Tag Archives: home

Minimize to Maximize Life

This month has been an interesting project on living within my means deeply, as well as living with minimums. It started with money – we decided we would spend very meagrely after embarking on home ownership to be able to replenish some savings, setup the emergency fund, and have a security blanket in case of any disasters. That has been okay actually. I find that I don’t do a lot of shopping anyhow. I haven’t been to a mall for anything other than banking in longer than I can remember. I am just no longer the mall type. Most of my shopping is thrifting, online and now yard saling. It’s just more challenging and fun…actually feels like an activity instead of a zombification of consumerism.  I like old stuff, stuff that needs work, stuff that meant something to someone at some time and will eventually mean a lot to me.  Beyond just money, I have been living meagrely in terms of creation, creativity and hobbies. That has been the biggest challenge. I have left myself only the basics for everyday living – 2 knitting projects, 1 basket of fibre …I spin a little bit of it into the same yarn in progress every day….a couple of books, 1 book of word puzzles.  I have only about 10-12 outfits which are not currently packed. I think that not having a vast studio to pull inspiration from is the most challenging part of all of this. I have been drawing a lot of mental pictures for what my new house will become and I scare myself a little when I think about the big projects I want to take on.  But, I do have a sense of ‘all things come in time’ and you make little improvements as you are able to.

This has been a whirlwind few years for me which I don’t see stopping any time soon…and that feels great. I have so many personal goals to achieve for myself, my body, my business and my family. Things are going to just get more amazing.

If I am a little quiet over the next month or so, it’s because I am getting situated in a new home, and a new life to prepare to make this space, and myself, the best version it can be.

Poor man’s Dinner with the Frogs

We have finished the first ‘poor week’ dinner and it was totally decadent and yummy!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche with homemade chips!

 

I also have to write a little bit about my amazing weekend. My birthday was on August 1st and I sort of had a really long work day that day so it was awesome that the long weekend made up for it. I was totally spoiled in getting a kayak and a pair of binoculars for my birthday amongst other things. I have been dying to learn to kayak since my parents were raving about how relaxing and fun it is. I had heard it was a lot more stable than rowing a canoe so I wanted to check it out. Last Saturday I got my opportunity to learn to kayak – but actually it was sort of natural…no real learning curve…not something I am used to! I definitely need to do it more to get better at keeping my strokes even and my boat straight but I pretty much got the hang of it. I am in love with everything where water is concerned – beaches, boats, the ocean, the great lakes, cleaning up the ocean, and so on…..so this is a nice opportunity to get out on the water and have a whole lot of serenity, as well as see things you can’t see from land. Now I am planning on how to paddle out to all sorts of small islands I have seen and wondered about.

The great thing about my hometown in Prince Edward County (well, one of the great things) is that there are so many places you can get in touch with nature, and well…frogs! I love frogs, and toads. I have since I was a little kid. I grew up in a really small village mostly filled with seniors while I lived there, so I had to find a lot of ways to entertain myself and ended up doing so at the local pond catching and releasing frogs.  I dropped by one of my favourite ponds while back home and found a few cutie pies! These frogs were really docile, mostly bullfrogs, not fast and furious like the leopard frogs.

 

 

Meanderings of a Small Town Girl

So, my birthday was August 1st and celebrations only somewhat simmered as of lastnight. That is the sign of having really good friends and family. And, I can say, I am blessed with that.  I went to Prince Edward County, the home of my birth, last weekend to visit the family, have much cake, beaching, and barbecue. It was a lot of fun. I am mildly bothered that someone has managed to tell the tourists about my favorite secret beach though. Having grown up in the small town I did, a big part of me wants it to stay somewhat close to what I remember, but things can’t obviously stay exactly the same. I am fine embracing change but I have to admit that I am somewhat overwhelmed by the tourist trap my hometown has become. It is now an art haven, food haven, wine country extravaganza of things that …well, it never actually was. I feel sometimes like it is a facade of glamour that hangs it’s halo around an otherwise normal, but beautiful place. Being the lover of art, literature, food, and all those things that make us human, I am happy that these things have moved there, but a part of me sort of feels distressed that the purveyors may claim they were always there. I sort of feel like they uproot the roots of the real people who live there and grew up there. It’s maybe a silly feeling but I am sure it is not a sentiment I feel alone. Seeing the changes in the farming industry, and a general scale down of the farmland makes me wonder how a lot of the locals feel. I know that my family now have to travel to land in the middle of nowhere to feel like they have ‘escaped’ and, home used to just …a constant escape….at least from things like cellphones, traffic, noise, pollution, etc. but it can sometimes not feel that way. Anyhow, enough of my passive wondering about the state of things. There was a lovely outdoor art show on while I wast there, with painters painting out in the street, and a street sale with craft and local vendors.

I was able to have my favourite pizza, favourite submarine sandwich and favourite ice cream all in one weekend…what can be better than that? This is a funny video I found from my favourite sub shop, Imperial Submarines, made by a local radio DJ (I think…) as you will likely also judge from his voice. You can get a real feel for how sweet the family that owns the shop are. They are lovely, and people that I grew up around. Just good people…

Also, guess who got an iPad for her birthday? Oh yes…and I have to say, they are awesome. I think that I still like the Kindle better for reading books however, mainly because it is ePaper so easy on the eyes, and it is more lightweight and small. But, the iPad is amazing for browsing, applications, reading in colour, magazines, etc. It is really nice and I am a spoiled brat.

I also stopped into Rose Haven Farm Store to replenish a whole new stock of art yarns, so if you are in the area and want to check them out…pop into the shop.

In other artsy news, I am working on a line of custom spinning supplies, including some plying threads. I came up with the idea because I am always looking for ways to make things more my own. So, I started working on my own plying threads and I just really loved the control over being able to chose the colours, texture, fibre content, weight and so on. Here’s a peek at one. There are a couple in the shop and more to come very soon!

This week I am planning an adventure in growing some hollyhocks. I learned recently that hollyhocks bloom every two years and the colour they bloom depends on how they are pollinated. Being that I love surprises, I think these have to be one of the most interesting flowering stalks. I did some research and learned about how to take care of a condition called hollyhock rust, which is like a rusty-ness that occurs on the leaves and can impact other weak plants in your garden. These are my little pods, drying up and waiting for their chance to be planted.

A couple of years ago, I was trolling the Freecycle lists and I came across a post from a man who was clearing out a huge collection of Playboy magazines. So, being the curious artist and reclaimer that I am, I messaged him telling him that I would love to pick them up and use them for art projects. A little while later he messaged me back telling me the story about them. They belonged to his late father who had recently passed away. The entire family had no idea that he had this collection, and his mother was a bit disheartened by these taudry bits of literature so he was hoping I could get them ASAP. I headed to his place that night and he relayed to me his relief in that an artist contacted him instead of some creepy pervert. The whole situation was a laugh for both of us. So, I now have all of the Playboy magazines printed from the early sixties to the mid-nineties. Some, I preserve, and some I use for art projects. Recently when wandering around The Value Village, I saw this whole box of 12 matching, tacky gold frames.  In the interest of unique wall art….a plan was born and now all I have to do is hang these pretties.

Mat and I are working on the next episode of the Muststashyo podcast. I am hoping to get it done for this weekend depending on how things go. This has proven to be a very busy summer.

Lastnight I spent a great evening with my friends in Richmond Hill – one of my favourite knitting groups and just awesome people. We have started to have these little birthday celebrations each month to mark the birthdays of our friends from the group. It’s a great idea. I received some beautiful yarn, liquer and a lovely necklace from my lovely friend Kittynne. It’s a beautiful ceramic pendant necklace from http://www.etsy.com/shop/surly and yes, yes, it has a MOUSTACHE on it!!! Yay! The girl does lovely work, and custom orders!

I also wanted to mention something else that is dear to my heart, because of my friend Stacey…it’s Kayak for a Cure! Stacey is a really sweet, genuine person and a cancer survivor. She’s fun and awesome and doing her part to raise money for cancer – something that I think we all can relate to, unfortunately.  One thing I have to say that I can find joy in when people have a serious illness, is that it changes them. In many cases of people I have been close to, and in Stacey’s case, you can see such a bright light that comes from them…a whole new appreciation for life and those around them. If you have it in your heart, please check out her story and donate some money to the cause: http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?px=3684970&fr_id=6600&pg=personal. If you have some time to sit and read her story, you will see how her sweetness, intellect, wit and charm shine though. She is a survivor of  chondrosarcoma which I only learned about lastnight, in detail. It affected her skull base and she had to go through much healing and recovery, but she is now bright as a sunflower, getting back in her boat and doing something really positive! So, be inspired and donate some money to the cure and maybe send her a kind word. 🙂 Or, if you are into kayaking and want to participate check it out – http://kayakforacure.org