Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Sweaty and happy after working in the garden; sitting back and watching our kidletts play in the yard.

Daddy's version of 'wash the baby.'

Elias playing 'dentist.'

Our new favourite park ~ Quarry Street for the win!

Nick scaled this seemingly 'unscalable' rock, so of course Ru had to join him at the top!

The rhubarb/ raspberry patch, when they were planted they were only 4 inch sapplings. We have plans to add two more beds to the left of this one along the fence line. One will contain more raspberries, the other sunflowers and 'sunchokes' aka Jerusalem Artichokes for a splash of colour and fun for the kids!

The berry patch, closest to the tree are 'honeyberries' although half dead I got them for cheap and hope they come back in the spring. The foreground are the huckleberries and I think two blue berries. The large green bush on the far back right is the goosberry bush (the largest one) for being so new it had a good yield of 6 berries this year.

The grafted 4 kinds apple tree, Nick pinched off the two apples it was starting to allow the tree to put its effort into growing strong root structure.

Ruby helping Daddy fix the wheel on the wheel barrow.

'Black' Russian tomatoes waiting to ripen!
Eli being a 'goomba.'

My Hawaiian Princess!

I LOVE this one!

More tomatoes!

Still MORE!

We planted the 6 plants FAR too close together, they've produced beautifully but they are a tangled jungle mess. They bushes are so laden with fruit that the branches were touching the ground. I had to get Nick to help me make a jumbled lattice of twine to keep the fruit from touching the ground where it could rot before it even ripens.

After the first frost I'll take the machete to the ferns and mulch up what I can, then I'll cover them with a tarp for the winter to stop photosynthesis, come spring it is here in half moon shape that I will start my 'edible hedge.'

Same mulching and covering here to make a raise strawberry bed!
In the foreground is the centre of the three maple trees we had cut down. Just on the other side of the house is the neighbour's maple. I'm quite happy we had the gumption to cut the trees down or the backyard would have been VERY dark and virtually unusable.

Gypsy's favourite spot.

Cooking up our first batch of bacon from our side of pork. It was DELICIOUS!
It had a lovely colour and light smoke flavour, infinitely better than the conventional commercial bacon with to me tastes of nothing but chemicals.

Hashbrown taters grown in our own garden!

Call me ridiculous but it's fun to open meat from brown butcher's paper!
Small grape tomatoes (Ruby's fave) and two smaller Black Russians. The difference in flavour is unmistakeable! The 'grape' variety being crisp with a hint of citrus. The Black Russians are deep rounded, robust flavour, unlike anything I've ever tried, they too were delicious!
Smaller onions from the garden and 5 jars of pickled beets, grown in our garden that Nick helped me can last night! YUMMY! Have plans next week to can some peaches and make some 'Carrot Pepper' Salsa!

Friday, August 24, 2012

She's Got A Ticket To RIDE!

Well watch out people! The kids and I have joined the world of 'cyclists.' Yep, I finally got my bike and the kiddie bike trailer up and running! ( With Nick's help of course because I couldn't seem to figure out the damned tire pump... and yet when I watched him do it, it was nothing like the instructions he gave me... wonder why I couldn't get it to work?...hmmmm....)

Anyway, I was leary about using it because all the guide lines say to wait until the children are well over a year old. Something to do with their very soft spines and bumps compressing the vertabrae etc. Elias is walking around now like king tut! I don't have far to travel and the Valley has excellent painted bike lanes on all major roads. So I figured why not?

This all started because I have signed Ruby up for preschool and gymnastics starting in September. Trying to be the ever diligent mother I decided that the three of us (Myself, Ruby and Elias) needed to start practicing getting up and at 'em in the morning. Usually we wake up well before 7am, but to get the three of us up, fed, me showered, them dressed and out the door at 8:30 am at the very latest is no small feat! Then I timed how long it would take us to walk the six blocks to 'school.'

 We left at 8:28 after SEVERAL set backs, including; not eating breakfast (either child), Ruby not getting dressed, Elias not wanting his shoes on and me cursing as I shoved his tiny fat feet into them. Leaving Ruby naked and screaming at the top of the stairs as I carried the screaming Elias down the stairs and threatened to leave everybody home while I went out by myself for a latte. Then when I finally coaxed Ruby into clothes, hair combed, shoes on, we got down to the garage only for me to realize Nick had left the new buggy in the back of the truck. SHITE! No bother I'll just continue to use our old cheap buggy that is falling apart. Out the door and the dog is whining... Ruby has left her locked out on the front porch. RACE back inside and let her in, FINALLY get moving at 8:28 and walk as FAST as I can (with a 2 year old also walking) up to the school~ made it there for 8:49. School starts at 9. GREAT! I can DO this!

Put the bike together that evening and the next morning we started it all over again... kids still didn't eat, but there was much less screaming involved. Left the house at 8:21 and arrived at 8:27!! YESSS! 6 whole minutes to ride us! I nearly DIED but we did it! So we played at the park for a bit and then we rode into town for some milk. It was glorious! Wind in our faces, scenery flying by! What would have taken me ALL morning to walk there and back took me only minutes! We were home for 10:15!

Elias hates his bike helmet but he's fine once we get moving. I am loving it now, but I may change my tune once the wet weather sets in. That said I was able to pick up some great light weight rain gear at Costco, the buggy has a built in rain shield which will keep the kids dry for the few minutes it'll take us to make pick ups and drop offs.(I store the bike and trailer in the garage) The only thing I'll need is some waterproof mascara!

Nick has been working mega overtime and it's beginning to wear on me. I do love the extra funds but it still makes for an awfully long day with the wee ones and then the 'to do' list just gets further and further behind. So I've taken to writing 'memos' on my new touch cell phone. At least I can make a list and not get so far behind I won't know where to start.

I've been thinking a lot about what should be done for the garden next year. Nick has already dug out the potatoes, we have a good 20 lbs of them and we nearly left them too long as some had to be thrown out because the worms were starting to make homes for themselves. The beans are also done for the year. Carrots are just waiting for when I need them. The tomatoes I have stopped watering so that they will begin to ripen. Ruby helps herself everytime we're in the back yard! I'd like to pickle half of the beets (sweet pickled beets are excellent in salads!)  but that is another of the things on the 'to do' list that I need Nick to be home for... we'll get there!

I have been researching Hardy Kiwi vines. Interesting to know that both a male and female vine is necessary to propagate fruit. The only problem being that one will not know until the vines flower in the spring whether or not you have both sexes. In any event apparently it is best to start them in pots for the first few years to ensure good root structure before planting and still, once planted, it takes several years for fruit to develop. So much for kiwi's next year!

I have decided on doing a 'edible hedge,' as outlined by Lee Reich in his book, 'A Homeowner's Guide - Landscaping with Fruit.' It includes a back row of saskatoon berry bushes, ( 3 ft high) a middle row of red currant bushes flanked by Nanking cherry bushes and a front row of strawberry plants. It should be a delightful display of varying green leaves, and red fruit! At the moment I have two places in mind to put it, in front of the shed/compost bin to hide the unsightly, and behind the swing in the north east corner. In future I might do another somewhere in the south west corner just for fluidity but that is much later when more raised beds are established.

Also have ideas to put in two more long raised beds along the back fence, there by extending the raspberry bed. The sapplings sprang up so quickly and made for  quick privacy foliage between yards. I think we've decided on another raspberry/rhubarb bed and also some sun flowers for the kids. I have since discovered a book published by 'Lone Pine,' titled, 'Vegetable Gardening for British Columbia' written by Laura Peters. In it she identifies a root vegetable or 'tuber' called the 'Sunchoke' aka 'The Jerusalem Artichoke.'  Laura writes, "Sunchokes, of the sunflower family, are native species that develop edible tubers, which taste like artichokes, radishes or waterchesnuts, depending on who is describing the flavour."

In any event they have gorgeous tall yellow flowers looking much like a yellow daisy, they will give a spot of colour in the garden as well as being edible!

She also writes about, 'Asparagus Peas' a delicate plant with a history that shows it was known to be cultivated as far back as 1569. Since then it is largely wild and under appreciated. Apparently it is neither asparagus-like nor pea-like but gets its name from the small red flowers which resemble pea blossoms. She writes, "The pods are good steamed or stir-fried, alone or with other vegetables or as a substitute for green beans."

Through my readings I have come across many varieties of vegetables that simply do not appear in our grocery stores. Like; round yellow cucumers, purple peppers, blue potatoes, candy cane beets etc. Many, many things which I would LOVE to grow and present at my table. A cornicopia of rainbow coloured veggies! Sounds like heaven to me!

We also watched a wonderful documentary on Netflix. I wasn't really into watching it but Nick threw it on anyway knowing FULL well that it would draw and captivate my attention. Called, "The Queen of the Sun," it is a documentary on the honeybee. Or rather human kinds decimation of the honeybee. It featured many beekeepers, entomologists, physicists, and scientists galore, and included many countries around the world. I'll try not to spoil it but, some of the intriguing and saddening/maddening parts included; killing the bees with our pesticide use, artificial insemination of queen bees, (I know ~ what has humanity come to?) and human kinds complete and utter reliance on the one MAJOR pollinator of our food supply. Worth an hour of your time for sure! I have to admit I got fairly misty eyed when one German (I think) bee keeper talked about the 'circle of life' of both bees and humans intertwining, he was so poetic in his 'must think of the correct english word' speaking that it brought me to tears. Then I started laughing at myself... like really? I'm crying over honeybees? Where's a tissue? No, I'll just go outside and hug a freakin' tree. I'm SUCH a hippie!

I'll post some pics tomorrow.

Please give this documentary a look see. I'd LOVE to know your opinions. Did it inform you? Anger you?  Move  you to action? What will you do differently?

Hope to hear from you faithful readers!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

So...where's the pig?

Had another AWESOME week! Aunty Chantelle came up for a visit with little cousin Evie! They arrived on Monday and stayed in our chaos until Wednesday. Nick went up to Port McNeill, but Chantelle and Evie kept us company for at least the first two days of him being gone.

We walked into the village, played at the park, got a coffee, did some window shopping and then headed to Filberg Park for the petting zoo and picnic under the wonderful shade of the trees.

On the way home we got some gelato while Eli slept. It was so wonderful to have company!

They left Wednesday morning before the heat picked up. Funny how I was just thinking that summer was winding down and then we have an enormous heat wave! It reached 30 degrees outside, which meant that it reached 40 degrees in my living room. It was unbearable at times.

Wednesday the kids and I headed south in the afternoon to Buckley Bay. There we went to 'Renegade Ranch' to pick up a side of pork. I had posted on the Facebook Comox Valley 'Farmers Market' page, where just as the name suggests there are local artisans, farmers and the like exchanging and selling goods. Anyway I had commented on a post from a woman waaaay back in late June but only just received a reply as she hadn't seen my message. She stated that she had one small side of pork left, only 82 lbs, and she needed it gone so she gave me a deal.

I made the mistake of telling Ruby that we were going to pick up a pig.... um ya, apparently two year olds are literal?

So we pull up and it is as ranches and farms are, invarious states of interrupted half finished projects. Tractors, fencing, tools, trucks, feed etc, etc. But we were greeted by a friendly dog and a black horse. The woman came out and was quite personable, she'd just had a baby 8 weeks previous and was adjusting to life with two children on a working ranch. ... Had to explain to Ruby that the pig was in the boxes...bit of an awkward conversation!

For $230 we picked up 82 lbs of pork in 3 boxes. Not completely 'certified organic' but well fed and local! The lady also said they had sides of beef and chickens available. Nick will be going hunting next month so we'll be stocked for red meat when he gets home. But I told her we'd be very interested in the chickens.

Nick and his brother will be going up to their Uncle Shane's property near McBride and hunting once the season opens late next month. This season looks rather promising as that area is abundant with life. Elk are 'six points' or better, (counting the tines on the antlers), moose are open with the purchase of a 'tag,' as are mule deers and I think even black bears. My preference is Elk, Moose, Black Bear and then Mule Deer coming in quite last. In any event he'd better come home with something or I'll be skinning HIM for supper!

We've also been reading up on 'U-Slaughter' which is a method in which we the purchaser assist the rancher or farmer in the slaughtering of our own chickens (or other such meat.) The trouble with our resources is that the books are mainly American and thus their laws differ quite widely. Much of what is entailed is that we purchase the animals live and then assist in the slaughter and processing for a slightly lesser cost. Still have some investigating to do. Will keep you posted.

Last year we purchased 18 birds from a local grocer in Port McNeill. Three whole birds were put in a bag and the bags were on special for the weekly deal. Nick spoke to the Meat Department Manager and we put in an order for 6 bags. It being our first go it took Nick and I three hours (6 'man' hours total) to process the chickens and vacuum pack them. Nick cut them up, sorted the cuts on cookie sheets and I packaged them into portions with our vacuum sealer. We even made some homemade (and gluten free) teriyaki sauce and bbq sauce for marinades. In the end we basically were purchasing boneless skinless chicken breasts for less than $2.99 per pound as opposed to the near $8.99 per pound from the store. For such a small amount of time it seems worth it. Especially since now we should be able to shorten the processing time. What we're looking for is a rancher/farmer who would let Nick assist in the slaughter, which includes the killing, evicerating and plucking of the birds. We'd then take the whole fresh birds home and once the kids were asleep start our own processing.
I can imagine many an eyebrow is raised reading this, but we don't mind doing it for the savings, the knowledge and the connection to our food. And yes once the kids are older we definitely plan on involving them. Our belief is that one should know where their food comes from or at the very least understand that the chicken on one's plate was once a leaving breathing creature, but I digress...

After picking up our pig, we hit Walmart on the way home. The usual diapers, wipes, formula, etc. But I also had the fun of helping Ruby pick out her new backpack, pencil case, lunch box and new t shirt for preschool which starts in a few short weeks! She was SO excited we went home and she packed it full or Lord knows what, then proudly came into show me and announce, "I'm ready! Let's go to school now Mum." Too cute!

I unpacked the truck; pig, diapers, wipes etc and put it in the garage. Then I took the kids out of the truck and put them into the play room which is slightly cooler than the rest of the house. Once they were occupied I set about putting the pork into the freezer. We have several different sized hams, chops, ribs, steaks, bacon, breakfast sausages, sausage patties etc all nicely wrapped in brown butchers paper.

Then I removed several plastic bags from the boxes, one was of some fat for rendering, one of trim (more fat), then came the heart and tongue, ham hock, two feet and finally half a snout and one ear. Gives new meaning to the phrase, " the only thing you can't eat is the 'oink.'".... Nick has in his magnificent and ever growing library on 'self sufficiency' a butchers book cheekily entitled, "The Odd Bits."  I have to say that I am a little bit intrigued. 'Excited' is too strong a word, but 'intrigued' seems to convey my openness to at least trying some of the lesser eaten parts. Some of the recipes in the book sound absolutely delicious even if we're talking about pigs feet.... In any event we shall see and I will blog about it~ just don't tell Nick :)

It was so STINKING hot, the kids and I were melting. Elias has had his molars bugging him and at 5 to 5 when we walked in the door, I had NO idea what I was making for dinner. So I made PBJ's with some apples and yogurt. I felt like a terrible mother but the kids didn't seem to complain!

I've been trying to teach the kids to put themselves to sleep, instead of the near hour long ridiculousness that has been going on for months. By and large it has been working and I've been a stickler for 7:30 as bed time. That way a half hour of fussing (ok screaming bloody murder) means they should both be asleep for 8pm and I can still have some semblence of a life once they're asleep.

Thursday morning we were up and at 'em for our first playdate!!!!!! We met Hannah 3, and Dylan 10 months at Ruby's dance class. Their Mum Kim and I have hit it off and so we set up a play date. We arrived at 9:30 am and time FLEW while all the kids were having such fun, they girls got on IMMEDIATELY! It was wonderful to have a friend to talk to! So we are reciprocating this Monday morning... I have tomorrow to get the house respectable after a week without Nick to help me!

Friday was not the greatest day, we stayed home so I could put some laundry away and it was again so hot the house was a sauna. I was quite fatigued by it, so was Eli. Caught myself cat napping several times and had to really push myself to get up off the couch which rarely happens. Ruby wouldn't eat anything so I just tried to keep up with liquids. She ended up being rather bored despite my best efforts and spent more time in trouble for purposely squishing, smacking and generally beating up her brother. I was happy when the day was over and Nick came home at 10 pm! Poor guy he'd worked 15 hours of OT in one week!

Saturday we packed up the kids and headed to Parksville. One of Nick's favourite cousins is Candice. Born just 10 days apart the two were quite fond of each other growing up. Candice met and married her Australian husband at just 19 and has lived in Tasmania ever since. She has two lovely children Evelyn 10 and Malakai 8.  Candice has travelled up to spend 4 months here on the island before returning home, packing up (again) and moving the family to Boston for a one year posting. (Her hubby Paul is interestingly employed by the Australian military as a food scientist) The last time we saw Candice is when she was here for the summer 3 years prior and I was largely pregnant with Ruby. She invited us to spend the day at Beach Acres in Parksville (an hour south) where Candice's family owns a cabin.

We got the kids ready, packed up bathing suits, diapers, towels, bottles, water, snacks, blah blah blah. Nick goes to pack up the truck... can't find his keys... I had them last.... hmmmm....Truck is actually unlocked so I reach in to the diaper bag and pull out my own keys to use. Nick is 'oh so impressed' that I used his keys because I 'misplaced' my own keys and then subsequently 'misplaced' his keys, only to find the original keys while his remain 'misplaced.' Ahem.

 Insert key into ignition and CLICK! Nothing happens. Nick standing by the passenger door is again 'oh so amused' that I'd left the Sirius radio on for three days and now the battery is dead. I smiled and fluttered my eye lashes. It had no effect.

He took off his sunglasses, narrowed his eyes and with clenched teeth said, "New RULE! If you 'misplace' your own keys you are NOT to use mine, you simply forfeit the priviledge of driving. SECONDLY, go to the neighbours and ask for a jump."

I laughed, attempting to make the situation lighter but he really wasn't amused. So I sauntered over to the neighbours and she came to rescue us, kids in tow. Quick jump and we were off and running. I told Nick we'd swing by the gas station and I'd buy him a coffee to make up for it.

Got to the gas station, I told him to look in my purse for change... he told me not to turn off the truck....I stuck my tongue out at him while he rooted round in the bottom of my purse.... I didn't have any change.... he reached into his own pocket and sighed.... I kept the truck running..... he returned and handed me a rather large coffee through the window, keeping the smaller coffee for himself.... I raised an eyebrow.... he climbed in, placed the small cup in the holder, put on his seat belt and shut his eyes as he explained that before he'd realize what he'd done he'd poured the cream into the larger cup, there by thoroughly and completely ruining his morning.

And I ~ being the dutiful, loving and demure wife that I always am ~ BURST. OUT. LAUGHING!

Infact, I laughed so hard I couldn't drive, there were tears in my eyes!!! I'm STILL chuckling! Ppor guy was SO tired he didn't even have the energy to laugh at himself, which is highly unlike him!

Along the highway, Ruby kicked off her flip flops. Desparate to get them back on she asked Nick in the passenger seat to reach them. He turned around but could only reach one, telling her she'd have to wait until we stopped to get the other one.

In her most grown up voice she responded with, "Well then Daddy, put down your coffee and try again."

THEN he laughed! (And managed to reach the other shoe!)

We spent the first part of the afternoon at the beach. Nick took Gypsy, Malakai and Evelyn to swim in the ocean. With the tide out it is nearly a kilometre walk! Eli and I spent a bit of time wading in the tidal pools but he just kept eating sand so eventually I packed up the buggy and started heading out to meet our party. Back at the cabin we had some lunch, Nick and Eli had a nap, Ruby followed Evelyn around like a little puppy dog! We swam in the pool, hung out and BBQ'd some turkey burgers. I bathed up the kids, put them in their jammies and had a lovely drive home chatting about everything and nothing. The day had been overcast and much cooler, so the house was pleasant to sleep in.

It is lovely to see Candice, she and I have always gotten on well. We are planning perhaps to visit them in Boston next year. Nick might just have enough Aero plan points that we could all fly for free. Boston is only 5 hours by train to NYC. I have half a mind to plan a two week trip, the first week with Candice et al in Boston and then the 8 of us travelling to NYC for a week of exploring! We shall see!

Here are some pics!

These are some older ones from earlier in the summer, they were taken on Nick's camera so I didn't realize they even existed!

Washing our bounty in the sprinkler.

I caught him alone on the veranda, quite please with himself at being able to over turn this table all on his own. Cheeky bugger!

Elias and the baby calf at the Filberg Petting Zoo.

Aunty Chantelle and 'Little' Evelyn.

We all enjoyed petting the piggies, and the rabbits!

Elias being a naughty stinker~!

Ugg, sand.

Ruby and 'Big' Evelyn!

Aunty Candy and Eli!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Ruby's new mantra!

On the swings, "Mummy! HIGHER!"
In the truck with the radio blaring, "Mummy! LOUDER!"
Skipping down the street hand in hand, "Mummy! FASTER!" she says with a tiny little growl!

Sure and spice oh my!

Where to begin?! This summer has been AMAZING! (please read 'AMAZING' in a sing song voice.)

The trailer is fantastic! We've spent OODLES of time with cousins, here there and everywhere!

Nick and I took the 3 older cousins to the river for a swim while my sister took my wee ones and her smallest one shopping. Elias stole all the cilantro out of the cart. He had incredibly fresh breath though!

Gypsy swam so much in the river that it has made a noticable reduction in her waist line. And also hurt her paws poor thing :( But she didn't seem to mind!

Came home to a fairly pathetic garden.:(  Despite making a trip home half way through the week to water, the potatoes wilted and were burned by the sun. Didn't seem to make to much difference fortunately, as Nick just cut away the plants above the ground and we can harvest potatoes as need be. Tomatoes are laden with green bulbs just waiting to ripen. Beets are as big as tennis balls, carrots are finally as long as Nick's fingers, still skinny but tasty! We've harvested 3 LARGE bowls full of green beans and more are on the way. The wax beans are taking their time but we'll wait.

Raspberries are 4 ft high, plums are the size of golf balls but again still green. And the lone strawberry surviver has two off shoots seeking soil. Not bad for our first veggie garden!

Monday we had a smorg of beets, carrots, potatoes and green beans all from our garden!! It filled my heart to know we grew everything except the pig!

Before we left for a week of camping I mowed the back lawn. First time in 10+ years I've mowed a lawn! It was glorious!  It was exersize, it smelled sweet, my ears hummed to the sound of the motor and best of all, BEST of all, I had no kids to harass me while I did it! Nick found it amusing that I was so refreshed both mentally and physically after mowing. But hey! I'm the mother of two children under 3! I'll take solitude where and when I can get it!!

Kids are great! Growing like weeds! I can't keep enough food in the house to satiate their appetites. Thank goodness I'm going to expand the garden next year, hopefully it'll off set the cost of feeding them! (LOL)

Elias is walking more and more, although shoes piss him off and he refuses utterly to wear them unless absolutely necessary. His little face is HILARIOUS all contorted in frustration!

Ruby is a swimming chatter box! She spent the entire week of camping in the pool. First thing in the morning her eyes would open and she'd ask, "Nick! We go swimming now?" ~ She refuses to call him Daddy, he's quite perturbed but she won't relent! "Your name Nick! I call you Nick."

She'd be in the pool until she turned BLUE! But then she figured out that the concrete surrounding the pool was HOT. Hot enough to lay down on for a few minutes and like a lizard her core temperature would rise in a matter of minutes! Had to get cross at her for running pool side, until we realized she was running to the sunny spots to warm up!

She has no fear, NO FEAR, of the water whatsoever! Jumps right in! Can't take your eyes off her for a moment or she's at the bottom! But when you reach down to pick her up, she comes to the surface and yells, "NO! I do my OWN self!"... Meaning that she wants to  hit the bottom with her feet and launch herself up on her own power. We were thanking the heavens that the pool at Country Maples is only 5 feet deep.

Once home she wouldn't stop asking, "we swim now? After dinner? ...After lunch?" Took her to the pool last night and she wore a life vest and plunged off the diving board into my arms. Lifeguards were astonished! We were told to get her into lessons ASAP, and that we could 'skip Otter' altogether because she's ready for, 'Salamander.' ~ Whatever that means!

All I know is that she can hold her breath longer than I can!

We did catch Synchronized Swimming on the Olympics Monday. Her breath was taken from her she thought the girls were, "SO beautiful! Mummy! ...Swim? Swim... dancing?...But I have to be big enough Mummy. 'Touch the ceiling,' big enough."

Ya, Ru when you're big enough to touch the ceiling you'll be big enough to be a synchronized swimmer!


I've been trying a bunch of new recipes from a fellow blog, 'Meal Planning 101' things on the cooking front are great! (For those of you who don't know me that well, I only learned to flip an egg 2 years ago because my husband told me while I was very pregnant with Ruby that I needed to be able to feed our children more than just tuna fish sandwhiches.)

He actually paid me a compliment last night! I made polynesian satay with marinating steaks,  green beans from the garden and polynesian potato salad. He told me it was the best potato salad he'd had in a while, and my heart grew two sizes!

Simple recipe I found on the net, (not the blog) potatoes, red onion, celery, shredded coconut, raisins, sour cream, mayo, splash of milk and some sugar to taste. It WAS delicious! Recipe called for pineapple too but I was all out.

I cut a cat door in the laundry room door down stairs. I busted a gut at the kids reaction! There I am with the drill and bit, poking large holes in the door. Elias was fascinated with the tool, Ruby was perplexed, until she understood what I was doing. Then she started to become upset, "NO! Mummy No! You BREAK it! You make MESS! NO, you should NOT do this! ... Daddy gonna be SO MAD!" and she actually CLUCKED her tongue at me!!!!

And then Elias started howling his head off, so I just kept on keeping on. When it was done Ruby looked at the reasonably shaped hole I had made and said, "PERFECT!" ... I'm so glad I have her approval!

I've swept off the front deck off our bedroom and put out two chairs and a folding table. Then I opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed a few sips out on the 'veranda' with my hubby until his computer beckoned. So I'm blogging in the setting sun. Such a shame it is overcast, would have liked to have enjoyed the sunset in clear weather.

Summer has been wonderful, but it is definitely winding down. The mornings are cool, as are the evenings. I don't mind though, as summers go, this one is the best we've had in years. I feel blessed.

At the skate park with Jon and Ethan.

Hard core biker gang!



She had so much fun!

Back at the water park

Jon being a goomba!

Country Maples Camp Ground in Chemainus, Nana came to visit and we played mini golf... Nana and Daddy cheated.

Helping Nana.

Nana with a cute yellow ball... wait......
More Cuteness!

More helping!

Can I help you get a hole in one?


That while Mummy is away for the day, Daddy lets them run WILD!

Holy crap! He looks like me!

She stood out front of the trailer like a Child Soldier at a check point.

This guy slowed right down and then stopped in front of us to ask if it was, "Safe?"

Backyard Bounty!

It were tasty too!

Silly Billy! Wearing two hats!

The bug that landed on my arm. I freaked out, Ruby looked at me strangely, then I had to tell her that bugs are 'GREAT.' And, "I LOVE bugs! God creatures are beautiful, I just (shudder) don't like them touching me..." Ended up being a very pretty bug!

The 'veranda' ... darling...!

Sipping BlackBerry wine

New hair cut, which is now flat from the heat... but we had fun!