Monday, September 30, 2013


...things don't go as planned. Some days you have to throw the to do list out the window and just chill, while little people fight off tummy troubles. Soup simmering, quiet computer time for Mama. Not the plan for the day, but likely even better. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Passive Solar Greenhouse Design. (Or, How I spent my weekend.)

I've been dreaming of a greenhouse for years.  This year, with the addition of our furry friends, it got bumped to the top of the list so they would have a place to stay out of the cold this winter.  Bunny hut in winter, and as soon as it's time for the seedlings to go in, the bunny party goes back outside.  It'll also be a spot to store all those garden bits and pieces that, up until now, haven't had a place to live due to our lack of outdoor storage.  (No garage, shed, or covered porch to speak of.)

I scrounged up most of the material for this little project.  The windows are are recycled from here there and everywhere, and the wood siding came from an old fence that got demolished.  We're still on the hunt for some roofing, and likely a bit more wood for siding (please, universe, send some my way!) Grand total, $100 for 2 by 4, and $20 worth of screws.  The rest was salvaged, or we had on hand.  (I can't tell you how happy that makes me!)

The greenhouse isn't a traditional greenhouse - it's a passive solar design.  Most greenhouses are to effing hot to do anything with in the summer) and everything in them melts or is destroyed by the sun.  Not this one.  Designed (by Steve) for maximum light in the winter, and minimum light in the summer (it all has to do with roof angles and overhangs) and some cross-breeze action, we're hoping this beauty will be good to us all year round.

We also put a great counter on the south side.  Potting bench on top, wood storage underneath. Oh, and butchering table too...

In the spring there may be cedar shingles attached, or not.  There will be a roof of sorts before the snow flies.  And some form of white twinkly lights, to light up our fire pit.  On Thanksgiving weekend, we will put a match to all the scraps in the fire pit just in front of it, and christen it with a fire, and thank the universe for all the kind things it delivers us - windows, and wood, and food to eat, and fire to cook it over, and friends to share it with.

What more could you ask for? 


Building my Greenhouse

Passive solar Greenhouse, in the works.  We should have the windows and the siding done later today!  More photos and complete story to follow!

Friday, September 27, 2013

This moment

Lying in bed with Corben last night, I was rubbing his head, which he loves. I stopped for a moment. He was clearly disappointed, so decided to find a way for more head rubbing. 

"Mommy, if you rub my forehead like dat, I will do a back rub for you."

Kid, you got a deal! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week of Birthdays

September 16th, and we have just closed the door on the "week of Birthdays" (which is really 11 days of birthdays) for the year. Griffin turned 7, and then a week later Steve turned 47, and yesterday I hit the big 38. And what a fun 11 days it has been!

We celebrated with Griffin's friends last weekend, a delight of a time that included a lego theme, dancing, "Pin the tail on the Griffin", cake, presents, and all the other fun birthday stuffs.
We celebrated Steve's birthday mid-week, with a new pair of jeans, some yummy dinner, and some apple crumble - perfection!

Friday night we invited our neighbours for a little bonfire action. It was the coldest evening so far this fall, with the temperatures dipping down to near freezing for the first time (the first official frost warning for the season.) I was a bit worried about getting the fire lit, since it had rained all day, but the boys managed just fine.  We had a GREAT evening, it was one of those nights where suddenly it's 1:30 in the morning and you realize that maybe you should go to bed...but everyone was just having too much fun to notice.

We also received an excellent birthday treat from our friend Jim - a special hollowed out log that he threw on the fire, that burned bright and hot and quite beautifully for a good chunk of the evening. So much fun!

The second best part about the fire were the potatoes that we decided to throw on it as we went to bed at 1:30am...the next morning they got turned into homefries.  Best campfire homefries ever. 

Yesterday it was my turn - my day began with a Corben-imposed sleep in (he came to snuggle with me in the morning, and promptly fell back asleep on top of me, forcing me to stay in bed!) A lazy morning ensued, followed by a deliciously long hot shower, and some puttering in the yard and the house.  We moved a few things around in the living room, and got a few things checked off the "before the snow flies" list.  I got a flower delivery from my neighbours mid afternoon, I managed to get a few things picked out of the garden myself to put up for the winter. 

I got the most delicious dinner last night, with cake and ice cream too. 

It was a delight of a day, a perfectly excellent weekend, and altogether, a wonderful week! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Almost a year ago to this day, I left my very steady, very well paying (with very nice benefits package) j-o-b, to spend more time at home, and be the primary caregiver for my children.  Griffin still goes to school, Corben still goes to daycare a few days a week, but primary it's me that they get to hang with, for better or for worse.

Aside from the obvious things that I miss (the money, and the benefits, in case it's not that obvious, and the people that I worked with) it has been nothing but a positive decision.  I often find that I need reminding of that when I'm digging out rolls of quarters to pay for gas when things are tight - that everything we have done this past year (year and a half if you include picking up and moving here,) has been the absolute right thing to do.  We made some good decisions this past year, that were for the sake of our family, and for our children.  And we stand by every last one of them.

Griffin has been on the receiving end of a lot of our time this year. There have been hours in doctor's offices, hours in therapy, hours spent in the park, riding bikes, drying dishes.  More than we've ever had or made time for him before.  Less days of working means more days of hanging out, just being. Less money to spend makes for more days at home, working together to make our world a better place.  It also means less crap in our lives, more room to breathe, more room to just live.  It seems to be in this state that we are happiest. 

Griffin turned seven yesterday.  Seven years old, seven years he's been a part of our lives. There have been hard days, and there have been brilliantly wonderful days.  And just about every variation in between.  We're no different from any other family that way.  Griffin still has daily struggles, but who among us can't say that either?  He has come SO. FAR. in the past year though.  We can see all the time invested paying off, big time. There are less meltdowns, less explosions. And he is such a tender, loving kid.  He has a huge love for all things lego, all things nature, and his family...especially his Mama. (Maybe a little less love for his little brother, who can be so terribly loud and disgusting, but this too shall pass!)

Tomorrow, for just one day, we will throw away the "less crap in our lives" rule, and bust out the candy, cake, food dye for days, and have a little fun.  Griffin and 5 of his little peeps will party like only 7 year olds can (and 6 year olds, and 9 year olds.)  This is the first real party with friends that Griffin has ever had.  The party is 2 hours long, and I'm sure it will take the rest of the weekend to recover from it, but we're going to have a blast doing it!

I'm so glad that we are where we are, with the people that we are with.  I am so proud of my kids, especially Griffin who has had so many challenges and has come so far.  And, pat on the back for Steve and I too, who have grown so much as people because of these wonderful, smart, drive-you-round-the-bend little creatures. We've made it seven years so far, I can't wait to see what the next seven bring.

I love you, G.  Every last ounce of you.  You have made me a better person.  You have made our world a better place. You have made the whole WIDE world a better place too.  I can't wait to see what you will accomplish in this life!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Things may happen and often do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

Kid, you'll move mountains.
                     -Dr Seuss, Oh the Places You'll Go.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sunset on Summer

A pond. 40 of our closest friends. A zip line over the pond. Good eats. Good drinks. A beautiful day. So long, summer proper. You rocked it. And we like to think we were right there with you. So thanks. Namaste. See ya round. P.S. How did it happen that I can write that sentence after living here for just over a year. FOURTY of my closest friends?? I had 3 closest friends after living in Shelburne for 7 years!) Photos from the best day ever. I know, I keep saying that, but they just keep getting better. xoxox