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!