Tag Archives: happiness

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

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

Where We At, Springwise

I know I tend to grab the camera every time the sun comes out for a beautiful day, which can give a fairly skewed impression of B.C. weather. For the most part this is what winter looked like this year:

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I took a ferry on January 21 in some kind of super-fog. (Just one day after this epic day.)

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Seriously, I looked over the rail and couldn’t even see the water.

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I still feel pretty lucky though. The winters are mild. Snow and ice may be flying around the country this week, but here is the last brief glimpse we had of the white stuff – a mere dusting in the air on March 21:

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No sign of it the next morning, as we waited for the ferry:

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Cherry blossoms that week in Victoria.

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There have been daffodils and other flowers all around the island for a good 3 weeks or more, however up on our mountain, we’ve only just gotten to this stage:

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Almost almost almost!

Yes, my bulb planting in the fall has actually produced results! I am gobsmacked.

It helps that the deer don’t like to eat them. My crocuses on the other hand… apparently they are delicious, because there isn’t a single one to be seen.

That’s okay, I’m happy with my daffodils. DSC08602

Almost almost almost here!

The Perfect Birthday

In past years I’ve tried to cram all kinds of indulgences into one day, on my birthday, resulting in fatigue and general frazzlement. This year, however, I finally found the winning formula to absolute, total, birthday perfection.

First, you play hookey from all work, duties, chores.

Next:

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And later, when the sun comes out:

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I read books for six hours straight. It was fantastic.

No music, radio, tv or internet. Just silence and bird twitters.

Yay for simple pleasures!

Just Today…

A splash of sunshine at noon inspired a picnic lunch in the yard. (Actually it was all my co-conspirator’s idea.) (She has recently objected to being called ‘the Boss’. Searching now for a new moniker.)

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It turns out that our mossy grassy yard is extra spongy and comfy to sit on. Prime picnicking real estate!

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Rainbow’s End

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So on Friday, just as we were behind schedule dashing to yoga class (of course), and I was muttering about how we’re always running late, the sun broke through the rain and we beheld a spectacular rainbow over Ganges. As we drove into town it was still hanging on – it was like we drove right through it. It faded by the time we got to our destination. Soooo… if we’d been organized and on time we would have missed the whole thing!

Sometimes the universe has to resort to the most obvious symbolism and beat you over the head with it before you notice.

Photographic evidence that the rainbow ends at Mouat's Hardware.

Photographic evidence that the rainbow ends at Mouat’s Hardware.

Step 93: Tuning Out

English: January 15, 1938. Mt. Kilimanjaro: Th...

Mt. Kilimanjaro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

March is officially no-facebook and no-twitter month for me. I was in desperate need of a Brain Cleanse, and my days are much more serene without all that online blather.

Downside? Not seeing immediately what distant friends and family members are up to. (ie. sister who’s just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro!)

Upside? More time, less distractions. More time for reading books. And actually playing the piano sometimes. Plus the sudden realization that if I miss a few posts (and even the latest hilarious “meme”) the world will not come to an end.

Is isolation from the outside world a good thing or a bad thing? When you’re young it’s nothing but bad bad and bad. Everything worthwhile is happening elsewhere, and (as Neil Young put it) everyone knows that this is nowhere.

But… as you grow older the cultural white noise starts to make your head hurt and the little house in the deep dark woods starts to look like a pretty good option.

Is this part of my country lifestyle slowdown? I suppose so. I still like the hum and buzz of activity, but this month the hum and buzz is coming from me instead of my newsfeed.

Become a fan on facebook

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I ❤ fire

or… The Wood Stove: Exercises in Manliness

This Valentine’s Day I write a note to my beloved, the focal point of our new home:

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dearest wood stove!

From chopping to carrying to stacking to lighting to stoking to staring at the flames, I heart you, wood stove! (Even though you are resistant to drawing properly, and smoke up the house every time I light you up…)

One of my favourite camping activities has always been chopping wood for the nightly campfire. Why do I enjoy it so much? I think it makes me feel macho. Especially with my new axe!

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Check it out! I feel very manly indeed wielding this baby, and it causes my shoulders and back very manly pain.

(I was lucky to inherit a fully stocked woodshed when I bought this house, so I do more carrying than actual chopping.)

Two of my most prized Christmas presents this year:

new hatchet and wood carrier

new hatchet and wood carrier

And I am giddy with delight when dear old Dad is kind enough to give me –

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Kindling, o kindling!

Yes, everyone needs an obsession and mine is keeping the home fires burning.

Greek Goddess Hestia

For my money the Greek goddess Hestia – goddess of the hearth, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family and the state – had a pretty good gig. The only downside was that she had to stay at the hearth, and couldn’t go gallivanting about like the other Olympians. Which still sounds pretty good to me…

So I have whole-heartedly taken to this particlar aspect of rural living. At this time of year we have a fire going nearly every evening. And when there are still embers glowing, and all I have to do is blow on them and the flames spring up…

Magic!

Magic!

Enthusiasm Trumps Technique

The big Jump Rope for Heart event at the school unleashed a mad frenzy of activity in the schoolyard…

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I just stood back and took in the scene, which was both epic and hilarious. The amount of actual, real skipping going on amongst those kids was minimal, but the wild abandon more than made up for that. Con mucho gusto…DSC07860 DSC07867

It’s all about the form…DSC07873

I’ve never seen someone cover so much ground while skipping.DSC07875 DSC07877 - Version 2 DSC07887 DSC07888

Another lesson from my life coach about doing things your own way. And having fun.

More Library Love

As a follow up to my Library Love post… This week I went along on a Grade 1 class tour of the new facility…

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kids in the driver’s seat of our “rolls royce” library!

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Isn’t this a lovely sight? Kids with books! Hooray!