Friday, May 31, 2013

{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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Make and Listen


~ Inspired by these, I whipped up a few note cards with some scrap fabric.

~ A finished milo and one on the needles...two friends are expecting, one in June the other in July. Little ones will be wearing these in the fall.

~ A lovely hostess gift...a fabric covered jar filled with lilacs.


~ The birds are filling the air around here. We awake to their wonderful songs in the morning, listen to them as we garden and play in the yard and every once in a while we hear the sweet chatter of babies from the nests around our home.

~ The rain falling gently on our tin roof.

~ The distant howl of coyotes just before we go to bed.

What have you been making and listening to this week?

Joining Dawn

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creating Magic

We gathered on Sunday with our community to celebrate the birthday of a little one turning two. The invitations were sent out a couple of months ago and required us to bring our creative thinking caps and logs, wood, tree branches or whatever else we could think of, to create a natural play space for the birthday girl.

This is right up our alley, after all we created such a play space for Reece two years ago when he was two. Justin and I put our thinking caps on and decided that since the banging wall in our backyard is a huge hit when kiddos visit to play, it would be a great idea to create one for this space. I did check with the birthday girls mama first just to make sure they wouldn't mind the noise, but I kinda already knew they wouldn't mind.

Sunday was a perfect day to be working outside, it was sunny and warm with a lovely breeze blowing to keep us cool. As the families arrived everyone shared their ideas and once we had it all planned out we got to work.

The banging wall was created. A lovely kid size birds nest was built. A sandbox was made with logs. A little covered walkway to enter the play space was made from branches. A balance beam was constructed. And a teepee was started. By the end of the afternoon an amazing natural play space had been created.

The afternoon was more then just creating a play space though. This was an afternoon of sharing, working together, deepening connection and celebrating. There was a magical energy in the air as children played, adults worked and a new space came together.

Just before we headed home a circle was formed to sing to the lovely birthday girl. I have written about the power of the circle recently, and there was power in this circle. Gratitude was shared, blessings were offered for the birthday girl and a joyful, love filled rendition of Happy Birthday was sang. It was in this moment that my heart swelled to be among these wonderful people, to share in this moment with them, to feel the love and strength of this community and to know we are a part of it.

I left feeling full...full of love, gratitude and hope, for what already is and for what is to come with this community.

***Sharing just a few photos. Many were taken but since they include other people's children I don't feel they are mine to share.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Around the Garden

Bare feet on the ground, hands in the earth, a smile on my face. Yes, I am a happy lady these days. Time spent outside in the sunshine, working in the garden while a certain little man runs around in the yard laughing and playing...these are good days indeed.

The raised beds are slowly being planted. Tomatoes are in, as well as butternut squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers and cantaloupe. The garlic is looking great and the strawberries are full of lovely little white flowers and will soon bless us with juicy red berries. Seeds have been sown...snow peas, green and yellow bush beans, salad greens, beets, Swiss chard and kale and I will continue to sow more over the next few weeks.

We are experimenting this year with the no dig method for growing potatoes. Fingers crossed it works out well. A few raspberry bushes and a blueberry bush were planted in front of the chicken run, far enough away that the chickens can't reach the berries from the run. The medicinal and culinary herb garden is doing well and already adding a little flavour to our meals. And slowly, as the seeds sprout, the beds are getting mulched.

The gardens bring more than food to our plates, they bring joy to our days, connect us to the earth and more importantly our land and fill us with gratitude for the beauty and food they offer us. The time spent tending to our little piece of this earth grounds me and brings peace to my days.

How are things around your garden?

Monday, May 27, 2013


Right now
the apple blossoms
are gently falling
from the tree. 
The lilacs are in full bloom. 
Step outside our front door.
Their scents delightfully fill the air.
Both are reminders to be mindful,
to live here, now, in this moment, 
for their beauty does not last.

Friday, May 24, 2013

{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.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Foraging for Wild Edibles

For years now we have been foraging for wild edibles. We have eaten wild strawberries, raspberries and blackberries on the side of the trail as we hike. We have fried up dandelion flowers and added the leaves to smoothies and salads, and this year we made dandelion lemonade. We have always played it safe, which is good thing when you are searching for and eating wild edibles. All that changed last summer when I did a little one day herbal walk with a herbalist. I knew right then I wanted to take our foraging to the next level.

During that herbal walk we identified many wild herbs and wild edibles. We talked about their medicinal benefits, tried them and took some time to make an oil and a tincture before heading home. It was a wonderful day with some really wonderful people.

This spring, armed with my plant identification book, we have been heading to the forest to look for food. Actually before we even headed to the forest to look for food I found some growing right in the wooded area of our backyard. Ramps, also known as wild leeks, were growing right under my nose. We cooked them up right away in a frittata and enjoyed every last bite. Since that first discovery we have found and enjoyed more ramps as well as trout lilies and garlic mustard. Trout lilies were added to salads and garlic mustard was blended up into the pesto you see above, which we served over quinoa pasta for dinner and then spread on grilled vegetable sandwiches for lunch the next day.

All three of us are enjoying our walks in the woods searching for and identifying plants. Justin and I had a little chuckle last weekend as we walked the wooded bike path near my parents place while Reece rode his bike. I was collecting garlic mustard, Reece stopped every now and then to pick some wild flowers and Justin was deep among the trees picking up pieces of fallen branches to create with. I am sure we looked hilarious coming out of the woods with everything we were carrying. We didn't care though. We had a great time in the woods, and we came home with flowers for the table, food for dinner and a little something to create with. What more can you ask for when you go for a walk in the woods.

Have you been foraging this season? What are you bringing home to enjoy?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

On My Kitchen Counter


Yes they are on my kitchen counter as we speak. They spend their days on the back deck and come in to the kitchen counter at night. The little man is quite excited about his tadpoles and is eagerly awaiting their metamorphosis into frogs.

We picked up this book from the library a few weeks ago and now have the tadpoles to make the book come alive for Reece. Connecting what we read in a book to real life is fascinating for him and wonderful to watch. I can almost hear the click in his mind as the connections between the two are made. Amazing!

What's on your kitchen counter right now?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Medicinal Herb Garden

I spent most of the weekend barefoot in the garden. The sun was shining, the temperatures were above normal and the birds were singing their lovely songs. It was exactly what my soul needed.

Time was spent sowing seeds...kale, Swiss chard, beets, snow peas and more salad greens. Butternut squash, zucchini and cucumbers were moved from the cold frame to the garden. More strawberries were planted and the garlic was admired.

Then there was a little road trip to this lovely herb market to pick up some herbs for the new medicinal herb garden I have been planning. Yarrow, lavender, St John's wort, comfrey, calendula, chamomile, motherwort, lemon balm, nettles, peppermint, echinacea and bergamot were brought home and planted. Culinary herbs were planted too...basil, parsley, rosemary and sage. Chives, thyme, and dill still have to go in.

For me, this time of year is filled with both excitement, for the act of getting my hands in the dirt and anticipation of the beauty that will come in the form of food, grown on our land, under the care of our hands.

The journey from seed to plate never gets old and the magic of it continues to amaze me and fill me with hope and gratitude.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dandelions and Lemons

When life hands you lemons 
and a field of dandelions 
you make dandelion lemonade

***Please stop by Small Town Simplicity today where I am sharing a post for Mindful Mothering Monday.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weekend Links

:: great tips on rocking parenting

:: a little garden inspiration...and yes we will have one in our yard this summer

:: I can't wait to paint the sky with Reece

:: looking forward to trying this soup

:: a fun craft for this time of year

:: we should all linger just a little longer in nature

:: this tunic is on the sewing to do list

:: turn your life into an abundant garden with these tips

:: imagine the world if we all did this

:: the work of parenting

I hope your weekend is filled with love, laughter and adventure. Enjoy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

{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.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Walking Among the Trilliums

After dinner walks become a little magical at this time of the year. Our neighbour's forest floor is a blanket of trilliums and we take time every day, for the short time they bloom, to walk down and see them. It is breathtaking and beautiful.

Nature continues to amaze me, year after year, season after season, day after day. Her simple, quiet beauty fills me with gratitude and makes me smile.

What's blooming in your part of the world?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Obsession

Indigo bunting

Rose breasted grosbeaks

We, all three of us, have a confession to make...we have been spending far too much time with our eyes behind binoculars and our noses buried in bird books.

We have always had an interest in the birds that make our backyard their home, but this year, for whatever reason, we are noticing so many amazing birds we have not seen in our backyard before. I will admit it is very exciting and has us checking out the back door often to see who is at the feeders.

A few weeks ago I shared a list of some of the birds we had been seeing but this weekend tops that list. On Saturday morning alone 15 different birds stopped by to visit our feeders and hang out for a while. We basically spent the morning glued to the back door.

Here's a little list of what we saw:
~ rose breasted grosbeaks
~ cardinals
~ goldfinches
~ red wing blackbirds
~ chipping sparrows
~ robins, we have been watching them make a nest and now mama robin sits patiently on her eggs
~ cowbirds
~ blue jays, at one point Saturday afternoon about 20 blue jays swooped down on the feeders, it was amazing to watch
~ red breasted nuthatches
~ eastern towhee
~ song sparrows
~ white crowned sparrows
~ chickadees
~ morning doves
~ indigo bunting, this was a special treat. He was beautiful and hung around Saturday and Sunday. We have not seen him since.

I can't really describe how exciting it was to see all this action in our backyard. Watching Reece look up the birds in the book, asking us to read him the information about them and seeing him with binoculars in hand looking at the birds...well, it fills me with so much joy. It is pretty amazing to witness the birds in our backyard, but even more amazing to witness the pure joy Reece exudes as he watches and learns about the birds in our backyard.

*** I wish I had better pictures, these were taken from inside and from quite a distance. It would be okay to assume I have been looking at lenses :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day in the Woods

I don't think any of you will be surprised to hear that my one wish for Mother's day was to spend time in the woods with Justin and Reece. And that is exactly what we did.

After breakfast we packed up the backpacks with food, water, hot tea (it was a little chilly yesterday), field guides, binoculars, a first aid kit and the camera and we hit the road for a new to us nature center.

I am not totally sure if it was the weather (cold, rain, hail and snow) that kept people away, but when we drove into the parking lot we were the only ones there. We gathered our packs and away we went. It was a stunning hike through many different landscapes. There was the pine forest, the cedar forest, the lake view and the meadow. There were swampy areas to get through, and magical forest floors covered in pine needles. We found huge nests of caterpillars, wildflowers, amazing trees, lovely little bridges, signs of beavers and so much more.

As we headed back to the car, wet and cold, we couldn't help but smile. We spent time together, connecting to each other and to nature. We talked, we laughed, we explored. We hid under trees as the rain came down, we ran through the hail, we basked in the sunshine that peeked out from the clouds every so often. We had a wonderful time.

It was the perfect way to spend Mother's Day.

Monday, May 13, 2013

18 Years

"We are a work in progress with a lifetime commitment."   
~ Unknown ~

Happy Anniversary Justin!

Friday, May 10, 2013

{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.

***Last chance to enter this awesome little giveaway.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Make and Listen


~ Reece's first piece of embroidery is being made into a pillow for his room. He came with me to pick out the fabric and is now patiently waiting for me to finish it up.

~ The milo for a baby due this week is done, it just needs to be blocked. I so love knitting these up and have plans to knit two more for friends who are due in the next few months.

~ A few knitted bowls, just because. They will be felted up on the weekend and then will be placed around the house where they will fast become the perfect places to put little nature treasures we find on our adventures.

~ With a lot of water colour art around our home I am always looking for ways to use it creatively. This time I made a little bunting, actually I made two. I have one in our kitchen window and the other one, well, not quite sure yet. I think I will pass it along to someone...who doesn't love a little bunting to brighten up a window or wall.


~ I have been listening to talks by these two inspiring people.

~ Car rides lately have been filled with the sounds of Mumford and Sons, we just can't get enough of their latest CD.

~ Keeping me company every evening while I prepare dinner are Pink, Jason Mraz, The Lumineers and Train.

What have you been making and listening to this week?

Joining Dawn