Thursday, 21 August 2014

Busy, Busy

After a few weeks of intense heat and humidity, we are experiencing a cool off that has brought on a flurry of activity. I'm starting to recognize in myself an ebb and flow in energy that sometimes follows the weather, but also relates to how busy I've been. For example, after 3 mornings loading and hauling gravel in the driveway, I spent the next few mornings baking and cleaning and couldn't help but have a short nap in the afternoons. A dangerous routine to get into as I often have trouble sleeping at night!

So now that my attention has turned indoors (although there are several outdoor projects that await) I thought I'd show pictures of what we have been doing. 

Best blueberry muffins ever. 4 year old said "mommy you are the best cooker in the world besides gramma!"

My tomatoes are small but plentiful. I love making sauces but I detest peeling them. This morning I slow roasted my ripe tomatoes while I made buns then made a hot and sweet sauce that I will add to chili and different tomato sauces through the winter. I combined a few recipes and am happy with the flavour, but unsure that it will keep without pressure canning. I'm not ready to start pressure cooking this year, so I will keep my little tomato concoctions in the freezer to avoid giving anyone botulism. 

Botulism would suck. 

We have so far made 2 batches of dills, 2 batches of bread and butter pickles (my favorite) and a few jars of pickled beets and raspberry jam. I have another batch of pickles and a batch of relish soaking to be cooked and bottled tomorrow. I'm finding everything easier this year, with a helpful 4 year old and (mostly) potty trained 2 year old. Hope all is well where you are!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Along Came a Spider

I really wish I had it in me to build something delicate. I would like to someday start something that might seem difficult, intricate, and stick with it to the end. I'd like to take time to fix my mistakes along the way. And if, in a moment, my work was erased, I would hope for the strength to begin again without dwelling on the loss. Someday I hope to be as tenascious as a spider. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Unwinding at the Devonian Botanical Garden in Alberta

During our family vacation with Husband's parents, I flexed my mama-muscles and insisted we go to the Devonian Botanical Garden outside Edmonton, AB.

What a beautiful, serene morning we spent wandering the trails. It was just what we all needed after a busy and hot couple of weeks. 

The grand waterfall was a crowd-pleaser with my bunch. 

As were the fish in the pond below. We loved the Japanese Garden the most, but the whole experience was great. 

It happened to be a cool and overcast day. It was a relief to spend 2 hours walking and chatting (or running and yelling enthusiastically, as were my boys!--my apologies to anyone meditating in the Japanese Garden!) without being overwhelmed by the heat. 

The kids were thrilled with the Butterfly House. 

A few years ago I might not have pushed to take my kids to a garden. I might have assumed they would be bored. I am so glad I gave them a chance to appreciate a beautiful space and unwind before the almost 3 hour car ride home. I was especially proud of my four year old who ran around pointing out hen and chicks and other plants he knew from our own yard. 

Some more pictures:

I loved all the rocks...

Caragana maze was a hit...

Beautiful ponds....

And so many lovely flower beds.

I hope to get back to the garden in June sometime to see the peony garden in bloom. Have you toured any beautiful gardens this summer?

Friday, 1 August 2014

Sunflowers n such

Our sunflowers are now over 7 feet tall...

We have been eating fresh peas every morning, and have been picking raspberries at our neighbours. 

We have a few things in bloom...

and we are enjoying beets and beans fresh out of the garden. This time of year will forever remind me of the summer of my first pregnancy--I ate so many beets and beans I'm surprised I didn't change colours. 

What's growing in your garden these days?