Monday, June 30, 2014

Making Memories

A few days away, just the three of us. There was time on the beach searching for and collecting rocks, there was time to read, knit and play bug bingo, there was time for exploring on the hiking trails and there was time on the beach at sun set. We stayed at The Pinery, in a yurt. We cooked meals on the barbeque provided, and ate outside. We got up when we wanted to, and feel asleep just after the sun set. No phones, no clocks, no connection, except to each other. The days were simple and slow, just the way we like them. It was a wonderful few days, and the perfect way to kick off our summer.

Joining Country Kids

Saturday, June 28, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Reece, we took a trip to Lake Huron this week, a little getaway, just the three of us. You stood in this spot for quite some time, staring out at the water, watching the waves, and taking it all in. I stood, watching you, my heart overflowing with love.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, June 27, 2014

{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, June 26, 2014

Melting Into One Another - The Summers of My Youth {Guest Post}

As I take a few days away from this space, I have asked a couple of my Canadian blog friends to share a post with you. I gave them the guide word of summer and left the rest to them. Today, please welcome Yanic from Family, Faith, Food and Fabric.

At the risk of sounding like my mother, in my day, summers were just that: Summers.

When I try to think back and dig through all my childhood memories, although I have many, I can't for the life of me remember specific dates or even worse, ages. My summer memories are 10 summers long and melted into one big box in my head called "summertime". I honestly think that is because my summers weren't split up in specific events like soccer seasons or trips to many new places. We never had much money. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad owned a small business, which meant he would take 2 short weeks off a year. So summer to us was home.

From school end to school start, we were pretty much free. I remember the neighborhood rule that you couldn't go knocking at your friends' doors until 8 am. That left us sitting on our back porches, asking "is it time yet" over and over until we finally got the green light from mom. Funny thing though, our friends were usually waiting for us in the backyard. That is right: We were all outside by 8 am.

Phones, we had them. But they weren't used to organize play dates. We just knew our friends wanted to play. Rain or shine, we would meet in our yards and set off for whatever adventure we had cooked up that day. The phones were only used when our moms would start calling each other trying to figure out where we were because lunch was ready. All the neighbors knew each other, so no one was worried. Somebody had an eye on us somewhere.

I got hurt plenty and survived. I ate dirt and survived. I climb trees and fell in creeks and survived. Surviving the bumps and bruises of childhood is what we did and we felt stronger and more confident for it. We were proud of our broken bones and the over-autographed casts we wore. I remember on summer, sitting on the handle bars of a friend’s bike being chauffeured around because I had to use crutches for a few weeks after a bad sprain. Was I 8 or was I 10? I don't know. But it is a fun and vivid image in my mind.  

And every summer, we rented the same trailer by the sea at a beach side campground in the town where my dad is from. There was no TV, no video games. There was the beach, campfires, books, card games, visiting with my grandparents, helping in there garden, collecting seashells and rocks and swimming. We would come home with bags of rocks and shells, from which we made crafts for our friends as souvenirs. Because that is another thing I remember: I never bought souvenirs for myself, I made them for other people.

When people today ask me why I've made the choices that I've made for our family, I tell them that my childhood was amazing and I want my kids to experience that as well. Before they know it, life will become a schedule of so many things. Growing up, they will fight for minutes a day to feel as free as I felt when I was young. I've chosen the path I'm on because I want my children to be children for as long as they can. I want them to speak of their childhood the way I speak of mine: A time filled with imagination and whimsy, tan lines and bug bites, late nights and early mornings.  

And at this precise moment, I want their summer to be just that: Summer.

Thanks for sharing Yanic. It seems we share some of the same childhood memories. 

A little about Yanic and her family:
Yanic is a wife and new stay-at-home mom of 2 kids. She and her family have been on a path of simplicity, connection and spiritual growth for a few years, but only in the last few months have they truly decided to make their dreams a reality by starting their urban homestead. Yanic began her blog as a way of journaling about her day-to-day life with her kids, talking about her passions - gardening, vegetarian cooking and quilting and sharing with others, but it has now become a space for self growth, discovery and expression.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Creating New Dreams of Summer {Guest Post}

As I take a few days away from this space, I have asked a couple of my Canadian blog friends to share a post with you. I gave them the guide word of summer and left the rest to them. Today, please welcome Isis from Little Mountain Haven. 

There is something that happens in the wintertime when you live in a Northern climate. You stare out of the cold grey window wishing for sunshine again. After the first few weeks of cozy snow you begin the ritual of remembering the previous summer. You take a sip of your hot cocoa and imagine yourself at the beach. You think about the days of no longer needing jackets. You remember the kids in the garden, lush green growth and having to mow the lawn. You reminisce about the road trip your family took to go camping. Truth is to survive living with 6 months of winter, you have to be a bit of a day dreamer. You day dream of summer until you can taste it and the cycle starts again.
Summer to me means creating enough memories to spend the winter months dreaming of it.

Summer is glorious when it does come, we get hot summers despite our long winters. We live where a lake is a mere couple minutes drive down the mountain. We follow that lake all the way to town and there are endless spots to enjoy it, whether it's a sandy beach or a rocky one. Sandcastles get made, we try and dare each other to swim in the cold glacier lake, and we pack picnics to munch on.

Gardening season is in full swing here in the summer. Having a family food production garden means there's always lots to do, lots of harvests, lots of preserving. The kids have lots of involvement, which makes things fun or challenging depending on the day.

Oh the festivals! We have lots of those here, Market Fest being a favorite from the West Kootenay EcoSociety.  A place to see some of our amazing and plentiful local artisans and listen and dance to some great music. Last year our 4-year-old, then 3, danced up such a storm, everyone was turning to see who the parents were. It has become memory that I can't help but smile about.

Summer Solstice is a big celebration for our family and marks the true start of  Summer fun. We eat a meal made from 95% garden ingredients that day. It makes it fun having no idea what you'll make based on whatever is in the garden that day. We harvest everything as a family and we make the meal as a family in gratitude for our gardening labours. This has created a rich memory for our family year by year . Some years crops are earlier or later than other years, and every year we try to grow more crops just for this celebratory meal.

One of my favorite things about summer here is the wild foraging. Usually wild berries are ready in July and August, and it means our forest walks roll at a much slower pace. The kids enthusiastically hand-pick berries that hardly ever get past their mouths and back home in buckets. Some do make their way home and into the freezer, and we wait until a snowy day in January to eat them, to reminisce on the summer days that were spent hand picking them.

So Summer to me, means a growth of memories. There is so much fun to be had in the summer without spending the 15 minutes or more getting the kids ready for the snow and cold. Summer has become my platform for daydreaming.

Thank you for sharing Isis, such wonderful memories you are making with your family. 

A little about Isis and her family:
Isis is an eco-homesteading mama that lives with her a family of four in a mountainside forest in the West Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada. They're experimenting with winter gardening and permaculture and aim to grow mostly heirlooms to help preserve seed genetic diversity. They spend their spare time preserving the harvest, homeschooling and enjoying outdoor adventures. They keep chickens, forage for wild free food and aim for a natural family lifestyle. Follow their journey towards self-reliance on their blog Little Mountain Haven.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Morning, Noon and Night

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

Morning, 10am

Noon, 2pm

Night, 6:30pm

***If you would like to play along leave your link in the comments section so I can stop by and visit.*** 


I will be away from this space for a few days. In my absence, I have asked a few of my Canadian blog friends to stop in and share a few of their thoughts with you about summer. I will be back here on Friday. Enjoy the rest of your week.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Celebrating Summer Solstice

Marking the seasonal changes has always been important to me, and becoming a mother has only intensified that importance. There is something to be said for letting the rhythm of Mother Earth guide us, to surrender to her cycle, connect more deeply to it, and allow it to create traditions for our family.

This weekend we celebrated summer solstice by welcoming friends into our home. Kids played and adults sprawled on the grass chatting. The big, beautiful sun brewed our herbal tea, a fire was started, gratitude was shared, a potluck was enjoyed, and apples were roasted.

It was a simple way to celebrate, and in many ways, the perfect way to welcome summer.

How was your weekend?

Joining Karen

Saturday, June 21, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Reece, you created a little "pond" on the walkway with a friend this week. After she left, you spent quite a bit of time floating your boat, making waves, and splashing around. It was a joy to watch you.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, June 20, 2014

{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, June 19, 2014


Have you stopped lately, 
to take a breath, 
look around,
and count your blessings? 

You are blessed, 
your life is full, 
take a moment,
and soak up the goodness 
that surrounds you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Around the Garden

These days around the garden are pretty darn good...a little weeding, a little thinning and a little eating. There is still more thinning to do, mostly the beets, and the second planting of carrots, chard and kale will need to be thinned in the next week or so. We should be eating strawberries from the garden in the next few days, and the raspberry bushes are full. I think it will be a good raspberry year around here. The garlic scapes are just starting to peek out, and the cucumber, squash, zucchini, beans and peas are all doing well. We are keeping the bugs under control at the moment, they are not gone, but controlled, and if we stay on top of it all should be okay. Lupines are being enjoyed by the bees, and the first calendula flower bloomed, and then the next day three more opened up. I love calendula. I will most likely leave these first few in the garden to enjoy them, but as more blossom I will start collecting them to make some oil, and eventually use the oil in my healing salve.

A few of you have asked about the set up of our yard, the second last photo above gives you a bit of an idea. You can see the back garden behind the garage, the chicken coop is just on the other side of the garage, the front gardens are up by the fence and our home, which you can't see, is to the left. I am taking this photo standing in Reece's outdoor play space.

How are things around your garden these days?