Nelson Memorial Park

While we were in Nelson B.C. one of our stops was at the Cemetery on the edge of town. It had been a long time since we’d been to an old cemetery like this one.

We were the only ones in the cemetery besides the gardeners.

A grieving wife…

These always make me sad. I can’t imagine the grief of losing a child.

While driving in the Kootenay areas in B.C. we noticed lots of street names in rural areas that were Russian names. I had forgotten about the large Doukhobor settlements in this part of Canada.

We grew up with some Lazeroff’s in Montebello, California.

This was the military section of the cemetery with maple leaves on most of the headstones.

The strangest headstone we saw in this cemetery.

On the way out we saw this sign. Oops! Glad we didn’t bump into him/her!

We had helpful advice from the Visitors Center who gave us the directions to this cemetery and a map for a self guided history walk of the city. We spent time at the Anglican church viewing their beautiful stained glass windows and enjoyed a snack at Jackson’s Hole and Grill before we headed back to the Border. I’ll be sharing the photos from the Anglican church soon.

Across the Line…

…for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas gathering.

For Christmas 2018, Terry and Lovella hosted us at their warm and inviting bungalow.

The birch tree candle holders were made by Lovella’s beloved after their beautiful birch tree was felled in a storm this year.

Everyone contributed to the meal. Judy and Marg brought and assembled the Charcuterie Board.

Once I sat down at the table my photographing went out the window so I don’t have photos of the delicious Potato Leek Soup that Julie made and brought. The fresh citrusy pomegranate salad was brought and plated with care by Kathy. Bev baked fresh buns. Lovella prepared a stuffed Pork Loin that Terry barbecued to perfection along with sides of noodles, gravy, and broccoli salad.

Before we sat down at the table and while we were enjoying our appetizers the “girls” had their gift exchange. This year we were instructed to bring something that was consumable or used up by Christmas. There were a few varieties of fresh baked cookies, the promise of a hazelnut sponge roll to be delivered, coffee beans, candles, and my choice was a fresh baked razzleberry pie all wrapped up beautifully by Judy.

Two of our husbands were missing, Dear and Kathy’s husband Scot.

Anneliese brought the desserts.

We all got up from the table before dessert and it was the perfect time for me to head back across the line to the U.S.A. before my coach turned back into a pumpkin. At the border crossing I declared my pie and continued south to our kids’ home in Bothell making it there, safe and sound by 10pm. We enjoyed Judy’s pie the next evening for Laura’s birthday dessert and all 6 of us declared it perfect with no soggy bottom!

Hope all is progressing well toward Christmas at your house. We will go out back on our property and find a tree that will work for our Christmas tree this year. We think we spied something that will work well. We were going to get a permit to cut one down on National Forest property but opted for the easier route.

First Christmas Party of 2017

Dear and I traveled to Abbotsford, Canada yesterday to start off the Christmas season with these “girls” and their husbands. Herb and Anneliese opened their festive and warm home to the 16 of us for the evening. We missed our two Manitoba girls and their husbands. I’ll share photos from our evening together soon. Today I’m recuperating from all that good food and the drive to Canada and home again.

Friday the 13th!

So happy I’m not superstitious. I still have to share 5 more hats I’ve worn or am wearing but my creative juices aren’t flowing these days but rather they are dribbling. I’ll get back to those hats at a later Friday. So here are five favorites from this past week.


#1. Mother’s Day brunch with my kids that are on this side of the mountains.


#2. A few hours with these girls on Tuesday in Canada. The tall blond on the left that you probably don’t recognize is a writer who is writing a play about the Mennonite Girls Can Cook that will be staged later this year in Indiana and possibly Ohio.

Martha Bolton1#3. Lovella opened up her home for our meeting with the writer and cranked up her oven to treat us to coffee and these delicious rhubarb rolls for our morning coffee time. Delicious!

Martha BoltonThen Lovella and the B.C. girls that were free to come for lunch offered up these delicious salads and other goodies.

#4. Our new book is in the works and we got a preview on what it is going to look like. I’ll share more about this soon.


#5. Today (Thursday) Dear and I worked outside mowing and weed whacking and then we brought down our deck furniture and set it out for the season.


We are thankfully heading into a quiet weekend. We have been processing lots of emotional things this week in our extended family and quiet is good to look forward to. Of course we know that just because we think it will be quiet doesn’t guarantee it. The other thing we know is that God is in control of everything that is allowed into our lives.

I’m linking up with Five on Friday with Amy at Love Made My Home and with Friday’s Fave Five with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

Good Fences…

These photos are from Rosedale in British Columbia from a friend’s home.

Linking up with Good Fences hosted by TexWisGirl #109.

We’re getting ready for a little road trip over the mountains and through the farmlands of Washington state to our Eastern Washington kid’s home to work on some projects. Hoping to see some fun things to take photos of…

Neighbors to the North

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We found this monument close to Stanley’s in Stanley Park and I’m glad we took the time to read the inscription.

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The monument was erected as a memorial to President Harding’s visit to Canada in 1923.

“What an object lesson of peace is shown today by our two countries by all the world. No grim-faced fortifications mark our frontiers. No huge battleships patrol our dividing waters. No stealthy spies lurk in our tranquil border hamlets. Only a scrap of paper recording hardly more than a simple understanding safeguards lives and property on the Great Lakes, and only humble mile posts mark the inviolable boundary line for thousands of miles through farm and forest.

Our protection is in our fraternity. Our armour is our faith, the tie that binds more firmly year by year. Ever increasing acquaintances and comradeship through interchange of citizens and the contract is not of perishable parchment, but of fair and honorable dealing which God grant shall continue for all time.

Erected by Kiwanis International in memory of a great occasion in the life of two sister nations here on July 26, 1923 Warren Gamaliel Harding twenty ninth president of the United States and first president to visit Canada.” (Erected 9-16-1925)

van 2 090We were very surprised to read that Harding was the very first president to visit Canada.

Linking to Mrs. Nesbitt’s ABC Wednesday for N is for Neighboring Nations. Thank you Roger and team for administrating the meme.

I’m also linking to Tuesday’s Treasures with Tom the Backroads Traveler with this National treasure.

In the last few years I’ve enjoyed many visits to our neighbor to the North and I’m always thankful that it’s an safe border to cross without fear.


March in Vancouver B.C.

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On March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) we headed North for the border between the U.S.A. and Canada. We are fortunate to be a few hours from our friendly neighbors to the north.

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On this trip we were headed to North Vancouver and had to cross some bridges to get there. We found our hotel and after a wait in line to get into the parking structure of the hotel we checked in and looked at our room.

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The room had a nice view of downtown Vancouver across Vancouver Harbor. We were ready for our first adventure on the SeaBus that would take us across the harbor to the downtown area of Vancouver. We were ready for a meal.

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We disembarked close to Canada Place and walked along the harbor to find a restaurant recommended by Lovella of the Mennonite Girls.

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We found the restaurant and later when we shared our view Lovella realized we had sat in almost the same spot a week after them and we definitely had the same view. See the boats I marked with an X? Thanks for the recommendation Lovella. We enjoyed our meal at Cardero’s.

We walked after our meal and saw some interesting things and then headed back across the harbor to our hotel where later in the evening we enjoyed a light meal in our room that we purchased at the Quay Market that was located under our hotel.

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vancouver 024We didn’t make reservations in Vancouver until we saw that the weather would be good for walking and exploring. Having Dear working from home gives us that flexibility to decide on last minute trips with the weather in mind. Being so close to Canada is another win win for traveling and seeing new things. On Friday the 18th we checked out of the hotel and drove to Stanley Park. On the way we stopped for breakfast at De Dutch…

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I’ll share what we saw at Stanley Park in another post.

Dear and I are having a hard time standing up and sitting down today after several hours working outside yesterday. I’m glad we still can manage to do what we did. Cleaning gutters, pulling some weeds and cleaning out some planters, pressure washing the deck and cement areas, and then washing the car! Sheesh, this weather brings out the work in us! Thankfully I had a leg of lamb marinating in the fridge that I could throw in the oven for our meal of the day with potatoes and carrots that cooked underneath the roast in my handy Jamie Oliver pan. Today after church we had lamb sandwiches with our leftovers. So happy not to have to do anything today. A good day of rest.

Hope your Sunday is going well.

Since this post is filled with blue skies and blue water I’m linking up with Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor for Blue Monday! Thanks Jeanne!

Cross Country

For my flashback post this week I’m posting some photos from Dear and my trip from California to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We made this trip in 1976. We stopped in Denver, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan and Canada in our little yellow 1976 Honda Civic.

Road Trip 1976Somewhere in Colorado on our way to Denver to visit Dear’s uncles and aunts on his mother’s side. Just as we entered the fine state of Colorado the state patrol decided we should contribute some money for the state’s economy!

Road Trip 19761Dear had 2 uncles that never married and they cared for their mother till she died. We had a good time in the kitchen and I helped Uncle Cliff make his famous Rhubarb pie. This was my first experience ever with Rhubarb. Uncle Arnold was the poet of the family and historian. We spent some time with Uncle Red (Chester) and Aunt Jeanette at their cabin and Dear helped Uncle Red saw wood. We also stopped to see my sister’s SIL’s family who had moved to Denver from Chicago, Kenneth and Lillian Semenchuk. (Upper left photo). We would stop at another of my sister’s SIL’s in Michigan.

img234As we continued east we went through Kansas and stopped at Dear’s Great Aunt Matilda’s. She was single all her life and never forgot anyone’s birthday. We all received cards every year while she was alive.

Road Trip 19762Our next stop was in Peoria, Illinois to visit Dear’s paternal grandmother and his uncle Harry at the family home. We visited other aunts and uncles while in Peoria but I don’t have photos. One uncle was a pig farmer and those pigs scared me. So huge! From Peoria we made a stop in Wheaton to visit our friend Andrew Semenchuk who officiated our wedding and his dear wife, Pauline. They worked for Slavic Gospel Association so we visited the offices in Wheaton.

Road Trip 19763From Chicago we drove to Michigan to my sister Kathy’s sister-in-law’s home. Peter and Ruth Leonovich were so hospitable and generous to us whenever we ended up at their home on the lake. I learned to water ski here.

img220We continued on our journey into Canada from Detroit with a plan to stop at a China shop in Windsor to complete my Royal Albert china set. All I had was a tea set that I purchased on one of our trips to England. We found a shop that had a good selection of seconds and we bought service for 12 in my pattern. We decided to continue on and visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We also visited Niagara on the Lake. If only I had a digital camera then. I would love to visit this area again.


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Have you ever visited Niagara Falls? This was my second visit. In 1970 I visited friends in Buffalo, New York and they took me to the U.S. side of Niagara Falls.

img306It’s good for my brain to document these trips we took so long ago. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the world of photography since those days. When we crossed back into the U.S. from this trip we were given the 3rd degree about our camera. They would not believe we hadn’t purchased it in Canada. I gave them all the receipts for the China but they did not care about the China, all they were concerned about was the camera! Oye!

This week I’m looking forward to a visit to my hairdresser and then our tax return appointment with our accountant. It will be nice to have that behind me. How’s your week shaping up?

Matthew’s House

2014-02-11 Matthews house6Inspired by the life of a young boy named Matthew, Matthew’s House is a respite care home for children living with complex healthcare needs. Up to five children at a time are cared for in a state-of-the-art residence staffed by experienced caregivers. Medical necessities like overhead track systems for transferring and full wheelchair accessibility will be complimented by a beautiful aesthetic, a multi-sensory playroom and an outdoor playground. Overnight guest suites allow family to remain close while taking a restful step back to refuel themselves.

2014-02-11 Matthews house7The playground area was very impressive with a soft cushy surface and lifts and designs that allow easy access for wheelchair bound children. The slides are equipped with rollers so the kids can slide down without physical effort. Swings that you can lay down on and a merry go round flush with the surface to be able to wheel a wheelchair onto and spin the child while in their chair.

Matthews house 025Providing families with the support they need, Matthew’s House is about caring for kids, a community encouraging one another, hospitality, compassion and joy. One-hundred percent of the funds for Matthew’s House come from the generous support of individuals and community partners. The Mennonite Girls Can Cook have partnered with Lepp Farm Market in donating all the proceeds from our cooking classes at Lepp to Matthew’s House. Each of these leaves on the wall forming a large tree represent the many contributors to Matthew’s House.

Matthews house 026“Rob and Charlotte Lepp, owners Lepp Farm Market and the women of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook (MGCC) blog/cookbooks have raised nearly $25,000 to stock the kitchen at Matthew’s House and keep it cooking. It is a unique relationship that marries a love for good food and a
generous spirit.”

Matthews house 042Here are 7 of the girls along with Rob and Charlotte Lepp in the kitchen that we have helped to build and equip.

2014-02-11 Matthews house8What a privilege to be able to contribute to the needs of these families dealing with children with complex healthcare needs.

Matthews house 024Our private tour of the facilities renewed our vision and encouraged us to continue our partnership with Lepp Farm Market with our cooking class donations going to Matthew’s House. Our next cooking class will be on March 26th, Paska, Pluma Moos and Easter Dinner. Click on the link to see how to register for the class.

It’s Thursday and we have sunshine and beautiful skies while many of you are suffering winter storm conditions yet again. Hope you are safe. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? We are going to have our meal in. Dear volunteered to barbecue some steaks and I’ll add some baked potatoes and a salad for our meal. Maybe we’ll watch some Olympics or another episode of Midsomer Murders on Netflix. Hope whatever you do that your home is filled with love.

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The Stars Aligned…

…last Wednesday. The Seattle Sounders were playing the Vancouver Whitecaps and Marg had wanted to come to a soccer game with a crazy fan like me. Enough of our season ticket holders in our row of seats gave up or couldn’t use their tickets so it was “game on” and John and Marg drove across the line to meet up at my house for an evening of fun.

First we’d join Dear in downtown Seattle for Happy Hour at Boka.

P1040680Thankfully Marg and John came disguised as Manchester United fans instead of Whitecap fans since they’d be sitting with us in Sounders country.

sounders-whitecapsOur Happy Hour meal had many tasty choices that we shared around the table.

P1040682We made it to the game in plenty of time to get good parking and get to our seats well before the game started.

P1040683It was great to hear both National Anthems and see our flags side by side.

We were the best of hosts as we let the Whitecaps run all over us and take away the victory back North…oye. I was happy for John and Marg. Hopefully we’ll see better results for our team this Sunday when we play the Portland Timbers.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend to all the Mennonite Girls Can Cook and other friends across the line. May God give you thankful hearts to praise Him.