Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Little Lady Ivy

Ivy is off to Kindergarten in September. It's really hitting us now that May is disappearing and the summer will go quickly. She's a beautiful character these days, astounding us with her curiosity, thoughtfulness and grace.

I also forgot to post the Mother's Day card she made for Tannis a couple of weeks ago. It's a poster, actually, with big bold pictures and text -- she painted it in secret the day before and revealed it on the big day. Ella, not to be outdone, painted her own with an abstract flair, taped to the wall above Ivy's. Oh, and one more photo: sisters running on the boardwalk.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Photogenic Ella

The one problem with the great zoom on our new camera is that I often zoom in too much and cut parts of heads and bodies out of the frame, but I still love this one.

Tannis also took a wonderful shot of her draped in colour at the Children's Festival, shorty after they saw musical Manitoban Fred Penner perform.

And finally, here's Ella hanging out with Ivy in an orchard. Cuties.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938-Present

We read a lot of kids' books. We're pretty much sick of the ones we own, and in our weekly library reading sessions, we've found that the quality isn't always great when everyone just grabs a few off the shelf. So this week I found a list of Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938-Present, then ordered a dozen of them from the library. Still a few duds in the bunch, but some real goodies, too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Camp Fire

Myron saved me the effort of posting about the bonfire we had up there on Saturday. It was the highlight of our weekend, along with my folks taking us out to Zia's for supper the next day. I also took the girls for a beautiful walk and picnic at Hardy Falls and Antler's Beach on Sunday, which yielded a few good pics: Ivy running with her dandelion, new flowers and old burrs, Ella blowing her piyta-punna-poof and staring at the creek.

A cool, wet May Long felt like relief after a week of scorching mid-summer heat (30+) that had us jumping in the lake and sleeping with windows open and fans blowing. Nice to get a blast of summer, but also nice to be relieved of it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Birthday to It (Take 3)

Blog birthday! Three years of words and pictures and they're really starting to add up. Three years ago, we lived in Kelowna, Tannis was pregnant, and Ivy was turning two. We were still a few months away from the big Kelowna fires and Ella's birth, and half a year from our move to Summerland. It's fascinating for me to dig through the minutia of our lives over that span, which is one of the reasons I keep adding stuff here faithfully. I'm also glad that distant friends and family can keep up with the girls and I'm thankful for the occasional comments you (loyal reader) leave here.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Haaaaappy Anniversary

Angelo and Esther vacationed in Kelowna last weekend and graciously let us join their anniversary celebration -- 13 years for this happy couple! We met them at their resort and had a great meal at the Wild Apple Grill, an old favourite of ours. Food geek that I am, I took a tasty photo of my pad thai. We've been thankful to be able to celebrate anniversaries for so long with these old friends.

We stayed at my folks' place that night in total comfort and after breakfast we headed into town, hitting Pioneer Market for spudnuts and letting the kids play in the sunshine. Letting our car run for an hour or so to keep our dead battery alive, we also did a walk to the "pavillion" on the Mission Creek Greenway. Then I dropped the girls off at Mahaila's birthday party, while I put in a new battery and did my art walk.

The Eidses met us back at our place later in the afternoon, and Angelo and I headed straight out on the bikes to the top of Rebellion. We opted for a different route down this time, traversing across the northwest slope on seemingly endless twisting singletrack in warm evening light and yellow wildflowers. Tannis cooked up a Mexican feast aftewards, accompanied by a sampler of Tree brews and I was happy as could be. We did a mellow walk at Sunoka in the morning, and then wished them well on their trip back.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


A few pics for those who just can't get enough of weeds and Summerland scenery:

Monday, May 15, 2006


A little gallery of Ivy from the last few days:Most of these photos of the girls were taken over at Bill's place last weekend, where we had our first really hot evenings, BBQ'ing veggie burgers, lounging in the hammock and watching our kids run wild. We had a full assortment of kids, parents and grandparents in various combinations on Sunday and Monday nights, but the common threads were a very mellow vibe and tons of fun.


Ella's been caught in the lens a fair bit this week too:

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Art Ark

Just after Christmas I posted about the work of artist Meghan Hildebrand. Last week she was in Kelowna for her show opening. I thought of a bunch of excuses for why I couldn't drive in that day, but really I just wanted to look at the paintings alone and didn't have any clue what I'd say to her except a mumbled "hi...umm...your awesomeness is awesome", so I didn't go.

I had a free hour downtown on Saturday afternoon, so I dropped by the gallery to see her work in person. As I walked into that section of the gallery and approached the first picture, I got serious goosebumps. Eventually they went away and I moved on to the next one, and the same thing happened again. I knew I liked the paintings from seeing them online, but standing in front of them in person (and on a much larger scale than looking at little web graphics) was an emotional experience.

After I had seen them all, I started walking away and realized that I had tears streaming down my face. Art has affected me two or three times like that before, and I think they're profound moments. In this case, the experience had me reflecting on my life path and wanting to contribute more to the beauty of the world. The paintings are quite abstract, so I can't really articulate why I reacted so strongly...but why bother?

Later on, I wrote her an e-mail telling her all of this, which was probably still borderline embarrassing for her, but perhaps less so than me stammering it out in the gallery and implying that a response was required.

Anyway, I thought this part of her "Artist's Statement" was worth repeating as a bit of wisdom about thriving in our world:
"This blaring cacophony of data is driving me to accept it; to reject originality and true richness, to shop constantly and to accept decisions made on my behalf. Instead of joining it, my decision is to gently mock it, by combining with it an element that is inherently splendid, and can not be commercialized or streamlined."

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Nothin' much going on these days, so I thought I'd post a few recent pics of my usual subjects:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Network Roundup

Some recent notables from our circles of blogness:
  • After ignoring his blog since fall last year, this week Myron busted loose with nine posts in one day. You might be able to spot me in a photo, grunting underneath one of those shed walls as it goes up very, very slowly.
  • Tannis also had a great little flurry of posts, covering her adventures in gardening and Joel's big prize.
  • Angelo has given his blog a new name and a new look. He's hinting at a new direction for the site and he's opened up comments on new posts -- looking forward to seeing what emerges over there.
  • Lots of other usual good stuff going on...I'm not shunning everyone else on the blogroll. Including more links here would likely require admitting how much time I waste reading blogs. It's not even funny.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Patio Season

The local wineries are waking up along with the vines in their vineyards, and we kicked off the season on Saturday with a picnic at Dirty Laundry. It's getting beautiful up there again, and Ivy and Ella ran happily in the vineyard.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Merritt Mountain Biking (Part 3)

Angelo and I met in Merritt again this weekend for some mountain biking and hanging out. Merritt is generally known as a dirty little mill town on the highway, but we're coming to see it as a riding mecca. When we checked it out last April, and again in June we rode the Coutlee Plateau area, which was really fun cross-country stuff. They were prepping for a race there the next day, so we decided to check out a different area called Godey Creek.

If you've ever driven past Merritt, you've seen the visitors' info center, and that's where the trails start. We went up Too Much Info, a perfectly designed singletrack climb that criss-crosses up the mountain without getting too exhausting, then across open grasslands and down to Godey Creek with a nice little extra loop up to a road as an extension, then all the way down along the creek back to the highway and the info center. A perfect sunny day, out exploring trails with a best friend, a trip to the pub later...good livin' for me. A few photos:
  • We met at Mandolin's Cafe for coffee and to pick a route on the map.
  • The mountain bike club takes the sport very, very seriously. You can feel the passion of the trailbuilders through some sections.
  • Angelo descending in the grasslands, cutting through the aspens and navigating Lower Godey. That last photo is one of my favourites, showing how they had to route the trail alongside the creek (you can see a little waterfall and pool in the lower right corner) over boulders, logs and ridges, crossing the creek with at least a dozen was amazing trailbuilding, and provided us with many smiles.
  • Angelo is always good about getting me in a few shots as well -- crossing a grassy ridge and cruising across the Big Easy (although it looks high and a bit scary, the name is apt)
  • I drove into the backside of a raging thunderstorm, catching a nice rainbow behind the sagebrush.
  • Hockey Night in Canada at Myron and Tracey's later was super mellow and fun
  • I followed up with another bomber ride up to Rebellion with Nate, David and Michelle the next day, ending up in Penticton and meeting the girls for pizza in the park.
  • Going back in time, Mom and Dad made us a feast on Friday night -- very mellow, fun evening
  • Beer and apple crisp in Trout Creek later on Sunday...the perfect capper to a stellar weekend

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sunset Girls

We're finally starting to get into the warm evenings by the lake. One day last week we watched the sunset, hit the playground, and explored along the beach.