Around the House

The weather has been hard to work with this spring. It was so cold for so long and then bam it was 30 degrees, Which I love and I am not complaining at all, I just feel late getting the garden in.

Crocus popping up through the dusting of snow.
Hyacinth starting to bloom
The daffodils sprouting up, They all came up early and got their tips burned from the ice storm

May was slow to start and it was quite chilly for Ava’s 4th birthday. She had a wonderful day and celebrated over several days, I am sure that is every kid’s dream presents every day for almost a week! I successfully made a cake in the shape of a hedgehog for her birthday. I think its pretty cute, however, I know more than ever that I need to work on the making good icing and cake decorating skills.

Ava celebrating her birthday.
A cake that sort of resembles a hedgehog.


Ava got a Wheelbarrow for her birthday and you can tell with these pictures I used my phone. The image quality is not quite the same, but Ava is still just as cute.

The garden has grown and changed so much since we moved in almost 5 years ago. We have added so many bulbs and flowers, each spring is a surprise. We got some wonderful new tulips that I bought on a whim and they turned out great! We are going to order some more this year and finish putting a border on that garden, They look so cute mixed in with the forget me nots, The blue and yellow match so well.

Honky Tonk tulips and forget me nots looking great. I am going to be getting another case of these.
Honkey tonk tulips.
Double Pam Daffodil
Daffodils
The driveway in full bloom
Cream Primula
Red primula so happy in it’s spot under the lilac tree
The hops have started their ascent, Ginger likes to eat the tips.
The hops about 6 days later. The grow so fast, you can practically watch them.
The tulip garden looking beautiful. It is starting to come together.

We took most of the side garden apart today, and rebuilt it. We have a few new Hydrangeas to put in and some of the lilies and the Anemones needed to be divided. I got all the plants out of our bedroom where they stay warm and safe during the winter. It seems like I regained at least half of the floor space. I got a bunch of leaf litter and sticks from the maples all cleaned up and ready to go to the curb on Thursday (at least I hope its compost week this week) It was so satisfying to get all of the work done. Nick’s mom came to visit today too. She spent most of her time playing with the girls, which gave us a few less interruptions and we got more done today than we have in months. I got the vegetable garden weeded and prepped for plants on Friday. We seeded in beets, beans, peas, and dill. I planted some peppers and tomatoes that we picked up from Colour Paradise (http://www.colourparadise.com) They have an awesome selection and have so many plants that they start early so they are a really good size when you get them home, It is great for when you know little children want to help.

Getting the planters ready to go.
Nick fertilizing everything.
All the little basils ready to grow.
Tomatos all planted
The yard all cleaned up after a day of work.

So much work to do so little time. I am hoping to get a some house work done over the weekend, but I know that I will probably just play outside instead-the kids have more fun anyway.

Spring Fun!

My favourite time of the year has arrived! The bulbs are coming up, the trees are starting to leaf out and the air is getting warmer. I have been so busy the last couple of weeks it has been hard to sit down and have time to write a post.

Hellebore in full flower. Love the early spring colour.
Hyacinths, looking beautiful.

My mom and I spent some time together with the kids a couple weeks ago at the Waterloo Region Museum(http://www.waterlooregionmuseum.ca ) to see the dinosaurs skeletons they have there! It was a bit scary for the girls at first. They have some loud animations that worried them a little bit.  Later my mom and I worked in my vegetable garden and got a little fence to keep the dogs and children out of the freshly sewn seeds. I got carrots, beets, lettuce, peas, dill, and borage planted into the garden and some other things started inside that are starting to poke their little heads out.

 

T-rex!
Mom, Ava and Leah

 

Mom and the girls after we finished our fence

I have officially started my new job at the University of Guelph. It has been an awesome but tough transition. I have weekends off now, and am enjoying working part time. I see the kids and Nick more, as well as being able to attend more events and get togethers. I have seen some of my friends more in the past two weeks than the last 5 years. This meant I was off for Easter Sunday. We spent the day at my parents house, My dad and I cooked a large meal and the girls enjoyed an easter egg hunt!

Easter egg hunt, in the fairy garden at my parent’s house
All the dogs enjoying being outside. Hawk, Sam, Ginger and Kodi.
A little ribbon snake. warming itself on the rocks
I think this is a mourning cloak butterfly, enjoying the daffodils.
Four Generations

I had the chance to try making pickled hop shoots. They turned out pretty well. I might tweak the recipe next time so that there are less fennel seeds in it. The hops grow like weeds so Im hoping to make more to keep them in check.

Pickling the hop shoots
In the jar and ready to enjoy!

The front yard is starting to look really good with the daffodils in full flower now.  I love watching the transition from tiny shoots to beautiful flowers.

Nick working in the yard, Finally a straight(ish) edge.
A couple days later. The first daffodils in bloom.
More in flower.
It changes every day!

 

The kids are thrilled that the weather is finally warm enough for spending most of the day outside. We have some maple trees in the back, and the girls love to watch as the trees sprout new leaves and flowers. It so entertaining and curious watching the girls discover and rediscover new things. Leah loves to show Ava things that she remembers and Ava soaks up everything her sister tells her.

Ava collecting maple flowers
Leah investigating her maple flowers.

Next week is Ava’s third birthday. Time flies thats for sure. It hard to know what to get a three year old, because she has so many toys that used to be her sisters and so many clothes that are the same. In any case I need to get some shopping done soon! Im hoping that once I get a little more settled into my new routine I will have posts out a little more often. With summer here I have more to talk about. Nick and my dad opened the cottage this weekend. I can’t wait for the may long weekend! It is usually cold, but nothing beats Georgian bay sunset, and nothing says summer like a beer on the dock.

August

The dog days of summer are here. The weather has been wonderful! I love the heat. Although I have to complain about the sun setting WAY too early for my liking. There aren’t enough hours in the day anymore to get the things all done.

The gardens change so much every day. Since the last post, the gladiolas have stopped flowering the Dahlias are now in full colour, the cosmos are putting on a beautiful show and the tomatoes are finally ripening all at once.

Gladiola
Gladiola
Dahlias
Dahlias
Cosmo Double click mix
Cosmo Double click mix

I have been very busy in the vegetable garden the last week or so with harvesting many Hungarian hot wax pepper. I have pickled so many jars of them I’m not sure what I am going to do with them all. I also have harvested the first round of beets, they went straight to be pickled. I also made beet jelly for the first time this year and it is awesome!

Pickled beets
Pickles beets
Carrots from the garden with dinner
Carrots from the garden with dinner

The potatoes are ready now too! I harvested the whole lot today and out of the maybe 15 plants I put in the ground I filled two three litre baskets.

Fresh fingerling potatoes from the garden
Fresh fingerling potatoes from the garden

I also have been keeping myself busy with kitchen things as well. I got a few peach pies made for Nick. I do have to toot my own horn a bit and say that I finally nailed the pie crust, the crispy light layers of crust are just so decadent.

homemade peach pie
homemade peach pie

I’ve also made a lot of roasted tomato sauce for the winter too. Its one of Chuck Hughe’s recipes from the show Chucks Day off. It freezes really well, and so it makes for quick winter dinners.

Roasted tomatos to be blended for sauce
Roasted tomatos to be blended for sauce

I can’t let a post go out without sharing some pictures of the kids.

Ava got to “climb” a tree this week. She loved being able to see “so far”

 

Ava sitting in a tree.
Leah
Kids splashing in a bird bath
Leah and Ava splashing their reflections
playing hopscotch
Leah playing hopscotch

I can’t believe that it is September tomorrow. We are heading back to the cottage this weekend, for the final trip for me, the kids might make it back up once more before close up. It will be good to get back into a routine, swimming lessons, and possibly some dance lessons starting soon. As well,Leah will be starting some kindergarten work at home this year. I am really excited to get started on the path of homeschooling. So many new things to come this fall. I can’t wait!