Archive for July 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hooked on Music

Did you know how much my kids are HOOKED ON music? Have I ever mentioned how much time we spend on music lessons each year? I mean, I've got 5 talented musicians at my place and each one of them has studied music since the age of 5 or 6 years old. That means I've been driving to some lesson or other for the last 12 years or so. Do you think I'm crazy? Maybe I am..........but I am HOOKED on music too!

This past week was a busy one for music in our household. First, Opera Diva spent a full week at a Vocal Camp being held at the University of British Columbia. She just blossoms when she gets to sing all day long.........I mean, just check out her final concert solo.

She's got a powerful set of lungs on her, that girl!

Then, so as not to be shown up, Junior played at the inaugural concert of the American Reformed Church's new pipe organ. It just so happens that Grampa and Gramma were the people who refurbished the old organ, bringing her back to life. There were also some FAMOUS PEOPLE who came out to play at the inauguration.......Peter Wildeman and Joost Vanbelzen from the Netherlands. The 3 fellas did a MARVELOUS job of taking the organ through some serious musical gymnastics, wouldn't you say?


Now don't forget to check out Hooked on Houses to see what everyone else is hooked on this week!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Only 150 Days Till Christmas

Have you noticed that I haven’t been posting much about the greenhouses lately. I think I’ve been subconsciously avoiding it. It’s summer time…….I’m on holidays. Posting about work cramps my vacation style.

Well, I’m back in the office today and excited to tell you about what’s going on at the greenhouse on this OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY. Believe it or not, we are starting to ship our fall mum crop starting next week. Yes, you read that right……. I said “Garden Mums”! Would you just look at this gorgeous field full of color?! I’m always impressed how things just keep clicking along at the farm whether or not we are here or not. These babies were busy growing like weeds while we were out gallivanting on the lake in Osoyoos. My greenhouse peeps are just the BEST!

Now, if the idea that you will soon see a FALL garden mum at your local garden center gives you a panic attack, just take a gander at THESE babies! Can you believe that it’s only 150 days to CHRISTMAS?!

I gotta tell you, though, by the time I was finished taking all these pictures out there in the greenhouse, I was sweatin' up a storm. I mean, it’s HOT out there in the greenhouse people. Would you LOOK at the temperature?!Say a little prayer for us horticulture workers ‘cause if you think it’s hot at your place, try imagine how hot it is in a glass greenhouse!

Now, I’ve gotta go home and see if the fridge is available. I will probably have to kick Mini Me out of there so I can take my afternoon nap!

Don’t forget to stop on by A Southern Daydreamer to see what’s going on outside during this Outdoor Wednesday. Just click this link or more fun posts


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brain Damage Due to Global Warming

It's really hot this week in BC! So hot, the men are starting to go a little.........crazy. Brain cells seem to be disintegrating in the 40 degree temperatures!
I'm hoping that the weather cools down soon and everything will go back to normal around here!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Missing all The Comforts of Home!

Why exactly do we North American’s go camping anyway? I mean, what is the deal with driving away from all the luxuries of home to sit in a tent with no modern amenities like running water, flush toilets and cable television. Why exactly do we think this is FUN? And why is it that so many of us choose to be HOOKED ON CAMPING summer after summer?
Is it the exciting annual vehicle breakdown in the middle of nowhere that helps us wind down from our daily stress filled lives………?

Or could it be that we love to squeeze our motorhomes onto a spot the size of a postage stamp, righ beside that rickety old picnic table which gives us a butt slivers every time we sit down…….?

Perhaps it’s the adrenaline rush we get from being pulled behind a speed boat going 50 kilometers an hour until we’re unceremoniously thrown head over tea kettle into the lake…….?

Maybe it’s the challenge of cooking a wholesome meal for 6 on a barbecue built for 2……?

It’s possible that we just love the challenge of finding a road side stand that has some edible fresh fruit that will help keep us old folks on a regular schedule……?

Or is it those rainy, windy days we love the most? There's just nothing like trying to keep the tarps and tents from blowing away into the lake, now is there?

But maybe it’s just the fact that camping gives us a chance to sit back and relax. Take time to think about the BIG PICTURE. Perhaps we’re hooked on camping because it gives us an opportunity to do away with all the clutter of our busy modern lives and just appreciate the little things that really count

Check out what else is going on this HOOKED ON FRIDAY. Click here


What Wine Goes With Fruit Flambe?

Have I told you what the best thing is about CAMPING? It's all that FREE TIME you get. Since you have no other CHORES to do like LAUNDRY or GOING TO WORK, you end up having extra time on your hands . The thing I love to do most with all that free time when I’m camping is COOK. I love to try new things. Things I don’t have time to do at home. So, on this TABLE SCAPE Thursday, I want to show you how Tamara cooks while camping.

For this evening, I plan to make FRUIT FLAMBE. I think Fruit Flambe is just sheer 5 star luxury…….and I love 5 star luxury. So, I go to town to find the most colorful fresh fruit available.
Of course, I go in my bathing suit since it’s 40 degrees out here in Osoyoos. The kids are mortified and beg me to put more clothes on but it’s just too rotten hot to wear shorts right now.

Next, I get the kids to peel the peaches and apples, so I can do a little blogging as well. Blogging and cooking…….the only good things about camping, in my opinion! Once those are all prepped, I start frying all the ingredients up. Too bad I forgot my brown sugar and cinnamon because that make this recipe just PERFECT. But we’re camping so we will have to make do.

Next we add the alchohol and set the whole business on fire. Danny Boneduce was my official photographer and was really struggling to get a picture with the flames showing. I have to pour extra Cointreau in and re-light the flambe to get a good shot. Just about blew up the motorhome the second time since I got a little generous on the alcohol......but you can see the flames in this pic so all is well! Next time I think I’ll do this OUTSIDE!

Here’s the finished product, all gussied up and ready to eat……Ok, it's looks a little melted and I am not a great photographer but my fabulous blogger peeps have great imaginations! I'm counting on you guys to really imagine a perfect fruit flambe here.

But wait……..what kind of wine are we going to pair this fabulous desert with? This requires some serious research. Fortunately we are just 2 minutes from a Winery that gives wine tastings 3 times a day. Off we go with the whole crowd of us to check out what wines we should be drinking.

I never knew how similar the wine business is to the greenhouse biz! There's all this talk about PH levels, fertilizers, growing medium. Personally, I'm not interested in all that horticulture speak.......I just wanna know when the wine tasting is gonna happen?

Aaaaaah! FINALLY! “Uh, excuse me. My glass appears to be empty. I thought this was a wine tasting. How can I taste the wine if you don’t give me at least 2 sips worth?”

What do you think everyone? Is this the wine that will go with the flambe?........It looks like this ones a winner! Good thing we found one we LIKED so quickly because the Big Guy looks like he’s havin’ way too much fun with this wine tasting thing.

We all go back for just one more taste because this whole wine tasting thing is so much fun!We had to make sure we chose the right wine for our desert, you know. Now, if I can only figure out how to get the girl to give me a bit bigger taste tester, I’d be happy.

Be sure to stop by Between Naps on the Porch to check out more Tablescapes. Everyone's got such great ideas on how to gussy up a table. I almost feel guilty with my paper plates and plastic cups that I'm using this week......but it' way less work to do the dishes this way and that's what camping is all about, right guys? Just click here


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Great Outdoors and a Mini Panic Attack

There's nothin' better than the great OUTDOORS, is there? Sittin' in the tube, floatin' lazily along the shore and stayin' in the water to cool down a wee bit..........tryin' to really get that core body temperature down.........snoozin in shade........watchin' the sun go down.......settin' up the fire for a little weeney roast.........spendin' time with family and friends........what could be more relaxin' ?!

Now just imagine that in the middle of all this relaxin' you get THIS text message from your very pregnant and due to have the baby anytime soon daughter on your blackberry.........WHAT? My very pregnant little Angel needs her Care Card number ASAP?

For you american readers out there, I may need to clarify this Care Card number thingy. This is our universal health care insurance number that allows us access to medical attention.......not great medical attention but.......I'll leave that story for another day.

Now, back to my story and my mini-heart attack moment. My little Angel had left the lake a few days ago and gone back home to finish off the baby's nursery. As you can imagine, the above message made my heart stop for a moment! Has the moment come to usher us old folks into Gramma and Grampa-hood? So I quickly messaged back........."Is it an EMERGENCY?"

As you can see, my son-in-law is not going to let me off the hook too easily because this is what he messaged me back..........but fortunately, the Wee One is waiting patiently for Gramma to get a little closer to home before he/she makes an appearance.

So, now I'm off to do a Winery tour just up the hill which involves looking at the wine cellar and tasting a number of different wines........Woohoo! Gotta GO! The wine's a waitin'.

Don't forget to check out all the other Outdoor Wednesday posts going on over at a Southern Daydreamer. click here