Saturday, June 30, 2012

Appreciating Nature

I've been reading about permaculture.
The premise is not fighting nature, but observing and understanding.
It changes the way you grow things.
 I don't like this boys nature of gravitating towards computers and games.
But maybe I'll learn not to fight it so much.
Finding the balance.
Because look at him take off on his bike
and go on his own nature adventure.
Shares it with excitement and pride.
 There's so much to explore out here.
I notice how little our place looks
on this big prairie
 when we bike down these roads.
Filling our morning with peace
just being out in this nature,
its just my spirits way of being.
We each are small in this large world,
but we are all significant.
 I notice the roses in my front yard
so amazing they are
for which I've done nothing.
They just do their thing.
 I'm learning to not look at what needs to be done
in these scenes I capture.
I see what's happening
these kids growing, running, loving, learning.
Observing the nature of kids.
 Sometimes finding quiet at the chalkboard wall
 Growing tall and speaking real words
We hear shoes, eyes, out, off, rubber boots!
Doing the actions of the book.
Yes, its just their nature to learn and grow so fast.
(And yes is just the answer I give
when the kids say its hot, lets go to the beach!
Why fight a good thing?)

 And, all things in balance
after a quiet day at home together,
we invite friends over for the next.
 So good for people to share and eat together.
So good for kids to play in the outdoors together.
Of course they climb on bales,
It's another of my favorite childhood memories.

These permaculture thoughts might just make sense for more than growing gardens.
Sometimes we don't have to make things happen,
Sometimes nature just takes care of itself.
Observe and seek to understand is the first step.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Blade of Grass

It's Monday, which is hard to deal with sometimes after a 4 day long weekend that was fun and busy.  So I was REALLY late for work and I beat myself up.  Then, I realized I had forgotten to do something very important last week, and I beat myself up some more.  When I got home, I got mad at everyone for turning the house into a disaster.  How will I ever get unpacked when I can't even keep up with the daily stuff? 

But it's just life.  I connected with 3 women at a babyfood making class today and it was fun.  And after dishes were done, chick house was rebedded together, and the bikes were pulled out and we explored the roads together for the first time.  Tonight in the quiet, I enjoyed a smooth drink, popcorn and tried reading some W.S Merwin.  I wouldn't call myself a poetry person, but I like it occasionally.  Sometimes I don't get it, but this one got me (I hope its okay to share this one here?...).  From Migration...
What if I came down now out of these
solid dark clouds that build up against the mountain
day after day with no rain in them
and lived as one blade of grass
in a garden in the south when the clouds part in winter
from the beginning I would be the older than all the animals
and to the last I would be simpler
frost would design me and dew would disappear on me
sun would shine through me
I would be green with white roots
feel worms touch my feet as a bounty
have no name and no fear
turn naturally to the light
know how to spend the day and night
climbing out of myself
all my life
um, so stress just melted away.  I quit fighting whatever it was I was fighting.  Tomorrow will be even better.  I'm ready for bed now :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012


As I finished watering the garden tonight, the little sliver of a moon was shining over the red glowing chick house.  The week has been full of blessings and I feel like I'm glowing too.  I know I won't recap them all, but some of the moments my camera reminds me of...
 :: getting to meet baby Brielle.  We are so glad she is safely with us.  Scary births make us appreciate what precious little miracles these babies gifted to us are.
 :: I love all the cousin love these little people have for each other
 :: and seriously, what is more cool than a little burger place with a bunch of cars to play with after eating?!  I recommend the Burger Cabin in Moose Jaw for a great environment (the food, meh...)
 :: what a fun Grandpa that plays I Spy Eagle Eye!  And, I love these growing up little people that are excited about new things and being together.
 :: so crazy when family gets together and there is a long train of little people.  And that's without sister Kathy and her 3.  Yep, she had her baby last night and stole the guest of honor for today.  Too bad Grandma, missing out on your 60th birthday party!  We are so happy to know Kaitlyn is here!
 :: my little garden shortly into the morning of weeding.  Here I sometimes falter at counting blessings.  But I do have a plan of action into turning this into a much better, easy space.  It won't be the garden of my dreams this year, but we'll still get a good amount from it... I will be thankful :)
 :: and it will mean I spent lots of time in one of my favorite places. 
 :: sometimes baby feet and diapered bum in grass is just pure joy to me :) bruised knees and all.
 :: a walk down the lane to check out those wild roses I spotted last night...

 :: an evening at the beach unexpected, and it felt so comfortable to be somewhere so familar with so many good summer memories

:: and of course we run into friends

 :: and make a new friend

:: and last night we got to celebrate good things coming for the lovely Crystal and it was good to spend time with friends. 

::On the way home, driving down the #1, I think about my childhood friend who visited a few weeks ago, and she commented how cool it was that she can see the #1 from her house all the way in Calgary and here in Saskatchewan, I almost can too - we are so close.  Even when we are far away and we don't stay in touch all that much, our lives can so easily connect.  Its that way with so many in my life, that I can feel far away and disconnected, but its so easy to reach out.  I am always filled when I risk reaching. 

:: I feel filled, being thankful for all the precious babies, growing kids, friends and of course, gardens and chicks and our peaceful space :) 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Picnic Day

The idea of a picnic was so exciting.  I wished I was going, because I do have so many childhood memories of how much fun these picnics were.
 But sometimes you just have to send the kids for their own picnic to try to let the baby sleep in peace and quiet.  And, to get a moments peace yourself to try at least get the dishes done. 
It was really so much fun, regardless of the fact it took about 30 minutes to prepare for (because there really were so many ideas and so much excitement) and only gave me about 20 minutes of peace.

I am quite tired now of feeling like we are camping.  Try as I might to put the unpacking on the priority list, the boxes never seem to disappear and I'm not sure we'll ever get much farther along than we are at this point.  I suppose I started feeling like I was drowning today.  I made myself stay calm as I managed to tread water.  But really, can I ever make some movement down this long lane and reach the goal of having our HOME again. Pfft.  I'd really like to invite some friends over, but it just doesn't seem like a good idea yet.  Oh, soon, I hope.

However, there were lots of other successes today.  Mostly that we lived this day and loved it.  Homemade raspberry popsicles, moose pot roast supper, a start on the garden weeding, planting of more tomatoes, squash, lavender, thyme, peppers, fairy tales read on the picnic blanket, teaching the boy to clean the toliet, 3 loads of laundry completely done (yes, even put away with Kellen's help and Neve's, um, attempt at destroying helping), and at least 3 boxes unpacked.  Plus those chicks were checked on (and so far we haven't lost any) and I actually did have lots of fun being silly with the kids today.  Oh yes, now I remember ;) It was a great day and actually pretty productive as these days go with the constant "Mom!" callings and requesting and demandings.

Too bad Ian is in the garage replacing the oil pan on the car.  This is the fourth one.  I had said the Golf would not be a good car for us anymore on these gravel roads.  But, we do hate to give it up.  Ian thinks he'll build some sort of a skid plate for it.  Anyhew, I'm certain this fourth one will be the final and lucky oil pan for us ;)

And now, my time is up to go wipe down the bathroom after spraying the 1/2 hot vinegar/ 1/2 dish soap concoction that I see everyone raving about on pinterest...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden Success

I wondered if I'd mind the drive to town and back, again, and again... I'm thankful to find that I don't at all.  It's reflecting time.  Or preparation time.  Depending on what is ahead or behind me.  Today, as it poured on me all the way home, it was reflecting time.  I knew supper was being made at home.  (I have a good husband who knows many variations of ground moose one pot meals).

I cranked up the heat because my feet were wet and I tried to take the chill off.  My fingers were dirty even though I'd washed them before leaving work.  Wet feet and mud ground into fingers and nails being the result of planting a garden on a wet cold rainy day.  It started several weeks ago, talking to a group of youth about food security.  Today we took boards, dirt, compost, seeds, and tomato plants to a young girls house.  She had excitement about learning and enthusiasm to grow food.  She told us she was gifting the garden to her mom.  She drilled the screws in to make a box.  We layed down cardboard over weeds and grass.  We filled the box with dirt.  And we talked about seeds and growing things and eating vegetables.  She asked me if I'm a vegetable girl.  Oh, I am!  And a dirt girl.  I felt so alive being out there in the drizzle planting. And, sharing what I've experienced in my years of gardening with someone so keen, {Big Smile}, there are no words for the happiness.  I told her many times when I would answer a question or explain something, that's just the way I do it, but there are many different ways.  You will learn your own way from successes and failures.

I pray tonight that her little box garden with be successful and someone else might fall in love with gardening and growing food.  I ask for more wisdom to learn from my successes and failures.  I take the time to appreciate heart warming moments of sharing and enthusiasm.  One garden planted makes this day a success.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


The chicks arrived and brought lots of excitement.  Oh, the time we spent in that hot brooder house watching the little balls of fluff!  They are just so cute!  Kellen thought it was quite fun to turn them on their backs because they would do karate.  So we had to set some rules.  Lanelle reported that the rules are no karate and no pretending they are action figures.  Neve is enjoying them now, but oh, they made her mad when they would peck at her yellow rubber boots! 

 We are learning lots.  Thankful for books and friends to answer our questions.  We are learning to watch their behaviour to figure out if the temperature is good.  It was a little scary when the power went out for awhile during a thunderstorm and they were all huddled together in the middle of the room.  Hmm, guess we might need to think of a back up plan. 
 Lanelle is learning to be the "chick checker" (its more fun if we call it that :) and giving very informative reports.  She went out this morning in the rain and reported that 2 were sleeping under the light, lots were eating, they were spread out around the room, and they looked happy. 
 When I was sitting at the table with the kids while they colored and Kellen was practicing some writing, I felt inspired to try draw a chick, using the How to Draw Baby Animals book.  I usually only draw stick figures for the kids, so I was proud that I could follow the steps and get a pretty good lookin' bird on paper. Yep, its all about chicks these days!
We are on day 3 and haven't lost any yet.  I'm still trying to prepare myself, cause I know its pretty normal to lose some.  We went to the city today and I had to laugh at how concerned we were to get home and check on them.  So thankful that we are here and getting to experience this fun.  I love the learning and newness of it all.  Its wonderful to watch the kids experience this.  There has already been some talk of what happens to the "yellow ones" in the fall.  Lanelle says it makes her a little sad, but it seems to be accepted as the way it is.  And we focus on the brown ones that we'll be keeping for a long time :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bursting Hearts

Its difficult to share because I can't show you our bursting happy hearts.  The little stories don't convey how much we are loving everything here.  Plus the words don't really come when I'm so bone tired and wanting to be in my bed :)  But, here's a few snapshots of bursting heart moments captured.
 Kids always so dirty.
Lots more smiles and less whinning. 
This littlest one is always wanting to keep up with the big ones and be outside with them.
My heart fills even fuller watching the work of getting ready for chicks.  Thankful for the new "Acreage Ian" as I call this man who is enjoying all the work.  
 And I laugh so hard at the girl in the robe and many hair clips and beads who goes adventuring so far into some unknown trees that we have to search for her.  What a free spirit she is.
Constantly talking to herself, telling her stories to no one in particular.
 Watching to see what the dog will do with a baby bird found lost on the road.
Loving the amazing evening skys outside my windows.  And my heart loved it even more when Kellen sighed tonight watching the sunset and hearing him saying thanks for moving here and for how beautiful it is.

Just a few moments of the many that are filling our hearts to overflowing.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Playing Life

We are alive.
Living in chaos.
Feeling relaxed.
Arms wide out.
Loving these skys.
Loving this land.
Getting used to picking ticks.
Running barefoot.
Often in pajamas.
Sometimes in tutus.
(okay, the last two are pretty much just Nellie.)
 Slowly unpacking.
 Mixing the old with this new.
Hanging out at the beach.
After a day at work and school.
The usual life.
Waiting for soccer practice.
 Enjoying an elk roast from the crockpot.
Crunching on some freshly picked spinach.
Running to the garden to pick rhubarb.
Me loving the enthusiastic help.
Love this life that is feeling an awful lot like play.