Archive for January, 2013

h1

island folk

January 8, 2013

I came across this old draft from September 15, 2009. I wish I’d posted it then, but rather than lose it, I’m posting it now.

The other night I drafted what I thought was a good post in my head.  It’s gone now.  I guess I should have stayed up later to type it after all.

When we were on the coast we had beach time and caught up with family but unlike most other trips we kept busy and didn’t do any real lounging around at the house and the beach.  I was disappointed by that at first but we did so many cool things and getting settled for school allowed me the opportunity to decompress.

By far one of the most memorable pieces of our trip was the eco home tour we participated in.  Kevin’s parents have been talking about building a place on their property, my mom is always keen to see other peoples gardens, my parents are currently planning some energy efficiency upgrades at home and Kevin and I have been talking about this living small thing for a while.  The tour, which we only found out about the day before, couldn’t have come at a better time.

We saw timberframe, straw bale, chipslip, and conventionally constructed homes in various stages of construction and completion.  There were solar systems (which makes so much sense when electricity is so unreliable in the winter) and perhaps best of all, we met the people behind these projects.  They graciously welcomed us and countless other strangers into their homes and yards to share what they had been doing.  Some had lived in trailers for as they used their own hands to build their homes.  Others had different ways of getting things done but the fact was they were following their hearts and doing what they felt was right, despite the side effects.  It was so inspirational!

We still don’t know where we’re going to live and while we’re thinking an older small house will best fit our somewhat nomadic livestyle I’m so looking forward to turning our dreams into reality just as these folks did.

Interestingly, we went back to see a whole new edition of the tour in 2011 and are now getting ready to build our own place! As much as we like the idea of something other than stick built and synthetic insulation, it looks like we’ll be going that route. Of course we’ll be working towards a more energy efficient house, taking advantage of passive solar gain, improved building methods, and the like.

Advertisements
h1

A different way to start the New Year

January 7, 2013

Despite its calamitous start, I’d say that 2013 is off to a good start.

That first day is one that, as much as I’d like to forget, will likely become the memory that pushes me beyond the ho-hum to make this year a great one. 

You see, I’d been feeling tired and stressed before December had even started but I’d hardly noticed.  Then I was obliged to work extra hours every day while juggling a final week of school that was bordering on insane.  On top of all the usual seasonal chaos there was a municipal hearing, two performances of a school play, preparing for and hosting our biggest solstice celebration yet, and a fabric dyeing workshop.  How I survived it, I just don’t know.  And the funny thing is, I thought I was doing well because in the 10 days following, I kept from getting sick despite all the sugar and late nights.  That was, until, I woke up on January first.

Despite not a single glass of bubbly the night before, I woke up at 9 am with one nasty headache.  I had already determined that this was the day for cleaning out our main living spaces; clearing the cobwebs so to say.  Well, I did that, but my allergies didn’t like it and by the end of the day I was little more than a miserable pile of tears with a splitting headache. 

I loathe visiting that place so by the time I went to bed I had determined that I was going to eat better and sleep better for the rest of the holidays (in the hopes that I might start the new school year better than I had ended the last).  I figured it might be easy enough and then I went for labwork.  They revealed that there was more to my crash than just a few weeks of late nights and too much sugar.   It seems I’d gotten too cavalier about taking my vitamins, holding space for relaxation and getting exercise, and all the other things that keep me healthy. 

Seven days into this year I’m on a whole different pathway.  I’ve made a list of menu ideas for the month, Kevin and I have been snowshoeing twice and cross country skiing once, we’ve gotten things started with our architect, I’ve got a plan for my stories and circles for the new year, I’ve started attending contra dances again, I’ve been going to bed earlier and getting up before the sun, I’m taking my vitamins, I’m preparing meals in advance (so that I can better avoid blood sugar crashes) and, most importantly, I’m feeling better.

2013 – I know you’re going to be one heck of a challenging year but I’m ready for you!

h1

So long 2012!

January 7, 2013

So long 2012, it’s been good to know you!

You were a different year alright.  I’m going to remember you as the year of crazy stress, new adventures and reacquainting myself with old friends and nature. 

You started off with lots of skiing – regular Sunday xc skis, and then a my first days of downhill in 5 or 6 years during spring break.  Oh, and there were many nights and afternoons of playing Catan while nursing my ouched toe.

 There was the kootenay road trip to visit old friends, preparing dinner alone and then taking it out to the guys after their long evenings spent scrubbing new climbing routes 

 In the summer we made our long awaited road trip into Northern California which featured long drives, outdoor dinners at sunset, tiny dots of climbers on El Cap, and meeting 3 generations of the same family enjoying the best parks interpretive program I’d ever seen – a one man act about John Muir.  It was a trip full of impulsive decisions to go this way or that and some horrible camping spots that will give us stories to laugh about for many years to come.

 Returning home, our little suite seemed huge but dark so we got back into hiking, went on a few backpacks, and spent a few nights sleeping under the stars.  We saw bioluminescence for the first time, grew our first successful garden, I started a nature studies program and then started getting ready for school.

 Our hopes of buying a lot and building a house faded after a few failed attempts and Kevin finally realized his dream of owning a boat.  And that very same week, we began negotiations on what is now our lot.  It was just a little bit stressful around here at that time!

 The last few months of the year were a blur of reading house books, meeting architects and getting to know the builders in our town.  Friday dinner nights with friends were a regular part of our fall routine and in December the snow came – and STAYED.  We did candle dipping out in the shed for solstice, won our variance appeal, had our first Christmas on the island and more. 

 You were a good year 2012, and I know that 2013 is going to be even better.  New house!