Saturday, April 15, 2017

Oma's Walker Goes On Vacation

Hello Dahlings!

Me at the strand

Mijn name ies Wahkeer... Roed Wahkeer... en I haad verry goed thyme whithd de familie. I doo dings dat I not get to doo whithd Oma. It whas verry excitant and avonturous. Lat mijn tell jouw about het....

Beeter yet... laat me show jouw de film...

Thanks you Dahlings! Ik hope you like het. Maybe I go on adventour again soon?

Thanks to:
Wabisabi for letting me check out the surf board, the produce market for the apple shot, and the goats for letting me hang out with them
- Oma for letting me stay an extra day

 Ik hou van jouw!

The Whole Family on Vacation at Beach Acres Resort

"Family?...the whole family?...Mom?... Dad?... My Sisters?... Their kids?... On vacation with us?"
"Are you nuts?" 

Was this the beginning of aging? Senility? It didn't make sense. My husband wanted to go on vacation with my family, the whole family.

"It's my birthday. This is what I want."

So off to Parksville we tootled in the early morning hours, wagon train style, to Rathtrevor Provincial Park.

It was another amazing adventure filled with coffee, chaos, compassion, crazy, fire roasted marshmallows, love, laughter, sand, sea shells, and yes... even rainbows!
Rathtrevor Beach
The idea of sleeping on the ground... in a tent... in the rain... did not sound appealing. We called Beach Acres Resort and booked 2 cabins instead. It was wonderful! The 2 bedroom cabins had nautical themes, were very clean and well equipped. We did not want for anything. We were even able to roast a small turkey in the oven. To be truthful, I could live there.

The view from our bed

One morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise... the next we saw seals and porpoises  as we drank coffee in bed, thanks to my sister.
Notice the feet in the corner by the curtains?

It was fantastic. We were spoiled!

And we had the cutest company joining us on vacation too. 
Poopa? Nay?

"Is this where we are going to buy our new home Mama?"
Ella brought her friend Bear.

Sometimes bear needed some quiet time.
Rathtrevor Park was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Beach Acres and rain or shine we walked a lot.

We enjoyed coffee on the balcony, in the sunshine, which was rare and fleeting!

Me and my baby

Sabrina and her baby
Natascha and her baby
A great time had by all... we even got Oma out on the beach in a thunderstorm...

Sometimes, getting out with the whole family seems a little daunting. Sometimes, there are differences that irritate and personalities that clash. We need to remember that life is precious, and short, and we are blessed with each other for only a short while, so enjoy it!

Ella wasn't the only one who brought a friend...Oma brought Walker. 

However, she had to leave a day early and allowed Walker to stay the extra day with us.  Walker wanted to go everywhere! It was hard to keep up... anyways...that's a story for another time. 

Here's a snapshot of the next blog, "Oma's Walker Goes on Vacation:

...coming soon! 

Here's a little slide show of the fun we had:

Thanks too...
- My Husband for wanting us all to get together like this
- My Family for wanting to come
- Beach Acres Resort for the room with a view
- Sabrina for coffee in bed
- God for the rainbow

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Powell River and Lund B.C... a Family Trip

 Our Trip to Powell River January 23rd to the 25th 2015

It's not often I get the whole family involved in the story telling of our trips. Grab a cup of coffee or a tea if you prefer, and enjoy this tale of adventure from the Wild West!

Thursday night... 

Rene's Ramblings:
 It was a dark and stormy night. My only plans were to not make plans. Smeg' covered the windshield and it obscured my vision like a good bottle of sherry. I had a car full of dames and was lookin' for a place to dump em'.
My choice of flop created a chorus of fear and panic with visions of Bates Motel dancing in their heads. I had to move on. They wanted 5 stars, but I only had 2 stars worth of coin. I mosey'd into the Driftwood Inn look'n to score a deal. Ten bucks off was all I could get. 
I huffed the princess's bags up the stairs like a two penny slave. I was tired and wet, and looking for grub, but the princess's wouldn't serve. My mind was thinking of foreign shores and fine exotic foods but only chicken salad sandwiches were on the menu that night. 
I was look'n for comfort, but the company was thick and I had to keep it P.G. I moved to relax my body on the motel bed and was quickly reminded of my 2 star wallet. It would have to do. I needed distraction from the discomfort and picked up my dime novel. To my surprise the pages supplied me with the distraction I sought. I looked around my humble kingdom, that first night, and was well pleased to see my princess's engaged in a similar endeavor.

Rene has a thing... a  fetish really for clean windows on the car. "Smeg" he called it, and I thought he was making up a word for the dirty smudge that the mist outside left on our windshield. You know that fine mist? Where there's just not enough water to clear off the dirt and it smears across the windshield and you have to use up all your windshield washer fluid? Well, when I got home I had to look it up. For those of you who are as curious as I am,  Smeg is  actually a  real word. It's 1930's slang for smear. Go figure? I don't know where he pulls these bits of trivia from. He has a pretty amazing memory . He's not just a pretty face after all!


Alora's Twitter (written by Kalina because Alora would rather tell the story through pictures):

I love my sister soooooooo much, she is the bestest!!!!!!

Mr. Cheese is the cow in the middle
Kalina's Views:
Mr. Cheese is the best pillow ever!

Anuschka's Babbling:

At "The Bakery" around 10am...

"Just holler when you're ready to order." the bakery clerk behind the counter said as Rene and I took our time looking over the delicious baked goods before us. There were a lot to choose from and they all looked good.
"How loud should I holler?" Rene asked me. He had a gleam in his eye and I had the feeling he was in a mood to cause a little trouble. Visions of him bellowing so loud that it would stop all conversation in that bakery with all eyes turning in our direction. The locals would shake their heads at us and whisper, "Main Landers!"  Luckily the clerk came back before we were ready to holler.
Two medium roast coffee's, two tea's, two croissants, and two scones, and we were $18 and some change lighter. I know Timmy's would have been cheaper, but the ambiance and the good conversation with great company was worth it. 
Our conversation moved from Guinea Fowl to pick-up trucks, and swimming pools in your bedroom to camping, it was wonderful. A great way to start the battery re-charge, for each of us.
On the ferry from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay

It was a wet and windy ferry ride  from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay. We caught the 12:30pm and arrived at our friends home in Powell River around 2ish. Then the sun peeked through the clouds and the rain disappeared. We lucked out and had wonderful weather for the rest of the weekend. I guess it really is sunnier on the Sunshine Coast.

Joe's Garage

Joe was working in his garage and Nadyne was preparing a grand feast upstairs in the kitchen. Joe's old VW Bug looked like it was peeking around the corner of the garage, waiting for a chance to sneak out and go on an adventure, as we pulled up to the house.

The feast included Coquille St. Jacques and Amore Salad with french dressing.
Joe was on mashed potato duty that evening and he and Rene improvised a .25 cent version of a $10 icing bag with tip, so the outer edges of the Coquille could be decorated with the fancy smashed spud.
Well, the make shift bag and tip were too small for the mashed potato to pass through, and the zip-lock bag burst while mashed potato oozed out the side. Luckily, Rene saved the day with an artful application through the  ruptured fissure in the bag.

Tartin Apple Tarte with homemade vanilla bean ice cream was on the menu for dessert. The smell of the sweet apples cooking with the homemade crust was divine, and we were spoiled.
We were all mesmerized by the ice cream maker sitting around it like a campfire poking, prodding, and stirring it; watching the cream, sugar, and vanilla turn into a frozen slurry. After only 10 minutes of stirring, and with Joe's approval to eat, we found ourselves entertained by the machines simple action and continued to stir and talk for another half hour.

It was so nice to see our friends again, we talked all afternoon and late into the evening. The kitchen was filled with amazing aromas and good conversation with tales of Yukon endeavors.


Kalina's Views:

Eddie, River and Licorice are cute!

Me and River taking a nap
 Alora's Twitter (written by Alora):

Dinner and breakfast were amazing. The dogs are super cute! It's nice seeing Nadyne again.

Marina in Lund B.C
Anuschka's Babbling: 
We drove to Lund and walked around town together.  The board walk by the new community building, where Nancy's Bakery moved to, was a little slippery. This was our 3rd trip to Lund and Nancy's was right by the wharf the last time we were here. I'm glad to see it was still up and running and moved to a bigger place.
Above Nancy's bakery was a shop producing beautiful woolen sweaters, poncho's, and tuque's that was called the Pollen Sweater shop. These sweaters will do for Lund what the Cowichan sweater has done for Vancouver Island.
We then stopped in at Nancy's Bakery and bought some Asiago onion bread and a beautiful looking Foccacia bread for our lunch that was hard not to rip into it.
Lund gets better and better with time, and there are still some residual old buildings left standing of days long ago. I can just imagine one of those dilapidated buildings turning into a smoky 1930's blues cabaret and bar.

At the Tug-Guhm Gallery, just below the Old Lund Heritage Hotel, local artist Debra was busy making a beautiful statue of a whale's tail. The gallery was filled with lovely statues, wood carvings, paintings, bowls, and jewelry by local artists. I purchased a uniquely styled glass starfish from a Salt Spring Island artist who uses only recycled materials. 

While I was dazzled by the art work inside the shop, Alora was enchanted by the art of nature happening outside, as humming birds flitted back and forth at one of the gallery's feeders.

We drove to Okeover and walked around the beach at the provincial park, the beach was rocky and difficult to walk on, but it was worth the effort for it was filled with fruits of the sea. Oyster's were plentyful! As I found out later, while passing a sign half way between Lund and Okeover, it is B.C's oyster capital.
We didn't stay there for lunch. Nadyne knew of a spot that would be better, and less populated (there were already 3 families there with dogs running loose).
We continued south down hwy 101, the longest hwy in the world, and a few minutes outside of Lund(down a F.S.R road), was the perfect spot. Dinner Rock was quieter(we were the only ones there), and no one came around to collect money for our camp spot, but I suspect they do in the summer months. 
We built a campfire at one of the rec. sites on a cliff face overlooking the the Inlet. The girls took the camera and went off exploring down the beach while the adults stayed behind by the fire and roasted campfire panini's with smoked Brie and Tabasco oysters. They were delicious!

We left Dinner Rock at dusk and were back in Powell River a 1/2 hour later. Beautiful drive along the coast but there were some crazy corners, especially the last two before the bridge into Powell River. When it says 20KM or 30KM on the sign, they really mean 20KM or 30KM! Don't want to think about the consequences!


Lazy morning in our P.J's with an amazing brunch made by Nadyne, homemade croissants(some with chocolate), scrambled eggs, kale/apple smoothie, homemade chocolate muffins, and fruit salad. We didn't want to leave, but we had to eventually, so we could catch the two ferries to get home.
It was difficult to say goodbye to our hosts, we would miss their company, and the great conversations we had with them.

Alora has motion sickness like her Dad and she was trying to keep nausea away. I see Rene and her fighting over the stirring wheel when she finally gets her "N".
It was a long journey but the time passed easily,  we had a great book we listened to on CD called, "The man who broke into Auschwitz".  An engaging book about the horrors of mankind and the resilience of men, the good and the bad.
We left Powell River around 1:30pm and drove into our carport at home around 8pm.

For those traveling with B.C Ferries, it is cheaper if you buy a prepaid(the minimum to put on is $115.00), "Experience" card; it saved us approximately $25 dollars each way.

"I'm hungry." said a tired husband to his wife at 8:15pm  after a long journey on the road.
"What do you want to eat." his wife was cleaning out the cooler and had already pulled something simple to make off the shelves.
"Food." he said and walked away bringing up the overnight bags to the appropriate bedrooms.

10 minutes later...

"Nadyne cooks better than you." Rene spooned another bite of Kraft Mac 'n' cheese into his mouth as his wife shrugged and rolled her eyes at him.
"My next day off I'll make you something special honey." she huffed and walked away, a little irritated that her family had been way too spoiled up there in Powell River.
"Next thing you know." she thought to herself, "they'll be wanting gourmet food every day! I suppose I can't stop them from dreaming."

"Hold fast your dreams! 
Within your heart
Keep one still , secret spot
Where dreams may go
And, sheltered so,
May thrive and grow."
Louise Driscoll

Alora's Pic's in slideshow:

Dog's Blog:
I did not go. It was my choice. Nadyne and Joe did invite me, but I did not feel so comfortable to go, because they have 3 dogs. I always thought Nadyne was a cat human. You know the kind I mean... the Pack Leaders who like cats more than dogs. But I think Pack Leader Joe brought her over to the "Dog Side". I know she loves me now. I just didn't know if Licorice and River would love me. They are sled dogs from the Yukon, you know, and I'm a city girl. They eat porcupines just for the fun of it! What if they heard that I was afraid of Yoda? My crazy pack cat. He bites my ankles! I do not care for sharp and pointy things. Licorice and River would have made fun of me, so I stayed with my cousin Maggie. She doesn't like sharp and point things either. We ate warmed up bones in bacon fat together and we ran together at the dog park. It is safe at Oma and Opa's. I love them, but I am glad my pack is back.

Thanks to:
-Nadyne and Joe for opening their home and spoiling us Main Lander's 
-Oma, Opa, Sabrina, Jeff, and Ella for taking such good care of Angel 
-Krista, Andrew, Averi, and Ari for taking care of the cats, fish, and paper route

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Squamish River... Stuff the Sausage in There!

Peaceful and serene. This is what we desired...

After weeks of chaos and months without an adventure we were trembling with anticipation and looking to re-charge our batteries at the journey ahead. We wanted be on our best behavior before the last few days of Christmas. 
Nerves were shot and truth be told... there was a small dark cloud of resentment forming over some of our heads as we backed out of our little carport in the city and headed North towards the fresh air and large open skies. 
"Here's $20 bucks. The three of you go."  We needed to make a stop at the grocery store for marshmallows and hot dogs, so I gave the girls money and told them to go together to pick out what kind of hot dog they wanted.
"I'm staying in the car."
"I'm not going!"
" I don't want to shop alone. I don't know what kind of hot dog to get." No one got out of the car. 
"Give me back the money!" In a huff and a few heated exchanged words I got out of the car. "Teenagers!" I exhaled in a whisper as I stomped through the busy, brightly lite store, an irritated woman on a mission. I was so focused, that I didn't realize Kalina had followed me in until I reached the marshmallows.
"I just need some family time," said my youngest a few weeks back. "I want to go on an adventure." she added. The chaos of school and work was getting the best of each of us and an adventure was how our family relaxed. Nature brings out the peace in each of us, just in time for Christmas.
We headed somewhere close, because we didn't have time for an overnight adventure, just a day trip. Squamish was our destination. A campfire at the Squamish River. Oktoberfest sausages... Marshmallows... baguette... Camembert cheese... tomato soup... Aloe Vera juice... chocolate... what more could anyone need? Maybe a coffee?
We stopped at the Starbucks in Squamish first, before we headed to Squamish Valley Road, left off the 99, right by the Alice Lake Provincial Park cut off by Brackendale.
The road had a big sign that said, "road washed out", but we saw another car go through so we followed it in. Just past the power station, the road did have a few centimeters of water on it, maybe 200feet wide, and then the road was fine again. We didn't venture too far in; a few kilometers, then we turned off on a logging road and headed towards the river.
It took a little while to shed off all the pent up irritations, but after some chopping, foraging and splashing, we were almost back to our normal selves again. 

We even sang Christmas carols around the campfire. I'm pretty sure I even saw and heard Rene singing, although he would say I had imagined it.

What I didn't imagine, was that Chef Rene, whipped up a special french treat for us. Fire toasted baguette with melted Camembert cheese. Our family camps in style!

Served on a fire roasted log platter. Tres chic! And that was just the appetizer.

"Stuff the sausage in there!" This was our main course, Oktober Fest Sausages... that I picked out, and they were good. But, then again, isn't everything that's fire roasted good?
I know that this "family" time will become more rare as time passes. They are teenagers after all and they will be too busy with friends, school and work over the next few years. They will have the choice, more and more, not to want to come on these little adventures with their Mommy and Daddy. I get that. 
In the mean time, I will cherish this time with them, and focus on all the good things this  day has brought; the laughter, the singing, the conversation, and the adventure that I was able to share with the ones that I love the most in life.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and many adventures with your family this coming year!


Dog's Blog:
I had much fun running around. I showed pack leader how he must jump over the small stream to get to the other side where the rest of the pack was, but he did not jump. He did not know how. He had to walk to a place where the small stream narrowed. Then he jumped, but not as well as I do. He is not so graceful, but I love him, and I will continue to show him how. 
They made a bed for me by the fire and I was fed sausages. It was very good, much better than kibble! 
I love adventures with my pack! 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pony Club and Rally 2014 at MREC

Alora and Striker
So, I'm having coffee, early in the morning, and I see out of my kitchen window this big truck and horse trailer pulling up to my little townhouse. A big burly cowboy type, bounds out of his truck, opens up the back of his trailer and guides this 16.3hh (hand high), thoroughbred out of the trailer. I quickly put on a sweater (I'm still in my Jammie's) and run outside to question, "What the heck are you doing? This isn't a barn!" He hands me the reins and says, "Delivery for Alora de la Court."
"WHAT!" My heart beats like a wild fire out of control, "You are very mistaken sir," panic rises and I feel dizzy as I try to give the reins back to him. He walks away and jumps up into the driver's seat of the metalic grey Ford pick-up and says to me, "My job is done here. He's your problem now Ma'am." Then Mr. Cowboy drives away leaving me standing in my little front yard with a very big horse who was chowing down on the little grass I had left under the cherry tree I have out front.
Apparently, Alora ordered him online from a horse farm in Alberta... "Strata will not like this." I remember thinking.  
Alora and Striker

Then I woke up. 
The first thing I did when I woke up, was to thank God it was only a dream. I know Alora is a good girl and would never do anything like that to her mother (she is presently smirking beside me as she reads this).  Perhaps, this dream was to prepare me for things to come?

Alora has loved horses since she was eight years old. She used to love dolphins, right up until I signed her up at Evergreen Stables for a summer horse camp after being told by a fellow Mom that it would cure her of her fear of dogs. 
Eight year old Alora and Max
Well, it did that and more, and I thank Pam and Jen at Evergreen for guiding and mentoring my daughter to becoming a more confident person around animals. I must admit I have wondered if I should have put her in dolphin camp. It might have been less expensive? Perhaps, I wouldn't be having nightmares of cowboys dropping off horses at my house? LOL!

As of 2010 she has been a member of the Alouette Pony Club located at Forever Green Stables in Pitt Meadows and it's been a great experience for her. This past weekend was the first time the kids at Alouette went to a yearly Pony Club Rally at MREC. A pretty amazing experience for all the kids involved. 
They are designated into teams with a Captain, Riders, and Grooms, and they have to do everything from stable management, feeding, and care, to riding, jumping, and cooling down horses. Points were deducted if parents intervened and told them what they forgot or needed to do. So, it was quite relaxing for us parents back at camp. The only time we could talk to them was back at camp, and there couldn't be any horse related themes in our conversations. 
Friday, they prepared for a dressage testing, and Saturday was for the cross country jumping...
Walking the course before the event.
Alora and Striker
Alora was riding a 19 year old thoroughbred called Strike the music (AKA - Striker - an old race horse), and after he finished the course he seemed like he wanted to go again (he did not look like he was a geriatric horse at all!). He and Alora were doing what they loved and they looked really good together.

...and Sunday was show jumping.
Alora and Striker 
The kids learned a lot last weekend, and I as a mom, was very impressed. The only trouble I had was when I was judging the cross country jumping, and I had to eliminate one of our kids and horse for refusing a jump more than 3 times. She wasn't allowed to finish the course, and I felt bad for her. I was going to look the other way and let her continue, but there were other judges yelling out that she had to leave the course. I guess they were watching, so I had to mark it down.
My suggestion would be to just let the kids finish, even if they are eliminated. They put so much effort, time and money into being there, only to be yanked off in mid-course. Mind you, this was my first year at Rally and maybe the rules are in place for a reason... I just don't know them yet.

Thank-you to Pam, at Forever Green Stables, for the use of your horses, and your leadership and guiding these kids so far in their journey with horses. And to Jen for your teaching and knowledge, and to Helen for your support and trailering the horses to these events, and to Melanie for encouraging these kids and supporting them... and the use of your tack. 

Thank-you to Marta and the team at Campbell Valley Pony Club for guiding Alora on her first Rally.

We as the parents really appreciate it. Love you guys!

Here's a few shots of the Alouette kids at Rally:
Kyla and Joe
Laura and Cindy
Will and Bailey
The crew

Thanks Again!

PS: There were about 500 photos taken over the weekend, so if you would like to see them all just give me a key and I will download them for you.