Summer Fun

What a busy summer! The kids spent their first summer free from daycare. They had many lazy morning and adjusted to a “summer sleep schedule” pretty much the first day after school ended, sleeping in until 8:30 or 9.

We spent many weekends at the cottage exploring the swamps and lakes behind our cottage, and getting out into Georgian Bay exploring some of the bigger islands and getting all the way out to the French River. The water was so warm and great for swimming this summer. The girls have gotten so much more comfortable in the water and Leah is starting to swim a lot more without her life jacket!

By the water
Swimming!
Finally without a life jacket!

Our August week was spent doing some work on the dock and lots of swimming! We also got a bunch of cleaning and rearranging of furniture and removing some of the really old stuff. The weather was a bit unpredictable and we got some very strong winds and rain on a couple of the days, great for naps and catching up on a good book. There were lots of blueberries to be had, so there were many blueberry pancakes and a couple blueberry pies. Ava and I went on a bike hike to one of the lakes in the back, We built a little teepee and collected pretty rocks. Ava decided to name one of the hills we climbed after herself because it was the prettiest rock with a good view. Hopefully we remember which rock it is in the spring so we can take her back to see it again.

Drying off in the sunshine
Enjoying a s’more at sunset
Sunset
Blueberry picking
I get the feeling this munchkin did more eating than picking
Baby painted turtle. Taught the kids about safe handling and where they like to live and what they like to eat
Our Sporting Poms out on a hike. They love the cottage as much as we do.
Picnic Lunch on our Piney Island
My Girls

Nick and I took the kids to Kingston for a weekend this summer to celebrate Nick’s Grandfather’s 90th Birthday. It is wonderful to spend time with family to celebrate such a huge milestone.

September was beautiful. A lot of people close up the end of August or just after Labour Day so the river was quiet. We went on a boating adventure all the way to the mouth of the French River past what used to be the French River Village. There really isn’t much left of it now – it was decommissioned in the ’40s or ’50s. It’s fun exploring the small islands and seeing some of the old fishing camps. My dad has so many stories that have been handed down from his father that we can share with the kids. It is so much fun taking the pontoon boat out for picnic lunches. We have traded the sausages on the a fire pit for more of antipasto style lunch. Lots of cheeses and some meats as well as some couscous and fresh bread. Something about a huge forest fire going through last year makes people a bit touchy about having a campfire.

Sunsets are so different every night its hard to not take a thousand pictures.
A view of the La Cloche “Mountains” from the cut through to the French River.
Found a cranberry patch way up on a cliff.
My kids being their wild selves.

I can’t believe how fast the summer seems to fly by. We had so many great evenings planning and dreaming about what projects we are going to do next. It seems that we have run out of small and relatively inexpensive projects. Time to save up for the big ones – raising the cottage, septic system, perhaps even building a new cottage… dream big they say. We are probably going to close up for the winter the weekend after Thanksgiving. Its usually fairly miserable, cold and wet, which makes a bit easier to go home. I am already looking forward to next season.

We are all starting to get back to the fall routines. The kids are having a blast with school. The reunion of friends for both the girls has been fun to watch. I am getting to volunteer in Ava’s class again this year. I really enjoy watching the kids grow and change over the year. I got my dad to order a pack of daffodil bulbs for the kids to plant in the school garden so they can watch them grow and flower this spring!

The kids will start back to CrossFit Kids in a couple of weeks, and Ava has started back to dance classes. Its good to get back into a solid routine. My house might actually get some much needed attention. We spent yesterday working in the gardens. I think we are going to make a more low maintenance garden here and plan bigger ones up north. We had great success with cucumbers, hot peppers, tomatoes and potatoes up there, They love the heat from the rocks the soil warms up and stays warmer longer up there. I got 4 jars of pickled jalapeños off of one plant!

Off I go, its a good afternoon to get the cars all cleaned and get some stuff in the garden done so it’s ready for winter.

The one about cottage trips

We have been to the cottage a lot so far this summer and it has been awesome!

We found a Spotted Turtle. I love showing the girls all about the plants and animals in the world around them. It is a great opportunity to learn about the type of turtle, where they live and what they eat.

Learning about turtles. This is a spotted turtle.

Spotted turtle

A first of many beautiful sunsets.

First summer sunset.

My favourite Iris.

For Canada Day, We got all dressed up and decorated our neighbour’s boat and joined in the Canada Day boat Parade on the river. It was a great social event. It was fun to see so many people out on the water and we had a great fireworks display to end the evening.

Canada Day! It is next to impossible to have all the dogs and kids in the picture and have them all looking at me!

Canada Day Parade

The Canada Day Boat parade. The water was a little bit rough and it was a little cloudy, but we had a great time!

The winning boat!

Getting ready to “march”

Having a cottage isn’t always about having fun. There’s lots of work to do around the place. One of our current projects is getting a better water system in place.

Cottage projects never end. This is for our water system

The cottage air, and being outside most of the day tires a little girl out.

Cottage air makes you sleepy

The girls soaking up some summer sun.

Another beautiful sunset!

 

The river was warm enough for me to get in last weekend. It is fun being able to get out an enjoy the water with the kids.

Swimming! Summer has officially begun.

As we are installing the new water system. We need to drill some holes for tie down points.

The boys working hard drilling holes in the rocks.

The river at sunset.

Rising early means, fresh blueberries for pancakes.

Blueberry picking

Fresh blueberry pancakes on the griddle

Breakfast outside in the summer sunshine

I can’t wait to head back north. It has been so awesome to get up to the cottage so many times this summer.

Opening weekend!

Ah, the May long weekend has come and gone. We took our usual trip up north to the cottage. My dad and husband already officially opened the cottage a weekend before so it wasn’t the first trip up for them. We look forward to this time of year from the moment the boat leaves the dock in the fall. The kids really can’t contain themselves when they see the cottage pile starting to form in the front hall. To me, it means summer is finally here. Something about the Georgian Bay says home to me – I love the sound of the river and the boats, and of course sitting on the dock in a Muskoka chair watching the world go by.

We arrived to a rather large beaver lodge right beside our dock, and thus spent most of our time de-constructing it. The term “busy as a beaver” takes on a whole new meaning. I don’t think people truly understand the phrase until they have deconstructed a lodge. Continue reading “Opening weekend!”