Thursday, June 28, 2012

REDy or not... It's summer vacation!

I am so happy today! It's the last day of school and I get to have both my boys home for two whole months!
Nesta LOVED his teacher this year. I wanted to buy him a gift for being so darn awesome but I don't have a lot of extra money right now so I turned to Pinterest for an idea and found the cutest gift bag stuffed with all kinds of goodies that were orange and a gift tag that said "orange you glad it's summer?"

I'm too stubborn to use another persons idea so Nesta and I came up with our own twist...(no pun intended)

Yes, I'm that mother who has tears streaming down my cheeks at back to school time, but truth be told I have been experiencing a bit of anxiety about the summer time boredom epidemic. I remember being a kid and telling my mom I was bored. She would always tell me to draw, read, or write but she never offered to join me.  I would just roll my eyes and go back to watching the TV. I grew up watching a lot of TV in fact I can still remember the exact after school programming for the 3 channels I had. I guess I turned out okay, but there is a lot of literature that suggests we should limit our children's screen time to an hour a day. That includes tv, hand held devices, computers, and video games. I'm determined to have activities prepared for my kids when the inevitable words leave their mouths... "MOM! I'm bored!"
Again, I'm turning to Pinterest.  Some of the bloggers out there are so creative, organized and inspiring to me. I figured I's better start with the organizing the moment my favourite organizing blog is...i heart organizing I'm sure Jen would agree that the boy's room as it was, was not suitable for an organized summer. I live in a 3 bedroom 1500 sq/ft apartment, so we gave the boys the master bedroom, so it could double as their playroom, and we could still have a spare room/ office.  I'm not always thinking "I should blog about this", when I set out to accomplish a household task, so my 'before' picture is actually a '20 minutes in' picture... took a lot of nerve to actually post that shot! Don't judge me...this was a combination of a pre-existing disaster area...and the start of re-arranging the furniture. In the end though I think I achieved a more organized space for sleeping, playing, and crafting...

I found an awesome idea for taming the technology monster that is right in line with my philosophy on limiting screen time over at Organizing Made Fun! Check out these printables...
Just cut 'em out, and the kids get to choose their form of media in 15 minute intervals! GENIUS!
With Canada Day right around the corner, and 4th of July shortly after, I thought Winston and I would get right to it with the crafts after I saw this idea guessed it...Pinterest
We're not celebrating the stars & stripes so here's our Canada Day version...

I've been pinning lots more 'boredom busting ideas on my board "Summer Projects" 
Let the boredom begin!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the garden...

well hello my dear blog...
i think the beauty of this blog is that it's dedicated to my authentic voice and in all my authentic glory i don't have that much time to write. a book called 'writing down the bones' recently found it's way back to me. i love when people return my books! the book was a reminder to make time...time for thought to become words...time for words to become my voice...time for authentic mama.
and i do have a post idea i've been meaning to touch on this garden.
for five years i have been learning to grow food.  for five years i have watch seeds fail, seeds succeed, weeds take over, harvests neglected, fruits frosted, empty mason jars hoping for the chance to preserve. and this year i said no more! i will get this.
my advice to anyone starting a garden is simple. two things.  keep it small, keep it close by.  gardens are more work than children. it's true! 
when i first moved to fernie, bc i volunteered at the community garden where i made friends with a handful of women who would become my mentors.  but the community garden was 7 blocks from my home. too far. so i dug a garden in my yard.  another season wasted because of the weeds. then i moved and didn't have a yard and so i bought books about container gardens. fail.
i dreamed about a flourishing, deck space with flowers, and vegetables...heading into my 3rd summer at this residence i was beginning to feel deflated.
so what changed this year?...dan decided he wanted to grow tomatoes..and lots of them! seriously, all of a sudden my husband took over.  he read magazines about tomatoes, he ordered organic heirloom varieties, he educated me about indeterminate and determinate plants, in general he showed off and gave me two green thumbs up! on april first he spent the whole day sterilizing all the seed trays, bought organic potting soil, grow lights and began to research a cold frame solution for our 16x16 roof top patio.
 i didn't get my hopes up until...the seeds actually started sprouting! dan doted on those seedlings, watering, giving them light..explaining to me that i'd have to start bring them outside while he was at work. so i thought okay...i'll help.  little by little my confidence grew...and then the weekend came and what? dan was building a cold frame! thank you pinterest for all your pallet ideas!

so now i was thinking more along the lines of...if he can do it i can do it...which was also my strategy for natural childbirth after my sister gave birth.  if she can do it i can do it. my competitiveness often brings me inspiration and motivation...see, a plus!
i set out to grow flourishing patio was going to become a reality. after dan transplanted the seedlings into their second homes-mid size pots, i planted those seed trays with white asylum, purple verbena, cosmos, zinnia, nasturtium, and sweet peas! doted on them even more than dan did his tomatoes, fed them gaia green organic fertilizer sang to them...(yes, sang to them) and watched them sprout! i was shocked.  it's not that's just that you have to take care of them everyday!( and sing a little) now I had reason to buy POTS! thrifted and painted, garage sale finds, and reduced to clear purchases...this was my kind of gardening.

 the thing you should know about growing flowers from seed is that you need a ton of patience. i'm not patient at i went to the garden centre with $40 and bought some flowers to tide me over until mine bloom. i even bought some impatiens...for my impatience - perfect.

i really can't believe my patio is a garden! thanks to my amazing husband and his inability to take short cuts - ever! i finally learned the secret to starting seeds! i love that man.  
ps ~ happy summer solstice!