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Holidays Life Uncategorized

Happy Anniversary

Back in July my husband and I celebrated our 21st Anniversary. This year we ordered a pizza and watched a movie at home. It wasn’t a fancy evening out but that’s not what we like anyway. He likes going to restaurants and we have a really great one about 30 minutes away called Turtle Grove, which is where we usually end up going. This year though we both had to work early and the kids were spending time with Grandma and Grandpa so we took the opportunity and decided to watch tv! We ate what we wanted and watched what we wanted…nothing can top that haha! Hopefully next year we can get back to our yearly vacations.

The following adventure was from a 2017 in Drumheller, Alberta. It was so hot the entire time we were there (above 30). The year before we went there as well and we took the kids. We all had a blast and I’m pretty sure they sat on 98% of the dinosaurs around town. We didn’t have the chance to do any of the grown up things. Once we decided to do the Drumheller trip again with just us, I got straight to work with finding all the things that I wanted to accomplish.

We took a tour of the Atlas Coal Mine, had supper at The Last Chance Saloon in Rosedale, took a stroll across the suspension bridge, watched a spectacular sunset at Horsethief Canyon, explored the Hoodoos, had a history lesson during the Guided Ghost Walk and so much more! With the kids in 2016 we went to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, visited the World’s Largest Dinosaur, went to the parks, and enjoyed some amazing short walks around the neighborhood.

Drumheller is such a beautiful place and if you have the chance you should be sure to visit. It has something for everyone to do, this isn’t just a dinosaur town 😀

Hope you’re having a great week so far!

-Ang

Categories
Life Uncategorized

Lake Day

I can’t believe how fast the time is going. My youngest just turned six and is about to start grade 1 in a couple of weeks. We celebrated his birthday at the lake where my husband’s family has a cabin. It was my first time there this year and it was so relaxing. All the cousins got to spend time in the water and they had so much fun just being kids.

Not a whole lot else got done that weekend. I worked until 9:30 Saturday night and then we got things packed up to go Sunday morning. Myself and 5 kids stayed over until Monday which was an interesting experience to say the least.

Sunday was hot. It was above 30 and mostly uncomfortable. Even down by the water was hot when there is usually a cooler breeze to be enjoyed. It started to get smoky in the late afternoon and smokier still as the evening wore on. I love to get sunset pictures down on the beach but they will have to be done another time.

The kids were up past midnight and out of bed by 5:30 so they were pretty worn out. My 11 year old insisted he was not tired but almost fell asleep on the way home and by 7 he had passed out on the couch while he siblings were fighting. We left him alone because it was much quieter LOL!

I remember fighting with my sister while we were growing up but I don’t think it was as bad as my kids do. Or maybe it was and I just don’t remember? Apparently sibling rivalry has been around since the beginning of time.

Hope you are having a great summer so far!

-Ang

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Life Uncategorized

Hello August

Jackfish Lake, SK- The sun is about to set in the smoky sky

I sit here sipping my coffee which is now starting to get cold. I’m not outside this morning because I have have a bunch of computer work to catch up on and it’s drizzling enough to not have my laptop outside. We need the rain but I know it won’t add up to be much. They’re saying less than a millimeter. Over the last couple of months I have watched our marshes dry up and the ditches go brown. My rainwater reserves ran dry long ago. I’m grateful we have a good sand point so we can still water the garden without fear of running our well dry.

The fires this year are horrendous. They always are but the dry conditions are making it more dangerous for everyone. We’ve had a couple of fires within 25-30 minutes of our home but they were small and easily contained. We have been lucky in our area. The families further north have many more fires to worry about!

Are there any fires that are close to where you are?

A group of elk is commonly known as a herd but may also be referred to as a gang

It’s so hard to believe that August is here. We were finally able to spend a day at the lake as a family 🙂 I worked my very last shift at my job this past Saturday and so we just filled the next coupe of days with a little much needed r&r! We headed to my sister’s place for a quick little visit and got to see some wildlife on the way home. We also went past an elk farm and though they aren’t wild elk, the kids still really enjoyed seeing them.

Making ripples of fun in the water

We headed back home afterwards and got things ready to spend a couple of hours down at the lake. The two oldest kids went fishing while the youngest wanted nothing more than to play in the water so that’s what we did. We all had a great day. After the sun set, the big dragonflies all came out to show off their flying skills while they had their bedtime snacks. We set off for home after enjoying the show for awhile to get the kids to bed so we could go back the next day for more fun, fishing and sun.

In the slideshow below I have an adorable chipmunk that took me a million tries to get just one photo that was acceptable. My daughter out swimming where it shows the smoke over the lake. Normally we can see the other side of the lake quite clearly. The next one is my oldest with the 3 pound Jack (otherwise known as a northern pike) he caught. And lastly is another shot of the lake showing how thick the smoke was. We have had thicker smoke but we stay inside whenever possible.

I have a few photos from my drives into work from my last couple of shifts. I am going to miss those early morning drives watching the sunrises ❤ I won’t miss the 4am alarm though LOL.

Foggy mornings are always so beautiful and my camera just doesn’t do these images justice. The fog was dancing gleefully in the low ditches, swirling happily through the trees and fence posts. If only I had time to get out and listen, I’m sure I would’ve heard playful laughter before it all began to lift as the sun got higher in the sky. The cemetery is just on the other side of the highway from my little village. I’m forever in awe in the beauty there. I used the noir filter for this shot, of course because of the fog. The reality was a different feeling all together. It was mysterious as the orange hues of morning shone through the fog, instead of the spooky feeling I tried to create here.

What did you do for the long weekend?

Have a beautiful week everyone!

-Ang

Categories
cooking family meals home-making Life

Happy Monday with a Recipe

Yesterday was a slow and relaxing day here in the Lukas household. We slept in a little and had a light breakfast. The kids watched tv and fought for most of the morning. I threatened to take screen privileges away and it got better for the next couple of hours. I went for a nap while the hubby made vegetable beef barley soup and whipped up some chili for chili cheese dip later this week. Later in the evening we played Pie Face since we had two cans of whipped cream I was planning to use for a cream pie but since we couldn’t buy the ingredients for it, we used the whipped cream in a much more fun way!

Our isolation was lifted for half a day. I was able to go back to work on Saturday and then was sent home after a few hours. Unfortunately they announced an outbreak in our local school. There are at least 2 cases in my son’s Kindergarten class. It saddens me to think of the poor littles at home sick with this nasty covid. My heart aches for their parents who must be sick with worry. So we’re all back in isolation. I didn’t even get to the library LOL. I thought I was out of books but then I remembered I had bought a book about my Grandpa. I started reading it yesterday and I’m looking forward to finishing it and knowing a little more about him. I’ll include a link here to the article that was written in the Dawson Creek Mirror.

The Barley-Beef Soup that we enjoyed yesterday and today came from Better Homes and Gardens Limited Edition (Breast Cancer)

  • 12 ounces beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 14-ounce cans of beef broth (or 7 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup celery (1 stalk)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or basil, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup 1/2 inch slices peeled parsnips or cubed peeled potato
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1. In a Dutch oven brown meat in hot oil. Stir in broth, onion, celery, oregano, black pepper, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.

2. Stir in frozen vegetables, undrained tomatoes, parsnip, and barley. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! I’m looking forward to it warming up (finally!) over the next couple of days and soon getting outside for a bit of a walk! Yes! The walking is coming along and once the snow gets melting a little, I’ll feel comfortable enough to get out there 😀

-Ang

Categories
Life Uncategorized

The Grandpa I Never Knew

I received a phone call last week from Campbell River, British Columbia. One that I have to admit, I love seeing on my phone lately. A call that less than a decade ago was not something I would ever have foreseen. One that always needs to be followed by a few quiet, thoughtful moments.

These calls always contain a story or two, a tiny life lesson of sort that is followed by a short bible verse and an appreciated “I love you” at the end. They’re never longer than about 10 minutes but always 10 minutes that I can make time for as the kids run amok behind the scenes making crazy noises and messes that I allow for that short time. These calls always leave me in happy tears with many thankful thoughts. There was a time a few years ago that I had called him in Tumbler Ridge and he didn’t even remember who I was. This call comes from my Grandfather on my bio dad’s side.

This is the French side, the side that was secret for 27 years of my life. I met my bio-dad for the first time in 2013 and that’s when he reached out to his dad to tell him we had found each other. The two had lost contact for over 2 decades. I met my grandfather the next year in 2014. He had drove all the way from Tumbler Ridge BC to North Battleford SK to have coffee with all of us and headed back the same day. I was disappointed that we couldn’t have more time. In 2015 he stopped again on his way back home to Quebec to visit family for Christmas, again we only had a couple of hours. I spent time with a friend in Grande Prairie Alberta in 2018 and my bio-dad travelled the rest of the way to Tumbler to spend some time with his dad. I picked him up there and again was able to spend about 2 hours having coffee and a quick meal with him. This time though, I was able to meet his wife, Betty. She was such a nice woman 🙂 I really enjoyed my time with her. I had spoke with her many times on the phone and the only other reference to her that I had was she was the one who told my bio-dad that my mom had got married all those years ago. He claims this is the reason that he moved back to Quebec. Personally, I don’t think it would have made a difference because my family already had a restraining order against him.

Betty has been in a nursing home for the last 2 years and my grandfather had to make a 17 hour drive to see her. He was only able to go for a few days every couple of months. Her mind has been slipping for years now, she has dementia. He can see her every day now…Well, not now because of the pandemic but before the numbers were high he was able to visit for an hour each day. I would love to be able to see her again before she doesn’t remember me, if it’s not already too late but that’s impossible right now. Betty is not my paternal grandmother by blood but she was already married to my grandfather when I was born. I found a note in my baby book saying that I had received a gift from “Gilles and Betty Goddard” and I had questioned who they were long ago. I believe the answer to that question was that they were some friends that my mom had lost contact with. I have a picture of him and I just days after I was born. The one and only time he visited before everything changed. My bio dad was told no more visits unless he accompanied by an officer or his father. He ended up back in jail and I don’t really know what happened after that. My grandfather apparently said he wasn’t going to help and he and Betty moved to BC (they had been in Lloyd) and my bio dad moved back to Quebec.

I still don’t really the reason behind my grandfather talking to me now. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I love that we can have conversations now, especially since he is 85 years young. He keeps mentioning that he knows things aren’t well with my father and I and I have to wonder if that’s the reason he reached out. My half-brother still lives in Quebec and he told my half-sister that he wants nothing to do with me as long as I have contact with our father. I can understand that and I totally respect his decision, though it still hurts my heart just a little to know that. Maybe one day.

Hope everyone is staying safe!

-Ang