Monday, August 05, 2019

Still making!

This time, kombucha.

All flavoured with fruit from my garden (I suppose that technically, rhubarb is a vegetable :) 

Finally, the raspberries are ready. I’m having issues with the porcubearaccoon that is trampling all of the canes. Last night I was out yelling at it and throwing things into the patch as it (they) crunched through. The dog hid behind me (she was on her leash, not even growling)🙄

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Different kind of creativity. Every year I make a couple of jars of watermelon rind pickles. They are sweet, sour and spicy. They’re made from the white part of the rind - so first you have to eat a watermelon. That was no problem :) 

The berries are late this year! Sadly, the Saskatoon berries are few and far between this year - and it looks like my pin cherries were hit by frost after blossoming. Blueberries are starting to ripen! It looks like there will be (another!) bumper crop of raspberries, but they aren’t even close to ready and I have to keep the deer/porcubearaccoon away. Hopefully the blackberries will be ripe before we go home. 

I also foraged some beach peas from the wharf  road. Delicious. 

I really am living my best life here....

Monday, July 15, 2019


I’m trying to be more creative - to stop losing myself down the rabbit hole of the Internet :) 

It’s summer, and I’m at my favourite spot by the sea. Mr. B has returned to our home in the big city, and I now begin to recharge. Not that I wanted him to leave! We’ve had a lovely few weeks of kayaking, cycling, hiking, eating and even a bit of shopping :) 

I need to send out some thank you notes, so have spent the day making them, and writing.

Tomorrow will be a less creative day - scraping and sanding the front of the house (one side each year :)). Then priming and painting. At least I can hear the cries of the gulls and the sounds of the songbirds while I paint!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Hello 2018!

So happy to meet you :)
My one little word for this year is "connect".

This year, I want to connect more with family, with friends, with my students and their families.  I want to re-connect with my creativity, and with others who share similar interests.
I'm hoping to see family and friends more often, to take more classes and workshops, and to blog more often.
I need to have deeper, more meaningful connections with the moments in my life. You only have them once. I need to be fully there.
No dress rehearsal, this is my life.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

It's a Wrap

It’s been a busy year in Maison B-23.

Mr. B and I began the year in Nova Scotia, relaxing and recharging. We love the winter there. I was lucky to have been able to collect the quince from the bush beside our house (we got there during the first freeze) so I made quince paste for the first time ( hopefully again some day! It was lovely!)

I also made my first rosehip jelly -- so we started the year off in preserving wonderland :)
The spring got hectic because I was told that I was changing grades and, therefore classrooms. Grumble grumble. Pack pack pack, move move move, tears, tears tears.

Baby G turned 1 in the summer. I am so lucky to have Miss L and Baby G -- even though they live in Kingston ( a fabulous city - I love visiting the city as well as the family). My mom and dad couldn't attend the birthday festivities because my dad is now on oxygen for some lung issues, and the traveling is difficult. The little fam visited London a few weeks later. 
Baby G enjoyed his first sugar overload (cake) (well, actually, icing).

But Nova Scotia made everything better. It was different without our pup, Andy (I definitely didn't  walk as much :) . I preserved a lot though! We began the season with strawberry jam, and then moved onto blueberry, raspberry, pin cherry ( only a few jars, there wasn't much fruit this year), saskatoon berry, blackberry, chokecherry -- and I did some curried pickles too. I sewed a lot of new dresses and tunics. I visited with all of my NS friends - the Tooners (their word, not mine!), and my friends in Shelburne, and my friends from away ( Becky and Chuck! xo!). And new friends too! (Hi Jan!) And Miss L and Baby G visited for almost 2 weeks! We have another favourite beach -- Port Joli -- the water is WARM!

I returned to Toronto with some trepidation. Back to Kindergarten. Sharing the room with daycare and lunchroom. A new teaching partner.... yikes. But Kindergarten is wonderful. Sharing the room is difficult, but manageable. And my teaching partner was more than I could ever have wished for! Thank you FT for being such an awesome teaching partner. I will miss you SO MUCH.

In October we added a new member to our family! We adopted a little terrier pup from the Humane Society. Tilly is a handful! But all puppies are, right?

Not much time for creating this year, but I managed to spend sometime with my friend D -- she taught me english paper piecing. And we made some wreaths from recycled sweaters. My friend M-C and I also managed to get a bit of creating in (melted pony bead ornaments)-- and more to come next year!

Our family Christmas theme this year was Mexican. We had chili and tamales and empanadas  for our Christmas Eve feast :) The colours were bright. My mom really worked her magic with the decor!

We didn't make our annual winter journey to Nova Scotia this year, so we wont be ringing in the new year with our east coast friends (Tilly is too young to leave with friends or in a kennel...).  But we will be with our Toronto friends. So, still surrounded by warmth, good food and good company.
 That's the way we should begin and end every year, don't you agree?

Friday, July 28, 2017


Yesterday, my new friend J and I went to Keji National Park for a cycle around the trails. I have never been to the main Kejimkujik Park -- but have been to the Seaside Adjunct many times (lately made famous by a recent visit by PM Justin Trudeau and his entourage :)

I met J while we were "working" at the community breakfast at West Queens Community Hall last Saturday. We were both Newbies - and they had us taking orders and serving! Very sharp learning curve there -- but I think we did a pretty good job? (the next Breakfast is August 26-- consider going! - for $8 you get eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, hash browns, toast, juice and coffee or tea)(also the bake sale down the road at the hostel is that same weekend!)
So. J picked me up at 10 am and we threw my bike into the back of her truck and we were off. It's about an hour and a half? to Keji (I dont know how long it took -- we were chatting too much!). This year is free admission to Keji ( National Parks are free because of Canada's 150 birthday)( more info here)
After checking in at the Visitors Centre, we drove to the parking lot and started down the Mersey River Trail. We also rode the Slapfoot Trail and the trail from Jake's Landing to Merrymakedge Beach.

J getting some shots of the beautiful greens of the grasses, trees and other plants:

The water at Keji is tarry black from the tannic acids from peat leaching into the water. And Keji is also known for its dark sky at night (great for oberving the galaxy). Dark water, dark sky - dark beer -Boxing Rock's Dark as Keji!

Some very interesting fungi....

It was a fabulous outing -- Thank you so much, J, for inviting me on your adventure!

I plan to return to Keji again this summer with Mr. B. I'd like to walk along the trails. Biking the trails was really fun (and sometimes scary down some big hills), but if you really want to SEE nature, I think walking is better. We had to stop and get off of our bikes a lot! But, having said that, I'd like to cycle those trails again :) ( just dont go on a weekend - the trail is narrow, so when you pass someone coming toward you, you have to get off your bike - yesterday wasn't busy, but on a busy day, that would be less enjoyable).

This is one if those times that I wished that I lived here year-round so I could see the park throughout the seasons.
You can read more about Keji here on the official website:
or here on Wikipedia:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ahhhhhh, summer! And Books!

The school year wrapped up too quickly and involved a room change (and a grade change! I'm teaching Kindergarten next year!). That left me exhausted and ill-prepared for our yearly pilgrimage east. I have finally recovered from my high-energy students, and from the move ( moving classrooms is like moving houses - I had about a hundred cartons)(mostly books)
But now I am in beautiful Port Mouton!
Mr B and I have had numerous road trips so far this summer. One of our favourite destinations is LaHave. The LaHave bakery has a fabulous selection of baked goods -- and some wonderful breakfasts (the wraps are delicious)( better this year than last? Perhaps it was the sundried tomato aioli? - see the article about the South Shore in the most recent issue of Saltscapes for the recipe :) .
At the back of the bakery is a great craft co op ( definitely look here for souvenirs) But even better is the new book store!!! LaHave River Books opened last summer. It has something for everyone. Current fiction, interesting non fiction, childrens books, local authors..... it has a used book section, and a free (used) book section.

I LOVE bookstores. I decided right then, that I need to be buying books every time I go into independent bookstores. (Instead of buying them online) I went a bit overboard here :)

I bought a board book for Baby G (Atlantic Animal ABC), and the Row Bot book is so much fun! We will have fun with that one in Kindergarten. I had looked at Morgan's Boat Ride before, and i had regretted not purchasing it! Town is By the Sea is illustrated by the same person who illustrated Sidewalk Flowers (which is a wordless book, set in Toronto). Hand Drawn Halifax is really fun. Both Mr. B and I have been trhough it a few times already. Road Signs that Say West is a Young Adult book by local author Sylvia Gunnery, who also works at the LaHave River Bookstore! After I read it, I will lend it to some Grade 8's at school :) oh! Not shown in the above photo is 50 Ways to Save the Honeybees - a personal crusade of mine... I also picked up a free (used) cooy of Petersons A Field Guide to Wildflowers. I definitley needed that.

A trip to LaHave always includes a visit to Westcote Bell Pottery ( just a few buildings away from the Bakery). And I never seem to get out of there empty handed. We have purchased both Vaughan and Jackie's work over the years!

Sometimes we take a trip across the cable ferry (if we are going to Lunenburg). But today we are going to Mahone Bay (and Bridgewater).
I can't wait to get back to LaHave!