Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Meet the New Love of my life.

Steel Cut Oats

Soaked overnight and then cooked up in the morning.  Topped with nuts and cinnamon, fruit or yogurt.  The skies the limit really.  All I know is that it is all divineness....if that's a word.

This is Nude Food's photo and you can find a recipe here and a little about why you would soak the oats overnight.  
Happy eating.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Hanging on to our Stuff

My mother moved recently.  To the town where I live.  It has fallen to my hubby, D, and I to help her load and unload and unpack and downsize.  Moving is tall order for a 75 year old 5' nothing, 95 lb little lady.

It's tough for us (in general) to let go of stuff isn't it?  We have our lives, our memories stored in boxes.  Depending on where we have come from in our past lives, the need to hang on to our things can be even greater.  Those of us who have experienced poverty tend to hang on because we have such an appreciation for what we own.  
Or maybe it comes down to personality.  Chuckers and Hoarders?  Maybe there is a spectrum.  Some of us are extreme Chuckers and some of us are extreme Hoarders and the rest are somewhere in between.

My hubby D and I moved, with our youngest to a new community about 3 years ago.  We had lived in our old place for 25 years.  Can I let you in on a secret? I have things in my own basement (of the house that we now rent) that have been packed up and not used for all this time.  I think about that and wonder how long to keep those items. You know, like, Grandma's fine bone china...that I will Never, Ever use.  But I feel obligated to keep. Or things your children have made for you and you just love those hand crafted items so much because when you look at them, they take you back in time to when your wonderful grown up children were cute young children.  Or cards!!! Wedding, Babies, Birthdays, Christmas.....yikes, what to do, what to do!  One practice I have begun with clothes is that when I buy something new I toss something old.....that seems to be working for me.

This post is just a place to share some of my thoughts about stuff....sorry no pat answers.....this is a journey we all have to take at some point.  All the best!!
Feel free to comment on your experience with stuff!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Getting lapped.

My hubby, D, was away this week-end so I got the privilege of taking my youngest up to the local park where he likes to run and practise his baseball skills.
For the last few years he was not only playing for the University he attends but he was also part of a summer baseball league. So this summer he decided to give his body a break from eleven months of hard playing.  So he has done gym workouts on his own.....some corrective exercises and strengthening.  And then running, throwing, catching, and hitting at the park.
On this particular morning he and I just did running.

On the way to the field we talked about what music we like to listen to when we run.  

These are the toe shoes he wears.  Not intimidating at all.  I, of course wore my fave Brooks PureDrift minimalist shoes.  I blogged about them in a previous post.  I am pretty sure they make me a lot speedier.  You know, kind of like running on air....only not.

We started off together but it wasn't too long before he pulled ahead.  

And away he went.  I liked how he gave me a cute little grin every time he lapped me.  He is a kind and respectful Canadian boy like that.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wet Felted Tea Cozy

Remember my middle child that recently had a birthday?  Well I was just visiting her and her husband who are great tea drinkers.  I realized there was something missing as I wrapped their tea pot with a tea towel to keep it warm.  Haha!  An idea was born!  When I got home I went to work needle felting a tea cozy design.  Since she has to endure long, long cold, actually freezing cold winter months, I decided to remind her of the brighter and fairer months by felting some flowers on one side and an apple tree on the other.

One side

And the other.

I used a plastic resist to separate the sides and went to work felting it.

Sheep's wool + boiling water + soap + friction = Felt

One side.

And the other.

The best part was.....she liked it!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Wet felted Play Scape - The Ocean

An ocean.

An ocean with a beach and a meadow.

Bunny and Hedgehog live in the meadow.

Flowers adorn the meadow.

The meadow is a colorful place for Bunny and Hedgehog to play in.

A little boat bobs up and down on the wavy ocean.

On the beach is a log.

And a starfish lives close to the water.

There are shells that are different shapes and colours, and a sand dollar.

A little yellow duck floats by looking at the beautiful beach and the colourful meadow.

"Quack, Quack," says the duck to Bunny and Hedgehog.  

The beauty of a play mat like this one is that you can weave a story together by just setting it up.  My two year olds love it.  

Susan Munzer wrote a book called Learn to Play, Play to Learn.  It is an invaluable resource including story baskets, stories, tons of information on story telling, games, puzzles and more.  Check it out here.

I was inspired by her incredible gifts of story telling and her presentation of a story.  I know you will be too.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Soul Food

We had the privilege this last week of enjoying a week of vacation.  Our friends graciously shared their home, time, delicious food and this stunning view!  There is something about being by the ocean that is so relaxing and life-giving.  We came away replenished.

We also have family that live close to the same ocean but with a different beach!  We enjoyed some time lounging around, overwhelmed by the view, playing, talking, laughing and re-connecting and eating, of course eating.

My youngest and his cousin....playing...the way boys do.  Doesn't matter how old one is, I've noticed.

Not hard to figure out where this log is going!

The view to the left.

The view to the right.

The view at my fingertips!

And of course we had to finish up our afternoon at our favorite Ice Cream place.  After all its a tradition and a right of passage we have to pass on to the young 'uns.

Home again now and back to the daily grind.  When I listen carefully I can still hear the rolling waves.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Wet felted Playscape - The Little Blue Truck

One of our dear family friends recently had a baby.  This is their second lovely little boy and their oldest is two.  So as I was thinking about a baby gift, I thought it might be nice to make a play mat for the oldest, with the thought that the youngest would grow into playing with it in short order.  I decided to use the easy to read 'Little Blue Truck" book as a theme knowing that play mats are so versatile and open that the book is just a starting point or introduction to invite the child to play.  As time was of the essence I kept the design simple.

I love to shop at thrift stores for play accessories and was thrilled to find a dump truck and replica of a 1956-7 Ford truck made by Tonka! 

Little Blue Truck - "Horn went "Beep!" Engine purred.  Friendliest sounds  you ever heard.

The Dump!...I cut out a felt mud puddle so the children can place it where they like, adding to the interactive quality of the play mat. 

Schleiss Animals are the ones I generally choose to live on my play mats.  They do cost a little more but the quality is definitely worth it!!

Head to head and rump to rump they all pushed Blue - who pushed the Dump.

Add rocks and sticks as "loose parts" to extend the play.

Beep!  Beep!  Beep!

Monday, 5 August 2013

It's been a while since I have been here!!  So much has happened in the last few weeks.  But here I am today and ready to write a post about someone beautiful in my life!

One morning, twenty seven years ago, I woke up and knew a little baby was going to be born.  My due date had been two weeks prior and other than a mad, middle of the night race to the hospital which ended up being false labour, my pregnancy was normal and I was just waiting and waiting for her.... or him to come.  My husband D, was secretly very thrilled to race through the city at night, apparently he had always wanted to do that.  So that morning labor started and I was amazingly calm and happy.  I got my first born packed and ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's.  Nice for me that they lived in the same city.  We had a cup of tea there and then when the contractions were close enough we headed up to the hospital.  She was born around supper time.  She came into the world relatively easy and they wrapped her up in a blanket so only her tiny little face was showing.  She made little mewling sounds that melted my mama's heart and I knew she was going to be so sweet.  And she is and was as she grew up.  Sweet and kind and loving and compassionate, with just the right amount of feisty mixed in.  I love her.
Happy Birthday little girl.  I wish for you the best day ever.  And the best year.  And the best life.