blog reads

Here's a little collection of more recent blogs I've been reading (and why). I got the idea from Michelle who recently did a post like this. I also like the idea of collecting some of these links in one place so that they eventually find their way into the sidebar with other favorites, or at least into a feed before they're gone from memory.

Our nest under the rock and Dutch Blitz are a couple of Summerlanders I "met" online. I have had the pleasure of spending some time with Kaili but that Angella is elusive. I hope I don't scare the tar out of her when I chase her down in a parking lot someday just to say hi.

A Life In Progress
Michelle's daughter Jen's blog. She writes about eco-cleaners, organic food, toxic personal care products...right up my alley. I connected to Michelle and Jen's blogs somehow through Kaili.

new pants
This was an odd connection. She found me through babyblogorama as our babies have the same birthdate. I had no idea my birth story was on that site, the internet is a strange beast. She pokes fun at herself for blogging about "the same 6 topics" that moms blog about every day but her take on things keeps it real and interesting. She somehow finds time to write poetry. I have so much admiration for anyone who can sustain creative energy in the baby/toddler vortex.

better make it a double
Linked off of new pants...her comments caught my attention and I made my way to her site. She's got some amazing stuff going on - like committing to The Compact and raising chickens in the city. This post had me snickering - she nailed the way my mind works when I find myself in big stores.

So that's a few of the favorites that come to mind at the moment...I'm sure there are many more so don't kick me if I left you out.


Last week I found the BC GardenWise site that has great local tips and info on farmer's markets. It got me all fired up about the coming growing season. I'm going to commit to improving my soil before I plant this year and then actually water my poor vegetables regularly to give them a fighting chance. Basics.


local bounty blog

It's always a little scary to go public but I finally got going on a project I've been wanting to do for years - I started a blog called "Local Bounty". It's my small effort to connect consumers with local food sources. Here's the catch, to make it work I need the help of dedicated Summerlanders to tell me about their favorite spots and the people that grow/make the food.

Some ideas for things I want to include:
- eggs, orchards, veggies, honey, meat, favorite fruit stand, winery, brewery, breads
- I'd especially like to highlight anything organic, spray free, foraged or free range.

Here's what I'm looking for on each entry:
- name of place
- names of people
- what they grow/sell
- why you love it
- contact info if appropriate

If you happen to be a grower/producer yourself I'd love to hear about you but want to be careful to not create a blatant marketing site. I'm thinking of an interview kind of format - I'd like to know the answers to these questions:
- who you are
- what you do
- why/how you got into it
- why Summerland?
- if your product is seasonal, when is it available?
- contact info

I have a first post up that highlights my favorite farmer's market organic farm. I'm going to add others as time and energy permit, which you know can be painfully slow. If you email me your contribution (check profile/email) I'll try to get it up in a timely manner and put your name on it.



I've been exploring educational ideas for our kids over the past few weeks and it has had the effect of making me analyze my past schooling and also rekindling my desire to learn. I am slow to follow up on so many opportunities I hear of but today I dug into one that made me feel like weeping (in a good way). MIT Open Courseware. There are at least a dozen courses that jump out at me that I'd love to follow up on and that is only one source.

One monkey I'd love to get off my back is to learn some good hard math. Or physics. Just to do it and make the brain grind it out. I gave up on math in grade 9 because I didn't like my teacher and I had never learned to study well anyway. In grade 8 I'd been in the "enriched math" stream. I grit my teeth in frustration even thinking about it now. I came away from high school thinking it was too hard for me and NOBODY disagreed, not out loud anyway. Certainly there were plenty of careers open to a bright girl without math. With just a bit of science I could reach as high as being a nurse, teacher or social worker! It's a whole world out there! Jobs like a physio, doctor or lawyer never even hit the radar although university in some capacity was an expectation.

There was one math teacher that got furious with me because he knew I could learn it and wasn't bothering. If only he'd taken that a step further and tried to encourage me rather than muttering negative comments under his breath. It has taken me almost until now to forgive myself for not seeing the bigger picture at the time - I took the same path that so many smart girls my age did because nothing more was expected or encouraged.

I think about going back to school once in a while because I love the process. I've examined inter-departmental degrees and other custom options. Seeing these courses online is exilerating though - I want to learn and if I don't have to go somewhere and pay someone to learn what they tell me to, why would I? I don't get the piece of paper that someone deems I should have...can I move beyond that now? I want to learn enough to apply things to the world around me. My challenge is that I learn theory quite easily and then stumble when it comes to the "doing" part.

I'm passionate about a lot of things, with the local economy as my focus for ideas that could eventually have a bigger impact. Eating, producing and preserving food here. Knowing where my food comes from. Building with materials that are non-toxic and relevant to this area. Smart house design to take advantage of the sun and local climate. Learning to retrofit the infastructure we already to be more functional isn't glamorous but is a great opportunity to make use of what exists, rather than tearing down and starting over. Most of us can't afford to build new on an acreage. Not that I can't dream. I want to figure out how to motivate other people to care as much as I do. I want to make better decisions more consistently.

That's a bit much to bite off at once, eh?


late night poem

First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!

-Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1920

This poem caught my fancy as I find myself staying up later and later to try to fit both work and personal time into my life somewhere.