Archive for November 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vivaldi, Handel and Mel Torme......A Great Combo!

What a difference a few years can make. It doesn't seem that long ago when I took this picture of my kids, all full of youthful enthusiasm posing with their instruments. Can it be that just a short 15 years ago Junior started to take violin lessons? And every consecutive year thereafter, each of his siblings picked up the bow and fiddle to study right along side him?Everyone studied violin with the same teacher year after year.

Well, all except Danny Boneduce.......
He was determined to buck the trend......go his own way.....break away from the pack!

But we still had to go to the Langley Community Music School day after day and year after year.
All the broken strings, tears of frustrations, forgotten music, pre-concert jitters and crazy hard work really does pay off, people. It really, REALLY does. All that hard work and determination definitely brought about a wonderful METAMORPHOSIS in this band of 5 ragamuffin kids.

Last night I got to watch all 5 of my kids play with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra right alongside their beloved teacher. I must admit, I shed a few tears. What a wonderful concert it was! Maestro Clyde Mitchell and Paula Dewitt put on an amazing show. Don't believe me?! Check this little snippet out........

Here my babies stand with their teacher and mentor after the concert. It's really overwhelming to think that so much wisdom and beauty is passed on from generation to generation by dedicated men and women so PASSIONATE about the music they play. We are indebted to them for passing on the music of Vivaldi, Handel and.......Mel Torme!

The choir just belted out those tunes like it was a walk in the park!

Here's Danny Boneduce with Opera Diva behind him just tuning up for a night of wild fun and frolic punctuated perfectly by Clyde's enthusiastic BATON!

But if you think that all this amazing music comes together without a whole lot of work before hand, you would be sadly mistaken.

Rehearsals were long and arduous.......

but Junior made it is calling in life to keep the ladies in Violin 1 and 2 entertained as usual!

I got to come along to the weekly rehearsals so I could take care of the Wee One between feedings. We've had some serious discussions about which instrument she will take up when her time comes.......
So far, I think she's leaving her options open!

Now don't forget to stop by Between Naps on the Porch to check out all sorts of WONDERFUL Metamorphosis!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Morning Coffee. I'm Lovin' It!

I have a particular way that I like to start my morning. It's a bit odd, I have to admit. Every morning I hop in my car on my way to drop the kids off at school. After they pile out of the car I head to the local McDonald's for my morning coffee. I know, I could just make myself a coffee at home in my Tim Horton's coffee maker (it only takes a minute to brew a fresh pot) but there is just something about their coffee and muffin deal that keeps me coming back time after time.

This morning is Saturday but......I just NEED my McDonald's MUFFIN and I need it BAD! So, even though there's no school today, I head off to get my MUFFIN FIX! "I'll take 2 coffee's, one is black and the other is a single/single". They know me so well, I don't even have to tell them what goes in my coffee!

This morning I decide I have time to read the Vancouver Sun while I drink my cup of Java. It's Saturday. The housework can wait!

Now, I can tell you that THIS..........does not happen every morning! That's Grower Girl in the newspaper today, showing off our gorgeous plants. Doesn't she look PROFESSIONAL?! She could be the next Vanna White of the Horticulture industry, wouldn't you agree?

Now I'm off to change my clothes since I spilled my coffee all over myself in my excitement. Just one more reason why I should probably make my own coffee at home in the morning. It's too easy to spill in the car.

Just in case you'd like to read the WHOLE article written by Steve Whysall at the Vancouver Sun, just stop by his BLOG and check it out.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship With Poinsettias

Talk to any grower that produces poinsettias and you will find out that we all share a very intense love/hate relationship with this particular crop. Not only are they hard to grow, they are hard to ship and hard to keep alive in the store. Besides that, our margins are always very tight. Every year I ask myself the same question at this time of year. "WHY do we grow poinsettias?!"

Of course, there is a logical answer to that question but before I answer it, I want to give you a quick tour of our Head Office facility as it looks today. A batch of 20,000 6" plants are hanging precariously above our shipping and packing areas, swaying gently as they move forward towards a water station positioned at the back of the warehouse.

I bet you're wondering how we check on the plants when they hang so high above our heads, aren't you? Well, we take this long, long, rolling staircase and position it just by the watering station. Usually I'm wearing my highest heals when I wanna check on things up there but fortunately today I was a wee bit smarter and wore my flats!

Would you LOOK at the view you get from up here?! You can see every square inch of the 100,000 square foot warehouse from this spot. From way up here I can see all that product getting packed and ready to sell for tomorrow.
From this angle, I can see that there are no trucks standing at any of our loading bay docks right now. That's because they're all on the road delivering from here to Alberta. The poor logisitics guy is working some serious overtime hours these days!

Here you can see my peeps working on dressing up our poinsettias in a beautiful container with a decorative pick and some extra papers to give it that christmas glamour.
Our new Lean Flow system is working like a charm and our production is just moving along like clockwork. Here is a whole bunch of containers lines up and ready to be paired with a lovely poinsettia that is bound to go to my favorite Big Box store for weekend sales!

So WHY do we do poinsettias when they are such a tricky crop. Actually, I got an email from a customer who bought two of our poinsettias in Quebec at my favorite Big Box store, supplied by one of our new partner growers out there. This wonderful lady was so happy with her gorgeous poinsettia arrangement that she made the effort to thank us for the beautiful design. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! What a wonderful ray of sunshine in a very busy and nerve wracking Christmas season.......and THAT explains why we do poinsettia. 'Cause they are BEAUTIFUL!

But, just so you know how stressful the winter season is for us growers, here is a photo of me a few nights ago when we had a very, VERY bad storm. All our alarms went off at each of our 3 locations. Everything was battered and bruised by ferocious gusts of wind. Not only did we lose plastic on one of our greenhouses.......but a chunk of that same greenhouse went flying across the parking lot and smashed a HUGE DENT in my mercedes.

Gotta love the POINSETTIA season!

Make sure you stop by The Inspired Room for more Holiday inspired posts. Click here

PS: I also just found a post from "Up A Green Tree" that just makes me smile! She's been reading my blog and having a blast checking out the greenhouses via the internet. Check out her post on Darvonda at the following link:


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Poinsettias By The Thousands

This week we finally started shipping POINSETTIAS! I know, you're thinking "It's not Christmas for a LONG time!" but that's because you're not growing hundreds of thousands of the colorful christmas plant at your place like I am. If you were, you'd be saying things like "I can't wait till we can start shipping those babies" or "I wish people would start decorating for christmas a little early this year". I should know. I've been talking like that for a month already.

It suddenly dawned on me that I'd better get out into the greenhouse BEFORE we started shipping to take some pictures to share with my blogger peeps. It's just so BEAUTIFUL in here when we are full up with color. All those CRAZY COLORS are something amazing to behold..........Don't you just LOVE a PINK Poinsettia?.......And the one color we growers all love to hate, WHITE........Why do we love to hate it? Well, because there is no PURE WHITE poinsettia available and that's what everyone wants. White poinsettias tend to be a little on the yellow side and that just reminds me of YELLOW SNOW. Catch my DRIFT?! Yellow snow.......drift.......did you get that little pun in there? I crack myself up sometimes!

Back to the serious topic of POINSETTIA SHIPPING, for the next month or so I am going to be running of OVERLOAD. During the Christmas shipping season my "To Do" list remains a mile long, no matter how many hours I work in a day.

Remember how I mentioned that we were missing a container AGAIN this year?! Well, it has been found. SCRATCH THAT off my "To Do" list.

And do you also recall how I told you I was helping to nurse someone back to health? Turns out Junior caught the H1N1 virus on his flight to Montreal where he went to visit one of our partner growers. Did he ever catch a HIGH FEVER! Nothing would help to bring it down to a reasonable level. He's on the mend now, which is great because.........he can't AFFORD to be sick for very long. He's got POINSETTIA'S to sell before December 24th rolls around.

Now make sure that you run down to your favorite Garden center/Florist/Big Box store nearest you to buy your poinsettia and show your LOCAL GROWER some LOVE! You'd be doing us a really BIG favor.

Good thing I've got my little STRESS RELIEVER prescription close at hand.......


Monday, November 9, 2009

The Secret to Handling Stress

Do you ever get so busy that you're not sure where to start? Have you ever had that feeling that there's just way too much to do and not enough time to do it? My "TO DO" list seems to be growing by leaps and bounds the closer we get to Christmas. Wanna see my "TO DO" list?

-Nurse one of my kids through a 104 degree fever all night long
-Nail down Christmas pricing for those last minute poinsettia shoppers
-Finalize all the poinsettia shipping details with our partner growers out in Eastern Canada
-Go shopping for decorative pots to sell to our last minute customers
-Pick up new Sunday suit for Danny Boneduce who grows an inch taller every week
-Catch up on my wash since I won't have time available the next 4 weeks for that kind of thing
-Disinfect all the surfaces in the house so no one ELSE gets a 104 degree fever
-Get ready for tomorrow's Christmas Season Kick-off luncheon with all the staff
-Find another "LOST AT SEA" container that is gonna kill me if it doesn't arrive soon
-etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.....

Lucky for me, I have found a secret formula that helps me de-stress instantly. It's a powerful solution that I should bottle and sell to the whole world. I'll make millions with this anti-stress potion! Can you guess what it is?!

It's the smell of this little miracle that cures all ailments. The minute I lay my eyes on this sweet bundle of joy........all my stress dissipates! Am I a lucky lady or WHAT?!