Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

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time. to. enjoy. life.

March 25, 2011

There’s been a lot to reflect on over these past few weeks but getting outside, spending time with Kevin and making progress on some of my projects has been so satisfying.

Kevin and I have spent our weekends together and sharing activities ranging from creating a Nanaimo Bar facsimile that’s free of eggs and dairy to living outside on the beach to bike shopping. Oh, and so many heartfelt conversations too. It’s been such good medicine for my soul!

Here are a few of the highlights in picture form.

doll homework

our attempt at dairy and gluten free Nanaimo Bars

First camping trip of the season.  'Twas beautiful!

Bunnies on the run!

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coming up for air

March 7, 2011

Finally… I can breathe again!

This, my first year of teaching has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride thus far. Wow, I never knew it was possible for so much drama or to work so hard and yet still feel like I can’t win.

Right now I’m in the midst of a change that includes me giving up many of the duties I had held since the fall. Before I started down this path I recognized that the life of a Waldorf class teacher wasn’t likely to mesh with my ideals of balance and sustainability. Somehow I thought it would be different for me but this year at least, that has not proven to be true.

After months of trying to make things work and struggling to get mentoring I found myself out of energy and short on nerves – far from an ideal situation for the children or for me.

After taking a week to recollect and recenter I returned to school today, donned an apron and began my new routine. Now instead of stressing about parent communication and lesson plans I get to sit back a bit, observe, and put more focus on handwork. It also means I get some time for myself and can look into getting involved with more community events – both for the school and the community at large.

Fresh air never smelled so good!

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finding my rhythm

September 18, 2010

School is well underway now. Two weeks in and I’m finally starting to feel like I can handle this. I was so incredibly tired the first week and I couldn’t believe how wild my class was. It’s amazing what the excitement of being back at school and the addition of a few energetic souls can do to a class. I’m sure having a new teacher also added to the craziness. In any case, we’re finding ourselves and I’m learning to balance my incredible work load with some time for fun and exploration.

In the days before school began I was busy readying the room and worrying about being able to meet the class. Now two weeks later I find I know what I need to do and can be delighted by the simplest of surprises: a child who tested my patience all day waving madly when we crossed paths in town or the light unconscious humming of a song we learned earlier in the morning. It’s been two weeks and I can honestly say there is only one other time where I still enjoyed the job this far in. Yes!

Yesterday evening and today have found Kevin and I out enjoying the beach and then when I settled into work this afternoon birthday verses somehow streamed their way through me and onto the page. It’s so nice when that flow just happens without the pressure of a deadline. In any case I thought it might be nice for me to share some of the verses. Note that I did not go into the depth that some teachers do – crafting a verse with an anapest, iambic, trochee or dactyl foot to meet the temperament of the child. I am thankful for the wisdom a colleague offered – that it’s more important to create something that speaks to me about the child and meets him or her. That, and that a bit of rhyme can go a long way.

Here goes:

1. Far off the jagged shore
On the high open seas,
The greatest of creatures
Kindly watches o’er me.

In struggles and triumphs
I know to be me
And trust in my kind heart
That beats with the sea.

2. Bright-eyed and wakeful
I greet the light
That shines on me
With all its might
Reminding me before the night
That I must do what’s true and right.

3. Steadfast I stand
Like a tree on the land.
What my heart knows is true,
Like the sun, does shine through.

4. Lightly on my nimble feet,
Through the rocks and twigs I sneak,
Until I find my home at last
Among the trees and wild grass.

5. Not fearing vengeful pain or wrath
My feet stick firmly to the path;
From mountains high to valleys deep,
My spirit roams spreading love and peace.

And now we’re off for a night of music playing with friends while the song funky town plays to remind us of why we chose to live here. Oh how I’m loving this new life today!

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visiting family

May 9, 2010

A month ago Kevin made his one and only trip east to visit me at school. He met my classmates, helped me with my stool and because he was here over Easter, we also had a few days for a mini road trip.

First we went to Quebec to visit some of my family at their cottage. We played around the yard and the half frozen lake for a few days before going to visit Kev’s family and the sand dunes of Lake Ontario. It was a darn good weekend and I actually remembered my camera AND took photos. Fancy that!

playing with ice

cottage

beach!

shells

barefoot in the sand...

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reflecting on 09 and pondering 2010

January 3, 2010

New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing but Heather and Granola Girl have captured me with their reflections on 2009 and their hopes for the year ahead. I always thought September was more my time of year but suddenly I’m in the mood to take a look backwards and forwards.  There were some significant changes in 2009 and so many yet to be defined in 2010.

sewing on the beach

In 2009 I took care of a few items on my bucket list:
– learned how to use the pottery wheel (it was so good to use my bowls when I was home for Christmas!)
– starting this blog
– training for triathlon
– trying dragon boating
– going to Glacier National Park in Montana
– dipping candles
– visiting New England
– going back to school for teacher training
– getting involved in the (Vancouver) Olympics – I dreamed of volunteering at the games but the logistics didn’t work out and carrying the torch was closer than I ever imagined I’d get

Olympic toch relay

Plans are already in place for a few more items to come off the list in 2010:
– attending the Olympics (I still regret that I didn’t go to Sidney where I knew 10 people who were participating!)
– finishing teacher training
– starting a new career
– taking a cross Canada road trip

tenting on Maui

There are some things I’m really proud of from last year but need to go a step further with this year so I can truly say I love this life!

Getting fit. Getting into a cycling and swimming routine last year was great but it took a lot of work for me to get to the point where I enjoyed it (and these were both sports I loved when I was in public school and university). Then I lost momentum when I spent half of the summer without my bike and away from a pool. I’m not sure that triathlon competition will fit into the plans this year but I need to get back on the fit routine so I can enjoy hiking, photography, and whatever 2010 has in store for us. I think the key here is to remind myself of why I want to get fit and starting my day with exercise.

Glacier NP - view from the E!

A decade or so ago I went so far as to run a few nights a week so I could develop the endurance to hike longer and higher. If I could handle that, surely I can handle a few pilates, swimming and yoga sessions a week now!

artful attempt at shore protection

Finding rhythm. I know that I need to get to bed earlier so I can get up earlier and do more with my day but I can’t believe how hard it is to do when my days aren’t jam packed with activities outside of the house or something to proove in a competition. I’m hopeful that regular glimpes at this post will help keep me on my game but I’m also going to need to find a way to limit my time on-line. The rhythm I’m still struggling to find needs to squeeze my computer time out but make space for fitness, socializing, sleep and healthy eating so I can be ready for a summer of outdoor exploration.

silhouette at big rock

Doing what I love. Taking leave from the career I felt was destroying my soul was a big move last year but finishing my training and starting afresh are going to be big too. There are still a lot of questions about where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing seven months from now and beyond but the most critical thing for me is it to find what I love no matter what situation we end up in. That means being open to whatever our future holds and rediscovering the outdoor activities we enjoy but haven’t done much of lately. I also need to be open to enjoying new things and doing what it takes to love the work I’m doing.

Kev on the slackline

Having goals are a big help and so this year, I resolve to get outside, get to bed early, get fit and love life. Have a great 2010!

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relax mode

December 22, 2009

After a week of trying to get things done and being frustrated by my sore hands I’m finally getting into the season and relaxing a little bit.

My main gift in my family gift exchange is done and in the hands of the recipient, we had a great time with friends on Sunday evening, Kev’s folks are here, and we’ve had some low key evenings with friends. Life is good again!

I haven’t been able to do as much sewing as I would like but when I got word that my mother had broken her wrist on Friday I felt compelled to move into action. (No my mother does not have weak bones or a propensity to fall.) She was complaining about the hospital issue sling and when I had the fracture that changed my outlook on skiing, hockey and mountain biking, I had a similar problem so I bought a more comfortable one. I thought I’d throw it in with the package my sister was taking home but it’s navy and white and I knew my mom would wear it reluctantly because it’s so darn obvious. Taking into account her love of green and corduroy I fashioned this:

mom's sling

It should get to her tonight.

In addition to cleaning up the house, I’ve been trying to make some of our blah areas look a little nicer. Last week I covered up our reference library (which is heavily used in the summer but sits dormant through most of the winter) and made a home for our candles and the plant from the kitchen. Since my wrist and thumb have settled down I was finally able to replace the pieces of our window trees that have disappeared since last December and today I also made a swag for our door.

transformed bookshelf

snowy trees

trees and SNOW!

Following in my mom’s footsteps we always have a swag of conifers and cones at this time of year but since we haven’t made it to the u-cut tree farm and I don’t believe in paying money for branches our door has been empty. Whether we’ll have a tree or not remains to be seen so I waded through the knee deep snow to clip a sampling of twigs from our backyard. It’s small and simple but it works for me!

door swag

Oh, and how could I forget baking!  There’s been chocolates that Kevin and his mom can eat, chocolate almond bark for the rest of us, caramel popcorn, caramel coated puffed sorghum, cosmic power cookies and more…  These treats alone would be too sweet so we’ve also been enjoying salsa and corn chips, veggies and hummus and of course, oranges.  I hope you and yours are enjoying a happy holiday season too!

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art update

December 3, 2009

I was working on a longer post but my week has been full again. That and not having full use of my dominant hand is really making a lot of the ordinary tasks of the day more tiring. I now it could be a lot worse though!

In handwork this week we made quick but beautiful angels out of silk and merino.

angel

There’s also been a fair bit of drawing. Yesterday I finally upgraded to pencil crayons and have been working on these:

2nd mountain drawing (tiny)

a walk in the mountains

I still have much to learn but I’m actually enjoying it and that’s a big difference from any other drawing experience I can remember. And I feel like I can actually get some semblance of gesture too. With the way these projects have gone I’m pretty sure I’ll do more on my own too.