"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunday, 16 July 2017


I keep a visitor book for the summer guests who visit the birdbath. This summer I recorded nine species. Their are also four other year round resident species who regularly visit. On february 20, 2015 I posted about how I made this simple birdbath. After several years the ivy is beginning to wind it's way around the post and the perennial fuchsia in front of it is filling out nicely. I have grown fond of it and appreciate the ease of being able to lift it up since I clean and refill it daily with a watering can. I took this picture of a Swanson's thrush through the kitchen window. The Swanson's is a secretive bird more known for it's flute like song than it's appearance. Typically it spends it's time in the tree top's. A pair of yellow rumped audubon warbler's were also regular visitors. Both of them nested in the tree canopy around the forest clearing. Other visitor's were golden crowned sparrows, MacGillivray's warblers, western flycatchers, warbling vireo's and robins. A pair of goldfinches are now our daily visitor's. We enjoy these sweet summer visits and look forward's to whoever else may stop by.
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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Making a potty

After 17 years of using the same outhouse it began to fill up and I began to consider options. On the Internet I learned of a more helpful and gentler way of managing human waste. (google humanmanure handbook as a starting point) Composting. I have been composting kitchen waste for years and in the last year I began composting kitchen waste with worms. Now I am about to begin to compost human waste. I will keep my worm box for kitchen waste and I will build a new composting bin for human waste. After learning about this I believe it is truly a better, gentler, more helpful approach to managing human waste than using an outhouse. I explained the concept to my five year old - "with this potty," I said, "we are helping plants." I have learned through observation in nature that a fulfilling path is found when the motivation in one's life is to help and I believe that in doing this I will find a deep satisfaction. I found plans online on how to build this simple potty. I had the right lumber scraps on hand. The lid is made of 3/4" plywood. There are four 2x4 pieces on the inside and 1/4" plywood is nailed to them on the outside. I built it with a hammer, drill, handsaw and a jigsaw. There is a five gallon bucket on the inside. Carbon is added to the bucket after each use which eliminates the smell aspect. The buckets are changed out and emptied onto a compost pile. There are quite a few things to learn about this process so that it is done correctly and I recommend that if you want to learn more to google it. In the future I will be posting more on this experience.
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Sunday, 2 July 2017

A simple pleasure

I washed this pair of rag rugs I wove some time ago. Both of them are in my kitchen and receive a lot of daily wear. As usual, I used my washboard and a laundry sink on my back deck to wash them in and than I hung them up on a metal wire fence in my yard. When they were dry I rolled them up and put them away - until fall. It fills me with pleasure to see them clean again. Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Vegan carob cupcake recipe

My daughter and I made these carob cupcakes to welcome summer. They are inspired by Wilton. The daisy's are buttercream frosting and the lady bugs are royal icing with the black markings hand painted on with a brush. My five year old loved doing that. The daisy stems are popsicle sticks painted green with cake icing colour and the leaf is buttercream piped on after assembling. I used tip #101 for the petals as I find the smaller tip easier than the suggested wilton #104. Tip #12 was used for the flower centres. Carob is considered to be a healthier alternative to chocolate. Please google this if you are interested for a more detailed explanation. This recipe is gifted to me by my mother. It makes a wonderful 8" by 8" cake or 11 cupcakes. 1/2 cup sugar; 1 1/2 cups flour; 1/3 cup carob powder; 1/2 tsp. salt; 1 tsp. baking soda; 1 T. Lemon juice; 1/3 cup oil; 1 tsp. vanilla; 1 cup cold water. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine. Pour into cake pan or muffin tins for cupcakes. Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Choosing a paint colour

I've been in the process of painting this historic, ocean front cottage. The owner, my client wished to keep the existing white trim and change the main exterior colour from a mid tone blue to a lighter grey. The dark value of the blue made the cottage merge into the rainforest and the owner wanted to create a contrast and be able to view her summer home from the water. I painted two sides of a very tiny shed with a grey of her choice so that she could see it. Initially she thought it was ok but than I suggested that I choose a darker value to increase the contrast between the white trim. I chose pigeon grey - a Benjamin Moore paint colour and than I repainted the two small shed walls. With the larger value difference between the white and the grey it made a stronger visual impact. The grey also created the contrast she wanted between the cottage and the forest. Now she was very happy! The things that really helped me was buying a small amount of the colour and trying it out first before committing to gallons. Also - contrast. Testing both colours in a small but yet large enough area so that I could visualize and make sure that the contrasts were strong enough.

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Faith and loss on Father's Day

Looking through the window of my cabin reminds me of looking back through the window of time. After my partner left me when I was five week's pregnant I carried a lot of negativity towards him for years. It wasn't something I talked about publicly and if you have read my blog since it's conception you will know that. After I became a mother Father's Day reminded me of the lack of my partner's presence in our lives and I felt what I perceived as justifiable anger in my heart. Than I reached a point where I was able to pray for my child's father to be saved in God 's eternal kingdom( see January 25, 2017 post). This prayer had a powerful impact on me because it dissolved the anger in my heart. In time I have gained a deeper understanding of the love of God, His patience, mercy and forgiveness. Only because of this loss I have been more clearly able to discern my need to have these qualities - patience, love and forgiveness - in me. It has made me grow beyond the self centred person that I was. This in turn has given me a thankful heart. This realization has deepened my love and need for God. I have learned that no matter what dark valley that I find myself trapped in - there is hope. Keeping the faith through the year's of loss is a choice I have never regretted. I still have questions but I trust Him more deeply than before and I am willing to live with them unanswered. So on this Father's Day - I celebrate my relationship with Him. I look up not only for hope in the future but in thanksgiving because in His great love he brought me through the grief of loss and He can do that for you too.

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017


In the last couple of months I read three dog books - each on a different breed but it was the maltese that won my heart. The maltese are an ancient breed; thought to have originated from the island of Malta and are historically documented to have been around since biblical times as a companion dog. They have a white single layer coat with black eyes and nose. Angel is a very tiny maltese puppy much smaller than I expected but her weight is normal for her age. According to her breeder she won't be any bigger than 6 or 7 lbs. Like any other puppy she is filling our lives with sunshine and adventure. Angel is an answer to prayer and I am thankful to God for the amazing providential 'circumstances' that brought her into our life. It fills me with joy and thanksgiving. Sent from my iPhone
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