June 22, 2008

School Holidays - Yipeee!

Friday was 'officially' (according to the calendar) the first day of summer here in Canada and the beginning of the long school holidays too.
Jemma completed her final two exams on Wednesday and can now breathe a little easier, for a while at least. She has not had much luck so far finding a summer job, but then jobs are pretty scarce in the valley (as Craig and I already know) We may well have to put a time limit on her laptop these school holidays, encouraging her to do other stuff, like this wonderful baking she busied herself with on Tuesday.
These delicious looking cream puffs were made especially for her chemistry class
pre-exam breakfast! Miss Jeffrey, Jemma’s favourite teacher, will also be her teacher in Grade 12 for food science. All the students were asked to bake or buy something as a contribution. Yikes, I hope the exam papers didn't get too sticky!!
Amber has just a couple of days to go, she is a little nervous at the thought of starting ‘high school’ after the holidays. Or perhaps it’s the getting up at 6am to get ready for the early bus? Poor Amber, mornings are NOT her favourite time of day, she seems to naturally be a bit of a night owl and perks up in the early evening dancing and singing with bundles of energy.
My morning walks up to the wood have became ever so slightly less appealing recently, after the man who moves all the apple crates in the orchard told me he had spotted a big black bear on my regular route! Craig tells me reassuringly “You will be just fine, as long as you make lots of noise while walking”
I don’t think random lyrics, spontaneously blurted out mid song on my Ipod count somehow. I have been known to wear Archie’s collar around my ankle with bells on, perhaps not loud enough? More ideas anyone??
Moving on to smaller and somewhat less threatening furry friends.... (advance apologies for rambling)

Every year we have a resident racoon living up in the top floor of our barn, previously referred to as a ‘he’. It is in fact a ‘she’ we realised after the first year! Using the warm loft in the spring, whilst pregnant, before leaving to find herself and cubs a new home up in the woods. Each evening about the same time, she climbs down alone, rather precariously, avoiding the overhead electrical wires scaling the wall and then trots off to find food. This ritual is a great source of entertainment for Archie our cat, who sits watching on his stepping stool, glued to the window.
On Tuesday evening we spotted ‘two’ mummy racoons on the top of the roof with four babies!! (we had never seen little ones before) They had decided that this was the night for evacuation. We all watched, holding our breath as the sun was going down and the light was getting dimmer. First mummy, then two babies, trying desperately to copy, by clinging on to the side of the wall. One of them got caught in the wires, so mummy had to go back up and untangle the little guy. He was then so scared that he wouldn’t move for ages. Finally he completed the descent, followed a little too quickly by baby number two who lost his grip half way down and fell into the bushes luckily and not onto the concrete below! Mummy rushed around, followed by the other little one and we all smiled as she emerged with both racoonlets running alongside her - Ahhhh :)

I did a bit of machine sewing this week for a change, the Martha Stewart toile style cotton napkins that my friend Rhonda bought me about 2 years ago finally got opened up and utilized. Not for wiping tomato sauce from our mouths, instead I turned them into cushion covers for the outdoor chairs. They match the brolly and are nice and comfy on our botties too! We were invited across to our neighbours Tony and Marjorie today for a BBQ on their pretty patio. We don't get to see them during the winter, so it was lovely to catch up again.This evening at 10pm I can see the silhouettes of the second Mummy racoon and her two babies. They all chickened out on Tuesday, after watching the first lot struggle. Looks like tonight it’s their turn to brave the wall, they can't stay up there forever. Amber and I went out earlier and put a couple of soft duvets wrapped in garbage bags at the bottom of the wall, just in case! Yes I know, we are a couple of softies :D
Hazel xx


  1. Love,love,love reading your blog. Great story about the racoons - I was on the edge of my seat and would have put duvets down as well!
    Martha Stewart cushion covers are beautiful Hazel and those cream puffs look delicious - clever girls.

  2. Bears, Racoons, Martha Steward - RUN FOR THE HILLS. hee hee Happy holidays girls enjoy the freedom

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  4. Gorgeous gorgeous cushion covers, Hazel. You are so clever! Loved the racoon adventure too :)
    I think you're wise to stay away from that bear...I'm not sure Archie's collar would do the trick! Sorry...not very adventurous am I ? :D
    Happy Holidays <3

    PS: sorry...deleted the 1st post by accident :S

  5. Hi Hazel

    Just discovered your site. I'm so enjoying readying your blog. You have enspired me to buy 40 gallons of white paint and start painting everything wood in site!! lol
    MY hubby is very afraid!
    Look forward in many more of your talented ideas!!!

  6. Hi Hazel,
    Such a sweet story about the little racoons, it must have been such a great moment watching them as the sun set...ahh the days of summer. The cushions are so lovely, I love the fabric.

  7. Hi Hazel:

    So glad you dropped by my blog and now can visit you!

    Lovely little blog you have here.

    Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

  8. Oops, a bit late in catching your blog Hazel, sorry. As everyone else, we loved the raccoon story, can't wait to finish commenting so we can read the next installment! Ooh would just love to taste those puffs - scrummy. Great cushion covers beautifully sewn (as always).
    Uh oh...if you go down to the woods today....eeek! Hope you don't meet up.
    Just got to read the next blog now.
    Love T & G xx


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