Friday, April 26, 2013

Keep the Women Happy!

Thank you once again, Ritchie & Smith our local feed company,
for pampering the  farmer's wives.
There motto is...
"If you can keep the women happy, the men will pay the bills."

We were greeted by a strange looking package aboard the bus.
What was in the package?
This package was laid carefully on the front seat.
The blow of a horn, alerted the women, to pass the gift up and down the aisle.
This package was carefully handled by unwrapping layer after layer.
only on the signal of the horn tone.
Slowly it decreased in size.

 Never the less we enjoyed the ride over the Squamish highway to Whistler.

The breathless views of the snow capped mountains glistening in the sun.
Glaciers being formed with the warmer weather arriving,
inviting those back country skiers.
As you can tell, we jumped on board getting front view seats at no extra cost. 

Meanwhile we enjoyed a beautiful day in the sunshine.
There's nothing better than enjoying lunch with other farmer's wives.

 And guess who we spotted amongst the farmer's wives.
None, better than our famous 'Lovella' with her dear sister in law Mary.
Away from her desk, away from her computer...
Just plain away!

Sometimes it's nice to take off all the different hats that we wear.

In the evening we were treated to wine tasting along with our progressive supper.
We started with appetizers at the Hyatt,
an entree choice of veal or salmon at the Quattro
and chocolates at Roger's and Rocky Mountain.
The evening ended with at glass of 'ice wine' at the Westin Inn.

It's a new color for some of us as we tried to perk up after months of rain.

We slowly weaved our way through the Whistler Village shopping, eating,
and people watching, only to be greeted by....

 this friendly group of snowboarders, donning the latest trends.

After a two day waiting period,
the contents of the package were finally disclosed.
Congratulations Theresa!
When 53 farmers wives come together we unknowingly understand each other.
Farm women understand the frustrations of
weather and weeds,
harvest and calving,
insects, and diseases,
government rulings,
soaring expenses...
the list is endless and we fret hours over them.
Farm women understand that the very act of farming is an act of faith.

"We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest."
William Butler Yeats

Long live the Farm Women!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Drive in My Neighborhood

It's the end of April, and I have wished for a sunny day...
And a family BBQ.
But I looked out my window and saw the east wind blowing my flag.
So we went for a drive.

The beautiful colors of the pink cherry blossoms,
with snow covered mountain peaks in the background.

Travelling further west, is a display of a modern dairy farm.
I love the color red.
Bright green grass, red barns and snow covered mountains.
Is it spring yet?

My favorite chicken barn, running parallel to our main highway. 

Green grasses, waiting to be cut....
with snow covered mountains.
The weather forcast sounds promising.
Farmers are eagerly waiting to cut their first crop.

My favorite ball park and my favorite mountain nestled in the background.
We spent hours playing here on teams and with the kids.
Mount Cheam in the distance..
Would the clouds lift?

It's getting closer, and one can almost see the avalanche tracks.

Here is a snapshot where we had our dairy for our first 25 years.
As you can see, Mount Cheam was right in our back yard.
I'm waiting for the clouds to open.

Ah!  Memories as I have seen our kids build their own motor
bike tracks right in front of the barn.

Adjacent to our dairy, stands our four hundred foot chicken barn.
I love my rides to the farm.

That's about as good as it gets, for today.
as you view the tip of Mount Cheam!

Here's a photo of my favorite house....
Lovella, this could be perfect for you.
And often you will see the ladies sitting on the front porch drinking coffee.
Isn't that the life?

And here's yet another beautiful farm home..
They have just given it a fresh coat of paint.
It's beautiful.

Coupled with another red farm...nestled in the red maples...
Yes, I feel like spring is in the air...
Back home again...
Ah...a moment in the sun, with good company,
and a fresh cup of coffee.
This has inspired me to pull out my patio furniture.
Who wants to join me?

Friday, April 19, 2013


"I dare you to hike up Mount Baker!"
Did I hear him correctly?
We spent Easter weekend skiing with the family,
but some lingered longer and decided to do some back country skiing.
She was going to become his back country skiing partner?

Back country skiing is skiing in unmarked and ungroomed slopes.
Backcountry skiing without a guide is NOT anappropriate activity
for most recreational skiers,families on vacation,
 or anyone who is "fitness-challenged".

I've seen this mountain for many years as I grew up in the Sumas flats.
(Mt. Baker's front view)
But this was a rare opportunity for some to hike to the top with their ski equipment.
Sun and blue skies...what else can we ask.

I was in the back room of the lodge preparing supper
and I heard clanging sounds...
voices discussing the necessities for packing.

Ice Axe
Ropes and harness
First Aid Kit
Head lamps
Mom's down filled mitt's

And an ORANGE!

But why on earth would they need to start their adventure at 2:00 am?
Little did I know about the technicalities of back country skiing.
I prefer to start my ski day at 10:00 am.

Then I heard a distinct comment,
"The beacons are both not working"


My awareness surged at that moment.
I needed clarification.

It didn't take long and I noticed she was with
a well experienced ski patrol/guide whose expertise lies in guiding groups. 
His jacket and equipment gave me the assurance I needed.

An exasperated look.
How much further to the top?

Reaching  the summit and experiencing the warmth of the sun.

A smile of victory.

And no summit can be celebrated without an ORANGE!
That is their tradition.

Taking a few shots of the pristine mountain slopes.

And she comes gliding down that slope making fresh tracks.
Safe and sound!
Only to have enjoyed another preeminent mountain experience.
(Mt. Baker from the back view)

"Society speaks and all men listen,
mountains speak and wise men listen."

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Book Is In His Hands!

We've been waiting for the Day, April 12, 2013
in the afternoon at Lovella's.
And it arrived shortly after we all arrived.

The truck was to be arriving....
What time?
We waiting patiently...until you heard the motor purring in the background.

Six boxes....waiting to be opened.
Who would start first?
"Quickly get the knife."
" Oh, be careful not to cut into the books."
You could feel the buzz in the room.

The table was set, the bubbles were cooled.
We celebrated...
The books had arrived.

Lovella was busy face booking, getting the word out.
We then learned about "Hangouts" (face-time/skype)
And we hung out live with all the MGCC gals, for the rest of the afternoon.
except for  Kathy who was enjoying the pools in Palm Springs,
bus she had her 'book' also.

The next day I expedited a delivery to Papa!
Papa turned 101 this past March.
I wanted to make sure that he could see this completed project.

He took the book carefully in his hands and
exclaimed how beautiful everything looked.
He walked his fingers over each plate and asked about the recipes.
But he knew there was one special page...
You'll soon know why.

He marveled at the fact that MCC received all the royalties.
He was tickled pink as he pinched my cheeks...
and gave me many extra hugs.
It feels so good to set the book in it's new stand on my kitchen counter as it
becomes another reminder of the many Celebrations of Life.
Truly this book has once more become a project dedicated to the
generations to follow which reflects sharing the love of God.
Most of all we know that this book is truly in  "His Hands" 

Hoping to meet many of you in the days and months to come.

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