Skate ’till You Drop

Had a beautiful day yesterday. The -6° C felt balmy but cold enough to keep the ice in good shape. We skated until after dark, knowing the deep freeze was on it’s way again. Soon after we took our skates off for the night, the wind began to howl with the approaching cold front and so did the coyotes. What a wonderful lullaby to sleep to.

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Easy AND Healthy Pie Crust!

I am going to share with you a very old family recipe from my great aunt who was a nutritionist many years ago at a fancy prep-school. I’m not sure where she got it from but it has been the “go-to” crust in our family for decades. To have a crust recipe without lard and/or hydrogenated oils that still tastes awesome and is quick and easy to make is a real find…in my opinion.ingredients

Recipe for 1 pie:

2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons cold milk

1) Mix flour and salt together with a fork in a pie plate
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and olive oil until well combined
3) Add wet to dry in pie plate, combine with fork and/or hands and press into plate until it is all an even thickness
4) Use fork to poke holes
5) Bake 425° for 15 minutes

pressing in pie plate and sticking with fork

It is not the fanciest crust but I like the rustic nature of it and when it is yummy and healthy, who cares 🙂
pic of crust

Here are a couple of pics of my fave rhubarb pie which I will post the recipe for soon. The first pic shows after it has been baked and before the filling is added.

July12_2013_4a rhubarb pie pic

Enjoy!

Lilacs

There is something about lilacs that fills me with happiness. Perhaps it is because the scent of them brings me back to my childhood where I had a lilac bush outside my window.  I recall bedtime in the spring when the sweet scent would fill my room and make sleep a pleasure – a rare thing at a young age when bedtime is never a favourite time of one’s day.

It has been a beautiful year here for lilacs and unfortunately, they have come to an end until next spring. Here are some pics from the last couple of weeks.June7_2013_1 June7_2013_2 June7_2013_4
Lilac bush out laundry room window (makes doing laundry a little more enjoyable)June7_2013_5 June7_2013_6
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Have You Ever Seen a Turtle Climb a Fence?

Over the last few mornings we have had a steady trail of snapping turtles climbing our septic bed to dig in the dirt/sand at the top and lay their eggs. This morning I noticed this one who had a different approach than the others. She seemed to be eyeing the vegetable garden instead.  Snapping turtle on it's way to the veg. gardenI took the above shots trying not to disturb her too much and when I walked back to the house, I turned around and saw her trying to climb the fence!Turtle climbing garden fenceOf course when I went back to take more pictures of her she acted like a statue again 🙂turtle trying to get into garden turtle trying to get into the gardenI never did see where she laid her eggs but I hope she had success somewhere!

Storms, Dragonflies and Goslings

Two days ago there was sweltering heat and this morning I have the fire on and it snowed again! Here are some photos taken two days ago on May 22nd. What a day!

First there were the storms, then sunshine and goslings followed by a special appearance by hundreds of dragonflies.

In the morning we had a brief but very intense storm. Here are some photos of the approaching storm.
Approaching storm 8:54:19 am

8:55:21 am

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8:55:57 am

8:57:16 am


Rain sweeping across far shore 8:57:31 am

 

Rain moving in 8:58:01 am

may23_2013_5Wind and rain getting closer 8:58:34 am

may23_2013_6Holy (insert swearing)! 8:59:02 am


This is about the moment when I realized I am probably one of those people who will end up in a tornado because they are to busy taking photos instead of taking cover!

It seems Daisy knew how to take cover. I found her wedged in the corner of the laundry room.


A few minutes after the storm passed and my nerves settled, I noticed the pea-sized hail remaining on my daughter’s shirt which was left outside in the rain.

Goslings

Later that day you wouldn’t even think it would have been possible to have had such a storm – other than the debris from trees scattered about. The weather turned sunny and steamy from all the rainfall and it was an incredible evening. The geese and their goslings sure seemed to enjoy it.

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dragonflies

A little earlier in the day when I walked outside, I had noticed hundreds of dragonflies flying around and had to be careful where I stepped since they were in the process of transforming from nymph to dragonfly. They had just come out of their exoskeletons and were pumping their wings to prepare for their first flight. I find it a rare occurrence to catch that moment since it only seems to happen for a day or two and I was happy to see so many dragonflies especially since the mosquitos have been wicked lately!

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Picture of dragonflies with their nymph exoskeleton (probably not the accurate term)
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Beautiful wings which have not yet flown.
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We noticed some of the dragonflies were on the ground in places where ants had found them and were trying to eat them, so the girls and I “rescued” as many as we could by gently letting them walk onto our hands and then relocating them to a safer place. may23_2013_13 may23_2013_14 may23_2013_15 may23_2013_16 may23_2013_17 may23_2013_18Gently blowing on its wet wings to help straighten them out.

After “rescuing” upwards of 20 dragonflies, I read this article which made me question if it was wise to let the girls hold them with bare hands. The dragonflies must not have felt threatened since they didn’t bite and I didn’t want to spoil the experience for the girls but perhaps a bite would have ruined it anyway. I would love to hear what you think. Was it the right decision to let them hold the dragonflies?

Have a wonderful weekend and wherever you are this weekend, I wish you no snow!

Trying To Stay Sane in An April Snow Storm

It is April 12th and we are in the middle of a snowstorm! Since the kids have a snow day today, I am trying to think of ways to keep them busy and me sane. Here are some fun and easy activities we have tried recently.

Balloon Rocket

Need: straw, string, tape, balloon, 2 chairs
• Cut a straw and put a string through it
• Tie one end to one chair and the other end to another chair
• Blow up a balloon and hold end closed while taping it to the straw
• Slide balloon and straw to the end of the string which has the balloon opening facing the chair
• Let go and watch the balloon rocket fly!
• The kids liked it when one child would let go and the other child would lie under the string so the rocket would fly over them.
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Goo Science

The goo is sometimes liquid and sometimes solid and so much fun! Scientists would call this a “colloid”. You can roll it into a ball but if you hold the ball in your hand, it will liquify and run through your fingers. The kids could probably play with this for hours.

How to make it:
• Put about 2 cups of cornstarch in a bowl
• One child slowly adds water a little at a time while other child mixes with their hands
• Once you get the perfect consistency of liquid/solid it is time to play

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Snow Storm!?!

Well, it is April 12th and we are in the middle of a snow storm :/
Here are some pictures from about an hour ago. Notice the confused robin looking for worms. I think it has kind of an Angry Birds expression on its face, what do you think?
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The girls are home from school since buses are cancelled so I am trying to keep them busy. I am going to do a follow-up post next of some fun activities we will probably do.