Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Local Eating, Part 2: Gorgeous Greens


Let me introduce you to Kylah and Zach, a husband-and-wife team of organic farmers that is now providing lucky locals with gorgeous heritage produce! I don't have a picture of them to share, as they were off selling at a local market when I went to collect my veggies today. You can visit their website, as well as Kylah's blog to learn more about what they're doing!


We weren't able to afford a full share in the CSA this spring, but we've worked out a deal: I provide them with our free-range, organic eggs in exchange for a weekly basket of organically grown, heritage vegetables. I want to thank Kylah and Zach for the many, many hours of planning, work, and care, as well as heart and soul they put into their veggie-growing, because it saves me that work. I want to thank our beautiful hens for faithfully producing stunning eggs in exchange for water, food, and space to roam.



I just have to say that I feel overwhelmed with local bounty. A few years ago, "locavore" was an unknown concept. A few books were published, my favourite being Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and many of our conversations with friends revolved around how we could make local eating more of a reality. I remember getting into a heated discussion about it with my dad, who felt local eating was completely unrealistic (even though 50 years ago, people were still mostly eating food that was produced nearby!).


Today, we are members of the Ottawa Valley Food Co-op, where we order local beef, pork, and vegetables. We will be getting our meat birds next week, along with a few more laying hens. We pick and freeze as many berries as we can manage. Now, thanks to Mike and Kylah and Zach, we have fresh, organic milk and produce to enjoy.


Aside from making economical and environmental sense, and the fact that everything just tastes so much BETTER when it's fresh, this food just feels...right. Check out http://www.csafarms.ca/ to find a CSA farm near you. The connections you make there might just lead you to raw milk, locally and ethically produced meat, and ties that will bind you to your food and this earth.

(See the remnants of fresh peas on her chest? They didn't last the drive home!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Local Eating, Part 1: Beautiful Bountiful Bovines!

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

~W.B. Yeats 


We are blessed to live in a rural area, where many families still farm the land of their great, great- grandparents. The pioneer spirit is strong in the Ottawa Valley, and we're seeing a revival of local food sources. Sustainability and self-sufficiency are concepts that never fully left us here, and the fact that some families are able to (almost) make a living providing high-quality, organic food is heartening!

In my days of university living, visiting foreign cities, and "finding myself" I felt confident that I would end up living on a farm like Fern's uncle's in "Charlotte's Web"...geese, sheep, a horse, some cows, and a pig living in happy harmony in a warm, sweet-smelling barn. I'd be spinning wool, knitting, selling socks at my farm gate, keeping bees, resting in a "bee-loud glade".

The reality is a bit different: my three kids ensure that I barely have time to weed the garden, let alone tend to a herd. In order to live on this little 3+ acre farm, my husband and I have to work "outside" jobs.
And really? I'm not sure I want to give up my rare knitting time to take care of a lot of animals! This is a recent realisation, and it surprises me a bit. I've always been the kind of person that wants to learn about and do everything.

My new energy-efficient leanings, though, lead me to wonder whether or not it is wise for every homesteader to raise all their own stuff, especially when the barter system is alive and thriving in this community, at least. Sure, it would be fun to write about, but let's face it: raising livestock, growing all your own grain and vegetables, AND raising kids is more than most women can handle, if they're also working a day job. I know my limits.

Luckily, we have a farmer who lives about a 7 minute drive away who sells shares in his Jersey cows. Today we picked up our first milk from him, in exchange for eggs! 1 dozen eggs=two beautiful litres of organic milk. I was hoping to show Violet the cows when we arrived, but was also kind of thrilled to hear that the herd had just wandered off through the bush for a day of roaming and grazing.

Stay tuned...tomorrow we'll be picking up our first CSA basket of the season, in exchange for, you guessed it: more eggs! Thank you chickens, for giving us your eggs to trade for beautiful local food!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

One Stop Shopping



With $40 in your pocket, you can go to Walmart and bring perhaps 2 or 3 items home. They'll be things you don't really need, and you'll wonder why you spent that hard-earned money on some gadget that is supposed to make your life easier, but really just clutters up your already-messy house.
HOWEVER, go to a multi-family yard sale up the road with $40 in your pocket, and you might find:
.:a vintage lilies-of-the-valley beverage set!

.:pretty-in-pink bowls!

.:a mismatched cream-and-sugar "set"!

.:a collection of silverware, to be hammered out and turned into windchimes!

.:a genuine "guzunder" (so called because it "guzunder" your bed for night time pees!)

You might also find an over-an-open-fire popcorn maker, a huge old washtub, and some clear glass jugs (complete with mouse skeletons inside...). You may stumble upon two touristy tea towels: "Traditional Yorkshire Recipes" and "Christmas Pudding" emblazoned on them.

This mama hung out for over 2 hours with her neighbours, chatting, munching on food brought over from the house next door, moving in under the tents when the rain started up again, and calling "CUSTOMERS!" with uninhibited glee when anyone would drive slowly past.

.:Clark is a local glass blower, musician, and purveyor of fine yard sale items!

.:The man on the left bought this motorbike to teach "the wife and kids" to ride. His teenaged son tried to hide his joy behind his saggy jeans and surly face, but I saw it. I also saw the joy on the face of the man on the right, who sold it!

Ah, yard sales. Where else can you get a deal on lots of things you don't need, entertain your kids for hours, visit with neighbours, and see this wonderful juxtaposition of wares all in one location?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rainy Saturday Tutorial


Things I love this morning:
.: seeing the little path through the wet grass, made by wee cat paws
.: the coffee-perk sound of rain hitting the summer kitchen's tin roof
.: my husband in his favourite faded jeans and an OLD leather belt
.: the smell of real coffee perking, my weekend treat
.: Margot still sleeping at 8:20 a.m.
.: a rainy Saturday of yard-sale road tours with the kids
.: Violet agreeing to model this new hat I've made!

This is a bonus post, as I usually take weekends off...but I'm officially on summer holidays now (wheee!) and I came up with this sweet hat pattern over the past few evenings. I thought that if you, like me, love a quick simple knit for a rainy weekend, you might appreciate a wee tutorial.

Rosie Posie Hat

Cascade 220 wool (or any worsted weight wool/yarn...cotton would be cute for a spring/summer cap!)
4.5 mm needles, 16" circular
Size: this hat fits Margot, who is 16 months and has a big head like her mother; it also fits Violet, who is 3 and has a more delicate bone structure! So it just depends on the child's head...email me if you need help with sizing for a smaller/larger child/adult!

For hat:
Cast on 80 stitches. Place marker to indicate beginning of row. Join in round and K1 row, P1 row; continue in this manner (garter stitch) until work measures 2 inches.

Change to stockinette stitch: Knit around and around until work measures 4 1/4"; place markers every 10 stitches. You should have 8 markers in all.

Now begin decreasing:
R1: Knit 8, K2 together. (basically, knit till there are 2 stitches left before the marker, then K these 2 together). Repeat around row.
R2 and all even rows from now on: Knit
R3: Knit 7, K2 together; repeat around row.
R5: Knit 6, K2 together
R7: Knit 5, K2 together

You see where this is going? You knit to two stitches before the marker, then knit these two together, slip the marker, and repeat around the row, then knit the rows in between. This will create a nice spiral/flower shape on top of your hat:

Keep going until you K2 together all the way around. On the next row, K2 together again all around (if you knit a row between these last two rows, you'll end up with a funny little "nipple" at the top of your hat!) You should have 4 stitches left; I use the word "should" loosely...you can be more flexible with hats so if you end up with 6, don't worry!

Break yarn off, leaving a 4" tail; thread through remaining stitches and sew in ends.

To make a rose:

Using another colour, cast on 10 stitches.
R1: K
R2: P
R3: Knit into front and back of each stitch, to end. (20 stitches)
R4: P
R5: Knit into front and back of each stitch, to end. (40 stitches)
R6: P
R7: Knit into front and back of each stitch, to end. (80 stitches)
R8: Bind off all stitches.

Shape into a spiral/rose form, and secure with a needle and yarn.

To make leaves: (make 2 or 3)

Using green, cast on 3 stitches.
R1: K
R2: K1, P1, K1
R3: K into front and back of first stitch, K 1, K into front and back of last stitch (5 stitches)
R4: K2, P1, K2
R5: K 1, Kfb, K 1, Kfb, K1 (7 stitches)
R6: K3, P1, K3
R7: K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1 (5 stitches)
R8: K2, P1, K2
R9: K2tog, P1, K2tog (3 stitches)
R10: K
R11: K1, P1, K1
R 12: K2tog, K1
R13: P2tog

Break off yarn, thread through rem. stitch, and sew in end.

Now you can sew these leaves onto the hat:




Place the flower between the leaves, and sew on securely with yarn.


Ta da! Present at your next baby shower, birthday party, or just on any old day for a chorus of "Did you MAKE that??" Few feelings equal the gratification of gifting a handmade item to a loved one.

Please email me with any questions; I've been knitting since I was a child and take some things for granted! If you're a beginner and are totally scared away by the circular needles, take heart! Like driving a stick shift, they're only scary until you get used to them.

Now shut down your computer, and get knitting! I'd love to see photos of your finished product; please send a link in your comment to share your version of the Rosie Posie hat. Have a lovely, knitty, rainy weekend.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mussel Feast!




The first time I ate mussels was when I lived in France as a high school student; garlic, butter, and white wine sauce, using the empty shell of the first mussel eaten to pinch out the next one...an exotic culinary experience for this Inlander! They're hard to come by in land-locked rural Ontario.

However, my mother-in-law's beau works in a restaurant that has an annual seafood feast; the owner's brother drives down to PEI and picks up fresh lobsters, mussels, etc. and drives them back here FAST. Anything left over is distributed amongst the staff, which is how I ended up with 12 pounds of fresh, needing-to-be-eaten NOW mussels.


Mussels are supposed to be alive when you steam them; this is a bit grisly, I know. As you pick through them, you keep the closed ones to eat. Any that are open need a firm TAP: if they close up, they're edible. If they don't, toss 'em. The keepers then need to be de-bearded and cleaned (scrape off any hairy bits and/or barnacles!). This job took about an hour...not a task to be left till the last minute!
Here's a sauce recipe for 1-2 pounds of mussels.

Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute one chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic till translucent. Add 1.5 cups dry white wine and a pinch of cayenne pepper, and heat through. Add mussels, and stir to coat. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Stir again, then cover and steam for 5 more minutes. When the majority of the mussels are opened up, they're done! This takes about 10-15 minutes. You can add fresh parsley or basil as a garnish.


Serve over fettucine with lots of crusty bread (to soak up the sauce!!), and a simple green salad.


Make sure to place an empty bowl on the table for empty shells AND any mussels that didn't open with steaming; they should be tossed, too. We built a found object sculpture that we dubbed "MusselHenge". Mussels are a great social dinner...a messy, hands-on kind of meal, to be shared with good friends who don't mind really getting into their food!

This Day

I have a teething, snoodly, whiney baby with pneumonia on my lap who is refusing to cooperate with my desire to check my favourite blogs. It's yet another damp, cloudy day. We're going to the doctor's office so he can have a listen to baby's AND mama's chest (as I've developed a wicked cough this week, too). I have to bake 4 dozen cupcakes for our class celebration tomorrow, and have 12 pounds of fresh mussels in my fridge so will be entertaining dear friends this evening with an all-you-can-eat feast.

Needless to say, my mind is a bit scattered today. So this day's post has no theme, just a pretty picture of my newly bloomed delphiniums to please your eye.

What does this day have in store for you?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Year

“When you have come to the edge
Of all light that you know
And are about to drop off into the darkness
Of the unknown,
Faith is knowing
One of two things will happen:
There will be something solid to stand on or
You will be taught to fly.”

June 23 is as significant a date to me as Margot's first birthday. I see it as her "rebirth" day, the day her heart was lovingly and carefully repaired by the amazing pediatric cardiac surgeons at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Today I will share my photos of that day and the days following, and we'll celebrate with a cake...we made it!

We arrived early at the hospital; Margot was hungry (as she often was then), but settled quickly by sucking on my trusty little finger.

This was taken just outside the OR; notice her (too big) hospital gown!

This was one of the hardest moments of the day: handing her off to the anesthesiologist. I shut down around this time. This wasn't denial so much as a survival instinct. I knew there was no way around it: if I wanted her to live, I had to trust other people to take care of her. This was the moment that I stepped off the ledge of all that I know.

CHEO pays attention to the littlest details. A room was set aside just for us, with a breast pump for me, magazines, couches, and a television. My sisters joined Robin and I for the day. A most moving moment was when I opened a giftbag put together by my dear friends at Twig and Toadstool and Wabi Sabi Wanderings, including notes and treats from our circle of mamas. I felt their arms around me that day, and their love and support sustained me. One of the sweetest gifts was a red beaded bracelet from my friend Marcia; she had worn it in labour with her youngest son, and passed it on to me as a reminder that the blood in Margot's veins was mine, and that this would keep her strong during the hours that we'd be apart.



I passed the morning knitting a little heart fairy for Margot, and we all got pedicures (including Robin; guess which feet are his!) from my sister Julie, while getting regular updates from the surgeon's nurse. We laughed and prayed and played cards to pass the time.

After about 3 hours, the nurse came to let us know that the surgery was done, had been successful, and that Dr. Maharajh just wanted to observe Margot in the ICU for a little while before he came to talk to us. He arrived after about an hour. I can tell you what true gratitude feels like, because I almost collapsed at this man's feet. He is the epitome of humility. I told him how hard it was for me to relinquish control and to trust him to do this surgery, but that I knew I had no choice; I can do many things, but heart surgery isn't one of them. His reply? "Well, I don't know how to knit". He gestures to the heavens when praised for what he does; in his opinion, he is "just" using his gift for good. After many grateful hugs, he gave us the go-ahead to visit our girl in the ICU.

You'd think that this was the hardest moment of the day. But I knew she'd survived, and that it was all uphill from here. I kissed her little face, and after staying as late as we possibly could, I went back to my cousin's house (the same cousin who offered her house as a birthing place for Jude!) to spend my first night ever away from Margot. While pumping during the night, I'd call and speak to her own personal nurse for reassurance that she was resting and pain-free.

The next evening, she was moved up to the surgical floor, where she spent a week healing.

Here is the doll I made while I waited through the surgery, wearing the t-shirt printed by my friend Maureen (it's a muscle-bound heart!), and a reminder posted for the nurses. This was to prevent putting stress on her sternum.

Daddy Bear went home the day after the surgery to take care of the older two, and was amazed at how much Margot had healed by Saturday.

Margot had/has what is called "Tetrology of Fallot", a genetic condition that appears in about 1 in 10,000 in the general population, but occurs in 1 in 100 once it is in a family. Robin's grandmother had an aunt who died as a young girl (under 10) from a "heart condition". This would have been about 100 years ago. It is now suspected that she too had this quirky heart: a large hole between the ventricles, a small one between the atriums, thickening of the left ventricle, and perhaps most strangely, an aorta that arches to the left instead of the right.

To patch the largest hole, the surgeons sewed in a circle of Gore-tex. No kidding! This provides a bridge so that the heart cells can cross over and eventually cover the patch. That little circle stays there forever, and Margot's heart will just grow around it. AMAZING! It is even more amazing when you consider that Margot's heart wasn't much bigger than a walnut at the time.

Margot needs annual checkups at CHEO, as she still has a leak here and there, and will live with a heart murmur. I think of Robin's great aunt, and how her mother must have suffered to see her child weaken and die. Babies the world over are born with reparable heart quirks (we don't use the word "defects" in this house). Some of them have access to surgery and others don't. I can't imagine what their mothers must go through, knowing that there is a surgery out there that could save their child's life, but not being able to afford it, or even access it. Dr. Maharajh spends his holidays each year doing a heart-surgery-marathon in his native Trinidad. He brings a team from CHEO with him (also volunteers), and fixes as many tiny hearts as he can manage.

I don't think my child deserved this surgery more than any other child. Am I grateful that she was born in this time, in this place? You betcha. The love, support, encouragement, and hope everyone so generously poured into our family meant so much. It was everything to us, and to this little girl.

Margot looks ahead into a bright and healthy future; who knows what wonders she'll behold?


Monday, June 21, 2010

Tea Time

A tradition that has recently emerged around the Knitty Gritty Homestead is Afternoon Tea. Having read lots of books set in England, I always imagined people just sitting around drinking tea in their parlours at tea time. But my mother-in-law, who was raised in Yorkshire, England, explained to me that it is actually an early, light meal for every day of the week, as opposed to the more formal Sunday dinner.

My mother-in-law's English accent adds a special flair to our tea times!

My children are usually whiney and hungry by 4:00. So I brew up a pot of some lovely (uncaffeinated!) tea such as mint, raspberry leaf, or licorice. A few little crackers, biscuits, mini-muffins, or in this case a banana loaf that someone brought over when Margot was born (it's been in the freezer ever since!) and tea cups are carried out to the potting shed on a tray, and the problem is solved. Everyone has a little bite to eat, and feels restored until dinner is ready.

My mother-in-law gave Jude this cup when he was born!

What I really love about it is the opportunity to use all those pretty tea cups I've collected over the years! Everyone has a favourite. I also like the way it connects my children to their heritage, and connects them to their grandmother. I suspect that this little transplanted tradition will be among my children's favourite memories of childhood.

What cultural traditions do you keep in your home?

Small Steps


One of these days, I'll post before and after pictures of our kitchen. Since we're still firmly ensconced in the "before" phase, I will share one of the ways I've attempted to bring a bit of order to this busy, messy house:


Stitched labels are a quick, simple, and effective way to personalize those Ikea baskets, and helps me feel like I'm getting more organized (please don't look inside or you'll see that it's all an illusion... papers, bills, earphones, gluesticks, etc. are all just crammed in there willy-nilly). Hey, it's more about how they make me feel, right? I envision these in my craft cupboard, on my bathroom shelves, and on and on...a plethora of pretty stitched labels shouting to all who see them: this chica has her sh*t together!! If you ever visit, you'll know better, but like a well-fitting bra, illusion is everything...

The sewing here is of the most basic kind; I opted to skip the tutorial as I think there are probably lots out there. I used a backstitch to do the letters, and a running stitch around the edges. If you really want a tutorial, please let me know in the comments, as I'd be happy to help you "organize" your home, too!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Day for Dads



My own father is in Ireland on this Father's Day. When I think of him I remember stretching out on the couch with him, my cheek on his chest, listening to his slow deep breaths and strong steady heartbeat. I remember his hands tying my skates, helping me with my math homework, and paddling a canoe. My dad is a travelling man, and brought us on all kinds of adventures. By the time I was 10 I'd been to every province in Canada but Newfoundland (did that in my twenties), and as an adult, that wanderlust still runs strong. He instilled in us a respect for nature, intense curiosity, a desire to learn and know and SEE. Since his retirement, my dad has hiked to the base camp of Everest, bungee jumped and sky-dove in New Zealand, and reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He's a hockey coach, a sports fan, a reader of crime novels, a wicked card player, a hobby golfer and fisherman. He's the funniest man I know, with the greatest stories. He is still learning and travelling. I send so much love and gratitude to him for being there for us when we were kids, and for the many kindnesses he bestows to this day.


And today I celebrate my children's Father. That word seems too formal. When Robin gets home from work, everyone goes running, screaming DADDY or DADADADADADA...must be the best moment of his day! Tired mama goes inside to finish (or start!) making dinner, and Daddy takes over, kung-fu fighting, lying on the ground waiting for a kiss from a princess, chasing and screaming and pushing on the swing. This man is patient and gentle and kind. He washes Violet's hair and endures the shrieking that accompanies this task, always with a calming word (I tend to dump the water over her just to get it overwith). He has worked jobs to support us even though he sometimes fantasizes about living on his own and being a musician. He was my rock through labour and birth and postpartum, and when Margot was sick.

Like every father worth his salt, he's doing his best to end unhealthy patterns, to do a bit better than the generations before him. I don't assume that he NEEDS to be here, as many fathers don't hang around when the going gets tough. I am grateful that he has signed on for this formidable task of raising these children. Loving them? That comes easily, and naturally. But sticking around to raise them....that's what makes a father a DADDY. Lucky us. A parent gets paid in little hands nestled in yours, soft wet kisses, the warmth and weight and peace of a child slumbering against your chest, the satisfaction of a "situation" diffused. In that case, this man is rich beyond his dreams. And so are we.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Get Your Stamps On!

Just a quick post to call your attention to a wonderful new destination in Blogland, the Letter Writing Revolution. Please visit my sister at her new blog! If anyone out there needs a true blue penpal, I'm available, too! We could send bits of yarn and fabric and buttons through the post, tea bags and sticks of gum and sparkly stickers. Join the revolution!

PS: I stole this picture from my sister's blog...I'm sure she won't mind too much, as long as you visit and become a follower!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Takin' Care of Business


The sun is shining with that go-to-the-beach heat, and my kids are sitting watching a Blue's Clues movie. The laundry line is FULL, the washer is on full throttle, catching up on that neverending chore I call Mount Washmore. Dinner is in the slowcooker (All Day Beef Stew, fragrant with cloves, fresh thyme, garlic, red wine...), and lunch is on the boil (macaroni, carrots, chopped spinach...I'm hoping the spinach will blend in with the pesto I plan on adding once all is cooked).

I was up till 2:30 a.m. with Miss Margot who is sick at the moment. But rather than fussing and crying, she was singing. And laughing. And dancing in her crib. For hours. I snuggled her into bed with me (dear husband had deserted to the attic at this point). She was quiet for a moment, little hand reaching into that happy place between my breasts. I started to doze...then her fingers started to wiggle and she said "Ticko ticko ticko...hahahaha!!"

What do you do in a moment like that? No, you do not put a pillow over your child's head or abandon them on a hillside like the ancient Greeks did. You sigh, giggle, kiss that curly head, and surrender to the fact that this night will not include sleep.

So today I'm doing all the things I normally do (and moms, don't stop to consider all you accomplish in a day, seemingly effortlessly...you might collapse in sheer exhaustion!) but I'm also stumbling into doorways and bumping my head on the cupboards. I'm what I call "Stupid Tired". We have a doctor's appointment this afternoon to listen to Margot's chest and to examine Jude's feet and hands which have mysteriously erupted in weird blisters. Hoof and mouth disease? In humans it's called hand-foot-and-mouth disease, but the animal name makes me smile. The alternative is crying and that just won't do.

When it rains, it pours. I won't be napping today, and I'm not assuming I'll sleep tonight (although this baby has to crash sometime...she didn't nap all afternoon yesterday, slept 4 hours last night, and hasn't napped yet today). Somehow, mamas just soldier on, with support from the daddy of the house. I have a wake to attend today, a funeral and a family reunion tomorrow, and somehow have to get into "town" to pick up Daddy's Father's Day gift. Next week is the last week of school; gifts for Jude's teachers and busdrivers, kindergarten graduation crafts and parent celebration, tying up all those loose ends.

I'm not listing the duties of my life to be a martyr, because I really don't think I'm alone. All you women reading this are carrying different but just as many "to-dos" in your heads. We do it on little sleep. We take care of business. We kick ourselves when we see typos in our blogposts (at least I do) because I pride myself on being a good speller and editor...except when I'm posting at 10 o'clock at night (which is the only time I have time). We feel ashamed of the last 20 pounds that just hasn't come off after the last baby. We wonder if it's just a matter of time before we "let ourselves go" out of total exhaustion. We bemoan every grey hair, every hint of a wrinkle. We feel frustrated when we get to work and realise there's chicken poop on our shoes, baby snot on our black shirt, or that a pair of underwear that was static-clinging inside your pant leg has fallen out (if this ever happens to you, walk away quickly and act innocent...even if they're huge ratty maternity undies and you're the only person on staff who's had a baby in the past 5 years)

After next week, I'm stepping off the hamster wheel. I'm putting away all the kids' clothes except the absolute summer necessities to reduce my wash-load. I'm wearing Birks and sundresses every day, without a bra. The only thing on the calendar will be meals and swim lessons at the beach. Chores will involve the most basic: weeding the garden, feeding, clothing, bathing, and cleaning up after my kids, preserving whatever fruit is in season.

I know you don't believe me. I don't really believe me either. The world spins madly on...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Come Out


Won't you please come out and rest your eyes? One early morning in June, I awoke before everyone else; I crept down the stairs, avoiding the creaks, and grabbed my camera. One picture of the view through my front porch door, then out into the newly-dawned day to document that most peaceful, natural, and varied of colours:
Tansy Leaf

Perennial Geranium

Pretty Weed

Lady's Mantle

Cosmos

Buttercup

Locust Tree

Mullein, with friends

Beets!

And my favourite, garden plant, the humble pea.

Can you find one restful moment today to sit and just look at the green around you? Yours eyes and your spirit will thank you.