34/52 – Her & Him (late post)

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Miss : Oh how you loved this week-end with our new friends. You were so free and comfortable. I barely saw you all week-end. You caught your first (and lots of seconds) toad, you swam in everything from a fountain to a lake to a mud pond, you played with chickens, you had your first vegan marshmallow on the fire, you played with your first sparkler. And now, you are counting the days ’til we are all together again. These deep connections, these friendships you build my love, based on mutual passions, values and beliefs will last for ages. I’m so happy you are learning this at such a young age.  <3

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Man : There are no words to describe how happy and free you felt these last few days. To be able to roam, wild and unchained. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I didn’t even know quite where you were, but there, I still felt like you were safe. I promise you my love, we were taking so many mental notes this week-end, we will make our home as much as a haven for you. I dream of letting you explore without fear of our busy street. But we have a plan and if you can be patient with us, next summer should be a very different experience.  <3

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

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A deeper connection (and lots of pictures)

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The internet is many things, but one thing I never thought it would bring me was meaningful friendships. See, Kim and I met almost 2 years ago through her blog.  I can’t quite remember how it came about. I think in one of her posts, she asked if anyone would like to receive a letter from her through the mail. I said I would. That was the beginning. Since then, she has become more than just a “blog friend”. She inspired me to start my own blog, she walked with me on the road towards becoming a stay at home mom, she has been a constant presence in my goals of creating for myself a simpler, more peaceful life. And yet, we had never met.

That changed this past week-end.

Our journey down South towards Ontario was a fun one with many stops along the way. Sandbanks Provincial Park was the highlight of our travels until, of course, we reached destination. What waited for us there was beyond hospitality. It was a window, a chance to be a part of a life, a rhythm, that we have been craving and working towards for so long. I can’t remember the last time I was so stress free, so at ease in my own skin. Conversation after conversation deepened our connection that, although had felt real, was still missing something : Faces, voices, energy.

Eating almost every meal outside, eating fresh seasonal food picked straight from the garden, long walks in the woods and by the water, our kids playing from early morning to late evening, looking at the stars, the crackle of so many warming fires, knitting in the shade, walking the farmer’s market, chickens eating table scraps at my feet, my son lounging against their beautiful and sweet dog, craft time with the kiddos while our husbands shared about art, homesteading and their passions…

Before we knew it, Monday morning came. Our departure came too quickly, finding us unprepared for the sorrow that came with it. But plans are already in motion for another visit and it will not be another 2 years, I can promise that.


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Going on an adventure…

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It’s been a while since we’ve really left the house. We’ve been off on little 24 hour jaunts here and there, but to leave our home, our homenstead, our cats, our little life for several days in a row, now THAT is an adventure. And to visit a wonderful friend and her family for the first time makes it that much more special!

So I will be off line for the next 4 days. My 52 Project portraits will be late this week-end, so will my Saturday Garden Inspiration post (which should turn into an “Oh My God!” Garden Inspiration post since we are leaving our gardens to fend for themselves for almost a week).

So I wish all of you a wonderful week-end filled with sunshine and adventures of your own.

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33/52 – Her & Him (late post)

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Miss : It’s been a big and busy week : Family in town, loosing your first tooth, buying your first school supplies, your first school clothes, first bee sting (on your eye to make it extra special)… So many firsts! It’s been a bit of rough waters to travel, but the storm is passing. The heat and lack of sleep haven’t helped. But we love you and no matter what happens, we wake up in the morning to a new, blank slate of a day. Growing up is rough business, isn’t it my love? I would like to be able to tell you you that it gets easier, but I promised I would never lie. No matter what though, we will be right there with you the whole way. You are going to rock this new chapter of your life. You are smart, kind and curious. You will eat up school in one big bite.  <3

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Man 
: Oh, it’s been hard to get a good picture of you this week. You have taken to running away from the camera as a game. So many pictures of the back of your head. But mama is quicker! :-) Such a playful little man. I hope you always keep that bright, beautiful smile of yours. It lights up my world.  <3

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

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Saturday Garden Inspiration – August 15, 2015 (late post)

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

Wishing you a very peaceful day.

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Once again this year, I’ll be sharing little glimpses of our gardens. Although so much is growing all the time, there is always a little moment every week that makes me smile extra wide and this is what I want to share with you.

If you would have asked me last June how I envisioned my summer gardens, how I was anticipating our food production, I would have had to stop and think. Forever the optimist, I probably would have told you that the cold weather will probably affect our heat loving crops, but that we would be okay. But honestly, the realist in me was worried. We were still getting nights below 10’C (in the 40s) and everything had stunted. My spring crops were thriving, but there was a part of me that was really worried about not having taken our CSA share for the summer and fall.

Oh how much can change in just a few months.

I haven’t had time to write, haven’t had time to take pictures, because we have been harvesting from morning ’til night. What you see above was only my harvest for our meals that day. What you don’t see is pounds of kale and Swiss chard, baskets full of cucumber. You don’t see the inside of my fridge, filled to the brim with summer squash, green beans, herbs and my counter, filled with tomatoes, all waiting to be preserved for future months.

Mother Nature, once again, has proven herself the perfect team-mate. Guiding us through uncertain times, making sure we are fed and healthy. Keeping us on our toes. What gifts she gives.

Over the next few weeks, we will be starting to see our fall crops pop up. We’ve planted more carrots, peas, beans, herbs, kale, spinach, radishes and arugula. I don’t know if you’ve noticed on the very bottom right of my picture, but our asparagus has started popping up for a second showing. We’ve been enjoying a few every day, making it easy to save our frozen spring crops for winter. Our trips to the stores are fewer and farther between and our now bi-monthly trip to the farmer’s market for a few veggies we do not grow at home and for fruit is a short but happy one.

Life is good. Busy, but SO good.

How is your garden growing?

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More than farmers… friends.

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We live in the city. It wasn’t the case about 30 years ago when my parents bought a home about 4 streets from where I am now living. Back when I was younger, this was considered the country. I had friends on the North shore of the St-Lawrence that had never even crossed the bridge. Behind my parents’ home was woods. Endless miles and miles of woods that belonged to old families that had been around these parts forever. Untouched. I used to catch tadpoles and minnows there, climb trees and have grand adventures.

Since then, things have changed. When Quebec City became too expensive and over crowded, developers started buying land in the “country” around the city. We are now part of the suburbs. Gone are all the woods behind my childhood home. All we see stretching for miles around now are bigger homes, smaller lots, rising property taxes and endless rush hour traffic.

See, our little town wasn’t zoned for anything but living. So when more “living” needed to be done, they did it here. But it wasn’t the case everywhere. 2 towns down, farms stayed farms and that makes me feel like I still live in the country.

Early Saturday morning, we packed up the kids, water bottles and snacks and headed to one of our favorite farms, La Ferme Genest. (I’m sorry if the site is only in French, but do click on the tabs to see pictures of this amazing place.) We went over to pick another 5 lbs of raspberries and were happily surprise that the u-pic corn season had started. What fun to be had. So on we worked, gathering, picking, enjoying the mild morning sun and the song of birds. After an hour, we were done.

Then the real fun began.

See, what makes the Genest family one of our favorite families around is the fact that picking is only the beginning of the fun. The land they’ve owned for almost 200 years is only a 1/4 mile wide, but it stretches from the banks of the St-Lawrence River 1 1/2 miles inland. And when you stop in and say hello, that land is completely opened to you. Everything from the sugar bush to the South to the dense pine forest to the North is accessible. They give anyone (regardless of whether you pay for something or not) access to the grounds. You can bring a picnic, run through their orchards, play in the woods, pick the wild flowers… anything you want as long as you respect the land and all the grows and lives on it. And you can do this 12 months out of the year. It is where the kiddos walk the enchanted woods to visit Santa Claus, it is where we pick our pumpkins every year. They have seen my children be born and grow.

I feel very lucky to have beautiful places like this so near.  We were at the farm at 8 am that morning and came home close to 1 pm. The kids were spent, filled with fresh air, their skin slightly salted with sweat. And there will be many more visits to many other farms in this beautiful area. Visits to go say hello and thank you to hard working local people who feed us, treat us like friends. We miss many of them when winter comes, but our yearly reunions are so joyous.

Do you have amazing people like this near you? I would love to hear about them. Please share their info here so people can find them! Local heroes like our farmers deserved to be known.

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32/52 – Her & Him

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Miss : Such a silly whimsical girl you are. “Helping mama and papa” today meant you were going to make us laugh while we worked in the fields, picking fruit to put away for winter. Every once in a while, you brought us something you found that was just perfect, but most of the morning, you just walked through the rows, danced in the sun and imagined yourself in magical lands. You have such a vivid imagination, I’m sorry if I can’t keep up sometimes. Mama’s mind isn’t always as quick as yours, but if you are patient, I will always try to catch up. <3

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Man : We went berry and corn picking again today and as always, you were in exploration mode. Although you spent a better part of the morning squashing raspberries between your fingers, at one point, I caught a glimpse of you playing with the dirt in the field : You felt it, smelled it, laid in it, buried your hand in it… I watched you for several minutes, you didn’t even notice I was there. So connected, so mindful. Your delicate nature sometimes get overshadowed by your more active side, but I love being reminded that it exists in you as well. I love every side of you my darling. <3

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

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