If you're not from the prairie...

If  you've never been to the prairies, but wonder what it looks like, here's a few photos I took before we left.  Not sure what's up with the dust on my lens...

A vacation here at home!

It was plus 15 when we woke at 530 this morning and as of writing it's 16!  Laur has opened a couple of windows to let some air and humidity into the house.  All of us stood out on the deck this morning, hair tousling in the stiff breezes, marveling at the lovely weather.


Nova Scotia, where time mysteriously disappears.

I don't know what it is about Nova Scotia, but I am ALWAYS late.

Evening serenade.

Yesterday I finished up a bit of wood which had been dragged down by my muscular family.  It had been cut to lengths but I still had to split and stack it.  Quite a bit of softwood found its way to the wood pile - nice and dry from sitting in the sun for two summers - and a bit of hardwood.  This should take us through the end of the winter, but we'll keep going as processing firewood is a year-round activity.


Nothing changes, yet nothing stays quite the same... TMI post.

So, many of you will have already heard these stories once or twice, but I will repeat them here for the benefit of those who have not already been subjected to my indecencies.  The retelling of these stories will also serve to provide the background for today's adventure.


Sunday Drivers - not so interesting today...

Sunday Drivers was once again thwarted by the (apparent) weather.  Our plan was to head up to Annapolis Royal and spend some time on the grounds of Fort Anne and Fort Royal. However, when we did a check on the highway conditions the roads showed yellow - ice and snow covered.  I suspect they were actually quite decent, as the highway to Kentville/New Minas was perfectly clear and dry.


Something new on Saturday

We began the day by starting the puzzle Kookum brought for the boy last night.  We worked on it for about an hour, had the border done, before it was time to leave for ballet lessons. He had a surprisingly good day at the ballet "studio", listened well and performed amusingly.


School Cancelled

School is cancelled today, due to blowing snow.  This was not reported on the CBC website, so we were out waiting for the bus, when a nice person stopped and told us about the cancellation. Had they not stopped, we'd still be out there waiting.


12 Legitimately Life-Improving New Year's Resolutions you can steal from dogs

Toot! Toot!

A few weeks ago I was passing through the aisles at the grocery store (something I rarely do) when a small red polka-dotty thing caught my eye - it was a bag of Jacob's Cattle Beans.  Now, I'm not sure who Jacob was nor do I know what kind of cattle he had, but those cows must have been colourful for the beans named after him are absolutely beautiful.


Am I there?

I recently received an email from a friend who said that with all the recent changes in her life, it feels like she's living someone else's life.  That really resonated with me - I, too, feel like I'm guest-starring in someone else's bio-pic.

It's like I'm on vacation at some sort of surreal, hippy, LHK, DIY, farm/lodge/eco-tour/safari - the bed is big, linens luxurious, food is great, there's a huge fireplace in the livingroom and I look out the very large windows at amazing scenery.  There are trees.  The ocean is right over there.  My hair is long.  There are deer in my front yard (it's not because I'm enticing them with food). The snow floats down dreamily in enormous fluffy flakes and then melts away two days later.  I take daily walks through the forest or by the brook.  I shop for chickens, tractor implements and logging products. I've got a great dog. I wear overalls. I've slaughtered a pig, been given a peavy and mended torn pants.

I want to make more clothing, learn to pickle and preserve and put-up food, talk to my chickens and walk through waist-high hay.  I want to swim in the August ocean, fish for Morten Brook's brown trout, find the perfect tree for swinging and nap in the late afternoon sun.

I can't tell you if it's homey, harmonious or hale. But I do know this - I'm somehow here and it's somehow now.

Sunday Drivers

Sunday Drivers was Sunday Walkers today.  A few inches of snow fell yesterday which is totally drivable in an emergency, but is not something we want to go for a recreational drive upon this morning.  Besides, it's supposed to get to +9 today (it's already +8 as of writing) and a walk is much better for the body.

So, we headed off in search of the property line.  I can imagine this is difficult in the best of seasons (summer), but in the snow it was an entertaining adventure.  We found a few old fences which had been knocked down by time and logging machinery, but on the whole it was a two-hour bust.

When we bought the property, the seller mentioned as an aside that there was a bit of a disagreement with the neighbour about one of the boundaries.  I think we'll have to approach the neighbours and see if they want to go in on a survey of the south line because it's over a kilometer long and rather cost prohibitive. However, it would be nice to know exactly where the south and east lines lie. 

At times the snow was thigh high on me, and this made the going difficult for the boy.  Couple that with random streams/brooks/puddles and both he and I lost a boot at different times.  Truman had a blast, bombing around, snuffling about.  If you're looking for Truman on our walks, it is most helpful to remember that it's his butt you are looking for.   He spent most of his time butt-up, snuffling under the snow for tiny-mammal goodness.

Speaking of Truman, he absolutely despises water and will go to desperate measures to avoid dipping his tiny doggie toes in the wet-stuff, as this video demonstrates.

He will usually do some sort of weird crow hop across the brook, but this time he thought the "Skippy-John-Jones" approach worked best.  His bridge gave me a heart attack though, as I had visions of him slipping off and impaling himself on a broken branch sticking up.  Thankfully this was not the case.

I didn't take my camera with us, but Laur did take one photo - the house from Three Sisters Brook.

Walking in a winter wonderland...

Stay tuned for Sunday Drivers. This weekend we're exploring our property line - we've never walked the fence line.


It's never easy to do... but the worst of it was done on Sunday.

Yesterday was meat cutting day at Mooshum and Kookum's.   We covered and hung the pig on Sunday morning and it has been in the rafters of their walk-out for four days.  Normally Mooshum hangs the meat in the tractor shed, but our temperatures have been anywhere from -12 to +12 and it could have frozen solid.  The temperature in the walk-out, however, hovers around +3 (the perfect temperature), so that's where it hung and that's where we worked today.


A day on the farm...

Sunday Drivers decided to head out on Saturday and explore Ross Farm Museum.  We decided to go today for a couple of reasons - temperatures are hovering around zero (tomorrow is supposed to be 8 degrees!) and I'm helping G with the pig tomorrow.


Lots of starches, lots of greens. Fancy chocolate-covered...beans!

Well, I've ordered my seeds for this summer's crops.  There are two really great local heirloom, heritage, non-GMO, untreated, open-pollinated seed companies right here in the Valley -  Incredible Seeds, run by Chris Mueller in Lawrencetown and Annapolis Seed Comany, operated by Owen Bridge in Nictaux.


Look Ma! I made the real rocket from the macaroni prototype!

I've been working diligently on my pullover and am now at a forced stopping point.  For the first time ever (it seems that there are a lot of those for me in Nova Scotia), I used an entire spool of thread.  Because I'd rather not use anything but 100% nylon thread, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get some more.


As the tractor turns...

As you remember, we bought a tractor a few short weeks ago - Kubota 4150 from Nova International in Aylesford.

School bus...

The boy has been very excited to start taking the school bus. In fact, he was chirping on and on about the school bus before he even started going to school.

Time is the longest distance...

Tennessee Williams once said that time is the longest distance between two places.  Distance, be it physical or otherwise, is only the time it takes to get from one spot to another.

By the time you read this, it will be too late...

I have a moral quandary.


10 Reasons I like Nova Scotia.

1. You get Air Miles at the liquor store.  Not that we drink much, but this blew me away.

Nova Scotia - Canada's rubberboot province

Saskatchewanians - have you ever wondered why you own a pair of rubber boots or an umbrella?  You're not alone. Just like you, I was once one of those people. Aside from pouring concrete when we built the garage, I can honestly say that I'd never worn rubber boots.... comfortably or otherwise.

The macaroni prototype

Glad I made a prototype. Learned a lot!  It has been approximately 25 years since I've actually made anything with a sewing machine.  While some things came back quickly, I completely forgot others.



A wash of morning sunlight bathes valley farmsteads, golden light glinting gleaming back from bright breakfasted homes.


I've started work on a new project.  After ogling the pattern, reading, re-reading the blog for several months, and despite lacking any real sewing experience, I'm going to dive right into making this anorak.


Peace Pilgrim's 28-Year Walk For 'A Meaningful Way Of Life'

by Zak Rosen
All Things Considered
National Public Radio
Listen Here 

In 1953, Mildred Norman set off from the Rose Bowl parade on New Year's Day with a goal of walking the entire country for peace. She left her given name behind and took up a new identity: Peace Pilgrim.


Lame tide-you-over blog post.

A few photos to keep you entertained until I have anything something interesting to say.