Posted by: Kate | October 12, 2014

Fall Musings

The Canada Geese are flying south. I can hear them in the evenings when I walk the dog, but the sky is too dark to see them. I love the gentle sound of their calls.

In this town, fall means hunting season. Where I grew up I only knew a couple of dads who hunted. Here everyone has someone in the family who hunts and it is often as not the mom or sister or grandma.

I’m almost done processing the apples. There have been a lot of apples.

Fall clean up has begun in the garden. It hasn’t gotten very far. I need to plant garlic soon.

The trees are just starting to change colour and most days I can still wear just a light jacket. Fall is ‘falling’ gently this year. A nice transition from an amazing summer that we weren’t ready to let go of.

Today we are having our Thanksgiving meal with my mom and her partner. Sushi and a ham. That’s us, just a little off centre from tradition. And for that, most of all, I am thankful.

hydrangea heads

Posted by: Kate | October 2, 2014

October Means Apples!

September was crazy busy, and October has started out the same way. Maybe by November things will slow down…

In the meantime, the apple tree has produced more apples than ever before. Perfect Empire apples, lots of nice big ones for snacking and also for baking. So apple production has ramped up in the kitchen This is the basket I’m working on processing into the freezer right now….

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apples2

There’s no way I can use all the apples this year, and I’m determined not to waste them. So I’ve already given two big shopping bags full to my colleagues at the office, and I have two more bags ready to go tomorrow.

apples3

The kicker is – there’s still more on the tree! Probably another three bags at least. I’ll be busy this week-end!

Posted by: Kate | September 23, 2014

Feature Photo: Reminisce

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Usually when we go to Victoria we try to shop, or do some cultural activity. But this time I was there for 10 days, in the company of a two-year-old. And with stunning September sunshine. So this trip was all about being outside and visiting favourite beaches. Esquimalt Lagoon is top on my list, as it is where I hung out as a child and as a teen-ager, and it is where Bushboy and I hung out when he was a toddler. Sometimes, it feels so good to reminisce.

Posted by: Kate | September 7, 2014

September Beach

There is something very satisfying about a quick jaunt on the beach in September. When the weather is still most decidedly summer but the people aren’t there, and the beach is ours with warmth on our backs and sparkles on the water. Deep breaths.

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Posted by: Kate | September 4, 2014

10 Books that Affected Me

So over on The Girl With the Red Hair I saw this post about the 10 Books that Affected Me. I was up for the challenge, so thought I’d bring it over here. Keep in mind, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time on this list!

1. The Road, Cormac McCarthy: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – hands down the best written book I’ve ever read. Left me gutted for days, but will never leave me. The skill and ability in this book is astounding.

2. The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton: For those of us who came of age in the 80s, this was The Book. Stay Gold, right?

3. The Water Babies: A classic that is very difficult to find now. But I remember reading it when I was four, and I read it to my son when he was four. So it was pretty special, all about fairies at the bottom of the garden.

4. Fall On Your Knees, Anne-Marie MacDonald: Brilliant, dark, Canadian.

5. The Ancestor’s Tale, Richard Dawkins: My favourite science book. Love the twist on Chaucer in the title, love the book. Proves that science writing can be gripping and exciting. And that yes, I am a big science geek.

6. The Life of Pi, Yan Martel: Best ending to a novel ever. Stunned me, and that is rare.

7.  Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins: I could have picked a number of his books, including “Another Roadside Attraction” and “Still Life with Woodpecker”. My girlfriends and I read these in late high school, and they were awesome and weird and eye-opening.

8. Basin and Range, John McPhee: McPhee writes about geology with such grace he makes it come alive.

9. Animal Kingdom, Barbara Kingsolver: While I like her novels, this collection of essays stood out for me.

10. Floating in My Mother’s Palm, Ursula Hegi: This was one of the first books I read written by someone whose first language wasn’t English. The lyricism of the writing stayed with me for a long time. (I realized that this is wrong, as I read Le Petit Prince in both French and English when I was young, and then read Camus’ The Plague in high school. But this was the first novel as an adult reader, and it stuck with me.)

The 10th one I think could be interchanged with a number of other books, but this list is a fairly good reflection of books that have stayed with me, for one reason or another.

If you feel like playing along, please do!

 

 

Posted by: Kate | September 1, 2014

Family Created

This post could have been about taking a young child to the fair and the fun of watching him as we saw cows and horses and ducks and rabbits. It was a fun day with good friends. But this photo says so much more to me when I look at it.

big and little

We come from small families, Mr. Kate and I. We each have a sibling who is unattached and with no children. My parents were both immigrants, so I had no family near by growing up. He has a lot of cousins, but is much younger than them and once his grandmother and her generation passed away the family gatherings stopped.

Then we had Bushboy, and realized he too would have a very small family. In fact, even smaller than ours, with no siblings, no immediate cousins and only one aunt and one uncle. (We were fortunate to move to a small city where Mr. Kate’s older cousin lived, and so have managed to make Bushboy a part of that family.)

Of course, we made attempts to create that family outside of the normal family bonds. For whatever reason, we do not have a large circle of people with children around us, either. But we do have some very good friends, and we were fortunate that one of those has been a friend for a very long time, and has therefore known and loved Bushboy since he was a baby.

So now that friend, his Auntie, has a child. And finally we see that Bushboy has created his own family circle, and has experienced that bond of two young hearts connected by a sense of family.

It takes my breath away to see him love this young boy, to know that forever he will have that in his life. And to see him with that young child makes me see the young man he has become.

Family Created, indeed.

 

Posted by: Kate | August 25, 2014

More Jam!

Blackberry season started early this year, thanks to the warm dry weather. I am so happy to see an abundance of berries, instead of the moulding on the vine we saw last year. I have not yet done any baking, but do have berries in the freezer and have made two batches of jam – one straight blackberry and one blackberry-peach. The jars in the pantry make me so happy!

more jam1 more jam2

Posted by: Kate | August 21, 2014

Summer Knitting

Some years summer knitting becomes like my summer reading – light and fluffy. I admit to reading more than my fair share of fluff chick lit/cheesy romance novels this summer, and to go along with it I have been knitting the staple of summer fluff knitting – dishcloths. I think the heat of this delicious summer has gotten to me, my brain simply doesn’t want to process anything more meaty, and I’m ok with that. For everything there is a season, right?

summer cloths

And like the ubiquitous potato chip – just one is never quite enough!

I can tell the season is waning, even though there are still lovely weeks of sun ahead. My thoughts are turning to lace, and my list of novels in my reading book is starting to call my name once again.

What’s your guilty summer pleasure?

Posted by: Kate | August 13, 2014

Busy Summer….

Oh my goodness! So many stories are whirring by… but right now it’s working time and Hubert is determined to help me edit. Not sure about his spelling abilities, but he sure likes to tell me what to do.

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Hope to be back soon with stories of blueberries, and knitting, and lovely gifts that I’ve been so remiss in telling you all about. But there are 80th birthdays and 70th birthdays and family dinners and family visits looming on the horizon, with work deadlines, a sadly neglected garden and beckoning blackberries as well….

How is your summer going?!

Posted by: Kate | August 7, 2014

Fishing North Vancouver Island

We had the opportunity to spend the past week-end on the west coast of Vancouver Island, almost at the northern tip of the island. The weather was spectacular, and we caught a lot of fish!

Quatsino collage

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