Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas In Penticton, BC 2013

When you have a mom that is 90 years of age, you want to try to put in as much time with them as possible before they leave you forever.  We decided on our way back from the United States that we would spend this Christmas with Chris's Mom since she would not be traveling out of town for Christmas this year.

We decided to leave our gifts for each other behind until we returned home.  But we would at least have them wrapped and ready for our return....:-).

Not wanting to set out on the road Christmas Eve, we got a head start and left our home on the 23rd of December.  The sky was magnificent. The road was not overly crowded since we started out a couple days earlier than some others.

I love the scenery along the Sea To Sky Highway.  It doesn't seem to matter what time of year it is.  It is always beautiful.

We traveled along and was enjoying the ride with music, singing and talking when we came to an area just near Princeton, BC.  To our amazement, we came upon the largest herd of Elk I had ever seen.  It was so large that we did a U-turn in the highway to go back and see about snapping this picture.  There was another vehicle behind us that had the same idea.

Having made it through Manning Park without using chains on the tires, we traveled on and saw the beautiful snow capped mountains that lay between Hedley and Keremeos.  The big white "band" in the back ground is actually fog!  I was getting a bit nervous, but I didn't say anything....

Whew!!  We made it...haha.  After 6 hours of travel, son was finally reunited with mother.....:-)

Chris and his brother decided that they wanted to cook.........hummmm.....

Mean while, I was checking out the Christmas tree in the corner.  When a person turns 90, you have no idea what they might need at that age that they don't already have.  So, we came up with the idea of giving her recent pictures of the grand children to replace much older ones.  Unfortunately, we did not have all of the pictures with us and had to mail some out after Christmas for her to enjoy.

Christmas day came and we had to make calls to all of the family members that would be expecting to hear from us in some form or another.  Here is Chris on the phone with our family in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

I was snacking on some kind of Norwegian desert with almond paste in the center.  Not too bad.  No, I didn't eat the whole plate!  But I did have one piece....:-).

And decided to see what the view was like from the deck window....

This is looking to the left of the deck....

Laura who is known for her fierce independence was busy setting the table for dinner....

I starting missing seeing my own table decorated back in Oklahoma and in Germany where I purchased all of my silver and crystal just for special occasions as this.

Chris put a snack tray together so large that I wasn't sure there would be room for dinner, but it was still early.  So, I guess this was lunch.

 The snack trays started coming fast and furiously!  Oh dear......

It was getting serious in there!

The boys decided that they would do the whole meal.  Now, I tried to assure them that I was quite capable of handling at least the veggies....but they insisted! Chris decided that he wanted me to relax for a change.   Works for me!......:-)  Big brother took on the turkey and mom was fussing over the sink.

Next thing you know, the turkey was being carved and we were ready to dig in.........

Seeing as I had been given all that time to "rest", I was ready to eat!

I helped to bring the food to the table grateful for yet another year that we had some how made it through inspite of a broken water main, nearly frozen pipes, family illness and other challenges.  We were ready to step into another year very soon.  This would be the largest meal before we found ourselves in 2014.

Somebody was quite pleased at the way things had turned out with the meal. The master of the meal, well...and his brother of course....:-).

Even the sky was showing gratitude with a wonderful display of color.....

orange and blue........

and sometimes giving the appearance of a picture that had been done with a broad stroke brush..

 And then it started to shift into a pink color....very slowly...

And then it was pink!

 Another year, another Christmas.  We woke up the day we were to leave to more snow.  But all was well.  If you look closely, you can see the snow specks in the dark evergreen trees falling.

With the mission accomplished, there was nothing left to do but snap one more picture before hitting the road.

We hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow and Symphonic Music

Finally, it snowed in British Columbia!  I love the snow.  Now, for those who know that I hate the cold (or extreme heat), may find it hard to believe that I actually love the snow...:-).  But, it's true!

Needless to say, that when I woke up the other day and saw this outside, I was thrilled!
whoooo hooooo!!!!

Isn't it lovely!!

We had a breakfast date with each other and since it was snowing, I decided to think of some other things that we could do while we were out.  I gave Chris a bundle of blankets to put in the trunk...just in case.

then there was the task of getting the snow off the car so that we can get going......

I decided to snag some pics of the beauty around me before heading off to find...well, more beauty...:-) This was taken across the lane from our condo.

This is a walking trail that is also across from our condo.  I love the snow covered bridge that you have to walk across to get to it.

We made a couple of stops and then I got the "whim" to go to the beach!!  Well, you couldn't really see the beach because visibility was so low and it had not been plowed.  Scootard didn't dare venture any farther inward....So, I had to settle for some pics of the surround mountains.

Here is another shot from a different direction....:-).  My friends in California can't relate to this....haha

I remember when I first came to Canada.  I had only been West once in my life which was a quick trip to Oregon.  But I had never seen so many Christmas trees in one place in my life!  I mean you can drive for a long time and see evergreens everywhere in the Northwest.

I took a picture of this couple out on a stroll in the snow.  I knew I was not the only one who enjoyed being out in it.....:-).

And Scootard was snapping pictures of me snapping pictures.....

After our adventure, it was time to start heading home....:-).

And so it was we returned to our home. I was content, except for one thing  I had not done yet......If you look closely, you can see my target at the door in the background.......(hee hee).

oh well.....  I missed!  LOL...but it was fun just the same.  And now, preparations to attend they upcoming symphony.  Not until the next day, but something I was looking forward to..

After a not so busy day the next day, we made our way to the Lion's Gate  Symphonia.  They were doing a Christmas program and we had purchased tickets weeks before.

We made sure to get there early to avoid standing in a line.  I knew (from previous experience) that they did not appreciate the use of "electronic devices" during the program.  So, I took this picture of the auditorium 30 minutes before the program started.

I was happy as a tick on a dog since I love the arts.  The evening was going to be filled with song, ballet, more song and more ballet....:-).  SWEET! Chris doesn't get the whole dance part....haha.  Notice the facial expression.  And they hadn't even started yet!

I was able to snag this picture of the orchestra warming up before the program started...

The program was wonderful and I really enjoyed it.  Scootard enjoyed it too....most of it any way...haha.
I hope that all of you are having as wonderful a time as we are.
From our house to yours........

Have a wonderful Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Adventures In The Kitchen

Hello all!  I know, I know....I've been like a run away that just came home.  haha.  The good news is I have been busy trying to get a business started clear in another country, preparing for Christmas and trying not to lose myself in the whole process of things.
I have been kinda taking it easy lately in the kitchen.  We have been eating this and that, something or nothing; until I finally had to go shopping or we would have to break into our emergency stash!  Yes, we have one of those...:-)

Soooo, I purchased a large, smoked hock.  I had every intention of cooking it down and adding it to some cabbage, but got inspired in the kitchen along the way.  You know,  a little of this and a little of that.  It's amazing what you can pull off in a tiny kitchen like the one we have here in Canada.

Anyway, here is the finished result of slow cooking it with a special mustard sauce that I pulled out of my head while it was cooking.  I just put some stuff together with mustard and .....BOOM!  There it was....:-)

The thing was so large that even after cooking it, we had to put it on a platter.
I made a side of rice with the onions and spices from the hock and some broccoli.

I think I may have gotten 4 fork fulls in and noticed that Chris's plate was just about empty and there were a lot of sounds coming from his spot at the table.....

sounds like; "ummmmm"...."wow"......."um, um, um"  hahaha

And then there was the ultimate compliment of "you can make money on that!" accompanied by a thumbs up....:-).

Just another adventure in the kitchen with yours truly....:-).  And it ain't even Christmas yet!  haha

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!  I plan to.......:-)