Before the tumor took over – we went on VACATION! What a concept – it was great! We went to Quebec, to the old city area, it is only 5 hours from our house but it felt like we were in Europe.

I wanted to go ice skating on the groomed trails – I have always loved skating and have not gotten to do it enough in recent years.

We bought LL Beans comfort skates all around, except for a pair of Trace’s old skates that fit Arden, and buckled in! Even Soren was skating – it was amazing! We had so much fun – we went on two different trails near the city and would like to go back sometime to try out trails farther from the city that are longer for some night skating. There are skating rinks all over the place and it seemed to me that instead of getting together to walk, people got together to skate! Good idea here as the old city was very icy!

We went on a toboggan run in the old city as well. The boys loved it and wanted to do it again as soon as we got to the bottom. River and I looked at each other and thought – oh my goodness we could have all been killed – so we didn’t do it again. It was fun (I screamed the whole way down) but so fast and furious! I was good with one run!

We stayed at an Airbnb and cooked most of our meals there which was perfect, we saved a lot of money that way. We had decided that we would eat out once a day – this was perfect. I couldn’t try all the things I wanted to eat like the poutine, because it was not gluten free in most places so my menu was limited which was a little disappointing. We did have some excellent meals in the old city.

We also visited and Iroquois museum with replicas of the long houses and other interesting buildings. We had been reading the Indian in the Cupboard series By: Lynne Reid Banks one of the main characters is an Iroquois Indian so the boys were very interested in seeing all the details at the museum. This is an outside museum and it was a very cold day when we were there, but it was still very interesting!


We also visited the Museum of Civilization right in the city. They had a large Native display that they boys loved and a large children’s area with dress up that was fun as well as a robotics, electronics area which Trace and Arden found exciting. Trace even taught the guide in the electronics area something about programing for a certain kind of robot.


Walking around the old city, seeing the old buildings still decked out for the holidays was pretty too! So many hills, my calves were on fire, I definitely need more hills in my life!

If you are looking for a family adventure, I would highly recommend a trip to Quebec. We plan to go back!



What’s in the garden?

This morning I harvested tomatoes, peaches, green beans, summer squash, swiss chard, cukes and a few peas. I also ate a couple raspberries, don’t tell the children, I ate them myself. So yummy.

Green Beans


Swiss Chard, yummy!


I think River is tired of eating summer squash, poor guy, I have sauteed it, made it into fritters and shreaded it for the freezer this winter. Only one of the children likes it so the three of us end up eating a lot of it! Everyone did try the fritters too, that was a win, just more work then sauteing it.

Our peach tree is not as prolific as last year, I am a little worried about our fruit harvest as the blueberries in the field we usually harvest were non existent, our plums, apple and apricot trees did not produce fruit and our blueberries only have a few berries as did the raspberries and the mulberries. A tricky situation. Our pears were mostly eaten by crows so I didn’t get any of them dried this year.

Hopefully our neighborhood apples will be awesome this year!


Join us for a Firehouse Farm Dinner with Essential Oils

My friend Mary and I are hosting a Cooking with Essential Oils Class at Firehouse Farm on August 7th.

We will be serving Firehouse Farm Rosemary and Lemon Chicken

Rosemary and Dill Roasted New Potatoes

Oregano enhanced peas

Salad with an amazing dressing

Peppermint Brownies

A few other treats may hit the table too!

Sign up in the link below, seats are limited!




Confession, I was very late starting our seedlings this spring, but I have had good success, even with some of our older seeds. I have never been really good at taking inventory before I order seeds, I just ordered what I wanted. This was not a very frugal or professional way to buy seeds. I decided that I needed to try to use as many of our older and going out of date seeds this spring before purchasing new seeds.

As a result:

onions grew (but I will still have to buy some sets), leeks did not

I have many tomato seedlings of many different kinds (I just counted 52 seedlings, not varieties), not so many pepper seedlings (13)

I have lots of basil (for the first time, basil has been on my hard to grow list for some reason)

A plethora of swiss chard, which i usually direct seed, but the littles wanted to plant a tray of seedlings and chard and kale are an easy size for them to handle.

There are many items that will be direct seeded, all the squash and pumpkins, the brussel sprouts and greens.

I will start some melon seedlings soon and some broccoli and red cabbage a bit later. Last year after talking to Eli at Mahalo Farm, I planted broccoli and cabbage seedlings in the beds I had just harvested garlic from in August and it worked out really well. It was the first time I had actually gotten a measurable amount of broccoli and cabbage to store. Delish, if you have ever eaten sweet and sour cabbage, you know why I specifically like red cabbage. One of my fall favs!