Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hello Again!

Well hello again (and finally).  The end of a very busy year is winding down. So much has happened in a short twelve months.  I have been away often and very busy when I return home.

Here are some of the highlights of the year.

The year started with Barry working in Fort Mac and me heading to Saskatoon for a few weeks. My dad caught pneumonia and ended up in the hospital for a few days.  My mom doesn't drive so it was nice to be able to help out. Dad has completely recovered and is his busy self again.

I also got to spend some time baking with Josie and Mikhyan (my new grandkiddies) which is always fun. Over the year we made cookies and heart-shaped pizza for Valentines Day, chocolate chow mien noodle nests for Easter, pizza sandwiches and bush pies in the summer and chocolate wacky cake and cinnamon snowflakes this fall. 

spreading cinnamon sugar on snowflakes

cutting ham for pizza sandwiches

wacky cake ready for the oven

chocolate nest cookies - messy but tasty
I become a grandma again when Becky and Mike became parents and presented me with Katrina Grace April 5th. She was 6 lb 2 oz and 19 1/2 “ long. I was lucky enough to meet her when she was one day old.

Proud grandma
smiling for grandma
shirt from my sister
Becky asked if I would make jam as wedding favours for their upcoming wedding. I got busy and made 150 jars in total of five varieties. Becky cut out the cloth caps and mom and I labelled the jars and tied on the lids. They were very cute in red and white. 

Barry and I decided to plant one of the gardens to lawn this year. It is easier to mow than to weed the area. If we want to plant there again, it is just a matter of tilling it up. The grass grew thick and green due to all the chicken fertilizer that was in the ground. That was where the chickens ran and dug for bugs and ate chipped vegetables.
Since we have more lawn to cut, when Barry came home in June, we went to Kamloops and bought a John Deere riding mower. Boy! Now I can whip around and cut the lawn in no time! Some tree branches needed to be trimmed as I got scratched several times driving the mower around and under the fruit trees. Now Barry has to prune them from the bottom and the top (they can't hang too low for mowing but I also don't want them too tall so I have to use a ladder to pick fruit). I do have trouble backing up the tractor when the sweeper is attached to dump it. A semi driver I will never be.

Since I was away so much this summer, I only planted a few cukes and tomatoes. I missed the rest of the fresh produce but decided watching Katrina grow up was more important than growing my own veggies.

Most of the fruit trees produced quite well this year with the exception of the apricots. Spring was rainy and cool so the apricots were slow to grow. Then the summer heat hit with a vengeance and they started to ripen without growing any more. The result was fruit with very little flesh – mostly pit and skin. They never did get as juicy and tasty as usual.

The cherries produced well this year, but each tree had its own schedule - none of them ripened at the same time. This made for a longer cherry season than usual.

I was in Saskatoon the end of July for Mike and Becky's wedding. All three kids were part of the wedding and all of them looked wonderful. Josie was the flower girl dropping petals along the path and Mikhyan was the ring bearer but also pulled Katrina in a red wagon up the aisle. And Katrina just sat and stole everyone's heart. The day of the wedding started very cloudy and it rained hard but stopped just before the ceremony started when the sun broke through. It was a lovely day with food, music, good friends and family.

Josie spreading petals

Mikhyan pulling Katrina
Mike holding Katrina, Becky, Josie and Mikhyan

Katrina in her flower girl dress
The next day, my sister, Joyce and my family threw me a surprise 60th birthday party. I had been so wrapped up in Kat and the wedding that clues went over my head the whole weekend. Needless to say I was speechless. Joyce organized 60 chicken presents for me to open. Luckily the kids were there to help out with that or I might still be there. I received stuffed chickens, chicken mugs, wall hangings, ornaments, kitchen items, and more - ALL CHICKEN RELATED!  I was lucky to share the day with out of town guests from Calgary, Edmonton, Carstairs, White Rock, Shellbrook, Prince Albert, Regina and Battleford as well as the Saskatoon area. I was so honoured that so many people took time out of their busy lives to make the trip to celebrate the day with me.

Mikhyan and Josie helping open presents
chicken placemats made by my dad
fabric detail of tablecloth sewn by a friend of my sister
I visited my sister-in-law, Louise in White Rock several times this year. The last time was in October when it was nice enough to walk in the ocean barefooted. That evening, we also had supper on the patio of a beach-side pub and were able to watch a glorious sunset.

Our view from the pub deck, White Rock, BC
I decided to do some advertising to see if I could sell more jam. I advertised for jam as wedding favours as well as everyday use. I made around 350 jars of jam and chutney in more than a dozen varieties this year and only have around a dozen jars left. People seem to like the idea of jam made from homegrown, handpicked fruit with less sugar than the store bought jam.

Barry worked around Edson this year so I visited him there a number of times. It is about 8 hours from home and I can easily make it in one day. Before when I traveled with Lulu, we could make 6 hours max because of stops along the way. I still think of Lulu and miss her but having a new granddaughter did wonders to fill the empty space in my heart. I would like to get some chickens again but am waiting until Kat is older because I don't want to miss too many of her milestones. She recently got her first tooth and is learning how to crawl.

family picture taken at Josie's Kindergarten Grad
Kat and friend

Kat's first Halloween
getting into trouble
I'm not sure how often I'll be posting - it depends on how many trips to Saskatoon I take through the year.  ;)

I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I would like to request the usage rights to one of your blog/egg images in a small publication out of Berlin. Please e-mail me (or reply) for more information!