Monday, 13 July 2015



Pine Tree Post | Life Lesson Special

The other day I was thinking...sadly, there are many children out there who miss out on valuable life lessons such as riding public transportation. The children of the PUTP are very lucky children indeed - they have many chances to ride the bus. The experience of paying, dinging for a stop, and figuring out time schedules is priceless, and will be especially useful when they are old enough to take flight and leave the nest - b/c chances are they will not have a car right away. Unproven science has concluded that a few bus rides to a kid will instill a sense of adventure in them and help them see the bus as not intimidating but rather as one form of transportation that can be used with ease. In the grand scheme it will broaden the mind, make the child worldly and confident, maybe even increase their IQ. If nothing else it will at least give context to that song they all sing, "the wheels on the bus go round and round".

Another useful life lesson that many children do not have the opportunity to experience is doing laundry at the laundromat. Luckily for the children of the PUTP they were given this chance last week when the old washing machine finally broke beyond repair - my respects to ol' Whirly who put in many long nights keeping up with three dirt attracting children. You will be remembered.

Heavy lifting. Use your legs - a practical skill learned at the laundromat

There are many skills one learns at the laundromat - budgeting, math, prioritizing, organizing...and most importantly patience.

There were many machines to choose from - top loaders, triple loaders, front loaders - and all had different prices and took different combinations of money. The children were given the task of figuring out which machine would be best for our needs, the cost, and what kind of coins we would need.

The Math King does some figuring - 2 Loonies and 2 Quarters = $2.50

Then the fun part - putting the money in the machines!

Guestimate the time it takes to dry a load - then figure out the cost @ 25 cents for every 7 minutes

The next couple of hours were a lesson in patience.  A quick trip to the park was out of the agenda as it had started to thunderstorm and mindlessly watching the clothes go around and around was not stimulating for the kids. So, that invaluable skill of entertaining yourself was tested. What ensued was a mix of make-a-funny-face-game (thousands of 'funny faces' were made) and colouring.

Funny face #17
Funny face #211

Funny face #1086

Funny face #23400

These kind of experiences are something the children can take with them on their journey through life. There will be times when they won't have a handy washing machine in the basement or a car sitting in the driveway. They will need to know other ways to handle life - not only to survive, but, to thrive!

Saturday, 11 July 2015



Pine Tree Post | Garden Update

The garden has become an overflowing box of green. Local experts blame the weather. The ideal mix of rain one day and sun the next provide ideal conditions for this year's mix of garden plants to thrive. Listed below are some of the highlights.

Mr. Greenthumb doing some yoga beside the garden

LETTUCE - The plant that has gained the most from the wet/sun weather is the lettuce. A thick patch of leafy goodness continues to grow faster than it can be eaten by the local citizenry.

What would Peter rabbit think of this?

ZUCCHINI - The rain saturated soil sparked the zucchini plant to grow. And grow it did. In just two weeks it went from a small two leaf seedling to a massive garden-overtaking-pushy-neighbour to the surrounding plants.

Give it a centimeter it will take a meter

KALE - This plant seems to ignore the world around it and grows at a slow and steady pace. Recent harvests by local salad makers have thinned the plants, but, they seem undaunted and continue their consistent pace of growth.


Last year's kale plant lived through the winter and sprouted in the spring. It surprised local greenthumbs by quickly bolting and flowering...then producing pods filled with seeds. The garden committee is overjoyed at this situation and plans on taking full advantage of the seeds next year.
Yellow flowers turn into bean like pods filled with seeds

RASPBERRY - In between rainstorms the raspberry patch has been swarmed by bees of all types. Old timers say they had not seen this much activity from the local pollinators in 'near a decade'. The fruits of the bees labour have started to ripen - the first sweet, red, juicy, raspberry was pulled from the plant this week - and the canes are bowing from the abundance of berries. Another record year is expected.

Dense is how to describe the berry to plant ratio this year

Lolli tries the first raspberry of the year