birch & maple

I've prepared a little printable with a blueberry jam recipe from Wild Berries and a couple of labels for a jar, in case you want to give a gift to your neighbour, or something. The recipe is in English and in Swampy Cree, also known as n-dialect Cree from the Cross Lake, Norway House area. Illustrations by Julie Flett. Translation by Jennifer Thomas. This printable is here with permission from the author.

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acorn hats

Somehow or other, these have survived in a little boy's room for more than 3 months. I am not sure where the nuts went. I was thinking maybe we could save them and make some ornaments...but I feel more like appreciating them as they are. I am feeling a little craft overload — maybe too much pinterest.

baby pine trees

We got our tree last night. I don't really want to decorate it at all, it looks nice just plain in our living room. That's obviously not going to fly with the 3-year old set, though.  I have only just figured out why our trees weren't smelling like anything the last few years — we were picking small trees. I like small trees, but they don't have enough sap to smell like a tree, so we've switched back to the bigger ones.

This is a little clearing with baby pine trees protected by netting.

welcome to the jungle

Well, welcome to the conservatory. But it doesn't have the same ring to it :)

Theere was a party being photographed near the fountain — the lady had a magenta and red sari and the man a deep red turban. It looked so amazingly electric in the cold Pacific light, with the white fountain and fall leaves behind them. I really had to hold myself back from running over and taking pictures. Only extreme canadian politeness prevented it.

On the never never

It's mother's day next week. Here I am, old mom. One of the nice things about getting older is that your list of things you cannot imagine ever liking gets shorter. There was a time when I didn't like — at all — black olives (declared at age 3), the Rolling Stones (declared at age 11ish) or Westerns (didn't need to declare, because, obviously). The problem was that my first black olives were tinned, I got hold of the wrong end of the Rolling Stones on that Steel Wheels tour and, I don't know what to say about Westerns, they just seemed not interesting. I never would have imagined an amazing kalamata studded bread, or Emotional Rescue or Deadwood — luckily I wrinkled up a little bit and stumbled upon these things in the course of life.

However, I do have a list of things that I am very sure I will never, not ever like, and geraniums were on that list until last week. I had always thought of geraniums as good in theory: they have deep forest green foliage with bright neon flowers, but it's the wrong green and the wrong pink when you meet them. They smell like a plant, but not in a good way like tomato plants or grass. They have hairy leaves. Honestly, I felt pretty indignant that they were cluttering up the place when there are perfectly good poppies and ranunculus in need of a good home.

Anyway, of course immediately after posting that I don't like them, I found two beautiful geraniums. I am won over. (Oh, the lady at the plant store said she pinches off the flowers — she doesn't like them either. So, I did, and then I found they are pretty by themselves.)

Crystal Palace Geranium

Vancouver Centennial Geranium

By the way, a plant is a very good mother's day gift, don't you think?

Lucky day

I picked up a little clay flowerpot for Auggie at the $2 store. When we went to the garden centre, we visited the shade area, as our balcony is pretty shady. I told him he could choose a small plant to put in his pot. I was prepared to accept any plant when I offered, even one I don't much like (like geraniums), but then he picked this one.

It is an oxalis adenophylla, or a sorrel shamrock.

It's so pretty. Its stems are pink and today the first bud of a pink flower appeared.

This is my second happy shopping trip with the Augs. The last one was a trip to Ikea. I would pick up a couple of things and say, "hmm, which one do you think?", conversationally. I didn't expect a real answer. But each time he would look at the items very seriously for a moment, then point to one and say, "that one," very decisively. It was one of the first times he really seemed not a baby anymore and we had fun looking at all the different things. We weren't in a hurry. Then we went upstairs and shared a princess cake and bought a little train ("it's the SkyTrain") and a massive dragon puppet from the sale bin. The dragon was given the name Pedhammer and they had many conversations about vehicles and what dragons like to eat on the way home  — a perfect afternoon, in other words. Who knows if he will enjoy shopping with me as he grows older, so I appreciated it. I enjoy his company and we laugh a lot when it's just the two of us. I was going to put in a picture of the Ikea train, but instead, this is one of the many little vehicles working away in our garden this week.