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August 26, 2010
Late August

Well it's late August now and I'm 5 weeks into this 40 hour + (paid) work week gig and I've got to tell you I am tired. Very tired. Although the paycheck is certainly a wondrous thing. I am enjoying that part, a lot.

But I'm missing everything that happens at home and on the farm. The housework isn't getting done (ok so not alot was getting done before but now I'm ready to move into a tent). So what does a person a person do when you get into this situation and I know all of us will at least once in a while.

 I'm trying to focus on the little pleasures, the small victories and I'm also developing a new appreciation for when I start to see our family pull together better. No this is not a Hallmark card but 5 weeks away from home (and at least 3 more to go) is forcing us to work together better. It's easier for the kids to see when their help actually makes a noticeable difference because I'm not there to pick up after them or to build on what they've done so it becomes my accomplishment.

 For example Hannah has learned how to hang out laundry. As a WWOOF host I am always amazed, at least momentarily, how many people haven't the remotest idea how to do this. Obviously it's a 'learn by doing skill'. Once you've done it several times you don't notice how physically demanding it can be or how you compensate for the rosebush in the middle of your line by hanging your smalls there. You automaticaly hang things up by their seams, with the sleeves hanging freely instead of wadded up and you know your line; where things dry fastest and smoothest and you work it. Hannah is learning that skill this summer. Mind you a few well placed threats like "if you continue to hang it out this way, after I've told you three times to hang things, you can iron it all when it comes off the line" have certainly assisted in this education. She is learning to bake and to tidy (well sort of). Best of all she is learning to use the information she already has to inform some of her decisions. I was so proud of her when she told me she had figured out that if you freeze your palmiers for a few minutes before baking them they turn out better (it was store bought puff pastry; so don'y get too excited). Learning to reason and problem solve is something I see people being able to so less and less so I get really excited whenever I see an example of it. Did I tell you she also likes to clean toilet bowls; I think I scored here.Now if only she would do the dishes.

Eben has been helping his father even more this summer (or I would have nabbed him too in the housework area) and is getting surer of himself all the time.It is a delight to watch him slowly becoming a dependable young man.


 He's a help too when you don't want to climb in the high places.


And while he did whippersnip my onions the potatoes that were planted quite late have started to bloom:


My garlic has been harvested and is curing in the attic. I am a total garlic babe! This Fall I want to plant even more! And since my boss should be back, at least part time, by the end of September, it looks doable.I'll keep you posted on that front.

Until then we will just keep soldiering on.


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Dec-25 8:29pm

Hi Sandy, do you see that plant that is right in front of the stick (bottom right hand corner) That`s what they call LambĀ“s Quarter. It is healthier than Spinach. You can eat it in salads or like greens. Just steam it for a few minutes. I ate it raw the last time I was home. Mom and dad thought I was nuts...LOL

August 19, 2010
August and the Exhibition


Well now it's the middle of August and all I can think is how time does fly! My boss at work is still recuperating from her retinal detachment but things seem to be getting better which is fabulous. Working 42 hours a week is challenging, especially in the summer when we're haying and all; I won't miss making jam come fall at all. But the paycheck is nice and I feel more competent everyday.

This past week has been the Annapolis County Exhibition. This 3rd week in August has always been a big deal in this family since before Danny and I got married. Exhibition is a chance to strut your stuff and see how you stack up against the rest of the world. For several years I would enter the jams and jelly sections; my ruby basil and orange jelly always won Best Certo Jam. (Insert smirk here) Danny often entered hay and grain, the kids sometimes entered the art exhibits. But now we're a 4H family and that means getting up early Sunday morning and bringing the life skills projects to the 4H building before noon, Mom and Dad bringing the herefored cows for the beef project to go in the barn. At 5 o'clock we all rush back to help set up displays for our respective clubs and see how we've done.

The kids did great this year; Eben got Grand Champion Sr Wood Working for his mahogany and marble tiled table:



                                It's going to look great in my living room after the 4H provincial show too.

              Hannah was in several life skills projects and was lucky enough to get reserve champion for her cards in the Scrap Booking Project:



                                    We are all very pleased and excited.

And then of course there is the Beef Project. This year mom had 4 15 yr old boys signed up, an all time high when her herd is smaller than it use to be.


                    Here they all are with their animals. I think they are all going on to Pro Show too because they're in different classes. I think of them as the 4 amigos.


      Of course not every moment of the Ex is easy. Working in the 4H canteen is hot and sweaty but the company is good and I was lucky it was not a super busy shift. Sunday night we will have to rush out in the morning to pick everything up and then hurry home for the Incredible Picnic at the Farmer's Market that afternoon. we will be barbequing hamburgers and selling cider as well. I think it will be a great time if you're wondering what to do Sunday for lunch.

 In the meantime I'm going to sign off and get my self home; tomorrow is our 6th CSA delivery and I need to get the newsletters to Doug. Enjoy the rest of the summer!


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August 9, 2010
Quick Note


By now many of you may have noticed that the blog disappeared for a few weeks but now (great round of applause) it'sback! This is largely because of the great work of (another, even louder, round of applause). Brandon saw my distress on the Bruce Family Farm Facebook page update and gallantly offered his services. Thank to his efforts I am back. I have no idea what the problem was, some update incompatibility issue, but Brandon fixed it. Big thank you.

 Back on the farm everyone has forgotten what I look like. Or that I even exist. Occasionally I get phonecalls asking me how to start the washing machine or if it's neccesarry to preheat the oven when baking but by and large I live in a seperate universe at the moment. In many ways things at home haven't changed:


 We are still haying. This will go on all summer but on the upside; our normal manpower shortage has been helped somewhat by the discovery that we can raid Eben's soccer team for help when loading. As long as we promise to drive them to practise or the game, if there's one on, they will come and help. And Eben is so much better natured when team mates are on the field with him. Plus our old apprentices from a few years ago are in the area visiting and they very kindly come out to help sometimes too. So I am not missed on the field.

 While the cool weather lately has made sleeping easier it has not made haying easier. Last week Danny mowed the Stephen's Marsh, my favourite place in the whole world, thinking that he had time to get the hay made before the weather changed. This is the time of year when the pressure to get the hay done builds as you realize Fall is approaching and you're still getting your first cut in, never mind the second cut that you also need/want. So we were all pretty disappointed when the weather took a sudden turn and it rained 6 hours sooner than the weather forecast suggested it would. I still haven't been down to the Marsh to look but I don''t think I want to see the hay that got rained on 3 times and is probably black now and not fit for much of anything.

 On the up side Exhibition is coming.  Next week the Lawrencetown Exhibition will open. Monday is 4H day with all it's competitions and events. We're all pumped especially Eben who will move to his Grammy's for the week and go in with her every single day. He thinks it's great. It adds to the hay stress here at home though.Ihave taken Monday off from work next week and hope to be back with lots of new pictures and stories. Until then...

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