Tag Archives: friends

Context


Here I am, back for a bit.
Sorry about the absence.  It’s been a tough summer.

I feel like I’ve lost the core of my blog, not being in a place where I can have a garden.  Without that object of learning to produce food at the center of it all, it’s been hard to write.  Not to mention, I feel off balance in my whole life without that central focus.   As it’s turned out, though, instead of growing things and practicing what we’ve learned and learning more (our plan A), everywhere we go we find ourselves helping others in small ways to grow food.  That’s not so bad.  There are a lot of people making moves towards gardens, chickens, compost, and permaculture.  It’s wonderful to meet so many along the way.

It has been quite rough, but we’ve made the best of it and things are looking up.  Since my husband and I were forced suddenly to live in the U.S., we’ve been roaming the PNW, somewhat frantically finishing up the camper on the fly so we can travel in it, and depending more on the goodwill of friends than we probably ever have had to before.  People are wonderful.  The strangers who’ve reached past their comfort zone to offer us space to rest for a little while have become friends I value so much that whatever’s been hard about this has been worth it for the unexpected friendships we’ve gained.

The camper is finished to a point of being habitable and non-embarrassing, we are safe, and we are healthy.  H.W. still brings me little bunches of wildflowers tied up with grass.  We eat the best we can, read, write, sew, work, build, recycle, and ride our bicycles.

“Plans” became a sort of mythical beast, or a particle that pops in and out of probability.  Nothing we’ve planned has happened accordingly, and all our schedules and intentions have thoroughly fallen apart.  I’ve given up and resigned myself to being like leaves, never knowing ahead of time where we’ll be blown off to, just doggedly working away on what’s at hand.  It seems like a desirable thing to do, Buddhist even.  Funny, it’s easier to let go of attachment and expectation when your life is ripping it all away from you.  When you don’t really have a choice but to surrender, it’s much easier.

But that said, we continue to aim for a place with enough space to build a sustainable model of life and agriculture.  The current target is Nova Scotia, but I know enough after this summer to say, Who knows!?  It could be anywhere along the trajectory, and maybe where we’re supposed to be will just reveal itself along the route (literal or figurative.  Did I have to spell that out?).

I have some posts on deck from the last months that might come wildly out of order now.
Sometimes I’ll write a piece, but then not post it because I haven’t posted the more mundane bits that create the context.  So those posts languish until some imaginary future when I’ll “catch up” – we all know how that turns out.  Sometimes I do catch up, though.  There’s a little batch of catch-up coming right up – a symptom of difficult internet access.

Thank you for following.

Reindeer

The hatch-battening days have struck.  Today was not cool by numbers, but had that piercing quality that makes you wish you were wearing a warmer hat, and mentally assess your coat and scarf and mitten collection.  Will it be enough?  The days that soberingly remind you that winter is cold, and reminds you what that feels like.

Inspired by the possibility of earning a little money at Xmas craft fairs, today the kids and I opened Santa’s workshop and made some prototype reindeer.  First we filled the back of my sexy new truck with branches and dragged them home, importing that wonderful wood and snow smell of Christmas.  It went incredibly well.  The green wood was really easy to cut and drill, and the process was creative, flexible, and rewarding, rarely frustrating.  The oldest boy amazed me by pumping out three different sizes.  The smallest one is only an inch and a half tall.  The “head twig” was too tiny for him to drill for antlers.  We’ll see how large a team, or herd, we can create tomorrow.  This should be good.

Its almost like they hatch- they just come together as though they were meant to, and then they emerge- full of personality and mocking their intended design, if you started out with one.

Kelowna's good side

A beautiful view in the morning after an awesome night.  Spent the night on my friend’s guest futon and had a very “cozy in my heart” night talking at high speed with much laughing about everything!   It was really lovely to “re-find” a friend from long ago that I can feel still connected to (Thank you, T**, for your spontaneous welcome- hearts!).

Hilarity ensues

One night they’re learning to start fires with flint, the next they’re shooting stop-motion karate sequences and Zoolander spoofs.  The kids asked tonight, in passing, if my Mac could make videos, and the evening turned into an hours-long marathon date with Photo Booth.  They enthusiastically uploaded their efforts to youTube, which tells the story best.  This is the best one. I was behind the scenes, starting and stopping and turning the music on and off.  Oh, and doing the blood.  I provided NO other direction.  The most demanding part of my job was to not laugh audibly, so I spent 100s of filming minutes with one hand clamped over a splitting grin, shaking with laughter.  Cleverly, they made the soundtrack with one earphone of a Shuffle rested by the mike of my computer, but it meant they could hardly hear the sound.  Again, boggled at the wild creativity of children, how well they cooperate and improv, and how transparently they filter their influences: hiphop videos, action movies, and Ben Stiller.  Apologies to the eight people out there who haven’t seen Zoolander- the finale will completely escape you- well, so might the whole thing.

It’s Halloween costume time.

A couple I know with three children have welcomed Kevin and I into their backyard, and they have the grace to make me feel entirely welcome and comfortable in their house at all times, like an unplanned roommate.  I feel quite useful with my sewing skills, and have started early on the kids’ costumes.  With so much time, we’ve tackled some most imaginative ideas.

IMG_0017The oldest boy is going to be a shark, formerly a fair-prize-sized stuffed dolphin, emptied of its stuffing.  It’s taken some work to make the transition from a friendly looking dolphin to a shark menacing and realistic enough to satisfy an 11yr-old.

The littlest girl wanted to be a Smurfette, so I created a one-piece leotard that zips up the back out of a garishly blue woman’s sweater.  That’s her smurf skin, topped by the white dress (made from an adult white t-shirt) , a blond wig, white stocking hat (made from another t-shirt with a handful of polyfil stuffing for the distinctive shape), and some white “shoes” made out of some fleecy slippers that velcro over her normal shoes.  Impossibly adorable.

The middle boy wanted to be a dead Energizer bunny (a crafty bit of anti-brand attitude I thoroughly appreciated), so I started on a one-piece back zippered bunny suit that resembled pink Pjs but for the integral hood.  Just after the requisite larger than life ears were ready, he decided he wanted to drop the Energizer part and just be a dead/zombied pink bunny.  Supporting the ridiculously large ears wasn’t easy, and I didn’t think it would work at times, but they turned out amazing!  Almost half his height again tall, the giant ears defy gravity and are very adjustable. Continue reading It’s Halloween costume time.