Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For the Senses: Ocean Summer

This season's link list is all about the ocean.  I was hoping to have some sand in my toes as I wrote this but the weather here is not beachy...summer is elusive on our coast this year.   This list will have to do for now.


Jack Johnson named his new album To the Sea and this video for the song You and Your Heart shows him surfing.  I will probably never try surfing as something about it terrifies me, but it is a wonder to watch and is the epitome of communing with the ocean.


This soap is in high rotation around here.  It is locally made and smells so good.   Having a shower is one of my favorite things and the scent of Ocean Mist makes it that much more heavenly.


Takao Tanabe is a west coast painter who captures the sea scape in a mystical way.  We have a poster of one of his triptychs and we love it.  In person his paintings are often huge and so they pull you into the atmosphere of a misty day by the water.


What could remind one of the sea more than salt?  Celtic Sea Salt has a wonderful taste and is full of minerals that are essential to your health. 


I recently purchased myself a bamboo t-shirt and it is a joy to wear.  So soft and cozy feeling.  I love this Lakehouse Tunic by Salt.  It would be perfect to put on after a day on the beach.  

Monday, June 28, 2010

Outdoor Challenge

We were outside today and though it still doesn't feel much like summer here Ky found things to keep himself busy.  He rode his tricycle for a while and then decided to pull it around after him while he hunted for buttercups (once the dandelions disappeared he moved on to buttercups.)

While camping last week he constantly had a buttercup in his hand.  He likes to hold flowers and rocks these days.  During the winter it was sticks and rocks but he's lost interest in sticks for the time being.

Here he is pulling his trike around today.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book of the Month: June

Another food book this month.  This time it is the The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon.  This is the story of their 2005 experiment to eat only foods that they could source from within a 100 miles.  This story is wonderfully woven with each author (they are also a couple) alternating chapters.  This is about food, history, the environment, and the challenges of eating "local."  I also enjoyed this read because I live in the area in which it takes place but that certainly shouldn't deter anyone not living in the Lower Mainland from reading it. 
This journey became bigger than both of the authors would have imagined when they began the experiment.  They have a great website and a reality t.v. show on the Food Network Canada and their movement has connected them to many like minds that have embarked on similar challenges. 

This is a story about how they ate locally and what they learned while doing it.   It makes you think of where your food comes from even more deeply.  Our food is no longer limited to our regional geography and every grocery store in North America demonstrates that.  We can eat bananas from Equador, kiwis from New Zealand, mandarins from China and nori from Japan.  But should we be eating all these things?   What would we eat from our own landscape if our food didn't travel an average of 1,500 miles before we consumed it?  As we enter the beginning of the abundant harvest of summer eating local often becomes more appealing with seemingly endless possibilities.  The challenge really starts in the late fall and winter when we enter the period of dormancy.

The journey of learning about food is a long road The 100-Mile Diet puts a personal perspective on food and will help anyone who wants to be more aware to grasp the concept one step at a time.      

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Yes, I must say that I am.  There is little chance to be uptight when you are surrounded by ocean, trees, eagles, good friends, laughing children and fresh air.  Once again we had such a good time on Hornby Island.  We visited a few other little towns on Vancouver Island as well and Ky had his first stay in a hotel.

The bannock turned out well.  I only now realized that I didn't take a picture...but the logistics were the only hard part.  We discovered it was definitely a two person job to flip bread in an iron skillet!  Yoga looking out onto the beach on Solstice morning was so refreshing.  My body felt cleansed and loose and restored after.  It is always a pleasure to discover new teachers of yoga since they can expand your view of your practice and open your mind to something you've never thought of before.   We ended our Solstice with a beach side fire and chants to the ocean.  And after camping was over just because the boy is all about them we found some trains to look at and ride on.  Who knows next year he could be on to something else so we'll get the most out of this interest while we can.

I feel renewed and ready to move forward.  There is lots to do and I certainly feel that this struggle I've had to post over the last two months is dwindling.  There will be words....here they come....I sense their approach.  Thanks for sticking with me through a small dry spell there.  And here are some images of our trip.

In case you were wondering I was a lucky girl and received a very early birthday present of a new camera.   Nothing fancy mind you, just a good quality point and shoot that I can use to my heart's content.   I must say that at this time my heart is content.  Vacations can be magical things.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let it be

This week is tumbling towards our big camping adventure.  You may remember last year's adventure and we are headed back to the little island of delights Saturday morning.   I've been struggling with getting into a groove with my posts this month.  I lost my camera as well which has put a damper on my posting ability.  Hopefully that will be remedied before we head out because I would love to share photos of our adventure.

The weather is certainly not helping my creative spirit these days.  Grey skies, chilly nights....where is our summer?  As the longest day approaches I can't help but notice that I really get off kilter at this point in the earth's journey around the sun.  I feel frustrated by that since I want to embrace every season and take the good and bad that each offers.  But a vacation will help with that.  A change of scenery to pull me out of the day-to-day that has become a bit overwhelming the last few weeks.

The only thing I know so far about my solstice plans is that I'll be taking a yoga class in view of the beach in the morning.  The rest of the day will play out according to its own rhythm.  I look forward to the sea air and seeing my boys enjoying spending their days together.  I'm going to try making bannock for the first time. 

I feel quiet and pensive these days.  Perhaps I retreat this way when big changes are in the works, as I take time to adjust and recalibrate.  Perhaps once we get some heat I'll be able to loosen the tight feeling in my muscles and let things be.  That's what I'll be looking for as the days grow to their longest and then so soon begin their recession again.  To just let it be...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Politics and Spirit in Action

Today I worked an act of political and spiritual action.  You may remember my post detailing the House of Commons passing Bill C-311 and that it was moving to the Senate for approval.  Today I sent 52 emails to each and every Conservative and Independent senator with an email address.  I hope that this action will mean something to these men and women.  I did this for my son and all future Canadians and humans living on this planet.  I also did it for our mother, her soil, water, and air.  Now it is out of my hands, I have done what I can. 

This was a form letter sent to me by the NDP party.  I wrote the first, second and third paragraphs to personalize it more.

I write to you today as a mother, wife, daughter, citizen of Canada, and lover of this earth.  Climate Change is threatening the air we breathe, the soil that grows our food, the water that we drink and our ability to sustain life as we know it on this planet.

Like many Canadians, I have been watching with great interest the process of Bill C-311—the Climate Change Accountability Act. I was elated to see our federal parties work across party lines to pass this important bill in the House of Commons. I am writing to you to ask that you do the same.

Canadians agree that climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Without urgent action, the consequences for our children and grandchildren will be dire. That is why we all have a responsibility to act. The Climate Change Accountability Act is Canada’s best hope for science-based reductions to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a mechanism to ensure these targets are met.

I respectfully encourage you and your Senate colleagues to pass Bill C-311 without delay. A majority of MPs representing a large majority of Canadians have shown the urgency of the situation by coming together and passing this bill. If we are going to put Canada back on track for a cleaner, greener future, the Senate must do the same. Canadians hope for nothing less.

This bill is not about politics it is about being a human being on this earth.  Canada has an opportunity to take the lead here and show the world that we believe in making the changes necessary to sustain life, and make a healthier future for the coming generations.

On behalf of my son I thank you for taking this important step towards a hopeful future.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Living Room Tour

As promised here is the first tour of our current home.  I've chosen to highlight the things that I love about the living/dining room, some of which can be recreated elsewhere and some that can't.

This view is good for the soul.  The Cedars stay green all year long and sway in the wind.  We also watch the squirrels jump from tree to tree and the birds singing from the branches.  Chickadees came and ate from our bird feeder in the winter too.  And several times now we've seen a Stellar's Jay on the balcony railing.  Stellar's Jays are the provincial bird of British Columbia.


It has been so nice to have a working fireplace even though we've had some not so great moments with it.  This was my second home with a working fireplace and this one had a mantle of sorts which I enjoyed decorating despite its makeshift nature.  By makeshift I mean that the former tenants bolted glass shelves to the existing wood mantle beam and we've had some accidents to prove that it may not have been the best solution for more display space.  Our new home does not have a fireplace so we'll miss this one.

The little TV nook area was a challenge to decorate.  But it did lead us to find the TV stand that I still really like.  (our toy storage is still a work in progress...lol...)

I have wonderful memories attached to this shelf display.  Dave actually made a spreadsheet to decide what arrangement he liked the best.  His meticulous Virgo nature came out full force in this but I think he did a great job.  We'll bring these shelves with us and I'm curious to see what shape they will morph into next. 

This piece is what I will miss the most from this room.  A lovely built in display cabinet with storage for linens, candles and photo albums below.  The china looks so nice in there.  Obviously we will get another hutch type piece someday but this one came ready made.  Do you think they'd notice the huge hole in the wall if we took it with us? 

So that's the end of the tour for today.  I feel grateful that I'll have this record for Ky and for my own memory's sake.  As a visual person I can recall almost every place I've lived in but this is more concrete and much more personal than just clicking through photos in a folder.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Things I've Learned

So, it was not over.  Friday night I came down with this gastro thing and two days later it was Dave's turn.  So now we are on the mend here for good.  Being sick like this left me with quite a lot to ponder.
Like, what are we going to eat?  I certainly didn't feel like making the meals I had planned out for us for the week.  And I noticed that our supply of bland starchy things grew tiresome fast.  I also read that you shouldn't necessarily eat bland since it provides little to no nutrients for recovery.    In Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation Sharon goes over food storage for emergency and I came to realize that being the mom of a recovered and hungry toddler means you cook whether you can stand up straight or not.  In my mind I saw the brilliance of homemade chicken soup in the freezer ready for "emergency" situations and then my mind goes blank.  What else should be in there?  I've never really thought about this stuff before now.  This type of thinking has not been cultured into me.  I am a go to the store, pick it up instantly kind of girl.  I want to be prepared (as any good Girl Guide would be, but I dropped out after one year) but how do I make this work for us?  I don't need to go out and buy tons of stuff and create a bomb shelter with its own solar panels yet, but I should have water stored, emergency medical info and enough food to get us through for at least 2 weeks.  Sharon actually recommends 3 months.  While I'm not sure how I'm going to integrate this information into our lives I am happy that I found this book and have read it.  I feel that just knowing about preparedness whether I am or not is going to help if anything actually hits the fan.
I'm not much for doomsday predictions or the like but it would be ignorant to assume that it can't happen to me.  I am not immune to a natural disaster or a systemic breakdown, just like I'm not immune to the flu.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Is it over?

Well, never before has tgif had such a meaning for me.  This week has been a challenge to say the least.  It started off fine but by Tuesday night...things took a turn for the worst.  We managed to make it through Ky's first battle with gastroenteritis and the laundry resulting has been done.  We've gone over 24 hours without throw up, yah!  Dave and I are both tired.  I am not an experienced mama with the sick thing yet.  I stress about it quite a bit, maybe I always will. 
The sun has peaked out here and there and I've tried to except that summer is on the doorstep but I need some warmth to really get the feeling into my bones.  Apparently we are due for some sun next week.  Solstice camping is fast approaching, Ky's big  boy bed mattress arrives on Monday and we are 99% on the road to a new place to live.  Our move won't be until the end of the summer and that is perfect to me.  We'll have lots of time to enjoy summer, I won't worry too much about home things and I'll have early September to settle into the new place.  The thing I'm most excited about at the moment is that I'll get to make curtains and window coverings for each room!  Good bye vertical blinds!!!
Grey skies are going to clear up and I'm putting on a happy face.  But I will share in my sentimental fashion that I'll miss many things about this place.  I doubt Ky will remember living here and since it is where he was born I feel responsible for recording all the lovely things about it for him and I to remember should he express interest some day.  So there will be a speckling of posts relating these great things over the next 3 months.  Have a great weekend.  My regular post schedule should resume shortly.