Tuesday, September 27, 2011

in closing.......

I have moved to ......... http://gypsysoulsandmountainbabes.blogspot.com/

a little new and a little old all tied up into one new fabulous blog about raising kids and living consciously in a small mountain town

see ya there........... don't forget to "follow me"
xo Andrea

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One year.....

I am simply amazed at how this last year has gone so fast, how our lives have unfolded and even though it has only been one year it seems like we have been here for an eternity!  When I envisioned our life here in Revy before we arrived it was hard to see so clearly as I have never seen the mountains up close ......... meaning only in a book. What we have made of our reality is a way healthier lifestyle of getting back to basics and to create a good life in a small mountain town!

For the the last few months we have eaten locally, grown locally and even brewed locally and now rasing our kids locally as mountain kids! My wish for them is to be active in how we live our lives and those of you who know them, they definately have a voice and we can hear them loud and clear! Also to be conscious of how to live a clean, green life of simplicity....and to just be nice to each other....lol

I am extremely thrilled of how our consumerisum is at a lifetime low. If we can't buy it in Revy then we need to think do we really NEED it! I went to a mall in Calgary and happily disgusted in the window displays of all the tickey tackey clothes all in a row......I even tryed on numerous black dress pants to only walk out and say, well if I am going to spend this much I may as well spend a little more and just buy them at home......I feel really good about sharing this! (ok the children's place was a hit....but that was all Grandad ;p)

On the self-sufficiency front, I am canning my patootie off and now have added dehydrating into the mix. I need to put up as much yummy summer flavours as possible to get through the dark months. Our local butcher has opened and awaiting a price list of 1/2-1/4 cow packages....as much as I love my fresh veg I am a meat-a-vor at heart! With our purchase of our future market shares for the winter produce I am on my way to fewer stops at the grocery store already! I love all the thoughtful planning that goes with preparing for wintertime....and really looking forward to all the delishious delights to dig into in the months to come.

So......puttng up at it's best is when it is done with others. My handsome hubby has been planning and trainning (well sorta) for this big bike race and the mens weekend away and it is coming fast...this weekend actually! This will be the perfect time to get together with my mom friends to jar it up. So excited for all the salsa, tomatoes and peaches that will be captured in jars this weekend. In between all the canning fun I will be roatating fruit in and out of the dehydrator and I am sure a few bottles of wine will be had as part of the new canning tradition we are starting this year!

As now that the sun is going down earlier, I can sense the fall slowly creeping in and the wild flowers coming to an end. Our Gypsy souls are content with the fresh mountain air and the perfect shade of green.....for now! This Andrews family project has opened my eyes to what changes we can make for the greater good of our community, our world and for our gypsysouls and mountain kids. So stay tuned as our mountain lives unravel into unlimited possiblities of the art of preserving lifes goodness in one blog!

The Out-Takes......Enjoy!


Friday, September 2, 2011

in abundance.......

As my husband peruses a local townie classified list he came across an add for fruit pickers. Not just any pickers the best kind of pickers.....keep what you pick for FREE! (or almost free) Here in Revy there are tonnes of fruit trees of plums, pears and apples, this leaves lots of extra fruit that either falls and rots or that the bears get to eat to prepare for their wintry down time. Which sounds like a great win win situation just a little too close for comfort when it is your back door the bears are on. In my quest for all things canned to pave the path for self-sufficiency for this years dark season....I was in heaven! Pure jarred goodness heaven!

This particular Sunday morning we took a drive to check out what the almost free plum situation was and wow it was worth the drive! A step full of boxed plums, already picked for $8 bucks. The homeowner had already picked her share for homemade plum cider and all the canning and baking she had to do. I must say I did try to recipe share with her to get the cider recipe but it was her husbands handy craft at work and not hers for sharing.

I have been busy canning spiced plums, spicy plum dipping sauce, baking plum torts and handing out bags of plums. Sephora is loving all the plums and helping herself, which leads to me finding plum pits in the oddest places!

morning dew plums

plum torte

my lil plum lover....and her sneaky big brother:)


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

too much of a good thing............

Too much of a good thing is STILL to much.......even if it is a good thing!

As I send off one of my most allied comrade in to her new phase of life which will include many wonderful elements of new culinary delights, different jogging paths new play dates and the interesting facet of living in a different capacity on a university campus as a shabbychic-green mama. (which I am hoping she will blog about)  I know for me I will dearly miss my  partner in shoeless biking, wine glass breaking, husband torment with our Witty isms and all the kindness she has shown Sephora and the no hold bar chats her and Caleb have had. She has taught me lessons in the art of living naturally, in our hearts she will always be known as Chi-Chi!

(Chi-Chi is only moving about 6hrs away and will be returning for a month at Christmas, but it seems a world away right now)

Thinking of their new adventure and all their mixed feelings of excitement, fear and anticipation of life's changes reminds me of our own life's change which has happen exactly a year ago today.....Like Chi-Chi I was packing up a u-haul on the 31st of Aug embarking on a new path, leaving behind a much endeared life and friends. I can't believe it has been one year since this has happened. We have settled in quite fast and securely here in Revy....as if this town was situated just waiting for our arrival!

Our decision of making our life here has been everything we could ever ask for! Our ski hill is a bus ride away, the schools here are fantastic and anywhere we need to go we can bike or walk..............we have condensed our life into being more self-sufficient and environmentally conscious in raising our mountain kids! For this upcoming winter I am preparing for the hibernation season by canning our fresh local foods into having the seasons delights all year long, Our local butcher has had it's opening just in time to fill up my freezer and with the market shares that will get us through the winter I see our future trips to the grocery store few and far between! If this hard work materializes into my above vision I will have reached my goal for 2011!

no post would be complete without a picture

yummy lemon curd

Friday, August 26, 2011

peach pie and sunny d....a celebration of life!

As my busy life is full of bustle and blessings I was reminded to appreciate the simple things in life....... I always enjoy hitting the gardens to scavenge the ripe pickings for dinner and to try to concoct some delicious culinary delight for the family!

Having a few days off during the week allows the kids to still be the light of my life and gets me out and into the gardens.......so with B.C. finest peaches available peach pie it is! With my quest to perfect my pie crust with a variety pie related recipes I have found my happiness and fullfilled my quest of the perfect pie crust according to ME! With getting my little man excited for fresh goodness of what our land can provide, pie is the perfect way to win him over. With his heart on his sleeve he has turned this little baking expose into a big surprise for Dad and decided that sunny d would be the perfect match........we will call it "Happy Good Work Day DAD!"

I love this idea! Why not celebrate those days that are mundane with a little added enthusiasm a Wednesday can become the highlight of your week....throw in a peach pie and an impromptu BBQ hamburger, a Wednesday can be just as dazzling as a hot Saturday night out! This exactly what we did, we ate , we drank and were to Merrie!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Bountiful is what comes to mind our when I think of all the fruit and veggies we have yielded so far.....between our communal plot and our own small plot at home we have had an abundance of  awesome family dinners with enough to pass along the odd basket of greens to friends. Our peas this season at home didn't fair as well as at the communal gardens....they were crazy mass of greenery and with every turn of a branch  cascades of pea pods were to be found! Other then being natures snack food, peas became a fast friend at every meal. From fresh to steamed with a balsamic chili fig vinaigrette, covered in hummus eaten with or without the pod, it was a great snack for the kids to munch on throughout the day....

I have added a water canning set to the kitchen family and am quite eager become a jar head. I have completed a small batch of tomatoes, pickles and a homemade dijon mustard! thanks to http://www.foodinjars.com/2011/08  I am enjoying all the extra tasks of jarring up the seasons best for the luxury of eating fresh summer goodness all year!

Communal Garden 2011

Here is a picture of the start of the Gardens in town and a following picture of the gardens in their current state.

May 2011

Aug 2011

~Andrews Family Plot~


Monday, August 22, 2011

all good things come to an end.......

Well we braved the drive out of Rev and into the heart of the Rocky's and lived.....mostly! Sephora didn't fair as well this time on our drive as she did when we moved here. It was a shrill of shreeking high pitched screams of out out OUT! ouch me (s)duck meee sduckkkk....MMMAaammmmy! That all ended when she finely passed out into a coma. Grandad's pick up was fun exciting and the Calgary Airport is quite nice!

I thought I would be more pre-pared for our venture home as to not scare grandad...but to no avail the banshee reappeared in the high skreetch for Mary Poppins....YES! she screams for Mary Poppins when she is very distrested....I like to call this self-soothing and that she is so bright that she can identify how to self-sooth.

this is what I am dealing with folks

Caleb was thrilled to have Grandad as a bunkmate and I am sure Gradad now misses the mid night sleepwalking and conversations with Caleb. We spent alot of days with Grandad up ontop of Mt Revelstoke
hiking exploring and sightseeing. My dad and I were able to make the late night stargazing expo at the summit. The moon was a big spotlight, but we were still able to see 4metors shooting by and were shown where to find stars, planets and andromeda just with your binoculars alone!

The three weeks that were spent with Grandad was the best part of summer, we had road trips, day trips, yummy food and everyone was spoiled......I barely washed a dish, I got driven to and from work, late night hot tubs and denny's, bbq's dinners, staff parties, hot springing around! But as the saying goes all good things come to an end! And by end I mean a good two week detox program!

Grandad and Caleb on their way to Rogers Pass with the Jr. Naturalists

Unfortunately Seph and I couldn't go as she didn't have proper foot attire on that day. We spent the day playing with a puppy....lol

Thursday, July 28, 2011

it seems like so long ago.......

It seems like so long ago that we came barreling through the Rockies searching for that perfect shade! I can't believe it is coming up to our 1 year anniversary of being here in Revy. I had some hind sight wishes of taking more time to see the Rockies, maybe travelling a little more before we chose this as "IT". With that being said we are packing up and heading back through the pass and into the heart of the Rockies and I couldn't be more excited. It only took just under a year to have the Itch to get out of the mountains, with excitement there is also the anxiety of how large the world is around us. I have gotten used to small community living of allowing your child to run and play not always being in eye sight, but always a holler away from home, riding your bike on the road knowing that people passing you and honking are people you know just saying hi! I am now preparing myself for the bigger community and my clutches of worrisome for my children and always having a holding hand. I am sure this will be ok for Caleb as he now has gained the understanding of part-time listening but Seph.....she is another story! Pretty sure she is not going to love being strapped in a stroller and not being able to meander herself down the street leisurely stopping at all the towny's and their dogs! Gearing up for our mini va-ca in Calgary I am looking forward to hanging out with just the four of us while playing in the hotel pool and lazing about a hotel room.....until grandad arrives!

The month of August holds some feature fun for the Andrews family......it will be our first mountain wild flower hikes, Seph's second birthday and our first anniversary of life in the mountains!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Our communal garden plot has us busy with harvesting every couple of days and this week I am even offering up some fresh veggies to friends hand delivered in a basket! I am getting as much satisfaction out of my gardens as I hoped for, not alot of weeding and a whole lots of goodness. With saying that, I do know a few townies have stopped by to check up and put a hand in by pulling some weeds for fun! It has proven a gem of spot for the kids.... a few strawberries to eat on every time we go and if I go a the right time of day (just before lunch) I have even caught Caleb munching on some fresh rainbow chard!

Between swimming lessons, mother goose and a series of day camps I haven't had time to relax and bask in the sun...which is ok because the sun has bearly showed itself to us here in Revy. We have had a handful of sunny days but man o man when the sun is out it is HAWT! With the bustle of activities I was able to make it to our local watering hole and have a wonderful day with our two favorite girls and between drop offs I was able to hit the patio with my mommy friends for a bucket of beer......now I get as to why everyone bikes around here. The social aspect for us busy moms we gotta get it while we can and still make it for camp pick ups!
mt. begbie

Williamson's lake is a gem of a spot! I would of cringed of the thought to stay in such a camp area years ago but how the times have changed when raising kids. We have made it to the lake a couple times and had a blast as far as camping I am a fair weather mom mostly for everything and with such a wet season we are enjoying our own yard and campfire pit! And the view.......the view that is 360. As we are learning so much more about our mountains and trails and lakes here and around Rev we are looking forward to exploring in the years to come with the kids, as for now mini hikes, trail rides, hot spring dips and hopefully the odd canoe trip will have to do!


Friday, July 1, 2011

hip to be square

Nothing says hipster like a batch of freshly canned pears as I delved into the world of canning I am realizing how hip it is to be square. When I think of canning I flash to the days of black and white and red gingham, with lush peach preserves and picnic BBQ's that was the ultra hip neighbourhood party of the 50"s. With mint juleps and old fashions I can picture a tray of canapes going around with triscuits topped with canned red pepper jelly while my look a like Don Draper is lighting the 'Q'

But back in Revelstoke where.................the sense of clean living is the family foundation. I am finding that with a little research you can find non-antibiotic food sources from animal products to plant life. The research part is the small local farmer who are not "organic" but raise their cattle consciously and leaves the consumer to be able to buy substantial products without the over priced "tag" of Organic on it!

My goal for my family is to try to be consumer conscious and to try out hand at self-sufficiency. We have already established the difference between wants and needs. By making the choice to move to a smaller community away from the speed shopping of box stores, made our lifestyle change come by quite easy..... the roll backs of walmart are a distant dream and easily forgotten. If we need a sweet treat I make it I enjoy picking the ingredients that go into my children's food and I have enjoyed the repercussions of my labour. (don't get me wrong....Jeff still will do the late night run to 7-11 you can lead a horse to water but damned if you can make him drink it.

We have already had an abundance of good health habits fine tuned in these last months and with the prospect of our gardens soon to be harvested, the days of self-sufficiency is well under way. I have planted our own home garden with the kids in mind. I have planted the easy grab lettuces and spinach's that can be grabbed in a jiffy for snacking while playing in the yard. We have had the springs first rhubarb to delight our pallets from our friends garden, which I also snagged some chives for my own garden. I am a firm believer in you reap what you sow, so I have been sowing each seed with care and well wishes to nourish our body and mind.....the more you put in the more you get out.....

As I am eager visit the Okanagan Valley for their abundance of fruit that I am going to buy in bushels to can for the winter. I am starting this year with buying a food processor (check) a water canning set (pending) and hopefully a vacuum sealer and I think I will be set. The delights of canning the kokanee will have to wait another season. (maybe)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

communal gardening

This summer we are going to be a part of the Community Garden in the town core of Revelstoke. I applied for this project for Caleb and I to do together. So far it has been a great experience for the whole family. We had a start up garden party...this was to build some garden beds up with soil and to build some tomato fences, fix a brick wall and start our beds off with seeds for the communal areas. It was a beauty of a day and this project for Caleb and I turned out to be a family affair. Jeff met the kids and I at the plots and jumped right in with a fellow work mate to construct the tomato structure, Caleb dug right in there moving old bricks and delivering new bricks to where the broken garden wall was being re-constructed and little miss......well she does what she does by removing all shoes and excess clothing and digging in the dirt!

It was a lovely evening of family time mixed with meeting new people. Working with others for a common goal such as this communal garden has proven to be much more rewarding then expected.

These are the first few pictures of our communal plot many many more to come

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

another wonder.....

I love the newness that we are STILL experiencing here in Rev. We were invitede out to 12 mile for a beach bbq....now I thought we have seen some beautiful sights but this was ....WOW! We drove 12 miles out Airport Rd into an area called the flats.

 It is pretty much the backside of Mt Begbie, it was crazy seeing these little kids running on the beach in shorts and tee-shirts, all while the mountain tops were covered with snow, it is a different sight for me to see. I will be heading to 12 mile again on the next warm sunny day as this area is covered in water by August....then some new sights will have to be found.

The spectacular raw nature was what captured my lens this day and the most enjoyable part was the walk along the long shore of the Columbia River. Having the availablility of wide open spaces for the kids to run freely is just one more reason our move here has made it worth my while. Here are some shots to share of our day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring has Sprung

I used to wait for spring by watching the snow melt before my eyes, waiting for that particular smell of spring to fill the air! Now the signs of spring are so very different, here in Revy we move the snow off the driveway and on the grass during the winter dumps and when spring arrives and the melt starts we move the snow off our grass back on to the driveway for it to melt!

Another sure sign of spring is when the town starts moving snow piles by dump truck......gotta love Revelstoke winters. I was a little weary by all the "oh the season is so long" comments and the" just you wait till the snow comes" remarks.......I think some people forget that we actually moved here for the snow...lol Spring has definitely sprung.....we just have snow still!

March Break

Our town has great resources for families to use....both kids have enjoyed gymnastics and our newly found enjoyment has been the Revelstoke Train Museum. Being that CP rail is a major player in the history of the west...we have ALOT of trains that come in and out of this town and also being a big contender of our economy. With that said I am actually baffled that we don't have a stop in Revelstoke for the train....with the RMR growing and the town enduring the pains of the little big town I am hoping to see this change for our future!

Railway Museum

The sure signs of spring are all around...kids in the streets playing ball, jackets are being traded in for hoodies and I have seen the odd tennis shoe out in the streets. I am gearing up for the on coming months of bike riding, hiking and walks to schools maybe a couple more shotskis.......for now I will accept the raining and grey sky's for the last few weeks to help clean up the rest of this white stuff. OK not really white anymore, It has the stale dirty feeling of winter as the brilliant white has turned grainy with gravel. I am told however that we do live in a rain forest region ....another new find!

A spring walk around the neighbourhood

For now I am going to enjoy my first spring in Rev through my lens around town. I am still a little taken on the clear days when the mountains are so mighty and the sun is so bright. As our 6 month mark has just passed it has amazed me to think it has only been this long. I am where I am meant to be.......and it feels really good!

A bike ride on the green belt, which we can access right down the street!

Our back yard literally

On the green belt

my view from my window