Saturday, June 30, 2012


Linds linked to The Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Friday project today, which inspired me to write on her prompt "Dance".

I first learned to dance when I was 16 and began dating the man who would five years later become my husband.  I was raised in a home where my parents weren't dancers so the world of music and motion was a new one to me.  But I had an awesome teacher :) , community dances were popular at the time and so I soon learned how to waltz, polka, and two-step.   We spent many Saturday nights whirling around wooden dance floors and having a ton of fun.

In my first year of university, I audited a social dance class and was introduced to square and round dancing.  Classes were led by a pair of senior citizens in the gym and my roommate convinced me to sign up.  The girls had to wear red skirts and white blouses and even had a year-end dance evening.  It was fun for sure and I still remember some of the techniques we learned.  Bob and I took dance classes in our community one winter so we could learn to jive together.

I love to watch ballroom dancers and "Dancing with the Stars" is one of my favourite TV shows.  When we visited Argentina, the tango dancers were fascinating with their dramatic moves.

I wish we danced more often these days but the occasions to do so are few and far between.  The memories I have of all those long ago nights when my feet so easily followed my love's lead still make me smile and I'll follow him onto the dance floor whenever he might ask!

Bob dancing with Helayna
at D & K's wedding

Friday, June 29, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Bob went fishing off Prince Rupert on the west coast and came home with some lovely salmon and halibut.  Our freezer is stocked up for some great meals this summer.

2.  We did a little birthday celebrating with our June birthday grandchildren this week.  How can it be six and three years since they joined our family?!

3.  Our chickens have morphed from cute cuddly bits of yellow fluff to big white birds who eat and drink a lot these days.

4.  Our dinner yesterday included some of the halibut, new baby potatoes, sauteed beet greens and a spinach salad.  Everything except the fish was grown on our land.  It's such a great feeling to eat food that you've grown.

First picking of radishes and spinach from the garden

5.  Prudent Baby has great instructions for making simple boys' pants.  I wish my days had more hours in them so I could get some of these cute things actually made instead of just adding them to my Pinterest boards!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #26

Listography 2012 - #26 - Things I Love About Canada

1.  Our red and white flag

2.  The four seasons

3.  Cold weather that eliminates many insects and snakes

4.  Long summer evenings

5.  Big sky and beautiful sunsets

6.  Our coloured money

7.  The variety of geographic regions, each with its own beauty

8.  Amazing food like apples, salmon, saskatoons, lobster, ice cream, and

9.  The Rocky Mountains (and living so close to them)

10.  The abundant water we have in rivers and lakes

11.  The stories our immigrants brought with them

12.  The way we celebrate everything from Canada Day to hockey's Stanley Cup playoffs

and a bonus one -

13.  Our international reputation for helping and being good people

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4274 - #4314

- beautiful baby girl
- confident mamas who know their little ones
- the welcome I receive in our children's homes
- closets full of little clothes
- delicious food shared

- a big hug from a grandson - and his mom and dad - at the airport
- seeing Malachi for the first time
- safe air travel
- seeing puddles, ponds, creeks and dugouts filled with water from up above
- a bird's eye view of our country

- a little airport shopping
- the beautiful trees of Fredericton
- flowers blooming everywhere
- parks and playground equipment for playing on
- "Three Billy Goats and the Bog Brothers" played out on the bridge

- cuddling babies who smell divine after a bath
- watching them settle as parents of two
- playing baseball
- baby slings
- bikes and riders

- late evening walks
- umbrellas
- cooking together
- laughing at silly boys (big ones and little ones)
- baby baths

- Farmer's Market
- signs
- cheese curds
- box of herb plants
- a 'churches' walking tour with Tyler and Samuel

- pedicures
- a bed in the living room
- Daddies who cook breakfast
- good neighbors
- little sewing projects

- hearing God's word
- prayer
- pastors who teach
- worship time
- knowing that God has them all covered over

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Creativity Portal

Today's writing prompt at Creativity Portal is "Foods that I love".

The foods that I love most these days are ones that are fresh and full of flavour.  Simple foods like bright orange carrots pulled right out of the soil, juicy dark red cherries with stems still attached, crisp green lettuce fresh from the field and plump red strawberries dumped out of their green paper boxes speak to the newness of another growing season and all the goodness that awaits.  New baby potatoes lifted from the sack just minutes before cooking, with rich cream and flavourful dill poured into the pot to finish them for the table make my mouth water even as I write.  Ah, here's to the foods that I love this month and all of the ones still to come this summer!  

For awhile I've been thinking that I need up ramp up my writing so using 5 minutes to generate some ideas on a specific topic seems like a good place to start.   Maybe I need to do this daily?  We'll see!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Brothers!

2.  Baseball

3.  Soccer

4.  Swimming

5.  Good times!

Samuel's idea to see if Malachi would fit in his big dump truck!

Lists of 2012 - #25

Listography 2012 - #25 - Things To Do This Summer

1.  Cuddle Peyton and Malachi - and all of our other grandchildren

2.  Celebrate birthdays - #3, #6, #31, #38, #34, #49, #79 and #80 for various members of my family.

3.  Take care of our garden and the chickens

4.  Pick raspberries,  strawberries and saskatoon berries

5.  Have our grandchildren come to visit and sleepover

6.  Celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday

7.  Have my girlfriends come for lunch

8.  Eat berries and fresh produce

9.  Read and discuss books for book club

10.  Sew some special gifts

11.  Go to BC for fruit - and then preserve that fruit

12.  Celebrate a wedding and a 50th wedding anniversary

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Eating

When I come to visit Melinda, she's always got a stack of new recipes to try, which encourages me to be creative and try new things.  Today we made this lovely salad for lunch.

Quick Thai-Style Quinoa Salad
from Canadian Running Magazine

2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 cups cooked red lentils
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, basil or parsley, chopped

In a small bowl whisk together oil, almond butter, lime juice, soy sauce, honey and garlic.
In a large bowl combine quinoa, lentils, pepper and onion.
Add dressing and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
Serves 6 - 8.

- I used olive oil but grapeseed oil would be very light.
- I think you could substitute peanut butter if you don't have almond butter.
- The bell peppers were used up last night so instead I used chopped cucumber, sliced mushrooms and grated carrots to equal about 2 cups of vegetables.  (Basically we cleaned out the fridge!)
- Canned lentils or home lentils can be used.
- I like garlic and onions in moderation so my amounts were about half what the recipe said.
- Chopped peanuts would be a nice garnish.
- We served it on a bed of lettuce and added a lime wedge to squeeze over  the lettuce.
- It would be easy to take this in packed lunches.
- This recipe is definitely a keeper!
- "Smacznego" (smatch-nE-go), as Melinda would say!  (That means 'bon appetit' in Polish)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4236 - #4274

- gifts of peace: two sleeping, two playing quietly
- gift of hope: buds swollen, full and round, with the promise of bright yellow blossoms
- gift of love: grandson looking up and saying, "I love you, Gram"
- gift of activity:  walking downtown with three little ones, watching what's happening in town and chatting as we go
- gift of colour:  yellow and purple blossoms together in the vase

- dirty dishes meaning we have food to eat
- bumpy roads meaning people have passed by here often
- weeds of thistles, stinkweed and dandelions - home for little living things
- 2 trips to the quilt store in 1 days :)
- watching her lay out strips of colour, planning and arranging for a quilt

- gifts in reading:  "A Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks - one village's experience coping with the plaque in 17th century England
- pictures painted by words
- only 2 grades at school this afternoon
- grandson at our house
- Convocation dinner shared with a new graduate - how in the world did 4 years go by so quickly!

- gifts empty:  a grocery card ready to be filled, snack containers with everything eaten up, backseat missing a car seat and grandson
- fresh blueberries
- birthday gifts
- brand new full spools of thread
- buy 1, get 1 free sales

- safe arrival of a new little grandson
- pictures via the internet
- surprise drop-in visits
- helpful quilt expert
- judging at Drayton Valley fair

- preparing meals for freezers
- celebrating at church
- folded laundry
- transplanted tomatoes
- growing chickens

- a new fenced enclosure
- weeding rows in the garden
- fresh new potatoes with cream and dill
- barbecued pork chops
- light shining on grove of birch trees

- His infinite goodness
- how very much He loves
- that I am safe and secure in His care

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hello, Monday

Heeeellllloooo brand new grandson  and big brother!

Hello daughter and doctor-husband.

Hello beautiful summer days.

Hello sleeping on the air bed.

Hello washing dishes by hand.

Hellon gorgeous heritage homes.

Hello beautiful trees and yards.

Hello cuddle time.

Hello baseball games.

Hello pools and soccer fields.

Hello first CSA box of the year.

Hello walking to the library and over the bridge.

Hello vegetarian suppers.

Hello surf 'n turf night.

Hello new adventures in cooking.

Hello missing home.

Hello old friends.

Hello u-pick strawberry farm.

Hello new jars of 2012 jam.

Hello evening tea and dessert.

Hello Thomas and Duplo blocks and story books.

Hello family birthdays and singing on the phone.

Hello memories of when our baby was a baby!

Hello longest day of the year.

Hello beautiful summer memories!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Bags are packed - flight leaves in 5 hours :)

2.  Little Miss P is growing more adorable by the day!  She is stretching out, growing cute little cheeks, makes the greatest faces and starting to watch things already.  I'm so glad I got to see her today.

3.  My mechanic-inventor-there's-better-way-to-do-this husband hooked up a great water system for our chickens.  The chickens and I both love it!

4.  I had a marathon weeding session on my hands and knees, finding carrots, beets and dill in the garden this evening.   It looks much better.

5.  I wish there was a high speed train connecting the major cities in Alberta.  I could have slept or read a book instead of concentrating on the road and all the weekend traffic today.  I doubt that I'll see that transportation infrastructure built in my lifetime!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #24

Listography 2012 - #24 - Best Things About Being Outside

1.  The fresh smell

2.  Scents of flowers and trees blooming

3.  Hearing the bees busy at work

4.  Seeing plant and animals growing

5.  Playing with the grandchildren

6.  Watching them ride bikes, jump on trampolines and be active

7.  Seeing the water play - with watering cans, hoses, wading pools, swimming pools and lakes

8.  Wearing sandals and going with a jacket

10.  Eating outside at picnic tables

11.  Sitting on decks and patios to visit

12.  Thanking God for creating all this beauty

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dear Summer Night

Dear Summer Night,

You have kept me out far too late for the last week!  It is now after 11 p.m. and I've finally plodded into the house.  The sun slowly slipped behind the horizon at 10:01 tonight and it's still light outside.  When the days are this long, it's really hard to abandon you and retreat indoors before dark.  There's always another plant to water, another few weeds to pick, another tomato plant to fertilize, another tree to look at, another flower to enjoy before ending the day - and darkness hides everything.

I am lucky to live in this place where the summer daylight goes on and on and on.  This morning, the sky began to lighten at 4:00 a.m., just barely hours after it had finally got dark.  Today there will be 16 hours, 54 minutes and 34 seconds of daylight.  And we are still 1 week away from the longest day of the year!!

On the flip side of all this bright goodness is that just six months from now, the exact opposite will be true - less than 8 hours of daylight and you will be but a distant memory!  But we'll worry about that in the cold winter, not now when the sun is far to the north on the horizon.

It's only for a few short weeks in late June and early July that we get your counterpart of early morning sun shining into the north facing living room windows - and I love every morning of it!  Walking down the hallway to see those shafts of light coming in across the hardwood floor instantly makes me smile.  Our east-facing bedroom is flooded with the sun's rays and some days it's actually too bright to read in bed.  Sleeping in is harder in the summer for sure!

Days end perfectly as your golden light  falls across the lawn. The sun slowly sinks into a sky painted with scarlet, honeyed gold, magenta and fiery orange streaks.  And once again you have provided me with a spectacular sunset as the day finally draws to a close.

Thank you for the beautiful end to so many wonderful days!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Hello, Monday

Hello middle-of-June already!

Hello day and a half of subbing.

Hello two days with grandchildren.

Hello trip to see our newest granddaughter.

Hello haircut!

Hello kindergarten graduation.

Hello first class airplane ride.

Hello newest grandson - and big brother!

Hello to the family who lives farthest away.

Hello sewing projects - you need to get finished!

Hello full suitcases.

Hello soggy garden.

Hello last of the transplants.

Hello chickens who are growing ever so fast.

Hello - it is the month of growth.

Hello long days and short nights.

Hello, good life!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Five on Friday

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future. ”
Deepak K. Chopra (born 1946);
physician, writer

2.  There's a little quilt store in the village where one of our children lives and the little ones love to pop in with me and see what's new.  Today they had some gorgeous fabrics on sale for $5 per metre and some beautiful pink and brown prints that two of us fell in love with!  I love that this small  community has a great local business like this one!

3.  Costco on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.??  Nuts!  You couldn't even navigate the main aisles with a cart but luckily there were no lineups in the checkout area.  

4.  I judged at a local fair today and enjoyed seeing all the beautiful things that people make and display.  There were 10 kinds of dilled vegetables (including radish pods which I've never seen before!) and 10 kinds of jam - lots of taste testing.  The best entry, in my opinion, was a jar of locally grown Evans cherry pie filling.  It was just perfect in every way!  It's inspiring to spend a few hours doing this.  

5.  We are so excited to welcome Malachi John Green to our family!  He was born early Friday morning and weighed 6 lbs. 7 ozs. .  I'm going next week to help and be with Samuel - but this little one decided to come early.  Mom and babe are both doing fine.  We now have 4 granddaughters and 4 grandsons :)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #23

Listography 2012 - #23 - The Best Things About Being Married

1.  Having a partner to share the good times

2.  A sounding board is always available, even when I don't necessarily want one!

3.  Sharing our faith journey and discussing what God wants of us

4.  Having 4 children together

5.  There's always a mechanic in the house

6.  Not sleeping alone

7.  Never a dull moment

8.  There's someone to eat my cooking

9.  Watching the love and fun between him and our grandchildren

10.  Sharing travel adventures

11.  Learning new skills because he believes I can

12.  Having someone to empty the mouse traps!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


I am working on a scrapbooking project (think A Week In My Life project) and some sewing (think babies) but most of my time these days has been spent outside working with plants and dirt.  So today's projects are little things I've been doing with our grandchildren instead, creating precious memories as we make things and spend time together.

Fingerprint art using inkpads

Picnics in the treehouse

Lots of photo practice by big Miss M

Monday, June 04, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4206 - #4236

- sleeping in, even just a bit!
- driving and visiting
- seeing Aunts and Uncles after a long time
- hearing them tell sibling stories
- blue sky over apple trees in bloom

- phone calls
- creeks and ponds full of water
- big salad suppers
- dark stormy skies moving away from us
- sun shining on brilliant green trees

- the gift of time
- picnic lunches
- playing together on the playground
- watching littlest Miss M climb up to the top (and being right close behind)
- more plants from the greenhouse

- each one picking the plants they like
- driving home on the scenic route instead of the highway
- a new orange pen
- orange and purple daisies
- Friday night suppers brought home

- little helpers in the chicken coop
- envelope with pictures and drawing in the mail
- after supper naps
- sharing in the joy of  confirmation
- a home for chickens, complete with willow arch

- knowing that He has good things planned for K
- bread and wine, reminders of His sacrifice for me
- all the beauty of His creation
- He will never love me less and He will never love me more
- He loves me all. the. time!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

May's Meanderings

May was marvelous for so many reasons:

Our granddaughter, Peyton Mae, arrived safely and is just perfect!

I worked 14.5 days, including a seven day assignment in junior - senior high school and five days in grade one.  A big difference in age and size - but so many similarities too!

Our crops of barley and canola were planted and are growing.

The garden was planted and some of it pushed its way out of the ground.

We ate our first new baby potatoes with cream and dill - soft and buttery, so good.

My sister and I took my Mom to a play for Mother's Day.

Our Sunday School tried an after church session.  I taught the older group.

200 baby chicks arrived at our farm.

The lawn was mowed.

Apple trees and saskatoon bushes bloomed profusely.

Tomato plants continued to thrive.

I visited Sprouts Greenhouse twice.

My Mother's Day gifts included a lavender colored rose, a donation to KIVA and a pedicure.

We made a quick trip to visit Peyton and her parents.

Our Bible study group met for the last time before summer break and finished our discussion on Heaven Is For Real.

Health Advisory Council met in Devon and heard from Metis and First Nations groups.

Spring came into its own and has been much enjoyed at our house!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  55 days until the Olympics begin!!

2.  This bouquet is on the table at my house today.  The evening sun makes it even more beautiful and the smell is divine!

3.  The baby chicks I got 1 week ago are growing by leaps and bounds.  It's really quite amazing!  They love getting new straw for bedding.  They scratch and settle in just like old hens - so funny to watch.

4.  The radishes, lettuce, peas and onions are coming up in the garden.  And some pumpkin seeds that got thrown out over the winter are sprouting all over the place.  They need to be moved tomorrow or they'll run right over everything else!

5.  On this week's wish list:  Barefoot Train Lithe Glove Shoes by Merrell

Summer Manifesto for 2012

As inspired by Ali Edwards (and others), here is my summer manifesto for 2012.

This summer:

I will cuddle and rock two new grandbabies.

I will play in the wading pool.

I will watch new parents and marvel.

I will celebrate my dad's 80th birthday.

I will watch my garden grow.

I will pick raspberries and saskatoons.

I will visit a u-pick for strawberries.

I will celebrate a wedding.

I will gather summer fruit from BC.

I will enjoy my rose bush.

I will have grandchildren over to stay.

I will read more books.

I will eat birthday cakes.

I will sew curtains and quilts.

I will make 3 potato salad.

I will have a family photo session with all of our children and their families.

I will raise chickens.

I will count more gifts.

I will entertain my girlfriends.

I will eat berries with brown sugar and cream.

I will ride in the boat while grandchildren waterski.

I will go to the splash park with them.

I will have an Alberta adventure somewhere in our province.

I will sleep in the camper.

I will visit the mountains.

I will put summer pillows on the couches.

I will pray.

I will savour every memory of summer's past.

I will make new memories.

I will use my camera more.

I will bask in the sunlight.