The garden

I really love our house. It isn't huge, it isn't fancy, but it's ours and that alone makes it worthy of loving.

Even better than just having the house itself, is the outdoor space we also gain in the summer (remember that season? I know, I'm having a hard time too). The previous owner of the house was an 80 year old woman who, I'm fairly confident, spent every waking hour between March and October in her garden. The entire back yard was not a patch of grass- just completely perennial covered. It was lovely, lush, fragrant and completely impractical with a toddler.

"Go play in those prickly plants and wood chips dear!" etc.

So, with some sadness, we removed many of the perennials to the front of the house, where we had ripped out a hedge that resembled the plant from the little shop of horrors- I'm pretty sure it swallowed the neighbourhood stray cats. Some others were replanted along the perimeter of the back yard, and a few unlucky (or maybe lucky) few were placed at the curb where the rabid gardeners in the neighbourhood (and there are many) scooped them up and transplanted them a few blocks over. In the stead of the old plants we laid sod and voila! Judah had a place to play. Alas, there are no mature trees on our lot so the new play space was quickly deemed fun, but at times really hot. Standing directly against the fence to steal the neighbours' shade got old pretty quickly, so Luke was enlisted to create some carpenter-political scientist-engineer created shade. Last weekend our cousin Ben (also an amazing carpenter) came with his lovely wife Erin (also an amazing English grad) and the gentlemen built a pergola while we, the women, happily reverted to Victorian roles of making lemonade and swooning in the heat.

Our backyard oasis is now, very nearly complete. We have some free Unistone coming our way in the next couple of weeks (thank you Freecycle!) and we're hoping to magically come upon a patio set of picnic table on the side of the road or some other equally cheap place soon.

Now without further ado, some pics of this year's garden...and a few of Judah, because we finally have a working camera again and I think he's cute :)

Judah's "smile for the camera" smile. 

Checking out our tomato plants...which I think something is eating...

Lily of the valley- quite possibly my favourite scent. 

South side of the yard

More south side. One iris finally open!

The pergola! Don't mind the excess wood against the fence, the dirt floor or the decrepit lawn furniture...just use your imagination to see how lovely it will be. There are clematis and grapevine planted at the bases of the poles to grow overhead...eventually.

Judah's garden bell and the lawn mower- eco friendly and a great workout. 

Spot the cat!

Spot the blue jay in flight.

Wait, I see a weird critter in that bush...

Ah!  Judahmus Rodentimus, the most voracious creature of them all. 

My cuties!

And, for good measure, a self-portrait. 


My golden boy, my only son

In the shrinking moments between light and dark,
I stroke your wispy hair and watch you slip to sleep;
The closing eyes of my golden boy, my only son.

Your head against my chest,
My heartbeat and your breath in their syncopated rhythm;
The ragtime of my golden boy, my only son.

When the light is gone I linger to watch you sleep.
Your face on my shoulder still warm from the afternoon sun;
The sun-warmed face of my golden boy, my only son.

Too soon you will wake up a man,
And I will only have this memory to hold.
This memory of my golden boy, my only son.



Gah! It's been forever since I've posted. I've been uninspired with amusing material of late. Actually, I've been so tired lately it's all I can do to stay awake past Judah. I'm hoping this beautiful summer sunshine perks me up soon! My camera has also been dead for close to 2 months now - horrors!! And I've been slow at getting it repaired, so I've had no visuals to share either. I promise to remedy this situation in the next week (I like long-term deadlines) and get this blog back up on it's exciting track - ha!

Now then- a quick recap of life...

Luke's done, done, done school (for the year) and made the Dean's list despite telling me about 673 times that he would probably fail at least one course. Go genius hubby!!

Our amazing cousins Ben and Erin came to visit us yesterday. Luke and Ben built a stunning pergola in a corner of the backyard. We have shade!!

My sisters are in Spain. My father is in Birmingham England. My sister-in-law is in France. My brother is in Missouri in the path of a tornado. All the rest of my in-laws are in Malawi.

And I'm in London, Ontario listening to the neighbours set off fireworks while it's still light out...what have I done wrong?

The rapture didn't happen. I guess I actually will have to clean my bathroom.

The splash pad at the park is open! Would it be weird to squat beside it in a tent for the summer?

Judah is voluntarily sitting on the potty for long periods of time. He doesn't actually do anything on it...but he sits there...baby steps!

There is a groundhog who frequently commutes using my driveway. I don't know where he could possibly be going, but he's fat and cute and I kind of want to tame him...don't tell Luke.

We went to an amazing garden center today - bought some clematis and grapevine to grow over our pergola. Can't wait to taste those grapes!!

Judah's new favourite word: "outside!"
Judah's new favourite activity: shutting himself between the front door and the glass storm door- preferably without pants on. Bum cheek prints for everybody.
Judah's new favourite book: Babyberry Pie
Judah's new favourite object: His big boy bed!
Judah's new pronunciation for Oma: Elmo

Mommy's plan for the long weekend: sleep!

Goodnight world!


Not a Baby

It occurred to me somewhere between Judah picking me my first Dandelion bouquet and finding him sitting in his bed "reading" Freight Trains to himself, that I no longer have a baby. When did this happen? I'm not trying to be treacly and sentimental here, I'm seriously asking- when!?

Any mother of a certain age will tell you, "It goes so quickly." I thought that was an old wives tale, used to soothe sleep-deprived, strung-out parents of infants. It's not. It's completely true.

There are parts of babydom I miss terribly.

I miss having an immobile child. Sounds terrible I know, but having just a static bundle to hold and cuddle has its perks....as I came to realize while chasing Judah across a parking lot this evening.

I miss the first crooked smiles that take every ounce of baby's concentration. Judah spends a lot of his time smiling now...often while laughing maniacally at us. We are inexplicably hilarious to him - particularly when speaking sternly.

I miss his tiny, wrinkly fingers and toes. His hands can span more than half an octave on the piano now and I'm pretty sure we'll be able to share pants by September.

I miss the time when he couldn't say no. For example, I'd say "Judah, do you want to put your shoes on?" And he would have no choice but to acquiesce...at least verbally. Now he uses no like punctuation - logical or otherwise.
Me: "The laundry can come out of the dryer now Luke."
Judah: "No. No. No. No."
Me: "Judah, time to eat your supper."
Judah *climbing into high chair and offering plate*: "No. No. No."
Me: "Judah do you see the cat?"
Judah *patting the cat*: "No. No. No. No."

I miss when I could put whatever clothes I liked on him and he would obliviously wear them all day. Sometime, during the past month or so, the spirit of Red-Green overcame him in the night. Now, every morning he chooses a plaid shirt of some colour or other and, if available, his plaid overalls and presents them to you beaming. You either agree to the plaid on plaid palette or become very creative at talking up the amazing fun-ness of a plain t-shirt and jeans. Suffice to say, he wears plaid...a lot.

Although he is definitely not a baby and absolutely a toddler now, there are so many aspects of this age that I'm drinking up. I love his theatrics; his fake laugh, his fake cry (still needs to work on making that one convincing), his spontaneous overwhelming urges to find you just to give you a kiss, his love of books and play dough and painting, his amazing appetite, his growing vocabulary, his dare-devil antics on the slide and the bed and the tub and the sidewalk and the stairs... his sense of humour (gas is hilarious), his independence, his beautiful, open outlook on the world. I hear him say "wow!" dozens of times a day. It makes me stop and look at him and think the same thing,

Wow. You are an amazing human being. I can't believe you are mine.


Election Night

It's election night in Canada! Way more fun than the hockey version, in my humble opinion.

We weren't a hugely political family when I was growing up. My parents voted, but we didn't really discuss political issues around the dinner table. That time was usually reserved for the latest stories about Charissa doing something reckless/ sharing too much information about her bodily functions, or Little Luke regaling us with tales of his next performance as Goldilocks, or Jessie and me being chastised for eating like birds, or the cat hacking something up in the corner of the dining room...you get the idea.

Then I met Luke and shortly thereafter, his family. If my in-laws were a zoo exhibit, they'd have to put them in the political animal section. They are politics crazy!

Luke's uncle ran for election in Toronto when Luke was a kid. So by the time he was 11, Luke had campaigned door to door, delivered flyers, followed up with potential voters and watched the counting of ballots in an official capacity (ok, he was with his dad, but still). The mud room in their farmhouse still had the lawn sign from the campaign a decade later. Needless to say, I was plunged into the world of politics right along with them. I loved it all. I loved talking about the issues. I loved debating our stances. I loved the rallies. But most of all, I loved the election party. That's right, every election night Luke's mom would crack out the hors d'ouvres, the sparkly drinks and the pajamas. We'd sit around eating and cheering and gasping as the results rolled in. I don't remember the outcome of any of the elections we shared, but I do remember loving the parties, the time we spent together, the hope for a better future.

Tonight, Luke's family is all half way across the world. They'll be home for good in a few short weeks, but for now we're continuing the tradition on our own. Judah accompanied us for his first federal election vote. He sat on my hip as I marked my X. The snacks are ready and taste tested by an unnamed toddler. In one hour Luke and I will curl up on the couch and see what political future our fellow citizens have chosen with us.

Judah is now upstairs having his election-night bedtime story read to him. I only hope it has a happy ending.

"Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens."

Alistair Farrugia