Thursday, 30 May 2013

Love is in the Details

I was thinking of the best way to go about this post because, in all honesty the photo of my complete outfit just wasn't doing it for me and, not wanting to scare the young readers, I decided against showing a headless, cropped Kaitlyn. 
The two photos I did love, however, are the ones showing the details of my outfit.

The contrasting faux snakeskin clutch against the feminine cream lace of my dress. The pink hue paired with the stark black and white.
The neutral metallic of my flats against the punchy yellow of the dandelion.

I wore this outfit to my cousin's wedding at the end of April and there were so many personal touches which made the wedding "theirs," that I want to share some of them:
The location was, instead of a traditional church, a rustic chalet in the misty green hills of Coquitlam.
The processional song that was sung as the newly wedded bride and groom walked down the aisle was a joyful and boisterous "Happy Birthday" because it was, in the groom's own words his "best birthday ever!"

The wedding favours were delicately wrapped bags of trail mix encouraging us to "nourish the seeds of love, cherish the nuttiness and savour the chocolate moments."

Instead of a wedding cake there was a table brimming with an assortment of home baked pies which would satisfy any dessert devotee and for the sentimentalist? They were baked with love by family.
There is so much more to an outfit than the overall photo. What exudes personality can be the angle of a hat, the pairing of a jacket, the colour of a bracelet.

On a similar note, I don't think its just the "I do" that confirms a marriage, but it is the kiss, the hand holding, the happy smiles, in other words the details, which show how very much in love my cousin and her husband are.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sleepy Sundays

I spy four furry siblings having a 'cat nap.'
Sundays on the farm are purposefully kept quiet. We try not to do fieldwork and, between mandatory morning and evening chores take a break to rest and relax which may mean rooting around in the garden, or meeting a friend for a leisurely coffee.
Whatever is restful and calming.
Usually, on a Sunday our living room couches are on Napping Rotation as someone finds their way to the soft cushions and under a warm blanket and snoozes an hour away. If the weather approves a comfortable, shady spot outside may also be added to the Resting Roster.
Today was a grey, wet day and so we kept mostly inside but, meandering through the barn, I snapped a few other photos of other Sunday Snoozers, enjoying the quiet of a Sunday and the coziness of a hay bale.
Have a restful day. 
Faithful Farm Dog NOT sleeping on the job

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Field of Dreams

  Remember when I shared some dirt with you back in April? Well, that story sprouted and spread all through the field...

...and became so thick and had grown so much it wasn't a dirty story anymore, it was not even seedy one but had turned completely clean and green! 

This is the exact same field, that a mere 35 days ago was just acres of dirt and now, voila, renewed and ready to be cut. It still boggles my mind even though I was there from Seeding Day One.
Gosh, they just grow up so fast, don't they?
I am glad to share some farming pride and joy with you because planting and cropping can be weather roulette and sometimes the mark is hit and sometimes it is missed and that can hurt us and the pocket book. Especially, with flood warnings on horizon, some fields are already being snuffed out by overflowing water, it is nice when something turns out right.
Hear that? That's us farmers patting ourselves on the back (and maybe some encouraging moos from the barn).

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Something Smells Fishy

I use to clam up when seafood was served, maybe I was just too pickerel but now I love (most) seafood and finish my plate to the last crumb--just like an angle(fish).

This picture is of Uptown Tuna Melts which melted my heart because it was so delicious (and quick!). The tuna is jammed packed with yogurt, cheese, any herbs you can get your hands on (mine was parsley) and cucumber. All layered atop a slice of bakery-style bread.
A topping of cheese, broil in the oven for a mere five minutes and dinner is served!
In the theme of seafood and eating I have a story that happened on our recent cruise:
Being first time cruisers Mom and I had packed a dress and heels to wear because we had been told that there is usually a dressy night aboard the boat. A few nights in, the concierge was encouraging us to make reservations at one of the restaurants because they were serving lobster and steak that evening. The one and only time lobster would be gracing our plates. This was an opportunity we could not pass up! 
We slipped on our heels, shimmied into our dresses and enjoyed the lovely dinner although we noticed that fellow diners were not especially dressed up. Lo' and behold, a few nights later when we were at sea for two full days and they had a 'Night Out' which encouraged guests to dress up and be dapper.
I guess we missed the boat on that one. Instead, we went black-tie for lobster, but I suppose, if you were to get fancy for anything, why not it be in the name of food?
Want to try out the recipe? Click here to get the delicious details and some extra tips and maybe this will turn out so fine it will require a dress and a tie--they are called Uptown Tuna Melts after all.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Inspector Cruiseau

I have returned to the keyboard after a week holiday, which consequently meant a week off from blogging (because of the cost to get internet connection, not due to a lack of activity). There was plenty of lounging, sleeping and eating (that's the definition of vacation, right?) but there was also sightseeing!
My mom and I went on our very first cruise and mother-daughter trip--I think by age 50 and 20 it's about time, right? We disembarked at Los Angeles and visited San Francisco, Astoria, Victoria, Nanaimo and arrived, back on Vancouver home turf, today.
It was a lovely trip, with plenty of luxurious extras and a good number of pictures. We sailed with Norwegian which was pretty "freestyle" in cruising and was jam packed with onboard activities from cooking classes to...well, let's just say that this blogger officially knows all the dance steps to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

I have had the luck of visiting San Francisco only a year ago. The weather, on both counts has been sun and sun--I hear the weather record can get a little foggy at times... The picture above is of the renowned Golden Gate bridge and our boat cruised right underneath! It was so close that I had to duck in order to keep my hat on. 
Victoria was a sightseers dream with the Hotel Empress, parliament buildings and seawall walk but instead I will share this photo of a downtown Victoria barber shop. There was a pie shop conveniently across the way where we sat to rest our feet and I thought the name was amusing. Of course in actuality the ship sailed nicely under the Golden Gate and there was only a bookstore across from the barber shop--keep calm and please read on.
Right off the boat and around the Seawall
Nanaimo sweetened everyone up by offering their dessert namesake as we disembarked. And it was pure fun to arrive in Vancouver at the Canada Place terminal with its identifiable five sails. After disembarking we rode our bikes, brought in by Dad (our picker-upper), around the Stanley Park Seawall. We peddled the paved path that loops leisurely around ginormous trees (and runs through the base of a lighthouse!) and we watched the waves of the Pacific lapping rhythmically against the wall, only a few metres below from our tires.  

I derived the very cheesy 'Inspector Cruiseau' title (maybe I have been out at sea a few days too many...) from my new Michael by Michael Kors trench that I purchased (at a deal) for this cruise, but I figure it will be gracing a good many other outfit photos in the future. It is water repellent, warm, has a hood and is the most designer thing to grace my closet hangers to date which I admittedly am excited about. But it was a deal.
And writing about deals my lovely Aunt who has her own travel agency booked this trip (and found me a smashing one) which is much appreciated--and has hopefully just earned me some lovely-niece-brownie-points for mentioning and linking. Check out her website, contact her, she is always happy to plan your next adventure. 
Are you a never-ever noncruiser? First time or regular cruiser? What have your favourite ports of call been? Any advice? Share, share away!
Take care :) 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Little Bow Peep

Cuffing my jeans was a good fit since it was a lovely, warm May evening when I wore this out. My "Bow Peep" blouse has both bows (and polka dots) and sheer sleeves and back--that's the 'peep' part. This sheerness will be welcomed as the temperature rises and we delve into summer. 
The event I went to this weekend, in this outfit, was to my friend Becca's "Farewell (For now) Barebeque." A get-together before she hops over the Rockies and settles in Banff for a summer job.
It was a bitter sweet evening because of course we are happy that Becca got the job, sad to see her go, happy for a reason to road trip, and sad not to be able to hang out in a matter of minutes. But that is change isn't it? Always bittersweet. And I think my friends and I are realizing it. Right now its summer jobs taking friends to different provinces, eventually work might transfer us to different cities and our own traveling adventures will take us to other countries and it won't always be easy to come back for monthly visits. Sometimes impossible. But it will make those moments when we can get-together all the sweeter. 
There is change in the wind, but I don't mind too much, since the wind blows the clouds away and reveals an endless blue sky for smooth sailing. Farewell (for now) Becca! 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

When Life Stinks

Oh, you know those days, when you are cruising through the country and suddenly you get a whiff of something not so sweet, and someone says:

"Ewww, it smells like cow poo."

I have written about grass seeding, have told you about haying, and now its time to explore your sense of smell and explain what exactly is going on when a drive goes from scenic to plain old smelly.

What on earth could those farmers be doing?

For the past week it has smelt exactly like cow manure because everyone has been making hay while the sun shines. But to get the grass growing again, and replenish any nutrients it needs fertilizer. It so happens we have two large concrete basins of the stuff!

Just a corner of the entire pit which, when I was small, I used to beg my parents to turn it into a swimming pool--although currently I wouldn't advise diving in. Here is the boom of our tank plunging into the slurry depths and literally vacuuming up the manure. 

Hoses, hydraulics and gauges--oh my! Plenty of things to keep your eye on, like the meter on the right side, indicating when the tank is full or empty.

A full tank out spreading manure onto a freshly cropped field. Notice that nice, even spray? (And notice how far I'm standing back?) Seeing this application method may raise questions about leaching into the water system, and we do rely on rain to carry the nutrients down to the plant roots but farmers must also spread sensibly. Over spreading can suffocate the grass (and ruin a potential crop), and hauling out of season, (when its either pouring rain or frozen) will cause ruts in the field, harming the land, or means that the fertilizer cannot penetrate the frozen ground to reach the roots, both pointless endeavours. And of course, we drink the water in the area--so that's extra motivation to keep it clean!

Remember: every stinky story has a sweet lining: all that manure keeps your scenic country drive lush and green and our ladies in the barn happy. I guess its a trade-off.

Happy first of May! Please share any stories, comments or questions below. I would love to read from you. :)