Tea Time with Annie Kate Rotating Header Image

Vacation Wrap Up

Neys Provincial Park

Neys Provincial Park

In our lives these weeks

We’ve been to Manitoba and now we are back home, after 5900 km.  We enjoyed precious hours with extended family, with countless conversations, walks, games, and meals, and hours of play in and out of the water.  Our memories are full of people, wildlife, waves, and the endless tree-carpeted hills of the Canadian shield.

I had hoped to have a slow summer, and it is turning out that way.  These holidays were slow in a delightful way, with long peaceful nights and time to chat.  In another way, they felt rushed because there were so many people to connect with and so little time for each one individually.   But still, it was wonderful.

In our homeschool

The girls did no formal schoolwork (Miss 16 did take her math book along) but they certainly learned a lot.  We drove north of Lake Superior, through twenty hours of Canadian shield, experienced some results of the Manitoba flooding, visited a fossil museum, saw wildlife, exclaimed over artwork, saw black-capped and white-capped Amish, spent hours in the waves, toured an enormous greenhouse, and were inspired by others.

In our gluten free kitchen… Well, I ate separate gluten-free meals and prepared them in busy, gluten-filled kitchens.  It worked, although at times my food was boring.  I relied heavily on yoghurt with nuts; V8 (to drink and as a soup base); packages of coleslaw mix (as coleslaw, in soup, in stir fries); raw veggies like carrot sticks and mini-cucumbers, tomatoes, and salad; boiled eggs, precooked gluten-free sausages, instant quinoa flakes, gluten free crackers, a loaf of commercial gluten free cinnamon bread (much too sweet), pancakes, fruit (cherries, strawberries, blueberries), potatoes and olive oil.  I tried buckwheat ramen noodles, which are quick but don’t taste as noodles should. We also discovered that some Old Dutch potato chips and Doritos are gluten free, as are some Chapmans ice cream treats.  And on the two-day trip home, when we did not cook at all, I added Tostidos cheese dip, corn chips, and pickled herring to my diet.  Strange food it was, perhaps, but mostly yummy and healthy.

In our garden

We’ve been home two days and have spent much of that time pulling weeds.  Because we mulched the entire garden heavily with straw before we left, the weeds were not too bad, but a 4000 square foot garden is a lot of work no matter what time-saving measures you use.  And I’ve been transplanting brassicas:  broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.  Now they just need water.

Some of my favorite things were

  • Time with parents and siblings.
  • Time with aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews.
  • Not needing to do anything at all.
  • Hikes, eating wild strawberries and blueberries, wildlife.
  • Watching the children enjoy the water. Miss 11 and Miss 16 used windsurf boards as paddle boards, standing up to ride the waves. Everyone enjoyed those boards, and we took the canoe out as well.
  • Coming home.

Questions/thoughts I have…  Vacations are great, whether they involve long trips or are spent at home.

Fitness… I managed about 10,000 steps most days, enjoyed short hikes up and down hills, and took one long hike.  That long hike was blissful:  rocks, hills, steep streams, a stag with fuzzy antlers, wild blueberries, and fresh, clean air. For 6 years I’ve been trying to build up strength to be able to walk long distances.  That long hike was the reward for thousands of daily decisions to take just a few more steps.

I’ve also been doing physiotherapy exercises to rebuild upper body strength, although not very faithfully.  Even so, I was able to row a wind-surf board through choppy water around a distant island, a goal I was hoping to meet 5 years from now!  That was wonderful encouragement as well as a lot of fun.  Mr. 19 came along in case I could not make it, and he did not have to help me at all.

Some of the things I’ve been working on

  • Relaxing.
  • Enjoying time with family.
  • Reading Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey.

I’m reading… Acts. I finished Total Truth and Daughter of Time. Only two books in three weeks!  Total Truth is a slow, deep book, requiring much thought.  I’m also reading Pascal’s Pensees, A Man Called Intrepid (related to the Camp X stories), 52 Weeks of Family French, and The Meaning of Marriage.

Reading Aloud… None.

I’m grateful for ….  Vacation.  Coming home.  Straw mulch on the garden.

Quote or link to share….   Rather than sharing a quote or a link, I’m encouraging you to check out Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey.  It is an excellent eye-opener for high school students and adults and has received amazing reviews.  I would not be surprised if this book turned out to be the best book I read this year.

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up .


  1. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like you all had a great time. Vacations are always so much fun. Glad you are continuing to grow healthier.

  2. I’m glad you’re back safely. 🙂 I read Total Truth years ago and remember it being good. Same with Pascal’s Pensees, which I remember absolutely loving. I think a lot of it was bewildering, but there were passages that really hit home to the extent that I will never forget them. I need to pick it up again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *