Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Just a few minutes to take their picture!

So, I can see how this season is going to with the blog....... I'm squeezing this in amongst my paper work at 9:10 pm - and it's only April! The low season!

On the other hand - over the next few months I'm sure we'll have more to share. Right now we are getting the park cleaned up and I rarely take the camera out.

No complaints though - we are still lovin' our house, yard and park.

Within the last week, Derek has begun to mow and weed whack. Here he is at the group site - actually we have three 'pods' for groups. We are expecting our first three groups this weekend!

He mowed our yard as well.

The rest of the photos I took the other night when I realized that all of our flowers are blooming.
Dinner was on but I couldn't resist getting some pictures.

The lilacs have arrived!

Blooms on our crab apple tree.

The yellow flowers of the Oregon Grape I showed a few posts ago.

The flowers in our front yard that finally bloomed. Not what I was expecting - I thought that there were white flowers in there. Can't say I'm crazy about these - anybody know what they are?

A few weeks ago Britt, Cassia and I found this buoy washed up on the shore. Yesterday Derek turned it into a swing for Cassia. That went over well as you can imagine.

And finally I just had to share with you what's happening in our garden. Almost everything I planted a few weeks ago is sprouting - this is the kale. So excited!

Cassia and I did squeeze in a batch of carrot cake cupcakes the other day.

And yes, that's it!

Not much else to show. 

We've been cleaning out fire pits, racking sites, cleaning tables, weeding and staining - in addition to looking after our guests. Last weekend we hit a high on Saturday night with 25 campers. 

Last week we also hired our fourth and final employee for the summer. Our team is now complete with Derek and I and our four employees. Everyone will be on board by the May long weekend. Two of our employees have never worked at a BC Park before so we'll be busy with training in a few weeks.

We've also made time to empty our trailer of the items that Derek and Cassia brought back from their trip to Chilliwack. It was nice to be reunited with our belongings and fun to show Cassia many items that she hasn't seen before such as our wedding album. Both Derek and I had some of our toys packed away that we have now passed on to her - and my prized smelly sticker collection. I am hoping to get some pictures of those things soon so that I can show them to you as well. Fingers crossed.

Ha! Derek found this ski mask in the trailer and was telling Cassia that sometimes crooks use them. She figured that out pretty quick and became a thief herself making a quick get away with my sewing machine!


Thursday, April 23, 2015


I find it VERY hard to believe that 8 days have past since our last post. Sorry. 

It's been kinda crazy around here. I'm having a bit of trouble keeping up with it all at the moment. 

All will be well when I can get into a good routine. It might not happen for awhile but it WILL happen. Coming off of 7 months will no routine, means that the adjustment into our summer work schedule takes a bit of well, work.

I've really enjoyed the last few weeks but for me it's been a lot of setting up - cleaning and maintenance in the park and the bookkeeping on the computer. A steep learning curve - really working my brain. I spent the better part of last night and today setting up the wireless printer. It's been a while since my brain has been that twisted up. I can only say that in good humour because I got it to work. 

Anyway, that's how it's been here - busy. Then things got even busier for me over the weekend as Derek and Cassia headed down to the Lower Mainland (that's what we call the area around Vancouver) for a few days.

Here are some pictures from their trip to Chilliwack.

The first time Cassia has been in the passenger seat. She was the photographer for the ride down.

Her vantage point is a little different from mine!

From here at Fintry they went south to Westbank and then over to Merritt - down the Coquihalla to Hope and then on to Chilliwack.

Cas loves tunnels - I wasn't surprised to see this picture.

A bit like a roller coaster - right?!

Coming into the Fraser Valley. 

Derek and Cassia were in Chilliwack for the rest of our belongings we've been storing in his sister's garage. But of course it was a great chance to visit Cassia's Auntie Lisa and cousin Krysta. That's Rufus's sister Bubbles by the way. 

Derek and Cassia brought Rufus so that he could play with his sister.

They all had a great time visiting for a few days. There's Derek's mom who you met when she visited us in Zihuatanejo in January.

Cassia's other cousin Tylar stopped in to say hello.

With everything packed up in the van and trailer they made the five hour trek back to Fintry. I just knew there'd be a selfie in there too!

A great shot of a Raven at a rest area.

Still quite a bit of snow in the mountains.

Much of our stuff is still in our trailer waiting to be unpacked. We did get out our table and chairs though. After 1 1/2 months we were done with sitting on the sofa for our meals. 

And if that wasn't enough travelling for D and C - we headed to Vernon yesterday for supplies and groceries. We switched our town day from Tuesday to Wednesday since it was cool and calling for rain.

Our favourite stretch along the 45 minute trip.

When in Vernon getting our errands done we've been finding it challenging to find a place for lunch. Then we noticed Pho Fusion. Now, Derek and Cassia had just had Vietnamese food in Chiliwack at one of our favourite places called Pho Galaxy. We had no idea if Pho Fusion would be as good but figured we'd better give it a try. 

We are happy to report it was great. Thankfully. Now we have a lunch place to go to when in town. Here's Cassia displaying her unique way with chop sticks. Somehow she actually gets food in her mouth.

After that we stopped in at Voets Coffee. My sister and brother in law on Vancouver Island got us started on Ancient Ritual coffee - our new favourite.  

Our last stop of the day was at another of our new favourite places in Vernon - Swan Lake Nursery. Although Derek and I have never met a Nursery we haven't liked. 

A gardener's dream......

You can see there that we bought some strawberry plants - 12 of them in fact. 
A good deal at $5 for three.

And finally, we have a new addition to our family. This is MnM. Actually, MnM has been with us before for a few years. She is Derek's mom's cat who has been living for the last few years with Derek's sister. Sadly, Derek's mom cannot have animals where she lives. 

Cassia has been pining for a cat - a kitten actually - and this is a good alternative. Her and MnM have become fast friends. She's going to need her patience with Cas as you can see. Ha!

So, that's how it's been for us this past week. In addition to our park work. We had a fairly busy weekend with 25 campers on Saturday night. With the beautiful weather we also started staining our picnic tables. 20 down only 80 to go.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015


It still takes my breath away that I can actually use that phrase......

If you are 'up to here' with doing stuff around the house - just live without one for a few years!

Although it's been cool and windy we've been making progress on a few things in the yard. Derek's one of those guys that can spend all his time outside - checking this, tweaking that. He's even been known to garden by flashlight. 

Since we are expecting such a busy summer with campers he may just have to resort to that at some point to get it all done. 

But right now we have some time and are making good use of it.

Let the planting season begin!
Derek put down the back planks to stop the rain water from hitting the garden - our house does not have eavestroughs. You can see where the soil marks the wall. The other in front was added to divide the large bed. Something is in the garden but we aren't sure what - floppy fellows so doubt we'll keep them - just long enough to see what they are.

Yesterday I planted two types of kale, rainbow swiss chard, perennial spinach, mesclun, lettuce and beets. Thanks to my sis and brother in law for the seeds that they gave us when we were on the Vancouver Island

In the front garden these lilies are taking their time! But there is white showing - it shouldn't be long now!

Cas and I went to cut rhubarb this morning. Cj mentioned 'tender young rhubarb' and freezing the other day in the comments. I was thrown for a minute and quickly googled what I was missing. Although I have used rhubarb in the past I am far from an expert. I will admit to not knowing that the stocks should be picked young - I always waited for them to be large and thick! Yikes! Stands to reason - so many other things are better picked young like spinach and beet tops. 

Turns out - even though they are poisonous we can compost the leaves. Here is our new compost by the way. But our's will have to wait.....

until the dinosaurs are done with them!

I forgot to mention that a few weeks ago we planted two blueberry plants in our front garden ...

and two haskap plants. Have you heard of Haskaps before? They are very good - their flavour between a blueberry, saskatoon and raspberry, and very nutritious as berries are. We are excited for our first batch - probably not this year though.

We're over the moon to see that the lilacs are on their way! We hear that we have light and dark purple and white! Our shrubs are so large and surround that house that I think we'll be living in lilac fragrance once they are out. 

I'll fill the house with them but for now we are bringing the crab apple blossoms in. The jar to the left is Derek's experiment with poplar buds in olive oil to make a form of essential oil or salve.

Now that we have a real kitchen again - I'm back to making things homemade. 

If we're not traveling and if I'm not working or doing this and that - you can find me either reading or making something in the kitchen. 

We've gotten back to making raw dog food for Rufus. We had a recipe from a few years ago but thought that we would reeducate ourselves on what we can and can't put in his food. While shopping the other day we stocked up on sweet potato for him and here you can see that I grated some carrot. Looks like for next time I should chop the carrot finer. This site has lots of useful info. Now we also know what to grow in the garden for Rufus as well.

I also continue to improve my energy bites. I shared the recipe for these way back in May of 2012 while we were working at Skihist. Sadly, I got away from making them much in the last few years.  I've been tweaking the original recipe. In addition to the oats, coconut and chocolate, I now increase the variety of seeds and such to include ground flax, whole flax, wheat germ, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin. 

Reading all the bad news about peanut butter these days I'm trying to switch it over to almond but at $13.00 a jar it will have to wait - we as yet, haven't had a pay cheque since last September! We did find sunflower seed butter at a good price so I used that with the PB. And lastly, I decreased the amount of honey finding the called for 1/3 of a cup way too much.  

Anyway - if you are looking for a good morning or afternoon fuel this is a good one.

While I was doing that Derek and Cassia were enjoying the sun in our 'secret garden'. We used some pallets and our old cushions from the van to make a nice outdoor room with a chaise lounge.

Derek even put up some logs for Cassia to climb around on. Who needs a playground?

Tonight while I did my rounds the three of them went for a walk. Just look at the progress of our poplar and aspen trees!

Did I mention last time that this used to be a driveway to another large house on the property. 
Love this trail.

There is a place in the park with the foundation of what looked to be a significant house. It's a neat area to walk around complete with an old Packard. A nice flowering crab apple as well.

This is the only standing building in that area - wonder what it was!

So much to explore and enjoy for this almost 6 year old.

So, that's how it's been.

The park has been quiet since Easter giving us time to complete our settling in and cleaning of the park. 

Yesterday, following several emails back and forth and a Skype interview, Derek and I hired our third employee for the park. A fellow of 20 from Saskatchewan - we think he's going to be invaluable and await his arrival mid May to take on maintenance and security duties. 

Other than that - we are hoping for busier weeks ahead as the temps are forecasted to improve. Our camp hosts are also set to arrive on the 19th or 20th.

Derek and Cassia are heading to the lower Mainland for a few days to pick up the last of our possessions that we have had stored at his sister's place since 2012. I can't wait to see them back with our crock pot!

Listening to Alan Jackson's - Remember When - one of my favourites.

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