Saturday, July 25, 2015

Today in Port Mouton -- Living off the Land

So, I was out foraging a bit yesterday. There are many many Amalanchier trees/bushes along the side of the road. Of course, I discover them while walking Andy. Nothing like a walk with the dog to help you see the world. You may know them by other names. Serviceberry. Saskatoon Berry. Juneberry. I'm going with Saskatoon Berry. The local population doesn't seem to know about them. So they don't have a name for them...

So I picked about 3 quarts (and am so glad that I was wearing insect repellent -- the mosquitoes were like a fog around me). All picked from one tree. Not to worry -- I left tons for the birds. I couldn't reach them, lol.

Then I sorted the berries....

and crushed the juicy ones.

And I put the less juicy ones in pans.

So I will have dried saskatoon berries! (taste like almonds)

And lots of jam! I was worried about all of those seeds. But I had some of the jam on toast, and the seeds aren't an issue at all. The jam is VERY sweet, but I can cut the sweetness by adding stewed rhubarb. (once the jar is opened).

 My neighbours brought over a bunch of rhubarb (mine isn't doing so well, while theirs is a gigantic patch :). So I made rhubarb concentrate -- a simple rhubarb syrup -- when mixed with Sprite it makes *the best punch ever*).  Left over from the concentrate is a whole pile of stewed rhubarb. So I froze it in little containers.

And look what are ripening now! Raspberries! I'm going to freeze these as I pick them so I will have enough for jam. I think that 2015 is the year of the jam.  (Ha! it is the Chinese year of the Ram. Ram, jam :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Today in Port Mouton - Giving Thanks

As I continue to battle my summer cold (what's with this? I've been sick for 3 weeks!), I am thankful for so much. I am so lucky to have been able to spend my summer in this little piece of paradise. And thankful too.
But today is about thanking my students. I miss them over the summer. We grow to be a big family by the end of the year, then poof! it's over.
I have spent the last few days writing cards to them, thanking them for gifts that they have given me (yes, a thank you for a thank you :) I've been told that it isn't 'proper' to send a thank you for a thank you -- but everyone likes mail, no?
Throughout the year, they draw many pictures and make little things for me. I love them all, and most make it to my fridge at home -- or into my 'Bucket Book" at school (we try to fill each others 'buckets' with happiness -- I have a binder where I put all of the drawings that are made for me during the year -- hence, the Bucket Book)

This year, I stamped my thank you onto the front of a commercial card. I could have just used card stock -- but it was more expensive!

These are a few of the cards and drawings that I received on the last day of school. "Thank you for helping me" made me smile. 

I'm going to miss you too!

Next year I teach Grade 1-2 , so I will be teaching about 1/2 of my class again next year. But I wasn't allowed to tell them -- they had to wait and see it on their report cards!

So, today isn't so much about Port Mouton. It's about me :) and a whole bunch of 6 and 7 year olds!

Thank you Room 15! See you in September!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Today in Port Mouton - Kayaking

Today I decided to pull my big girl pants up, and kayak in the ocean. Not just our little inlet ( "the pond"), but the big ocean on the other side of the dyke!
You have to time your exit carefully. You can travel out of the dyke about 2 hours after low tide.... when the water is flat. 
Going out was fine! 
Then we paddled around the cove ...

Bob's wharf ...

Then it was time to paddle home. Our house is the one on the left :)

Then all we had to do was paddle through the dyke.
What you can't see here is the roiling current and the Niagara Falls - like drop. Because this is a point that has reversing falls...

I bravely paddled through. It was scary and I got a wee bit wet from the splashing ... It was maybe a 3/4 Metre drop. But seriously! Felt like Niagara Falls! 

Back now to the sunporch eating strawberries and reading a book. I've had enough excitement for today..



Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Today in Port Mouton - Jam

Strawberries are in season now, here on the East Coast (the season is over, back in Southern Ontario).
We have the most delicious wild strawberries growing in our grass. I picked a handful for Mr. B this morning....

Then this afternoon we made jam.
Hahahahahaha! Not with wild strawberries. With some from the farmers market. Oh, and that "we" really should say "Mr. B" , because my job was to stay out of the kitchen while Mr. B made the jam.

My job was to sit on the sunporch and read :) I finished my second book of the summer --The Plover by Brian Doyle. A maritime journey set in the Pacific Ocean. In some parts it reminded me of The Life of Pi.... I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read more about it here.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Today in Port Mouton - Feeding the Birds

We spend an inexplicable amount of time here watching the wildlife. Today we watched (and listened to) the loons on the pond. Mr. B was fascinated by an immature osprey. We haven't seen Peg Leg (the one legged gull) yet this year, but we are sure that we will.

Every year we put out our hummingbird feeders and watch them fight over the nectar. Nasty little things, those honeybirds :) (my friend, Sean,'s son called them honeybirds last year. The adorable name stuck).

This year, we are trying some bird seed. I know that you're not really supposed to feed the birds in the summer (it makes them lazy so they won't bother actually looking for food). But here we go...

I'll let you know if it actually draws birds :)
(this is right outside of our sunporch window -- so we don't need the binoculars)

Monday, July 06, 2015

Today in Port Mouton -- Weaving!

It's summer and I am (finally) in Nova Scotia. It was a stressful school year, so I am ready to relax a bit before beginning my planning for the next school year. The weather is beautiful. Yesterday and today -- mid to high 70's and sunny. A bit of a breeze to keep the mosquitoes down. (and the black flies! Those little buggers are bad this year!)

I've been busy weaving mats from old fishing ropes. Some of the local fishermen have given me rope -- and -- my contractor is always on the lookout or rope a the dump :) I'm already known as a scavenger / magpie here. (Plus I make them some mats if they give me some rope!)

They are great for indoors or out. Andy is my quality control guy.

The rope comes in different "gauges". The rope below is quite narrow.

I just make them to give away. Some people sell them here, and I don't want to cut into anyone else's profits :).