Saturday, December 22, 2007

Called to attention

Feeling a bit melancholy this time of year. The consumerism part gets to me. I can't help but look at the toy, that innocently got broken a day after recieving it, and feeling ill thinking of the lasting impact that it will have on our environment.

The boys recieved a sweet gift from a local yesterday... trying to enjoy the gesture and not to be a party pooper... BUT... I was mortified while reading the package inserts and seeing the warning to go to the doctor immediately if the " water" -looking substance gets in your eye or on your skin. What on earth are they putting in these toys.... for CHILDREN!!!!!! Honestly. If there isn't somthing safe, biodigradable to use in order to make this toy.... then it shouldnt be made period.

Our greed is making us sick. It is killing our mothers and children. We are poisoning our bodies . We are damaging the earth , that which SUSTAINS us!!!!!!!! When will we wake up??

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Solstice

Jess made her transit last night... how appropriate! Outweighing my sadness is the relief that she is not in pain anymore. The updates on her suffering were just heartbreaking.

Hug those you love tight today! It all goes by so fast.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

History repeats itself....

When my mother was seven months pregnant with me she awoke one morning and her entire breast had turned rock hard. She immediately went to the doctor but was reassured that it was only a clogged duct and not to worry. She knew though, that something was not right and went for a second opinion. Sadly, she was given the diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She was only 28 years old. She was flown to the next major center over to be induced and to immediately start treatments. This type of cancer does not grow in a typical lump. I would love it if you would read about the symptoms so that they are tucked away in your mind in case you ever need the info.
There wasn't much hope for women diagnosed with this form of cancer , especially back in the late 70s early 80s. She fought hard and sadly lost her life very shortly after her 30th birthday

I have always known that there is a strong genetic risk for me to develop breast cancer as well. With my mothers history and her mother dying of ovarian cancer the doctors have always made that clear. There were talks when I was young about doing a radical preventative mastectomy.... can you believe that! I go every six months for manual exams. I have been pressured to recieve mammograms and genetic testing, both which I have declined. I have already had breast ultrasounds, sheduled biopsies and met with a surgeon for suspicious lumps. I try not to live my life in fear of cancer. I do my best to live a clean and healthy life and remember sporadically (!) to live my life to the fullest and enjoy every moment.

This just comes to the forefront of my mind today... and has for months really. I have watched a woman that I care about deeply struggle with her own dance with cancer over the past years. I remember our emails back and forth the day she found her lump. Discussing our family histories and deepest fears. She was there for me, shortly after, when I had a breast crisis of my own. I have observed her journey through her treatments, the diagnosis and subsequent loss of her sister to breast cancer as well, her remission, the miraculous birth of her second son three months ago... and sadly the return of the cancer with a vengance , spreading to her brain, spine and eventually through her entire body over the last month.

Between Jess and her sister Amy I have learned so much in the past couple of years. I guess I could say it has been a spiritual journey. I havent talked about it much... I just dont even know what to say or how to process it. I recieved the update from her caring bridge site last night. She is in her last moments. I am awaiting the final update today.

I am lighting a candle for her this morning. Praying for a peaceful passing , and some sort of strength to her husband and two tiny children so they may get through this together and hold her memory and the power of her love with them always. I am also giving thanks to the universe for gifting me the chance to share this time with her and to give me the chance to gain some powerful insight, more compassion for the people surrounding me, and a chance to confront those things inside of me that I fear the most.
~ Blessed Be ~

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It has been a while!

So... I had disappeared there for a bit. There has been so much going on in the past few months. Since lots of it wasn't stuff I wanted to share with everyone in my life, It just seemed like anything superficial that I could write about, would have been in genuine. So I'll just fill you in on the main three things that have kept me from writing.

After the bike crash... see below... I needed a couple of doses of pain killers. With my seriously sensitive system the darn things just ripped up my stomach and un did the last 3 years of healing my gut. So my health issues came back with a vengeance... feeling crappy just doesn't lend to a desire to do much journaling! Finally seeing things healing back... not there yet, but small signs of getting better! I lost my appetite pretty badly after the accident and resulting, I lost 20 pounds! ( after gaining 60 during my pregnancies I had it to spare! ) So I am feeling pretty good, but sometimes it takes a lot of energy to keep on top of it! Enough whining... lol

Thing two! We bought a vehicle 6 months ago. Thrilling I know! We had decided to import a Right hand drive vehicle from Japan. We see lots of them up here right now, and the value for what you get is so much better than what we can find used these days. With stringent air quality controls/ inspections, diesel , four wheel drive and lots of other goodies we decided that it was a good idea.
In reality it has been a bit of a nightmare. it was supposed to arrive almost 4 months ago. There have been lots of questionable ( it got nasty) experiences with the importer we used... and to top it off , it was held for a month in customs for a random drug search. The assholes took the entire thing apart ( their job... I know!) and didn't put any of the screws/ bolts back in. Not only that... but they didn't even give them back! So needless to say, i wouldn't recommend the process to anyone! It looks as though it changes hands to us on Monday after the final inspection to make it road ready. Hooray! Pray it happens so that we can join the family for Christmas! So... a real pain in the arse to say the least... remember that we have been car free for a year now! ( would have been nice to be driving at this point!)

Now for the biggie! Big huge! My partner was contacted for the first time by his birth mother!!! A huge exciting/ scary/ wonderful event in all of our lives! It has all gone so incredibly well... but I don't feel like sharing too much here... cause it is kind of private!

While I love blogging in a light day to day kind of way, I find the large events in my life to be a little bit intense to share in this media. I feel so much more comfortable sharing those details with people I don't know well at all... what I find hardest is sharing with the people closest to me. This is not the way for family members to find out about ... anything, pretty much!!!lol And sometimes the timing is just not right for telling certain people, adding to the stress.

So if I disappear... contrary to what seems logical... I probably have something juicy that I am just dying to share!!! lol Sigh.

To finish off...

Son number one. " Daaaaaad"( whining the the most whining kind of grating way that only a kid can do!)." I named my monster truck Lightening Wheels.... but "A" is saying that it is called Penis Wheels. ( Daddy tries to convince him that it doesn't matter what his brother calls it. The name he gives it will be the one that matters to himself).... The saga only gets worse! Getting more and more frustrated while relating the rest of the story...
" He is painting all over the side of my monster truck!!! I was washing it off but he says its the kind of paint that wont wash off."

At this point Dad clues in..... it is an IMAGINARY truck that they are fighting about! LOL

Parenting... driving us to insanity!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Well our camera got dropped and unfortunately lost its life. I was somehow still able to pull off the few birthday photos!! ... It may be a while before we can get a new one because we need to repair somthing on our computer first ( cause the kids need it for school) Maybe we can borrow a neighbours camera if we have anything uber exciting.

OK... this is a pretty ugly cake! It is a gluten / sugar/ dye free carrot cake. I even made myself a grain free treat that tasted like carrot cake. too yummy. So looks pretty sad... but tastes yummy!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My baby is four!

Another long time between entries here! We just got back from a two week vacation in the Okanagan Valley. We went especially for a family members wedding , but were really happy to spend some extra time there as well. Got to cruise the old " hood" and check out all of the old hangouts! It sure has grown in the past five years.

We came home to fall in full swing. It has been pouring rain and pretty cool as well. The house was just so cold when we came home! We caved and turned on the furnace ( I like to keep it off until the end of October if I can help it) . We also had to put up the dreaded plastic on the windows. I hate the filmy look and lack of fresh air, but the house is too drafty and too much of an oil guzzler without it. It feels nice now, especially with the addition of an electric heater in the living area. Its the first time I have felt really warm and cozy in this house ( 5 years!) ... a big difference from the first couple of years when we could only afford to heat the house enough to keep things from freezing... you could still see our breath! Its not always enjoyable to have to wear hoodies and toques and multiple layers in your house all winter . As much as I am for energy conservation an all!

So today we are all getting over a bit of a cold. It is really raining and windy outside still... a real chill out kind of day! We used the rental car for the last day we have it , to head out to the farm for some harvest veg. They werent in full swing yet, but we picked up quite a bit of goods for super cheap... made some delicious juice to help boost our systems, and a huge gluten free carrot cake for the birthday boy! I cannot believe that he is four already! My sweet little bug!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


The morning adventure so far consisted of me trying to somehow get a bird out of the house. It flew in a doorknob hole on the back porch... we always have birds exploring that hole! I frantically paced the kitchen with a towel in my hands waiting for it to land somewhere. In my mind I remember something about the darkness calming the bird enough that you can gather it in the towel to take outside. I got it under the towel a couple of times but it wriggled its way out trying to bite me the whole time. I admit I wasn't exactly feeling confident about the whole thing! I felt all panicked inside while it flew all over slamming into the window and flying up to the fan and every high spot ... wrecking my towel plan entirely. In the meantime it had scared birdie diarrhea all over every surface of my kitchen. I resorted to opening the backdoor and repeatedly walking through it while making cooing baby talk trying to " show" him the way out and coax him through! Good lord! lol some technique that is! Happily he did find his way out! And we all cheered!

On another note... the landlords are coming by today to take care of the HUMONGOUS chunk of the chestnut tree that fell off into our yard. Thankfully we weren't out there when it happened!. They seemed a little annoyed that I called them about it... but I want the rest of the tree checked out to make sure it isn't rotten. And besides... with my gibbled arm and no chainsaw... or truck for that matter... I have no idea how we would remove it anyways. This pic doesn't do it justice... the trunk part of the branch that fell is at least twice the size of my trunk. The fence is completely snapped in half in a couple of places. Now there is a huge bite out of this beautiful old tree. it has created a nice little nook though to sit under.... that is the only shade available in our yard all summer, so that is a bonus!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


A couple of months ago I made a trade with another mama for our old futon we were attempting to get rid of. I wanted to just give it to her , but she generously insisted that there was no way!Today she dropped by with the booty... a brand new bunch of mama and family cloth!!!!! Yippie! She brought a half dozen organic cotton velour pads with pockets, six inserts, 3 nighttime cloth and a couple dozen family cloth wipes! Sweet! A wet bag will be on the way as well. What a great trade! ( nice toes in the pic! lol. I tried to edit that out but it managed to sneak its way in there somehow!)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Another exciting week flies by...

We hired a babysitter for the first time last weekend on a whim. Decided to take advantage of the break in the weather and head out into the forest to enjoy some of the local mountain biking trails. It is so beautiful in the mountains.... with all of the rain this summer the mushrooms are flourishing already! So the crappy part is that I took a pretty hardcore tumble over my handlebars and plowed through the dirt. I am not sure what i hit... but i went down hard! Clint heard me hit twice and looked back to see my bike hit me on the way past and land a good 6 metres in front of me facing the opposite direction. I started to get up but couldn't really. I kept blacking out. I fully passed out twice... one of the times had convulsions. I kept vomiting everywhere. Finally after about half an hour the blacking out joy subsided and we were able to hike out of there. After a nice ER visit I came home to enjoy a nice week with the boys one armed. Looks like i will be in a sling for up to 6 weeks. A week later the brutally bruised ribs and various other minor injuries are looking better... the arm/ shoulder/ upper surrounding area, are super sore still. Oh well... at least it was something that WILL heal though.

on an updated note A( littlest guy) woke up barfing this morning. Not looking so hot. I hope we don't all get it!.
Hope this week is better!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Catch up!

Ugggh! Time is just flying by! Busy weeks... busy weekends!

Last weekend we went to a 3 day music fest in our tiny little community. It was so wicked! Headlining , were Corb Lund, Michael Franti, Sarah Harmer and Xavier Rudd. There were too many other fantastic shows to mention! We were so incredibly tired by the end of the weekend that it took the whole week to recover. The kiddos fared really well for some severe over stimulation. We brought earplugs, snacks, blankets, games and the wagon for them to crash in... festivals sure are different when you have a family!

This weekend has been catch up ... as well as prep for the start of the " school year"( pulling together goals for the year with a very loose plan of attack!) and a trip we will be taking in Sept for a family wedding. ( as well as the garage sale we are attempting to pull off sometime before we go!! Ahhh!)

Not on my list was an impromptu flannel board for my little guy who is showing an interest in letters( finally at almost 4! I am sure this will be mastered quickly) Made them from some flannel bits I had hanging around and a white board, taken apart and recovered temporarily with fabric. For well under 5 dollars I put together packages of upper and lower case letters as well as some numbers to go along with some other flannel story pieces we have tucked away.. Looks like it will work anyhow!

Friday, August 17, 2007


So with a kind collaboration of birthday funds I purchased myself a little something special. I had my eye on a turquoise pendant for about six months now. It was in a tiny import store in our small town... I was drawn to it because it was imperfect in shape and a much different piece of turquoise than I had seen. I kind of loathe the colour turquoise... don't know why exactly but it does not appeal to me. This pendant was more green with a lighter , almost illuminated center.Absolutely beautiful to my eye!

Through research... of course I do it after the fact right... I see that the green turquoise isn't as desirable ( OK... cool.... but I like the green which is enough right?) Turquoise changes colour and richness when worn as well. It used to be thought that a change in colour meant that the wearer was thinking thoughts of infidelity, or that there would be impending death or something! Now it has been seen that it absorbs the oils in our body because it is a soft stone. The lower quality stones absorb it more readily. My stone has changed SIGNIFICANTLY since I got it. It has gone much greener with some bits of brown in it as well. ( I have to say ahead of time that I do not use any cosmetics , lotions, or perfumes that could have contributed to the change.

The main reason for this post is that, mysteriously,appearing in the middle of the stone.... where there was nothing before.... is an oval ring. It is green in colour and pretty darn obvious. I had been wearing it for about two days when it appeared. there was no " sweating" or dye appearing on the surface( I don't know?! imagining the jeweler trying to cover it up or something!) It definitely looks to be a natural part of the stone. I was disappointed a little... I don't buy myself things like this ever. It was a lot prettier without the " thing"! I took it to the store where I bought it , to show the owner. I don't know why! I wouldn't want to give it back or get ,y money back or anything. She was really weirded out by it... she said that it is " very eerie". She thinks that it is very special... ( it crossed my mind as well... I did try to search for symbolic meanings! How flaky new age of me eh? What is this trying to tell me!) She is calling the people whom she bought it from tonight to inquire anyways! Hmmm. very strange? What do you think?! ( I had trouble getting a good pic... my cheapo camera is pooping out on me.)

It is about the length of a double A battery for size reference. The mysterious " thing" is about the size of a peanut.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Dealing with two sick kiddos right now... Went to the doc locally.... who isnt in until next week. I only needed the steroid med perscription because the packs I have left are expired. I walked up to the pharmacy... usually they can do an emergency prescription filler, but since we havent been in the file for a year and a half he couldnt do it. Thats what we get for not going to doctors regularly I guess! We have been sent to the walk in clinic , but it is in the next town over. Had to organise a car share for this evening. Both of the boys have been uber pathetic looking today. Looks like we will be hooked up to the neb for the next few days... cross your fingers that we keep them both out of the hospital!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

And yet another lazy Sunday.

Another laid back day today. Went to the playground to practice bike riding this morning. It has been super slow going. T just isn't into it at all... one of the last 6 year olds who still has training wheels. Complained to my dad today how much he hates bike riding and would rather play chess. When I got on the phone he told me that Ive raised a nerd! lol It takes all types right?! It looks like we have some extreme hair dying happening this afternoon. T begged for green and A chose blue. I am not really super into the idea... but why not? What 6 year old doesn't want green hair? Tonight looks like we will be camping in the backyard... don't know if I am super into that idea either! I like to think that I am pretty adventurous... but the fact that our backyard is on a huge slope, bordering the marsh full of mosquitoes, not having proper camping mattresses( and my back and neck are in bad shape already for some reason).... and the first of the blackberries are ready. The forest right in our backyard is fondly known as Bear Park. Hmm. Sounds FUN!!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

New piercing...

Made a trip in to town today. While my hubby was getting himself a new piece for one of his piercings I chatted up the young woman that was doing the piercings today. I was just inquiring... but oops... spontaneously decided to get it done. Fresh vertical labret... ( pretty sad pic, but I am more than usually unphotogenic tonight!lol)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lazy Sunday

A little under the weather still. We decided this morning to head down to the park and check out a show and shine old car show that was going on. It is about a 3 km trip.... generally on Sundays we have been going long boarding.... meeting with a group of youth and a friend that owns the skate shop, to take advantage of a new suburb that is in the middle of construction. There are great hills and newly paved empty roads. Both my partner and I have long boards. The kids usually bring their regular boards and our littlest often rides my partners board. He sits gripping the front while my hubby rides it regularly but positioned behind him.
So today we brought the boards on the walk, feeling a little low energy and enjoying the lazy ride on the downhills. When we got to the car show we could see that there was a kids area set up with a bounce a rama thingy... the boys were super stoked. But when we got to the gate they wouldn't let us in... because we had skateboards. We were asked to leave them outside the gate ( ummm.... no way! there are hundreds of people around. We are car free... we value our transportation!) When we inquired why we were told that they were afraid that we were going to scratch up the cars with our skateboards. Not that it really matters, but there were strollers and wheelchairs which could easily scratch things by accident too. Our three year old piped up " I have an idea... how about we just not ride our skateboards on the cars then?" LOL ... So we turned away, with teary kids. Interesting lessons in there anyways.... Some people looked afraid to look at us even, avoiding eye contact just because we were carrying a skateboard in our hands... imagine that!

I spent most of the rest of the day cleaning out the fridge, cooking a wonderful meal... and reading 8 chapters of the first Harry Potter book out loud. We are so bad ass! Ahhh. lazy Sundays!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A tribute to our homes

This is especially for the mamas! A tribute to the home.
I have come to notice that many of the homes showcased, here and there and everywhere, are all typically beautiful. Great colours, perfect furniture, well designed homes. There didn't seem to be a place for people to show their regular homes.... the places we live in and love ( well.... maybe love to hate!) every day. This is for the people who live in rental homes ( arrgghhh... the awful wallpaper, colours, carpeting and in our case disrepair we live with!) The people who can't afford to plan our spaces from the catalogues. The people who make a home with whatever they have to work with!

We have been in our rental for five years now. It is a 120 year old house that was built by the mining company to house their employees. I don't think that the landlords have done much of anything for the past dozen years or so... and I don't know that much was done in the decade before that! We moved here with very very little ( think college student turned family living on 1200$ a month! ) and have been thankful for freecycle, hand me downs from neighbours and thrift stores. Over the next couple of days I will give the tour (it is 780 square feet... it wont take long!) It may not be what I would have chosen if I got to plan my whole space from start to finish, but it is my home, and I spend my days in it. This is where my boys were raised ( one from birth) and now are home schooled. A tribute to my humble home!

Ill start with my kitchen...

The craft shelf... which has no other spot to go other than the kitchen!

And last but not least.... I had to showcase the beautiful wallpaper!

Garage sales...

My guilty pleasure! The gold mine for homeschooling friendly goodies, craft supplies, games, books and all sorts of other treasures. Lately I have taken to grabbing a mug of coffee, taking out the mountain bike and heading out by myself... my ME time for the week! It is usually really mellow out that time of morning. Generally there are only about three garage sales in our small community... and beware... the vultures are out! I fool myself into thinking I am too sweet to be " one of them". But in reality, I am ! It can be dangerous out there. You can see people break into a sprint, Afraid to miss that one good deal!!! I won't even go into detail about the dealers.... Grrr, those dealers! I find it funny anyhow: a good people watching opportunity and some time out for myself. The things I look for are typically bypassed by others anyhow!
Didn't find anything on my morning outing today. Had to head out to pick up the pay cheque though, and next door was the gold mine garage sale. I had to bypass a lot of cool stuff... Our house is tiny and I am trying to de clutter! So my score of the day?... a large box full of candle making supplies. 35 sheets of different colours of beeswax, multiple sizes of spools of wick, cutting mat and tools, ribbon and wrapping material for gifts, a jar of that gel stuff to make floating candles and a full bottle of nice essential oil lost in the bottom of the box! 10 bucks! Hubby found a really nice copy of a Sufi text that he loves and little ones found a hand carved wooden gazelle and a wooden piggy bank... only a buck added to my 10 for the other three.

To garage saleing.... making our life feel very abundant on a shoestring!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Finally a little bit of sun!

We've been fighting a bug for the past couple of days. There is some sort of nasty bacterial lung thing going around. I can't help but jump to the thought that it is whooping cough season. It seems like the adults and youth are getting it more often as thier vaccines lose effectiveness. Oh joy for the neighbourhood full of un vaccinated kids!
We tucked in yesterday with a stack of movies, garlicky popcorn and lots of homemade cherry roobois iced tea. Burned a lot of antibacterial essential oil and took some herbs... woke up feeling quite a bit better!
Hopefully we blasted though this one! As I dusted off the nebuliser and did the med counts I realised that the boys havent had any hospital visits since Christmas... Asthma seriously ruled our life there for a while!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Trekked into the next town over today in search of blueberries! We had seen a sign on the main drag advertising the farm, and some " famous fainting goats". When we got there the U Pick was closed... its been raining for almost two weeks straight now( was pouring for at least half of the trip today). The berries didn't look nearly ripe. Maybe another week or two? What a weird summer! Not feeling satisfied, we decided to risk trying the old highway and going to a farm stand.... usually they at least have some local stuff there. At least from BC. About 12 km from home, on the highway, the whole arm of the bike pedal flew off. Thank goodness we found the bolt to get it back on! I was not looking forward to walking the bike and trailer all the way home! Borrowed an allan key from the corner store, but we needed one a size larger than what anyone had. Had to tighten it by hand every 1/2 km or so for the rest of the way home. It was a fun trip anyhow.... the farm market had berries, but they were 5 bucks a pound! So we bought a snack and some herbs ( a whole year supply of bay leaves fresh! yippie.... sooooo much better than the crappy store bought herbs!) and made our way home. All of us are tuckered right out!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pass the crayons!

Spent a chunk of the last couple of days colouring mandalas. It is quite relaxing! Here's a site with a couple of down loadable samples that are quite intricate. Don't forget to check all three pages! There are lots on the web to colour as well... I just typed " colouring mandala" into the search engine.

While the colouring did allow for some quiet focus for the whole family, the littlest one abandoned the project with something much more ambitious....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hickory dickory dock

Well, we have a mouse. I saw something scurry across my path on my way to the loo last night. Armed with a flashlight I hunted it down in my underwear. Crawling on my hands and knees I squealed like a little girl when it scurried across the room. I went to the kitchen to see if there were any signs of anything getting into the pantry. It appeared right next to me from under the fridge. It pranced behind the counter and slipped down the furnace pipe. I blocked the hole , but this house is so holey! It could get in anywhere if it wanted.
We live in a 120 year old house that borders the forest. In the five years we have rented this place, it is the first mouse I have seen. Surprising really. I am praying that it was just exploring and that we wont see anymore.It was pouring rain outside... and the neighbour has really really long grass right now.
Regardless, I cleaned like crazy... neurotic cleaning! Anti mouse cleaning!( it wasn't unclean in the first place!) No mouse poop anywhere! I kept waking up last night listening for little teeth chewing.

( It was cute as heck by the way... but the camera was far from being on my mind at the moment!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Good bye Auction house

We went to the farewell party at the old auction house in our village today. It has been there for over 25 years now, and is a hub in our community. Every Friday night the streets are lined with cars, people stuffed in this old theater. It has been bought by a developer who has plans to recondition it, back to its original state. We got to tour the whole building... uneven floors, strange rooms, creepy basement and the old projection room. It all really needs work, but I hope they really do fix it! The acoustics are absolutely amazing in there! Sad to see the Auction go though... it really adds much needed energy to the community.

Earlier today the auctioneer invited the kids in to run around in the empty building ( great when all of the breakable antiques are out of there!) They have seen the kids literally every single day since they were babies. He had tears in his eyes! He pulled out a gift for us that he found in the depths of some box in the basement. It is made of leather and has a real black widow spider inside... he actually gave it to my boys, but it is wayyyy to big for them ( so I bought it off of them lol they are happy with the money.) Sweet!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Under the rubble...

One thing you will surely discover about me is that I love old stuff. Especially antique kitchen utensils and tools. I am such a sucker for real glass citrus reamers, wooden sauerkraut slicers, stoneware crocks and the list goes on. The best part is, that I actually use them. There is nothing around these days that comes close to the quality of the things that are close to 100 years old... really, do you think that half of the big box store crap will be usable in even 10 years? For me, because I actually USE my tools, the Sprawl Mart stuff breaks within a week! Esthetically, the older stuff is so much more organic, and pleasing.


So today I took on the monumental task of unearthing my sewing machine from the pile that has accumulated on top of my sewing desk. Under piles of Electrical textbooks, and crap loads of other junk ( why is it that my bedroom is the messiest room in the house?) I could finally see the top of the desk! I tackled the drawers before I even flipped the machine up from its hiding spot inside. I separated needles, from clasps, organised buttons and thread, and put everything in its newly designated spot. Finally to bring out the machine!

It is an old antique Kenmore... nothing fancy, except for the pretty silver scroll work over sections of the body. I was so drawn to this machine when I saw it at a flea market for the first time. I couldn't afford it ... flea market vendors really overcharge around here. A week later I found the same type of machine, but this time with a really nice wooden cabinet. I bought it for an incredibly low price... so thrilled. When I got it home I discovered the drawers filled with sewing notions. Thimbles, special feet, needle threaders, oil can, neat little tins filled with things and packages of needles ,some labeled with things like " All Purpose Needles. Farmer Assortment, especially designed for rural residents" I dreamily tried to imagine the old owner.

The machine is a workhorse. It only does the single chain stitch ... but is it powerful. Its a little frightening actually. I am not one for speed, but after time became comfortable using it.

It got buried over the past year. I was into making these hand stitched Waldorf dolls for a while. I abandoned the machine and painstakingly spent 12 hours on each one ... people want and love them that way. After making lots on order from lots of neighbours I had to stop ... the homeschooling became priority for the school year... and my hands couldn't take the long hours of sitting and stitching anymore. My machine was still forgotten though until this weekend when I was checking out another mamas practical goodies that she was whipping up on hers. Sweet sleeves, cloth TP and lots of other quick and easy projects.

Funny enough I had just found all of my supplies to start a hand stitched quilt.... literally stitched by hand, not machine! So the machine may stay unused for a little while longer... but in the meantime, it is ready and waiting for me!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cherries ,cherries and more cherries!

So the fruit harvest begins!

Another mama in the neighbourhood called us up on Saturday, exasperated with the seemingly never ending supply of cherries from the three trees in her yard. Luckily we had an extra hand with an out of town house guest, and happily trooped across town to take advantage of her generous offer to help ourselves! ( she begged and pleaded!)

The next morning I spent about three hours pitting the 15 pounds we picked. We don't own a cherry pitter, so I tackled the job armed only with a wooden skewer. It was tedious, and very messy, but I got the job done. Halved and pitted they filled 7 trays on the Excalibur.

Last night we picked about 30 pounds more, pitted and chopped half of that in front of a good movie. Still have another 15 pounds to deal with today... Jam maybe?

So the house is a juicy disaster... there is cherry juice splattered up the walls. It looks gruesome!! The bonus was, it was a family affair. I usually tackle these things myself. This time the kiddos even helped... and it truly was a help!! Usually I keep them far away from the kitchen. When I am armed with an unusual amount of patience I organise something that they can help me with... but honestly I dread it because I am left with a huge job of cleaning up... after the job already took twice as long! It looks as though we are in a new era though. The boys helped with every step, from picking to pitting, to chopping to lining them up on the dehydrator trays, to peeling them off again.... and of course eating them!. Putting food up just got a little easier. I honestly never thought I would see the day! To a bountiful harvest ahead!