Category Archives: General

Nicaragua Day 4. Granada and an explore to Masaya

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We really scored on our accommodation here. It’s so difficult to book things online, not knowing how recent the pictures are, and hoping the place you’re booking is easy to find, centrally located, clean and scorpian-free. This place is all of those things. It is absolutely wonderful and not too pricey either. So if you’re ever looking for a place in Granada to rent, we highly recommend this place!DSC00025

There are so many beautiful churches here. And there is a daily 6am mass and then several masses on Sunday. The churches are hand-painted and often more than 100 years old. They are ornate and the details make it hard for me to drag my eyes away.

There is a friendship society with the Gulf Islands and Nicaragua. But it was still surprising when we found a fire engine near our place labelled “Salt Spring Fire Dept.” Salt Spring, this is where your trucks end up! And they are proudly polished and ready for continued use!DSC00031

We took the bus from Granada to Masaya to explore the market and scope out how long it would take us. We were the only gringos on the bus but people were kind and offered me their seats when I was carrying Gabrielle. The ride took an hour and cost us 9 cordobas (less than 50 cents.) whereas the taxi we were quoted $25 USD.IMG_4284 IMG_4285 IMG_4288 IMG_4327 IMG_4332 IMG_4333 IMG_4347

The markets in Masaya are worth the trip. The hot sweaty, bodies pressed together bus ride! There were barrels and bags of beans and rice. Fresh tomatoes and limes and cucumbers. Peppers, onions and garlic are hung up with buckets of raw fish and half-chickens. There are piglets eating bits of vegetables in the ditch and they squeal in protest when they are plucked up by their back legs and hauled through the market.IMG_20150102_184725 IMG_20150102_184805 IMG_20150103_065049 IMG_20150103_125044The temperature keeps showing up on my phone at 2 degrees celcius, only to remind us what we are missing from home.Or more aptly put, what we are NOT missing!

Perhaps January should always be spent like this!

Day 2: Nicaragua


Its our second day here. We are slowly getting our bearings. Or maybe I should only speak for myself. Marc’s Spanish is flooding back to him at an alarming rate but I can confidently say “hola!” And “no abla espanol.” Sigh.


We have eaten pizza, walked and walked, ridden in a horse-drawn carriage with pink bows!!
The internet is slow so the pictures will come copiously later.
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August part 3: Tofino.

Tofino is this really cool town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is known for surfing, whale watching, and it’s young chic hippy transient population.

I lived in that area for the years I was supposed to be going to University. But that was *gulp* 10 years ago! And now, among the young Tofino population, I must admit to the very real feeling that I am Not In My Twenties!

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We had this beautiful luxurious cabin with a hot tub on the deck and only steps away from the beach. My brother and his wife slept downstairs and we slept upstairs. My parents and my other brother, his wife and my niece slept in the next cabin over.

IMG_2445 Gabrielle had endless fun playing with cousin Eilidh. And playing with Nannie. And eating ice cream.


And we had fun loafing around in the hot tub and on the beach, eating chocolate!


IMG_2479Then on one of the last days we were there, we went exploring, again on a logging road. This trip really favoured logging roads. My poor bum! (so bumpy!!)


So worth it!

We found a waterfall that was marked on the backroads map book and it was incredible. And virtually empty. We brought our camp stove and cooked a lunch while Brie and Auntie Andrea waded in the cold water.


It was a great vacation and a terrific way to end the summer.

Now back to reality and September is in Full Swing!


A New Chapeau and Canoe Construction

Gabrielle got a new hat. She is thrilled because now she can be just like Daddy.



I love that we are her heroes. I’ll savour it while I can.

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The Tomato-Apocalypse has arrived. Today I dehydrated as many tomatoes as would fit in our dehydrator and I stewed and canned some and then gave some away to any friend who walked through my door.


This little rascal picks a basket of tomatoes and then runs up to her room with them to cook with them in her play kitchen. I try to remember to ransack her kitchen afterward and recapture the pirated tomatoes. I have this feeling that I’ll forget one or two and we will find it rather unfortunately later. Blech.

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We’ve been doing the usual thing here. Playing. Inside, outside, with thrifted toys and garden vegetables inter-mingling as they do.

Meanwhile, this is what my husband has been doing.

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**This boat has stolen my husband!**

It has been a dream of his to build a canoe since he was a wee one. Finally he is doing it. I am so very proud of him. I don’t know anyone else who can read a book or two and then make a project like this a reality. To me, it is seriously amazing.


As July is nearing the end and we are planning far into August, expecting babies, running off camping and teaching prenatal classes, Summer is zipping on by.

I’m finding that living in seasons like this, I look forward to the next season and what foods it brings, what growing it brings, what new activities we can try. But that looking forward has always been more natural to me. Having a child has taught me also to be Here and Now.

Tonight after dinner, we wandered down to Hope Bay for an ice cream cone. (Gabrielle’s idea.) And sometimes people say to Gabrielle, “You have no idea what a beautiful place you live in! You don’t even realize how lucky you are!” But somehow she does. She walks, ice cream cone in hand, swinging her dress, chatting to Ramona who follows us, meowing loudly. And she turns to me and says, “Isn’t this a great day, Mommy! With all of us together.”

She gets it. It reminds me to stop and be grateful too.


Raising a Farm Girl

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Oh and I have to share this funny little story with you.

We were at our friends’ place for Canada day. They did a whole pig on a spit. It was incredible. In the evening, as they take the pig off the spit and prepare to butcher it all up into hunks o’ meat for their 70+ guests, Gabrielle walks up to Rob, the man in charge. She says to him with all her manners dressed up,

“Excuse me Rob. May I please have the tail?”

While the adults and children alike are watching in horror as Wilbur is getting carved up, my child is asking for the tail?!

He takes his big knife and hacks off the tail, plunks it on a plate like the grinch serves up the roast beast to wee Cindy-Loo Hoo. And off she waddles with a pig’s tail on her plate, as happy as…. a pig in mud?

I’m raising a farm girl.