Archive for September 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chillin'


Yesterday Brenda at http://thebrendablog.typepad.com/thebrendablog/ asked me the following question:


Do you ever have time to chill?


How convenient that you asked me that question because it fits perfectly with my post today. The answer to that question is:


Yes! My sister Rosa over at http://rose-gardendiary.blogspot.com/ doesn't believe me so I am hereby submitting photographic PROOF that I know how to CHILL just as good as the next guy.


This past weekend the Big Guy and I went out for the evening with some very special people. Meet Mr. Bow Tie and his wife, Smiley. We rarely get to visit with these two so it was a real treat to be able to take a bit of time out to visit together.


Based on some internet research, it was discovered that there is a very good Brew Pub here in Vancouver, perhaps the best in Canada if you believe everything you read on the internet. So we all decided to hike out to Yale Town in the heart of our fair city. It used to be an industrial area but has been reconstructed into a wonderfully busy, downtown meandering spot.


Now, I know very little about Beer so this was an eye opening experience for me. Did you know that there are a lot of different Beer recipes? Did you know that there are people who take their Beer as seriously as Wine? Some beers have more Hopps. Some have more Wheat. We got the sampler so we could all take a sip and figure out which type suited us best. Did you know that Beer officianados look for the quality of the foam rings a beer leaves behind on the side of the cup? Did you know that when the Bible speaks of "strong drink" it's not talking about whiskey (distilling had not yet been invented) but BEER? Boy, did I learn a lot about Beer. I'm going to have to pay a little more attention to this beverage :)





Thanks to Mr. Bow Tie and Mrs. Smiley for a lovely evening spent chillin'


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Monday, September 29, 2008

Setting out the Poinsettias




It's the start of a brand new week. The sun is shining out here in BC and that just makes everything look better in the greenhouse. I figure that today is a perfect day to update you on what's going on over here.


First of all, we are done with all our Garden Mums. The field used to look like this........and now it looks like this! What a relief. We dodged the White Rust bullet once again this year. I know we are spraying to avoid the disease but we just never feel completely comfortable that one day the nasty thing might become immune to our sprays and come back with a vengeance.


Since the mums are all done, we are now full swing into Christmas production. Today everyone is busy spacing out all our Poinsettias. In the new facility we have a special hanging basket system where we can hang 3 layers of plants. The guys have to go up on sky jacks to hang the pots up. We didn't think about how much time everyone would be spending looking up......looking waaaay up. Everyone's gonna get some really strong neck muscles, if this picture is any indication. Do you recognize this hanger? Can you remember where you've seen it before? Isn't that just the coolest invention? A plant hanger that doubles as an ornament holder.


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Saturday, September 27, 2008

CAUTION: Baking Brownies can be DANGEROUS!

Here's a little tidbit of information you probably don't know about me.

I don't bake!

I know, I know, some ladies may think that this is a shocking revelation for any self respecting mother and wife to make but it's true. I really don't bake. My father and grandfather before him were bakers extraordinaire. I remember running into the bakery as a child and watching dad glazing donuts by the hundreds.
Yummy!



Regardless of those fabulous childhood memories.......I DON'T BAKE. One day I may reveal the "why" but, suffice it to say, my kids didn't realize for years that muffins don't come from the store but they come out of the OVEN! (Thanks to my sister Lisa for introducing them to this wonderful new concept of home made goodies).

The other night, Danny Boneduce and Mini Me decided they were going to bake brownies just like Aunty Lisa. A number of things had to be purchased since I don't think I've had lard in my house for at least 20 years. Once all the ingredients were assembled, the kids still had to run across the street for icing sugar. If you don't bake......you don't need icing sugar.

Anyway, things looked like they were going great so I decided to get a few things done, leaving the kids to their own devices. In hindsight, that was probably not the best idea I've ever had.

Things were going great. The kids were having a ton of fun. Suddenly, all the fun came crashing to a halt when Danny Bondeduce picked up a cookie sheet to move it off the top of the stove. Little did he know, the element was on underneath the cookie sheet. It took a few seconds for him to feel the pain and by that time, all 8........count them........8 fingertips were blistered and burnt.

What?! Are you kidding?! You burnt all 8 fingertips?! How on earth are you going to play Cello at your lesson this evening?! Oh NO!

So, my evening ended a little differently than I had in mind. We sat for 2 hours in the emergency room waitng to be seen by the triage nurse.......for my American readers, be glad you don't have public medical care because when the government runs out of money, you have to have a limb dangling by a thread or a hand almost severed to get any attention in the Emergency room.

Anyway, Danny Boneduce is doing much better today. He even managed to play Hockey yesterday regardless of the fact that I made him tape gauze all over his finger tips to avoid infection from his not so clean gloves. He even managed to score a goal with all that tape cramping his Wayne Gretzky like style.

Mini Me wanted to prove to me that baking can be done without injury and made us some chocolate chip cookies last night. Yummy!


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wedding Cleanup


The thing I hate most about parties is the clean up! I love to set up. I love to execute the vision. I love to coordinate and implement but......I hate to clean up. Am I alone?

But before I get too far into my clean up story, I have to tell you about an article in the Vancouver Sun this morning......it's about Darvonda. Imagine my shock as I sat with my morning coffee and muffin from McDonald's and I find a big photo of the greenhouse on the front of section B! I knew it was coming because they interviewed the Big Guy yesterday but.....I wasn't expecting it to look quite as bad as it appeared. Just to get my readers up to speed, we've been fighting the Regional District here over their jurisdiction over us and our smoke stack emissions. The province has traditionally been the one who watches over farmers but suddenly Vancouver wants to be able to issue permits instead. We allready have a permit and we are operating well within their guidelines but.....it's the principal of the matter. The District Manager changes constantly and with every change comes new rules. The Province is a much more stable entity and so it makes us farmers feel more secure knowing that someone can't just change rules on a whim and make it tough on us guys. Anyway, we took them to court last year and WON our appeal. They appealed our ruling and this week THEY won! And now we're in the paper this morning. Do you know what bother's me most about this article? Take a close look at the photo. Do you see those bushes that are so big they obscure the sign? Doesn't that look untidy to you? I'd better ask the landscaper to trim those bushes before someone else drives by taking pictures!

It's a good thing I've got a lot of clean up to keep my mind off these other things. And I have to tell you, we have had so much help here this week to get things back into shape, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The list of helpers is endless......so I won't even start to name names, for fear of missing one of my amazing peeps.


Look at this kitchen!!!! Isn't that fantastic? All the flies are gone and now I think a trip to the bottle depot is in order.Thanks everyone who helped out with washing all that nasty cutlery. It was so gross I didn't have the courage to take a photo of the soaking utensils. But now they are tucked away in their droor, all clean and shiny once again.


My 2 brothers-in-law and company got all the tables and chairs cleared up. The only thing left to put away is the lonely chandelier. It's a bit of a dillema. What do you do with a giant chandelier after the party? I think we'll just leave it up for a while as a reminder of how much fun we had.


And then there are the 200 chair covers and 200 napkins that need washing!


Hmmmm, I may be a very old lady before I get those all washed!


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How to build a Chandelier


Did you happen to notice the big chandelier that hung in the middle of the reception hall for my little Angel's wedding? Wasn't it just FABULOUS?! You're not going to believe this but actually......I made. Yup, you heard me......that is a unique piece of art made especially by me. I had looked into renting a nice big one but they were quite expensive. At one rental place that I stopped at, I got a real close look at their light and realized that it was a home made job, and not a very good one, but from a distance it looked pretty nice.


That gave me an idea......uh oh, watch out! Tamara's got an idea......


The first step was to do a little investigation on the internet. I found this simple style and, based on this I drew up a diagram. I took the diagram to the greenhouse and asked our resident Welder Guy to make one up for me. Our Welder Guy is such a gem! He set to work immediately to try make my chandelier frame. His first attempt ended in failure but.....a few days later he tried again. This time it was successful.



Next I called up my brother in law, Slim Jim, and asked if he could help me with the electrical part of the light. Electrical things are a specialty of his. I stopped by at Ikea and bought a few simple light sockets that he was able to attach to the arms of the chandelier. Then he added some rope light for a little bit of mood lighting.


Once the lights were on, it was time to add the "Bling". That's my forte! I just love "Bling". I bought 700 feet of pearls from my local Florist Supply store. Next I ordered 40 garlands of acrylic crystals from a Floral Supply place in Ontario (only 5 days drive from here). It took about 2 weeks for all the crystals to arrive. Look how pretty they are!


I found out that it's actually quite a bit of work to string 700 feet of pearls onto a chandelier frame, just in case you were wondering. My new son in law gave me a hand putting it together which was wonderful. Can you imagine that? Instead of telling me that the whole idea of a giant 6 foot chandelier to use as decoration at the wedding was way over the top......he helps me put it together! Isn't he just a doll?


Anyone looking to rent a home made, used chandelier for their next party?


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