"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

Thursday, 31 July 2014


It's 5:30 am and we are hurrying out of the cabin for a stroller ride. The beach is deserted. We pass empty chairs and umbrella's. There is room to think. The ocean crashes and a bald eagle calls. The wind is crisp and cool to warm skin. This morning as usual is glorious and we are just in time to watch the sun rise. I found the perfect bag for my sketchbook in a garbage heap outside of someone's gate. Somewhere along this beach I will pause for several minutes to draw. Later I will paint. Summer is a season when life is easy. Everything is dry, there is always lots of light and there is no fire to tend. There is even less laundry.

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Monday, 28 July 2014


I was going to write and tell you how excited I am to have all of my drain pipes plumbed. But it's not done. The kitchen sink and shower are completed but the bathroom sink is not and since I was just in town it is going to be awhile. I need to drill a 2" hole through the floor and the sink stand. When I started I didn't realize the outside diameter of the pipe is 2" not 1 1/2". That meant the spade bit I had was useless. On the next visit to the store I bought a 2" holesaw bit. I didn't realize until I got home that it has an oval hole and not a round threaded one that the mandrel I have needs. I don't understand why the difference? My sweet little cherub innocently busted the prongs off my heavy duty extension cord. I've since re-organized things so it won't happen again but I need to figure out how to replace the prong. Isn't summer beautiful?

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

When things go wrong

Today was a town day. We were in the truck and I hadn't gone very far, in fact I had just loaded the empty totes into the back of the truck and was ready for the half hour drive into town when I looked at my gas gauge and noticed it was below empty. Things didn't look good. In the past I have had problems with gas getting stolen out of my truck. I have tried two locking gas caps which the thieves pried off but thankfully it didn't scratch the paint. So I've resorted to packing a small Jerry can of gas behind my back seat. I haven't used it in years so this spring when I barged the truck over I took it out. But I neglected to put it back and promptly forgot about it until several days ago when I cleaned out my shed. I was going to bring it back to town with me and re-fill it with fresh gas but I had a rather large parcel that needed to get mailed. So I brought the parcel instead. We started to town and I began to pray. Every day begins with a prayer and this morning was no exception. Infact we had prayed twice before leaving the cabin. When the truck sputtered and coughed and died while going up some lonely hill there was nothing to do but pull over. I pulled my daughter's backpack and carseat out and set it beside the truck and stuck my thumb out. Vehicles passed. I thought about my blessings. We were on a wide, mowed shoulder. We were in the shade. It wasn't raining. More vehicles passed. I thought to myself God is just sending the right person and I hope it's a woman but I have to wait. I felt very vulnerable standing there holding my little girl. I know my grandparents pray for me every day and I wondered what time of day they prayed. A vehicle slowed and then stopped slightly ahead of the truck. A woman stuck her head out of her open door. I told her what was wrong. She said she was on her way to fill up her jerry can with gas. We decided it would be simpler if I just stayed behind and waited. She drove up the road several kms where there is a small store and came back with gas. I tried to offer her a 30.00 cheque for the gas and her time and money. Infact, I had the cheque all written out and signed but she politely declined. It's been a long day and know I am going to end it with a prayer. Thankyou God for so tenderly caring for us.
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Friday, 18 July 2014

Salal Berries

I spent the morning chopping and then splitting firewood. No matter how nice the weather is at the back of my mind is the knowledge of winter. Despite the dry weather the blocks of wood are still wet inside. I keep my splitting maul sharp but even after using it these past three years it's to heavy. It worked better for a man. My daughter put the bark into the wheelbarrow and picked salal berries. Yesterday we picked some and I baked muffins. I told her the berries she picked now we would put in tomorrow morning's pancakes. Salal berries are mealy although the ones getting less sun could be described as having a moist, semi-sweet, woodsy taste. In baking with a little sweetener they are good and they hold their form nicely. This afternoon we are going to pick more.

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Frugal knitting

I just finished knitting these mittens for my daughter. They are the first pair to have a thumb. I hope it stays warm. The red yarn came from an acid dye bath and the brown from a natural dye bath that we did ourselves. The tiny green flower centres are from the sweater I am knitting for myself. The woolen yarn came off a bulk spool that is a natural white that I bought online a long time ago. I still buy yarn at shops but only for special projects.
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I decided to paint the stove as that seemed the best option. The store only stocked Tremclad flat black so that made things easy. The can cost six bucks and I only used half of it however I was disappointed in the quality of the paint and next time I would search out a different brand. The rust came out very easily with steel wool and in some places I also used a little paint thinner. We lit the christening fire this morning and it does stink a bit but it's no big deal as we got the door and kitchen window open to keep the cross ventilation thing going. I am happy that the rust is gone which is problematic in this coastal climate. Now I'm on to the next project.

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014


The path of motherhood is about going to unexpected places. I finished work for the summer and this change brought a shift in priorities. It was time to wean my daughter. I thought we would be done with nursing back in march when she turned 2 but she wasn't ready to end the bed time feeding and I was working and it was easier to continue with things the way they were. I really wanted her to self wean but I doubted that she would ever do that. I started to reduce the minutes and offered cookies, as I have done before. We also came up with a new bedtime game together. Then one night she never asked and suddenly this insanely beautiful experience was over. Like the seasons that circle around us so the sad and the lovely have their place in our existence. Like the butterfly who owes it's existence to transformation I like to think that tomorrow I will be just a little bit lovelier. I am really glad it ended the way it did.
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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Naturally Country

"Summer afternoons; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." Henry James as quoted by Edith Wharton.
For a long time I've wanted a wool sweater that is inspired by the woodlands around the cabin but I haven't been able to articulate until now what it would look like. Then I happened upon 6 skeins of various greens that I hand-dyed some time ago. This time when I saw them I knew what they would be perfect for. The greens are from wild herbs, remnants from long ago summer afternoons spent in the shadow of the mountains. Now I have the pleasure of knitting the yarn. I've followed the design of a worn out sweater with the exception that I have knit it in the round. I rarely knit sweaters in pieces. A seamless sweater has many virtues. The main two being the sweater fits and feels better, and it is a timesaver as there are no pieces to block and sew. I am now ready to begin the sleeves and I have very little yarn left. What to do?

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