Category Archives: kids

Wild play


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First, I have to confess. I wrote a post yesterday and failed to publish it. I clicked ‘preview’ and then my brain must have thought I’d published because it looks just like a new post. Only today, when I looked at my blog, did I realise that it was still a draft! Anyway, that’s all fixed now. (That’s my ‘yarn’ post – go check it out.)

So here are some photos from Wild Play today. Tai Chi Man took a few with his phone, but mostly you have to make sure that everything is secured away, because you don’t want to drop it 50 feet to the ground from the little platform you’re standing on!

Wild Play is fun, scary, sometimes strenuous especially on the last part (Monkido Aerial Adventure, with optional extreme extension). How many times today did I say, “Whose idea was this?!”

You wear a harness with two safety clips and a pulley and you get a little training run at the start to make sure you understand to ALWAYS be attached by at least one clip at all times. I wish they’d explained the importance of the untwisted cord on the pulley, because on one fast zipline towards the end I turned around and instead of hitting the pad feet first I hit it with my back and scraped my head on the metal cable. Ouch!

Chickening out was not an option. There was nowhere to go but onwards once we started, plus as the only female in our family (husband and three young men to compete with) I couldn’t let the side down. There were a few moments when I felt I had bitten off more than I could chew, but I made it.

We celebrated with a stop at a tea shop afterwards (kids had bubble tea) and then went and bought ice cream to take home.  We found the cashew-based salted caramel one and I bought four, because they seem to fly off the shelves and it’s the most awesome non-dairy ice cream I have ever tasted.

Dinner was nut roast with home-grown roast potatoes, gravy, peas and broccoli. And the day was nicely rounded off with a bit of Netflix and some crochet. I’m almost finished using up the Lion Brand Homespun on a homely large granny square, which I think will make an excellent pet blanket. Hoping to give it away once it’s done, if someone local will adopt it.

Now that my new yarn is here, I feel more motivated to use up some old stuff.

I suspect I will be sore tomorrow in places that I forgot I had muscles! Hope I can get out of bed without creaking too much!

Some more ouch!


Not mine though. My oldest son was out of town this week. He drove the office service van a few hours east of here, mostly to service office chairs in various places. He was scheduled to take five days but opted to work longer hours so he could get the job done in four.

You know that saying, More Haste, Less Speed? I think he understands it better now. He came upon an intersection yesterday, going a little too fast, brakes weren’t the best, and ended up crossing a highway which thankfully wasn’t busy and rolling the van into a ditch.

He found himself upside down, in an area with no cell service. Thankfully many helpful people, some with first aid training, stopped, and someone must have called it in because he had a tow truck, police officer and ambulance appear on the scene.

He only suffered a graze on his head and arm, and some wrenched muscles, none of which necessitated a visit to the hospital. The van was towed, looking very banged up, and my son was driven back to the nearest town by the policeman. He did get a ticket – he is still an N (novice, which you are called for two years after you have your L for a year). Hopefully his insurance doesn’t get prohibitively expensive now.

Could have been a lot worse. Tonight he’s having an early night with some painkillers, a heating pad and an Epsom salts bath. I can tell he’s feeling a bit stiff and sore in the shoulder and ribs.

Ah, kids, they like to test you!

For better news, here’s a couple of things I have worked on lately…a tiny granny square that became a keychain, and some knitted mitred squares that are intended to become a rectangular wrap with armholes.





My jaw dropped in disbelief this morning. I mentioned in passing in yesterday’s post that I’d be hopping on the scale this morning. I was braced for a couple of pounds to have crept back on. After all, fall is traditionally my time for enjoying soups, stews, baked treats, you know the sort of thing. Well, I’m actually 5lbs less than two months ago. Whoopee! That means that I can have leftover apple crumble for breakfast (and custard) without having to count the calories!!

The fact that ds3 is enrolled in PE10 is a good thing for us. It forces us to think about exercising regularly. And I’m doing what he’s doing, most of the time. So last week, we had a hike, two yoga sessions, two weights sessions and a little basketball in the gym. Six hours of activity. It’s good for him and good for me.

We should probably go to the gym today, but ds2 has a theatre presentation to do tomorrow at school and I think he may have to work on that. Also ds3 needs to get an assignment in for English 10. Maybe I can get them out for a walk around the neighbourhood at least.

I’ve had a lot of emails lately from WordPress telling me that I have all these people following my blog. At first I think, great, people are reading my blog. Well, no, I don’t think so, I think what’s happening is that people “follow” the blog or “like” the post just to get you to click through to their blog….though it’s just an attempt at spam, so if I’m suspicious I never click on their posts.

Since I changed over from Google Reader (on the computer) to Feedly (on my iPad) I rarely read other people’s blogs now. I forget to go to the app, and by the time I think of it there are pages of updates. I prefer it when I can subscribe directly and get updates in my mailbox now.

Enough waffling for now…hope you have a great week.

Quiet house


This is the beginning of a new phase in ds2’s life. Eighteen and his first day of school! He is attending a secondary school on the other side of the lake, not in our catchment area, but his best friend goes there and can welcome him and show him around. It should be a fairly easy transition as he’s only doing one class this semester (theatre) unless they can find room for him in metalwork (making medieval armour). So it’ll be three half days one week, two the next. Not all early mornings thankfully. Add to that his online English and math courses and he’s going to be a lot busier than he’s used to. I’m hoping he’ll find time for reading the ICBC book and getting his drivers licence too.

Ds3 is off for a short holiday this morning. His best friend plus parents are heading to the coast, somewhere we’ve never been to – the Sunshine Coast – which is on the mainland but you have to take a ferry to get there. It’s only four days but going on holiday without his family is a new experience for him. He’s 15 so I’m sure he’ll be fine.

Ds1 was the first out the door this morning to go to his full time job. Tai Chi Man stayed home later than usual so he could drive ds2 to school for 8.30. And I am home to see off ds3.

I don’t often have time at home alone. What a strange morning it will be! As I haven’t worked on the garter swing coat for the last couple of days (so much for my resolution) I think I will dedicate an hour to that. And maybe get the vacuuming done. And maybe a walk if it’s not pouring with rain. The weather turned really fast mid-September and it’s been cold and windy and wet. There’s snow on Little White which I can see when I’m out for my walks.

Well, they’re all gone and now I think it’s time for a solitary breakfast!

birthday treats


My youngest son is 15 today. He has yet to appreciate it as he’s the last one out of bed, but that has given me the chance to make the requested cinnamon buns in time for his brunch. I also made vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache topping from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World – two dozen to share, as we’re out this afternoon at a potluck.

I put all the info for both recipes into My Fitness Pal. OMG, made as written, the cinnamon buns come to 522 calories EACH (won’t be having any). The cupcakes aren’t so bad, “only” about 200. I made up my mind earlier this week that I was going to have some cake today and darn it I will. However I will try to keep it within my allowance. It’s hard to estimate calories when you’re eating out, so I shall just be careful at my friend’s place today and really savour that cupcake!

I’m thinking back to 15 years ago today, when we set up our bedroom for a home birth. I was at 41 weeks and a midwife had come into town specially to catch both my baby and my friend’s. We moved things along with some castor oil and a cervical sweep and some walking around the neighbourhood and the back garden. (Hint: don’t get too far from a toilet after castor oil. My friend had her baby the day before mine, and she ended up squatting in a ditch!) The whole process was so relaxed and natural. After mild contractions throughout the afternoon, I had a bath in the evening, sat on the loo, felt a little “pushy”, moved to a birthing stool, and not long afterwards, with my oldest son looking on and the second one in bed, Tai Chi Man behind me for support, ds3 arrived with the caul on his head. It’s said that a baby born with a caul is extra-special. Being tucked up in my own bed with my new baby was wonderful.

I have so many blessings in my life, but the four biggest are my husband and sons.

To digress a little, I ordered from Knitpicks today. I am trusting that their security breach a few months ago was a one-off, as I did actually get a fraudulent charge on my credit card recently from what I believe was their error, and had to get a new card. This is my first online purchase with my new card. They have a promo on right now for a free skein of Brava (enter TRYBRAVA13 on the order form) and I needed a paprika one for my temperature scarf, and wanted one in their new shade, Peacock. (They have other new colours, but not ones that I’m particularly interested in right now.) I also noticed that their kitchen cotton, Dishie, has three colours that are being discontinued and they are discounted, so I ordered three of those. And some T pins for blocking – my sewing pins really don’t do a good job.

The forecast is for a hot and sunny weekend. Hope it’s beautiful where you are (c:







sledding days are awesome


We had our second sledding day yesterday. Spent about four hours up the mountain with a big campfire going. What was especially nice is that it was raining in the valley, and as we drove up the winding hill it gradually changed to snow. After a period of heavy snow, it stopped and we even had some sunshine for a while.

In addition to sledding and wiener-roasting, there was some burying going on (that’s ds2 under all that snow). And some fort-making with large balls of snow.

Looks like we’re planning more of the same next week.

This little banana silk bag is now officially finished. I love this button.

Now it’s ready to give.



Playing…in the snow…around a campfire…and later, with yarn. Perfect day, really!

We joined some other homeschoolers today for sledding fun. We built a campfire and someone had brought a huge pile of sticks perfect for toasting hotdogs and marshmallows over the fire. My family brought vegan “marshmellows” of course. Tiny, but tasty after a few seconds in the flames. That hat that ds3 is wearing in the photo says “meh” on it. I made it ages ago for ds1 – he wore it once. At least it’s getting some use now.

It was a very mild day – we were able to stay out for hours without freezing! The sledding helped, as you get pretty hot trudging up the hill, ready for a whizz down, and the fire was great, especially when the clouds came over and it cooled off mid-afternoon. The parents who remained the longest crept closer and closer to the fire and our snow pants started to steam! Damp gloves were held over the fire like marshmallows. We came home ponging of campfire smoke, so much so that I had a bath in the evening because the smell in my hair was annoying me!

I set up the crockpot this morning so we had Boston Baked Beans waiting for us when we arrived home, which we ate with Boston Brown Bread that I made last night.

As for the yarn play, this is Bernat Mosaic and it’s turning into a pair of easy fingerless mitts for the seniors knitting class. I’ll type up the instructions and it will be one of the projects they can choose from once they have learned the basics. I made the first one last night and the second should be finished by bedtime tonight.

A perfect way to spend a winter Wednesday.






….after an afternoon of sitting at the beach, knitting and socialising, and a dinner of home-made Lo Mein. I discovered a source of great recipes by googling “vegan chinese recipes” the other day and have tried out General Tao’s Tofu and Lo Mein Like You Remember. Both came out great. If you click on that link, those recipes are right at the top of the list.

Ds1 has been getting into more cooking. It was his idea to have a Chinese food week and I had a request from him for all sorts of extra exotic ingredients so he could try out some new recipes. He made this bread, which was just my basic recipe, but made with white flour and with added sundried tomatoes. It’s very good.

I’m glad to see him experimenting more and even more excited to see him studying. He has started swotting* for the Canadian GED, which if you don’t know is the adult equivalent of the Dogwood, or BC High School diploma.

(from my computer dictionary)

swot |swät| Brit., 

informal verb ( swotted , swotting ) [ intrans. ] study assiduously : kids swotting for exams.

noun a person who studies hard, esp. one regarded as spending too much time studying.

PHRASAL VERBS swot up on study (a subject) intensively, esp. in preparation for something: teachers spend their evenings swotting up on jargon | ( swot something up) I’ve always been interested in old furniture and I’ve swotted it up a bit.

DERIVATIVES swotty adjective

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: dialect variant of sweat .