I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

smug at the museum

Yesterday's visit to the museum was great, exploring newly-opened exhibits as they work on renovations that won't be done until 2009. Impressive interactive displays delighted the girls and it was good to see some of the 'old faithful' large mammal specimens back on display.

I must confess, however, to a feeling of some smugness as I stood and read one of the banners in one of the displays and found a very obvious grammatical error. Now, I will be the first to admit to making typos in my own writing and typing, but to use "it's" (contraction for 'it is') in a sentence where "its" (possessive pronoun) should be used is something no museum of that stature - or any museum, for that matter - should overlook. It's an error that is amazingly common, and one that's a pet peeve of my dad. And it's not high-level grammar, as daughter R (age 10) picked it out when I did that old trick of my dad's to point at the sign and say, "what's wrong on that?" and make a game of sorts of it. Yes, it's true: I am a grammar nerd. Ah, well.

Today is school, housework that is excruciatingly dull but will not be denied, and then good friends D & J coming for supper.

And it's still cold. It's supposed to be warmer this weekend, which begs the question: clear off our own creek to skate, or make the trek to the canal? Both have advantages, the creek being obviously close and convenient, but the canal boasting hot chocolate and beaver tails (the yummy fried pastry, not actual tails of beavers).

Tuesday, 30 January 2007


It's a morning that makes everything have a crackly feel about it, -28C according to the thermometer in my truck. So cold the chickens needed their water thawed, not refilled. So cold that the eggs themselves were frozen when I got back to the house. They literally crack from the cold as the egg white freezes and expands, and when I touch them there's a little 'snap' as the shell gives way. So cold the inside of your nose seems to stick together while you inhale. So cold the dryer vent has frost creeping in on it, as do the exterior doorways. So cold the windows have these little teensy glaciers of ice at the bases that are slowly creeping in. I expect to see mammoths any day now.

So, that done, I sit here drinking coffee from the Caribbean that a friend graciously brought back for me. Much goodness.

But, in a way the cold is welcome after a winter that simply wasn't one until the cold came. December and half of January just felt wrong for a Canadian winter. But now, the creek is frozen solid and the girls had a delightful time a few days back discovering tracks of the animals that use it for a highway. Deer, coyote, fox and raccoon have all been wandering around out there. I do like how in winter we can see what the critters have been up to. We have few sightings, so the tracks give us a little glimpse into their lives (and deaths, as evidenced by last winter's discovery of mouse tracks that met up with fox tracks and then continued no farther, or the little tracks that suddenly ended with the imprint of a sweep of the tail feathers of some bird of prey).

And so another day starts with daughters R and A chattering in the kitchen while they fry up the eggs (the ones that aren't frozen) for a good fresh breakfast, while little M sings and plays while waiting for her eggs to be ready and I make plans for today's field trip to a museum.

And it's supposed to warm up to a balmy -14C this afternoon. Break out the pina coladas!

Monday, 29 January 2007

life on an old run-down farm

Obvious enough from the title, I suppose. We moved to this place almost three years ago. It was the result of years of wanting to have a place with lots of room for us and the kids, the desire for simplicity in our busy lives. While in some ways it's simpler, country life has its own challenges.

Two and a half years of work later, we have cleaned up innumerable piles of old wood, filled a dumpster with a fridge, two sinks, multiple bags of concrete that had turned to solid lumps of stone, a stove (the thing had enough appliances to advertise it as a small apartment), sheets of rusted corrugated metal roofing, and old rotted timbers. There's no end of stuff to do.

Last summer saw the first sort of addition to the property by ourselves when we retrofitted an old log pig shed to become an old log chicken coop. Eight laying hens call that place home now and daughter R is an expert with the chickies now. She can even tell them apart, a feat beyond my abilities. The other addition last summer was a vegetable garden that provided us with loads of fresh produce. So we're doing some living off the land.

My dream for the farm is summed up as "make it live again" - to see the old log barns being saved and in use again, to get to know our property and enjoy the land, to make memories and share the adventure as a family. Once upon a time this was a working farm. While we don't plan to be career farmers, we can certainly be making use of the property. And I want some horses!

And there's nothing quite like sitting down on the porch in the evening and looking across the fields and keeping on dreaming while the fireflies come out to play.

i feel pretentious

About me: Life on a 100-plus year old farm is full of surprises (it's amazing what people buried over the years) and plain old hard work. I am married to the most amazing guy ever, a full-time mom to three beautiful kids and a part-time musician, leading the music each week at our church. Between all of those things, my weeks get swallowed up pretty quickly.

While I have admired and enjoyed the blogs of others and have been a long-time journaller on paper, here is my first time having my own blog. And to put my thoughts out there like this feels a wee bit pretentious, expecting to have brilliant insights and sharp witty comments.

But I figured I may as well go for it and enjoy my own little world online, even if nobody ever reads it. So here it is. I will enjoy it; I hope you do too. Whoever you are.