Friday, October 9, 2015

A Few Good Reasons

The early morning is my favourite time. My work day starts with a drive into the glorious canvas of the sunrise. Barns and homesteads are silhouettes on the hill against the backdrop of sweeping strokes of grey, blue and orange. I resist the urge to snap a million pictures while I drive and opt to take mental captures of the beauty. There is something sacred or mystical about dawn, and witnessing the world coming slowly to life.

And now the first place I head in the morning is out to our sunroom to gaze at our pond, which is now pretty much completed. I slide open the door to listen to the sound of the waterfall and the birds that are acquainting themselves with the new addition to the property. The chipmunks have made a game of running under the waterfall and Fritz has decided that drinking from the pond is tastier than his water bowl.

Funny - the pond is completed just in time to put it to sleep for the winter. And next spring we'll have the wonderment and joy of witnessing the new plantings take root and bloom. So much to look forward to. So much to be grateful for. We really have created our own little piece of natural paradise; a place of peace.

This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving and our village's fall fair. The maples are already a blaze of fiery orange, yellow and red and as I sit here, the leaves lazily flutter to the ground -- living up to the name of season - fall. It's going to be jam packed weekend with two famjams and the fair. I picked apples from our tree yesterday for my apple crisp and the butternut squash sits ready to be converted to delicious soup.

Despite my best efforts to stay healthy I got the flu! It flattened me for two days and today I am finally up and about, feeling exhausted and coughing up a lung. But I am optimistic that the coughing will help clear me, and the family will be good medicine. We're all going to be together and soon our new house will be christened into a home once the laughter and chatter of our loved ones fill these walls and new memories are made.

I really don't have to look far for reasons to be grateful.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Day four of our pond escapades and it's starting to get real. When it was first dug Hubby seemed disappointed citing that it seemed smaller than he'd imagined. I got him to drop down into the hole and picture himself swimming in it. Low and behold, it seemed larger than he'd expected. Funny what a change of perspective can do.

Meandering home after work on country roads lined with corn fields, haystacks and grazing farm animals to my place of peace is a dream turned reality. The ride home is decompressing time; reflecting time; singing time (tapping rhythmically on the steering wheel and maybe a little head bobbing). And these days my prize at the end of the day is seeing the progress made on the pond, and each day, the progress is astounding.

I find myself settling into our rural life. The house is starting to feel like a comfy worn slipper - familiar and cosy. And we are all adapting to the new rhythms and routines of our family. My one hour commute is time to connect with my dad and sisters (all up before 7 am). Thursdays are reserved for dinner at Dad and Mama T's and on weekends we try to connect with some faction of the fam. We are all looking forward to sharing Thanksgiving together as most of the kids can make it. We'll all be together and the chatter and clatter will ring throughout the house. Hubby's side of the family are also having Thanksgiving with us here. Doubly blessed. Houseful of love. So much to be grateful for. And I am.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Truth be Told

This is what I know to be true...

Optimism is like a burning ember that just won't die; and if fanned, can ignite into possibility.

Life is unfolding as it should; the detours and bumpy roads are necessary to teach us most what we need to learn.

At the end of the day; in my final days, it will be the connections I have made and the relationships I have nurtured that will matter; that will be my legacy.

Authentic friendships can cocoon you in unconditional love and unyielding support, without the need of an ask, when you need it most.

We teach people how to treat us.

The most important rule to live by is "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you".

That which I treasure most, and is a rare commodity, is time with my family, especially with my three precious treasures.

A house, regardless how beautiful or majestic, is simply wood and stone until it is welcoming, and love and laughter permeates the walls, and memories are made.

This I know to be true...

That this physical, earthly life I am living is my theatre to play out that which I must in order to experience, learn, be tested and evolve to my highest, best possible version of myself.

This I know to be true...

I have so much to learn.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Summer decided to hang around for a few extra weeks and the weather has been phenomenal. Crisp clean warm air and sunshine - all perfect for pond digging! Hubby has been enamored with the idea of a natural swimming pond ever since he learned about them. When we discussed selling the cottage to move to a country home, one of my requests was to have a water substitute. The natural swimming pond with its regeneration zone that cleans the water without chemicals hits all of our hot buttons. We scoured YouTube, watching every video on natural swimming ponds that we could find. They are a fairly new phenomenon here in Canada and we were lucky enough to find a local eco-landscaper experienced in building them.

After only one day, the outline of the swimming area was defined and a shallow hole was dug. Day two revealed much more progress and we could visualize the final product. Hubby worried that it all looked a little smaller than he expected, but when he ventured down into the hole, he brightened up. We will skate  before we ever swim on it... and we have to trust that our landscapers know what they are doing. I can't wait for the final product... beautiful plants surrounding a luscious swimming pond and me sitting on the end of the dock dangling my feet in the cool water.

The vision is ours to ponder - and ponder it we will; and along the way, we will be grateful for the blessings in our life.

Day 2

Day 2 landscape

Monday, September 14, 2015

Easing into Wonderful

Last summer fling
Three weeks into our life on an unpaved sideroad -- in a century-old schoolhouse - and it is finally feeling like home, and not like I'm waking up in a cosy bed and breakfast. There is still much to explore around the property and endless images to capture. Work on the natural swimming pond will be starting soon and with any luck - we'll be skating on it by Christmas.

But in the meantime we will have to dig out our tall rubber boots and be prepared to navigate the muddy mess that will be ours on the journey to our landscape wonder. No pain - no gain.

This weekend Hubby made some amazing progress on the painting, with the help of his bestie. The livingroom that was shrouded in early dungeonesque decor has been transported from dark and dingy to lightness and bright! There is still much to do, and in the coming months I will remind myself to cherish each and every moment. I am easing into wonderful, and for that - I couldn't be more grateful. 

Some reasons for my happy...

Secret canopy in wait of a hammock.

Snow apple anyone? The yard smells like a cider house.

Wetlands beauty

The edge of the property...into cornfield territory.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Vacation's Over

After two weeks off to enjoy Lyndsay's wedding, and get moved and unpacked in our new home, the vacation ended and I returned to work. Not gonna lie... it wasn't easy to get up at the crack of dawn and leave the comfort and beauty of the country. But surprisingly, the one hour commute flew by with little effort as I eased myself into the vistas of grazing horses and sweeping cornfields.

It seemed like a lifetime that I'd been away from the office, and the signs were evident: a heartwarming welcome back poem on my office door - and the other not-so-nice reminder -- the aged banana left on my credenza. YUCK!

Yup -- all signs point to -- the vacation's over!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I'll remember the summer of 2015 as the summer that never was; and the summer in which everything changed. We're moved. Sounds so simple and easy to write, but the truth be told, in the past three months I was tested to my limit, and survived by looking only at what was in front of me at any given moment, and not too far ahead. "Eye on the prize" was our mantra as we juggled the responsibilities of our life, keeping all the balls in the air. I've never felt so exhausted and depleted in my entire life.

But it was all worth it.

As I packed my life into tidy little boxes I resisted the urge to revisit memories of what was, avoiding the emotional upheaval that comes with leaving a home of almost twenty-eight years. The empty rooms echoed with the laughter and chatter of little girls and countless famjams, and shadows of heartbreak still remained. But I couldn't help but smile as I excavated precious treasures -- baby teeth left behind by a forgetful Tooth Fairy; Kidlet's will that she wrote when she was thirteen; notes and lists written in my mom's handwriting; and old journals. I was truly moved.

In the midst of preparing our cottage and home for sale, we were in wedding mode with my eldest daughter Lyndsay marrying her sweetheart Jenny. My family and I love any opportunity to celebrate and rejoice together and I didn't want the wedding overshadowed by any anxiety or fatigue I was experiencing. I needn't have worried. The ceremony was deeply moving  and the love that filled the space was palpable. The wedding was like being in the eye of a storm -- calm and serene and FUN.
The eye moved on and we moved to our new home two days later.

It took a village - but we made it and came out the other side. Our parents showed up offering support, food and drink and we christened our new home in fine form.

The very first night that Hubby and I took possession of the schoolhouse, we slept on a blow up mattress so we could wake up to the view of the cathedral of trees and greenery. We didn't get much sleep, but it did not disappoint.

And as I sit here amid stacks of partially opened, unpacked boxes, and a chorus of crickets chirping, I feel overwhelmed in the best possible way. I marvel at the goodness that life has delivered to me and I am grateful. Grateful and moved.

PS- I'm back!

Went to sleep amid the chaos of unpacking 

Woke up to this view