the harvest

There was frost the other night, there had to be.  Nothing else could send me out the doors, even before I had my morning coffee, to check on the veggies that didn't get harvested yet.  There were a lot of wilted leaves but thankfully the few cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and green onions that we had left were fine.  But the real winner of the harvest came from a last minute planting that we did, a simple root vegetable. 


Back in early June on planting day, I was taking a lunch break in the kitchen and noticed our bag of organic red potatoes had sprouted.  In a moment of spontaneity I decided that I would just plant the potatoes since they were already seeding.   I know it's not protocol, I probably should have gone to the local nursery and picked up a proper box of seed potatoes and do it the way the regular folk do it.  But in my thinking, potatoes were not on my list of things to grow this year and here I had a bag of potatoes that would have otherwise ended up in the compost pile, why not use them instead of going to waste?  Determined to plant the potatoes, I set out for some information through the scholarly google.  I found this on videojug, it seemed straight forward enough: dig a trench, put the whole potatoe in the ground about 15 cm (6 inches) deep, eyes up, cover with soil and let them grow.  That was 3+ months ago. 


Yesteday while harvesting the vegetables, we noticed a few potatoes peaking out on the surface.  A quick dig revealed that there wasn't just a few but a whole harvest of large delightful red potatoes.  We filled not one but two bowls, definitely more than 20 lbs...who would have thought?   And since they originated from organic potatoes I can happily say they are organic. Not too bad for this unplanned potato planter.  You can guess what we will planting again next year, the crop that stole my heart.   




The end of summer is here and the official chill of fall has set in.  Upon waking today I found myself reaching for yoga pants and long sleeves, brrr.  I adore fall, really I do.  It's filled with colors and a constant rhythm that our family hasn't experienced in a long while.  Programs have started and I find myself mindful of the year ahead.

peak a boo

At times I feel as though my thoughts are keeping me from the creative things I want to do.  You see this year I am seeking a bit more balance than I have maintained in the past.  In particular the hubby and I have taken the plunge into the fitness arena, together.  Both of us were quite active as single people, he played soccer and I played volleyball and ran track.  Right through my first pregnancy I played as much sport as possible until things got uncomfortable but that was 1996 and this 2009, 13 years, 5 babies later and most of my physical exercise has consisted of chasing after the kidlets all day and long walks. 


This year we decided it was time to incorporate exercise back into our schedule and prioritize our own health.  And I'm not just talking about "doing your time", I want to go back to the things I loved pre-children and live the active life I used to.  All that means change, big change.  For me it means turning off the computer, putting the fabric/knitting down, putting on the runners and stuff and heading out the door.   At least until I learn how to knit on roller blades ;)

summers end.....hopreaching

The hubby and I are spending every day doing something active and every other day we do resistance training.  Guess what?  I'm sore.  Everyday something new aches, but I love it.  Things are waking up in me that have been dormant for so long and I love each and every sore muscle.   I've been running more, swimming, and yes even roller blading - it was a little scary getting back up on the blades after a 6 year hiatus - but it all came back to me.  When we aren't out pounding the pavement we gather at the Y for everything else.  I love that place.  It has everything we need under one roof.


To make sure we were heading in the right direction I hired a personal trainer to kick our butts in gear keep us accountable.  Hiring him has been a real help for both of us as we figure out long term goals and work toward an active life that is sustainable.  I'm not looking for a quick fix here I'm looking to live a long healthy life and that starts with choices.  I know statistically I am responsible for 70 % of my physical health by the time I reach age 50.  I am also immensely aware that the four little people I interact with on a daily basis need to see me living it, for their own future sake.


While I order my priorities I start to think about this little place in blog land that I have.  Will I continue with it?  What place will it take in the future.  When I think about giving it all up I get a little sad.  This place has become a pictorial journal for me.  It contains not only images of the things I make but also of the events and moments in our life that I want to remember.  From sewing, knitting, gardening, playing, partying, and pretty much anything else that occupies my time and thoughts.  I don't want to let it go in favor of a more active life style.  Instead I want to evolve, as I must, move things around a bit, so I can fit it all in.  And while this blog is only a glimpse into my life I do hope you will continue along the journey with me as I learn to balance each day, one step at a time.





For birthdays in our home I like to have at least one handmade addition to the "purchased" gift that we give the birthday child.  Since the youngests of our crew, the girls, are avid artists in the making it seemed only common sense to support and encourage their creative gifts with a special little package all their own.  In the past I've made the coloring rolls and totes for such an occasion but as with creativity, I like to mix things up a bit and change the design now and then. 

inside: supplies

Introducing the latest in the line of "art on the go".  Made with Heather Ross fabric, which I adore, each girl received her own all in one art kit complete with doodle pad and crayons.  There are extra spots for pencils and a pocket just above the crayons to allow for additional creative items.  We are big fans of the Peaceable Kingdom sticker/scene activity kits and usually tuck one in the pocket when we are heading out the door.  The local store I pick them up at is Toad Hall Toys, which carries a large selection including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you can bet I'll be visiting there again

inside: all you need on the go

The entire art-easy tote folds and shuts simply by inserting the long strap handle through the metal loop, easy-peasy for little hands. Makes for a quick set up and clean up.  The girls are over the moon with their new art-easy totes and to keep things extra special, and simple, is their own appliqued initial which aids the homeschooling effort in terms of letter recognition.  Personal and practical, just the way I like it. 

art-easy totes

Have a happy weekend everyone filled with warm fall days and endless family fun!  xxx. 



It was all manner of sweetness earlier in the month. A chocolate lovers paradise featuring five desserts for five years.   Two chocolate cakes, one with white icing and one with chocolate icing, 2 fruit flans filled to the brim with fruity goodness, plus a little extra on the side and for the finale, a fallen chocolate mousse cake dusted with icing sugar and more berries.  Yum!  If that isn't crafting at it's finest then I don't know what is!  It also explains why my sewing machine sits idly by.  Soon my sweet swede, very soon.


As for my girlies, I can't believe we are here already.  Five.  From nursing babes just a couple years ago who spent every moment under foot, they have grown into independent little people who are branching out a little more each day.

let them eat cake

Yes indeed, five is here to stay and I don't mind really, because there are still many moments filled with mumma cuddles and love...when they need it 
I need it.


happy fall

because sometime you just gotta...

happy fall



He rocked my world back in May when he decided that he was going to put a garden in.  After the past year of renovations, I didn't even think that would be a priority on our list of things to do, in my mind eveyone should be in their respective bedrooms before you begin working on the outside. 

muscle man

But he had a different idea.  He wanted to start our life in this house the right way and that meant a vegetable garden.  So he muscled up that day and built me three 4 x 12 foot gardens, which in his plan will be the first of many.  That he even wanted to build it meant he stole my heart, but then he went on and used those "love" words like: "plan" and "sustainability".  He just keeps giving me more and more reasons to love him. 

sod rolls

The planting was a family affair with the kids, my mum and I planting seeds and starter plants; being
hopeful in the process that the seeds would do their part.  Each week the
kids checked faithfully for growth and gave me the report.  A
flower here and a flower there meant veggies were coming
soon.    It was a slow start but to our surprise and delight we found some real growth happening.  I say surprise because truthfully it wasn't a great growing season in these parts.  Our spring & summer were extremely late and filled with unseasonably cool, wet days. That kind of weather makes vegetable gardening a real challenge. 


Finally this week it was time to harvest a few of our growing goodies and give them a try.  We started with our largest cucumber, a bright red pepper and tomato.  They were cut up for lunch and added to a plate of poached eggs - fresh from the farm, thank you mum - and organic carrots from the market (the rabbit ate our garden carrots and broccoli - note to self: put fencing around garden next year) . 

fresh from the garden

The chatter around the table was something along the lines of how much better the vegetables tasted from our own garden.  It was sustainability at it's finest.

sustainable lunch

I am just thrilled that they were excited about eating vegetables!  


the last of "sometimes"

...literally.  Not only are these the last of my photos of our visit to LFG - which have nothing to do with this post really - it feels as though the long summer days have finally come to an end.  The night sky is arriving earlier than usual, the geese are gathering, even regular programming is beginning.  Thank goodness for that schedule because my brain is already in overload mode trying desperately to keep up with the new demands that have arrived with fall.  Everything is pointing to a shift, if you will, in life and seasons and I'm trying to do my part. 


I know things have been dreadfully quiet around here the past couple of weeks; and while much of our time was spent enjoying the last days of summer, the rest was dedicated to the de-cluttering that never took place before our move last year.  A whole section of our garage was filled to the brim with toys and baby paraphernalia just waiting for a yard/garage sale, shocking isn't it?  After 3 attempts, foiled by rain, I am happy to report a most successful sale took place two weekends ago.  The entire proceeds of the sale, $ 500+  went to the kids for some techie stuff that they've been patiently waiting for.  As for the rest of the items, they were immediately loaded into the van and taken to the local charity we support.  Ahh, it feels good to see that corner of the garage. 

the dining room

The other thing that I was (painfully) working on, was the remainder of the kids baby clothing.  Whilst a good portion of the boys clothing was given away to family, I was finally able to start on some of the girls' items destined for our local family of multiples garage sale which took place this past Saturday. During the sorting as I pulled out item after item, it became increasingly clear how fast time has gone by and how big my "babies" are now   It was also surprising to see how attached I would be to a few particular items of clothing.  I mean it's not like the clothing are my children, but still, it's that they spent time in those items and now that time is gone. sniffle.

lady of the manor

At the heart of my mixed emotions is knowing that as I let all these "things" go, it is an indication that I probably won't be having anymore children.  Yes, I'm one of those confused sorts that most days wishes she had a sweet baby to hold and cuddle, but at the same time I feel that my hobby filled, homeschooling lifestyle with four kids keeps me busy enough, too busy to add another wee one (or two - could be twins again, right?) to our clan... *sigh*   

blacksmith   refined

Not all seasonal changes are meant to be easy, I know that much.  But like I said earlier, I'm trying to do my part, even if, I may or may not be guilty of keeping a few special items - babies first walking shoes and first picture outfits - that
will remain locked away for me to treasure...forever.   You can hardly blame me right? 

All for now...xxx.  I hope your Monday is lovely and the season is gentle to you. 



Oh SIGG, oh SIGG...not you too!

I stumbled upon this letter, I'm sure many of you have read it by now. It's new news to me and worth while sharing with you my faithful peeps. Monday I'll be calling the local store that I purchased them from to see if they will do a voluntary exchange, but if not I'm mailing all 5 bottles out for replacements. Should you choose to do the same the deadline is set for October 31, 2009 and SIGG is not picking up the tab for shipping.  I think Canada Post is going to love this recall.


"sometimes" continued...

More photos from Lower Fort Garry. 

On our travels back in time to the 1800's, one common theme that stood out amongst the people was how hard they worked, at everything. 

If you wanted to eat, you grew your own garden.


If you wanted to see at dusk or night, you made candles.


If you wanted to stay warm during the frigid winters, you knit your own sweaters.


And of course you would first have to spin your own wool.


I really like that last part but wonder how different my life would look if I had to do all those things for survival.



Lower Fort Garry

Sometimes the best breaks are the unexpected ones.  The kind you don't plan but life plans for you by whisking you away into the happenings of each day.  That's where I am these days.  In the moment, with the kids and with our friends.  We've been busy doing it all, beaching, walking, talking, biking, playing, visiting and all those activities that make summer, so easy, a season.  While I know it can't last forever, we are doing our best to stretch it out before the hussle & bussle takes so many of our dear friends away into their own schedules. 


Yesterday one of our outings took us to Lower Fort Garry, a historical site dedicated to the oldest intact stone fur trading post in North America where costumed interpreters bring the stories to life.   It's like walking onto the set of Little House on the Prairie.

the fur shack

The furs stored in the attic were a sight to behold, made me momentarily wonder if PETA knows this place exists. 


teepee sadness

And while Miss A was definitely unhappy to see the Buffalo skin on the floor of the teepee, no doubt practicing for her future PETA position, I was most happy seeing that the general store was stocked full of fabric.  Gave me a little hope that perhaps I could have survived those times.

general store

Stayed tuned for more photoblogging posts of our visit to Lower Fort Garry.

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