Saturday, April 30, 2011

17 / 52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane -- 

whatever is unique to the week. 

Join me if you like.

** Well now! After two years and a few months, we finally figured out how to remove the glass on our fireplace and vacuum up all of those dead flies, ladybugs and other assorted thingies laying there in multitudes. Then, I was able to also give it a good cleaning on both sides before replacing it. Wasn't that easy? Nice.

** You'd never know not even two weeks ago, this was the scene outdoors on Palm Sunday afternoon. I forgot to post this photo, the aftermath of not one, but two blizzard white outs! We'll not forget waving our palms with snow falling on us, and then arriving home just in the nick of time to experience the second white out. What a very strange day that was!


** The color purple was all over the house during the days in Lent, even within the book stacks.

** Reviewing Salvation history during Lent was such a natural thing to do, especially while reflecting and walking the way of the cross to the joyous resurrection day, such a privilege to be sure. It is a "Great Adventure" isn't it?

Between palm crosses and the beaded reminder of the salvation historical timeline, it was wonderful to see the "white" bead and recalling the importance of the story unfolding during this time in the liturgical year.

** When a bracelets weren't visible to recall historical timeline periods, the doubled-sided bookmarks were on hand, the books of the bible colored markers were right where they belonged in sequential order, and/or the same represented colored ribbons were in place for the younger ones to note time periods in their bibles. These are such great visual resources for adults, let alone children. Love mine.

** Of crustless (carb free) quiches and Easter brunch menu items. Yes, I'm still revisiting old recipes from my wooden box, and happy to be able to find those that used to be beloved to me, though somehow forgotten in recent years. The one above is a spinach cream cheese quiche with a wheat germ crust. The other I made was a quick quiche able to sit in the fridge overnight. The whole wheat homemade croutons used for the latter added carbs to the other alternative on the table. I'm still smiling because all were consumed, not just that day, but also for breakfast the following day. Perfect. Here's the recipe for the one above;

Spinach Cream Cheese Quiche

- 10 oz spinach (I double it, sneakily adding greens into our diet)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 tbsp. minced onion (I use fresh white onion or any onion I have, even dried)
- Dash nutmeg
- 6 eggs (beaten)
- Wheat germ
- 1/4 lb cheese slices (I grate approx 1 1/2 cups and sprinkle on top)
- Paprika
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. water
  • Steam spinach, drain and press out excess water. 
  • Soften cream cheese and add spinach, onion and nutmeg.
  • Beat 5 of the eggs, and stir into the spinach mix. 
  • Grease sides and bottom of pie plate, sprinkle with wheat germ and pour in spinach mix. 
  • Cover with cheese slices or grating, and sprinkle paprika over top to decorate :)  
  • Beat remaining egg with flour and water, then pour over cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until top is lightly browned.
  • Serves 4-6. (freezes well and if you cut into bars when cold, it makes a great lunch inclusion)

** Of Ontario Skies in April! 

Which is your preference, pink or thunderous rainy gray?

"One of the most satisfying experiences I know if fully to appreciate an individual in the same way I appreciate a sunset.
When I look at the sunset...I don't find myself saying; 'soften the orange a little more on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color...'
I don't try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds."

~ Carl Rogers

** The bulk of last week's egg decorating was only unveiled on Easter Sunday, but here are a few photos of the younger two in action beforehand.

** No psanky for us this year, but this little device was quite popular around here. I must admit though, the eggs were decorated by loving hands, but not all were good sports for wanting to consume these artistic endeavors. 

Egg salad sandwiches came the following day. :)

** The dining room buffet still holds the large teatime glass picture and frame yet not hung since the furniture changes after the big piano moving recently.

Working around this unsightly bit, the only thing missing this year was the traditional family egg tree. I can't remember a year when we never had one on display to surprise the children on Easter morning, so the fresh flowers just had to do.  

** Hope filled our room with Kinder surprises aplenty. I've never had one of those little eggs before, so different than I thought. I can't help but think they are likened to those party hats at Christmas though with their silly little toys inside. Others here will differ with me on this, the teens to be exact. 

Oh, and the traditional Easter egg hunt was a smashing success. While I assigned two of the older ones to hide plastic filled eggs outdoors this year, I was hiding wee ones inside for the older ones to find. With baskets in hand, the younger ones pranced about all over the property (good job kids!), and found out seven were missing from their findings. Big brother saved the day when he went out to assist in recovering the rest. 

And then, it began all over again when they returned indoors, more eggs to first discover, and then hunt for. So much chocolate here! I was enjoying it right along with them. 

** More creativity abounded with children waltzing back and forth to the cookie decorating station set up on one kitchen counter for their visiting pleasures. No pressure this year to marathon some cookie fun, they came and went as they desired, taking much longer to ensure their works of art were just right. 

Colorful aren't they?

** Back to school after the Holy Week break...

** What a surprise at one of our favorite bakery/cafe places, to learn they were hosting their 40th anniversary, inviting guest to partake in a hot drink and a piece of cake - all free. And then they invited children to the cookie decorating area, to become bakery artists and when complete, to be able to take their creations home in the small boxes provided. Love that place!

 ** I just want to include a mention how beautiful this new CD on the Stations of the Cross is from the folks at  "Holy Heroes" (click here). It was a dynamic resource for bringing the dramatized narrating of each station to life, followed by prayers for all to recite together afterward.

So touching, I actually found myself choking up, sniffing and a bit teary at the emotion invoked within me during the 4th Station - "Jesus meets his Mother", and the 6th Station - "Veronica wipes His face". Oh my! 

This dramatized CD is a real gem, very special, and so perfect for families in general, in the car when on a journey, and for dear children to possibly try and grasp, or capture the depth of God's love for them. Even if I were a senior with children no longer living at home, I would still want this to remain as a beautiful personal resource for me to use in my much older age. 

If you're interested in this CD, or the coloring book that goes along with it, head on over to their website and check out "Holy Heroes" other Lenten resources.

** Such lovely weather visited us for a few days around tornado warnings (TRUE!) and torrential rain downfalls. Taking one such opportunity while friends waited in the wings, we were able to capture a few fun photos outdoors.

I can't believe I've raised eight children, and the "Honey the kids shrunk their mother" story is continuing to unfold. They will all be taller than me! And I have shoes on here, and so does hubby, but none of them do! Uh boy. (I'm sorry mom for always poking fun at how short you are.... smiling.)

** Here's the gang, present this day and super anxious to have a soccer match out yonder in the now quite a bit greener grass. 

Even the dogs were excited to find a ball being kicked around. They went stir crazy trying to steal it from the players, and so much exercise occurred unexpectedly for them too as an end result.  Tired out, finally all could play properly.

** I would be remiss if I omitted the following photos from this week...

I've mentioned often how we reside right smack in the center of a "boreal forest". If one doesn't take the initiative to ensure new growth is controlled, it tends to close in and grow over in no time at all.

This is the scene in one entire area of our property, brambly prickle bushes for all the wildlife living there to hide. I don't mind allowing some of the bramble to remain for their protection, however in the photo below, you'll see what has transpired to all of our hard work from last year when we forged trails in this same location to meander about the property over the summer. 

Can you see it?

Probably not because the forest closed in over winter...

Our poor dogs don't even recognize this path they used to run amuck on when trying to escape our watchful eyes to keep them safe from the current springtime (very hungry) coyote packs. 

While we have other areas on our property free from the prickles, some look like the ones above, with so many trees having grown in large skinny clumps. I like to call them my loonie/twonie trees. Eventually as has proven before, these will begin to choke each other out and produce some unhealthy growth. 

In progress is our part-two of the discernment of land clearing, and we only have about a three week open window before scads of hungry blood sucking monster mosquitoes begin to attack us while working in these same sections of the forest. 

So far, we've worked with hand saws and a young friend has assisted with his chain saw. After two entire days of pruning and clearing, it remains difficult to tell if we actually performed anything at all. Amazing! 

The thought of cutting trees isn't offering us much pleasure at all, however if you've done any studies in forestry at all, and if we are to have a reprieve from sudden falling trees with their resounding thugs on the ground during wind storms, it is crucial we clear the grub and thin the density of the forest. 


We won't even discuss forest fire concerns from all the debris and trees laying on the ground we hope to rid our forest floor of at this time, but we can assure you we've placed a call into the big guys, the ones who come with something called a "bush hog" to clear and mulch the cuttings for this purpose.


Two full days of forest clearing and it's difficult to see the clearing yet.

One thing stands out though, the tremendous amounts of white trillium flowers are now beginning to sprout on the forest floor. They are so lovely!

Head on over to Barbara's to check out the invitation to join the

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; 
that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them."

~ Henry David Thoreau