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Syrupy Summer Light

Shrouded in smoke from the forest fires the garden was still calm without a breeze. Sitting so quietly and waiting like the rest of us for the hope of a cooler summer day. 





It was one of those remarkable temperate days that stuck in your summer memory, brought out during winters chill when you could no longer feel your fingertips...full of lush green growth, and generously spreading warmth....the rare one that seem to come only as the bookends of summer. 







Hot syrupy light was poured over everything that night... the kind that is so worth venturing out into the hot night for..the light...it laughed as it swirled among the petals, and wound through the stems of the flowers....glowing amongst soft leaves and glittering off of hard reflective surfaces. The heat radiating outwards, earth smelling of the scorched fabric...like an old-fashioned ironing board.


Last week the hummingbirds were all over the Bee Balm, now it's out of fashion, they're ignoring it and instead fawning over the …

The art of riding one handed

Remember the thrill that cycled through your body the first time you rode your bike no hands..the sense of accomplishment you got when you were finally able to master that "older kid trick?"







It was a rite of passage....one that we thought made us so cool...peddling our one-speed chain rattling bikes down the street, wheels turning in a blur, feet off of the pedals, streamers flying from handlebars, arms waving...
Yelling out "look Mom, no hands...."
Mothers shaking their heads while standing in the yards watching us whiz by...calling out, "if you fall down, don't come running to me." 
There was always someone with road rash, scabby knees, or torn clothing in our neighbourhood group. It was all part of growing up...
Somewhere as we aged we lost our abilities to ride a bike without that bit of not so charming middle-aged wobbling...
After a bit of training, [it took me a while to build up the courage to try it] I've remastered both my one-handed and "…

My Muddy Boot Dreams

I've spent years working on my Muddy Boot Dreams, yearning for a farm of our own during that time. We were desperate to get out of our little city beside the ocean...it was lovely but too busy, too many people stuffed into compartments trying to live together in harmony getting into each other's space.






Even as I tended to my tall (almost reaching to two stories) trees and nearly 100 pots on my deck (go big or go home was my motto) I dreamt of a garden that would be completely mine, to plan, to build, to maintain. Not encumbered by space, or height.

I dreamt of wandering.....
                        ....through a garden in the summer, of plucking peas...... clicking away at flowers with my camera.

Of birds and nature mingling together happily. Of being able to plant an abundance of homegrown veggies, while mixing in my love of beautiful blossoms, herbs and veggies into an organic chemical free place where wildlife could wander, and the bees buzz.





The farm dream didn't work out f…

Of Cabbages And Content

I've lost count of the number of times I've opened up this blog trying to write something that will read with a small measure of eloquence and be of interest to you. It's not easy.

Scrolling through the numerous images I've taken, choosing some, deleting others...wondering which photos you might like to see...and yet each time I close the screen and leave...







I've been trying to write this blog post in between moving the sprinkler every 20 minutes during our watering time and fighting the white cabbage moths. Those fluttery white ones that are focused on laying as many eggs as possible among the previously pristinely beautiful and dusty coated leaves of my cabbages. 

Those eggs hatch into translucent green caterpillars born with a voracious appetite for cabbage and are making coleslaw out of my purple babies.

If you blog you know that the blank screen is as demoralizing as a blank canvas is to an artist. It multiplies and increases day by day, becoming so large that it …

Goodbye June you were as magical as a kaleidoscope

When you were a child do you remember looking through the peep hole of a kaleidoscope? The rustling and swirling sound it made as the colored pieces of jagged glass, and sparkling bits fell into place. 

The magical reflection resulting in multiple triangles forming a colorful mosaic.



June is coming to an end soon, but the array of blossoms and blooms have made it feel like I've got my eye pressed up to that twirling kaleidoscope once again...but this time I'm watching the garden through it...





The flashes of color as if each plant and bush was merely waiting its turn to fall into place. 

The earlier months may show green growth, but June is a magical month that unfolds petal by petal.





It features the peonies, poppies, and all of the other flowers that parade elegantly through the garden. Intertwining with the new green leaves and then....casually and oh so gracefully falling in a gentle drift to the ground.

Gorgeous and magical, goodbye June, we will remember you and look forward to …

Book giveaway Selina Lake Garden Style

First, let me share with you the bad news... this amazingly beautiful book is going to make you want to run out and redo your entire garden....it's going to change the way you look at everything in your garden from a different perspective...and that's great.





The good news is.... you can win a copy for yourself. All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post with your name, and email. If you wanted to tell us your favorite thing about gardening...then we would be even happier.





Selina Lake is an amazing author of many books, each one seemingly more beautiful and creative than the last...the beauty of the book lays in how easy it is to use her ideas as a starting point for inspiration. 





Make sure to enter, one copy will be given away to a lucky Canadian or US  resident.
Contest closes June 22, 2018, winner will be notified by email.

One entry per person please, open to Canadian, and US residents only.
A copy of this book was supplied for the purpose of a review by the publis…

Inside Rural Replenish

Putting together a magazine is like planning a garden...you can sketch out all the garden plans you want in the winter, but you have to wait until the spring to plant.

We planned, thought, dreamed, and sketched....now Rural Replenish is blooming on the pages.


Replenish is a beautiful lush issue, filled with gorgeous photography, and evocative stories. It's worth taking a look, the thick paper, and fully illustrated pages are perfect for a gift or as a keepsake. Don't miss out, order yours today. 


If you haven't already found us on Facebook and Instagram come and be part of our Rural world. We're sharing sneak peaks of the magazine there, along with other fun things.

Visit us and say hello.

Jen @ Rural magazine



The newest issue of Rural magazine is "finally: here

I know...it's been a while...despite starting early in the year and remaining on schedule all along... an unexpected delay happened at the printers. 





One that they couldn't solve, and took almost two weeks.. what can you do?  

Not much, in fact, all the emails back and forth to support took so long.....but good news, the latest issue of Rural magazine called Replenish is now ready if you are interested in purchasing a copy for yourself, or someone who might enjoy reading this keepsake magazine.

It's full of lovely photography and "well told" stories about how our contributors find ways to replenish themselves...printed in full color on gorgeously thick paper, this is an art book style magazine...well worth ordering.




It's a great read, and at 44 pages it's full of wonderful stories, and gorgeous images.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy click here to be taken to  Blurb's site.

At this point you may be asking where's the digital issue...it's …

Cariboo adventure

"I'd like to take you up and show you and Mom our cabin," my Sister said to me last week. 

When this invitation came about I was hesitant....could I just up and leave? What about the magazine...what about my garden? 

Throwing the keyboard, and the trowel to the wind, I went on an adventure...we had it timed so the mosquitoes were not yet out, and the ice would be coming off of the lake.





We returned wind and sunburned despite tons of sunscreen....with over a thousand pictures on my phone, and camera...along with memories of time spent with those I love.
They were good times... the sound of waves lapping against the dock, and the haunting call of loons at midnight from across the lake echoing in my head. 
Ducks in the bay doing a bit of house hunting, wild bears we startled on the roadside... too many deer to keep track of, a hare, and the most amazing of all, a nesting sandhill crane!
All of the power poles in the Cariboo seem to be marked with these cool tin numbers on them...…

Spring - suddenly

Spring is a season that always appears suddenly where I live. The Okanagan is known for its beautiful sunny hot summers. Excessively so if you are a gardener watching your beloved plants withering in the intense heat.


It looks like that's not going to change despite our long and never ending winter, which suddenly left us a few weeks ago. Now we are in for a stretch of potentially record breaking temperatures that will melt the snowcap on the mountains and cause considerable flooding.
As hard as they are to find, there are still patches of snow snuggled up under a shady roof, and the spring bulbs have barely raised their delicate heads from the frosty ground...but summer is arriving here any moment now. 
Don't blink..
So much for spring. 





But even the overly enthusiastic summer temperatures will be welcome it's a joy to see the unfurling of the leaves, the opening of the blossoms, the greening of the trees...it's been a long winter. 
Spring is bringing a new issue of R…

Meet up with us on Pinterest

Are you a fan of Pinterest...you know that wonderful rabbit hole that you swear you are just going to look at for a few minutes...maybe find a recipe for your new Instant Pot, or get some garden inspiration? 





Until the next thing you know...it's hours later and well...you've pinned so many gorgeous ideas that you don't know where to start?

Yes, that Pinterest....Well, Rural magazine is there also...check us out here:





We'd love to see you on Pinterest, and we even have a group board named Rural Magazine Reader's group board...if you would like to be part of that message me through our Pinterest site, and I'll add your name to our group board.

We pin varying themes each week, this week it's Garden Inspiration, and there are some gorgeous pins being pinned to this board. So join in and find us on Pinterest, we'd love to see you there.

Jen @ Rural Magazine


New in the shop

Spring is in the air and we're excited to open up a new shop for RURAL readers. Our first items to be stocking the virtual shelves are luscious art cards created by Jen from Muddy Boot Dreams...[hey that's me!].





Printed on a heavy paper stock with gorgeous full color detailed designs, these art cards measure 5 inches by 7 inches and are blank inside with lots of room for your personal message.
They come with a crisp white envelope, sealed inside a clear cello sleeve, in numerous designs. All the photography is original and exclusive to Muddy Boot Dreams.
At only $5 each with Free Shipping [US and Canada] they are are a great deal...so hurry the stock availability is limited and they are going fast. 
Check them out here;
Interested in purchasing? Email jen@ruralmag.com for more info and to place an order.

Notes from Jen's journal

Journals have fascinated me all of my life, I've longed to be the kind of person who managed to document their life in words and illustrations...someone creative, and visually inspired

Like many things in life, I've had good intentions, although the more practical side of it seems to fall short. Sure, I've started a journal or two, or three....they seem to falter somewhere after day 7...maybe you are like me and you only get a few weeks or months written before real life steps in and distracts you.

But a visual journal gives me a chance to share what it feels like to hike the nearby mountains, our breath foggy in the crisp cold air. To capture the sunlight peering through the towering branches of the fir trees.

To record the early morning grind of rubber tires during a bike ride down a deserted and dusty country road. Wheels crunching on the gravel left behind by the snowplow, birds chirping in the trees overhead... a glimpse of a coyote a flash of amber dashing through the f…

Dear Winter...I think we need to see other seasons

Dear Winter...

I think we need to see other seasons...
Yes, I know our love for each other was a deep as the snow that's fallen almost every day since November...but lately you've been smothering me. 







I long for green shoots, and branches that are budding, and I need to see the ground once again. 
Dear Winter, let's break up
It's not as if you weren't faithful in sticking around, it's just that we are spending too much time together...how about we give each other some space.
I've started to take you for granted, being with you all this time..and I'm finding my eyes straying towards Spring, dreaming of days outside without your chilly grasp...and I have to wonder what else there is out there for me.






Winter, this isn't goodbye
I can tell you don't do goodbyes easily...but, maybe we could set up a meeting once again after Autumn comes to visit.






I'm looking forward to Spring charming us with its bright days and sprouting greenery. And when Summer comes..…

The music of an upcoming spring

Each morning when I look out the window at the vast coating of white that has been hiding our landscape for too long...I think two things to myself.
We have no choice but to outwait Winter
It's only going to last as long as it does, and two, I can either complain or do something about it...





There's not much we can do to change the weather, it's here for as long as it wishes. Leaving this cold climate for a warmer one isn't an option, but I can look go outside and look for changes in the landscape.


There are subtle signs of spring starting to show up 



Fresh alder catkins are springing from previously bare branches, newly littered with melting snowdrops that have fallen from the sky.





Fluffy pussy willows, which had burst open from their winter hibernation before retreating back to dormancy, and sullenly shivering on the bare branches are once again showing sheer delight over the thought of spring. 






In the forest, the trees are starting to look shabby, with their peeling bark, b…

Living in a snow world

A Snow Globe WorldWhen you live in a world that looks like a snow globe 5 months of the year, it's almost inconceivable to think that there are people living in places who have never seen the white stuff.






People who have never felt the delicious tickle of the first snowflake on their tongue, or been the first to lay in an untouched blanket of white to make a snow angel...






Or felt the burning rash of snowy cold on soft childhood wrists when you lost a strung mitten from your hand, the too short string still travelling up your sleeve around the back of your neck, and down the opposite arm to the frozen fingers doing little to keep the mitt on.


You Spin Me Right Round Baby
Those who were never sent outside as a child so tightly wrapped with bundled layers of hand me down jackets, gloves, toque, and multicoloured scarfs twirled around your neck that you could no longer bend your arms or do much more than waddle slowly towards the door..only to be told to go outside and play.






Just as your M…

RURAL magazine Winter Love issue

Today RURAL magazine is reaching a milestone...

Not only are we releasing the specialfree digital issue of Winter Love celebrating the beauty of our Wintery season.   







We're also cheering about the publication of an introductory print issue.


Talk about happy dancing....
Having this printed copy in my hands is beyond my wildest dreams...  it's an amazing feeling. 

All those hours of sitting at the computer, the emails back and forth with our contributors, the planning, designing, proofreading, the times when the challenge seemed to be more than I had bargained for....was it worth it?

Yes, totally and unequivocally YES!






It's all contained in these lovely oh so beautiful pages of our special edition called Winter Love. 

With gorgeous thick paper pages and a beautiful sturdy cover, it's filled with lush photography and words. Our contributors are truly amazing, they worked hard to create their stories and images so they could be shared with you both online and in print. 

The digita…