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Sunday, August 31, 2008

SILVERWOOD OR BUST

Kyran and I on the log ride. The two cowards--Mist and Tabs up front hiding.
Auntie T and Mistaya on the train. Two of our four bravest Silverwood tourists. Yes, believe it or not: Sandra, Theresa, Kyran and Mistaya all rode the terrifying roller coaster "Timber Tremors." It was terrifying to watch them sail over a cliff in a 55mile per hour rickety coaster on towering wooden tracks--their eyes were shut tight and looked absolutely terrified and all deserved a big hug on disembarkment.






















Raft ride on class 3 rapids--we got soaked right down to our gotchies!






Theresa, Mist, Kyran, Pip, Mom and Tabs on the train--a great ride over 1/2 hour in length through beautiful country with bison herds.




Wee Pip, Me, Tabs and Mist on flying elephants.





Tabs, Mist and Pip on the carousel.
















Bumper boats. Kyran, Mist and tabs got soaked but they loved it!






























Aviator Pip (above) her first ride ever and all by herself. She was so brave and had a big smile on her face each time she passed me.
Pip and I on the mini roller coaster. Pip is so tiny you can't see her. As fast as it was, she loved it--no fear. She told me before it started, "Hang on Mom."


















Mistaya, Mom and Tabitha on the Ferris wheel. Mom, desperatey wanting it to be the last time around.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Idaho and Washington Here We Come!

(Pete took photo on I phone)
The cats are at Joey's with one wee kitten as the two bigger kitties are away.
I am leaving in an hour with Mommy and Pip. We will arrive in Nelson this afternoon. Tomorrow we are off the Silverwood in Idaho and then onto Washington to stay in Spokane. Let's hope it doesn't rain all week as it is really raining this AM. Had a killer workout at the gym today--spinning class, weights.
Pip is so excited--she's going to "Theresa's"--she can say it!
A delightful surprise last night as we arrived at the bus depot to pick up my mom. A young man in bare feet came smiling toward us exclaiming "Uncle Pete!" It was our nephew David. He was on his way to Keremeos to pick apples. It was quite a coincidence that we connected like that. He looked great and was in good spirits.
Now, don't weep copious tears about this, but...I will not be blogging until I return to Kelowna on Sunday or Monday. So, adieu until then...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back Yard Quails


Our backyard quail family. The dad in the foreground and mom and a few chicks in the back.
Theresa and Kyran left yesterday with our two oldest daughters:Mist and Tabs. Boo-hoo, I miss them already. But the girls were so excited to go. Mist will miss an orientation day at the new junior high school, but she said she was NOT going to miss a trip to Nelson. My mom will come Tuesday night so we can drive down to pick them up with the Pip. And, spend a few days in Washington and Idaho. There is this amazing amusement and water park in SILVERWOOD that we will try out and go to Spokane as well.
An amazingly busy time of year. I must sign girls up for: swimming, ballet, piano, & soccer starts. And I must start University, get my web site up, finish a painting and get ready for snowboarding season--buy helmets and narrow boots for all us girls as the regular boots are boxes without tops's on our feet. Snowboarding becomes about me just trying to keep my feet from lifting right out of the boot constantly.
Also I have to decide if I'm going back to the International writer's conference and get our trip to Florida all planned. So...these are the things I'm putting off until spring: horseback rising lessons, and adopting a dog.
Pip is such a darling. When peter and I play chess, she sits quietly until she figures it has to be time for her turn, and then she politely says, "my 'tune'." She is so precious. She and I had an ABBA dance party last night. She loves to dance like her mom and sisters.
Peter starts his teaching workshops this week--he is back to being very busy. No meeting at Starbucks for coffee this week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hayao Miyazaki Rocks

More stable pictures. Notice the rider's footwear: Footen-Voggens on Tabs and my 20 year old cowgirl clogs on Mist. Mist is going to be a tall girl. At 11, she and I already have the same size of feet. Although hers are even narrower than mine--AAAA.
I love going out to the stables to hang with all the animals. It has reminded me of how much I love living amongst all sorts of creatures. I am determined now, to definitely keep my eyes open for an acreage and get the girls horses and me a few chickens(eggs) . I may take lessons with the girls so I am prepared to raise horses. I know only what I learned from my dad as a kid and as my sisters know, I was the reluctant horse woman back then. Growing up as one of four girls makes one strive to find her independent way. And all of us sisters were all so similar in our interests in many ways, it made it hard to find a platform of individuality. So now, I am overwhelmed by my love for animals once again and want an acreage.
I've been meditating on life and everything is grand except I need to step up my painting, art sites and Uni work. That's what Buddha told me anyway (JK). Girls are out delivery a friend's news papers while he's on holidays. Theresa and KW come tomorrow to pick up Mist and Tabs and take them to Nelson on Sunday for a week of Kootney fun.



Have my name on a waiting list for a bulldogge. Faith and Nitro's pups. From a breeder in Calgary. They are sooo expensive but sooo cute.
I finally made first comment on the Globe and Mail. I commented on one of my all time favorite animators: Hayao Miyazaki. He has a new movie out in Japan. The girls and I are eager for it to hit Canada.
Kelowna is becoming the leading centre of dance. The summer school intensive that has always been held at the Banff School of Fine Arts (sponsored by the Canadian School of Ballet) has moved to Kelowna permanently. So all you little aspiring Ballerina's (Nemnuts) shall be in their element living in Kelowna. And yes, my girls attend the Canadian School of Ballet-kelowna. So I am excited for them too.
PS I'm trying to post super regularly for my readers. You're all welcome.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Horses and India





Tabi trotting or "posting" on Comet. She's fallen in love with him. Lucky thing Fiona said we could come back and visit any time. I am also considering private lessons for the girls as Fiona is a hands on teacher and they learn everything about their horse and do everything themselves. Fiona has parrots in her home, which we had the privilege of visiting this AM. Her African Grey is very intelligent--speaks full English and some French--but has a nasty disposition. They're like people some are sweet and some are cranky and mean. This goofy picture is of me, (PJ and his I Phone) in my Abba outfit, with carrot cake in hand, ready for the dinner party. It was fun. They served BBQ pizza. Marc's film was interesting: his dad was one of the UN's first scolarship recipients from Bolivia and choose to study at McGill in Montreal.

Tabs finally had that tooth out early this AM--a new dentist and he used laughing gas. When she arrived at the stables (Peter drove her) to meet us, she was crying but bravely trying not to. Good old Fiona in true style said "What's all that whaling and tears about?" then later on, after the lesson, she referred to Pip's bossy demands of me as "Sounding like a stuck pig." Yes, strangely enough, I like her anyway because she tells the most fascinating stories about India and horses.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pippity-Pop and Mommy too.


Pippi and I at the park last night watching Mist and Tabs practice biking around the ball diamond. Misty was the teacher, Tabs the student. The deal was that if Misty was a good teacher, and Tabs got an "A" for biking, then afterward we stopped for slurpies. It worked like a charm. Mist the enthusiastic teacher and Tabs the diligent student. No more agony for me as I attempt to get Tabs biking skills up and her complaining bitterly.
Peter took the photo on his new "I Phone." You'd think he'd bought himself the Porsche. He loves that thing. I must admit it is great--GPS, phone, camera and computer all in one.
Mist and Tabs riding instructor is not German I discovered. But a British colonial who was born and raised in Indian and moved to Kelowna at age 45. A fascinating woman and I am prying stories from her and she is eager to tell them.
Pip got us up 5 times in the night. I finally gave her Tylenol, believing it might be her teeth and then she finally slept.
Tabs abscess has flared up again. Will call this AM for more drugs and get her into a dentist today.
Dinner party tonight. I volunteered to make a carrot cake--my famous one with crushed pineapple and cream cheese frosting.
Gotta go to the stables...later.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trapalanda Stables

The girls at the stables. I really like their teacher--an older German woman who takes no nonsense. Tabs has met her match. The teacher told me yesterday, "She (Tabs) did very well at everything except one thing. She refused to feed the horse a treat because she said she didn't want horse slobber on her hand. WELL! I'd NEVER heard such a thing! I told her I'd rather horse slobber on me than her slobber." So, I asked, "Well, did she do it finally?" The teacher said, "Of course she did it! All my students do what I tell them." So I joked, "Do you want to take her to the dentist for me?"
We all spent a crazy early morning chasing a mouse around the house--Silver had one trapped under the chesterfield. FINALLY got it out the patio doors onto the front balcony. WE were nearly late for riding lessons.
An adorable quail family has a nest in our lavender in the back yard. They have about ten new-hatched chicks.They are so fun to watch. They get up each morning as a family and retire to the lavender each night like clock work. Will post pics soon.
3 I Pod docks from Future Shop--all three crap! Must return the latest one tonight. And it was an expensive model with a built in wolfer.
Pip is a little Starbucks addict. Every time we're out in the van she's yelling for "Chockie!"--her hot chocolate from Starbucks.
Painting is gradually starting to look a little better than a paint by numbers special. I always forget how hard painting is until I start a new one!

Monday, August 18, 2008

An Elephant Never Forgets

Check out comment #326 on The Globe and Mail on line article about Jean Cretien's comments about China:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080818.wchret0818/BNStory/National/home
I love that comment!

Dang it! The Globe cut off comments at 300, long after I'd commented. Blasted if my comment didn't get erased. So, here is my brilliant comment. I warn you though, the magic will be lost if you don't first read the original article.

"Jean Chretien does have a point. China is like an elephant--it never forgets. Yet still, if you kiss an elephant's bottom it doesn't necessarily prevent the elephant from sitting on you anyway."

Skim Boarding




HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM &DAD! Sorry, but due to technical difficulties,
I was unable to post this yesterday on your real anniversary.
Yesterday early Am Peter and I hiked down to the grocery store to buy some cream cheese and hiked back up the mountain. Only took us1.5 h. Then Tabs and I made the most delicious cinnamon buns in the universe, thanks to Miranda's recipe and Tabi's request. truly they were so good they should have been illegal. I make one treat per week as requested--each member of the family gets a weekend request. Next week Mist proposed lemon squares.
Went to the beach again last night and skim boarded as the photos show. Most difficult and not too many waves on Lake Okanagan.
Just dropped Mist and Tabs off at riding lessons. An impossible place to find considering there were no road signs due to road reconstruction. Managed to stumble apon the place out of sheer luck--I just followed the horses.
The farm has so many animals. Pippi loves it. They also have a Skipperkea (sp?)--Theresa. Reminds us of Hermie. They have a 3 day old filly who is absolutely the dearest little horse ever.
Every time a rooster crows, Pip answers back, "Doodle doodle do!"
Already freaking out about the fall and how I will manage: girls lessons, my sports, painting, writing and university. I can not possibly cook and clean our home. Yuck! Call me spoiled, but I signed up to be a Mom and an artist and not a housekeeper. Yes, but who will come and keep my home for us? As soon as my income starts to rise---I will start hiring like wild fire. I will have to hire a pt nanny though, because I want to paint a lot as well as all my uni work.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

MAMA MIA


I am the lucky recipient of this ABBA outfit that Theresa couldn't resist purchasing. When I put it on all I want to do is dance. T and K left super early this AM and because of the triathlon, Peter escorted them down the mountain through the maze to exit this place so they could catch a ferry to Salt Spring Island.
We went skimboarding last night--I loved it. I suck at it, of course, but the days are early and that is my challenge. Kelowna is perfect for the sport. The big girls and I can get up at the crack of dawn when the beaches are empty and practise. It is over 40 oc here today. This evening, once it cools down a wee but, we'll head back to the beach to practice some more. I fgure we'll go as far as we can go on lake water and be primed and ready for Florida's big waves in October. I can't help but feel it will help with my snowboarding as well. Excited about Florida. We had the privilege last time of seeing manatees in the wild off the Florida coast. I hope we get to see some again this time as the girls love manatees.
So nice to have Peter home for his first Saturday ever, it seems. Finishing his thesis has changed our family dynamics once again. Now he is working on his next important project for me, which is getting my art and book site up and running. I need it so desperately so I can approach galleries this fall and take my publisher search on a new path. The site will be incredible if all my plans come to fruition.
More Sally Ann finds. Yes, we picked up the flute at the music store yesterday and just had to slip inside. 3 more troll puzzles in mint condition (18 years old)! And a great music stand for Mistaya.
Potty training the Pip is still happening, yet it is hard because we're always off doing things away from home.
Hiked this Am and that's when I decided it is just too hot to go to the beach in the day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tugboat Beach


Pip on the legislature lawn with her "clean" camping face.
Went to the beach with my gals for a picnic lunch. A good thing too because Tugboat Beach (my favorite) is going to be closed for the next 3 days for triathlon activities. The water was so gorgeous today.
Painted again today--a wee bit. I like to edge myself gently into the whole process again because once I'm hooked, I'm a gonner.
Have a dinner invite next week for our family. A friend's film just got selected for shorts at the international film festival in Montreal. It's at his house so I hope we get to see his film "Kanadean"--about what it means to be a Canadian with international parents. Hey, all of us Canadians can relate to that. We're nearly all products of first or second generation immigrants. Theresa, Kyran and dogs arrive tomorrow night for a short stop over.
I've been researching my Olde English Bulldogges and have found the Bulldogges of my dreams--new pups sooo cute. His web site was in French so I assumed Quebec. Alas, France. 1500 Euros a pup. That with the flight and taxes...not any time soon unless an unexpected trip to France happens in the next 6 months. Girls are wild tonight. Wrestle, wrestle, wrestle!!!
Loved the German movie "The Lives of Others." Why oh why do people label fascism communism? It just isn't! And Carl Marx would be horrified. I wonder sometimes if our family name of Mix wasn't just Marx?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Are You Strong Enough to be a Mom?

These photos were taken at the secluded waterfall that we hiked to in Goldstream Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. It was paradise in its beauty.

Now about that title... Tabitha and her tooth. Yes, that same tooth that needed to be filled has abscessed. And no...all that meditation and counselling I gave her was not everlasting. Things started spiraling from bad to worse at the dentist yesterday. I had Peter on the cell to her in the chair. She'd bargained us up to a 30$ gift from Toys R Us afterward. I knew it wasn't going to happen even with all the promises of rose gardens etc. After heoroic attempts, the dentist gave up on her and now she sits with an abscessed tooth and no one willing to pull it. Peter has researched a dentist rumoured to be patient so we will give him a try. No more Ms. Nice-Guy though, her behavior must improve.
I found out my flute will cost $500 to repair so it looks like we'll by Mistaya a new one. And it just so happens that the Salvation Army store was right beside the music store today. The girls begged me to let them go in. I said no initially because I find all those old clothes rather depressing for some reason, maybe because I occasionally run into things I've donated in the past. Anyway, I caved and ended up spending $!60 in that place! But hold on...someone had just dropped off an antique mint condition dresser and vanity from the 1930's. The mirror still has its original sticker on the front of it. I also got a mint Monopoly game for $1 and a mint troll puzzle for 75 cents (Mist collects troll stuff). The Sally Ann made a lot off me today.
Finally started my cougar painting again and feel much better for it. Painted to my latest ABBA downloads and loved it. Took all three girls hiking around the back of the mountain this AM. Pip in her bike stroller--in 3 places it is so steep and slippery, that I have trained Tabs and Mist to run when I yell "Help!" and all 3 of us push our hardest to get the thing up the trail without losing it down the mountain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crossing the Georgia Strait to Hotel Vancouver



One of the adult orcas and a baby Peter photographed from the ferry last Wednesday. You can see the fins of some of the others in the water.

Here we are at the Fairmont, taking Mavis, the hotel dog for her walk. Mavis is quite the girl. I'm convinced she's autistic from all the mauling she constantly receives at the hotel. And as for her walks, she pulls, big time--it's a good thing I lift weights. And she's a garbage can--I had to keep her from nibbling on all and any disgusting bits she came upon in down town Vancouver. She got her chops on something rather crunchy and bone like--she refused to open up and drop it for me. So, if you hear anything about famous Mavis coming down with a nasty case of the trots...don't breath a word about this blog.
Now back to the present, I must confess being in Victoria inspired me. Everything there is about tea and sweets. And I am the biggest tea fan. I drink it all of the time: black, green, white, oolong, you name it, I love it. And sweets? I have the biggest sweet tooth I know. So, I baked a cake today with Mistaya. A lemon, raspberry tea cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. It was in honour of my birthday last week. We did manage to bring a Dairy Queen ice cream log back to the camp site in our cooler before it turned into a puddle, but I wanted to treat myself to a proper cake baked by me. I love to bake. I must confess, I make the most delectable sweet desserts. Yet, I almost never allow myself to bake, as I don't like to eat too many sweets. So yes, baking the cake was a birthday present in itself, to myself.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Goldstream, Vancouver Island, BC

'Elliot' our 8 inch long pet slug at camp.
From this enchanted forest came creatures to our site in the night. And a tree fell, shaking the ground under our tent like an earth quake.

The Kiss.

Girls just want to have fun--and feel cozy during long, nippy nights!

Dance competition at the campsite.

Friday, August 8, 2008

French Beach, Vancouver Island,BC










OK, I am a junkie. It's lightening and thundering out there, and here I sit in the dark with my computer screen to guide me as I desperately post some of my favorite trip pics.
1 Mistaya and Tabitha playing on a giant tree root washed up onto the beach.
2 Peter, Penelope and I walking in the morning.
3 Mistaya and I running on the beach.
4 Us...on the giant tree root.




Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fairmont--Hotel Vancouver, BC

OMG. We've arrived. Looking like a pack of Okanagan Hill Billies, in desperate need of a shower, clean clothes and one diaper change. Only to have to wait for too long for the hotel to prepare our room. Roughing it in the wild island bush for a week with three children is interesting and exhausting. And we were roughing it: toilet a five minute walk from our tent as were arctic ice cold showers. I literally developed the early stages of hypothermia on the two days I actually showered. My hair took so long to dry under the tall, full canopy of trees in our camp site. All my fingers went totally numb--I had no feeling in them at all. Not until a trip in the van into Victoria when they started to thaw out and the pain was considerable.
Aside from the heroic details of our survival, it was an awesome trip full of amazing adventures. The last one being a pod of orca's beside the ferry this morning--three adults and two babies. I have so much to tell and so many cool pictures to share but I will wait until we return home this weekend. But to give an overview, our trip included: secluded waterfalls and swimming holes, ocean beach combing, historic mansion tours, Imax film, critters outside our tent at night,legislature tour, BC's 150th B day celebrations, Pip and I as trivia stars on stage at the camp ground naturalist presentation, running through the forest with Pip to catch site of the passenger train every morning, swimming to the rock island in the Sooke potholes.