Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Into the new year!

I wanted to get a good piccie of the boys and the weighted blanket to send to the mama who sent it for us. But under the circumstances that they use it, it is actually pretty invasive that I am taking a pic at all! lol ( post screaming tantrum pic anyone?... how insensitive!)

Or it captures us all too well... Zoning out with a headlamp on?( santa found these LED headlamps for $5 this Christmas... exactly what the boys asked for!)Pretty much captures us perfectly!

What I really want to say though... is that the blanket is fabulous!!! What a great addition to the household!,

Quick pic of our youngest little guys favourite creation for breakfast. He created this recipe and loves to make it for himself... and usually one for his brother as well. He calls it " yogourt cake" and it consists of plain yogourt, home made wild blackberry jam, raisins and pecans. Yummy!

I bought a turkey with the last of my Christmas grocery gift certificates the other day. The turkeys all go on sale after Christmas day and they sure are a great value for how much meat you get. We had our very own Christmas dinner ( with our favourites) mid week. Ready for leftovers today! We are one family that doesn't seem to get " turkey-ed out"!
How is that for a random scattered post?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post holiday catch up!

Well! Christmas is over! We made it down island after all. We left the decision until the very last minute and even though it was snowing , we decided to go for it. Our fridge was empty ( knowing that there was a full fridge and lots of food down at the folks! And using those days of grocery money on the gas to get down there was the plan) the house undecorated... all of us a little tense wondering if we should go and buy a turkey on the night of Christmas eve to make sure we at least had a nice meal!

The drive was CRAZY! We borrowed chains from the neighbours on the way out the door.I had a barf bucket on my lap for the entire last hour of the drive. There were rows and rows of cars on the side of the road through the mountain pass and the snowflakes were coming down the size of golfballs. I really shouldn't have had coffee before the ride! Our youngest son slept for most of the drive and my oldest watched a video ( the inlaws gave us a portable dvd player last year and I kind of sighed inside because it seemed like an impractical useless gift for us.... but let me tell you.... this instance made it all worth it!) Unfortunately the movie ended right at the top of the mountain pass and oldest son was really stressed out. He was saying things like." oh my god!!!! it looks like an avalanche is going to come right down on us!!!" and exclaiming looking terrified. We were going about 10 km an hour and slipping and tense ourselves. Thank goodness the video had distracted him for most of it! When we finally got there we kept on sighing involuntarily. We didn't realise what a toll it had taken on our bodies/ minds! We pulled out our brand new weighted blanket that was gifted to us by a MDC helper! The boys were so excited and joyfully describing how the blanket " pinned them down"! Perfect timing.

The Christmas dinner was so awesome. My mom made a stuffing out of cornflakes and chestnuts for us gluten free folks and it was delicious. My grandpa came and however grumpy he can be, it was so nice to see him.It was peaceful ( other than thier humping dog) and warm and so wonderful! My hubby and I even got a chance to go for a walk by ourselves. My mom accidentally fed oldest son gluten.... but it was worth it! ( I think!) My mom and dad slipped me enough money for the trip which was so nice since the weekends all line up in a way which the paycheques will be teeny and we really couldn't afford the trip in the first place. The boys got 20 dollars each from great grandpa.... which is huge. Youngest guy bought himself a playmobile forest set at the teachers store on the way home and oldest son bought himself a variety of test tubes/ beakers and safety goggles. He made home made bear spray today with it. Even found a recipe online. Living with a 7 year old science nut can be pretty interesting, especially when he has the skills to find accurate instructions/ experiments himself. His purchases were wise I think!
I had wanted to get one thing while we were down island but was planning to buy it the next trip. There are a few things that we wait until we go to the city to purchase... usually food items like special spices and goodies like that. There is not as much availability up here for certain things or if you can get them they are 4 times the price. I have been wanting a cast iron griddle for a while though. I happened to mention it when my aunt was around and she happened to have on in her garage. She had bought it when the cast iron store had a flood sale, for only a couple of bucks. So she gave it to us!! I was so super excited ( cause I get like that about kitchen stuff!) and seasoned it at my folks place. I literally put it on the stove and cooked with it while we were unpacking! We made pancakes for the boys and it makes 8 pancakes at a time!!! Almost triple what we were able to make before! Anyways... a griddle that covers two burners.... it is definitely as cool and as useful as I thought it would be!
So the rest of the weekend has been filled with catch up. Trying to get the house in order, the kids school reporting in order and sort of re-set for the new year. Hubby is back to work in the morning... things are back to business.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New book by Littlest one!

Was gifted a book by my littlest guy today. He writes many books a day. This is my favourite so far! ( he is 5)Usually they are all about boy stuff like blood and farts and stuff. I was a little worried when I saw the cover... cause this kid has a fratboy sense of humour!

The book is called " Big Boobs"

" Boobs help adult girls feed babies" ( picture of woman giving birth to baby)

" Thats a nipple"

" This is about vaginas. The next page is about boobs. Even though this doesn't look like a vagina, it is."

" Big Boobs. This is not about sexy boobs"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Still snowing!!

Went out last night for the solstice fire dancing show. It was about -8 and really windy out so it felt much colder. We were there at 8 when it was supposed to start but it was running really late. Our littlest started to get cold and cry and the oldest had to pee and there was nowhere to go... so we came home. Tonight was our small town light up and Santa visit which is a big deal around here. The trucks come all lit up and have a mini parade. Well... we got down there and the fire cheif told us that is was cancelled because it was too much of a liability. So the kids were crushed again. The bummer is that the weather report is calling for snow all the way until Christmas day, and although I LOVE snow the roads are horrible around here and we are planning to go down island to my folks for Christmas. Our tires arent great and I am just not sure if we will be able to go. My hubby and I can roll with the punches and make the best of it all, but the kids not so much. They are NOT having an easy time of it! Because we don't do up the holidays gift wise, we really rely on these free community events to make it feel like Christmas.Oh well. I think I will try to get a backup turkey so we can at least have a good meal for the day if it comes to that. Our kind neighbour said that we could join thier big family fray... I still need to cook my own gluten free meal whatever we do though cause that makes it impossible to just join someone elses meal!! That is what I love about going to my folks dad needs it all to be gluten free too!

Here is a piccie of our back roof ( I should send this to the landlord as a reminder of how much work the house needs! Eeep! It looks like it is going to fall apart! Oh well, many of these 120 year old houses look a lot worse for wear) and our epic deadly icicles. We all fear being impaled when we go into the basement below! They are about 4 or five feet long and bigger than our arm at the top... you can't really tell from the pic.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Latest creations...

Had to get down in the shop this weekend to do a commission piece for a friend in time for Christmas. Hadn't been down there in a while because it isn't heated and we hadn't had the funds or time for piddling away ! Fun to do a commission piece though... had some wood left over from the project so I made myself something!!! So excited! This was my great grandmothers ring but I never wore it because it is a little blingy. It has white gold on the top but yellow gold on the bottom which isn't my personal favourite. I am also not dainty and love big jewellery, so it was put away in a safe place for a while. You know... those awesome vintage family pieces that are pretty but not really your style. So I modified it today and made a cocobolo setting for it. I think it worked out awesome and am considering it to be my 0$ Christmas present to myself!!!

Bracing for another big snowstorm. Might check out a solstice fire show and labyrinth tonight... but it is getting windy and the windchill doesn't make it inviting. Happy Solstice All!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brr! It is -17

That is pretty much as cold as I have EVER seen it on the coast in my entire life! There is ice on the inside of the windows, the pipes are frozen( an all morning ordeal of trying to slowly bring them back to temperature), vehicles that wont start. Brr!!!
*** updated that we have a burst pipe... dang!***

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So much snow!

Spending days and late into the evenings playing in the snow all week! So rare that we get it here. We got about 9 inches today alone. Quite the workout to tow both of the boys around on the GT and to shovel a huge parking spot/ turnaround in the frontyard today! I am beat! I will be back to update later... but heres something fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kindergarten in a day?

My littlest guy got a new workbook with his school funding on the weekend... A book full of Canadian kindergarten curriculum ment to satisfy the ministry guidelines. He woke up yesterday morning determined to " finish kindergarten in a day". He worked all day ( minus a walk to the post office and dinner and lunch!) until bleary eyed he excitedly came into our bedroom late last night to declare that he had indeed " finished kindergarten"! All 120 pages finished to perfection.... this is one little determined kiddo! I pulled out a Grade 1 book that I had in the cupboard ( because my oldest guy never touched worksheets. He is more of a " discussion " type of guy!) and he quickly did 25 pages of that. Thank goodness this one is over 400 pages long. He states that he would like me to bake a cake to celebrate his acheivement! lol Silly monkey! I think that I have underestimated him all of this time. His brother is gifted and extremely verbal... in a little bit of an in your face kind of way. It is a little bit hard to ignore and garners him a lot of attention. His little brother is mischevious, a little rude but has a wicked sense of humour and a talent for building just about anything. People don't tend to notice his abilities at all and instead focus on the negative things... The overtly obvious sensory difficulties and aspie qualities( people don't take kindly to a kid that constantly runs in circles or hides under things growling at everyone in busy public situations.... or " hates babies" and says mean things that hurt feelings. sigh) that people " forgive" his brother for or just chalk it up to him just being smart and eccentric. For my little guy, I think that I was beginning to fall prey to that way of thinking after hearing people say it over and over. I love those guys!

To the topic of yesterdays rant... I am feeling a little embarrassed or ashamed for even complaining!( for some reason my blog is coming up when people search " payday loans" lol now I feel a little exposed.) I was reading on a message board this morning that some people in the States are paying up to 1200$ a month for thier medical. We live in such a privileged area of the world. I think I have entitlement issues or something!lol I am humbled by how many kind people there are out there and reminded how much of the positive that I have in my life....

Thank you for your sweet offer Meli. I really appreciate your comment. I noticed that you are an Island mama too... are you local?

Monday, December 8, 2008

You have 1 new message...

I have been living in anxiety for the past few weeks every time I see that darn blinking light! Our 500$ that we owe for medical has gone to collections and they are calling every couple of days. A kind of long story but Ill tell it anyhow!
Last year my hubby worked for another company and was making a couple of dollars more per hour which put us into a different tax bracket entirely.... that weird threshhold where you aren't considered low income anymore. The boss seemed promising and the wage put us in a much more comfy position... you know, not needing to worry if you eat an apple for a snack without doing the mental math of how many you have left until payday and if the kids will have a balance d diet if you eat that last carrot! The boss turned out to be very abusive to the people around him and put my partner into illegal positions. I could see him just fading away feeling so crappy every day. He ended up quitting and going to another company which is awesome but pays less... still makes more than most apprentaces without more schooling( we can't afford to get more right now). So the year goes by and we get a bill from med services for 70$ a month for our family. We have always been low income and have been covered previously. 70$ was a huge jump from 0$!! The thing is, we are making around $2,000 a month which is just borderline for us with the gluten free grocery budget and all. We lost most all of our child tax benefit being in the larger tax bracket last year as well as losing our 100$ daycare subsidy when my oldest turned 7. So in all we bring in around 550$ less a month than we did last year. eep!
I applied for a low income temporary assistance program . I sent in ouor budget and paystubs and everything showing that we have about 30 $ left after the basics( thinking that they wouldn't take my last 30$ right?!!! what if I needed a perscription or socks for one of the kids or something. Or maybe I could save that 30 $ all year and get half of the tires we need for the van right now!!!.... but a year from now!) I got back a letter in the mail saying that we were denied coverage... because we have a 270$ car loan a month. Any debt is considered to be an unacceptable expense. My hubby NEEDS a vehicle for work daily and a reliable one. This is not a new vehicle or anything close to that. This was a small loan for a used reliable vehicle. so loans aren't and acceptable expense right?... but guess what is? Insurance and gas costs for a second vehicle ( which we don't have) and CABLE!!!( which we dont have) etc etc etc. We don't go out or have any crazy vices or live beyond our means. We sacrifice those things that they consider to be acceptable expenses in order to have a reliable vehicle so my hubby can WORK!!!! I was pretty bummed and in tears the whole way from the post office. Technically our wage puts us into the low income bracket but we have to spend that wage in ways that they say are acceptable... like cable!
So now they are calling and I want to send it to arbitration or something. I am just praying that they dont freeze our account or garnish our wages this month. we rely on everything we have coming in now. We can re apply for assistance again as soon as we get our tax stubs in the new year. I pray they wait to take anyhthing that we have coming for tax returns or something!

Good news... someone on my hubbys jobsite is packing up his older sons lego set for the kiddos for Christmas!!! The older guys on the jobsites are all shaking thier heads these days watching the younger guys with families struggle. It used to be that one income would have been enough to support a family..... especially if you were somewhat frugal! You might even be able to save some money! It is a bummer to watch someone who is responsible and a really hard worker head into work every day and not be able to have the basics for thier family. I am so touched by those offers of kindness from the people around us... a toy here and a bag of hand me downs there. It helps so much.

Some days I just need a little rant.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I will be back! busy week!

Guests and pre holiday prep has been keeping me busy lately!

Realised that I have that nice box of candle making supplies that I picked up at a garge sale over a year ago. Along with the beeswax sheet candles( thought that the kids could make a set for the grandparents maybe?) I am also planning to make some small batches of home made paper with the kids this week. I have my own plans on the go as well... realising that I have some walnut and cherry wood in the basement I am going to tuck away in the basement tomorrow and try to make a couple of wooden cooking utensils. I am hoping that it works out so that I at least have a gift for the Christmas dinner host!. I get all creative when I am PMSy!lol
Hopefully I will have something to show for it at the end of the week!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Getting busy!

Lots of family visits coming leading into the holidays. It is nice to see some family thats for sure!

I haven't been coping well with stress lately. Feeling snappy and tired and irritable. I don't think that being cooped up in the house with that sickness help any of us!!! Trying to get in an hour of exercise during the day and it is helping immensely. My mood is just heaps better!

Elder son took a big leap this week and we used the learning funds to sign him up for a circus arts class! It is his first class ever at seven years old. He is really excited and a lot anxious as well. His sensory difficulties have made classes and playgroups and even attending regular fun shows and events absolutely miserable in the past. There are a couple of other neighbourhood boys in the group and some of the older homelearning girls in the neighbourhood are long time circus performers in the group. They learn juggling, poi,diablo, tumbling, hopp and ariel fabric along with developing characters . The course is for 10 weeks, 2 hours per class. I am crossing my fingers that this will be a wonderful experience!

The boys are getting stressed about Christmas. I both love and loathe this time of the year. My youngest came to me the other day and said " in the movies and books Santa has a sleigh full of wrapped presents. How come he only brings a stocking to our house?" . We can't afford anything extra at Christmas... literally the only gift we do is a stocking... from Santa. Usually we buy a family gift after Christmas of something we need if a relative kindly has given us a bit of cash. It has worked great for us so far. Christmas is truly for being with family and a midwinter celebration ( which I always explained to the kiddos as a celebration that people in history made to celebrate making it halfway through winter and pulling out some of the food stores to share with others so everyone can feel abundance... you know... days getting longer etc.) Anyways. It is weird for us. We truly can't afford to buy things for our relatives or give more than a card. People take offense at that like we don't care or love them. I dunno. This time of the year can be depressing even when I am not desiring to be a consumer.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Impromptu hike...

The neighbour came over to return a couple of baking pans and mentioned that he was about to head up into the woods. We were in the middle of sorting our bookshelves.... complete chaos... and begged to tag along! Went for about 8 km up to a beautiful waterfall and into an old copper mine. So amazing!

I finally decided to go into the mine myself and these are what were all over the walls. Only slightly creepy!!! Eeek!

Also had a chance to harvest some oregon grape root. I am going to try to use it to clear up my psoriasis over the winter. It was much easier to harvest now than it was in the spring. I still have some from that harvest but I have been using it reluctantly because I was afraid of running out. It is a lot of work to scrub and chop up before drying so I am so thankful that the actual harvesting part was a little bit easier!
On the reading list right now... A Midwifes Tale:The life of Martha Ballard based on her diary 1785-1812. Really really enjoying this book! I read almost half of it in my first sitting.

Friday, November 21, 2008

And the wintery storms begin!

No snow yet of course... being on the coast and all. There was a wind warning advisory out though for the area for winds up to 90 km/ hour! Pouring down rain and chilly. A good day to stay in and cuddle up. We did brave an outing in the morning to go to the library ( there was a book I was waiting for and desperately wanted before the weekend!) and post office. We were the only ones out!

We don't have plans for the holidays this year... we usually go down to my folks , but need new tires for the van and don't want to risk the drive in the wet on that highway. We witnessed someone spin out on tires that were too bare last year on the way down. The car was coming at us from the opposite direction doing donuts at 100 km an hour and slammed into the median right where it would have hit us head on.... pretty freaky and a good lesson. You never know though.... maybe the stars will line up just right and we will be able to make the trip anyways.

I made my first purchase with the kiddos learning investment today. We decided on the Wildcraft game for my young naturalists . ( I think I am going to save it so we have something special to do on Christmas Eve.)Works well with my oldest who chose a bunch of field guides and outdoor adventure stuff last year. I have saved the kids ministry funding so far this year. We can meet the guidelines really well just using free resources. It is nice to save it until mid year and then make a trip to the teachers store. We are so lucky to have this program. We would still be able to homeschool really frugally without the funding, but it is so nice to be able to support them otherwise with things that enrich thier learning plans. I am tempted to go through the educational assessment to acess the special needs funding.... it would be nice to have acess to certain therapy options... I have done well on my own so far but go back and forth on the need for extra help. I just don't know that I want an autism label in thier ed profile yet even though it is becoming more obvious to outsiders that there is more going on with us . I just hate how peoples stereotype of aspergers gets in the way of people seeing the boys for how awesome they are. Like thier quirkiness becomes " part of the aspergers" rather than just being unique and really interesting to be around. I just worry that a label will somehow not be helpful at the moment..... ok got off on a tangent there! Thinking out loud. lol
I have no idea what we will use the funding for this year as we are following a completely child led model of learning. My oldest though may have an opportunity to purchase a used digital SLR camera from a couple of possible sources( It would be so nice for him to be able to learn to use a SLR without having to pay the pile of money for film development and with instant results to your experiments). He was asked yesterday by the editor of our local community website if he wanted to be a regular junior reporter/ citizen photographer for the site. We are so lucky to be in such a small community because so many people take an interest in the kids and really show care and take them under thier wing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I think that we got glutened. I wasn't sure because we have been sick and all... the kids have been so wild.My oldest is verbal stimming all day long ( he hums, but absolutely cannot control it) and my youngest has that pale look with huge dark circles and he is angry and miserable. We bought a new brand of oats.... I should know better, but after a couple of years of careful introduction of certain foods the kids didn't seem to be reacting to a certain brand of oats. The kids have been eating them for the past couple of years. Recently we switched to a super big box store grocery store because we just couldn't afford to shop locally anymore. I picked up the organic package of oats quite a few times and kept refusing to buy it, opting to make a special trip to get the ones we were used to. A few weeks ago we just picked up the darn bag of oats from the big store. I made a really nice batch of granola with it too trying to make a nice frugal breakfast option. Anyways, I think that it is contaminated with gluten. Which sucks because from experience it takes about two weeks for the kids to recover from a small exposure( and they regress in some areas which we have worked hard to get past).

Good reminder for how much going gluten free changed our lives. I don't think I could handle this all of the time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My little whipper snapper...

Started a photo blog tonight with/ for my seven year old lover of taking photos! Thought it would be a good place to pop his favourite photos that he takes as well as a forum to learn computer/ editing skills Take a peek if you'd like!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lazy Sunday.

Finally starting to feel a little bit better. Still having coughing fits at night, but my energy is finally building. I knew I must be getting better when I scrubbed the bathroom last night! Either that or it just hit that level of filth! I have been in bed for over a week! The toilet can not go that long without a thorough clean.

Went for a short walk in the woods today when my brother dropped by. Collected goodies for a wreath and some pine to make a vinegar infusion for cleaning. Spent the afternoon listening to music and making our wreath. I don't have any decorations or ribbon, so I wasn't sure what I would do with it this year ( something within my budget of $0 !!!) I rooted around in the craft bucket and found a bag of handmade paper scraps that papa was given by a client. We made 50 paper cranes out of it... I was going to go for 100 but got lazy! I strung each one individually. I think it turned out ok. Especially at zero cost and with no waste.

Thought it would be nice to make the house feel cozy. We have family coming to visit for the next two weekends. Pray for the grocery fairy cause we can barely afford to feed just ourselves right now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Finally got my hands on some kefir grains again! Luckily a generous online mama was able to send me some in the post. Sent her some home made curry powder to try to make it worth her while!( Thanks Sarah!) Love the stuff! So yummy. I didn't do it justice when I described it to be like" effervescent baby spit up"! LOL gross! It is so yummy chilled though, and in a smoothie. I love it with fresh orange juice ( since we are financially not always in the position to buy tropical fruit these days though a scoop of frozen juice concentrate will suffice!) a spoon of honey and a little bit of vanilla concentrate... it tastes like " melted orange ice cream" according to my littlest guy. I use any extra kefir for baking that calls for milk. My littlest guy who doesn't seem to tolerate plain milk very well seems fine with the kefir. See the pretty calendula? It is the very last thing in the garden that has survived the frosts.

Voted in the local municipal election today. Couldnt decide which was more socially irresponsible... not voting, or exposing our sick ases to the masses! The neighbours encouraged us to vote. It is thier fault! My 7 year old asked me who I was going to vote for. When I told him that I was going to vote for councellors who cared about sustainable development and local environmental issues he rolled his eyes at me and said " of course they wont get in. Its politics, and what polititions care about is making money. Saving the environment isn't going to make anybody any money mom." My little cynic. Jaded already. Or maybe logical to a fault! I want to be a " cup half full" kind of person darn it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Must be on the mend...

I MUST be on the mend by now. I still feel like complete poo but , thinking positive, I must be on the mend. I am working with a good friend of mine who is a master herbalist. She has given me some pills that make my burps smell like vicks vapo rub! Surprisingly refreshing! Waiting a couple more days until I resort to antibiotics. Still spending most of the day in bed with warm tea and plugged in the rabbit ears for a little dose of mainstream entertainment. Too exausted to even read a book... I've resorted to watching home improvement shows, oprah, and celeberty gossip!lol Oh well. It should be short lived!

Went for a walk into town to the library ( hoping for a good book to come in. Ha ha!) to bring back the 15 overdue books and check the mail. The littlest guy was bopping along, bounding down the sidewalk , head down in his own little headspace. An elderly woman, trying to be playful, jumped out from behind a building to scare him. He ran in sheer terror into my arms and had a classic autie screaming fit. He was rocking back and forth in my lap, shrieking and yelling that people are stupid ( blush) and she got down to apologise. I let her know that it was alright and that it would be best if she just kept on moving... as I am trying to keep the fists and feet from flying in her direction. I know she was just trying to be playful and fun.... but you never know what kind of child you are scaring ya know?! I am sure that people don't try to go out and scare the autistic kids... but you can't always tell that kids on the spectrum are in fact on the spectrum!!! Sadly, I then get the judgement because of my childs" bad behavior". Usually he is coping all right these days , but when he is still recovering from being sick and just in a mellow mood, it's not the right time! It has taken him a good part of the day to recover.

Funny how people think that it is ok to get in a childs space in a way that they would never ever dream of doing to an adult.
I think that I may add a book list of what I am reading at the moment. On the go right now... both at once
~Plant Technology of First peoples of British Columbia. ... Awesome book about the first nations use of local plant materials. I use a lot of local plants medicinally but the feild guides were missing these practical uses ! Love this book!
~The Revolution will Not Be Microwaved. Sandor Ellix Katz. Loved his book Wild Fermentation. So wonderful to find a book that puts my philosophy about food into words. Love this guy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still sick!

Seriously considered a visit to the doc today. Instead I stayed in bed all day. My sweet hubby took the entire day off today... I think I freaked him out pretty badly last night. I was coughing so hard I was vomiting and spitting up blood... Yikes! I have no voice whatsoever with that painful laryngitis and dry hurty cough. Papa called his boss this morning to see if he could come in a half hour late so that he could have time to clean the house a bit and get the boys ready for the day. His boss told him not to be crazy and to just stay home... that it sounded like we could use him here more. So the sweet man did all the dishes, folded tons of laundry, played math games and schooly stuff with the boys, took them to the playground and came in to take my snotty rags and feed me some vitamin c drinks every so often. Love that man!
Come on upswing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soooo sick!

Day six for me with hardly enough energy to get out of bed. Fevers, gross snot, no voice, such a sore throat and just general shittiness. My poor littlest guy is a day ahead of me and I just pray that it doesn't turn into pnumonia. Poor little bug. We have been keeping hydrated, vitamin c-ing ourselves, taking herbal teas, bone broths and resting a ton. Even have been trying hydrotherapy. We are exausted! Papa bear is in bed right now just getting it. Oldest has been flappy and crazy all week and is finally getting it now. He has always moaned with every single breath when he is sick. He has done it his whole life! To top it off he has a serious humming stim these days. I am super sound sensitive and it is almost sending me over the edge!We cannot afford to miss any work at all and I feel so bad that that is a stressor for him on top of being sick. There is absolutely NO WAY that he can work if he gets it as badly as I do. Fingers crossed that we can keep the boys out of the hospital. With the asthma issues I am never settled when they get a bad cold. Poo -pee-doo!

Good sign of impending winter... a bear got into the compost a couple of nights ago. It threw the top off, busted off the top slats of wood and took three fence sections with it. I wish I had seen it!

Oh yes! ... just cause I am curious! Who are you regular readers? I'd love to look at your blogs too! Write me a note to say you dropped by!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Out with a flu bug

It's been a long week of yucky sickness around here. Mostly just a cold type of bug with chills and fever. The littlest guy was barfy for a day. We are slowly recovering but if we exert ourselves the fever seems to come back.

A good friend of ours was getting rid of this dresser on freecycle this week. It had been on her porch for ages and she could smell mouse pee. I could smell it faintly but I wonder if she had some other association with the old smell of the dresser itself. Anyways... we rescued it. Toting it up the street on a skateboard! Realising that we have gotten most of our furniture this way. Our leather couch came from a wealthy neighbour and after hours of massaging the darn thing with shea butter( no joke) it looked gorgeous and rich again. I think it just needed some moisture and a good clean. Our desk came from another neighbour and weighs about 300 pounds. It is the old switchboard desk from a nearby island and still has the switchboard instructions inside one of the drawers. A thick plank wood coffee table that weighs about 100 pounds that I hauled home along with two kids in a stroller!Anyways. The list goes on from rescued linens, kitchenware and lots of other goodies. Even if we couldnt afford to buy any new furniture we live in such a cozy space because of these treasures. I feel so thankful! ... Back to the dresser. I bleached it and vinegared and essential oiled the darn thing and planed off the big sliver bits on the front. I got out the beeswax polish that I use for some of my woodworking and buffed it all up. It looks great to me!

Made a batch of purple cabbage sauerkraut today. My gluten free sourdough starter is starting to bubble... as is my ethiopian honey wine. Keifer is going on the top of the fridge and a crock of ginger carrots is lacto fermenting in the corner. I have
stock simmering on the back of the stove. Life is pretty darn good!

( I'll tell you about my missing ring in another post... but I'll keep things positive here!)
I didn't lose it in the sauerkraut!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Are we the only ones?

I was reading a thread on a parenting board that I frequent about kids with sensory processing disorder. Specifically about clothing preferances. My first son is classically sensitive needing loose collars, no tags and super soft clothes. Son number two is the complete opposite. He cannot STAND soft clothing. At all! No PJs, soft pants etc. All he wants is jeans and stiff clothing. Belted in and tucked in. It is a real issue for him. I did a good ol google search and nothing came up for this. Seems like we are the only ones! Here a pic of the little guy... one that was caught of him tucking! There is a LOT of tucking going on in this house! I prefer a more relaxed look myself!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Finally at the end of the bag of apples! Canned the final batch of apple butter and dehydrated another full batch... delish! Tried something new today as well... actually a couple of things. Started a batch of gluten free sourdough starter. Also canned 6 litres of spicy carrot pickles. Amazing how many carrots you can pack in those jars when you pack em tight. Good use of a big chunk of the 25 pound bag of carrots we got at the farm last week. Plus made lunch and dinner. It feels like I haven't been out of the kitchen all day!( truly only out for a quick walk and to do the kiddos learning observation reporting) All powered by too much coffee and peanut butter cookies and lack of sleep last night. I could use a nap!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hanging in tonight with a batch of peanut butter cookies... locking the doors to keep the critters out, and watching a good movie! Took the kids into town on the bus today as they were offering free face painting! Hard to participate in Halloween because the kiddos can't have the candy, so it was so nice to have something fun to do! The kids had fun but were begging to wash it off an hour later because it was so itchy! They are pretty wild and excited. Re

ady to bundle up for a pumkin viewing walk in the pouring rain as soon as it gets dark enough! Have a fun one all!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MMmmm! Abundance!

After a weekend of yucky sickness( papa even had to take a day off work) we had a great mellow outing. An old friend called us up to let us know that the salmon have started to spawn, and to invite us over to the creek on thier property to check it out. It was such a beautiful day! The trees are so bright with fall colours and the breeze was just snowing them down on us in the forest. The trail had changed so much since we had last seen it but we managed to find the beach. The stream was pretty quiet but we did see a dozen or so salmon. My oldest son cried and I practically had to hold him back because he wanted to just help the salmon upstream.( who says aspies don't have empathy?!) We cheered them all on for a while and when we got back were greeted with a hot lunch... gluten free and all! Sweet friend! We sure needed that! Before we left he brought us out into thier huge garden ( let me tell you..... I look up to these guys so much as mentors in lifestyle. They have it figured out! They have 20 years on us, but that is where I want to be in 20 years!) and sent us home with a huge bag of kale, a large bag of parsnips, some tomatoes and tomitillos, some leeks and some aragula. Yummy stuff! We also hit the farm on the way home to get some veg for winter storage before the farms close for the season. So inexpensive for a whole lot of food. If I am careful I can really maximise the use of it all! I buzzed up , bagged and froze most of the kale . Made a wonderful roasted veggie and whole chicken tonight and have a stock on the stove. Chopped up a 10 pound bag of apples that was in the clearance bin to dehydrate too... and made an apple crisp which I am about to go enjoy right now! Yippee for harvest and full happy tummies!!

Oh! It looks as though there is going to be a homeschool meeting place ... right down the road from me! Usually everything is in the next town overand is a bus ride or two

( 7$ a time too) or in the boonies where everyone else drives to. So this is huge! I really hope that it works out and that the drop in fee is not too much. They are looking for parent volunteers and I would give my time in a second. With kids on the spectrum and with sensory difficulty, outings and social stuff can be so hit and miss ( usually miss!). I appear so wishy washy to most people. Oh well. I guess you have to be there to get it! Don't like it though when I can't support something that I feel is important! I would need to hire a sitter or something!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


We have been enjoying some nice weather lately... still below freezing in the mornings but more sunny breaks in the day than rain! Finishing up with the harvest. Finally got to the bottom of my bag of pears! Found , de seeded and dried a nice jar of rose hips this weekend. Hoping to get some mushrooms before it is too late! The kitchen is feeling all harvesty with jars of goodies and squash n stuff!

Got a couple of nice bike rides in down to the marsh and it was so gorgeous. It smells like crunchy maple leaves and is a tunnel of fall colours to race through. Starting to chill us to the bone though and you come back pretty muddy! Loving cozying in! And oil gets delivered today! Yay to being warm!

Friday, October 10, 2008


It was -2 out this morning when I got up. Still just using space heaters so it is mighty chilly! Scrounged up the money for the minimum $300 dollar delivery ( they raised it at the end of last year.... minimum was 100$ delivery when we first moved here, then up to 200$ for a couple of years) and they have raised it AGAIN to a minimum 300 liter delivery which puts it to a 420 dollar delivery. So we need to wait another two weeks until we have the money or pay the " upped" price where we get 1/4 of the amount of oil. I wish they had sent a letter out to thier customers for a warning so that we could have tried to budget for this.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Canning !

Got a little out of control this year! Ran out of places to put things in our teeny tiny house so we had to build a shelf. Did this today with some salvaged wood. Free and functional! Yippie! ( as always... I cant ignore the awful walpaper in our rental!

Had to add a piccie of the very last of the flowers from our garden. Ill miss the brightness that they add to the house.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Into fall!

What a nice fall this has been so far! I have been so thankful for the extended warm weather so far! Looks as though we can scrounge up enough money to put some oil in the tank at the end of this month. Sweaters until then! Since my hubby is an apprentace electrician he was able to get a couple of used ceiling fans from clients who were throwing them out. It has made such a difference in keeping the heat in our drafty old rental! If I use the oven at all the warm air gets circulated down and keeps the house at a good temp for a long time! The mornings have been down to 2 or 3 degrees here and there but if we keep the fans going , a space heater turned on for about half an hour takes the chill off. The coastal weather just has that damp chill to it.

Our littlest guy turned 5 on monday! What a big boy! ( he even tied his shoes for the first time the day after!) The relatives sent lots of playmobile for him and he felt like " the luckiest kid in the world!" ... we couldn't afford a present for him, but he didn't notice at all .... it all kind of got lumped together and because my grandma sent some money for something special we got to go buy it together. We made a delicious cake though!

( photo courteous of Kate Mahaits Photography! Thanks Kate! )

The week before was kind of crappy because number two bonked his head again and got concussion number four. Then we all got this nasty cold and flu bug after. Still recovering a week and a half later! The emerg doc was amazing though. He had a five year old son as well. The funniest part was when he said that A was " socially advanced"!! LOL. Both of the kiddos are suspected to be on the autism spectrum( Aspergers) but we haven't had a formal evaluation because we really seem to be doing well on a gluten free diet, they don't need a special education plan because we homeschool..... overall things are positive rather than a struggle all of the time. The little guy though, at the moment ( my oldest was similar at that age but has since gained some much needed social skills) " hates babies" and little kids, panicks when he sees them and spends his time hiding under the furniture growling if they are anywhere in the vicinity. Hence me getting a giggle out of the " socially advanced " comment. Being under the weather at all makes the autistic behaviors so much more pronounced though... so this week of being sick has been trying. Another kiddo asked " what is wrong with him" about my oldest. Actually the first comment from another child. He was a little extra flappy and stimmy and running around in circles than usual though.... maybe the cold is going into round two. Could be the asthma meds too cause they always make everyone a little crazy.

Good parts this time of the year though.... free fruit like crazy! We made oregon grape and salal jelly on the weekend. Pear butter at the beginning of the week. Apple ,pear chipotle hot sauce.... my idea worked beautifully! I have a huge bucket of pears to deal with today as well as more appples. I will make pear butter and maybe some chutney. I think I have enough ingredients to swing it. Maybe I can get extra jars off freecycle. 8 days until payday with only enough money for gas for my hubby to get to work! Maybe I can sell a piece of jewelry in the meantime!
I have been trying trying to get it together to do a Christmas craft booth. I will try to swing it iin time but it costs a bunch to rent the table space and organise display and make business type cards and packaging... plus I need to purchase more material and findings. I am going to play it by ear and see if I can swing it because we NEED the extra bit of cash. Crappy because I know it would sell but I can't seem to get it together! Funny to be in the position of needing money to make money! Hubby put in some heaters for a friend though and he was traded some beautiful plum wood, some dogwood and a couple of pieces of cherry. An older woodworker in the neighbourhood brough me a gorgeous thin milled piece of yew that is really large... so pretty! Oh well.... I do have faith that it always works out. ... always does! I sound like a downer! lol.... really not. So many thiings to be happy about really!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feels like fall already!

Woke up yesterday to a temp of 4 degrees outside!!! I had to turn on the space heater... in August!!!! I can't believe how fast the summer went. The school year starts next week even! Ready and waiting for our " Not Back To School Party!" As this year even my " baby" starts kindergarten.
Have still been spending a ton of time in the shop... trying to get aside enough to do a Christmas fair or something. It would be helpful to fill the oil tank! I have a half dozen things that I am planning to make at the moment.... but I think I have to plan for a garage sale instead. And then write a learning plan for each of the boys for the year for the ministry... and then clean the oven... and maybe make a batch of blackberry jam( after picking the berries of course) and then get ready for the plum, apple and pear harvest. I wish that there were four of me Cause what I would really like to do is have a nap! Here is a taste of what I have been making lately.

Also a linky to a great blog... my new favourite! Hilarious to our Aspie family... that's for sure! Probably funny to many who know us as well.
The older posts are worth reading!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

carving ,carving , carving

On a jewelry making kick this weekend. After two weeks of visiting relatives we are pooped out! Discovered that papa and I make beautiful jewelry together. I have never had someone that I could collaborate on art with. Finally ironing out some kinks in our work and building on each others ideas and designs beautifully! Found a great source of wood too! Yippee. ( This is why I haven't been around! ) I'll try to get some pics of our latest bits!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nice article...

Thought I'd pass this along!

Not something new for the unschoolers, but a well written, solid and long article!

I need to update this all soon! Exciting stuff happening for us right now that is eating time and energy! Lots of outdoor enjoyment too! T finally got on the bike two weeks ago ( his 7th birthday is in two weeks!) It has been a little bit slower for him because of large motor issues. Excitingly though, he took off like he has been doing it forever. We biked out to the lake ( maybe 6 km?) twice this weekend all on trails and he went full out both times. We had to keep ourselves in " turbo" the whole time to keep up! I even went for a swim. I was the only one in as the spring was so chilly and the lake is glacier fed. It was sooooo cold!
Our littlest guy is finally enrolled in the same homelearning program as number 1 .... My baby is starting " kindergarten"!!! When we discussed that , as homelearners, we can learn about anything we wish to, he happily stated that he would "like to learn about BUTTS!... Butts and garbage!!!!" Should be an interesting year!
I also had a chance to help assist a friend who is a photographer for a wedding on the weekend... it was my first time " working" since the boys were born. craziness! I felt a little like a lump, or a little sheep following her around... in a seemingly less than helpful way. It was fun though and really nice to see the intimate process of being a photographer. She asked me if I would help again and I am so happy to have a change in pace!
There is the mini update... There is bigger better stuff happening... but again, I need to wait for the appropriate time to share the gossip! ( and no... I'm not pregnant!!)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Into the swing of things!

Finally back to riding a lot again! The set up this year is a trail a bike for each of the boys ( one on each adult bike) .... it's really great! A little tricky to get used to and I miss the storage space of towing the trailer. I tow the littler guy who doesn't help out with the pedaling and is a little bit unstable and chatty on the bike. We did a 25 km ride this afternoon down some logging roads to the hydro main. It was so beautiful at the location but it was getting late enough that we needed to head back for dinner. The only complaint is that drivers are not courteous at all on the dirt road. I ride as much to the side as I can but the shoulder is rocky and loose.... with a kid on the back it isn't safe to go into it because it just slips out under me too badly. Anyways... I stay on my side of the road in the furthest packed down tire mark on the road because it is packed down nicely and is much easier to stay straight and strong on. The road is bare on the Sunday other than a dozen cars or so along the whole trip... I figure they can slightly slow down and go around. Well instead it makes people hostile... even though a bike is legally allowed to use the road. Some guy took a run even closer at me in my lane going about 80km an hour... with a preschooler on the back... rocks blasting up at us and a dust cloud to choke through for 2 blocks behind it. Believe me I am trying not to drop the f bomb right now retelling the story. People are so inconsiderate. It is so tricky because we don't have any bike trails where we live. We are in a small village about 10 km from the next center and nearest grocery store. It really sucks that we don't have a safe place for families to ride or for people to commute. No choice but to bust out the car... and I am sure we are all feeling the pain of that one right now. It is a huge thing on my mind right now... a big issue for me for the past few years, but we live in a big box world right? Nobody sees the need up here for proper community planning... grrrr....

Here's a pick from early spring this year... a bike to the local lake! Fun this time of year because the road isn't busy and drunk people aren't driving on it! From here on in we bushwhack it to the lake to avoid the road as much as possible.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The warm weather is slow in coming this year!

For some reason it just seems like we are in limbo or something! It is almost June and the furnace kicked in this morning... we usually have it off at the beginning of April. It is a shame because we put an extra 300 dollars worth of fuel in the tank hoping it would get us through the beginning chilly months next year (300 dollar minimum delivery now... crazy!) but it looks like The frosty nights and mornings have burned through most of that. We had the heat on a month early last year too! That said, I know it is coming. We had gorgeous 30 degree weather for the long weekend and it looks like it may be pretty nice for the rest of this week as well. Typically my beans and peas are flowering by now but they are barely breaking the ground... they could really use the sun!

" School" is finished for the year. Although we are " unschoolers" we are still required to register with some sort of program. We found a wonderful program that has really worked for us well this year. We do our own thing completely, which for son number one, doesnt include using any curriculum. I observe what he does throughout the day and document it ( sort of unnatural like my little research project... but it is worthwhile!) and send away my notes to a learning consultant. They in turn fit what we have done into the categories and guidelines layed out by the ministry. We have easily made all of the guidelines by playing, exploring, cooking, reading( like a madman anything he can get his hands on) being out in the community and following our interests as far as we wish to take them. I feel like T has made such leaps in the " gr 1 year". He went into the year after a crappy kindy year in a distance learning course, barely able to read a simple sentance. Now, 8 months later, he is reading everything. He reads the newspaper daily at the coffee shop, is able to independantly use a dictionary or encyclopedia, is able to safely find info on the net, use indexes and table of contents, and is able to pick the right material to find the info he is looking for. This just opens so many doors for him. That has truly been his biggest sucess this year. What a pleasure to watch him grow!

Since the computer has pooped out and refuses to recognise the memory card for my camera, I will put a couple of pics up from his... using the timer, and as usual, spying on us all all of the time~ I realise how bitchy I sound when I see myself on the video he takes with it " TURN IT OFFF!! I dont feel like being filmed right now!!!" ... but only every single time! lol So for this week... here is some of his handywork!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3 Prong fork

First try for a 3 prong fork. Not perfect, but gave me a good idea of how to go about it all!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OK... a post every two months isn't so great is it?!!

Well, spring has definitely sprung around here. The daffodils and violets are finally blooming, the nettles are good for eating, and the garden ready for digging. Just got back from the forest picking nettles with the boys as a matter of fact!We all have the stinging fingers to prove it... luckily that was a good opportunity to show the boys the antidote plants too!

Spring also brought a change in jobs for my partner. While there was an initial stress with the uncertainty , it has been such a great change overall. Still in some throes of more possibilities in that area as well.... so we'll see!

The change did, however, spark some huge creativity in the house... unemployment'll do that for ya! We actually decided to put a mini workshop area in our bedroom.
There's some ultra shitty Feng-shui for you. Since our house is under 800 square feet, the bedroom was the only option.It turned out to be the best place for it. Papa bear made a beautiful practice board to teach the boys how to play Go. It is yellow cedar and turned out so nice. Next project will be a full size board I suppose.

I have been hand carving wooden hair forks and sticks. My hair is starting to get long again and I need some heavy duty toys to tame it. It has been so great! I never realized how much I would enjoy working with wood. Now the tricky part will be finding more good woods, as I have a million designs in my mind already!