Friday, December 30, 2011

time flies!

Happy holidays all!! Yep I'm still here... just got distracted :)

So much to write but am currently typing one handed with baby snoozing in the other. Just wanted to post a quick somethin' before the year ends. Because, gee... what a year. Okay I've re-situated to give me another hand to type, temporarily.

Our little man arrived on the morning of Nov 24th! He's beautiful and awesome. We hang out all day. Details soon: I want to type up his "birth story", note the ups and downs of our first month of learning how to do this mama/baby thang, and generally just blab on about how great he is and how much life has changed for the better since his arrival. Soon. Baby's stirring.

The above pic is A in a Christmas sleeper my brother B wore as a baby. Mom got a charge outta that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Belly belly belly - it's the thing I see, feel, and think about most these days. Still time to enjoy it, I think. Baby still cozy, and I'm still relaxed having the little one with me. Only a couple more days of work. I'm getting tired of sitting all day, trying to stay focused... looking forward to replacing those efforts with organising the nest and afternoon naps.

We lit our first fire of the season this afternoon to get rid of the damp chill that's been hanging around all week (daily rain and grey 'ol days). Now it's warm, cozy, sleepy, lovely. We've also been working on making the house a little homier... pictures framed, rugs laid, shelves put up. Still lots to do but lately really realising we always have what we need (each other, health, happiness, etc) and that everything else is extra. And a baby is coming to boot - wow!

Hard to believe November is right around the corner... we're trimming store hours down for the winter, planting our garlic this weekend, putting wood on the porch, on and on and on.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Oops, we had frost last night and I didn't grab the remaining tomatoes. I think it was a light freeze tho so hopefully some will be salvageable. Hard to believe it's that time of year. The cold moves a few things that were on the back burner to the front - cleaning out the chicken coop, planting garlic, replacing the back door with a storm door, getting wood on the porch, etc.!
We've started making use of our new freezer - I grated and froze a whole bunch of scallop summer squash, along with some squash muffins and bread. Doubling recipes will likely become a new norm in these last months of preparing for baby time.

The car is officially broked so figuring out a new ride is in the works. A real hassle but it was inevitable and I suppose now is good time to deal with it. I'm lucky to have such a knowledgeable and helpful dad and brother not too far away.

Five weeks left of work. Amazing. D's finished painting the little one's room so now what's left is "just" flooring and trim. So close!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

from the land of idling vehicles

I'm on store duty today while D finishes the last bit of dry walling around the new shelves in baby's room. Sitting here watching the endless stream of long-weekend-visiting vehicles wait their turn at the lights in our tiny town.

I just returned from a walk to the garage to pick up my car - the brakes went funny on me yesterday so I drove it to the shop last night. Today they're working so the garage wasn't able to "fix" anything. Anticipating them going weird again, and eventually a $300 fix for a new master cylinder. Also apparently front left wheel bearing needs replacing. Oh rusty '97 Malibu, how you age. Eventually a new vehicle will have to be figured out... looking like sooner rather than later. And D's car isn't too far behind needing replacing either. Cha-ching!

Most of the extra cash from the store this summer went right back into it, but I think we're starting to top off inventory-wise and can settle into just replacing stuff vs expanding. We should be mostly set till Christmas. Anticipating profit in the coming years! And a web store... hoping it's something I can work on between mat leave and baby, while waiting for the little one to arrive.

30 weeks pregnant today - the countdown feels real now, with only 10 weeks left to go (eee! aahhh!). Still much to do, but with summer winding down, there's less travel and more free-ish time to spend preparing house and home. Tho the tireds have returned and I'm pretty low energy... but things get done in tiny bubbles of moments, which I've become increasing good at capitalizing on.

Wacky car, enduring gravel pile, and bratty puppy.

The dawgs are starting to feel a little more high maintenance, with Lune newly enjoying high-speed chases down the driveway to the road (such a scamp). Our road is mostly quiet, but the stress of it is still exhausting so we've taken to chaining her a lot of the time now. The plan is to train her to stay within the electric fencing, like Whisk. Not looking forward to that, but it will make for a happier pup and easier life.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the pursuit of beautiful things

Store duty this weekend means spending some extra time surfin' the www. Aside from stroller and car seat research (yawn), I've been on the hunt for some new interesting and inspiring blogs to add to my google reader. For obvious reasons I'm starting to add mama bloggers, tho still keeping up with a handful of small-scale farmers. Belly is growing, garden is getting more weedy. So it goes... one can only tend so many things!

*photo and handmades by my amazing sister-in-law maria

I'm in awe of all of those out there dedicated to surrounding themselves with beauty. Creating, collecting, capturing lovely bits to eat, hold, and look at. I yearn for making the time, having the patience to dedicate to this pursuit. Making our spaces, our clothes, our food healthy, clean, and ...beautiful. There's a part of the soul that needs that. Also the ability to capture it all artfully, preserving and showcasing such warm memories and accomplishments.

Curious to see if maternity leave will somehow motivate me - the desire to fill moments with special, important things that have real life, tangible payback, without distraction from work, and a higher priority put on home-life. I'm not sure. Trouble is I have a personality that's cool with casualness and half-assed-ness. My gardens flower, but they're far from admirable. Some day?

What am I doing instead of striving for beauty? Working, lying around, looking at blogs...

Friday, August 12, 2011

land and coast

Our feet were in the beautiful Massachusetts ocean Tuesday morning, but how easy it is to settle in back at home. Back to the grind of dogs, dishes, phone calls, laundry, etc. Was nice to get away. Thought the long car rides would be tough while pregnant but they zoomed by. I gave D a tour of New Hampshire for his 36th birthday, and mom gave him the tour of Vermont. Montreal's labyrinth of highways was easily navigated, Ottawa slow but steady. A few moments book-ended at the cottage with dad, enjoying the quiet there.

The ocean is a really special, salty, soothing thing. I thought baby would kick more when I swam in it but all was still, enjoying the surf. We took the train to Boston for a day to have lunch with my cousins and explore the Fine Art Museum. Then back to the cape for more family time with lots and lots of lovely relatives. To think we'll have a baby with us next reunion is a real charge. How will we travel then? To be determined, but rooms booked for August 2012.

I thought time would feel slower on return (the prep for the trip and getting the house ready for our farm sitter was busy) but we're back and there's more ahead. Good things tho - a baby shower BBQ for the little one on Sunday in the city, and a cottage weekend after that. I think the nesting thing is starting to kick in more - there's a building urgency to prepare, make lists, read books. A desire to strip out all distractions and focus on baby. Soon time to start planning it all out: the laundering of sleepers and prefolds, making food for the freezer, car seats and stroller and crib, finishing up at work... Enjoying it tho. It's really awesome to make space and get excited about our new arrival.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

scheduling summer

Flipping through a Vesey's catalogue on a Saturday morning with a small cup of coffee. Still have some birthday money from my mother-in-law I think I'll put toward a few new bulbs. May-haps.

Today is a garden day. D will be at the store, then off to Toronto for band practice, so I've a wide open day and night, solo (and these wide open solo times will come to an end, I'm aware, I savour). I'd also like to do some writing. Mom lent me her copy of "writing down the bones" ages ago and I just pulled it down off the shelf. See what happens. I've pulled some cookbooks out too. It's that kind of day.

Friend M has got me into lemon water - I've unearthed a clay pitcher, a wedding present from J&M, and it is my new table companion. A full lemon, some ice, some water. Summer. Summer and a bowl full of lemons.

In belly news I finally, at 23 weeks, look undeniably like a pregnant lady. It's nice. It makes me feel like smiling at everyone and I think it might make everyone smile at me. My back has been difficult to manage so I've started frequenting massage and chiropractor offices and feeling better. Of course the real answer is to swim and walk and stretch - I'm having such trouble injecting these things into my schedule. The growing belly and sore muscles make the reality of inevitable labour and birth more apparent, and that I need to better prepare for this event physically. I'm getting quite excited to meet the baby, D too. Lately we feel like it's a little boy, but I think only because we just have a boy name ready. D insulated baby's room and will paint the ceiling and dry wall next week. Getting there. We also got a new baby name book so trying to make more progress there too.

The store is busy and summery and doing well. We've hired a friend to come in two days a week. She works M/Th, closed T, I work Wed, and most of the time D works F/S/S but we flex. It's odd to have 3 full time jobs between us, on top of house work (the wood still not piled or gravel spread... so it goes) yet I still feel optimistic about it all getting done in good time. We're capable people. The "little" things, like sewing wipes and burp clothes, organising my potting station, cleaning out the chicken coop, weeding the gardens, general cleaning also need to be fit into the spare moments. But it's nice to have things to do.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

make way

New favourite garden flower is a hardy geranium called 'patricia' - a surprisingly large plant this year absolutely covered in long-blooming, dark pink flowers. The rest of the perennial garden is coming along... I think in a couple more years it could be glorious.

D's been working hard on the house whenever time allows - the small bedroom and hallway have been gutted (contents taken away by a dumpster we rented), and D's currently pulling up the old, scuffed parquet flooring. It's a slow, big job, but can already tell it's a worthwhile endeavour, good to get in before baby arrives.

There's also a load of gravel in the driveway (scored from D's work site for $50) and 4 cord of wood coming. Really have to watch the heavy lifting as it's tempting to get to work.

In other preggo news, grocery shopping has become more of a free for all than before, and it's kind of fun. One theme seems to be weird fake cheese eats (nacho cheese, kraft dinner, cheddar flavoured crackers). The nacho cheese and KD were thankfully one-timers, but sticking with the crackers. Am also super into honey nut cheerios. One day last week I ate some pickles chased with icecream and didn't realise till later how cliche I was being. Mmm.

I'm 32 this upcoming Wednesday which feels about right. Time is going quickly now. Funny to not be making time to slow time (meditation). Or physically/mentally prepping for things more... exercise, projects, reading, etc. We lost the internet for a couple days mid-reno and D and I both agreed it was kind of nice. I started reading a Charles De Lint novel mom lent me and it's a much nicer way to spend mental time than surfing the web. Speaking of which... think I'll see what happens next.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

jet fueled

The reality of solo-dom disappearing soon hits me almost everyday, and in rushes a profound tender admiration for the woman I was in my 20's. Lost yes, but exploring, free to investigate, stuck, then free again, unleashed into the world. There's so much to see.

The other day a breeze hit me and I was transported back to the entrance of the Zurich art museum. Sometimes it's Spain, and a particular set of stairs in Seville. Or a bench I sat on in Edinburgh. Pizza in a small cafe in Solerno, a cheese pie in Croatia. Sometimes the train station in Paris, or the bus stop in Toulouse. A dirty sidewalk of NYC, a park in Boston, a bike ride on the beach of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Even the red sands of PEI's national park and the cobblestone of Montreal's old town. A dart of fear hits me: will I travel so freely again?

It's made me want to count my aeroplan points and devise a plan. A pregnant lady adventuring (desperately?) into an unknown, for the sake of that rush of uncertainty, something or someone new, freedom. Spending time in the beauty and wonder of the world, away from chores and work and any kind of responsibility other than finding some good food to eat and a decent place to sleep.

Travelling anywhere in summer is expensive, hot, and touristy... by fall I'll be too huge for a plane to carry me. Plus money and time that should be spent on other things, in preparation. Perhaps when I'm 60, an art class in Florence. Till then, a family and the adventure that IT is. Perhaps a family that travels.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

one domestic eveninggg

Long day at the office on top of a slow day at the store, home a bit after 5. Husband working late. Pet dogs, sit on porch, breath. Deadhead baskets and pots of porch flowers. Rub belly, smile. Pet dogs again, sit on porch again, breath. Strip bed, throw blankets and pillowcases in the wash, start washing breakfast dishes. Put eggs on to boil, cut up potatoes, put those on to boil. Bring chickens kitchen scraps, clean water, collect eggs. Feed dogs. Pick chives, make potato salad for my hard-working husband and put in fridge. Eat a pickle. Eat some hummus. Eat crackers, drink water. Take butter out of fridge and find a cookie recipe with hopes it'll turn out and be a gift for neighbour's birthday, and excuse to visit. Hang laundry on the line, breath. Make cookies (chewy oatmeal choc chip), bake cookies, smell cookies. Smell lilacs in vase on kitchen table. Call, bribe, chain Luna who seems to wander to the road in the evenings to chase neighbourhood walkers, joggers, rabbits. Wash potato salad and cookie dishes. Yell at barking dogs. Eat cookie... not bad. Drink water, take vitamin, enjoy breeze through windows, singing frogs. Three hours of barefoot, pregnant, domestic bliss. Blog.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

gardening begins again

It's been too long since I've written - have to not do that because I so enjoy reading back years later on the happenings of each month. Above is a photo of our deck in action: garden stuff, chairs, leftover wood, dogs. I came home the other day and Luna was chewing on Whisk's electric collar, so now we're tying it to him till we fix it - the sound of the thing warning him of the parameter is enough to keep him in. He's a timid dude. Lune's generally always chewing/destroying something... looks like a hunk of wood in pic, leaving a trail of wood shards throughout the front lawn. Messy but cute.

We split on a tiller rental with the neighbours this weekend, and D tilled up our big garden this morning, while the rain let up. So nice to have a huge spot of soil ready and waiting. Last week I planted greens, peas, beets, radishes, dill, cilantro. The garlic is up and mulched with chicken straw (the rest of the coop to be cleaned out soon and also dumped on the garden).

The flower beds are in full swing, with spring bulbs in bloom and a few other earlies brightening up the place. I went nutty at the local greenhouse yesterday and bought a flat of pansies, a flat of imaptiens, a flat of petunias... and a few other odds and ends (geraniums, potato vine, creeping charley, fushcia, million bells). I told the town flower-planning guy I'd be creating the hanging baskets for the store myself this year instead of buying from him... and the theme is "hot pink" - we'll see how I do.

Other things are growing too but more on that later...!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

egg shells

Just kissed my love goodbye for the day - he's en route to roof. This boss is tight on safety tho (phew) so he'll have a harness on and I will not worry. He probably won't be home by the time I leave for the city. I've been driving in in the evenings lately, now that the evenings are brighter, and I feel more awake then. Gives me a nice start in the morning - a walk through the city's sidewalk commuters and store openers. I like that buzz time. I also arrive to the office less frazzled... less chance of my clothes being inside out and hair unbrushed.

I need to lay off the donuts. They taste so good in my mouth, but it's getting out of hand! Tho I did start up the "30 day shred" again yesterday. I'm still a thin-ish person but now that I'm 31 it's less of a given, takes some attention. I took a break from exercising but there was no need, so now I'm back on the work out train, a good thing.

Been reading lots of Buddhist-y books. The ones where they tell you to smile at the dinner table, wash the dishes joyfully, walk with intention and feeling. I like these easy reminders to be mindful. That living in the moment is right here: the coziness of my bathrobe, the satisfying click of my fingers pressing keys, the sound of my cat eating breakfast and the birds outside. Life is with you every minute.

I've always liked this quote by Dan Quisenberry, whoever he is: The future is much like the present, only longer.

Update: I wikipedia'd Dan and he's an old baseball pitcher, then poet. RIP. Apparently he pitched "submarine style" which I then proceeded to watch videos of on YouTube. Ah, 2011.

Monday, March 28, 2011

winding down and up

Been feeling more inspired to make music than write, but not doing much of either. This extendo winter/fake out spring is sort of exhausting. Like, right down into the bones. The sun makes me want to bloom but the cold keeps me frosty and am sorta left feeling fragile. More sensitive to the cold, more sleepy, more impatient and sore. HOWEVER, spring is around the corner so just holding out, staying by the fire, snuggling. Watching the sun set at 8pm, starting seeds, ogling summer dresses, spending a few moments on the porch to hear the birds, opening the window a crack for 10 minutes of fresh, beautiful air.

Monday, March 07, 2011

march monday

Weeks matter now. They feel like flags of victory, each Friday sounding the horn. A slow steady trot on Monday becomes a canter mid-week, and a full running gallop by the end. Appearance groomed, hoops jumped, ribbons won and lost. Then a weekend to sit and wonder, in awe of the coming spring and so much more.

Photo by my husband, capturing the nice light last night after yet another dump of snow. March, what's up? You flood us then you freeze us! I see warmer temps in the coming forecast tho...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A list of things

Solar panels, peak oil, a generator, car dependence
Self-sufficiency, homesteading, preserving, building
Sewing, knitting, repurposing, cloth diapering, hand-me-downs, mending
Natural beauty, natural cleaners, vinegar and baking soda
Clay ovens, solar cookers
Green manures, row covers, seed starting
Chicken food, dog food, cat food
Cedar, hardwood, pine firewood and kindling
Fertility, chemical environment, aging
Winter, summer, fall, years, decades
Organic, whole, healthy, raw
Exercise, stretching, coffee, wine
Electricity, money, dependence, independence
Entrepreneurship, creativity, confidence, abilities, planning
Laundry, dishes, dusting

Monday, February 14, 2011


It's a quiet month. Life is still busy busy but it doesn't require me to leave the farm that often, so it's literally quiet. I've been home a lot this winter, leaving the house only for bare necessities (office appearance in the city, groceries, gas). I feel like flannels, bathrobes, and hoodies have been my main wardrobe. Shuffling to the kitchen to put on the kettle, huddling around the fire, baking things doughy and sweet, going to bed early. So quiet and still. Extra quiet this weekend for me as my valentine's away till tomorrow.

The thing about quiet tho is it eventually gets old. As a musician, a relatively young woman, a traveller... I start to crave a little action. Not a lot, just a little. I think my love (above) would agree with me in saying we need to explore more. Go on road trips, hit cafes, see some art, check out local markets. Hard to fit in, but so good to. We had a real nice time doing that in Iceland in the fall. Low commitment cultural wonderfulness.

Perhaps in the spring. :)

Tonight I'm chillin' with the pets by the fire (how many times have I written a variation of this sentence? ha). D and I will do our nice valentiney day tomorrow. I love him so much and my days aren't as fun when he's away. And holy cow my parents have been married 35 years today! That sounds both long and short to me, but mostly just wonderful.

Speaking of fun, I started the "30 day shred" this month - a workout dvd. A 20 minute butt-kicking every day. It's perfect 'cause 20 min is pretty easy to fit in anywhere, and I need to move desperately. I'm on day 8. My goals are to get stronger, and wake up in the morning not in pain. So far I hurt more, but in a good way.

One more thing: I think Salty the hen started laying today. That means we're up to 3 eggs/day! Who wants quiche?

Sunday, February 06, 2011

the future is now

Time continues to zoom. It's weird when you realise it, it feels even faster, like a self aware merry-go-round that won't stop... if it does, its not itself. I find it hard to think in the present, obsessing about the future, and in doing so constantly pushing myself there faster. I almost feel anxious to finish a day, to get it over with so I can get up in the morning and get that one over with too. Although it might sound like the fault of unhappiness, it's more an excitement for the future... tho I do wonder if the two are distantly related. Thoughts of what I will have then distract me what I don't have now, but also from all that I do have.

I suspect it's being on the brink of of new things - our new store, wanting to start a family, home improvements. All investments in the future, preparations, beginnings. So looking forward to that good stuff. But my husband is great because he reminds me of all that we've done already, how far we've come with the house and store and everything. It's true, need to appreciate that more.

I think it's just February. I need to garden, and watch the store be busy, and sit on the porch in the sun with a book. Soon.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

time is on my mind, yes it is

It's earlyish Saturday morning. Lune's pestering D awake and I'm starting the coffee, pouring a bath. Threw some wood in to rekindle the fire, which lit up again immediately (I like when that happens). Whisk is outside sifting snow with his big nose, and Mo's watching him through the window, sitting on top of the untuned piano. It's snowing gently but purposefully.

I read the wikipedia page on "time" the other day, and also a study by a man trying to prove the future can leak into the present. I think of time as a dimension experienced by us linearly, but existing like liquid or air. The idea that someone can study for a test after it has been taken to achieve a better result is perhaps a stretch (not sure how I feel about the persistence of events), but still I like the idea of knowing things because they were learned in the future.

Also read that time is perceived faster as you age, which feels true. Mindfulness seems to slow down time, which is comforting - the idea of choosing to pause a moment, and it actually pausing the moment, tho I don't practice this nearly enough.

I mention these things just because lately they're thoughts that seem to be working away in the background as I move through my days.

In other news, Luna's entering her toddler/destruction phase, chewing everything and anything she can with insatiable aggression. I sympathise but it's also super annoying... we're just learning to put everything out of puppy reach, tho she still surprises us.

This weekend I'm hoping to start garden planning, seed starting, etc. I'd like to grow a bunch of extra stuff to sell at the store (herbs likely), and also finish orders for seed displays at the store. Totally enjoyable ways to spend time.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Sitting on the couch in 2011 with my love, coffee, bathrobe. We had a fun new year's eve night of pizza, wine, and relaxation by the fire. It's pouring rain which is crazy - the snow is melting quickly and the grass is reappearing in the fields. It will be back tho as there's still a good 2 or 3 months of winter left.

After a week of visiting family, we made it home yesterday just as the sky darkened, both dogs surviving the hours and hours of travel. First, 4 hours west and back to see D's fam, then another 2.5 hours north and back to visit mine. We spent a couple extra days in Owen Sound to support family in supporting D's grandma "mama" - a fractured hip. But at 97, she's still one tough lady and should pull through fine. Will have to do a post about her apartment another time as it's a special place (an indoor collage garden).

Always nice to visit my hometown too. Family are well tho we're all still worried for my bro. Need to brainstorm solutions (always do but this time with urgency). Nonetheless, seasonal cheer prevailed and we arrived home with full bellies, prezzies, good memories, and a regained sense of connection and richness in all that makes up our family relations.
D and my 2010 "top 5" are: 1) getting married, 2) opening our business Mixed Greens, 3) our puppy Luna, 4) chickens, 5) Iceland honeymoon. Pretty great year for us! 2011 will probably include making MG more awesome, swimming regularly, a kick ass garden, visiting NYC, making music, and fingers-crossed, even more :)