Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A mindset



Something happened to me this December. Well, if I am to be truthful, I should acknowledge that this "something" occurs to me each and every late November, early December. The difference this year is that I went with it. I took it slow. And it is a funny thing when one listens and takes it slow...it actually works. There is space for the magic.
Wishing you all more magical days.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reason 679 for homeschooling


When I took a moment to step back from the lesson I was immediately struck by how happy I would be if this was our "classroom" everyday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December


Well, here we are, on the cusp of December. And I love this time of year. While it may seem odd to some, I view this time in the same way that I used to find the time before writing an exam. Having done all that I can, the edge is taken off.
I am more mindful of my moments....welcoming the holiday spirit in and enjoying my time with it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hazel is 6, and we celebrate 10

I would be seriously remiss if I didn't include this as one of the reasons he holds my heart.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Journeying



Today I am struggling with the overwhelming gap between where we are and where we want to be.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A day at the Beach





In the mind of this fall-loving mama, days at the beach should absolutely not be reserved for the hot and sunny days of summer. The summer is -well, hot...and ummm, too crowded. Not to mention the fact that our fall days are leading to many a winter day where getting out to the beach may become more sketchy. We are always rewarded with sights that don't make themselves apparent in the leafy cover of summer too.
And the waves - well, let me just say that it has been at least 20 (yes TWENTY) years since I have witnessed the sea in all it's glory. But that long stretch of time coupled with the little whitecaps that don't appear at our beach in summer trick me into believing we are at the ocean. And the line of questioning from the girls makes me think they feel the same...."Do mermaids live in the water here?, Is this a mermaid scale? Do you think this is a good spot for mermaids to sit and watch us?".
Have I mentioned that I love fall?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Boo



On these rainy days that seem to be never-ending, the crafting abounds. Halloween is in our sights....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Voices


My voice has been silent in this space. I should remember this part of the seasonal change that catches me by surprise every time - my thoughts and voice turn inward. I find myself thinking of the past, not just mine, but the past of my parents and grandparents. There is something about the pull of this season affects me deeply, makes me nostalgic for a time that I wasn't even around for.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The nature of Now

The nature of our Now is summed up in one word: full.
With time spent outdoors soaking up the remaining days of warm sun and warmish rains, before the season forces inside more of the time. And time spent fluffing up the nest (translation = insulating basement walls). And visits from Nana and Grandpa. And slow cooking. And, and, and.....
Homeschooling, while requiring regular planning and organizing has turned out to be the most wonderful experience. As long as I remember to not get too wrapped up in the process - which I am getting better at doing.
So, welcome autumn and the nature of our now.





Saturday, September 24, 2011

These days


*seem to fly past in a blur
*find my freezer full despite my re-arranging and arranging again
*I am a felting maniac
*see me asleep as soon as my head hits my pillow
*find me loving Grade 1 again.
I think we have found our groove (for now). Things were shaky...I was shaky. And as these things usually go, I worried more than was necessary. Now, with the welcome in of Autumn the slate is clean and all is well.
When will I learn????

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Treading water



These are the words that can easily describe our days. I realize that these words have a seemingly negative slant to them, but that is not how they are intended. It is more like we are drifting through our new routines and have yet to find our groove. This is not to say we won't. I see it forming. Little glimpses throughout our day - still off in the distance, but getting closer all the time.
And worrying won't change anything. Patience will. Right?!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This time of year


It is a sentimental time of year for me. Something about the slight dip in temperature and the way the light softens it's blazing summer edges. I find myself reflecting on who I am, what I have done and what I am doing. And also wondering when it is that I will figure these things out.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ode to a cat named Marshmallow



There is an empty space now. We are still finding white cat hair everywhere, and will most likely be for awhile to come. Our catnip is coming back to life after a summer of being chomped on. And the depression in the garden where she liked to sleep is still visible...kind of like she is just out for a stroll and will reclaim her spot any minute now.
"Plea from a cat named Virtue" by The Weakerthans kind of reminds me in some ways of her.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Light

It's on the move. The light that is. Appearing in different spaces in our home. Showing up not unexpectedly. For this begins the marking of the change of seasons for me....not in the goldenrod and asters coming into their own, not in the smell of warm coffee in the cool mornings, but in the changing of the light. And so begins the the circle of another season. It is upon us.




Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lesson learned - again

Take one trip cut short due to a sick pet. Add one freshly cut key that wasn't doing it's job. Multiply by the speed of a storm moving in. Where does this get you? Hmmm. In the middle of a lake in a leaky canoe using Adirondack chair armrests for paddles. Righty-o.

And what lesson was learned? Well, sometimes things don't go as planned. But when you are given the opportunity to get out of town and hang out by a lake, you make the best of things. And what an empowering feeling that is. I am almost glad our day played out in the way it did.
p.s this is a picture from last summer at the very same spot. When things went according to plan.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Love the one you're with

I try. I really do try. But, hmmm, how do I say this without sounding ungrateful? City living is getting me down. And it has for awhile. Yet, here we are....still. We are all healthy. We have a roof over our head and food on our table. I get to earn a living without leaving our home and while raising my girls. But it still feels like a very important part of me is becoming smaller and smaller as each year passes.


I try and stem the flow. I grow a little bit in order to preserve a little bit.
But I want more. I want wide open skies. And quiet nights.
And I want less. I want less to be more.
Yes I do.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On this day....

that finds me back into the everyday routine after two weeks of none. And iPhoto not agreeing with my decision to include pictures in this post. Not to mention the rain clouds that persist and the amount of weeding that is staring me in the face, I am choosing to focus on how happy I feel every time I open my trusty book on Preserving and finding pictures drawn oh so many years ago now by my most favorite middle girl ever.
So, happy Monday my friends.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dog days

It seems the dog days of summer are upon us. I know that this phase of the summer season fills many with a sense of purpose...a sense of enjoying the remaining days of warmth...creating memories of happy sunny times to help them through the cold and colder seasons to come. I am not one of those people. While I do make every effort to enjoy the bounty that is summer, I have never, and concievably never will lament the passing of the hot summer days. For I, as I may have mentioned once or twice before, am a steadfast cold weather aficianado.
And the sight of this beautiful yellow basswood leaf floating in the wading pool filled me with joy.
For I am not wishing the summer away. I am quietly laying in wait, for my time. A time of cooler temperatures, beautiful shades of reds and yellows and oranges. And then...white.









And with this change in the air, my energy is slowly being restored. The heat it seems, does not work with the February baby blood flowing through my veins. I do try. I spend early morning and evening hours outside. I eat copious amounts of berries and ice cream. I enjoy my garden. I wade when possible and fully submerge too. But my thoughts are focused on the future.
I can't help it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Push-Pull


It's a battle I always feel that I am involved in...the old push-pull. Take this vest for instance, although the dog days of summer are upon us I am finishing up a piece of wool clothing for Hazel to wear come the cooler climes of autumn.
My best effort towards living in the moment always seem to be upended in varying degrees by thinking of future days....
Is this a battle that can ever be "won"?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A thousand words


I am finding it tricky to come up with words to go along with this picture. The toothless smile says more to me than any words could. Summer is here. The days stretch on. And each morning the reminder is put out there..."nope, no school today". Or for any day in the foreseeable future. My feet are firmly entrenched in the now that is our summer. My mind wandering forward to the fall, when our days will still be our own. And school will not interrupt my education again, at least not for Grade one.
And wow, does it ever feel right.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I did on my summer holiday

Today is the final day of my summer holiday...I mean MY summer holiday. As in, 3 days of time for me, while working during the day, but having the evenings to spend in whatever manner I wish.
Here is a brief summary-
Saturday morning, drop Michael and Hazel off at the airport for the bouncy journey to Northern Ontario for a visit with his family. They are driving home as we speak.
Saturday and Sunday, gather all things necessary to the two teenagers who left for France with my parents for 28 days of touring, shopping, eating what I imagine is some pretty awesome food and enjoying all the France and the Czech Republic have to offer.
Then, on Monday as if by magic they were gone.
And I had a plan. I spent days previous working on a plan. Wow, I am a planner, and yet not even I have planned like this before. Here is what I did:
built a platform on the ground in our backyard so we can sit outside and eat our dinners
made strawberry jam
cast-on for a vest for Hazel
subscribed to "a latte a day"
gardened to my heart's content
went through the bedroom closets and unloaded stuff
ate cereal for dinner
And wow, I feel rested. I feel energized and ready for the days and weeks ahead. Funny on so many levels how the idea of downtime changes when you become a mama.
Coming to you from a good headspace.
Happy Wednesday.
Oh yeah, the camera went to Sault Ste. Marie so I have no visual proof of how I spent my time. Which was both nice and annoying I must admit.

Monday, July 4, 2011

On this day



which incidentally is five days into the first heatwave of this summer, you will find me in my kitchen. I will be stirring away in front of my stove, upping the temperature inside the house, making our first batch of strawberry jam. And during the cold winter months I will remember it every morning I put the jam on our toast. And I will be so thankful I did.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This moment


Happy long weekend to all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A little of this, a lot of that


I am aware that it is the natural way of things. How young become old, how little becomes big. How the days turn slowly sometimes, but the big picture is one of perpetual forward motion....time ticking away. As I sat today at Raine's Grade 8 graduation I found myself with some time to myself with no craft project to finish, no phone calls to make, no plans to plan...and I realized that it probably isn't a good thing for me to have too much real quiet time. Why did I find myself close to tears when other peoples kids were accepting their diploma? I am not usually one for happy tears, especially not for children and people that I have never met. And then the truth dawned on me (probably again, but I never seem to remember it) that I am aging along with my girls. I am still figuring myself out. I am coming to terms with the idea that I am on the road to grandmotherhood (not yet mind you) and not new motherhood. How is it that I am the mother of a 14 year who isn't even my eldest child. How does someone who still doesn't know what they want to be when they grow up help their children figure out what they want to be. Is it enough to hope that they pick up on the love and not so much on the making ends meet? There was a whole lot of speaking about figuring out your goals and then striving to reach them...does it count if a mother just wants her children's goals to be happy..is that enough in the world today?
Sheesh, turns out that on this day of celebration, I have a wee bit of a heavy heart. And I feel somewhat overwhelmed. And I love my girls in ways that I am still trying to figure out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another summer


And so at the start of another summer, I find myself:
*eagerly awaiting the end of school routines
*enjoying the first batch of local strawberries
*finding time here and there to keep my garden from getting away on me
*sewing large quantities of sheep
*really believing that the path I am on is right where I should be.
And for someone who is a bona fide cold-weather lover, these are making me love this perfect summer of summers that has begun.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Move it on over

Keep on going....on over to Frontier Dreams...there is a giveaway happening....and it is not necessarily for the younger set....I can be found hoarding my favorites and setting them up in a way that makes me smile. It's true. Toys are not for just the kids anymore.
Happy weekend.
Karen

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Note to self



Say no by saying yes - to the air, to the earth, to the trees. Yes to the grasses, to the rivers, to the birds and the animals and every living thing. Yes to the small houses, yes to the children. Yes.
* Wendell Berry*

And say yes to the wonderful movie you saw last week titled "Mother Nature's Child". It served as a great reminder of the importance of the great outdoors in whatever capacity in the everyday. It wasn't really a reminder that I was seeking, more like the knowledge that my ideas on the subject are valid ones.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Joy

I am feeling, on this day, joyful for many things. Maybe it is the return of the sun, maybe the end of the school year right around the corner, or possibly a combination of many little things that turn into one big happy result (see below).

I am due to become an aunt once again any day now. Purple seems to be the color of choice for this little one and my needles are a-clicking. Come along little one, we are excitedly awaiting your arrival!



The joy of witnessing eldest and littlest hard at work bending pipe cleaners into desired shapes.



The ever changing fairy house play that goes on in my house.




The return of afternoon coffee to my day.


All these and many others are combining to make me feel more like myself again.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Operation Family Hike


Okay. Over this winter I had the sudden realization that my biggest girl turns 17 this summer. I realized with such a sense of shock that there was a distinct possibility that she would be off to university in a little over a year. Despite my wishes that she stay in town for this next phase of her life, she has a strong desire to fly. (No, not fly the coop, just fly in the nice sense of the word). Suddenly I was filled with the idea that we really needed to make this next year count. So, when most kids are increasing their independance and time spent away from the mamas and papas, mine was reeled back in this morning at about 9:00 when I woke her up and made her get ready for a good old family hike.
It's not that we have never done things like that as a family, it's just that it has been awhile. Schedules, lives and appointments all seemed to have wormed their way to the front of the line as far as family time is concerned.
Not today. I was reminded that it is important to fit these things in. That our time is limited. And that our time together is very important.
And I think we all had a good time, despite the mosquitoes. The ice cream at the end helped too.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Note to self



Keep feet firmly planted in the Now. All will be okay.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A sweet ride for my salad

It is always a question of need versus want. Almost 17 years ago while working at a local kitchen store I bought some really good quality dishes. I spent more than I should have given the fact that I was a university student and living on my own...but I needed dishes and liked the idea of spending more and getting something that would last. So, I splurged. And I have loved them ever since...although I must admit that a few years back I started to wish they would start breaking...on their own of course....not intentionally or anything diabolical like that. But wow, they are enduring. Three little ones later and I believe that only one plate has ever met that fate. Enter want.





I have loved abi's work for a long while now, but I waited patiently. And finally I splurged again, with help from a well-timed tax return. 8 new plates. Sweet and simple. And ready to welcome years of use - I hope.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The ceremonial changing of the cookware


Ah, finally it seems as though the last harbinger of spring has shown itself. In our house that means the final pot of soup is cooked and consumed - and that event took place yesterday. After going long and hard all fall and winter, my cherished soup pot is now officially on a well-earned hiatus (I hope, and I am sure my family will concur) until the colder temperatures return. I realize that there are many who enjoy a good cold soup during the hotter months...us, we are cold weather fans. Come the warm times, it is all about meals that don't involve soup. So, with that in mind, see you in the fall oh favorite soup pot of mine.