I don't think that there are many things more beautiful than a birch tree.

Adam's off shooting a wedding in Saint John, so I've been having a busy, fun time with the boys to myself this weekend. Just popping in to share a few things that I've come across lately.

The Redwood Cup has been happening in my wonderful hometown this week, and it's been so much fun. People are excited - I love the sense of excitement around town, the new faces, and the hometown pride that hosting the event fosters. (I don't know why the men's prize is $40 000 and the women's $10 000, though. I'm hoping there's a good reason.)

When the mundane isn't status-worthy. I think you'll appreciate this one.

Bees and other pollinators are it. Without them, we'd be toast. These amazing images totally do them justice. (Thanks for the link, Teresa!) Speaking of which, Adam and some other bee lovers spoke at a town Planning Advisory Committee meeting this week supporting allowing hives within town limits, and it's going forward to council with the PAC's recommendation. Fingers crossed!

I was catching up on some podcasts and listened to episode 221 of Spark from CBC. Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design was one of the guests, and he totally captivated me! I'm now eagerly awaiting his book from the library. The full length interview is here, and it's worth a listen - anyone who uses the word 'folks' in that lovely, gentle way gets a thumbs up from me. The idea of enlivening the land is exactly how I've pictured our new property changing over time, I just hadn't the precise words for it.

With a sunny, warm, summer-like day forecast for tomorrow, I'm heading to sleep early. I can be confident that a sweet, cuddly little boy will climb into bed and snuggle up with me earlier than I would naturally wake up. Happy weekend!


impromptu weekend adventure, in chronological order, with approximately one zillion pictures

On Friday, the weather was beautiful and warm, and I decided that Phillip and I needed to shake things up and have a special little adventure together. So all four of us went to the camp (we have a camp! Can this be real?) for supper (real talk: drive-through sandwiches, no beautiful Pinterest pinic) and then Phillip and I stayed overnight. When we arrived, this fawn was in the back field, keeping an eye on us. Reports from the neighbours indicate that there are between 10 and 20 deer in the field most evenings. This leaves me wondering what kind of fencing we'll need for our future gardens, which farmer Adam has already started to work on. (Rotted hay? Check! Reading Ruth Stout? Check!) Here's the adventure as I saw it.

I can't figure out what these flowers are. They're very low growing and tiny; they seem to spread a bit, and bees love them.
 See the tracks in the puddle?

I love toad bellies! I just want to tickle them.

 Crazy fungi. I don't know what this is called, either.

 He's winking.

After a gorgeous sunset, we cuddled up with the lantern in our sleeping bags and read, read, read. And we woke up to a soft, grey morning with the moon looking down at us.

The fog lifted, and there was more reading for both of us, and hot chocolate with giant marshmallows with breakfast.
 I know I've mentioned my love of P.D. James before (she's incredible!) and I really enjoyed this book. A fun, quick read. (I don't usually treat books in this fashion. I don't know what came over me.)

We played some tiddly winks before our walk out. Whenever he's concentrating, he sticks out that tongue. Always has.
That little adventure was exactly what we needed.


sparkly diamonds

The light was lovely last evening, but I couldn't quite capture it until I changed the focus and saw the sparkle. Phillip said that it looks "like sparkly diamonds".

I'm just feeling content and inspired this week. What a pleasant state of affairs.


garden news

We planted several sunflowers this spring, but much like kale and carrots and a few other things, the seeds seem to have washed away in heavy rain before they had a chance to sprout and set some roots. We have a lone giant, beautiful droopy sunflower bobbing in the breeze, and I've been checking on the seed development regularly. It's fascinating, and one of the more beautiful patterns in nature. (There are so many!)
Speaking of seeds, I'm letting my cilantro go to seed and am hoping to save some for next summer's fresh salsas. Aren't the little flowers sweet?
 We have a couple of tomato plants that are heavy with very green tomatoes. I may need to make a batch of Shirley's Chow Chow to use some up.

We keep a patch of bee balm, which attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and (clearly) bees. Now that the petals have fallen and I've taken a closer look, I can see exactly why the hummingbirds love them - it appears as though they're perfectly designed little nectar cups for tiny hummingbird beaks. I think they're just as lovely as the flowers in bloom.


it's here

The first fire of the season is on tonight. I love this time of year. Fall is right up there with spring and summer, in my opinion. And winter has its moments, too. It's been cool enough lately to wear scarves to work in the morning, and then take them off as soon as the day starts to warm up. The air is cool and breezy, and wood smoke is in the air. I feel like listening to P.D. James books while driving for work (they're all great, I'm currently listening to this one, borrowed from the library) which is a sure sign of fall. And I bought mums (red's my favourite, and they match the door) for the back step.

I know I'm not the only one who loves this cooler weather and abundant harvesty season. (We've each been eating our weight in cucumbers in our house.) Amongst my other favourite things about fall - my chai concentrate in a cup of Red Rose tea.

One of the only unpleasant things about fall (along with dark morning wake-ups) is that germs seem to get passed around with astounding rapidity (can you tell I'm steeped in P.D. James?), and it seems as though the boys brought home some kind of ick after the first day back last week! I think P has fought it off, but Thomas is congested and his nose is running like a faucet today. I'm planning to pick up some lemons and ginger tomorrow and whip up some of the honey lemon concentrate we keep in the fridge through the winter. I didn't think we'd need it so soon!

What are your favourite things about fall that I've missed? (I'm also looking forward to campfires in cozy sweaters, the leaves falling in the woods, and cold, sunny weekend days at the beach.)

I hope you enjoy the season as much as I do!


better than i could have imagined

Folks, the first week back at work after the lovely summer break was infinitely better than I could have hoped or planned. All of the little things that could have gone awry just didn't. I am so thankful, and enjoying this first weekend of the school year, which started off with supper out at the camp on Friday.

I'm soaking in every minute of this end-of-summer season and looking forward to fall. The cooler temperatures and return to routine definitely agree with me. Ahhhhh.


the end, and the beginning

This summer was a full and happy one for our little family. There was nary a significant illness or injury (hallelujah!), and we just had a wonderful time, on the whole. We've been squeezing in as much beach time as possible during this last week or so - we had some gorgeous weather and nothing but blue skies. Yesterday and today have been grey, grey, grey, with a bit of wet and gloomy tossed in, but I like those kinds of days, too.

I was thinking today about how we spent the summer, and I think it was a significant one. We have our forever home, which is so, so wonderful. (Our current home is for sale, for a really spectacular price! I'll be your friend forever if you buy it!) Every now and then I have to pinch myself, I'm so excited. It's so much fun to dream and plan and imagine during this in-between time while we wait for our current home to sell. We spent a lot of time at the new camp, first cleaning and making it inhabitable, and then just enjoying it. We planted fruit trees to begin our orchard and had the fields mowed. The one big job that I didn't get done was a proper cleaning of the chicken barn, so I have that to look forward to on a cool, breezy day this fall. Aside from the house, we went to the beach (and discovered a new one!), had company at the camp, and spent lots of time outdoors. And ate a LOT of marshmallows. (Have you tried the giant ones? They're soooooo good. At least twice the surface area to brown to perfection.) Phillip went on a trip to New Brunswick to visit his grandparents, and went to day camp for a week earlier in the summer. We stayed at a lovely cottage with my in-laws in July, which was a perfect way to start the summer.

I'm feeling positive about this upcoming school year, too - my caseload is changing a bit, and I'm always excited about new beginnings. I'm bound and determined to not be a stressball this year - that is my main goal. Last year was nutty for a variety of reasons, and I was overwhelmed and can see looking back that I was indeed a full-blown stressball. Unfortunately, it takes until mid-August to recover! I'm one person, and there are only so many hours in each day, and I am going to enjoy my work time and do my best. And that's that.

So welcome to another September. I hope that the change in routine is kind to you and yours, and that there are still some summery weather days ahead!