Christmas Sweater

I had every intention of knitting Dave a sweater again this year....
Last year I knit this one...

(wow his hair is short)

This year he got you can see, I have made him a hat to wear but the sweater is in it's raw form so to speak. My Goal: to finish the sweater by Valentines Day. The Problem: I haven't even picked out a pattern yet. Grim. I figure I'll scout out Ravelry and see what I can come up with. However, I'm open to any ideas....??

December Photo Project ~ 12/22/09

I have decided I will travel the world and take pictures of my favorite mug in wierd places. Similar to the couple that did it with their nieghbours garden gnome... but mine will be filled with yummy java.

December Photo Project ~ 12/20/09 & CARAMEL CORN!

Our annual Caramel Popcorn. A sticky, sweet, yummo Christmas tradition.
In honour of a beautiful Next mamma.... how to make your own:

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup popping corn

Pop the popcorn and place in a buttered roasting pan.
In a saucepan bring the butter, sugar, syrup and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling stop stirring and let boil for 5 min. Take off the heat and add stir in soda and vanilla. Pour over popcorn and stir well. Place in 250 degree oven. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 min.

** As someone who values learning from others misfortunes... please note that the saucepan should be big enough to allow the sauce to increase in volume as it boils. Cleaning up molten sugar lava is not an activity I suggest for putting people in the Christmas spirit. Trust me on this one.

December Photo Project ~ 12/15/09 & COOKIES

These are my favorite cookies to make with the boys. They don't require a mixer, just a bowl and a wooden spoon. I like them because the are so versatile, you can switch up a few things and have a completely different cookie. (You will see what I mean) In the time it took me to get the camera I lost one as you can see (Dave, I know where you sleep!)

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pkg vanilla INSTANT pudding mix (I highlight this fact because I have purchased the wrong one in the past with very dire results)
1 tbsp. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease them).
In a large bowl mix together butter and both sugars. Stir in pudding mix and milk. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by heaping 1 tbsp about 2 inches apart (I use a small ice-cream scoop cause I'm lazy!) on prepared pans. Bake in centre of 350 degree oven until edges are golden, about 12 min. Let cool for 5 min on baking sheet. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 3 doz.

NOW... I have done the following combos:
Chocolate pudding with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Butterscotch pudding with Scor bits
Chocolate pudding with white chocolate chips and pecans
Chocolate pudding with peanut butter chips
Butterscotch pudding with milk chocolate chips
and so on, and so on, and so on....

and THAT is why I love this cookie!

December Photo Project ~12/14/09

Our sugar bowl often reflects the season as you can see. We add different colours depending on the time of year. The boys like the fact that it turns cereal milk funky colours.

December Photo Project ~ 12/13/09

Traffic Jam. I keep telling them if they compete to get in the door, mommy can't even reach the door to open it. They never listen.

Christmas Crackers

For the past few years the kids and I have been making our own Chrismas crackers. We have a blast picking out a toy for each person and packing it into a toilet paper tube with some chocolate and other assorted goodies. We include a question in every cracker and we take turns throughout the evening asking our question to the group. Some of the ones we have used are: "If you could meet anybody, who would it be?", "What is the best book you read this past year?", "What 1 new thing do you want to try in the coming year?". We have found that we learn a lot about each other through this simple exercise plus it's usually pretty funny.

To cover the tubes we just roll them in some left over fabric I had and tie them with strips of cloth. We even label them so we know who gets which toy/gift inside. The best thing is you can just gather up the fabric and put it away for next year. If you have boys like I do, you can purchase the "fire-sticks" for inside the crackers from craft stores in December. They are also known as poppers, my boys are just dramatic.

December Photo Project ~12/09/09

December Photo Project ~ 12/6/09

First snowfall of the year.

December Photo Project ~ 12/5/2009

These oranges are over a year old... we preserved them with cloves. They still smell wonderful! I actually have one from my childhood that we bring out every Christmas.

December Photo Project ~ 12/2/09

December Photo Project ~ 12/1/09

December Photo Project

So after much deliberation I have decided to participate in the December Photo Project. I'm not the best photographer but I just love to take pictures, so I look on this as a good challenge to do what I love. So, my hope is that I will honour the Creator as I capture the things He has made during this season that should be focused on Him. Since I'm starting a day late... I will do two today.
December Photo Project

Condense your crap.

Ok, so the title lacks imagination. Get over it.
We have a rather extensive collection of DVD's and CD's. We don't have a TV up north but we do have a tiny portable DVD player that comes in handy when the weather goes to the dogs and the kids are perched on my last nerve. I can't live without music so the CD's aren't going anywhere either. That's a lot of stuff to store. Enter the CD binder. We have managed to condense our collections into two binders.
I am amazed at how little space this all takes now. The binder on the right holds 153 CD's and the binder beside it holds 148 DVD's. Both have room for more and we spent the extra $$ on the three ring versions that allows you to add pages instead of buying another whole binder. (The small binder on the left is Dave's backup disks of his photography). Oh, and that tiny device beside the binders is the afore mentioned DVD player....cute huh!


Our neighbor in Kingston has the misfortune of having her kitchen window face our backyard. This poor woman has seen things that no one can explain or understand. She has watched us build 30 foot tee pees, tie dye bolts of fabric across the lawn, make bow drill fires, carve bone into necklaces (very stinky), and she has watched all the males in the family jump in and out of a very large maple at heights that make me queasy.

Dave is out of town so I served up dinner tonight and then left the boys to eat while I finished up some other tasks. I suddenly realized that things were much too quiet. Sure enough there were no boys at the kitchen table and no lasagna to be seen. I called. Silence. I called again. More Silence. I decided to take out the recycling before I tackled the project of locating them. As I was walking back up the driveway you can imagine my surprise at finding them sitting on top of the shed in the backyard. Eating lasagna. In the dark. As a mother I felt it was my duty to ask the obvious question. To which I got the following answer: "What else would we be doing? We're eating dinner and watching the moon rise." Well duh. How did I miss that? I'm sure our poor neighbor has called her friends about my son's high altitude pasta picnic but at the moment I feel nothing but pride. I will deal with her questions tomorrow.

Drum beat

I woke up this morning with the need for the powwow drum. Maybe you did too and just don't realize it yet. Here is a drum song courtesy of Broken Walls and, oh yeah, my boss.

Rising Oatmeal

Fall is bread making season! I love kneading, punching, smelling and eating. It's an all encompassing experience! Here is my favorite bread recipe to date:

Amish Oatmeal Bread

1 pkg. of dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup quick oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar or molasses

1 tbsp. salt

2 tbsp butter

2 cups boiling water

5-6 cups flour

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water

2. In large bowl combine oats, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Pour boiling water over all and mix well. When mixture is cooled to lukewarm stir in yeast.

3. Stir in approx. half of the flour. Knead in remaining flour in really large bowl or on floured surface.

4. Place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double (about an hour). Punch down. Shape into two loaves and place in greased bread pans. Let rise again (45 min- hour).

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 min. Cool on rack, brush tops with butter for a soft crust.

And TRY to keep people out of it till it's cool!

Native Folk

Since watching the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music awards on Friday both Dave and I have been humming this song... I simply can't get it out of my head.  Now some kind folks would listen to a CD and insert a new track but I choose to bring you all down with me and make you humm it for the next 3 days instead... Evil, I know.

Full Moon

A magical entity that depends on the glow of another... reminds me of us, reflecting back the things that are projected towards us. Challenged me to only project that which I would want bouncing back.

This past week was the full moon. I have a new appreciation for the moon now.... when you go outside late at night it's the difference between needing to light the lantern or being able to see everything as clear as daylight! I never used to know the phases of the moon but now I keep a close eye.

These are some of the moon pics Dave has taken recently.
If you want to keep up on the Moon Phases check out this Website at Stardate.


This past weekend we celebrated my grandmothers 90th Birthday.  My wish is that I'm as foxy at 90 as she is!

Conviction Hits Reality

We don't celebrate Halloween.  It was a decision Dave and I made when we got married and we have stuck by it for the most part.  When our kids were in school there were dress-up days and a few churches we attended had "Harvest Parties", but they have never been out trick-or-treating.  Now that the boys are older the rubber has really hit the road, so to speak.  They are now aware of the holiday and the general concept of the activities involved.  For the first time we have involved them in the discussion about why we don't participate, the idea that demanding food from neighbors or you will do something nasty, the origins of the holiday in history, etc.  We really respected Shane Claibourne's (Irrisistable Revolution) take on developing your own holidays and not necessarily participating in the culture around you just because it's there.

We plan on celebrating some unusual holidays this year so keep an eye out... maybe you can join us for Talk Like A Pirate Day... or Rubber Ducky Day...  should be interesting.  To start... HAPPY WORLD VEGAN DAY (November 1st!)  And... November 2nd is COOKIE MONSTERS BIRTHDAY.... I can't make this stuff up. 


This morning I woke up to a mouse sized skating rink on top of my pumpkin.  I couldn't help picturing it in my mind with it's little scarf and hat, twirling in circles until it fell.  Wishing it had a cup of cocoa with marshmellows. 
I think I need a coffee.




Well we have owned our 76 acres for one year now! The time has just flown by which is suprising considering how time seemed to just creep while we were searching for property. We have made lots of changes like adding a garden, a teepee, a treehouse, built a mud room, a fire pit, installed a wood stove and painted. Here are a few before and after pics of the main room... it's amazing what a little colour will do!

Easy Hat Pattern to Knit.

My friend Allie requested an easy hat pattern to knit. This used to be my favorite pattern but I must admit I started to crochet last year and haven't looked back.

**Update I used a size 8 knitting needle for these hats!

Cast on 84 Stitches.

Knit the first row.

Purl the second row.

Continue alternating rows until it measures approx 8 inches when laid flat.

End with a purl row.

Knit 5 stitches, then knit the next two together. Repeat across the whole row. (knit 5, knit 2 together.)

You should end up with 72 stitches on your needle.

Purl the next row.

Knit 4 stitches, then knit two stitches together. Repeat across the whole row. (knit 4, knit 2 together.)

You should have 60 stitches on your needle.

Purl the next row.

Knit 3 stitches, then knit two stitches together. Repeat across the whole row. (knit 3, knit 2 together.)

Purl the next row.

Knit 2 stitches, then knit two stitches together. Repeat across the whole row. (knit 2, knit 2 together.)

You should have 36 stitches on your needles.

Purl the next row.

Knit 1 stitch, then knit two stitches together. Repeat across the whole row.

You should have 24 stitches on your needle.

Purl the next row.

Knit two stitches together across the whole row. (you should end up with 12 stitches.)

Cut off the yarn to there is a 1 meter long tail! (or about a yard for American readers)

Thread it onto a yarn needle. Thread needle through each stitch as you take it off your knitting needles.

Pull the yarn through the stitches leaving a little loop where you started. Thread the needle through the loop to form a circle and pull it tight. This is the crown of your hat.

With right sides together use the yarn already on your sewing needle to stitch up the side seam.

Stop about an inch from the bottom.

Turn the hat right side out and sew the last inch with wrong sides together. When the hat rolls, this seam will disappear.

Tie off and weave in your ends.
*** If you want to make a smaller hat reduce the number of stitches you cast on by increments of 7.
If you want to branch out into something more exciting.... check out the free hat patterns HERE... some of them are really funky!

World Vegetarian Day!

Happy World Vegetarian Day! Don't believe me? Check it out HERE!! So when you're planning out your meals today... skip the beef, free the chicken, and feed the fish!


Well, not one to miss out on any kind of fun I had to make my own applesauce labels too. I made a few different versions but this is one I found free online and had a few different types to choose from... check it out HERE! They have one for Canning, Treats, Crafts, Homebrew, and Wine!

No Waste shopping at Bulk Barn

I recently viewed a video on Facebook of a supermarket that creates no waste.  All of the containers are reusable and you simply fill, use, ...