Tag Archives: Magic!

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…

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:

DSC08042 DSC08044 DSC08045

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

IMG_0555 IMG_0556 - Version 2 IMG_0557

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

IMG_0559 IMG_0561

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:


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


Cherry blossoms that week in Victoria.


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:


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!

Rainbow’s End


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.

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:


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!


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 –


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…




Our new place is fringed by woods, and our woods are, in a word, damp.
Sodden, really. Everything is thickly carpeted with moss and everywhere we go we find the most miraculous fungi.

DSC07553 - Version 2 DSC07596 - Version 2 DSC07591 - Version 2 DSC07581 - Version 2 DSC07575 - Version 2 DSC07560 - Version 2DSC07518 DSC07651 DSC07522

Quite possibly the work of fairies. They’d make lovely umbrellas and hats for the wee folk.

(Thinking of christening our new home Fungal Manor.)

Resolution: More Adventures

Our first New Year’s Resolution was “More Dance Parties”, and yesterday the Boss added this resolution. So for our last, grey day of vacation we went out to have an adventure.

She had the exploring gear.

She had the exploring gear.

I carried the lunch.

I carried the lunch.

We started up the slope behind our house.

DSC07492 DSC07501

We suspect that these rocks were once trolls who were caught when the sun came up and turned them to stone. Can you see the faces? (Trolls can have more than one head.)

DSC07508 DSC07514

DSC07513 DSC07516 DSC07518 DSC07522 DSC07525 DSC07538 DSC07542

And I was going to spend the afternoon cleaning house! I’m adding my own resolution – follow the Boss’ lead on the daily agenda, especially on weekends and holidays. She always has the best ideas!


Snow on the mountain

Ye gods! It’s snow! I never thought the rain would ever turn into big ol’ flakes but tonight it happened at last. I immediately tried to take photos – not so easy in the pitch black, but I finally got some I liked. (Rather unexpected effect from the flash on snowflakes…)

DSC07127 - Version 2 DSC07146 - Version 2 DSC07148 DSC07149 DSC07151 - Version 2

Can’t get much more flippin’ Christmassy than that!

And here the trusty Volvo has a chilly night.

DSC07142 - Version 2

It’s a good thing I grabbed my camera. As I post this I can hear the rain pitter pattering down and I expect the whiteness will disappear before the dawn.

The Second Coming of Santa, so to speak

DSC07015 - Version 2 DSC07022 - Version 2 DSC07023 - Version 2 DSC07024 - Version 2 DSC07032
This time Santa came by boat… at night… shooting fireworks off the bow! He was travelling with an odd assortment of pirates and clowns, which lent him a little outlaw cred. After they all disembarked there was a mob scene – a ruly mob scene – and we waited nearly an hour for a moment with the great man.

The long line was a killer after a busy day, but I can’t really complain as I have somehow managed to get through six Christmases without doing the excruciating Santa lineup. (Cannily avoiding malls at all costs, if you must know my secret.) It was just our time, I guess. This is one of those parenting moments when you’ve just got to suck it up and play through the pain. And have your camera ready.

(My favourite moment, after the fireworks, was the withering look the Boss gave the pirate who offered her a balloon sword at around the 45-minute mark of standing in that crowded noisy hallway.)

Sudbury Saturday Night

And now, a brief interlude from our voluminous collection of travel snaps…