done deal

The house is sold! I don't know why this whole odd shuffle brings me so much pleasure, but it does so I'm going to enjoy it. We're moving on the 24th of November (to celebrate Chad's birthday) but it feels pretty abstract right now. Other than some token sorting there isn't much to do yet. Call the utilities, change the address and prepare the kids as much as is humanly possible. Bring it on. Just don't ask me how it's going on the 23rd when we're all out of sorts and exhausted, wondering why we ever decided it was a good idea!



While I'm on a blogging spree anyway, I came across this picture of a cute hat today. I'm pretty sure I knitted it at some point around 2001/2 but have no idea who I gave it to, although nieces come to mind. I'm not used to having such lapses in memory, so if anyone can jog that for me I'd be most delighted.


If this pic doesn't get me through the harder days with kids, I don't know what would. So much to be thankful for. (this moment brought to you by mastercard)



I've been super cranky the last few days, well, probably a few weeks if you ask Jer. I guess about the control freak issues specifically but it spills into everything. I just want to note that I've had 3 phone calls today and 2 last night from some of the people most dear to me and it's been much appreciated. Not one of them knew ahead of time I was feeling kinda low (well, suspected I guess) but they all listened to me vent and today I'm feeling much, much better. Cheers to friends and family.

control freak

There are several factors in my life right now that are, for the most part, out of my immediate control. I'm dealing very poorly with it. I would say that I'm a pretty easy going person in most cases but clearly there are exceptions. Arguments that I am a control freak:

1) Refusing to use a realtor to sell our townhouse.

It started as a money-saving lark but it has become a personal mission. Yes, they're the experts and could likely have sold this place 3 times over in the last month. That's not worth $10,000 to me at this point. It's a pain in the butt and I'm not a very patient person but sadly, it's become a grudge match. We've had so many realtors call and try to intimidate us and essentially call us stupid that it's got my dander up. I wonder how many blacklists we're on for trying to "beat the system". And how much dirt I'll have to eat if we ever do end up listing.

2) Serious and ongoing angst about sending Ivy to school.

We haven't seen the last of this issue. We know too much about home schooling and unschooling for this to sit well but have decided to give it a shot for kindergarten. I'm trying to sort out how much of it is basic separation anxiety that most parents go through with their first kid and how much of it is just a bad match for our values.

3) Having had our babies at home.

This is my pet issue. I've been devising a 12,000 word essay on this topic in my head for months but haven't been able to find a way to do it with any clarity. The thing I want to get across is for women to know their facts and options and take responsibility for them WITHOUT adding guilt to anyone's experiences. Labour is absolutely hard enough without pointing any fingers. Sometimes it just doesn't work out, even if everything is done exactly right. There is the opposite problem though of a high level of interventions that were probably not essential, given the right support and guidance.

Until I can come up with my manifesto, and if you are planning to have any babies, please at least browse though Ina May Gaskin's book "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth". Yes, some of the stories are over the top hippie fare but she's got a lot of really thought provoking and intuitive stuff to say. If I had to boil it down, I'd say the theme was "trust yourself first". Not science, not doctors, not even your midwife. You and your gut. Pun intended.


busy busy

I am so seldom really busy or have external demands on my time that I seem to have lost my ability to deal properly with it. As Jeremy posted, we have decided to sell our townhouse and move on. We have a great rental lined up for the winter at the very least but for now we're busy doing all the semi-repulsive and standard fix-ups for it to look nicer for potential buyers. We've had wonderful help from both sets of parents (thanks!!) and we're almost ready to leap - maybe this weekend? I've found it mentally taxing to undo most of the odd hippie adaptations I've made here, just to appeal to someone else. I agree that it's a good idea, but it's hard and feels less homey. It makes me want to pack my suitcase and run, now.

Lucky for me, Jeremy also posted here our reasons for wanting to sell. The short version is that the value has increased dramatically and we want to open up options for doing more creative things with our lives. The place is great, we've been really happy here and I have those nagging cautionary fears that go along with change but I caught myself thinking "do I want a townhouse or a life?". Not a fair question of course, and not necessarily mutually exclusive but what I meant was do I really want the security of owning a place long term over the possibility of doing some exciting things? So what if the market keeps going up if I get a chance to travel or start a business because of the change?

It's funny how Jeremy and I don't consider ourselves risk-takers at all but when something feels right to both of us it doesn't take long to get it done. When we bought this place we weren't even considering a move to this town. We had friends in Summerland and thought we'd look at this place on a whim since we were outgrowing our rental in Kelowna. We were in within 3 weeks and never had a single regret (that I can think of right now). Here's to hoping the next transition will be as successful.



Hey, look what I've diagnosed myself with. Oral Allergy Syndrome sounds completely made up but I have basically all of the symptoms. I stopped telling people long ago that I've been having bad reactions to fruit and possibly vegetables because it's not "natural". And I've never been good at eating fruits & veggies so it's not very convincing if I suddenly don't want to eat them. When I had an unpleasant reaction to organic cherries for the second time in a week I almost burst into tears and turned to the internet to see if I was in fact insane. I had finally ruled out the suspicion that I was reacting to pesticides because I knew the cherries weren't sprayed.

I found out that fruit and veggie allergies are directly correlated with tree pollen allergies which I've known I've had for years. My current related nastly list now includes apples, strawberries, cherries and possibly raw peas and carrots. I also have been identified as having strong ragweed allergies - those corrrespond to bad reactions to bananas and melons (this thankfully solves my banana mystery that's bothered me for 15 years). The good news is that I seem to have some company with these odd allergies and I'm not going crazy. Also I can apparently eat all these fruits in a cooked version (cobblers, canned, jams, etc.). The bad news is that nearly every site I've tracked down so far has the same prescription. Stop eating the foods or your reactions will quite possibly get worse and no, there is very little chance of the allergies going away. It seems that the only slim hope might be to get desensitized enough to the pollens through shots that the body doesn't get triggered by the foods anymore.

What on earth is going wrong when my body reacts badly to fruit and vegetables?!


gorduning goodnis

Ivy presented me with this stanley cup-like award two weeks ago when I finished planting a garden. I'm not sure if she was congratulating me on percieved gardening prowess or thinking "thank goodness it's finally in" but it was sweet.

Our very gracious friends are not using their well designed plot this year and were kind enough to let me have a crack at planting vegetables. Whether or not I can learn to eat them is not their problem. I was thrilled to get my hands dirty and had good help from Dianne and Ivy getting the weeds out and the beds prepped. The girls were delighted with the idea of gardening but the ice cream afterwards was more to their liking than the actual work.

At home in our small areas I've gone overboard with the plants, it's some kind of crazy green addiction I never anticipated. I started some flowers and herbs indoors a few weeks ahead of time and it was very rewarding to see them pop out of their little pots and grow like mad. Unfortunately they mostly seem to have grown very gangly wimpy stems and haven't transplanted well. Yes, I pinched them back when they had a few sets of leaves but it didn't help. Anyone know what else I might have botched?

Taking a break from the digging to appreciate the scenery.
Check out the beloved gardening hat, it's my inspiration.

Ivy learning the art and science of gardening from green- thumb grandma.

At latest check yesterday we had carrots, beans, sunflowers, potatoes and a hint of dill poking out of the ground. That leaves the other herbs, onions, beets and corn yet to come if all goes well. I got tired of waiting for the flower bed to start sprouting so I finally planted those seeds. I never said I was on top of things.

bragging rights

has earned bragging rights for years to come based on winning this award, but something (his talent perhaps? ) tells me this is only the beginning. I, being a barely passable stick-figure "artist", have been in awe of his obvious artistic capabilities for years. It's great to see him getting recognition for a project he has worked really hard for (just ask Mark if you don't believe me). It's also good for my ego to know that not just anyone can draw like that on a kids magnetic doodler. Congratulations to Joel on both the sweet award and on being done school - woo hoo!!



Today, for the first time in over 10 years, I let the devil in and had cable tv connected to my home. What finally cracked me was that the day after the olympics ended, we had our cbc feed axed by global (thanks global). A month and a half of fiddling with various atennas and getting no hockey, National, Rick Mercer or CBC Kids (yes, I missed that too) was enough to get me to shelve both the pride and ideals. I wasn't even sure I was Canadian anymore. After playoffs are over I guess we'll have to decide whether to keep it or just hang on to the tv for movies.

At first glance I'm thrilled by the non-fuzzy reception and all the choices but appalled at the garish commercials and American style pop-celebrity focus on so many shows as I flip past. I've been sheltered by low budget Canadian content for years and have been pompously proud of my pop culture ignorance. The interesting part of this will be to see how much more I watch...right now I'm averaging about an hour a week.


something you didn't do

Jeremy has occasionally posted wisdom from the Tragically Hip and it's echoing in my head as I prepare to make this entry. "Besides, no one is interested in something you didn't do" seems so true and yet all I can think of is all the personal interst things I've started that aren't getting done. The quick list includes about 4 books, one quilt, a bunch of clothes sewing projects, learning to bead and planning the wee garden for spring.

Non-cool things that seem to fill my time? Laundry, dishes, book-keeper stuff for the strata, clean up infinite scraps of crafts from the floor, trip on toys, dress/undress/redress kids in costumes multiple times a day, make snacks, make different snacks, wonder why nobody wants lunch...

Somewhere in between all of that I manage to spend a lot of good quality time with the kids and Jeremy but don't see or communicate with friends as often as I'd like. My parents just left after spending a week in our busy household. We had a wonderful time and Grandma Pearl proved once again to be the master of playtime. The weekend in the hotel hot tub was a serious highlight as well. And who would ever have thought that I'd get a chance to play hockey with my dad?! Love it.

Happy 60th mom! Hope you were queen for the day.

Dad and I setting up for an hour and a half long 3 on 3 scrimmage. I'm still tired.


small houses

288 sq ft - Tiny House Company

Random small cute houses in the Martha's Vineyard area, from the Cadence 90 - Tiny House Hunter site.

Jer sent me a fun link today to Tumbleweed Houses, where the house plans range from 75 square feet up to a whopping 600 or so. What a great idea to imagine the absolute smallest space you could live in and work from there, rather than starting big and then seeing where you might be able to cut corners to afford it. Yes, I know that the gorgeous 288 sq. ft. home above would be nuts with a whole family (in this culture anyway - that's a whole other topic), but the proportions and style are right for me. Maybe two together with a sweet indoor/outdoor porch type area? Oh yeah, and then there is the part about the land to put it on. There's always a catch.