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The best thing to happen during the pandemic – our family grew by one hypoallergenic kitten (a LaPerm). His name is Boots and he brings us so much joy!

Boots, bringer of so much joy.
Healing, purring kitty.
(I hear that your purr can help broken bones to heal).
Certainly, your purr can heal broken heart.
Stretching luxuriously.
Loving touch.
Joy, love and touch, which is so needed during this pandemic time.

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I painted this hopeful butterfly during this time.

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I wrote the following vision in May 2016. It’s now 1.5 years later, and my vision has almost exactly come to fruition…

The original vision:

“I am working at a nature conservation organization in a city that we love. I love my job.

My husband is working as an electrical inspector, and  enjoys his work.

We easily and effortlessly sold our home for a great price.

We easily and effortlessly found a beautiful 3 bedroom home with mature trees that is centrally located that we love and can easily afford. We have great friends in our neighbourhood, and Alex has friends on our street.

Our move and transition was seamless and effortless for all involved.

Alex is going to a great school and after-school care program that he loves.

We have great friends with soul connections.

Alex loves his new hockey team.

We are all happy and healthy.

So be it and it is so and so it is.”

 

***

And what came to be:

“I am working for the university in a city that we love, on a project that is dear to my heart. I am deeply fulfilled by the work that I do. I love my job and the people that I work for.

My husband is working as an electrical inspector and enjoys his work.

We sold our home for a reasonable price, just in the nick of time, one day before the moving truck arrived.

We easily and effortlessly found a beautiful 3 bedroom home with mature trees that is centrally located within the community that we love and can easily afford. We have great friends in our neighbourhood, and Alex has friends on the next block.

We were well supported during our move.

Alex is going to a great school and after-school care program that he loves, and where he has made good friends.

We have great friends with meaningful connections.

Alex loves his new hockey team and has 3 friends on his team from school and his soccer team.

We are all happy and healthy.

And so it is!

 

Joy is sledding with our 9 year old and his best friend and breathing in the crisp wintry air.

I didn’t take my camera today, so these pics from January 2009 will have to do. 🙂

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Sledding (2009)

 

My boy is so much older now.

Look at how small he is.  My boy is so much older now.

I have been decluttering and letting go. I love Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I have been following her advice and letting go of things that do not spark joy. I’m still in the process of going through our stuff, but a lot of things have been leaving our home. Clothes, books, toys, etc. Most significantly, I have let go of all of my journals / writings. There is still more to clear, but it feels like some significant space has been created.

tidying up

This past week, I let go of my snowboard, snowboard boots and helmet, since there are not any good snowboarding places close by to where we live in St. John’s (unless I wanted to hike up some hills on my own – which I don’t). I haven’t been snowboarding in well over 10 years. It’s been a long, long time. But still, I’m surprisingly sad to let my snowboard equipment go. I loved my little board. And, it feels like the loss of an (old) identity. Ironically, even though Mel loves to snowboard, we have never gone together given the lack of good opportunities nearby.

I found some old pics from back in the day.

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Perhaps if we ever make it back to Alberta / BC during the winter (or more likely, make it out to the west coast of Newfoundland), we can rent some equipment, but until then, I have some great memories. And by letting go of these things, someone else can enjoy them and I am creating space / freeing up energy for something new in my life now.

 

I am grateful that Mel feels the same way about keeping things simple at Christmas and we don’t exchange Christmas gifts (between the two of us, at least). Instead, we make a special donation to World Vision at Christmas, in addition to our monthly donations to:

This year, we also have make donations to support refugees in Canada, including:
Association for New Canadians in Newfoundland; and
Refuge4All – a friend of mine in Calgary together with four other families sponsored a Congolese family who have been living in the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania for more than 15 years.

And, throughout the year, we also support other organizations, including:

We are blessed to be able to give back since we have received so much.

Shave for the Brave

Shave for the Brave

Our new favourite thing to do is go to the museum, called The Rooms because the one building holds the museum, the provincial art gallery and the provincial archives. Alex, our three year old, would rather go to the museum than go to playgroup, the park, the beach, the playground. To him, the museum is the best thing in the world. We went to the museum for the first time about a month ago when my mom was visiting. We were so impressed with it that we got a year’s membership for the family and we’ve already gotten our money’s worth as we’ve been going once or twice a week since then. It helps that the museum has some exhibits that cater to kids, like puzzles, computer interactive exhibits, stuffed animals, kids books, etc. Last month, they even had an exhibit that allowed kids (old and young) to use ink stamps on a Newfoundland map that was mounted onto the art gallery wall.

One of Alex’s favourite exhibits is the seabird exhibit because you can hear the sounds that different seabirds make. Since birds are also one of my favourite things, we both thoroughly enjoy the exhibit together and are learning what puffins, gannets and murres look and sound like.

The Rooms is a beautiful building with huge windows that overlooks the harbour and has a beautiful view of St. John’s and Signal Hill. I’m thrilled that we’ve found this treasure in our city.

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I found raspberries in our backyard today that I didn’t know were there.  It felt like an “everyday miracle” because I’ve been talking about how I want to grow raspberries in our backyard, and lo and behold, there’s actually a raspberry bush already growing there.  They were behind our shed.

I  bought a flowers of Newfoundland book and I was identifying some of the wildflowers growing in my yard when I found the raspberries.  hee hee!

This is our first summer in this home and I am loving getting to know our neighbours.  I have met at least one member of each of the houses on our cul-de-sac. I love feeling part of a community. There are many retirees on our street, many couples who have been on the street for 30+ years. Some younger families have also started to move onto the street, including one couple who is expecting a child at the end of August (a potential playmate for Alex in a couple year’s time!). There are also some older boys (ages 8 to 11) who Alex enjoys chasing on his tricycle.

Alex loves meeting the neighbours as well. If anyone is outside of their home when we are outside, Alex makes a point to go over to talk to them. Everyone on the street knows Alex’s name. One of the neighbours has a swing set in their backyard for their grandkids and Alex has a standing invitation to use their swing set.

I love our street!

I was thinking today that everyone should be so blessed as to be able to do what they love and also be remunerated well for it.

My passions include nature, the environment, accessing body and soul wisdom, yoga, dancing, moving my body, writing, and analysing things. And, I am able to indulge in many of my passions on a daily basis.

Mel’s passions include working with his hands, creating music, exercising, biking, hiking, running and being in nature.  As an electrician, he is able to work with his hands. He is currently building his electrical business and I know that he will be successful because he is an excellent and highly skilled electrician who works with integrity and is meticulous in his work.

What are you passionate about and how could you do more of it? Even if you aren’t necessarily passionate about your job (and, if you are — consider yourself very blessed), it’s great if you can create time for your passions during your off time.

I noticed today that about 100 or so (probably more) baby spiders hatched on the window pane (on the outside, thankfully!).

Alex and I are very much enjoying watching the little baby spiders.

When I pointed them out to Alex, he mentioned to me, “Oh, so cute”.  And, I agree.

This is the first time that we’ve had our very own garden and I am loving spending time in it.

Digging around in the dirt.

Breathing in the fresh air.

Talking to the trees.

Mixing up our compost.

Admiring all of the snails.

Picking the dandelions.

It feels like our own bit of heaven in our backyard.

Slowly we are putting in our touches — we have two bird feeders so far, a finch feeder and a millet/black sunflowerseed feeder.  We’ve had American goldfinches, black-capped chickadees and dark-eyed juncos visit so far. Eventually I’ll put out a suet-feeder too.

We had some perennials come up in our front garden, and we’ve planted some more perennial seeds.  The nice thing about gardening in Newfoundland is that it rains so often that you don’t need to water the garden at all.

We eventually would like to landscape the entire front yard and transform it into a xeriphytic / naturescaped area.  No more lawn.  But, we’re going to take our time to do it. In the meantime, the front lawn has been completely overtaken by dandelions.  There were so many dandelions that going around with the dandelion-picker was pretty futile. I tried to go around and pick all of the yellow flowers before it went to seed, but again the dandelions won. I kind of feel like dandelions are so hardy and good at growing, they deserve to take over the world. (Though I also admit that I also feel a bit like a bad neighbour with all of our dandelion seeds spreading across the neighbourhood).  I picked a few of dandelion leaves tonight and will try eating them as a green — I hear that they are very nutritrious for you. If you have any tips on how to “control” dandelions in an easy and non-chemical, let me know!

In our backyard, there was a very small vegetable garden that was started by the previous owner.  Very small.  As in a wild onion plant and another plant that we haven’t been able to identify yet. We’re slowly extending the vegetable garden and planted a couple of tomato plants, sage, thyme, peas, tomato seeds, and pepper seeds. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m pretty excited about it. I don’t know anything about gardening and I’m also pretty lazy about it — I want to see what will grow with minimal effort and will grow more of whatever grows well over the years.

Eventually I’d love to turn most of our lawn into a vegetable garden. But, again we’re starting small and will slowly build. It’s pretty exciting…

Alex enjoys his time in the backyard as well — digging in the dirt — he calls it “his dirt”, pushing his toy lawnmower and riding his tricycle around.

We purchased an old-fashioned push lawnmower — the non-gas / non-electric type. Mel’s been doing the mowing and he says that it works pretty well. You need to exert a bit more force than with the electric/gas type, but it’s non-polluting and quiet and does the job! We highly recommend it.

One of my most recent joys has been hanging up laundry to dry on a clothesline. It may sound funny, but I get a lot of joy and satisfaction from this activity. It’s enjoyable to spend the time outside, it saves energy and money, and it’s good for the environment. I love it.

It’s new to me because I’ve never had a clothesline before (well, actually one of our places did, but it was when Alex was a newborn and the last thing that I wanted to do at the time was to spend extra time hanging up clothes out on the line).

Anyway, now that I’ve started to do it, I love doing it. And, I also love the fact that many people in Newfoundland also hang their clothes out to dry. I love that it’s part of the consciousness out here.

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