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Category — garden

Otherwise engaged

I am still being a mom, still trying to be therapeutic and empathtic and all that jazz but every free minute I have is spent playing the dirt. Yes dirt, why dirt, well

because these have been in my bedroom for the last 12 weeks and they ( and their friends who have already left) need to find new homes in my garden. 
First they spend a little time on the front porch and come in at night. While they were waiting to be planted I tried to get the strawberry, rhubarb, blueberry, raspberry and asparagus patch in order, it is not done yet though this is just the finished part, you can see all the weeds to the left, 
The tomatoes will be planted with their friends here in my garden. They have a lot of friends – broccoli, cucumber, brussel sprouts, beans, carrots, beets, lettuce, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, garlic, chives, oregano, fennel, corn, zuchinni. peas, eggplant, basil, snow peas, peppers and squash. 
Not that we are very serious about growing our own food or anything, The weather is supposed to to be good between now and Monday so I’ll be in the yard till then, well that is when I am not teaching or trying not to yell at my kids. Don’t do anything to exciting while I am busy. 

May 19, 2011   5 Comments

I plead the garden

Please forgive me, I am up to eyeballs in food and that is a really good things but it is taking up every free minute of my day. I would rather blogging or commenting or something but I really need to be canning tomatoes. I love that the food is organic and feeds my family but getting it put away for the winter exhausts me some days and today is one of those days.

September 11, 2010   2 Comments

Distracted by bat houses

The last few days have been all over the map when it comes to behaviour around here and needless to say  I have been very frustrated. I will not even get into all the things that they have been up to because I would rather show what we did instead.

Hang on, I have to see what Fudge is talking, he says a grasshopper is giving birth….

Indeed there is a grasshopper laying eggs in our yard, it was very cool, I took pictures but they are on the other camera and I have to find the cord for that one.

Okay back to my need to distract my kids from their behaviours for awhile. They asked me yesterday if they could make a bat house, I said not right now. Then this morning as Calvin was refusing to eat his breakfast because he was mad at his Dad ( it was so not about the oatmeal) I decided to use the bat house as a motivator after we had finished talking about all the huge feelings he was having so that he would actually eat the said oatmeal and we could move on,


We went to the store and got the supplies, came home and went to work. You can build one, it is easy peasy.

here is all the stuff you need, some 1/4″ plywood, some scrap wood, glue, nails, caulking and a piece of plastic mesh. The plastic mesh can be hard to find, we took ours from the back of a roofing vent.
Trace around your mesh screen to make a front and a back. The front needs to be 1 inch shorter than the back.
I made them both the same size to start and then cut an inch off one of them after.

 Then I measured out the 2  long sides on the scraps of wood, you do not want them to be more than about 1/2 inch thick but their width does not matter.  I started the boys off with the cut and then let them use the hand saw.

Then I laid out wood on 3 sides ( some cutting mistakes were made by small people) and then we glued them down on top of the mesh so that mesh would held in place by more than just nails.

Then we put the top on so it looked like this

 Then I started the nails and the boys hammered them in. please ignore Calvin’s forehead, it appears he has impetigo and he got from the lake, yes it is gross, it looks way better now than it did earlier this week. I just noticed that both of the pictures are of Calvin working, Fudge did some too, honest.

The next step is to caulk all the seams as you want it to be air tight and waterproof, bats like heat. Then we cut a piece to go across the top to make it more durable and nailed it on. Once the caulking is dry we will paint the whole thing black and hang it in a tree. They say that the bats will climb through the opening and use the mesh to hang from.

While the caulking is drying I came inside to finish dealing with the garden bounty from today, tomatoes, beans, broccoli and kale all destined for the freezer or canning pot.

Now I am going finish writing on my children’s clothing and then we are going out for Pho. I will tell you more about the oatmeal, the Chinese water torture and the writing on t-shirts tomorrow along with pictures of that grasshopper because it was pretty cool.

PS Christine or Corey taught me to write on my kids clothing because they are awesome and creative like that, I just can’t remember who did it first so they will share the credit unless one of them fills me in.

PPS I can not explain the formatting in this post, stupid add captions options had a mind of it’s own today.

August 26, 2010   2 Comments

Busy with life

So we decided to finish the junk room this summer. There have been some pictures but I thought I would give you some good before and after shots. It really was a room full of junk much of had been there since before I lived in this house

We sorted and pitched lots of garbage. It was a long haul, especially since there was a another room full of junk that we also sorted and made into a cold room, just beyond the door in the picture above this one.

Look at what a few months, a lot of work and some creativity has done. That box on the wall hides the electrical panel. There is an outside door, a storage cupboard(wine rack) and lots of toy storage.

There is an entrance for the monkeys and an extra cupboard for toys and such, it still needs to be painted.

There is a family room space, I figured you didn’t need a picture of the TV, it’s a screen that makes noise and pictures.

There is a subliminal message for the kids on the wall.


I have also been processing food, lots of food, there are tomatoes of every type stored in every possible way.
There is fruit canned and waiting to be canned

and there are lots of green tomatoes waiting to be salsa. We had serious frost here this weekend
, we picked the tomatoes and turned on the heat. I won’t tell you what I found in the furnace when I changed the filter!
Oh and how could I forget, Fudge is 8! We had a video game party complete with Wii Remote cakes and homemade pizza – they were happy boys!
PS – we stil have a resident chipmunk, anyone got any humane ideas for getting him out?

October 13, 2009   No Comments

Spring has Sprung


It has taken awhile but spring is finally here out in the country! We had a great Easter weekend, this is from church on Sunday, Fudge is going through that “can’t not make a face stage” – I’ll embarrass him with them later in life.

We spent most of Sunday celebrating with friends in the city, it was a great day with tons of great food! Being Ukrainian is always a good thing during the holidays. It was inters ting to watch the boys work out what Easter meant in our house. Fudge had a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that we go church for Easter, a lot of church. He kept talking about the chocolate and the Easter bunny. P and I decided to keep the chocolate to a minimum and filled eggs with lego instead. They each got only as much chocolate as they could eat in a day without getting sick and that was the deal, it all had to be gone or it was mine. It also meant that they had to get really early if
they wanted to look for eggs before church – they did and it went well. They were hyper but it was all good and they had a lot of fun.

Calvin discovered that there is no Easter bunny, which is fine with me. He caught me filling eggs one day and the gig was up. We did have to make him stop teasing Fudge though because Calvin just couldn’t not tell Fudge that he was naive to believe in such a thing! He did not want to be reminded that just a few short weeks ago he still did. That being said they enjoyed the treats and now that it is over we are back to no white sugar and no candy – life is better that way.

Now that spring is here we are heading in to the garden season. I have things growing in the window upstairs and am dreaming of days in the garden. There are a few things that are already on their way. This is our asparagus patch, I started it last year from seed so we can’t harvest from it till next year but I am excited. We are also going to add some more crowns to it this year so that next year we can really enjoy it! ( I had to put my hand in the pic so that you could actually see the plant) We also have some Egyptian walking onions that came from JoVEs house last year, they are well on their as well.
Oh and I didn’t even tell you about the narrow misses on Friday, the boys are working on the theory of nine lives – I am sure of it.
The boys came thumping in to the house on Friday afternoon sobbing. Fudge fell and hurt his ankle. Fudge… how did you hurt your ankle? Jumping out of the barn windows he says calmly. The barn “windows” are the second story doors where one would throw the hay out into the barnyard below, it’s about 10 feet up. Let’s not talk about the fact that they are not allowed in the barn without an adult. Full of sympathy for the poor child I sent him back outside once I made sure he hadn’t broken it. Not 10 minutes later Calvin comes in screaming about how Fudge poked him in the eye with a stick. I know what your thinking, not really in the eye, Calvin is just being dramatic. That’s what I thought too, but no it actually did happen. Luckily for everyone Calvin closed his eye and Fudge hit his eyelid.
I think that childhood should be described as series of near misses.

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April 14, 2009   No Comments

Spring has Sprung


It has taken awhile but spring is finally here out in the country! We had a great Easter weekend, this is from church on Sunday, Fudge is going through that “can’t not make a face stage” – I’ll embarrass him with them later in life.

We spent most of Sunday celebrating with friends in the city, it was a great day with tons of great food! Being Ukrainian is always a good thing during the holidays. It was inters ting to watch the boys work out what Easter meant in our house. Fudge had a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that we go church for Easter, a lot of church. He kept talking about the chocolate and the Easter bunny. P and I decided to keep the chocolate to a minimum and filled eggs with lego instead. They each got only as much chocolate as they could eat in a day without getting sick and that was the deal, it all had to be gone or it was mine. It also meant that they had to get really early if
they wanted to look for eggs before church – they did and it went well. They were hyper but it was all good and they had a lot of fun.

Calvin discovered that there is no Easter bunny, which is fine with me. He caught me filling eggs one day and the gig was up. We did have to make him stop teasing Fudge though because Calvin just couldn’t not tell Fudge that he was naive to believe in such a thing! He did not want to be reminded that just a few short weeks ago he still did. That being said they enjoyed the treats and now that it is over we are back to no white sugar and no candy – life is better that way.

Now that spring is here we are heading in to the garden season. I have things growing in the window upstairs and am dreaming of days in the garden. There are a few things that are already on their way. This is our asparagus patch, I started it last year from seed so we can’t harvest from it till next year but I am excited. We are also going to add some more crowns to it this year so that next year we can really enjoy it! ( I had to put my hand in the pic so that you could actually see the plant) We also have some Egyptian walking onions that came from JoVEs house last year, they are well on their as well.
Oh and I didn’t even tell you about the narrow misses on Friday, the boys are working on the theory of nine lives – I am sure of it.
The boys came thumping in to the house on Friday afternoon sobbing. Fudge fell and hurt his ankle. Fudge… how did you hurt your ankle? Jumping out of the barn windows he says calmly. The barn “windows” are the second story doors where one would throw the hay out into the barnyard below, it’s about 10 feet up. Let’s not talk about the fact that they are not allowed in the barn without an adult. Full of sympathy for the poor child I sent him back outside once I made sure he hadn’t broken it. Not 10 minutes later Calvin comes in screaming about how Fudge poked him in the eye with a stick. I know what your thinking, not really in the eye, Calvin is just being dramatic. That’s what I thought too, but no it actually did happen. Luckily for everyone Calvin closed his eye and Fudge hit his eyelid.
I think that childhood should be described as series of near misses.

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April 14, 2009   No Comments

this is my life

get up ( in the dark!)
breakfast
lunches
school bus
can/dry/freeze veggies
feed myself
more veggies (see previous veggies)
pick up boys
veggies
dinner
reading
bed for boys
veggies
feed dogs
sleep
repeat
But it’s a great one, my life I mean but man it’s busy. So this is yesterdays haul from the garden ( not including the apples) and I have been canning and drying apples and making apple sauce. I made the fatal error of not picking zucchini for a few days, now we have zucchini big enough to use as baseball bats – lucky us!

We are drawing to a close on the garden season and I must say that as much as I love all the food in the winter I am ready to be finished with the canning for this year. Tragically the tomatoes have not done as well as I would have liked and so I have to make sauce because most of the tomatoes are cherry ones.

On another note I have discovered that losing ones wallet is a huge inconvenience, well I lost it but I know where I lost it and when I lost it but it is what the person who found it did with it that is causing the inconvenience because the person who found it did not bother to try and find me or leave it in a place where I could go and retrieve it but instead decided to take the money ( 12 bucks or so) and run – lucky me.

So that’s it, not to much else to say, I am hoping to make it to knitting on Thursday afternoon and perhaps I could take photos of some of the other things in my world beside just the veggies, but maybe not.

September 9, 2008   No Comments

what’s in a name

Earlier this week one of the social workers came over to talk about the boys and to have us sign some paper work. One of the things that she asked us about was names – what would be changing their last names to and did we want to change any of their other names ( they each have 3). I was sort of shocked because the boys are 6 and 8 – old enough to know all of their names and know that their birth mom named them. I hadn’t ever even considered changing anything about their names unless the children wanted to. One of the boys has the same middle name as P and that is kinda neat but I really would ever think of changing anything else – I even feel a little odd about changing their last names but a family with all those different last names would be a challenge

As a result I have been thinking about what a name means and our attachment or lack of attachment to a name. I have 2 names that I love but I know lots of people who could take or leave the name that their parents gave them – some people do. But I can’t imagine if my name were any different, I didn’t change my last name when I got married either and I do wonder how the boys will feel when they are older about their names? How does a name effect your self of identity or belonging? These boys have had a rough couple of years but does their name still provide a sense of belonging to their birthmom?

Of course I don’t have any answers but lots of questions! But to move on…

So it happened, we met the boys and it was great. They are fabulous small people, things where tense at first with the adults ( us, foster mom and social worker doing all the talking) but then P pulled out his cell phone to add a birthday in and that was it, they were won over by the technology and the rest of the visit went pretty well. We left on a good note with a request for us to bring a game next time and we will see them again tomorrow and then every other day this week. Transitioning is an interesting process – I would of assumed that it there was a bit of a standard procedure but there isn’t so the foster mom and I worked out what we thought looked reasonable and now that they know we aren’t monsters with 4 heads (no comments from the peanut gallery) I think that things will go well. I know how nervous and stressed I am about the whole thing I can’t even begin to imagine how they feel – especially since they have moves so many times already.

So my world revolves around the boys at the moment but in between the moments there are other things, like gardening and knitting – yes knitting! But I don’t have any pictures of my knitting, although I am almost finished Jeanie – like about an hour from being finished. Instead I offer you a HUGE potato from the garden, My hands are not very big but the potato was tough to hold, as you can see and I was impressed. Jove and I have picked a some already and I was forced to pick a few more last night because the puppy decided that she should have a nap in a nice shady spot, on the onions and under the potato plants – luckily for the puppy it was only one plant.

July 12, 2008   No Comments