Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Evening Rhubarb

Going out to the garden after the kids are in bed feels like a little get-a-way. I only popped out the other night to pick some rhubarb but it felt like a revelation that, not only was it not dark, but it was lovely outside. Everything is so lush right now, growing and leafing out with incredible haste. In a little more than a few short weeks I'll be able to go out barefoot to pick raspberries after bedtime!

Rhubarb, lovely rhubarb.

I often feel regretful about raising my kids in a confined urban setting. We have a front and back yard and a nearby park and we get out often enough, but it's not how I always imagined I'd raise a family. I thought I'd live a little closer to the edge of the grid if not off it entirely. (Have you read Wilderness Mother?) Other days I feel that we can give our kids the perfect balance or urban and rural by getting out of the city often. I'm always looking for ways to make this possible. 

The Clark family took their kids canoeing for 95 days.
Watch their video here and see why I find it inspiring.

I suppose my little green postage stamp urban acreage feels expansive enough in the peaceful after dinner stillness. I froze some of the rhubarb I picked and I made this rhubarb cheesecake with the rest. This recipe is so easy as there's no pre-cooking the rhubarb. I made mine with a graham cracker crust and my kids liked it even though it was made with our city rhubarb.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Does DIY = Domestic Bliss?

I have a can-do attitude and believe that homegrown and homemade are almost always best, but am I a DIY-er? Well, er, I make pizza dough and pie crust from scratch - does that count? I make my own Christmas and birthday cards. I plant a veggie garden and rescue plants from back alleys and demolition sites. I make killer compost. I made my own twine trellis for sweet peas and runner beans. I mend but I do not sew. I own a paper cutter and can wield a glue gun but I most certainly do not do this:

This is what you get when you Google image search "DIY"

I'm creative sometimes, resourceful often, and keen to improve things always, but modge podge is just not a part of my daily vocab. And yet I feel like a do-it-yourselfer at heart. I want DIY my way to modern-day domestic bliss like so many other mama bloggers!

Sometimes I see a blog that knocks my socks off and I think, "Wowza. That's crazy beautiful and inspiring and so lovely." And then other times I see an over-the-top wonderful blog and I think, "How does she do it? She has more kids than me. Can someone please explain before I decide to give up on all my creative endeavors?"

Usually this pit of self despair is followed by a couple days off blogging until I have an uplifting family day full of reaffirming self worth like we did today. We spent the whole day in the nearby fishing village turned tourist hot spot, Steveston. We visited a massive playground at the local community centre, we walked the boardwalk, had a picnic at the beach, watched the kites, threw rocks in the water - an ever popular pastime from which our boys never seem to tire - and then the sun came out and it was back to the playground for round two! To top it off, we didn't spend a penny more than the fuel it cost to drive there - 20 min each way. Today was a prime example easy, breezy domesticity and summer's yet to come! I think I'll put up another twine trellis soon and blog about the it this time.