Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Month of May ~ Musings and Memories

Why does it seem like this was a very long month?  Could it be because we experienced both winter and summer weather and everything else in between during the month of May?  We waited patiently for spring to arrive...and then went from cold and wet weather right to sizzling summer temperatures.


I'll post one photo of the first of the grass being harvested on the farm (our latest spring cropping ever) and then go back to the beginning of the month.


Ranen had a birthday and the two of us went on a birthday outing.
It began with mango ice-cream waffle cones at Birchwood dairy...
(which we ate on the lawn in the sunshine)
and then on to Michael's and Bath and Body Works.
We each found a few things to take home.



I also went to hear her play violin at the Abbotsford Music Festival...
where she played beautifully!


Since Ranen and Auntie Broni share a birthday, we usually have a joint family celebration.

We tried something different this time...
booking a room at a local restaurant for the whole gang.

The separate room was a brilliant idea!
We kept our noise to ourselves.
At least we tried.

Ranen is now 11.
I won't share Broni's age without permission.
But here's a clue: She is the same age I was when she and Jeremy were married.

Wishing them both a fabulous year! 


We had a few outings this month...
mostly on Sundays, since the weekdays were all about getting fieldwork done on the farm!
'Tis the season.

Cheam Wetlands Park is just a 15 minute drive from our doorstep...


...and a lovely place to walk on a Sunday afternoon in May.


We had a provincial election on May 9th.
I voted in the advance polls, since I knew I would not be around that day.

Four of us...
who were best friends in high school...
took a little trip to Victoria for two days.

We had not been all-together since graduation. 
Since we all turn 65 this year...
we decided that was a good excuse to plan a bit of a celebration.


Vi, myself, Darlene and Carol.
What fun we had!

We sailed across to the island in the morning...
checked into our condo on the waterfront...
and then walked to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch.


While in Victoria we walked around the inner harbour...
toured the old Empress Hotel ...
did a 'Hop-On Hop Off' city tour...
visited Beacon Hill Park...
had a lovely lunch at the White Heather Tea Room in Oak Bay...
and did a lot of catching up!

We had a wonderful evening together in our suite...
enjoying an appetizer buffet, birthday cake, and refreshments...
while reminiscing about old-times.

We talked family. 
And faith. 
And politics.

We tuned in to see the results of the provincial election.
There was no clear winner that night.
There still isn't. Really.
We aren't cheering.

We discovered that after all these years...
we could just pick up where we left off and have a wonderful time together. 

We are all on the same page when it comes to things that matter most in this life!
We are also committed to praying for one another.
Friends are the best.
I love these true friends-of-a-lifetime!


Here are a few more pic's from Beacon Hill Park.


We had an 'up close and personal encounter' with this peacock.
He was a pretty boy!



We walked through this sea of blue flowers to a viewpoint over the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Apparently they are satin-flowers...which thrive during a cool spring.
Beacon Hill Park is worth a visit!


And one last photo from Victoria...
Fisherman's Wharf as the sun was setting, taken from the deck of our hotel.

I'm not sure how we managed to pick the only two days in early May with half-decent weather.
It was cool...but we never had rain!


Mother's Day 2017...
with Jeremy, Heidi and Kris.


And just for fun...
we re-enacted a photo taken on Mother's Day in 1981.


The five youngest grands ~ Micah, Maggie, Ranen, Lucy and Ryder.


Photo taken Mother's Day afternoon...
a little sunshine.
A lot of clouds.
Then rain.


On May 20th...
the sunshine arrived.


The grass harvest began.
Temperatures soared to the 30's (90's...in Fahrenheit).


We were not expecting a windstorm with that kind of heat!
Many of the young leaves on the trees shriveled and wilted.


Another Sunday afternoon walk took us through the new community forest on the eastern hillsides, not far from our place.


Moss covered boughs, ancient trees and silence.
It's a great place to spend some time! 


My mom's irises bloomed in my garden for Mother's Day.
They are a beautiful reminder of her.


Though teeter totters and merry-go-rounds have long since been removed from school playgrounds...
one can still get injured there.

Lucy fell from the monkey bars and broke her elbow last week.
Thankfully, her uncle was working when she showed up at ER and was able to look after her.
She will be carrying around a heavy arm for her last month of kindergarten.


We walked along the  Harrison Lake promenade at the end of a very hot day this past weekend.

Harrison Hotsprings is one of my favorite local spots...
whatever the season.

I've taken a few photos here over the years.
Quite a few. :)

And then on Sunday afternoon,
with temperatures soaring into the 30's Celsius again...


...we packed up a picnic and headed to Silver Lake near Hope.

It was cooler...
quiet...
and peaceful.
We read books and relaxed.

 
Late in the afternoon...
some friends joined us there. 

It was a lovely Sunday in May!

These last few days have been all about trying to get the corn planted on the farm.  
About half of it is done...
the rest will happen shortly.
Never before have we planted corn in June.

And that was the month of May 2017 ~ through my lens.
  I have much to be thankful for!

 




Monday, May 1, 2017

Good-bye April

The month of April has come and gone. 
We are well into spring...
though it hasn't always felt like it!


Our pink magnolia bloomed on queue...
for April 4th.
It is our memorial Hannah tree...
in memory of our granddaughter who was with us for a few sweet hours on that date in 2008.


Lucy invited me along on her Kindergarten class field trip to the Rainbow Greenhouses.
There was much to see...
and the take-home marigold was a real prize!


Over the years...
I have crossed this narrow bridge over the Vedder River countless times.
It will soon be history.


On April 11th...
a new bridge was pushed into place across the river right next to the old one.

Crowds gathered to watch the event...
which took seven hours.

It was rather an historic day for our community as the new bridge is the first arch bridge in the world that has been launched across a river like this.

It will be a few more months before the approaches to the bridge are complete.
 

After a very harsh winter here in our area...
we have broken all kinds of rain records for April.
We got rather used to the dark skies...


...and really appreciated the beauty of spring on those rare occasions when the sun came out!


And there were rainbows...
a promise of a brighter tomorrow.


Lucy sent me a text...
wondering if we could make peep nests before Easter.

And so we did...in her kitchen.
She was OK with having Maggie help.


Easter Sunday turned out to be quite a lovely day (no rain)...
just perfect for an outdoor scavenger hunt.
They found clues...and eventually they found their baskets (made with beach towels).


Easter dinner 2017.
Maggie read us the Easter story this year.
The basic menu never changes.
Tradition.
Cold ham, sausage and meatballs.
Potato salad.
Fruit and veggie salads.
Paska.

It's always good to have the whole family around the table! 


After fourteen years out in the rain...
our arbour needed a little a lot of help.

It came down one morning and by the next day...
it looked like new again.
Well, not quite.
It still needs painting.
I added the photo from yesteryear to remind me of how it once looked...
with wisteria hanging from the top.
Sigh.
It will never look like that again!
Unfortunately the wisteria was stronger than the arbour...
and was partly to blame for its demise.
The wisteria is history...replaced by golden hops. 
For now.

Another highlight of the month was a luncheon with good friends at Lovella's. 
Fine china, tea pot 'place-cards', scones, croissants and pastries...
mini-sandwiches and pavlova desserts.
Delightful!
We always have such a fun time together...
and the hours just slip away. 

April is also the month for 'grandparents day' at many of the schools, it seems.
We went to a luncheon at Ryder's school...
where we took in a wonderful program and had a chance to visit his classroom.


Last week I had the privilege of being 'surrogate grandma' to these two delightful children...
just for an afternoon.

Emma and Jacob are best friends and neighbours of Maggie and Lucy...
and wondered if I could be their grandma for the grandparent's tea at their school last week.

Of course I could!

I really enjoyed the program at Highroad Academy...
it was an honour to be invited!


Ryder is playing in a spring hockey league...
and we took his great-grandpa along to watch his game last week.

How special to have a ninety-five-year-old (almost) great-grandpa cheering you on!
Ryder scored the one and only goal for their team that night.

 
Let me finish off with a few photos from our local tulip fields...
taken just a few days ago.


Some tiptoe through the tulips.
Some bike!


Loved the collection of old John Deere tractors out in the field!


Some travel to Holland to see fields like this.
I travel a few miles.

The earth smiles in flowers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Finding Sunshine ~ the Mayan Riviera

We have been back to the real life for a week now, 
so I will share a few snapshots of our time in the Mexican sun before it is all a distant memory.


We stayed at a resort not far from Cancun...


...in Puerto Morelos.


It was a lovely place...
quiet and peaceful in the areas we frequented.


There were plenty of pools ...
many that overlooked the Gulf of Mexico.


Every morning we went for a long walk on the beach.


We usually met a few others doing the same. 


Our resort had a tractor and 'seawood picker' that cleaned up the beach bright and early in the day.


All the other resorts used manpower.


Rake.  Shovel.  Wheel.  
It was an unending job, with seaweed washing in almost as fast as they could clean it up.


The silky soft white sand was easy to walk barefoot on for miles. 


We watched birds...


...and at times even managed to 'shoot' the pelicans diving for fish.


And once we were back from our walk...
we found us a comfy seat under the palm tree and read books.  
And the birds watched us!


This 'not so little' iguana greeted us every morning in the exact same spot.  
Unblinking.  Unmoving. 
Alive?  
We think so.


We had para-sailors provide our entertainment at the beach daily...


...while sailboats came and went.


Sailing was not a problem...since the wind never let up. 
We had to hold onto our hats!  
But that's a good thing when it is sunny and hot every day.


I took a daily dip in the ocean. 
Hubby watched from his dry perch.
 

Weddings also happened daily on the beach...


...which were always fun to watch. 


Wedding guests waded out to take photos.


Mango smoothies...

 
...or coconut ice-cream were delivered right to the chaise lounge.
Who knew?

Though we read many books and barely left the resort...
 

...we did take a day-trip to the Mayan ruins at Coba.


And we climbed the pyramid, of course.
All 130 steep steps.
This is the tallest of the Mayan pyramids and the only one that allows tourists to climb.
Chichan Itza closed their pyramid to the public in 2006 after a woman fell to her death.


Up was easy...and the view at the top was great.  
Going down was downright scary. 
We lived to tell of it...though we did have sore leg muscles the next day!


And this is what an ancient Mayan ball park looked like.  
We enjoyed our historic immersion trip to Coba.

 

Breakfast on our patio was on option...so why not?
As you might guess, we never needed lunch!


In the evenings we got out of our beachwear and headed to one of seven restaurants. 
 

My favorite cuisine?  The Mexican, of course.

Give me guacamole and fresh salsa at a patio cafe on a warm evening and I'm happy.


By the time our stay on the Mayan Riviera was over,
we were quite accustomed to sunshine and warm temperatures...
and could only imagine that things had warmed up back home as well. 
Not so much.
The almost daily rain since our return,
makes me all the more thankful for our interlude in the sun!  
It was lovely.

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter.