Category Archives: General

A week in pictures

I had two weeks of crazy busy births. And then all that “giving out” left me a bit depleted. So I haven’t felt like projecting in this space or social media. But so that space isn’t completely silent, I will give you our week in pictures.

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One of the precious babies that I witnessed coming into the world has been diagnosed with cancer. This beautiful family have faced these developments with courage and strength allowed to us when our babies are sick. Please keep this family in your prayers and thoughts.

I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine!

Given the Chance

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Given the chance, I will drive just about anything. I love driving friend’s cars, trucks, scooters, ATV’s, tractors, gators, and even lawnmowers. Marc’s truck (the mini truck) is temporarily out of use, so we couldn’t bring the lawn mower home from work. We borrowed my landlord’s ride’em lawnmower and I volunteered.

I did a horrible job. But I had a great time.

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Given the chance, Gabrielle will pick up almost anything. She doesn’t like it if her hands stay dirty, but the initial touching of a new creature is always welcome. Her job in the garden is to check the slug traps, and she will handle them bare-handed, along with worms, crabs, eels, slimy seaweed. It’s one of the things I love about her.

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Given the chance, she will even come with me to the beehive. I had to check on the bees as I split the hive and Gabrielle wanted to get closer than usual. I put this hat on her, knowing that at least the bees couldn’t sting up her nose. We walked down to the hive and I had her stand a few feet away. I told her that when I told her to, she needed to move back slowly to the blue tarp, and then if I told her to, she would have to walk slowly and calmly to the garden. She nodded solemnly.

So I cracked open the hive and began examining the frames to see what mischief the bees were getting up to. I looked over at Gabrielle who was watching quietly and realized there were bees landing on her. The bees were not agitated but I asked her to slowly back up a little. As I explored another box deeper, the bees were getting louder. I asked Gabrielle to slowly walk to the garden. I knew the bees that were on her would fly back home if she moved away from the hive. Gabrielle was brilliant at walking slowly. She confessed to me later that when she was almost at the garden, she ran. But the bees were all gone by then, she explained. I appreciated how calm and collected she remained.

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Given the chance, Marc’s co-worker also explored the hive with me last week. This woman has jumped out of airplanes, teaches scuba diving, but she admitted to being nervous. Perhaps it’s the un-intuitive way we open a box full of buzzing, stinging insects and invite them to crawl over us while we rummage through their home.

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She also did a fantastic job of remaining calm. And she has the muscles I don’t for lifting the heavy supers brimming with bees, babies and honey!

We split this hive too and I’m hoping the same method works. I ensure both hives have eggs. I assume the Queen is in the original hive box, though this has not always been true. And I block off the new hive’s entrance with grass so the bees have to re-orientate themselves to their new home. The hive without the queen will take the eggs and make a new queen. The hive must be split when there are drones to fertilize the queen.

This method worked beautifully on my hive at home. But it may have worked so seamlessly because the new hive had the queen in it (unbeknown-st to me.) So we will see if it works this time. If it doesn’t work, the bees will simply stream back into their old hive and the new hive will have very few bees in it so that their survival is not guaranteed. Especially since the wasps are starting to appear again.

I have one more hive to split so we will see how it goes.

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Given the chance, I will attempt to knit anything once!

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Including monsters.

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And then I will immediately envision ways I could make hundreds of them and sell them at farmer’s markets. Yes, I’m that person. But in reality, I’ll make a few and be done with it. Cute though, isn’t he?

His name is BlueBlack. He’s a bed monster. He loves jumping on the bed but he also is polite when meeting new people. Also, he has an affinity for eating kale flowers. Like another certain three year old monster I know.

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Given the chance, the time, and the inspiration, I would write in this space every day.

Happy May, Friends.

February Peas!

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It’s almost that time again. The gardening fever has struck and we are excited to get going.

So excited that today, we planted peas.

Peas in February! Yeah, it was really that nice outside. I had a friend over and we set the girls to work, weeding the deck garden beds.

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Emma’s new baby, Tess, slept in the sunshine while Brynna and Gabrielle madly tore apart the beds and even trucked the weeds off to the compost. Such hard workers.

Then Marc got home and he had also been struck by Garden Fever. He fluffed up the garden bed that previously hosted squash and deemed it pea-perfect.

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Last year Gabrielle was an absolute joy to have in the garden. She was careful about what we picked. She was mindful to stay on the paths between the beds. And she had a great attention span for picking weeds. In the fall, Gabrielle and Marc planted the garlic and Marc said she was careful to point the garlic with the correct end up, and she happily plopped each clove into the designated hole.

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The garlic is sprouting so we are hopeful for the peas.

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When Marc announced that it was time to start planting the garden, Gabrielle’s face lit up like she’d just been given a triple-scoop ice cream cone. It was a fabulous moment.

Another fabulous moment was the bees!

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The bees are doing well. So well I am going to split them. I haven’t split one hive to make two hives in a few years so now I’ll have to remember how to do it. I’ll keep you posted.

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The bees have plenty of honey and this is the hive I stole from last year, so that is very encouraging. (Next year I could afford to steal more!) But they have mites so I will have to treat them for that soon.

I am so ready for Winter to slink away and Spring to be bounding up to us! Only a couple more weeks and we will be in full bloom. Now if these babies would only come too….

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Simply Living: The Small Traditions

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Marc is a farmer. This is not the news flash.

(This is the news flash.)

I am a Farmer’s Wife!

Yeah when I married him, he was finishing up a degree in computer science. Not sure where we veered. But to be fair, when he married me, I worked at Starbucks and last week I was caught drinking Tim Hortons coffee.

So, we’ve changed.

But as we change, we try to make small traditions that can make us feel all cozy and safe. To remind us of home.

To do this, we start with eggs.

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We get our eggs from the farm that employs Marc. He actually often collects them right from their little nests, still warm, and brings them home to us at lunch. These good-feeling farm fresh eggs are what we crack as we build our tradition.

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After collecting the eggs, cracking them, cooking them, we set the table.

I know this seems obvious but think of it as a gentle exercise. All this preparing also prepares our thoughts to enter into this tradition.

Gabrielle takes the plates from Marc, one at a time, and pushes them up onto the table. She takes the cutlery in a big pile and dumps it onto the floor. (I know! Oh well.) After sorting it, she places it next to each of our plates. She gets our cups and our cloth napkins then perches herself up on her stool. Marc brings his hot sweet mustard, I bring the coffee and we dig in.

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This tradition of eating our meals together after thoughtfully gathering our food is what I love. I wish you could hear my voice to convey how much I love it when I say I Love the way we do this.

Living simply, simply living. My heart is full.

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October snapshots

I was looking at last years snap shots and reminded myself how beautiful October is here on Pender island.

Here are some of our week.

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Happy October friends!