Garden Party

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to host a garden party. You know what I mean: dazzling white lights, fresh garden produce, the best of friends sharing a meal together, and maybe even a bit of excess wine…

After months of deliberating about when said garden party should occur, we ultimately decided that August 31 would be the perfect date to celebrate the end of summer. We planned the Gatsby’esque affair and invited our favourite people to come celebrate with us. From the elaborate and creative costumes to the roasted fresh veggies (straight out of the greenhouse, I might add), to the dazzling light show that my wonderful husband created, it was a smashing success.

First stop: greenhouse to harvest beets, tomatoes, and carrots

Then we enlisted the help of our guests to prep the veggies:

I made an heirloom tomato, flat leaf parsley & blue cheese salad with these gems:

We set a table for 12 outside on the patio:At twilight we all sat down for the feast and spent the rest of the evening sitting around the table, eating, drinking, and relaxing.

I think this is up there (as far as my favourite events go) with the winter fire that took place in March. It was a great time to celebrate the friends we have, the success of the greenhouse, and the beautiful place that we live. Based on the success of the incredible evening I am thinking that this will become an annual affair!

Advertisements

Changes

Somehow it’s the end of August already. I remember when we were longing for spring, not believing the snow would ever melt, and suddenly here we are at the end of summer, with overnight temperatures creeping dangerously close to freezing, heralding the arrival of fall.

Last Sunday was my birthday and I was fortunate enough to get to share it with many new northern friends, as well as with friends and family around the country through good old snail mail. It was a good opportunity to stop and reflect on all the wonderful people who are a part of my life. Thank you!

While we’ve been neglecting the blog, we’ve been busy making big life changes and decisions. Jess got a big promotion at work, and in order to avoid her being my boss, I’ve decided it’s time to move back to my true love, Vancouver. (That’s a joke – my decision to move had nothing to do with Jess becoming my boss…)

I’ve appreciated every minute of my time in the north. I’ve learned and grown more in the last nine months than I think I ever have. Most notably, I’ve learned to live simpler and with more intention. As I plan to continue this way of living when I head back to “civilization,” we are hoping to continue this blog with gusto. So don’t stop visiting! We’ll have all sorts of adventures in deliberate living to share with you in the fall.

Summer Knitting Update

It probably doesn’t get mentioned enough: I love knitting. That means that even though the warm weather is finally here, my needles are still clicking. Here are a few of the things I’ve been working on lately.

I’ve been wanting to knit something with Noro yarn for a while. When I finally got my hands on some a few months ago, I knew some simple socks were in order. I may or may not have been procrastinating knitting Rob’s slippers when I knit these guys. Now I just have to wait for the cool weather to come back so I can get some serious use out of them.

 

 

 

Here are the above-mentioned slippers! My friend Rob commissioned these way back in April and I assured him they would be in the mail within a few weeks. The pattern was just so simple, I was sure I’d have them knit up in no time. Instead, the first try was too long and skinny and the second try was too short and fat. Third try was the charm, though, and I’m happy to report that Rob was pretty excited when I hand-delivered them a couple weekends ago. Unfortunately, we forgot to get some pics of him modeling them.

 

I started this stripey beach bag last summer and didn’t quite finish it. It’s still not completely done – a few ends to weave in, a good blocking, and maybe some fabric sewn inside – but I’m pretty happy with the outcome so far. Now to just finish it up and fill it with goodies for all the lakeside adventures we’ve been having!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, my current favourite project: for the second summer in a row, I’ve joined the annual Stephen West Mystery Shawl KAL! Along with a few thousand other knitters on Ravelry, every week for a month I get the next clue in the pattern sent to my inbox. This is what I have so far, after a little more than a week of knitting. I’ll be sure to post the end results!

it was a warm summer night so i decided to make a cup of peppermint tea

You probably don’t happen to google ‘burns lake weather’ as much as I do (which is obsessively), but if you do, you would know that the past week has been unusually HOT! With this burst of warm weather came days and evenings spent lounging on party island, soaking up all the sun possible in order to off set those -40 degree days, and entertaining wonderful out of town visitors.

One set of recent visitors persuaded me to pick up (and by pick up I really mean invest in amazon.com and wait two weeks for my order to arrive) Home Made, an incredible DIY cookbook that is quirky and fun to read (not to mention well worth the wait), but also boasts tricks and straightforward recipes that work well in rural locations where Whole Foods is less than local. Plus, it happens to cater to my love for all things homemade.

When the temperatures dropped this evening, I opened up my new book and got excited about all of the amazing possibilities! I realized that Friday Night Dinners aren’t enough, I need to host more parties, start Sunday brunches, and invite guests for afternoon tea!!! However, while that wasn’t really a possibility tonight, Yvette’s recipes for homemade tea got me thinking about the peppermint exploding in my greenhouse…

After some careful reading and creative thought, I decided I could probably forgo the usual tea bag and opt instead for a few sprigs of fresh mint. Who knew!?

Needless to say, I am pretty impressed. Enough that I decided to document my tea adventure. The tea is sweeter, smoother, and far less aggressive than its boxed counterpart. I may never buy tea again!

With my first adventure complete, I plan to stay up all night reading and re-reading this amazing cookbook. Don’t worry, I will let you know how it turns out.

northern BC camping (aka camping in the rain)

A few weeks back we decided to camp in honour of Canada Day (which, by the way, was this weekend, for all of you foreigners), well before reading the weather forecast. Friday afternoon, as the week-long rains continued to pour over our little village, I cautiously asked a few colleagues whether northerners are ever deterred by inclement weather. They assured me that true northerners are not and that a little rain shouldn’t deter our trip, even if we were planning to sleep in a tent.

I should interject here that throughout my childhood, my family spent summers doing what I thought was hardcore outdoorsy camping, but now understand to be a more glamourous, fair weather only, car-camping kind of camping. Those sunny experiences might also have had something to do with the pool, candy shop, and the 2 minute commute to the local Ellensburg Starbucks…

As those sunny experiences are my only camping experiences to draw from, I certainly wasn’t sure what to make of a camping trip scheduled in the rain. However, being the true northerner that I am, I pressed on and, despite the continued Friday night rain, Saturday was gorgeous and we enjoyed spending time outside around a campfire with great friends and family. I even had a chance to take some beautiful pictures of Francois Lake.

Cam cooked up this amazing breakfast on Saturday morning using the camp stove (for the first time) that we received from my brother as a wedding gift a couple of years ago. Thanks, Josh!

And then it started raining again early on Sunday morning. We decided we should buy a camper for next time. In any case, Happy Canada Day!

fresh produce!

I have been so busy eating this delicious produce that writing about it hasn’t really been a priority. But, I am taking advantage of this rainy evening to show you all of the new and exciting things that are growing in the greenhouse! I had to rig up this elaborate ribbon system to support the crazy growth of the sweet peas and cucumbers: Compare this to this from just a few weeks ago!

And of course, the best gardening pal in the world 🙂

I have to admit that despite the fact that things are blooming and the sweet peas are producing, nothing is really making giant leaps and bounds towards actual veggies! I even pulled up a carrot, hoping for a bright, orange carrot. I expected it to be small, but it was pretty much nonexistent. Apparently gardeners learn patience through this process too. I am, however, hopeful that the tumbler tomatoes will start turning orange whenever our next big heat wave comes to town. I will keep you posted!


First Swim of the Season!

Here’s grainy, cellphone pic proof that three of us jumped into the lake on Friday night. It was ridiculously cold, but oh-so worth it! A little hot-tubbing afterward definitely helped get the blood flowing again. And yes, we did jump in while wearing our clothes. And yes, that IS party island – the best blow-up toy ever invented. Get yourself to your nearest Costco – even if it is 2.5 hours away – and buy one!