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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

A Long Break Explained & Our First Hurricane

I’m so sorry for such a long break in between posts … the inevitable happened. My 17 year old laptop died (the screen literally snapped in half and broke off) after years and years of photo editing.

Much to my dismay, I knew that day was coming … and seeing now that I am not in the photography business, I am quite out of date when it comes to computers, etc. However, the Good Lord sent a blessing my way in the form of a new friend… I went to pick up a dresser for our girls’ room of a used-for-sale-site and immediately became friends with this new family. As it happens, they have also recently moved here to Prince Edward Island from Ontario. The husband offered to fix up my computer for me – and now … here I am … finally back.

[I am very out of touch, so it seems, with the digital world so re-learning Photoshop on a newer model and adding my own actions back into the program took me some time. I still don’t know where my photography stamp is, so right now, my photos remain unstamped.]

 

{How cute is my little farmer boy, Lazarus, standing proudly in front of his sunflowers which he grew this summer}

So here I am – back! So thankful!

And as I sit here, updating this little blog post (with *so* much to say, but will save it for a weekend post), we are hunkering down to prepare for our first ever hurricane.

This, I must admit, is something I never thought about much when choosing this lovely little island for our home. Oh yes, in Ontario, we had tornados and they were magnificent and incredible – but somehow, with the added threat of the Atlantic Ocean in our backyard, it feels more powerful. We are all praying our trees stay rooted (but doubtful – surely some will fall over with 150+ km an hour winds!). And we’re all praying our animals and barn will be safe. I am confident in the house’s safety as it has weathered over a hundred years of storms. The island and nature around us are strangely quiet as the human residents bustle and hurry about to protect their property with the best we are able – we have seen farmers strap trees to tractors and anything that will keep them rooted so we are doing the same. Apparently, trees with leaves are easier toppled than barren trees, so it is more dangerous than our winter winds.

I will keep you posted! They say to expect at least five days without power, so I’m not sure what this week will hold. Thankfully, we are snug in our home and have a Provision Room full of food and a generator to back up our power supply.

I hope to write up a good blog post tomorrow, as we sit and wait for the storm to hit us on Friday evening.

God bless and send up some prayers for us! xo

 

September 27, 2022 - 4:58 am

Gigi Thank you all for your prayers! I’m so glad it is over! That was a very frightening and humbling storm! We have survived and our home and barn are not damaged – although our friend’s house is badly damaged and they lost their car. The worst is tree line damage everywhere – huge, beautiful trees are down everywhere. We are in the middle of cleaning up. It’s rather sad for this little island – day 4 of no power, but that is the least of our concerns. I have new empathy for anyone who lives in the threat of hurricanes (Florida)!

September 26, 2022 - 7:32 am

Robyne Puckridge Oh dear Gigi, I have been praying for your 9 children, you and your Husband during this terrible Hurricane. I hope your property has not sustained damage also! I understand that you don’t have electricity at the moment. Please take care, will keep praying for you all, regards Robyn

September 25, 2022 - 11:18 pm

Teresa O Gigi, I hope all is well and all is safe after the storm. I have been checking for a post and I am thankful to see this one. May God Bless and protect you and your family! hugs Teresa

September 24, 2022 - 8:06 am

Lena I lived in Florida, on the gulf coast, close to the Gulf of Mexico, over half my life and know the uncertainty of hurricanes. Depending on which side landfall hits will determine how bad it will be. The Atlantic produces stronger and larger storms. We will be praying for you and your family Gillian!

September 24, 2022 - 2:21 am

Susan Praying for you all. Sue

September 23, 2022 - 8:14 pm

Lynnea Love and prayers for you and your family, dear Gigi,
~Lynnea

September 23, 2022 - 5:59 pm

Erin Lynn Definitely praying for you and yours dear friend!

September 23, 2022 - 10:30 am

Crystal I’m so glad to know you all are ok! I have been missing your posts. I’m looking forward to more. I always love reading them and seeing your pictures. I’ll be praying for your safety through the hurricane! ❤

September 23, 2022 - 9:45 am

Michelle Praying for you all Gigi and thank you for praying for me!! Your blog posts have been such a blessing to me!! I still desire to live this simple life that you share!! Keep us posted on how you are please!! Praying, Praying!!

Grow Your Own Food: {2022}


“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946.
That is not very long ago.
Until then, where was all the food?
Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests.

– Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

 

Are you busy filling your larder, mothers and wives?

Now is the time!

This summer has been such a busy one – as we expanded our garden and grew more food this year. With possible looming food shortages and inflation, it only seemed prudent to grow more and preserve more food
This year, in our garden, we are growing all the usual for us that will tide us through the winter months until the next growing season – strawberries, carrots, lettuce, spinach, garlic, onions, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, beets, potatoes, a large variety herbs, beans, peas, corn, cooking beans, along with summer and winter squash.

 

As August has just begun, we are in the midst of harvesting more of our vegetables, which is a wonderful feeling, although somewhat exhausting.  It is such a pleasure to garden – it seems the past 10 years of gardening has been a learning curve for all of us, but especially me, as the main food organizer of a family of 11. It is a large responsibility, one I was not prepared for but became prepared over necessity.

With canning, freezing and dehydrating, our freezers, pantry and Provision Room will soon be filled to the brim.  If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I plant enough vegetables and food to get us through the winter – so my vegetables are on a rotation of from October-April – the vegetable rotation would be carrots, beets, squash, cabbage, corn, beans and zucchini. We also eat a lot of potatoes! When I plant the garden, I need to ensure I will have enough per week for at least seven months of the year, seeing as we live in a cooler climate than, for example, the southern states.

 

“Food security is not in the supermarket.
It’s not in the government.
It’s not at the emergency services division.
True food security is the historical normalcy of packing it in during the abundant times, building that in-house larder, and resting easy knowing that our little ones are not dependent on next week’s farmers’ market or the electronic cashiers at the supermarket.”

Joel Salatin

Today, the younger girls and I  pressure canned zucchini and picked cucumbers. Yesterday, we were canning and freezing green beans and making pickled beans. Tomorrow, we will probably do the same. Earlier this week, we were canning pickled beets. Next week, we will be working on dozens and dozens of corn, along with curing our onions and potatoes (which I made sure we had enough to get us through the winter – last year, we ran out of onions). Right now, my husband is drying our garlic harvest in our barn.  Soon, it will also be honey harvesting time, along with butchering our meat cow and then followed by bushels and bushels of tomatoes, Lord willing. It is wonderful to know such a harvest is here and rolling in!

 

 

Of course, in our garden, we always plant flowers – as it brings beauty and joy into our gardening tasks. It also encourages the friendly bees to stop by!

 

We also planted a second garden -a market flower garden. The girls have been selling flowers at the local farmer’s market on the weekends. It is a wonderful addition to our gardening and it is so much fun – who doesn’t love to garden with brightly coloured flowers surrounding you? It’s rather dreamy, to be honest.

 

 

Earlier this month, we picked raspberries and strawberries as a family. I froze some, turned some into jam and am making a second batch of jam in my crockpot right now. Use all your kitchen maids, ladies – they come in handy! The dehydrator, the crockpot … all those goodies will help you out in this busy harvest time. I’m dehydrating huge batches of lemon balm for tea in the winter, as that was one of my tea harvests.

 

A few weeks ago, my husband stopped to look for a specific herb for me that I was missing in my garden. He came home with the trailer filled with herbs that the greenhouse was throwing away – what a gift! It immediately doubled the size of my herb garden … I cannot think of a better gift for someone! I gave some of the herbs to my neighbour, who recently planted her first garden. Herbs are a gift that keeps giving, as they come back every year. Not only are they amazing for cooking, they are a medicinal garden for the family!

With the world talking about food shortages, famines, seed shortages, meat shortages, now is the not the time to lazy and complacent, mothers.

I feel the Lord has prepared for me for this very moment, after years of gardening and trying to live off our little piece of land – I’m so glad I do not have to panic and rush about, wondering what to do. However, if you have not grown your own garden, harvests are coming into farmer’s markets and there is no excuse to go get some good food and can or preserve for your family. Here on the island, there is a bulk food produce business, as well, where you can get bags and bags of vegetables when they are in season. I have peaches on order from a local Mennonite and also plums, which I will preserve for the Provision Room. Blueberry season is approaching and we, as a family, will be picking blueberries, as well.

 

Be prudent, dear mothers, and you will hard work will pay off. Do not be weary in this season – encourage one another and keep working hard at providing for your families. xo

 

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8

August 15, 2022 - 8:22 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Gigi,Hey! Ive canned soups and ready meals as of lately. I have canned butter from the freezer as well. As for veggies the normal stuff green beans, salsa, squash, apples, and pizza sauce. I hope to put up more as time goes on. How about you? The girls went to several youth camps and I have been busy with puppies this summer.
Email when you can !

August 14, 2022 - 3:59 am

Gigi Hello Danessa, how has your summer been? I still look forward to possibly one day meeting up! Regarding your garden, do you have ducks? (As in farm ducks) They are great for eating up slugs. I know you can use crushed-up egg shells around your border of your garden – it will prevent the slugs from crossing (or at least around the problem areas).

August 13, 2022 - 9:05 pm

Danessa stride You have a beautiful garden! I too grow some vegetables, on a much smaller scale as you. I do have a question, I’m struggling with my crops getting eaten up by slugs, my peppers, kale, lettuce my Brussel sprouts, beans etc, it is so discouraging, I was just curious do you have any advise?

August 13, 2022 - 4:22 pm

Gigi Stacy, you are so sweet! You are posting on the blog – my email is gigigauthier@protonmail.com. I hope you and hubby are doing well! Are any of your children married?! 😀 I think of you often – oh, it was SO long ago, wasn’t it?! A lifetime ago! I think of you lots though and treasure our times together! xoxoxoxox Love you!

August 13, 2022 - 2:21 pm

stacy murphy I am not sure if this is actually commenting on the post or just sending you a message… but either way I hope it reaches you!!! I still look at your blog regularly and I just always smile. I loooooove how you are choosing to live your life and raise your family and you never cease to amaze me with all you do… and that you do it with such a positive, loving, open heart. Your garden is EXQUISITE and the kids are getting so big!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your posts and I miss you dearly. HAPPY HARVESTING!!!! Love, Stacy

August 13, 2022 - 4:34 am

Gigi Teresa, that is great about your garden. what have been canning? I always love to hear what others are up to! Hope you are doing well! Summer is flying by!

August 12, 2022 - 11:47 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Beautiful garden, photo’s and children. In uncertain times, a person is very wise to put up all they can from the garden. I put out a good size garden this spring and I have been canning. I look forward to your pantry tour! Hugs to you sweet friend. Thank you for the encouragement.

August 11, 2022 - 2:42 pm

Gigi Laura, Praise God! That is good news! Do let me know when you have time (I just received your letter and am working on a reply!). That is a wonderful answer to prayer!
Yes, working within your limits, especially with health concerns, is important. My dear friend says “Here a little, there a little”. and I like to quote Patch the Pirate … “Little by little, bit by bit, by the yard it’s hard, by inch it’s a cinch!” One step at a time! xo

August 11, 2022 - 2:41 pm

Gigi Hi Liz, ohhhh, garlic is a whole different post for me! I am writing it up this week. I will share soon!

August 11, 2022 - 12:06 pm

Liz Would love to see a photo of how you dry your garlic. Also what do you do with your garlic scapes? We tried just frying them and eating them plain but didn’t like it. This year I tried scape butter. Just always curious what others do with their garlic scapes.

August 11, 2022 - 11:33 am

Laura Jeanne What beautiful photography (as always). I hope some day I can have the chance to stroll through your lovely gardens. <3

I too, love pickled beets. I use the same basic recipe as you do but I like to add peppercorns, red onion or sweet onion, and a bay leaf in each jar. I love having a jar of beets in the fridge to add a bit of extra colour (and nutrition of course) to my plate when I have lunch. Unfortunately, nobody in my house but me likes beets! Oh well.

I agree with you about the importance of working hard right now to put food away. I do what I can, but unfortunately I haven't been able to do a great deal this year. I did make several batches of blueberry jam and some beets, and I'm just about the do the peaches and pears from our trees. I have to work within the limits of my energy. However, to make a long story short, God has recently revealed to me the root cause of my chronic illness, and I'm tackling it right away with herbal medicine and hoping that in the not too distant future, I'll be able to do more!

August 11, 2022 - 7:11 am

Gigi You’re welcome, Katie! Happy Harvesting!

August 11, 2022 - 6:19 am

Katie Taylor Thankyou always for your encouragement Gigi ❤️
Love and blessings
Katie x

Black-Eyed Susan

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.
In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements,
let’s be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worthwhile.”

-Laura Ingalls

 

I’m sorry things have been quiet here on our little blog space – with the gorgeous, but hot, summer weather, the gardens that need tending, the children that are growing and the lifestyle that cannot be ignored, our family finds summer time a very busy season.

However, I did want to share some news … as this is a dream of mine come true …

Folks, we’re not moving forward; we’re moving backwards.

Meet Black Eyed Susan, our new milk cow.

FINALLY. While we have had meat cows in the past (and present), we have not had a true milk cow. After years of begging and dreaming of a milk cow for our family (as we consume a lot of milk and milk products) … we have our special friend … who came to us from a Jersey farm here on the island. She’s lovely, she’s amiable, she’s halter trained and gives the most delicious creamy milk ever.

Welcome to the family, Suzy. You are a WONDERFUL addition!

Our 16 year old has taken on the tasks as milk maid – and she’s doing a fantastic job at it …

 

 

{Lovelyn is in charge of raising the beef calf that came with the dairy cow}

We’re milking twice a day, and so far, so good … we are so blessed with this new addition …_

 

I have had a few people stop our family recently, or visit our little farm, and comment on the children versus their own children … teenagers, they say, are always stuck on their phones, won’t wash the dishes, will NOT help around the house … can I send my children to you to raise?! they jokingly say. “I’ll just drop her off here for a week for boot camp and I’ll take one of yours home!” said one mother, laughingly, as her 15 year old sulked in the car behind us, glued to her cell phone, refusing to come out and meet or talk with us.   Well, I wish more parents would see that hard work and a simple life style of non-worldly-flashiness will bring contentment … it will bring out hard work ethics in your children and it will unite you as a family. Start with the little things (which should have been started when the child was young) like making sure your child *IS* doing the dishes, cleaning the house, taking care of the duties at home … and regarding cell phones … if you must give them to your children (of which I would highly advise against — read this article), then I would be setting some *severe guidelines.

Our children are only young once – and we only have one chance at raising them. Let’s give them the best childhood, set with Biblical guidelines, building up hard work ethics and a moral compass that is in tune with their Creator.

Now … back to that cow I was talking about …

… just look at that glorious cream line!

 

And of course, what does one  do with all that delicious cream?
Why, make butter, of course. [Have you noticed the cost of butter lately?]

 

Thankful for this butter machine, which was a gift from my midwife many years ago.

_

And of course, we’re making ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, ricotta, milkshakes … all sorts of treats!

 

We do also have a few beef cows that we are raising, but nothing can compare to that daily fresh milk.

I must go – we just heard our momma Lowline cow, Fairlight, had her calf! Farm life is never dull and boring … I’m so grateful for this way of living.

August 10, 2022 - 2:39 pm

Michelle Gigi, thank you! I sent you an email. Please pray for me that I can “live” this simple life that I so desire. So much I want and don’t want to do! Some things I want to get away from but yet incorporate some things. It will be a process and would like to have my family’s support in it all. I have went back and read several of your posts and they have been so encouraging! Thank you!!

August 9, 2022 - 7:11 pm

Gigi Rebecca, I have a few jars left too but we’re still stocking up. Have you tried beet soup (Borscht)? I rather like it – it’s a good way to use regular canned beets. I hope your tomatoes ripen for you! They are so important in meals!

August 9, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Rebecca Oh we love pickled beets! I still have a few jars from last year so I’ll probably need to can some more this week. We have had such a rainy cold July after having a very dry and hot June, so my garden hasnt been as productive as I had hoped. I’m planning on just picking the remaining green tomatoes and hope they turn ripe inside. It’s gonna be down in the 30’s a few times this week. Boo….

August 8, 2022 - 3:19 pm

Ruthie That’s wonderful news, Gigi! I love the name, Black-eyed Susan shortened to Suzy.(heart melt for pic of your daughters with Suzy and baby) The richness of the color of your butter! Amazing❤️
Yes please! My friend and I were just talking last week @ pr mtg about pickled beets! A how-to post would be most helpful if you had time. God bless you and yours.

August 3, 2022 - 2:31 pm

Gigi Michelle, feel free to send me a personal email if you want to talk (gigigauthier@protonmail.com). I’ll be praying for you. I’ll think up some tangible ways to make life “simple”, but it’s not always easy to be simple! 🙂

August 3, 2022 - 9:49 am

Michelle P.S. if you should have any advice on how to live this more simple life I would appreciate that as well. I can’t change things overnight and if I try to incorporate too much it may be overwhelming, I know everyone’s situation is different but I SO DESIRE THIS! I guess a good starting place with be with the Lord and His Word uh? Thank you, thank you Gigi for your godly example!!

August 3, 2022 - 9:29 am

Michelle Thank you so much Gigi for sharing what works for you. Your attitude, outlook, way of living is so encouraging in MANY ways. I appreciate all that you share. Again, I so desire this simple living for me!! I still struggle with fears/anxiety and honestly get too involved with other things besides what I should! Appreciate any prayers! And yes, sleep for me would be nice and I don’t eat as healthy as I should so I am sure that does make a difference. I am encouraged by your “energetic life”. You are a blessing to me!! Thank you and have a blessed day!!

August 2, 2022 - 6:32 pm

Gigi Laura, good dresses are SO hard to find for little girls! This one is from a Mennonite store – not sure if it was a thrift store (Ontario) or made brand new. We used to live near the Mennonites (funny thing is there a large group of them here that we are dealing with now, also from Ontario) and they would sell their dresses used or new. They make fabulous every day dresses!

August 2, 2022 - 3:15 pm

Laura Jeanne Another comment here from me…I forgot to ask last time Gillian, do you remember where you got Lovelyn’s floral dress? It’s so pretty. I struggle mightily finding feminine clothes for Amy and myself. I never see anything like that in the stores or even online…I must be looking in the wrong places.

August 2, 2022 - 2:02 pm

Gigi Thank you, Monica! I know you feel my joy!

August 2, 2022 - 8:47 am

Monica Dearest friend, I LOVE that you have a milk cow. It just completes your farm! (Well, maybe you need pigs! Haha!) She is a beauty, truly! The milk is priceless. That cream line is amazing. I get about a two inch cream line. I’ve gotta have a talk with Ellie! :S Love to you, loving and believing your words of wisdom. xoxo, Monica

August 2, 2022 - 4:19 am

Gigi Michelle, so good to hear from you. How are you doing? I hope things are going well for your summer.
I kinda giggled when I read your comment- yes, I was an energetic young person, but now, I’m not so energetic, but having nine children, so many animals, a big garden and large family responsibilities, well, I suppose my energy has gone into different venues! I go to bed early now – with the sun! I eat well (although I did not when I was in my early 20s), work when I can and rest at night (Lord willing). When I go to bed, I pray that the Lord will double my sleep. 😉 Maybe that helps!

August 1, 2022 - 7:49 pm

Michelle Hello Gigi! I just LOVE and appreciate your posts! You are so encouraging in so many ways! The “simple life” that you and your family are living is amazing and not that I covet, but I DO desire this way of living for me and my family! I really appreciate what you said about children and work and the phone/technology issues. It is very real and so sad to see both young and old so wrapped up in it instead of doing the things we should as members of our families. I think it is an addiction! And I agree with EVERYTHING you said,..VERY WELL SAID!! Thank you for helping me!!
P.S. please know I’m not trying to be nosy but you seem to have so MUCH energy. Do you take any supplements or vitamins or are you just an energectic person? I admire the energy that you and your family have as well!! Thanks again Gigi for sharing!!

August 1, 2022 - 6:20 pm

Gigi Teresa, so lovely to hear from you! I would have loved to read your mom’s journal, as well. I bought the Walton’s real life story but was not impressed with the book (would not recommend it), and I would have loved to have read it from the mother’s perspective (she seemed like such a role model!). Hope you are having a great summer!

July 31, 2022 - 8:18 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Dear Gigi, seeing a post from you brightens my day and gives me much to think about. What a sweet cow! I loved the way you raising your children,that is how I was raised. I look forward to all the videos. Yes,I love beets! I have planted some in the garden this year. My mother had nine children,I wished she kept a journal on our daily life raising us kids. Have a lovely day, I think of you and your family often. Blessings!

July 31, 2022 - 5:06 pm

Mom Love this progress and all the perks of fresh milk. Way to go, Lyla!!!

July 31, 2022 - 12:18 pm

Gigi Laura, it has been a dream for quite a while now … I’m so grateful it is happening now! Suzy is a good cow to us already. We are not overwhelmed with milk because I’m making all the products, so we go through it all without fail. I wish I could share with your family!

July 31, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Gigi Hi Rebecca, yes, canning … I will never stop! Sure, I can do some more videos … yes, I have a new pantry and cellar! I will try to show you on the blog. It’s time to clean it up for all the canning coming in! This week will be pickled beets. Is anyone interested in pickled beets anymore? Well, we are!

July 31, 2022 - 1:26 am

Rebecca Oh my gosh that is SO awesome! Maybe someday when I’ve got some older teenagers I can get one. For now some goats are all I can handle! I love seeing your posts, keep them coming! Are you doing a lot of canning right now? I miss all your canning videos and posts. And do you have a new pantry/cellar? I would love to see it!

July 30, 2022 - 5:38 pm

Laura Jeanne Oh wow, how amazing! I’ve always dreamed of having a cow because we too, go through a lot of dairy products…but with only 3 children still at home I don’t think we could use up that much milk. But for your family, a cow is perfect. That cream is indeed amazing and what gorgeous bright yellow butter it makes! Just wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing, dear friend. 🙂

July 30, 2022 - 11:56 am

Tara C Oh I LOVE that you finally have a cow!! I can’t wait to hear about all the goodness that comes from her Your farm definitely is growing!!

July 30, 2022 - 10:24 am

Regina Shea What a sweet cow! I’ve always wanted a cow, whom I wanted to name Mabel but our subdivision isn’t zoned for large livestock. Its so sad that teens today are stuck on their screens. Its sad adults are stuck on their screens.
Well Gigi, you have a wonderful weekend and coming week!

Life is Beautiful

“Your dream house, close to nature, close to the seasons, doesn’t have to expensive or big or costly to run.
Either look for the house of your dreams or turn wherever you are into a romantic setting.
Don’t put up with living in gloomy places. Anywhere can be beautiful.
It simply needs a little thought and imagination.
In the midst of all the rush and bother of this century, your home should be your sanctuary,
somewhere to be at peace, somewhere you can feel sane again and can connect with your family.”

 

{sea glass hunts on the beach}

{I had a thought to hatch some quail eggs … they are so pretty … I can’t wait to see the little quail when they hatch!}

 

 

The quiet of home life suits me.

Not being one to like big crowds, I am so happy to have no reason to visit big box stores or travel too much into the city …

The more time passes, the less draw the outside worlds has on me. Not that I ever felt at home in the big world (college years were a nightmare- I really did not enjoy being out alone in college life) … but now, it certainly feels like, if we are smart enough, we can make home an enjoyable, interesting, self-sufficient way of life. The lifestyle of growing your own food, quiet afternoons by the sea, reading good books while watching the ducks at the pond, rain drops falling on the roses in my garden, the daily chores of weeding and tending our gardens … leaves me quite fulfilled and satisfied.

 

 

 

{a project I worked on this spring – putting up this trellis for the climbing roses, along with a cute picket fence for garden courtyard}

 

 

{planting so many bulbs in the fall is always worth it – it was such a lovely way to start spring …}

 

This summer, I want to grow more food, plant more flowers, learn new skills (cheese-making?), put away food for the winter and save seeds for the next garden, watch my roses and children grow and listen to the summer breeze as it passes through our poplar trees …

 

This home life is for me.

 

 

{little ones are always mothered, never neglected in a large family}

 

{… planting more roses … because what women would not want roses in her backyard? I just love them …}

 

{the most stunning Japanese cherry tree blooms gloriously in our front yard in the spring – it’s a magnificent sight}

 

{spring’s natural crop of dandelions in the field}

 

{our new little gosling – one of six – getting some attention from Loyal}

June 25, 2022 - 5:45 pm

Teresa My thoughts exactly, the more I am home, the less crowds I want to be around and the less the stores have a pull on me. I am so content at being home. Season of life come and go things changes for a moment, but the roots of being home reminds deeply planted. Beautiful photos my friend. I love the trellis and the white picket fencing what a beautiful addition to your lovely home. Email me, Teresa

June 23, 2022 - 11:23 am

Erin Lynn Such a beautiful childhood your children are blessed with.

June 23, 2022 - 4:16 am

Gigi Mrs. Cox, you are so lovely. I miss your posts and look forward to ‘hearing’ from you soon! God bless your summer!

June 23, 2022 - 4:15 am

Gigi Thank you, Laura! I have messaged you. 🙂

June 22, 2022 - 5:56 pm

Mrs. Cox Every post is more precious as your family grows and your hard work reveals the beauty of a well kept home and well nurtured family.
You are an inspiration.

June 21, 2022 - 11:11 pm

Laura Love your pictures as always. Message me!

June 21, 2022 - 1:11 am

Mom Love the addition of the white picket fence and trellis xo

June 21, 2022 - 1:10 am

Mom Love Love Love this. Can’t wait to visit you SOON!! xoxox

Home: A Sanctuary

“It’s amazing how lovely common things become,
if one only knows how to look at them.”
~ Louisa May Alcott

 

 

“Looks like we’ll be without a truck for a while,” my husband said, as he hung the phone after a long and frustrating conversation with several vehicle parts supplier. Earlier this week, our trusty but somewhat-un-reliable family vehicle decided it was time for a slight mechanicl makeover, leaving our family of 11 driving at walking-speed after church service.

Stranded at home ?… well, that doesn’t sound like the worst possibility to me, especially during the month of May – a month filled with new projects, delightful garden tasks and spring blossoming on every lovely corner of the farm property.

 

Let’s see … where would I start with all my projects on my list?


Plant more roses. (How can I ever have enough roses?!)
Prepare more vegetable beds and plant many, many seeds for the future.
Plant out the flower garden with seeds.
Spread more seeds – wildflower seeds!
Clean up the homeschool/little library room.
Paint and put up a picket fence.
Plant 50 lavender bushes from our neighbour.
Plant the 20 currant bushes we received for free from someone re-doing their yard.
Make dandelion salve with the harvest of cheerful dandelions in the field.
Celebrate our one year anniversary in our new home by having a picnic by the ocean and searching for sea glass.
Bake a humming bird cake to celebrate the arrival of our little friends.

Yes, the hummingbirds have returned! It was a delight to fill the feeders and watch the calendar to see when they arrived – early May. What a long flight they take for such tiny birds! It is a miracle they survive each migration and return to this lovely little island on the east coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, a week of home-bound solitude did sound like something we all would truly enjoy.  In fact, the most joy I find is being home with my family, surrounded by our familiar sights and routines, our silly troubles and joyous occasions. My heart does not desire fancy traveling or incredible excursions – the happiness of home brings me much contentment.

 

 

Thankful I had managed to pick up some new roses bushes for my garden earlier this month, the week of somewhat social solitude stretched itself gracefully in front of me. The merry month of May certainly does fall under a category of one of my favourite months … with apple blossoms bursting forth, fresh forget-me-nots and gentle breezes from the ocean, filling the air with a now familiar scent of the sea …

 

Last fall, the girls and I planted  1,00 bulbs for this spring – and now, our patient wait is over as we are entranced by glorious colourful display of beauty in so many areas of our humble property.

 

 

 

As a special treat for May, we have also been making homemade ice cream and homemade waffle cones (after reading shocking ingredients in store bought goods). In Ontario, we were able to buy somewhat healthy ice cream, but have yet to find such a treat here. So, we have been making our own for afternoon treats after being in the garden. Not only that, but we find as a large family, it is not very cost friendly to take us all out for ice cream … so making ice cream at home only made sense to me.  Just because we are a family of 11 does not mean I want my children to miss out on the fun treats of each season …

 

Are you interested in making homemade ice cream? If so, here is the recipe:

 

Homemade Ice Cream

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup maple syrup (or you can use sugar)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups heavy cream

flavour of your choice : chocolate chips, mint (essential oil), strawberry jam swirled in – just think of the possibilities!

Beat egg yolks and blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into shallow dish and mix with a hand immersion blender. Store in freezer. Every 1/2 hour or so, for three hours, bring out the dish and stir again with the blender, being sure to include the sides of the dish where it will freeze first. It might require three times of immersion blending. After the third time, just place in the freezer until ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

 

For the cone recipe, here it is:

 

 

Waffle Cone Recipe:

1 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (we reduced this)
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp. of cornstarch (I did not have this ingredient and I made it without and it worked just fine)

 

I ordered this cone maker from Amazon. The children basically made the cones and had a great time preparing such a fun treat for the family.

How are you enjoying your month of May?
I hope you find your home and your family life filled with the simple pleasure of every day blessings. xxo

 

 

June 11, 2022 - 1:43 am

Ruthie I’ve never made homemade icecream let alone the cones!! What a special treat!
What is a wee hummingbird’s cake made of? Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate them.❤
I’m trying to be more of a list maker and intentional on completing my tasks. It seems to help me stay focused and not side tracked.
Many blessings to you, Gillian, and thanks for this glimpse into your family’s life.

June 4, 2022 - 3:27 pm

Gigi Thank you, Teresa! The garden is in full swing now, with just the tomatoes to plant out … how is your garden coming along?

June 3, 2022 - 9:10 am

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Such a lovely post, yes, home sounds like a lovely idea. Thank you for sharing the recipes! I hope your car part comes in for you. I look forward to many post on your flower gardens, vegetable garden, canning and your lovely thoughts on home and family. Have a very blessed day my friend!

May 31, 2022 - 9:45 am

Kristal Those waffle cones look yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’m glad to hear things are going well at the new home this spring. I would love to see current pictures of your different gardens. I’m sure they look wonderful. We are just finishing up our last week of school. Then I too will be cleaning up and organizing all the school materials. We just spent the last few weeks working on outdoor chores/planting. It’s been a really cold/rainy month here. It hasn’t been great for crop growing and we have had a lot of seeds not germinate. I plan to try again for just a bit of a later crop. Best wishes to you Gillian!

May 29, 2022 - 2:59 pm

Laura Jeanne Oh, my goodness – your tulips are so pretty! You are surely turning your new property into a little piece of heaven on earth. And those ice cream cones look quite amazing…I just may have to try that ice cream recipe one of these days. It sounds delicious, and I agree with you about the ingredients of commercial ice cream being somewhat sketchy!

May 29, 2022 - 2:40 pm

Regina Shea I love making homemade ice cream. Our weather has been quite warm so I think its time to bring out the electric ice cream maker. Have a blessed week.