On Finding Spring (and stopping the grumpy)

A couple of days ago, I was feeling kinda bummed out about the lack of Spring. I think it’s something a lot of people are experiencing this year since it’s almost all I hear people talking about. It’s tough after a long, cold winter (which it was) and lots of snow (which we had this year) to be patient when we see the calendar roll over into spring. I think we’d all love for the weather to just magically turn around on that day and never look back. Because I was feeling a little down, I started thinking about why I was feeling that way and whether I could reframe my feelings (yes, I’ve spent time in therapy) and make myself feel a little better. Patience isn’t my strong suit (pretty sure I’ve mentioned this many times!) and it’s something I should probably work on actively!

Anyway, I forced myself to wander around outside, even though the temp was barely above freezing (celsius) and I was feeling grumpy. And of course, I found spring! Nature doesn’t forget to wake up! I imagine there are trees out there that just wish they could roll over and press ‘snooze’, but they don’t. They persevere! They grow. I found buds everywhere and many green things popping out of the ground – some actual plants and many weeds (of course, they would never miss an opportunity to grow!).

Then I reminded myself that a slow start to spring is always better than a false start in February. Even though I love warm spell in February, we’ve all seen the havoc that can wreak on our fruit trees. No one wants a summer without peaches! Well, unless you don’t like peaches (then please, insert your fruit of choice here).

I should have known that just getting outside in nature would fix my mood. It always does. Life just makes more sense to me when I’m in the garden.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see what else I can find out there! Looking for asparagus…..I didn’t find any, but I found all of this:

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Always eager Poppies.
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First buds on the Peony Tree
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Lots of new growth on our Cherry Tree and a fuzzy doggy wanting to play ball.
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I hope this is Chamomile.
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Comfrey just trying to survive the recurring frosts.
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Is there anything more weird looking than Rhubarb?
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Magnolia! This small tree of mine makes me so happy!
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Early risers! Yay for Chives!
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Yarrow trying to grow through the winter layers of straw and leaves.
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Cookbook of the Month (04/18)

It’s been a long while since I’ve shared a favourite cookbook. For awhile there, I was buying a lot of cookbooks, but my collecting has slowed down quite a bit in the last two or so years. Partly because of my one-year-no-book-buying challenge, and partly because my kids just aren’t always in love with my choice of cookbooks. They like simple flavours and comfort food (Noodles with Parmesan, rice with Parmesan, quinoa with Parmesan, that sort of thing) and I really like to try food with, well, more than parmesan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid cheese lover, but I like to vary my taste intake. I don’t hold it against my kids because I remember being one and being afraid of new flavours too. But I’m an adult now and I like pesto and cayenne and salsa verde and curry. Not all in one dish, but spread over a week or so.

In the last 4 or 5 years, I’ve added many vegetarian and vegan cookbooks to our collection, and while we’re still meat eaters, we’ve been eating less and less of it and having lots of meat-free options has been very exciting for the beekeeper and I. It can be tricky to find vegetarian options that aren’t covered in cheese and I’m the first to admit our go-to meat-free options are frequently covered in cheese. I know our kids will eat these foods and I know I’ll get a stink face when a food has beans (gasp!) or too much spice. I have found that the kids really like the flavours of fresh herbs and don’t notice when chickpeas or beans are smooshed into something (it’s not the flavour our oldest doesn’t like, but the texture. Texture offends her easily).

That’s why so I’m excited to try the Falafel Waffles from Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton. The chickpeas lose their chickpea form and are combined with parsley and garlic and cilantro (all things the kids like) and are mixed with coriander and cumin (and they love those flavours from tacos!) and pressed into a waffle shape. I’ve never had a savoury waffle, but I’m sure it will be delightful.

I’m also looking forward to trying Quinoa Corn Muffins for our oldest who tries to stay away from gluten-y things. Included in the book is a recipe for Zucchini Fries (always in need of another way to prepare zucchini in August!), a Spicy-Sweet Pumpkin Seed Snack and Spicy Fritos (a Parmesan recipe that doesn’t include a carb base!). The book is also filled with amazing soups and salads and I actually didn’t bother flagging the recipes I wanted to try, because it was most of them. These are my favourite kind of cookbooks!

And doesn’t this book just have a nice Spring-ish sort of cover?? Look at all that green!

As always, if you have a cookbook recommendation, I’d love to hear it!

Happy Cooking!

Growing our Family

Three months ago, we added a new family member. Silas needed to leave the rat race of corporate life and get out into the urban countryside where we live. He’s happy to have simplified his life and says that seeing the sunrise is worth leaving behind the 7-digit paycheque. Welcome, Silas!

Of course, I kid. Silas is a six month old puppy who hasn’t worked a day in his life. But he does seem happy here! And we loving having another homestead doggy.

Unintentionally Long Hiatus

Oops! I knew last June that I wasn’t going to be blogging as much during the summer months, but I had no intentions of dropping entirely off the map. I’m back! I’m not planning to do a recap of the last year’s whole garden, but I’ve got a few posts brewing.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from last summer. And that will conclude this post. I’m looking forward to sharing What I’m Reading and some little Beautiful Surprises!

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I couldn’t get enough of this weirdo sunflower!
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Magical combo, isn’t it?
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July 23 – being all crazy and growing and stuff.
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Once a week in the summer, I go outside and realize we live in a jungle.
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Aug 3 in the garden.
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This was my spot last year, when I need to breathe and think and cry. This cosmo (this very one) helped me though a bunch of stuff last year.

Beautiful Surprises (04/14)

Volunteers in the garden! I mean, volunteer plants, not people volunteering….I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with random people volunteering. 

I’m quite sure this is calendula popping up here. Thanks for reseeding yourselves – you saved me some time and money!
I’m really hoping this is the echinacea I planted last year that didn’t germinate. The package did say it could take awhile…

Beautiful Surprises (04/07)

I was looking through old photos this morning and this one jumped out as cute and funny. This is a throwback to our first bunch of chickens when they moved in to their big girl coop.

I can’t be sure, but I’m guessing they’re discussing the total square footage and the choice of flooring.

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No wi-fi in the coop forcing these teenage chickens to have a face-to-face conversation.