Monthly Archives: May 2012

fawned fridays

01) I can’t help but think of my wee, fierce girl when I read these words and watch her twirl.

02) I love everything about linen, especially when they are hand painted and embroidered.  My goodness.

03) I like to think this is how I would spend a day with me, myself, and I.

04) Since my cake frosting always ends up a hideous florescent colour, this is AMAZING news!

05) We could not have built our harvest table without Ana White!  This is our next project {times two}

06) This should hang in every room of the house.

07) I hope our front yard looks like this someday.

08) These rings are breathtaking + oh so powerful.

09) I can’t stop looking at this.  I might need to change the mother’s day, birthday, dating anniversary, wedding anniversary tat design plan…

10) I feel so blessed + grateful to have my name float down the Ganges in one of these sacred bundles.  Only 56 hours left to be a part of it!.

Posted in fawned fridays | 1 Comment

dancing rabbit daycare

 

{I found and purchased the dancing rabbit image via etsy}

Many of you have been oh so curious about our decision to have a daycare in our home.

If you had asked me at any point in my life what I saw myself doing for a living, home daycare would have been the last thing I would have answered.  I have always dreamed of owning my own shop or some sort of furniture building.  But a few weeks ago, Mike and I were chatting over coffee about how we would like to have more regular play dates {I am sure I have mentioned how much I hate that term, but have yet to come up with a better one} for the kids’ social sides.  Minutes later I checked my email and there was an email from a local couple who had seen my poster in the post office and were wondering if I would be interested in caring for their two young children a few days per week.  The next day we met and all felt comfortable with making it a reality.

Now, I had considered doing home daycare, but never thought it would be someone’s first choice with our free range chickens and numerous pets, but we found out from chatting with them that there is both a need and a lack of childcare that doesn’t include plopping the kids in front of the television and feeding them poor quality foods.  I was shocked, but when you consider the average hourly wage of the home daycare provider it has to be  a labour of love.

Some of you may think I am insane for taking on more children as I have often written about how exhausting it is being a full time stay at home mom, but a lot of the exhaustion comes from worry and maybe even some guilt.  I worry that I am not enough or that my children are bored or under stimulated (they aren’t).  I think that home daycare will give me the focus and organization I often lack as well as provide a change of scenery and important  social skills for the kids.  We also hope it will loosen the financial cinch as a side benefit.

Some of you have mentioned that you have considered doing this yourself so here are a few simple steps I have taken to prepare:

  • Notified our home insurance provider that we will be providing home child care 2 to 3 days per week
  • Registered my business name with the government – this way I can claim things like food costs, toy and book costs, and even a percentage of home maintenance costs.  The tricky part will be to put the taxes away for tax time.
  • I have taken the full first aid course many many times in my life, so I purchased a concise laminated copy of the emergency basics to keep in the bathroom with a few first  aid items.  We also have a home first aid learning kit we got from the local EMS.  It is important to refresh the basics on a regular basis.
  • I refreshed our stock of basic craft supplies like scissors, glue, construction paper, and ingredients to make bubbles, cloud dough, slime, finger paint, etc.
  • I did some basic meal and snack planning and will continue to go through our cookbooks and Pinterest for great ideas.
  • When purchasing groceries and supplies I tried to fairly divide it into two purchases – home use and daycare use so that the receipts are simpler to tally up.
Need to do:
  • Make up a simple info sheet for the parents to fill out – birthdays, emergency contacts, general information, etc.
  • Create an invoice template to issue – because families can claim childcare costs most parents would require a receipt.
  • Find an effective and simple software to keep track of expenses, payments etc.
  • Organize a file folder for receipts and documents as well as purchase a ledger (I still prefer paper records though it would be wise to transfer it to the computer as well)
Yesterday was the first day and it was a good day.  There were no tears, though I know it was a transition for everyone involved.  The kids shared well and there were no arguments.  They are two very sweet boys, but it is still 4 children to feed and care for so it was a big change for me.  As we all get more comfortable, I would be open to taking on one to two more children depending on their ages, but will take the time to adjust to two extra bodies first and see if I think I could comfortably take on more.
We had some free play, lots of outside time, bubbles, water, sand, and ball play, painted with watercolours, paper cutting, gathered eggs, played with the bunny until it got too intense, reading and looking at lots of books, a healthy snack tray (a la Dr Sears) with orange quarters, apples, cranberries, crackers, cheese, and dry cereal and a homemade lunch of organic beef stroganoff.
Some activities I would love to do with the kids:
  • transferring their crayon drawings to a blank shirt
  • cloud dough
  • giant bubble wands
  • cut and paste with old magazines
  • colour matching with paint chips and clothespins
  • felt and button bracelets
  • simple baking and diy pizzas with homemade pita breads
  • gardening
  • nature walks
The day’s goal rhythm:
  • greetings, getting settled, free play
  • outdoor free time, let chickens out, check for early eggs, gather fresh grass for the bunny
  • morning snack
  • main activity/craft
  • tidy up
  • lunch
  • stories/reading
  • quiet time/nap time
  • wake up, afternoon snack
  • yoga dvd/outdoor time/or movie (weather depending)
  • gather clothes and items for home time
  • goodbyes
*all snacks, meals, and activities will be done outside when possible because a) it keeps cleanup a little simpler and b) outside time is good.
*if and when they do watch television I would do a quick tidy/catch up and then sit with them while doing some simple hand craft like knitting or crocheting.
go gently + be wonderful
e.
Posted in dancing rabbit daycare, recipes, tutorials + DIY | 16 Comments

earth’s best sundays

garden work

cashed in my mother’s day chips for a {gripe-free} trip to Ikea

a nearly completed harvest table {!}

warm sun

black flies + mosquitoes. oh my.

phone calls to all the mamas

deck re-style

the return of our hummingbird

ukulele on the porch

last minute preparations for ‘Dancing Rabbit Daycare’

happy

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in earth's best sundays | 4 Comments

have a merry mother’s day weekend

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in celebration, family, life, photography + writing | 5 Comments

diy headboard art + crooked art

Making my own headboard has been on my to do list for years, but I never could get my hands on some weathered barn board.  I saw this particular design on Pinterest and with all the broken barn boards from our recent shed demo, I had no more excuses.  I thought of using another quote, but this one spoke to me and fit so well I didn’t bother to change it.

It just so happened that the door from the old hunting-cabin-turned-shed was still in tact and the perfect dimensions for a headboard.  I removed a couple of wooden patches someone had nailed on and wiped it down.  I wrote the words on with chalk first and then simply painted over it with some latex paint.  I had my demolition king remove the crooked support board down the center.  I also wanted to remove the 2×4 along the top as it wasn’t as weathered as the rest of the wood, but it is nailed on with at least ten  rusty 4 inch spikes bent down and hammered in.  So instead of removing it, I grabbed some quilting charm squares I bought last summer, the last little bit of Mod Podge in the craft cupboard and slapped them on all wabi sabi like.  Poppy enjoyed helping me choose the colours and order they would go in.  Now I am so happy I was forced to come up with a creative solution because it takes it to the next level of awesome for me.  I think it is just begging for a tiny washi tape garland don’t you?

Now, I must run and make some lunch and perhaps some bagels, but I do hope you’re inspired to make your own headboard art!

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in craft, our cabin, recipes, tutorials + DIY | 15 Comments

living

listening to

Us + Our Daughters on repeat because it is heartbreaking and beautiful and good.

the birds in the trees

the wind + her stories in the leaves and wind chimes

rain on a tin roof

painting

the bathroom

a “new”  headboard made of barn boards

preparing

a healthy organized snack and meal plan

fun crafts and activities for the kids

for my new adventure in home daycare

enjoying

our new flemish giant bunny named Sugarfoot

{you can’t very well have a home daycare called ‘Dancing Rabbit Daycare’ without the dancing rabbit}

Poppy’s latest mama-made haircut

the young blossoms and leaves filling out the landscape

building

a rustic garden fence and gate

a nice big composter

our harvest table

thinking

perhaps i will rearrange the bedroom again

i will start painting the kitchen soon

realizing

my kids are growing up too quickly

i only have time for doing things or writing things {the yearly ebb+flow of the blog i suppose}

feeling

renewed, hopeful and a tad creatively enlivened

 go gently + be wonderful

e

Posted in family, homesteading, life, our cabin, wellness | 24 Comments

jordan bower – lovewallah

I would like to introduce you to a friend.  I worked with Jordan’s father when we lived in the city and I only met him a couple of times in passing, but years later I stumbled upon his blog and was moved to tears by his words.  He has been inspiring me ever since as I have watched him stretch boundaries, strip away the unnecessary, and question himself, our society, our relationships and what we think we already know.  I do hope you will find it in your heart to help him on his journey in any way you can.  He has come up with some really meaningful and beautiful ways to honour each and every contributor and his story is fascinating.

He will change the world one story at a time and remind us all that we have a story worth telling and the ability to change the world.  Thank you Jordan.

My name’s Jordan, I’m a lovewallah, and last year, I walked 3,000 km from Canada to Mexico on a quest for love.  The trip took me 316 days (and 3 pairs of shoes).
It starts, as these stories often do, with pain.  A harsh breakup a few months before I turned 30 seeded me with an enormous amount of anger that needed to get burned off.  So on September 1, 2010, I started walking south from Vancouver towards the border between California and Mexico to attempt a journey on my own that the two of us had dreamed up together.
Anger is a wily emotion.  Just when you think you’ve got it squashed, it takes you somewhere new, somewhere deeper.  Each step on my walk brought me more deeply into myself.  At first, the immensity of my anger terrified me.  Yes, of course, I was angry with my ex-girlfriend.  But the list of other people I was angry with stretched back decades.  And not just people!  The society, the government, the celebrities, the advertisers, the corporations: all those forces that give rise to disempowerment, that make us feel less than perfect, that treat the world with contempt and a mentality of scarcity.

But beneath all of that, I was furiously angry with myself for not being perfect.  That abrasive grain of sand drove me further and further: across the Columbia River, down the Oregon Coast, through the Redwood forest, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and down through Big Sur towards Southern California.  3,000 km later, when I reached the border just south of San Diego on Day 316, like inside an oyster, that grain of sand had turned into a pearl.

Here’s what I’d learned: that if we wait for permission to be great, it’ll never come.  If we lust for someone else to validate us, we’ll never be good enough.  If we surrender our authority, we’ll never find our bliss.
Permission.  Validation.  Authority.  The components of power.  To gain that power in our lives, we need to reclaim our own sense of self.  We need to give ourselves these gifts.
My walk taught me that the route to power was through my heart, through a path of self-love. If I really wanted to change the world and find love, the person I needed to begin with was me.
Ever since I finished the journey, last September, I’ve been thinking about how to share that lesson widely.  That’s the responsibility of journeying into adulthood, I think: what we learn, we must teach.
I’ve been seeking for a way to teach that merges the old ways and the new ways, the traditional with the technological, the instructive with the interactive, the spiritual and the grounded (and the East and the West).  I’ve come up with something really cool: a mobile app that will take you on a kind of interactive scavenger hunt.  The idea is to invite you to walk a metaphoric mile with me and to allow our stories to connect together the old fashioned way – through our hearts.
If we both get out of our heads and into our bodies, we give ourselves the opportunity to learn something new about one another, to see the world a little differently, and to appreciate the beauty that lies in the spaces in between.  There, in the real world, beyond our comfort zone, we learn to trust the wisdom of our hearts, the genius of our intuition; we prove that creativity and faith lie far beyond the cold, harsh logic of our trickster minds.
Getting back in our body helps remind us about the abundance of things, and that creative possibilities and opportunities to grow are truly limitless.  When that lesson sinks in, both of us will be better off.  Both of us will learn to be in power.  And not by sharing power.  By finding our own power and becoming truly empowered.
After all, 1+1 really equals 11.
That’s what we need most of all, I think: to share a message of positivity and empowerment at a time so focused on fear.  To rebuild our communities around honesty and heartfelt connections.  To become 11.  That’s why I’m sharing my story with you today.  That’s what I hope to help do.
But to do it, I need your help.
Right now, I’m fundraising for this next phase of my project on the website indiegogo.com.  Here’s the short video that tells my story.



If you’re inspired and able, I’d love your support.  Even if you don’t feel you can, I’d love your help spreading the word.  My goal is to contribute towards that important move towards empowerment and stability.  I think we can do it, and I’m dedicating myself to discovering (and showing) how.

I really hope you’ll come along this next phase of the adventure with me.  I’ve got a great story to share, and I’d love to do it together

You can also find me at www.jordanbower.com and on facebook.  Thanks for reading.

Best wishes and have a great day.
Jordan.  
Posted in sponsorship | 3 Comments