Archive for May 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Between Naps on the Porch: Welcome to the 20th Metamorphosis Monday!

Between Naps on the Porch: Welcome to the 20th Metamorphosis Monday!


Auf Wiedersehen Plumber Boy!

Sometimes change is hard. It happens when you least expect it. It happens even though you don't want it. Today is one of those days. Today I'm not that happy with the metamorphosis ahead. I know that this metamorphosis is according to a higher plan but I wish it wasn't so. You see, Plumber Boy is leaving us.

I know, it's hard to believe! He's been with us for 10 years, through thick and thin. In the early days we used to share an office together.
He showed me how to use a computer.

He taught me what a spread sheet was.

If I was lost in traffice, I just called him for directions.

If I needed to rent a car in some far off land, he went on Expedia and got me one.

When I drove over my cell phone, he got me a new one with all my old numbers pre-programmed like I'd never even got a new phone.

He was a part of the family.........he even gots mail addressed to Plumber Boy "Jansen". We may not be related by blood but we were so close, everyone thought we were family.

Maybe I should have tried to re-boot my own computer once in a while and he would have staid!

Anyway, I do not want to dwell on the old days because it just makes me sad. So instead, I'm going to blog about the great big party we threw Plumber Boy to say "auf wiedersehen" till we meet again.
First thing we did was set up the barbecue in the park next door. Of course, the Corona was hidden discreetly in garbage pails so that we didn't get kicked out of the park. We set up the whole kitten-kaboodle in under an hour! I pretty much bought out all the burgers and dogs at our local Costco..........We sent up continuous smoke signals all afternoon. The hamburgers were hot and tasty. Plumber Boy's replacement, Chef Extraordinaire, kept the meat from charring and our hunger at bay.

We had a chance to say a few words of appreciation for a job well done, remembering how much change we've seen both at Darvonda and in all our lives over the last 10 years. The ladies are trying to figure out who they are going to ask to refill the toilet paper or replace the handsoap in the bathroom once Plumber Boy is gone........We wish Plumber Boy much success in his new venture and we'll be over to lend a hand if he ever needs it.

That being said, I'm not sure what the 3 Musketeers are going to do without their Porthos around.....

We're going to miss you something awful, Plumber Boy. Y'all come by and visit us some time!
Now, don't forget to check out what other Metamorphosis is going on out there today at Between Naps on the Porch. Just click here


Friday, May 29, 2009

Hooked on Travelling

Have I mentioned yet how much I get to travel? I am so hooked on travelling, it isn't funny. I get to go to some wild and far out places to look for new ideas for the business all the time. Can you say "DREAM JOB"?

I put together a little love balad in honor of my love of travel......just for my blogger peeps. It sure is a BEAUTIFUL LIFE!


Don't forget to drop on down to Hooked on Houses for Hooked on Fridays. Click here

Also, check out the Inspired Room for her "It's a beautiful life" Friday. I just love hearing about people who are counting their blessings :) click here


Obama Man Can


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

I love the show Jon and Kate plus 8. The kids and I watch it together. I feel like it's a window into the "way we were" when my kids were little. So much chaos......and yet so much fun. I am very sad to hear that Jon and Kate have hit a rough patch in their marriage. Do you know what I'm talkin' about, blogger peeps?

I wish I could sit down with them and have a little chat. I'm not sure Kate would listen much to my advice but really, who am I to give advice anyway?

The Big Guy really feels for poor Jon. He was really affected by the season premier show. He doesn't want to watch with us anymore.

I wish I could have the following conversation with Kate:

"If you really want to do the best thing for your kids, then you need to re-focus on your husband. If you love HIM, automatically the kids will be healthy and happy. Enough with the big birthday parties and the matching outfits. Go out and spoil your HUSBAND with all that attention instead!"

I know, it's just a TV show but, I see it all the time. We ladies start having kids and our focus shifts from being a soulmate to being a mom. That's hard on the men. They hate playing second fiddle. They want us to give them some "me" time or they start to pout.

Now, I don't know if you've heard about Jodi, Kate's sister-in-law who is trying to get them to stop filming the show and let the kids grow up in private. I see her point. It must be hard to have cameras around all the time. Just ask my kids. I'm always filming and taking pictures and then putting it on my blog. Jodi thinks that's exploitation...........uh oh........I've been exploiting everyone I know. I exploit my sister.........I exploit my daughter's wedding.......I exploit all my children........I even exploit FISH!

Time to re-think my blogging habits.

In the meantime, I really, really hope Jon and Kate take a long, relaxing vacation.......just the 2 of re-connect with their roots.

How about you? Are you hoping the same thing?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Home Cooked Meal in 20 Minutes!

I just love blogs about cooking, don't you? The Pioneer Woman and Bakerella have just the best step by step instructions on fabulous meals and desserts that look so mouth watering. They are inspirational. They make you want to run to the kitchen and start creating a masterpiece.

My problem is, I never have too much more than 30 minutes a day to make a full course meal. It's got to be quick and dirty at my place. I've really had to learn to be an efficient cook in the kitchen and that's not something a lot of those cooking blogs talk about. Over the years I had to find ways to cut down cooking time while not compromising on great taste. I hated the cardboard flavor of boxed food like Campbells soup packets or Hamburger Helper. I wanted something that tasted like I spent an hour but really only took 20 minutes to prepare.

So here follows my version of Spaghetti. Very tasty and very quick.

Grab your biggest pot, and set the water on to boil. Add a dash of salt and olive oil. This part is so boring, I forgot to take a picture.......but you can follow me anyway, right?

Before the water's boiling, set a deep fry pan on the stove and turn the heat to high. Run to the pantry and grab a can of Tomatoe Paste and Tomatoe Chunks. I buy these in bulk at Costco, my favorite grocery store. Make sure you don't lose sight of your blackberry while you run back and forth because you might get an important the kids phoning from the Music School to find out if you've left to pick them up yet.

Run to the fridge and rip open the giant pack of hamburger, also bought from Costco, and toss in 3 patties. Since you pre-heated your pan on high, you've got to be quick and run for the spatula the moment the hamburger hits the pan or the meat sears to the bottom of the fry pan. Some charring could occur so don't dilly dally with the spatula.
Add a dash of salt and then whip open the cutlery droor, grabbing the can opener with one hand and the tomatoe paste in the other. Remove lid quickly and dump contents into the fry pan. Don't worry if you do this upside down like I did in my haste. It still tastes the same anyway. Repeat with as much speed as possible with the Chunky Tomatoes and stir.

Right about now your water should be boiling. Grab you Gigantic sized box of spaghetti noodles, again from Costco, and dump a fist full of noodles in the water. Don't forget to stir them gently as soon as they get wet or they will stick together like a clump of cement. The kids don't like spaghetti that way!

Dash back to your pantry and grab the Classico spaghetti sauce, of course bought in bulk from costco, and dump into the fry pan. There will be some residue sauce left in the glass jar so just pour some of your cheap boxed wine inside to rinse. All that wine and sauce residue must now go into the fry pan as well. I used to do this step with water instead of wine. The sauce doesn't taste nearly as good that way. Definately go for the wine rinse!

Now let everything simmer while you race to set the table. Clearing the dinner table is the part of preparing this meal that will take you the longest to accomplish. Call the kids for help! It cuts down on prep time :)

Once the kids stop whining and start helping, dash back over to the fridge for the jumbo jar of garlic, also purchased at Costco. You should have already put this in with the hamburger while it was browning. Note to self: next week, remember to put the garlic in earlier.

At the same time, grab the pre-made Ceasar Salad and dump into one of your own ceramic bowls for the appearance of a home made salad that required a lot of prep time. Your husband will think you're a miracle worker!

Now for the most important ingredient of this entire meal.......the fresh grated Parmesan cheese! You must splurge on the best quality you can afford because it really takes this meal from blah to belissima! Grate lots! At least a cereal bowl full. I promise you, the kids will polish it all off before the meal is done.

All that's left to do is sit down, say grace and.........dig in!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meet the Rat Pack

I'm not sure I've properly introduced all my blogger peeps to the real live RAT PACK! You thought they were long gone but, actually, they are alive and well and living in Milner, BC. Each of them was born one year was a busy 3 years for Tamara :) But now they form a tight group in our house, entertaining us with their music and comedic skills on a daily basis. But, you should get to know each one seperately for a moment.
First we have Opera Diva, 17 year old highschool student, quiet and unassuming........until you get her on stage to sing....... She may look small and unassuming but.........she's got a set of lungs on her like you wouldn't believe! She can shatter a glass from a mile away. Her brother, Danny Boneduce, really appreciates her vocal talents around the house. Just this afternoon she started singing some random song from Sound of Music and from across the hall we could hear his wonderful falsetto chiming in for the background harmony. Too bad his voice is starting to change because I just love his girly tone. But I digress........this is about Opera Diva and her lungs. Besides her singing talents, she plays violin, viola, piano, french horn (that's a whole other story) and........the kazoo. She is 1/3 of the Rat Pack. Indespensable.
Next we have Mini Me, 15 going on 21. We call her Mini Me because......well......she reminds me of someone I know.......ME! Artistic, outgoing, rambunctious, mischievious, bubbly. When Mini Me is in the room, you know it. The only thing we don't share is a love for sports and high heals.........she loves sports.........I love high heels.........she wouldn't be caught dead in pumps.........I wouldn't be caught dead playing soccer. Regardles, one day, Mini Me and I are going into business together to start a film animation company that gives Disney and Pixar a run for their money! She plays the Violin, electric guitar, piano and.........harmonica. She's another 1/3 of the Rat Pack.And then there's Danny Boneduce. When he was small, we all fawned over him. He was just the cutest little kid with his pudgy little cheeks and snow white hair. When he first started playing cello we thought it was so sweet! Who can resist a little chubby cheeked little dutch boy wearing a suit and playing a cello?!Oh, so much has changed since those days long ago. Now he's the youngest brother to two older sisters who, in his opinion, cramp his style. At 14, he knows all, sees all and is completely indestructable. Intelligent, athletic, musical, comical all rolled into one. He is particularly concerned about his hair, I must say. His hair obsession started long ago in his very early youth. One day he found a scissor and cut his hair straight down to the scalp. I had to get a buzz cut to fix the mess and........ever since then.......his hair is a top priority. I have found myself buying some very expensive GEL lately so that his "faux hawk" turns out just perfect. Danny Boneduce makes up the final 1/3 of our Milner based Rat Pack.Now, just in case you got the impression that this Rat Pack is not a serious musical group capable of entertaining classical music lovers the world over, don't let their outward appearance fool you. The proof is in the following video, shot this past saturday. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the entertaining stylings of the Milner Rat Pack........


Sunday, May 24, 2009

We're All Sold Out........

Ok blogger peeps, you are not going to BELIEVE the metamorphosis around here........we've gone from one very full, bursting at the seams greenhouse just 30 days ago to one very empty, clean as a whistle facility! Spring bedding plant sales have been just great and I'm here to tell you that in spite of a whole bunch of unexpected things like hiring a new logistics guy..........

we have managed to come out of this past season virually unscathed.

Location 2......... went from this in this in May.
We got 2 complete crops out this year and everything looked GORGEOUS!

Location 3.......... went from this.........another 2 crop rotations that worked out just wonderful!

And last but not least, we check out Sight 1.
This is where we started our business and this is where the Big Guy and I finished our Friday facility tours, making sure that every greenhouse was truly empty, cleaned out, nada left to sell. I thought you would like to see a picture of our beautiful granite and brick sign at the front of the.........hey wait a minute........what's that parked in the driveway??!! Aww Big Guy, you shouldn't have! You got me a new ride!!! I'm going to be able to do our facility tours in half the time from now on. No more traffic. No more late to lessons. Hmmmmm, I may have to rethink my footwear in the future.

OK, I'm just kidding. This is not my new ride. This is the helicopter we hired to spray white wash on the greenhouse so our poinsettia cuttings won't shrivel and die in the hot summer months. Yes, you read me right.........POINSETTIA cuttings are coming. Christmas is only a few months away people and it's time to start planning for the next festive season.

Now, all we have left to do is sweep up and throw out the dead plants before we can hit the beach.

Don't forget to stop on by Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Click here