Monday, December 1, 2014


There's a little bit of exciting construction going on. Will knocked down the roof of the dilapidated outbuilding which we variously called the Future Study, the Summer Kitchen, and the Garbage Shed. There were two afternoons of very exciting demolition with a chainsaw and a crowbar. As soon as it was down the boys fell on it with small crowbars and carried all the pieces up to the bonfire....hundreds of trips. I turned a blind eye to the rusty nails sticking out of everything and refused to think about it.

Then Will cut a large car-sized doorway in the front, and now he is in the process of raising a second story, with some timely and much appreciated help from his brother Jon. (Anybody needing a skilled arborist? Jon is starting a business in Peterborough, ON. Trinity Tree Care. Check it out.)

One of the aspects of Will's fatherhood that I most appreciate and love to watch in action is his love of physical work and the quiet companionship this gives the boys. No coercion, no bribery, no "hey dad, look at me!" I'm always amazed at how much work Will gets out of his sons without having to say a word about it. It's just a thing they do. As someone with no work ethic myself, just a frenzied compulsion to PUSH ON when I need to get something done, steady hard work leaves me in awe. 

Meanwhile, indoors, things are getting cozy...I'm arranging and rearranging surfaces to adapt to the new Christmas crafting that is taking over the house. I'm dying to show it off, but I fear that most of my readers are also recipients of these top secret projects....

So I'll just wish you a bright and beautiful Advent!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Creme de la Creme

Will's cream separator arrived. I absolutely love heavy, metal, industrial equipment. This one is bright red and made in Russia, which I find curiously awesome. (The bowl of cabbage in the background is unrelated to the creme separator. A different project.) 

We processed a lot of apples this fall too, but I don't know what happened to it all. Did we really eat that much apple product? Scary thought!

apple peeling in progress

And just to add to the feeling of general chaos....

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The leaves are down, the sky is grey, the air is cold in Eastern Ontario. Here were some of the bright spots from this past Fall

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cape Breton Sweater

The day cannot be postponed. It is time to show off the Cape Breton shore sweater.

I am so proud of this sweater because I made it by eyeball. Rafe once had a cute little thrift shop sweater made of polyester yarn. I wanted to duplicated with yarn I like, but I couldn't find the pattern for the life of me. So I drew some pictures, counted stitches, and learned a few new stitch patterns. My gauge was off—intentionally off, mind you—so voila, it fits him at a hefty age three, with room to grow. The hood I invented as I went. I think I would do it differently next time as it is voluminous...

....But serviceable! With the kind of wet, windy, sea air you find at the ocean, a small hood is unthinkable!

And besides, no self-respecting hobbit goes anywhere without his hood.

It is a sea-side sweater, no doubt about it. The branching pattern is called "tree of life" and reminds me of the evergreen forests that touch the rocky shores of the North Atlantic. The cables suggest Cape Breton's Celtic culture, and it has the incomparable warmth of sheep's wool. The colours are kind of rocky/foresty too. So in honour of a beloved place, I've named it the Cape Breton Shore.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cape Breton

So we have been perusing Cape Breton. It was our first holiday in ten years, our first time renting a cottage like "normal" grown ups, and for the children, the first time at the sea! We swam every day—the Northwest coast is the warmest waters north of the Carolinas, and definitely the warmest water we've swum in all summer! 

Oh to be battered around by waves!

We also drove the dizzying heights of the Cabot Trail...
In short, we were smitten.