Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Category: Out on the property

  • A thoroughly empty nest

    A thoroughly empty nest

    As mid-2022 approaches and we are facing the likelihood of not having any of our four kids “home” for the first summer ever, it seems we really are empty nesters now. We still have an unbelievably ancient dog though, if that counts. Limpet is almost 17 and a large breed mix whose life expectancy was […]

  • Upgrading the trail

    Upgrading the trail

    I began working on a connecting trail from our property to the linear park below almost three years ago. I hacked in a goat-path of sorts: narrow and full of switchbacks. It changed my life, in that it made one of my favourite running trails a mere 3-minute scrabble from my door. But it wasn’t a […]

  • House progress

    I really love our Nelson house. When we bought it I was sold on it as an investment, a fixer-upper, but I think I’m falling in love now. It has a really nice feel to the living space. It’s open and light and airy during the day, and yet at night it feels cosy and […]

  • Pergola completed

    Pergola completed

    With lights and wattle railing panels installed.

  • Pergola

    Our “new” deck is almost five years old now. I always had bigger dreams for the square apron that extends towards the trees, but at the time we opted to put up a minimalist railing for safety reasons. Of course that had the effect of eliminating all the urgency of doing something else with the space. A couple […]

  • Spring Forward

    The time changed yesterday and today it felt like spring. Spring has been teasing us for at least a month. Yes, a month, since the beginning of February. We’ve had almost no winter this year and almost no snow since the week of Christmas. I’m grieving the missed skiing. But at some point you just […]

  • Snow sculpture

    I am in awe of this guy, created one night over a period of five our six hours by the light of headlamps, by Sophie and Noah and a friend.

  • Garage: the end of the beginning

    So far no gas, electrical or water lines have been accidentally cut. A few more trees will come down this afternoon.

  • Trail-building

    Trail-building

    Armed with three hand-tools — a mattock, a rake and a saw — I have been gradually building a trail from our yard to the Galena Trail. For years I’ve been frustrated by the can’t-get-there-from-here dilemma that separates me from my favourite running trail. We planted a geocache down on the trail more than ten […]

  • Garage: before

    Garage: before

    We’re building a garage. Well… no, more to the point: we’re having a garage built. An important procedural distinction, one which will likely ensure the timely and effective completion of the project. The aging carport will come down. A year ago, expecting it to collapse under the weight of a fairly ordinary snow load, I […]

  • Garlic Marshmallows

    Garlic Marshmallows

    We thought it would be fun to learn to make marshmallows. Then we thought it would be fun to make cool, fruity or hipster flavours of marshmallows. Then we thought … garlic marshmallows! With some product development, these might be the next big thing at the Garlic Festival! We used a standard marshmallow recipe: 4 Tbsp. […]

  • Bokashi experience so far

    Last fall we started using a bokashi waste system. All food waste, including meat, bones, dairy and small amounts of oil and fat, went into a plastic 5-gallon bucket with a lid, combined with sprinkles of a microbial starter. We used a potato masher to pack down the waste as it accumulated, creating a fairly […]

  • Bob

    It was the morning before I had to leave for Kelowna to pick up Erin. Noah, Fiona and Sophie had to be got up, the lunches had to be made, everyone had to be fed, coffee had to be made and drunk, suitcases had to be packed for Fiona and me for the overnight, art […]

  • Bike bridge

    Bike bridge

    Our property is ideally situated to avoid logging, development or loss of privacy. We own a mere 2.5 acres (1.0 Ha) but the surrounding crown land is heavily forested, but steep and creeky — not suitable for logging. Above us runs the highway, and a long way down a 45- to 60-degree slope is a […]

  • Dandelion syrup

    About 6-8 cups of dandelion flowers yielded about 1 cup of packed yellow petals. We mixed this with 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water, brought to a simmer and allowed to cook for an hour or so, gradually reducing in volume to a syrupy consistency. Then we added the juice of one […]