A different point of view

RC buggy by frozen pond

Today was the last day of school before Christmas; it definitely wasn’t the last day of work for my husband or me, but it was certainly a milestone. The household will have a different rhythm for the next couple of weeks. We’re all hoping for more snow in anticipation of some snow shoeing, snowy walks and maybe a backwoods ski.

Our older boy, however, is really hoping for some nice cold temperatures and a hard crust on our land. He’s a budding mechanical engineer and in his spare time he scratch builds remote control vehicles, amongst other things. Reviewing the latest images on my camera tonight, I found a series of shots taken down at our pond. The landscape is so familiar, but it’s transformed by the subject matter and my son’s perspective. It’s a great reminder that we share a love for this place, but how we see it is defined by who we are.

RC buggy on frozen stream

It must be spring

Birthday photos for a boy

In the past week, my older boy turned 15. I can’t even begin to contemplate what the next birthday will be like, 16 being a number that seems a little larger than life at this point.

Two brothers with birthday balloons and a dog

Gluten free pancakes and noisy balloons were served up for breakfast before school.

Moss covered stones

Walks in the wood revealed moss-covered stones and the last tiny patch of snow.

Kicking at a last patch of snow in spring

Reggie started retrieving from the pond again, in earnest.

Black lab retrieving from a pond

And looking just as sweet as can be afterwards (yes, I’ve fallen hard for this young dog since he joined our family last summer).

Reggie, a black lab

We have even started moving a few precious young plants out into the garden; youngest son is seen here planting some of his kale plants in the small bed outside our front door.

Planting kale in spring

So many jobs to do now that the warmer weather is here. One at time, that’s all we can do.

Launching PetKid properly

PetKid with his dog

As anyone who follows here knows, I’ve been making room for my youngest to create his own posts here in recent weeks. Not one to go slow at anything, he has steamed ahead on the whole blogging front and created his own blogging space today.

It’s called A Kid’s World, and he’ll be posting about everything from his pets, gardening, baking, activities, interests and studies (he is schooled at home) to anything else that he deems post-worthy. His kick-off post today is about making a model Roman villa.

PetKid would love it if you stopped by and said hello at A Kid’s World.

Comfort food

Cheesy pasta with red chard

It is late on a Sunday evening and the weekend is coming to a close in a way that I like. I have just deposited in the oven the red chard pasta dish with cream and Parmesan pictured here, next to the cinnamon breakfast loaf that my older son whipped up for the week ahead. Both are due to come out of the oven in about ten minutes.

This weekend I fell on the ice, we fixed up our hoop house after a bout of apparent mild vandalism, my husband and I fit in a long work meeting and I plodded through our finances for our little company’s year end, but we also fit in many chapters of our family book, made a crazy outing for doughnuts, and enjoyed some good moments together, with lots of laughter.

My kitchen is in chaos as we’re having some work done, and I’m staring down another busy week, but I’ve got comfort food. Here’s hoping you do too, whatever you’re doing.

Old school failings

Cuisinart electric coffee grinder next to antique manual grinder

Some time back I promised to come clean about one of the ‘slow’ habits that I’ve chosen to give up, at least for the time being. Having written about my morning grind and showcased our lovely old manual grinder here, I was actually sad to give it up in favour of the modern, electric model seen next to it in the picture.

In my defence, after choosing to combine working from home with homeschooling one of our children last November and experiencing many days in a row when I just never got to have a cup of coffee, I had to make the leap. So, for now, I look fondly at the old hand grinder when I get up in the morning, but I gratefully reach for its modern counterpart while I try to do three or four other things at the same time.

Just in case we’re losing a lot of our old-school street cred, however, I’d like to point out that our family still elects to manually shovel this driveway. Even with both grown-ups and our 14-year old working at it solidly, it takes quite a long time to clear, especially if the snowfall was particularly big or heavy.

Big snowfall on driveway in Eastern Ontario December 2011

What you don’t see here is the section in front of the gate leading to the road, or the turn around to the right of the house and drive in the picture. In a big snow, my husband thinks we clear between 60 to 100 cubic yards; apparently older son will actually do the math tomorrow. Just in case you actually care!

Previous posts on Keeping it Old School

Keeping it old school (old school bell)
Keeping it old school – take 2(small plough)
Keeping it old school – take 3 (hot water bottle)