Two Steps Back

Our trip back to our old stomping grounds in Toronto was all at once exciting, fun, sad, exhausting, and surreal.

IMG_3115The surreal part came when we wandered into stores or through our old school and people just smiled and nodded to us as if we’d never left. Very Rip Van Winklish.

The excitement of leaving the city for a great adventure helped us to skim over the sadness of goodbyes last year, but that sadness hit my better half like a Mack truck on this trip. It all came to a head after dinner with her best Toronto friend, when she realized we wouldn’t see her again before we left town. L absolutely lost it, howling with despair and spitting out those fearsome words “Why did we even have to move?!” and “Why didn’t you ask me if we should move?!”

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After the tears subsided she rallied somewhat, because she is nothing if not a trooper, but ever since  that night she’s been a bit fragile, especially when it comes to her friends here. We just don’t have as many of them as we did in Toronto, I guess.

Plus when she gazes at the city lights she becomes rapturous. She does love the city.

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Things to Do in Toronto When You’re Undead

IMG_3189We’ve just had a Fantastic Big City Hallowe’en! Even with the rain it was great to be back in the old neighbourhood for trick or treating.

First we dropped in on our old school and their costume parade… Continue reading

The Challenge Ahead

Perhaps the biggest parenting challenge of the year lies ahead… Hallowe’en Costume Construction. We’ve left it almost to the very last minute (considering we’re leaving tomorrow on a big trip, more on that later). After much deliberation, this is who she wants to be, Hex from Skylanders:

HexWe’ve come a long way from pink unicorns and ladybugs!

Wish me luck…

Snapshot of a Salt Spring Saturday

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Sometimes the stereotypes all seem to be true. I just read through the Salt Spring Exchange’s events for today and had to shake my head. Bookended by development and tourism, we have early morning meditation, a group cleanse and detox, a multi-media art show from the Centre for Loving Inquiry, a local referendum vote that has everyone riled up (re. the new proposed fire hall), the Saturday Market, and places to take in branches and exchange leaves.

And apparently nothing to do in the evening, on a Saturday night.

Ah Salt Spring! I must go now and take my daughter and her friends to yoga… and while they’re there I’ll sit at the library and read angry letters to the editor in the Driftwood. Or not.

See the original Exchange post here.

 

Laid-back Friendly Saltspring

DSC08096 - Version 2Considering they’re living in an island paradise, I’m always amazed at how CRANKY Saltspringers are.

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Looking for Seaweed Snacks Endorsements…

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One Year Later

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Two days ago we celebrated the one year anniversary of moving into our little house in the woods. They say it takes the first week of a vacation just to start to relax and enjoy yourself. I’m wondering if it takes the first year of living on Salt Spring to unwind all the inner springs and let the watch finally run down.

Who knows if I’m actually at that point yet. What I do know is this: over the last two weeks I feel like I’ve acheived a perfect balance of work-life-fun-chores. Over the last two weeks I’ve settled into a workday ritual that ends abruptly at 3:00, at which point dilly-dallying and puttering take over. The weekend – and we have three days of it here – is given almost entirely to household chores, but done in a meandering, highly distracted way. And when the sun shines, that supercedes all previous plans and we head outside.

Only over the last two weeks have I started to implement 30 minutes of staring idly into space (while sitting outdoors) into my productive workday. And, most importantly, I regard it as a necessary activity!

Neither of us has acquired a taste for kale yet, but my little yogini consumes vast quantities of seaweed snacks. I, on the other hand, do not. She has set up a “yoga oasis” in her room and invites me in to do relaxation poses, complete with eye pillows. That’s my kind of yoga!

I am extremely fortunate to have a seven-year-old who adapted so effortlessly to such a big change, and who makes friends so readily that within days of starting grade one she had found 4 best friends. (They continue to be giddy, silly buddies into Grade Two.) As a result of this social circle, I get to hang out with a pretty fantastic collection of moms.

Lots of quality Grandpa and Grandma time, mild (soggy foggy) winters, blindingly gorgeous summers, greenery and silence, and wonderful friends.

We’re doin’ all right.

the dizzy dames

the dizzy dames

the moms

the moms

Step 94: Assemble Crack Team of Professionals

vosteamOkay, I’ve got a doctor, accountant, mechanic, realtor, eye specialist, lawyer, printer, chimney cleaner, piano tuner, and appliance repairman  – none of whom look anything like the people in the picture above  – and today I finally signed us up with a dentist! Am I done now??!

The Big City!

Okay, long time no post, I know. Busy busy busy! (in every good little way) So to do a little catchup here…

Beacon Hill Park!

Beacon Hill Park!

For our Spring Break, which was a luxurious 2 weeks long (we only got 1 wk in Toronto), one of our excursions was to the big smoke of Victoria for a few days. Even though our province’s capital is but a hamlet compared to the mammoth excess that is the GTA, it still feels metropolish* compared to our sleepy little island.

* trademark pending

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This just says "70s" to me. The Royal BC Museum.

This just says “70s” to me. The Royal BC Museum.

I can’t tell you how lovely it was to be back in the bustle, waiting for the green light before crossing the street, and walking everywhere! Except for hikes or the occasional dog walk, on Saltspring we never walk anywhere! (And in Toronto we were the queens of foot power/bike power.) We enjoyed the luxury of staying in an apartment that was a short walk from all that we wanted to do, namely Beacon Hill Park, the RBCM, Imax theatre, legislative building, Miniature World, Bug Zoo… yup, we did the full tourist trip.

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Oh, and did I mention going to Booster Juice? My accomplice misses her favourite smoothies something dreadful and there’s an outlet just 2 blocks from where we were staying!

The new Booster Juice poster girl.

The new Booster Juice poster girl.

Beautiful Victoria, city of flowers and totem poles!

cherry blossoms

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Unhand that girl!

Unhand that girl!

These photos were taken mid-April, hence the jackets, but it was lovely weather. (Right now we’re digging out shorts and sandals! Wheeee!)

My girl floated about declaring that she wanted to move to Victoria and live in an apartment! Until she realized that in an apartment you’re not allowed to dance and stomp about…

So we quite enjoyed our taste of the city – we’re heading back very soon, actually.

Tiny Things

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Two little intruders on our deck. They look like they’re just passin’ through…

And this Anna’s Hummingbird was zooming around Mom and Dad’s place, so I got my camera and waited…

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