Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Eating

Homemade multigrain foccacia bread + roasted red pepper dip + cheddar cheese + seasoned, sliced tomatoes = summer goodness

And if you have the inclination, here's a delicious summer salad that I made last weekend.  
It's a bit unusual but the flavours are superb together!  Did you know that barley is a nutrition powerhouse?!

Mandarin Barley Salad
(from www.progressivefoods.ca and www.canolainfo.org)

1 cup uncooked quick-c0oking barley (I bought mine at Nutter's, a bulk food store)
1 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsps. cider vinegar
2 tbsps. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (11 ozs.) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Bring stock to a boil, add quick-cooking barley.  Continue boiling for 1 minute, cover and simmer for 9 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand until barley is tender or liquid has been completely absorbed.  ( I  let mine stand while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.)  Allow to cool.  Meanwhile, saute' mushrooms in 1 tsp. canola oil and cool.  In a bowl, combine the barley, mushrooms, celery and onions.  In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce and salt.  Shake well.  Pour over barley mixture and stir to coat.  Gently stir in oranges and almonds.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.  Serves 4.  Leftovers keep well.  

Monday, June 29, 2009

Simple Woman #48

For Today . . . June 29, 2009

Outside my window . . . summer sunshine, birds singing, flowers blooming - and the water running on the raspberry plants.  It's been the driest June since 1949 - 11.4 mm of rain for the whole month.  Crops and pastures are in dire straits.

I am  thankful . . . for a beautiful healthy granddaughter who is turning 3 this week.  What a joy it is to share time with her, to watch her grow and talk, to see her learning Bible verses and playing 'pretend'.

And I am also thankful . . . that Melinda, Tyler and Samuel are safely home in New York City.

I am praying . . . for my sister as she celebrates her birthday today and for my Dad who had to get stitches on Friday.  

I am thinking . . . about the groceries I need to get - I've used up some staple items this week. 

From the kitchen . . .  Salmon Chowder, Herbed Foccacia Bread, and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes, as well as fresh lettuce from the garden!

I am wearing . . . denim capris, a striped yellow tshirt and sandals.

I am reading . . . Suddenly by Barbara Delinsky

I am hoping . . . that it will rain, softly and gently for several days, very soon.

I am hearing . . . Camino Latino by Liona Maria Boyd, a classical guitarist. 

I am creating . . . a layout about our walk on the Great Wall of China.

Around the house and yard . . .  sewing a cooler blanket for Samuel to use in the heat of a New York summer, mesh produce bags and some mending - sorting through my closet - contemplating a painting project.

One of my favourite things . . . blooming irises - so, so beautiful.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a retirement gathering this afternoon, book club tonight, and then our annual quadding trip with my sister and brother and other family members.

Here is a 
picture thought I am sharing with you . . . the mother daughter cake decorating effort that created this mushroom cake, complete with a door and chocolate chip doorknob as well as a Smartie sidewalk.  It will be a memory for always for both of them!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Birthday Party

Yesterday was the day to celebrate Meadow's 3rd birthday - and what a party it was!!  There was water sliding, swimming, soccer playing, trampoline jumping, sand digging and good times had by all.   Having a big party and a 6 day old baby made for a busy week in the household.    

The mushroom cake for fairies, just like she wanted!  She had lots of fun helping her Mom decorate it the day before too.

It's almost unbelievable that 3 years ago she was just like that little tiny bundle!  I love this family picture!

There was a great deal of candle re-lighting so each of the little ones could have a turn blowing them out.  And the candy sidewalk made of Smarties disappeared in short order :))

Yummy birthday cake!

And then there were presents to open -

and to try out!  My dad won this ride-on tractor in some contest this winter so he gave it to Meadow.  She was pretty happy!

And of course everyone had to try it out!  

I think Renee' (in the pink shirt) was the most dedicated pusher of all.   She stuck with it the longest, that's for sure!  They were so, so good about taking turns.  

Thanks for a wonderful party, Meadow and family!  


Look what I found today!  A very cute, getting bigger by the minute, loves to 'talk', puts everything in his mouth, grandson!

He gets the most serious expressions sometimes.  He's a thinker like his Daddy.

He was all over the buttons and gauges on the quad.  And the ride to the barn was right up his alley!

He's starting to stand beside furniture and gets quite excited with himself :))

And he laughs and giggles lots.

I love this family picture with them focussed on each other.  Technically - not great, emotionally - my favourite!

"Thanks, Silas - let's do this photo thing again, real soon! 
 Love, Gramma"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Many people die with their music still in them. 
Why is this so?
Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live.
Before they know it, time runs out."
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 94)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ten on Thursday

1.  It would be such a blessing if you could say a prayer that Melinda and Samuel will travel safely to meet Tyler tomorrow at the American border.  Edward and Linda (Mel's NS parents) will drive them.  Please pray for their safety on the roads and that Samuel will be able to handle all the time in his carseat (16 hours total driving time).  It's going to be a very joyful reunion when Daddy meets these 2!! 

2.  It's very good to be home again!

3.  I came home very inspired to try new recipes and be adventurous in the kitchen.  We'll see how that translates :))

4.  Ali Edwards did a post titled "Right  Now" yesterday.  Go and read it - and be inspired to document what's happening in your life at this very minute.

5.  I received a lovely fabric bag from The Green Bag Lady in the mail this week, which I had won earlier this spring during the Blog Giveaway Carnival.  Teresa is on a mission to move people away from paper and plastic bags and over to fabric bags.  Mine is #5811 and it's the brightest, coolest bag for summer.  

6.  I love looking out of airplane windows!  This is as we were descending to land in Ottawa the other day. 

7.  I love checking Her Space His Space My Space for the daily one word photography challenge.  Today's word was DIRT - and this is what the dirt in my pots is growing.

8.  And while we're on the topic of dirt, Bob worked long and hard and has a wonderful green garden growing this summer!!  He did so much work while I was gone and it looks spectacular.  It was the best present ever!!!

9.  Wrapping a few presents for Jerry and Meadow's birthdays this weekend.  That little family now has 4 birthdays to celebrate within the last 11 days of June!!

10.  I went for a 40 minute bike ride at the lake this evening and  I even managed to get the bike chain back on after it came off :))  It was a great ride - one I hope to repeat many, many more times this summer. 

The Other Two

In 32 hours this week I was able to see all 5 of our precious grandchildren.  I am afraid it's going to be quite sometime before I am able to accomplish that again!!  So to round out the photos - 

A morning spent digging in the pebbles at the playground -

Flying away to New York, at least in our imaginations -

and drawing pictures with brand new markers.  

Let's just call this "A week with the grandchildren" shall we?!!   And further to this -

"Dear Silas,
I promise to spend a whole lot of time with you this weekend.  Could I please make an appointment for Saturday morning for a photo shoot with just you?  It seems that you have gone missing on my camera.
Love, kisses and an empty memory card just for you -

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Time

I met Blake Rodney for the first time tonight - and I am in love again!!  He is a sweet, precious little guy who fits perfectly in my arm and feels like a little feather!

I was amazed at how he opens his eyes and how he stayed awake for a whole hour.   He looks alot like some of his cousins :)

And this little one is loving being a big sister.  She spent a good part of the evening taking all these clothes that Mel sent out of the suitcase and packing them into her bag so she could go on holidays!  Imagination is her middle name :))

Of course I got a little snuggle time in too.

And I caught up on all the news and doings in the past week.
It was a very good visit - and the lobster (thanks to Edward and Linda back in NS) made for a delicious supper!

Going Home

I have had a marvelous week in Nova Scotia, cuddling and loving our grandson, talking and hanging out with Melinda, eating great food and visiting with Edward and Linda.  As a special treat last night, we had lobster for supper!  Samuel snuggled while Mel ate about half of hers and then he wanted supper too.

It was the best lobster I've ever eaten!  And Linda took some of the leftovers and made me a lobster sandwich on her homemade multigrain panini bread to eat on the plane today.  It beat any meal that Air Canada could have served!!

It was so, so hard saying good-bye to these two!  Samuel has grown and changed in just this last week.  Every day he is more fun!  Soon he'll be cooing and then sitting up - time is flying again.  I am wondrously blessed to be at this place and time in my life, enjoying these grandchildren and watching our children grow into parenting! 

 I am really looking forward to seeing Grampa tomorrow!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Simple Woman #47

For Today . . . June 22, 2009

Outside my window . . . grey overcast skies and some late afternoon showers.  I'm so glad the weather was wonderful for the first half of my visit to Nova Scotia!  The temperature is still +20 C so it's pleasant to wear capris and tank tops even though rain threatens.  

I am  thankful . . . that Edward and Linda have invited Melinda, Samuel and now me to make their home our refuge during this week.  They are such gracious people of God - we are blessed to know them.  

And I am also thankful . . . that Blake Rodney arrived safely last night!  Another grandson to love, cuddle, spoil and adore :))

I am praying . . . for God's protection as I leave here and head home.  I pray that I arrive home safely tomorrow evening and that Melinda, Tyler and Samuel meet safely at the border and return to their home on the weekend.

I am thinking . . . about the precious gift of grandchildren!

From the kitchen . . .  we had lobster for supper tonight!  They were so, so delicious!!

I am wearing . . . black warmup pants, striped sleeveless shirt, sport socks.

I am reading . . . The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for our next book club.

I am hoping . . . that it won't be long until I can see Samuel again!

I am hearing . . .  Jack Johnson singing Lullabies - Samuel likes it while he's sleeping!

I am creating . . . amazing memories with our grandson.  I think some layouts will come out of this visit.

Around the house and yard . . .  I hope Bob watered the flower pots as he took care of things at home this week. 

One of my favourite things . . . snuggling with a baby curled up and sleeping on your chest :))  I've had alot of that this week.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . finishing the packing up,  flying home tomorrow,  hanging out and helping Naomi with the new baby, giving Meadow lots of time and attention, helping to get ready for her birthday party, seeing 3 of our kids on the weekend, checking the garden and spending time with my husband!

Here is a 
picture thought I am sharing with you . . . I love the colorful homes, especially the front doors and gorgeous yards here in Nova Scotia.  Chester is just the most beautiful place, wrapping around the ocean.

Peggy at the Simple Woman has taken the summer off but since I'm so close to the one year mark with this little project, I want to keep going.  Thanks for stopping by!

He's Here!!! (editted)

Editted to add - we welcome Blake Rodney Drebert to our family!  It took Mom and Dad a little time to finalize his name this morning :))

Naomi, Jerry and Meadow welcomed a new son last night!!!  He arrived about 8:30p.m. and weighed 6 lbs. 11 ozs..  Mom and babe are resting and big sister Meadow has already been to the hospital to cuddle her baby brother. 

And I'm on the other side of the country, trying to imagine how it will feel to snuggle with someone who is only about half of Samuel's size!!  I hope Grampa Bob goes over to love on this new little miracle.

And I'm coming home tomorrow, new little family of 4!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 5 in Nova Scotia

Today we went for a walk around Chester, one of the prettiest and oldest (incorporated in 1759) communities in Nova Scotia.  

Samuel was snuggled up in his Baby Bjorn carrier, complete with hat to ward off the wind,

The village is so picturesque with colorful flowers and  fences dividing the yards.  

The ocean bay nestles in amongst the houses and wharfs are common at the waterfront lots.

The ferry to Tancook Island was moored beside this working boat.  The boats are always painted in bright colors.

This is the Baptist church where Tyler's dad is the minister.  It is a heritage building.

Right in the middle of town, off to the side of one house, this load of split wood had been delivered.  It had rained for about  2 minutes but stopped so we hurried on home. 

I have more pictures that I'll share as the days go by.  It really was a lovely afternoon - and Samuel even enjoyed the bit of shopping that we did.  He's really good that way :))

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Day with Samuel

I thought some of you might like a detailed look at what's happening here with Mel and Samuel :))

12:30 a.m. - Fall asleep after Mom feeds me

3:30 a.m. - Wake up and eat

4:00 a.m. - Fall back asleep

7:00 a.m. - Feeding time

8:00 a.m. - Doze for a while in bed with Mom

9:00 a.m. - Snack time

9:45 a.m. - Come to Gramma's room

10:00 a.m. - Fall asleep on Gramma's chest

10:45 a.m. - Lay down on Gramma's bed after Mommy tells Gramma I should learn to sleep on my own.  Gramma reluctantly agrees with her.  Listen to music on Gramma's laptop while I'm sleeping - I love music.

11:15 a.m. - Wake up, move to Mommy's bed and eat again.  

11:30 a.m. - Stretch and smile at Mommy while she talks to Auntie Abby on the phone.

11:35 a.m. - Scowl and frown at Mommy and Gramma while they try to get me to smile for the video.  They keep recording anyway but quit when I make alot of noises and they realize it's time for a clean diaper.

11:45 a.m. - Get dressed and swaddled - I've just been napping in bits and pieces this morning so Mommy says it's time for a long nap.  

11:50 a.m. - I'm in my bassinet with the laptop playing "For the Kids Too" from Mommy's friend, Kim.  I fall asleep to the sound of kids dancing and singing along to  the action music.  Mommy says the more upbeat the music is, the more I like it - she's right!

12:30 p.m.  - Everyone's downstairs getting ready for lunch and it's way too lonely upstairs so I cry to come down - and of course Mommy rescues me!  She holds me for awhile as she's eating her salad and casserole - she doesn't even spill on me this time!  Pretty soon I'm asleep again and she puts me down on the living room floor.  

1:45 p.m. - Wow - I slept a very long time!  Everyone is quite impressed with me :))  But I'm starving so Mom feeds me again.  I'm kind of noisy when I eat but it's so good!  Mommy changes me part way through - my chin and shoulder are all drippy with spilled milk.  

2:30 p.m. - I'm in my car seat and we're off to do some errands and go for a walk.  The sun is still shining even though the weatherman predicted rain today.  Gramma loves the ocean so we are going down to the shore.  

3:30 p.m. - I'm sound asleep in the carseat so Mommy carries me to a few places around Mahone Bay.  Mommy and Gramma get tea to drink, buy some pewter things and check out a shoe store.   We also go to Jo-Anne's market where Gramma Linda is going to start working after we go to New York.  It's a pretty nice place where they sell plants, gourmet foods, and vegetables.  

5:00 p.m. - When we get to Bridgewater, I'm hungry again so Mommy feeds me while Gramma picks up a few things at the Superstore.  She asks about getting my passport picture taken but I just go back to sleep - so they can't do it again.  This plan is not working out at all!!

6:00 p.m. - We arrive back in Chester and Gramma goes for a pedicure.  Mommy puts me in the Baby Bjorn and we walk home, past Grampa Green's where we stop to say "Hi".  They are just heading to the Cancer Relay for Life at the high school track.  Mommy and I walk about 2 km and I'm hungry when we get home.

7:00 p.m. - Mommy feeds me again.  Does that seem like the only thing she does all day long?!!

7:30 p.m. - Gramma gets home while Mommy is talking to Daddy on the phone so she takes me and heats up leftovers for their supper.  I doze in Gramma's lap while they eat supper.   Grampa Edward and Gramma Linda went to Halifax for supper tonight.  It's pretty quiet around the house without them. 

8:20 p.m. - Mommy goes to have a nap so I hang out with Gramma.  I nap, fuss, nap, fuss so she sings me songs, walks me around the house and tries to keep me happy.  

9:15 p.m. - I'm hungry so Gramma warms up a bottle of Mommy's milk and I gulp it down.  I'm kind of restless while I eat and my chin gets pretty wet.  

9:45 p.m. - This is my fussy time and I'm not feeling so great tonight.  My tummy hurts and Mommy gives me some gripe water.  That helps alot so I have a quick nap.

10:20 p.m. - I'm awake again and I'm crying now.  My little legs are kicking and I'm trying to get comfortable.

10:45 p.m. - Mommy takes me upstairs and we start our nightly time together.  I don't quite know what I want and so Mommy and Gramma take turns walking with me.  I have a couple of cat naps but whenever they want to put me in the bassinet, I wake up and fuss again.

11:15 p.m. - Mommy thinks I might be hungry so she feeds me.  But I don't eat much.  

11:50 a.m. - More gripe water.

12:00 a.m.  - I'm crying alot tonight.

12:20 a.m. - I'm really tired and when I  start dozing off, Mommy lays down in bed with me.   We both finally fall asleep with pillows propped around us.  It's been a long and tiring evening, for all of us!  I think Mommy hopes I'll sleep a very long time - we'll see :))

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ten on Thursday - from Nova Scotia

I could write 10 things about Samuel today but I'm going to share some other bits and pieces too.  Maybe next week the whole post will be about him :))

1.  We tried to get Samuel's passport picture taken today but it didn't work out!  His nap was interrupted and there was no way that he was opening his eyes for any camera.  Whoever makes these decisions about babies and passports has absolutely no idea about little ones!

2.  This is Edward and Linda's beautiful home and garden where I'm staying this week.  It's such a refuge of peace and beauty for Mel and Samuel.  God certainly blessed Mel - and us - when He brought these friends into our lives.

3.  Supper tonight was a combination of Alberta beef, NS haddock, PEI potatoes, local asparagus and mushrooms, and Annapolis Valley strawberry shortcake - delish all around, we decided!!

4.  We went for a walk along the old railroad trail last night and had this beautiful view of the back harbour of Chester.  This trail would be an awesome bike trail!

5.  Edward and Linda showed me  gorgeous pictures of the Belgium / Netherlands cruise that they took in April - and I have a new destination on my wish list.  The windmills, tulips, architecture and Belgian waffles were all calling my name!

6.  We talked to Naomi today and she's doing okay, trying to accomplish a thousand and one things before the baby comes.  She has strict orders to hold on until I'm back home :))

7.  It was another great day with Samuel!  Cuddling, giving him a bottle, singing songs, coaxing smiles - it doesn't get any better for a gramma.

Tonight Mommy was giving him airplane rides, just like Uncle Jonathan does, and he quite liked them.  I can see many more of these in his future!

8.  Shutter Sisters have some great ideas for photographers this week.  Check out:  what's in your back yard?  what's hiding under your nose?  and 365 photo ideas.  

9.  One of the things I love about Nova Scotia is how you can see the ocean around every bend in the road.  It's so, so beautiful here!  

10.  Only 8 more days until Mel and Samuel head back to New York City.  It's going to be one joyful reunion when they meet Daddy!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 2 in Nova Scotia

Samuel and Melinda had a doctor's appointment this morning so we walked just a few blocks and they both had checkups.  Samuel weighs 12 lbs. 3 ozs. already!  The doctor was happy with everything and loved telling him what a handsome boy he was!  She came to Nova Scotia from Poland 25 years ago and Mel and Tyler love her.  They keep their Polish connection strong with her!!

This little guy is a great napper during the day.  He didn't fuss at the doctor's at all and slept while we strolled along.

This evening was bath time and he was very content in the water - for the first time!  Melinda is such a good Mom.  She was talking to him while she washed all the little wrinkles and creases that babies have. 

He definitely knows his Mom and loves to be held by her!

And in other Nova Scotia news  - the lupins are in full bloom along the ditches and paths.

The strawberries are ready in the Annapolis Valley so we bought some from an elderly lady along the roadside.  Apparently she'll be here all summer, sitting on the back of her van, selling berries!  They were delicious!