The quiet is about to be shattered today. Rhiannon is coming home a day early (yay!) as it was storming almost everyday where she was camping so they decided to pack it in a bit early. And for a great sister treat, my sister, Sarah is arriving today with her 3 year old and baby sons. Sarah was born only 11 days before I left home so it is an especial treat to get to spend some time with her. We have beach time and chick flicks on our itinerary! I am so looking forward to it!
I don't know if I'm the only one who gardens based on what happened the year before.... Last year I tried to plant a year's worth of squash and got only 1 squash per plant.... Determined not to have that happen this year.... I pretty much have a garden of squash and tomaotes. This is my biggest bed and it has 6 squash plants in it.
And I commissioned this old stump into service - the squash are doing really well. The rabbits are contributing what they can to help... And there are 5 more plants here on the last year's compost pile. They seem to love it there.
And that isn't all the squash I have. There is at least 1 squash plant in every bed as well as 4 zucchini plants. We are already getting so much squash between the zucchini, the spaghetti squash and the pattypans to eat squash for almost every meal... it is going to be a squash kind of year, I think....
And of course the tomatoes are really coming along.
I like the jungle-y look of my garden at this time of year - nary a piece of ground to be seen...
Rhiannon has gone camping with some friends this week. She left on Saturday and will be back this Saturday. I wondered how she would do - her first time camping without her dad or I. But she seems to be having a blast. Kaetlyn is hardly ever here - working and hanging out with friends, often staying over. And Andrew is busy all day riding his bike. So it has been pretty quiet around here.
It has given us time to do this on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we went to Jade Bay on Kal Lake and Sunday we went to Dean's favourite spot on Okanagan Lake - Ellison and managed to snag our favourite rock. We ate good food, read good books and enjoyed each other's company. It was a very nice weekend. The beach without kids has been very rare in our relationship. Although I love being at the beach as a family, it was nice to be there just the two of us.
I've done some knitting and crocheting, watched some movies (Sense and Sensibility, Miss Austen Regrets, You Can Heal Your Life and finally North and South - all from the library). I've done some mending, sewed up some window washing rags and mops and finished doing my taxes... (I know its late but not as late as last year!)
Tonight I harvested a large basket of Linden blossoms which I am about to wash and set out to dry for tea. My Linden tree is blossoming as it never has before in the 4 summers we have spent here. The tea tastes like jasmine and my whole yard smells like it all day long - a beautiful, heady scent. A friend of mine who grew up with avenues of Linden trees says that the Linden blossom is a symbol for perfect rebirth. I like that. I have been feeling like I am being reborn this winter/spring/summer. I'm in the mood for a perfect rebirth. I'm going to make some of that tea right now!
They hatched! Saturday night I went out to check on the broody hen brooding in the rabbit hutch and discovered 3 chicks with two more on the way out. In the end 5 of the 10 eggs hatched. 3 others died while hatching - I have no idea why... inexperienced mother, perhaps - they looked kind of squished... And two eggs had nothing going on. There are 4 pure bred Buff Orpington and one little half breed which looks like it will be white, although it has a wee grey spot on the top of its head.
Here you can see all 5 of them. You can even see the wee grey spot. Sunday I moved them into the chicken tractor with the other mom (she only hatched one who I think is a rooster). So I have 6 chicks being raised by 2 hens who seem to be getting along okay and the chicks are intermingling. Hopefully I will get at least 3 hens out of this batch. I also want to find some bands and band the legs of these two hens so I know who it was that was successfully broody.
I'm pretty pleased to have some naturally hatched and raised chicks. Hopefully I can breed for that as time goes on. What can I say? Yay for Buff Orpingtons! What a great breed; I don't know why everyone doesn't have some! I'm looking forward to sharing these with my young nephew heading this way!
Ronni and I have developed a tradition now that we only live 6 hours apart. Usually her and her daughter come here right after school is out. Before Calgary is really feeling like summer, we hit the beaches and the waterslide and they get there first big dose of big sun.
This year, due to some fortuitous circumstances, I was planning on going back with them and we were going to have a few days of completely kid-free time - a luxury never before known in the long history of our friendship that started when Kaetlyn was just a babe.
However due to some not so great circumstances, they missed their annual trip to the valley of the sun but I persisted in my part of the original plan. I flew to Calgary on July 1 and came home on the 5th.
We discovered what we would actually like to do together if there were no childrens' wishes to take into account as we juggle out group of 4 - 5 offspring and ourselves. First on our list, it turns out was a nap everyday - a blissfull afternoon nap. We also laid around and read good books, went out for lunch everyday, cooked a crossrib roast (that I brought in my suitcase)that was divine. Did a bit of clothes shopping, saw the new Star Trek movie (it was excellent!) went to a comedy club and played scrabble every night while drinking margeuritas out of big martini glasses.
It was perfect. Just what I needed. It was so good to just be so totally myself - to laugh and discuss deep things and not so deep... and just lay and read with such a good friend. I am so gratefull for my friendship with Ronni - such a source of support and humour and understanding. I hate to think what my life would be without her!
You know, I must admit that there are times as a mother that I have wondered if my children see me at all as a person other than the one who 'provides' in their lives. But yesterday my kids out did themselves. Especially my daughters. Eryn made this most wonderful dinner - kebabs and veggie kebabs, beet salad, pasta salad, bruchetta and french bread and chips, white and red wine... and TWO cakes - one a divine chocolate from the Rebar Cookbook and the other the Citrus Poppy Seed from the same book to have with my traditional strawberries and whipped cream. Kaetlyn made one cake and did a lot of cleaning. The beet salad was amazing! It was all amazing. And they invited a few of my closest friends and put on a not-to-be-forgotten-ever evening. They even dragged Andrew into service. Erin knows how to get that boy to work. And of course the house was cleaned. It couldn't have been better in any way. It leaves a mother feeling very loved.
I must admit, although I won't go into it, that I have had a difficult first half of the year. A difficult year that started last November - big changes that I wasn't particularly looking for - sad changes. On New Year's Eve I put on a crystal type necklace that Drew had given me a couple of years earlier for Mother's Day. I think it was a green hematite but I am not sure. I just wanted to wear green - I felt like I needed its healing energy. And I didn't take it off. And then my grandpa died in January and I kept it on. Some really hard things in my life took shape and I kept on wearing it. In fact, I wore it straight through until July 1 without ever taking it off. It was a really hard first half of the year.
And then it was time to take it off. This is one of the cool things about having a birthday at almost the mid-point of the year - a great time to review my year and do little symbolic things and think about what I have in my life and where I would like to go. Hey this year, I even got a full moon and the perfect party from my wonderful children!
It is time to let go of the first half of the year. And I feel big shifts in my life - not outside so much as inside.
This is, perhaps, a vague post about small things. But sometimes small things are big things. Last night, under the full moon, I went to bed wrapped up in the love of my family and friends and felt very blessed and certain of the direction of my life.