High on the list of things I'm grateful for are my girlfriends who are like sisters to me. But there's nothing in the world quite like a real flesh-and-blood sister who becomes, in spite of age and sometimes whole continents of separation, a friend. My sister from Victoria spent two weeks back home, two weeks of shameless child spoiling on her part, all-night conversation with me, in which, with our sides aching from laughter, we relived our unusual childhood, decried injustice, solved the world's problems, and were very silly. And for the boys, there's nothing like a single, doting auntie. Together they dug up pirate treasure, did science-experiments, built robots, jumped into waterfalls, and made unusual Star Wars cakes. Which were eaten by the goat. Goat burger, anyone?
It's been a summer to remember, and not just because it was the coldest summer in memory...or because I had the ethical dilemma of throwing my kids into freezing cold water for swimming lessons or letting them fail. We also had a tick infestation. Gah! Gross. It's over now, fortunately, and the MNR assures us that we're not in a lyme disease zone. Only the animals were affected. Still, we had a few panicky weeks of continuous bathing. Apparently our small dinosaur/guinea fowls are tick predators, so that's a comfort. Come to think of it, the ticks disappeared around the same time the guinea fowl started roaming.