Blur

Wow! It’s been nearly two months since I’ve blogged! It’s crossed my mind on several occasions but life just seems to keep getting in the way! From a couple of posts back…. my big boy did return late on his birthday with lots of stories, great photographs, a tired body, and a sparkle of adventure in his eye. Maybe one day I’ll share some of his photos, but it may just be one of those things that happened to far back to even bother trying to catch up on (at least here).

Since I last posted we’ve been to the Old (Flat) City, Southern Ontario, a wedding, and a myriad of things more locally.

The last week and a half, in particular, has seemed like a bit of a blur. Here are some of the main events.

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One night a week and a half ago, I donned hip waders and netted some spawning whitefish with our previous neighbours. Z and G watched from shore as we don’t have kid-sized hip waders. The following morning I cleaned the fish while B and G had a blast dissecting them. They remind me of me when I was a kid. I loved to cut up every part, discover what the fish had been eating, get the lens out of the eyeball, put the heart in a glass of icy cold water if we were ice fishing, see how long it would pump. Z kept a wary distance and looked up fish anatomy on the computer in order to identify  what they were cutting up.

Pre and post fish catching we were looking every night along our own shoreline and, unfortunately, didn’t see anything. Z, G, and I even went out in a canoe in the bay one night, but didn’t spot any. It would be nice to find some good spawning grounds on this side of the lake.

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The girls after a walk.

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Balto is getting big. He is such a good boy. Yes, he’s a puppy so he’s not perfect! But he’s so mellow compared to Jaska as a puppy. He’s also much more submissive, which makes him easier in so many ways. I’m thankful for this. He’s a very affectionate little guy. He’s growing fast and already starting to chase the foxes off.

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Somebody else is growing fast too! Little Miss K is such a sweet girl.  She’s six months old already.  I was sorting some photographs and once again, I am astounded at how fleeting the time is that they are wee babies.

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This ten-point buck was just outside the basement door. I think the bird feeders drew him in. As I was photographing him I could hear my dad’s voice in my head, “Ange, Ange…. a perfect broadside shot.” I know my sister wouldn’t have passed him up. It’s been so long since I’ve gutted a deer (or anything… except fish) and, admittedly, I’ve never done it alone. So I’m not confident. Hopefully this coming weekend trip to Mom and Dad’s will remedy that. The plan is to shoot some deer and have a gutting tutorial (hands on).  I also used the excuse that I haven’t sighted in my rifle when I finally talked to Dad, to which he responded that at this range I could shoot from the hip! 🙂

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The cat ended up chasing him off. When she’s not killing chickadees she’s chasing deer.

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We extracted our one box of honey. This is the only photo I have of the process, but later you’ll see some of the honey! It’s beautiful, golden, tasty honey. Doesn’t G looked thrilled to be helping? Honest, he really wanted to do this! I think he was taking it very seriously.

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Now, you could insert between all of the above photos – “worked on chicken shed”, “worked on chicken shed”, “worked on chicken shed”! At every opportunity I was out in the shed insulating, vapour barrier-ing (?), cutting, nailing, and turning this shed into a winterized chicken coop! On the weekend Graeme was able to help, too, so we got the ceiling insulated, which would have been hard to do on my own! Over the last couple of days I managed to finish up the last of it, and the kids and I moved the chickens over last night! Now…. let’s hope they start laying again. They’ll be warm, and they’ll have light. There are still some finishing touches. The door to the nest boxes isn’t attached (need hinges), a window needs to be installed in the door, I need to figure out how to cut siding first, we’re also putting a cat door in, etc.

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Some of the honey. Isn’t it gorgeous? I can’t quite believe how excited I am about bees and honey! I think this is going to become my specialty on this “farm”. Really, I think inordinately much about what to plant…. for the bees! I think we got about 30 lbs. though I never weighed it.

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The whitefish ended up in ten half pint jars. I was hoping for enough fish for about sixty jars, but I guess I should be happy with ten. That’s ten more than last year!  A tiny bit that wouldn’t fit in the jars was served up boiled with garlic butter – poor man’s lobster. It was scrumptious and a bit of an unkind little tease to those who would have loved more than one little bite!

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The ladies in their warm new home. Don’t they look happy? Can chickens look happy?

Now, it wouldn’t be fair to end this post without saying that most of this would not have been possible if Mariet, our nanny, had not arrived in late September after a ten month process of getting her here.   There was an adjustment period – Mariet figuring out life, food, family in Canada (which will be ongoing); me teaching her meals, the routine, etc., and more recently, figuring out how to steward this new found time that isn’t so much spent in the kitchen or carrying a baby to sleep.   For a few days, once my presence in the kitchen was less needed, I felt like I was spinning my wheels.  Thankfully, that didn’t last long and all sorts of projects are popping up their heads on the horizon.  So…. if it were not for Mariet being with us, working so hard, a few things would have ended up a bit different in the last couple of weeks.  I speculate that the whitefish netting would not have happened, being that the whitefish inconveniently decided to spawn on Grae’s call week; the chickens would have ended up in the pot rather than a nice warm shed with continued hopes of them laying; the honey would have still been extracted, but I suspect we would have had a much less nourishing supper that night (and several others)!

It would be great to share an inspiring list of what I’m reading right about now…. except that I haven’t been reading all that much!  I am reading “French Kids Eat Everything {And Yours Can Too}” by Karen Le Billon.  Mom told me about it after hearing a CBC radio interview.  A lot of the ideas sounded like ones I’m already trying to implement.  I held off.  But it popped up a few more times and I got it.  I have to say, a lot of it is stuff I’m already trying to do, or at least have considered, and it’s giving me the courage to “be mean”…. oh, and fun.  So far I don’t think we’ve gotten to the fun part.  Two little people (I shall not name names) went to be quite hungry last night after picking at the supper.  I stuck firmly to the “no substitutes” rule (usually this means a banana) and they went to bed quite hungry.  At 7:30am the simultaneously came to my bed and said they were sick to their stomachs, thought they were going to throw up.  Naturally, I thought they were just really hungry so I hurried some toast with peanut butter and honey (our honey!) into them.  Shortly after, one little boy’s toast made an unpleasant reappearance.  That got me thinking they really were sick, but that seemed to clear it out of his system and he begged the rest of the morning for me to let him eat.  Poached eggs were on the brain.  Everyone gobbled up eggs for lunch and they were healthy the rest of the day.  I’m hoping the experience will make them think twice about turning up their noses at supper.

Grae is reading the first in the series of Uncle Eric Books.  (It’s not really the first, as you can read them in any order, but the recommended first.)  I’ve been trailing him in the book, but now am going to begin reading it with the kids.  I’m really looking forward to going through this set of books with them.

I feel like I’m going to be doing a lot of “catch up” now that Mariet is here…. maybe for a few months…. and then I’ll settle into a more regular reading rhythm.  Another speculation.

Well, that’s all for now folks.  Another speculation: somebody still comes to this blog to see if I’ve posted anything!

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6 Responses to Blur

  1. beverly burnell says:

    I always check to see if there is something new on your blog and enjoy your posts. Living so far away it is the only way I can I “visit”. So happy to hear you have a nanny and will now have more personal time. Do you have any photos of your family at the wedding?
    Love to all of you. Bev B

  2. Lisa says:

    I’m still coming to your blog! Wow, you have been busy. Things look great around there. Love how the kids are getting up close and personal with their food sources. 🙂

  3. Paisley says:

    I’m not going to your blog every day, but I’m signed up so I get an email anytime you post and immediately go to look at it! You definitely still have a following! How do you ‘jar’ whitefish? cooked? uncooked? in brine? I’m curious!! Miss all of you!
    Pais

  4. Alex says:

    I still check Ang!

  5. Neal says:

    Love the photo of the deer, Angela!

  6. Charlotte says:

    I do still check every once in a while ! And I’m always glad when I see there is something new… Katie is looking so big! She has such big blue eyes, even bigger than Danica had when she was younger, that’s gorgeous!!! I’m glad to hear you have a lot going on and that you finally managed to get your nanny -even if I do have to admit I’m always a bit jealous to know that someone is doing was I used to do ! Anyways, take care of yourself and everyone! Love, Charlotte.

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