Sunday, 31 March 2013


In Nova Scotia, you have to wait for spring. Having grown up on the west coast ( or wet coast as we jokingly refer to it now ) we were used to Daffodils in February, and Cherry Blossoms in March. We were also accustomed to more of a 2 season year, rain and then summer. So moving to Nova Scotia, we had to acclimatize to a different weather environment. The four seasons.

So to be honest, when you live on the West Coast you hear horror stories about the weather in the Maritimes. When we would tell people we were moving here, they would ply us with tales of endless winters with no sun, sub zero temperatures, and a ton of snow. So when we made the epic journey, we were ready. And when winter came we waited. We waited for these stories we had heard about to come to life. The first winter didn't live up to its potential. Actually it was opposite to what we expected. In fact, it was pleasant. Yes there was snow, but it was nice snow. And there was sun. Not just a little, but a lot. It would be cold, but it was clear. So we chalked that winter up to being an exception. We just got lucky our first year. So the next winter, we waited once again in anticipation of these apocalyptic weather bombs we had heard so much about out west. It didn't happen. Nor did it the next winter or the one after that. This one we just got through, was just like the rest. Pretty uneventful. Sure there were some snow storms, and gloomy days. But it certainly wasn't the horror we had been warned about. Not even close. And in fact it was 14 degrees C yesterday here in Yarmouth. The pleasures of living inland from the ocean. Spring is here!

So what struck me about all of this is how we as Canadians that live in the same country have all these misconceptions about each other. When we moved to Halifax I would talk to friends and family back home and they would say the funniest things. I remember mentioning once that I had just gotten home from Costco, and there was a sharp intake of breath on the other end of the phone line, and then the response." You have Costco there?" I laughed of course, and let them know that we did indeed have Costco, running water, and electricity.

All our provinces here in Canada are unique. When driving across this awesome country, this was something that stood out to me. How absolutely vast and amazing Canada is. How lucky we are to be Canadian, and how important it is to learn as much as we can about one another, and not make assumptions about how the other half lives. For example every one that lives in Nova Scotia is not a fisherman, and everyone in Alberta is not a cowboy, and every one in Vancouver is not rich. These are just a few things and assumptions I have heard along the way.

That said, where ever you are in the world, Canada, Europe, The USA, I'm sure its fabulous. And I want to see it someday, and learn about why you chose to be where you are, and what makes it the best place in the world for you.

Saturday, 30 March 2013


I thought an appropriate topic for this Easter weekend would be bunnies. Because hey, who doesn't like rabbits right? We have 4 rabbits right now. Flemish Giants. I had the bright idea last year that having rabbits was a great addition to any small farm. They reproduce quickly, are a very lean meat, and cheap to feed. We actually have a really great setup where we get all the kitchen scraps from a commercial kitchen here in Yarmouth, so instead of all that stuff going in to the green bin, and the garbage it gets fed to our animals. So everything was going along nicely. A great breading pair of rabbits, great cages. All was well. They did reproduce like I knew they would, and the meat is delicious. Now a lot of people will stop right here and say, oh how can you eat those cute little bunnies? Isn't it hard to kill them? Yes, it is. That's why I make my husband do it. But chickens are cute too, in my opinion, and lambs and cows. And most of us enjoy that on our supper table. Anyhow, being the gal that I am, I started to feel bad for having bunnies in a cage. Every day they had to look out and see the other animals freely roaming the yard. How fair is that? So, my bleeding heart took over, and I set them free. Yup, I thought this was a good idea. Set the four rabbits free. What could happen? And it was going great. They stay around, we feed them, and they think they are chickens.

Well, here's the problem. Spring has arrived. Plants are starting to grow. Hmmmm. What do rabbits eat? You guessed it. Plants. And a lot of them. I'm a real genius right? So now I'm in a pickle. We have a few options. They are really tame, so we can catch them and put them back in their cages or we can build them a rabbit coop, much like a chicken coop, where they can hang out for the summer. I'm leaning towards the second choice for sure. I think they will be happiest that way. Regardless of what we choose, I made the typical newbie farmer mistake. I grew attached to my livestock. I mean, just ask me the last time I had rabbit for supper? Ya, you guessed it. It's been awhile. I mean, look at this face!

Friday, 29 March 2013


So Easter weekend is here. One would think a time of relaxation, maybe a picnic, long drive in the country and some Easter candy. Well, that's my idea of a perfect Easter weekend anyways. But instead, its the push to get the rest of the firewood in for next winter. There is backbreaking labour in my future this weekend. Cutting down trees, cutting up trees, splitting wood and stacking.  To stay warm all winter requires a lot of wood, so thank goodness we have a forest that is kind enough to give us some free heat for the winter. And yes, it sounds like I'm complaining, but really, after a hard day of splitting and stacking in the sunshine, you feel tired but good. We get to use all those muscles that have been somewhat idle during the winter, and we get to hang out in the woods which is my favorite thing anyways, and play with chain saws and ride ATV's. What's not to like?

 And maybe I'll even throw in a drive in the country and a picnic somewhere in there. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Thursday, 28 March 2013


Just a quick note to everyone. I have had some info passed on to me that people are trying to comment on my posts, yet they are not appearing on the blog, and I can't find them anywhere either.  I am super new to this stuff, so you'll have to bare with me, and learn right along with me. I think I have solved the problem, though I won't know until someone tries to comment again. Sorry for any inconvenience. Also, if anyone out there knows how someone can become a follower of my blog, let me know, because I have no idea. I am a blogging newbie!


I have a thing for graveyards. Morbid? Maybe. But I am completely drawn to them. The older the better. Someone asked me the other day why I like them so much. I pondered this question for a long time and I came to the conclusion that I like them for many reasons. The first is that they serve as a reminder of our mortality. We are all on the same path, rich or poor, old or young. The result and outcome is the same for each and every one of us. No avoiding it and no exceptions. And it is good to be reminded of that once in awhile. It makes us stop for a moment and reflect on our lives. Graveyards help us to  ensure that we are living our lives to the fullest.

Graveyards also make me feel very small and insignicant. But not in a bad way. In a good one. That I am just a tiny piece of this universe, and that many have walked behind me, and many will walk ahead. We all just share a piece of this planet for a little while. And it makes me feel excited that I've had the chance to be part of it.

Another reason I love them so much is the fact that, when you are walking through the peace and tranquility of a graveyard, all your troubles seem to disappear. Because the simple fact of the matter is, none of it will matter in the end anyway.

You see, I have a philosophy. And its just my view, it doesn't mean any one else should think the way I do because every one is different. But for me, I think what matters the most is happiness. With yourself. With who you are and what you do. For me, it isn't the pursuit of money, or things. Cars or houses. I could have 10 million in the bank, and it wouldn't make a sunset any more beautiful, or a hike through the woods any more serene and peaceful. What brings me joy, is my children, my husband, peace and nature, animals, and great friends and family and a glass of wine at the end of the day. It may be a simple view of life, but its mine, and it makes me who I am. That's not to say life is perfect, and everything is giggles and rainbows. But it does help me tackle those times and moments when everything seems so overwhelming, and problems feel insurmountable.

Graveyards are a peaceful place. Try it some time.

Exploring through cooking

I was in Halifax, NS last weekend and was able to visit one of my favourite stores. Nope, it wasn't a clothing store or anything like that ( I really can't stand shopping ) It was a grocery store. Pete's Frootique. I love it so much because I can get all the awesome, strange, wonderful and  weird ingredients that I like to cook with, that I just can't find here in Yarmouth. I love walking around and taking in all the colors and smells and exotic foods from far away. And then I get to take all these wonderful things back to my kitchen and start creating.

Now this little passion of mine is not always well received by my kids. They shudder when they see the eggplant come out and they question why a lychee nut is called a nut when it really looks like a grape inside. And the poor little darlings would definitely rather have a pizza than Thai Curry Soup again. But for me, cooking is creation. I pour myself a glass of wine, light the candles, put on the jazz, and get going. In my mind I am my own cooking show. Around this house we watch Masterchef, Iron Chef, Top Chef Canada, and Top Chef Seattle among many others.  My kids know the names of Chef Michael Smith, Bobbie Flay, Gordon Ramsay and Mark Mckewan.

When I was a teenager, a friend of mine and I decided that each time we got paid we would go to the grocery store and buy something we had never tried before. So every second Friday off we went to Safeway to search out a new thing to try. It was our way of travelling to exotic places. Now, in those days ( before Internet and google ) we would actually have to go to the library to find out what some of these things were and how to eat them. ( I'm really dating myself here )  But what a privilege to be able to try things from all over the world. And how exciting to think of all the things out there left to discover.

And that's what I want for my kids. My rule is simple, you don't have to like it, you don't have to eat it, you just have to try it. That's all. I want them to know that its ok to try new things and that there is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered. And above all I want them to know that if you don't like something, that's great, but at least you can say you tried.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A Loyal Friend

I have a loyal friend. He is someone who has stuck close to me for the last 14 years. Through the good and the bad, on trips, and moves. He's there when I go to sleep at night, and he's waiting for me first thing in the morning when I get up. He waits in the window, when I go out, and is still there, when I come back home again. But my loyal friend is getting older now. His eyes are clouding over, and he can't always hear me when I call. I have to carry him up the stairs to bed now, and in the morning, back down again. Sleep is his past time of choice, and the balls and toys now lie untouched. But he is still my boy. There is nothing more loyal than a dog and Barley means so much to me. How very hard to watch him grow older. I wonder if he knows what pleasure and rewards he has brought to all our lives? Well, besides killing my chickens, but hey, nobody is perfect.

Anyone that knows me will tell you I'm an animal lover. If I was left to my own devices I would be surrounded by them, but  my husband feels differently so we keep it to a minimum. Probably a good thing. But the way I see it, a home isn't a home unless there's a dog asleep in front of the fireplace. And the rewards and lessons are endless. What better way to teach my children about life and death, and compassion and responsibility? Watching my kids now, as Barley enters his last stage of life leaves me in awe. When I see my son gently pick him up, and carry him up the stairs so he can sleep beside my bed, I know that the compassion he feels for Barley, is a trait that will follow him throughout his life. My son, and Barley are the same age. They've grown together. But while my son is still a young boy with his whole life ahead, Barley is at his journey's end. My children are witness to the the span of life, so short, no matter who we are, human or animal. The lessons I want for my children, above all else, is to realize that life is a gift, and we must make the best of it, each and every single day. And I believe that Barley has helped teach this lesson. By just being him.


I really love my chickens. Well, most of the time anyways. We do have our moments. Like when they eat my seedlings, or raid the bird feeder, or make a mess on my porch. But besides all of those things my chickens provide us with the most beautiful, delicious eggs anyone could ask for. And it gets even better that. They are also extremely entertaining, and have their own personalities. I sometimes sit in the yard or on the front portch and just watch them. There's Henny and Penny( I know, really original names ) and Tipsy, because she has a black tip on her tail feathers, and Stoo the Rooster. There's Croak, that has a really strange way of clucking, and The Three Muskateers. Tipsy spends a lot of time on her own. Never far from the others, but always within site of Stoo. The rest move together in a group, scratching and pecking, scratching and pecking. They circumnavigate the yard, looking for treasures of worms and bugs, happily enjoying their freedom to roam. If I come outside they will run to me, in the strange way only chickens can run, and follow me around waiting for a treat, or some kitchen scraps. They always turn their heads and look at me sideways, and I often wonder what they are thinking. The other really neat thing about  chickens is their curiousity. Many times I will look out the sliding door only to see one of the chickens there looking in at me.

Or, if I leave the front door open, they will saunter right on inside as if to say, hey what's going on? What's for supper? Yup, chickens are like that. They rely on us for their food, and shelter, and they give us their beautiful eggs in return for the favour. And what better thing to do in the morning, than head out to the coop and collect some eggs for breakfast. I truly wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A day in the life of Me

Well, this is truly breaking out of my comfort zone and moving forward in my journey of writing. I have never made any of my writing public, so this is somewhat difficult for me. So bare with me, while I make this huge transition in to the world of blogging.

So here goes....

Recently my husband and I and our kids made a big transition. We went from a dual income family, with kids in daycare, commuting, big mortgage, waterfront home, to a one income family, short commute, no daycare, and high hopes of trying to somewhat, live off the land. This required a job change for my husband, selling our house, and moving to a whole new community.

Well, living off the land is not as easy as we thought, but it is truly a great challenge. It hasn't been without its ups and downs that's for sure. Things from, my dog killing half my chickens, turkeys and ducks, to the realities of actually having to kill the turkey for thanksgiving, after he has followed you around the yard, and become your buddy the last 6 months. The upside has been, a lavish, delicious veggie garden, being home when my kids come home from school, and truly having to learn who I am, amongst all this change and transition. Do I know who I am yet? No, but I'm working on it.

My days are so different now, than what they were before. I bake my own bread, try and cook every meal from scratch, and take care of animals, pets, kids and a hubby. My old life was commuting an hour to the city, working all day, travelling every second week for a week, and coming home exhausted. Do I miss my old life? Yes, sometimes I do. I miss the things that the city had to offer, I miss my co workers, and the social life and the extra money.  But all those things are offset by the fact that I'm here when my kids come through the door each day, and yell out, "Hi Mom, I missed you today" and being able to share a snack and a chat.

The last year and a half that we've lived this new life has sped by so quickly, as life does no matter what path you choose. So, in my blogging, I hope to share some of my life, and my views, with you the reader, and also, make this a place I can also visit to look back on my own accomplishments, mishaps, bad days, and good ones, and all around life moments. I'm not really going for a theme here, just some good old honest writing. So, welcome to my blog, and I hope we can share many great times together.