Tag Archives: country living



Outside my window:

The dad is cutting the broken branch off of the crabapple tree. It was so full of apples that it broke off during the last big storm. It’s cool and cloudy, a typical late summer/early autumn day.


I am thinking:

That it seems like it should be later in the day than it is. It feels like we’ve done a full day’s work already. The dad and the tall kid have been to hockey, we’ve been out in the garden and have dealt with the resulting harvest, the girls have gone with their grandma to plant bulbs at the cemetery and the dad has mowed the lawn. Now we are relaxing a bit and waiting for some friends to swing by and accompany the dad in to his store to pick up some DIY materials that he ordered for them.

I am thankful:

For Keith’s Cider. It makes dealing with tomatoes a little more pleasant.


In the kitchen:

I’ve been busy today. I’ve made a batch of pesto; two jars to freeze and one that will be part of our dinner tonight. I’ve used the Foodsaver (it was a recent present to myself) to package three bags of chard for the freezer and three bags of zucchini coins. There is also a big bag of washed lettuce in the fridge for work lunches this week and a big pot of tomato basil sauce cooking on the stove.

I am wearing:

Among other things, a sweater. I love sweater weather. I really don’t miss the humidity of earlier in the week. Within two days, we went from 28C down to 12C. It’s wonderful.

I am creating:

Nothing right now, though I was thinking that I should make a pouch to hold my Kobo reader so that it doesn’t get scratched in my purse.

I am going:

Back to work tomorrow. I had a few weeks off again because of a new MS flare-up. Hopefully that is it for a while. I’m sure my workplace is hoping the same thing. I have a bit of a lasting speed wobble this time, so I have a new cane to help with that problem, but hope not to need it too much.

I am reading:

I just finished a John Sandford mystery last night and am trying again to pick my way through some library books.

I am hoping:

That we have a frost soon so we can stop dealing with tomatoes.

I am looking forward to:

Winter. I know I complain about it when it’s here, but I like having the fire on, the quiet that goes along with it and I don’t mind bundling up a bit. I hope it’s a cold enough winter that we can build an ice rink here for the girls.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Now that we are back into the school routine, it goes like this: school, work, laundry, hockey and horses. Occasionally we throw a little something extra in there, like visits with family and friends, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m often one of the last people to know about our plans. Somehow, that works for us. The dad lives by the theory that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for agreement.


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slow living update – May 2013


I’m following the example at Slow Living Essentials again this month, and using her categories to summarize my month and list some things I’d like to accomplish. Once again, it doesn’t feel like we did a lot, but once I got started writing, I could see that we really did.



We’ve been enjoying lots of local asparagus this month, mostly marinating it in balsamic vinegar and olive oil and grilling it on the barbecue. I also wrote about Butter Tart Mini-Muffins, which I made with great hopes of freezing some for lunch pails, but they were all gone too quickly. We cook our meals at home, but a current MS flare-up has made me tired and we have resorted to a few dinners out and take-out a couple of times. Prepackaged cookies and lunch snacks have been sneaking back into the grocery cart again, but I’m hoping to get back to making more from scratch again soon.


We’ve been busy preparing the flower gardens, lawns, and the vegetable garden. That has taken up pretty much every spare minute of time this month – though mostly for the dad and the young lad that we hired to help with the flower gardens. There are so many flower beds here at the farm that we could probably keep him employed into adulthood. Or at least pay for his first car and university.



There is an ongoing list of things for the dad to repair around here – he keeps the tractor, lawn mower and cars going and then helps out friends, neighbours and storage customers when a little extra expertise or an extra hand is needed.

The girls took an old unused shelf, painted it and added a few extras to make themselves some more horse stalls to house their toy horses. They’ve already gotten hours of play out of it.

{Green – cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies}:

I made some linen spray with essential oils – just to leave a nice smell behind on the bedding when I make the beds. I’ve also been using cornstarch in place of body powder and would like to try adding a few essential oils and maybe some baking soda to it to make it more like powder.


The garden is mostly planted with the exception of a few packets of seeds and the raspberry canes. I haven’t been out to look since it was planted, but the dad says that many seeds have already germinated and are poking through. We’re well on our way. We’ve even managed to get the pots around the patio planted with flowers and once we get the flower beds free of weeds and mulched with some wood chips, the place should be looking good. Right about in time for the wedding ceremony for some friends that the dad agreed to have on the grounds.


Nothing to write about here this month.


I found a new on-line magazine and blog called From Scratch, and have been reading through their first few issues. I wouldn’t call us homesteaders by any stretch, but they also have some articles on gardening and cooking and DIY that are quite interesting.

We’ve also made our way through the first season of Breaking Bad on DVD – I bought it for the dad at Christmas and it’s been addicting enough that I will need to go in search of more.


{Enhance – community}:

The dad started off the season by hosting a skeet shoot and lunch for his local Ducks Unlimited committee members. I love that the high score of the day went to a female investment banker. The local rural guys who are all quite cocky about their shooting prowess didn’t stand a chance.

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It was a little quieter around here this month, which was all right with all of us. The girls are getting back on their horses and enjoying some riding lessons from their grandma – and I may even work up the nerve to get on the big horse soon to go for a short walk.

We are enjoying the nice weather when we get it, the dinners in the porch on those nice evenings, and watching the girls chase each other around the yard while having water fights.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS

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sunday at the farm

007080 084 085Another weekend has wrapped up around here and I have a few more photos to record for posterity. The girls finally got on their horses and had a riding lesson from their Grandma. With a little encouragement, they were both convinced to walk, trot and canter. It’s a big deal to get back on a big horse after months of not riding and convince it to go fast.

It’s a big deal most days to convince me to walk fast. I haven’t been feeling great lately, but keeping busy with the house and kids keeps me motivated and moving, which is the biggest challenge when the first instinct is to sit still and rest. MS hits me the worst with season changes, and add to that any kind of bug that the kids bring home from school and kindly share with us, and a full blown exacerbation usually follows. Hopefully this one eases up quickly, but in the meantime I will keep things as normal as possible (just maybe at a slower pace).

The small squeaky kid is riding Dillon, a pony who may or may not have started out life as an expensive show pony before he changed owners several times and came to live at the stable where we purchased him. He is a calm and gentle pony who seems to know his dressage moves. The tall hormonal kid is riding Dali, a celebrity in his own right. His previous owner wrote a book about him, called Little Horse of Iron. He’s also pretty quiet and gentle, but then he’s an old horse who moved to the country to retire.

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