Growing Out On A Limb


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Family Photos by Shari

I have been slow to get these up for no other reason than life is busy.

A few weeks ago my good friend Shari came for a visit.  She is an amazing photographer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Seriously, check out her photos at www.sharitucker.com.  She has a brilliant eye for settings and lighting and does the most amazing wedding photos I have ever seen.  Though she doesn’t usually do family shoots anymore, I asked her to try and capture the four of us as  a favor.  We have never had professional photos before because we both consider ourselves hobby photographers but with one of us behind the camera a shot of all of us is difficult at best.  She kindly agreed in exchange for a meal… done deal!

She got a few of the boys that morning when we were hiking the Shikatehawk trail and throwing rocks in the water.

This one cracks me up!  Oliver crouched down to pick up a rock and got his bum all wet… priceless!

We took the family shots later on.  Oliver wasn’t terribly cooperative due to the time of day but I think Shari managed to get a few really great ones!  It’s so nice to finally have a family photo to frame!

I love the easy going feeling of this one…

This is Oliver’s I’m-smiling-because-you’re-telling-me-to smile.  Kind of scary, huh?

That’s better.

Okay, I think we’re done!  Let’s eat!

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Basil

Finally.

After a few years of trying and failing, we finally had a good harvest of basil this year.  I don’t know what we did differently to deserve it this year but we are thankful!  I love brushing by it in the garden and getting a whiff of that sweet smell.  And of course we both love eating it.

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

The first year that we had basil (and only, I think), we tried drying it.  It ended up brown and unusable and a complete disappointment.  The parsley dried the same way.

The next year we got wise and froze it instead.  The best way, we found, was to clean it, chop it up, and then put a tablespoon in each well of an ice cube tray.

Add water and then freeze.

Then you pop them out and stick them in a baggy, ready to use in any recipe that calls for fresh basil.  Just run the cube under warm water and throw it in!

Now onto the parsley!


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Hayes Falls

This has been such a beautiful fall weekend that today we decided to spend some time outside.

We hiked the Maliseet Trail that leads to the gorgeous Hayes falls near Woodstock.  Oliver loves going for “walks in the woods” and we are thrilled that he can navigate the trails easily now.  I can’t say he was overly impressed with the waterfall itself (although he did stop to comment on it a couple of times) but he definitely enjoys being outside and that’s enough for us.

It’s a bit of a wet trail but there are pretty trees overhead.

Emery sits in for a pretty comfy ride.

Finally at the falls.  They are beautiful anytime but especially impressive in the spring.  You can hike to the top or the bottom.

Sitting for lunch at the falls.  Mmm… leftover pizza…

… and plum.

Oliver liked wandering around the base of the falls.  I think he likes to climb like his mama.


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Hoot

 

 

 

 


I put together this little owl pillow for Mattie, a friend’s new baby girl.

I’ve seen lots of similar stuffed owls floating around the internet so the design isn’t a stretch.  I just free-handed the shape, pulled a few fabric scraps out of the pile, and went for it.  You can’t see the back but it’s a lovely soft and textured white fabric.

I like how the colors play together and the big googly slightly-crossed eyes.  I hope Mattie does too!

 

 

 

 


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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I have tried a few zucchini bread recipes along the way but this one easily takes them all.  Who knew those little flecks of orange zest could make such a difference?  And while hubby doesn’t usually like nuts in sweet breads, I finely chopped the pecans and I won’t leave them out next time.  Not even for hubby.  Sorry hon. 

It isn’t a low fat recipe by any means (what Paula Dean recipe is?) so I may try to tweak it a bit in the future with applesauce in place of some of the oil. 

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

1 Tbsp orange zest

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. 

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and baking soda (I don’t have a sifter so I just whisk it all together). 

Beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Add sugar and beat until well blended.  Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest.  Stir in sifted ingredients.  Pour into prepared pans. 

Bake for 50 minutes (mine took 10-15 minutes longer) or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Wait 10 minutes or so before removing loaves from pans. 

Yum!


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Magnetic Hill Zoo

We stayed overnight in Moncton and went to the Magnetic Hill Zoo.  I think I was most excited of all! 

Our suite was nice and likely necessary in terms of getting the kids to sleep while allowing us to stay up a bit later.  And we got to go to the pool.  Oliver really liked that part.  This picture says, “Put the camera away mom… I’m ready to go swimming!”. 

Then we went to the zoo in the morning.  This zoo is awesome.  It has so many animals and is really well kept.  We were there after peak season but they have lots of programs during the summer like “Meet the Zookeeper”.  I bet that would be fun when the kids are a bit older.   

The cages are made up really well but Oliver’s favorites were the ones we could walk into so we could feed and pet the animals.  They even have some animals just wandering around:  ducks, a big peacock, chickens, and roosters.  Of course Oliver is no stranger to roosters but he liked that they walked around his feet.  How fun is that?! 

Here we are feeding the deer.  Oliver didn’t hesitate for a second when petting them and even let them eat out of his hand. 

Then there were the ducks.  He liked them but were mixed in with a few pigeons that scared him a bit when they flew up for the feed. 

The goats were his favorite, probably because they’re more his size.  There were 15 or so of them and Oliver had to go and touch each one of them… Twice.  He liked petting them and touching their ears. 

This old guy wasn’t very lively but Oliver tried to feed him rocks anyway. 

We didn’t get many pictures of the other animals but there are so many.  He really liked watching the otters jump and swim and the monkeys and lemurs swing around.  And it was really neat (for mommy mostly) when the big male lion got up and walked right toward us… so majestic!  We definitely recommend it and will go back for another visit!