Random Sampling

Random Sampling



We’ve been having a great summer of gardening, goats, bikes, swims, and getting to see (and meet!) cousins.  I thought I would be blogging but that’s just not what’s ended up happening.


These are taken at a beautiful little lake nearby where the water warms up a lot more than in Lake Superior!  It’s easy to pop over there for a quick swim.  It’s the same spot we were sucker fishing in the spring.
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I pulled out the microscope a couple of weeks ago and sent the kids for some water samples from the ditches.  The microscope was used for several hours every day for several days!  It was fun to watch.  (Sometimes I was in there fighting for my turn too.)

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One exciting thing about this summer is that we’ve found someone who has learned to milk the goats and was able to take care of things here while we made a trip to visit my family.  It was short but a lot of fun.  The oldest two boys stayed with my parents for an extra week and we’re all getting really anxious for them to return home tomorrow!  It sounds like they’ve had a lot of adventures with fishing, trucks, cousins, and backhoes.


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Around here it’s been a full-time, all-day undertaking to keep everything – goats, gardens, dog, children – taken care of without expecting to accomplish anything extra.  And that’s not the only reason I’m looking forward to my big boys coming back.  I just miss them!





The following photos are from today.  The cat caught this juvenile hummingbird and the kids are hoping to nurse it back to health.

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Coming up next:

A Growing Garden – Photos Throughout the Season (Thus Far)

The Heroic One-Night Camping Trip 






This season is so abundant, so full of promise and hope and splendour!  The project list exceeds the available time in the day, excitement of discovery and for new plans runs high.  They days are full and overflowing.  Hearts are full and happy and grateful.  Bodies are refreshed, worked, and then fatigued in that wonderful way of fresh air and sunshine and physical exertion.

Over the course of April and now into May I’ve thought many times about different things I’d like to blog, but there were too many other things calling for my attention!  Add to that some computer and internet difficulties.  Today I’ll try to do a little recap with mostly photos and a few words!


A hike from our house to a secluded little harbour on the Lake Superior for a picnic and good time with friends.  (Oh, and one accidental slip with a knife that quickly ended the festivities and required stitches. I don’t think I’ll post photos of the home-stitching that took place back at the house. I don’t think Noah has even gotten up the courage to see what his hand looked like in that process yet.)

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The birthday duo!

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After five months of telling me what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday – changing almost weekly – Katie finally settled on “chocolate raspberry” and Noah agreed.  I made a ganache icing and used fresh raspberries and already we’ve had requests for the same cake for future birthdays. :-)



Kingfisher watching and clam shell collecting at the river mouth.








Two of our does gave birth to a total of three beautiful, healthy bucklings.  I enjoyed the goat “midwifery” part of the process, but I hate disbudding the little guys.  I have to redo two of them in the next couple of days.


Does it get any cuter than this?


We recently learned how to tan our own hides!

It’s hard to decide which photos to include because I have so many that I love!  I’m working on getting my Flickr uploads happening regularly without eating up our bandwidth!

Happy May long weekend!





The Cooks

I’d like to introduce you to the household cooks.  First, let me confess that I have been very slow to train my kids in kitchen skills.  Sure, I’d let them throw in some flour and crack some eggs and get their hands all doughy and lick the spatula, but I was usually more concerned about keeping the mess within bounds than equipping them with a skill.  On top of that, I was always too busy to take the extra time to include them, to teach them, to wait for them, to encourage them, to clean up after them.  Not much has changed – I’m still busy, it still takes extra time, they still make big messes, and there’s a whole lot more clean-up.  What has changed?  That is material for another post or several other posts (a topic I intend to focus on a bit on this blog – change), but for now I’ll leave it at this:
The time I invest in these little people yields exponentially in a short time. And I anticipate I’m only on the brink of experiencing the rewards.  Kids busily occupied with the planning and doing of real things are happy kids!

Zach (14) has taken entirely over breakfasts and, I must say, he’s more ambitious in the morning than I am!  Porridge is still a staple meal, but we eat a lot more banana buckwheat pancakes with coconut whipped cream and fruit topping than we used to.  He’s also the resident salsa master, whether water-bath canned, fresh, or naturally fermented (my fave!).

Gabe (12) covers most lunches, specializing in soups such as creamy carrot and chicken vegetable.  He also makes a tasty bruschetta flatbread, a greek pasta salad, and pretty much any other recipe I stick in front of him. When we’re having pasta for supper he’s the guy I call on to make fresh spelt pasta!  (There is usually a keen younger sibling to help with the task of rolling and hanging it out.)

Ben (10) is the granola maker, he likes to bake and since we don’t eat a whole lot of baking he’s thinking of starting up a little neighbourhood service to expand his baking opportunities.  When chicken adobo is on the supper menu, he’s my man.

Noah (7) is our official pizza crust roller (individual size made up ahead), and he along with….

Danica (5) are in training to take over the bread making.  I predict that in about two more batches they’ll be on their own and I’ll just have to put it in the oven for them.

Katie (2) is egg cracker extraordinaire.  Give her a dozen eggs and a bowl and let her go.  No shells!  She likes to pull up a chair and help me with just about anything I’m doing in the kitchen.

Below are the bread bakers busy at work today. They each make a two-loaf batch so it’s not too difficult to knead.  At the far end of the table you can catch a glimpse of Ben (behind a bucket) working on granola.









Chalk Talk – Curing Like-itis



Sound smarter by taking this one step! Eliminate the overuse of the word LIKE!

Any ideas on engendering a language revolution?  No matter how much we improve in our own household the disease – like-itis – is very contagious!  We need to change the language of the nation!

(Points taken from a few articles on the internet and group collaboration on words for “said”.)

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