October 3, 2016

An abundance of wild apples!

Three pots of glorious sweet and tart wild apples cooking into applesauce!


Ollie and Jude are great helpers in the kitchen! 
Here Ollie is using his muscles to mill the applesauce :)


Apples fermenting to make apple cider vinegar


We got wild and crazy one day and actually peeled the apples! 
We have an antique cast iron apple peeler and the boys LOVE to operate it.
They promptly ate about five peeled apples each, and I made apple crisp :)
The small red crabapples are destined for jelly!


This has been a GREAT year for apples!
It has been almost overwhelming!

Jason and the kids were bringing home bushel after bushel after bushel of wild apples and I worked as quickly as I could to cook them into applesauce, mill and can it. During the past month I cooked so much applesauce in fact, that I got quite bored so I made a big batch of apple cider vinegar and then switched to apple butter. I just finished my second batch (of six pints) and I think we have nearly come to the end of the apples! Whew! Now, on to the tomatoes!


October 2, 2016

Summertime art showings

My summer was busy! VERY, very busy!
The good news is that much of the busy-ness involved homesteading and art-creating, which is what life is all about, or at least we aim it in that direction :)

In June I took part in Montana Jones' Lifestock; a fundraising effort to help support her and raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt with their legal fees after years of bullying by the CFIA, and also to celebrate homesteading, eco-friendly farming and living practices, heritage livestock animals, natural foods etc.. If you know anything about earth-friendly farming practices then you have likely heard of Joel Salatin. He came as well to join in solidarity with Montana and Michael and they each made their way up to the bandstand to make a powerful speech about the importance of good, safe, healthy food, and a healthy planet. Jason, Ollie, Jude and I spent the day there enjoying the music of wonderful local folk musicians and meeting wonderful, warm, open-minded people. I sold many paintings, prints and other handmade goods and it was a delightful experience all around!

Next, I opened my doors for the Highlands East Studio Tour for two weekends in August. It's lovely to have people stop by our home. Often we get talking about all the things we are up to (sheep, chickens, gardens, permaculture, creativity, etc. etc. etc.), and wind up strolling through the gardens, or visiting all the animals down by the barn, and in that way it is shown to be very cohesive, this life of ours, and all the parts that intertwine to build the whole package:)

And then, in September I sold my wares in the "Artisan's Market" at the Shelter Valley Folk Festival in Grafton, Ontario. I enjoyed three days of folk music goodness whilst selling my artwork and handmades. It was wonderful!!

Here are some pictures from Lifestock:



And here are a few of my own little studio :)


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Ollie was busy for weeks painting alongside me! He generated quite a collection of paintings and sold four!!



















Yes, it was a joyful and creative time for me - long deserved! I had been putting my creative needs on the backburner for years while I focused on the kids, the animals, the homestead etc..but then, I just couldn't wait anymore. My spirit NEEDED this, to paint! Happy!

Summer of 2016, you did take my breath away! Here is a bit of a catch-up!

The boys dressed up as pirates to play at a local playground that has a large wooden pirate ship play structure


Jude took these swinging pictures of Jason and Ollie :)



Playing with Isabella's old doll house miniatures



Building


Silly Jude with a toast mouth!


and snuggling one of his quail


Jude and Ollie had a brief-but passionate obsession with ancient Egypt, and most specifically, mummies. They spent hours each day 'preparing' one another in turn for mummification, and then would lie quietly on the floor 'being' a mummy! Jude mummified both Ollie and his stuffed cockatoo in this picture. Aren't their imaginations wondrous?! 


Jason cut and stacked the firewood in such a way that we could use it as a little fort!


Here are the three boys taking a much-needed rest in the firewood house :)


We celebrated Jude'seventh birthday! My mom and Dad came and it was a happy day.


Jude and Ollie with my beautiful Mama :)


We visited with a good friend. There was swimming, snacks and great talks



Dress-up and goofy days with homeschool friends :)



Beautiful flowers in my garden are an every day blessing


Ollie being Ollie


He is a bit of a wild-rabbit whisperer, my sweet boy


Sick :(


And Jude spent the summer losing teeth and then growing more!


All of these pictures were from the summer!
It has been busier than ever..It is all I could do to catch my breath!
Now that autumn is upon us, (and winter close behind!) - I look forward to slowing down :)


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