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Friday, 28 February 2014

This Moment

One fish, two fish, red fish blue fish.  And pink and black and orange and yellow.  Miss S meticulously matches green fish tail to green fish head -- no designer fish allowed -- then gleefully dumps the works upside down and begins again with equal concentration.

Joining SouleMama and others in "a Friday ritual. A single photo . . . capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Surprised by Spring

 I've been longing impatiently for spring.  I've been scrutinizing the tell-tale signs:  a minute more daylight in the evening, a slightly more golden quality to that light.  Yet somehow I was surprised today to find that my garden has gotten on with the business of spring without me.  The snowdrops are looking tired while the crocuses beam -- sunshine with dewdrops.  Bluebells and tulips in sheltered places shoot three or four inches out of the ground and the grass needs mowing.  When did all that happen?

Linking to Sunlit Sunday.

Editorial Retraction:  These sunny little shoots endured a skiff of snow this morning.  Perhaps I spoke too soon.

Friday, 21 February 2014

This Moment

Inspired by {this moment} and SouleMama:  
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Busy, Stormy Days

The electricity faltered and flickered a couple of times today, but stayed on.  It's just as well, because, after days of wind and downpour, I'm less excited about stormy weather and the resulting days indoors.  Don't get me wrong, Miss S and I are west coast girls.  We don't mind getting rained on -- that's what gum boots and Muddy Buddies are for -- but this wind is something else.  We're starting to feel a little house bound.

How do we make the most of indoor days?  With projects, of course.  This is a little sneak peak at something I'm working on for my Etsy shop.

And this is a tunic dress that I started for Miss S.  I'm only just now getting my gumption up to sew for her.  Part of the trouble is that a pattern costs as much or more than an off the rack outfit, never mind fabric and notions.  But I want to sew for her, so I'm making extensive changes to an old dress pattern borrowed from my mother-in-law and hoping to end up with something Miss S and I will both be happy with.  Fingers crossed.  This is new territory for me.

Here's a little sunshine on a stormy day.  Miss S's project involved playdough and cookie cutters.

What do you do on indoor days?  Looking at the weather forecast, I'm pretty sure I'll need some more ideas.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The lights went out.  My Little  Miss was in her bath and I had just commented to her that the wind was really whipping around out there.  Then there was a violent flicker and dark.

After plucking a wet and frightened little girl from the bath and settling her -- warm and soothed -- into her bed, Gary and I faced an evening by candlelight.  On Friday night we had sat across a restaurant table from each other, bathed in the dim glow of commercialized romance.  This was different -- candlelight imposed on our regular life.

Drawing on a poignant memory from my childhood (when the power went off much more frequently) I took a candlelight shower.  While my hair dried, I sat with Gary.  We filled the living room with warm, flickering light and listened to the storm rage.  We talked.  I crocheted for a while and thought of all the fine handwork done by candlelight years ago.  I thought of the poor souls from the Hydro company who must be working on the lines somewhere out there.

When the lights flashed obtrusively back on we turned them out and went to bed.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

For the Love of Food and Sanity

This was a fun moment.  Before settling into some serious beater licking, Little Miss had been right up on the counter, spooning dry ingredients into the mixer.  This is our standard arrangement for baking.  It's fun.  It's laid back.  We laugh lots and make a big mess.  But having a kitchen helper is not always desirable, especially in the hour before supper time when everyone's daily allotment of patience is used up.

I've been thinking a lot about food lately, tweaking how and when I prepare it, trying to avoid the kitchen after four o'clock and still serve up healthy, tasty suppers.  Of course I'm not the only one trying to reach this holy grail of homemaking.  Pinterest is chocked with recipes for freezer meals and slow cooker meals, even meals that you can put in your freezer and then in your slow cooker. Yikes!  I thought I was so clever to chop my vegetables and make my sauces in the morning.

Last week Little Miss was sick and I suddenly saw the appeal of pre-made food.  As I tentatively wade into these waters, I'm wondering what your experiences have been with making meals ahead of time.  Do you sacrifice health or flavour or texture for convenience or is there a way to have it all?

On tonight's menu:  Kale and potato soup from the freezer, cucumber slices and wild rice and onion bread, which I did manage to bake today.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Happy Saturday to You

An extra hour in bed.  Pancakes with cinnamon yogurt, home canned peaches and -- of course -- maple syrup.  Family tumble time on the living room floor.  Happy Saturday morning to you.

At Lorrie's suggestion, I'm linking, for the first time, to Sunlit Sunday.

Friday, 7 February 2014

A Personal Photo Challenge: Street Photography

Linking to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge

Even as I type, I'm considering not participating in the Personal Photo Challenge this month.  But here I am, armed with the proviso that this post is more about process than product.  I carried my camera around and actually snapped a few shots on the street.  It wasn't as hard or as scary as I had expected and I might even try again when I can change a few ingredients in the mix.  By that I mean that I'd like to leave Little Miss at home and go downtown by myself.  Street shooting, it turns out, is all about being subtle and reacting quickly to what you see.  Both are challenging with toddler it tow.

But I tried and I'm proud of myself for that.  As I walked the neighbourhood, I wore my camera around my neck and started watching people.  Very interesting.  I saw lots that I'd have loved to capture -- like a cluster of five teens walking down the sidewalk all with heads down, texting -- but couldn't move quickly enough to get a the shot.  Even what I did shoot lacks quite a bit in terms of composition and timing.  This lady and her dog, for instance, were in the sun, where they would have shown better, three steps ago.

I thought this was interesting.  Two strangers, back to back, waiting for the bus and isolating themselves from the world.  But they're had to see -- too much shadow and too many things in the way.

This last one is my favorite.  It was a cold, windy day and anyone out on the street was clearly going somewhere with purpose and speed.  I wonder what drove this man to layer up his coats, pull up his hoodie and hit the street.  Does he not own a pair of gloves?

All that to say that I think I've gained more in terms of thought process and learning to look than these photos may suggest.  Thanks for pushing me this month, Donna.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A Cold Day

There's still a part of me, leftover from childhood in the tropics, that equates sun shine and blue skies with warmth.  This week has been a betrayal of the highest order.  I know it's cold outside, but a voice in my head whispers that if I find the right park bench in the right sunny spot, there will be a tingle of warmth.

I go searching for this magic park bench, but first things first.  Little feet have to be double socked inside their gum boots.  Mittens must be negotiated onto wiggly fingers, puffy coat zipped all the way up and a toque jammed down tightly onto an eager head.  Ready.

The Little Miss moves a bit more slowly than usual under all her layers, but manages to climb the playground stairs.  I circle.  Searching.  Hoping.  Wishing I'd worn double socks too.  She's at the top of the slide, maneuvering her padded bum into the right place.  "Ready" she calls, then weeee -- all giggles and smiles into my waiting arms.

Half an hour later, we found that tingle of warmth at home, in front of the fire.

Do you venture out on cold days?