Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Break 2013

I've decided to take the rest of December off to focus on the holiday season. I will be back bright and early in 2014. See you then! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I've been inspired by so many bloggers and their Wordless Wednesday posts I thought I'd join in. I'm thinking I might make this a regular feature...let me know what you think.

P.S. Next week it'll actually be wordless ;-)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This is how I feel

Photo Credit - Brad Hills

Once you start to awaken,
no one can ever claim you again for the old patterns.
Now you realize how precious your time here is.
You are no longer willing to squander your essence
on undertakings that do not nourish your true self;
your patience grows thin with tired talk
and dead language. 
You see through the rosters
of expectation, which promise you safety
and the confirmation of your outer identity.
Now you are impatient for growth,
willing to put yourself in the way of change.
You want your God to be wild
and to call you to where your destiny awaits.

~ John O’Donohue

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Making of a Personal Manifesto - Part 1

I've wanted to make a personal manifesto for ages. I've been thinking about it since I took my business management course when I was pregnant with Bradley (yes - that's right...19 years ago). I've always said it takes me a while to think things through and there's the proof. ;-)

Over the last year of so I've had a note book that I've dashed thoughts/ideas/quotes/beliefs in that I intended to turn into my manifesto. It all seemed easy and I assumed that when I was ready it would all come together easily. I was wrong. It's been incredibly challenging to get my thoughts to come together in a way that feels cohesive and real.

I think if we're asked, or we take a moment to think about our values we can all come up with what's most important to us. The first few come really easily - our families, our marriages or partnerships, probably our health. After those ones the rest take some thought. It requires digging deep and being honest with ourselves.

I've had an ongoing list of things that are important to me and as the number started to creep up towards 20 I had a realization. While all the things on my list are important to me they're not all the foundation from which I want to build my life on. My deepest values are what make me me and they're what form my life and help me to make the best choices and decisions.

To put my manifesto together I need to be very clear about what my true values are. They are the foundation from which everything else grows.

When I get it complete, my manifesto will list my values, my purpose, how I want to show up in the world, how and where I want to contribute, some goals/intentions for the coming year and it will guide me and my decisions toward my highest and best life.

I'm going to continue to work on my personal manifesto and I'll tell you how it's going as I  move through the work on it, but for now....

Let me ask you - have you thought of these things for yourself? Do you know what's truly most important to you? Do you live your life from a place of awareness and grounded in your truth? I'm finding these questions to be challenging and at the same time life changing. I love that I'm still learning new things about myself and that I can still change and grow.

I hope you'll join me in asking and answering these questions; and remember I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Broken Heart and a Declaration

"You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens."
~ Rumi

I'm going to be 45 very soon and as I thought about that the other day I wondered out loud to myself how old I would need to be to finally stop comparing myself to others, or to stop worrying what other people think, or when I might actually be enough.

I've obviously wondered about these questions before - but for some reason they feel different to me right now. I'm tired of caring if I'm enough. I'm tired of worrying about what other people think and I'm tired of comparing myself to others.

I'm tired of all the bullshit that goes on in my mind every fucking day.

I've spent all these years listening to that wee voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough, that I'm stupid or useless, that I have nothing to offer anyone. I've listened to her tell me that no one loves me because I'm unlovable, that I'm too weird to have real connections in my life, that I'm deeply flawed, probably even irreparably broken.

My heart has been broken over and over again. And each time it was it hurt like a bastard and every time it did that wee voice would remind me that my heart was broken because there was something wrong with me. It was my own fault - if was a better friend, or wife, or mother, or, or, or.....

When the people who are supposed to love you the most tell you how much they dislike you, how useless and selfish you are, how you're too stupid to do anything or what a nasty bitch you are, you eventually believe it. When they tell you that you're good for nothing those words move in and they stay there. They get planted and they grow and gradually they take over and that wonderful spirit that we're all born with gets worn down and gradually it gets broken.

We're not broken - just our spirits; but eventually those tender spirits start to push and pull and make themselves known. They want us to remember how divinely perfect we really truly are. They want us to know that we're always completely and perfectly whole. They want us to know we're always enough and lovable just the way we are right now.

Right this second and in every second of our past and of our future we are wonderfully, completely just exactly as we are always - a divine being.

I've had this ridiculous question hanging over my head for years. We call it the Christmas party know the one, "What do you do?" I have hated this question my entire adult life. I've never had an answer that felt good enough.

Let's see how I've tried to answer that question over the years.

Hairstyling school
Food Service
Wood Working
Business Management
Web Development
Holistic Nutrition/Eating Psychology
Business Owner

I could go on if I continued to mention all the 'minor' courses I've also taken along the way. I've tried my hardest to find an answer to that question that was acceptable - not to me, but to the person asking the question. Why would I give all that power to people I don't know? Who the fuck knows - I'm guessing I already covered it a few paragraphs above.

It doesn't matter what we do. The answer to that question doesn't matter. It's taken me too long to figure that out. It doesn't matter what I've taken in school or haven't taken in school. It's not about what I'm studying or the jobs I've had - it's about who I am. Simple concept; but hard to believe sometimes.

I'm making the choice to believe it right now.

From this point forward I'm not going to listen to the voice in my head that replays how crappy I am and how I must be broken. From now on I'm choosing to believe that I'm a divine being who's completely whole and imperfectly perfect just the way I am - right now and forever more.

This is a declaration!

From this point forward:

I am going to believe I am enough.
I am going to believe I am lovable.
I am going to believe that I am completely whole.
I am going to trust in God and the Universe and the Mystery of Life.
I am going to live in congruence with my highest and best values.
I am going to live authentically.
I am going to release negativity and focus on the positive in every situation.
I am going to give myself permission for
        And daily belly laughs
I am going to embrace my truth and live it OUT LOUD!

My heart has finally opened and I'm scared as fuck, but this is where I am and this is where I want to be now - finally.

Of course, all this means there will be change and change is hard; but so is living with the belief that I'm broken and unlovable. This is going to be a bumpy ride and I welcome the bumps. I know I won't be perfect but I will be real.

I could go on, but instead I'll share one of my very favourite quotes.

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.” 

~ Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Last Blooms

I've been slowly putting my gardens to bed for the coming winter. I have a few things to do yet though. My roses need covered, we still need to harvest our onions and leeks, we have one tiny tree to plant but as soon as those things are done I'll have to live by my garden dreams alone.

Jon made me a new bed last weekend and I planted about 110 spring bulbs. I took some shots of the few remaining blooms. I love our seasons, but it's sad when I know my blooms are done for another year.

"The earth laughs in flowers" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a few cosmos still blooming and I guess I probably will until we get our first snow fall - thank God for cosmos!

My morning glories didn't do very well this year - in fact I didn't even get a blossom until September, but I have a few still hanging on.

I have a few wild roses and a few roses still blooming. Unless we get a hard frost in the next week or so I might still get a few more roses too!

My sweet peas did about as well as my morning glories this year but as of late last week I still had a bloom or two. They're so beautiful and the fragrance is just wonderful - the memories will hold me through the winter.

A random lupin...I started these from seed this spring expecting to get a few blooms early next summer. It's a little out of season, but I'm not complaining!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Change is Hard

Change is hard. It's lonely, and it often leaves you wondering what the hell you're doing.

That's where I'm at right now. I'd been so stuck and then I went 0 to 60 with the snap of my fingers and now I'm screaming whoa at the top of my lungs.

I've already learned a few things about me that I was unaware of. I thought I liked busy - I don't. I thought I enjoyed being in front of the computer all day - I don't. I thought I enjoyed facebook - I don't when it's work/school related. I thought the reading would be easy - it isn't. I thought school (again) would be fun - it's not.

Don't get me wrong. I made the right decision; I'm just having trouble with the adjustments. I keep telling myself I need some time management skills, but how the hell do I learn them on top of everything else? I keep telling myself I just need a schedule, but how do I do that when I know nothing about time management?

I just keep plugging along through the days figuring that sooner or later I'll figure it out. If not - it's not going to last forever.

I keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it in the end. My big hopes and dreams are patiently waiting for me a few months down the road and since I don't want to let them down I'll keep moving forward believing that I can make it!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I want, I want, I want....

“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences.
For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator.
But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…” 

~~ Timothy Leary

I came across this quote weeks ago and it's been buzzing around my brain since. It so resonates with me. Maybe with you too?

Do we all feel different from other people? Is it just me and Timothy Leary?

I don't know the answer to that question. But I wish I did. I wish I did because then it would be easier to speak my truth. It would be easier to put myself out there as me, instead of the me I think I should be, or the me that I've had experience in believing is the acceptable me.

I want to say wild witty things and have them understood.
I want to have deep meaningful conversation.
I want to say what I mean. Always.
I want to sing really loudly to bad 80's songs even though I can't hold a tune.
I want to tell rude people what I really think of them.
I want to tell kind people what I think of them.
I want to smile at strangers and not have them think I'm crazy.
I want to speak from my heart and know that it's welcome.
I want to be able to cry without feeling like my feelings are an embarrassment or a pain in the ass.
I want to be brave enough to tell my friends my hopes and dreams.
I want to be brave enough to tell the world my hopes and dreams.
I want my friends and family to tell me all about their hopes and dreams.
I want them to tell me what's deep in their hearts.
I want to drive an old muscle car really fast without worrying about a speeding ticket.
I want to get more tattoos without worrying what other people think.
I want to say the word fuck as often in public as I do in private.
I want to feel the ocean on my feet.
I want to not feel guilty about using hydro in the middle of the day.
I want to save the environment.
I want to save the world.
I want to roll down a long steep hill like I did when I was a little girl.
I want to lay on a dock and stare at the stars until one of them falls just for me.
I want to feel my beloved's soft breath on my cheek as he sleeps peacefully.
I want to hear my family's laughter.
I want to laugh until my belly hurts every single fucking day.
I want to see the green of Ireland and the heather in Scotland.
I want to have my breath taken away by the beauty in EVERYTHING.
I want to lay on a floaty in a lake for hours listening to the silence.
I want to be comfortable in my body right now. Today - not after I lose X number of pounds.
I want to look into the mirror and smile a silly grin at the woman looking back at me.
I want to be uninhibited as my beloved sees me naked.
I want to skinny dip and laugh like a loon when the cold water hits my belly button.
I want to relish a good marinara sauce.
I want to go to Italy for pizza.
I want to learn to fly a helicopter.
I want to just be me without thinking about who me is all the time.
I want to believe I am ok just the way I am.

I want to tell the little girl I used to be that it's OK to just be her. That no matter what anyone says or does to her that she's perfect just the way she is. I want to tell her to believe in her feelings, to trust her instincts and know that she is loved. No modifications required! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Quiet Kind of Joy

The seasons all have their distinct energy. Spring is bursting, happy and light. Summer feels abundant and full, fall feels calm and nurturing and winter brings a quiet and subtle energy.

Fall has always been my favourite season. The soft light, the shorter days and the preparation for winter always make me feel more like myself than any other time of year. It feels bittersweet to watch my beloved gardens go to sleep for the winter but the yearly routine of nesting and of slowing down is the balance I need at this time of year.

When the fall breeze turns chilly and the days begin to shorten I know that I can come home to myself and settle in for the long winter. The radiant colours of the fall feel like Mother Nature giving us her all before she takes her nap and refreshes herself for the following spring.

At this time of year there's time for us to pause and to take a deep breath. We can slow down from our harried pace of the summer months. We can prepare our homes and gardens for the upcoming rest, and we can tune in deeply to the beauty that surrounds us easier now than at other times of the year.

As I sit here right now the breeze is blowing and I can hear both the leaves rustling and my wind chimes playing me a beautiful tune. I can look out my window and see the leaves just starting to change and the birds playing around the feeders. I'm feeling calm and centered and a little introspective.

There is a quiet kind of joy being in tune with the seasons and my little slice of heaven. I'm so grateful - can you feel it too?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

52 Photos Project - seasonal colour / gold

It's been a while since I participated in 52 Photos Project and I've missed it. Check out the wonderful photos and interpretations of the prompts.

This week at 52 Photos Project it's Gallery 24, seasonal colour/gold.

While this particular photo might now be as gold as some fall photos I really love it. It really reminds me of fall and the beauty of the season.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friday Favourites - September 27, 2013

The flowers Jon bought me for our anniversary were absolutely beautiful. I love purple and I love dahlias so this is just about perfect!

My favourite quote this week:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 

Maya Angelou

Lot's of goodies to share with you this week!

I know some of you have already seen this but it's so moving I wanted to share it! 

Connie rocks! That is all :-)


This is how I want to be when I'm 90!


A Place to Start with Pema Chodron


What are your thoughts on This?


Here's a little amusement for the week.

Can you believe this?


I'm seriously loving this song this week!


Just FYI and another one.


And a wee bit of serious.

Have a great weekend everyone...see you next week!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Being Vulnerable

I've watched Brene Brown on TED, and I've read her books (they're all awesome), and I've tried - I really have.

Being vulnerable is HARD.

I'm not good at it.

Last Tuesday was my wedding anniversary and each year when it comes I want to express to Jon just what he means to me and how much I cherish him and our life together. I always have grand intentions and each year I fail miserably.

I dream about finding just the right gift that will express everything that I feel and don't know how to say. Stupid - I know; but that doesn't stop me from wishing it. I try to figure out some way to actually get the feelings from my heart to my mouth and that never works. 'I love you' seems so regular and daily and while it's true it's not enough. Next I try to think of some action that will fill the bill. Nope - that never happens either.

Every year I fall back on Hallmark to help me say what's in my heart and although they're often meaningful they just don't capture exactly what I need to say and express.

Every year I'm also inspired by the way Jon is able to do all the things I can't seem to manage. He's always creative and thoughtful. He always does just the right thing to show me how much he loves me.

This year he drove from where he was working to where my car was parked at school and left me flowers. He sent me a text telling me to check out my car and when I saw the flowers tears came to eyes and I was overcome with love. He'll likely be embarrassed that I'm pointing out how romantic he is; and I'm ok with that. (I hope he will be too).

I've been thinking about it all week - about how perfect his idea was. It fully expressed to me how much he loves me. It's also left me feeling raw and more emotional than usual. I don't know why it's so scary and uncomfortable for me to be shown love or to feel it the way I do for my amazing guy. But it does. It makes me vulnerable in a way that only love can.

So rather than hoping for one big idea for our anniversary next year I'm going to give him the gift of staying open to feelings of fragility and vulnerability every day. I'm not sure I'll do it every day but it is my intention to be present to my feelings for him and our life together EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I know this won't be easy, I know I won't be able to actually do it each and every day, I know that some days I'll want to punch him in the head and some days he'll feel the same towards me; but I want to feel a tangible connection with the man I love and the only way is through vulnerability. So each morning from now on I'll gently remind myself what my intention is and act from that scary wonderful place. I'll also remind myself that I can do this and that we're worth it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Photo Friday

I feel myself getting completely wrapped up in school and school related thinking and while that's a good thing I also want to make sure I continue to do the things that I love the most.

So with that in mind I'm going to start a new feature here - Photo Friday; where I'll post a photo or two each Friday. This way I know I will continue with my passion for photography. 

Some weeks my photos might be artsy fartsy ones and sometimes they'll just be simple snaps of what's going on in my life. Whatever it takes to keep my camera in my hands through the changes in my life!

I'm not sure what it is about this photo, but I just love it. It's one of my favourites from this summer. It feels so relaxing Sunday afternoon to me.

P.S. Friday Favourties has moved to Awen Wellness, I hope you'll come and see what good stuff I found this week!

Friday Favourites

I didn't take this photo this week but as I was looking through some of my photos from this summer this one stood out. She looks so bold staring back at me, don't you think?

My favourite quote from this week:

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi 


Some of you know how much I love books...and some of you also know how much I like tattoos...Check these out!


Here's your heartwarming for the week :-)


I love this man. I wish I could do what he's done!


Sometimes it's really hard being a woman...


And since I'm studying nutrition here's a food related one:


Here's a funny to finish off the week. This is HILARIOUS!

Have a great weekend everyone! See you next week :-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Love One Another

These last few weeks have been crazy stressful. Bradley and I getting ready for school, getting him to Kingston and settled into his dorm, getting Shane out of his house in Kingston and then trying to get used to the daily grind again.

It's been many years since I had to get myself up and moving and out of the house. It's been many years since I've had homework and papers to write. It's been many (many) years since I had a house with no kids in it.

Change is hard.

And it's made me a wee bit cranky and short tempered.

On Sunday Jon and I went out for our weekly breakfast date and I could feel myself being uptight and irritable. I bit his head off for absolutely nothing besides tension relief and immediately felt even shittier. Looking around the restaurant we go to every week something caught my eye and just like that my mood was changed.

We often realize how something small can piss us off or ruin a perfectly good day, but we rarely pay attention to the little things that change our moods or make our days.

This was mine yesterday.....

Sometimes it really is that simple.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Confession Time

I have a confession to make.

I've said it before but I've always mumbled it, or said it while you were speaking, or turned away with my mouth full.

This time I'm saying it loudly and proudly because I know you can't change what you don't acknowledge. And I really want to change.

I suffer from perfectionism. BIG TIME.

There I said it. (Phew)

It's something I've struggled with for as long as I can remember and unfortunately I've passed it down to my children.

The buck stops here! I'm saying it, I'm acknowledging it and I'm going to change it. Slowly and compassionately for sure - but I'm going to do my very best to ease away from...

  • the need to be perfect
  • the need to have everyone else be perfect
  • the need to always act perfectly
  • the need to have my life go exactly the way I think it should so it's perfect too

(I could probably go on - but I think you've got the picture) ;-)

Maybe you share my need for perfection and maybe you also share it's first cousin - you know...GUILT.

I have another confession to make - I ate beer nuts. Quite a few of them, and they were really, really good! And now I feel guilty because a person who's studying nutrition should eat perfectly...right? I mean that's what my annoying inner dictator is telling me.

But I'm not perfect - I'm a human who eats pretty well most of the time and happens to enjoy beer nuts from time to time.

And I'm trying to be OK with that!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer's almost done

Summer is almost done for another year. The kids are back in school - I'm back in school and the days are getting shorter and a little chillier.

Jon and I still have a lot to do around here before winter sets in but for now I'm still engrossed in my flowers and gardens.

I mean, how can I not be.....

Friday, July 19, 2013

2 Year Blogging Anniversary and a Big Announcement

The very first photo of mine I published - still one of my favourites.

I'm celebrating my two year blogging anniversary today!  

When I started blogging I started as a way to discover what matters most to me. My intention was to focus on the little moments in life that make our days special. I wanted to celebrate the everyday things that we can sometimes take for granted.

I wanted to find out what I valued the most and make those things bigger and brighter in my own life and maybe along the way encourage others to find out what brings them joy.

The blog has undergone a few changes along the way. And so have I.

I started out writing and showing a few pictures here and there and gradually the photos have pretty much taken over. I discovered how much I love photography. I always knew I would. I bought my first (real) camera with money I saved up from my first job when I was 16. About a million things got in the way between then and 40 when I bought my second real camera, but that doesn't matter now.

What matters now is how through actively paying attention to my life I've learned what is most important to me. My life has grown - I have grown. It only takes reading a few posts to know that my life revolves around family, home and garden - and of course my photography.

What matters is the things I've learned and the friends I've made.

The blog and I are going to go through some more (big) changes.

I'm returning to school in September to study nutrition. I'm going to be attending The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and when I'm done I'll be a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I'm also going to study The Psychology of Eating through The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and after completion of that course I'll be a Certified Psychology of Eating Coach.

Big changes for me and I'm very excited!

Which brings me to the blog. In all honesty I'm not sure what to do with it. I've enjoyed my time here and sharing my photos and I can't even imagine not having it; but I'm not sure I'll have the time needed to devote to it as I have the last 2 years.

What do you think?

Try to keep it going?
Let it go?
Or change it to what's new in my life - nutrition and wellness?
Or a combo of both?

I'd really like to hear what you think - but I'd love to hear that privately so if you'd email me at or facebook message me with your thoughts I'd be very grateful. 

P.S. I've always wondered how much fun it would be to buy a huge order of books. It's A LOT of fun!

Here's what $1000 worth of books looks like.

P.P.S. It's not as many as I thought it would be, LOL!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What's Happening in the Garden

Between all the bugs (they are terrible this year!) and the heat I've been seriously neglecting my gardens. They're in a shameful state. I honestly think I have more weeds than flowers this year. Every morning I get up with the intention of doing some weeding and everyday I find something to do in front of a fan instead.

Yesterday we had a hell of a storm that took it's toll in all my beds. A good portion of my flowers are laying down and a couple of my glads seem to be broken off at the soil. My fingers are crossed that they all perk up as they dry off.

Last year I was out taking photos everyday - this year I'm lucky if I get out there once a week :(

Here a few shots I took this morning.....

I'm loving my cone flowers.

We've had a few visitors.

A Rosebreasted Grosbeak striking a pose for me! 

One I'm not too happy to see - eating my dahlias!!

And I've have a couple more firsts for me...

1st Dahlia blossom ever.
1st Malva grown. 
1st Stargazer grown from bulb here.