Friday, August 22, 2014

Dirty Work, Dirty Play

We're rearranging our garden for next year, which means dismantling seven of the raised beds and planting grass seed. Yesterday morning, Gwendolyn asked if we could work in the garden after breakfast. Micah piped up with his approval of the idea. So out we went. They love wheelbarrow work, because it means both moving dirt and riding to and fro in the empty barrow.

We've razed two beds and seeded them for next year:
We found a toad, petted it, held it, and followed it around in the grass for a while:
The dirt from the garden beds is going to fill in the earthen ramp on the north side of the back porch:
Micah spent a good half hour playing by himself inside the barrow:
His big sister spent that time discovering textures in the moist earth:
Both really like shovel work: cutting, lifting, and dumping:
Here is Minute 14 of the first 30-minute period this week when they occupied with same space without making each other angry:
What a blessing to work and play in the dirt with my children!

~ emrys

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Remember When . . .

. . . you could fit inside a vacuum cleaner? Remember when you wanted to?

Digging out my mobile phone pictures, I found these two of Micah, at 1.5 years, loving the steam cleaner. It's in repose, getting its resevoir refilled. While an adult makes the trip from living room to kitchen faucet, Micah seizes the moment to climb into his race car and take off.

And for the times when the race car is not going fast enough, the geniuses at Hoover even added a crop with which to whip your vehicle to greater speeds:


~ emrys

Paper or Plastic?

It's not just for grocery stores anymore.

We spent the last week in Thornbury, Ontario, a gorgeous little resort town just out of reach on the south coast of the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. Since we were in Canada, I had the opportunity to see the changes in Canadian monetary currency since I left in 1999.

It has the look, the feel, and probably a majority of characteristics of plastic--especially the transparent strip on one end of each bill. I do not know how old were the bills I held in the coffee shop yesterday; but if they were anything other than a few months old, they held up much better than any paper money would.

And I wouldn't be surprised if every bill now has a dohicky inside it that allows GPS tracking anywhere in the world. There will soon be no such thing as private debts.

~ emrys

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

For The Record

After three years of compiling, editing, supplementary writing, more editing, formatting, more editing, and uploading, it's finally complete: the compilation of our blog posts (plus hosts of extra photos) from 2006-2008.

If you're one of the few family or friends who could imagine dropping $60 for a copy, it's found at:

I'm going to take a breather before I get working on another one of these.

~ emrys

Sunday, August 03, 2014


How many times does a family have to repeat an activity before it can be called a "ritual"? How many years must contain the same activity, in the same season, before it can be called a "tradition"?

For our household, blueberry picking has become a tradition.When Stone Hill Blueberry Farm opens up in July, we schedule a day to pluck several buckets of the little blue lovelies. Picking our own fruit continues to be one of the few activities which, for all four of us, can be productive, healthy, energetic, and fun all at the same time.

For scale, here's the haul, drying on the kitchen counter, with my two-year-old son looking on with excitement:
Jam and jelly, here we come!

~ emrys