Saturday, August 29, 2009

Catching up

I wanted to share with you some images from our last camping adventure to New Denver, but first give you a quick update on what is happening with us. We have sold our house!!! It is wonderful news and now we are dealing with all things related to selling, relocating etc. We had the pleasure of seeing Harry's new school yesterday and meeting his lovely teacher. I think he will be very happy there. In all the chaos I am trying to finish my gift for Melanie's new baby due in October. I know I still have a lot of time but with the move and all that goes with that, I would feel better to complete it sooner rather than later. Kevin started his new job today. He was excited and ready to go, which is always great to see. I think this is going to be a wonderful fit for him. For me, my work is usually very busy with functions and weddings in September. Not the greatest of timing for me but I am sure it will all work out. Functions are so much fun to work with people generally in high spirits. Almost like we are all celebrating and fare welling the summer. Only another few weeks until we welcome the cooler months of Autumn....oh, to be cold again!
Oh, I also wanted to share with you a great book I found called "The Backyard Homestead" by Carleen Madigan. It shows you how to produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Can you imagine if everyone lived this way, how much better off our world would be. I am so excited about spending time with this book over the winter and planning for next Summer.
But for now I leave you with the pictures as promised and I will keep you updated on our adventures in the coming weeks. Wish me luck!

Up, up, up we go to Idaho Peak

Master Sam doing fantastically well hiking like a big kid!

Looking down on the trail we have just hiked up

Introducing the Teasdale family and Dave & Gail to the Galena Trail

Man this is fun!

Dave & Gail

We went a little further up the trail and found the aftermath of the massive flood

Monday, August 24, 2009

An emotional time

As I sit here trying to think of how to start this post, I feel anxious, happy, nervous, scared, excited, tired, humbled and somehow calm. I am not sure if that is at all possible, but somehow, in the exhale and inhale of my breath, all these emotions are passing over me like a wave. So much has been happening in the past few weeks. I feel like our path is coming up to one of those forks. To the place where you decide how the next stage of your life is going to go, mixed in with some good old fate. There is so much that we are unable to control and we are just sitting, waiting for the direction. Our home currently and finally has an offer on it. It is subject to a building inspection and finance clause, set to be lifted September 1st. It is so thrilling and so scary that we may actually sell this house. There by comes the fork again, where will we go from here? What will our new home look like? Can we start looking already? So many questions, so many answers. I am trying to take things one step at a time. Trying to put all the things I have learnt over the past months into practice. There is no point in becoming overwhelmed with everything, rather I am hoping to enjoy the ride this time. I have in the past spent so much of my time living in fear. I have been chipping away at it over the years and I started to shake those shackles a few years ago when my mother gave us a bridge climb in Brisbane - I was afraid of heights! Was I going to let that stop me? What an opportunity just handed to me. So I bit the bullet and went and it wasn't bad at all. I realised an important lesson that night, that sometimes, you just have to push through and take the first step. I had a loving man standing behind me with his hand gently placed on my back for comfort, support and love, just like he does everyday. Coming to Canada and taking the huge step of moving away from my beautiful family and friends was another steep climb that gets easier every step or day that passes. Riding Betty too has been huge! Testing boundaries and challenging fears from my childhood (I was thrown a couple of times as a young kid and my childhood horse, although lovely, was very stubborn and I had difficulty handling him). Recently, I was tested again with mountain biking, I had a choice - be afraid and don't try or give it everything and enjoy it! Well, I certainly enjoyed it and it feels so liberating to not be afraid. The fear was suffocating me and now I feel free. I am learning to apply this theory to a very uncertain but exciting time. Wish me luck!!!

This past week was also the anniversary of the passing of my darling nephew Dylan Paul Ludbey. He left us 4 years ago in body but I still feel his amazing spirit with me each day. The pain is just as raw as it was then and this year for some reason seemed so much stronger. I spent 2 days just feeling it and staying with it where I previously would have run. It hurt like hell but I feel a lot better for it. I am not saying that the pain has gone. I don't believe that will ever happen. Things just need to be felt. Dylan had a spunk, a wisdom that touched me so greatly and all those that knew him. I love you my dear, dear boy and I miss you so very much.

Thank you for letting me ramble on. I felt like I really needed to share. I miss my friends, I miss my family. So this helps. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Huckleberries and one clumsy Mumma

This weekend I had another berry picking experience. I do love huckleberries. We decided to go later in the evening, my girls and I. We went into the trees searching for the mother load of berries. We had 2 dogs with us as we were in heavy bear country, obviously the bears like berries too! I didn't realise though that dogs like huckleberries, and dogs will always find the mother load first. So the moral of the story is, follow the dogs. I wish I could have taken a photo of the seemingly endless bushes, loaded with berries and us trying to pick quickly so that the dogs did not devour them all first. It was a happy time, fingers stained with purple, chatting and laughing. Then those dark, dark clouds rolled in above us and threatened to ruin our fun. We decided to stay through the sprinkling rain, not wanting to leave this heavenly place. But then it started to get heavier and the lightening started to flash across the sky. We made a dash for the truck through the fallen logs and think brush. I have to say, I am not sure exactly when it happened but I have really become a big klutz! I was falling and tripping but all the time being very aware not to spill my very full bucket. No, I was not going to make the same mistake as last time. I ran back along the road to the truck, being the first to arrive I thought I would pack up the tailgate and get things organised. I placed my bucket lovingly down and moved the cooler and .....well, I bet you can guess what happened! Yes, my bucket was knocked to the ground and sprayed across the dusty road, to the sounds of my screaming "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo".
The girls presently arriving back to the truck did what all good friends would do - laugh. And watch me scramble to pick them up. Oh dear, is this aging or have I just hide my clumsy nature all these years, really, really well?! The good news is I was able to rescue almost all the huckleberries, albeit a little dirtier than they started.
I think I could muster one more picking session this year and hopefully, you know, third time lucky, I will make it home without dropping my precious bucket! Wish me luck!!!!!

My beautiful stash of frozen berries....mmmmmm......

Friday, August 7, 2009

The mirror

Today I awoke late, and as I lay there trying to wake up with children and our dog climbing all over me, I thought “I feel different”. I looked in the mirror and I look different. I stared at the mirror and this older, contented women was looking back at me. When did that happen? It got me thinking about all the labels people are so happy to place on one another. I thought of all the labels I would have – mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, part cow-girl, part hippie, part domestic diva (still trying to find the other part to this one!!) part environmentalist, part musician, part yogi, and so it goes on. What an eclectic and strange mix I have become.....isn’t that awesome. I find it so freeing to be all these things and so very much more. What a bore it must be to put oneself into a little box when there are so many out there to explore. Harry was asking me if something was cool yesterday and I thought; well only you know that darling. And isn’t this true? Being cool, well who gets to decide what cool is. I think I am pretty cool but the next person may not. I wonder where we all got so obsessed in chasing this phantom ‘cool’ ideal. As I was staring at myself in the mirror, I had such a warm, contented feeling with who I had become in my short 31 years and all the things I had created and accomplished. I really am living some happy days. I hope yours are happy too and when you look in the mirror next, you just might be surprised at the person staring back at you! Take the time to look, to really look. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A new yummy dinner

Generally I love cooking. However, I find dinner, especially in the summer time, a hard task. My husband and I could eat salads every night but the kids, whilst really good eaters, tend not to enjoy this as much. So I am always looking for inspiration. We just harvested some lovely but rather large zucchinis from the garden and I wanted to use one for dinner last night. I felt like pasta but I am not able to use tomatoes due to Kevin's summer allergies. I found this recipe for inspiration and it was delicious! As my beautiful sister-in-law, brother-in-law and Arwynn-Darwynn-Sweetheart were also coming for dinner, I also made Papaya Avocado Salad from The Best of the Best and more. Wonderful company, and a great meal.

(Photo from Best of the Best and more page 76)

A few weeks back I found some thrifty good buys and have been looking forward to sharing them with you. One is a little treasure that my friend Amy pointed out to me. To be honest we thought it was a popcorn maker but neither of us had seen one like it before. We asked around and the general consensus was, yes, it might be a popcorn maker. For the $2 they were asking I thought it would be worth the try. Guess what? It is a popcorn maker and almost identical to one my husband had growing up, AND it works brilliantly. We decided to have some for dessert last night after our scrumptious meal. I really didn't have room in my very full and content stomach but once you plant the idea of eating popcorn, really, who can resist!

My other find was a chair for Harry's desk. It was slightly damaged so we got it for free. Now that is my kind of thrifting!! Kevin made the necessary adjustments (a new piece of wood supporting the legs) and hay presto, a great chair for a great kid!

Can you see Buddy in the back ground here, licking his feet? Our poor little dog is starting to show signs of aging. The mountain bike rides that he loves so much, that make him go into a fever of yips and barks and uncontrollable shaking with excitement, are taking their toll. It is the third time now that he has worn the pads off his front feet from exercising too hard. You could say he is a mountain bike ride junky. He has been limping and licking for a couple of days now. I am trying everything to get him to stop licking as I believe all the licking is just making it worse. However he doesn't take kindly to having his feet bandaged. I even trying taping a pair of socks on him. I guess this exercise enthusiast will have to rest and take it easy. Perhaps that was his last ride with his much adored daddy. Poor Buddy.

And quickly before I sign out and get back to the mountain of chores I have to do this morning, I wanted to share my purchase from yesterday. I made it into the fabric store and bought some fat quarters (what a hilarious name!). I have a little project in mind and am so excited about starting. I only hope my beginner skills can get me through. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another Summer weekend

This week went by in another blur of activity. The boys finished up their swimming lesson block much to their dismay but my relief. They did very well and really enjoyed it, however it was a big drive everyday.
Saturday we were planning on heading out to Kaslo for the Jazz festival but after getting to Nelson (about 1 hour from home) we realised we had forgotten the tickets and we thought the boys would probably prefer to sit at the beach and have a relaxing family day out . So we went to Lakeside Park and lay on the beach, played in the fantastic playground, rode the tram and generally enjoyed the sun filled day. There was even a little restaurant serving burgers and fish and chips. Not normally my first choice for food, especially whilst in Nelson but it was handy and reminiscent of days on an Australian beach.

Today was action packed. Kevin headed out for an early morning mountain bike ride, then off to the farm to do some ground work with Betty and break in those new 'old' jeans and new riding boots!

Then we all went Huckleberry picking. I would like to say I was able to fill my bucket but alas, this clumsy girl dropped her bucket and was only able to rescue about half. Sigh. Still, it was a fun outing and I hope to return soon for more!
What do you do when you realise that your 3 year old has no shoes when your family is about to embark on a berry picking adventure and you are miles from home?? Get creative!! (Paul, I know you are going to love this one!!!) I got some cardboard and some trusty duct tape and made Sam some sandles. As embarrassing as it may be and the fact that they only lasted for maybe 10 minutes, I was pretty impressed with myself!!! Laugh, I know, it is pretty funny. I guess it is from growing up with my dad and brothers always using duct tape to get them out of a jam! I wonder if I play with the design, if they can be better? Hmmmm..........

The beautiful Nancy Green Lake, 20 minutes from Rossland. A lovely way to cool down after a hot afternoon picking wild berries.

Some wild flowers I just had to stop and pick on the way home.

Well, the boys are in bed early after an exhausting weekend and I am enjoying some special mummy time. I do love that I am able to share all the fun and sometimes quirky things we do with you all. I hope your families were able to enjoy the weekend as much as we did.