Time for mama – And that is okay!

I’ve been sick the last few days, sick with awful laryngitis. Nights have been horrible, sleep has been non-existent and the weather has been sticky and muggy and making the whole thing worse.

I have to admit that this morning, taking Little Miss to preschool felt good. But I still needed time. I’m not one of those people who needs big productions to feel like alone time has been had. Just an hour to do something that I want to do, without having to manage anything or anybody else but me… So my mom came to the rescue and took Little Man for a few hours so I could just go. What did I go do you may ask?

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There is an industrial road just minutes from our home. Mostly, it is lumber yards, general contractors and quarries. But for as long as I can remember, there has been a stretch of fields along that road that have been unoccupied and filled with what feels like century old wild blueberry bushes. It is a carpet stretching as far as the eye can see. Some of the bushes are as tall as I am. I like to pretend that the person that owns the land has kept it empty to preserve the natural heritage (a lady can dream!) and all true summer, every day of every week while blueberries are in season, there are people in the fields, buckets in hand, filling up. When I felt the cool breeze this morning, knowing the heat and humidity was coming, I set for the patch and gave myself an hour to pick everything I could. At the time I was there this morning (before 8am), it was me and the field. In one hour, I picked 4 cups!

As you can tell from the last few pictures, the season is only starting, so we are planning a family trip back this week-end and we are making wild blueberry and maple jam!

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When I came back home to my mom’s, Little Man had fallen asleep in his stroller. He was happily napping in the sun and I got to spend some time with my mom. Bonus!

And tonight, there are dishes to be washed, clothes to be washed, clothes to be folded, toys to be picked up and mail to be sorted through… and all these things will get done : Tomorrow! And that is okay…

Good night everyone! Be good to yourselves.

Posted in foraging, Nature, Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, noon and night…three little peeks into my day.

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Morning – Around 8 h 30 am

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Noon – Around 11 h 30 am **

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Night – Around 7 pm

** Great post by Sara over at Happiness is here, using Spielgaben to teach probability to preschoolers! Little Miss had So MUCH FUN!

Joining Kim over at Mothering with Mindfulness

If you feel like sharing glimpses of your day, please leave your link in the comments for all to see!

Posted in Family Life, Morning noon night | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Saturday garden inspiration

Sharing a little glimpse of my garden that makes me happy.

Wishing you a very peaceful day.

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How is your garden growing?

Posted in Gardening, Saturday garden inspiration | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

{ This moment }

{ This moment } – A Friday ritual. A single photo - 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 Family Life, { This moment } | Tagged , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Getting to know our farmers! – Organic vegetable baskets

For the last 5 years, my hubby and I have been learning how to grow our own food. It has been a process of trial and error, some years yielding close to nothing and some years, we are begging people to take some home! There are quite a few things that we haven’t quite figured out yet and succession plantings to prolong harvest and not having everything ready at the same time is definitely one of them!

So every year, we have a heavy start to the season, then a lull, then a heavy mid-to-late summer showing, then slim pickings. We are slowly getting the hang of it, but not so much so that we would bet our livelihood on it yet. And with two young children, fresh organic veggies is even more important than ever.

That is why we team up with one of our local organic farmers to receive an organic basket every week. For what I consider to be a ridiculously low fee (about 400$ for a family of 4), we will be picking up a weekly basket of seasonal organic goods from late June to mid-November! 20 weeks total. That is 20$ a week and the drop point is less than 5 minutes drive from our home.

Just to give you an idea, this was our 4th basket (we picked it up today).

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** As you can tell, half of the cherry tomatoes didn’t make it home! **

To mirror my friend Kim’s post about “Life lessons”, one of the reasons why it’s so important for me to participate in programs like this and to go to farmer’s markets and local farms is for my kids to know where their food comes from. I remember once watching a documentary where grade school kids (8 and 9 years old) were asked where their food came from. All of them answered “the grocery store”. I wasn’t a mom then, but I had started on the 100-mile diet challenge and I had promised myself never in my home!

So, although we do still buy food from the grocery store, my daughter (and my son one day) can tell you what organic is, she can tell you what a GMO is (in her little 4yo way), why we try to buy local year round and what grows from the earth. We have 2 farms close by that supply us with eggs and every time we stop by, she steps out of the car and goes to thank the chickens for feeding us. She also knows how to recognize happy chickens and will tell us if she is suspicious of mistreatment. (We had one farm we visited where the chickens were kept inside… my daughter didn’t like that at all.)

And every time we pick up our organic baskets, she runs to the stall singing “I’m so excited!”… The farmer that greets us knows us by name. She hands him back the bags and cardboard crates from the previous week and proceeds to happily pick her favorite veggies and put them in our bag. And before leaving, she always turns to our new friend and thanks him, already excited about coming back in one week.

This, among many other things, will define me in my role as a mother. This knowledge of the world and how we are all one big interconnected web of life. We all have different values, and we try so hard to instill them in our children. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… but all we can do is to keep trying and hope that our voice and intentions are stored somewhere, ready to be brought up one day. But what they learn will stay learned. No matter how they choose to live, the information is there for them to use. And that will have to be alright for now.

Good night everyone…

Posted in Family Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Living in a small house and the beginning of our quest towards minimal living.

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When we bought our home, there were 3 of us. Little Miss was 13 months old and we bought our home on a whim. We were happily living in the city, in a large condo style apartment with all the fancy fixings. We had 360 sq. ft. of community garden right across the street, 986 sq.ft of living space with a heated indoor garage and were walking distance from just about all you can think you might need. We had been trying for Little Miss for almost 4 years when she came so we were pretty sure our family was done, this was the way life would be. The 3 of us and the cats, happy slightly hippie city dwellers.

Then this home went up for sale and for months, driving by on the way to Saturday night dinners at my parents’, we looked and thought “it’s still for sale”. We finally took a look at the sale notice online and fell in love. Little things too, like the knotted pine arch ceilings in the kitchen and the living room facing the yard instead of the street. But mostly, it was the land…

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So much work, but so much potential! The house was small (less than our apartment in square footage) but it was sitting on 1/3 acre of beautiful land and it dawned on us : We could really live here. It was LIKE our apartment, with a huge yard! No more crossing the street to get to our gardens. And with just one child, this home was the perfect size! So we jumped in and bought it.

Then a miracle happened…

IMG_5279We were 4! He was perfect, he was loved, he was the first boy in my family (2 girls that had 2 girls) and we had NO CLUE how this would all work! We had 2 bedrooms on the main floor (one of which is only 7.5 ft X 10 ft) and one in the unfinished basement (yeah, that wasn’t gonna work!), so Little Man moved in with us! For the record, he is still living with us in the master right now!

This is when the flow of questions came in : “You are gonna move right?”, “This is a cute starter home, but do you really think it’s big enough for you and 2 kids?” and my favorite : “You have so much land, why don’t you just build an addition?”.

So of course, we pondered and reflected. Selling was not an option. We LOVE where we live. When we bought this home, it was with visions of us retiring here. This, to us, was not a starter home. It was a “our home” home. Plus, at this point, we had invested so much in the backyard, there was no way we would make any money selling it only a few years after buying it in the first place. Then the addition question : To build an addition in any direction would mean cutting down centennial trees. NOPE! So we decided to view this differently : How can we make this home bigger without changing anything about it? We came up with a 3 part plan :

1- Letting go of “labels”

What is a bedroom? Now, what is a master bedroom? Would our bed fit in the smaller bedroom, allowing the kids to share the master with the walk-in closet for their toys, crafts and books? What is “me” space? Does “me” space require physical walls? Can “me” space be multi-functional? Can I create a space for myself without the “box” around it? Is the garage less my husband’s “space” if it also houses the bikes, the outdoor pack-n-play, the winter tires and the strollers?

This took breaking down YEARS of conditioning and it wasn’t easy. Most people that we share our plans with don’t understand and definitely don’t agree. You get attached to certain things. who doesn’t want a walk-in closet??? But the reality was, that space could be better used. So we are right now in the process of re-inventing our home. I’m buying the paint today to redesign our master bedroom into a lovely space for a boy AND girl to share and my husband and I will be moving into the small bedroom and downsizing our possessions to fit it all in! I look forward to sharing the progress with all of you.

2- Less stuff equals more space!

I’ve already shared with you our yearly goal of reducing our material possessions by 50%. As the year is progressing, our progress has been slowing a bit since we are now neck-deep in the “little things”. But as I’ve stated before, the more we get rid of stuff, the happier we are. We still need to attack the crawl space (our home is almost 100 years old and half of the “basement” is a sanitary crawl space we can only use for storage) and I have a feeling that part will get us to 50% with no issues.

3- Spend more time outside.

Really, I’ve come to believe that the only reason why a room (or in this case a home) would feel small is if you spend too much time in it! They don’t call it cabin fever for nothing. So as Little Man grows up (and stops trying to eat every rock, leaf and branch he puts his hands on!), we plan on increasing our time spent outside the home. That will, I believe, make us appreciate the coziness of our charming little nook even more.

So there… thought I would share this morning. I’ve always found that laying things down in writing motivates me, gives me a goal. Seeing it in black and white has always made things seem more “real”.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

 

 

 

Posted in Family Life, Simplicity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Quebec – My city – Oh how I love you!

Every time we have family and friends come in from out of town (often out of the country) we always make it a point to take them to old Quebec. The historic part of the city is just one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen and I’m blessed enough to live a few miles away. The architecture, the vibrancy, the electric nature of summer in Quebec is just intoxicating. I wanted to share a few images with all of you…

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Of course, no outing into Old Quebec on a hot summer day is complete without a splash around the water park! So I guess it was a good thing we brought a change of clothes. :-)

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I hope your day was filled with sunshine an fun. Have a wonderful week!

Posted in Family Life | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments