Jul 26, 2013

Brontosaurus Sausage

I understand that there are many who don't get my sense of humor, but honestly, I crack myself up sometimes!  One of my favorite things to do is tell tall tales to young and gullible children. For example, my daughter believed for years that I was old enough to have lived along side the dinosaurs, and that in fact I once had a brother who was just not quick enough and was squashed by a giant footstep!  The gig was up when she asked her grandma about the son she lost. (Note to self- let grandma in on the stories!)

So, my nephew has been staying with us for a few weeks to take swimming lessons. We've been exploring here and there to keep everyone happy and one place we went to was Jurassic Forest. This simple little explore brought his imagination alive with the dream of seeing real, actual dinosaurs one day. Then he noticed the wishing well at the pool, and obsessed for a few days about getting a coin and making a wish. Done! He planned his wish carefully and wished for dinosaurs to be back alive, but to not be too fierce so we could all easily co-habitate.

That afternoon he was sitting there mournfully sighing, so I asked what the matter was. He said he figured that the wishing well didn't work because he hadn't seen any dinosaurs yet. As I comforted him, my mind saw opportunity to spin a tall tale....

So I told him that we wouldn't really know where the dinosaurs would show up. It might not be our back yard. In fact, it could be as far away as Toronto. I told him something like that would make the news and I would be sure to watch and let him know if anything came up.

Flash forward a few more days. He spies some sausage thawing on the counter and asks what was for supper. "Oh! I forgot to tell you!" I exclaimed. "I saw on the news last night that a brontosaurus was found in Saskatchewan. They captured and killed it and sausages were made from it. I went super early to Safeway to make sure we got some. I went even before you woke up!!!" Yes. I told my nephew his wish came true and we were now going to eat that poor wished back to life dinosaur.  He was delighted!

Brave kid trying his first bite of brontosaurus sausage!

ANd the verdict is in- they're ggrrrreat!

So, if you are a little twisted and enjoy telling tall tales to children and you see my nephew, please do ask him how he liked his brontosaurus sausage!!!

Jul 22, 2013

Happy scrappy!

I am back from a lovely weekend away! I co-organized a scrapbooking/yoga weekend and despite some twists and turns I feel it turned out very well. The location was so peaceful and pleasant, and although the facility itself had its quirks, everything that was needed was there.

Having yoga breaks throughout the weekend was perfectly brilliant! I get so intense over my scrap pages that a good stretch is so refreshing. Okay. Maybe I am not all that intense on my pages because I am talking so much, but still! Yoga makes everything better! Can't wait to do it again next year:0)

Here are a couple of pages I made this weekend:

This one was created using Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine's July sketch. You can create a layout and post it in their sketch gallery too! Just go here.
 Supplies used in "Give thanks for you"
Patterned Paper: Simple Stories
Cork: Karen Foster
Cardstock: Coredinations, Bazzill
Dies: Sizzix (leaves), Memory Box (branches, 'thanks')
Stamp: Stampin' Up!
Flowers: Prima
Ink: Clearsnap

I actually scrapbooked a similar photo from about 3 years ago- different goggles, same beach, same look! She really loves her goggles!
Supplies used in "True Summer Original"
Patterned Paper, flower stickers: American Crafts
Cardstock: CS Superstock
Journaling Spots: Jillibean Soup
Letter Stickers: My Little Shoebox
Bling Title, Rubons: Kaisercraft
Chipboard: FabScraps
Art Quest Pens

Hope you are enjoying your summer! 'Til next time....

Jul 16, 2013

Summer Fun #8

Last day in the Okanagan, and it was a special day because Mark's parents were celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary. So what better way to celebrate that milestone than by visiting a kangaroo farm!

Kangaroo Creek Farm has been in the Kelowna area for 20 years, but only opened to the public last year. And I have to say, the visit was a highlight of our week. It is a very interactive place- most of the animals are available to hold, pet, play fetch with and enjoy. They are very clear about the fact that you are visiting a farm, and animals' homes; you are expected to act accordingly. You are warned that animals bite, scratch, play shy and otherwise do what they need to do if they feel threatened and you visit at your own risk. That said, the animals were very calm and used to having company. There were plenty of staff members available to help and inform and we stayed longer than we intended! Awesomeness on a stick for animal lovers!

The entrance is sort of off a main street in Winfield. You park on the street and hike down. Wear good shoes- it is steep!

This is the top of the descent, and the view of half the visiting area.

There are two areas to visit animals in- we went to the left first and saw:

Frank and Mark the emus...

some pot bellied pigs (I find these guys adorable!!!!)

baby capybaras, no where near their potential 150 lb size

and a couple of birds. Avery loved 'Bubbles' and went back to hold him on her shoulders several times. Bubbles liked her glasses, and she ended up having to take them off!

lots of dozy baby goats

peacocks and funny chickens too!
We hung out here for a long time. The big farmer brought in food for the animals and happily passed it around to anyone who wanted to feed some critters. Avery was all over that!!!!

Yum! It was surprising the critters that enjoyed willow!

even Grandpa got in on the action...
All right, we've been over an hour at a kangaroo farm, and we have not seen the kangaroos and wallabies yet! Onward!

but first look! Another bird to perch on a shoulder! Bliss!
but the bird only had eyes for Mark! She got right snarky when anyone tried to take her off his shoulder. Total bird-flirtin' going on!!!!!

there we go! Sweet little kangaroos to visit with. I was surprised with the dexterity of their little paws!

There was no petting this mama with a joey in her pouch! Joey was too shy to poke her head out though!

Now here is something you don't get to do every day! There were little joeys in 'pouches' to hold!

and how about a sugarglider? I'm surprised this little guy didn't get lost- so tiny to be passed around!

done with the kangaroos, we went back to the other area... so Avery could wander around with a parrot on her shoulders again. maybe she is part pirate?

meet Dingo the 3/4 chocolate lab, 1/4 bull mastiff, aka cutest puppy ever! I have never had a real tug on my heartstrings to own a dog, but Dingo did it for me. Cuteness with a stick!
it looked like Avery had every intention of moving onto the farm. the rest of us got comfortable so she could take 'her' bird for a final walk!
After the farm and lunch we headed home.  We enjoyed the beautiful weather on the deck and Avery looked at wedding albums with Grandma.

After supper Grandpa took Avery to Moolix (according to the sign, I've been spelling it wrong!) for one last ice cream treat. Then we went to city park to enjoy the entertainment.  It was rock and roll night, and all the preschoolers and drug addicts danced together... only in BC!
The end of our Okanagan fun...

Jul 15, 2013

Summer Fun #7

With Avery off to her last day of camp, it was our last chance to enjoy a few more wineries. We checked out 3 more: Little Straw Vineyard, Beaumont Organic Winery and Quail's Gate. We had been to Quail's Gate before, but it is such a cute place we decided to repeat.  Last visit, we didn't notice the little cabin on the property. This time we did, and checked it out. Known as the Allison House, it is the oldest European building on the Westside. There was a fair bit of information about Susan Allison, a pioneer who diligently documented their life in the area as pioneers. She struck me as an amazing woman.

With our touring for the day done, we were off to pick up Avery.

A firm handshake as she received her certificate....
Now off to lunch! We had a vote and went with the restaurant that Mark had on his list from the very beginning: Memphis Blues Cafe- home of every smoked meat ever invented. The other choice (Kekuli Cafe- home of bannock) was deferred to another trip. Time flies and all that.

Well fortified, and stocked with rib rub:0)
Today was much cooler than the few previous ones, so we struck off to check out the suspension bridges in Kettle Valley. Not sure what I was expecting, but in my mind I had the trestles that once were a part of the valley that burned in the forest fire of (about) 2003. Then, it was some trails and some trestles. Great views to look at etc. I thought maybe the suspension bridges were built where the trestles were before.

It turns out that this is a whole other area- a new development. And an ambitious one at that! Still under construction, Kelowna Mountain will feature a vineyard and winery, golf course, mountain bike trails, skiing and possibly a two-headed llama in addition to the suspension bridges already there. It will be interesting to see the place again when it is fully developed.

So! Off we go. As it is a construction area, we couldn't actually drive up to the bridges. Mark's parents had been here almost two weeks prior with his brother's family and so had experienced the good and bad of the trails. They had a good idea on the best routes- thank goodness! It is surprising how many trails actually exist up there.

The beginning. The goal is somewhere on the the other side of the mountain top.

A few berms and challenges lay in the way...
If you have ever traveled with Avery, you know that she is a putterer. She does not have a hurry bone for treks like this, and explores in her own way at her own pace. We have learned to not slow down, or double back to get her as she usually takes this as permission to move even slower. This generally works... unless, like on this day, she is exploring along a ditch dug by the side of the trail. We were not worried- the ditch was going the same way we were. Until she hit a low spot filled with good gooey silty mud, sunk over the tops of her shoes and got stuck! She called me back, and I went to help her out. A holding hands tug worked pretty good. Avery was out of the muck and out of the ditch. Alas, her shoes did not make the journey! Stuck in the mud, but not out of reach, I leaned myself into the ditch to retrieve them. One shoe out! No problem!! The second shoe was a bit more elusive, however. I could touch it, but the mud had formed a vacuum around it and I couldn't get enough of a grip to pull it free. So I inched (centimetered?) a bit closer, and felt myself start to slide headfirst towards the mud. I, naturally, started to laugh uncontrollably, and asked Avery to call Mark to help whilst trying to find a way to stop this inexorable descent towards the ooze before me.

In the end, I didn't fall in. Mark braced me as I finished my task. All the offending shoes were rescued from the trolly ditch. No harm done. Mark's mom seemed less amused by this adventure, however. Ah well. We live by the philosophy that a little mud never hurt anyone.

We'll be needing a wire brush...

Just like going to a fancy spa for free!
So we climbed, rerouted, climbed some more and indeed there was something wonderful over the crest of the mountain.

stunning views of lake okanangan

I thought the longest bridge (about 800+ feet) was going to be the freakiest. Turns out it was the last few shorter ones- it was very windy this day, and the cross breeze turned the bridge into a terror!

This is me NOT having fun at the sundial. I am not even comfortable in malls with fenced holes to the bottom floor, so imagine the fear to be found in a sundial on a mountain top with no fences at ALL to keep you from falling off the mountain. I'll be honest. I freaked out a little. And my family took full advantage:0/

There is outdoor seating for about 1000 people (that number may be a lie. Mark said it, but I don't know where he got his info and I can't find anything at all about this spot on the KM website), with a view to a stage. This would be an amazing place for a wedding banquet.

The banquet area has a stunning view of the lake, bridge, vineyards and bridges!

On the way back down the mountain to the car, we saw a marmot! Well, we wouldn't have seen him if he wasn't so noisy!
Since we were in the area, we made a stop at another winery- Tantalus. We heard about this winery from the tasting lady at Beaumont earlier in the day. Like Beaumont, Tantalus is organically produced wine but they have gone further by creating a LEED certified facility. Everything in the winery and showroom is built with sustainability in mind- water and energy usage, giving homes to natural 'helpers' to the vineyard and locally sourced building materials are a few things they have incorporated into their beautiful facility. Such things make the hippy corners of my heart happy! And the wine was yummy too; a few bottles came home with us!

'Til tomorrow...

Jul 12, 2013

Summer Fun #6

We woke up to another beautiful Okanagan morning, and after Avery went off to camp, I headed out for some 'Me' time. Any guesses where I went? To the scrapbook store just up the road! I was there just before the doors opened for the day- I felt like such an eager beaver! I happily browsed and found some goodies to buy, but not a whole lot. I was looking for product from particular manufacturers and didn't have much luck in that department.

I wanted to go to another scrapbook store in Kelowna, but didn't remember exactly where it was. And I didn't really want to drag Mark along because that's not so fun for him. But it worked out that a part he ordered to fix the van mirror he broke getting out of the garage was in- and it was practically next door to the SB store I wanted to see. The SB gods were looking out for me! This store had a better selection and I came away with some project starters for the Scrapoga Crop coming up next weekend!

We picked up Avery and as we had lunch we decided to abandon our original plan or hiking up on Knox mountain. It was just to hot too not find a beach, so we decided to head back to Peachland and go to the beach we saw when we were scouting out supper the night before. AND! just for fun we decided to go to Hardy Falls, a place we have been visiting since Avery was a few years old. It has a wonderful forest trail along a stream that leads to a little waterfall. It was an easy trek when Avery was small, but just so pretty that everyone enjoys it.

See? Told you it was pretty!

There are lots of little bridges that let you walk over the creek as it meanders. And wasn't it nice of them to coordinate so nicely for pictures?

On our very first walk to Hardy Falls, Avery posed on this bench with her grandparents. So of course we had to stop again!

A fallen log makes a great little explore over the creek with an added element of danger!

There is nothing like being in a space alive with the songs of insects and birds. A perfect place to just 'be'...
Enough of that! To the beach! To the beach we say!

Of course, Avery is the only one crazy enough to want to go in the water. The rest of us brought books and chairs and were ready to enjoy the cool breeze off the lake. We ended up with not very much time left for the lake because Mark and his dad had a sailing engagement to get to, and needed to have supper before they left. Avery came up with the practical (to her) plan of sending Grandma home with the boys to send them off to the yacht club and then return later for us, giving her more time in the water. She is one lucky kid, because Grandma went for it!

So! She set about enjoying the beach, which is quite remarkable. Peachland has set up zip lines, swinging ropes, bobbing logs, rafts and a high diving board and they have life guards on duty watching over the gaggles of goofy kids. Paradise for a 10 year old!

Off the dock and diving in! She spends most of her time underwater looking at rocks  and trying out headstands. We were starting to wonder if she would try out any of the other fun activities...

Finally! But will she go through with it??

Avery went on the rope quite a few times, but mostly just did her underwater thing. Until the very end when Grandma and I were trying to call her in to go home. Then she took a surprise turn and zip-lined herself into the water!

After supper (fish tacos- a huge new hit for Avery), we headed downtown to listen to the music in the park and eat ice cream from Moolicks (an activity on Avery's wish list for this week. One that she reminded us of endlessly. Continuously. Until we threatened her with NO MOOLICKS AT ALL if she brought it up again.)

Mark's dad sails in a regatta every Wednesday, and because one of the regular team members couldn't make it, Mark was invited along! He was pretty excited!

It was so peaceful out on the water... when he wasn't ducking the boom and getting hollered at for touching the wrong black rope!

I was just glad he didn't fall off. Especially after I heard that the rest of the team was sitting on the high side of the boat like sensible people while he was leaning off the low side to take photos....

'Til tomorrow...