Thursday, January 31, 2008

Confessions of a True Snow Day!!

I love the Snow and yesterday was a fantastic SNOW DAY.
I stayed home and played on my computer all day.
This is very unusual for me to even think about learning new stuff,
but the opportunity came and I thought, "Why Not?"
It was so much fun when I was young and the schools were closed.
Yippee....and we all played in the snow. Great fond memories.

Finally I took a break and took my camera to capture the extent of the snow storm.
Drifting snow accumulated in the ditches.

A real blizzard on our old homestead.
If you look closely, it's snow flying in the air.
Snow piled up in places as tall as myself.
(unfortunately, my posing in the snow was deleted..)
Then we toured the flats and had a bowl of soup at the Wildcat Grill.
It's our favorite hang out place in that neck of the woods.
When I entered, I was debating, should we eat outside,
but as you can see, the snow lay heavily anchored on all the tables,
which in the summer give us the perfect view of country life at it's best.
I guess we'll wait for spring time when things are thawed out once again.
Favorite shot of the Day!

Before I went to bed, I had to capture that beautiful Christmas tree outside and thought,
"There's a real advantage to recycling."

Well this brings my Snowy Day to an end and through it all, I was able to reflect.
I used to play in the snow, read books all day, bake my families favorite things,
and even pull up a stitch or so.
But now I'm content playing on my computer and enjoying photography.
I love every stage of life!

Marg

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Flurry of Events


It all started in a flurry of events twenty eight years ago. We were out having supper with friends in Vancouver when symptoms occurred, that told me I was in labor. According to my calender I was two weeks early. We ended our meal abruptly and scooted home as fast as we could. John dropped me off at the hospital and he ran home to milk those cows.
Of course he arrived just in time for her delivery. A beautiful daughter arrived at 12:45pm on January 27 weighing in a 7 lbs 8 oz. We have enjoyed watching Suzanne develop into a wonderful young woman filled with passion for living life to the fullest.
Here we are 28 years later celebrating another birthday with many of her friends hanging out drinking coffee around the kitchen island. How quickly those year pass by and it's been a joy to be part of her life.

Quite early in her life she let us know that she loved animals. Living on a farm allowed us to share this life style with her. At the age of 12 she became the proud owner of her own horse, called Cheval and it was exactly one year ago today that we had to make the decision to put down the family horse. With sadness we all said Goodbye but with happy memories
Sure enough a year passed by again and she arrives on our door step with the most beautiful Labradoodle. Being well aware that we never had dogs in our home growing up, she has now replaced the horse barn to use it as a dog kennel for her new puppy Drift.

Suzanne has added much color to our life. Your confidence, self-esteem, spiritual and emotional security are foundations for the rest of your life. Press on girl and go for your dreams.

Today I'm reminded as I sit by my window watching the snow fly in all directions, how it has been such an honor to share life during the flurry of activities and events that have made you the woman you are today. I remember asking God that I could be the right mother for you and care for you, as long as God loaned you to us.
Let me continue to see the importance of each moment, and cherish each special time.

Marg

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Championship Round

~~~
Ana Ivanovic, smiles as she fights hard to her defending champion, Maria.
"It's a learning experience and a learning process."
Isn't that what life's about?
We need to move beyond our challenges and consciously choose to look
at cultivating new habits that will keep us growing.

I love tennis. Congratulations to both these young women.
What a tremendous accomplishment for these young 20-year olds.
The sweat, the hard work and determination sums it all up.

Two young female athletes with strong attitudes.
I love what Maria Sharpova stated in her classy speech.

"Champions take chances and pressure is a privilege."

This past year I've taken an inventory of my access _________ (You know what I'm talking about) It's been long overdue. I have always loved sports and as a child I dreamt of being an Olympic athlete. Well, I didn't achieve that title, but I can sure enjoy being a spectator and appreciate the hard work that athletes must face daily.
This year I have challenged myself to run, walk, or hike in the snow, wind, rain or sunshine, rather than going to a fitness gym. (I have lost 2 pedometers, so I gave up counting steps)
I feel so empowered and exhilarated when I can set foot out there and feel the elements pounding on my face. It's my time to be alone and feel spiritual and physical renewal.

Isn't that what the game of life is all about? Sometimes we all get down on ourselves and we are discouraged and have so many questions about God and the circumstances that surround us. Why are babies born with challenges? Why was my young son hit by a drunk driver? Why do mothers have to die when I still crave her friendship and support? Why is there so much abuse? Why are so many families divorcing? Why are there so many homeless?

We are all in a race, for some of us it may be more in the physical realm and the next person it may be with their spiritual journey.
Paul encourages us, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13)

We're all champions and we all take chances, but remember it's the pressures and challenges that make us grow and learn from our experiences.
How will you end your championship round?
Don't think of what you lost or what hasn't worked for you, but think of what you have left and start your new journey with renewed freshness.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends.

Marg

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Knitting for Dummies

Somewhere along my blogging life, individuals have ignited a new spark in my life. Thanks to islandsparrow for encouraging me to think out of the box.
Earlier this fall I learned to crochet an edge around a baby blanket, with the help of many friends and then I became inspired to trying knitting again. So I ran out to Maries Wool Shop and said, I needed something for Dummies and she came up with the largest needles I've ever seen, and some heavy knitting yarn and a simple pattern.

As Judy posted awhile back about her trip up the Coquihalla, she was crocheting a scarf, while her husband was trying to concentrate on driving through the wintry road conditions.

We passed through the same highway last week on our trip to Sun Peaks, and Judy, I did the same thing...I knit while he drove, because that way I wouldn't always be on the defensive, telling him to slow down, but rather focused on making my first Stockinette Stitches.

Wow, it didn't take long and I was almost finished...Here's my first project.

Big fat needles and big fat wool with a bit of texture. It knit up in a jiffy for me!

And here is the end result. Today I'm going to give it to my daughter for her birthday.
I thought this would be just the right touch to complement her new black jacket.

So I thought I would try it on and sure enough it fit perfect. Does anyone want to get their pedometers and go for a walk? I thought that maybe this image, might start a new fashion trend.
Tukes and pedometers. Let me know if you need one. Maybe on one of these cold days we could all walk and then knit up a tuke while we visit and catch up.
There's always hope for those of us who do not feel we are crafty.

Marg

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Twilight Morning

I have been working on capturing the moon in the
twilight hours of the morning.
Generally I would be dead to the world at this time,
but this week was extra ordinary.
Usually it's been the sun that wakes me up,
but this last week around 7:00am,
the moon has been shining straight into our bedroom window.
It's been a great week to catch some beauty,
that only our Maker can create.

"So God made two large lights, He made the brighter light to
rule the day and made the smaller light to rule the night."

The reflections on our pond almost make it look like the setting evening sun.

But our bedroom faces the west side and isn't that a glamorous view?
Is that the sun or the moon? Then I zipped into my office which lies on the east side
and captured the twilight hours of the morning sun rising on the horizon.

God demonstrated power and love by creating.
With only a spoken word, God created everything around us.

Take time to think of our Creator today.
God was a tireless dreamer and designer.

Marg

Monday, January 21, 2008

Post Christmas Sales

O Christmas Tree
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your leaves are so unchanging.
Your boughs can teach a lesson that constant faith and hope sublime,
Lend strength and comfort through all time.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!Making a decision to take out my tree seems to be upper most in my mind. Well I finally made the plunge, but as you can see, I just removed it from the inside to the outside. Took the lights that were on the trampoline and twirled them around the Christmas tree and snugged it close to the French doors so that in the evening nobody gets to see it from the road, but we get to enjoy the season just a bit longer.
On Saturday morning their was a slight dusting of fresh snow and it was so beautiful.
It helps keep Christmas in my heart and enjoy it a bit longer.

So Kathy keep enjoying your tree. Why not?

But then came the temptation. I was scurring around town looking for just the right flower bouquet and I fell upon this fabulous post Christmas sale. I found the most beautiful little frosted Christmas already lit up and thought, "This will be just the perfect tree for my winter scene in my family room." I couldn't resist a reduction sale of 60%. I brought it home immediately and stood back with delight thinking,"It might be nice to have a cluster of three?"

Enjoy

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Shape of an Angel

So what shape am I?
I've read enough blogs to see that everyone is concerned about their shape and their fitness program. Their is no description category that fits for me. Yup, I'm over 50!!
"I've realized that aging is inevitable, but growing up is optional."

I started last week Sunday with my pedometer and felt encouraged by my long walk, then I tied it to my ski pants and guess what? I lost it. So much for my fitness week.

We spent a few days skiing up at Sun Peaks and our last day was an amazing breakthrough in my final run of the day. As you can see the clock is posted at 4:00pm, and as I came around the last corner, on my homeward stretch, look what I captured!
It was an amazing sunset, smoke rising from all the hotels and the sun slowly slipping away as dusk was starting to draw nigh..There's no better feeling to ending a good day.

I need to share a moment...John & I ski together most of the time, but occasionally he will scoot down and wait at a certain point and this one time, I saw him whisk away full throttle down the hill, stuff flying out of his pockets disappearing into the air .. .. You guessed it.
It was his VISA Card. I stepped back up the hill to pick it up and thought to myself.
"He will be looking for this shortly. I'm going to play along..." I kept the card secured tightly in my pocket and of course he wondered what took me so long.

Then we sat down at the warmth of this log fireplace enjoying our bowl of soup. (Meanwhile I'm smirking and waiting for the big moment.) The waitress comes and drops the tab and I make one bee line to the washroom. When I returned I found this guy with his pants all unzipped, jacket pockets turned inside out, looking for his VISA card. The look on his face....said I better rescue him quickly.
I zipped the card out of my pocket and flashed it on the table and said, "Let's pay up!"
He looked at me with the strangest look and he knew immediately what took me so long.
We walked away from the table smiling and laughing and he thanked me for being an Angel.


So I'm back in the saddle and guess what I found on sale today? Boots? Clothes?
See you tomorrow.

Marg

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm on Top of the World

I'm on Top of the World
It was way back in the 70's, when I remembered this song, sung by the Carpenters, driving up to Sunshine, Banff, AB. When we entered the lodge this music was playing in the background through the loud speaker system welcoming us to the village.
This uplifting song has been a favorite and I've packed this CD for our road trip.


This was my first experience, introducing me to the world of skiing.
Every time I go up on a chair lift and see one mountain higher than the next buried with snow covered trees as you rise up above the tree line, the words are humming in my mind...
"I'm on the top of the world looking down on creation, And the only explanation I can find."
I continuously marvel with awe at God's creation. What a great way to connect with him.
It's inspiring and invigorating. There's a connection with sunny rays on my back and fresh powder up to my waist. It's exhilarating. The mountains are calling my name.
The SUV is packed, my coolers packed and so is my book, "The Shack".
The chickens are fed and all the animals have a warm blanket of hay. This was Big Mac's version of preschoolers watching the chicken farm, while we are gone, except that one child had to have a time out so he was designated to sit on the right hand corner post all alone.
(He was referring to himself) He's counting 5 more sleeps till he comes over again.
There's nothing like sitting around at the end of a day in a warm log hut with a stone hearth fireplace, sipping on a smooth hot drink laughing and sharing experiences of the days outcomes. The best part of all is sharing this with my happy man. We have both completed our winter projects (for now) and are ready to share some wonderful days skiing.
The weather outlook is perfect.

Oh by the way I packed my pedometer...I'm up to Lovella's challenge. Today I tracked 7682 steps...6km. Sorry I won't be able to meet you tomorrow. See you back in a few days.

Marg

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mission Accomplished!!

Well I decided to tackle a project that was two years over due. What a mess. We had remodelled our home two years ago and you know how stuff gets put away into boxes because you don't know what to do with it, but you can't leave go of it. (Feeling attached?)

I had all my family pictures, from when the children were small, in boxes knowing they needed a new wall and the wall has been sitting empty staring at me for two years. That's along time to carry guilt eh? So finally I decided these pictures needed a new home.

When you start a project like this, remember if you are married to a fussy German, you need the right tools. I thought just a hammer and nail would be great, but oh no, he had to go to town and buy this fancy new kit (just an excuse to by some new tools) with laser lighting and he mounted it on my NEW Tripod. I thought tripods were for cameras, but trust me he knew why he bought me that gift.

We open the package. "Why do we need so many tools? A STUD FINDER?
I found one many years ago. Why would we need another one? Why do we need these sun shades?

Why do we need technology, just to hang some pictures?"

Thanks to Judy, she saved my marriage. She suggested that I get a roll of news paper and trace my pictures on the paper (like Martha Stewart) and that way, they will look just perfect.

Sure enough, we just got started, and we started getting on each other's nerves, because we tend to problem solve differently. (I wonder why) But then I came up with this great idea about the paper and sure enough he ran to the barn and came back with a huge roll of chick paper. I only needed 12 feet.
I placed the pictures on the paper and delighted myself in using a tape measure making sure the pictures lined up perfectly with his laser. It actually started becoming fun! I even got him to put on the shades. I thought that we might get creative.

Everything needs to be mathematically calculated!!!

Laser light show! "Why don't you show your shades?"
"Germans are also conservative"
That pink line is the laser beam.

And the final drum roll...
I love to sit back on these rainy days and let my mind be filled with wonderful memories of my children when they were young. Oh Bliss....

Mission accomplished and now I wonder what favor he'll ask of me?
Hm..Maybe I can think of another wintry project for these rainy days.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Let's go Walking to Starbucks

~~~~I love waking up to a fresh blanket of snow. It reminds me that it's still winter.
I just want to linger having one more cup of coffee and maybe read or check out blogs.
Today my walking partner dumped me because there was 1" of snow....
I was already thinking, would I wear my pink boots or my new brown ones?
Decisions of the day, but maybe I'll scoot off to the gym instead.

Is there anybody who would like to join me and walk to Starbucks?
I'ts only 1/2 hour and then just sit around and chat...
drink latte's and then walk back or even jog to take off those extra calories.

While I'm waiting, I think I should take down my tree or do something more worthwhile.
Maybe go into town and check out the specials.

Have a good day friends and enjoy the snowfall.

Marg

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Out with the Old

Does anyone recognize these lovely booties?? They really date me and the other day when I went to Costco with a friend, guess what, she had taken along the same pair of booties just in case we would have to plunge through the slush. I know that I am an embarrassment to my family, they won't even walk with me in town. Nobody understands what these boots have sacrificed over the years. I can count on them, they keep my feet dry and warm. Where would you ever find another pair that would be so comfortable? They've had the pleasure of hauling kids up and down hills on toboggans. They have walked miles on a cold wintry day in search of hot chocolate to keep their little fingers warm. I've come to learn one thing about myself in the New Year. I'd fit a perfect case for belong to the "Attachment Theory" I thought that attachment may decrease as I got older, but I realized that our need for connection and relationship remain with us as long as we live. But what attaches me to my boots? Who knows. Is this what drives me?? But now I have no choice, Trust that man of mine! There was a brand new pair of boots under the tree and my first reaction was, "But what's wrong with my pink ones?" Everyone had a good laugh and guess what, I took them for a good hike up the Promontory Hill and down to the River through slush and snow. My feet stayed dry, the grip was excellent and so now I am the proud owner of a new pair of winter boots that work just perfect for our BC Slush! I'm slowly getting attached... But what do I do with those nice old boots? I always have a difficult time deciding what to do with things that give me comfort and warmth.
It's not only about boots, I too have been cleaning closets and offices...Yikes I'm up to here!
I better learn quickly, Out with the Old and In with the New.

I still have my tree up.....

Marg

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Come Meet My Mom"

It's the first Sunday of the month and my turn to usher.
I love to usher and meet new people. We have two services and it's always fun to see who's coming and going through through those doors. As an usher your're always prepared to help people find their way about and provide the information and service for newcomers.

Today was one of those days. Let me introduce you to Francis. We belong to a growth group of younger people and this one younger fellow has always told me that I would hit it off with his Mom.

A new face appears and I reached out my hand and said, "Hi! I'm Marg"
Well that's when it all started. "You're not the Marg that hangs out with my kids."
Well it didn't take long and Dave says, "Got time for coffee Marg? " Come on over and get to meet my Mom!!

Frances is also an Oma. (Born exactly the same year.) It didn't take long and we were all over the map like two women who have known each other for years. We're laughing and crying and just talking about those heart felt issues.
Soon the topic changed to photography, blogging, and Shutterfly. Out comes the laptop as we navigate around showing each other what blogland is all about. Perhaps a future blogger?
She is a professional photographer and has wisdom to share.

The minute we met, we bonded. It was incredible. We were both freed verbally and could share from the heart. I could tell that she was a catalyst for me and I for her. We could talk in a kind of verbal shorthand. We didn't' have to explain or fill in the gaps.

You name it, the time was short but an incredible visit as we toasted with our glasses. As we departed, we gave those big hugs and exchanged emails and I know that I will meet Dave's mom again. This is what I needed today. You made my day!!

Thank-you Frances. "To get more out of life, give more of yourself."

Marg

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Memories

~~~~~Leonard Aaron Schmidt
Jan3, 1958-1974

How quickly life can pass us by. The third day of January always has memories that flash back like yesterday. I was just newly married and had just invited my younger brother, Len and his good friends, Vic and Albert Schellenberg to go skiing to Manning, our favorite ski hill and of course these guys loved to drop in at our farm and
enjoy a home-made meal at the end of the day.

It was such a wonderful day, sun was shining and I could still see him skiing down the face of the Blue chair, spread eagle and all.

The next day at supper I received the call. "Len has gone to heaven"
We're never ready for that phone call. What on earth did this all mean?
Len was killed in a tragic farming accident that day,
(but I was just skiing with him the day before)
How does one make sense of this?

My God, yes my God is no stranger,
He's friendly and gay,
And he doesn't ask me to weep when I pray.
It seems that I pass Him so often each day,
In the faces of parents and friends each day.
He's the sun on the hay,
a grin on some faces,
He's a branch on a tree, a dandelion in a vase.
We had joy, we had fun,
We had seasons in the sun.

It's been 33 years, and this day passes by. We don't call each other any more, but again as I was skiing at Manning last week and going down the Blue face,
I'm reminded of my brother who left us, Oh, so early.
It's so wonderful to know that he was ready to meet his maker and someday we'll all be flying down the face together again.

Marg

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dare for the New Year

~~~~~~

Happy New Year to all my bloggers who remain in hiding.
It's so much fun to hear them say, "Hey, I follow your blog"....
Does that sound familiar to other bloggers??

Do any of you actually recognize yourselves and dare to own up??

We celebrated with friends who have been there for us for 35+ years. That really ages us doesn't it? But when we're all together it's just so safe and comfortable and we all love to have a good laugh and party.
I've come to realize that over the years there's nothing better than to hang out with people who care about what's happening.


It's a group that has been there for each other during the early child-rearing years, through the youth/teenage years and now we're having weddings and grandchildren and yet we all love to catch up and find out where we're all at. We've cried with each other through difficult times, we have laughed with each other, sometimes we've disappointed each other by the choices that we made, but we've all blazed our own trails, and still we all hang onto a strong heritage, our belief in God. I value these long-lasting friendships and look forward to more good times together.

"Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold!!"


Thanks for your on-going friendships.
(Remember I'm here to help you set up your blogs and be part of Blogland.)

Marg

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Breaking Traditions

~~~~~~
Happy New Year to all of you.

I love those Portzelky. They are filled with all the nutrients that my body craves, but at the same time, it doesn't allow me to be honest with my New Years Resolutions, which I break in three days anyways.

But this year I decided to patronize our local Dutch Deli, called Hofstede's. They make the best traditional Olliebollen every year and why bother with all that hot fat splashing all over my stove. So I picked up a few dozen and dropped them off at my kids, and they had no idea that I didn't bake them myself, and yet they just loved the fact that I brought them over.

I tried something new. It has no big significance, but it's a recipe that one of my aunt's has made for many years and is not able to make these European cookies anymore. I received the cookie cutters at our gift exchange on Dec.29th and decided that I would take the time to make these for New Years.

Yes, it takes a long time to cut them all out, with all those little shapes, and it takes time and patience to make sure they are thin enough. But what I really treasured and valued, is the time, that she prioritized to bring pleasure and smiles to all. The room was filled with warmth when she entered the door with her specialty. It's a treasure from her heart.

Sprinkle a little bit of icing sugar and they look like Martha S. made them.

As you can imagine there are many smaller thin cut outs. Guess who loved cutting the final pieces of dough and eating them as fast as he could? He was snitching them whenever I wasn't looking and letting me know that he was growing taller and taller.

He got to take those home for his new-born baby brother.

Baking is no fun unless you can share it with a friend.

Another year has slipped away. Remember it's OK to break traditions but keep them alive by creating new ones.
It makes me wonder what will I leave behind? I hope that it will be a legacy of faith, and a life filled with laughter and love, sprinkled with icing sugar on the side.

Marg