Results from Harvest

crabapple goodness

In a previous post I wrote about the harvest we got from our shared garden. Now I thought I'd talk about what was done with that food!

The most exciting thing done by far was canning. I made crabapple jelly, strawberry mint jam, applesauce and canned peaches (the peaches I bought from the farmers market). All are stored in our little basement storage room.

the dungeon has food!

For the first time I got to use a food dehydrator. I borrowed it from my neighbor Wendy, and now want one for my very own! We dried tomatoes (to make sun dried tomatoes) and strawberries (for cereal)

I also froze some food. this includes more crabapple. more peaches, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini and soon there will be butternut squash in there. We are lucky to have bought a small deep freeze with some of the gift money from our wedding. I think it was a good investment.

Theres a lot of food in there

Potatoes and beets were the last things to harvest, and we failed on the beet front (we took them out of the ground too late, they were soft =(. Luckily most of the potatoes were salvaged, and spent some time drying in the kitchen.

Dry damn you!

It was fun to bring a big bag of potatoes next door and keep a big bag for ourselves too!

I have also been freezing meals so when Darth Vader arrives it will be easy to cook food. Most of these meals are very meaty... but there are also some soups and curries in there. Its strange preparing for a time you won't be able to cook much. I have jars of pre-mixed bread ingredients waiting in the cupboard so they can be thrown into the bread machine.

Ready to go! 

I've also made muffins, but I'm still trying to think of what else I could make. In any case... time is running out, so what I have in the end will have to do!


You can come out now!

We are all ready for Darth Vader's arrival... because yesterday we bought the most important of big-ticket baby gear... the carseat!

It was probably the most relaxed time we've had at the baby store to date. Usually Renato and I walk into the store and slowly get more and more anxious with all the STUFF we could possibly buy. The store is set up kinda like IKEA: first you walk through clothing, then there are highchairs, carseats, strollers and safety stuff. Next there's a section with bedding and changing things (we have never actually looked through this section, its the easiest to avoid) followed by the massive furniture sets of different woods and finishes that match perfectly, and then before the counter there are the thousands of miscellaneous items your child obviously can't live without.

But we had a plan, we brought our stroller after all so there was only one thing to look at. I shouldn't bash this un-named store too much as it is pretty awesome in respects that its locally run and you can try out everything. We were able to both see what fit in our stroller the best and see if it fit in our car. I think we spent an hour staring at these things. Figuring out how they attach to the bases and how easy it is to remove, fit in stroller, remove. Some we never figured out, one the sales lady didn't even figure out. In the end we bought one (of course, not going through this again) and the sales lady said that it only came in this one colour and didn't match our stroller. I wondered if she thought I was going to burst out crying or storm out because of this. She even looked disappointed when I said 'meh, im glad its not pink' We then ran straight towards the cash register with our stroller carrying the gigantic box!

Behold the stroller, carseat, and diaper bag together in their full glory!

(I know, they don't match, we are gonna be such lame parents!)

Come this Thursday I'll be 9 months pregnant, so I think the Darth should just pop out now right?

PS. Carseat boxes make fantastic cat toys.


Big headed Kitty!

It took me 4 days to make this thing. Much frustration, but totally worth it. I got the pattern for free off the Wee Wonderful website and it is for my sister (Kristie)/niece (Tessa). Kristie has been sending me loads of baby clothes, every time my niece grows out of a size I get a box in the mail. She has also supplied me with a full maternity wardrobe, one I would not have been able to afford on my own, so my sis is the bomb!

I sent this with some other things, but the kitty was a surprise, and matches her pink/brown nursery, from what I hear she likes it!


The final product

This book represents 4 years. It's close to 300 pages long and full of some very nice scientific illustrations.  If you read it, you will learn that the shape of the wishbone is very hard to link to any other aspect of a birds life, and it may nave no use.

The shape of the wishbone and other chest bones in birds (excluding ostriches and their relatives)

The little gems in this book (in my opinion) are my illustrations. I took a scientific drawing course a couple years back and became determined that I would have good quality scientific drawings in my manuscript (especially since my photography was so crappy). So I drew all the bones, muscle placements, and comparison diagrams. The research in the book is good too, don't get me wrong, but being a bio thesis it's not the most exciting story ever told.

Starling sternum!

Budgie scapula!

Different wishbone shapes!!

Budgie muscles!

I'm very happy it's finished and final. There are things I wish I could have changed about the whole process, but hey, it's a degree, if I didn't learn anything then it wouldn't have been very educational! One of these copies is mine and the other is for Dad (Dad, if you actually read this I will be very impressed!).



This summer we worked together with our neighbors to make a bigger, more productive garden. Some things failed (onions and broccoli especially) but most plants impressed us incredibly. I good layer of sheep manure helped immensely.

Our garden in the early summer


 I was able to harvest bags of crabapples, many many tomatoes, lettuce, peas, beets, carrots, corn, potatoes, and zucchinis, and... last night before the first frost hit we brought in the SQUASHES!



Yup, that's 2 pumpkins you see, and a lot of  spaghetti squash. The little disc like ones are summer squash called scallopini and the long little yellow ones are also summer squash called yellow crookneck squash. We also found a forgotten zucchini last night and brought that in too.

I've been canning and preserving as much as possible. Will have to show off the results soon!


My lovely belly

I had the wonderful opportunity to have my belly painted by Shyra DeSouza using henna. It was a really great experience. We chatted for the 4 hours it took to apply the design. I had to protect the results overnight so I covered it with a black bellaband. A few days later, Shyra came over and did a second application (to only select areas). The second application gave the design an interesting dimension to it.

I can't say more about how having a painted belly increases one self esteem. I know having a big pregnant belly is beautiful, but sometimes you become very self contentious of it for no real reason other than the fact that it's SO obvious. Having a painting on it makes you want to show your belly off to the world (although I don't, its getting very cold outside) it gives you pride and so much happiness. I marvel at how the design changes when my little one shifts positions.

The bonus to it is that it makes you really take care of your belly. I've not put so much oil and moisturizer on my belly then these past few weeks. After all, you want it to last as long as possible.

My henna is now starting to fade away, this it's third week so its not unexpected. It still looks amazing tho. I recommend it to anyone who can afford it.