creativity · home life · kids + families

A Summer at Home


This might seem like a strange thing to those more rooted than we are, but this is the first summer we are staying “at home” since we were both teenagers and living in our parents’ houses. For more than a decade, we’ve always been working or traveling away from the place we call home the rest of the year. Our marriage has been marked by summers away from home, squeezing in our travel plans between medical school terms, and usually moving to a new place once we got back. But this summer, apart from our short trip to the Sunshine Coast a few weeks ago and a weekend camping trip or two planned later in July and August, we are home. No international travel, or even cross-country or -province travel to visit family (we’re having them come to us instead!). So we’ve been enjoying long sunny days, water play on the shared patio, lots of time in the garden, exploring new swimming holes, little projects at home, lots of reading, little local adventures. And smoothies – so many smoothies! 

I’ve been making milk kefir for a few months now, after a neighbour shared some grains with me. I am admittedly a fairly skeptical convert when it comes to food trends, and never got to like kombucha despite its popularity, and I still withhold much of my credulity about many of the claims made by kefir proponents… but at the very least, it is so, so much easier to make than homemade yogurt, and just about as adaptable. We’re making a lot of smoothies with it right now, but I also like to mix the kefir with oats and berries overnight for a soaked muesli breakfast, or strain it through cheesecloth for a soft, spreadable cheese, mixed with salt and fresh herbs from the garden. I’ve tried drinking it straight, but I prefer it mixed with other things. 

No crafting update this week – it took me a few days to remember to block my swatch after finishing it, so I have yet to measure and plan for sizing on my White Pine sweater. I am excited though! Friends from Nova Scotia arrive today, so it’s doubtful whether I’ll get around to any crafting later in the week, but if I do, I’ll try to post here! The one creative project I finished was to gather a few of my favourite things for on top of my desk. After the sad demise of one of my African Violets at the curious hands of the Bean, I decided it was a good idea to keep breakables and plants out of reach, and while doing so create a tiny corner of our home that can remain happily arranged even if everywhere else is a disaster. The print is an illustration from Sense and Sensibility that my mum-in-law got for me in England, and the lavender wands are the happy result of a Taproot tutorial. 

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