Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I love parade day!

Here's to some more celebrations around the corner, July 1st (hurrah for Canada Day) and July 4th (yay Independence Day). I'll throw in our trip to BC tomorrow and my Aunts birthday and I'm all set for cake, fireworks and family. Pretty sweet long weekend.

Here's hoping you all have a chance to soak in the festivities where you are.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Our first, official, Unplugged Sunday

I read about an interesting idea over on this blog last week.

What is Unplugged Sunday?: "It's about setting aside one day a week to enjoy nature, each other, and all things slow and unplugged."

I love the concept and really, we do a modified version of it often. Not as often as once a week but I talked it over with my family and so far they're on board. At least until football starts...

Our first unplugged Sunday started out with a drive south to the Strawberry Lakes. These are small lakes, not lakes at all really. I wanted to check them out and maybe walk around, see if there was a launching area for the kayak. But we couldn't get close. There weren't any roads that weren't soaking wet and the bugs were really bad. So we drove around for a few hours.

We did pass a long lake called Deep Lake just south of town. It apparently isn't deep at all (just over 10 feet at the deepest spot). We were able to find a road that I could use to get the kayak into the water. I'm pretty excited about checking it out! The kids were excited to get out of the truck, especially the big one!

We saw a blue heron and countless (I really mean it!) hawks. It was a beautiful day, windy and bright. Just about perfect!

B found the Indian Head Shooting Range just up the road a bit and spent some time checking it out. It looks beautiful and peaceful (no one was there).

I found a few photo worthy things around too (I always do)...

I think this picture represents the prairies for me. A crazy, big, impossibly blue sky, green, green grass blowing in the wind, and colour, eye popping, surprising colour (lichen covered rocks, so orange and fun)...

I could go on, but I'll save it for another post... I really enjoyed our Sunday away from the computer, tv, phone and other gadgets. I'm already planning another trek (this time with trails and a map)!

Cheers :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

getting ready

Last night we were getting ready for parade day today...

I'm getting ready to visit home next weekend...

And knitting... always knitting...

Happy Saturday..!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WIPs - Adrift

I've been slogging away on this lightweight sweater pattern by Carol Feller for the last week. It's slow going because it's sock weight yarn knit on 3.75mm needles. Lots and lots of stockinette.

I like it though, it's mindless and simple and oddly meditative. Kind of what I'm looking for right now.

The pattern is called Adrift and there are almost 250 projects on Ravelry. I really admire a few example which you can see linked on the bottom of my Rav project page, here. I'm not making any mods so far, although my gauge is off (too small) and the yarn I'm using is a sock not a lace weight. I'm knitting the smallest size and trying it on as I go so I'm holding on to faith and simple math that everything will work out.

The yarn I'm using is Malabrigo Sock in Black. I like working with Malabrigo and one day I'll branch out and work with the worsted weight.

I'm also getting impatient about some yarn I ordered (I have 3 or 4 orders held up somewhere in the postal system). I don't know whether it's politically correct to be thankful that the postal workers are being legislated back to work (especially because I'm only waiting for yarn) but there you have it. I ordered some Sanguine Gryphon and I've never used it before. I have the perfect pattern lined up and I can not wait to get started!

Hope your Thursday is a good one (Thursday's are my Friday at work so it's always a good day for me)!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the strength of silence

I've always been opinionated. And vocally so. I like to think that makes me a strong person. Someone who knows her mind and speaks it.

Today I was left wondering if maybe those who sit quietly and listen are stronger.

Someone told me this morning that she finds sitting back and listening to others helps her stay open minded and at the same time grounds her even further in her faith and beliefs. She doesn't feel the need to tell everyone what she thinks. She doesn't need validation that her opinion matters to others. It matters to her and that's enough.

I found that really profound.

I've never been afraid to assert my opinion and sometimes drown out others with the strength of my convictions.

I never thought that to be able to do that, someone else is sitting back and just listening.

I'd like to be that person who listens more.

That's pretty strong...

I'm working on it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

So my solstice looks like this...

This is what my neighbours garden looks like, only feet away from my own (which isn't under water yet)...

Seriously since Friday we've gotten over 5 inches of rain. So much that everything is flooding again.

There's water in my basement... again...

Roads are closed and people are stuck out on their farms... again...

The rain is supposed to fall all day today but maybe not tomorrow...

Okay summer... anytime now...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Congrats Superstar on awards night last week! You made the honour role (yahoo!) and you were up on stage for Basketball, Volleyball, Drama, Track, SRC, SADD, and I'm sure I'm missing something. Sorry! Anyway, we're so proud of you! Wow!

Take a nice relaxing summer break and then, keep up the hard work and volunteering!

 The next night was band concert and your play! Band was about as thrilling as it always is...

But the play! You kids did a play called "ths phne 2:0: the next generation". It was hilarious! You were awesome! Great! Epic! Your role of Ms. Noosum was funny and cute. I loved it!

Congrats on an amazing grade 7 year! What a spash you've made at high school this year! I can't wait to see what you get up to next year!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

Hi everyone. I thought I'd share my favorite rhubarb recipe with you today. I'm pretty lucky to have a very old (and big) rhubarb patch in my garden. We've always had rhubarb when I was growing up. I used to dip a stalk in sugar and munch away loving the sweetness of the sugar and the sour of the rhubarb. It's also the first fruit that's ready to pick in the spring.

This year I've already harvested about 38 cups of rhubarb and put most of it in the freezer (except for 10 cups to make this bar, I doubled the recipe and made 2, one for us and one for the Medieval Feast). This is just the first harvest too. I'll get one more later in the summer.

Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

I got this recipe off of but I tweaked it so much that it really doesn't resemble the original. I love Rhubarb and when it comes up in my garden I make sure to make this bar. My family loves it and a 9x13 pan doesn't last long around here. It's a great way to use a lot of Rhubarb and frozen works just fine too (drain the excess moisture though before starting the filling).

Makes 24 bars

1 cup chopped walnuts (or sub your favorite nut)
2 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup cane or Muscovado sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 cup butter

5 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup cane or Muscovado sugar (I've also used honey)
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. For the Crust combine all the ingredients until crumbly.

3. Put half the crust into a lightly greased 9x13 pan (sometimes I use parchment paper) and pat firmly. Bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned.

4. Meanwhile put all the filling ingredients in a pot except the vanilla and over med-high heat bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. When the sauce is thickened stir in vanilla.

5. Pour sauce over the baked crust and top with the remaining crumb mixture.

6.  Bake for 20 more minutes.

7. Cool (I place in freezer for 20 minutes) and slice into bars.

I added a Recipe Page to the top of the blog for easy reference. Feel free to tweak this to use what you have, subbing white flour and sugar if you want.

Sometimes I make extra filling. It's fabulous over vanilla ice cream! Yum!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Plant Hunting

I finally made it to U & K Greenhouse on Saturday. I love wandering around the flowers and vegetables looking for something new and grabbing a few of my favorites.

I picked out a ton of Tomatoes! We have beefsteak and cherry, red ones and orange ones. I love fresh picked tomatoes and hopefully this year we'll have lots! I also grabbed 12 cucumber pants because we love those too.

I got some herbs to add to my flower pots this year. I bought Sweet Basil and Thai Basil (very purple!) and Thyme and Sage. I'm also growing Peppermint in it's own pot. I love using herbs in my cooking and can't wait to use them fresh.

The flowers I bought this year are a mix of old standbys and some new pretties that caught my eye. I have a mix of Petunias and some pink and white Geraniums. I also planted some basket stuffers with white blossoms called Diamond Frost Euphorbia, Snow Princess Alyssum, and Robe White Nierembergia. I have lots of purple in my garden in the spring with all the Irises so I was in the mood for some cool white. I bought some lilac and white variegated Heliotrope and a lovely tall flower called Stock in pinks and purples.

My pots are looking good, all freshly planted. I know as the season moves on they'll fill out and explode with colour.

I'm definitely getting more hanging baskets next year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The start of something wonderful

That's what I think when I look out at my finally planted garden.

I've planted potatoes and beans, peas and carrots, zucchini and Hubbard squash, lots of swiss chard and some beets. There is lettuce and dill and parsley too. Along the fence are my raspberry canes. We have 4 sweet little canes coming up this year. At the far corner is my rhubarb patch. It looks like someone was out hacking at it (I promise to post a few rhubarb recipes for you this week).

Around the corner in my front flower bed live my tomatoes and cucumbers. I also planted 3 pumpkin seeds. I sure hope they come up!

I always love the start of gardening season. I love how green and fragile the new seedlings are. I love the promise of yummy veggies for our table. I also love the weeding (I need to get on those dandelions!).

I know that as the summer ripens and so do my plants, chores like weeding and harvest will lose their shine.

I know that by the end of fall, I'll be glad to put the garden to rest.

I know that today, I'm in love with this space.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Goodbye Cleanse!

I'm done! Today is my last day! Thank goodness!

I'm tired of smoothies for breakfast and pureed soup for supper.

I want a toasted bagel with tomato and basil. I can't wait to have a cup of coffee and chocolate! Oh my! Chocolate! Maybe a small glass of red wine too! Oooh... I'm having a moment here!

Goodbye smoothies...

I'll probably continue taking the vitamins until they're gone though.

And the big spinach/chicken/cucumber/walnut/quinoa/avocado salads for lunch were pretty awesome :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Out Wenching

Yup, that's what I did last night.

Sometime ago I volunteered to help out some friends at a fundraiser they were putting on to raise money for a new Splashpark in our town. They were staging a Medieval Feast complete with food, entertainment and later in the evening a Cabaret. I thought it would be fun to dress up and serve trenchers of Cornish Hens and baked potatoes to the hungry hordes. And it was!

I got to put my Wandering to the test and it worked very well with the wench outfit I was given.

This Rice Crispie Square Castle was lots of fun. It even had some knights and a dragon. It was completely devoured by all the kids. A definite hit.

Scott's outfit was pretty funny. I have no idea how he didn't knock all the drinks over with his gargantuan sleeves. That Pepsi fridge isn't exactly fitting with the theme though is it?

My friend Sheryl is a very fine knitter and she donated some beautiful hand knits to be auctioned off. I am so stunned by her amazing purses! They're just beautiful. Fingerless mittens are all the rage and these green ones are cute and soft. She's got a fine hand at turning out a Marley Topper too.

One the best parts of the night was watching Erin get sawed by the magician Chester. He did such a good job making the audience laugh and Erin played along too.

I'm not quite sure how much money they raised but I know if they do this again I'm so there! What a great night!

Friday, June 10, 2011

FO - Wanderlust

I finished something! Yay! I've been loving this pattern Wandering the Moor forever. I've blogged about it and finally I've knit the shawl.

The first yarn I tried knitting it with did nothing for me so I frogged it and put the idea of Wandering away for a few months... Then as I was stash diving one day I realized I had 4 skeins of Rowan Felted Tweed in a rich chocolate brown called Phantom. I love Felted Tweed and thought "well heck! Why I don't I just use what I already have?" So I did.

I wore Wandering to work today and love it! I'm already planning to make another. Maybe in a brighter colour this time. I'm really pleased with the way this shawl turned out. It's the perfect size and it's so soft.

If you'd like to check out my project details you can find them here.

If I can get my butt in gear I'll have another FO to share this week too! I can feel my knitting mojo coming back!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last hurrah

This past weekend I went to Camp Lutherland with the Pathfinders and Rangers for our District Camp. It was a Pirate theme and I had fun!

The Superstar and I were there setting up tents at 5:30pm and by later that night we had a regular tent city happening...

We had a very nice indoor campfire the first night with everyone (minus the very little girls).

The girls got to tie dye buffs in their patrol colours and pig out on rice crispie squares and hot chocolate.

Saturday was filled with activities from beading Pirate Doohickies (you know, like the ones Captain Jack Sparrow has in his hair), to playing field games and of course eating. Followed by dishes... It was a bitter cold day with almost no sun. The best thing about the cold was it chased away the mosquitoes.


Sunday was a bright and hot day (thank goodness!) and the older girls got some outdoor cooking in for breakfast. I really wish I could have had bacon and eggs too but I'm still on my cleanse so I brought a big cooler full of my own food. It wasn't as satisfying as a good hobo breakfast though!

Camp ended with a big circle and some prizes and songs. And of course pictures of your buddies.

I had a great time at my last camp. I'm not leading next season so this was bitter sweet for me.

Thanks for the great memories ladies!

Out with the old and in with the new

As I mentioned in my last post, we got a new camper last summer. I've been ready for an upgrade for ages. I loved the freedom that the...