Sunday, September 30, 2012

On The End Of Summer

Dear September,

It seems you just arrived and now you are already slipping away!  Your 30 days have been full to the brim and so much has been accomplished around here.   But I'd love it if you could linger on and push the coolness of October back a whole lot longer.  Alas, I know there's not even the slightest chance of that happening.

sun shining through the trees at Nose Hill Park

I'm already missing these things about you:

- wearing my flip flops day in and day out.  More often than not I've had to put socks and shoes on lately.

- fresh peaches.  Just the other day I ate the last one that I'd saved from our BC trip.   And there are no more  to be found in any store around here.

- more hours of daylight than night time.  Much to my chagrin that all came to a quick end last week.   I'm much happier when there's more daylight and the time is falling back too.

- leaves, whether green or coloured.  Sadly there are more leaves on the ground than on the trees these days.

- flowers - the pansies and the sunflowers linger on but every day they look droopier.

- the warmth - the only way to be truly warm these days is to wear jackets and sweaters and socks and soon I'll have to include hats and mitts.

There's not much combining left to do in our little corner of the world and your warm, dry days have helped with that.  Thanks for holding off with the rainclouds and cold.  A few more weeks of that weather would be most appreciated.  Thanks for doing your best!

See you in 335 days!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  I made these scrumptious Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins via the Martha Stewart website  this week.

photo from Martha Stewart's website

2.  And also this week I cut a chicken into pieces in 8 minutes!  I was actually quite surprised that it only took me a few minutes - it sometimes seems like such a big job.

3.  Beet relish, zucchini relish and spaghetti sauce are still on my list of "to-makes" this fall.  

4.  The kindergarten students and I joined the rest of the student body yesterday and did the Terry Fox Run through our community.  As long as I've been teaching, this has been a school event, raising umpteen dollars to support cancer research.  

5.  Photo of the week:

Bob's photo of the gigantic red sun
disappearing over the hill -
I love the ribbon of road that leads straight into the sun.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #38

Listography 2012 - #38 - Favourite Meals

1.  Shrimp and mushroom pizza

2.  Sweet and sour spareribs

3.  Roast chicken with dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy

4.  Homemade soup with fresh bread

5.  Sauerkraut with spareribs

6.  Ham with scalloped potatoes

7.  Taco salad

8.  Barbecued burgers and potato salad

9.  Chicken cacciatorie with mashed potatoes

10.  Lasagne

11.  Meatloaf and baked potatoes

12.  Salads (of all kinds)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Last week one day, I walked into my scrapbook studio and realized just how much I was missing the photos, words and layouts that I create.  So I left the box of tomatoes waiting in the kitchen and used an enlargement that I found at the bottom of a pile on my desk and came up with this!

During Big Picture Classes Big Idea Festival, Becky Novacek's big idea was to go bold so I used this big picture and came up with this response.  The paper and journal card are from the Birthday Girl Line by Echo Paper.  This was the first time I used washi tape (from The Sweetest Thing line by My Mind's Eye) - it was fun!  I can see myself playing with that again!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4588 - #4623

- a new journal to fill with counting
- photographs from when I was a child
- summer memory of Revels in Grampa's freezer
- leftovers
- book club gatherings

- tractors and combines and big farm machines
- fresh flowers gathered from outside
- visits from our grandchildren and their parents
- little boy who's our wakeup call
- quiet evening conversations

- long days of sunshine
- work gloves for a little helper
- family suppers
- cousins playing together
- perogies and peaches

- safe road trips
- a friend to go along with my craziness
- afternoon naps
- grilled peaches and nectarines
- cooking for family and for guests

- making cookies with Samuel
- gifts yellow: golden zucchini for lemon loaf, yellow sunflowers, yellow school bus
- wedding pictures and details of the party
- all the veggies for supper from our garden
- tomatoes ripening on our plants

- shopping with our daughter
- seeing how much Malachi has changed in 3 weeks
- treehouse climbing and building
- washi tape for scrapbooking
- squeezing in every last moment of play

- golden grain laying in long rows down the field
- pansies, reminder of my Gramma, blooming on
- Meadow's reaction at smelling something baking when she came home from school
- juice popsicles to ease a sore throat
- making supper with a little helper

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Could our harvesting progress anymore slowly?  Bob knows every inch of the combine, inside and out, from the repairs he's had to do.

2.  I love the colors of this season and driving through the countryside, off the beaten path, at this time of year.  Three times this week I've traveled a different scenic route.

3.  The weather has been glorious this week - sunny days, warm temperatures, even the nights have been balmy but there's been too much dew to combine after 9 p.m..

4.  I kind of wish my garden would clean itself out.  I'm tired of it all this week.  I guess digging 5 rows of potatoes will do that to a person.

5.  Photo of the week:

 taken along the Old Battle Lake road

Lists of 2012 - #37

Listography 2012 - #37 - What I Want to be Remembered For

1.  loving my God and Saviour

2.  sharing what I have

3.  kindness in words and deeds

4.  time and sharing this precious resource

5.  good food in taste, in producing and preserving

6.  love of reading and writing

7.  memories recorded with photos

8.  laughter and playing

9.  baking brownies

10.  an open door to our home

11.  handmade with fabric and with paper

12.   curious and open to adventures, big and small

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Right Now

Right now, I am...
:: waiting for the jars to finish washing so I can fill them with tomatoes
:: guessing that Bob's parents will soon be out of their house and moved into their new residence
:: wondering how the adjustment will go for them
:: loving that 3 of our kids and some of the grandchildren could be around yesterday
:: anticipating frost one of these nights
:: reeling with the number of squash my garden produced this summer!
:: listening/remembering how Peyton cooed and talked as she rolled around last night
:: downloading nothing - my computer is having issues - I hope it doesn't decide to die!
:: counting the jars of canning on my shelves - I need to use a third shelf this year!
:: hoping for long sunny days so that harvest can continue
:: believing His love is all I need everyday
:: confirming that we are so blessed with this abundance of food!
:: making a batch of tomato salsa
:: thinking that a day or two of subbing would be nice this week
:: doing lots of carrying of squash from the garden
:: deciding to dig some potatoes this week
:: getting ready to make sauerkraut tomorrow morning
:: wanting to be finished with all this preserving already!
:: hearing the geese honk as they gather on the dugout
:: leaving the long days of summer behind!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  This post really made me think about the attitude that I bring to my family and our home.  I am most often an optimistic person and I need to remember to convey the joy that I feel in living with those around me.  And - those pancakes sound really good!

2.  I'm doing some baking with fresh fruit these days.

3.  At long last we've done some combining :))

4.  My laptop has decided not to recognize either of our cameras this week.  So here I sit with great pictures of garden produce and of combining but I can't get to them so you can see them.  I haven't even had time to Google the problem and find a solution.  Hopefully that will happen soon.

5.  Photo of the week:

Still dreaming of Wind Rosa Orchard- 
especially as we watched the aftermath 
of fires in Peachland, just one town away

Lists of 2012 - #36

Listography 2012 - #36 - More Things I Love

1.  Sunshine

2.  Fresh peaches and cream

3.  Sunflowers in my garden

4.  Reflections in mountain lakes

5.  Babies

6.  The curiousity of children

7.  Hugs

8.  Little voices talking to me on the telephone

9.  My scrapbooks

10.  Any kind of double crust fruit pie

11.  Happy mail

12.  The colours of autumn in nature

13.  New books of any kind

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Too busy -

- canning tomatoes
- making salsa
- picking squash
- stomping sauerkraut
- husking corncobs
- cutting silage

and dealing with the craziness of September to post!

Back soon - hopefully before the snow flies!!
Thanks for your patience.

My Mom and Dad's sweet pea 'wall'

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Five on Friday

Quote of the Week
Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.
~ Margaret Cousins

2.  I borrowed this cookbook from the library

and have tried a few recipes this week.  The whole concept of eating only raw food, using soaked nuts and not using heat on food is interesting, to say the least.  What we've tasted so far has been delicious so that's definitely a motivator to try more.

3.  It's a canning blitz around here this week!  Apricots, plums, peaches and pears are all in jars but I still have more of each to work with tomorrow.  I love lining the jars up on my pantry shelves when they are all done :)

4.  I made popcorn tonight.  Filled the hot air popper, put the cover on and turned to the other side of the kitchen.  When I looked back a few minutes later, there was popcorn everywhere!  Yeah, I forgot to put the bowl under the machine!  Multi-tasking at its best!

5.  Photo of the week:

This spring I gave my Dad 4 of the tomato plants I'd started.
They are now taller than I am - he's such a good gardener!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #35

Listography 2012 - #35 - Things to Do This Fall

1.  Can BC fruit and tomatoes

2.  Make apple pies with my Mom and my friend

3.  Make tomato salsa and peach salsa

4.  Get back in to the swing of subbing

5.  Take a road trip to the mountains

6.  Have fun with my camera

7.  Change out seasonal decorations in the house

8.  Clean out the garden

9.  Attend Bob's parents moving-out auction sale

10.  Enjoy autumn colours and the sunflowers

11.  Make cards and send happy mail

12.  Be a go-fer for Bob during harvest

13.  Survive the craziness!!

Hello, September!

Hello, September!

Colours of 2011

Your first week has nearly slipped by already - my, how time flies when one is having fun!
This month I will:

- phone Silas on his 4th birthday and sing to him
- take Melinda, Tyler, Samuel and Malachi to the airport and send them back home :(
- work to put away a whole lot of BC peaches, pears, plums, apricots and tomatoes
- watch the weather forecasts carefully and hope the frost will stay away
- combine barley and canola - but the weather has to improve a whole lot!
- gradually clean out the garden
- start back at subbing in a few classrooms
- discuss "Walk Across the Sun" at book club
- be readers and greeters at church
- make salsa, tomato and peach this year
- eat a whole lot of fresh corn-on-the-cob
- return to spending days with the grandkids while their parents go to work
- anticipate the colors of the leaves
- hopefully take a drive to an apple orchard to pick new varieties
- take a road trip to the mountains
- marvel at how very blessed we are again!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

On Going Home

Dearest Melinda and Tyler,

It has been an absolute delight to have you and your two beautiful sons here at home for the past 19 days!  We have loved every moment of this precious time and the memories we've made together have been so wonderful.

 Tonight at supper you were talking about favourite moments and it got me thinking about:

- that special moment in the morning when a certain little boy pushed open our bedroom door and came straight to Grampa's side of the bed with the biggest smile

- "Grampa, do you wanna play baseball / feed the chickens / go for a quad ride?"

- "Gramma, are you gonna miss your daughter?"

- "Yes, I am - and I'm gonna miss my grandsons too!"

- "my very own work gloves!!!!" (and how they'd sneak on to little hands at meal times and even went to church with him on Sunday morning)

- baking cookies together and sneaking bites of dough

- the great treehouse building event

- how a pry bar, a hammer and a handful of nails can make a little boy so very happy

- sweet, sweet smiles and cooing from a baby

- how much Malachi grew and changed over the 3 weeks

- how long Samuel's hair grew too

- cooking favourite meals for you all

- Sunday's weiner roast

- the chickens - ah, the chickens - and all the trips to feed and check on them

- how a certain boy grew to be very brave in the chicken house

- "I'm gonna miss Cripply - he's my friend."

- sharing pictures and stories about Mommy as a little girl

- reading stories while Malachi watched the pictures so intently

- what a novelty he was while shopping

- evening games and cups of tea after the boys were settled

- hugs from each one of you!

I know that it's been a challenge some days but I am so very thankful that you came here for your summer vacation.  Please remember that you are welcome here any time - the door (and our hearts) are always wide open!  Travel safely tomorrow - we'll be praying that all goes smoothly.  And we'll be planning for next time too and praying that it comes very soon :)

All my love,

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

On Their First Day

Dearest Meadow and Helayna -

Today is the day that you are both starting first grade!  What a great day it's going to be for each of you.  There will be new teachers and new classrooms, new friends and some familiar ones, and a very long day ahead of you.  This is such an exciting year.  You are going to learn so much and do so many interesting things.

I pray that you will have a year full of kindness and encouragement.  I pray that your teachers will be patient with you and remember that you are just little people, on the first step of a lifelong journey of learning.  I pray that they will treasure your spirits and encourage you with every ounce of their beings. I pray that they will love reading and math and that they will challenge you to grow your skills.  I pray that they are curious at heart and encourage you to ask questions and explore your world and its people.  I pray that they will give you high fives and hugs and celebrate your strengths.  I pray that they will know when you are worried or nervous and gently lead you on.  I pray that this year will be spectacular!

I will be thinking of your Mommy and Daddy as they let you go out into the big world tomorrow.  It will be a bit scary for them too but they will be your cheerleaders every step of the way.  They love you so and want you to grow and learn everything you can.  I know they will be waiting at the end of the day to hear all your stories and see all the things you bring home.  Your brothers and sister will be so excited to see you too!

I can hardly believe that just six years ago you were tiny babies!  Where has the time gone?  How did you grow to be so tall and so beautiful, so strong and so energetic?  God has blessed you both and I am absolutely delighted to be your Gramma.  I am so very proud of you and all the things you can already do.  You always make me smile and your hugs are the best!  Thank you for being the best granddaughters ever!

All my love,
Gramma Crystal  XOXOXOXOXOXO

P.S.  I will be waiting to hear all about your day - please call me!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Five on Friday In Photos

1.  Lake Okanagan and orchards seen from Wind Rosa

2.  Red Haven peaches

3.   Loaded to the rafters!

4.  My friend and travel companion

5.  Boxes of goodness :)