Thursday, 4 September 2014


Here we are, September. Another summer behind us as we send our children back to school, harvest our gardens, watch the leaves change and marvel at the morning dew clinging to the spider webs that abound through out the yard everwhere. Sunflowers reach for the sky, their great yellow heads beckoning us to take part in the last burst of summer.

 There is a hint of nostalgia as we begin our preperations for the months ahead but there is also contentment and excitment. We look back over the pictures of summer, reliving the special moments. The ones that stand out as memories never to be forgotten. I had quite a few of those kinds of moments this past summer. Ones that will stay with me throughout the cold nights that are surely ahead. There was the time when I lied in my tent and watched the fireflies up high in the trees, twinkling, little lights everwhere. They only come out once a year and last only a little while. I am so very glad I have a tent that has an open mesh ceiling that I can uncover on special nights such as those ones. I snuggled down in my sleeping bag and gazed at the night sky, stars, fireflies and towering pines. Another special moment was taking part in a Native Sunrise Ceremony. Myself, my husband and my daughter stood together with 20 other brave souls that morning and took part in a ceremony that I will never forget. Strangers bound together by a beautiful sunrise celebrating creation together as one. A new morning, a fresh start. Each day we are on earth we are presented with this every morning. Amazing.

 There were nights sitting by the lake where the stars were so abundant they reflected in the water creating a world of sparkling wonder. Moments where you feel the need to speak in hushed whispers as night falls, because you don't want to disturb the immense beauty around you. There were the mournful cries of loons in the night, the rustle of deer outside the tent as we were sleeping, owls whoo hooing as our eyes slowly closed. There were white sandy beaches, cold oceans, warm lakes, country roads and the smell of woodsmoke on our clothes. But most of all, there was the times of just being together. Having these moments with those that I love the most. When I look back over the last couple months there were times of hardships too. Losing my beloved dog Barley, work pressures, crazy days and some sleepless nights where the worries seem so much more daunting than they do in the light of day. But the special moments, the ones that make you feel like you are part of something much greater than we can ever imagine, are the ones I choose to remember. Focusing on the wonders of life that surround us all. The free gift of nature that is worth more than any million,  is there for us each and everday. We can count on the sunrise and we can count on the sunset. We can set our clocks to it, it is that loyal. Nature never disappoints. It can be rageful, like the hurricane we experienced this summer, and it can be cruel, but it certainly does not disappoint, whether it is in its powerful beauty, or its gentle hush. I loved summer, and now I look happily forward to the Autumn approaching. Where there will be more moments to cherish and enjoy. I can't wait. I will end this post with some of my pictures of summer. Enjoy. Happy September everybody, may it be filled with love, laughter and cherished moments.

Monday, 28 July 2014


Well, from hurricanes to destroyed veggie gardens and downed trees, summer came off with a windy start. No internet for weeks after and having to wait for the rural repair people to fix us up and then leaving for vacation to our camp which has no internet was something to behold, let me tell you. But we are back home, our internet is back up and running and life is returning to its somewhat normal routine. Its amazing when you take away the electonics, how life changes. The games battleship and crib made an appearance after collecting dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere. All the many world crisis' that occurred while we were offline went virtually unnoticed as we didnt' listen to the radio either. We were in a non electronic bliss and all was well in the world.

Of course this self induced bliss can't last forever and we came back to the land of the living to hear of horrific plane crashes and war, but the thing that I noticed most was that, even though I heard about it after the fact, because it was in the past and not the current news story, I was mostly spared all the graphic images and stories that often accompany news items such as these. And that was a welome relief. I really do think its ok to take a break from all that stuff once in awhile, and that's what we did this vacation. I have been experiencing a lot of stess these past few months and they have taken a toll. So what we did was focus on ourselves this vacation and have a little hubby and I alone time. I read 5 books, went canoeing, hiking and fishing. We explored quaint little towns and dirt roads that lead to lakes and rivers and sandy beaches. And all this was at our doorstep. I feel very blessed to live in such a magnificent little place in the world. Listening to the loons lonely cry at night as the darkness fell and the fire crackled, glass of wine in hand, really helped wash away some of the strain that life has been handing out this past while. I feel truly rejuvinated. Now back to reality. But before I go, I will leave you with a few picturesque highlights of our Nova Scotia Staycation.

Thursday, 10 July 2014


A lot has been happening in our neck of the woods lately. Hurricane Arthur made landfall in Yarmouth Nova Scotia last Saturday and since the storm we have had no internet up until today. Wow, when you live in a home that relies completely on internet for television, blogging, social media and communication, it packs a big punch when its not available. That said, we were luckier than most as we only lost power here for about 12 hours. As of today, there are still some in our community going without so I really can't complain too much.

We did receive a lot of damage to the yard though, losing many many trees. We also lost most of our crop of peaches, all the plums and some of our vegetable garden was flattened. Arthur hit the shore with winds sustained at 140km/h and wreaked havoc on the shore. There are downed trees through much of the community and the massive clean up has begun.

My favorite tree in the yard weathered the storm remarkably though and I am so happy to see it is still standing.

Other than the hurricane, life has been busy as usual. Summer activities are in full swing and vacation is just around the corner. We aren't doing a whole lot this year. Just going to the property and a little camping here and there. Cape Breton and New Brunswick are on our radar and I look forward to sharing some of that scenery. I have been to Cape Breton only once and it was absolutely stunning. I an understand why its rated one of the top ten island destinations in the world.

I'm hoping the slow down in to vacation mode will give me a little more time for quiet reflection and inspiration for writing. Working in a small office all day behind a computer makes coming home to sit behind yet another screen and start typing a hard decision to make. Especially when the sun and yard beckon me outdoors. So summer posts will probably be down to a minimum this year unless internet finds me somewhere on the vacation trail. Happy summer every one.

Thursday, 26 June 2014


I am going to do a little experiment in centering myself before I begin writing today. What I am going to do now is close my eyes and listen intently to the world around me. Then I am going to begin typing all the things I hear. (Thank goodness I can type with my eyes closed. Thank you Grade 11 typing class) Here it goes:

The hum of the refrigerator, rain on the roof, my little dog breathing, the sound of a video game in the other room, the sound of my children's voices as they play together, my own heat beat, my breathing, my fingers typing on the keys, rain drops hitting the windows, the washing machine on spin cycle. As I listen more intently I can here the changes in the rain. From heavy downpour to trickling and back to downpour, surging up and down like the sea. I can almost smell the dank wetness of the day. There is a sound of raindrops in the chimney pipe and I remember there is a small leak to fix. These are the sounds around me. A 5 minute relaxation of all the things that surround me in this moment in time. A great way to relax.

I tend to this often. Take a break, close my eyes and listen. I love to do it in the woods, where the sounds of nature are so diverse. There will be the chipper of a squirrel, the leaves rustling in the trees above or the dripping of water after a rain. I also love to lie in the grass in an open field and watch the clouds float past above me. Here in Nova Scotia the clouds seem so much closer than they did out west. I assume this is because we don't have any mountains here, but whatever the reason, I love it. The big white puffy balls of cotton drift past against the deepest of blue skies, and I sigh in contentment as the grass tickles my arms and an ant will crawl across my leg as I lie still and breathe. This is how I meditate and relax. It brings me a renewed energy.

Life is so full of anxieties and pressures. That's why taking these moments trying to use all our 5 senses are so important. When we take to time to sit still and listen, hear, smell, taste and touch we become in tune with our own body as well as the environment around us. The other night at the lake I decided to set up the tent to sleep in. I absolutely love sleeping outdoors and the great thing about my tent is that I can roll back the tent fly and see through to the sky above. As I lied in my sleeping bag, I looked up through the mesh above. The night sky sparkled with stars, framed by the towering shadows of the pine trees all around. Lightning bugs darted back and forth amongst the branches above and I snuggled down in to my sleeping bag and listened to the camp fire outside crackle and pop as its warm glow reflected inside the tent walls. Toads and frogs were singing and chirping as the night breeze blew through the tent windows. I turned to my husband and whispered...."I will never forget this moment.." And I won't. It was true perfection.

So even though life's journey can be difficult, as long as we take a few moments of perfection and weave them in to our own personal tapestry, we can create and live the perfect little moments in time that bring brightness and happiness to any situation. From a tent in the woods, to the hum of a refrigerator in your home. All these things mean your alive. Your are here to live it, feel it, see it, breathe it, smell it and taste it. What an amazing gift.

Here are a few photos of my little moments that brought me happiness this past weekend. Cheers!

Sunday, 15 June 2014


The other day I was on a walk with my daughter. We were at the lake and she wanted to go exploring together. I was all for it. So she grabbed her walking stick, I filled my water bottle and off we went in to the wild. There is nothing like checking out new territory. Around every corner awaits a surprise. The sun was hot on our faces and arms as we trudged along talking and laughing. She is growing up so fast and I can’t help but want to hang on to these moments for as long as I can. We stopped and explored a giant ant hill. We talked about what it must look like underground and how fun it would be to be able to shrink down and explore all the tunnels and caverns the ants had made. We saw a few Painted Turtles along the way, and she fearlessly reached out and stroked its shell, absolutely mesmerized.

 What was so special about this time together is that it was just her and I. I really haven’t realized that since I've returned to being a working Mom, our alone time together has really suffered. I’m always in a rush, going here and there and everywhere. Rushing to get supper ready, rushing to do the housework, off to work, off to school. Downtime is rare. But these are the moments I can’t get back. She won’t always be excited by the ants or the turtles. She may not always want to talk my ear off about every little thing that happened at school. In a few years she may not want to go for a walk, holding my hand. And all too soon that day will come and she’s going to be gone. Off on her own, embarking on her own journeys. Just as my son did a week ago. He has left home to begin his career and start his new life. He has his own apartment, new job, cooking his own suppers and paying his own bills. He is a grown man. It feels as if I blinked, and it was over. After we moved him in, I got in my car and looked up to where I thought his window must be. I turned the key in the ignition, put the car in gear and pulled away, leaving my first born behind. My mind flashed back to 16 years before when I put him on the school bus for the first time. I still remember his little red back pack too big for his tiny frame. I remember his jeans being a touch too long and that his shoe lace on his little shoe was undone as he climbed up those big old stairs on the yellow bus. He glanced back at me looking for reassurance and I bravely smiled and motioned him to go on even though I wanted to snatch him up and take him home.  Then I  could just see the top of his blonde head through the windows as he made his way down the aisle. He found a seat and looked out at me as I waved and the bus pulled out and away, my baby on board.  I cried my eyes out. Years later I did the same with my other son, and then my daughter. All those moments felt exactly the same way. As if a big shift had taken place and that they had taken another step out in to the world without me. And this is as it should be. They need to gain their independence and find their way. When my middle child goes to camp on his own this summer for the first time, it’s going to be hard. For me, and for him. But these are all the moments. The moments of growing up and maturing.

 But for this mom, I want to cherish and enjoy every special moment, no matter how big or small. I want a few more walks to look at the ant hills and turtles and talk about flowers and kids on the playground. I want a few more Christmas concerts listening to my son as he plays in the band, my heart swelling with pride. Time moves by so quickly it feels as if I can't catch my breath. It's like moment after moment is slipping away. It's not a bad thing, its the journey of life. But just once in awhile  I wish time would slow down just a little, so I can savor the special moments for a little longer.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


So it has been a very long time since I have had the chance to even sit down and put fingers to keys. The end of the school year is always a time of immense chaos. There are recitals, band concerts, gardens to put in  and work obligations. Throw in Dr's appointments and lot clearing and what you get is pure exhaustion. But today, is a day just for me. I have no where to be, heaps to do but I'm ignoring that, and I am going to spend the day doing whatever it is I want to. Much too much time has passed lately where I am running here and there and everywhere, and tomorrow will once again be one of those days where I actually have to physically be in 2 different places at once at the same time. Haven't figured that out yet, but I am not going to worry about it today.

So today is about quiet, reflection and taking a good hard look at what is giving me fulfillment and happiness and what isn't. As you all know by now, nature is my happy place. It's where I go to find peace and tranquility and how I center back to what's important. It's where I can hear my thoughts again and see with more clarity the way my life should be. This past weekend we finally took our canoe out for it's maiden voyage and I can' t even begin to describe to you how very happy this made me. All problems vanished with the first dip of the paddle.

Our recreational property is located on a lake that is suitable for paddling only, so as you head out on the water there is nothing but silence. There is no traffic, roads or loud engines, only the sound of the water lapping against the sides of the boat and wind whispering through the trees. We surprised a loon as we paddled around the corner of an island and she rose up on her haunches and let out the typical loon cry. We passed an active beaver lodge and followed a river up to a perfect fishing hole where the trout were literally jumping out of the water. We found out later this lake is stocked with fish so it looks like there are many days ahead of fishing in that idyllic little spot.

Because life has been so hectic and crazy, my ability to stop and enjoy the moment is becoming a difficult thing to do. I don`t want to fall back in to that way of life that just does not bring me any personal fulfillment. Taking the time to sit back and relax and just be are so important, and I really need to refocus and spend as much time as I can paddling, fishing, stopping to enjoy a sunset and sipping a nice cool glass of wine around a crackling fire. That is my personal bliss.

Life is a funny thing. We all have our own journeys to make, and even though we make those journeys with other people by our side, whether it be a spouse, friends, family or children, really our own destiny and our own thoughts are just that. Our own. No one can change your inner thoughts and feelings, and no one can really completely know how things are for you. This just isn`t possible. So your own inner dialogue is yours alone and only you have the power to change it. I read an interview with Eckhart Tolle this morning on the Huffington Post website which I will quote here as it made a tremendous impression on me:

``Thought can be so seductive and hypnotic that it absorbs your attention totally, so you become your thoughts. When you become your thoughts, that is the ego. To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually. For example, when your mind is very critical of yourself or other people, frequently complaining or berating yourself or creating anxiety by worrying about what might go wrong in the future, this creates a lot of unhappiness. Then you reach a point where you ask yourself, what is the root of this unhappiness I feel all the time. And then you may be amazed to realize that in most cases when you are unhappy, you`re not unhappy because of something that`s happening in your life; you`re unhappy because of what your mind is telling you about it. It`s not a situation or an event that makes you unhappy but your mental commentary about it, the voice in your head. When you realize that, that`s when you begin to disidentify from the voice in your head.```

I really love what he has to say, because I really feel in life we have the ability to change our paths. I`m not saying it`s happy go lucky all the time, and in fact from human suffering often comes immense change, but I do think we can control how we approach a situation, how we find forgiveness instead of hanging on to what we perceive as wrong doings and how we can make changes to live a life in the present.

This is something I really need to work on as I have been swept up in to the crazy, chaotic life as working mother once again. But even though at this point I need to do that, I can find ways of being present in the moment, even when I`m doing something I don`t really want to do. And when I do get those moments, in the canoe, or casting a line or just listening to the silence of the night broken only by the mournful cry of a loon as the stars flicker above, I am going to savor and enjoy everything around me. That my friends, makes life worth living.

Thursday, 1 May 2014


I love this picture for so many reasons.

For one, it captures my daughter's spirit and personality perfectly. That's her! But it also invokes in me my longing for freedom. To feel I can leap off a rock and launch in to the air, free.

In life there are so many responsibilities. We have to provide for ourselves and our families. Go to work, extracurricular activities, volunteer, keep up the house, grow the garden, make supper, eat healthy, worry about money, friends, funerals, weddings, familial obligations. But when I look at the picture above, that is what I want my life to be and what I aspire to achieve. Total freedom. Now, I'm not saying that I don't want all the above responsibilities. In fact, I thrive on most of them (funerals being the exception, especially if its mine) But I want those things that I'm responsible for to be in the right balance, so that I may feel in life the way that picture makes me feel.

Working in long term care day after day I am witness to where the journey ends for people. The life they have lived is mostly just a memory, and their reality now is not ideal. It is a constant reminder of why it is so important to make every second count which is hard to do when we have obligations and jobs to do. In life we are constantly tasked with things that if given the choice, we wouldn't do. That's just life. But I truly believe we have control over what brings us joy and happiness.

For me, my big hurdle in life is stress and the inability to say no. When I agree to do something that I don't want to do but feel obligated to do it, I am racked with stress and resentment. So much so that it can consume me at times. But if I say no to something, then I am overwhelmed with guilt and feelings that I'm being selfish for saying no. Can you see the problem here? It's a damned if I do, damned if I don't scenario. So what I'm really working on these days is trying to recognize that it isn't selfish to say no. There shouldn't be any guilt attached to myself not wanting to do something just because someone wants me to. The same goes for expectations. Why should I allow someone else's expectations of me become more important than the expectations I have for myself? When I think of it in these terms it becomes clear to me that there is no reason to ever commit or do something that you don't feel is the right thing for yourself.

Writing this blog has been a great thing for me. It's allowed me to get my artist juices flowing in a way that I never imagined. I know its not the best writing, but it's me. It has given me the courage to have a good hard look at my life and what I want it to be and most of all have recognized who is in this life along side me to be the best that we can all be and who isn't.

Creating personal freedom is not about turning my back on my responsibilities, but it is about making my journey in life mine. No one is going to live my life but me so I shouldn't allow any one else to do so. I love my husband and my children and they are my joy and my freedom. So even though I go to work sometimes wishing I was anywhere but there (as we all do sometimes) the result of that work day is the ability to provide for what brings me joy and that gives me pleasure. But worrying about what any one thinks of me and my idea of life and the way I live it or want to approach it shouldn't be my concern. And for too long I've allowed it to be this way.

So here's to personal freedom and satisfaction. I am leaping off my rock in to the wild blue yonder. Let's see where it takes me.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Well in true Nova Scotia style, we’ve gone from -10 degrees Celcius to +15 in a matter of a couple weeks. Temperatures are on the rise, the sun is out, the lawn is greening up and everything feels fresh. I was able to get my veggie garden rototilled, my flower beds weeded and prepared and general clean up as a whole took place this past weekend. My greenhouse is filled to the rim with seed trays and some have made their appearance already. The artichokes were the first to show their green leaves which surprised me as I assumed these would be the tricky ones, but they seem to be off to a momentous start. My lavender seeds are working out, as are the peppers and the Echinacea. Everything else I planted this past weekend so it will be a little bit before they break ground.

I can’t begin to say how excited I am for the next few months. There are so many projects and adventures on the horizon this summer. We will be building a shed at our property at the lake, as well as installing an outhouse and getting our RV ready to be our home away from home until construction on the cottage begins, which will be sometime in the next few years. Having a cottage has been a lifelong dream of mine and knowing that I get to begin planning and creating my own cottage space fills me with so much joy. Living out west, this never would have been even a remote possibility unless I won the lottery. But living in Nova Scotia has given us so many more opportunities to live the life that makes us happy and fulfilled.

The other night as I was lying in bed I had my window open a crack. I could hear the peepers (frogs) chirping away and filling the night with song. The owls were doing their regular Hoot Hooting and I could see stars twinkling in the pitch black night. There was no sounds of traffic or sirens or train whistles that I was used to hearing growing up. There was only the stillness of the night and the creatures that inhabit the darkness. It sets my mind at ease and I’m able to fall asleep feeling such a sense of peace.

Monday, 7 April 2014


 I was thinking today about how quickly time passes. One moment we are kids, laughing and playing and the next we are adults with children of our own. Then they too grow and life passes in a blaze of awesome moments and fond memories, hard times and challenges. Once you have children time picks up momentum and the years pass as quickly as a summer vacation did when we were kids. There is a John Denver song that I love called “Poem’s, Prayers and Promises.” One of the verses that I relate to so well goes like this:

“The days they pass so quickly now, the nights are seldom long, time around me whispers when it’s cold. The changes somehow frighten me, still I have to smile. It turns me on to think of growing old.”

Of course the tragic part of this song is that John Denver never had the opportunity to grow old. But he did perish doing something he loved which is really all we can hope for in life.
As time passes and we grow older we of course lose more and more people that are close to us. We lose grandparents, parents, siblings and friends. It’s difficult. Death is something that awaits all of us and comes too quickly no matter how old you may be.
Sometimes when I look in the mirror my eyes gaze back in surprise. Who is that 40+ year old woman in this reflection? When did she get there? I don’t feel like 40 years have passed, but the signs are there. I have some wrinkles now, I have more weight on, and the stubborn grey in my hair seems to get even more stubborn as time wares on. But really, none of these superficial things matter. What matters is who I am. What matters is how I am spending my time with whatever time I have, whether it is a day, a year or a multitude of years. I have to make every effort to make sure that I try very hard to make every moment count, even the unpleasant ones.
I was telling someone the other day how I have made a very concentrated effort in making my life as positive as I possibly can. I am moving on from negative people, things and situations and surrounding myself with as much happiness and joy as I can and concentrating on being present in the moment. Their response was that although great to be positive, one must strike a balance, making sure you keep up with current events and what is happening in the world. The statement made me feel judged, as if I was almost being reprimanded or unrealistic in my approach to life. You see, being positive and being present is not about ignoring anything bad that may happen. In fact I read 4 newspapers a day so I’m pretty up on current affairs. But when I read or see something that evokes emotion or outrage, I allow myself to feel the sorrow and sadness when I hear of tragic circumstances, because tragedy is reality, but then I move on. This has nothing to do with maintaining a positive disposition and has nothing to do with striking a balance. There are situations in the world that I’m powerless to solve. What I mean about being positive is that when you face your day, no matter how monotonous, or how horrible it may be; only you have the choice on your attitude. You can give in to the negative, or you can face it with a positive. Believe me, it can sometimes be the harder of the two to take the latter road than it is to sink in to the negative. But it’s well worth the effort.
I am truly not successful at achieving this all the time. I sometimes sink in to that negative mindset and when I do I sink like a stone. But I am consciously aware that when I do so, everything around me is affected. Things seem to go wrong. I start to feel sorry for myself. Poor me enters in to my vocabulary. And before long, it spirals in to a vortex of negative situations. Change the frown upside down, and before long the vortex spits you out on your two feet and you are able to make it through whatever circumstances you are facing in that given moment.

It’s the same with people. Have you ever noticed that when you spend time with negative people, it starts to affect your own mood? You start to see the bleakness in things, and you begin to be drawn in to their world. One of my favorite skits on Saturday Night Live is the one about Debbie Downer. It’s about a family having a nice meal around the supper table. Every time someone says something positive, Debbie Downer chimes in with something tragic or negative, and it starts to get everybody down. And we all know people like that. There is a Debbie Downer in every crowd. So I have made concentrated efforts to take the Debbie’s out of my life and surround myself with cheer. I only have one crack at this time here on earth and I want to leave here knowing I've put my best effort in to having the most rewarding life I can have. And if you ask me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Well the temperatures are on the rise and the last of the bits of snow that tenaciously hang on in the dark corners of the forest are for the most part gone. I walked down the driveway this morning to bring my daughter to the bus stop and the bird song was in full symphony. There must have been 20 Robins on my front lawn and my feeder was alive with Blue Jays, Doves and Chickadees darting back and forth through the bushes. The sap is running hard now and I made some Maple Syrup again last night. I cooked it a little bit longer this time and was rewarded with thick, golden syrup. Delicious. It doesn't stay around long, that I can tell you. Every evening now it seems we have a pot on the wood stove gurgling away.

It's been a long winter but spring is in the air. I planted some Cat Grass inside in pots, just to bring some of that beautiful spring green indoors as we haven't quite reached that outside yet.  There truly is no color like it.

I've gone ahead and ordered a Canoe for summer. I got a really great deal on that I couldn't pass up. I can't wait to get out on the water and start exploring. We have a little cottage lot on Russell Lake in Nova Scotia, located very close to Kejimikujik National Park which is a Paddlers Paradise, offering many trips of various lengths. Our lake is not open to power boats so we are excited to explore it's many nooks and crannies this year. We have only been able to access it once this winter due to the extreme snow we have had, so it will be exciting to get back up there and see how it's fared through the winter.

Canoeing is a past time I used to enjoy so often in my younger years. I remember our first son would curl up in the bow as we paddled. He would bundle up his blanket as a pillow and close his eyes as the rocking motion and sound of the waves drifted him off to sleep only to awaken as the the canoe scratched over the shore when we found a place to stop for a picnic. When we moved across Canada we sadly left our canoe behind and I've only picked up a paddle a hand full of times since then. I can't wait to get back in to it. And I assure you, the fishing rod will be out in full force. All you Bass out there, watch out, because here I come!There really is nothing like the sound of the waves lapping at the side of the Canoe as the paddle dips in to the glistening waters. Pair that with the whizz of the reel with a fish on and you have pure bliss. I can feel the sunburn already.

Thursday, 27 March 2014


Well, winter wasn't ready to let go of us yet here in Nova Scotia. We had an awesome storm yesterday with a combination of hurricane force winds and major accumulations of snow. We are literally snowed in today, as we have no plow and since it is going to rain the next few days and warm up, why bother shoveling the driveway. We have no where to go as we are off this week, and I rather relish the idea of being stuck at home. We did shovel out our walkway as such and had a grand old time building a snow man. Today dawned gloriously sunny and the beauty that surrounded us was breathtaking.  I truly don't understand how any one can not adore snow. It is so spectacular. 

There is something so exciting and exhilarating about a good storm. The power of Mother Nature always leaves me in awe, and I find myself getting more and more excited as a big storm approaches. Hearing the wind roar and whistle around the house gives me shivers. I know that it can be catastrophic and I would never want to downplay what tragedies befall individuals during such an event of epic proportions, but when you make it through to the other side of storm, you know you have witnessed Mother Nature at her finest. 

Having this week off has been a truly relaxing experience. Returning to work after almost 2 years was a major adjustment so it feels really good to just be home and be idle with no real plan for the days. I was successful in getting all my seeds that needed to be started done, although I am starting them inside the house this year as opposed to the hot house, as its still too cold out there, so my dining room table has been converted in to my seed station. I spent time reading and hanging out with the kids as well as just enjoying my time watching my hens peck the ground and birds at the feeder. My little dog Brody enjoys watching the chickens as well.

Now I am going to shrug on my winter coat and pull on my boots and go for good hike through the woods and enjoy what is likely to be one of the last real snow falls of the season. I want to hear the scrunch of snow under my feet one last time before we bid farewell to the white stuff and head in to the April Showers that will most certainly bring us our May flowers. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014


Well today is the first day of spring although you wouldn't think so by looking out my window. It's pouring rain right now, which is something we haven't seen in quite the while. We have had an amazingly cold winter with a lot of snow, and I have loved every minute of it, much to the dismay of some that probably want to murder me every time I grin like a kid when the flakes start falling. But I can't help it, I am a lover of the seasons and each one of them gives me pleasure.

So that said, I haven't written in awhile. My life has become a circus of sorts with me running here and there and everywhere. Between work, kids and volunteering, it doesn't leave much time for me. And considering we only have one laptop in the house, by the time I can get a few minutes to write, it is being utilized by someone else. But, thanks to the rain falling outside and no kids around for the next hour, I finally have a chance to jot down a few words.

I have had a very interesting and fulfilling month so far. I was able to cross a few things off my bucket list, one of which consisted of me flying in a helicopter which has always been a dream of mine.

The maple syrup production was a great success after burning the first batch ( I'm still scrubbing the pot ) and life is moving along quickly. Many things have happened this past little while that have not only served as reminders that it pays to follow your inner voice ( and by pay, I don't mean money ) and that when you follow your dreams and make choices in life that are always working towards what makes you happy, down the road these dreams can come true. It doesn't mean they always will, but the journey itself is all part of the tapestry of life. When I look back on mine so far, I can see how every decision, failure, disappointment and difficult choices, has led me to the place where I am now. I love my life, I love my family, and I make sure to treasure all the moments that bring me joy and happiness.

The other weekend, after training in the Cormorant Helicopter, my husband and I went on a really fun afternoon road trip. It was a gorgeous warm, sunny day, where the snow beneath the trees glinted in rainbows of sparkles. We hiked in to a lake and were the only ones there to enjoy the solitude. The pine trees towered above as we sat on a rock looking over the frozen lake. We were truly alone. The lake moaned and groaned and exploded with noise as the ice cracked and moved as the sun's heat beat down on its surface. To try to even explain the immense silence, only broken by the sounds of the ice and the wind in the tops of the trees can only be summed up in the word perfection. It was one of those moments that I will remember forever. True bliss. Nature, trees, lakes, sunshine, my husband, who is also my best friend in the world,  I just can't imagine anything more satisfying than that. Life is short, but life can be good, because it's just really all about the effort you put in to make it that way. It's these moments of perfection that give us the strength and fortitude to make it through the times where darkness descends. Because no one on this earth is without tragedy or sickness, dark times and struggles. It's part of life. And there is only one outcome for each and every one of us. And even though face book, and media depict the opposite sometimes, and make us think everyone else's life is perfect,  this isn't reality. So live your life to your own fullest potential. Turn your face to the sun and feel its heat. Listen to the birds in the forest and the wind through the trees and breathe deeply of the fresh air around you. It's right there waiting for you.

Nova Scotia big blue sky over a frozen lake. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


I am just feeling so grateful these days. All around me are constant reminders of why life is so precious and that it`s all the moments that count.

I was out for a hike in the woods the other day with my husband. We were trying to get in to Four Island Lake but it was too snowed in for the car so we opted to hike in. The snow was deep in spots and virtually untouched except for the odd deer or rabbit tracks. The sky was an absolute brilliant blue and it glistened off the snow in multicolored diamonds. The hardwood trees stretched above, their naked branches etched against the impossibly blue sky and a little creek gurgled merrily, ice clinging to its sides. The air was clean and crisp as it only is during a cold winter`s day and I filled my lungs with it as I scaled a hill in the knee deep drifts. The silence hung around us as our boots creaked through the snow and we forged ahead enjoying the solitude that nature provided. A magical moment in time. 

I never want to take anything in life for granted. I never want to forget that no matter what, its only these little moments that we have.

I have been reading a book by the Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield called An Astronaut`s  Guide to Life Here on Earth. I have found it very intriguing. I love how he had an impossible dream and that dream came true. But what I loved the most is that he didn`t hang his whole existence on this dream. He knew it was next to impossible so he was just going to try his utmost best to get there and enjoy the journey as he went. 

The thing is, we don`t ever accomplish all we set out to do. And most of the time, when we have a plan, it goes completely differently than we thought it would. But if we don`t get hung up in the disappointments, the could have been`s, or what if`s, we can concentrate on the path we are on in the moment. We can appreciate the finer details like a little creek, a frozen lake or the way multicolored diamonds sparkle in the snow. 

I may never achieve my dream of a Tiny House Cottage on a lake in the woods. But I sure as heck am going to enjoy my journey getting there. Because what I have learned in this life is that you have to listen to the signs that guide you, but you have to listen carefully. You must have courage and you must be willing to fail. Constantly. Because failure brings knowledge. Mistakes bring turning points. And when you can see this and learn this you are that one step closer to achieving personal satisfaction. As Chris Hadfield says, Focus on the journey, not on arriving at a certain destination.

Words to live by. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014


The sap is running here in Yarmouth County and we are going to take full advantage this year. On our property we have an abundance of Maple Trees and we are going to make Maple Syrup. Having never done it before we asked a lot of questions of our local backyard syrup making experts and today we tapped some of our trees for the very first time. I got so excited to see it actually working I was ready to tap every tree in sight, but my husband reined in my enthusiasm, reminding me that we need to boil it all down before we get the actual syrup and that this is the hardest part of the whole process. You need to boil off a lot of water to get the actual golden goodness. I can't help but be excited though. I love being able to harvest anything from nature and real maple syrup is a favorite of mine.

I'll never forget my first visit to Sugar Moon Farm in the hills outside of Truro Nova Scotia. I was enthralled with the old fashioned way they made their Maple Syrup. The kids had a ball making Maple Popsicle s in the snow and the quaint log restaurant with the fire roaring merrily made the snowy spring day magical. Ever since my visit there I've wanted to make our own, so today is very exciting for me.

Living in the country is the greatest gift. Being out in the sunshine today with my husband tapping trees as the dog frolicked in the snow warms my heart. The birds were bursting with song and the robins were busy rooting through exposed ground where the snow is slowly disappearing. Spring is on the way. The signs are everywhere. We only need to look around us to see them. It truly is a great day to be alive.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


This last month I have been planning a trip back to the West Coast. After 7 years we are finally able to make it happen. Up until now it just hasn't been possible and we have missed funerals, weddings, births and other special occasions. Living so far away you get used to missing these events, but it is always tough regardless. Because I grew up in a home where my extended family lived far away it doesn't seem all that unnatural to me to live far away myself. I'm the type of person who would have gone crazy living in the same place my whole life and I love the fact that I have lived in many communities and have had the opportunity to experience so many different people and things.

But planning this trip back has gotten me to thinking about what makes a place a home. The other day I was telling a colleague of mine that we were flying West this summer for a visit. They responded with, "Oh great! You're going home." It really made me pause. I realized I didn't think of it as home. I think of where I am right now as home.So of course in my usual fashion I began to step back and analyze what makes a home for me. Why doesn't it feel like I'm going home when I am returning to the place I grew up?

After much thought I have realized that I don't feel like I'm flying back home, because I am home. Right now. Here in Yarmouth. This is the place we have chosen to be our home for now. If I think of home, I think of the wood stove burning while we gather to watch a movie snuggled on the couch. I think of my woods out back and the stillness and peace they give me, even on the most challenging days. I think of the country roads that I love and the old wooden church that stands just down the street, it's steeple rising up through the trees to be seen from miles around. I think of the loons on the lake in summer and the owls in the forest at night. To me home isn't a place but a feeling. An inner peace of belonging. 

God's home

So when I fly out west this summer, it will be with a happy heart. I will be excited to see all the loved ones we have missed. I can't wait to wrap my arms around my family and hug close the ones that ensured that even though we have a geographical distance, our relationships have grown to become the most cherished ones I hold dear. But when it comes time to step on that plane to once again head East, even though I will be sad, I know it is then that I will be going home. 

Friday, 14 February 2014


I don't think most men really like Valentine's day. I could be wrong, I mean I am basing this opinion on my brothers, my Dad, my two sons, my husband, and all the cranky faces I saw in the flower line up yesterday at the Atlantic Superstore.( Personally I wanted to let them know Valentines Day was today, not yesterday, but hey, they were getting a jump on things. That's good right?) But truly, all in all, I'm sure if  you gave men the option, they would choose to skip it.

My son has a girl friend this Valentines Day and he asked me my advice. "Mom," he said, "What should I do for Valentines?" The look of stress etched all over his face gave me pause for thought. In my mind I was thinking, do we really need flowers and chocolates and things to make us feel special? I told him, "Well, taking her for a nice romantic supper and flowers should do it." I could feel his wallet cowering in his pocket already. He is a student on a tight income and I know there isn't much in there to spare. "Ya, maybe, but that sounds kind of boring." And at that he left the house. I don't hold high hopes for his girlfriend today. Sorry hun, I tried.

That said, it really got me to thinking about Valentine's Day. I don't want my husband to be stressed, and to feel he has to achieve some sort of perfect, romantic moment for me. He just isn't wired that way. He may not bring me flowers and chocolates on Valentine's but I know he loves me. He shows me every day. I started thinking of all the things he does for me and this family. The little things, and the not so little.

- He phones me during the day if I'm at home, just to hear my voice.
- He brings me tea in bed when I'm tired
- He always cooks us a special Sunday morning breakfast
- He always builds a fire in the wood stove in the morning so we are warm when we get up
- He tells me I"m beautiful, even when I'm in 2 year old pajama pants, his T-shirt and I haven't brushed my hair or teeth yet, and he actually means it
- He knows what I'm thinking even when I don't know what I'm thinking
- He shares my crazy dreams
- He supports me in all my crazy dreams
- He doesn't let anyone treat me badly, and I pity those that try
- He doesn't say anything when I buy Cilantro every week at the grocery store, and then most of  it rots in the fridge, but next week I will buy it again, because I love it, but no one else does.
- He asks me what's wrong when I'm quiet because he knows if I'm not talking a mile a minute, there must be something going on
- He takes me down every country road I want, just so I can see what's around the next corner.
-He makes everything we do a good time, even if its just shopping at the grocery store

But most of all, he is my best friend. I can tell him anything and he won't judge me. He respects me and makes me feel special each and every single day. And even though it isn't always roses, he doesn't have to bring me roses to let me know he cares.

I love you honey, with every piece of my heart.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Well it's been a busy week around here and I finally have a moment to settle down and take a deep breath. We had a wonderful weekend that passed by much too quickly. We did some yard clean up, took down some more trees for firewood, and did some burning of the tree debris. The temperature was quite mild and we were able to sit around the fire, which is something we haven't done in awhile. Hubby built me a couple quick benches out of some of the trees we took down, and I must say, they turned out lovely.

 We also went on a lovely drive and got out for a much needed walk.By Sunday, almost all the snow had melted. Not the case now though, as another snow storm is giving me my much loved white stuff.

It's all the little things in my life that bring me so much joy.A hand made wooden bench to sit on in front of a cheery, hot fire as the old howl hoots behind me in a tree. Or walking down a path next to the ocean while my loved ones walk ahead hand in hand. I feel so lucky to be able to witness the love that flows between father and daughter. There are so many things to be thankful for in life. And they don't have to be big things. Really they aren't things at all, but moments in time. I feel our journey in life is compiled of hundreds upon hundreds of moments like these. We can choose to revel in them for all their worth, or fill up our lives with misery and sadness, disappointment and regret. 

Last night my daughter had a class to attend as did my son. I was tired from work and all I really wanted to do was go home. But the long evening of shuttling kids back and forth stretched ahead as it does most evenings around here. My husband and I dropped off the kids and decided to go for a walk as the light was fading away. We bundled up in our puffy coats and toques and headed out on the trail. There was no one around as we walked in silence. The crescent moon was above us as the stars began twinkling above. The sound of our boots crunching through the frozen pockets of snow seemed so loud in comparison to the hush of the evening around us. Then suddenly a great big owl flew silently over us, as he had been sitting in a tree watching us pass. I was in absolute awe. Holding hands we walked back to the car, both silent in our thoughts. If I had gone home like I so deeply wanted to, I would have missed out on the little things that made my evening so special. If I had given in to my grumpy feelings of exhaustion I would have missed out on that moment. 

Sure, when I got home, there were dishes to do, laundry to fold and a late night, quick supper to prepare. But my heart was light and happy. Just that. Happy. I will leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes, because I don't think I can say it any better than my childhood hero, Winnie the Pooh.

I truly believe, these are words to live by.