Sunday, August 26, 2007

We're off...

Just a quick farewell. Kids and I are leaving our little oasis on a little adventure. Crossing over the mountains to my dear friend's mum's funeral. Very sad. Cancer. She was an incredible woman, died too young, but really lived while she had the chance.
See you in a few days...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August Activities

The garden is overflowing!!!
And so is the pantry and freezer.

THIS! Cool, huh? Frenched beans for the freezer.

Annika's garden is highly productive too. Her largest cuke.

My hair is growing as fast as the garden... already over an inch long!

My cousin and her lovely partner paid us a visit and filled up our hearts...

Pedar's becoming quite the little photographer...

A bumblebee on the left, a honeybee top left. Wish I could've got a wasp in the photo too. Too many people don't know the difference...

We hosted a fun birthday party for my sister-in-law... A crazy-hat party.

And had lots of fun with cousins visiting from Alberta. Dress-up, wiener roasts, train rides...

Even a surprise visit from Annika's oldest friend. Sophia was born 6 months before Annika and was her first friend.

And Annika and I attended a crazy dress-up party first of the month.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A magical night On Top of The World...

This is our favourite place to meet daddy for a picnic after work. It's full of magic and wonder and frogs and toads and turtles and birds and weasels and deer and bear! We've seen them all, and lots of them. Even our food tastes better up here! Especially the peach pie we took, still warm from the oven. The Okanagan has to be one of the most amazing places to live, on earth, especially with all of this incredible local fruit, this time of year! This hill-top is truly a mystical place, and the best spot in town to watch the sun go down!

Gladness and Sadness in July

We were SO excited to see a yellow-bellied flycatcher nesting under the eave of our barn, we did a little song and dance in a circle under the nest every day. The day the baby (seemed to be just one!?) hatched, we were giddy with joy. Imagine how we were by the day the little bird took its first flight, us 3 crouched against the barn holding our breath... What we didn't know was that someone more sinister was also watching and holding her breath..... Yup. Our cat. OH! How we wailed when we caught her with our sweet little baby in her mouth... We had a funeral and wept tears of anger and sadness, the little mother flycatcher singing her mournful song in the tree directly above us. We each said a little prayer and it thrilled my heart to hear the sweet gratitude of my children for the Great Mother and the comfort and joy she gives my wee ones. They were both blessing this little bird on its next journey and assuring its mother that it would soon rejoin her...

We thoroughly enjoyed our strawberry and raspberry harvests this year. Our freezer is heavy with both. I wanted to make a combination of black currant/rasp/strawberry saft, so we went picking bc's with friends and made up 3 lovely jars for winter sipping. Delicious!

My beautiful friend from highschool found the love of her life and we got to attend her wedding. She's had a rough time since our carefree days of indulgence living in Pakistan with servants and drivers and all... She's overcome SO much, she inspires me just to think of her. Her brother ended his own life, her first marriage ended in disappointment, her mother has suffered a multitude of strokes, and Jill was the victim of a brutal break-and-enter and very nearly lost her life. She's scarred, physically and emotionally, but the beauty of her spirit shines so brightly through her eyes my heart squeezes every time I think of her. I couldn't help thinking, as I watched Annika enraptured watching this beautiful ceremony that things could have been very very different. When I was Annika's age I sat weeping through a funeral of a friend of my mother's who hadn't been so lucky in escaping her attacker. Thank you, Great Mother, for protecting my dear friend. Thank you for her spirit, her courage, her strength and her beauty that inspires us all.

BIG change for me in July

Long long time ago I was listening to the Dalai Llama speak about vanity and how much it controls us, if we let it. No direct quotes here, but he was describing the release from superficial beauty that women experience when they shave their heads (a rite of passage to becoming a Buddhist). I decided right then that at some point in my life I would shave my head. I'd been brought up to be very very attached to my hair. Many women in the religion never let scissors touch their hair (and with locks down past their feet they suffered from migraines and neck problems!) My first real haircut wasn't until I was in my 20's, and I cried every time I got my hair cut, not from guilt, but from detachment.
Fast forward to a few months ago, the conversation was on breast cancer. Someone there said the thing that scared them the most was not the chemo or the cancer itself but the prospect of losing her hair. I was stunned. I wondered aloud at the culture that nurtures such attachment to HAIR! I began looking at myself differently in the mirror, trying to see the REAL ME, beneath the superficial distraction of my hair. Then, this beautiful woman took the plunge and called me minutes after, still feeling the release of her detachment. That was enough for me. I decided right then that it was time for me to meet mySELF. For too long I've been a head, with a body attached. I talk about my body like it's not really myself. I stare into the mirror, getting my head ready to go out, make-up, hair foofed, then throw on some clothes and out I go with hardly a glance at my body. I wanted to come down into my body. I wanted to be my WHOLE SELF. And more than anything, I wanted to GET STRONG.
So began the process of talking my kids into supporting my big decision. I talked to them about all these ideas and they came on board very quickly. Next came my spouse. I told him he didn't have any say in the matter, that this was the start of me being strong, and I was only telling him beforehand (the evening before) so that he didn't freak out when he saw me. I explained to him how I live in this strong head with a weak body attached and needed to change all that. He got what I was talking about and the next morning we embarked on my new adventure. Here's the pictorial, recorded by my darling daughter:

EXHILARATING! The freedom! I was instantly my whole self. I AM my body. I am all of me. It has been an amazing experience for me... The reactions have been interesting, but I have felt very supported by my family and closest friends. What else matters? My kids at different times decided they wanted theirs shaved off too, but didn't want to go to the barber. I don't have clippers, so gave them each short haircuts instead. Pretty fun...

Camping at the lake