Thursday, June 28, 2012


The season is fleeting, so you have to grab at it as soon as you see the "Now Open" signs at the strawberry farm. A sun hat, a blue sky, a bottle of water, and some baskets are all you need.

 The help of a patient aunt is helpful, too.
 In an hour, we have four baskets, stained, scented fingers, and tummies full of berries.
In a few more hours, we have jars of jewel-red jam. Yes, the fruit floats as it always does when I make jam. I don't mind. I don't make it because it looks pretty (although that's a bonus)...strawberry jam makes me want to bake a loaf of homemade white bread, slather a slice with butter, and top it with a thick spread of homemade jam. Mmm...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

anger + music =

On this day, he wanted to be a scientist in a kitchen that was already an explosion of sugar, strawberries, stickiness, and dirty dishes after our jam-making experiments. 

He got so angry. Thumping fists, yelling, protesting that I never let him do anything.

After several calm attempts to creatively solve the problem, I finally threatened to chase him outside with a broom if he didn't cool it. 

Then I suggested a set of earphones and Rage Against the Machine.
A few air guitar solos, some rock-kicks, and several swear words later, he was back to his old self.

Music is medicine to his parents' souls, so why not to his? Some might question whether or not Rage Against the Machine is "appropriate" fare for a seven-year-old. I say, it did the trick, dispelled his anger, and brought my curious, sweet, reasonable little man back into the kitchen. He knows that grown-ups shouldn't swear, but that we do anyway, and that he's not allowed to.

For now, his natural response to listening to Rage's rage-filled riffs while kicking over a kitchen chair or two (followed by giggling) is enough medicine for this guy.

I never found that time outs, punching a pillow, or deep breaths worked for him anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2012

::this moment::the strawberry picker::

I let him play hooky today. He worked for an hour to fill one basket in sweltering heat, then helped me wash, hull and crush them into beautiful, ruby-coloured jam. He was so proud of himself when I praised his work ethic, and walked a little taller all day.

Stop by Amanda's blog to share your moment and to enjoy others.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Solstice Salad

As Wednesday is a work day for me, and we're going berry-picking today, we celebrated the Solstice a few days early, with sun pendants and the planting of sun-coloured flowers.

We also worked together to create a sun-inspired lunch: salad, bright with calendula, nasturtium, carrots, and a red-pepper-and-cherry-tomato sun (we also added chickpeas, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, feta cheese, cucumber, and lettuce). A side of red-pepper hummus with rice crackers (on my beloved sunflower platter, of course!) and a pitcher of pink lemonade rounded out our meal. The girls ate the salad up (I suspect that letting them cut lettuce and cucumber helped!), and we talked about eating with the seasons.

Tonight, we'll light a bonfire in anticipation of many more to come as we welcome in this most-welcome of seasons: SUMMER! The depths of winter seem far away as we fight the heat, water our gardens and pets, begin gathering our first CSA baskets, and bask in the sun's beautiful heat.

Happy Solstice to you and yours!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celebrating the Sun: With Flowers

Just down the road we follow the signs to our favourite greenhouse.

It is a faery land of sweet doorways, shadowy nooks and crooked crannies, stonework steps and handpainted signs...just where you'd expect to see two sun faeries in search of sun-coloured flowers.

We choose as many orange and yellow flowers as we can fit in the car, and wait for Grandma (who has been instructed to wear yellow) to arrive for our planting party.

Violet and I agreed that we couldn't leave these pink baby's breaths behind just because they weren't yellow. We decided that they're the pink of dawn and sunset.

Big hands guide little ones to fill pots and pots with our flowers.

And our front step is Solstice-ready, with containers overflowing with warm, sunny goodness.

Join me tomorrow to see what we made for our Solstice lunch...we celebrated a few days early, as we are going berry picking tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Solstice Sun Pendant

Ah, the days of strawberries, barbeques, camping trips, bonfires, and beach days are upon us!

Let's celebrate the lengthening days with a sweet, simple craft: Solstice Sun Pendants!

You will need:
*wool felt in "sun" colours
*embroidery floss in "sun" colours
*scissors and a needle
*beads and sequins (optional)

I traced a bottle camp to create the red centre, then cut out two larger yellow circles.
Stitch a spiral onto the red circle, and add a bead and/or sequin to the centre if you wish. These are for my little girls, and I know they'd love the sparkle and shine of embellishments.
Stitch the red circle to one yellow circle, then use a contrasting thread to stitch a zigzag (sun ray) pattern around the outer yellow circle. Again, add beads if desired.
Using the blanket stitch, sew the second yellow circle the to back of your creation for sturdiness.

This could be put on a string with bright beads to create a Solstice Necklace, or a safety pin could be added to the back to create a pin. You could make smaller versions to create earrings, or make several to create a mobile! The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Join me tomorrow, where I will share another Solstice activity!

Friday, June 15, 2012

::this moment::storytime::

Pop by for more moments, and to share a link to your own!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

little helper

There's just something about five.

She has more patience for her little sister. 
She asks hundreds of questions a day.
She tells jokes, and has a million stories to share.
She has her own little friendships, and is well-liked by her classmates.
She dresses herself with originality and style.

And she wants to help.

This means a very wet floor and counter. It also means that while I made dinner, she learned a new skill, and did it with care and attention.

Her little face lit up with pride when I praised her, and she learned that by helping, she freed me up to do a craft, cuddle up with a story, and just spend time together before Daddy and Jude got home from school.

This little girl is five now, and I'm loving it, and her, so much.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Oh, Wow.

I heard the baby's heartbeat at the midwife's office today. Like I said, wow! I can wholeheartedly report that the thrill I got when I first heard that swish-swish-swish was in no way lessened by the fact that this is my fourth baby. It is a miracle, plain and simple. After all our heart-related drama with Margot, it gave me a very primal, protective thrill to hear that ancient sound. Isn't it bizarre when you consider that pregnant women have TWO hearts inside their bodies? Of course, if you have children, you know what it is to have your heart walking around OUTSIDE your body.

I got the great news that all my bloodwork was perfect, as was my blood pressure. An added and unexpected bonus is that I've actually LOST weight...thanks to the nausea and my determination to eat more healthily to grow the strongest baby I can.

In about three weeks, I'll have my 18-20 week ultrasound. I was set on finding out the baby's sex, and now I'm not entirely sure! I like the idea of preparing Jude for the possibility of another sister (he claims he doesn't mind, although he tells me he's hoping for a sister so that he'll actually get a brother...reverse psychology, anyone?). I enjoyed knowing Margot's sex before she was born; we named her, and we all felt very connected to her even before we met her.

Still, I also like the idea of my husband announcing the baby's sex upon his/her birth.

Maybe I'll find out and keep it a secret.

Who am I kidding? I'll have him/her named the same day and will tell everyone I know.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yarn Along: Back To It!

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along after months away!

In addition to my first trimester aversion to staying awake all day and coffee came a complete lack of desire to knit. I can hardly believe it myself. I actually felt sick when I thought of making a stitch. Still, I started the Ten Stitch Twist blanket in the foreground using Fame Trend sock yarn. I LOVE the colours and the spiral shaping (using short rows) but was unsettled about the "bowl" thing that was happening. I imagine that with some blocking, it'll flatten out. But I set it aside anyways to start another using larger needles and thicker yarn. The blanket resting on the books is made from Cascade 220 and will hopefully grow as a gift for a friend's baby.

If you have a weekend to pass, I highly recomment Kathleen Grissom's The Kitchen House. I started it on a Friday afternoon and finished it Saturday morning. Yes, I stayed up most of the night reading it, and didn't regret it. It's a tremendous story. Read it.

I'm also starting to look at pregnancy-related books. I'm enjoying "The Natural Pregnancy Book" by Aviva Jill Romm.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope to find time this evening to check out YOUR links, too. For now, I must get ready for work. Enjoy the lovely weather (at least it's lovely in our part of the world)!

Monday, June 4, 2012

the shoulder of the road

There's something about a field in Spring, lush and green, that always calls me to pull over on the side of the road. Wild daisies decorate the new grass, and if there are hooved critters afoot, all the better. These characters live just down the road from us, and after a moment's quiet observation of me, they all approach for a soft word and a scratch around the ears.

Life is full of potential for peaceful moments in the midst of chronic busyness. When is the last time you slowed down, or even stopped to enjoy some small beautiful thing?

Friday, June 1, 2012

::this moment::playing in the rain::

Pop by to share your own moment and to see those of others!
We're praying for a rainy weekend in the midst of this very dry Spring.