Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fun Canada Day Long Weekend....

The weather 'gawds' have pulled a complete reversal and, with blue skies and really hot temperatures, we've opted to celebrate this weekend with all play and no work.  And......, why not?
Riding through the Fraser Valley
Following a few hours of pricing on some back yard home improvement items, on Saturday, we rode off towards Cultus Lake in the Fraser Valley. It is always a nice destination and the area is a family playground on hot days.
It was T-shirt riding weather!
With so many families away for the long weekend, we had the local back country roads all to ourselves.  The agricultural area in the Fraser Valley is always a pleasant destination  and, on this ride, we were rewarded with the sweet smells emanating from ripe raspberry fields and fresh cut hay.  NICE!
One of several ice cream sellers in Cultus Lake
The lake was busy.  Families were enjoying the Provincial and private campgrounds, and the daytime picnic areas.  Boats were busy towing boarders and skiers.  Thousands were working on their tans.

Cultus Lake Golf Course
Upon arrival, we were looking for a nice spot to enjoy a cool, refreshing drink.  Jeanette suggested the outdoor terrace at the local golf course.  Great idea!  A little gem of a place is the restaurant at the Cultus Lake Golf Course.  There we sat on a shade covered deck, enjoying iced tea, while watching the golfers close up their rounds on the 18th hole.  Quiet, serene and pastoral describes the time we spent there.
Beautiful grounds
The golf course club house.
Families were out in force, enjoying the beautiful scenery and weather.  Young and old  combined to test their putting skills on a well manicured - real grass - putting course that parallels the golf course.
One of the golf course holes - with what we coined, 'New Faithful' - the little man made geyser.
Riding through the Provincial campground area - displaying 'no vacancy' signs - we were rewarded with a cross section of barbecue smells emanating from the campsites. Ah yes, the great smells of summer! 

Birchwood Dairy
Birchwood Dairy is an operating farm that also features a lovely deli offering a very large variety of great ice cream.  We dropped in for a break.  Walking around this well organized farm was pleasurable.
Nice grounds....all around!
Nice display of flowers on a wagon from yesteryear.
Families (mainly with little ones) were enjoying the free petting zoo there.  Little goats, calves, horses and more are the draw.
Vintage farm vehicles also dot the Birchwood Dairy landscape.
Old Massey Harris tractor
I'm not sure about this one but I believe it might be a Farmall tractor
So, a lovely day was enjoyed. Riding our motorcycle through such beautiful countryside is a treat we never tire of.

We have plans to ride again today (Sunday).  Following our weekly (very weakly, I might add) gathering of minds at our 'Open Mic', Sunday morning coffee, I'll return home and we'll ride off to another Fraser Valley destination.  We don't plan these daytime destinations.....we merely set off and see where we land.
Birchwood Dairy...(east from Abbotsford, BC, looking north)
Historically, we never head out for long weekend overnight jaunts.  We create our own long weekends when the roads are far less traveled and facilities are more available.


Thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Rock Hunting

With the pond silting issue fixed, Jeanette and I went hunting for flagstone to complete the finished look.
Our choice
We have looked at many different rocks and the photo above is our choice to complete the landscaping. 
A lot of stock
The rock supplier, we have chosen to purchase from, has a huge inventory and many varieties.  We'll be able to pick and choose the right lengths and widths.  That will happen  in the days ahead.

Checking out the ride
Easton is attracted to anything motorized.  He emulates the motorcycle sounds and often leads Jeanette and I to our garage.  He loves to go walk around the motorcycles.
Checking things out.
Busy making us laugh
With his developing sense of humour, Easton enjoys having fun.  It's quite funny when he gets rolling with laughter. 
Early morning fun....
When here for a sleepover last weekend, Easton was an early morning jokester.  That Jeanette was able to capture these laughter photos was something that had eluded us in the past.
It rained hard and heavy
Kind of routine here, otherwise, with humdrum weather.  It seems we can't get past too many days without rain.  Last night - at about 9:00 pm - huge clouds started to form in skies above that caused lighting and thunder to strike hard.

The sun will come out in earnest this Canada Day long weekend.  We will plan numerous outdoor activities - guaranteed!

Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dragon Boats, Golf and A Sleepover

Daughter in law, Courtney arrived from Edmonton this past week to participate in the   Home | Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival  that started yesterday (Friday).  She and members of her team from that Alberta city will be competing in Vancouver's False Creek this weekend.

Ginette and Courtney take Easton for a nice walk in the park.
Courtney drove out with 40 paddles in her vehicle.  The other team members were flying in. The airlines wanted $20/paddle to ship to Vancouver.  Courtney loves to drive so she offered to transport the paddles.  It is a 12 hour drive from Edmonton to Vancouver.

We wish them well with their race(s) and the fundraising for breast cancer research that is the focus of this and many other dragon boating events worldwide. 

Friday's weather proved positive for a round of golf.  Our group met at a Vancouver golf course I had never played before. Fraserview Golf Course | City of Vancouver is an old course.  Built in the '30, this course was a joy to play.  It is not an easy layout but I sure managed it well. 
The greens were tough.  We witnessed many good puts that rimmed the hole....often.....too often!
In spite of the recent rains here, the course has great drainage.
Easton has been around for several visits, these past couple of days.  We sure enjoy his company.  He loves to laugh and laugh he does - often!  His favourite line, these days, is to point and ask, 'what's that...what's that...what's that?  Great fun!
His parents are guests at a wedding this evening so Easton will have a sleepover at our home.  We're both looking forward to that.  We've planned some outdoor and indoor activities.
As often as we try to get photographs when he's laughing, we keep missing out.  By the time the camera is ready, Easton gets focused on what we are trying to do with the camera and has a serious look.  I think the best approach might be to videotape him.
Serious Easton!
We continue to monitor the flood situation in the city of Calgary, Alberta, where we have many friends and relatives who call that city home.

Jeanette and I called that city home twice, in years past. Those affected by the raging rivers will endure a long and painful cleanup when the rivers do recede.  We sure wish them well.

Sure wonder if the world famous Calgary Stampede will be able to open on time - nine days from now!
I want to take this opportunity to wish my brother, Bernie and his wife, Rita who are celebrating birthdays this weekend, a most HAPPY one!
Me, Rita and Bernie - 2012 in Yuma, AZ
That is our story from here.

Thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Past Few Days

Birthday ride for dinner out....
Jeanette had proposed we head out for dinner to celebrate my birthday.  Saturday evening had us heading to a new spot in Fort Langley.
A rest stop at a favourite little park along the Fraser River
We took a detour and dropped in to view the height of the Fraser River, on our way to dinner. 
At the Fort Pub's new outdoor terrace restaurant.
We had not been to the Fort Pub since it renovated and opened its new outdoor terrace.  It was a treat.  Food was quite good and the menu was full of pleasant surprises.
The Fort Langley train station - now a museum
Sunday being Father's Day, we invited Ginette, Trevor and Easton for dinner at our home.  Deni called me from Edmonton to wish me a happy father's day and Courtney joined in on the call too.  
Before dinner, Ginette and Trevor took our new ride and I rode our trusty Nomad on a 45 minute ride in the lovely roads in our area. 
Back home, Easton was helping his Nana with dinner preparations....more or less rearranging her cupboards.

The completed pond - without the flagstones
In the previous blog I mentioned posting new photos of the new and improved pond.  Well, the concrete retaining wall and subsequent water diversion is now complete.  These photos really do not do justice to the new and improved look but once the flagstones and dressing is completed, it should photograph much better. Jeanette and I will go shopping for new flagstones in the days ahead.
Making progress
Another view
Other than those special occasions (birthday and Father's Day) our routine involves looking after the numerous plants we have (that is principally Jeanette's domain) and generally enjoying the fine weather we've been experiencing.

It seems that Easton enjoys his naps while riding around the neighbourhood.
He loves the strawberries from our patch in the back yard...
And that's about it from here.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Busy Week but Normalcy To Return

Phew, it was another busy week for us.

Jeanette returned from Alberta, late last week, feeling that she and her sisters had achieved a large part of the task of emptying their family farm house. 
The family farm house in Alberta
We will return there in late July to complete more clean up works - mainly cleaning up the farm yard.
There is more of this type of scrap metal all around that has to be cleared.
Deb dug into the rhubarb patch. And that was but a small bit of what grows out in the garden.
Mother in law, Mary, was also involved with the girls and it must have been somewhat difficult for her to watch those material things, that were her life, leave the family home.

Janette and her mom
Mary and daughter, Deb.
Darlene and her mom
Darlene is the daughter who lives closet to her mom. As such, she gives up more of her time to look after her mom's needs - such as dental or other medical visits, shopping and more. 
Courtney, Deni and Ginette visit the farm last weekend.
In Edmonton on business, Ginette joined Deni and Courtney on the 80 minute drive out to the farm.

Deni got busy mowing the large lawn-scape.
Here at home on the coast, I was busy with a project that is nearing completion and I did manage to find the time to complete the pond work in our yard. Photos of that in the days ahead.
Jeanette and Deb faced some severe weather on their four hour drive to Calgary from the farm.   There was a very rare threat of a tornado that did not materialize.  Good thing!

Easton loves to make faces.....
With his wonderful sense of humour, Easton and his mom came by for a visit the day Jeanette returned home from Alberta.  He is walking now.....!  Look out!

Broken tail light on our Nissan.
When leaving the Costco parking lot on Friday afternoon, we were about to drive out when another driver did not shoulder check and backed out of his spot to damage our tail light.  Crappy!  I saw him go into reverse and back up without shoulder checking.  I was inches away from escaping any damage.....but the bike rack on his car caught the tail light and made a small dent in the metal above the light..  I am led to believe this tail light costs well over $500.  The local body shop will confirm this in the coming days.
He would not admit fault so we took several photos to prove that the damage was due to his negligence.  Why he simply could not 'man up' is further evidence that 'deny, deny, deny' is symptomatic of the society we live in. 
I filed a report with ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) who will rule 'At Fault'.  Either way, the damage will be repaired. Jeanette and I could not believe that not one shopper would stop to offer witness information.  Everyone is in such a bloody hurry and no one cares anymore.  Several people did witness the event. What a society we have evolved into!
R-L  Mark, Wes, Warren and Trevor
On an up note though, our son in law, Trevor, was on the Fraser River - two weeks back - for a father/sons fishing adventure and he caught this wonderful 100 lb prehistoric fish (catch and release, of course). It is a Sturgeon.   Nice!

Golf, this past Friday, was postponed due to rain.  That is two Fridays in a row.  What's with that?

And that is the week that was.

Thanks for dropping by.