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

for more than a quarter century

Category: Out on the property

  • Hello, trees

    Fiona and I have been visiting the trees in the forest that surrounds our home recently, appreciating them anew as they emerge from the snow and prepare for a new season of growth. Yesterday we checked out the red cedar bark, which we will use for basket weaving. Years ago the kids did a workshop […]

  • Festivus

    Erin arrived from China a week ago. She’d been there on tour with her orchestra and was on her way back to Montreal, by way of “home” in the Kootenays for a week or so. She had picked up a killer cold in China and spent the better part of the week recovering from that […]

  • Holidays 2011

    There was no Christmas in this family. We went to my mom’s and ate her turkey. But other than that, no Christmas. We’re waiting for Erin to get back from China next week, when she’ll stop in for a week’s visit. Irish Cream. We’ve been making it, 3 litres at a time and enjoying it […]

  • Mosaic table in process

    Fiona and I have been working on the mosaic table top. The other day we put the adhesive mortar on and set the tile on the backer board. In this photo you can see today’s progress. Top left shows the tiles with no grout. Top right shows the first application of grout. This has hardened […]

  • Mosaic tile table

      We have a serious lack of deck furniture. We’re getting by with fifteen-year-old resin chairs that were intended as a short-term solution when we bought them. When we completed our lovely new deck and couple of years ago the aesthetic mismatch became almost nauseating. We’ve had our eyes out for a suitable set for […]

  • They’re growing up!

    The chickens, that is. They’re a little over two months old now, our dozen Ameraucanas. We got them as fluffy little day-olds and have successfully grown them through their lanky pre-adolescent phase. They’re now feathering out resplendently and there’s such variety! They all have the jowly ear-tufts and blue-grey legs and feet characteristic of their breed, […]

  • Nestlings

    Ever kid should have a nest of baby birds to watch every year.

  • Holidays

    I slept in this morning! We were up late last night, and today had absolutely nothing scheduled. Last night was the community choir concert. Sophie is doing her first season with the ensemble. Unfortunately she was put in the middle riser so that her sense of pitch could help those in the first row. Which […]

  • Outside at our place

    From daylight to dusk and through into the night. Ridiculous games, obstacle courses, conversation and laughter. Friends over, various combinations of siblings. And the smell of baking bread, to boot.

  • Backyard Skating

    I got three floods in before dusk and then had to deal with dinner and group class. When I got home it had started to snow a bit. Sophie and I went to check the rink out and decided that with it already pretty smooth in most places we didn’t want to flood and ruin […]

  • The unprecedented November rink

    We’re not skating quite yet. There are still a few wrinkles and bumps in the corners and along the edges at the far end of the lawn where the ground is a bit higher. But I think another three or four floods will give us a passable surface on which to start skating. With the […]

  • Seasons turning on a dime

    A week ago I put the snow tires on only because I was driving a bunch of kids up and over the Monashee Pass, where I thought there might be snow. It’s been a warm wet fall and if we hadn’t been going over the pass I would have left the all-season tires on for […]

  • Fire and pizza

    We tried the oven for pizzas last night. We don’t yet have a pizza peel, so we stuck with small personal pizzas on pans. We got the fire good and hot for an hour or two first. The oven is finally pretty much dry, thanks to three recent firings. We’ve got a bit of cracking, […]

  • First firing

    The weather has been unrelentingly cold and wet for the past three weeks. So the cob oven hasn’t exactly dried out. The outer layer of the south-facing wall is partly dry: you can see the lighter colour in the right of this photo. But the rest of the outside, and all of the inside, is […]

  • Main cobbing done

    The main cobbing is all complete on the oven now. The walls of the oven are about 8 1/2″ (22 cm) thick. See how the cob has come out almost to the edge of the foundation all the way around? And yesterday I added a lip to the doorway. Cob is so easy and enjoyable […]