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

for more than a quarter century

Year: 2009

  • Mac Love

    The uncharacteristic silence from my keyboard is more apparent than real. I’m not blogging much because I’m in love with my iMac. After plugging it in I decided to see how much I could do without buying replacement software for all the things I’d enjoyed working with on my PC. We bought our first PC […]

  • Like…

    We like our new espresso machine, “bought” with grocery store points. It was our family’s Christmas Eve treat for ourselves. The kids have a penchant for steamed milk, London Fogs and decaffuccinos. The adults like their lattés and cappuccinos. So far it has seen a whole lot of use. Everyone in the family now knows […]

  • Winter running

    When you add two to three hours of structured homeschooling to your family’s already pretty full daily life, something’s got to give. And in my case, it’s been the running. I’ve only run a handful of times in the past month. Daylight only lasts about eight hours here now. Running at night is really not […]

  • Choir and Quartet

    Noah’s quartet doesn’t really exist anymore, since the 2nd violinist has moved away. However, the remaining three quarters of the quartet, together with Sophie, were invited to help accompany a piece the local community choir was performing at their Christmas concert. They had only one very short rehearsal with the choir, so I thought it […]

  • Sophie School

    Of the three at-home kids, Sophie is the one who has come up with the most unusual approach to structured schooling. She has gravitated to setting her alarm for 6:30 a.m.. This is the girl who often used to still be in bed at noon. Now she’s up before it’s light outside. She makes a […]

  • Fiona’s Morning School

    This has been a homeschooling blog for years, but now that we’re finally doing some structured schooling I thought it would be appropriate to post about what we’re doing. Fiona’s morning starts at about 8:30 am. She usually grabs some breakfast first and then settles in for some bookwork. These days she is pretty happy […]

  • Not all fun and games

    Someone commented to me (about our recent changes in daily structure): “Life is not all fun and games and shouldn’t be treated as such, sometimes there are things that we have to do even when we don’t want to…” I think this is a little simplistic. I agree that life is not all fun and […]

  • Rum Balls and their friends

    Fun and easy. We do both types at once in two separate bowls. Rum Balls The main deal:4 oz. semisweet chocolate1 can sweetened condensed milk1/3 cup dark rum200 g chocolate cookie crumbs1 1/4 cups finely chopped walnuts1 tsp. vanilla For coating:1 more cup of finely chopped walnuts Melt chocolate in a saucepan over very low […]

  • Minties

    These are a perfect for young children to make, so long as they can keep their fingers out of their mouths for the duration! Minties 1 egg white300 to 350 gm of sifted icing sugar (varies depending on egg size)1 tsp. mint extracta few drops of food colouring, if desired Whisk the egg for a […]

  • The Yin and Yang of Computer Cables

    I used to laugh at people who got panicky when they needed to set up their own PCs. They’d worry what would go wrong if they plugged something in the wrong way. I’d reassure them that it was really easy. The cables only connect one way. You can tell by the plugs and jacks how […]

  • Almond Crescents

    These are another classic treat that we never do without at Christmas. We use fresh Rancho Vignola unsprayed almonds, blanching and skinning them before turning them into crumbs. There’s not a lot of sugar in these, but there’s more than enough butter to make up for that! Almond Crescents 2 cups whole blanched almonds1 cup […]

  • Christmas Baking

    I’m discovering that I often use my own blog as a reference when looking for recipes we’ve enjoyed in the past. So this seems as sensible a way to archive our favourite Christmas treat recipes as any. We do a double batch of everything. Hard candies, which store well and hence get made early, get […]

  • Cranberry Hazelnut Biscottini

    Yesterday we went an sorted, packed and distributed our wholesale dried fruit and nut order, bringing home a good hundred pounds to our own pantry. And thus the holiday baking has gone into high gear. Cranberry Hazelnut Biscottini We like these small so that they more closely match the size of our other holiday fare […]

  • The wheel keeps spinning

    How beautiful is this? To think that it started out as this…

  • Living in bulk

    With a family of six, two chest freezers, a lot of pantry space and a penchant for whole foods, we end up buying a lot of things in bulk. And this is definitely the time of year when our bulk buying habits kick into high gear. Yesterday I picked up 100 pounds of locally grown […]