travel experience and
 I would watch the little ones at Disneyland, sharing their excitement and glee at the rides and the characters and the fun.
I would take a million pictures of us so they could look back on our time together.
I would play with them in the ocean and on the slides and in the sprays of fountains and pools.
I would eat all of my favourites - pizza and chocolate and fruit and bread and dessert.
I would listen to their sweet voices and emboss the sounds on my heart.
I would bury my nose in their hair and their creases, smelling their sweetness - the little ones and the big ones.
I would cuddle them all close, covering them in kisses and hugs, day and night.
I would lean on my Saviour for comfort as we lived our good-byes.

Five on Friday

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get. ”
Michael Phelps (born 1985);
American swimmer; most decorated Olympian of all-time

2.  In 16 hours this little family will be arriving to spend some time with all of us in Alberta!  The beds are ready, some meals are planned, the sandbox is waiting - just a few things like vacuuming and washing floors to still do.  We are so very excited to see them - and for Grampa to meet Malachi.

3.  This was the week of the bean!  2 more ice cream pails of cut yellow beans are blanched and in bags in the freezer.  There are still green ones but maybe we'll eat them this weekend.

4.  These little Mac and Cheese Bites are on the menu this weekend.  I think they are so cute!

photo from

5.  I'm judging one more fair tomorrow and I'm looking forward to seeing what this little community has to show.  Watch for a blog post next week showing some of the great exhibits I've seen lately.  There are so many talented people out there growing, cooking and creating things - and showing them to the rest of us!

Creative Writing

From Creativity Portal, today's prompt:

Name 5 things in your freezer.

1.  Chickens - about 35 of them.

2.  Bags and bags of frozen saskatoons, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and beans.

3. Just a few packages of beef left from December when we put in half a beef.

4.  Salmon steaks and halibut fillets from Bob's fishing trip.

5.  2 loaves of 12 grain bread, 1 package of English muffins, and a gigantic package of whole wheat burger buns just added after going to Costco today.

6.  (just because I know it!)  4 cookies sheets full of cut yellow beans that were blanched last night and will be put into plastic bags later today.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #32

Listography 2012 - #32 - If I Could I Would

1.  make sure that everyone in the world had enough food every day.

2.  have peace and tolerance on earth.

3.  help Compassion with major projects around the world.

4.  renovate our bathroom.

5.  take our whole family to Disneyland.

6.  travel to every state in the US.

7.  go to visit my blog friend, Linds, in Great Britain.

8.  visit Antarctica and Australia (then I will have visited all 7 continents!)

9.  take each of our grandchildren on a major trip as a high school graduation celebration.

10.  pay off every. single. penny. that. we. owe.

11.  learn to speak French and Spanish fluently.

12.  deliver shoeboxes with Operation Christmas Child.

13.  learn to play guitar.

14.  find a cure for cancer and other diseases like MS and Parkinson's.

15.  implement universal education and universal health care.

16.  teach in Afghanistan or Mongolia.

17.  have a year-round greenhouse.

18.  have a weekly cleaning service come to our house.

19.  hire a professional to re-do our patio and landscaping.

20.  have full-grown trees on our front lawn (so we could sit in their shade).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

By 9 A.M.

It's quite amazing what can be accomplished when I get up with the sun!  We got a new batch of chicks yesterday so after I went out to check on them, I stayed up and:

- blanched 3 batches of beans (2 green, 1 yellow)

- baked a big batch of granola (20 cups of oatmeal plus extras)

- shared devotions with Bob
- started a load of sheets in the washer

- posted a gratitude entry to my blog
- had oatmeal and raspberries for breakfast - and enjoyed the big yellow sunflowers from the garden!

- and now I'm cleaning a pail of raspberries.

I'm just about ready for a nap!!

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4512 - #4552 - July 31 - August 6, 2012

- asking for forgiveness
- resting in Him when I feel hopeless
- words that leap right out of the sermon to speak to me
- that He loves me so much and cares for me
- worship music

- blank pages of a new journal
- white chickens wandering on green grass
- big jug of milk
- haircut
- de-humidifier drying out the basement

- stack of books from the library
- 3 gifts eaten: raspberries with brown sugar and cream, saskatoons fresh from the bush, all our own garden grown vegetables at suppertime
- bright yellow-orange pumpkin flowers
- grain beginning to ripen
- pink, stripey petunias

- freshly mown grass
- yellow beans to pick
- tall tomato plants hanging with green globes
- 2 pails of saskatoons cleaned and spread on cookie sheets to freeze
- groceries to fill the fridge and cupboard

- conversation with siblings
- sweet peas, my Dad's favourite flower
- my childhood church and the foundation I gained there
- cuddling Peyton
- supper with family

- listening to vacation stories
- helpers to make alot of potato salad!
- care packages to send home
- freshly made beds
- floors vacuumed, cupboards clean, dishes put away - our home

- sitting under the trees on a summer afternoon
- birthday celebrations
- the respect my father has in his community
- stories from years past
- watching him with the great-grandchildren

- words of honour given to him as gifts
- Mom's pies
- pastures of cattle grazing
- a sermon about finding manna in our wildernesses
- this little light - one life lived for Him

(catching up slowly - the lists are recorded but not posted)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things I'm Loving This Summer

Just wanted to share a few things I've found lately that I love!

1.  These soaps from Bath and Body Works are favourites on our bathroom counter this summer.  Bob loves how they clean up his greasy hands so easily and I love the delicious smells!  They have some yummy new pumpkin ones for fall.

2.  Buying footwear is a nightmare for me so I was thrilled when I found a Soft Moc store in Southgate Mall last week.  These lovely cork sandals are so comfortable and they were really affordable (kind of a Birkestock knockoff, I think).  Our daughter has a navy pair that I've been admiring all summer :)  I'm going to shop there again when the winter stock comes in.  

3.  I've long been a fan of Burt's Bees products and their lip shimmer sticks are my go-to for lipsticks.  I've given some of the tinted lip balm as gifts and I'm looking forward to trying it myself.  I love all of their products!

4.  This body lotion is my new fave,  thanks to my Aunt who gave me some earlier this summer.  

5.  Cute clothes for little girls going into grade 1 are in most shops now!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Big Picture Classes is running a Big Idea Festival in September - and registration is free!  Go and sign up so you can join in the scrapbooking fun and do lots of creating too.

Big Picture Classes

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43);
Roman orator

3.  Are you really living the life you want?  Read this inspiring article comparing life to the Olympics and then go for it!!

4.  We are having chicken for supper tonight - one of our own, home grown free range chickens!  It looks beautiful in the package and I hope it tastes great.  Thanks to many of our friends and family who have purchased birds from us this week.

5.  This gorgeous double rainbow filled the sky after a storm earlier this week.  We saw both ends of both rainbows - pretty amazing in these parts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

38 Years

38 years ago I spent a year  (actually 8 months) with these women -
and we can pick up right where we left off in the blink of an eye!

By the numbers we -
are 5 teachers + 1 pharmacist (can you guess which one that is?)
have 14 children
have 12 grandchildren
embraced 1 newlywed!
have survived some health scares and losses
still have 3 go to work regularly
have 1 is a jet-setter (that's what her business card says!)
can still talk up a storm
laugh a lot and have right from the beginning
lived together in residence and later some of us shared an apartment
drank cups and cups of tea years ago
have been bridesmaids for each other
colour our hair - except for 1 brave soul!
think we'd study something different if we went to university again - except for one of us!
have travelled to many places
last had lunch together 8 years ago - how in the world can that be???
need to round up 3 who couldn't join us this time
are still friends!!

The bond of living together in a college residence is a powerful thing.  I grew to know and love these women as if they were my sisters.  And even though we don't see each other or even talk often we are still close, close friends.  Seeing them together yesterday was wonderful!   Thanks, Girls!  Let's do it again next summer :)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #31

Listography 2012 - #31 - Places I've Gone This Week

- my Mom and Dad's house
- my childhood church, St. Peter's Lutheran
- my Dad's birthday celebration
- the greenhouse to water plants
- the garden to pick beans, peas and berries
- swimming at the pool
- McDonald's - the grandchildren were hungry after swimming :)
- our granddaughter's baptism
- the poultry processing plant - our first 100 chickens are freezer ready
- Olive Garden for lunch with 5 of my college friends
- Costco to pay our membership and get some groceries
- The Bay to check out Olympic gear (not much left!)
- Sears to replace some intimates :)
- Soft Moc for a pair of sandals on a very good sale
- Princess Auto to buy Magic tape and pry bars for Bob to use in the shop
- the Ponoka Fair to judge exhibits

Saturday, August 04, 2012

This Week

Accomplished this week:

- an afternoon of sewing with a friend
- daily watering of many, many plants
- picked 6 pails of saskatoons
- picked 5 pails of raspberries
- made 8 jars of raspberry jam
- toured my dad and mom's garden
- came home with a veggie box from that garden
- fed umpteen pails of grain to the hungry chickens
- gave grandchildren 2 baths in one afternoon!
- took a quad ride through the pasture
- spent a day with 3 busy little ones
- had supper with Bob's family
- grocery shopping
- trip to library to pick up 5 books - like I have time to read!
- new haircut and colour
- dug and gave away potatoes and beets many times
- fell into bed exhausted every night :)

It's been a slice - and the weekend should be even better!

Five on Friday

1.  Have you ever wondered what's ahead for you?  Around the Corner by Jan O'Daniel at Amplifying Joy is an excellent read.

2.  Making potato salad for a birthday celebration on Sunday!  2 dozen eggs + 25 lbs. of potatoes + 1 jar of mayonnaise + 4 bunches radishes + 2 huge metal bowls = a lot of work + a whole lot of yummy-ness!

3.  Olympics, Olympics, Olympics!  I love that I can turn the TV on at any time of the day or night and there's Olympic game coverage on to watch, even on our peasant vision plan :)

4.  One of the things I love best about watching the Olympic games is the opportunity it gives me to learn more about the host country, its cultures and its people.  Now I really want to go to England!

Olympic Stadium

5.  Peyton's coming to visit tomorrow - it's her first visit to our house and I am so excited to have her (and her Mommy and Daddy) here to see us!!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #30

Listography 2012 - #30 - Favourite Flavours of Ice Cream

1.  Pumpkin with pistachios (from Marble Slab Creamery)

2.  Sweet cream vanilla with fresh strawberries (also from Marble Slab)

3.  Chocolate kahlua fudge

4.  Maple walnut

5.  Raspberry cheesecake

6.  Lemon

7.  Rum and raisin

8.  Naomi's homemade ginger

9.  Peach

10.  Vanilla with chocolate marble

11.  French vanilla

12.  Eggnog

Ten Things

A little challenge from SouleMama today - what 10 things are you loving right now?

1.  A little sewing project created as a result of my friend, Audrey's, wish to sew something together this summer.  Can't show you more because it's a gift - I think!

2.  Fresh berries

3.  Pictures sent via email

4.  Growing things

5.  Books to read

6.  Cooked beets - ready for soup or salad or sauce

7.  Tomatoes growing

8.  Flowers

9.  Haircut and color

10.  Happy chickens roaming