Saturday, September 24, 2011

::A new way to do potatoes::

I gave these taters a try, because Aidan and I need all the motivation in the world to do potatoes at all. They were brilliant! It took about an hour, the potato opens up as it cooks and each slice comes apart deliciously. I recommend:

Thursday, September 22, 2011


It's the time of year for corn, among other things. But, Caelah and I decided to study it. Check out what we learned over at Nesting Place.

Monday, September 19, 2011

::Upper Canada Village::

Caelah and I are wrapping up our few weeks of pioneer study-- although I think we may drag it on longer. It has been so much fun. To celebrate, we took a long drive South to Upper Canada Village. The whole place is a feast for the eyes.

Since we were last there the Discovery Center was been built: a small museum with interactive displays. As you enter, there is a curtain of dry ice(?) streaming down, upon which is a projection of a battle. It was slightly disconcerting to me, but little kids simply hated it. "Mommy, I don't want to go in there!"

We had the place to ourselves, which meant that we could entice the actors into a more flexible dialogue than would otherwise have been permitted, (as the "actors" are not supposed to slip out character.) I found out from the spinning lady that you can take wool from your own sheep to a shop in Osgoode to be spun. And the school teacher let us ring the bell inside. The carriage driver told a story about a cellphone being left in a casket, then ringing. As the tinsmith laboured to curl his sharp edges under, I tipped him off about metal buffers, and he thought he might go ahead and invent it. The tavern owner and I discussed the unsuitability of my soldier boots, leggings, knee-high skirt and yellow hoody for the dance being held there that night. And the we caught the printsmith at work on a special, and illicit, project: a poster commemorating his favourite motorcycle:

::Who am I?::

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Caelah and I have been looking into what pioneer kids played with. This is just one of many things they came up with:

Activity: Make a Thaumatrope!
Thaumatropes were an early form of "animation" created by placing two different images that fit together on either side of a disk.
1. Pick two circular images that would fit together if they were superimposed on top of one another.
2. Cut out a similar-sized circle out of thick cardboard, or wood.
3. Paste one image right-side up. And the other upside-down.
4. Punch two holes on the sides of the circle and feed two rubber bands through.
5. Twist and let go!
You can use any image at all, but traditionally, the pioneers posed a riddle: one side the question. The next side the answer. The riddle above reads:
Q:How is a dog like a Highwayman?
A: Because he is in quest of prey.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

::Apple Day 2011::

This year we didn't make it to our favourite apple picking place. We went with what was easiest. There is an orchard just off Carling in Kanata North. I can't remember the name, and won't worry too much about that because I would rather not recommend it. The prices were high and the staff unhelpful. Also, because it was priced by weight, we were doomed to pay huge amounts. By the time I turned around from taking a few photos, the kids had stuffed three whole bags. . . However, who can resist the delight of fresh fruits?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

::Backyard Forest Trail::

The kids have started to pound a path through our forest with their bikes. I love that. With a bit of chainsaw work, we should have a winter ski trail, and a way back to the river in no time. We took advantage of the bug-free time of year to explore.