Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011

It's hard to believe that we are once again nearing years end.  So much living has been lived this year, and as my 10 year keeps telling me, "Mummy this year has gone by faster than I remember any year".  I can relate to what he is saying, but wish that it were not his reality, he's too young to feel as though time is flying by.
I managed to get ten wreaths made to adorn the windows and door of our home.  the wreath on the front door has a set of snowflake lights that I picked up at Ikea last week.  They require two AA batteries, making them easy to incorporate into free standing wreaths or windows.  I'm using my rechargeable batteries,  I would have been really excited if these ones were solar like the set I have in my garden.
Christmas music is playing all day long compliments of galaxy music.  DD and I picked up Michael Buble's Christmas CD to add to our line up.... crooner he is!  I've made a place for the Bodhi/Christmas tree to go, hopefully we'll have it up by the weekend, in time for Bodhi Day and giving the kids plenty of time to make paper cranes and snowflakes to decorate it.  I wrote a little blurb about Alternative Christmas Trees at Squidoo, I've come up with a tree design to take to the "Dragon's Den", so stay tuned ;)

If the weather cooperates a little snow will help me along.  I'm saving Christmas baking until the beginning of December, concentrating on any shopping and decorating I want to get done.  The gardens are laid to rest awaiting a blanket of snow to insulate them from the cold. The water barrels are in need of emptying after this last rain fall, a must get done project this week.  It hasn't been cold enough for the wood stove yet, mabye next week.  I'm looking forward to having my perpetual cup of tea, hot off the stove, and warming up lunch with little or no thought to preheating any electric device.

Kids are ready and waiting to skate and toboggan, seeing the baby's eyes light up and hear him squeal with utter awe at the sight of a dusting of snow definitely makes my day and reminds me to stay in this moment with him.  This is my update, over and out.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Soulful Singing & Apple Butter

Friday night was our first soulful singing circle welcoming fall and winter.  Wendy's theme was "Turning", many of the songs we shared were connected to the idea of turning.... turning into a new season, or way of looking at ourselves and life in general.  Wendy Luella Perkins is a real treasure, her song "What Am I Rushing To" on her newest CD "This Very Moment" is one of my favourites. 

Among the many songs we sang was an old Shaker song by Joseph Brackett, 

"Simple Gifts"

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight
'Till by turning, turning we come round right.

It was a great transition into song after discussing the fall harvest and adventures into preserving the bounty for winter.  Being part of such a wonderful circle of womyn is inspiring and nurturing, something I've neglected for far too long.

I spent the afternoon preparing apples for apple butter, hoping to have them done before I set out to sing, no such luck!  I returned home around 11pm and spent a few hours canning before heading off to bed, I did manage to get 16/250ml jars of apple butter finished and ready to stash away. 

Tonight, Chi and I hunkered down after dinner, along with a few helpers and managed to put up almost 8 litres of salsa.  I've gone through two bushels of Roma tomatoes,  I could easily have made use of another two.  I do have 12 litres of tomatoes sauce done and will be able to do about 6 litres of canned tomatoes with whats left over. Next year I'll make sure my tomatoes are in better shape and supply so I can make more sauce and have more canned tomatoes on hand.

It's late, I'm off to bed
Night all!

Zee.. Z z z z z 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Up, up and ready for wet laundry!

With some help from the big kids, we hoisted the drying rack into the ceiling and finished the project.  It will need to be tweaked, I would like it higher up (ladder not high enough) that can wait until we are ready to paint and have scaffolding.  The plan is to do laundry in the evening to benefit from the lower hydro rates, and dry the clothing overnight while taking advantage of the cookstove heat. 

Drying Rack Loaded With Wooden Pins

I have a beautiful garlic braid to hang in my kitchen!  It's been years since I had a garlic braid, nothing this substancial.  It's only a fraction of what we use as a family for cooking and medicinal purposes, but doubles aa beautiful piece of garden art.  As I get a bulb or two of organic garlic from our CSA share, I dry it and stash it away, same goes for the white onions.  After the herbs are all settled in for the winter, my next project will be working on the cold room space.
Fish Lake Garlic Braid From Pathchwork Gardens     

Friday, September 9, 2011

La La, La La la la.....

South Facing Window
Been busy, not with anything overly exceptional unless you call living exceptional.  I'm on track with almost all the need to get done before the snow falls list, like south facing window winter ready for herbs, sprouts and wheatgrass, you can't see the whole window but there is two more shelves, one in the transom and one in the windowsill below the last shelf (5 - 33" shelves) 
Kids Stuck In The Drying Rack

Almost finished the clothes drying rack that will go up with a pulley system, just need some more rope to launch it into the ceiling (catapult?)   It's approximately 8' x 4' should be ok for  3+ loads of laundry.  I'll attack a string down the centre that will be used for little tings like socks and undies.

I told the kids I'd make them a  basket on a pulley so they can send it down for snacks, wipes and lego? 
My LEM Dehydrator

I'm trying to rely less on my freezer and more on ways to preserve foods that don't rely on good ol' hydro.
Cauliflower, Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Potatoes and Zucchini

I have many jars of organic veggies dehydrated and ready to make some tasty soups like cauliflower & cheddar soup, minestrone soup and hearty garden vegetable soup/stews.  Tones of zucchini for lasagna and muffins... and they make great chips for munching on, seriously they really taste like chips! I've got a few bushels of organic tomatoes coming in the next week or so to put up pasta/pizza sauce and salsa.  Apples will be arriving next week for apple butter and apple pie filling for Christmas and into early new year.  Fruit leather is always on the go I manage to make enough to last for three or so days, would be nice to get ahead of the kids and stash some for a rainy day.
Soup Mix, Eggplant, Garlic & Onions, Basil

Life is Good!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton died :(

In a letter to Canadians,

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

Jack Layton

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit

I've seen this around..I don't know who put it together so simply.

Love ~ Joy ~ Peace ~ Patience ~ Kindness ~ Goodness ~ Faithfulness ~ Gentleness ~ Self control.

I would like to paint it somewhere in our home...such a great reminder of what qualities we could possess.

Monday, August 8, 2011


"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify."

~ Henry David Thoreau

I love to live's something I am constantly striving for. I like being quiet...I'm a great listener. I like to observe and try to not judge. Live and let live. I am trying to borrow more books from the library and friends and if I feel I need it forever, then I'll purchase it...I need to do that with movies and tv series on dvd! I like real, whole food..mostly because its healthiest. I have no desire to shop and try not to have a list of wants. I like feeling grounded..(I don't really know what that means but I think I know how it feels). I don't want to over consume. I am generous with my heart. I often brag to Chris and the girls that I could live out of a back pack and I'm fairly certain that I mean it. I try to stop myself from saying things that don't need to be said...don't ask my teens about this one. I am enjoying starting my day with an hour long walk at 6 am.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oh My Goodness!

Look at the new format!! Thanks Grace! It's so new and fresh!

Bonjour!'s well into August already ;)
August 2010 Me and my Chi
This summer has been marked by many things that inspire, so many I can't possibly list them all but the ones that stand out the most for me concern relationships and the positive effects a couple/people have on a their community and individuals who surround them, even folks unknown to them.  Chi and I were invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of dear friends of ours last month, what a day!   They renewed their vows to each other, acknowledged a life so far that has been full adventure and the potential for so much more.  Marg and Stew, I know,  just by association have laid a foundation for more compassion, peace, empathy and love in this world. Even if you don't know them personally, you know them because that energy has be passed on and has imprinted on someone who I'm certain has passed it on, kinda like the Wella Balsam commercial from the 70's  you nurture two people and they nurture two people.... an so on, and so on.

This weekend Chi and I will be off to celebrate with Alvin and Donna,  40 years married!  I am so looking forward to many more years with my Chi and I think in 17 years, we'll throw a 40 year bash of our own!  Keep on, keepin' on Chris & Lee, Greg & Kathy, you too inspire!

Life is Good!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Look at the date!

Its been a while hasn't it! We are using a lap top as our computer at the moment and I need to figure out how to get my photos over here.
Well, I am really excited that it's march finally. February was difficult for me for some year I need more of a plan. I had anticipated January being difficult because I really enjoy the Christmas holidays, but that month was fine. I should plan something really fun for Feb next year! No wonder folks go on vacation!
I have been taking pottery class and am very excited for wednesday evenings. I have a really laid back instructor which is what I need. I have made a few little bowls and will take photos of them when I can. My plan is to have a little stash of things I have made, for myself and for Christmas presents. Who wouldn't love a little hand made bowl!
I just read the book "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" about Aron Ralston. He was trapped in a cavern for 6 days without food and water and freed himself by cutting off his hand. Pretty amazing. I am really going to try to see the movie based on the book...."127 Hours". Its not playing around here anymore and I don't think it ever did, but it's still in Toronto...maybe Chris would like a little road trip!
Its a quiet sunday afternoon and I am happy to be hanging out at home. I plan on posting more soon:)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Still knitting here....

My pictures are lost.... I'll post one of the finished had when its done, I wanted to show you the before picture because it  looked like a hat covered in cow utters... no seriously!

I'm waiting for this hat to finish up in the wash.  I'm hopeful it will turn out the way I imagine it might.  Of course I could be way off base and this could be a real disaster, but that's the fun part.  Someone will wear it right?   It's a little on the bright side, but it reminds me of the red angora sweater I had when I was 18.

I was telling Thuy the other day I remember when my Baba passed away I flew out from Toronto to Ottawa to meet my family for her funeral.  I thought upon arriving I would be able to change clothes before heading to the funeral home, not the way it went....  I was wearing my new gear for my mom because I knew she would enjoy the secret messages in the clothing and I wanted to cheer her up a bit by putting myself way out there.

I had a bright red angora sweater, the same colour as this hat.  I was sporting a pair of wool, red plaid clamdiggers and bright red socks to match my top... oh did I mention the red beret?  My Scottish mum met my amazing get up with laughter and horror once she realized it was the outfit I would be wearing to the funeral home.  Although I felt extremely self conscious  obviously out of place, I  held my head high and said a proper goodbye to my Baba. 

Oh the secret... as a little girl I was not allowed to wear red, only green.  I remember always wanting red everything, especially shoes.  Red was banned from  my wardrobe because it was not proper for red heads and would clash in the worst way.  I was living on my own and could wear what I wanted, and red it was going to be!  Also the plaid pants were to inject a wee bit my Scottish heritage :) m Wish I had a picture to show you, I was quite the sight!  Blinding sight...

I always think of my Baba when I see this particular colour of red, knitting this hat brought back so many fond memories.

Life is Good!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I hope you are having a great day and getting tea brought to you all day long!

Annie's sewing project

Lee here...on a snowy saturday Annie asked me to drag out the dusty sewing machine..she had seen some purple material in my stash and thought it would make a great Joker in the Joker from Batman. She literally worked on it all day...figuring out how to thread the machine with my help, and experimenting with different sizes for arms, way to attach the pieces etc. Please excuse the sideways photo!
Here is the finished project..the clothes were a little tricky but she made it work. The hair is green material sewn on. This was a real learning experience for her..she thought of other things she could have done...for next time:) She really has the brain of an artist. She can visualize something and make it happen..

The sewing machine is staying out for a while..we will have to do school work around it. I have some things I would like to make and I know this is a great creative outlet for Annie..and its nice to have it at the ready for when the inspiration hits!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year!

Lee here:) I feel that we haven't quite got back into the swing of things since the holidays...I am still watching too much "food network" since we got more channels for the kids over the holidays....I haven't called to cancel them yet. Annie hasn't started back with homelearning..we are still playing games and playing with lego. Maybe after this weekend.

This box is a cool .49 cent find from the Sally Ann when I was out with Zee. It is made from some sort of mache..similar to an april cornell box I used to have. I love the color and pattern..the inside is black.
I made gift tags with the Christmas cards from last year...for next Christmas.
Annie and I have been going to the she hopped on the treadmill for a photo op...she had already finished on the eliptical. Its a small gym but we go and crank the tunes, work up a sweat and have fun!

Thats all for now:)


It's Official!  The Girls are a layin'

Well today was the lucky day, 11th of January ~ more action in the hen house.  I though they might hold off until spring, but the -12 weather brought these on.  I wonder what's it's like for a chicken to lay her first egg?  What must have come over them.... Bob!  Terry! (our roosters) Something's going on down below, my lady parts are about to explode!  I'm sure Bob and Terry grimaced at the thought and just stood back.  I'm sure the coop dynamics will change as the rest start laying.  Life is Good

Chantecler Chicken


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gnome Hat

It's finished!

I did a li'll copper plate that I want to attach to it, that will get done later.  Here's a few pictures of the clan donning the "Hat"

Gnome Hats

I'm having tons of fun whipping up Gnome Gear.  I'm going to do a few more hats and then try some socks with a curl at the toe.  This is my wee gnome modeling my wears.

I've got one in the wash right now, hoping to felt it up just proper and end up with the perfect Gnome Hat for a medium size head.  Might be small actually, time will tell!

Here's what I've done so far

Almost finished knitting the hat.

Before washing and felting.

I'll let ya know how it turns out when it comes out of the dryer.

I want to sew copper tags on them that say Gnome Gear or something Kitchy, I was hoping for Gnome Domes.. but alas its already spoken for by two other sources.  According to the Urban Dictionary it's a sexual reference roflmao.. who'd a knew!

Zee here, and gone again!


A.K.A Flannel Bum Wipes

Just a decade or more in the making.  Talk about procrastinating.  One of my New Year's resolutions was to get them done and in service asap.  So here they are.. drum roll please

I have more than 100, and can make some more up in a pinch!  My septic is so excited, trees are happy.. and nothing beats a squeaky clean arse IMO

Zee here, over and out!