{ This moment }

{ This moment } – A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

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Posted in Crafting, Learning at home, { This moment } | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments

Bean bags interrupted

Curious?

I was going to sit down yesterday and talk about a little craft session I had inspired by Vikki over at Olive’s Crafts. A few weeks ago, she shared a little tutorial for bean bags she made for her kiddos around Halloween. Got me to thinking that maybe Little Man would love a handful of tiny bean bags, filled with different kinds of grains and seeds. Something to throw, chew, step on and generally explore without mama having to worry so much about him hurting himself (or any other part of the house).

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So that was my plan for yesterday’s blog post… That is, it was my plan until 3 h 30 pm.

Wanted to make a phone call. but the phone was dead…

I ran downstairs to put it on the charger…

I heard a big thump, then a shriek…

I ran upstairs to find that in the 20 seconds I had gone downstairs, my son had gotten off his little chair in the living room, had walked to the dinning room, had pulled one of the heavy Roxton style chairs from under the table (where it was fully tucked I assure you), had climbed on it and had then, for all I can tell, decided to jump off, smacking his forehead into the hardwood table on the way down. He was now sitting on the floor with the Niagara falls of all bloody gashes, looking at me like it was somehow my fault! *sighs*

So hours later, all stitched up and back from the emergency room, we made the decision to keep all the dinning room chairs hidden in our bedroom during waking hours. Unless we are sitting on them of course.

Exploratory phase? I think so…

Have a great day everyone!

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Posted in Family Life, Life | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

First snowy walk of the year

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Although the world around us has been hit with snow repeatedly over the last few weeks, we, aside from the very occasional ephemeral flurries, were yet to have any real snow. That changed yesterday. You can imagine the early morning excitement when we suggested going for a walk at a nearby regional park. It’s a lovely sight with waterfalls, a fun hydro-electric complex with peak panels to see the turbines whirling and a very tall suspension bridge that the kids just love running along, every step making the bridge sway and bounce.

For me, it was a quiet chance to say good night to the world as it getsw tucked in under a lovely soft white blanket. Although waking up to find the world covered in beautiful powdery snow one morning has its magic, there is a sense of closure when watching it happen slowly over the course of a few days. Watching the grass gradually disappear, the late fall brown turning into a cleansed blank slate. It’s little things you notice like the fur on squirrel tails looking fuller, bird songs growing quieter, the lighter “crunch” of footsteps on the ground and the sudden brightness of even the cloudiest days.

It is still snowing this morning, heavier and more determined than yesterday. They are announcing another 5-10 cm (2-3 inches) over the next 24 hours. I doubt it will stay, as the ground is not yet frozen. But for now, I will breathe it in and enjoy it, letting my inner child giggle with glee.

Oh how I’ve missed you winter. Welcome home.

Posted in Family Life, Gratitude, Life, Nature, Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Lime-ginger vinaigrette – Onion and Garlic Free

Good evening all. I hope you had a wonderful week-end.

I love Asian food. I don’t know if I ever mentioned. But with not eating anything from the Allium family, going out for Asian is completely out of the question. So over the last few years, we’ve had to become quite creative and have been trying to replicate many of our favorite recipes.

Tonight my mom asked if we could make dumplings and pot stickers for dinner, of course we said yes! There is very little that beats a 5 course dinner filled with a variety of pot stickers and dumplings, straight out of the steamer or the pan. We had Swiss chard and shiitake mushroom, spicy tofu and veggies and Indian style sweet potato. It was lovely. But we had to open it with an appetizer of some sort (the meal being made of appetizers as it was) we chose salad and I had to share my little vinaigrette with you!

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Lime-Ginger Vinaigrette

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 TBSP avocado oil (substitute with any light tasting oil like grape seed or sunflower)
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp to 1 TBSP fresh grated ginger (I love a LOT of ginger, but you decide)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

I just dropped everything in a small Mason jar and gave it a good shake. I always try and let my vinaigrettes sit for a few hours for the flavors to develop. So lovely and delicious. Fresh, light… perfect! We served it on iceberg lettuce, fresh bean sprouts, grated carrots and cucumbers, roasted cashew nuts, black sesame seeds and fresh curly parsley. But I’m sure you can come up with a variety of combinations. I keep thinking some sort of Asian pear and fresh pea salad next time. Mmmmm…

Have a good night everyone.

Posted in Garlic and Onion free cooking, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

And the trees keep falling…

Have you ever gone from elated to not so sure about something in less than 24 hours?

I’m there now…

This is the picture I posted 2 days ago about gaining so much light on our grounds due to our neighbors cutting down a few pine trees on their property :

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This is our view now and the tree cutters are still there which means more might come down :

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I’m conflicted. When they asked for our permission, they said a few trees. My count as of right now is 12 or 13. I’m starting to feel like I gave my OK to a pine tree genocide here. There is really nothing for me to do about it now, it’s not like they can put them back, but in retrospect, I’m repenting for my lack of diligence when it was time to ask for more details. These were centennial trees. A few were getting on and not so healthy anymore, but most of them were.  Now I’m starting to wonder if they went through proper channels, got the official okay. We live in a historic neighborhood with patrimonial homes. Many trees here are protected as well.

I won’t lie, I feel a bit sick to my stomach. The South Western edge of my happy little home looks like a clear cutting camp in the Northern Boreal Forest.

Maybe it looks worse than it is because of the trees being bare. And I’m sure I will love the long sunny evening on our back deck come spring and summer time. But for now, I feel ill. This feels like giving the OK for taking life for taking life sake and it feels wrong. My conscience is troubled, my heart shaken. I write this with the buzz of chainsaws coming through my shut and boarded windows.

I don’t think it was worth it for a few square feet of light.

 

Posted in Cultivation, Life, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Polar vortex and staying warm

It is bitterly cold this week. The wind chill factor has brought the temperatures down to -6′C tonight (21′F) and tomorrow should be even colder with half an inch of freezing rain. The gusts of wind have been reaching 45 km/h (27 mph) and that should also get increasingly worse as the week moves along. Needless to say, much time has been spent indoors the last 2 days and I suspect there will be more snuggling warmly in our cozy little home for the next few days to come.

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Today called for crafts and pjs. Nobody but my husband (who still went to work by bike, bless his soul) felt the need to do much but stay warm. But I bet sweet hubby would have stayed home if work didn’t call him out. We made crowns and played with blocks, ate preserved peaches and hemp seed crepes with fresh honey. How wonderful it is to start popping open those beautiful rainbow colored jars. I was hoping to not have to dig into our winter preserves quite yet, but cold weather gardening didn’t quite happen this year and with our CSA closed up for the year, it’s time to start eating what we worked so hard to put by.

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It’s been a while since I’ve talked “shop” so to speak. Our little burgeoning homestead has been tucked in for winter, the beds covered in leaves after having been filled with over 15 cubic feet of fresh dirt.  That is right, the pile is gone! We added a new bed in the front yard, almost 200 square feet. After observing a lot of the sun exposure over the summer, we realized that about 25% of our front yard was getting hit by direct sunlight for over 10 hours a day. That seemed like a waste of a good space if you ask me! So my husband double-dug and lasagna planted us a 5 ft X 24 ft bed with a keyhole feature around a baby magnolia tree sapling we put into the ground less than a year ago. Needless to say we have great plans for this new little garden patch.

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Another interesting piece of news : We have gained back over 30% of our backyard. Let me explain : A while back, I walked you through our little 1/3 acre property. Well, if you remember, the back of our land was thick with trees, shrubs, bushes and a row of 100 year old pine trees that were separating us from our neighbors. That only meant one thing : shade, shade and more shade! Well, we were approached by them last week asking if we minded if they took down some of the pines. See, their lot is filled with them and they haven’t been able to grow anything due to the extreme acidity of the soil. Really, the trees are on their land so we couldn’t really say anything, but they were sweet to ask and we gave them the green light.

And then, in return, they gave us LIGHT!

This was the end of the day before (picture taken when we first bought our home):

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And this is the end of the day now :

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Again, can we say possibilities?!?!

So we are excited for this coming year. We’ve already started planning for next spring, having fun exploring new veggies and fruit we would want to try. We are thinking that now, everything is pretty much within our reach. It seems like things are lining up and confirming that the choices we made are the right ones. And I thank the Universe everyday for this blessed life I lead.

Good night everyone! xo

Posted in Family Life, Food preservation, Gardening, Gratitude, Homesteading, Learning at home, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

A very special spot – Gratitude

This week-end, I’m grateful…

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- for more time on the week-ends, now that my weeks are more my own.

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- for the curious nature of nature and the conversations it provokes.

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- for the crisp late fall air that cleans my lungs.

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- for a Little Man, more solid and strong everyday.

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- for growth and green, even when it seems like the world has gone to sleep.

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- for my Little Miss’ endless imagination.

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- for contrast, keeping my eyes sharp.

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- for warmth, light and softness.

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- for friends we find along the way…

Wishing you all a beautiful week-end!

Posted in Family Life, Gratitude, Nature, Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments