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

for more than a quarter century

Year: 2013

  • In the cherry tree

    The same cherry tree that Fiona’s picking the fruit from: Sophie is climbing amongst its tangled branches. I love our local school. The teachers and staff are fabulous: interesting, passionate people with wonderful talents and the best interests of their students at heart. The school is tiny — about forty high schoolers, and a similar number […]

  • 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.

  • Frozen lakes

    Frozen lakes

    It happened in 2007 and again in 2011. The lakes at the summits froze solid and thick before the snow started really flying. For a precious couple of days we had the world’s most beautiful ice rinks at our disposal. And this year it happened again, to both nearby lakes. The lake to the east […]

  • Tea tree

    We are an entire family of tea-drinkers but it was Fiona’s idea to make an advent tea tree. We actually ended up stretching it from December 1st to New Year’s Day in order to allow Erin to be included a bit more, as she won’t make it home until the 20th at best. We included […]

  • Cherry-picking

    We’ve enjoyed unprecedented flexibility and co-operation from our local school for many years. At first we were merely registered homeschoolers with no official school affiliation, yet we were welcome to attend special events, use the library and participate in assemblies and field trips. When Erin enrolled in high school they enthusiastically supported her unschooled learning, […]

  • 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


    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 […]

  • Mushrooming


    Yesterday we went to the Nakusp Hot Springs, and I had Chuck drop me off in town to run the trail out to the springs. It ended up being about 11 km because the access road was closed due to logging and I had to do that part on foot. It ended up taking me […]

  • Sufferfest Weekend

    It’s Kootenay Sufferfest weekend. Chuck is away but the girls and I got involved in volunteering the first day. Fiona and Sophie volunteered as marshalling assistants. Fiona was marshalling up-mountain at the halfway First Aid and Marshalling station. She and I sat right at the snow line with slush falling for 7 hours. Plus it […]

  • Hamill Creek Backpacking

    As part of her learning about backcountry survival skills, Fiona wanted to plan a self-supported backpacking trip. Ten days later than we had originally hoped, having missed the glorious summery early September weather, we headed out. Fully laden, we wanted to avoid many of the wonderful heading-into-the-alpine trails in our area: e needed to be […]

  • Treadmill!

    Look what lives in our basement now. I’ve been wanting one for ages, seriously doing price comparisons and reading reviews for the past 4 years. For whatever reason, we reached the tipping point. Maybe it was my need to revert (after next week anyway!) to a more carefully controlled and scaled-back running schedule in order […]

  • Homeschooling just one, v2.0

    Homeschooling just one, v2.0

    What a difference this year! A new violin teacher has arrived in the area and I have relinquished all my private lesson teaching to her. This means that Fiona is not dragged to a furniture- and electronics-barren teaching studio for hours each week to sit and wait for me to finish working. It’s the second […]

  • End-of-summer road trip

    End-of-summer road trip

    We flew Erin out of Kelowna to go back to school. Kelowna is less expensive from a flight standpoint — and much more reliable in the winter, when the Cancelgar airport earns its unendearing nickname — but it involves eight or nine hours of driving instead of three and unless one is masochistic the necessity of […]

  • 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. […]