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.