Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This post is about a picture.  This past weekend we had the pleasure of going up to the cottage and getting it ready for the season.  The first couple of days were spent getting the grass cut and doing some simple repairs.  The evenings were spent relaxing and watching the sun go down. 

Kincardine is home to some of the best sunsets I have ever seen.  Bar none.  When you see the sun go down on a cloud-free evening it is easy to understand how religions have been created to honour it.  For the first time that I can remember we had cloudless sunsets 4 days straight.  The sunset was never the same and it never gets boring to watch.

On the the third night we were there Andrea asked Rhys if he would like to go for a walk with us on the beach.  He enthusiastically said that he would.  We went out and walked along the beach for a while.  This entailed slowly walking, picking up sticks and stones and throwing them into the lake.  Huron was like glass, aside from the ripples that Rhys was creating.

For those who don't know Rhys let me explain.  At almost 3 years old he is an impressive little guy.  He is a totally different personality from Declan.  Where Declan has always been very sensitive, Rhys just kind of ploughs through everything.  He is a big boy and likes to play rough.  Recently, he has become much more gentle which has been great.  You don't worry that you are about to get a Glasgow Kiss when he goes in for a hug, you don't worry that he is going to hurt Leighton when he pats him on the head.  He loves to snuggle and is genuinely full of love.

While we were on our walk Andrea walked to the edge of the water where Rhys was throwing stones and crouched down.  Seeing her do this he thought he should as well.  I wish I had a better camera to capture that shot but I did what I could on my Blackberry.  It may be one of my favourite pictures.  I wish Rhys was old enough to remember that moment years from now.

I think that it encapsulates everything that I love about being up at the cottage.  Being there with my family, knowing the history that Andrea's family has in Kincardine and seeing how important it is to both her and our boys makes it easily one of the best places in the world.  Watching Andrea with Rhys at the lake as the sun set is one of the best memories I can take from this weekend.

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get Thee to the Garden

For the second season in a row we are helping Andrea's Mom with a community garden plot.  I am by no means a gardener and have not fully embraced the whole organic revolution that seems to be picking up steam.  The reason we participate is in part practicality and in part learning experience.

From the practical side there is an argument that it is a cheap way of getting fresh, healthy food throughout the summer.  Throughout last summer we always had fresh lettuce, beans, cucumber and beans as well as tomatoes.  In fact, we just finished the last of the tomatoes that were saved through the winter.  The return on that investment is pretty good if you ask me.

I honestly feel that it is also important for the kids to have the experience of getting a garden prepared, planting the seeds, weeding, tending and then eventually reaping the benefits.  I first thought this when we planted beans and peas in our back garden two years ago.  Once they were ripe for the picking Declan would come home from daycare and would go into the garden, pick a few pods, pull them apart and have a fresh, healthy snack.  You can't beat that!  We also have raspberries and last summer the boys and I would get up early and pick them before breakfast to go with their cereal or pick them after supper for dessert.

The plot that Andrea's Mom has is huge!  It is 20 by 30 feet which is more than large enough to feed us for the summer.  There are quite a few plots in the area and they are run by everyone from casual gardeners like us, to very experienced and dedicated gardeners who have obviously been doing this for years.
Sifting rocks out of the dirt.  Hard work!
Amazingly they have to be a bit careful about security because apparently there are people who come in an steal from the gardens.  I thought initially that this is pathetic but in the end what can you do about it?  Last year even Andrea's mom's was the victim of a theft.  She had grown one perfect watermelon that ended up being stolen the week she was going to pick it.  Unfortunately nothing can be done about this.  Hopefully something can be done about it this year.

Lots of space!
I am going to document how the garden does this year as it was a lot of fun.  Like I said we are not gardeners by any means and are learning as we go.  I will let you guys know how it goes.