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Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

Fruits of the Sea

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I enjoy eating all sort of seafoods especially when they are fresh out of the sea.

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During my recent camping trip, an especially fun and thrilling highlight was when our group had to get our hands and feet dirty to gather some of those fruits of the sea.

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Feet were soaked in the mud and it was pretty invigorating when we dug out clams after clams from the muddy seashore.

After carefully spraying away the dirt from the shells, we pleasurably enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

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We hopped from rock to rock along the white shell beach to hunt for fresh oysters for our seafood pasta.

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Harvesting the masculine orange-brown red rock crabs was always the highlight of the camping trip.

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We steamed the whole crabs and fried some with spicy hot chilly; and these finger licking good dishes were often reserved for our late night snack.

Gnawing away the chunky and juicy meaty crabs over a glass of white wine was simply crab-o-licious!

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A bunch of kelp drifted by the water; we pulled it out, sliced it, blanched them with boiling water: the leafy part we used for savory seafood seaweed soup, and we pickled the kelp stem for an appetizer dish.

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I can’t wait until next year… for another plateau de fruits de mer camping trip.

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Farmer’s Market Magic

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Going to an island is a great get-away; After a sunny and breezy ferry ride, I finally disembarked at a familiar place that I visit every summer — Salt Spring Island.

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Although this visit has almost become a yearly ritual for me, every time I step-foot into the Island, I always find something new, something mesmerizing, especially the magical Saturday Farmer’s Market.

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The earthy, ragged, natural looking and mismatched colors art pieces are eye-catching and the market scene feels like rays of rainbow of colors bursting all around.

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Strolling leisurely down the hustle and bustle of this crowded market and immersed myself in the endless stalls of creative artisan artwork and goodies was one of the highlights of my magical island get-away.

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During a visit to the bustling and vibrant Saturday Farmers Market at Salt Spring Island,

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I was particularly drawn to one of the vendors that displayed these cute and colorful painted seashells.

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The painted shells reminded me of my elementary school days when we painted seashells in a coloring book and reciting this tongue twisting phrase, “She sells seashells by the seashore”, to help us master the proper pronunciation of English.

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This dainty seashells stall was manned by a little girl who shared with us how her mini entrepreneur came about.

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She said she loves painting the shells since she was very young and her grandma jokingly suggested that perhaps she could sell her painted seashell one day.

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The idea thrilled her so much that she went ahead to gather more seashells to paint and showcased her colorful artworks at the market, which earned her quite a few tokens. Seeing her enthusiasm, grandma painted a brightly colored picture of the girl painting seashells by the seashore so she could display it by her “mini-artisan studio”.

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The other day I was given a handful of seashells,

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I wonder if I should paint them or just leave the natural beauty of the pearly white shells as they are.

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Glacier Smoothie

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I love this aesthetically appealing “Glacier Smoothie” which a friend brought me from her Alaska cruise.

It has the refreshing scent of grapefruit, which is one of my favorite citrusy scents.

This Glacier Smoothie is handmade silt soap from Juneau where glaciers abound.

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The fine print on the tag read,

“… as rivers of ice, relics of the ice age, slip and slide their way to the sea, a super fine powder of mineral-rich clay is produced.  Each bar of Glacier Smoothie soap contains this amazing silt which has been carefully harvested, heated thoroughly, and sifted by hand.”

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It boasts this silt soap will turn skin “smoothie” and I can’t wait to try!

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Attached to the soap was a beautiful old hymn, and I learned that it is quite common to include a poem or an old hymn in soap packaging.

The one I have is “God who touches earth with beauty” by Ms Mary Edgar.

The original title of this poem was called “Prayer for the Youth”.  Edgar was a lover of camping and she worked as a camp director overseeing many young people, hence this prayer poem was penned for them.

Here’s the lyrical of the poem beautifully sung by the Huston Children Choir.

The spirit of the poem makes me rekindled a great camping experience I had the past September, at the natural beauty surrounding Golden Ears.

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God, who touchest earth with beauty,
make me lovely too;
With thy spirit recreate me,
make my heart anew.

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Like Thy springs and running waters,
make me crystal pure;
Like Thy rocks of towering grandeur,
make me strong and sure.

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Like Thy shining waves in sunlight,
make me glad and free;
Like the straightness of the pine trees,
let me upright be.

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Like the arching of the heavens,
lift my thoughts above;
Turn my dreams to noble action,
ministries of love.

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God, who touchest earth with beauty,
make me lovely too;
Keep me ever, by thy spirit,
pure and strong and true.

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Here’s another great reflection on Edgar’s poem.

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Heaps of Fun!

I haven’t seen my little friend for a while and she has grown to become so chatty !

We skyped  the other day, the minute she saw me on the screen, she raised her hands up, squealed with glee and exclaimed: “It’s Janie!  It’s snowing!”

I giggled so much at her wit & adorable-ness!

The reason she associates me with snow was because a couple of months ago while visiting here, we went up to the snow mountain together.

It happened to snow  heavily on that day and my little buddy was elated to see snow for the very first time and had a blast playing on those heaps of snow with her family and aunties.

I wonder if this little cutie likes to join me next time…

for this snow adventure!

Yup, it’s snow camping!

& heaps of fun!

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Starry starry night…

God has called each star by name. Psalm 147:4

While strolling along this colorful artisan market on this beautiful island,

I stumbled upon the following quote:

“I don’t promise you the stars. But, I will surely promise you that I will be there by your side, always and forever”

Aww… how sweet!

On a camping trip at this desert-land that boasted its awesome site of stars watching, I decided to do an all-night star gazing marathon.

As I gazed into the night sky searching for twinkling diamonds, I spotted one or two of them appearing from the sky.

Then in a twinkling of an eye, the whole sky was shimmering with bright lights.

It was a fascinating sight to watch and I refused my eyes neither rest nor blink…

But then the next minute when I opened my eyes, it was already broad daylight…

I think I must have drifted off to sleep under that magical star-studded sky!

Recently on a red eye flight,

I couldn’t fall asleep so I peeked out at the window.

To my amazement, there were thousands upon thousands of crystal clear stars dangling from the sky,

I have done star-gazing before, but never from this altitude on the airplane.

Stars were glittering at my eye level and below the horizon.

They were liked divine-made-chandelier, it was magical!

Star gazing often reminds me of Abraham’s encounter with God.

When Abraham grumbled to God about not having an offspring,

God took him outside the tent and said,

“Look up at the sky and count the stars—

if indeed you can count them… so shall your offspring be!”

God, the Jehovah Jireh, later blessed Abraham with descendants,

as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore!

Tonight on yet another camping venture,

a few of us decided to hang out on this boardway,

on this chilling and starry night,

in stillness and in wonder,

for the sheer joy of stargazing!

“Every life touched by God shines brighter than the stars” ~ annonymous ~

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MOAR pleazzze!

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