Archive for November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa's Coming to Milner Gardens This Saturday!

I just happened to meet Frosty the Snowman yesterday evening and he mentioned that Santa was going to pop in to Milner Gardens on Saturday.


He's even taking a few ELVES along for the day.

I thought it might be purdent to invite Mrs Claus, since she doesn't get out as much as her hubby.....

but, unfortunately it's BUSY SEASON at the North Pole so she is going to stay home and hold the fort!

In the meantime, I have some INSIDE INFO on what the Wee One is getting for Christmas this year.

Shhhhhhh!  Don't give away the secret, ok?!
She hasn't got a CLUE!
Now, just in case you are looking for some great costumes at reasonable prices and you live in the Vancouver/Fraser Valley vicinity, visit Boo La La Costumes.  You won't be disappointed!  According to their blog, Masquerade parties are all the rage this year.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Stolen Telephone Cable Cuts Contact With Outside World

It happened AGAIN!  Thieves stole the telephone cables nearby, leaving us with no way to call in or out during BUSY SEASON!

What more could go wrong?!

Should you need to place a POINSETTIA order, just send us a SMOKE SIGNAL to 6690 - 216 st, Langley, BC.

Phone lines will take a minimum of 24 hours to be repaired.

Now, just in case you thought that was our ONLY problem for the week, think again.  Another one of THESE.......

was delayed!  I was expecting it a few weeks ago and it only JUST landed in Vancouver last night.  Not sure when it will be off-loaded.  The suspense is killing me! I need that container 'cause it's full of CHRISTMAS product that should have been in the stores already.

Think you've had enough?!  Well, not here at my place.  On Saturday night we saw THIS.......

in the house.  We couldn't find the source of the smoke so we decided we'd better go install one of THESE......

"tout de suite"!

At 2 am, Sunday morning, it WENT OFF.  Apparently THIS....

has decided to call it quits.

We turned the old gal off to avoid being exterminated in a raging house fire.

The temperature dropped to a bone chilling 19 degrees Celcius at my place (66 degrees Farenheit).  I just about died of frost bite.  My brain can't function at anything below 22 degrees (72 degrees). 

So, tonight I think I may indulge in a few of THESE......

while waiting for the cable guy to get our telephone back on line, the container to arrive, and the furnace repairman to finish installing a new furnace.

Anyone care to join me? 


Friday, November 26, 2010

Steve Whysall Stopped By Darvonda This Week!

Isn't this just a GORGEOUS photo of me and Steve Whysall in the greenhouse?!  We had a great visit this week, talking poinsettias and wandering around the greenhouse.  Steve is such a great guy.  He's very supportive of the horticulture industry in Canada and we really appreciate all his great writing in the Vancouver Sun.

So, make sure you check out his blog post that gives a great run down of poinsettias and their history as well as a whole lot of information about how to care for your plant by clicking here.

We also made a video on the topic which was great fun!  Unfortunately, I let it slip that I kill poinsettias when I bring them home.

I can't believe I admitted that.

I think I shall go lock myself in the bathroom for the next month.

What was I THINKING?!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Martha Stewart's Christmas Edition - Not a Single Poinsettia!

I was so excited to see Martha's Christmas edition on sale at the grocery store today!  I bought it the minute I saw it.  I couldn't WAIT to see what kind of wonderful floral inspirations she had to offer us this year.

But as I flipped through it, a horrible fact began to dawn on me.

There were NO poinsettias gracing these pages.....

nothing, nada, bupkiss!

Well, except for THIS photo.....

where, if you look very close.....

you can see a few live poinsettias behind the dancers legs.

THAT'S IT!  Not a single live poinsettia in the whole rotten magazine.  Are you KIDDING ME?!  I have a whole GREENHOUSE full of gorgeous plants just waiting to go to market......

click photo to visit the Vancouver Sun's blog by Steve Whysall about his visit to Darvonda today

and Martha doesn't use a SINGLE ONE in her Christmas edition this year?!  What was she THINKING?!

And then it dawned on me......

Martha only used items in her magazine that are part of her "Martha Stewart" line, available this year at Home Depot.  She can't make money by showing POINSETTIAS in her magazine because she doesn't supply plants.  Of COURSE she wants to encourage shoppers to buy things with her name on it.  So, this Christmas she focused on non-living decorations.

Hmmmmm.  This Martha fan just got a little less impressed with her favorite design diva.

As a matter of fact, I called in my very own team of designers tonight to work on wedding invitations.....

that have absolutely NO inspiration from Martha what-so-ever....

and they turned out so GORGEOUS that I think we are going to start our OWN magazine soon with all kinds of great crafty ideas.  We'll make sure to include all sorts of live poinsettias in OUR Christmas Edition.

What is Christmas without poinsettias?!

Let me know if you want a subscription.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Record Cold Temperatures in BC Makes Life a Little Challenging

I owe you all an apology.  I have been remiss in letting you know that we are now OPEN for retail sales.  Actually, we've been open since last Wednesday and the store looks AMAZING.  My excuse for not posting so far is the following:  Music, music and more music!  I may not have been the one playing buy I certainly was along for the ride.

So, today, was the first day we could get back to the REAL business of selling poinsettias.  Unfortunately, the weather here in BC has deteriorated to such an extent that we are experiencing some record cold temperatures.  That always means trouble for us greenhouse guys.  It's hard to heat a greenhouse when the thermometer goes below ZERO.  It's always a little stressful at this time of year because of the weather.

To top it all off, we had a power failure this afternoon which set alarms ringing immediately.  We have automatic GENERATORS for just such occasions and they all kicked on when the electricity flickered EXCEPT.......


It is amazing how quickly the temperatures indoors plummet once the heater goes off.

Everyone was scrambling to find some way to get heat in there as quickly as possible.

In the end, a kerosene heater did the trick.  They may SMELL nasty when they are burning but they sure can throw a WHOLE LOT OF HEAT!

Operation "Retail Rescue" was a success and all the plants are safe and warm tonight. 
and the power is BACK ON!!!

I would really like to thank all my Facebook friends who offered their help and their support today.  There is absolutely nothing more heartwarming than to know that there are such amazing people out there who have my back!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Metamorphosis from Mom to Music Manager

I can't believe what I have become.    I thought I knew my place in life. I thought I was just a regular Mom to 5 regular kids.  This past month, that all changed.  I made the switch from Mother to Music Producer without even realizing what was happening.

I was arranging rehearsal.....

after rehearsal......

after rehearsal......

after rehearsal.....

after rehearsal......

click photo for rehearsal video
after rehearsal!  And as you can see in THIS photo.....

the over abundant rehearsals nearly sent Danny Boneduce over the edge.  The only thing that brought him back to his senses was....

a late night game of hockey.  There's nothing like shooting a puck around the ice to clear your senses, right Danny?!

Now, if you are wondering how you go about producing a CD, all you have to do is follow these 5 easy steps.

STEP 1:  Choose which pieces to play.
NOTE WELL:  Getting FIVE talented musicians to all agree which pieces to perform on a CD is not for the faint of heart.

STEP 2:  Photocopy all the parts,
NOTE WELL:  Make sure your photocopier has been serviced and is in good working order.  Photocopying under pressure is much more difficult when every page you print gets caught in the rollers and needs to be extracted manually.

STEP 3:  Organize binders for Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Piano/Organ and Full Score.

You will need extra help for this step!

NOTE WELL:  Always have a file with a complete extra set of all music for yourself.  Rest assured, someone will misplace music and your secret stash will come in very handy!

STEP 4:  Schedule regular breaks....

It's easy to forget to EAT when you are this busy......

and your instrument will need to rest as well.

STEP 5:  Get everyone to the church on time!

NOTE WELL:  When choosing a recording artist, make sure you hire someone as wonderful as THIS MAN.....

Don Harder at work recording a solo by Mini Me
 He will keep all participants calm and organized as well as allow you to listen in on the fun.

It was such a pleasure working with Don!  What a challenge for him to get everything he needed to be able to make the musicians sound their best.  He sat in this same position the entire day with no breaks.  I brought him muffins, grapes, mandarin oranges, coffee, water, Tylenol and an ice pack to try help keep him going.

I do believe that he thought we were CRAZY.  We were trying to record 16 pieces in 8 hours!

At the end of the day, he even gave me a big HUG.

At first I thought that perhaps he was thanking me for pushing my 5 children to work hard at getting this CD produced.  Then I thought perhaps he felt sorry for me that I had pushed my 5 children to produce a CD in just 1 day.

Or perhaps he noticed me laying on the floor in the fetal position right around 4 in the afternoon when I realized we still had 5 more pieces to record and only 1 hour to do it in.

Anyway, I am pleased to say that this MOM/MUSIC PRODUCER is very, VERY proud of her family.  They worked crazy hard this past month and we hope to hear the fruits of their blood, sweat and tears very soon!

And if you missed the concert on Saturday night with The Jansen 5 and our FAVORITE organist, Peter Wildeman along with his Tenor Florian Poepjes, it was just wonderful.  I heard the word "goose bumps" over and over from many of the audience.

Don't forget to reserve YOUR copy of The 5 Jansen's with Peter Wildeman.

Contact me for your copy.  You know where to find me.  I'm always here.

And don't forget to hop on over to Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday where you'll find all kinds of wonderful peeps doing amazing things out there in blogland!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Father's Love


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Becoming a Great Musician Can Be Lonely Sometimes!

It's a very lonely business, becoming a great musican.

It requires many years of hard work in rather solitary surroundings.

At times, it even causes physical discomfort.....

all in the hopes that someone might enjoy your music.

Once in a while though.......

it's nice to get just a wee bit of press coverage to help you keep going!

To read this article just click here


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Under New Management

Darvonda has hired a new production manager.......

She's a real KEENER......

She keeps everyone on task......

and the really good thing about her is......

She works for FRENCH FRIES!