Saturday, March 31, 2018

BLENDING FEBRUARY AND MARCH



Winter had it's beauty, but as those short, dark days began to blend into the hope of spring it seemed there was an ebb and flow of sunny days and new snow, and the waiting was becoming disheartening.
The tulips poked their noses from the frozen earth only to be blanketed again and again with snow.
And after the mountains of snow began to melt away they only revealed truckloads of sand and grime that swirled around the city in the March winds.
Amongst this bleak season I also had a season of rest from blogging and face book, and in that space the liturgical season of lent blew into my spirit with fresh discovery of God's incredible mercy and hope in His intimate journey with me towards Easter, on its canvas painted in horrific sacrifice flowing into brilliant resurrection.


My stone cold must have attracted a fluffy, stray bunny that stared me down as he enjoyed the succulent fresh tulip tips.


Sparkling Hills Spa Resort in Vernon, so close to home but such a beautiful place to celebrate birthdays and Valentines Day. Truly the most calm, serene and relaxing two days in the bleak of winter, and to our delight the sun came out to lift the fog to reveal our gorgeous Okanagan Lake.






The birthday boy began his day with his master chef omelettes. Later in his day the sweet surprise visit from our 12 year old beauty.


Thanks to Mennonite Girls Can Cook recipes I created this scrumptious Strawberry/balsamic pizza for a stay at home Valentines supper.


February is Apple month and we love BC tree fruit's market for their many choices of my favourite fruit. Apple Sharlotka was one delicious way to use some of these rosy delights.


Discovering a heart in an unusual place. 


The Rotary bird sanctuary on Okanagan Lake was a lovely spot for a walk with a grandson.  Loved his expression 'adorable' for the ducks that communicated eye to eye with him.




Soaking in chilly sunshine




Spring break - an opportunity to have two granddaughter who are loving cousins over for a baking day. They each mixed, baked and decorated a dozen cupcakes that were expressions of their artistic skills. So much laughter and joy and their excitement to share their sweet treats with their families.


Love these girls  so much, and all of our other 8 grandkids.


To add to their list of baking skills they made pizza dough from scratch and nibbled away while watching an episode of the inspiring TV show Master Chef Junior. 




Why not end our dreary winter and the hope of spring with a flash of colour. 
Welcome Miss Scarlet !!



It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, Detective


Saturday, February 3, 2018

JANUARY - THE BIRTHDAY MONTH


With the New Year's family retreat at Gardom Lake over, there were lazy days at home to curl up with a book and forget about the dust bunnies gathering in the corners of my house. There were days too cold and streets too icy to venture out on walks outdoors so we took to doing laps in the mall followed by a Tim's coffee or hot chocolate treat. 
And,  there were birthdays to celebrate! A daughter-in law, two sweet grandchildren, and my very own. With a family of 20, birthdays come often and often in clumps.



What a fun breakfast date with these two cousins, Lauren who celebrated her 4th and Cole his 9th. There was constant chatter, gifts to open, cards to draw for each other, food of course, and then a visit to the toy store and the pet shop. Just looking!!!



"The first fact about the celebration of birthdays is it is a good way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive. "

G.K. Chesterton 
"Our Birthday " 1935
















"Short, cold days, low clouds, dreary days. When the sun does appear and the windows of heaven turn blue, if only for a few hours on random days, I will celebrate colour, and sit at my kitchen window with the dazzling sun refracting through the dull branches of my 'Gratitude Tree' and allow my soul to be refreshed. I will keep flowers in my home - apricots, pinks, exotic tropicals - opening to the light which is incrementally seeping back into the emptied cup of the sky. A river of joy runs deep in my soul even when my happiness and well-being are a little foggy."
These are words that I penned in my journal the last week of my 60's.  I was struggling with the thought of turning 70.

One day the snow came down like huge feathers, and in the moment I captured the first photo being quite puzzled with the selfie stamp. Well, I learned something new about the camera app on my phone which may prove to be fun.

I got mail,  FB greetings and personal, paper mail in the mailbox, which is rare and usually seems to come for me in January. Beautiful birthday cards with sweet wishes, and then this one which caught me off guard in the gloom of the pending big 70, but since it was from my oldest sister I read on and grew to cherish the words of encouragement and wisdom she shared:
"Winter - 70 seems to be the doorway into the season of life called winter.
Winter is a season of rest, reflection and remembrance ... a season of gratefulness for accomplishments and appreciation for friends and family.
Walk through the door with Joy and Confidence."
Elvera

My sister Edie submitted "Sister Time" and photo to 'More of Our Canada 'magazine and it was published!!
Four sisters sharing very special times together over the years since our mother passed in 1998.
And so colour  -  lots of colour came into my home in January through the cards, magazine, and flowers in apricot, yellow, pink and purple hues, and lovely gifts to pamper myself in this winter season. 














Original paintings from a sister, a daughter ( even the envelope is a keeper) and grandchildren ( so fun too have the cards interpreted with their sweet voices)
An original poem from 9 year old Avery: ( so appropriate as I had just bought 8 used books at Pandosy Books that morning, and then the gift of two beautiful books from her parents, the ultimate bookworms!

"BOOKS
So many pages
So many words
The smell of thick leather and coffee with buns
the sound of the bell
and the cash register."
                    Avery







Books to cherish and my first aromatherapy mister, all to relax me and enrich my senses.




A beautiful stained glass feather gift catches more light as it is reflected in a mirror.


A surprise dinner with my family, planned by Wally. I was surrounded all day by family and friends who continue to fill my heart with joy. I was loved on and pampered ALL day.
Thank you all!

A special guest at my party was this Trudy doll, a throw back of me, the Trudy of the 70's.
Her dress was made with retro fabric from a sundress I wore way back then!
She will always be welcome in any corner of my house and  has already danced through the living room with little Lauren.
'Trudy' is a unique custom doll  by daughter Shelley, creator of Shellbell Dolls





So I have stepped with confidence into this new season of 'winter '

I can walk with confidence because God has been with me through my lifetime and 
He will carry me along this journey.

"How blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel. They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God - travelled, these roads curve up the mountain and at last turn - Zion!   God in full view." 
from Psalm 84  



" Your remarkable life is happening right here, right now."
Frederick Buechner








Friday, January 5, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018


With Christmas joys wrapped up into warm memories it was time to ring in the New Year. Time to escape the busy city, to drive that all familiar hour and a half, and enter the silence of winter at Gardom Lake Bible Camp. 


Gardom Lake, where the snow covered landscape of winter quietly sings its song of 
Peace on Earth






Gardom Lake lies frozen in time far below the lodge, all cozy with a blazing wood fire.


The lodge roof drips silently with long shards of ice.
Inside the lodge our family with some of the extended Peters clan warmed up with hot chocolate, coffee, and then mountains of delicious food consumed over five meals and non-stop snacking in between. Shepherds pie, lasagna, a soup buffet and yummy breakfasts served with love.


Good conversations in the kitchen while preparing meals,

Coffee cups made novel soup bowls when there were 5 temping soups to savour.
And of course after each meal the dish pit became a good learning experience for the youngest generation.

There were so many people in the hustle and bustle of our retreat that I could only capture some of them in my photos. What I have is just a snapshot into our 48 hours.




Loads of fun on the infamous sledding hill 


And more fun shaking trees with raining snow.


Three sister in laws returning from this magical walk took a moment to become like their children creating snow angels. And then as all modern mothers do, 
they had to take 'selfies'


Between snowsuits drying out for another round of snow fun there was time for puzzles, games, visiting, reading, snacking, napping, ping pong, and a lot of noisy children chasing up and down stairs and running down a long hallway. So much laughter till the wee hours of the morning and then before the sandman had completed his night rounds it was time to open those sleepy eyes for another day of more food and snow fun.



The ice cream party. 



And all to soon it was time to round up scattered toques and mittens, tidy up the lodge, cram everything back into our vehicles and say our goodbyes with lots of hugs.









Some very happy moments for me as we were leaving the camp was to stop and capture these breathtaking winter wonderland photos.












The New Year opens most beautifully to me with all my dear ones in good health, & each busy & happy in their own peculiar way.
 ~Anna Alcott Pratt, January 1861, quoted from louisamayalcott.org