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

for more than a quarter century

Year: 2011

  • Marathon training

    I decided to plan out my preparation from the moment I officially signed up for Vancouver’s BMO Marathon. That has given me 25 weeks to prepare, and I’m now 3 weeks in. The past two winters I haven’t had any particular running goal, and so weather and life and the inaccessibility of trails have conspired […]

  • Graduated!

    Fiona graduated from contact lens training lessons today. Okay, she only had the one lesson so this isn’t a case of hard-won mastery or anything, but she did brilliantly well and doesn’t need any more training sessions, just a check on her eyes in the New Year to make sure they’re coping well with the […]

  • Festivus Owls

    Fiona’s sick. Getting better today, but we decided we needed to bail on running the taxi service for all those teenagers going to Corazón rehearsal in Nelson. Instead we had an unexpected day at home together. And thanks to my shameless scouring of Etsy for craft ideas, we decided to make some felted owls. This […]

  • Winter minimalist footwear

    Clockwise from L: Merrell Lithe Glove, Nike Lunarglide, NB Minimus I did something to my foot in August, trotting up to the water box. It sort of settled down on its own after a couple of months. A diversion into mountain-biking kept me happy until the snow began to fly. Now it’s properly winter, biking […]

  • Ice

    The lake at the summit north of us has frozen clear, without snow. It’s not quite glassy, but quite skate-able. We’ve opted not to flood our backyard rink this year, so there’s even more reason for the trip to the lake to be worth doing. Fiona and I skated all the way across, and all […]

  • Voices West and lupine wall

    Fiona and I painted this along the wall of Sophie’s bedroom while she was gone to a choral festival in Edmonton. We had hoped to do it on her birthday while she was at school, but there was a power failure that day, and not only were things dark and cold in the room as […]

  • Soap and teenagers

    The soap has cured! We’ve wrapped it up in salvaged tissue paper and ribbon, to keep it protected until use by us or others. While the lavender buds turned a less-than-fetching brown in the alkaline environment, the basic marbled green of the soap is nice to look at, and the mixture of lavender and rosemary […]

  • Finding his place

    The high school has just completed a week-long documentary project. The student films were shown, as well as an informal “documenting the documentary-making” film pulled together by Mo, one of the professional film-maker facilitators. In this last film, there was a clip of Noah sitting in front of computer with a group of other students […]

  • A Symphony Year

    Noah has now completed a year’s worth of concerts with the Symphony of the Kootenays. This year, with Erin gone, he’s the only student member. His mom plays in the second violins and even though she’d rather play viola, she enjoys it. And what a difference a year makes! Can you see him there, to […]

  • Bike


    The back-story is that I hurt my foot in August (not running — while scooting up the property to check on the water reservoir, of all things). But I was unable to run. With the family reunion, and then the fuss of getting Erin off to Montreal and getting the middle kids off to school […]

  • Brioche knitting

    Simple two-colour brioche (top) and Hosta leaf pattern (bottom) I had never heard of brioche knitting, but the first couple of examples I saw looked so nifty that I had to figure it out. I started trying to learn while beginning a very simple project while Fiona and I were away at Fort Steele. I […]

  • Chemistry around here

    Lye + water + oil = soap Fiona would like to be a chemist, or so she thinks. Until we get to the chemistry section in her science course, we’re having fun little forays into the world of household chemistry. We had fun making soap a couple of weeks ago. We used a combination of […]

  • Brown pickle

    I tweak this recipe every time I make it, but always forget what changes I make. This year I’ve written it down, because it has turned out especially well.Brown Pickle 10 oz. carrots10 oz. prune plums2 large tart apples1/2 large rutabaga1 medium zucchini4 onions6 cloves garlic1/2 large head cauliflower5 oz. dates25 small gherkins1 Tbsp. browning […]

  • Sprucing (birching?) up

    Fiona’s room has a thirteen-year-old light leaf-green paint job that’s showing its age. But the loft bed / desk / dresser / shelf unit is so immense and immobile that I just can’t see my way to moving the furniture and repainting from scratch. So we hit on the idea of stencilling a stand of […]

  • Mobile

    Last winter Fiona and I had a lot of fun making styrofoam and paper maché replicas of the planets. We had thought we would hang them up on display, but before we got around to doing so we put them on the mantel where they began to collect dust and disappear from our awareness. Finally […]