July started off quite lovely. The weather was beautiful, the gardens were thriving, and fruit had started to arrive at the Farmers’ Market. I canned sweet cherries (cherry pie filling) and apricots. We opened Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan. We had told our social worker to put our home “on hold” until mid-July, but after the shows opened, we were still feeling pretty frazzled from June, and decided to take a couple of more weeks off from fostering. The very next day, placement called looking for a foster home for a seven-month old baby boy named Liam. He had been in care since birth, and had spent the past two months in a group home, and really, a group home isn’t ideal for a baby – would we be willing to take him? I called Will. All I had to say was “So, placement phoned today . . . ” We took him. Best decision ever.
On a much sadder note, we said goodbye to Kingsley. After initially responding to chiro and pain meds, he starts to rapidly decline. One morning, he can’t stand up he’s in so much pain. The next day, I took him to the vet to be euthanized and say goodbye. It was a rainy, cold day. When we got home, Liam and I napped on the couch all afternoon. I miss that dog something fierce.
August was full of shows, veggies, and cloth diapers.
Finally took the plunge and switched to cloth diapers. Wish I had done it with the first baby. I have a theory – I think there’s been a deliberate campaign created by disposable diaper manufacturers against cloth diapers to convince us that it’s messy and time consuming and disposables are so much easier and convenient. Now maybe if I didn’t have a washing machine, I wouldn’t think they’re so easy. But seriously – easy. Just as easy as disposables. I don’t know what I was so afraid of!
We had a really, really good summer for gardening. Everything thrived. Even bell peppers, which usually don’t fair so well in my garden. Carrots, beets, zucchini, and pumpkins are the superstars though.
One of my chickens starts laying the weirdest eggs I’ve ever seen. I haven’t a clue what’s wrong with her.
The sour cherries and raspberries are out of control this summer. I think having four beehives in the backyard really helped. I can barely keep up with harvest and canning. I abandon the raspberries at a certain point to move on to sour cherries and let the birds eat their fill.
We finally give in and pay someone to have our backyard landscaped and sodded at the end of the month. What a relief! We went all summer with a giant tree stump and dirt, and it was bloody depressing.
After Shakespeare closes, I start working as an Assistant Director on a show at Persephone. But we have daycare woes, and I have to cut my hours way back from what I originally planned. Which is actually fine with me. I’d kinda rather be home with Liam anyway.
I can peaches and pears, and make huge batches of spaghetti sauce from the tomato harvest. And to mark the end of summer, I make pesto.
October brings unseasonable warm weather. Will was very lucky in the hunting draw this year and pulled a moose tag and a mule deer tag. Liam and I tag along on the hunt, and Will does us proud. (I admit, I cried when he shot the moose. But I’m also thankful to the moose for providing us meat all winter long).
Starting mid-October, I pack up and go to Regina to do the Christmas show at the Globe Theatre. It’s the first time I’ve worked out of town in four years, and the first time I’ve worked out of town since becoming a parent. It was hard. Very hard. I don’t think I’ll do it anymore (except for the gig I’ve got in May/June that’s also out of town. Damn it.)
Show after show after show after show. That’s what November is to me. Ziggy had come to Regina with me, and we fall into a routine of sleeping in, going to the dog park, show, Netflix, bed. Ugh. I just want to be at home. The show is fun, the cast and crew are lovely, but I want to be with my family. Will does a stellar job of single parenting. Yay Will!
After the show opens in mid-November, I have two days off. I come home to Saskatoon, we go look at an acreage, and by the time I head back to Regina, our offer is accepted. WE OWN AN ACREAGE! Ten acres, twenty minutes east of the city. We’re still waiting on the subdivision to be completed but possession date is expected to be mid-January 2016.
Being the sentimental fools that we are, we cannot bear to part with our little homestead in the city, so we decide to keep it as a rental property. Still trying to decide whether or not to hire a property manager . . .
Shows, shows, and more shows. The show closes after Christmas. I get Christmas Day off, and Will and Liam join me in Regina. We have a late Christmas celebration with the Brooks family on the 27th, and an even later Christmas celebration with the Shebelski family on the 30th. For the first time EVER in my life, I miss having Christmas Eve dinner with the Shebelski side. It makes me sad. I don’t think I’ll do another show at Christmas time. It’s too difficult to be away.
And now here we are on New Year’s Eve. We went to Beaver Creek today and walked one of the trails (it was a beautiful day despite being -20C). Clear skies, beautiful views. I love this land so much, it makes my little heart swell. I even love the ridiculously harsh winters.
2016 will bring us our own little plot of land under that vast, comforting prairie sky. We’ve been in our city house for ten years, and it feels like it’s time to move on. I can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring! (Personally, I’m hoping for more foster babies, goats, chickens, pigs, and a bloody huge garden).
Happy New Year, and all the best in 2016!