pinch me - the bees have arrived!

The bees have arrived! It hardly seems real. I've been dreaming of this for years. And now it's really happening!

We installed them on Friday at the new old house, and they appear to be happy and healthy. Above is the nuc box that each hive came in. Each has four frames and many, many sweet little honeybees. The drive home was lovely - a gentle humming in the back of the car that smelled amazing. (And yes, I drove a little bit extra carefully.) Somehow, honeybees manage to make the combined scent of honey and beeswax into something even more rich and lovely than either thing individually. I wish I could describe it accurately. On Friday, we moved them into the boxes that we had ready, where they will settle in, spread out, and keep building. The boys were fascinated, especially Thomas, who pressed his face in as close as he could get for a good look. They're just the most beautiful little creatures. We're planning our move for July, so after that, if you need me, you'll find me sitting and watching their comings and goings.

I am over the moon - so excited to add another layer of life to our new old house!



We have an old lilac that has had a rough few years. The past couple of years, we've had almost no blooms. This spring, though, it is showing off a bit, and I love every second. There are a couple of lilacs at the new old house, too - I couldn't be happier about that! It's definitely one of my favourite flower scents. I should be a bee in my next life, I think.

Things are continuing on, as they do. The days at this time of year are so long! It makes me feel as though I could get ALL OF THE THINGS done every day. But then, after supper when I go outside to putter on the back step with all of my potted herbs and pansies (this usually only lasts for three minutes before someone needs me) I soak it all in and chill out a bit and realize that all of the things will never be done, so I might as well enjoy the sun and the warm breeze for a few minutes longer.


all you need is less

Sorry if this post appeared twice in your blog feed - my mistake!

I'm popping in with another little book review (the last one for now!) that I think you might enjoy if you're new to this whole natural living business and are perhaps overwhelmed and want one book as a go-to resource. It's called All You Need Is Less: The Eco-friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity by Madeleine Somerville, a fellow Canadian from the other coast.
It's intended for "novice hippies", a term which I love, and which fits perfectly with the book. It's very hands-on and instructional, and includes sections on gardening, lifestyle, body, and home, with recipes for things like toothpaste, deodorant, cleaners, and general information about living more simply. 

If you're already fermenting kefir and making your own soap and shopping second-hand, this might have a lot of information that you already know (library!). But if you're just starting on this whole journey of living a more intentional life with less of an impact on the planet, it's got plenty of good information, recipes, and how-tos. 

My favourite part of the book is Madeleine's description of natural.
 "Natural is a bit worn and lived-in. It is welcoming and comfortable like the crinkles around a person's eyes that hint at a lifetime of happiness. Natural is forgiving and warm, and shouldn't be just another thing to feel bad about. If I had the power, I'd steer this whole eco-friendly boat away from the guilt and the one-upping and back to that warm space, back to that sense of feeling good by doing good." (p 165)

Madeleine blogs at Sweet Madeleine (I love this post from earlier in the week; it captures parenting little ones beautifully,) and you can read more about the book here.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book to review; all opinions are my own.


as of late

Phillip turned seven on Monday. He's everything (and more) than I thought he would be at this age - everything is funny, silly and goofy, and "butts" are especially so. It's so much fun to carry on conversations with him about his plans (to marry a certain girl in his class, have Thomas live with them - oh, but he has to check with her first). He is his own kid, and is as strong-willed, stubborn and determined as they come, and some days, that just about does me in. I'm hoping these characteristics will serve him well in adulthood. He's also generous, smart, and loving. And he loves math. Someone at a yard sale gave him this adding machine on the weekend, and he has been having the best time calculating his profits from future egg sales. Adam got an even better picture on Sunday. I just love him to bits.

And Thomas had his orientation day for pre-primary last week! He was (and is) so very, very excited to go to school. He'll be there for the whole day, like Phillip. It's hard to believe that this season in our little family will be shifting so drastically this fall, with no little ones at home with Adam during the days. Bittersweet.

The apple trees are in bloom, and they smell incredible. This crooked beauty is at the entrance of the path to the camp; I made the little welcome sign last summer. Speaking of the camp, it's being overtaken by carpenter ants. We're trying borax and icing sugar and are hoping it's effective. Fingers crossed.

We're planning a trip this summer, and will be passing through Portland, Maine. I'm excited to visit More & Co., and I'm hoping that we'll have the better part of an afternoon to spend in that general area. Is there anywhere that we absolutely must visit? Eat supper?

The new old house is coming along beautifully! This is the dining room. The light! So much light.

And with that, I'm off to bed. Good night!