Wednesday, March 30, 2011

right now, I AM


....listening to the frogs croaking *grin*.

They're back! Over the last couple of days nature has made a sudden and very vocal comeback and it is music to my ears :) There are so many more birds now visiting the feeder and chirping away, dozens of robins can be seen scouring the fields all the time as they look for bugs and turn the manure piles over and tonight the frogs are singing. And not just one frog but a chorus of them. Not long and there will be multitudes of eggs clinging to the reeds and grass around our pond ready for little fingers to poke at and inspect :)

Hubby and I were just talking and making plans for future camping trips to. He figures it's a little to cold to go now but come the end of April I think we'll start venturing out. I'm looking forward to going further north to one of our favorite spots where we can camp right at the top of the beach along the ocean. It's a little chilly in May but is the only time that we can just pop out whenever we want and get a front row seat to the ocean. I love to spend the afternoons scouring the beach with the children looking for shells, crabs and other cool things that we come across and then at night we get to sleep to the sounds of the waves crashing up onto the rocks :)


There are so many things I am looking forward to :) How about you?


right now I AM

Click the frog to learn more!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



I just finished watching the documentary Dirt! The Movie about the destruction of the earth's living skin... the dirt. It's a wonderful film that takes you all around the world talking about how dirt is a living breathing entity and how it is essential to our lives. Scientists, professors, farmers and others share with you all the different ways that dirt is used and abused. From the traditional earthen homes that are still built today and the important part dirt plays in many cultures to how 1/3 of the earth's soil has been lost in the last one hundred years. I love what one of the farmers said... Sometimes he feels like a father to the soil as he takes care of it. Other times he feels like the soil is his mother as she provides food for him and at times he feels he is in a relationship as they 'care' for each other :)

It's definitely an eye opening view to how agriculture has ravaged the soil over the years with the practice of monoculture planting which leads to massive pest infestations and heavy pesticide use that kills the vital microorganisms in the soil. All this leads to sick soil and the overuse of nitrogen fertilizers which in turn have adverse effects on the surrounding life.

But of course these aren't the only things that are harming the soil that we have left. It also touches on strip mining, desertification and more, but the movie isn't all doom and gloom! There is so much good going on around us as others try to replenish the earth's dirt :)

In Los Angeles an organization called Tree People has a goal to plant one million trees in the city. Schools are tearing up the concrete and blacktop that surrounds their buildings creating green space and student gardens. I thought it was quite interesting as at one point they mentioned that some people were concerned that without all of the concrete play areas at the school, where would the children play?? Have we really become this disconnected with what is below our feet?

Even though we get out in the garden every year using organic methods, compost and recycle what we can I still watched with my children as I thought it was a great way to really get them thinking more about how important it is that we treat mother earth well :)

Even if you think the problem is just to big and there is nothing you can do to fix it, you can! I love this short little animated folktale by Dr. Wangari Maathai below. It tells of a forest fire and a little tiny hummingbird that felt he just had to do something to stop the fire. As the other animals of the forest helplessly looked on they tell the hummingbird that he is just to small to do anything as he takes one drop of water at a time and drops it on the fire. So he turns to them and says "I am doing... the best... that I can". So simple and so smart. Let's all be hummingbirds together and do the best that we can :)


Monday, March 28, 2011



Firewood seems to consume a great many months of our lives. In the fall it starts with the loading of wheelbarrows and the lighting of stoves which continues through the many winter months and spring brings the cutting and chopping of more wood to replenish the woodshed.


K has been out alongside my dad helping this year.

Together they have been cutting down some of the leaning alders and cutting them into the exact lengths needed to fit our woodstoves.

Balancing Act
My younger two have been out checking out what they've been up to as well. They love to use the rounds as balance beams, seeing who can last the longest as they walk along them rolling from side to side :)

Splitting Firewood
One big perk to having a growing boy is that he can help with some of the manly chores. With his dad away for work so much of the time this is definitely appreciated by this mama...

Splitting Firewood

Plus there are some monetary rewards that make the work just a little bit sweeter *grin*.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Making Sushi ~ So Fun!!

Making Sushi

Our study on Japan for K's research paper is finally finished and the culmination of the entire project was to meet up with the three other families from our homeschool book club and to not only share our reports but to also bring along a special dish from the country we studied.

Rolling Sushi

So sushi it was for us :) I made a special trip into the city to find Nori which is the seaweed wrapper, sticky rice and some different vegetables and fish for the filling.


We both took turns rolling the nori with sticky rice and a mixture of smoked fish or crab and avocado and cucumber. It took a little bit to get the hang of rolling them in the mat and less is definitely more when it comes to the filling part *grin*.

California Rolls

We made some similar to the California rolls with the crab, cucumber and avocado and then sprinkled black sesame seeds on the outside...

California Rolls

a smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber roll with thin slices of avacado on the outside called caterpillar rolls...


and then we thought we'd get really fancy or at least try to look like we really knew what we were doing *grin* and made Shikai-maki which are a decorative four sided version of regular sushi rolls. You can see they are the square shaped ones below and we filled them with kiwi and pineapple and had a special fruit and honey dipping sauce I made for them :)


They turned out great and were a huge hit! I never imagined that everyone would love sushi that much. There wasn't one left when we were finished *grin*. Personally I don't really care for the taste of the seaweed but the kids liked them so I will probably make them again :)


They had so much fun trying to eat them with the chopsticks I brought to :) It was a great potluck! There were samosas with chutney, special fried rice, a fluffy fava bean dip with naan bread and a ravioli pasta for everyone to try.

The whole thing really got K excited about studying other countries and it was his first big report he has actually had to write so it was great intro into thesis statements, APA style format for laying it out, bibliographies and more. All of the artsy fartsy stuff like making his kimono and geta, the salt dough map he made and the sushi making broke it up into nice little chunks of hard work with the writing and and then nice easy breaks of creativity which really kept him wanting to keep at it :)

Hugs, Rosina

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kimono Sewing and Geta


It was so nice to pull my sewing machine out this week and listen to it hum along. K has been working very hard on his big research project all about Japan and to go along with his big presentation I thought it would be great if he could dress up in some traditional clothing making it more interesting for the other kids.

In the works

We had a few crafty books as part of his project that showed how to make zen gardens, theatre masks and among the projects was a very rough idea of how to make your own Kimono.

Making a Kimono

When I say rough, I mean rough *grin*. Just a few thumbnail sized photos and a couple of suggestions on how to create the basic body shape but the actual cutting, measuring and getting the sleeves to fit in was a bit trickier. It sure makes a guy have a greater appreciation for those little pattern markings that show you exactly how far to sew and where to attach pieces!

Making Geta

While I fiddled around with the finishing touches on the Kimono I rounded up Hubby to do a little woodworking for us and create the wooden bases for a pair of Japanese Geta.

Making Geta

Geta are wooden shoes with a raised platform bottom. They were traditional Chinese footwear that were later adopted by the Japanese and were especially useful in the winter and rainy times to keep their feet high up off the ground so that they stayed dry.


The top of the shoes were a basic cloth sandal style so after Hubby made the base he drilled in some holes so that K could create the straps.


He used jute and some of the scrap fabric from the making of his kimono and he was so pleased with how they turned out :)


Actually he was quite thrilled with the whole outfit *grin*

For a twelve year old boy he still loves to dress up LOL. Albeit it is usually in a pirate costume like Jack Sparrow off of the Pirates of the Caribbean but he was having quite the time getting the hang of walking around in the restrictive kimono and tipsy shoes :)


I think it all turned out rather well :)

I spent $1.50 at the good will for the two sheets and we had the scrap wood on hand already and we created an entire outfit *grin*. What have you been creating this week? I'd love to stop by and see :)


Friday, March 25, 2011

Weenie Roast

Weenie Roast

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here for the last couple of days and perfect timing to for our bonfire and weenie roast :)


My dad has been burning giant piles of brush for the last week but they were so big and hot that we could only enjoy watching them burn but couldn't get close enough to stand and roast hotdogs without roasting ourselves to *grin*. So we waited until there was a nice little fire so that my little guy could enjoy it to without me having to worry he'd fall in. He's a bit of a handful so small is better for him LOL.

Roasting Weenies

K was in charge of making spears for us with his new pocket knife and everyone was excited to get roasting.


My mom and I happily sat watching them with a nice glass of vino :) I'm not sure if wine actually goes with hotdogs but my glass sure looked nice sitting on a round of firewood amongst the ferns *grin*.

Pull up a Stump

The firewood made pretty good chairs to...


but somewhere during roasting hotdogs and sitting down the girly managed to plant her behind in a big pile of soot! I'm not even sure where she found it but if there is something super dirty my kids will find it :)

Toasting Marshmallows

Of course our little party wouldn't be complete without the sweet treat of marshmallows....

Fire Control

which led to flame control...


and some darn good s'mores :)

Forest Picnic

I could have spent the entire day down in the field with the forest as my backdrop and listened to the snap crackle of the fire as the kids added more twigs everytime they passed by :) So lovely.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

right now, I AM


...loving the creativity that is the crazy board games the kids have been making :)

The last couple of weeks has had them taping giant pieces of paper together and making grids covered in colored pathways and a menagerie of fisher price little people, mario & luigi cut outs along with anything else that happened to find its way onto the board *grin*.

I'm quite thankful that it has kept the youngest two so busy as I've been so busy this week with their older brother as we have been working hard on a large country study that he is completing for our homeschool book club. We read Around the World in 80 Days and then each of the children picked a country that Phileas Fogg visited and we are learning about Japan. So far he has a good sized research paper, a 3D model of japan out of salt dough and we're going to be making sushi on Friday to share with the others. That will be very interesting as none of us has ever eaten let alone made sushi so we should have fun doing that together :) I'm looking forward to seeing him present everything this weekend!


right now I AM

Click the frog to learn more!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Well here we are, the night I normally post about what I'm knitting and I don't have one photo or any progress to speak off. Could this be the end of my knitting??

Nah! I'm going to finish that sweater... honest *grin*. Just not this week :)

April brings the yearly Canadian Cancer Society door to door fundraising campaign and for a little over a decade I've been beating the pavement each April to help raise money for cancer research and support services for those fighting cancer.

I started volunteering around the time that my uncle was diagnosed and very soon after passed away from colon cancer and as I carried on over the years it has become even more of a personal quest as two very dear friends have succumbed to it and I've watched my own father battle the cancer demon twice himself.

So now as the zone leader for my area I try to recruit others to help out and today I picked up my box full of campaign books, name badges and sunshine yellow daffodil pins to hand out along the way :)

I can't wait to pass on some of my hopefulness to someone new this year that what we do each April is more than just asking for money.... that maybe one day real soon we'll be able to laugh in the face of cancer and say be gone with you.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Little signs of {SPRING} are everywhere!


Colorful patches of crocus flowers


Captivating leaves surrounding new hellebores blooms

Magnolia bud

Soft and fuzzy jackets encasing magnolia buds

Tomato seedlings

New tomato seedlings in a race to touch the sunshine

Stuck in a tree

And one little boy stuck in a tree *grin*.

Yes, my sassy little one managed to get up into the tree but was unable to find his way back down to the ground needing big brother to come to his rescue :)


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekending ~ Garden


What a wonderful weekend!
The sun was shining and it was so gloriously warm today that for the first time since last fall we were able to take our jackets off while outdoors and just soak up the rays :) It probably won't last long so we took full advantage of it and hit the vegetable garden to get it ready for rototilling and planting.


There wasn't to much to do. A few leftover stalks from the broccoli and cabbage plants, some wayward pots and the stakes from the row of peas needed to be pulled up. The ground was nice and soft so I worked around the perimeter of the fence yanking out the creeping grass that always winds itself in and out of the wire and transplanted some of the fuzzy mullein that were growing in the middle of the garden so they wouldn't be turned under when everything gets tilled :)

We filled a couple of wheelbarrows full of grass which were taken to the compost.


After a while everyone got tired of helping mama pull grass so the boys went off to pretend sword fight and L sat on the lawn with her care bear for some girly play time :)

The garden

I know it doesn't look like much now but I'm so excited to think of all the vegetables that I want to fill this space with this year :)

One day I'm hoping to convert the whole thing to raised beds like I used to have years ago at our old house. I used to love coming out in the spring and just turning the dirt in each of the beds by hand. It was just somehow simpler... this spot always seems so unruly to me in the spring *grin*.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend to :)