Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cleaning - Literally and Metaphorically

It's the day after the Thanksgiving Day weekend. For those not of the North American persuasion, Canada celebrates the holiday in October, the US celebrates in November but both are primarily a thanks-for-the-harvest food fest.

We had an ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS weekend - cannot emphasize that enough

I stopped at The Pumpkin Patch on St. Anne Road on my way home from work Saturday. The pumpkin field is enormous, probably 80 acres, planted in a variety of pumpkins, squash, melons and ornamental corn.


Looking north down the field along one of the strips between corn swaths.

Families come to select their pumpkins for pies, decorations and jack-o-lanterns.
Very amusing to see a child lugging a pumpkin almost the size of his head.

It was a perfect day to be in a pumpkin patch.

The weather was sunny and stellar, a perfect crisp autumn extravaganza. Family and friends were here Sunday for a roast turkey with all the trimmings. 


Bryan with neighbours Adrienne and Ken, enjoying the sunshine before dinner.

Becca, Terry and Grandma.

Ken

There was fellowship around the fire in the backyard enjoying post-prandial beverages along with pumpkin and cherry pies (of course there was whipped cream, silly).

PK and Grandma, wrapped up against the wind that moved in later in the day.

Gypsy and Becca, sharing a moment by the fire

So now that the weekend is officially over, I'm spending my day-in-lieu cleaning house ... or was until about 1/2 an hour ago. Deep cleaning, moving furniture and everything. I'm mildly appalled at the condition of this place but freely admit I was slacking off all summer, so it's to be expected.

Deep cleaning the house also entails a great deal of sorting and tossing or filing. I'm a pack rat, particularly of 'ideas' - things culled from magazines, books, the internet and so on. There often isn't an appropriate place to keep these treasures so they tend to travel in a herd from place to place around the house. One day (yeah) I'll get a handle on them.

In the sorting phase of the den (terrible name for a small room that contains two easy chairs, a TV for watching DVDs - as we don't have television service, by choice - my current quilt project and a bookshelf, of course) I came across a quotation my daughter had been struggling to recall for weeks now. And so I will share and then sign off to get back to work:

Life is a journey to the grave 
with the intention of not arriving safely 
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways, 
thoroughly beaten up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, 
"Wow. What a ride!"

Amen.

PS 7:30 pm - I didn't get back to work. I was kidnapped and taken away to Vernon to purchase stringers and risers for the outside steps and then dragged to a Mexican restaurant for supper. So see, it isn't my fault I didn't finish the housework today. Oh, and the laundry is in the dryer because it got rained on outside on the line. Again, not my fault.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Catching Up - A Photo Record

It was our 29th wedding anniversary in late September, and so we treated ourselves to a stay at Sparkling Hill Spa Resort - a world-class destination in our back yard, so to speak.


Sparking Hill Spa Resort, south of Vernon BC
Definitely a destination if you're visiting the area.

Our stay included full access to the various steam rooms and saunas, pools and perks.

The meals were remarkable. The people we met (guests and staff) gracious and interesting.

View from the room to the east, Coldstream Valley in the distance behind the trees.

There are deals, it can be affordable and we will be back.

Returned home, saddled up the bikes and headed for what was supposed to be a leisurely tour through the Slocan Valley.

Torrential rain (turning to snow at +1700m passes) hijacked our plans. We did ride further east to the Kootenays and up the valley past Invermere to Golden, and there aren't many photos because we did more riding than stopping, and more drying-out of gear than going-out-on-the-town at our overnight stops.


On the road again. Bryan's 500cc Piaggo scooter on the left.
He's ridden it to Calgary and back, and 1400km on this trip.
The photo is deceptive - there was rain shortly after we stopped here in Castlegar.

The mightly Columbia River in Castlegar. Nice view from our room.

"What shall I make for supper tonight?"
We went for Indian - butter chicken nom, nom, nom.

One of the check-it-off-the-list items was to FINALLY see the pedestrian bridge in Golden, built in 2009. I'd seen a documentary film about it while visiting Bryan's mom one time, and then decided it was worth a look. Unfortunately Golden is almost always a point along a trip to somewhere else and never a destination in itself. The bridge was worth the stop, but the remarkable roast lamb we enjoyed at a Greek restaurant in town will guarantee a return visit.

Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge over the Kicking Horse River in Golden.



The bridge was built by volunteer craftsmen from around the world and completed in 2 weeks.
Great documentary video about the build available on youtube.


Subsequent development of Spirit Park makes it a truly lovely spot.

Yes. Fresh snow in late September ... and not much below the altitude we'd been riding at the day before
(1775m at the  Kootenay Pass Summit on Hwy 3).
As the trip was shortened due to inclement conditions, we arrived home Thursday night. I still had several days of vacation and so we took to backyard tootling.

On Friday we went over to Edge of the Earth winery, just east of us between home and Armstrong. It's one of the smallest vineyards in BC and this year produced four wines: ortega, marechal foch, foch port and the best pinot noir ice wine in the world.


A great day of browsing and shopping. Good wine from Edge of the Earth and
good reads from a used book store close-out sale.


Port. Yes, I've found a port I like.


Much greater surprise - found a marechal foch that I like!

I needed some photos for the cover of our weekly real estate supplement, so detoured slightly on the way to town a week ago Thursday. At 7:30 am this time of year, the light can be breathtaking, and the wet weather made for interesting conditions. In fact, the city of Vernon was completely buried in fog at this moment.

Early October morning, on the way to work.







We had another busy and very enjoyable week with company. My dad came out from Alberta and stayed with us for five days. Steve from up north and his girlfriend Val stopped over on their brief motorcycle ride through the area. Always interesting to mix up people who otherwise would never have a reason to be in the same place at the same time!

Dad and Bryan saw spawning salmon up at Adams River, checked out the local places of interest. He and I went on our own Sunday drive and included a visit with some of his cousins in the area.

All in all, a great time.

It's Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada and so we have family coming for the annual feast of roast turkey and fresh pumpkin pie.

Harvest greetings and blessings to you all!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sharing Wisdom

Oh, how I have missed you folks! It's been sort of hectic in my life these past few weeks. I have stories and photos to share from our Not-Quite-As-Planning motorcycle trip through the Slocan Valley. I have stories and photos close to home. The photos are still mostly on the camera and the stories require time and caffeination to be properly told ... there should be time this weekend .... or not - it's Thanksgiving and our house will be full again.

ANYWAY, I read this tonight and wanted to share because it speaks so profoundly to some of my heartfelt beliefs. You might also be introduced to one of my favourite writers/bloggers, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

Enjoy.

The Meanest Mother in the World




Thanks for the words of wisdom, Stephanie!

And for no other reason than that I like the song and the video (despite the US-style uniforms, the location and performers are all in/from Alberta) here is Corb Lund:

I Wanna Be in the Calvary