Monthly Archives: July 2013

the first days of school – guest blogging at so fawned

It is hard for me to believe, but after four and a half  years of talking about it, the day quickly approaches; the day we officially start our homeschooling adventure.  Of course, like most people (whether they realize it or not) we have been homeschooling since the beginning, but call me old fashioned because September 3rd, 2013 marks the official beginning for me.

Today, I share our some our reasons, goals, and personal educational history on So Fawned’s series entitled the First Days of School in which she has gathered other bloggers interested in sharing their stories and decisions which brought them to where they are in their own schooling and parenting journeys.  It should be fascinating.

I hope you enjoy my contribution and well as the other wonderful people who have and will share.


go gently + be wonderful


Posted in celebration, family, guest bloggers, homeschooling, life | 2 Comments

earth’s best sundays

We had a lovely weekend.

The heat broke with a downpour on Friday and it was a glorious relief.  We could not have survived it without the fans, ice packs wrapped in tea towels tucked into shirts at bedtime and the beach.  It has left me pining for Fall.

On Saturday we went to a local heritage day where they had all sorts of crafts people demonstrating their talents.  The kids dressed up as a fairy princess and a pirate for the occasion.  There were farm animals and wild animals, BBQ lunch, rock painting, a bee hive, potters, spinners, weavers, trappers, antique cars, letterpress, and face painting.  The face painting was free and there was a 2 hour wait, but once Poppy saw this, there was no talking about anything else.  Poppy chose to be painted like a flower fairy while Silas wanted to be Spiderman, but, at the very last minute decided he’d rather be a puppy dog.

We came home and sat outside where the bugs were almost nonexistent and the breeze beautiful.  Everything seemed do-able.  We talked about the third baby’s arrival and plans for the upcoming weekends while the kids stripped down and played in the sand and water.  We then decided to take a little walk up to the beloved apple tree to see how big they are getting and also to hunt for wild raspberries.  We only found a few berries, but the apple tree is drunk and heavy with apples this year.  We must think of a way to preserve them so we can enjoy them throughout the winter months (We are thinking freezing, drying, and canning are our best bets).  We also discovered the cherry trees produced millions of tiny ruby berries this year.  That is the first time since moving here that we have seen berries there.  Just not sure what to do with them and would like to know for sure if they are edible.

On Sunday, we worked while the kids donned their costumes once again and played happily.  We did laundry, cleaned the car, emptied and re-organized the sheds, re-attatched the porch railing, and did a general tidy up of the outside.  The last bit of wood was piled last weekend, but the grass may never recover from all the sawdust that is impossible to pick up now.  We worked until late in the afternoon and ate granola bars for supper.  My back and hips are still aching from all the bending and lifting.

I miss not having a garden this year.  We had planned to visit the Farmer’s Markets each and every weekend, but it never seems to happen.  I find myself craving a meal of green beans, chopped tomatoes with salt and pepper, and new potatoes with butter and salt.  I hope to make it to the one in Haliburton tomorrow after my midwife appointment for sure.

go gently + be wonderful


Posted in earth's best sundays, family, life, our cabin | 1 Comment

fawned friday


01)  heat wave induced dreams of fall are dancing in my head.

02)  i love this men’s cut.  I am certain it is outside of my hair cutting abilities, but I bet an old barber would be just the ticket!

03)  oh!  but what word would you choose?

04)  yes.

05)  these look yummy.

06)  must make for post-baby wear!

07)  i just love white, white, white interiors!

08)  this image reminds me of the passing of time and how very sweet these young days are.

09)  cute pillow.

10)  love me some kilim.

{fawned fridays inspired by who else, but miss fawn}

happy weekend.


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52 portrait slacker

I love watching these two interact.

They both have incredibly strong personalities, but in very different ways.  Silas tweaks if we try to put the wrong shirt on him and Poppy tweaks because he won’t put his shirt on.

When playing he often lets her run the story line and when he strays from that, she will correct him loudly.  His reply is usually “okay, okay, fine, fine.”

They’ve always loved to wrestle roughly with each other, but neither will tolerate the other hurting them out of anger or bossiness.  It is a relatively new challenge for us to deal with as they try to enforce their own rules and have things run their own way.  I try to let them resolves conflicts between themselves, but have been stepping in as the slapping, pinching, pushing, and scratching begins.

They declare in one heart-wrenching moment that they are mad at the other or that the other is bad, but are playing happily again within minutes.

The other morning they re-enacted the midnight dance scene from Cinderella.  Poppy was dressed in her tutu and Silas was wearing a blue play silk as a cape.  They danced in a circle holding hands…

Silas: Gasp!  The clock!
Poppy:  Oh no!  I have to go! (runs away)
Silas:  Wait!  I never got your name!
Poppy:  Oh!  I dropped my shoe.
Silas: Here, I put it on for you (helps her put an imaginary shoe on)
*Silas then took creative liberties and declared himself to now be Superman and he wanted to kiss Cinderella*
Cinderella and Superman kiss then smile smugly at each other then at me
Annnnnnd scene!

I may be biased, but I thought it was brilliant.

Silas calls granola bars “granilla bars” and still calls toots burps.

Last night we went to the beach and you’re both a little braver this year…more so with the life jackets and bathing suits off.  It must feel more natural that way.  We’d like to find some swimming lessons for you both though it is proving a little tricky and spendy!

In the winter, I have a hard time keeping clothes on you, but on the most humid of days or nights you are both asking for sweaters, demanding socks and slippers, and donning fleece jammies.  It makes me sweaty just thinking about it.

Poppy has a rather intense fear of buzzing sounds and fans.  Like when a battery operated toy is dying and makes funny sounds it sends her into hysterics.  Also the hand dryers in public washrooms.  Or when Silas sticks a flexible straw into the floor fan because he likes the clicking sound it makes.  I makes her mental.

Silas’ fear of roosters has increased since we got rid of our rooster.  Poppy was attacked mildly and only once, but when she knows Silas is upset because the chickens (the laying hens are delightful and would never hurt him, but he thinks all chickens are evil now) are coming too near, Poppy will run wildly at them screaming “don’t hurt my brother!”.  He is slowly learning to trust again.

Both kids become very concerned when they see me cry or when I hurt myself.  They touch me softly and quietly say “Don’t cry Mommy.”  “You ok Mommy?”.  The look on their faces is heart warming.

Last night Silas slammed his head into my belly and caused a charlie horse-like pain.  He said a heartfelt sorry and then again a few minutes later, came and rubbed my leg and put his head down on it and said Hi Mommy, I’m sorry I hurt you Mommy.”

Mike started a little good night game with Poppy that always starts with him saying “goodnight olives” and Poppy replies “goodnight pickles”.  It goes on like this and the two nouns are usually connected, but different somehow.  Silas likes to play too, but in a more random fashion.  It is a sweet little ritual.

Poppy loves meat.  For some reason, this surprises me because she has been such a stubborn eater for so long.  She will gobble up sausage, kielbasa, tuna, meat sticks, etc.  Though you won’t eat my homemade burgers.

I think we have the only two children who won’t eat McDonald’s food (yes, we sometimes eat at McDonald’s, and yes, I realize this is a good thing that they don’t like it.)  You will eat the yogurt, drink the milk, play with the toy, and love the play place, but you refuse to touch the fries, nuggets, sandwiches, or even the apples (I agree, they taste funny, and never turn brown.  Not right)

We can’t keep enough fruit and yogurt in the house.  by the time we have groceries unpacked and put away, you have both devoured at least one full container of berries and still want more.

You both still refuse to eat veggies though Silas had a few days where he ate a few carrots and one cucumber slice.  It was a big win.

Poppy has started making names up for her dolls, and random animals she sees.  The most memorable was “wandercrisp” , the dog in the car beside ours, and Harpress, the baby doll she just got.  Silas named his robot “TaTa”.

Poppy loves painting and drawing while Silas has almost zero interest in it.

Silas still has no interest in potty training.  I was hoping we would be through that by the time baby arrived, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case.

Silas has become slightly more interested in letters and knows a handful now.  He also loves lining things up and counting them.

You both play quite easily with other children and adults.

Poppy, you hug nearly everyone you meet whether they ask for one or not.

Silas enjoys laying on the floor with either Soma or Huck while he quietly rubs their “eyebrows” or paws.  The dogs tolerate him well and he has been know to fall asleep while doing this.  You’re not always gentle though and have bitten (yes, bitten) Huck on the face making him yelp, but he is incredibly tolerant of you and has never so much as growled at your antics.  We are trying to get you to be gentle all the time.

Poppy likes cereal with milk for breakfast and snacks, and always drinks the milk from the bowl.

Poppy hates having her hair washed, brushed or styled and refuses to leave anything that controls her curls in for more than 5 minutes.

You have both given yourselves your own haircuts.  Not devastating or hilarious, but enough for me to remove all craft scissors from your reach.

You both love playing rowdy games of chase, hide, pounce, wrestle and tickle with Daddy.  He really is good at it.

We took you to your first movie in the Kinmount Theater to see Epic on our wedding anniversary.  You both loved it.  Since then we went to see Despicable Me 2 in the giant theater in Peterborough.  The purple monster minions scared Poppy, but not too badly.

Silas has been carrying around Mike’s book “The Mindful Carnivore” for a day now and looks rather smart as he pretends to read from it.

Silas likes to have his nails painted when Poppy and I do it.  He wears Poppy’s old pink rubber boots and claims they are his Spiderman boots.  He loves Strawberry Shortcake as much as he loves Spiderman.  Poppy loves pink and princesses.  Silas goes for the tractor and Poppy goes for the horses when we visit Nana and Grampa’s farm.  Gender stereotypes are a pet peeve of mine, but it is funny to watch them maneuver through them in their own way…crossing some and living up to many.  Interesting.

And just because we were overdue and all of this makes for great fodder for the annual Poppy, Silas, Baby Girl Christmas Book for the grandparents, I made another one of these for each of them.

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hold me steady, beloved anchor of mine

27 weeks 5 days.

The third trimester always seems to bring with it a special kind of emotional tidal wave.  I spend the day counting down to the day I won’t be full to overflowing with a baby, swollen, fat, puffy, charlie horsed, and varicose veined.  I then  lay awake at night worrying about the c-section, the hospital stay, the transition, the sleeping arrangements, the outings, the patience this will all require.  Am I mom enough?!

It all sends me into a tailspin and then I hear an old song that reminds me of who I once was; what I had time for, and I cry.  Big, heaping, noisy,wrenching cries that come all the way up from my toes.  The cleansing kind that scares anyone who witnesses it, but oh! If they only knew how good it felt to cry and shake and feel every hurt leave my body.  Then, as a thunderstorm washes away the humidity, I am ready to love and work again.  But, just as this Ontario summer seems to go, the humidity- thunder cycle repeats itself without much reprieve.

I took the car on Sunday.  Alone.  I had hoped to get a haircut, but she was closed so I went to the drug store instead.  I must have spent over an hour there looking at pink lipstick, moisturizers, and skin care products.  I won’t lie, it was glorious.  I haven’t worn much more than mascara for the past few years because I thought it would bring my skin back to a natural radiance, but the reality was that I just looked tired.  So if some BB cream (I didn’t know that was even a thing, but I have been waiting my entire makeup life for it) and hot pink lip gloss (I am not yet, brave enough for the opaque stuff yet!) make me feel a little more like my old self, then so be it.

Being inside my head is exhausting.  I miss being creative, but can’t seem to find a solution to the lacking.  I love baking, but I also love eating and if I ever intend to feel right in my skin again, I need to strike a balance there.  I enjoyed making jewelry, but it is an expensive hobby and I never really made any money at it anyway.  I would love to get more paid writing gigs and even do some fun/creative content marketing, but,unfortunately, the Clever Girls Collective is not accepting Canadian members and I don’t know where to start.  I enjoy sewing, knitting, and crocheting, but when I am pulled in a different direction every 5 minutes, I can’t focus on counting stitches or any sort of pattern with ease, never mind the cats and Silas running off with the balls of yarn and the dog chewing my needles.  Sewing is a no go what with all that tempting fabric to rumple, toss, and use as capes.  I like painting and it is something I can do with Poppy with minimal frustration, but I have no idea of even the most basic techniques, and despite nearly every woman I am closely related to being a naturally talented artist/painter, I am not sure that I got that gene.  I’d love to take a pottery course again, but know in my heart of hearts that I won’t go in the evenings when I am ready to collapse.  Also, once I start nursing, I won’t be going far anyway.  This isn’t forever.  One day the kids will play and read and imagine hours away quietly.  But, I won’t lie, there are days I feel like my brain might turn to mush and run out of my ears from the boredom I feel.

Today, there is a cool breeze and, though the humidity is at 100%, the sun remains hidden.  My sprouts are ready for eating.  The Postal Service is playing an old song.  I find myself thinking of Autumn (sacrilege, I know, but summer and I are on the outs this year).  The wild roses by the gate have released the most intoxicating, unadulterated rosey scent I have ever enjoyed.  The poppies (the ones I almost gave up on) in the front garden have exploded into life  and I can’t help, but smiles back at their happy, papery faces.

And finally, I am so loved.  Despite all my issues and frustrations and anger, and mad fluttering, and pregnant hot messiness, I am so loved and it makes me weep more tears of gratitude.

Hold me steady beloved anchor of mine for the wild bird in my rib cage will settle her wings again soon.

go gently + be wonderful


Posted in family, life, photography + writing, the anchor, Uncategorized, wellness | 8 Comments

fawned friday

01)  i love everything about this image.

02)  one, two, three, four, five…want.

03)  it is nearly time for my annual haircut.  i aim for this, but don’t think i could handle the upkeep of this dreamy colour.

04)  striped rug pillows.  genius and durable.

05)  if you haven’t checked out songza, you should do yourself the favour and never be lacking in the perfect soundtrack department again.

06)  i’d love to take credit, but this app taught poppy ALL her letter sounds in no time, and also got silas interested in letters and sounds.

07)  these look like a summer must!

08)  if only it were that easy.

09) why are british magazines always the loveliest?

10)  i think, perhaps, this is how mike and i will spend our golden years…sell 95% of our worldly goods, re-do a motorhome or airstream, and follow the wind…perhaps.

fawned friday inspired by miss fawn

happy weekending.


Posted in fawned fridays | 2 Comments

today, I am grateful for…




  • rhubarb
  • all the tiny green apples on the apple trees
  • the front garden I almost mowed down because I had lost faith  is now full of black eyed susans, poppies, and even a peony
  • kawartha dairy chocolate milk
  • a new lawn mower with sharp blades and a powerful engine
  • the horseradish and raspberry plants we transplanted are alive and well
  • the raspberries we planted last year are throwing up new shoots and lots of promising berries…not to mention all the wild bushes we have
  • the sweet train set and table I found on Kijiji for less than half the price for Silas’s big birthday gift
  • copious amounts of organic garlic scape pesto and garlic scape/olive oil ice cubes for cooking
  • the super powerful and clean food processor i found for $10 at the local junk shop
  • 19 bags of yummy organic strawberries in our freezer
  • dutch oven bread
  • overcast days
  • baby kicks, punches, rolls and tumbles.
  • violets and pansies
  • dragonflies
  • the deer flies are here, which means we are in the final stages of bug season…we hope.
  • fans
  • listening to the kids play together
  • peeling an orange in one complete piece
  • payday
  • silas attempting to count everything he sees
  • our wood is piled and ready for this winter
  • a normal, healthy, uneventful pregnancy
  • my new coffee mug
  • daisies and black eyes susans in a mason jar
  • a thoughtful gift and card from mike’s boss
  • being rooster-free
  • poppy’s thoughtfulness and kindness towards her unborn baby sister
  • the baby name we have chosen
  • our new car
  • our new (to us) furniture (every home should have a recliner)
  • birdsong
  • songza
  • waffle cones
  • nail polish in fun colours
  • a tidied laundry space
  • a new place for the dog crate
  • our good health
  • glamour lake beach
  • the fact that poppy prefers to pee outside and does so with gusto
  • our outdoor clawfoot tub (one day it will be in our bathroom)
  • the kids’ love of fruit
  • my stand mixer
  • mike’s job
  • living in canada with our incredible healthcare and benefits
  • watching our kids play with other kids and feeling good about the job we’re doing
  • it’s thursday


Mike and I are grateful people.  That said, we are also easily overwhelmed in moments of worry, stress, or exhaustion.  We recently decided to react differently than normal when our old car refused to start.  I felt the instant reaction of fear, frustration, and anger bubble up, but managed to work my way to the other side of it.  I started by focusing on counting my blessings and then put into effect a no whining, no complaining policy for the day.  After I posted that, I got the wine glasses out and we all clinked glasses full of non-alcoholic cider at 8:30 am to mark the occasion.  It was a defining moment and I saw immediate benefits.  Also, after nearly 24 hours of not starting, our car, rather randomly, started up and never gave us another problem.

Gratitude is something I would like to add to our days and so this is the beginning.  I may not always share it here, but I would like to share it over our family meal, or in the darkness of our bedroom, or simply jot it down in a journal.  Wherever and however I may do it, I feel it is imperative for me to practice daily gratitude.

So I will.

If you feel so inclined, please leave a link or share  your own lists of gratitude in the comments.


go gently + be wonderful


Posted in celebration, family, life, wellness | 1 Comment

earth’s best sundays – canada day edition

This weekend was a good one.  It was, after all, Canada’s birthday.  Unfortunately, my camera was either at home or suffering a dead battery so we only managed pictures of Sunday at my dad and step mom’s farm, but I assure you it was good and full.


intensive clean-up + reorganization of our upstairs

grocery shopping

buy one get one deals


Combermere Farmer’s Market on a damp and cool morning

a long wait for the best damn homemade donuts you’ll ever eat

a day spent at the cottage with my step dad, step sister and her wee family

sword fights, flower picking, fishing, bbq, bunnies jumping on a bed, grazing, matching jammies

sleepy children


two loaves of dutch oven bread

piling the last few bits of wood (the epic job of 2013!)

warm strawberries

garlic scapes

Poppy obsessed with riding Dad + Janet’s new horse Nutmeg (or “Meggie”, as she likes to call her)

Grampa practicing his lasso skills on willing grandkids

watering the animals

checking for eggs

naked tub fun

tractor…always the tractor

birthday cupcakes

too tired to stop for fireworks…maybe next year


hulling strawberries while sipping our morning coffee

iron + wine

a new lawnmower (our neighbour repairs and sells them so we traded in the old one)

into town to meet friends for Canada Day celebrations

the anthem + feeling grateful for being born in the best country.

the petting zoo

free Kawartha Dairy ice cream

slowest free balloon service ever!

Waiting in line for food only for them to run out

classic cars

toads+ coffee  in the garden

a quick stop at Kawartha Dairy for chocolate milk + ice cream + waffle cones

that chocolate milk  rocked my socks, wondering why I don’t drink it more often

feeling rather smug as we watched all the tourists making their way back to the city

homemade veggie pizza for supper


go gently + be wonderful


Posted in celebration, earth's best sundays, ellenberger organic farm, family, life, photography + writing, wellness | 3 Comments