Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spending Time with my Therapist!

My Therapist invited me to join her on a weekend vacation to Whistler.
How could anyone resist an offer like this. I cleared my calendar.
It's not always easy to find a good Therapist.

Day One!

Let me introduce you to my Therapist.
I'm sure most of you recognize her as my daughter.
Working as a Occupational Therapist, she felt it would be beneficial
for us to enhance our relationship through sharing the experience of hiking.
We drove 45 minutes north of Whistler to Joffre Lakes on an empty gas tank.
The sign read, "Next gas station is located at 95km."
"Don't worry Mom, today your first lesson is: "
Releasing your inner FEARS!

We were about to journey through three lakes on the Joffre Lake circuit,
a 6km hike, to reach the base of Matier Glacier.
At the first lake you will experience a panoramic view.

The trail is somewhat rooty, but I could tell that
she wanted to assess my physical manoeuvrings over the narrow logs...
while she sat back smiling.

There are extended periods of climbing over boulders.
The four kilometers to the second lake are long,
but the view is spectacular.
For many people this is the turn around point....

By the time we reached the second lake,
she had made arrangements for me to meet another Therapist, a colleague.
By now, she's questioning my ability of arriving to our final goal,
the third lake?

"Hey Mom, You've always taught me this saying."
"If it is to be, it is up to me."
Somehow, I'm beginning to fall short of what I preached.

The next kilometer ahead is some of the most vertical of the trip.
As you come to the Third Lake,
the trees thin out and the slopes become bare.
You now experience a 360 degree view and a well deserved rest.

Many hikers walk in and set up camp at the base of Matier Glacier.

"Here's one single tent just for you."
Meanwhile, I'm only thinking back to my luxury comforts
left behind in Whistler.

Of course, during this whole adventure, she was planning
a future hike with all our camping gear.
Maybe next time.

Ah, yes, she totally understands me and knows my limits.
I believe a good therapist understands the skills of empathy...
An effective therapist illustrates listening skills...
A good therapist should be able to clearly explain all aspects
of the prescribed treatment...
Plus a good therapist should excel at creating a nonjudgmental environment.

As you can see, we had perfect weather,
and she had the traits of a Perfect Therapist.

Thanks Mikki for always pushing me one step further.
Stay posted for Day Two!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday's Fave Five #13

You are all invited to join me as I share my highlights
for this past week. It seems like I just finished this one,
and oops! it's Friday again...I don't know where the time flies.
Dash over to Susanne's to see what's cooking with

#1 Cleaning out the Garage.
It's Fall and it's time to get rid of all that stuff again.
It seems like everyone likes to drop their junk off in my garage.
Oh well, it's clean for awhile. Check that off my list...Yea!

#2. MCC Relief Sale
(Mennonite Central Committee)
Thousands of volunteers come together to raise money for MCC for the relief of suffering in the world. These festivals/auctions offer a little bit of everything - quilts, artwork, crafted woodwork, homemade foods, antiques and crafts. Often there is music and lots of fun activities for kids This year they raised over $700,000 dollars.
I enjoyed my stash of the year, "Vareneki and Sausage" Yummy!
I have bought many home-made quilts at this auction, but this year I bought one bundle of Summer Savory which provided me with 10 small bundles in my freezer. This is the most needed herb when making Bean Soup.

#3. Riding the Canada Line.
This week a group of us from our church, jumped on the new Canada Line which has been completed in hopes of relieving some of the congested traffic during our Winter Olympics 2010.
The train runs from downtown Vancouver to Vancouver International Airport and Richmond. Originally not expected to open until November 30, the Canada Line was completed an impressive three and a half months ahead of schedule. For once we're ahead of this schedule!
It was a great day relaxing and acting as a tourist in our city.

#4. Busting up my Clay
Last week I talked about creating a new ornamental grass bed. It's one thing to run to the garden shop and find all the grasses for our region, but it's another thing to bust up the clay. So, I started on digging and finally realized I need to rely on the help of some masculine strength. Meanwhile, I made my trip to town and picked up 15 large bags of Clay Buster Compost and had the soils mixed together. My arms are still aching. Stay posted for results next week, hopefully.
No wonder my husband enjoys farming in a big way, not a small 10x10 garden plot, that he can't even turn his tractor around.

#5. Helping Lora set up a Blog.
This was probably my highlight. Most people who don't blog...don't get us bloggers, right? Well finally I have someone in our family who wanted to share her experiences of life. We did one tutorial on writing and posting a picture. Lora is the mother of my two adorable grandchildren.
So now I get to check in with her and see what's happening in her world. They are so cute.
Check them out at Always on the Run!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Grand Slam

I loved watching the final US Womens Tennis Match 2009.
Especially watching someone coming from behind,
stepping up to the game,
staying focused.

Look at her back hand swing.
There's muscle and power and intensity.
This young woman from Belgium knew what she wanted that day.

What Makes Kim Clijsters my hero is that she claims she has two careers,
one being tennis and the other mother-hood.
Kim does not hog the headlines about motherhood.
Yes, her daughter Jada was there when her mother won in the final moments.
She is the first mother in 29 years to win the Grand Slam Title.

"But Clijsters isn't known for anything more than her consistently good play and her friendliness. Mothers often struggle with the feeling that they have to make compromises to prove their mettle, or struggle to overcome the "mommy track" stigma upon returning to work. Clijsters managed to competently and uncompromisingly return to the game without skipping a beat."


So today Judy & I continued to work at our game of tennis.
One down, One up...The game carried on into the late hot afternoon.
Love -40, Deuce, Your Ad, My Ad, Match Point.
And so we batted back and forth.
Who was going to win this Match?

On our way home we experienced a Grand Slam!
Right in front of my driveway, bumper to bumper.

We didn't stay around long enough to find out who won.
It didn't look like the match we just finished.
It seems like there is always a winner and looser,
especially in this Grand Slam.
We offered bathroom facilities, and a few drinks,
in hopes of trying to deescalate the situation.

It didn't take long and the police arrived and settled everything.

Keep working at your game whatever it is.
We don't all need Grand Slams to be winners.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Danny Played his Game Well!

Danny Arthur Albert
July 16, 1969
September 9, 2009.

This week our community has been hit by another hard blow.

A wonderful young devout family man has passed away suddenly in a work related accident. He was a father, He was a husband, He was a friend, he was a son. He was a humble man, gracious with the highest integrity. Dan was a happy go lucky man who was always there for everyone. Dan was always anxious to meet new challenges and gave 150 percent to everything he did, be it work or play.

A very important part of Danny's life was his Christian devotion to God. It was visible whether at home, work or church. He was a father, adored by three lovely young children. He had a wife, Karen, who thought the world of him, where ever he went. She struggles with giving him back to God.
He left us far to soon.

Most of us are not ready to deal with death or think about our future. Danny was the kind of guy who put his words and actions to heart. He was ready to go....He had planned for his future, financially, and spiritually. He had his House in order.

Pastors Jim & Sharon Gaetz reminded us all, that Life is like a Game. There is always a list of instructions. It has a goal. It has an object. It is not just a series of random activities. There are rules to follow in life and each of us will develop a strategy.
The game will not go on forever. So as you all know when you are finished playing the game....everything gets packed up and put back in the box.

Dan was the kind of player you wanted to sit next to. He learned to loose and win with grace and forgive with grace. He has finished his game. You have a choice...
How will you choose to play your game?

Our clocks are set when we come into this world and are clocks are set when we leave....
And we don't know what time that will be.

The Clock
The clock of Life is wound but once,
And not man has the power,
To tell just when the hands will stop,
At late or early hours.

Now it the only time you own,
Live, Love, Fail with at will,
Place no faith in tomorrow.
For the clock may then be still.

We will miss you Danny.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Susanne next door is our gracious host,
and allows us to share our Favorite Fives highlights of the week.
Run over and check out what she' s up to.
You can join by just linking up and following directions.

Where has the week gone?
One of my highlights this week, was creating a new ornamental grass bed.

You know the kind of grasses with fluffy plumes, and they blow in the wind.? We have westerly flows often and they would accent that long tanned fence of mine. The only problem is I have to first dig up all the hard stone clay and so now I watered it all day...Guess what's on my to do list this weekend? Hopefully I can show you my anticipated creation.

I love working with fresh produce. This week I make my Salsa. Our family loves it. I enjoy chopping all the vegetables by hand...that sounds crazy, when you could use a machine...but I just love the feel, the noise, and the results. My favorite recipe can be found at MCGG I have made this recipe several times and its' delicious.

We got to dine out with one of our favorite Chef's in town, Chef Dez. He cooked and baked while we watched in awe at the amazing results. He made the best "No Knead Crusty Italian Bread". That's also on my list to do this week and it too will be posted. I could eat a whole loaf right now. It's absolutely fabulous.

A walk along the promenade, feeling the fresh damp air on our faces.

I love this time of year. The plants and flowers are showing their last splash of color. And this led us to another milestone in our life.

We celebrated our 36th anniversary. Took the Whistler Express Chair to the top...absolutely breathtaking views. Enjoyed a lovely supper at the Rim Rock, (1987) one of Whistler's oldest restaurant's, rustic in appearance, but is known for its atmosphere, service and sublime eating experience. Then we cuddled up and watched Dr. Zhivago.

You too, can join in and share your favorite highlights.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We Met in a Barn!!!!

We met in a Barn!!!

He had his eye on the cows.

Or did he?

Years back, a young gentleman bought 3 cows,
at my father's dispersal sale.

He bid over $4500 for three purebreds...
Or did he?

I was the secretary for the day.

I had to contact each buyer and record all the data.
(little did I know, why he kept bidding....he was checking what?)

So I thought.

Was I looking or interested?

Not that day.


Then came the phone call.
"Can I please speak to Mary?"

"You are speaking to Mary."

"Oh, is that Mrs. Schmidt?"

"Yes, this is Mrs. Schmidt."

"But, is Mary in?"

"Oh," my mother said, "You want to speak to Marg..."

Well there you got it.....in a nut shell.

We began phoning, writing letters, and dating.
How much fun.

We met each other Dec. 30th, 1972.
Engaged, May 11th, 1973.
Married Sept.15th , 1973.

It took no time at all for us to figure out life.
I had been born and raised farming....
(Only I always said, "I would never marry a farmer")

The wedding took place in a church.
The after party took place in that same old barn yard.


Many years have passed...
Many challenges...
Many highlights...
Many milestones...
Our kids have all grown...
They have left the nest.

We're all alone once again.
We are enjoying the new treasures of this Season.

Let me share a note I found in my scrapbook.
I wrote this to John on our wedding day.


Dear John,

I think of the moments and years in our lives,
that have never been touched!

I consider the mountain tops,
I have not seen you climb,
the dreams, I have not shared with you.

I think of the love and laughter that we
have never known together.
Years of giddy remembrances, not ours!

Yet, I know there is no friendship as dear,
no closeness quite like ours,
for with the Lord Jesus as our Savior,
we are more than friends.

We are God's Household and Partners in Eternity.


Where ever your road takes you,
discover what your foundation looks like.
What is your framework for goals and values?

Too many people jump out of marriage
because of hopelessness and despair.
As a result energy is directed toward fantasy and escape.

You never know what's at the top....
Believe me,
36 years is worth sharing a mountain top experience,
because we chose to
"lock the escape hatch and throw away the keys."

And guess what, you can still find us in the barn together
or sharing mountain top experiences.

Make your marriage a non-stop vacation!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Creamed Corn

What is is about Corn?
Well let me take you way back.
It was in the month of September that we were married.
Yes, we could plan a wedding,
but all I remembered,
was that we had to be back to harvest corn.
Harvesting corn was always a reminder,
that fall was just around the corner.
But, seeing that we changed to broilers 15 years ago,
we really did not have any reason to plant corn.

When I look out my kitchen window today,

I see corn again.

This year....

the corn sheds new light amongst the old memories,
to see the little ones standing on tippy toes,
reaching way up into the sky.

One of our local neighbors asked us if he could
rent our acreage for the corn market.
Just to think that we would have Chilliwack Corn again!

Then this past week on Labor day,
my husband thought it a great idea to freeze some corn.
It didn't take long and I noticed him husking it.
Wow! I wished we had more Labor Days!
In the olden days my kids helped me...
Help, they are not at home anymore.

I had no intentions of preserving corn again.

It poured on Labor day.
But I noticed something peculiar from my kitchen window.
He was setting up shop!

He had everything set, and ready to go.
The electric meat cutter was set up on a table,
while he carefully measured and stabilized
all the utensils to be at the right height for his project.
The table was covered in plastic.
Give a man a machine and he'll do anything.
I was totally blown away.

Let me share with you an old lost recipe for creamed corn.
Thanks Judy!

Creamed Corn
Husk 3-4 dozen corn.
Then cut it directly off the cob. (no blanching)
Put the corn kernels into a large turkey roaster.
Add one pound butter.
Add one 500ml half and half cream.
Cook at 350 degrees for one hour,stirring every 15 minutes.
Keep covered.

Then cool the corn in an ice water.
I cool it in my bath tub with lots of ice.
Yea, it's a corn bath.
Stir constantly.

Then bag it and store in your freezer.

In the winter, you can just throw it in the microwave,
till it is heated through and through.
It's like eating fresh corn off the cob.

Things have changed over the last 36 years.
But we can still stand and smile at each, creaming corn together,
reminiscing about the the wonderful memories created,
and thanking God for giving us these years.

Wait till you hear how we met.....

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

September 11 means many different things.
In 2001, Sept 11, we watched the coordination of
suicide attacks by Al Qaeda change our lives for ever.
We all watched the crumbling of the Twin Towers.
The memory is etched in our minds forever.
Many lives were lost and each year we stand
quietly thinking about the impact it left in America.


And yet life has moved forward...
This day has a special meaning for our family.
Our first grandson was born, Sept. 11, 2003.
This year he asked if we could celebrate his birthday
during our camping trip in August.

So that we did.
The family was all together preparing for the activities.

His Opa was going to teach him to fish.
First he had to practice casting on the road.
(without a hook)

Once he got the hang of it,
we finally took him down to our favorite fishing hole.
After reeling in his aunt's line and catching three fish in a row,
he was somewhat bored and not satisfied.

He wanted to catch his own.

Obviously, he was not thrilled by holding the fish.

So, early the next day the birthday celebrations began...
A party is not without balloons and decorations.
During the weeks prior to camping, he'd always ask,
"How was I preparing for his birthday?"

Ice-cream cake, finger jello, hot dogs and chips.
Sounds like a pretty good time to me.

After lunch there was a small scavenger hunt,
and he found his birthday gift in the forest.

His very own fishing rod!
He was ecstatic.

And of course he was going to catch his very own fish.
Oh yea, what are those chances?

Meanwhile we were all chatting it up when.....
There was a big disturbance....

And here you have it all.

All of a sudden I hollered....
"Levi, You've got something on your line."
What are the chances of a little guy actually catching his own fish?
This was truly a moment.
Levi's father captured every moment on video.
How often does it happen that the camera is turned on?

He experienced a big catch!

Happy Birthday Levi.
I hope you have a wonderful time.
I never knew we could have so much fun together.