Sunday, May 27, 2012


We recently returned from a mid-month getaway in Waskesiu. We avoided the long weekend traffic and where back home before the weekend. Our family (5 generations now) has been going there as far back as I can remember. So many memories. So many things have changed but so many things remain the same. We used to go on "nature drives" in the evenings, hoping to spot some deer, maybe an elk and fingers crossed, a bear. This year, as we pulled into the town site, elk were everywhere. It was not natural as wild animals should be cautious around humans. Not these elk. One buck actually tried to charge our truck and we were quite far from it. After this encounter, Athena had no wish to see a bear, and we didn't. The deer were still skittish, which is exactly as it should be.

We stayed in the same cabins we have always rented. Kapasawin bungalows. We were one of three cabins that were being used. The rest were being prepared for the summer rush. Usually these cabins are sold out and one must book a year or two in advance. Bette the owner (yes Bette still runs the place!) says that they have vacancies all throughout the summer now. Economy she suspects. Still at $200 a night it ain't cheap and it ain't the Ritz either. We had the off season rate of $125 a night. The cabins were EXACTLY the same. The beds were comfy but only double sized so I got to sleep with Athena, who has these spazzy kicks all night long, and Paul got to sleep in his own room. Suffice it to say my bed felt very comfy when I got back home.

The Kapasawin bungalows now offer free canoe, kayak and peddle boats for the patrons. We were glad we didn't have to bring along our canoe. Paul tried the kayak which he says is very hard on the stomach muscles. We both did not enjoy the peddle boats. It is harder than it looks. Of course the little passenger loved it. We took our bikes biked down a decommissioned road all the way to the town site. Of course I had my bear spray. I took it everywhere with me after the elk attack!

We walked the Boundary Bog too. It is almost like you are transported right into a fairy tale. I let Athena step off the wooden path onto the mossy floor and as I held her arm her leg kept right on going. She asked "Isn't there a bottom?"

And food. We brought breakfast food with us but other than that we planned to eat at restaurants. Unfortunately for us, none of the shops in town were opened until the long weekend. Fortunately for us the golf courses and the hotel dining rooms were. There was one pizza place opened and Paul paid $23 for a 10 inch pizza for himself with nary a topping to be seen. Not really that bad but lets just say a Delissio has more on top of it. My food was fantastic. I had really good healthy food save for one salad that was as wilty as could be. Athena had chicken every day, but good chicken at least. No chicken nugget style which I loathe for her to eat.

The highlights of my trip were seeing a Pileated Woodpecker and my beloved Loons. We also saw a Canada Goose family while we were on the canoe. On our way home Paul spotted a Sandhill Crane as well. One evening we saw an otter swimming across the lake as the sun was setting. It was so peaceful and very quiet and I just LOVE my husband when he is all relaxed and away from work and the fire department!

But after all is said and done, be it ever so humble....  You know the rest.

Friday, May 25, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Amanda Soule

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Awaiting Spring

Spring comes slowly in these parts.
She gives us little glimpses of the warm weather to come,
and then just as quickly she reminds us that it is
not time yet.

The catkins are strutting their stuff.
Soon they will be blowing around the deck.
Their multitudes will almost seem
like a covering of snow, only brown.

She loves the beach.
Such a short window for this particular spot.
Soon the algae count will become unsafe.
Plus, there are leeches but we take
what we can get.
This place is a short 15 minute drive from our home.
So for now, she can only dream of swimming here.
The memories are good ones.
Even the "sea weed" that tangles
around her ankles and makes her
squeal in horror and swim to shore.

So for now we wait.
And plant things
And prepare for the growing season.

Succulents are her favorites.
She chose all of these plants herself
and did the lion's share of the  planting.
She placed each pebble one by one
making sure each was in the right place.

We were fortunate to find pussy willow
very close to home.
This year we learned NOT to put water in the vase.
They'll be here forever now.

The rain has been falling on and off
for the better part of a week.
So we bide our time and go to yard sales.
A huge one is planned in the city on Saturday.
We wouldn't miss it.
The last sale we happened by
I got this crock, no cracks, for $10.
Ten bucks.
I'll let you know of the weekend's greatest finds.
(I am looking for a canner in good condition.
Wish me luck!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Well Hello There!

My goodness it has been a long while. Happy May Day! I didn't even really notice how long is has been until my friend Sarah asked where I was. And so follows the 'catch-up' post.

I know it has been said a million times by a million people but time really does fly. Spring is a busy time for many people, myself included. We have been outside as much as we can possibly be outside. There is a very short time frame here in good old Saskatchewan between winter and mosquito season. Even though we must still wear mittens and a toque quite often we still go out every day. One day last week we got a little pink from the sun. Today I saw a few snowflakes mixed in amid the rain. True story.

Feeling frustrated in years past about the tomato seedling selection, I decided to go ahead and order Heirloom seeds. We started them a bit late (April 15th) because they took a while to ship, but I am so very happy with the germination rate. Out of 72 seeds sown, all but 5 have sprouted. I chose Oxheart, Beefsteak, Brandywine and Moneymaker. All old seed from real tomatoes!! I know that some of these are less than pretty but I expect great flavour AND the ability to save and store seed. Can't do that with a hybrid. :)

Yesterday we direct sowed the spinach, rainbow chard, red onion, carrots (again, heirloom), radish and mesclun. Should be some nice salads gracing our dinner plates in a few short weeks. Athena has asked for some garden space for herself this year. Of course which mother could deny her child the wonder of her very own garden. She has two raised bins. One for "venchtables" (her word) and one for flowers. She loved every second of planting seed but had to admit her back was a little sore after all the bending over.

We have also been walking the Nature Trail at Pike Lake. Tick season will soon be here and although we don't have deer ticks here, Lyme Disease is not something I care to contract. The ice is off the water so we waded in the lake a bit. The wind in the open areas was biting cold. Add some misty rain to that and, well, BRRRRRR. We loved it anyway. We fare much better if we are a little chilly than a little hot.

The highlight of my past week, not including the cute haircut I got, was the sighting of a rare bird species. I saw a bird in my front arbor. It was a dull, drab bird but I knew that I had never seen it. I was able to snap a few pictures through the glass. After looking through my Saskatchewan bird book and another field guide I came up blank. I emailed the picture to a city nature photographer, like I had done years back for another bird, as I knew he would know. And he did. He told me it was a great sighting. It was a Townsend's Solitaire. Not native to Saskatchewan at all. Since that day, he/she has been back every day around 4pm. It seems lost and alone, but I guess that is why it has the word Solitaire in its name. Thank you again Nick Saunders. 

Oh and on a food note, I am getting really good at making bread. I make two loaves every week. I have the recipe memorized and it feels effortless. Just goes to show you that practice makes progress. And would you just look at this chicken broth. I deglazed the roaster before I made it and added the works to the stock pot. Even Athena commented on the color. We had our elderly neighbors over for a roast chicken dinner on Sunday and she said "Do you add a little vinegar to the broth?" I answered that I did. "I just learned that from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It leeches the calcium from the bones." And she, with her 73 years of wisdom replied, "Oh, we have always done that!" Figures, just figures. Those old folk know everything!