We had an unseasonably long fall and the garden kept producing so long that I started to hope we'd get watermelon after all... (The first melons having been scarfed down by resident wildlife)
Our garden did okay this year. Loads of green and yellow beans (I even harvested some seeds in an experiment to see if I can avoid having to buy them!). Lots of lima beans! A few zucchinis. A decent potato harvest. A pitiful sweet potato harvest. Crazy numbers of currants - we had so many we ended up leaving quite a lot for the birds. Lots of carrots, some of which were even longer than my thumb...
The sunflowers were beautiful and TONS of flowers. But not the right sort where we could eat the seeds (well - too small to be worth it in any case!)
Two pumpkins, which was disappointing because I think we could have had more if I had fertilized mid-way through.
My favourite meal of the summer was one that was mostly local - tomatoes, beans, potatoes, basil and chives from the garden, with fresh arctic char brought down by Aunt Mary from Pangnirtung!
As the weather got colder, the leaves started to turn and the store displays got more exciting. The kids keep wanting to know when the canal will freeze and the snow will come...
I didn't think Amelia would get a chance to try out a swing for the first time in 2015, but it was super warm and the other two were very insistent that she wanted to have a turn too. So in she went for some (gentle) swinging. Elizabeth helped Matthew into his swing and then pushed both of them in one of those "this is why we had more than one" moments!
Amelia seemed to enjoy swinging.
Friends Rachel and Andrew from the cottage invited us to participate in a kid's vote. We decided it would be fun to mail in ballots from Ottawa so printed up a bunch. We voted in two locations. Polling officer Auntie Janice was much more strict than I was, but I'm sure it was more educational! If I hadn't been so ill we might have gone more full out (there was talk of lawn signs between the neighbours since they were participating!) In the end we managed 16 Ottawa voters out of 29 ballots in total.
The kids had no trouble figuring out what to vote for on their own, except for the political party question. I got Elizabeth to do a quiz to figure out which party she most closely aligned with, although I did skip some questions as they would have required too much explaining of totally unfamiliar concepts ("what's a pipeline?" turned out to be challenging enough!) Then I told her she either had to vote Green or Blue. She really wanted to vote red though, because it's closest to pink (I have no idea what she ended up voting for). Quite a few kids voted based on colour, to some consternation when they insisted on picking the "wrong" party in their parents' opinion... Most of the Ottawa crew had never heard of Geronimo Stilton before. It's new to us as well - I guess we'll have to get it out of the library!
In the end the Conservative Party, Ice Cream, and Spiderman won!
Here is final the breakdown:
Green 9 31%
Liberal 4 14%
NDP 1 3%
Conservative 15 52%
Pizza 4 14%
Kraft Dinner 3 10%
ice cream 13 45%
cake 9 31%
Bob the Builder 4 14%
Elsa 6 21%
Spiderman 7 24%
Winnie the Pooh 1 3%
Geronimo Stilton 4 14%
Mickey Mouse 0 0%
Lightning McQueen 2 7%
Strawberry Shortcake 5 17%
Frost is finally in the air. We've brought in all the tomatoes and even our poor watermelon plants (yeah - that didn't work that well...) As the outdoor garden winds up for the season it's nice that at least some of our plants aren't hibernating for the winter.
The aquarium plants are thriving. Perhaps Brendan has overdone it slightly - he regularly has to be quite aggressive with the pruning shears lest the fish run out of space to swim....
We celebrated Grandma J's birthday with lasagna and carrot cake. By this point I was too sick with what turned out to be pneumonia to even contemplate cooking. So Auntie Janice came to the rescue again. She might have had a wee bit too much fun decorating the cake - it looked fantastic!
Somewhere around here I did actually go to the doctor and get fancy antibiotics and prednisone and stuff like that. Matthew and Amelia both had quite the coughs too. Brendan slept in a different room for a couple of weeks away from what we dubbed the "percussion section" in an attempt to keep one functional parent. Even so, at the peak I received simultaneous texts from the other occupants of the house demanding to know if we were okay - I guess all that coughing was pretty impressive. Thankfully, although I've been having to go to bed with the kids and been taking it very, very easy, the drugs did help reverse the slide into ill health!