I think our camera is dying. Everytime I take a picture outside, or anywhere where there is a strong light source, the lighting turns out bright pink - and looks as if someone has increased the saturation. I've played with the settings and adjusted the flash, but nothing seems to work. So unfortunatly, until Chris or I can fix it, there will not be any more pictures on the blog. Oh the horror!
Of course, the camera died before I was able to take better pictures of the trees.
Oh, that's right, the trees! I havn't yet talked about our trees!
Last week, we got our first fruit trees! Chris and I have been talking about adding fruit trees to the property almost since the day we bought it, and they are just one more step on our journey to self-sustainability. With fruit trees we get the obvious fresh fruit, but also all our own home-made jams, pies, ice-cream syrops, apple butters... my mouth is watering just at the thought of it!
Our cherries to the left and centre, the plum to the right.
Our little pear tree
I want it noted that the poor quality of these pictures is because in my excitement to have photos the day after we planted them, I took this pictures at 6:15 in the morning....
Originally our plan was to plant three apple (one early, mid, and late harvest), one pear and one peach. After some research, we found out our climate wasn't well suited for peach, so we started looking at cherries instead. We'd found a self-polinating variety, but then decided two apples would be sufficient, so we started looking at other types of fruit. Chris suggested plum, so again we started looking at self-polinating varieties.
Then last week I called aroound to our local nurseries and discovered one was having a sale on fruit trees, but that their supplies were dwindling. When Chris got to the nursery he discovered they had no self-polinating cherry varieties, so we ended up with two cherries, one golden plum, and a pear tree. They didn't have any apple trees left, so we're looking at another couple nurseries and if they are out as well, we will have to wait until the spring to plant them.
The types of apples we want to plant are MacIntosh (a proudly Canadian creation!) and Gala, one soft and great for baking, and one more firm for taking in lunches, but both tasty in their own ways.
For me, planting our fruit trees is an important milestone. The gardens are a huge addition to our home, but theres is just something permament about planting a tree. If they do well, they will be a lasting gift for future genrations. And thats why this is really important to me; this is just one of many ways we can better the lives of our children in the years to come.
Another thought that crossed my mind is how amazing is the imagination of a child. Lucien has many toys, in all shapes, sizes and functions, yet it is with the toys of no specific purpose that he has the most enjoyment.
Just recently I went through the toy room to clear out toys that had long been abandoned, or toys that I was just not happy with (you know, the cleap plastic toys that come from fast-food children's meals? I have no idea how he ended up with so many - we rarely eat out!). As I was doing so, I put front and centre his wooden blocks, lego, and dress-up clothes. To my delight I walked into the playroom the other day to see he had made several small "towers" of mega blocks, in varying hights. As I watched him, I heard him refer to the 4 small ones as Frodo, Sam, Pippen and Merry, then a larger one was Strider, and another one Gandalf. He was playing Lord of the Rings! Later on, he had built a tower so tall he had to stand on the coffee table to reach the top (the one time we did not reprimand him from standing on the table), and that was the Balrog.
He also makes his wooden blocks into pirate ships and mountains, and the little wagon that houses the blocks is his skateboard. Chris remarked once that one of the best presents he and his brothers ever recieved was a set of two-by-fours that his father had cut into various lengths and sanded down. I too remember hours of playing "sidestreet, mainstreet" with my dad, using blocks as both the roadways and the houses.
By making toys so specific in purpose, I fear we are in fact robbing our children of their creativity. If a toy car is a car, then the child has no other options. But a block can be a car one day, a loaf of bread the next (I used to do this all the time when my siblings and I played pioneers) or just a plain old block of wood, to be used in building any object they need.
And the things they come up with! It's so amazing; you can practically see new neural pathways being formed each time they play!