Wednesday, August 27, 2014

And just like that, life is forever changed.

It will never cease to amaze me how unique each and every birth story is. And how often you hear that things go differently than what had been hoped or expected. Well, our birth story is definitely not what we had planned, hoped, or expected. Rather than the natural homebirth we had planned, what resulted was a 52-hour labour: we laboured at home for 40 hours, making very little progress, then transitioned to Monfort hospital for an intervention-laden birth that I had been trying to avoid. Had you told me ahead of time how it was going to pan out, I would have been so upset, and yet, on the other side of it now, I feel so incredibly positive about the whole thing, and I realize that I did end up with the empowering birthing experience I was hoping for.

Friday, August 15, 2014

He's here!

The little Mr finally arrived! He was born to our joyous arms on Monday, August 11th at 11:32pm. We are deliriously in love, and can't stop watching his incredible range of expressions and listening to all his adorable coos and gurgles. And just like that, life is forever changed. I'm working on writing out his birth story in between feedings and trying to sleep, before I forget, and so that I can share it with you. More soon!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

New prints available, and free shipping until August 10!

I've recently added some new art prints to my Society6 shop, so now, along with my favourite photographs from Asia, there are some favourites from past trips I've taken to California, BermudaSpain (I was there for La Tomatina, but the photos I've posted are from Granada), Morocco, and Italy (where I ran my first—and so far only—marathon: the Maratona di Roma)!

And now, until August 10 at midnight (Pacific Time), you can take advantage of free shipping worldwide!

Here are a few of the new photographs available:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Elevated veggie patch and garden goodness

I have been meaning to post a garden update for some time, and since this baby shows no sign of arriving (currently 3 days overdue), I now have opportunity to do so!

After such a positive start to the seedlings we began indoors in April, most of them seemed to grow too tall, too fast, and became weak and scraggly, flopping over into dead, or... mostly-dead status. Some of them survived being transplanted, but most of our success is from direct-seeding into these beautiful elevated gardens that Mark built in late spring. The structures are made from cedar, and the outer "wabi-sabi" boards were scrounged from around our neighbourhood on garbage night. Hooray for upcycling and saving things from landfill!

He built them for a number of reasons: to make weeding easier, avoid bunny problems (not that we've really had a problem there), and hopefully alleviate our previous earwig problems (so far, so good)! Unfortunately they haven't stopped our biggest enemy: the squirrel. A perennial problem, this year they're just being malicious and contemptibly obnoxious — rather than an occasional bite out of a zucchini or cucumber, they're going straight to the stalk to take the plant down at it's source. And they seemed truly offended by our potato plants — those were completely and ruthlessly destroyed. And they stole our first (and so far only) tiny watermelon fruit! Jerks! So we've had to cover the gardens with netting, which makes harvesting and weeding tricky, and if the plants grow through the netting, it makes for a rather tangled mess... but at least our veggies don't get eaten.

I've been enjoying picking my daily greens: kale and lettuce salads with fresh dill and/or basil; kale for crackers; kale for smoothies... I find as long as you put in a frozen banana, a bit of maple syrup, an apple, or an orange for sweetness, you can get a lot of greens in a smoothie and still have it be quite palatable. And I generally prefer smoothies over juicing so I get all the fibre and none of the waste/cleanup. Some favourite combos of late:

And our grapes are going to be very prolific this year! Last year was the first time since Mark planted them four years earlier that we had any grapes, and we were thrilled to get the four bunches we did. This year there are too many bunches to count! Once they start to ripen and entice the birds, we'll have to net these too — though I do think we'll have enough to share this year!

Mark's mad carpentry skills strike again! :)

Dill, basil, kale, peas, YUM!

Look how many bunches of grapes! So exciting!

I find this intrepid bunch hilarious!