Boos To Yous!

Our Halloween weekend was boo-riffic! Most importantly, I have decided that I want a new camera for Christmas. Forget the other things that were on the list.

Dean was working with the talented songstress AND photographer, Valery Gore, who was visiting from Toronto to do some pre-production work for her forthcoming album this weekend. She was our house guest and went along with us to a Halloween event at Fanshawe Pinoeer Village on Saturday. After seeing her pictures this afternoon, I longingly yearned for the wealth of a rockstar (and a new camera)--if only to be able hire a personal photographer as gifted as Valery to shadow my family all day every day capturing moments as beautifully as this.

Thanks so much, Valery, and please, please, visit again and visit soon.

Tonight was a delirious bounty of the likes of processed sugar that Noah has never seen. We went trick-or-treating down the block and back. It was just enough for Noah to fill two buckets with lots of stuff he's never seen before. After dumping it out all over the floor just steps from the front door and closely surveying each individual piece, he simultaneously engulfed handfuls while spinning in circles. After his manic high--which was absolutely hilarious to be witness to--his fall to earth was not as bad as it could have been or as predicted. A rambunctious bed hopping session petered out any dwindling sugar and he passed out sticky and happy after a handful of stories in a large bear tent in his bedroom.

Sweet dreams to my two little spooks--and a very Happy All Hallow's Eve to everyone else!


Dos Hermanos.

Los hermanos el amor.


Five Months Of Fern.

Over the last almost three years, this blog has become a sort of memory keeper for me. As crafty as I like to be, I haven't put together the first baby book for either Noah or Fern, so mama:milieu--which I originally began in response to my mother's whining about living so far away from her unborn grandchildren back when I was pregnant with Noah--has become the best go-to I've got for both the big and not so big moments of these most precious early years.

As such, I am going to be sure not to let little Fernie's fifth month pass without a milestone mention. Last week, she turned five months old. And, it was in that same week that she mastered the toe hold and suck, began enthusiastically vocalizing "b" sounds and rolled onto her tummy for the very first time.

Happy fifth month, my little Fern Adele!


Falling Into Fall, The Ontario Version: Party Gnomes & Pumpkin Patches.

There is no doubt about it. I love fall. Dean thinks I'm a loon--he readily tells me so--when I openly confess every October that pumpkin is one of my favorite words. I love how your lips have to gently pat together twice to muster out the two essential consonants. And, I could rap myself up in all of the cozies that it conjures up in my mind--nutmeg scented candles, steaming mugs of cider and woolen socks warming nippy toes. I must admit that I missed it all so ever sorely in Los Angeles. The month of October still came and went in 31 days, but thick socks and apple cider never quite found their way into our 70 degree weather.

While I am still not London, Ontario's, biggest fan, I am simply swooning over the autumnal bliss recently experienced during short jaunts out into the countryside--it's lovely. Nature is aflutter here as it prepares for imminent hibernation. The trees are shedding their spring and summer bounty creating deeply hued carpets for the squirrels to feverishly hide their winter nibbles beneath. The birds and butterflies are making way slowly down to destinations where the sun will shine a little bit warmer in the months to come. The pear and apple trees, which only a few weeks ago were yielding vibrantly ripened fruit, are browning and thinning as they, too, prepare for winter's slumber.

It has been so long since I have experienced real, true, changing of seasons, such as I have this past year, that I had almost forgotten the comfort that seasonal rhythms bring--carrying you through the course of a year in very orderly and distinctly unique separations. And the four seasons of the year are further punctuated with each of their own set of surprises--bulbs peeking in colors from beneath the late season snow and the tapping of maple trees for sweet amber syrup in the spring, to the asparagus and berries of summer, to the apples, pears and squashes of fall. Each ends as quickly as they began. You blink and the dawn of the next is on the horizon. But, their fleeting availability only sweetens the time you have to spend with each.

As such, we are getting out and soaking in each moment of this season that I can. The rain clouds parted this weekend just in time for us to squeeze in the last bits of dwindling warmth--and fall fun. We attended a woodland-themed birthday party yesterday. There was no shortage of radish toadstools, pixie punch and garden gnomes. Noah and little Fern donned felt gnome hats that I sewed especially for the occasion. I hope that they still fit for months to come because nothing would please me more than to see their chubby little faces tied within its soft and jingly confines while engaged in imaginative play.

Today was spent away on a farm just 30 minutes outside of town. During the summer months it hosts acres of waist-high bushes heavy with plump ripe blueberries. We picked over 20 pounds of them back in July and while we just finished of the last of our frozen stash this past week, we'll have jam to last us throughout the winter months. This time of the year, however, the fields are abound with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, as well, a zip line, hay bale tower, goats, chickens, pigs, corn cob cannons, pumpkin catapults and a tractor-pulled wagon ride to the farm's outskirts and the coolest corn maze I have ever seen.

To be honest, I am not sure that I am anticipating winter as much as I did fall, but I know that it has just as much to offer. It only may take a little digging beneath the snow to find its surprises.


Holding On.

Chilly weather, winds and rain have moved in and our little Indian summer is over, it seems, and surprisingly I am at peace with the dissipating warmth. I'm somewhat ready for the next season to carry us through the rest of this year. But as another year slowly creeps towards a close, gone are more moments that will never return. Ever since Dean celebrated his 36th birthday last week, I have been seriously waxing nostalgic. I climbed into bed with my sleeping Noah that night and cried. Having kids, and most notably a second, has unexpectedly turned me into a mushy, gushy, kissy, huggy, sentimental wreck. I can see, literally see, Noah and little Fern growing in their sleep. Every morning they are bigger, taller, more clever than the day before. The minutes and weeks and months and years are passing all too quickly and as I laid crumpled up in his little toddler bed, I saw Dean and myself 5, 10, 20, 30 years from now--grey, old and begging the kids to come home for Thanksgiving. We will have been together for 11 years on the 29th of this month. And the last 11 years have felt like a blink of the eye, a fleeting second buzzing past at lightening speed. How fast will this time ahead of us pass? Looking through our wedding photos tonight in an effort to finally put together an album--nearly 5 years post nuptials--has only compounded the urgency of my anxiety. We are dated. We are not really wiser. But we ARE older.

The husband of a mommy acquaintance of mine back in Los Angeles died a week ago this past weekend of a brain tumor. They have a 3 year old son and a 1 month old baby girl. When I learned of his passing, I was cooking dinner. Simultaneously I felt sick to my stomach and suddenly the task of preparing food for my family somehow seemed irrelevant. Time is so fleeting, so fragile, so frail, so frank. It is not nostalgic. It just passes without hesitation. It is an efficient and unsympathetic employee of life.

I have five grandparents, so the weight of the inevitable is growing heavy. Now that I have reached my 30's and have begun looking outside of those self-possessed 20's to notice those around me aging, I can't stop from looking ahead to all of the pending heartbreaks. I know that growing, aging, change and even death can sometimes be beautiful--at least in the sense that it is a natural progression of time's passing--organic--unstoppable--unavoidable. But now that I have arrived to a place of visceral awareness, I don't like it one bit. I want to fire time, or at least teach it some manners--encourage it to go about things a little bit slower, kinder, gentler--like a Southerner sipping sweet tea on a sweaty front porch. In the least, I am hoping that this sob way of viewing forthcoming birthdays and the arrival of 2012 is as fleeting as the time that I curse, or otherwise I need get better at living in the moment regardless of what the future holds because if I screw up the now, the then will really suck!


Apples, Pumpkins & Turkeys, Oh My: Part II--Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

Our first Canadian Thanksgiving proved to be a fabulous feast. We dined with our dear sweet friends and neighbors on turkey and all the fixins'. I contributed cranberry orange relish, an apple & rosemary rustic tart (with apples picked fresh from the orchard last week), roasted asparagus with brown butter and pecorino and rosemary garlic buttermilk biscuits to the scrumptious spread. Following an amazingly educational and enjoyable day at the Pioneer Village (see Part I), yesterday was restful as we lollied in the park most of the afternoon soaking up any and all of the rest of this fabulous Indian summer.




Apples, Pumpkins & Turkeys, Oh My: Part I.

As the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend kicks into full swing, we are bracing ourselves for overloads of free range stuffed bird and all the fixins'. A three-day holiday is part of the festivities and this 70+ degree weather has resulted in outdoor fever. Bouts of backyard leaf hopping were plentiful and visits to all of the local outdoor markets we could muster to gobble up the last few weeks of farm fresh Ontario produce. We also ventured apple and pumpkin picking this past week and to Fall on the Farm at Fanshawe Conservancy's Pioneer Village today. Both were delightfully sunny and beautiful days spent soaking in the season's last rays of warmth.

The outskirts of the city is ablaze with crimsons, golds and ambers--the maples and oaks are especially breath taking--one just must tread lightly beneath the walnut trees as they drop their hard and heavy ammo without warning.

This Ontario fall just might just be lovely enough to make the forthcoming Ontario winter bearable.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin