July 30, 2020
.... since we've been home indefinitely.
I'm grateful for our good health, our
cozy cottage, our busy jobs that can
be done from home, our amazing kids,
our helpful neighbors and sunny days.
All of these have made this a bit better.
I do miss all my colleagues, though we
talk all the time on Zoom and by email
and Teams. And we got together 2 weeks
ago today for a retreat (socially distanced!)
and that was amazing and so healing. I
miss meeting my clients in person. I miss
just casually heading out to the store. I
miss visiting my mom when ever I want to.
I miss travelling. I miss so many things.
But I'm grateful we have this time and
the chance to get through this so that we
are all very healthy, safe and thriving. It is
our new life and we are embracing it in
the very best way we can. I hope you are too.
July 29, 2020
July 28, 2020
In the morning, I wake up to the sound
of sweet birds singing. I am so thankful.
At night, we sit on our front veranda and
watch the trees blow in the breeze and
the frog jump across the paths. We watch
the sky change in color. I am so thankful.
Mother Nature is really not being kind to us this
week. After a lot of rain and dreary days, we have
all been so excited to see a week full of sun. Except
that the sun has come with extreme temperatures
and now we are under a "heatwave warning!" It
is nice to wake up to sun and we have managed to
figure out the best ways to keep our little cottage
cool when it's hot outside. We put the air on once
in the morning for about 20 minutes, then leave a
fan on (part of the system) to continue to move the
coolness around. We do this again before bed and
once more mid day if we need to. Windows are also
kept closed, along with blinds and shutters. We did
go outside yesterday and watered all my pots, the
gardens and the veggie patch. We also moved the
pots out of the direct sun onto the veranda so they
would be covered and cool. Little guy played out
yesterday twice but not for long. He got super hot
really quickly so back in to the cool house he came.
I'm fine with this heat, as long as it doesn't bring
storms in to the mix. So far, so good. It would be
the last thing we need at this time. Wish us luck!
July 27, 2020
I was so curious what all the chatter was about "Tik Tok" so my daughter downloaded it on to my phone. And this morning, I took it off my phone. Yup, that Tik Tok is now gone from my life. Let me tell you why ....
It was only about 48 hours, but in that time, I became enthralled in the mini stories of people all around the World who shared their lives, their births, their deaths and everything in between. But I became very concerned and found it hard to wait for "part 86" of their journey. I worried about mama's who had lost babies. I wondered how someone was doing in labor. I felt tearful for someone's memorial video. I became anxious with ALL the "Karen" stories, especially those related to mask wearing (or NO wearing). It was a lot of lost time. I jokingly told my husband, who was away most of the weekend filming, that I had not once turned on the tv because Tik Tok was too entertaining! So this morning, after realizing I hadn't done my workout, I was negotiating with myself how long I can be on it for and realizing I was failing miserably at that choice, with no breakfast, and no shower, that it had to go! Dd wouldn't tell me how to get the silly thing off my phone, so I checked the Google and guess what? Simple 2 steps and it was gone, gone, I say, forever from my life!!
Back to reality. I'm off to shower.
Have a lovely day my blogging buddies!
July 26, 2020
Somewhere along the line, in the last
bit, we seemed to have been adopted.
A sweet, well cared for but won't come
too close to us full grown pretty cat.
We don't know if he is male or female
but from the beginning, we chose male.
And recently, we decided to name him so
we can call him something instead of "cat."
We would like to formally introduce you
to "Oliver the cat" ~ a sweet little mouser.
He loves to lounge on our sunny back deck, on
the bench in the front in the Secret Garden, the
tiny deck at the potting shed and he has now
discovered the bench in the Memorial Garden.
Looks like he might be tracking either a mouse here
or a frog. We've only had an incident with mice the
first year we were here. A mouse or two got in to our
garage but we quickly got rid of it/them and since
then, our daughter puts out a bag of used litter from
her cats and changes them out each week. Since she
started this, we've had no mice in the 4 years since
we had the first incident. And now, we have Oliver!
What makes a writer? Who decides one is?
I watched "The Walton's" growing up and
the lead character John~Boy capturesd life
on the mountain with his words. In time,
he became a published author ~ his dream.
I share this dream and love to capture our
tiny life here in the woods. I've also been
writing a book for several years now and
this week, took a writing course. I hope
to publish one day, but does that that make
me a writer if I haven't been formally trained
or have the credentials to be a writer? This is
a question that has been mulling around in
my head a lot lately. I was asked what I do
for self~care, and I talked about writing
every day, that I have a blog, and a book
in the works. And the individual who had
asked me to share what I do for self~care
(we were in a group setting) said "ah, so
you are a Writer!" Hmm. But truly am I?
Are you a Writer?
Have you published a book?
Have you published a book?
This is me today! Still cozy in my warm, comfy bed.
I was instructed by dh to take a day off and so I am!
But the plan is to get up soon and have a lovely, long,
warm shower, have some lunch, sit out in the sun, read
my new book, fold laundry and put it away, tidy up the
master closet so we're ready for the week, water all the
plants inside/out, and once dh is home from filming, take
the compost bin down the lane for it to be picked up
tomorrow and figure out dinner for tonight. It might
be movie night as we missed that this week. Busy day
but lovely to just go at my own pace and not have to
watch the clock or have deadline. Have a great day!
July 25, 2020
I love artist Susan Wheelers with her whimsical and colorful prints. Some favorites of mine to feature today. Two mama's, with their two little ones, spending time together. This was my early life while parenting. I joined a mama's fit program when our first baby was just a few months old. I truly didn't need to get back in to shape as I had only gained 16 pounds when she was born and lost 20 at birth. I was in great shape but secretly, I had no friends that had babies in the moment. I met some amazing mama's and this helped me as I learned to parent and still have a friend life.
Over time, as we moved from one house to the next, trying to get closer to our dream of a cottage in the woods, I had a number of great friendships. I found with younger kids, it was easy to strike up a conversation at the park or while we all waited outside in the school yard for our kids to come out. We always lived in neighorhoods with young families, so just stepping outside often meant a conversation with someone! I joined a local group that was for moms who had chosen to be home with their children and that created a very lovely circle of friends. We still sometimes connect.
But as our kids got older, the friendships became less involved and were harder to form. After our healthy kids had been born, we went through a very difficult stage where we lost our next babies through stillbirth and miscarriage and that created a void as some friends (even family) didn't know what to do with our grief and drifted away, though we did end up with some amazing people in our lives, because of their own shared losses. In time, I finished up the last bits of my post secondary, so then I became busy and that created another void. And then we created our family centre, a Legacy Project in memory of our babies, and there was a further void. Finally, I was hired by our local hospice (not even looking for a job but that's a whole other post!) and my fulfilling work became intensive but very time consuming.
So what is the point of my post today? Here I am, at this stage and age in life, realizing I have also drifted and my friendship circle is so tiny, I'm not even sure it exists! As I work with women of the same age, some who are mourning the loss of their spouses, time and time again I keep hearing how lonely they are because they themselves didn't nurture a friendship as they got older. Now I have a new task on my list of things to work on .... build a new and strong friendship circle. I don't want to be all on my own if something happened to my partner. I don't want to laugh alone (outside of him and our kids), or grieve, or have something exciting happen and not have anyone outside my family to share it with. I have amazing co~workers and we just did a fantastic Team Building Day last week, so this has also inspired me to let my guard down and be okay with developing relationships with my team, without the fear that they'll leave. We are a solid group on a solid path and it's time to see work as a social circle as well. I also participated in a writing group the other night and connected with at least half the group and will be asking if the moderator, who is a friend and neighbor would ask at least 2 of the women I connected with if we could exchange contact info if they are interested in chatting further. Excited to try.
I think I have sabotaged some friendships that could have been amazing, with the knowledge that we aren't your typical family, or couple, and my work and passions are "different" than the norm. So I keep to myself so I don't get hurt or have to ever feel defensive about any of the life choices we've made. However, at the end of the day, that leaves me feeling extremely lonely, even in a room full of people. The time has come to now change this pattern. The pictures above evolved from the young mama's conversing and enjoying time together, to the older mama's chatting over the fence. This is where I am now but the other side of the fence is empty, so I'll need to find ways to fill it up.
Where are you at in your life with friendships?
Have they stayed the same or evolved over time?
We've now been home for just over 19 weeks. Life is comfortable and personally, I could just be here forever. However, we are fortunate because we live in the woods and are away from the noise and the drama of city life. We have food, there are many tasks we can work on (and do), we have our studio to create in, we have books to read, shows to watch, gardens to tend to, decks to stain and daily work to complete. There is no boredom ~ far too busy for that! But the one thing that has been hard is when we do venture out, I've noticed a level of fear and longing to get home as quick as possible. And yesterday, after picking up an item for our daughter (masked and distanced), picking up some groceries and some items for my mom (masked and distanced), and dropping off said items at her care home and chatting with her care manager for a short time (masked and distanced), I was totally exhausted! I didn't even drive, dh did and he's such a good help but I was wiped out. I bet we were only gone an hour. Had to nap when we got home. Ugh! I'm sure the stress of being out where the virus could live was the cause but I find I'm going out less and less. And I mean in to town. I'm fine being outside and chatting with neighbors. But driving in to our little hamlet, completing our tasks and coming home has become an exhausting experience for me. I'm going to have to work on this before life gets back to normal. Or our new normal. Can't afford to be off my game if I'm exhausted from just going to where ever I need to be. Hopefully this will improve. Now that I'm conscious of it, I'll have to do some work.
How is your energy level?
Do you find tasks make you tired?
July 20, 2020
We live next door to the original owner
of all the land in our little subdivision.
He's been a wealth of information for
our family. Always living in town has
meant everything we've had to do out
here has been a huge learning curve.
I have appreciated his wisdom but on
a few occasions we have not agreed.
One example is naming noxious weeds
vs. real plants. Three years ago, he told
me all our Daisies were the ones on the
"list" and would have to be eradicated
or the County would heavily fine us.
So I started to pull them up, then went
on the web and discovered our Daisies
are actually just fine. I left the rest and
to this day, he has not mentioned them
again. Last year, he tried to tell me the
sweet and viney purple plant above was
Creeping Bellflower. Once again, I did
a quick check on the web, then took
pictures to our local greenhouse, who
confirmed my own hunch that it was not
Creeping Bellflower but Purple Vetch.
Some people do truly pull it out as it is a
very big spreader but out here, we love
the vibrant color and how it's added to our
small garden spaces. It looks so pretty in
the meadows too, blowing in the wind.
Reminds me of the Bluebells common
in Great Britain. We won't be pulling it
out but I'm sure he'll remind me soon.
For now, we'll let the Purple Vetch continue to grow
wildly and enjoy it's beauty as a natural flower
in the big woods. I haven checked and none of it
has spread to his lawn, so he should be just fine.
Other than this one issue, we all get along with
him without any concerns and are happy to have
such great neighbors! Very handy when a tree falls
in the stormy wind or the snow needs to be pushed
off the big road. Neighbors out here have to get
along so we can all help each other as needed.
Do you have great neighbors?
Are you happy where you live?
July 19, 2020
Our landscaping continues. This is the
corner that I hate but we have plans!
Here our air conditioner is housed, the
dog run for our pup who is no longer
with us. We hope to have a new pup
in the future, so it's clean and ready to
be used then. We have 4 lamps on the
left (only 3 are visible) and there are
some weeds and a scraggly tree that
planted itself! So what are the plans?
We started today and cleared out the
weeds, leveled the ground, picked up
any large stones we could find, moved
the 4 lamps to their mutually agreed
upon spots, extended the tiny walk way
with the recycled tire stepping stones,
decided where we would put the extra
rain barrel we have and put the falling
apart straw bale into the trees in the
middle of the trees. Next we'll fill the
open space with mulch, dig around
the tree and fill it with fresh dirt, and
then we'll be bringing in some clay
and dirt to build up the space beyond,
Pictures to follow of our progress as
we go. It's hard work but so rewarding!
We celebrated an anniversary yesterday.
Not our Wedding anniversary but our
"we became a couple" special day. I won't
tell you how many years it was .... but it's
up there! It wasn't an exciting day but we
did do some work around the house and
then showered and went in to our town to
to a wee bit of shopping. Later, we had a
lovely dinner at home and watched our
Netflix. And our choice for last night? A
movie called "Marriage Story" and we
both agreed it was very well done. Still
thinking about it today. Both Adam Driver
and Scarlett Johansson were so amazing.
Our Wedding anniversary is next month
and it will be a bigger celebration then!
July 18, 2020
After over 4 years of constant weeding
in our little gardens, we are so tired ....
.... but then our landscape artist made
a suggestion to layer fresh cedar mulch.
We did one bed last year and waited
to see what would happen. No weeds!
So now we've been carting mulch from
the driveway to the gardens. I need to
add more to the Secret Garden where
our little bench is. Almost done here!
This spot faces south and was the worst
spot for weeds. I'm excited to not weed it!
It looks so much better and it defines
where the gardens begin and end. Very
thankful for our landscape artist. She
and the magic of mulch have made
our lives a bit easier now, especially
on the weekends. Love our gardens!
July 16, 2020
I grew up with a younger brother.
But I always wished for a sister.
When we had our first child, our daughter,
I remember saying that I had my girl and
it didn't matter what we had after that day.
And then we went on to have 2 sweet boys.
In between, we lost a few babies early
in our pregnancies. But we hoped for
one more healthy baby and kept trying.
It didn't matter if it was a boy or a girl.
To this day, we are forever grateful for the
healthiest, tiny baby girl, born on International
Day of the Midwife (May 5th) who rounded
out our family by becoming our 2nd daughter
that day. And our 1st daughter ended up with
her long awaited baby sister! They are 8 years
apart but are great friends. With their great
gramma in the 2nd picture. They were 14 years
old and 6 years old then. It seemed they were
so far apart but now they are so close! I hope
they stay close all their lives and continue to
be great supports to each other. This is LOVE!
Do you have a sister? Or two?
If not, do you wish you did?
July 14, 2020
We had a super wicked storm last night that knocked our power out for about an hour and a half. So scary with the wind whipping the trees around. None thankfully broke or fell down but it was hard to watch and worry. I was worried the sump pump would fill with water and then not be able to eject the water out but thankfully the rain was not heavy and as soon as the power came back on, it kicked in to gear and our pit was empty again. I was ready to do some bailing but didn't have to go that route. The thunder was loud, the lightening minimal but it soon ended and the sun came out again. But the wind did pick up throughout the night at times and this morning, despite the bluish/cloudyish skies, it's pretty strong again. I'm hopeful that the rain, the thunder and the lightening stay away for today and that the wind will die down and go away. I have gardening to do!
While I munched on my brekky this morning (leftovers from the party weekend!), I thought of how fortunate we are to live in this area, despite the recent storms. A sweet cottage that is cozy, secure careers, even with Covid, great kids and amazing grands. It's a cozy, comfortable life and I'm thankful every day. We've had extremely hard times (don't get me started!), we've failed, we've won, we've loved, we've fought. At the end of the day, we do feel a deep gratitude for what we have, what we've achieved and that we still have dreams to chase. I'm also proud we give. We provide. We care. We throw ourselves out there for others. And we are blessed. In this time of Covid, reflection is helping me personally get through each day and hope it helps others. We have no idea when this will end, but like the storms we've had lately, as scary as it is while we're in it, we know that it will end. We'll pick up the broken branches and sweep off the veranda. But we'll still be here and we'll keep going.
Wishing you all, my beautiful blogging buddies,
a day filled with sunshine and love. And hope!
July 13, 2020
We've had crazy amounts of rain again
this year. You've heard me talk about it!
It makes for dreary days at times but
we always find something to do inside.
Like art projects, reading books we've
wanted to for a long while, working out
or my new favorite ~ repainting the
entire house. When the sun is out, the
house is empty! We'll sit outside for
the longest time, taking it all in. I do
love both ~ the rain keeps us inside,
cozy and warm ~ the sun brings us
back out to be warm and free. Which
do you like the best? Rain or Sun?
July 12, 2020
This sweet baby had a birthday yesterday.
I can't say how many little candles were
on her cake as it makes me seriously feel
very old! I can say that she is old enough
to be an amazing mama, a caring nurse, an
intentional voter and the best grown up
daughter ever! She arrived naturally, safe
and sound, just 8 hours after my water
broke and well under 6 hours from the
time I had my first contraction. With a
head full of dark hair that soon turned a
lovely shade of blonder, we still feel so
very blessed to have had not just her as
our first baby, but all our calm and sweet
babies that arrived later. We truly lucked
out when it came to kids! Very blessed!
July 9, 2020
Since we first came home to quarantine, now over 119 days ago (17 weeks today), I have always been here with most of my family or at least one or two others. Yesterday, for the first time since March 12th, 2020, I was home alone. Completely alone. Except for dd's little puppy. It was eery and weird and I'm not so sure I liked the experience. Too quiet!
My day was full though. I had a little break in between clients and while I usually do all my calls and Zoom sessions in our little turret home office, yesterday I was down on the main floor, snuggled on the warm couch, while the rain fell from the sky again outside ~ shocking that was raining once again, right? Before I sat down, I did venture in to the front of the house to take some pictures of the living room and the dining room now that I'm done painting both. You'll see the curtains haven't been hung back up just yet. That was the whole reason for the new paint refresh .... because I had to replace the original curtain rods and that meant filling holes, which of course requires painting all the walls! I love have clean everything feels again after painting. Please know that the walls all look like different shades of lavender but they are actually all the same. Just the lighting from the dreary day outside (or should I say "lack of lighting") make it look like each wall is off in color. I do apologize they aren't the best pics. Sometimes hard to take good inside pictures when the sky is super dark outside.
Today, I have a couple of counselling sessions and a couple of meetings and then I can relax. Tomorrow is super busy! I'm glad today is quieter. My energy is low and I'm feeling down but I'm pretty sure it is the weather. One day of sun in the last 2 weeks was NOT enough! Next week is looking better. I sure hope the predictions are correct. At least we're just getting rain and no storms. A bit of thunder last night but it was minimal. Other areas around us have been hit hard with wind, hail and torrential, flooding rains, so I'm thankful we are not in those zones. We have been lucky here.
Wishing you a beautiful Thursday and hope you are well, safe and loved. Namaste today and always.