Monday, March 30, 2009

Maïa working on her Sudoku

Kieran working on his Sudoku

Maïa and her recent work from preschool on display

On Friday afternoon, Maïa broke down in tears and told me she was tired of going to too many places, told me she needed her Papa, and asked to go to bed. I tucked her in, and while she napped, I sat down to a cup of tea and reflected on what she had told me. I had to admit that I felt the same way.

We are a fairly quiet family, I think, compared to most. We spend a lot of time at home, choosing and enrolling in only one class or activity per season, and getting together for weekly playdates with families who share our desire for a simple home. Maïa likes nothing more than to be home, where her creative play weaves a colourful pattern of toys throughout the house. She likes to sing while she plays.

The last few weeks, however, have entailed trips up to Vancouver to help Grandma move, not much of Papa who was busy working, many, many birthday parties, and in general, just too much. I knew we had to change gears, and so I canceled our plans for the weekend, feeling a little guilty about being anti-social but relishing the thought of a quiet two days at home with the family.

Saturday was rainy and lazy. On Sunday the sun came out and we went outside. That afternoon, I looked up from my planting to see Maïa sitting on the stone wall at the end of the garden, arranging a feast of leaves and dandelion flowers for her little doll. Not far, her Papa and our friend Matthew (who counts as family) were working on building my raised bed. And when I heard the sweet sound of her singing, I knew life was back to normal.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Sowing

Spring is here, and none too early. I am already enjoying the sun accompanying us through dinner, and the sweet chirping of birds in our garden. Speaking of garden, I finally got my seeds started today. Lonny is building me a raised plant bed for my veggies and herbs. I've always had a strawberry patch, tomatoes and a few pots by the kitchen window for basil, but this is my first official vegetable garden, I'm very excited! Maïa and her little friend Oana were very happy to give a helping hand. In fact, they were SO enthusiastic that I think some of these little pots must contain half a seed packet each! Sowing the seeds today was very satisfying, kind of like putting a few batches of muffins in the oven. Only it takes a little longer to bake...Maïa has already checked her pots three times in the last hour!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pretty Recycling

It's been a week since I last posted! Where has the time gone? It's certainly been a busy week. We made a trip up to Vancouver over the weekend to help Grandma move. This involved a lot of boxes, sushi, and swearing. Typical moving stuff. Upon our return home, I came down with a full-blown sinus infection. This involves a lot of tissue, no sushi, and lots of swearing.

And now there is laundry to do, dinner to think of, beds to make, and toys to put away, which is exactly why I decided to give up on my domestic duties and do something creative. I am a bit of a paper slut, and finally found a use for some gorgeous papers I have been stashing away. I rummaged through the recycling and revived this old cocoa tin, thought it came out looking quite pretty. Now I can use it for tea, although somehow suspect Maia will claim it for her collection of marbles, twigs, barrettes and rocks. Might even end up with a few worms in it.

I think I'd better get to work on dinner. Hot chocolate perhaps? That second tin of cocoa needs a makeover!

Friday, March 6, 2009

tea in the garden

watercolor on paper

Spring was most definitely in the air today. Dirty dishes were abandoned in a giant heap on the counter, the stroller dusted off, and a much needed visit to the park ensued. The sunshine even felt warm on my cheeks. Absolutely lovely. And what an appropriate day to post my recent painting, tea in the garden. I am happy with how it turned out, I especially had fun with the polk-a-dot dress.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Time for more photos and less text...

Maïa wearing my favourite dress when I was a wee one

Kieran concentrating on those o's

Being silly, a very rare occurrence

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Babette's Bread

My parents' house always smells delicious because there is always something delicious that is either being cooked or that has freshly emerged from the oven. And, naturally, it is often assumed that I, as the oldest (and only) daughter, acquired my mother's skills in the kitchen at a young age. Not so. I enjoy cooking, but it's taken years of practice for me to feel comfortable in front of the stovetop.

My mother whips up fabulous dishes without the need for recipes, or at least that is how it seems. And when questioned about a particular dish, which happens often, her response is usually something along the lines of, "well, add a bit of this, and a bit of that. Quite simple really." No recipe provided. Ever. Just a charming French accent. So you understand that cooking, for me, was as simple as brain surgery. And you can also understand my complete shock when she recently brought me a couple loaves of home-made bread and casually told me "I'll send you the recipe." And then actually sent it. It's even got ingredients (!) and measurements (!!!!) and instructions. And here it is, complete with bisous from my Maman. Oh and this hearty bread tastes rather divine, especially when used to clean off a bowl of soup, à la française.


6cups warm water (105-115F)
6 cups whole-wheat flour (Or 2 white 4 whole-wheat)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup cracked wheat
I added ½ cup sunflower seeds and ½ cup of flax seeds
3 teaspoons dry yeast
2 tablespoons canola oil

Heat water
Grease generously with butter 3 bread tins ( 5x9 inch)
Mix all dry ingredients
When water is at right temperature, add yeast
Let the yeast dissolve for 10 minutes
Add oil to water
Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients
Mix well
Divide into 3 loaves
Cover and let rise for one hour at room temperature
Heat oven at 350 F
Put loaves in oven
Bake one hour
Turn out immediately and let cool.