Sunday, September 15, 2013

falling in love again

The other day I headed off, again, to Grand Forks, ND to pick up the rest of our belongings in storage. It was a great day - all to myself.  I needed that time alone quite badly.... I don't think I knew how much I needed it until I had it.  And it was good.  And I fell in love again.... with my new old home.
 I have been struggling with being here - struggling a lot.  And I am still to some extent - but I have rediscovered the passion I have for the prairies.... the passion that I have had for my entire life, save the last few months.
 These sunflower pictures were taken the first day I returned, with my mom, to Grand Forks for the first load.  It was a beautiful, hot, hot day and I had to stop to capture these beautiful flowers.   That was August 28th.
A week and two days later - September 6th - the flowers looked like this.
 Just a few days of some very intense heat and those same bright sunny fields were full of dark, heavy heads, almost ready for harvest.
While the sunny yellow flowers are more cheery and "beautiful", it was the second day in which I had a distinct moment where I realized that I was back in love.  The fields, the trees (there are a lot, just not in the space between Steinbach and Winnipeg!), and most especially, the sky and clouds.  I have always loved, loved, loved the sky.  I am constantly wanting to take pictures of the clouds/sky even though I am often in a car or some place where you just can't do it justice.

Another thing I love is the people.  I've been going to a lot of garage and yard sales lately and chatting it up with the locals.  They are wonderful people, as a whole.  Plus, they are selling a whole lot of stuff that I am super excited about for great prices.  I have a garage full of projects - so excited!!  
On my way back from Grand Forks, for example, I stopped at a yard sale.  While I'm not picturing anything I did buy there (I'm sure I'll do that yet), there were some dandies at this sale, to be sure! Anyway who wanted to furnish their place in circa 70s would have been in for a real treat!  For example, take this lamp with a two foot (at least) tall gold, crushed velvet shade.... and just for a dollar!
 Then they had a matching pair of these also very very large lamps (the shades were even bigger... I'm guessing over 2.5 feet) with opalescent bases that were huge!  If these lamps would have been half the size, they would have been mine - $4 for the pair - but since I would have to have a 3500 sq ft house to have enough space for them, I left them for some one else.
Over and over again I have found treasure after treasure and have had to exercise great restraint in not going overboard.  Eric would state that he doesn't believe I have exercised any..... but he is wrong!  One day I went to a sale with Mia and my niece and came home with a cool little chair for $5.  It will be reupholstered in some fun fabric.  In the meantime, my niece decided that it would be a cool ride home to be buckled up in that chair instead of the car seat (they were folded down).
 And then there are the other things I love to do - stuff that is really trendy right now (including the above thrifting and refinishing type stuff I like) - but stuff that is just regular life for people here - well, many people.  Gardening, harvesting and preserving food for the winter.  Making jams, jellies, pickles, sauces, preserving fruit, etc.  Like my sister-in-law making spaghetti sauce and salsa with the vegetables from her garden.
I am so stinking excited to have a garden next summer.   Hopefully my black thumb will miraculously figure out that I have to have inherited a green thumb and it will be ousted....  I did get into the excitement, however, and with some lovely strawberries, made jam (preserved in jars purchased at a garage sale, of course).

 A thing of beauty.
 I even took time to make beautiful labels for my jam.  Hahahahahahaha.
 And then there is fall.  Oh, how I have missed fall.  Oh, how I love fall.
Today we had our first taste - a mere sip.  We went to some local farms that were open for "Farm Days".  Many farms - from alpaca to organic growers to dairies to horse ranches - the whole gamut - throughout Manitoba, were open to the public to come and visit.  There were many I really wanted to go to, some of the types listed above, but they were a bit to much of a drive for what we were able to do today.  So we hit a Christmas tree farm and a horse ranch - the ranch were my sister and her kids have their horse and take lessons.  The whole day reawakened in me the past dormant desire to have a hobby farm and do agro-tourism.  Now I am in full desire again.....
While the one place is a Christmas tree farm, they were in fall mode with lots of pumpkins and gourds to go around.

 Originally they were supposed to have horse drawn rides, but were having issues, so the tractor filled in.  No worries, the tractor was fine.
 The host stopped here and there to show us / inform us about various farm highlights.  We also stopped at a small pumpkin patch where the kids could pick their own to take home.

 After a little more perusing and the purchase of some beautiful gourds and such, we headed out to Cloud 9 Ranch, home of Monaco Loewen - my sister's horse.
 Her three girls, my lovely nieces, participated in demonstrations - things they learn in riding lessons.   While I haven't blogged about it yet, I have a zillion pictures of them competing two weekends ago in a weekend of riding shows that we went to.  It was so fun and the kids all want riding lessons now.  I told them we would probably have to wait until mom and dad have a little more income than none.....
 Riley was trying to get Monaco to play a little soccer, but she was not cooperating very well.
 Timaya and Riley demonstrated vaulting for the audience.  I was a pretty proud auntie, I must say.

Shandy was also doing some demos but we couldn't stay for it all, unfortunately.  Good thing we saw her doing a lot of stuff the other weekend or we would have been very unhappy about having to leave.

 After a lovely day at the farms, we came home (my mom's) to more wonderful Manitoba-ness....  fresh corn for dinner.  The kids and Eric did the shucking, although they were none too happy about it (the kids, that is).  They've got to get used to a lot more manual labour again.... they've been living large much too long.

Wonderful, fresh produce has been seen every where.  My dad and Rose dropped off a bunch of treasures from their garden, the thrift store was selling the most delicious and beautiful cherry tomatoes I have ever had, friends are handing out bags and bags full of vegetables.  It has been a bountiful year.  Here's hoping the the Ackermann garden of 2014 will be much the same!

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