Monday, June 30, 2014

Arriving at Kings Cross Station (in Florida)

Update to follow, but... in brief, we have tickets that get us into the new Harry Potter park at Universal Studios, in a two hour slot (soft opening... the official opening is in another week). So.... we went to Kings Cross Station, to platform 9 and 3/4, and rode the Hogwarts Express! Yee hah.... took us all the way to Diagon Alley!


Maybe there will be time for the report later. for now, the pictures will have to speak for themselves. Here are some photos from this morning's trip to Hogsmeade....


... looking from above ...
 ...side view ...
My favorite waffle is a sour dough waffle: two cups of flour, two cups of water and then the sun to ferment the mixture until it is ready to be made into waffles.

The addition of eggs, oil and sugar helps. Wyona has a recipe for waffles where the egg whites are folded into a batter to give extra height.

Hebe wants only a hint of strawberry and a smide of whipped cream.
Glen has a formula for the waffles at his house.

N = number of persons eating.

2N = number of eggs to add, etc.

That is the waffle recipe I tried for our first waffles, fruit and whipped cream extravaganza.

... before Meighan's first bite...
Catherine said it is disappointing to her that her children haven’t picked up her childhood tastes in waffles.

They aren’t interesting in all of that whipping cream and fruit. That didn’t hold us back from preparing a breakfast fit for a king.

Some ate heartily.

Some only a bit.

... finished it off ...
We used the raspberries I had frozen last year and added some bananas to the second bowl of raspberries as a healthy alternative.

Wish you had been here, for there were dozens of waffles left over.


Stella Cherries (or) Chanelling the lake

Xavier, Naomi and Rhiannon with stella cherry earings.
OK, so they are not BC cherries, but we do have a cherry tree in our front yard. 

Stella cherries.  That might not mean anything to anyone except me (and Glen). 

We bought the tree for our front yard because they are a kind of cherry tree that can produce fruit without other cherry trees nearby.  We only had room for one tree.  I think they call it self-fertile or self-pollinating.

These cherries are also know as bird cherries because the birds will steal them all. 

A few years the birds have stripped the tree in one day. 

Several times we have looked at the tree and thought, "oh, let's just give those cherries one more day in the sun to ripen up."  And then the next day they are all gone.

Not this year.  We hung old CD's in the tress to scare off the birds.  We have also been picking all red ones every morning.

The Cousin Week Begins

Hebe Plays Zoo
;... the hippo is submeged in a tupperware cage of water (upper left corner)..
... Jenga blocks provide zoo walls
feeding time for the hippo

We watched a storm come in from Queest (pronounced Quest) Mountain, an unusual direction for a storm to come.

Usually one comes down through what seems to be the Narrows, if the wind is blowing from that direction.

Most of the family was out on the porch taking a look.

We could see where the rain was hitting the water.

The demarcation was apparent from
the porch.

The fir and larch trees were bending with the wind. There was only a bit of moisture in the air for us, not enough to send us running for cover. Doral was finishing BBQ-ing the chicken.

Church was over.

Families were coming home in different groups. There was lots of food and we were enjoying the last day of partial cloud. Now it is going to be 30 to 33 degree for five days.

We will be longing for the cool of the basement once it is noon tomorrow.

The evening was spent at the board game table.

There were two tables.

... the money needs food too ...
One for beginners and one for the more seasoned players.

What had been a dining room table for dinner has now been turned into the permanent game surfaces, so that the intricate pieces don’t have to be put together every evening. Marcia, Art, Gabe, Zach and Audra came over in the evening – welcome additions to the places that had been set around the gaming table.

Glen, Laynie, Janet and Landon came over with water balloons.

... this was a complicated board game ...
They hid them all around the land – some by the large rock at the row of raspberries, some down where the devil’s club used to grow at the stream, some on the shoe rack at the front porch, a bucket right by the LaRue bush, more down by the fake Italian marble fountain of a little girl pouring water.

But the storm rained us out, so the balloons will be thrown tomorrow and not today. In the afternoon some people watched one of the Harry Potter films.

Downstairs was a good place to enjoy buttered and salted popcorn and a well loved movie.

Catie found a treasure in the dress-up basket.

... Hebe practises taking a selfie ...
She wore the Egyptian pharaoh hat she found there. Upstairs Hebe played zoo with her Aunts Anita and Bonnie, making cages for the animals and even making sure they were fed during play time.

There was a late afternoon walk to the beach. Only one of the cement pads of the ramp is showing, so you can imagine how little beach there is.

... and can you see who might have lost? ....
The Little Canadian Stream has no reach at all. It just comes out of the bushes and hits the water within a yard or two.

As the summer goes on, that will change.


Eight Cousins on a Log

eight cousins on a log and the little one said ...
Sunday felt like many days.

First a huge waffle breakfast, then off to church.

Some went. Some stayed home. And one came running back home to get on her Sunday clothes.

Ceilidh transformed in a flash, and was off with her Montreal cousins Catie and Rebecca. There is nothing like Sunday morning in church with cousins.

 ... a big hello from us to you ...
Upon return, there was a grand meal cooked on the BBQ.

Those who ate on the first shift sat in rain.
Those who ate on the next shift sat in the wind.
Those who ate on the third shift sat in the rain.

Who knows why it is that a big meal requires a long nap. Some laid down to sleep. Others headed to the beach.

Before the walk, the group considered having a water balloon fight.

Glen, Laynie and Landon had brought over water balloons about noon, hiding buckets of them all over the property.

I thought the kids would be the ones who loved the fight, but later it would be Catherine and Doral who armed themselves and then went for broke!

On the way to the beach, Doral told Catherine that there are cherry trees lining the road, cherry trees that had sprung up from all the pits that they had spat off the porches of "the quiet" and "the noisy" cabins as children.

Next discussion. "Was the water this high last time we were here?"

The water is high.

We measure by cement ramps and only one of them currently peeks out of the water.

There isn't enough beach to get more than a couple of hundred yards, if even that.
"The cousins" tried to make it to "Sandy Beach", but ran out of beach. We found the branch we sat on two years ago, but Doral tested it out and suggested it did not have the same structural integrity after two years of weathering.

But other parts of nature are flourishing.
... now David joins in .... half way ...

The name of this white rose bush is LaRue.

In 2009 it wasn't doing very well.

Glen and Bonnie pruned it in the early spring, trying to save what little bit of life it look like was still in the plant.

"If it lives, what will be name it?, one asked.

"LaRue," said the other.

In 2014, this white rose bush is flourishing, threatening to take over the whole flower bed.

You can tell a lot about a house by what is going on in the kitchen!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Jarvis Family


It is us ... the Jarvis Family. 

Well, you can only see some of us, but all of us are in the van.

We arrived Friday night in Calgary and saw our relatives Saturday morning, even Grandma's house though she isn't home.

Now it is time for lunch at our mom's favorite burger place.

Peter's Drive In.

Where else?

Can hardly wait until the food is delivered through the window.

Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.

My Grandma's Bedroom

In my Grandma's bedroom I can find
her favorite doll and hold it.

Or I can really hug it!

Or the doll and I can get into Grandma's hats.
Guess who?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Turtles all the way down

... the garden of Eden ...

From Bonnie:

David said to me, “Is it true that you get to live a long time by sleeping during the day and staying up all night?”  

I  replied, “Where did you hear that idea?”

He answered, “I didn’t hear it.  It is just that grandpa is really, really old.  And it seems that he sleeps all day, every day.  And gets up at night. ”

I thought to myself, what level of answer does he want, is he ready for?  

 And what agenda do I want to push?  

 So I answered, “Lots of people have ideas about what lets you live a very long life.  But the number one thing is being related to somebody who has lived a long life.  Your grandma is very old and your grandpa is really, really old.  Lucky you.  Looks like you are going to live a really long life, too.  There are a few other things we know.  Are there any other things that you know of.”

That evening he brought the conversation up again.  “Well, there is one thing I don’t get mom.  So I am going to live a long time because I am related to old people.  So they must have lived a long time because they were related to someone.  And you keep going back and back and back, but what about that first person who lived a long time.  How did they get to live a long time.?”

And then I answered, “What a good question.  I don’t know the answer.  But lucky you.  You have an Aunt.  Aunt Catherine.  She will know.  You can ask her when she comes.” 

I figure Catherine is my ace in the hole.


... getting close to the glacier ...
From Moiya:

We are having a lot of fun in Juneau.

We took a local tour for 3.5 hrs.  We saw the town, the Mendenhall Glacier, and a Shrine.

David booked it on shore and then they threw in a trip to the Shrine upgrade because we were the only ones who booked and they weren't going to give us the personal tour.

So we got in a large van with another group.

We got 1 extra hour . Yeah for David!

... ice and water ...
Now we are in the Alaska hotel bar having a hot chocolate and using the internet. We are off at 9 p.m. to Skagway.

Hope all is well at the lake and that you are having good weather.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The 7th Annual Pig Roast

""I am thinking about holidays -- going to the West Edmonton Mall
and now I hear there is a 7th Annual Pig Roast"

The Seventh Annual Pig Roast will be held Saturday at 5 pm on Saturday, August 2nd.

Bring your own lawn chairs, dishes and food.  Meet  under the cherry trees.  Laynie Hicks will have the coals going on a BBQ so that you can roast your weiners or cook your chicken in the great out of doors.

There will be games, so begin to practise up for the Great Water Balloon Throw Contest.

Come and see relatives you haven't seen for years.

Alternately come and see relatives you have seen just the day before.

Time: 5 pm
Place: Under the Cherry Trees

Older Pig Roast Reports for the uninitiated:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Strawberry Picking Quebec Style

My kids had their last day of school on Friday.  Welcome to summer holidays.

Today they are out picking strawberries with their dad and our neighbours.  I just talked to Rhiannon on the phone and told her to eat as many berries as she could.   She asked me why.

I have failed as a mother.

Well, today was her day to learn that you have to eat as many as you can because you don't have to pay for those strawberries. 

Really? was her reply.  Yes, really.

I can't wait to get home to try some.  Quebec strawberries are divine.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Not for long

"Aunt Bonnie, close your eyes so no one can see us.", whispers Michael.
Michael loves to find a cozy spot and crawl into it.

One day he crawled into a basket of Dress-Up clothes. We didn't know he was in there until he lifted the basket lid with his head and said "It's Larry".*

Another day Michael discovered he could crawl into the newly stained shelving unit. He asked me to come hide in it with him. I thought, "Why not. It's not for long before he will be too tall to fit in here comfortably."

I wish he and Alice didn't have to go back to Calgary so soon. At dinner tonight we continued the tradition Miranda passed along to us. "What was your favorite part of the day?" We each make sure to have something to share. We keep our answers short enough to keep a one year old and a two year old from losing interest in our thoughts. The little ones are gone, but we stuck to the same plan.

David's favorite part of the day was playing a prank on his mother Bonnie and getting her twice with the same trick.

Grandpa's favorite part of the day was when George Potrie sat by him during Sunday School.

Grandma Arta's favorite part of the day was having a visit from Marla. She gifted Arta two Lupins.

Bonnie's favorite part of the day was getting a photo in the mail from her brother Richard, a photo she has now shared with you blog readers.

And what was your favorite part of the day?

*See David or Michael for a demo.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Brussels Day 2 with Wyona and Tonia

Our room in Brussels is on the fifth floor. Breakfast is on the seventh floor facing the Grand Place. The tall spire is the town hall.

Another view from the breakfast room. The houses look like toy houses. Brussels proper is really a very small area. The roads used to be canals. Anyone who lives in Brussels proper can be married in the town hall.

It is very hard to choose which chocolate will be the next one gone from the box. There are your Lion bars Marcia. I hope they make it back to Calgary.

[This post was written by Wyona, sent via email to Marcia, with instructions to post it on the family blog. Marcia did finally post it with some reservation considering a picture of her chocolate bars was virtually waved in her face.]

Two boys, two puddles

... a stroll back up to the house ...
For people under three, there is a long, long trail a-winding from where they are on the road.  They need to reach the place where their parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, even grandparent.  Yes, a long, long trail when you are only three.

Michael doesn’t know his own way there yet.

Or if he does, he is too afraid to take the journey.

He doesn’t feel that fear running around the yard though.
Two puddles down, one to go.

I see him running in grand circles, up to the raspberry patch, down to the bottom of the creek, up the stairs, and then under the porch to the back door of the house, then up the stairs, and then he begins the loop again.

"I am going to need help, Dad.
It looks scary down there."
I like imagining that some day he will be running the whole 50 acres in the same way.

Right now one of the best places on the property is mud puddles.

Not for the parents, but for the boys who have on their boots. I think Landon required a full change after not only stomping in the puddle, but slipping and falling.

What else is boyhood for?
"Not in the creek ... I want to go over the creek."

Getting down into the stream is also pretty scary.

Richard had to lead the way and show them that it is a good place to clean the mud off of boots.

Not that cleaning that mud off is important to the boys, but how do they know unless a parent tells them.
"I will try going down first."

Laynie and I were on the other side of the stream.

Landon decided not to go into the stream, but to step right over it.

There are some things women with cameras can’t capture, because they are too busy grabbing little hands and helping dreams like stepping over a stream come true.

With my camera, I did capture Richard with both hands full, and little boys leaning on him for support, though I couldn’t catch his words of encouragement: come on boys, you can do it!

I have got to learn how to turn on the video component of that camera!

Maybe on another day.