Saturday, August 29, 2009

So the back story..

So the back story of the last post was this! I was out with the family for an after dinner walk and some random 40 something guy flashes us... not once but twice. Then waves and gives me the thumbs up. Right downtown in our teeny little town, main street in front of the post office. I couldnt believe my eyes. I have been flashed more than a handful of times in my life ( growing up in the city) but never ever when I was with my family. When I flipped out and yelled at the guy he said that he was sorry and had a couple of drinks and thought that we were someone else. Truly though, how drunk would you have to be to not notice that there were kids around. And he was by himself lurking on a property with that sort of manic high air about him looking like he was just waiting to do it again when we were on the way back home. hmmmm...Bizzarre.

Today my mama is coming up for a visit and we are going to the fall fair. Yippie! You know that I will be eying all of the yummy fleece! Hope the kids can cope. We have had an illness just trying to seep in , but not quite. The kids have been super stimmy and my youngest spent a couple of hours hitting himslf in the face yesterday. Not cool and stresses me out big time. It is sure hard for people to deny that it is autism when they see them in that state. My mom only sees them maybe twice a year for an afternoon or so, so hopefully this will go well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It turns out....

Exposing yourself to me in front of my kids.... is a very bad idea. The kids got to see me in all of my glory when I absolutely flipped out at him. If I had a phone I definitely would have called the cops. ( sadly they often don't come out our way even for violent domestic abuse calls) Being flashed just infuriates me, let alone in front of my children. Enough to make me lose my shit. Gah!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Almost school time... again!

Wow did the summer fly by! We have been spending the last week canning like crazy... peach conserve, blackberry jam, chutney, apple butter and the list goes on! Tried for the Oregon grape berries, but I think that that really hot spell did them in this year. Bummer though, because the Oregon grape jelly we made last year was our favourite.

Started a couple of tinctures , Oregon grape root as well as a whole plant echinacea. Hoping for some usnea when things get a little moister around here... maybe some hops and mullein? Trying to figure out what would be most beneficial for us this year. I worry about the boys with the flu because we have spent a ton of time in the hospital with their asthma. I have been getting them to enjoy herbal teas daily, with them helping to mix herbs for them... I am hoping that tea drinking can become a really enjoyable thing for them and then become an easier way to give complementary medicine! I have had some sort of bug this week, so I think I am in flu easing mindset overdrive! Started a batch of sauerkraut, kimchee and am being extra brave and trying a batch of Tibetan fermented greens. Our fermented ketchup turned out sooooo yummy. It tastes a little bit more like chili sauce maybe, but so yummy all the same. So between the ferments, fish oil , nourishing herbs and good resting, hopefully we can keep healthy this fall and winter.
I realised that I didn't take any pictures of the garden this year . It is winding down somewhat now but the tomatoes are just getting into full swing! Back to having yummy tender greens now that it is cooling down as well. I sure hope that we can get a cold frame together in time... I need to plant that NOW.
Meanwhile we have guests coming for the next two weekends, learning plans to write ( I will write a post later about the years possible plans for the boys) wool to wash before the rain comes. Papa still isn't back to work yet... got the word today though that the company landed a couple of bigger jobs coming in the fall. Good thing! It is really hard to make 1400 dollars a month stretch to get us through... won't be happening come the time where we have to heat the house. ( I don't like having to worry about feeding guests either... between you and I! lol) Trying to take advantage of the free fruit and am putting as much away as we can right now. The landlords haven't fixed the roof yet but the plan was to put insulation in the whole back of the house since there isn't any... it gets so cold back there... think 12 or 13 degrees all winter. We found a folding door today at the Re Store for 5 dollars(!) so that we can shut off the front of the house at night to keep the living area a little bit warmer. The bedrooms and living room are all in the front and we keep it at about 18 degrees all winter. It will be nice to be able to just heat the living room extra once in a while when you want to be a bit warmer. I closed the door today and realised how thankful I am to create that tiny bit of separation from the rest of the family. Our house is about 800 square feet... while it is plenty of room it still feels like we don't have privacy or much peace from each other. Today the boys watched a video, I shut the middle door and couldn't even hear them. I put on CBC radio loudly and they couldn't hear me... it was great!lol I am so much more productive when I am not overwhelmed by constant kid noise! ( between regular sibling noise, sound effects( ahhhhhh!), beatboxing and a heck of a lot of verbal stimming, this can be one noisy household!) Doors are a good thing.... a very good thing!
Ramble, ramble!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Family Record!

Nothing like burning off a wedding hangover ( 2 glasses of boxed wine just does me in... lol) like taking a big 6 and a half hour hike. Went to Paradise Meadows again, but this time went for the challenge of the 15.5 km hike!!!!! That is definitely our family record. Needless to say, we are all exhausted!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Imagine us, strolling down the road, bedsheet and buckets in hand and helmets on our head ready for the harvest! Well elder son was actually wearing a big plastic Bobby hat... at least we always make the neighbours smile when they see us coming! We all spread out underneath the wild plum trees in the bush, each with a corner of the sheet in hand, cover our heads and squeeze our eyes shut as one of us shakes the tree. We went to our usual spot where we find little yellow plums that are just a bit larger than a really big cherry. Lucky for us we spotted a red plum tree too! More of a dusty pink and really pretty. Tonight we will sit and pit them... they arent the ones that are separate from the pit, so harly anyone even makes use of them... they can be a bit of a pain. But they make the prettiest yellow sunny jam ever. With the pink in there I think it will even be nicer. Since we discovered that we can use the jam to make a quick home made asian style plum sauce we are ready to make even more than we usually do. Yummy! I will try to dehydrate a batch as well...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Days in the shop

Finally finished and delivered the jewellery commissioned for a friends wedding and I forgot to get a photo of it. It took a little bit longer to do because I was having anxiety and perfectionism problems because it was for her wedding and all! I think it worked out well in the end though. Was up in the middle of the night with all sorts of creative ideas and plans. I almost had to get up and meditate to slow my mind down... the mosquitoes buzzing in the room didn't help much either! Waited until the end of the day to get into the shop and it was just one of those days. The saw blades were breaking and things were flying everywhere and my project just didn't work out. Stubborn as I am , I just couldn't leave the shop with nothing to show for it, so I buckled down for an impromptu idea just to get the obsessive part of my brain to let it all go!lol If all else fails, make yourself a pair of hair sticks! Mmmm. This pair is from some king wood that I had leftover from a commissioned piece, local beach stones that I found and drilled, and our old reclaimed tongue piercing jewellery from back in the day. I like! I am satisfied and able to leave the shop and mess behind and not have to one mindedly slogg away well into the night.

Also a piccie that was on the camera when I loaded things up... a flour flower? Cool!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New discovery

Went on a berry hunt today but was a little bit early for the blackberries. Had a chance to check on the local plum tree in the bush that we harvest from and it should be ready within the next week or two. Went to a different location to continue our hunt and instead found some other type of berry. Picked a few as well as some leaves so that we could identify them at home... turns out to be service berries, or Saskatoon berries!!! Edible and they were abundant. We plan to go to that location tomorrow to collect enough for jam and a bunch to dehydrate! Yay! When we went to check a final location for blackberries, we found instead a huge area full of plump rose hips. Should be the perfect harvesting spot come fall! So although we didn't find the berries we were looking for, it was a VERY successful outing.

Made our second batch of crock pickles yesterday. The first batch was so yummy that we ate it all within a week! This batch has garlic from the garden even. This time of the year makes me so happy! We have decided to make a family nature observation journal with dates that we harvest certain wild foods/garden veg and fruits as well as weather observation. Thought that it would help us keep track of the harvest, successes in preserving and help us to be more aware of natures rhythms. Worth a try! I am also starting a sketchbook of local plant identification and information... somewhere I was reading about a 100 species challenge. This should help solidify my local plant knowledge and force me out of my comfort zone of what I already know.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Finally it is cooling off a bit! So much easier to do the day to day things when it isn't sweltering!

Things are good here. We have been pretty worried about papas dad who has been evacuated because of a big wildfire. His house is going to be one of the first to go if the fire gets any closer to town... we havent heard any updates and don't know where he is staying. I had nightmares about fire the night that they would have been evacuated. Spent the whole dream night going from room to room in my house trying to figure out what to take with me while I could see burning embers falling all outside the window. I woke up with an urgent need to both simplify the amount of stuff we have, and to get rental insurance. We tried before , but the insurance place had a huge list of stuff that our landlords needed to do before they would insure us... weird stuff that nobody has in our neighbourhood like a concrete barrier around the oiil tank. We had just left it at that... didn't help that they treated us like criminals saying we weren't eligable because it was fishy that we had never had insurance before. There always has to be a first time right?! We were young and all of our stuff is from the thrift store or freecycle!lol It hadn't seemed important before! Oh well. We will try with a different provider that we have our roadside car insurance with. I hope it is within our budget.

Littlest one has been weaving lately on a hommade loom we found at the thrift store. He picked a red thread for the warp and is using our handspun for the weft. This kid has some serious patience! I showed him once and he has done the rest without help or supervision.

Made a couple of salves this week. A warming one and an all around use one with plantain and calendula. I prefer using a bit of lanolin in ours ,and since none of us are sensitive I can use it. A friend had given us a bunch of stuff from Australia before she moved back, and all of the Aussie salves are in a lanolin base. I really like it that way. It is my birthday this week and I am getting a couple of really good medicine making resource books from Amazon... super excited. Should be a smart purchase.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another week flies by

I don't know where the summer is going! Spent lots of time at the rivers all week again to beat the heat. Took advantage of the summer layoff to explore the area a little more. The rivers are gorgeous, clay bottomed with gorgeous formations... fossils too! Both of the boys are happily paddling around in thier life jackets. Such a huge difference!! I don't know if it is connected at all, but my youngest who has always kept his shirts completely tucked in ( as in compulsively tucks his shirt in all day long) has kept his T shirt loose and relaxed for the past couple of days! For people who understand rigidity and the issues that come along with it, you can understand how great it is to see some of those behaviors relax a little bit! So within one week he went from never before putting a toe into the water , to paddling about on his own... and tubing down a mini rapid on his own!
Yesterday we ended up at a local festival. We have never gone to it before because it is known to be really busy... and pricey. My hubby volunteered for a four hour span to do the electrical and we all got free tickets. It was pretty good considering. Everything was way out of our price range ( the unemployment budget!) but I got the info from the local wool gatherers guild so I can join (? maybe) and learn more about spinning and such. Today we went to the river again and on the way home saw a sign at a farm stand for basil. For 20 dollars The woman took me back into the greenhouse and filled two grocery bags packed with basil and she gifted us with a really pretty hot pepper plant which looks like mini purple eggplants until they ripen to a bright red. When I got home I buzzed it up with some oil and packed it flat in freezer bags to break off chunks. In one large bag I mixed up all of the fresh herbs for an italian seasoning and buzzed that up inhto a paste... who knows if that will work? Smells nice though and should last me through the winter. I am considering doing the same with a popcorn seasoning that I make with fresh sage and garlic. It would be handy to have it on hand and ready to go. Cut lots of ecchinacea , the constant stream of calendula blossoms, the bee balm , lavender and chammomile to dry and put up for winter storage. Should be ok this year if I can keep on top of it all... at least it all helps the lack of funds issue be a little bit nicer!. I sure hope that work starts up soon.