Monthly Archives: August 2012

a slow revolution

summer 2007

honeymoon 2007

Winter 2008 - Pregnant with Poppy

Early 2009 - Ready to pop

Spring 2012

I had planned for this summer to be about the great harvest and canning adventure of 2012, but our garden was a bust and, to be honest, I feel very far away from our homesteading dream.  Many of our seeds didn’t even pretend to come up, and we never did manage to get the second garden going.  The weeds are thick.  The lawn needs to be cut, the wood needs to be moved, I started painting the shed door a couple months ago and still it sits, unfinished and taunting me.  We wanted to build an outdoor oven and eat our meals outside every night, but it never happened.  We have been parking our car by the busy road for weeks (or is it months now?) because the post supporting the gate finally gave way to rot.  Toys are strewn everywhere and the only time the kids want to play with them is when I have decided it is safe to put them back in some semblance of order.  I feel ashamed and overwhelmed, but every time I try to do outdoor work Silas darts off into the woods or to seek rusty nails behind the shed.  Every time I try to weed the garden the kids begin picking all the green tomatoes and trampling the few things that are producing food.

I am in a different, rather selfish, head space of late. I think it started around my birthday in late June.  Hitting milestones and anniversaries have always been a time of reflection for me.  We celebrated 9 years together, my 32nd birthday, Silas will turn 2 in a week, Mike will turn 35 this fall.  There is something profound about marking another year down;  thinking about what I would have said if some had told me what I would be doing 10 or 2 years down the road.

It makes me think about how I should have or could have done things differently (no matter how futile).  I rushed into post secondary school even though I had no idea what I wanted to be.  I jumped from school to school, program to program and yet stayed in a stagnant 5 year relationship for about 4.5 years too long because it was my first love and I thought that was as good as it got.  I was always in a rush to be an adult and make a home.  I tied myself down with neurotic pets and student loans and was paralyzed by the weight of it.  I forgot to travel and do silly things.  I was ruled by fear; fear of failure; fear of disappointing people; fear of money (or lack of it); fear of  making the wrong decision.

If I had my time back, I would have traveled and I would have learned a trade like carpentry instead of trying to cram myself into boxes I knew I couldn’t fit into.  I would like to say I would also dump my ex, but would I have met Mike if that happened?  Our lives really are fragile organisms aren’t they?  With the simple flick of the wrist, it could all change forever.  It would seem that nothing is insignificant.

I suppose, above all other regrets, my biggest one is that I have spent a large portion of my life hating myself (and inadvertently forgetting to trust the whispering wisdom we all have in our bellies).   My curly hair, my less than shapely legs, my wide hips, my lack of ankles,  my pale skin, my cellulite.

When I was 18, I had a 23 inch waist and weighed 115 pounds.   I thought I was fat and my boobs were too small.   Over the next five years I went up to 135 pounds and I mourned the  days when I was 115 pounds.  Then I got happier and with contentment came another 15 pounds and I pined for the 135 pound days.  Then I ballooned to 200 pounds with my first pregnancy and barely had time to recover when I ballooned again with a second pregnancy.  I have spent the last few years around 160 pounds until I dropped 10 pounds when I stopped nursing about a year ago.  So here I am, 34 days into early morning workouts and making myself a priority for one hour per day.  Pregnancy and years of neglect have taken their toll.  My body is different now.  Stronger from the laborious work of making two humans, but weaker and wider too.  I feel in control for the first time in a long time.  The scale hasn’t moved yet (except for maybe the first week) so we’ve banished it to the basement.  Proper thing.  I don’t care about the numbers so much anymore.

The truth is, I am tired of hating myself, but I don’t know how to stop.  I read this post last night and realized I have known the same things about myself for some time now.  I always find something to hate about myself whether I weigh 115 pounds or 200 pounds.  It isn’t my weight that is the problem, but my inner dialogue.  I have to ask myself what I want my future self to look back at the pictures of this woman on this day and feel.  Sometimes I have to dig deep for the motivation to push through a workout.  Sometimes it is fired by self loathing while other times it is self love.  This time around I am trying to make it more about being healthy than perfect.  I don’t want to waste anymore  time hating myself and putting things off  like I did in my twenties.  I don’t want to pass these loathing, paralyzing  habits and beliefs onto my own children.  So, if that means I have to be a little selfish for a little while, it is ok and for the greater good. When I get frustrated that my pants don’t feel any looser and I feel like quitting (because what is the point?), I remind myself it won’t fix anything.  This is bigger than vanity; I think I finally get that now.

So here we are, thinking far too much out what we wish we had done with our twenties; wishing we could stop being responsible for a few weeks.  Thinking about how fun it would be to buy that VW van in Wilberforce and drive away from the bills; dreaming about living in a tiny apartment in Paris where we would eat croissants for every meal of the day, spend our days roaming the streets and museums, and learning beautiful french alongside our homeschooled kids.  The reality is that I am feeling tired and used up and resentful.  I am constantly exasperated and lose my temper more frequently.  This all mingles with mother guilt that always settles in soon after each and every harsh word.  I know they are precious creatures, and that they grow too quickly, and that I will think of these early days with an aching heart.  Sometimes though, I just need a moment to catch my breath and remember I am still a human; just a moment where they aren’t bouncing off the walls and climbing counters and setting everything off kilter so I can see the whole picture.

I still believe wholeheartedly in this life we’re building and the values behind it, but I am busy with the important work of self change.  One day soon the two will meet amidst the trees and it will be a beautiful thing.

And I will be better for it.

go gently + be wonderful


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fawned friday {the anniversary edition}

01) Happy 9 {dating} Years to my beloved.

02) Some great ways to have fun together.

03) There is just something about these words

04) I know for certain that I am loved like this and will be until.

05) Good advice..

06) This song still takes me all the way back to the beginning.

07) A quiet meal shared.

08) We made up a tale of how we met here, but we really met here.

09) Truth.

10) Us in button form.

{fawned friday inspired by miss fawn}

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making peace with mornings

Summer is beginning to give way to autumn.  I feel it in the early mornings as the temperature dips into the 50’s and I see it in the sumac trees who are just beginning to blush.  The kids and I made our way out to the hen house early this morning before we eagerly wandered to the apple tree.  You see, she has begun dropping her apples and we have quickly fallen back into our late summer ritual of visiting her often.  We decided to follow the trail a little further just to see if we could find any last blackberries.  We didn’t.

With a basket full of apples, a handful of eggs, and some serious bedhead we made our way to the pond where the quiet was deep.  We sat for a moment or two and I let my mind wander into next summer to the camping and paddling we hope to do on this land and in this water we are so fortunate to have use of.  Silas kept us moving though, and as we made our way back to the house, I broke into an easy jog and the kids squealed with delight at the game of chase.  We ran until we reached the mouth of the forest where we could feel the heat of the day settling into its place.  Poppy found an apple with a snail gripping tightly to it and insisted we bring it home to place in a jar.   We did, and as I write this she is clutching her snail jar with love and watching a Christmas movie (she is my daughter after all).

Might I just say, I was a skeptic of early morning magic for my whole life.  I knew there had to be something to what everyone was telling me, but mornings always made me uneasy with their dark and quiet tendrils.  According to Deepak and the Ayurvedic principles, the ideal time to sleep is between 10pm and 6am due to certain times of the day being ruled by specific Doshas.  Since we have been waking in the dark hours to exercise and chat I find that we have fallen naturally into these productive times of sleep and movement.  I feel less sluggish and more motivated to begin small projects around the house.  I can often be found rearranging furniture, painting, hanging pictures, and tidying as Mike pulls out of the driveway and Silas plays quietly.  Yesterday I reorganized all our books, toys and dvds and began planning some homeschooling sort of activities for fall.  Last week, I painted the stairs, an old trunk and the kitchen wall and trim.  Today I hope to pick some new Pinterest recipes and projects to do with the kids.


I may just be an early morning convert.


go gently + be wonderful



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fawned friday



01) Country living porn.  Keeping it equal.

02) I am surely driving everyone crazy with my fitness inspiration board on Pinterest, but it helps pull me out of bed on the darkest mornings.

03) I am in love with this watch.

04) Kind of in love with these new school temporary tattoos.  Oh and these too.

05) Oh, the things you can do with washi tape!

06) These inky words are speaking to me.

07) We are hoping to get the kids out in a canoe next year. (Silas would be out of in a heartbeat in case you’re wondering why we haven’t yet)

08) Love the tshirt designs in this shop.  They also have a kid’s shop.

09) Can’t wait to try some of these dying techniques.

10) These words.  What are they from?

11) If I were do do our wedding over again it would be like this.


fawned fridays inspired by miss fawn.

Posted in fawned fridays | 3 Comments


Maybe it is the fresh coat of warm white paint.

Perhaps it is the whimsical art {Cori Lee Marvin} I fell in love with a couple weeks ago at the Haliburton Art Show finally hanging on the wall with bits of washi tape. {another great find was Freshly Printed}

Perhaps it is this perfectly grey day with just a hint of Fall in its wings.

It could be the Amelie soundtrack  and classic country pouring out of the Bose.

I just might be the scents of squash soup and crock pot bread lingering on the air.

Maybe it is the warm light cast by the lamp in the corner.

Perhaps it is the new kitchen layout.

It could be the knitting plans I have in mind.

Maybe it is the pleasant surprise of colourful Poppies coming to life in our front garden.

Maybe, most of all, it is the invigorating early morning workouts we have been doing.

Whatever it is, it feels like home.

It feels like Autumn and this cabin feels more and more like home.

go gently + be wonderful


Posted in family, life, our cabin, wellness | 7 Comments

a wee harvest

Today is

an early morning workout as the sun grazes the tops of the pines
turquoise paint 
ten painted steps
one painted trunk
two naked children
six stained hands 
one handful of blackberries
six hills of potatoes
two heads of broccoli
one weeded tomato bed
one hundred green tomatoes
and a few blushing apples
I think these early mornings are agreeing with me.
go gently + be wonderful
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