Monday, September 29, 2008

You made your bed...

I dont plan on sleeping in it but it will be a new home for some veggies come spring. I am building this bed using a sheet composting technique using layers of cardboard, news paper, straw, compost, leaves, peat moss, some soil and then adding more items as I get them. Worms will be drawn to it and over time, it will just rot into a beautiful, rich, organic planting medium. Lee

Monday, September 22, 2008

First funeral

Lee here...

I went to my first funeral the other day. (when my grandparents died, we had a small family and close friends memorial at their house so I had never been to a funeral home before)

The man who died was 49 years old, 2 kids and a wife that I worked with and was close to. I havent seen her in so long. What horrifying news. Life just...ends. The funeral was actually OK but really sad thinking of his life being over. I feel so sad for my friend and her family, now just living without him.

I tried to see my friend a couple of times that week but kept missing her so I only saw her at the funeral..all the way there I kept wondering what I would say..I suddenly felt selfish..I wasnt really thinking of her and her husband..I was just worried about me. So I started to focus on them..on her husband..sending my thoughts and blessings, telling him to rest in peace and that his family will be ok. And for his wife..hoping she takes the time she needs to start healing from this and that she has many siblings and in laws who love her and are there for her..friends too. Two of his sisters of which I also worked with. Their words were so sweet. They spoke of how close their family is and how much they love him and that he never said unkind words about anyone. How, as a mechanic, he would have to tell people what was wrong with their vehicles and he would feel terrible because of how much money it would cost. How him and his wife and kids were always together. Other people spoke and told stories....lots of laughter and tears. It was standing room only. After the funeral they had a reception. I waited as she had many people talking to her, wanting to give their condolences. It was then my turn....we just hugged and cried.

I had Kate and Annie with me. Stef was at work. I think it was a positive experience for them altho they dont know them...Stef remembers going to her house and seeing her flower beds. I think it was good for them to hear the outpouring of love by his family and friends.

My friends husband made this statue that I have in my heart shaped garden. It's difficult to see but it's a bird made of old garden tools.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More photos from UCV

Inspiring Upper Canada Village pics!

There is so much to see and take in at UCV, and all of it is so inspiring. I think we kept saying things like, "It's such a simple idea, but so useful and so beautiful." The gardens are usually my most favourite part, coming away with some ideas to try in my own gardens. But this year, I found myself more inspired to get into the 'craft' side of things. I LOVED chatting with the woman in the McDiarmid House. She had so much to share, and not just about the spinning, which she was working on, but all the day-to-day activites and their whole thinking on how their lives were centered on 'getting ready for winter'. It really gave me a sense of what they thought about...For me, I am inspired to get back into spinning, especially now that I have bought some beautiful wool rovings! and to FINALLY learn how to knit those socks (with my mum's coaching!) Here are some pics. to inspire you too...a lovely way to slip into Autumn.


That cake looks awesome. I once had a taste of a cake that Kate was beautiful too and tasty! Maybe Kate should continue taking cake decorating classes...the cake we had made for Jen's wedding was by a young woman who started out the same way, with one class. Then she took another and learned a few more things and then started making cakes for families they knew and now people her pay her (really well too!) for her cakes. It looks like a fun way to make some extra cash!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Dont you just want to make a cuppa tea right now and cut yourself a nice big wedge of cake????
This is Kate when she was taking a cake decorating class at Micheals last year.

I know those hands!

Lee in the house:)
Oh those hands of your mom's! What a great photo Kathee! I should run out right now and take a photo of my mom knitting, my dad doing some craft...what a keepsake..I missed the opportunity to do that with my nan. That would be such a great gift for your mom to be able to pass down the pattern and have you memorize it and be able to make those awesome socks with your eyes closed!!
Upper Canada Village was so great..I really feel like I need way more time there but on a cooler day...The gardens are so inspiring!! I love the way they are set up..mostly raised beds..I wonder if they really did that method in the 19th century? The shoemaker, baker, spinners and weavers, blacksmiths, all these lost arts that we should totally be learning and holding onto and using. To be able to go back to a simpler time (ok with maybe a few modern conveniences like running water!) would be so great..modern tech is fine and all but there are so many simple, practical, inexpensive, brilliant ideas there! For example...having windows on either side of the house for a cross breeze...but instead, we close up all our windows and turn on an air conditioner wasting valuable energy? Silly! Why have we thrown those away and now just go to visit that world, as if time travelling, once a year? Maybe Kathee could post some pics for us since I didn't bring my camera and Grace didn't have batteries in hers. This trip is always such a great reminder of living simply.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What a beautiful picture!

I love pictures of hands and feet. Especially the young and the very old. Seeing your mums hands at work creating socks, wonderful gifts.. what an awesome sight.

You've knit a scarf, yup now it's time to make some socks like yer mum. Someday your girls and guy might look to you for instructions on how to make grandma's socks!

Upper Canada Village here we come. Spinning demos, summer kitchen inspirations, bread baking. All the things we are trying to learn and become somewhat skilled at. Hanging out with a bunch of home learning families is the best start to the unschool year IMO.

Count me in...sort of...

'Rogue knitter' would be an excellent title for me, seeing as the only thing I have ever knitted was a scarf when I was 9...but as you said Grace, I could knit if I really wanted to...To tell the truth, I have talked with my mum about showing me how she knits the socks she makes. One of the styles she makes is one her mum showed her, and I love the idea of keeping that tradition in the family. So maybe this will be a good time to stop 'talking' about it and start doing it. Here's a photo of my mum's hands in mid-knit...

I am really looking forward to going to Upper Canada Village and getting some rovings. My mum needs some and I am planning on giving my spinning wheel a good try this fall! then who knows, maybe I'll be able to use that wool to knit the socks...finally.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

K.. Lee and Kathee...

Here's another branch of Our Eclectic Reality... ROGUE knitters Unite! (thanks to Lee's creative sense of humour) Spin on over when you can and keep the Upper Canada spirit alive.

Rogue Knitters, Spinners & Weavers, practice and hone their craft without formal training or feeling the need to seek out only skilled artisans as mentors. They prefer the company of wise, and not so wise folks who are passionate about fibres. Rogue knitters are rascals who scrounge for their supplies, preferring to trade and barter in order to build up their stash. They are crafty scoundrels who obsess over the things they make, plan to make and continually boast “they could make” if they so choose. Don’t forget their distaste for fusty patterns and knitting terminology!


Hey Kathee..... Welcome Aboard!

What a beautiful picture! It's going to be so much fun having you join in the conversation. I think Aideen, Thwee, and Stefee should start their own bolg... I bet that would be something to follow :)

Have a great day!
I need a big shove into the garden this week, time to tidy things up again. Not that I don't want to get out into the garden, but seems like there is more than a bazillion things that need to be done all at the same time, or at least in my imagination they do.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A big welcome to Kathee! and a fond farewell to Ethel:(

Lee here.....So sad to hear about your chicken Grace!! I have fond memories of her....

Welcome to Kathee!! So nice to have you along for this ride!! Why do two exclamation marks seems more exciting than one? Kathee is special..creative, energetic, artsy and crafty, a fabulous gardener, a do-er...and a dear friend...welcome aboard...I look forward to seeing your posts!! So much gardening, parenting and life wisdom to share!! No pressure:)
(garden statues aka scare crows in Kathee's garden)

Here I am!

This is my first try at 'blogging', so please bare with me...thank you Lee and Zee for inviting me to share my 'eclectic reality' ! Right now we are trying to deal with all the veggies that are coming out of the garden...making sauces and pickles and freezing veggies. And we're eating lots! A pita with homemade pesto, melted mozzarella and sliced fresh tomatoes is our favourite lunch. We lost a lot of potatoes; they just rotted in the very wet soil, but managed to harvest quite a few just the same. And our cucumbers have never done so win some, you lose some...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Remembering Ethel

We lost Ethel last week; death has made its final visit to the hen house. There are no more chickens calling out in the morning as they lay their eggs. Ethel was a survivor; she brought hope for my RADical child, an opportunity to practice compassion and empathy, if only on a small scale. There is a part of me that feels guilt in making her a coerced volunteer in my attempt to see my RADical child experience love, if nothing more than a fleeting fancy, Ethel provided a reason to nurture. Although she is gone, she will never be forgotten. Our last chicken, her legacy of "wonderment" will live on in Tinh Ly's heart and my memories when I recall his little voice asking if he can go and see the "Titiken.. Essel" beaming ear to ear as he watched her peck at my perennials and avoid Tundra, who was always ready to lunge. What sweet memories I will have of the "Last Girl Standing". I will put the old coup to rest, and rebuild a new one for next year, of course there will be a Lucy, in memory of Ethel.

Despite our loss Life is Good on the IDA Hill homestead.
Namastee Ethel!