Monday, December 28, 2009

quietest

Whisk is allowed on the bed when D's away. He's in the city tonight, recording with his band for a few days, so the dog's keeping my toes toasty while outside blows a cool -28C windchill. The fire on in the front room finally sends heat back here, since improving our attic and crawl space insulation last week. Another house to-do off the list. Soon we'll get to the more exciting stuff (counters! sinks! doors!).

Spent the day in bed, sick. Being sick is such a strange thing, but the best part is how great you feel when it leaves you. You even feel better than you did before you got sick. Tonight I feel a little less awful than earlier so hoping tomorrow I'll be well enough to get groceries and maybe even work on some music.

The house is so quiet when it's just me and the dog and the cat. It's a heavy kind of silence in that everything stays so still in its place - any moving or shaking comes from nature or weather. I like it. I like how truly alone and undisturbed I can be here. A very insular, internal existence... living in the womb of a two-bedroom bungalow.

And so quiet compared to the Christmas bustle too. Two families, lots of driving, lots of relatives, lots of friends. Lots of food, lots of gifts, lots of card games. Not a feeling of excess tho... more like a full, satisfying completeness. All topped up for another few months of winter, and another year. Merrily we roll along.

Friday, December 11, 2009

wind

At night I imagine we're in an airplane, or a submarine, on a desert, or in the Arctic. The wind moves against the house like a real presence, with an eerie, lonely, growl. The ghost of winter cometh, visiting for days, waking us in the nights. Like a sad dog.

Whiskey & Mo got their annual shots today. D got the vet to clip W's nails, as we had tried with no luck. He was very difficult apparently... and our vet said it's obvious he was hit when he was a puppy. Usually it's hard for her to tell but with Whisk she can say that for sure (he would flinch back whenever she moved her arm). It made me so sad to hear this, I almost cried. But at least now we have him and we love him sooo muchhh.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

storm watch

Delaying my Toronto visit until the storm passes. It's coming tonight, all wind and snow, slashing it's way from the states up to us. They see it coming in photos of the sky, and the news is whispered in our collective ear: warning!

I was prepared to narrow my brows, harden my shoulders, and plow my way through... but danger is danger. The warnings sound real enough I shall surrender to the dark clouds to the South, and wait, and watch it blow by through the window, tea in hand. Or maybe I will go out in it and feel the winter's kiss, hair swirling, eyelashes frozen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

just a temperature adjust

Once the chill cools over, time freezes. We move slowly, bundled, shuffling, from a warm room... and quickly back again. Unless the fire's on then we can stay by it. Late November's only the tip of the iceberg.

Turn on the car a few minutes before the drive to get the heat blowing. Tidy the yard now cos the snow's coming. Leave the dog in the house when at the pool cos he's sleeping. D. brings tea in the morning but I'm still sleepingggggg.

Bodies quiet and harden, fragile in the dark mornings and dark evenings. Only a long hot bath, or a long warm phone call, or a long good movie, can really lighten and soften. The sun now more for mind than skin. Our sunny dispositions still beaming at least. Lots of singing. Always ridiculous songs to each other. Dances too. Love makes my winter shine.

Focus: sweaters, flannel, socks, scarves, slippers.
Essential oils: cinnamon leaf & sweet orange.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

fall seeds

We planted the garlic today, this beautiful November fall day, in short-sleeves. About 200 cloves of our own seed (music and german red). Also planted a couple rows of daikon radish as an experiment. The new garden is starting to shape up... the soil is lovely and I'm already anxious for 2010 seed catalogues to arrive!

Also spent a bit of the day cleaning up and organising boxes of seed and the potting table in the basement. At the end of it all, I was inspired to start some herbs to grow indoors over the winter. Any extras I can unload onto friends and family (right Mom?). Started: savory, parsley, cumin, chamomile, basil, lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, and... sensitive plants, for fun. That should tide me over for awhile.

Kale chips are tasty! Cut washed leaves off stems, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and nutritional yeast, and dehydrate for 4hrs. Good way to get your greens in.

Also, D is cool. He needs a table, he builds a table. Now I hear him downstairs organising screws and nails.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

woman's work


The tiller has landed. A nice mid-tine honda... and I had no idea how to work it. The rental guy dropped it off while we were out so I missed whatever tips he could give me. An hour in and I decided it was a waste of money as I was simply not strong enough to get the job done. The thing pulled my 125-pound self around the field no matter how much I tried to hold it back, to get it to dig down. What else does one do in these situations than... call Dad.

Dad's tip was to use the depth bar. OHHHHHHH, that thing that's sticking out the back? So out I went again, set the bar low, jabbed it down into the ground and voila... it held the thing back and made it dig in. I felt like I had just tamed a wild horse.

About half way done in this photo, after doing a bit more this morning. It's miraculously sunny now, and I just finished breakfast and a little coffee... so back out I go. I think I'll divide the 30x30'-ish plot into four quadrants.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

raw truths

Oh body of mine, why art thou such great reminder of things done, things not done, and things left to do? I suppose we just are what we live and it's not good or bad, but is. Each moment we are ourselves (past, present, future) all in one. I enjoy all three and will continue to learn, love, and nurture.

The path to real healing has begun with the goal being a stronger immune system and a peaceful mind. Good vibes, happiness, health. Already I feel the life force brightening within me. It is hard to describe other than calling it a stronger sense of well-being. The motivation behind it I shall keep vague for now: a biopsy, a diagnosis, a warning. Luck murkied in the realisation of unwellness, but luck no less, and a chance to change.


I've been reading everything I can about the raw food diet and its magic. As much sense as it sounds, there seems to be a lack of science, so yes, magic. (Similar to other things in the world not hyper-defined, yet right). So for the past week+ it's been smoothies and salads and good old fashioned vitamins. Not too extreme, but making sure to get lots of good stuff in. So far I'm doing "raw till dinner" and then dinner is usually a vegan something (cooked). Also, slow stretches, and laughter, and breathing. It's time to feel good and good about feeling.

I bought a 3-tier sprouter (sprouts are so good for you!). I know I will like it because I love to garden. I also love sprouts.

Speaking of garden, I've rented a tiller for the weekend! Extending the garden and really making it real. I'm guessing it'll be about 30x30' plus two raised beds that are each 4x8'. Lots of room to GROW.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

here comes the paint

"How can we plan a wedding when we can't even paint the bedroom?"

So yesterday shelves were emptied, floors were swept, the bed was moved. A little sanding to be done on the new window header drywall (exposed for almost a year?!), priming, then paint over the entire room's brown walls, and new baseboard. Yes, it will be done! Then, a wedding.

I can't wait to get married - we'd do it tomorrow if it wasn't necessary to include our loving gang of family and friends (it is necessary, right?). The venue we picked out had to stop doing weddings so now we're back to square one with t-minus 8 months till show time, if we stick with the date we picked out. That's fine. But a venue really kick starts the rest of the planning, so we're still in limbo. Stay tuned. Every day I think of a new scenario for how it could all go down (cheaply, mindful of respective parents travel situations, low stress, fun?).

Last night I had a bridemare - not the first. The reception was in a too-big hall, the food was crappy, and most people left early. I was sad. In an attempt to salvage things, I found a small radio but wasn't sure what to tune it to to make everyone dance and be merry. At the end of it all, I glanced down at my left ring finger to take in the ultimate joy - being married. Expecting a glint of white gold to shine over the evening, I instead found a ring on my middle finger made of a petrified mushroom. What the?! D said he found it on the street. Dad was polite and said it was very beautiful.

I'm not sure what these silly dreams mean, but I hope they will fade once we figure out what we're doing and start making plans for it. In the meantime, painting the bedroom will feel good. Insulating the house too. Cleaning up the yard. Real things that make sense.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

fall feelin'

Brr it is chilly! The cold landed in so quickly. Last night we had our first fire. What a difference aged wood and a clean chimney make, it was roaring in no time (last year, a late wood delivery made for painful fire starting and a mucked up flue).

Getting to see family more often now that we live closer. So nice. When in Toronto, I'd take the Greyhound to the valley, about a 6.5hr trip, and only on limited days. Now that we live further North with cars, it's a 2.5hr drive through country-side.

My folks and both brothers live in the town I grew up in. B was showing us his amazing pumpkin haul this year. M has been doing road-construction all summer out west but is home this weekend. We'll be 5 for thanksgiving... nice when that happens. Thanksgiving already! And just last month we (er, D) helped dad take out the dock.

We've started making fall to-do lists before the real winter hits. This weekend we'll pile wood on the porch, clean up the gardens, put the lawnmowers away, buy a freezer. Country lyfe!

Monday, September 21, 2009

swizzerland


Haven't found enough time to properly write, but I'm in Zurich and it's beautiful. Spent a couple of days in St. Gallen as well, also beautiful. Land of cheese & chocolate, I've been eating well, walking lots, and now, working hard. More soon.

Friday, September 04, 2009

thoughts along the way

A post-work band practice leaves me walking to Union along King St., where I enjoy daydreaming about the other living lives there. Lives that have expensive clothes, condos, late night dinners on restaurant patios, laughter and socializing with similar folk, city air, cigarettes, wine, and work tomorrow (high-salaried, important). I think about years ago, when I was a young cityzen. Dancing on a Wednesday night, laughing with friends, booze, warm dark streets, falafels, city parks, dates, bike rides, and so on. Do I miss it and will I ever return to it? Maybe. Maybe. (30min walk from space to train station).

On the train ride I have with me an iPod and a book. Nerves always take some coaxing to settle so instead of philosophical podcasts I load up the "chilled out" playlist and get into the conclusion of this novel. Finally, the characters make it across the glacier, after 80 or so days of travel, and are welcomed, fed, and taken care of by villagers in the nearest town. (40min train ride from city to suburbia)

A tylenol (busy day at the office... or maybe it was the amplifiers), a big sigh, a big stretch, and I'm off, CBC with me in the passenger seat. First an interview with Geddy & Alex of RUSH (what life would be like as a rock star), then an interview with Diana Athill (I hope I am so well at 91). She says 'silly' is a better disciplinary word than 'naughty' for children, the later being somewhat "dashing". (1.5hr drive from suburbs to country)

The car turns off... I get out and look at the moon. I've been noticing my car's shadow in it for the last 30min of the drive. The stars are faded by its fullness. I screw in the second light bulb, the one beside the front door, because the moths and night bugs are hiding from the cold now. Whiskey is so happy to see me his body slides side to side at the power of his wagging tail. D is waiting up for me. Peace & happiness.

Friday, August 28, 2009

our bread n butta

A beautiful week tho cold nights & mornings. Even a frost warning! I crossed-fingers instead of covered to protect my tomatoes that night... it worked. Had fried-green maters the next day.

Although the birthday gift cheese-making kit from hoeger supply left much to be desired, D valiantly pursued the great art de fromage - a simple goat ricotta with salt & basil. Mild, delicious, easy.

Earlier, I had made bread for the first time, following my buddy megz's recipe, and it was super easy and deelish. This will probably become an ongoing weekend thing to do. In fact, the following weekend I made this batch:

Success again with the wholewheat honey oat. Tonight I shall make more bread to take with me when we go north to visit my family... they'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

small harvests

Even the tiniest skirt-full of garden veggies can make a kitchen sparkle. The initial goal was more like wheelbarrow-fulls, however, I've much to learn... and much to till.

But it doesn't take much to feel thankful toward the earth. That sounds so floaty, but it's just so nice that we can interact directly with the ground, alone, watch the weather, the seasons, and receive the food we eat. It's always there, quietly providing, accepting our nurture with patience and forgiveness.

Mmm... tomatoes for daily sandwiches and pretty photos. Tho am realising the high vegetable content of my photographs these days. Sort of a yawn? It's year one in the garden and I'm renewly amazed by the generosity of the the little seeds I planted mere months ago. Does the feeling of magic wear off? I just made up that word 'renewly' by the way... it's a new, returning, wonder each summer.

Friday, August 14, 2009

place hands on taters

One of the more jarring moments in getting older, leaving the city, living here - leaving the band last week. I admit to a healthy dose of drama-queenness, but it does sort of seem like the end of an era. Music and being a musician has been a big part of my life since I left home over 10 years ago... Even tho I'm seriously small fry compared to so many, it has played a large role in all that I've done over the years. In addition to making music and setting up shows, my friends, my fiance, and even my job, have come to me through connections of living within this world. And it's a world of creativity and doing which is so awesome. I feel lucky to have good friends dedicated to this cause.

Leaving the house to hit the practice space and make music, writing songs, recording, playing shows - I shall miss it. But will continue to work on my own stuff here. We've set up our basement for rockin' (drum kit, guitars, amps, mics) and there's recording equips scattered throughout the house. Maybe D and I will start something... we always talk about it.

Aside from the bummer of no longer screaming each week, I am so happy there will be more time to focus on the farm. Looking forward to more days of gardening, chickens, animals... Also, more time to connect with the community here. There's always so much going on each weekend - hoping we can do the local farm tour in early Oct: Kawartha Farmfest

In other news... Next year I will grow a zillion more potato plants so that we can have a zillion more potatoes! I only planted 6 in the spring, and I have another 6 seed potatoes I'll plant soon as an experiment (maybe they'll over winter?). Going to make a nice potato salad tonight with some of these. The purple are Caribe and the red ones are Roko.

Check this out:
It is the most tomatoey lil tomato plant I've ever seen. Will save its seeds. It's a Jagodka heirloom grown from seed via a trade.

Despite earlier frost/deer/bug damage, a few plants came through. This is Azoychka, also from trade. Should ripen to yellow, hopefully soon. Am anxious to eat real tomatoes!
Just snacking on cherry toms (Koralik) for now.

Ah, TGIF. And finally a free weekend. By free I mean time to clean the house, weed the gardens, run errands, and... go SWIMMING!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

garlic '09

Got all the garlic in finally. It's pretty awesome! In total, harvested about 175 bulbs - 125 organic music (planted 5 pounds) and 50 organic german red (planted 2 pounds), with seed ordered from August's Harvest. Weird, the math is solid with 1 pound = 25 bulbs. Huh.

The bulbs are all different sizes so we'll keep the big ones for replanting and the rest we'll store/eat/share with fam & friends. After it cures, we'll be hummus'ing, guacamole'ing, and garlic bread'ing all over this place. Was nice and easy to grow... wondering about ordering a different kind to plant this fall - suggestions?

Apparently chicken manure gives the bulbs a good boost in size. Another reason, besides eggs, to get some hens happening here. Starting to enjoy all the little connections that inevitably happen on a farm.

Might try planting the bulbils. Not really sure how that works, but google will tell me when the time comes (so handy to be an internet-generation gardener). I think they take several years to become full-size, but then you have fresh stock.

In other news, got my love a cheese-making kit for his birthday. My family were like 'really?' but he dug it. Tomorrow I'll meet him in the city for his actual birthday... a day of museums, watching his band play (@ sneaky dee's for wavelength), and a shmancy stay at a hotel. When we get home he'll try making basic chevre I think. It's sort of the research stop on the fork between dairy goats and some other type of husbandry. I've been enjoying reading Twwly as she's rocking the goat/cheese world. We'll see what happens.

Friday, August 07, 2009

streamline

The days are full. Sometimes so full, very little gets done. Balls drop everywhere. Nights are for recovering from the vibrations, in the dark and quiet, but even then sometimes it can shake you, and things need to change.

A busy job and a dirty house do not go well together. Nor do band practices and making time to call your brother. Or laundry and birthday parties. Or dogs and hotels. Or talking late into the night when your love has to work on a roof the next day. So then, there are choices. Priorities now different than then, and always changing. The goal is to streamline: sail through life harmoniously, with the wind. I always thought this solely a frame of mind, but now I see it's more than that. Sometimes the things you do are too much, so you do less to make time for more.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

grey sky week

Up at 6. Black tea and apple loaf, a warm alpaca sweater of D's, a toweled-dry dawg, CBC classical radio. It's a grey old day - dark and wet, chilly and windy. Feelin' bad for my love who's out working in it. He'll come home soaked to the bone and cold. Perhaps I should have the bath ready. And maybe some soup. Supposed to rain all week. So, opposite yesterday's post, I feel a little miffed at July!... a hot sunny day that much more missed on days like this one.

We've left scapes on several of the garlic plants, as an experiment. After the rains, we'll wait for the ground to dry out a bit, then pull 'em.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

fields and roads

Could be one of our coldest Julys, but I don't mind. Less swimming and shorts-wearing, but comfortable days and nights, happy kale. The summer is flying by! Our weekends are often busy - one of us in the city or we're visiting with friends and family. Next week, after a night in Toronto, I'll be driving north to my folks and then driving with mom to Massachusetts for a family reunion. Then Toronto again after that to record in the studio with the band. A total of almost 2 weeks away... great things, but wew!

These frequent stints away make me wonder about the possibility of having more animals on the farm. Chickens and goats being the current fascination/topics of research. Let myself splurge a little on books: "Chickens in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide", Rick Luttmann; "You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise", Joel Salatin; "Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats: Breeds, Care, Dairying." I'll just be hanging on the beaches of Gloucester reading about milking goats. Sounds about right.

The earwigs have been bad this year. They are everywhere and totally freaky looking. Getting tired of squishing them! NAST.

What else? Ah yes, we've got horseshoe pits going finally. Think we'll have a round with the neighbours on Friday. Garlic soon ready to pull. It's smallish, but surely tasty. We'll prob be saving a large part of it for replanting this fall, keeping a lot for ourselves, and selling the rest cheaply to friends. It's been so easy to grow - perhaps we'll try planting even more this year. D talks about how it'll keep the vampires away - he's on a 'True Blood' (HBO show) kick lately.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

summer's day

There are days where I'm filled with the greatness of life, its possibility, hopes and dreams, happiness. This morning the birds are singing, the chimes are dinging, and the wind is so soft and warm.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

when a month is a year

Rain falling, all week, from the sky. Just falling or sometimes with the wind, and then pounding against windows and roof. In the pauses I go out to smell the air, check the mail, pull the weeds. Briefly existing in the drenched outdoor world before going back in to make tea. Tho through windows, still bird song, drops falling from trees, the smell. Pets inside with noses tucked under paws. Sweaters and socks for me.

June was quiet for writing but deserves a few more words. July 1st, hold on a sec!

Number one is the garden failed (dang!), but in a way to teach me things. Snow and frost the first week of June killed many seedlings, mainly my tomato patch. Replanted, and a week later ravaged by animals (deer I think), nibbling the tops off everything. Those plants unaffected instead eaten entirely, and surprisingly quickly, by bugs. Also, Toronto commitments, bad weather, general exhaustion... things were put off, unwatered, unplanted. Oh yeah, and the tiller died. Strike one for year one but am not put off by it as things can only go up from here. Next year, soil will be ready, a fence built, and more frequent checking for bugs, surely. Also lessons in patience, dedication, timing... basically, things that had to happen now in order for the endeavor of growing our own food to move forward. And I should quantify 'fail' - we are still eating some stuff! Just not to the capacity I thought we would. Fresh herbs, green onions, garlic scapes, lettuces, kale... yum.

Also, I turned 30! It is a comfortable age. The birthday panics of my 20's absent this time around. Instead, infused with the feeling experienced in even earlier years; the milestone of knowing that life will become even more exciting, rich, enlightening, and inspiring from here on in. (hey, I learned a lot in my 20's, but most importantly, the importance of optimism). D & I were going to celebrate with a camping trip but with the rain that weekend, we instead went up to Minden and spent Saturday night in a little inn called the Dominion Hotel. Good food, good beer, CAKE, and turns out Minden is a neat little place to hang out. My actual birthday was spent in the city (work conference) but I managed to steal away the night of for beers at the Victory with friends, including long-lost girlfriends from highschool. Thirty rules.

June also included... a cottage visit, blessings from a priest, friends at the farm, a cat that came home (not raj - that would've been crazy! mo was lost for a day), a nice new bathrobe, a swim in cameron lake, a band practice in the basement, and other summery things.

Ok July, it's all yours.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

slow starts

Nice we wake early. This morning by 9am laundry was washed and on the line, beans were planted, pets were fed, dishes put away, etc. I also began resurrecting the tomato patch as I lost close to 30 plants from the combo of frost and dry days in the first week of June. Boo. But actually, a blessing in disguise: extra motivated now to keep the garden healthy and, well, less tomato plants to tend amidst a busy summer schedule. After the resurrection tho, I'll still have 36 in the ground, which still makes me happy. Everything is off to a pretty late start with spring taking so long to warm up. Still need to get a lot in. Actually, still need to till! Tiller still at the shop but am hoping it'll be back soon, in time for eggplants, peppers, cukes, zukes, and squash types to go in. Is it too late for corn?

Ah, it's okay. Gave myself a pass at the very start of the season. Not expecting too much this year, as it's the first year of many. Soil is newly worked, beds newly made. It will take some time to de-rock and build up the soil with compost and manure, to figure out proper rotations for each crop family, to get timing down. It's an experimental year. Am enjoying taking time to play, see what works, what doesn't, what I like, what we need more or less of, etc. Perennial beds will also take a couple of years to come together. Right now the beds by the house and near the driveway are great messes of veggies, annuals, baby perennials, and bulbs. Oh, and bindweed, grass, and assorted weeds. Good fun. I found a really cool old cultivator claw tool in the shed, left behind by previous owners.

Oh yeah, and we got another two bush cord of wood! You can see in the picture we're being slow to pile it. Reminds me about our chimney situation... but that's another story.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

june, be juney

Am shivering a little, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea. June has come with frost-warnings and mornings so chilly I've had a fires on. What gives? Surely the cold will let go sooner than later. Surely.

42 tomatoes in the ground so far, with a few more to get in for a nice number of 50. Everything else is on the porch, shying away from the chilly fields. Actually, am just too busy to get to work out there - plus the freakin' tiller needs another visit to the engine shop. The tines quit spinning, so my gardening quit spinning too. Actually, I did plant a few cucumbers with neat chicken-wire bridges, but they were dug up minutes later by my shadow-happy dog. Sigh. Whatta goof. Going to have to revisit that one.

The other night after putting tomatoes in, it started to rain. My love and I sat on the porch with a beer watching the sky change from darkness and thunder to a beautiful, surreal, full double rainbow. Glorious.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

into the city

As I write this, the commuter train is pulling into Rouge Hill station... still about 25min away from downtown Toronto's Union. Difficult to see out the windows in this grey night, in the pouring rain. I have my laptop with me as I'm in between computers at the office (someone needed my Sun station). Ah, this little MacBook is my electronic heartbeat, a metal and plastic friend.

Staying at Shoe's tonight, this night of many a couch-sleeping night. Haven't seen him in awhile despite his living room futon being a favourite crash pad of mine. On Saturday it was instead the lovely guest room and bed in the home of my bandmate, his wife, and their 7mo old jolly jumper. Lovely post-rock snooze and delicious blueberry waffles. Before that, the blow-up mattress at J&N's, another frequented spot to spend the night. Always good chats, good tea, and a good sleep. I love their cat Gary (female) and the morning muffins. These are the ones that keep me afloat in this crazy life I've organised, living in the boonies and working in the city. Once a week, I'm bestowed the generous gift of urban resting place, with friends, and for this I feel extremely grateful. I hope someday my abode can be as welcome to them, whenever the desire for a country-visit comes. (A few weekends like this already planned for this summer!)

The landscape is changing from suburbia and highway to... city outskirts. Apartment buildings, Lake Ontario, big-chain stores, slick wet pavement, smoggy dense air. I should pack up, as that means we're almost there. Then onto the subway, then a streetcar, then up an elevator. 3hrs from then, I was home - a completely different place.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

inside the living land

A walk in our bush on the long weekend - beautiful. Wish we could go further and further in without the risk of getting lost (need compass) or being confronted by a bear (need bear-bells? pepper spray?). The feeling of being a guest, a foreigner, a stranger in the unknown depths of trees and trees and fields and trees and trees and stone fences and trees and trees and trees and swamp land... haunting, yet alluring. Like a dream. And it is interesting to me that as captivating as the forest is, we spend so little time in it, have explored so few acres of it.

I've no doubt the issue is perceived safety, but I also know this is mostly fueled by ignorance. I grew up in the fields and bush and creeks of Killaloe (mom called us to dinner with a cow bell), but that was many years ago, and traveling/city streets have instilled in me that 'needing to know' hyper-awareness of one's surroundings, for actual safety. I am sure here the animals will leave me be, for the most part, and the branches will stay put high in the rafters of the forest ceiling, for the most part, but there is never assurance. There is a lot going on in these depths I have yet to understand and trust to know my place in. So instead I respect my unknowing, and leave the acres of trees and trees and animals unscouted. I will learn and wander more as our years together let us grow accustomed. Despite officially being the owner of this land, I know it is not mine.

Monday, May 25, 2009

basils

clockwise from top left: mrs. burns lemon basil, sweet basil, cinnamon basil, purple delight basil

mmm!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

terra cotta

A summer's day today. Hardening off tomatoes, peppers, miscellaneous plants. Working on the porch with my laptop. Clothes drying in the sun, dog panting and sleepy, cat playing in the grass (we've been letting her out... supervised), bees and hummingbirds stopping to visit, a peaceful wind, and earfuls of glorious birdsong.

Alas, off to Toronto tonight. But small price to pay for this beautiful lifestyle. And I'll be staying with great friends, checking in at the office, and practicing for our show on Saturday in Mississauga. Good things. My finger is starting to bend again, so should be a better practice than last week (could barely play plus my amp died. ugh). Strack is lending me his music man till mine's outta the shop. Will have to tape my finger up good so it doesn't split... stitches are out!

Plant splurge on Saturday: two hydrangeas (anabelle and pink diamond), rosemary, pineapple sage, silver thyme, woolly thyme, curry plant, oregano, chocolate mint, english ivy, a pretty trailer called helichrysum 'mini silver', some red onions, and a japanese barberry bush. ta da!

It was an otherwise lazy long weekend, but much needed, and we spent some time exploring the bush a little - it's so beautiful. Photos to come.

Monday, May 11, 2009

merrily may

Back home...
And spring has arrived!
Lovin' it. Despite laziness, travel, a broken tiller (my fault trying to be handy with the recoil starter. oops), four stitches and a tetanus shot (from washing dishes of all things), I've finally got some seeds in the ground! Radishes, lettuces, spinach, arugula, peas, carrots, beets, and onions are now ready to rock. Soon I'll transplant broccoli, cauliflower, and kale...

While I was away in san fran, D kept almost everything alive ♥ (didn't really need that german thyme anyway), so my small army of seedlings are still happily growing inside, awaiting warmer weather.

San Francisco was lovely. Tho mostly kept busy with work, I managed to get out a see a few things:

Lookout tower at de Young Museum (self-portrait w timer)
Sea Lions!
Redwoods!
I also rode the cable car. Twice.
This was my first time travelling like a grown up (i.e nice hotel, work), and I really enjoyed it, but always so good to be home.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a week away

I'm in San Francisco! WOOO!

Enjoying work, spring blooms, and hilly streets.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

journey

It's a long ways away but it's a good way. Quietest GO ride yet. I suppose we were all solo travellers in our particular train car. I read my newest issue of 'Canadian Gardening' (thanks mom!) with heavy eyes. Wasn't till the later stops when came shuffling, key jangles, coughs - humans readying to get off, go home, hug family, put feet up. I still had another 100km of sunset till home, family, feet. A pink sky sailor's delight. Sang out loud to old cassette tapes, sipped coffee from Brooklin Timmy's, thought about life and the journey here and now, life and roads, memories...

Pulling in in the last shards of twilight to my babe on the porch and our dog (Mo was pressing against the front door with tiny paws. She's not allowed out as we're scared of loosing another to coyotes). Sat down and compared days, his on a roof with a hammer, mine in the office with a computer. Looked over the beautiful fields, starting to green, the nights getting warmer. It's good to have got here, through it all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

spring take two

Another snow fall, another big melt. But this time I think we're in the clear - temperatures for the week are calling for above 10C every day which means... actual SPRING. YES.

This long Easter weekend, some family came to see me! Mom arrived Friday and bro came for a bit on Saturday. Scrabble, wine, grilled-cheeses, and lots of yardwork. Old gardens remade, and other old gardens dismantled. A little effort to make the place look cared for. There's still a lot to do, but it's a good start. Also, Mom brought me a chocolate bunny and I've almost demolished the entire thing. Wheeeee!

We also did a little trip to Bobcaygeon. With Bigley's store being the big destination for many, we dropped in so mom could check it out. And we bought shoes. Boy, did I ever buy shoes:
Shiny!

In other news, Mo is really into the blanket mom crocheted me.
I guess she likes being able to hide but still see through the holes? She falls asleep like this, buried. It's adorable.

One more thing - work is sending me to San Francisco for a week! I leave Apr 25th and get to stay in a nice hotel and work on a cool project at Berkeley. Pinch me.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

one year later

Gee, it's been one whole year since I moved out of the city. Last March I said goodbye to my lovely downtown Toronto apartment to live in Meaford with D and JP, then after a spring of house-hunting, D & I moved into our beautiful farm here in Fenelon in July. What a difference a year makes...

Spent last weekend and a couple extra days in cities, playing shows with the band. My walk to work on Friday wafted pig smells of the abattoirs below King street. I saw a cop fresh on the scene of a break-in at the LCBO on Queen St... he was dusting for finger prints. (I actually loved seeing him do that - so into that stuff when I was a kid. I remember dusting my bedroom door knob with an old makeup brush and baby powder, comparing my finds to ink prints I'd taken of my brothers' little hands). A couple construction workers were unloading fresh tar out of the back of a truck into a wheelbarrow, then carting and dumping it onto the road, shouting at each other all the while. Men were unloading huge keg barrels into the basements of bars, a hot-dog stand went by on the back of a trailer, on its way to work. Then I got on a streetcar to rattle me the rest of the way north, to sit in front of a computer 7 stories up. Had my friend's apartment to crash at while he's at a gaming conference in San Fran.

The shows were good (Friday night was packed beyond capacity!), and it was good to see friends. La belle province is a long enough drive tho, and they're still allowed to smoke in some venues! But the kids were singing along, and C-lo made an amazing breakfast. Returned to Toronto tired, full of timbits, ready to head home.
Bags packed, on the streetcar, I meet Olive. She's 82 and on her way to a senior's fitness class, then an art class after that. I ask her how she does it and she's all "how do YOU do it!" Should've given her my number. She and her husband used to rent a boathouse up here in the summers.

This morning before 7, tea steeping, my love almost out the door, the pets being cute, the bath almost full, I think "so love life here"... I really really really do.

First flower this morning: a yellow crocus.