Category Archives: earth’s best sundays

earth’s best sundays | birthday edition


34 trips around the sun.

More sun warmed berries.

Homemade ice cream cake.

A couple of my favourite meals.

A handful of wildflowers picked by my loves.

A pretty little pottered mug.

A walk through the pasture and along fence rows.

Feeling a little like Anne Shirley dreaming about the possibilities.

Kid playing in the old claw foot tub.

Oh my.

It was another nice one.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

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earth’s best sundays + weekending

We had a good full weekend.
 
We took the kids to see How To Train Your Dragon 2.
We all loved it.
We came home Friday evening to find that our 5 chickens had ALL been taken during the day by some mysterious predator.
I always feel like we failed them when one gets taken, but this was a heart breaking loss.
The silver lining is that we MAY take a family road trip to Mike’s homeland of Newfoundland in late summer since we don’t have to worry about someone coming to care for the chickens daily.
We may even drop in to see Anne of Green Gables along the way!
We shall see.
 
On Saturday we celebrated 7 years of marriage by making the drive to Cobourg for their BuskerFest.
It was a bit of a bust, but the Beavertails and beautiful sandy beach more than made up for it.
We also got 10 minutes to wander quietly and aimlessly around Chapters while Gramma and Papa wrangled the kids.
It was glorious.
 
It has become a bit of a Father’s Day tradition to go to the Farm for the day.
We tasted the first sun warmed berries of the year.
The kids “helped” Nana transplant the peppers and tomatoes.
(We decided to skip putting our garden again this year…for a few reasons.)
The two dads worked at cleaning seed with a 100 year old fanning machine.
 
 
Like I said, it was a good one.
What were your weekend highlights?
 
go gently + be wonderful
 
e.
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earth’s best sundays

The kids love visiting the farm.

While Grampa and Nana did chores Poppy and Silas ran around the barn wildly exclaiming “This is a happy place!!!” over and over again.

It was Dad’s birthday on Thursday.

We were going through old photos when Silas saw one of me when I was about 6.  He brought it to me and said “Look, that’s you.  You were a boy!”.  Then he looked up at me and said “But now you’res a girl”.  Sigh…yes, it’s true, I looked like a boy for most of my childhood.

We ate copious amounts of lemon birthday cake and artisan bread while chatting about home projects and writing topics.

If Silas had his way he would have stayed the night…and taken Nana’s porcelain piggy home to sleep with.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

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celebrating our boy

On Sunday we celebrated the day, three years ago, that this wickedly handsome, crazy smart, fiercely intense, wildly imaginative, first class snuggler of a  little boy joined our family.

The day before the four of us went to the movies for some popcorn, Planes and lunch out.  The day of was a simple one with two sets of grandparents, a mama-made Very Hungry Caterpillar cake, temporary tattoos, and a Spiderman backpack filled with the superheros he loves so much.

Oh, these pictures and milestones that keep reminding us of just how those long days turn into short years.

And Motherhood breaks my heart once again.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

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foraging

Perhaps it is because we miss having a garden (some may even call it guilt for not putting in a garden).  Or it could be that it appears to be a bumper year for all the things that grow.  Or perhaps still, it is the most delightful warm Autumnal weather we’ve been experiencing since the deadly July heatwave.  Whatever the reason, we find ourselves pulled into the woods and trails in search of berries this summer more than ever.

Of course, we made batch upon batch of tasty apple butter in our first summer here, but the jars that weren’t eaten right away went bad.  There were a number of things we could have done wrong.  We could have tightened the rings too much, I am quite certain I heated the lids more than once, I washed the jars, but didn’t sterilize them, and lastly, I didn’t “process” them in a boiling bath after sealing.  We will do it differently this year with the help of Ashley English’s book  (in fact, her whole Homemade Living Series is a wonderful resource) and some diligence.

In June we picked and froze 15 quarts of organic strawberries from Ellenberger Organic Farm and made a wonderfully large jar of garlic scape pesto from the large bag of scapes they graced us with.  I made it just like a basil pesto and we ate it over pasta with tomatoes.  With the leftover scapes, I blended them in the food processor with olive oil and froze them in ice cube trays for cooking throughout the year.  It made about 35 cubes.

We own about 4 acres, but are surrounded by about 80 more which is owned by a lovely couple who only camp here a few time per year.  I have fond memories of picking the abundant blueberries while we visited Mike’s home of Newfoundland, so we were quite excited to find a couple handfuls along the shore of the pond a week or two ago.  They were no comparison to Newfoundland’s berries, but it was a bit like finding treasure.

We have both pin cherries and choke cherries here as well, but this is the first year they have produced like this.  Chokecherries don’t taste like much when eaten off the branch and the seed apparently contains cyanide, but when made into a jelly, they remind me of childhood and fall.  We were able to pick 3 quarts from the two small bushes behind the house and made 12 125 ml jars plus a pint.  We went by the book this time and they all sealed successfully.  We have plenty more on the property so another batch or two may be in order.   I think they will make nice Christmas gifts this year.

While picking the chokecherries we noticed crazy amounts of blackberries (or what we assume are blackberries) growing fairly low to the ground on what we assume to be young bushes.  We are a little unsure now as we found two types while we foraged for our dessert yesterday afternoon.  In abundance, we found the smaller berries low to the ground, but then we happened upon some larger/taller bushes with the more characteristic shape and size of blackberries.  Both taste similar, and both types came off with the rasp inside (unlike a black or red raspberry where the rasp is left on the bush).  No matter how you slice it, they tasted decadent, still slightly warm, atop our Kawartha Daily french vanilla ice cream.  The kids were in their glory despite the mosquitoes and scratchy bracken that was often taller than them.  Berry loving Poppy was especially happy to pick to her heart’s content which she quietly did while Silas made sticks into swords, put rocks in his basket, and saved himself the tedious task of picking the berries himself and thieved from mama and daddy’s baskets.  We covered a lot of ground and spent over an hour for only a quart and a half, but it was fun and we figure we’ll be going out each night for our dessert until they dry up.

The apples look a bit small, but oh so abundant and just beginning to blush.  We’ve purchased a clamping apple peeler, corer, and slicer in preparation for our apple-filled fall.

So though we may not have a garden this year, and though we’ve only made it to one farmer’s market this season, we are still enjoying the fruits of the season and we’re ever so grateful that so much of it has been found in our own backyard.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

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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

e.

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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.

::friday::

intensive clean-up + reorganization of our upstairs

grocery shopping

buy one get one deals

::saturday::

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

::Sunday::

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

::monday::

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

bed.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

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earth’s best sundays

we delivered the 2013 chicks to Dad and Janet’s Farm (gold laced wyandottes from Kira and Andrew at www.bedrockandbrambles.com)

rain + sun + repeat

a dirty playful dog

thinking the kids would get more use out of an old tractor instead of a swing/slide set…perhaps with a slide dismount

nana’s popsicles, jello, + homemade ice cream

some raspberries + horseradish to transplant

iced tea outside

lilacs + bee bums

bringing the giant horses in + the kids begging to ride them

grading potatoes with toddlers is laughable

dirty, happy, tired kids

go gently + be wonderful

e.

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thirty three . thirty four + earth’s best sundays

morning “suckness”

grocery shopping

mood swings

a day saved by a fun song

Skype with Newfoundland family

a painted birthday cake for Grampa

a happy dino + a pretty little painter

A visit with family at Ellenberger Organic Farm

organic potatoes +chocolate cake pops

Baby name talk all the way home (I think we’ve decided)

a cold house + a nice fire

The Waltons

 

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twenty five . twenty six . twenty seven + earth’s best sundays

Another home weekend nursing the nasty cold/flu

On Friday, as I began getting supper ready, Silas came into the kitchen asked up.  We were both crusted with the day’s snot and grime and oh so tired of doing not much of anything for days.  He put his head on my shoulder, patted my back, and in a congested, raspy voice said “I love you Mommy.”  I can’t be totally sure, but I am quite sure that is the first spontaneous “I love you” he has ever said.  I softened and the whole week melted away as I squeezed him tighter and said “I love you more”.  He barely hesitated before saying “I love you most”

Be still my heart.

It was a weekend of:

Big news

Wood

Crock pot mac and cheese with pureed turnip (So yummy.  Also, I am sure I love turnip more than anyone ever has)

Chocolate chip cookies

The Waltons

A new crochet project near and dear to our hearts

Crocheting progress halted when my hook fell off my lap and into the jaws of Huck

Phone calls + emails

Work from home

Afternoon naps

Cuddling with a very cranky unicorn

A sweet, even-tempered little girl (even while sick)

A walk to the pond foiled by said cranky unicorn

Newly fluffed nesting boxes for the ladies

a 104.5 * fever

Snuggling on the couch with books and iPad games

Early to bed + restless nights

go gently + be wonderful

e.

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