About Me

November 30, 2020

Birthday Girl.

It was my birthday today. I wasn't actually looking forward to it. We'll all sequestered to home once again with this 2nd wave of Covid, with no end in sight. Back to no seeing friends and family and colleagues and neighbors. And no seeing my mom in her care home, where they have had 2 positive staff members. Those 2 are now better (just mild symptoms) and back to work, and so far, all negative testing for all staff and residents. But we can't see her until the restrictions are lifted. I'm not complaining, just sad. This made me teary this morning as all I wanted was to hear her sing me "Happy Birthday" in her sweet voice ....

Despite my reservations, this turned out to be the best birthday ever! It started with a pledge to NOT do any work today, to have a true day off. I slept in a bit, had a great work out in our little gym, a long, hot shower and then I spent the morning in the art studio, and working on things that just make me happy. Silly things really but for whatever reason, I feel good doing them. Laundry, sorting recycling, tidying drawers, putting things back in their places, creating new spaces for my dollhouses (all under construction!), writing, blog reading, writing Christmas cards, placing the items for painting on drop cloths in the guest room so I can paint soon, dusting, vacuuming and all of this while responding to the amazing messages of love and compassion on my FB and IG. Blown away by all the love! 

Tonight I was spoiled with amazing gifts and scrumptious ice cream cakes, after take out dinner as a treat. But the very best thing of all, the one thing that made me cry, was a video that my dh surprised me with of my mama singing me "Happy Birthday" from her care home. They videoed it on the weekend and even sent along the bloopers! So cute and made me so teary. All I wanted and I got it, though I had no idea!! Very thankful for this rag tag team of mine. The best family ever! They all put so much thought in to celebrations.

End of day now. A day I wasn't looking forward to turned in to a beautiful and very memorable day. I couldn't have asked for anything better, except for Covid to go away! 

Do you have a birthday coming up?
Or have had one recently?

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 30.

Final challenge for November: "Why
I Blog." Here is my short and sweet
answer: to record my life, our life and
the sweet adventures we have in this
one wild and precious life we've been
granted. I love the visual aspect of a
blog and the ability to share with so
many others who are like minded and
share their lives with all of us. I love
to capture all our memories as well.

Why do you blog?

~ Chy

November 29, 2020

Right Here. Right Now.

What I'm wearing .... my soft brown long sweater with buttons down the sides, light pink skinny jeans, warm pink socks and my colorful heart necklace.

What I'm reading .... blogs as well as I'm in the middle of reviewing a book for families who have experienced the loss of a baby. My family's story will be in the book as well.

What's happening in my kitchen .... the dishwasher has just sung its song, letting us know the dishes are washed and dried. 

What's outside my window .... snow all around us. But warm temperatures and lots of snow, so we're in the midst of enjoying it, so far!

What I'm thankful for .... good health and sweet kids.

What I'm smelling .... balsam fir candle. Mmmm ....

What I'm hearing .... the ticking of the clock and the tv, which is entertaining us with a show about miniatures.

What I'm crafting .... gifts for my staff, but can't say what it is here, just in case!

Words to live by ....

~ Chy

Garden Inspiration.

Our little potting shed is one of my
favorite things about our garden. But
I'd love to spruce this area up more in
the Spring when we can garden again.

This came across my feed tonight. It's
probably too much for us to try and take
on but it has inspired me tonight, even
with the snow outside. Isn't it amazing?

Are you thinking about your garden yet?

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 29.

Challenge for Day 29 .... we're almost done! "What's
in my make up bag?" You don't want to look! It's a
bit messy, so I'm going to clean it out today. Thank
goodness of this prompt so I do this! No peeking ....

~ Chy

November 28, 2020

Meet Francesca and Milo.

Every year, we treat ourselves to a new
Christmas Tree decoration for the cottage.

This year, we ended up with two because
really, we couldn't separate these sweet
mice. Please meet Francesca the Dancer.
And below is little Milo the Wanderer. 

I love her tulle skirt and his beret. We
knew immediately these two would be
coming home with us to grace the big
tree in the sun room. Love these two!

Do you buy new decorations at times?

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 28.


Challenge for Day 28: "Places I've Travelled." A
fun post! Here is my little list .... I wish it was bigger!

In Canada:
British Columbia
Prince Edward Island

Still need to visit:
NorthWest Territories
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick

United States:
North Dakota
South Dakota
Washington State

Still want to visit:
New York
Texas (my cousins live here)

Internationally I've visited:

I want to see:

Where have you travelled to?
Where do you want to go?

~ Chy

November 27, 2020

Challenge: Day 27.

The challenge for Day 27 this month is "What I Look
Forward To." And I could fill pages with things that fit.

For now, I'm focusing on Christmas. I feel like outside
of our current good health, the season is our other hope.

Hope for good cheer, good health and good news from
our kids. Good times, though distanced and virtually.
Good food to try or prepare. Good weather so we can
 be outside. Good fun finding the last few gifts. Good
books to read on frosty Winter afternoons in front of
the fire. Good treats to enjoy. Good movies to watch
and good shows on Netflix. Good skating ice to keep
us outside. And good luck with a cure so we can live!

What are you looking forward to?

P.S. I took the last pic this morning without the lights
on the tree. I loved how the sunshine was so filtered.

~ Chy

November 26, 2020

Challenge: Day 26.

I kind of giggled when I saw what the blog challenge for today was: "A Note to Someone." I giggled because I wanted to post a note to all my blog buddies as an apology. The timing was perfect! Here is my note to you all .... "To all my Blog Buddies. Please accept my apology for the constant note from an anonymous poster, who every couple of days, leaves a post, same words every time, and I have to remove it but have no way of blocking this individual. He/she chooses to use "anonymous" as their name, which I find cowardly. To combat this annoying commenter on my blog, I have chosen to resort to a process of having to approve all comments at the moment. I hope in the future to go back to trusting my blog buddies but for now, to protect all of us, this is the route I'll go. Sincerely, Chy." Short and sweet and hopefully this will work to keep "anonymous" away ....

November 25, 2020

Challenge: Day 25.

Today's challenge: "Old Photo of Me."
I was probably only 3 or 4 years old
here. Visiting my grandparents who
lived in a tiny cottage with a white
picket fence, a round window in the
peak and a glass french door that was
missing one pane. My glasses were
the same as my mom's ~ cat eyes. I
was a bit of a fashionista! Wasn't I
the cutest little thing? Do you agree?

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 24.


I struggled a bit with yesterday's challenge,
hence why it is a full day late! The topic:
"My Fave Blogs and Why." The truth is
I love ALL the blogs I read. And I feel
like it's kind of how we raise our kids.
We can't choose one over the other,
though truthfully, there are days I like
some more than others! So there is my
response. I LOVE YOU ALL! I look
forward to checking in every day and
worry when someone is lagging behind.
I love to hear your adventures, I love to
see your updates on decorating or new
ideas, I hold you in my heart when life
is tough. You all matter to me and no
one is at all more favorite than the other.

Do you feel the same or do you have favorites?

~ Chy

November 23, 2020

Challenge: Day 23.

The challenge for today: "favorite childhood book."
I had a whole series. The Little House collection by
Laura Ingalls Wilder. These books were gifted to
me when I was about 8 years old and I devoured
them, reading them over and over again. I think I
really became attached because we moved so often
and live in the Prairies, though we are in Canada!
I so loved the series when it came out on tv as well.

I intended to keep my set for my children but we
had a house fire when they were babies and it
was one thing that did not survive. Years later,
I found the collection again but updated covers
and in a really pretty box. My kids also read all
of them and it was fun to compare how our
"Long Winters" were when I was young and
the kids were little. Even now, in the middle
of this Pandemic, I'm often thinking about how
they coped with illness, weather and isolation.
Makes for a good read and truly a reminder
of where we came from and where we're going.

What was your favorite childhood book?

~ Chy

November 22, 2020

Right Here. Right Now.


What I'm wearing .... a super warm sweater and a pair of comfy leggings, along with my big reading socks that have a fur like lining inside.

What I'm reading .... blogs tonight. I need to start a new book as I'm done the ones I had started.

What's happening in my kitchen .... it's quiet now as we're in to our fasting time. But earlier we had leftovers for lunch, popcorn and oranges for snacks, and a yummy dinner. 

What's outside my window .... snow, so much snow! This week it's going to be warm enough to melt a bit so we'll lose some. So pretty. Glad we can stay in though we did spend a couple of hours outside today putting up the garland around the front door, on the railings and this year, we added some on the back porch.

What I'm thankful for .... that we're safe and healthy. But so very worried that numbers in our region have exploded ....

What I'm smelling .... the mandarin orange peels from my snack. So tasty!

What I'm hearing .... our little guy downstairs chatting away with his mama. And dh upstairs doing his "turn down service" so we can go to bed soon.

What I'm crafting .... finished up pretty bows for our family Christmas tree but think I'll make more for our tiny bedroom Christmas tree.

What's on my mind .... see above .... numbers, numbers, numbers ....

Words to live by ....

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 22.


Challenge for Day 22: "My Dream Job." I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with and help families. But I didn't want to be a Social Worker. I took kind of a round about way to get to my dream job. And to be honest, part of my daily work IS social work. But I still wouldn't change my journey to be here. I feel I'm the best at my job because of the unique path that got me here. I'll probably write more in depth about this one day. For now, I am in my dream job and have been since 2004. My secondary dream job is the family centre we created together, as a family, as a legacy project, in memory of Bretton and Ciara. This led to opportunities that opened a door at our hospice, for a position I had not ever dreamed of having but from the moment it was gifted to me, I've cherished this position. The work is incredibly hard but it is also so humbling and honoring to be invited in to the grief and dying journeys that our clients present to us. I started in a very part time position as a grief counsellor and am now the Director of the Grief Support Program, with staff and a team of volunteers. Every day is precious and I continue to be thankful for those who believed and trusted in my natural and learned abilities. And all the kids, teens and adults I've worked with over the years. All they have taught me continues to support others. Truly, a dream job.

                         Are you in your dream job?

                                      ~ Chy

Challenge: Day 21.

Challenge: Day 21 - "The Best Thing
That Happened This Year. I don't think
anyone will argue with me that this
has been the most difficult year ever.
No one will ever forget 2020! It was
a bit hard to think of something that
was the best thing that happened this
year. But here's what I came up with:
All of us are very healthy, to date and
so far, everyone around us is as well.

I don't think there is anything better
than knowing that we are all following
the regulations. Numbers are now high
in our region. But we're doing our best.

I have mixed feelings about Christmas
because we can't all be together. And so
many families will be mourning at this
time as well. But we have decorated and
it has lifted spirits and given up a focus.
Please be safe, be well and keep masking!

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 20.

The challenge for Day 20: "Fave Foods."
Though food and I argue often, I do have
a few favorites that I love to indulge in.
I'm thankful for my dh, who is our chef!

Lobster. Discovered when I had my first
taste at the age of 16 (on my birthday!)
and I feel in love. This dinner came from
my dh asking me "if you could have any
thing that you would love to have for
dinner tonight, what would you like?" I
answered with lobster! And guess what
he brought home from the store .... yup,
a lovely lobster for us to indulge in. I am
sure I didn't eat the rest of the week ....

Butternut squash. This is a new favorite
for me as I had no idea I could eat it!

Corn. With butter. Steamy and delicious.
So good and a great Summer time food.

Cheesy rice. I love anything that is soft and
easy for me to swallow. This one is amazing!

Do you have some favorite foods?

~ Chy

November 21, 2020

Challenge: Day 19.

For the Day 19 Challenge, sharing a difficult time
 in our life was an easy pick. Experiencing the losses
of 2/3 of our children has been unimaginable and at
times, I still am not sure how we've survived this. It
has affected our relationship with each other and for
those around us. But we keep working at it and are
making the best of a crappy situation. I always have
hope that no one else will go thru this but daily meet
or hear stories of others who have gone thru baby loss.
It inspires me to help, move forward, never forget
and daily honor our precious babies that we love. My
hope is one day, baby loss will be eradicated forever.

With love, today and every day, we remember:

Bretton~Elijah Lucas
Ciara~Rose Kennedi
Birkley~Finn Kensington
Cabriola~Ireland Laci
Cambria~Sage Kassady
Beau~Harper Levi
Cree~Raven Lyric
Bentley~River Kai

What difficult time have you experienced?

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 18.

The challenge for Day 18 is "My Collections." I have a number but decided to just choose a few that are in our Master Bedroom. Maybe another day, I'll go around and showcase the others. For now, I'll start with the magainzes I love to gather and keep. Yes, I do read them all and often bring them along when I have a nice long soak in a warm tub!

"The English Home." When we were in the middle of our little house in the big woods build, I was looking for images of English Cottages/Country Homes. The day we bought our AGA in the big city, we stopped at our local bookstore (Indigo) and the store clerk was just putting out The English Home. I was thrilled and commented I had never seen this magazine before. She commented that it had just arrived and they had never stocked it before, but she wasn't sure it would fly here in Canada. I love picking it up each month, though it's usually a month behind. It's a fave in our home.

My very tall stack of TEH. I have run out
of room, so the new ones are now on the
window seat bench. I'll have to do a bit of
a tidy of the bookcases and move them over.

Ah, my very favorite is "Country Living" but it must be "The British Edition." I find the U.S. one to not be as interesting. I again watch for this each month and lately have been surprised that they've been arriving earlier and so not we're not a month behind. We are missing an issue from the late Spring. I'm sure Covid made it hard to order from overseas. Or maybe the publication didn't print that month. So happy to have this little stack grow and grow. But again, I've run out of room in our bookcases and on the window seat ....

Our bookcases are packed but I'm sure
with a bit of tweaking, we can fit these in.

Another collection is tiny teddies. I have
these four up in my dressing room corner.

The view from afar. I love this little hutch
that holds so many things I use and love.

My collection of soaps. When I visited England at the grand old age of 16, I fell in love with all the soaps we came across in our travels and starting gathering them to bring home. My suitcase smelled heavenly once we were back in Canada. And since then, I've experimented over the years to find scents that remind me of that amazing trip. On the top shelf of my tiny cabinet are a few soaps I will never use because of their shapes (crowns) and they are no longer made. But the rest we use all the time. The tiny ones smell the best and are from our favorite store on Salt Spring Island ~ Twang and Pearl. When we visit the island, I pick up as many of these as I can in my favorite colors. This year, we haven't ventured out, so I placed an online order to keep my stash up. The larger soaps are from Rocky Mountain Soaps, made here in Alberta. So many "flavors" and these are used daily. Dh has his stash and this is mine. Yummy!

Finally in this space, my last collection is my growing stash of Susan Branch books. I'm so excited for her next reads to come out and have one on my wish list for Christmas. Looks like I'll have to move the shelf above the books up to fit the next one in. We collect books in general in this family but this pile stands out as my current and forever favorite!

Do you collect anything? Hope you'll share!

~ Chy

November 19, 2020

Challenge: Day 17.

Today's challenge: "The Meaning Behind My Blog Name." Love this one! My answer is pretty short and sweet. When I was trying to figure out a name for my blog, I spent hours reading other blogs and figuring out why they chose the names they did. Most were quite obvious, especially for the type of blogs I love to read. I had a hard time at first trying to come up with a name that would capture my vision. As a fan of the "Little House" written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, it soon became clear to me that something along that line would be a great fit. I settled on "Our Little House in the Big Woods" ~ at the time, we were still dreaming of this scenario and felt it would keep us focused on our end goal of building on our land in the forest. When I started to create my blog, I quickly discovered another blogger had chosen "ourlittlehouseinthebigwoods.blogspot.com" for their domain, so I chose "ourlittlecottageinthebigwoods.blogspot.com" and it worked. We always call our house a "cottage" anyway so it was a good fit. I love the adventures we're having here and love how well the name of my blog has worked out. 

How did you choose the name of your blog?

~ Chy

November 16, 2020

Challenge: Day 16.

Today's challenge: "Proudest Moment." At 18 years old, when my appendix burst during my birthday party and I ended up with peritonitis for several weeks, I was told the chances of conceiving a baby would be quite remote. Once we were married 4 years later, we decided to try anyway. We also talked about the possibility of adopting but we truly hoped that our dream of a large, beautiful family could be achieved. On our very 1st attempt, we were shocked to discover that we could have a baby on our own! I was fortunate to have a very easy going, no morning sickness, lots of energy pregnancy. And at 8:02 pm, on the evening of July 10th my water broke. It took 2.5 hours before I had my first contraction @ 10:30 p.m. and @ 4:14 a.m. on July 11th, our daughter arrived, naturally and so big! We were told to expect a very tiny baby around 5 to 6 lbs but she was just 2 ounces short of 8 lbs! We were a bit of hit that day as it's not common for moms to birth without drugs or have such big babies. But we did it! And we did it our way. Yes, my proudest moment and it paved the way for our family to begin. Isn't she the sweetest! A beautiful dream come true ....

Do you have a proud moment to share? We'd love to hear it!

~ Chy

November 15, 2020

Challenge: Day 15.

Today's challenge: "A Photo of My
Handwriting." Here it is ~ plain and
simple and a half writing/half printing
kind of style. My personal favorite!

~ Chy

Conflicted Feelings.


Ugh! I hate having conflicted feelings. Usually I can figure things out but sometimes, the answer is not always as clear as I'd hope. Today, I'm conflicted. I know I'll find my answer OR the answer will present itself. Maybe writing about it will make it more clear for me. This often works.

I'm conflicted today because I've been offered an elective surgery date for a procedure that was cancelled back in mid March due to Covid. In the Summer, surgeries were approved again. I received a call on a Thursday, late in the day, for a spot that had opened for the next morning. But I turned it down as our music festival was the very next day. An announcement recently made it sound like all elective surgeries had been cancelled once again. But in reading the announcement again yesterday, I realize the headline and the body did not quite match and in fact, only 30% of surgeries were still cancelled. 

On Thursday, late in the day, I received a call from my surgeon's office and I wish I hadn't answered it ~ it said "Private" but I answered it anyway. I was offered a new date of Tuesday to come in for my surgery. I don't think I actually accepted it as I was in a bit of shock and was asking lots of questions. But I must have somewhere down the line said "okay" and now I'm sitting with conflicted feelings. 

Why am I conflicted? Here's the list:

The Pros to accepting this date:

* I'm already working from home so no missed work.

* I've been waiting a long time to get this done.

The Cons to accepting this date:

* My student is done on Friday so we have lots to cover this week. I can't just hand her off.

* I have a full caseload of clients who all missed last week because I was on a week long holiday.

* Covid numbers have drastically increased with over 1,000 new cases reported yesterday and 3 new deaths. This is a worry. Is it worth the potential risk?

* Reports are frequent talking about the overcrowding in our hospitals right now, with the ICU's at capacity. And lots of stories of people waiting for surgery who truly need emergent care. A lady in Calgary is waiting for hip surgery. She can barely walk. And yet she has no surgery date and has been waiting longer than me. I feel ethically and morally she should go before me as her need is great ....

* I would have to sit and wait once I'm done, on pain meds and probably pretty loopy until my dh can come pick me up. He can't take next week off as he just had this past week off. And the hospital right now doesn't allow support people to sit with anyone who is going in to surgery OR recovering. 

* My last surgery was when I was 18, so I have lots of fears that I've been working through and Covid has become the top of the list now that this is an added concern.

So many mixed feelings. I don't want to regret saying no and not getting this done. But I don't want to regret getting it done and then Covid is present. What if I get my family sick OR I get Covid? 

I worry the surgeon may become annoyed if I say no to this date. Maybe he won't agree to keep me on. This has not been shared but it's a worry for me. Likely unfounded. No shortage of surgeons out there for sure but I'd have to start all over again if my no is not well received. 

Ugh! I'm off to help dh board and batten our wall. Maybe that will help me come to peace with a decision. 

Thanks for listening!

~ Chy

November 14, 2020

A Knitting Mouse!

Truly, I could not resist posting this little mouse.
Is she not the sweetest thing you've seen tonight?

~ Chy

Challenge: Day 14.

Today's challenge: "An Average Day."

I'm not sure we actually have a completely
"average day" in our little cottage. Life is
often pretty eclectic and though that may
not work for many families, it does for us.

 We all wake up in the morning within about
an hour. Everyone leaves the house if it is a
work day at some point, early for some, later
for others. I'm always home at the moment.

Different times that the work day starts
and ends, and different days. I love it,
this staggered process. Gives us time
to work at home (and make sure the
greenhouse is doing fine after the first
snow fell). Time for self care as well.

We all have chores and tasks that need
attention. Much of this will happen at
the beginning or end of the work day.
Sometime on the weekend as needed.

We work in time to relax, time for each
other, time for solitary experiences, and
time for family gatherings. Even in this
Covid season, we all need to have time.

Weekends are filled and fun, busy but
productive. Down time and social time.

Once everyone is home late in the afternoon,
we might have dinner together, or watch a
show. Or work on a project. Or attend a
meeting. Or have a bath and read a great
book. Tonight, we're heading down to the
theatre room to watch a movie. To show
my point, look at our dinner above. Yup,
that was our breakfast for dinner. So good!

What does your average day look like?

~ Chy

November 13, 2020

Challenge: Day 13.

Challenge for Day 13 is "If I Won the Lottery." It
would be so much fun! But I'm sure it would also
come with a ton of stress. I'd hope that we would
not lose any family and friends over any winnings.
I know we would share and provide for the local
we support. Setting up a foundation to help families
more concretely than we do now would be part of
the dream. Helping our kids out. Ensuring my mom
is well taken care of. Treating my brother. I think
it would be so much fun to surprise those we love!

What would you do if you won the Lottery?

~ Chy