Monday, May 31, 2010

Colour on a Rainy Day

When the rain is coming down and the skies are grey

it's nice to have a splash of colour here and there in the yard.

This Clematis climbed to the second story balcony and had to be photographed from there.

My "Nellie Moser" and "Duchess of Edinburgh" Clematis in full bloom.

And the Rhodos - filling the windows with colour.

(They will need a severe pruning after they finish blooming!)

And last, but not least - the delicate petals of a Snowball bush.

They are blooming profussly this year despite the rain.
I could take a lesson from them and bloom brightly even when the skies are grey.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Trip to Alberta - Scenes from the Road

These pictures taken on our way back to BC are worth sharing.
What stories could these buildings tell?

One of the many Ukrainian Orthodox churches which add richness to the smallest of towns.

Coming over a hill - our first view of the Rocky Mountains

Spring is evident everywhere - Lilacs in bloom, fields turning green and these adorable foals.

The crisp, clear view in the early morning of a gorgeous day.

The magnificance of mountains and lakes.

In the town of Bruderheim; an unremarkable looking restaurant ;

A remarkable meal.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fort McMurray

Harv and I packed up our camper and a covered trailer full of equipment and headed up to Fort McMurray in northern Alberta last week.

For those of you unfamiliar with this town, it is the centre of the Oil Sands industry in Canada. It was a town built to accomodate its population of 30,000, but with the rapid expansion of the oil sands, it quickly outgrew its infrastructure and now boasts a population of 70,000 or more. Many of the people working there live in camps but those who try to find housing for their families find real estate and rental housing at a premium. Even hotel rooms are hard to come by although that has improved in the past year as more hotels have been built. Even so, the last time Harv was up there, his hotel rooms ranged from $200. - $300. /night! Not what you'd expect in a town 5 hours North of Edmonton.
Because of the high cost of hotels and meals, we opted to take the camper and I came along to do the cooking and to keep Harv company in the evenings and on the long drive (15-18 hours one way). I love going along when we take the camper. I bring books to read and various projects to keep myself busy and I love cooking in my little tin tent. This time I worked on one of my photo books and sorted through my old binder of recipes, throwing out unused recipes and organizing those I use regularly.

Fort McMurray is one of the few places I know that has traffic jams heading out to seemingly nowhere. The various oil companies have their operations in territory that can be 100 km from the town and there are 2 and 3 lane highways heading out to the oil sand sites and the same number of lanes coming back to the town. At shift change times, the highway is bumper to bumper with buses, pick-up trucks and service vehicles. Every so often all the vehicles on the road have to pull over to the shoulder in order to let trucks with MASSIVE loads go by.

Truck boxes for the largest trucks in the world, sections of new plant construction and nameless components that defy description - all have to be transported to the various sites.

Being in the oil filtration business, there are a lot of applications for our products in Fort McMurray. Harv's job this trip was to demonstarate how our filtration units can clean the oil in the wheel planetaries of some of those huge trucks. Because of the very viscous (thick) oil, this has been difficult to do. However our equipment did the job in an efficient and remarkable way. I'm very proud of my husband who devised a way to solve the problems
Here is a comparison of the dirty oil before filtration and the clean oil after it's been filtered. This oil is very expensive and when it is contaminated with dirt and water, it damages the working parts. So using our system can save the companies huge amounts of money in maintenence costs.

It was a successful trip and we are excited with the positive results and the enthusiastic response from our customer.

(I'd hoped to post a few more pictures but our server is down and with it, access to the pictures I need, so it will have to wait until later)

More on our trip in the next post.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Anniversay

This weekend marks two important dates for our family.
First - my parents' anniversary.
They were married on May 15th, 1948 in Ontario and
remained committed to each other for 60 years.
Secondly, the second anniversary of my Mom's passing.
On May the 16th, 2008, the day after their 60th anniversary,
my mom passed away suddenly in her sleep leaving us all in shock.
Today I want to remember both events and honour my parents' marriage,
my Mom who is in Heaven and my Dad who is still here with us, in good health.
Dad - you and mom showed us by your example
the meaning of faithfulness and committment in marriage.
Thank you.
Janet and I and our families have been so thankful for you both.
Like you, we miss Mom and want you to know that not a day goes by
that we do not think of her and miss her.
May you celebrate the good memories and know that
we are praying for you and that we love you.
Love, Bev and Harv

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two days in Vancouver

Mothers Day this year fell on the same day as the opening of the Canadian Institute of Mining Trade Show in Vancouver. Klassen Specialty Hydraulics (our company) had a booth at this show and Harv and Rick had to attend the opening in the evening. So we decided to celebrate Mother's Day in Vancouver. Rick and Adele and Harv and I headed into the city after church and spent some time walking around the waterfront area and then had supper before heading to the show. It was a gorgeous day and it set off the beauty of Vancouver to perfection.

The show was held at the new Vancouver Trade and Convention Facility on the waterfront downtown. What a fabulous building! It's won numerous environmental awards as it uses many "Green" technologies and techniques including a marine habitat at it's base, and a six acre "living" roof that features 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses (we even saw wild strawberries in bloom) and 4 beehives. It is a massive building with so much space in its public areas.

The views from the Convention Centre look out to Vancouver's North Shore. The stylized drop of water on the plaza beside the Convention Centre represents the rain, and sea in Vancouver.

Harv and Rick posed in front of the massive mining truck tire that sat at the entrance to the hall.
A 5 member pipe and drum corps opened the Mining Show - making a very impressive entrance as they played their way into the building and down the long escalator.

For our booth, Harv and Rick designed this big mining truck tire and hub display to set off the filtration system Harv devised to deal with very high viscosity (thick) oil. It's received alot of attention and we are pleased with the customer interest it's generated. Didn't they do a great job?

Monday I took my Dad in to Vancouver to visit the trade show.
We took the sky train from Surrey and had an enjoyable and hassle free commute to the city.

After lunch we toured the show and then walked around the convention centre for awhile, admiring its wonderful design. The day was glorious and once again we couldn't help but be impressed by this beautiful city.

The Pan Pacific Hotel and its attached convention centre - known locally as "The Sails" If you haven't visited Vancouver on the West Coast of BC, try to do so. It must be one of the world's most beautiful cities.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

As Mothers Day approaches, the reminders to buy or do something for our moms are everywhere. This is the second year since my mom left for her Heavenly Home so I can't do anything tangible for her anymore. However I can remember her love for our family, follow her example and praise God for her influence in my life.

Something else I can do is honour the mothers that are following me.

My Daughter and Daughter in Law are amazing mothers to their kids - our grandchildren.
Dulci and Chris: I am so thankful for the way you are raising your children
all the while treating them with love and great respect.
I am in awe of how willingly you sacrifice your own interests and time to play with your children - teasing them, laughing with them, finding things for them to do
that are exciting and bring them delight.
You are compassionate when they are hurt, understanding when they are upset
and you teach them by example to follow Christ - to forgive one another,
to be accountable for their behaviour and attitudes and to show kindness to others.

As all mothers strive to do, you teach new skills, emphasize the importance of good manners, encourage their creative abilities and look after their physical needs.

Today I honour you both
and pray that you will keep close to God and look to Him for guidance and direction.
May you continue to find much joy in this important and influential role.