The Life of Lumber

January 9, 2014
I have this huge fascination with things that hold history. This includes old houses, antiques, castles, ancient places of importance. There is something so aweing about imagining the people who touched those same things, what it meant to them, what was happening around them at the time, what they were feeling. These objects were created and used during a completely different era, a world that is so different in many ways than the mordern world we live in. It follows that i would be equally fascinated by the history of this shiplap lumber that was pulled off an old mill. It turns out, the mill was built as a large loading and manufacturing building during the 30's in Port Alberni, B.C. For those who don't have a deep knowlegde of west coast history, a tsunami hit the coast of B.C in the 60's after a large earthquake in Alaska. So every time i look at my floors, i think about not only who hammered those blackened nail holes into the wood, but how that wood probably got washed in seawater. I think about the old trains that used to load up in that building, or the men who worked under its roof.

The Witch House

October 27th, 2013
I grew up in the country. It was wonderful. Wonderful doesn't even describe it. It isn't hard to believe then, that after three years in the big city i would be clawing my eyes out. Well not clawing... but definitely closing them often to block out the things that were getting harder and harder to ignore. It felt good to be there for the first year, really good, and then it slowly started to shift. I found myself noticing the pavement and noise and cigarette smoke. I felt like drinking was the number one hobby of everyone i met, and i felt like an alien instead of an enchanted visitor. Three years is too long to be just a visit, i wondered if i would ever leave, but mostly i wondered why i was there. Not that the city is some evil blackness and everyone should feel this way. I certainly didn't for the first bit, and i never regretted it. I learned how to be happy there. It took me away from something too big for me and i needed that. Not to mention it taught me that i can drive in any traffic. Regardless, i left and settled down in this little town in a tiny house in the trees.

Free Food!

August 20th, 2013
Blackberries are great, not only because they taste and smell delicious and earthy, but because they are free if you know where to look. We picked for a few hours and ended up with about 7 litres of juice pulp, most of which we turned into syrup.

How To Be A Squirrel

July 21st, 2013
So today i drove the hour into farm country to buy 40lbs of fresh raspberries. A couple of weeks ago was blueberries, also 40lbs, except blueberries simply get thrown into the deep freeze in their handy 10lb boxes and bam, done! Raspberries however, are a labour of love, at least for me, since i like to remove the seeds from the majority. This afternoon has been spent juicing pound upon pound of these guys. Rinsing, juicing, cleaning the juicer, and then rejuicing so i don't waste anything. It's taken me about 4 hours to get through 30 of the 40 pounds. Tomorrow i'll turn some of the seedless juice into syrup, and some of the berries will get frozen on cookie sheets and then stored in bags. The rest of the pulp gets frozen in stackable ice cube trays and once frozen i store the cubes in bags for smoothies. The long and short, i am a squirrel stocking up for the winter/spring. This is a great way of continuing to eat local and healthy throughout the year.

The Ever Elusive Self Love

May 5th, 2013
Do you love yourself? No, do you really love yourself? Can you forgive yourself when you make a mistake that hurts someone? Can you see your own self worth even when others canít? I think real self love is elusive, challenging to cultivate and keep. Stress, depression, loss, bad luck, these things all test our love for ourselves, they are the challenges of life and they are a constant companion. We can never vanquish them, but we can change how we deal with them. Truly loving ourselves can at times be the hardest road to walk. Itís easy to fall, much easier than climbing out. Self blame, self loathing, all that darkness turned inwards, though it might hurt, is easier than finding the way out. Though it may seem easy to love ourselves when the going is good, it takes a powerful will to love ourselves when the going is rotten. Everyone will have different tools for rising up to that challenge, to finding the ever elusive self love, these are just a few of mine.

  • 1. Fake it until you make it: Repeat positive words of self acceptance to yourself when you are at your worst. Force yourself to push away hopeless words of self loathing. Deny those sentences the life of your lungs and lips, replace them with the words of love.
  • 2. Accept your feelings as they are: Feel your feelings, allow them to run through you, to be heard. Shining the light of awareness on your feelings can take away their power. It is ok to be sad or angry or frustrated, the more you fight with these feelings, the more they have power over you. Embrace them with love and they will run their course.
  • 3. Restore balance: Write down twenty things you like about yourself. This repetition will begin to reprogram your thought process and bring balance back to your mind. When we are sad or overwhelmed we tend to be out of balance, melodramatic in our thoughts and one sided. Reminding ourselves about the positive things can bring us back to reality.
  • 4. Forgive: Forgive yourself for whatever mistakes your mind has blamed you for, whether true or not. Remind yourself that all people make mistakes, it is part of being human, and sometimes we make the same mistakes again and again. Learning to understand and accept that everyone is constantly making mistakes not only helps us love ourselves, but other people as well. We need to stop expecting ourselves or anyone else to be perfect and instead fall in love with imperfection.
  • 5. Learn to see emotions as the teachers and indicators that they are. Be fascinated and open to them, they will lead to growth and realization.
  • 6. Be authentic.

    While not all of these may work for everyone, they can lead us in the right direction. Most importantly, self love is an ever evolving dance with ourselves, one that has obstacles and setbacks, but that we so firmly believe in, nothing can stop us from moving forwards.