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Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses

Earthwalker, one of our Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses with a twist

I have the best customers! They range in age from 4 to 75 years old.” Renee Henry, Earthwalker

When you are checking out our Merritt BC businesses, you will wonder what sort of business Earthwalker might be. Not only is Earthwalker a spiritual store, the owner, Renee, tells me it is also a gathering place where politics, religion and spiritual discussion takes place.  There is a twist. In the winter there is always a pot of hot tea waiting too. The seating is comfy, the atmosphere welcoming and respectful of everyone’s beliefs.

An inspired start

Several years ago, before Renee even thought of starting one of our Merritt BC businesses, she was laid off from her job. Unsure of what to do next, she went to a peaceful beach in Kamloops to meditate and get some clarity on what her next step should be. At the time a friend of hers had a spiritual shop and needed some help, so Renee volunteered. Since she had been interested in crystals from the age of twelve, Renee already had some background. Slowly she gathered together what she needed to open her own shop. A while later when her friend had more help, Renee launched Earthwalker, one of our Merritt BC businesses.

Why Merritt?

Renee tells me that from the first time she came to Merritt it felt like home. She loves the Merritt outdoors and we sure have plenty of that! Lots of fun stuff to do year round too. Hiking, mountain biking, cross-county skiing, fishing and swimming. For a nature enthusiast, wildcrafter, herb and food gatherer, this is paradise. “And once I saw the Hoodoos, I was hooked”, she says.

Merritt B.C. Unique Businesses, clothes and books

Some unique goodies at Earthwalker, a Merritt, B.C. Unique Business

Why a spiritual store?

Many people want to know why Renee chose this type of business. It’s simple. She wants to help people with their spiritual growth. One way she is doing this is by helping customers connect with the crystal that is right for them. In addition to being beautiful, each crystal is a tool with its own healing properties. Renee knows them well! Not only has she been learning about them since she was only 12 years old, Renee has also been a rock hound for as long as she can remember. She matches each crystal’s properties and healing elements to her client’s needs. This is truly a Merritt, B.C. Unique Business! Where else can you get this kind of attention?

Inside Earthwalker

Plan to spend some time checking out Earthwalker. Renee carries many different types and colours of stones, crystals and jewelry. It doesn’t stop here either. Best known for her knowledge, her crystals, her singing bowl and her own unique self, she also sells clothing, statues, tarot cards, books, healing items and one-of-a-kind goodies you just won’t find anywhere else! And why would you? After all, Earthwalker is one of our Merritt BC businesses.

Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses, display case

Earthwalker. Some unique goodies beautifully displayed

Gypsy, everyone’s friend

All Merritt BC businesses have a surprise and uniqueness to themselves. Earthwalker is no exception. Meet Gypsy, a quiet, relaxing dog who is very gentle. Even if you are not a dog person, Gypsy will soon have you petting and talking to her. If you need a hug, you can be sure she knows and will wander over to offer canine comfort and support

Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses, Earthwalker

Renee and Gypsy at Earthwalker

Before we finished the interview, I just had to ask Renee a few questions I thought potential entrepreneurs might want answers to.

Questions and answers:

Q: If you could speak to your younger self when you were just starting out, what advice would you give?

A: Do some accounting courses first! That would be a huge help. Also, the importance of social media and technology awareness is crucial! It is invaluable in promoting and marketing your business. Also, in today’s tough business climate  you need to be known on social media.  Your business will increase as your social media exposure increases.

Q: What are your favorite things about being an owner?

A: I dictate how my day goes. How I treat people or how much time I give them is not mandated by someone else.

Q: What future plans do you have for Earthwalker?

A: I would like to take more courses in the healing arts, holistic healing and women in business. In the autumn, I want to do more connecting with businesses. Lots of men are starting to get involved as well as women. More community connections. I would like to be able to hire more staff and offer more services.

Q: Speaking of community connection, is there another person or business you would recommend?

A: Angela Kerr. She is a Reiki master and reflexologist.

Q: What one book would you recommend every small business owner read?

A: Small Business For Dummies (Canadian version).

Q: Can you describe your customers?

A: I have the best customers! They range in age from 4 to 75 years old. There are a mixture of men, women and families.  My customers come from all walks of life.  Some need help and others come for information or to socialize. As I said, I have the best customers. (BIG GRIN)

Q: As a business owner, what are your top three priorities?

A: Community connections, people feeling that this is a safe, open place to come and be happy, satisfied customers.

Fall classes at Earthwalker

This fall Renee will be offering classes in:
– wire wrapping
– crystals
– reiki, level 1 and 2

If you are interested , please contact Renee at:
phone: 250-315-5350
email: earthwalkerspirit@hotmail.com
facebook: earthwalkerspiritualshop

Not only is Earthwalker one of our Merritt BC businesses, you can see from this interview that the owner, Renee Henry, is as unique as her business. Be sure to treat yourself to a visit soon. 

Merritt, B.C. unique business 

Earthwalker in Merritt BC Canada

Merritt BC Canada Businesses

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC, Nicola Valley

Remembrance Day in Canada

Canadians observe a minute of silence and visit Canadian memorials around the world to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC and throughout Canada has been observed since the end of the First World War in 1931.  Therefore, on November 11th, in Merritt BC Canada it is important to remember the members of our army, navy and air force who died in the line of duty.  Together, since I can remember, communities gather in memorial parks, community halls, workplaces, schools and homes to stand in honour of all who have fallen.  Accordingly, we Canadians mark the occasion every year with a “moment of silence” at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Firstly, and most importantly, it is an opportunity to say thank you to the soldiers who have protected our way-of-life, our freedoms and our system of democracy. Make an effort and come and Experience Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. 

Remembrance Day Merritt BC.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada.The Act of

Thus on Remembrance Day in Merritt BC.

On this day, when we honour those who have fought for our country and our freedom, it’s hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

Nov 11th Vet day.

“We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” Francis A. Walker

In Addition

Remembrance Day is also called “poppy day” on November 11th in Canada. Many other countries of the world celebrate this day on the same date. Around the world people give homage and decorate the graves of their heroes who sacrificed themselves for their country. Many Canadians spend Remembrance Day with their family and friends. There are many of us who attend the local Remembrance Day  ceremony in our home towns as a family.

 “We only need to look at what we are really doing in the world and at home and we’ll know what it is to be Canadian.” Adrienne Clarkson

 

Civic Centre Merritt

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” —Aaron Kilbourn

For the Purpose of Nov 11th

Remembrance Day is a day for all Canadians to remember the men and women who served and sacrificed for our country. It is a day we encourage every individual, young and old, to pause, to give thanks and to remember. Legion.

 

Merritt BC Remembrance

Members of the Masonic and appendant body Oder of the Eastern  Star.  Brian Stewart along with his wife Lily Stewart laying a wreath.

 

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, is their monument today, and for aye.” Thomas Dunn English

Importantly.

Remembrance Day isn’t just about war and those we’ve lost, but about ideals and what we stand for. It’s about respecting our past and looking forward, and more than anything, thanking those who have served our country.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Experience the Nicola Valley.

History of service.

Canadian Veterans have served throughout history in a broad range of conflicts and situations – from world wars to peacekeeping missions to crises on the home-front.  The Royal Canadian Legion, including the Merritt BC Chapter, is committed to honouring and remembering all Veterans, whether they served in theatre or on Canadian soil, whether they kept the peace or fought for peace, whether they found themselves in combat or in support of operations.

Respecting our past and welcoming our future.

“And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.”Joseph Drake

 “Whether we live together in confidence and cohesion; with more faith and pride in ourselves and less self-doubt and hesitation; strong in the conviction that the destiny of Canada is to unite, not divide; sharing in cooperation, not in separation or in conflict; respecting our past and welcoming our future.” Lester Pearson

“Patriotism is not dying for one’s country, it is living for one’s country. And for humanity. Perhaps that is not as romantic, but it’s better.” —Agnes Macphail

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” Benjamin Disraeli

The Poppy Campaign.

A great Canadian tradition is wearing a “red poppy” on your lapel between the last Friday of October to November 11. Tens of millions of Canadians put on a Poppy as a visual pledge to honour Canada’s Veterans.  And did you know the first poppy is presented each year to the Governor General of Canada. Furthermore, in local areas the Royal Canadian Legion presents their first Poppy to either a veteran, member of the military or dignitary. This year in Merritt the honor went to Maj. Thor Toms. Remember those who sacrificed the freedoms we enjoy today. The Legion gratefully accepts donations to the Poppy Fund.

 

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC.

Moreover Maj. Thor Toms.

Beginning as a cadet himself, Major Thor Toms, joined the Navy League at the age of 10.  Later joining the air cadets,  followed by the Canadian Army. “Our youth are faced with so many influences in their lives and many of those influences don’t offer them the best choices for positive decisions.” Furthermore “The cadet program helps to guide our youth.” Maj. Thor Toms

Additionally my Grandfather Charles Stewart.

My Grandfather. L/CPL Charles M Stewart.

Honouring and Remembering Canada’s Veterans.

It is important to know that the Legion acknowledges the end of conflicts and does not commemorate the start of conflicts.  The most sacred day is Remembrance Day. Every year, on November 11, the Legion recognizes all of Canada’s Veterans, serving and retired, commemorates our Fallen, men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, Peace Officers, Merchant Navy, and Reserves. Honouring families and their losses. Legion.

“Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in this life.” Jean Paul

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” —John Diefenbaker

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.” Laurence Binyon

The National Remembrance Day Ceremony.

On Remembrance Day, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, tens of thousands of people assemble to honour and remember those who have fallen to protect our freedoms. Contact your local legion. Merritt Royal Canadian Legion Branch 96.

“I cry all the time. Remembrance Day in particular. In fact, anything to do with veterans makes me sob.” Diana Rigg

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others. ~ Aristotle.

 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning “And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can.”

Remembrance Ceremonies across Canada.

Royal Canadian Legion members take pride in organizing Remembrance Day Ceremonies in over 1,400 Branches across Canada and abroad. Through each Branch, the Legion continues the traditions of Remembrance so that Canada ‘never forgets.’

Lest We Forget.

Never Forget.

Veteran 35yr Legion

Norman Phillips 1951. On his way to the Korean war. Proudly Served in the Korean War. Melvina White‘s father.

The Act of Remembrance
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

 

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” Jose Narosky

How We Advocate.

Veterans served to protect the rights and freedoms we enjoy today, and The Royal Canadian Legion is committed to ensuring they receive the care and support they deserve. The Legion advocates for Veterans’ benefits and for the well-being of Veterans and their families. To find out more about this process, contact your Branch or Provincial Command.

 

In Flanders Field

LT,-Col. John McCae (1872-1918)

“In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae .

Canadian soldier John McCrae penned the famous poem, “In Flanders Field”. He served in the Second Battle of Ypres in Flanders, Belgium. The poem was written in remembrance of a fallen comrade who’d died in battle and was buried with a simple wooden cross as a marker.  He observed how throughout the fields of Flanders, once alive with red poppies, was now filled with the bodies of dead soldiers.

Comparatively it highlights one of the ironies of war—that soldiers must die so that a nation of people might live. Remembrance Day in the Nicola Valley November 11th. In Flanders Fields poem. John McCrae .

In Remembrance on November 11th.

On Remembrance Day, take a moment to salute those patriotic men and women who served their nation. On this day, when we honour those who have fought for our country and our freedoms, it’s hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

Contact Information

Royal Canadian Legion Merritt Branch 096
1940 Quilchena Ave
Merritt, British Columbia
(250) 378-5631

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Remembrance Day in Merritt BC, Nicola Valley

Remembrance Day in Canada

Merritt BC Restaurant Pub

Game On Sports Bar & Grill

“Game On Sports Bar and Grill, a Merritt BC restaurant pub, is widely known for it’s amazing home-style meals, great ambiance and daily food specials.

There are a few Merritt BC restaurant pubs to select from when visiting the Nicola Valley. But there is little like Game On Sports for food, service, ambiance and location.

Merritt BC Restaurant Pub Scene

Many Merritt locals have made Game On Sports Bar & Grill one of their favourite places to eat, meet, and greet family & friends. In other words it is a popular choice for many locals when one seeks big meals, refreshments and a lively atmosphere.

Experience Merritt’s Game On Sports Bar & Grill.

Game On In The Nicola Valley

In addition to enjoying a delicious home-style meal while taking in the beautiful views of  the Nicola Valley, you will be treated to some of the best service I have ever encountered since I have lived in the Nicola Valley. From the time I walked in the door, I was instantly welcomed by Lona. Lona shared with me how much she values customer’s opinions and feedback.

I arrived at Game On around 4:30 PM, thinking that the dinner rush wouldn’t start for an hour. There were about 5 tables occupied all-ready. However as I sat there deciding what to order, I noticed how quickly the room began to fill.

Consequently by 5:15 there were 3 to 4 peopled seated at seven different tables. Being Tuesday,  I thought I would be able to sit with Lona uninterrupted for my little interview. Instead I had to ask her questions every time she came by my table due to how busy she was.

Meet Game On Sports Bar & Grill Manager Lona.

Menu To Die For in Merritt BC 

The menu at Game On Sports provides a wide assortment pub food, beverages and appetizers. But it is not limited to what is on the menu.  Game On is well known in the valley for “going above and beyond” for its regular clientele. For example they have ordered in specific wines and spirits. Secondly they take pre-orders for clientele who are on lunch breaks or have limited time.

“You need to work with your clientele, because they will bring in more clientele,  there are people who come in 2 to 3 times a week for a meal.”

Furthermore Lona shared that the continuing success of Game On Sports Bar & Grill’s has a lot to do with teamwork and dedication. A culture supported by the owner – Jim Cooley.

Restaurant pub in Merritt BC Canada

Cooking to please – the kitchen

Start With An Appetizer Was First On My List 

When visiting this restaurant pub in Merritt BC Canada there is a generous selection of appetizers on the menu including such popular items as calamari, chicken wings and prawns. However,  I highly recommend the Zucchini sticks! It is a personal favourite of mine.

Zucchini Sticks Appetizer

Merritt’s Game On Sports Bar & Grill

The  main menu was a bit more of a challenge as the selection is big… and then there is always the daily special’s. Good news! Whatever you decide on, I can tell you one thing, the meals are very generous. If unsure on what to order, ask your server. I guarantee you will not be steered wrong.

Big servings at Game On Sports

Big servings at Game On Sports A Perfect Meal!

The Game on Sports Bar & Grill Beverages

While waiting for your appy or starter dish, why not enjoy one of the many alcohol beverages available from the wine, special coffee, and ale lists. Try a Bellini, if you so dare. Non-alcohol beverages are also available.

With such an impressive list, I opted for a cold one. And what a great choice it was.

 

Thirst Quencher!

Wine List Anyone?

Game On Sports Bar & Grill in The Nicola Valley

  • Seating capacity is up to 85 patrons.
  • Large outdoor patio open at the end of May (weather permitting)
  • Special functions such as Christmas Parties,  reserved up to 40 people
  • Take-out orders available.
  • To reserve or book ahead you can call 250-315-1022
  • Outdoor patio

Restaurant Pub in Merritt BC

View from Merritt’s Game On Sports Bar & Grill. Beautiful!

Sports Memorabilia

Along with its fantastic atmosphere and ambiance, Game On Sports Bar & Grill is full of genuine sports memorabilia. Sports fans will love this place. The walls are full of sports memorabilia, some even signed. Then there are the 9 large T.V’s. with various sporting events playing for all to enjoy.

Can You Guess Who These 2 Are?

Game On Sports Bar ad Grill

George and his lovely wife Terri frequent Game On 4-5 times a month year round.

Local Merritt Couple Who Love To Dine At Game On Sports Bar & Grill

During my culinary bliss, I was fortunate to meet George & Terri who were also dinning at Game On Sports Bar & Grill. Being that they were very friendly Merrittonians, they graciously shared with me how much they love eating at this particular restaurant pub in Merritt BC.

The quality of the food,  great service and its welcoming atmosphere makes this one of their favourite places to dine in the Nicola Valley. 

A Great Place to Dine “Merritt’s Game On Sports Bar & Grill”

In conclusion I was very impressed with the friendly service, ambiance, and the quality of the food. The atmosphere was perfect.

The Merritt BC restaurant is just one easy-access exit off of the Coquihalla Highway. Just look for all the gas stations on your right and turn in there and follow that road to the end.

Merritt’s Game On Sports Bar & Grill has ample parking space. Parking is allowed on the street in front. There is also parking just down the road for trailers and motorhomes.

Game On Sports Bar & Grill Contact Information :

3701 Dewolf Way,
Merritt BC
V1K 1C4
Phone: 250-315-1022
Website

Game On Sports Bar and Grill, a proud Merritt BC restaurant pub, is widely known for it’s amazing home-style meals, great Ambiance and daily food specials.

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

I like today’s weather forecast- snow; and tomorrow’s- more snow!

The choice

As one of our Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture, I decided to cook up some chicken and dumplings and use the next couple of snow days to work on one of my furniture projects. I keep trying to make time to renew a small, decorative shelf.  Want to follow along with your own project?

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

The original piece

Step1- wash the shelf

The first thing I did was wash the shelf. If there is any grease or dirt left on your project, you are only giving yourself potential problems by skipping this step. T.S.P. will clean dirt and grease off most things quickly and easily. Rinse well and allow the piece to dry. Do not soak wood items!

Although water raises wood grain, this is not a problem because we will sand the piece before priming it.

Step 2- fill cracks and holes

The next step is to fill any cracks, holes or imperfections. I chose a quick- drying wood filler and applied it with a metal spatula. Both are available at most home improvement stores around town.  Since I live close to Home Hardware, it was easy for me to get all my project supplies there.

I spoke to Clara Moyes at Home Hardware after getting really good help (as always) from some of the other staff. I asked her what makes Home Hardware different from their competition. Her reply?

“It’s the customer service!”

She is so right! Great service all the time, every time.

If there are any deep holes, and this project had several, I partially fill them and allow the fill to dry. Then, I fill them the rest of the way. Trying to do this in one step only leaves the fill inside the hole still moist and subject to cracking. If you are a Merritt, B.C. senior repurposing furniture, you know it is worth the extra time it takes to do it right!

Step 3- sand it smooth

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

Filled and sanded

Now comes the messy bit. Please, everyone, use a dust mask for this step! I have a little electric sander that has a dust catching bag attached. Although I love it, it doesn’t get into all the tiny places. I still need to use a sanding block (and a dust mask).

As a Merritt, B.C. senior refinishing furniture, I have a nice collection of sanding blocks, both home made and store bought. I have used them for years. Whichever sander you choose, use sandpaper made for your project. Choose a 100 to 150- grit paper. Sand your project well. Dust it off with a dry rag if you are using a water- based primer, or with a tack rag if your primer is oil based.

Step 4- prime the project

So far, so good! Now, my fellow Merritt, B.C.  seniors repurposing furniture, it is time to prime the piece. In my case, there were quite a few knots in the wood. When you have this situation to deal with it is a good idea to prime the knots first and let them dry before then priming the whole piece. Use a stain killing primer such as “Kilz”. If there is any sap left in those knots, the extra layer of primer will prevent it from “bleeding” through the paint and spoiling your project.

Merritt, B.B., seniors repurposing furniture

Primed and ready to paint

 Step 5- paint

This is the rewarding part. By now you have chosen your colour.  I decided on paint (a soft mauve colour). Because the holes and knots in the wood required a lot of filling, trying to stain so much spotty fill would likely leave me with a hot mess! Later I will hand- paint some leaves and flowers on them (maybe).

The easiest way to paint a small project is to just spray it.  On a small project like mine, one can is all you will need. Spray paint gives a nice, smooth finish, covers well and dries quickly. In warm weather you can take your project outside to spray it. In winter, see if you can score an appliance-sized box and use it as a spray booth for small projects. Be sure to wear a mask and ventilate the room. Two or three light coats of spray paint and the job is done!

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

All done!

Step 6- protective coat

If you want your project to have extra protection, it is very easy to spay it with a clear varithane. Today’s varithanes come in several sheens so ask the paint experts to help you choose one that suits your project. Be sure to let everything dry well and give it a week, or better yet two, before subjecting it to heavy use.

Now enjoy being one of our Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture!

Conclusion

I am the proud owner of a refinished (and repurposed) shelf. It sure is great to be a Merritt, B.C. senior repurposing furniture! Also, this is an inexpensive way to get “new” stuff for yourself.

How did your project turn out? Send some photos and share it with us. Show off what you can do!

 Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture!

Your senior blogger,

Diane

 

  

 

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Things To Do In Merritt, B.C. 

Spring, summer, fall or winter you will find many things to do in Merritt, B.C.

Seek out new stores

New and different “Things to do in Merritt, B.C.” just has to include new and different places to go. There are some new businesses in town and it took me less than 10 minutes to find two of them.

Both “The Bee’s Knees” and “Petals and Plants” are new shops on Quilchena Avenue in the downtown core and several more will be up and running by the time you read this blog. Seek them out and enjoy something different!

The Bee’s Knees

Owner Amanda loves her job! She started out with the idea of selling clothes from home but that idea sure mushroomed! So she  began “The Bee’s Knees” in March 2018 but outgrew that tiny space almost immediately!  Next, Amanda moved to her present location in the 1900 block of Quilchena Avenue in July, taking all her great ideas (and clothes) with her!

This lady knows how to dress her clients! Amanda will offer you ideas and combinations you probably would never have thought of yourself. She is one creative business  owner and if you are an old doll like me, her advice will help you update your wardrobe, or at least bring it into the 21st century!And, bless her, the woman carries plus sizes too! Don’t be embarrassed. Ask Amanda! Shop here at The Bee’s Knees where you won’t be all alone!

Check out “The Bee’s Knees” for great event clothes, vintage looks and up-to-the-minute designs too!

Amanda will even do your nails to match your outfit! At the Bee’s Knees you will certainly leave happy, even if you just go to look! Check out Bees Knees Boutique on facebook.

Petals & Plants

The next new place I came across when I was hunting for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” was Petals & Plants. I heard more than one person say “Finally, a flower shop in Merritt!”

Yes, it is a flower shop- and more! Vicki, the owner, started her shop because, as she puts it, “I’m not great at retiring. I missed the people.” She won’t miss them here! The place has been full of customers and visitors every time I’ve stopped by! In addition to flowers, of course, Vicky carries lots of constantly changing items that make great gifts, so the place is likely to be full of people as well as petals & plants no matter when you go. So check it out!

Enjoy a mini spa day

For a list of “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” why not include a mini spa day! Start by going to the Aquatic Centre for a workout, followed by a swim, sauna and whirlpool. Then, take a hot shower, scrub with an exfoliant, pat down with a soft towel and use plenty of body cream. There. Now you are all soft and energized! Feels good, doesn’t it?

Afterwards? Keep your prearranged appointment at one of Merritt’s several hair salons for a wash, trim and blow dry. Then have a complete mani-pedi since many salons do both. And while you are there, try some new makeup too!

Now, you feel as fantastic as you look, so treat yourself to a nice lunch! Also, why not enjoy the rest of the day shopping?

 Return home happy, relaxed and revitalized, a new you!

Things to do in merritt, B.C.

Seniors aquafit

Take a Walk

Among the best and easiest “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” is to take a walk! Enjoy some of our gorgeous scenery and beautiful parks! Check out the possibilities in my blogs Walking Around Merritt” and “Parks in Merritt”and have some fun in any season. Incidentally, if you have kids with you, winter is a great time to walk in the park! Make snow angels, snow forts, snow people or snow pets! In addition to this, you can pack a snow picnic and add thermoses of hot soup and hot cocoa! Yum! You will have just as much fun as the kids!

Things to do in Merritt, B.C. -Parks

Ready for a picnic after a walk in one of Merritt’s parks

Check Out the Library

These days the library goes way beyond a simple place to read and borrow books. There are many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” right in our library! Yes, we all know about borrowing cd’s, dvd’s, and audio books. In addition to these standbys, there are also many children’s reading programs, crafting classes, story times, adult literacy programs and art classes. Besides all this, there are computer classes (and computers to use), knitting, crocheting, gardening, painting, food preserving and various discussion groups that meet at the library. Surprised?

Add to this list some very interesting lectures and guest authors who do readings. Or, if you want a quiet, peaceful day, pick out a book, sit on the comfy sofa by the fireplace and just read!

With all this available, I’m sure you will find many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” that will entertain you at any time of the year!

Have a Pub Lunch

Well, we all like to eat, don’t we? So of course I include food in my “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”  blog. Not the regular restaurants this time, though. The pubs!

A few years ago a friend dragged me, kicking and screaming I’ll admit, to a local pub for lunch. What a revelation! I actually had fun and a good lunch- at a reasonable price! Also, the lunch crowd was lively and fun. I could hardly believe it! I enjoyed myself!

Most pubs in Merritt have daily lunch and dinner specials. Try one! You will be surprised at how good pub food can be! And no, you don’t have to order alcohol with your meal if you would rather have coffee! However, a burger and a beer can go down nicely when you are in the mood.

Bonus- no one will give you a “look” if you laugh a little loudly with your friends!

 Look at the seniors programs

If you are a senior, or know one, check out the goings-on at the Seniors Centre. This group certainly adds a lot to the “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” list. Try some of the following programs:

  • Vinyasa Yoga @ the Civic Centre
  • Seniors Free Swim @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stretch & Stability @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Noon Hour Aqua Fit @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stand Tall, Don’t Fall @ the Seniors Centre
  • Cribbage
  • Bingo 
    Things to do in Merritt, B.C.

    swinging seniors

  • Duplicate Bridge
  • Carpet Bowling .
  • Court Whist
  • Physically Challenged Floor Curling
  • Floor Curling
  • Floor & Table Shuffleboard
  • Drop-in Lunch
  • Drop-in Activities, Fridays
  • Rummoli & Games
  • Drop-in Activities, Saturdays
  • General Meeting
  • Potluck

Wow! And some people think seniors aren’t active!  Compared to what? Test out some things from this list and see if you can keep up!

Go bowling

How long has it been since you got a group of friends together and went bowling? Have most of us bowled regularly (we’re talking 5 pins here) since we were kids? Or maybe not bowled regularly since we were kids! If you’re looking for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”, bowling is a fun one with the bonus of being genuine exercise! Check out Merritt Bowling Centre.  Enjoy noise, laughter, exercise and yes, food! Bring back some of the good times of yesteryear. Repeat often.

What Else Can You Come Up With?

 While there must be dozens more ideas that I haven’t even touched on, these are a few to get you started. What new ideas can you and your friends come up with?

Your senior blogger signing off for now.

Diane

 

Parks in Merritt

Think picnicking is only for summer?

Parks

Ready for a picnic!

This senior does parks and picnics all year round- even during thunderstorms and in the snow! And Merritt is a great place to do it.

Autumn is a perfect time for parks and picnics! Think picnicking is only for summer? This senior does parks and picnics all year round- even during thunderstorms and in the snow! And Merritt is a great place to do it.

Park and picnic prep

Start by getting a few friends as well as some play gear together- baseball, bat and gloves, soccer ball etc.  Or maybe a deck of cards or a few board games is more your style.

If you want a super easy picnic lunch before you head for your park of choice, most of the restaurants in Merritt will be happy to do a boxed lunch for your group, just give them a bit of a heads up.

Now take your gear, lunch and friends to one of the following places. ..

Rotary Park, Merritt 

Parks

Rotary Park

A fun park for everyone, kids and adults alike. The Nicola River runs along its south side. There are picnic tables scattered along the river and throughout the park or if you prefer, spread a blanket under a friendly tree. During hot weather, the spray park is operating and kids of all ages will love it! Settle that lunch with a gentle walk along paths lined with flower gardens while the young ones play. Or join them if you want some real exercise 

Rotary Park Thunderstorm   

Would you like the adventure of picnicking during a thunderstorm?  In addition to all the regular good park stuff, Rotary Park has a band shell that offers shelter and a great view of the flash bangs too. I had a blast doing this with some young kids. There was lots of laughing and shrieking- from all of us. They pronounced it “The best picnic EVER!”

 Rotary Park is washroom equipped.

Lion’s Memorial Park, Merritt

Parks

Lions Memorial Park

Here is a pocket park that not only has gorgeous flowerbeds but also riverside picnic tables as well as a picturesque bridge.  In addition to these, it has a surprise. As you stare up at the green and yellow structure, you may well ask, “What is that?”

Lions Memorial Park Wind Onion 

Known as the Wild Wind Onion, this helical windmill is the invention of Merritt’s Heinz Lange, a teacher who became fascinated with wind power in the 1960s. He developed a wind-powered ice fishing machine and later moved to building wind-powered “lake Aerators”, which were installed on several lakes in the area.

 

Parks

Lion’s Memorial Park Wind Onion

Merritt’s “Wind Onion”, built in the 1990s shows these features clearly in its outer blades. Take a little time to look at this unusual structure. After all, we Merrittonians are pretty proud of it!

The Lange family donated the wind onion and archival materials to the Nicola Valley Museum and the City of Merritt in 2014.     

Central Park, Merritt

Here is a perfect park for letting off steam! There is plenty of room for soccer or any other game that needs space. Let the kids or grandkids  run around freely. Watch a game, or play one. Choose a big, shady “picnic tree” to kick back and relax under. Spread out the goodies and enjoy a family feast! Or walk the path at the park’s edge and just soak up the sun.

Fairley Park, Merritt

This may not be the kind of  park you expect as a picnic spot, but it is perfect for little kids! Small and fenced, it is a safe place for them to play. And the bright toy-like jungle gym is sure to be a big hit. Also, they can play in plain sight while you sit at the picnic table, chat with friends and set up the food. Or go join the kids and eat later!

Lions Bike Park, Merritt

While not a picnicking kind of park, this sure is a fun place for bike-riding kids. There are lots of dips and jumps to challenge even the skilled. If you have the grandkid’s bikes and helmets along, they can  also burn off some excess energy here.

It will benefit the adults too. You will hear fewer “Are we there yet?” questions after a stop at Lions Bike Park!

Parks

Picnics and Parks in Merritt

Centennial Park, Merritt

The Coldwater River runs along the north side of this park. There are great picnic spots here with tables overlooking the river. Trees offer both shade and also gorgeous colours at this time of year. Not only is the park edged with flowerbeds, but also the park itself is a large green space just ripe for laughter and play. So picnic, laugh, play and enjoy, then come back another day and do it all over again!

Read more about Merritt’s parks….

Spirit Square, Merritt

Definitely non-conventional, this little city park is designed as a gathering place. It makes a good picnic spot too. Bring cushions and  lawn chairs to sit on because the built-in benches are concrete. Not only does the park’s water feature add a gurgle of interest but also the pretty gardens are filled with flowers and ornamental grasses.

Notice the stage? Not only is it a good place to belt out a tune with your friends, but also its shelter makes this park another thunderstorm picnic spot!

Can anyone in your group play the piano? There is a painted piano at Spirit Square that everyone is welcome to use. So go for it! Get the people around you up and dancing! I dare you! Start some big fun in the heart of our little city.

Merritt’s Parks – what do you think?

In my last blog, I talked about Merritt’s great walks for seniors.

Now, it’s autumn. Leaves are turning and the colours are stunning! How long has it been since you treated yourself to the beauty that is all around us? Don’t waste a minute more! Call a friend, toss your favorite goodies into a basket and go picnic in one of Merritt’s parks. See you there!

Your senior blogger,

Diane 

Parks

  

  

Food Adventure, Vancouver Style

Journey through fascinating West End Neighbourhoods

“...I did ask them to please open a location in the Nicola Valley!”

Mid-summer, I enjoyed a trip to the Coast to take in “Bard on the Beach” with good friends. I also participated in a most fabulous Food Adventure, Vancouver Style, with one of my besties.

Maureen, an old pal from high school on Saltspring Island, joined me for a whirlwind 24 hours. We spent the first afternoon/evening enjoying my favourite Vancouver walkabout. Starting at the Rosedale on Robson Hotel, we ambled up Robson to Denman, across Denman to Davie, up Davie to Granville, and across Granville back to Robson.
This is a great way to journey through fascinating West End neighbourhoods, each with its own special vibe. It is also a grand way to experience an abundance of fine food and bevies, if you go about it in the way we did.
Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Up to the Garden Patio of the Gallery Cafe

We started our personal Food-Fest at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Gallery Cafe. One of my best-loved Vancouver eateries, this cafeteria offers local, organic choices.
Their website states it well: “An established tradition in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Gallery Café…offers a classic, yet casual dining experience. Enjoy a wide range of delicacies from elegant entrees and tasty soups and salads to sinfully decadent desserts. Classical music, breathtaking floral arrangements and one of the best outdoor patios in the city complete the experience.”

Sit outside on the garden patio in the sunshine

Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

A fruitful salad

It is a treat to sit outside on the garden patio in the sunshine, enjoying strains of classical music. It is also fun to watch people in the courtyard below and on Robson Street.
I ordered my favourite rare ahi tuna salad with its delightful sesame dressing. Maureen chose a gorgeous salad of greens, strawberries, peaches & nasturtium flowers with a tangy citrus dressing.
We then shared an order of tiramisu, a rare treat for me, as I can’t handle the espresso content after noon. Both salads were delightful, and the tiramisu exquisite.  If you
Definitely try the Gallery Cafe!

Everything on the Forage menu looked amazing

Next stop was the farm-to-table Forage in the Listel Hotel, further up Robson Street. We bellied up to their glitzy bar and chose from a great selection of BC Craft beers & ciders. Maureen went for Yellow Dog ‘Go Fetch’ Lime Ginger Sour from Port Moody. I decided on a Dry Pear Cider from the Naramata
Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Naramata Dry Pear Cider

Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Dry Pear Cider

Cider Company. Both were refreshing, dry and pleasing.
Everything on the Forage food menu looked amazing, but we chose to share “the Vietnamese style bison carpaccio, sweet soy, crispy shallot, hazelnut” from the SNACK section. Now, perhaps raw buffalo meat doesn’t appeal, but this was a perfect share plate with a tantalizing combination of textures and flavours. YUMMY!
Forage offers a number of intriguing-looking food events, so I will return for the full meal deal, next time I am looking for a Food Adventure, Vancouver Style.
Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Bison Carpaccio, Vietnamese Style

This appetizer was a true winner

From Robson, we turned onto Denman Street, where I somehow managed to miss the original Banana Leaf Restaurant, one of my all-time faves. We found ourselves at The Cactus Club, English Bay, chosen primarily for its location on the beach. But we were dazzled by their ceviche.  Made with “Ocean Wise™ Lois Lake Steelhead, sustainably harvested prawns, red onions, thai basil, mint, cilantro, & nuoc cham”, this appetizer was a true winner. It was the first time either of us had enjoyed trout/salmon in ceviche, usually prepared with white fish. Yum Yum!
Wanting to stick with bubbly, I opted for the 200 ml bottle of Codorniu Brut Clasico Cava.  I have been absolutely mad for Cava since I visited Spain, where it is inexpensive and plentiful. Maureen tried a Flat Rock Cellars’ Limestone Ridge Riesling, light, a little fruity and a happy choice from nearby her current home in Ontario.
Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Ol’ buddies, ol’ pals

Next was a small detour to sit upon a log in English Bay to watch the sun sink into the sea.  Then a wee side trip down memory lane to our old ‘hood of Harwood near Beach, where we were roommates in the mid-’70’s.

A remarkable Appetizer Sampler for Two comprised of many Malaysian favourites

Walking up Davie Street, I was tickled pink to find another Banana Leaf Restaurant. It was after 8 pm on a Monday, and there was a special offering of bottles of wine half price, so we ordered a smooth Jackson Triggs Merlot, knowing we would have enough left over to take back to our room.
We discovered a remarkable Appetizer Sampler for Two comprised of many Malaysian favourites: papaya and pineapple green asian salad, chicken satay skewers, spring rolls, calamari and roti canai. Oh, roti canai, I love you so! The sauces and dips that accompanied this selection were stellar.
Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Roti Canai

Buddha Bar music, playing in the background, so very cool

The Banana Leaf  truly serves “Mouth-watering dishes with authentic flavor which will transport you to the heart of Malaysia.” I adore the varied and delightful flavours of their Malaysian Cuisine. As well, lovely ambiance is created by “Buddha Bar” music playing in the background, so very cool. 
The Banana Leaf was the perfect end to our Food Adventure, Vancouver Style.  We were satiated and perfectly happy to pass by other tempting treats on our walk back to the hotel.
Of all the foods we savoured on our personal Food-Fest, Maureen and I both found Banana Leaf THE BEST. I know from experience that they consistently serve affordable, fabulous, fresh food. In fact, before I left Vancouver, I stopped at their Broadway location to order my faves to bring back to the Nicola Valley. 
And, yes, I did ask them to please open a location in the Nicola Valley!
Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Malaysian seafood

Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Jasmine Rice

Food Adventures, Vancouver Style

Sambal green beans with shrimp and tomato

One could plan an entire Food Adventure, Vancouver Style by visiting all five locations of the Banana Leaf. It would be fun to eat a different course at each one. Walking from one to the next would be a great way to make room in the belly for more things on the menu!

Yes! Next time!

And read more here for a taste of our own Nicola Food Adventures!

Cheers!

JGS

Walks in Merritt, Canada

Seven Trails to Choose From

From super easy to good uphill challenges, these Merritt walks offer

Walks in Merritt, Canada

I love walking trails!

something for everyone!

As a senior, walking is something I seriously enjoy! It gives me plenty of gentle exercise while offering interesting nature views, busy urban scenes and sometimes – ice cream! And walks in Merritt, Canada offer all of these!

These seven walks are great not only for seniors but also for everyone who enjoys a good walk. Turn your walk into a serious hike, if you must, by choosing two or more challenging walks in the same day.

I am going to give you step by step walking instructions, but I have included a map of these trails at the end of my blog.

Walks in Merritt #1 – Coldwater River/Voght Street – 3.4 km

Walks in Merritt, Canada

River trail

Are you a bird watcher? Or would you like to see the salmon run? Then this is the walk for you!

Start just past Central School. Enjoy the views as you follow the scenic Coldwater River and the western boundary of Voght Park to Canford Avenue. Next, cross Main St and walk along the river to the bridge.

At the bridge, stop and see the spot where the Coldwater River flows into the Nicola River. Then turn back a short distance to the place where the trail meets Quilchena Ave.

Follow Quilchena Avenue to Voght Street, then turn right and return to your starting point.

Now, isn’t this a great walk? One of my favs to walk, or bike ride!

 

Walks in Merritt #2 – Collettville/Voght Park – 3.2 km

Here is another good walk, not only for bird watching but also for salmon viewing. Begin at the corner of Coldwater Avenue and Voght Street and head south along Voght Street.

This walk first takes you past Central School (on your right), then over the bridge that crosses the Coldwater River. Turn right onto Lindley Creek Road, then right again at Fir Ave. Follow Fir Avenue to Hill Street. Now turn right and follow Hill Street. At Main Street, cross the bridge and follow Main Street to Canford Aveue. Now turn right and walk along Canford Avenue to Cleasby Street. Turn left at Cleasby and then right at Coldwater Avenue. Walk along Coldwater Avenue as far as Voght Street. A good place to look for Salmon is as you cross the Coldwater River. And the southern half of this route is the best area for bird watching.

Walks in Merritt #3 – Diamondvale – 2.2 km

Here is a peaceful walk around a residential neighbourhood. Begin at the corner of Clapperton Avenue and Menzies Street. Follow Armstrong onto Bann Street. Turn right and follow Bann for one block. Turn right at Scott Place and in the cul-de-sac look for a walkway on the right hand side. Follow this walkway to Sage Street. Continue on Sage to Clapperton Avenue. Turn right and continue to Menzies Street.

Walks in Merritt #4 – The Flagpole – 1.5 km

This walk may be short, but is it challenging! It is dusty and all up hill! My advice is to choose a coolish day. There is no shade on this route! The walk starts just before the cemetery on the north side of Juniper Drive and switchbacks up to the flagpole.

This is a good walk to exercise both your heart and your leg muscles. It is popular with dog owners but do remember to take water for your pet and yourself. Once you reach the flagpole, you reap a generous reward. Not just the workout itself but also the gorgeous, panoramic view of Merritt and the valley.

Walks in Merritt #5 – Parker/Juniper – 4.7 km

This walk offers some good views of Merritt. In addition, in spring, birdwatchers may want to take time to seek out meadowlarks around the golf course.

Begin at Grimmet Street and follow Parker Avenue to Juniper Drive. Continue along Juniper past houses, the cemetery (on your right) and the golf course on your left,  to Nicola Ave. Watch out for truck traffic on the lower half of Juniper above Norgaard Ready-Mix. Also along Nicola Avenue to the bridge. Turn left at the stop sign and follow Nicola Avenue to Cleasby Street.

Then left onto Cleasby and follow this street to First Avenue. Next, turn right and continue walking. Notice the beautiful Sikh temple on your right and the river on your left. When you reach Voght Street, turn left and continue up Voght Street to Grimmet. This last stretch is up hill. Central Park will be on your left, a fun place you may want to explore another time.

Walks in Merritt, Canada #6 – Rotary Park and Trails – 1.3 km

Walks in Merritt, Canada

Rotary Park Trail

This trail is popular not only with senior walkers, but also with bike riding children and dog walkers too.

Built by the Rotary Clubs of Merritt with the help from the City of Merritt and the City Public Works employees, this route starts at the eastern edge of Rotary Park. It follows the north side of Central Park. From the other direction, the starting point is near the RCMP station.

At Rotary Park, the paved walkway links to the path around the park’s circumference. This is an easy and pretty walk.

Lots of grass, trees, shade and flowers. If it is summer and you have children with you, bring bathing suits. They will enjoy the spray park and you will too!

In addition to all this, there is a band shell and music in the park so check this out!  

 

Walks in Merritt #7 – Walk of Stars/Murals Downtown Merritt – 2.4 km

Walks in Merritt, Canada

Walk of Stars display seen throughout Merritt

Do your handprints match those of the Merritt Mountain Music Festival’s past performers? Try them out and see! Almost 70 plaques of Country Musicians handprints are waiting in Merritt’s downtown core!

In addition, ten giant sized murals of country performers are painted on the sides of buildings in the downtown area. This is an easy, flat walk passing several restaurants, stores and (big bonus) places selling ice cream!

I may be a senior blogger but everybody loves ice cream! Yumm.

Let’s see you out on these walks around Merritt, Canada! I’ll be choosing a couple of these to do again soon!

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Merritt for allowing us to share their map and some of their trail descriptions with you.

walks in Merritt, Canada

Enjoy these walking routes throughout Merritt.

 See you on the trails!

From your senior blogger,

Diane

Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert

Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden and UniTea Cafe, Ashcroft, BC

“… a Mexican Fiesta of luscious fresh produce!”

There are many kinds of food adventures, and yesterday I had a particularly delightful one, involving not only ogling, handling and buying fresh, ripe, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, but also eating some with a dear, old friend! I fetched her for a journey from Merritt to Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden in Ashcroft. It was a grand day for a drive, not too hot, and the smoke had receded, revealing blue sky. Who knew we would find Mexican Food in our Canadian desert?
Just over an hour’s drive northwest of Merritt, through gorgeous sagebrush hills, Ashcroft is a delightful village whose Gold Rush historic downtown is couched between the railway tracks and the emerald Thompson River.  The town of Ashcroft straddles the Thompson, and Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden can be found on the west side of the bridge.

An Oasis in the Desert!

Driving through some of the Ranch’s gorgeous green fields, my first thought was, “Zowie! An oasis in the desert!”
Mexican Food in the Canadian Desert
Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden is aptly named because Ashcroft is found in a unique desert setting. According to Wikipedia, is “the driest place in Canada, south of the high arctic”!  According to Desert Hills Ranch’s website, “early in the 20th century, settlers of Ashcroft found that its rich volcanic soil produced some of the best produce in the world. They found that, as long as you added water to the fertile soil, it would grow nearly anything.”

Ashcroft BC

Painting of Ashcroft by E.J.Hughes, 1965

BC & Canada’s Hot Spot

Often the official hot spot for both BC and all of Canada, Ashcroft’s plentiful heat, soil and water helped its settlers become major producers of potatoes and tomatoes in the early 20th Century. Now potatoes and tomatoes represent only a small fraction of the huge variety of vegetables and fruits now grown at Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden. Family owned and operated since 1983, it draws folk from all over.

A Mexican Fiesta of Luscious Fresh Produce!

Mexican Food

Pick a peck of perfect peppers

Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden is a feast for the senses. Outside, huge hanging floral baskets scent the air, while pots and pots and pots of kale, in their purples, greens and blues, line the outside of the packing shed. Walking toward the Market, we find boxes of fruit stacked high and ready for transport, their contents colourful and inviting. My friend grabs a grocery cart to assist her walking, I opt for a red wagon, and we head indoors to shop.

Mexican Food in the Canadian Desert

A harvest of many colours

Inside, a Mexican Fiesta of luscious fresh produce! Scores of large cardboard bins contain gorgeous fresh-picked fruits and vegetables in a multitude of colours: dark green cucumbers, jalapeños, watermelon, beans, broccoli and zucchini; purple peppers, plums, onions, cabbage and eggplant; orange peppers, nectarines & peaches; yellow peppers & melons; light green pears, cabbage and honeydew melons; white potatoes, onions, and garlic; red sweet & hot peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
I can tell that the peaches and nectarines have been ripened on the tree by the telltale branch mark near the stem.  The watermelons ring with that perfect hollow sound when knocked.

Seedless sweet watermelon

Mexican music streams from the speakers in deference to the many Mexican workers who work here, imported each spring & summer to assist with the planting, tending, picking, hauling & packing. It was fun to be able to practice my meagre Spanish on a few of the staff. They were so ready and available to help!

Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert!

Imported as well, are many Mexican grocery items. Facing one wall, with strains of Mexican music playing in the background, I felt as if I had been transported to my favourite grocery store in Puerto Escondido! Here I was, finding Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert: canned salsas & peppers, hot sauces, drinks, and spices galore, including my favourite, Chili con Limon!
I find all I need to make a fresh Pico de Gallo – roma tomatoes, jalapenos, gigantic 2 pound sweet onions and cilantro. Finally, our carts bursting with fabulous, inexpensive produce, we head to the busy checkout. I can only begin to imagine how many mouths this farm feeds, with markets in both Ashcroft and Cache Creek. They are currently open seven days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Getting peckish, we inquire about lunch. We had heard that Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden also served terrific tacos, and we were eager to enjoy their authenticity.  Turns out tacos are available only on weekends. Next time, we will be sure to visit on a Saturday or Sunday.  There is a shady picnic area on the hillside, where you can enjoy your tacos, or a picnic of your own making, or a Foothills Creamery ice cream cone from the Market.
All watered up for Mexican food, and simply not able to let it go, I search online, and find that the UniTea Cafe in Ashcroft serves some Mex! We head downtown, doing a wee circle tour to enjoy the historical sights and lovely mosaics that abound.

More Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert

Nadine busy in the kitchen at the UniTea Cafe

UniTea Cafe

The UniTea Cafe is a groovy little tea room, serving comfort foods, a wide variety of drinks, coffee and, of course, perfectly brewed full-leaf teas. Also, quesadillas and, lucky for us, on that day, the special was burritos! Stuffed with many good things and cheesy-messy as they should be, and including a side of tomatoes and cucumbers from Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden. Both were delicious!
Oh, and the UniTea Cafe is licensed, so I enjoyed a cold Corona with lime and, my companion, a chilled Chardonnay. All this, accompanied by a lovely collection of Spanish
tunes, and we were, again, transported, enjoying Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert!
The UniTea Cafe often hosts musicians, so check out their Facebook Page for upcoming concerts.
(For other coffee house music opportunities in the area check out Coffee House Music in Merritt, Canada.)
Satiated and happy, my dear friend and I continued our circle tour, back through Spences Bridge, along the Nicola River, through the beautiful Nicola Valley and home.
What a treat to discover the tastes, sounds, smells and colours of Mexico, so close to home!
JGS
August 23, 2018
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Historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives

A Senior’s Trip Through Time

I am always curious about how people lived before technology eased our lives.

Yesterday was blistering hot! So what better place for this senior to enjoy a trip through time than our air- conditioned historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives?

It was a short, hot, walk to Tutill Court. I stepped into the quiet, cool bliss of Merritt’s historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives. It sure is great to be greeted by two smiling seniors, Barb Watson and Jo Atkinson. They answered my questions (and I always have lots of those) with patience and knowledge.

Experience Nicola Valley

Weaved baskets on display at the Museum

Historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives- First Nations

I am always curious about how people lived before technology eased our lives.  So I  began with the First Nations people.  Our First Nations blogger, Gerome Garcia talk to us about how they lived and what they ate. I wanted to see the tools they used.

The Nicola Valley Museum & Archives has many, excellent, hand – made artifacts. Displayed in well-lighted cases are tools, equipment, baskets and clothing made by the first nations people who used them.

Some of these tools may look small but they were sharp and effective! Imagine the skill and time it took to make knives, axes, scrapers, arrowheads, bows, arrows, baskets and everything else you are looking at! All from materials found in their environment! Neither materials nor time were wasted.

Be sure to slide open the drawers under the display cases where many more choice pieces are  displayed. I got my face right down there for a good, close look. The shallow, lit drawers made it easy. I loved the exquisite beading and detailed decoration on these treasures.

No way can I leave this section without mentioning the baskets! They are made from many natural materials – even pine needles! They are amazing in skill, detail, pattern and beauty Many have tight-fitting lids for storage and some were made to hold liquids. Impressive indeed!

Historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives- School Days

A picture that makes me smile every time I see it is of Mrs. Lily Priest, Merritt’s first schoolteacher. The year is 1908 and the Merritt School District had just been formed. She is sitting in a chair in the open door of a teepee shading her eyes from the sun. Just outside the teepee is a wood- burning stove complete with a pot and kettle. This is Merritt’s first school. I can’t help but think how determined the settlers must have been to get their children an education and how determined Lily Priest must have been to see that they got it!

Historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives- Medical Services.

Next, I moved along to the medical display. The old stretcher looks as good as any today, although smaller. Some of the equipment seems familiar, other bits look rather alarming, including the shelves of bottles and potions. Everything would have been spotlessly clean – no antibiotics.

No comfy assisted living facilities for seniors either. You simply recovered or went to live with relatives willing to nurse you. That’s what family did.

The brave doctors and nurses who practiced in the valley got around however they could. On horseback, carts, by commandeering a special locomotive and even borrowing a section man’s hand-car. Now that’s dedication!

Historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives – Home Equipment

This is a great display for comparisons! I found the icebox and “convenient”wood – burning kitchen stove fascinating. Maybe some of you remember a grandmother actually cooking on one.  Were you lucky enough to use one yourself? It is possible to turn out amazing baked goods with these stoves but this skill takes time to learn. The early models had no oven thermostats! Women, especially experienced seniors, were justifiably proud of their cakes, pies and bread!

The pioneers had everything they needed to get by, but they had to work a lot harder than we do.

Ever wash clothes by hand with home – made lye soap boiling water and a washboard? Then hand-wring them, carry them to a clothesline and hang them to dry? I have. That is one hard job! And I’m talking about summer. In winter, on washday the entire cabin would be festooned with lines of drying laundry. Those women must have jumped for joy when the wringer washer was invented!

Historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives – Tools and Farm Equipment

Pioneer tools on display at the Museum.

Here is another fascinating area to explore. Take a good look at the equipment in the storeroom –  scythes, axes, saws, hammers, traps and dozens of other items too numerous to mention! All these tools had to be kept in good condition. This meant cleaned, sharpened, oiled and replaced. All the harnesses, traces, strapping etc. had to be cleaned, oiled, inspected for damage, repaired and put away. Of course, before any of this got done, the items had to be used

Ever spend a day plowing a field with a horse – drawn plow? Me neither, but I once saw it done by an expert. This fellow was a senior working with an experienced horse. But what a hot, sweaty job!

Imagine harvesting that field with a scythe! Better practice first because this is a tool that can nearly sever a limb! And yes, it is another hard, sweaty job.

I think- no, I know I would rather do laundry, bake bread, scrub floors, and work a half-acre kitchen garden!

Historical Nicola Valley Museum & Archives – Back to the present

There is still so much to see. I haven’t touched on transportation, mining, ranching… Looks like I need a return visit, doesn’t it?

Do you want to read about my recent ride on an oversized trike? Read my blog on Seniors Bike Riding in the Nicola Valley.

From your seniors blogger,
Diane