Monday, May 31, 2021

I Spy: Week 21

We had some unexpected things come up last minute on Friday so I didn't get my I Spy post done in time. I actually took most of these pictures on Wednesday night so I really have no excuse :) As always, I'm linking up with Lysha at A Camera and A Cookbook.

Let's Play iSpy 2021 


Rachel is making an arcade game out of cardboard for school and this day she was sanding the dowels in her game so they would be "smooth."



We had rain for the first time in weeks so raindrops on the "window" were something I wanted to capture. Also, it is very hard to take pictures of raindrops -- the camera kept wanting to focus on whatever was behind the window.



We learned the hard way not to store blackout curtains folded up. We bought these a few years ago and when we stored them away one year, the next year the plastic backing had all stuck to itself. Oh well -- it makes for a unique "pattern."


I bought these "red" petunias for my traditional Canada Day planter. I always plant one planter of red pansies with a white flower of some sort. Sidenote: I can't believe I haven't put my planters together yet. Gasp. 

{your choice}

These pretty white flowers (which might be clover) are growing out of the stump in our backyard and I think they are so pretty!  

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Monthly Musings: Summer

I'm linking up with Holly and Patty for their Monthly Musings. This month it's all about summer. We still have over a month of school left, so we're not quite in summer mode yet, but we're getting there :)


1) Favourite Summer Tradition?

One of our favourite summer traditions is that on the first day with no school, we have strawberries and ice cream for breakfast. I started this when the kids were little and it's a fun treat we look forward to!

The first year we did this tradition was in 2016, and Rachel had just finished Senior Kindergarten. In 2017, the kids had this for breakfast and then we left for our Kenya trip.

 Our strawberries and ice cream breakfasts in 2018 (left) and 2019 (right).

In 2020, we just about forgot about it because school ended on a Friday and we weren't prepared. Usually school ends on a Thursday for us. (This year it ends on a Monday -- ugh.)

Another favourite summer tradition is that we usually take a bigger family vacation but that won't happen this year. Boooo :(

2) Any vacation plans this summer?

Well, as I said above, we still can't really travel in Canada. We're hoping to be able to go and visit my parents but we're waiting to see what is happening with cases and vaccinations before we make any decisions, so at this point -- hopefully.

last summer in Saskatchewan

3) Ocean, pool, or lake?

We usually spend most of our summer at the pool! In fact, I have a whole blog tag devoted to it:  Not our neighbourhood pool! Last year we didn't make it to a lake or ocean, but I'm hoping this summer we might be able to hit one of the Great Lakes. We have three that are fairly close to us so we shall see...

at Lake Erie in 2018 * at our pool in 2020

4) Favourite summer fashion items?

My hat, my swimsuit, shorts!

5) Favourite summer recipe? Please share.

The easiest summer recipe I have is to get smaller heads of romaine lettuce (we get them from our CSA), cut them in half, brush them with olive oil, and grill them on the BBQ for about three minutes. The outside leaves will char but pour Caesar dressing on the inside leaves and it is delicious!!! In fact, I wish I had some right now!

The other summer recipe we love is a chickpea salad which the dietician at the grocery store made up and gave to me one time. You take a can of chickpeas, half a diced cucumber, two grated carrots, three-ish green onions, a couple of peppers (we often use red ones), a bunch of feta cheese, and a handful of mint leaves chopped up. Then mix half olive oil and half lemon juice. (I often use half a cup of each.) Stir that together with a fork and add cumin (I use about a teaspoon) and some honey to sweeten (maybe 1/2tsp, depending on your tastes). Mix the salad with the dressing. Dave, Sam, and I all LOVE this salad and it's an easy side to make for BBQ suppers. In fact, we're having this tonight and I can't wait!

6) Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?

 Neither. We tend to eat more ice cream in the summer but not really any other special desserts.

7) What couldn't you do in 2020 that you can now do this summer?

Ummm... well, in Canada, we don't really know yet. We're hoping Sam will be able to play baseball this summer but nothing has been decided for sure. Honestly, things are still fairly locked down here and we're just hoping they're more open by summer. Maybe we'll be able to spend entire days at the pool again instead of just an hour a couple of times a week... Get back to me in June :)

8) Favourite sunscreen?

Anything with a high SPF. Rachel was mad I bought kid sunscreen this past weekend but it was the only one with a SPF above 30.

9) Favourite summer beverage -- with or without alcohol.

Without alcohol, homemade iced tea. I make it decaffeinated with lots of lemon and it's a cool treat. With alcohol -- anything my dad makes! Hahaha! Gin & tonics, Moscow Mules -- bring it all on!

My dad is a GREAT bartender!!!

10) Do you have a garden this year? Flowers? Veggies? Both?

 No, we don't have a garden -- besides all my annuals in pots. We get fresh veggies from our CSA so I don't grow any extras. I love that we get a wide variety of vegetables we wouldn't otherwise know to eat -- hakurei turnips, purple carrots, garlic scapes, and edible flowers for salads!

Well, this was fun. Now I'm dreaming about summer and hoping we'll get lots of pool days and time in Saskatchewan and baseball games for Sam and a trip to the beach...!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

What's Up Wednesday: May 2021

Welcome to the May 2021 version of What's Up Wednesday. As always, I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me To to talk about what we've been up to lately.

Our province has been in a strict lock down for all of May and it is currently set to end as of June 2nd. Thus, May has held online learning for our kids, working from home for Dave, and a lack of things to do. In some ways it has felt like a very long month. However, our weather has been fairly nice (and actually quite hot and humid for the past week or so) so that's helped. I'm not sure our May 2021 has looked all that different from our May 2020 as we wait for things to open up yet again.

image from here

What we're eating this week... We've been eating a lot of fun things this month. We've eaten from food trucks, we've enjoyed tacos from various places in our Uptown, and we received a delicious meal from a retired couple at our church -- they made the meal for 27 families which is amazing! (Some of these are spoiler alerts for my May goals! You can read my May goals post here.)
a lobster roll and poutine from the SWAT food truck * a specialty grilled cheese from Fo' Cheezy

The retired couple at our church made pulled pork sandwiches (I had baked beans instead) with coleslaw and then brownies for dessert.

Enjoying various Taco Trail tacos!

What I'm reminiscing about... Remember in summer 2019 when we road tripped to the Yukon and Alaska to visit friends of ours who had moved there? Well, the husband has come back (his wife and kids are finishing the school year and coming back soon) so we've visited with him a couple of times and we've been reminiscing about our trip. You can read all those posts starting here.
We've also been reminiscing about when the kids could be at school in person. We're really hoping they'll be able to go back to in person for the last month.

What I'm loving... This is another spoiler alert for my May goals but I've been loving making decorative focaccia. I get all my inspiration from Pinterest and then do my best to copy it. It's been soooo fun!!!

What we've been up to... Last What's Up Wednesday, I had just picked up a job at a school as a secretary for a week. Well, I've been working that job all month (YAY!) and as of right now, it's continuing for another couple of weeks. It may get extended even longer so that's really exciting!

Other than working and online schooling we've been having fun with the dandelions...
...enjoying a forest walk where we found trillium, our provincial flower...
...making rain clouds with shaving cream, food colouring, and water... well as the regular May things -- spending lots of time getting our yard in order and taking lots of walks. 
What I'm dreading... I'm dreading that the kids won't be able to go back to school in person at all this year. It's Sam's last year of elementary school and he really wants to go back for a bit in person and I'd like him to be able to say a good farewell to his elementary school career. Here's hoping...

Also, Rachel's beta fish, which she's had for three and a half years is clearly on his last legs (fins?) so I've been preparing Rachel for the fact that Bluey may not be with us for much longer. So I'm dreading when Bluey might die -- even though he's had a very long life, it won't be easy to say good-bye.

What I'm working on... I don't know what I'm working on these days -- I guess whatever gets handed to me at the school I'm working at. I'm happy that I've gotten to learn about ordering and I'm getting a small taste of the finances at a big organization like our school board. I've enjoyed getting to try a wider variety of tasks as we're winding down this school year and preparing for next school year.

What I'm excited about... I'm excited that Dave got his first vaccine shot the other day!!! It was a bit unexpected that he was able to get it and we are just sooooo thankful!!!

What I'm watching/reading... I think I've watched one or two baseball games this month. Yikes. Other than that, I'm pretty much only watching our province's press conferences to find out information about how much longer this lock down will last and whether or not our kids are going to get to go back to school in person this year. I can't wait until Covid is over and I can stop paying so much attention to the news (among other things).

I've been reading a bunch of great books lately -- some really excellent fiction like The House In the Cerulean Sea and The Vanishing Half. I've also really gotten into the Bridgerton novels lately and I'll be sad when I've read them all.

What I'm listening to... Not much -- the construction next door as usual and early morning birds chirping outside our window. They are rather loud at 5am but I'm not willing to give up my cool breezes at night!

What I'm wearing... I bought myself some new pajamas online and I really like them! Now if stores would just open up so I can buy myself another pajama shirt. They were out of any of the sizes and styles I liked online :(

What I'm doing this weekend... We are going to participate in a distanced scavenger hunt put on by one of our pastors and their family and I'm really looking forward to it!

What I'm looking forward to next month... June is always full what with Rachel's birthday, our anniversary, and this year, Sam's Grade 6 Grad. I'm also hopeful that things will open up a bit and we can buy clothes in stores, that Sam can play some baseball through house league, and that our pool will open up... We shall see how much of this can happen...

What else is new... I think I've covered everything. Much like in May of 2020, we're just in waiting mode over here -- waiting for schools to open up (we hope!), waiting for stores to be able to sell clothes again, waiting for haircuts (again), waiting for Sam's ball to start (we hope!), and waiting to be able to see our friends and family.