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!


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