30 June 2015


June was awesome.  It was one of those months that you wish would hang on a little longer.  While May lasted forever and day plus eternity, June went by in a flash.

A few weeks ago, Dave and I decided to have a go at the Fort Whyte Alive Twilight Run 10K.  Aside from swallowing a few bugs along the way, we really enjoyed running the trails in this spectacular place.  There were tons of people participating in either the 5K or 10K and every participant received a cool new headlamp to light the way as the sun began to set.  Afterwards, we enjoyed some s'mores by the fire and then made our way back home.

That same week, we ventured over to a nearby neighbourhood to check out Humboldt's Legacy, an eco-store that is chock-a-block full of eco-products and clothing for you and your home.  It was awesome inside!  We browsed through racks of Patagonia gear, checked out some of the nibbles on hand and marvelled at the gorgeous textiles displayed on some of the shelves.  If you are ever in Winnipeg, this is a don't-miss!

Over the past two weeks, I've been out on Vancouver Island visiting our friend, A.  Her husband recently deployed and it presented the perfect opportunity for some time together.  We watched their son play each morning in the backyard, we browsed through shops, took walks, made awesome dinners each night, and even managed to fit in a bit of rock climbing.  

We ventured over to Pender Island and drove around, stopped for a fantastic little lunch at just-opened Woods on Pender, and then into the Sea Star Vineyards show room where we sipped some fantastic white wines.  We also headed in Victoria to make our way (very slowly!) down the street for Car Free Victoria day where we took in the music and looked at all the awesome wares on sale from a variety of vendors.  I also got to see Victoria's Patagonia store and discovered the Sitka store as well.  Gear-a-go-go!  Being on the island reminded me just how much I love it there and it was so hard to say goodbye!

From Vancouver Island, I made my way to meet Dave in Toronto.  We were going to a friend's wedding and this was going to provide me the opportunity to meet his college buddies, as well as to see his mom and wander around the places he grew up.  The wedding was fabulous - one of the best ceremonies I've ever seen!  We danced and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the poutine bar that was set up toward the end of the night.  

The next day, we ventured to Orillia to meet his mom for lunch before she headed off to work.  It was so great to see her and I loved our chat over our toast and coffee.  We toured around Coldwater and Orillia and I even got to meet one of Dave's friends from preschool.  The towns are lovely and I can see why Dave talks about the area he grew up in the way he does.  Everything was super green and there were trees everywhere!  We stopped in for a tour of Mariposa Market and grabbed a quick bite and a pint at Brewery Bay Food Company.

As we move into July, I want to wish you all a very Happy Canada Day and Happy Fourth of July!  

10 June 2015

A Homesteading Weekend

I have no pictures from this past weekend...only words.

Dave and I volunteered to help out at the DIY Homesteader Festival, an amazing just-out-of-town experience where people can learn fermenting basics, how to raise chickens, permaculture techniques, and how to mend clothing.  There were vendors and farm-to-table food along with one of the best bunches of people I've seen gather in one space in a long time.

I stumbled upon Nourished Roots when I was looking for space for Dave and I to garden in this summer (alas, those plans have gone unfulfilled).  It's a lovely little homestead with over 300 acres of farmland.  The brains behind Nourished Roots are Trevor and Adrienne Pearcy...a lovely and dynamic duo who are living the dream.  According to their site,
Adrienne and Trevor traded in fancy shoes and power lunches for galoshes and preserves years ago. Now you’ll find them and the kids building compost bins, hauling wood, turning soil and building bush trails most days. That is of course when they’re not in the kitchen cooking up delicious recipes made using traditional food prep methods…
um.  How cool is THAT?!?!

Adrienne hosts workshops around traditional foods and when she and Kris Antonious met at a networking event a while back...things took off, friendships were forged, and the DIY Homesteader Fest was born.

The Festival is a labour of love by Trevor, Adrienne, Kris Anotonius (of Tiny Peasant fame!) and Mike Berg who does game design.  Together, Kris and Mike own Cityfolk Creative - the graphic design force behind the Festival.  These four are dynamic, talented, and among some of the most friendly and engaging people I've ever met.  With their brains combined, they have created a collaborative sharing space for homesteaders of all property shapes, sizes, and geographic locations to come together and celebrate what this type of lifestyle is all about!

The day of the Festival, Saturday, began with rain.  Not the nice-gentle-spring-misting kind of rain, but the torrential-downpour-there-is-no-way-you-will-not-get-soaked kind of rain.  Our arrival to the grounds was delayed as a result of the flood being released from the skies above.  Mike was the first one we met and (have I mentioned friendly) he directed us to enjoy the morning on site.  We had the opportunity to attend two workshops before starting our afternoon volunteer shift.

We decided to attend "Intro to Fermentation" and then "Permaculture Food Forests."  Both presenting topics of interest for Dave and I.  We sampled some amazing kraut and salsa, enjoyed hot (and very soul warming) beverages from Pilot Coffee, stood by the fire where campfire cooking demonstrations where taking place, and walked around the marketplace drooling over the selection of local wares and food on hand.

The deluge finally broke just before lunch allowing the crowd to enjoy their meals and snacks outside while Dave and I wandered off to find out how we could help!

The majority of the afternoon was spent helping to set up for a "Natural Playscapes" session that was occurring.  We shovelled, dumped, and spread mulch for a good part of the afternoon...meeting other volunteers along the way.  We re-stocked toilet paper in the Port-O-Johns (someone's gotta do it!) and then helped to set up one of the larger tents for the highlight event of the evening - a Land & Lake Farm Dinner with a menu to rival any four-star restaurant.  We moved tables, set up chairs, draped tablecloths, laid out plates, folded napkins, and generally made the space as welcoming as we possibly could!  The team putting this particular piece of the day together was just lovely and we did a lot of laughing as we ran around getting everything for the guests that would be streaming in very soon.

On our way home, we gave two other volunteers a lift back into the city and enjoyed talking about relationships, homesteading, budgets, and life.  It was wonderful connecting with people who share the same vision for their lives and our planet.

I wish I had taken a before and after picture from our day.  At the beginning we were a little cold, VERY wet, and unsure of what we would find...by the end of the day, we were sore, grinning from ear to ear, and a ton happier for dipping our toes into this awesome community.

04 June 2015

Life Decisions

Dave and I are wanderers.  At the end of the day, while we like the comfort of a warm bed and food in our bellies, we don't really care where or how it happens.  In truth, I feel that as long as he is by my side, we are good to go (insert sappy sigh here).

We've had a wanderers' relationship from the start.  We met across the miles, dated across the miles, were married across the miles.  We've supported each other from afar and when we are together, we try to remember all of the time we spent apart and how we longed for these moments of being able to hold hands and talk to one another face-to-face over the dinner table.  Being together, however, didn't mean that we - as a unit - wanted to settle down, buy a house, and stay in the same place all our lives.

I don't think that is what resonates with either of our souls.

So, instead we are looking at options.  Options for where our next adventure in life is going to take us.  I know, I know...we only just moved to Winnipeg a few short months ago, but we came knowing that we didn't want to be here for very long.  We know our hearts are elsewhere and we know that "home" for us (in the most loose sense of the word), is on Vancouver Island.

That being said, to live our dream on Vancouver Island requires many steps to get there (at least for the way in which we want to manifest it).  And that is where the previously mentioned "options" come in.

Right now, a multitude of choices are on the table.  Seriously.  It's like one big giant buffet where you want a bit of everything but you are only allowed to take a plate of one delicious item.  I wish I could share all of the options with you...and, some of you know what they are and what we are grappling with, but I am hesitant to put them on the blog right now as we are in the thick of *BIG DECISION TIME.*

Maybe it's me and the idea that if I write them down then none of them will happen.  I've always had this crazy notion around saying something out loud or writing things down.  If I say or write it, then it can't happen (maybe that's why I've never been a big fan of vision boards??).

Let's just say that all of the options are a little daring.  Whether it is in regards to the location, the finances involved, the job, or the duration of time we are looking at being in our next spot, all of them have a little bit of an edge.

This is why it is taking so long to decide.  This is why I haven't really felt like blogging.

This is why I feel a little lost and nervous and excited all at once.

I'm used to change.  It's always been a part of my life and I am now at a point in my life where I celebrate my nomadic spirit instead of thinking there might actually be a little defect going on in my heart, brain, soul.  I've enjoyed all of the adventures I've experienced and the way it brings me closer to my true self, both as an individual and as a part of this wanderer duo.

I want to start writing more.  Dave has been encouraging me to do this.  I know it is good for the brain and the soul to get things out, to make things known.  To wrangle them out on paper or the Internet and maybe, just maybe have another soul out there connect with what you are saying.

So yeah...some big life decisions.  I'll keep you posted.  ;-)