I really liked this picture that I came across on Pinterest the other day and I thought I would share it.




Since this is the first summer that I am feeling good, not working and not banged up from hitting a deer, we are taking advantage of the warm months and getting out on dates.

Back in May, we were at a yard sale and came across a pair of basically new roller blades that fit me perfectly and were priced right. Dan immediately jumped on them and excitedly told me we could go roller blading together.


That was back in May and we didn't get out for our first skate until the beginning of July. So not the quickest but at least we used them in the same summer we got them!


This was my first time on roller blades since I was probably 10 years old, so I was pretty shaky and a little scared of wiping out. Hence the helmet.

Dan on the other hand, is a natural on skates.


He skated circles around me for a bit and then very kindly came and helped me get a little more comfortable on my feet. By the end of the date, I was skating by myself, doing corners and practicing stopping. Oh and did I mention we went to a deserted parking lot for my first lesson? I didn't want to risk running into anyone or embarrassing myself by wiping out in the middle of a busy path.


It was fun and we plan on getting out a few more times this summer, at least enough times to get me skating in public by the end.

The other date we took was last week and we went out for an evening canoe ride. It was the perfect time of night and the water was so calm and restful.


We paddled around among the lily pads and took short cuts through secret marshy areas.



It was super nice to spend some quiet time together enjoying nature.


We paddled along until we came to some rocks and then kept going. Which may or may not have been the best decision. It was really shallow and the current was stronger there, but we made it through.



We finally decided to turn around and then had to head back down through the rocks, this time going with the current. Which turned out to be harder than coming up, since we were going faster and couldn't steer that well. We did end up getting stuck on some rocks sideways in the river for a bit, but we eventually got free and continued on our merry way.

Once we were back to still waters, Dan wanted to do some fishing. So he cast out his line and caught this small mouth bass!



I was so impressed that he caught it on his first cast, that I opted to do some fishing too, in the hopes that I would catch something. It didn't happen. So I gave up after a few minutes and read while Dan did some more fishing.

It was a delightful evening and we are looking forward to having more nice date nights over the rest of the summer.

Anyone else doing fun activities like roller blading or fishing? Or maybe that isn't your idea of fun. What have you all been up to this summer in the entertainment area?


I thought I would do things a little differently around here today, since my vegetable garden is making slow progress right now. I don't want to bore you with the same pictures week after week. So I thought I would focus more on our fruit trees/plants/bushes today. Deal?


Our blueberry plants are doing really well in their planters and all three of them have berries on them, just not all of them are ripe. But we have tasted a few and so far so good.


Our apple trees are growing quite steadily and they have for sure filled out significantly in the past 3 years. Unfortunately, we aren't really getting any fruit from them yet. One tree has none and the other only has two apples and they are both already a little worm eaten. Oh well.



I shared a picture of one of our pear trees last week so I didn't retake it. But we do have two new pear trees that we hope will take this time and not die on us.

We have four raspberry plants in the back yard which seem to be surviving. We really need to look into how to maintain them better though, before they go too wild on us.


I just keep dreaming about the day I'll be able to pop out to the back yard for some fresh berries to put on my cereal. Ten more years should do the trick.

Our rhubarb is nearing the end of its season but is still slowly growing so I may get one more picking out of it. If not, I am happy with the amount I have frozen. But it is nice to see how well it has done in the year we've had it.


So that is a quick overview of the other plants we have growing at our place. Maybe next time I need a break from the veggie garden I'll show off my flowers. Not that there is much to show off.


I love berries and this time of the year is one of my favourite because of the abundance of fresh berries. Everywhere you look, grocery stores, farmers markets, friends fridges, there are berries. Yummy!

Last year we picked enough strawberries to last us an eternity. Maybe not quite that long but we picked eight 4-litre baskets and felt slightly overwhelmed by the amount of berries we had to deal with. Not to mention we still have a ton in the freezer. So this year, we wanted to stay a little more controlled when it came to strawberry picking.


Unfortunately we went later in the season so the picking wasn't that great and it took a lot more effort to fill our baskets. But after about 45 minutes, we had filled four 4-litre baskets and decided to call it a day.


We were pretty pleased with our haul and once we were home, we got straight to work dealing with them.


We froze a bunch of them, made jam and ate a lot fresh. Oh and I'm pleased to announce that this years jam actually set! I was pretty thrilled since we are still working on getting through our "strawberry sauce" from last year.

Once we worked our way through the fresh strawberries, it was just about time for raspberry picking. I was determined to get out to the raspberry fields this year since I missed picking last year, having just sprained my ankle. So last weekend Dan and I made our way to a cute little farm where we enjoyed half an hour of happy picking.


We happily returned home with our four small baskets and felt relieved that we hadn't missed the season again. Raspberries are my favourite berry and I desperately needed to have some on hand for munching.


I'm even going to attempt making some jam! I've never tried making raspberry jam before but since it's my favourite kind of jam, I thought it was worth one try. So hopefully this morning's endeavors pay off. I'll keep you posted.


In the meantime, we're just happily working through the rest of the berries fresh. I've been eating them by the handful or on cereal, while Dan is enjoying them on ice cream. Nothing beats fresh berries. Now to wait until blueberry season is here...

Anyone else get out picking this year? If not, are you at least buying some to enjoy while they're in season? What's you're favourite berry?


For long time readers of my blog, you'll remember this post from last year where I talked about buying a quarter cow from a local farmer. Well, we did it again!


Except for this time, we went bigger and better and ordered a half pig as well! We wanted to branch out from just beef and chicken and add some pork into our diets, for a little extra variety.

This is our second time ordering from Heritage Cattle Company and we continue to be happy with them. Their cows are 100% grass-fed and lead happy lives out in the fields while their pigs are raised in an apple orchard. If I was a farmer, I would want to be like these people.

Our chest freezer we got last year is being tested for space, since we just keep shoving more stuff into it. Currently it is home to all of our new meat, a little of last years meat and 4 chickens. Not to mention, some odds and ends like strawberries and chicken broth.


We're pretty stoked to be eating so much good meat over the next year and I look forward to finding new ways to cook up all these different cuts.

Do you ever order meat in bulk like this? Any favourite recipes you want to share for either pork or beef? Want to come over for dinner?


Yesterday is a day I will likely never forget. And for good reasons this time.


It all started on Monday, when Dan informed me that I needed to set aside a block of time on Wednesday afternoon. When I asked why, he told me he had a surprise date planned and to stop asking questions. I mostly did, other than making a few unrealistic guesses like "flying to Paris to eat supper under the Eiffel Tower" or "going to a Luke Bryan concert".

Wednesday afternoon finally arrived and we happily set out together in Dan's truck. When we pulled in to the Peterborough Airport, I immediately knew what we were doing.


With Dan owning his own business, he gets to meet a lot of different people and in this situation, he knew someone who owned his own small plane and loved any opportunity to show it off. Dan of course jumped at the chance to set up a date of a lifetime.


Dan had never been up in a small plane and even though I had been, I was 8 at the time and didn't really remember much. Could have something to do with the fact I was barely tall enough to see out the windows. Needless to say, we were both pretty excited.

After getting settled in and going over the rules and emergency exits, we were off!


It was so amazing! Being able to see so many familiar sights from the sky was pretty cool. We even got to fly over our house and see what the birds see.


After being way too delighted about this, we headed over to Rice Lake. It was really fun to see it from this view since we had just spent last Saturday cruising it by boat.




It was at this point that Dan got to try his hand at flying, while I remained calm in the back seat.



He was actually pretty good at it and I was impressed with how relaxed he was. I would not have handled the pressure that well.

We flew back and forth across the lake until we ran into some storm clouds. It's pretty cool how when you're in the sky, you can just decide you'd rather be in the sunshine and turn around and leave the storm. At least you can when you're not going any place in particular.


After escaping the storm clouds, we did one more pass of the lake before heading back to the airport.



Once we landed again, we thanked our pilot profusely and took the classic picture of us posing beside the plane.


So basically, one of the best dates I've ever had. I've got the best husband in the world.

Have you ever flown in a small plane? Is it on your bucket list? How about a helicopter? I'd love to have a ride in a helicopter.


Another garden update for you guys, although it's not too exciting since we're not really eating much from it yet. Oh well, soon enough!

Cucumber
Things are growing quickly and it's time for me to get back out there and do some more weeding. I (meaning Dan) also need to build something for the cucumbers and zucchini to climb. Maybe before next Wednesday?

Giant tomato plant
We did get around to staking up the tomato cages since they were tipping with the weight of the gigantic tomato plants, but you can't see them in the above picture because the plant is so big. And yes, that is mostly one plant.

Beans
The beans are about to flower which means it will soon be time for fresh beans. I can't wait!

Pepper
This one specific pepper plant is doing awesome, with multiple peppers already on it. Hopefully the other six plants catch up soon.


Like I said, not too much has changed since last week but I know that things are actually growing, whether we can tell the difference or not.

Oh and we do have more growing things on our property! Our two pear trees that we got last fall didn't survive the winter so we finally got them replaced last night. Look at how good one of them now looks. It even has little pears on it!


And for the record, What's Growing Wednesday posts will probably always be a little late going up on the blog since I have started up running again and by the time I get back from that, shower and take pictures of the garden, it's a little later than usual.


You'll forgive me though, right?