Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Prep

On Sunday, we decided it was time to carve out the pumpkins we snatched from the Fruit & Veggie stand before they closed for winter.

Layla helped cut the pumpkin open and scoop out the guts. That's the worst part so I was happy to have her so willing to help.
Layla wanted to carve Sleeping Beauty into our pumpkin, so using one of those stencil type guides Lays and I poked a million holes in the pumpkin and then carved it out by "connecting the dots".

When we finished, we cleaned the seeds and set them out to dry overnight so we could roast them the next day.

On Monday we seasoned them up and roasted them. As we were making them Layla was licking out the bowl. She looks at me with her big blue eyes and says " Mmmmm, this sugar is yummy, it tastes like salt!" For as obsessed she is with sugar and salt, she still has a hard time knowing the difference.

So here is the final result. A beautiful girl, beautiful pumpkin, and delicious roasted pumpkin seeds. Don't throw them out when you carve your pumpkins this year! They are incredibly tasty and also very healthy, well, healthy maybe until you coat them with salt. Oh well, it is Halloween, right?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Into the Wild

We may have only lived here for half of a year but in that time we have seen such a variety of wildlife. Sometimes I have my camera, sometimes not, but I think I have been very fortunate to get the pictures I have.
Yesterday on our walk along the Okanagan river about 2 minutes from our house, we saw a praying mantis! I didn't know we had them here but after nearly stepping on it as it blended in with the path, we stopped and got a closer look. All summer long there were lots of crickets and grasshoppers on this path, which is great eating for praying manti. Don't be fooled by their size, they also eat mice and small birds. Hard to believe!
Greg has some good pictures of rattlesnakes he has come face to face with on the golf course but I don't know how to get them onto my computer. We have also seen a tonn of eagles in the spring, I'll be sure to take their pictures in April, lots of hawks, turtles and crazy insect species. But here are the pictures I have taken of wild life around my parts.

Monday, October 20, 2008

From a Child's Mouth

Layla is a people person. Ask anyone in Oliver, they'll tell you the same. I can't go anywhere without her striking up conversations with strangers. She tells them all about how Baron only nurses but her nipples have no milk. She tells them about Chester's health problems. She tells them about Charlie and their antics. Anything, and everything.

Today was Layla's first dentist appt since we moved to Oliver. She's been looking forward to it all weekend and was very excited. The waiting room had a few elderly people and a mom with her 3 month old baby girl. Layla didn't waste any time plopping down next to the mom even though it was on the other end from where I was. They chatted for awhile and then Layla wanted to show her Baron's new outfit which has a basketball on it. Greg has told Layla that he could have been a really good basketball player but he didn't listen to his coach. He was trying to teach her the importance of listening. Layla says to everyone in the waiting room, "my daddy was a basketball player but not anymore because he got in trouble". I almost let it go but could tell by the looks on peoples faces and the uncomfortable chuckles that they probably thought her daddy got in big trouble, went to prison or something, so I had to clarify. It was very funny.

Then when the dentist and hygienist were talking to Layla, the dentist asked her if she used her teeth to eat good food. "Yes, I eat good food but my daddy eats pickle chips. I try to make him stop but he still eats them sometimes. They're not healthy because they have too much salt and sugar. Broccoli and peas and beans are healthy, that's what I eat. But sometimes I like to have a treat...but only a little bit" The dentist and hygienist look at me in bewildered by what they have just heard a 4 yr old say. They both laugh and the hygienist admits that she likes pickle chips sometimes too.

Greg was extremely embarrassed when I told him what she had said about him that day. I can only imagine what she has told her teachers about us when we're not their to clarify. Frightening.
Here's Layla in the dentists chair. You might think it was a picture of me as a child in the dentists chair, but no its Layla in the 70s brown leather chair and stylish yellow countertops.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Slow Mooovin' Saturday

We are lucky enough to still be enjoying 20+ degree weather here in late October so we decided to head to the Penticton farmers market on main street this morning. We picked up an adorable beaded purse for Layla and a number of organic peppers for ourselves. We enjoyed some live music and the beautiful scenery of Pentictons downtown. The flowers still in bloom, the sun shining off the lake, and the colors of fall on the trees. (I should have just taken a picture)

We gave Layla some money for her new purse and headed to the dollar store so she could buy something. After choosing some watercolor paints we headed back home for lunch.

After lunch we decided to take the dog for a walk. Layla brought her new purse just in case we stopped for a treat. On the way, we came accross 20-30 cows crossing the road together. I sat and watched them cross kicking myself for not having my camera.

We went for a nice walk, stopping to throw rocks in the pond and run through vast green spaces. When we got to the treat store after our walk we realized we no longer had Layla's new purse. ARGH! She only had it for 2 hours and it was full of money.

I dropped Baron, Layla, and Greg off at home and went back to the path to look for her purse (this time with my camera). I was very relieved to find a very kind person had found her purse and hung it on the gateway of the path. I took the dog for another walk anyways so as not to tease him.

On my way home I decided to stop and take pictures at an old barn and old house that my photographer sister enjoyed shooting during her visit. This is also the spot where I sat earlier that day while cows crossed the road. As I was standing taking pictures I was startled by a moooing right behind me. Could it be? Imagine my luck! The cows had returned and brought a couple of horse pals. They must have realized I came back with my camera. I managed to take quite a few pictures but whenever I got too close I was mooed away.

Here are some cows knee deep sliding down a sandy embankment.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Growing Up Waaaay too Fast

Layla is only 4 years old but since starting preschool she seems to have aged 10 years! Everyday I look forward to hearing about Layla's activities at school but the last few weeks she's been blowing me away.
Well, Layla has a crush. Dominic. She chases him around asking him to marry her and is crushed when he says no. "But mom! I told him he was handsome and he still doesn't want to marry me! I guess I'll marry Silus, he said he would."
Her and Dominic have a strange relationship now from what I've observed. I have seen her demand for him to come over and see Baron, all the kids come, except Dominic. Then the next day, Dominic makes a point to say good bye to Layla as we are leaving and she just turns and giggles.
Yesterday, Dominic came up to me and introduced himself. What a gentleman. "what is your name?" he says. What a cutie.
I don't remember having crushes at that age so I wasn't prepared to deal with this. It's just killing Greg to hear her talk about it. She is so serious when she is describing how "handsome" he is and so forth, and why he just won't marry her, and asking me what she should do. It stresses her out. Oh poor Greg, its only just begun...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This year, despite being far from our families, we were lucky enough to have two Thanksgiving dinners. On Sunday we went to Peachland and had a turkey dinner with my friend Magda and her family.
On Monday morning, Layla and I began our day by stuffing the turkey. She was eager to help with all the preparations. Then we all went for a nice walk with Chester.
We cut some roses from our rosebush out front for a beautiful centrepiece. Great idea Layla.
The feast!
We all dressed up for a fine meal consisting of turkey, potatos, stuffing, brussel sprouts, green been/carrot casserol, coleslaw, and cranberries . It was delicious.
I cooked the neck for Chester who was very thankful. This is him devouring the turkey neck. You can see why we made him take it outside.

Overall we had a great day and will be eating leftovers for a long time yet.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Red Sockeye Salmon

There is a trail from our street all the way to Lake Osoyoos which we have made very good use of over the past 8 monthes we have been here. This trail follows the Okanagan River. It was this river that Greg swong into from an old rope on a tree, that Chester used to refresh himself in the heat, that my mom walked right into with all her clothes and shoes on, that my sister Emily fell in with her skirt on.

Now this river is serving a different purpose. It is the spawning ground for thousands of red sockeye salmon. Sockeye salmon are known to take top billing at fine restaraunts but are very hard to catch. Right now the bottom of the river is covered with these fish laying 2000-5000 eggs each beneath the gravel. Then a male will come and fertilize the eggs. The eggs incubate all through winter and then swim down stream to lake Osoyoos for a year while they grow. Then they go further south and spend a few years in the Pacific Ocean. Then they make the journey back upstream to the Okangan River where they have babies and then die very soon after.

It is fun to go watch the salmon jumping right out of the water. Some of them are done laying there eggs, so their corpses lay around the shores.

These are some pictures of the trail and the river but it really must be seen in person to be appreciated.