Friday, August 24, 2012

Dilapidated Utility Trailer

Many years ago we purchased a utility trailer for farm and work use.  Since then we have:

- used and abused it
- painted it
- weathered it
- repaired it
  - bungee corded together it
- broken the electrical lines to the lights on it
(sheet metal thrown in randy-pandy-like act as Edward Scissor Hand's blades)

and finally we have ridden ourselves of it

To make the deal 'sweeter' we sold it loaded with scrap metal

The rusted out hitch and frame was the only thing worth salvaging

Pocketed:  $155

Seeing the old thing eye sore rattle down the road AWAY from our farm:  Priceless

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tumbled Beach Rocks

Hubby and I spent a week RVing on the Oregon coast the beginning of June.  It rained most of the time, but we had a terrific time.

One of the spots we found was Hug Point Caves in Cannon Beach, OR.  I'll share later about the caves, but for now I wanted to share with you pictures of the tumbled beach rocks.

 Such interesting 'stuff' from the ocean

Get a load of the monochromatic pattern

No rock pile is free from me building an inuksuk and leaving it for someone to find,
and hopefully add their own 'little man'

This one turned out to be short and stout :o)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Garage Sale Finds

On Saturday, after HOURS of doing chores around the farm, hubby and I started out in search of garage sales ... at 2:00 pm!  We figured that nothing of merit was left, but people may be more prone to cut their prices late in the day.  Here are the few things we bought.
Home-made soap with essential oils --- 2 for $5.00
I enjoy good bars of soap

 Although I possess a complete aversion to vermin ... I love this movie.  I've been looking for it at a garage sale for a long time.  She had the xbox game out on her sale table for sale, and after she heard how sad I was that it was a game and not the movie, she went off into her house and brought out the DVD.

 She also had these perfect-shape dollar store stuffies.  For my grand babies room, of course.
10 cents each

 Oh boy, are there ever a lot of kids clothes at garage sales.  I scored this little swim suit for $1.00.  I have to quit getting stuff for the grand baby.  She still has a month and a half yet to go before she even arrives into this world!

 Moving sales are the best for getting stuff like lawn care products.  Three unopened bags for $2.00.  Enough to refresh my front yard at least.

 Nice basket --- 25 cents

 And finally a curly legged end table.  I hope to one day paint it a shade of white and put it in between the twin beds ... when Genius decides to move out.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scottish Oat Scones

Yesterday I attended our bi-weekly Ladies Bible Study at the home of RuBu.  A nice time of study, reflection, discussion and ... well, food and fellowship.  

RuBu makes a habit of staying away from processed sugar and other nasties, and keeps it real with serving us a welcoming platter of fresh fruit.  Yesterday, however,  she made cookies.  Lovely, crisp dainties with only goodness as their ingredients. ... Note to self:  Get the recipe ...   They were delicious.

Yesterday morning I, too, happened to be in a baking mood, and decided to whip up some Scottish Scones and Honey Butter to bring along.  The ladies approved and ate them up.  The scones  were easy to make with ingredients I had on hand, tasty, and yet filling as well.

Honey Butter:  Softened butter mixed with some honey.

I've included the recipe in case you wanted to give them a try.

Scottish Oat Scones

cups all purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
¼ cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup currants or raisins
1 egg, beaten
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
cup milk


1. Put first six dry ingredients into large bowl. Mix. Make a well in center
2. Beat egg until frothy
3. Mix in melted butter and milk. Pour into well. Stir to make soft dough
4. Form into two 6” to 7” circles. Place on greased baking sheet. Pat to about 1/2” to 3/4” thick
5. Score each top into 6 pie shaped wedges
6. Sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar before baking
7. Bake in 425 oven for 15 minutes until risen and browned

A while ago my friend Janet from Washington Lavender gifted me with a jar of their sugar n' lavender.  I sprinkled the scones with about a teaspoon of the mixture before baking.  Yup, put them over the top for sure. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Food Storage Trainer

Do you have a personal Food Storage Trainer?  I do.  Her name is Crystal and she is amazing.

Recently I have started frequenting a Mormon Cannery.  (A what?  Look is up yourself.  You may have one in your area, and they are worth checking out.) Through searching the internet looking for a cannery location, I came upon Crystal's blog.  She is young, busy with little children, and yet has time to put together a terrific blog.  Videos and recipes, and all sorts of information to pour over.

Over the past few months, I have tried many of her recipes.  In fact yesterday, I wowed the family with a Pineapple Upside Down Cake made with ... wait for it ... garbanzo beans !  Okay okay, Crystal told me to use white beans, but I didn't have any.  With a can of garbanzo beans on the shelf, I did what I had to do.  Yummy.  I was going to take a picture, but it's all gone.  Below is Crystal's picture.  I hope that she doesn't mind me borrowing it.  

She put hers in muffin tins for individual little cakes.  I was lazier than her, and popped mine in a 9x13 pan.  All was well.  Below is her recipe.  I tweeked it a bit only to make it easier to read.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (20 oz) can pineapple rings, drained with juice reserved ( use crushed pineapple if making cupcakes)
Maraschino cherries
1 cup butter, softened (or 1 cup white bean puree)
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt 
1.  Combine brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter; spread on bottom of greased 9×13 inch pan. Place pineapple rings and cherries on top. 
2.  Cream the remaining 1 cup butter (or bean puree) with sugar. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well.
3.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture. 
4.  Beat in 1 cup of the reserved pineapple juice. Pour batter over pineapple rings and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5.  Cool slightly, serve warm. To serve, flip individual cake pieces over to show pineapple. Top with whipped cream if desired.
Serves 12 happy people

If you want to make cupcakes. Simply spread the brown sugar butter mixture on the bottom of 24 greased cupcake pans (you won’t be able to use liners for these). Divide crushed pineapple and cherries and place on top of mixture. Pour batter on top to 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn over.  Serves 24

Try this recipe and check out her blog.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How do you show love?

Today is Valentine's Day 2012

I met my husband almost 28 years ago.  Married him almost 27 years ago.  Want to still be with him 27 + 27 = 54 years from now.  After that we plan to see each other in heaven ... for eternity.  We're stuck together that way ... he and I ... him and me ... hubby and wife.  I can't imagine life without him.

To celebrate the many past Valentine's Days that we have spent together, I have certainly received my overly generous share of flowers and chocolates ... But this year enough was enough.  Flowers are beautiful, but so over priced this time of year.  Chocolates ... well you know I WANT them, just don't need the calories associated with them.

So I begged hubby not to shower me with either.

And other than an Oh Henry! chocolate bar that he brought out and we shared at breakfast, he kept to his word.

Yet to my  immense glee and surprise that wonderful man gave me something even better than flowers and chocolate. 

A hand written poem

Hours after he had gone off to work, I found it on my desk waiting for me.
Of course, it was longer than this first line, but some things, like Valentine's Day love poems , should remain private ... you understand.
~ * ~ * ~
But on a similar note, I was pleased with the Valentine's Day short animation that appeared on the Google site this morning.

It’s the classic story of boy woos girls — but in the form of a Google doodle.

The search engine created a sweet, Valentine’s Day-themed musical animation for its homepage. In the minute-long video, scored to the tune of Tony Bennett’s “Cold, Cold Heart,” a smitten boy Googles ways to win the heart of his beloved — a rope-skipping brunette who wants nothing to do with him.

First, the boy Googles flowers, and offers her a single red rose. Rejected.

Then, a box of chocolates. Rebuffed. 

A green sweater, balloon animal, pie and live rabbit also fail to do the trick. The object of his affection continues to skip, ignoring any and all advances.

Dejected, the boy re-emerges at the end of the video holding a jump rope to skip beside his amour. This, at last, is the key to her heart, and together, they skip in sync.

What a wonderful way to show love ... without all the stuff.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Memory Spoof Song

I had time to kill today and came upon this spoof on memory loss.  Not the mean kind of jab at dementia or Alzheimer Disease ... that's not nice or funny or even morally correct  ...  what I am talking about it is that slight memory loss experienced by ladies like me in that wonderful stage of 'mental pause'.

Please check out this youtube video featuring award-winning cabaret singer Pam Peterson singing a funny parody about the challenges of an aging memory.  I haven't heard of Pam before today, but she is a treat to watch.



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Marble Rye

If you are a Seinfeld fan ... like myself ... the mere mention of Marble Rye makes you smile.

How could you not chuckle while watching THAT episode?

You see George needs a marble rye
Jerry agrees to purchase one, but arrives just as the last one is sold
He tries to persuade the woman to sell her rye for $50
But she refuses
Jerry is therefore (?) forced to steal the marble rye

Oh, I can't do the episode justice ... watch an excerpt here on youtube ...

Well after years and years, I have finally purchased and experienced a marble rye.  Most definitely a beautiful and tasty loaf.  Now I can sleep at nights with a first hand knowledge of what all the fuss was about back on the Marble Rye episode.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Puerto Vallarta - Part 2

Here I am with a silly 'I can't believe that we are in Mexico' grin plastered on my face.

Note to self:
 Don't wear a polyester tank top, a polyester long sleeve shirt, pants, socks, and runners when arriving in Mexico ...

What was I thinking???
It was hot and humid and oh, did I mention hotWe weren't in moderate British Columbia, Fraser Valley temperatures any more.

It was about at that time, complete with permanent red-faced-Lori complexion, that someone on the shuttle bus bellowed out 'Let's make a Tim Horton's stop'.  We all giggled and settled into the ride to the resort hotel. 

For those interested, check out this web site of our  5* Riu Vallarta hotel:

I tried to snap a few pics as we weaved in and out of traffic.  Boy oh boy, do Mexicans ever slink by close to each other.  I was surprised when I looked down and I swear there was only about 8" between the bus and the next car.

Anyway ... one of the first sights of interest was this thatched roof.  Maybe constructed with palm leaves????  It was beautiful to me ... and we saw many like it throughout the week. 
*  Notice the Payless Car Rental sign ... English.  Smart move for attracting tourists arriving at the airport from Canada and the USA.

Well, as I mentioned earlier, there are many signs with the Spanish and English languages ... but many without.

Don't know exactly what this road sign says, but we passed it along the way.

At one of the red lights, and standing right on the center line ... not much more than 8" like I said before ... there stood a vendor peddling his wares.  See the flowers in the window?  You can't tell with this shot, but they were beautiful exotic flowers too.  
The bus driver ignored him and we sped onward.
Riu Vallarta is in a type of gated community about 25 minutes from the airport.  Inside the gate are many condos and hotel complexes.  Right away I felt safer that it had this little bit of extra security.

We arrived at about 6:00 pm ... if I can remember correctly ... I was still in a 'I can't believe that we are in Mexico' fog.
Here is a shot of our hotel lobby provided by Trip Advisor.  (Note:  I took many pictures, but I believe that I will supplement with a few borrowed pics.  Just a heads up)

Photos of Riu Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta
This photo of Riu Vallarta is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Beautiful tile floor, huge flower arrangement, open air ... no doors to the lobby ... just stunning.  I wondered at the fact that the ceiling lights were turned off.  Power outage?  No.  I figured out later that it is most probably to keep the heat factor to a minimum.  In the evening, when needed, they were turned on.  Oh, ceiling fans were twirling everywhere.  There were a lot of hand painted designs on the ceiling ... and walls.  Quite unique and Mexican.  
Get a load of this Customer Service Desk.  Intricate iron work, fantastic coffered ceilings.  Love the tufted purple circular bench in the center.  Probably 14 foot ceilings.  All open air.  Took my breath away.

And this was just the lobby.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Puerto Vallarta - Part 1

After months and months of silence, I have come back to the blogging world ... and to tell you the honest truth, I'm kinda excited about it.

April, May, and June of 2011 was busy with middle child's wedding preparations and STRESS.  Dreamer married Dan the Man and now live about 20 minutes away ... I will post about that grand event later.

July and August somehow didn't happen ... or at least didn't have anything contained in their days to bother posting about.  

But on September 1st, Hubby announces to me that he needs to take a week off.  All work and no play makes Hubby a dull boy.  I quickly research hotels and B&Bs in our beautiful province of British Columbia, and await the okay to book the locations I had found.  In what seemed like the last hour, we instead toss around the idea of  the possibility of an Alaskan cruise.

I remembered that one of our condo tenants is a travel agent by trade.  I send a quick email telling her the week we have free and the amount we would like to spend.   In lightening speed she fires an email back saying that there are no cruises to be found, but what about an all inclusive to Mexico?

Mexico?  Drugs ... and crime ... and kidnappings ... and the D-word that plays havoc with your intestinal tract?

"Are you kidding?" I asked.

She wasn't,
and in less than 24 hours we were booked to go to Puerto Vallarta
for the week of September 10th to 17th.

I purchased ear buds at the Dollar Store, and readied myself for the long ... almost 5 hour ... flight. I am not keen about heights, and flying is far from a fun time time for me.  But with free access to many TV stations on a little screen embedded in the back of the seat in front of you, the hours quickly flew ha ha) by.

Arriving in Puerto Vallarta was uneventful except for the fact that as soon as we exited the plane, security escorted us to buses parked outside the airport building.  Hmmmm we wondered, what was happening? ... The temperature inside the bus was easily in the high 30s and the humidity was unbelievable.  Only a few got to sit down, the rest stood for the 'rapid transit' ride to the baggage and customs area.  There we grab our bags off of the carousel and wait in the customs line.  I was pleasantly surprised that all signs had English on them as well as Spanish.

We had previously been informed by our travel agent about going through customs.  Customs in Mexico is a roll of the dice. Or more accurately, a push of the button. You will be asked to press a button connected to a little traffic light that will tell your future:  Green light, and you just walk through, or Red light and your bags are inspected.

Hubby pressed the ominous button, and upon it flashing 'green',
we were motioned to proceed to the exit.

Next was getting through the crowds of venders and time share people.  We had been warned about them.  They are indeed very aggressive and are quite difficult to ignore ... but we persisted and pushed and pulled our bags through the crowd through the doors and through to the outside.  There we spied our Sun Quest agents in bright red t-shirts.  We gave our names, they loaded our luggage, and we climbed aboard the hotel shuttle bus.

In minutes, we found ourselves rumbling down the streets of Mexico.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Gmail Motion

It has been a long time since posting here at It's A Wonderful Life blog.  Life got in the way AGAIN.

Although not much of a personal post, check out this link for Gmail Motion.  It is the wave of the future for sure.  Not only has it been proved to be easy to learn, but it improves productivity at the computer AND increases physical activity.
That latter one is a definite plus especially for us bloggers.

I give it a big thumbs up.

After watching the short video presentation, click on the TRY GMAIL MOTION to check it out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Patience is a Virtue

The ability to wait for something without excessive frustration
is a valuable character trait indeed

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago ... give or take a bit ... Genius asked out his girlfriend out for the first time.  They went to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  It's a wonder they were able to stick together and not lose each other in  the crowds ... but they managed and have now celebrated one year together.

For a memorable occasion, Genius took her to a lovely restaurant in Cloverdale called Elizabeth's Chalet for dinner.  As the pictures show, they dressed for the formal event to make it even more special.

From there the went to Granville Island and attended a play called "Almost, Maine".


They enjoyed it immensely and came back saying it was a winner.

All in all the evening was a great success and gave them memories to cherish.

Ain't love grand?
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