Tag Archives: Bronwyn


11 Jul

We are currently in a level 1 drought.  If we don’t get significant rainfall in the next 24 hours, it will be a level 2 drought.  This is pretty significant for our area, since there are many farms which rely on the rain to water their crops.  Some lucky ones have permits to take irrigation water from nearby lakes, but not all.  And, not us.  Not to say that our little garden is on the same scale, but, you know…

What does happen though, is that our teeny tiny 10 foot, dug well can’t keep up with our water needs, and that’s when Bruce gets creative.

Some things Bruce has suggested to conserve water:

  • No showers.

Ok, he’ll allow showers, but only 2 minute ones.  And you have to turn off the water while you lather.  And it is preferable to have a second person in the shower with you, so one can rinse while the other lathers… so as not to waste water!

  • All water run from the tap, if not being used, should be collected in receptacles from which we can water plants and dogs.
  • Since the rain barrels are now depleted, he and my brother-in-law have headed to the river to collect stream water to keep our garden alive.  Apparently it’s legal to take water from a lake if you keep it under 50 000 L.  I’ll take his word for it.
  • No laundry- all clothes are to be worn until soiled.
  • Dishwasher once a day max… our Hydro bill is going to be awesome!
  • The old adage “When it’s yellow, let it mellow; when it’s brown, flush it down” is in full effect.  If you don’t know what that means, Google it.

And finally, in an effort to conserve as much water as possible, he’s decreed that he and Eric will do their part by switching to drinking beer.

Bronwyn, in the spirit of the moment, came up with her own solution.  After finishing her ice-cream sandwich, she held out her hands to the dogs to lick clean.  She then dried them on a towel and proudly announced that her hands were clean, and she didn’t even use any water!



Inventive… I like it!

4 Feb

Tonight, Bronwyn and I went grocery shopping late, after the other kids were in bed.  This had a dual purpose: spend some one-on-one time with my eldest… and, hopefully, wear out a kid who (even after spending the day outside in the snow) wasn’t even close to tired at 8 pm.

To keep her occupied, and let her be helpful (and who doesn’t like free kid labour?!) I encouraged her to grab things off the shelf whenever possible.  This also allowed her a chance to practice her reading in a non-threatening environment, and try to recognize familiar brands etc.

We were almost done, and the store was very empty, so I sent her on ahead to get bananas.

“Get a bunch with 5 or 6 on it” I instructed as she ran off.

She returned with 7.

I inspected them thoroughly (I think that kids should be able to choose good quality produce at any age) and indicated that although they were a good colour there were too many brown spots.

She quickly returned with a second bunch.

“Too green” I countered.

I left her to scrutinize the remaining bananas while I threw more food into the cart.  She had been gone a little longer than I expected so I headed for the banana section.  That’s when I saw her, deep in conversation with a produce employee.  He was a guy about 17 years old, and I watched as he listened intently and walked all around the huge stack of bananas while she gestured and gesticulated what I could only assume were my previous instructions on Proper Banana Choice.  At one point she looked over at me and saw me watching her.  She indicated with a look that she had asked this guy to help…

She returned, triumphant, with a bunch of bananas.

“That man said these are the best bananas he has.  I couldn’t find the perfect ones, so I asked someone who worked here”.

I don’t know who was more proud: Bronwyn for having found the perfect bananas, or me, for witnessing my child engaged in such a grown-up solution.



16 Jan

For all of you waiting with bated breath, the answer to this question is….


And, yes, you can tell by the eyes.

I have never seen a picture capture what so infrequently passes over the face of a child: the ability to take on the characteristics of someone else.  It happened once when Holly was born and I looked at her face and saw my grandmother.  It happens more frequently when Josselyn makes a face and for a second I am transported back in time to when Bronwyn was that age.  But to have it on permanent record; proof that they are related; makes my heart content.  One day, I will show this picture to them.  Some day when they are older, and fighting, and hate each other.  And give them perfect proof that they are cut from the same cloth.  That we are all just extensions of each other.  Family sticks together.

Twins Part 2

9 Jan

Remember last March when I posted this?  Time for a new Picture Quiz!  Leave your vote below!

What child is this?

When my life gets hard, these are things I never want to forget…

5 Oct


One morning last week, Bronwyn woke up early, and instructed me to stay in bed, while she fixed breakfast.  I came out to the kitchen and saw 4 bowls of cereal with milk, and a glass of water at each place.  She used everyone’s favourite colour dishes, and even remembered to use the almond milk for Joss.  And the best part?  Besides the fact that she didn’t spill a drop, and put everything back where it belonged?  My water was poured in a wine glass, because, according to Bronwyn, those cups are “fancier”.


Last week I asked Holly what she wanted for lunch at school that day.  She replied with, “oh anything… except what you made me yesterday”.  After further prodding, she told me that the crackers had touched her ham in the container and made the ham all “spoofy” (definition: where ham has cracker crumbs all over it, and renders the ham “slobbery”).  “I was really disappointed”.

I looked over in surprise (that she knew the word “disappointed” and that she used it so correctly in a sentence).  Holly misunderstood my look though, and quickly jumped in:

“Not disappointed in you, Mom; just disappointed in my lunch”.


Me:  How old are you Josselyn?

Joss:  Three!

Me:  No, you’re not three, you’re two!

Joss:  I DO three.  I DO!

Me:  Ok, ok… well, does that make you a big girl?  Or are you a baby?

Joss:  Me a Princess.

Healthy Choices

3 Oct

We”ll just skip the “where have you been” and the “why haven’t you been posting” and other such whining and just acknowledge that sometimes I don’t feel like writing.  After my determination to write one post a day for a month, which I thought would kick start me into a better habit, I realized that being forced into writing only produces sloppy and boring work.  Besides, I write this blog to remember events, and update a few followers, and give an outlet to my creativity.  So, this is the last time I will mention a gap between posts.  Let’s continue…

Last night we were invited to a house-warming party at some friends’ house.  By the time I got all the details, and looked through my cupboards, the only thing I could think of to bring was a chocolate zucchini cake.*

While we were there, someone commented on the cake, and how moist it was etc.   And I replied that it was the zucchini that made it so moist.  He looked at me a little funny, and replied that he didn’t even realize that there was zucchini in there.  And then he asked me if I did it as a way to sneak in vegetables into my kids’ diet.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have no qualms about sneaking veggies or anything else into other foods, but I also don’t shy away from just, you know, giving them those foods too.  Kids will never learn that they like a certain food, if they only eat it unknowingly.

I like to drink smoothies, and lately I have been throwing a handful of spinach in with the other fruits.  Bronwyn looked at hers one day and asked me, very suspiciously, if there was SPINACH in her smoothie.  I mustered up all my courage, and boldly declared that there was.  She looked thoughtful for a minute, then announced, “I think you have found a way I like spinach”.

So, if I am not throwing random vegetables into sugary treats because I can’t get my kids to eat them otherwise, then why bother?

I just find that adding extra ingredients doesn’t alter the taste or texture (negatively anyway) and adds extra fiber, nutrients, and variety that would be missing otherwise.  So, I guess my question is, why wouldn’t you add vegetables to your baked goods?

Here are my favourite ways to “sneak” veggies into foods:

Add pureed pumpkin, beets, squash, avocado, apples, mangoes etc to a boxed cake mix.  Half the other ingredients.  Bake as directed.  I would advise using chocolate for most of those as it disguises the colour and flavour perfectly.

You can substitute plain unsweetened applesauce for cooking oil in baking.

Automatically use half the amount of sugar called for in a recipe.  I bet you won’t even notice.

Use spelt flour instead of all purpose.  Except for a slightly nutty flavour, you will not notice.

Go ahead.  Give it a try.  And let me know how it goes!

* Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 C butter, softened (or marg)
1 3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C cooking oil (feel free to sub equal parts applesauce instead)
1/2 C sour milk (or 1 T vinegar plus milk to equal 1/2 C)
1 t vanilla
2 C grated zucchini with peel (but not seeds)
2 1/2 C flour (I used spelt)
1/3 C cocoa pwd
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking pwd
1/2 t cinnamon (do not omit!)
1/2 t salt

3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Mix in oil, sour milk, vanilla and zucchini.

Mix dry ingredients (not choc chips). Add to wet. Stir to moisten. Spread in a greased 9×13 pan

Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 35 min or until done.


Your Mom is bald…

7 Jul

Tonight at dinner Bruce leaned over and tucked a ringlet behind Bronwyn’s ear.  This sparked an ongoing discussion over Daddy being bald.

Bronwyn:  you are bald, you know?

Bruce:  what are some good and bad things about being bald?

Bronwyn:  (after some coaxing) weeeelllllll… you never have to brush it… or wash it.  And it never gets in your eyes.

Bruce:  yeah… and what are some bad things?

Bronwyn: (immediately) people make fun of you!