Saturday, November 28, 2009


I am sitting at my mom's looking at an art project on the wall I made for her many many moons ago. Too (whoo woooooo) many moons to count, really. A piece of plywood, some nails, some paint and some string, and a pattern....Anybody else make something like this? You hammer in the nails, and then make a pattern with the string. My owl is pretty darn good. I remember loving art. I remember the "new assignment" day. I remember trying really hard to figure out how to make mine different than everyone elses....and often I did. I painted the plywood purple and black, purple being my favourite color. I remember the thrill of hammering in the nails, and finally experimenting with the colored threads to make a neat pattern....And then I got a B. I remember being really bummed out.
That just sux!
The teacher was a super sweetie caught up in the school thing, really. I mean did she not see a student trying to be unique, coming up with neat ideas, working hard, experimenting, finally producing a finished product she was proud of? I deserved a triple A. Really.
I still love that dang owl. I guess that's all that counts....
PS I made it 28 moons ago!
PPS When I'm not at my mom's I may try and add a photo to this post....
Note added later: My hubby was the only one to notice that I said 28 moons ago, which means 28 months, and I meant years!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I hear...

The things I overhear are, well, reconfirming to me that I am trying to take the right path with my kids...

Two moms talking about one's 4 year old:
Well the time out in the bedroom didn't work anymore - I had to stand and hold her door shut and she pulled and pulled and raged behind it. So now we have the time out chair and she has to stay in it for 4 minutes, quietly. As soon as her 4 minutes are up she starts up where she left off, raging, hitting, wailing - so she has to do another 4 minutes. She had to stay in it FOUR times in a row yesterday..... (I guess you have to ask yourself "Is it working?")

I listened to two teachers discuss discipline, and shuddered....One had a system of yellow red and green clothespins with names on them that she moved along a string.....I guess kids could instantly see how they were doing. (Can you imagine trying to keep track of 25 clothespins of different color?)

This is all I can coherently think of right now, I'll keep listening....I know I hear things all the time that make me think.....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Polyface Farms....Joel Salatin

Need I say more? Don and I loved "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and "In defence of food" more, both featuring Joel Salatin and his 'Beyond Organics' theories....We also have more than one of his farming titles. And of course both are in Food, Inc. an eyeopening movie now available at Blockbuster!

We noticed Joel Salatin was coming to speak for the farmer's institute 2 hours away and bought tickets. People travelled from the Kootenays to see him. He was dynamic, interesting, intelligent, inspiring, crazy and wonderful! We laughed our guts out and he made us think.

Food and the state of our food systems...industrial organics, Iowa corn, cattle feedlots, chicken barns, toxic manure waste...chemical fertilizers ARGH!

I can't even begin to try and copy one of his multi adjective descriptive sentences...they went on forever. Ok I'll try (hold on while I get hubby to try....)
"homogenized pasturized adulterated prostituted fecal coliform soup" that the industrial chickens are subjected to when they are processed yet the government is trying to shut down his chicken processing area on his farm. (Tests show his chickens have WAY less pathogens than supermarket chicken....)

If you haven't read the books or seen any movies about the state of our food systems, you probably have no idea what I am blathering about.

We were wowed.

I feel a sense of helplessness because I don't see anything changing in my lifetime.
When fossil fuels become too expensive there IS going to be a revolution. Food will no longer be so cheap and easily produced. Things will change. Fast Food won't be so cheap and hence it may not be so popular......
When the fossil fuel based chemical fertilizers dumped on Iowa and etc. farms and leached out into rivers (drinking water for many huge cities) and eventually into the gulf of mexico causing massive growths of algae doesn't alarm anyone, we are in big trouble.
When the president's wife wants an organic garden and is subjected to the pharmaceutical companies' wrath - how dare they promote organics when the chemcial industry makes it possible to produce a lot of food cheaply (....just WHAT IS cheap????), we are in big big trouble.
When my "organic" leaf spinach travels 2000 km to get to me, and I still buy it (I try not too) it is a small example of our problem.
When I see someone buying, and I kid you not, a pre - wow I don't know how to describe this - pre unwrapped (?) pomegranate at the store I was flabbergasted. There are people who don't even want to peel their own pomegranates!!!!
When a Saskatchewan farmer has to pay Monsanto because Monsanto's GMO canola fertilized his ORGANIC canola in a neighboring field and he is found guilty of "stealing" monsanto's patented technology, we are in trouble.
When people are becoming so obese because they are starving themselves eating processed unnutritious crap that leaves them hungry for more, but they eat more crap....until they can't move, we are in trouble.

Farms may revert back to a natural ecosystem of lifestock - manure - crop cycle but maybe not. I'm blathering, but I'm sad.

Maybe this article can describe what I saw better.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I love these books....

My kids are busy making mummies. Yep, Usborne rocks. Egyptian things to make and do. Step by step. Visual. Easy. No special supplies. They rock. My kids are in a FRENZY of crafting right now. Cards, crafts, ornaments - 4 or 5 craft books out on the table - with bits of paper flying everywhere.....and all over my floor. I LOVE IT!!!
This very second they are discussing what mummies are - we're also watching Egypt: Rediscovering the lost world - which is awesome as most BBC productions I've seen are!!! Story of the World (Audiobook)?? Youbetcha!! My kids love it right now! We listen in the car and when we get home they stay in the car for up to an HOUR to keep listening.....Did I mention we love USBORNE??? (Ok I didn't post this when I wrote it, but they WERE discussing mummies....and since I wrote this August made a sarcophagus and a paperchain of egyptian dancers...,.)
Earlier today we read "Butterflies and Moths" from the Beginner Series. They wanted to go to the internet links, so August did mazes and Sawyer made crazy bugs, we printed buttefly stuff to color. Holdy wanted a butterfly tab book. I love the fact that this one short yet well written book, with awesome photos and illustrations inspired so much interest and activity from my kids....
Did I mention I love Usborne books?? I'll shut up now.
UPDATE: Ok the big joke around here with the boys right now is that they all say they are going to be mummies (as in have babies to the uninitiated) about 100 years (as in Egypt)..... Ok it's funny when it comes from them :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fresh from the field!

We had pig for breakfast this morning. Bacon to be exact. And to quote my kids it was "Fresh from the field!" And it was good, too bad I didn't get any. I cooked a pound, the three boys ate all but one piece they left for their dad......I'm in big big big trouble, they're only 4,6 and 8!!!!
We delivered our 12 pigs to the only place we are allowed to have them slaughtered legally. Because it is such a big business we and many of our customers chose to have our pigs 'cut and wrapped' at smaller home based meat cutters'. Picture hubby driving with 10 half pigs in the back of the pick up from one butcher to the other. I wonder what the driver behind him thought....
We picked up our pig yesterday. It came with all waste - head, hooves, kidneys, fat, tail....yep we got it all! So I pulled out Little House in the Big Woods and read the section when Laura and Mary roasted the pig tail on the fire. It was so delicious they could hardly wait to eat it and burned themselves. We held out the perfectly straight frozen piggy tail and tried to get the boys to roast it on our woodstove. No takers.
Ah well, fresh from the field bacon will do!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I haven't mentioned this before but I sell Usborne books - to feed our habit really! These books rock! Check out my silly newsletter! Even the Pioneer Women loves Usborne books! If you homeschool, these books are mandatory! Right now hubby is reading "Viking Raiders" to my 4 year old.....and he's saying to me (hubby that is) Did you know....?
They ROCK!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holdy Again

Holdy is fine. He just feels like he's had a run in with a vampire or 5....but his hotwheel collection is significantly bigger so he's happy. He had a examination today and blood taken, they were sent home and we've heard nothing, so we're assuming no news is good news......Thanks for all your wishes and thoughts!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holdy Update

Well some may have wondered how Holden is. He's sick! He's still sick! (3 weeks - and noone else in the house is sick) And the doctors don't know what's wrong. After a series of blood tests (6 vials!) yesterday he was referred to a pediatrician an hour away on a stat holiday today. Which means hubby spent the day sitting in the ER next to sick people and drug addicts (Pediatric outpatients was closed). All day. His tests indicate there is a big inflamation somewhere but they have no idea where. Holdy is quite liking the "goodies" he gets after they take his blood -yesterday a pack of hotwheels "Not just one Mummy, a pack!" and today a big smartie cookie. Pretty soon he's gonna ask for needles! Anyways, we're hoping we get some answers, when we go back, again, on friday. sigh.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just Stuff

Today we finished Abel's Island (see sidebar - and we read multiple books at once here, must be good for them right?) and I pulled a mean trick. It was kinda fun though - evil laugh. We listened and watched Abel grow from quite a pompous idle mouse to a mouse who loved his island home, loved nature and fending for himself and who had developed quite an artistic bent. We watched him suffer and long for home and FINALLY we see him escaping from his island. As he reached the other side - it's quite momentus - I have tears in my eyes I'm so happy for Abel and SO enjoying the prose of Mr. Steig - I read falsely "and the owl ate him." Sawyer was shocked into silence, Holdy was silent and August, who reads along with me laughed out loud. Sawyer wasn't very happy about my "joke".

We thought Holdy was better, especially after he ate 4 or 5 hotdogs in about a 24 hour period (Hold on a sec....maybe that's why he's sick again....) and munched down on his halloween candy. Poor little guy. He had a nap again today, and his temp is going up again. I REALLY hope we get some results from that unmentionable sample we took in last week.....

My big boy, he gets numbers. Wild. Overheard in the kitchen while cooking the last hot dog for Sawyer, "Sawyer, if you give me 1/4 of your hotdog that'll be fair, cuz I had 1/2 of Holdy's and 2 quarters make a 1/2 and then we'll both have 3/4" Amen John Holt.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oh Yuck!

So my little guy is still sick. Yep working on 2 weeks now. The good news is that his appetite is improving, especially when his meds kick in.....It's so sad to watch him, he walks around like an old man......He is so grumpy and energy less. Poor little guy.
So improving means "Can we have hotdogs for dinner?"
Can you feel the inner whole foods loving, vegetable farming, natural organic meat using Mommy CRINGING???????????
Can you see her going to the store and buying Hot dogs??
I'll do ANYTHING for my little man, anything. sigh. hot dogs. blech!
They're almost as bad as the sample we had to collect today for the lab, but we won't go there.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Hayride

A friend called me at the last minute about a hayride at a local farm.....Holdy seemed ok, the older kids were keen, the day was stunning so off we went! My camera was full so unfortunately I spent some of the ride deleting so i could take photos....such a bummer as I missed sooo many amazing views. The true beauty of this property is hard to describe. This photo is taken by the beach looking back towards the mountains. The ocean vista is equally as stunning.
The farm is across the river from the property I grew up on. I played and went to school with Farmer Tom's kids.
My middle pride and joy!

Farmer Tom opening gates....The farm used to be a dairy farm
but now they grow veggies and organic beef. He had a surprise for us....

5 day old twins!!

They'd never been outside and Mama was nervous and protective

and respectful and trusting of Farmer Tom.

Mama was stunning to look at...

Nothing can make a little sick boy forget his woes than putting his hand on a newborn calf. The happiest I'd seen him in days.....

Thank you Farmer Tom!Posted by Picasa

Happy Halloween!

Posted by Picasa

My sick boy who roused himself on Halloween to carve his pumpkin. His energy spurt lasted as long as his meds (and a hay ride but that's another blogpost....) and he was soon in bed sleeping. He didn't make it out Trick-or-Treating and didn't seem to care. His big brothers brought home LOTS of goodies and had a big goodie dump and share party. It was very cute - They divided the goodies into sorts and divided....He sat there holding his bag of goods and couldn't even eat any. Today we're hoping he's on the mend....but he's weak - 10 days sick takes it out of little guys.

Pumpkin Fun

The kids grew their own pumpkins again this year with the best results yet. The superb weather, new ground, drip irrigation and diluted little boy pee helped their pumpkins grow ENORMOUS. We had 76, 79 and 83 pounders all looking huge. The 77 pound one actually looked the biggest but was lighter.
We found out why – the heavier pumpkin had TONNES of wet heavy stuff inside. The other two not much.

The boys had great fun carving, extracting seeds and getting their heads stuck inside!

You can see the progression their ages and the amount of the actual carving they did themselves. It didn’t help that these pumpkins had about 4 inches of flesh!! It was tough!

Holdy wanted square eyes. Sawyer laughed and said this pumpkin had watched "too much TV" August said the pumpkin was sad because the TV had been turned off! Greeaaaat!

Daddy helped but I designed it!

We got a small pumpkin and cut it in half to look at the seeds. The boys exclaimed “It looks like a pizza!” I thought it looked like the segments of an orange.

We saved the seeds for eating and growing next year. We'll see how much Monsanto had to do with the hugeness of these pumpkins I guess!

All the pumpkins had big flat spots on them, next year we’re going to try and set them in position for growing. August thinks the stems will break if we do this. We’ll experiment.
We did cut off extra growth past the set fruit so the pumpkin plants could concentrate on one pumpkin each. (Ok Ok we had 4 but one rotted in early September…the piggies loved it….)
Next year we’ll take a closer look at the pumpkin flowers and watch the pollinators more!

Now are there any takers on the 10 totes of squash I have in my house???? It was a banner year here for squash and we don’t want squishy squashes! D??