Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Gift



Floating softly down,
it landed upon
the gravel path.

When?
Yesterday,
today,
a moment ago?
Not sure.

Bright yellow
captures attention,
eyes look down,
hand reaches
to pick it up.

A feather.
A gift.

Thank you,
Northern Flicker.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Time with Friends





Spending time in the woods is like an elixir for me, it is the cure for all the troubles that come my way. Many of my biggest decisions have been made among the trees, in the solace of Mother Nature. You will often find me in the woods alone, wandering with no particular goal in mind, just enjoying the pace of nature. I, of course, love sharing the woods with others too. Taking Reece to explore, climb trees, run free, find little treasures and so on, can fill an entire day. And our family hikes hold some very special memories for me. We are a nature loving family, and being out there, soaking up the gifts of Mother Nature is how we spend a lot of our time.

Over the years we have been very lucky to connect with families who feel the same way we do about the woods, and spending time in nature. Yesterday we gathered with one such family for a winter morning hike. The sun was shining and the winter air was cold, but we bundled up and away we went, chatting, laughing, running and climbing. We all had a great time, and walked off the trail with rosy cheeks and smiles.

We headed back to our home after, to warm up by the fire, drink tea and enjoy lunch. While the kids played, the adults continued conversations, and prepared lunch, and then we gathered around the table for our meal. It is during meals like this, that my heart overflows with gratitude for good food, shared around our table, with people who mean a lot to us.

Life really doesn't get any better, as far as I am concerned...time in nature, sharing a meal, and enjoying the company of friends. A simple pleasure really, that fills me up, and reminds me just how blessed we are.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

4/52

  "A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"
 
Reece, a moment from one of our daily nature walks. We finally had the sun shining on us, and it felt so good. We stopped a few times as we walked, turned our faces toward the sun, and soaked it up. I felt so connected to you, standing there, appreciating the sun, and her warmth, giggling as we held hands. These moments are so special for me little man, and I hold them close to my heart.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Around the Garden



I think it might be time for a little update on our fall/winter gardening adventure. The last time I updated you was way back in November, and goodness how I wish we still had all that snow. Things were rolling right along with the garden, we were enjoying daily trips out there to pick fresh greens, beets, carrots and herbs for our meals, and all seemed to be going very well. In the second week of December we had a terrible wind storm, 100km/hour wind gusts throughout the night. Both Justin and I kept checking on the tunnels, worried the plastic would fly right off, and it almost did. Justin headed out in the dark to secure everything a little better, and when we woke in the morning, all was good. There were a few busy days after that storm, and we didn't head out to harvest anything for three days. When I went out on the fourth day to pick some carrots for dinner, my kale was gone! All that was left were the stems, completely chewed clean. Upon closer inspection we made the assumption that voles had enjoyed a little feast. There were little tunnels in the soil, and then in our search to find the little critters, we actually scared one out of its hiding spot and saw him run away. From that point on it became a little race to see who could eat the food faster, us or the voles. I would like to say we won, but sadly the voles did. We did manage to reach the official first day of winter still eating from the garden, and that in itself is a huge accomplishment.

Now, as the cold days of January surround us, we sit back and continue to enjoy the food put by from our summer garden, and we dream of what is to come with the next growing season. The tunnels and the cold frame will allow us to start sowing seeds in the ground much earlier than we have in the past, which will mean some mid spring harvests. There is much time spent right now with seed catalogs, making final decisions on what we will grow this year, the berry order is almost ready to go in, and there is excitement about the addition of more chickens and a few ducks to our little homestead this spring.

As we move forward, we will have to figure out the best way to deal with the voles, but for now, we will let the gardens rest, and enjoy the last little bit of winter.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Etched Within the Grains





I have mentioned before that we live in a small, one room schoolhouse. The main schoolhouse exists pretty much as it was, with the exception of one wall added to create a bedroom, and the ceiling removed to add a loft. The main living area, tiny, but well used, is where we live most of our day to day lives, and in this space is our table.

If there is one thing in our home that holds the story of our family, our table would be it. Justin and I ordered this table the week after we got married, visiting the workshop where it was to be built to pick the wood, to choose the style of table and chairs, and to decide on the finish. I always knew I wanted a harvest table, a place to gather with my family and friends, a place to plant a current project and bring it to life, a place to enjoy meals with those I love...a place to hold the memories of our story.

This year Justin and I will celebrate twenty years of marriage, I am still not quite sure how that happened, I mean twenty years! As we sat around this table for a meal last week, I saw it, each little mark, each scratch, each dent and I remembered. All the memories came rushing back. The dinners, just the two of us, in the basement apartment we lived in for the first two years we were married. The first time we placed it in our new home, it is still in the exact same spot. The meals and celebrations shared with family and friends. Justin and I sitting at opposite ends studying when we both went back to school in our early thirties. The year I was writing my book, when half the table was always covered with my notes and research. Reece, as a newborn, sleeping soundly in the center because he wouldn't sleep anywhere else. The many meals eaten solo as one of us tended to Reece, or the meals eaten one handed as I nursed my little man. The first time Reece joined us at the table, sitting on his own, laughing and playing with his food. The meals we enjoy now, just the three of us, candles glowing, chatting away about our day, and the days to come. The times we sit around it creating and crafting. Big decisions have been made around this table, little ones too, there are deep conversations had, and lighthearted family stories shared, and it is around this table that we now enjoy family art night, continuing to add to the memories this table holds.

This table is worn, there are marks that can never be removed, but in those marks, etched within the grain of the wood, are the memories of our family, and the love we have shared around this table. This table holds the story of our family, from the very beginning, and every time I walk by it, sit down at it, or fold the laundry on it, I remember.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

3/52

"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"
 
Reece, we finally have a bit of snow, and you have been having a blast with your new snowshoes. You have been running through the snow, laughing, with the most joy filled look on your face. Seeing you happy little man, makes my heart sing.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gratitude


~ for the trust of little feathered friends

~ for the peace and calm being in nature brings to our days


~ for sunshine on a winter day

~ for nature adventures with friends


~ for our home in the early morning hours when I have the house to myself to journal, write, exercise, meditate and read 

~ for the warmth of our home aglow with twinkle lights and candles


~ for our little family, working together to craft the life that is right for us

~ for my little man, he stretches me like no other person ever has, he teaches me, guides me, and forgives me when I falter, he is a blessing and it is a joy to be his mom

What are you most grateful for today?