Thursday, April 19, 2018

All of the things. [Numbers, too..]

It's April... my other favourite month. No shortage of excitement, things are turning green, seeds are sprouting. And in a few days, I'll be turning 33. It's a big milestone for me. It's also 11x3. If you know me and my things with the numbers, well... then you know. It's a thing.

2018 is also 'year five' in my 'every five years' cycle. 2013 was the last huge year for me. Abundance of awesomeness, lots of travel, and many life lessons learned [and friends made!]. 5 years before that, two thousand eight, was the year I backpacked across the country. Also and incredibly moving, life-changing experience. This year has been living up to the hype so far in many ways. Big things, and lots of changes.


The journey I'm on this year is one I've only ever dreamt of, and it's still hard to believe it's come true. The journey 'Home'. I've always been so naturally transient, I didn't think I'd ever become comfortable with the idea of laying down some roots. It might not be permanent [although it's really looking like a potential thing], but it's a pretty good representation of how I want to live my life.

It was just over a year ago that we moved here, but it wasn't until recently that we learned this place can be somewhat of a long-term home base. We can have animals, and we can make necessary changes to the property to maximize it's usefulness. Plus we're close enough to the heart of development to get to work, yet enough out of the way that we'll [hopefully] be bypassed by the whole ordeal. And there's certainly something to be said for that view..

So yeah, April. So far this month we've [finally] planted, started building a rabbit hutch and a goat pen, started working part-time on the 'big farm', and I somehow managed to become a board member for the local farmer's market. Excitement! These are all opportunities to re-localize, to not have to go so far as often to fulfill our earthly needs.


We also won't have to work so hard to keep our tiny homestead in order, or pay so much for soil amendments. The rabbits eat the grass in their rabbit tractor, while providing the grass itself and the gardens with on-demand fertilizer for a majority of the year. That's been a huge bonus this spring with the sudden lushness. And when the goats arrive, they'll take care of the brush and bramble- and drop some pellets for the compost pile.

I'm stoked for this year. I might not be the one traveling, but I'm super excited for those who are. And I finally have a place to call home to invite them to! And I'll get to play tour-guide in this place I chose to call home. There's so many beautiful little tucked away places with incredible views that I've happened upon both in my travels and for work, and I'm excited to share them!


With recent shifts in our routines, and a very lengthy lacking in our financial standings, the health journey is a bit of a struggle at the moment, but I'm not giving up. I can't always afford the onslaught of natural supplements that I've been using to help me heal, and the ones I could be producing myself I don't currently have the time or facilities to do so- though I'm steadily shifting in that direction. Kombucha is my next mission. I would love to brew my own. Once I get caught up on loot, everything after will be reinvested into tools needed for becoming more self-sufficient.

I've kind of fallen off the writing again too. Too much going on and not enough time to write about it. Really, I need to prioritize re-managing my time. Which sums up to basically needing 'places for things'..everything being better organized will help to make better use of our time. For instance, when the rabbit hutch is [finally!] built, we'll both regain several hours of our week not cleaning out their temporary setup. Not very efficient for long-term use. It's been too long.

I thought that the biggest hurdle I need to get over this year is my financial situation. It's not that great. All the things that happened this past 6 months with my job situation have put me in a tight spot. But when I was walking down the gravel farm road looking over at the mountains, enjoying the setting sun warming my back I realized something. Being in a better financial situation would be great, yes. And I'm working on it. But I think the lesson to be learned here is to not let my anxiety about it ruin every other aspect of my life.

Anxiety is a hell of a thing. Even wen everything is okay, it likes to sneak in and rip your stomach lining to shreds, and keep you awake at night with a hamster wheel from hell. I have a horrible habit of literally worrying myself sick. Some say they wouldn't know it to see me, as I seem so apparently 'chill'. Because I am, for the most part. I rarely express my worries outwardly for a reflexive fear of being mistaken as 'weak'. I'm becoming more conscious in my behaviour, as I have been dramatically relieved of many stresses and anxiety by moving out to the country. Now that all the sensory overload anxiety is out of the way, I have a chance to address the root of the problem. I have an opportunity to learn to breathe [again].

 xo

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Thoughts become reality- Love Your F*cking Life.

You really never know when your number will be up. Last week we lost a good friend, someone who reminded us all with every waking moment of his existence, something so critically important we must embrace it every day- Love Your Fucking Life.

This is post number 3 in my Thoughts become reality series, and probably won't be my last. In my first post titled Make a list, I covered how listing is a good first step in 'mind manifestation'. What you think about is often what you 'attract' into your life, and if you make a list of wants it gives you a base point for visualization. In post number two titled Never stop dreaming I went into further detail about visualization, and 'what to do next' once you get to where you want to be.

I've titled this post 'Love Your Fucking Life' firstly to honour our friend, and also because it's probably the absolute best way I could possibly express the most important thing that needs be discussed when it comes to 'mind manifestation'... and that's Gratitude.


No matter how 'shitty' your life may seem to be at the moment, no matter the struggles you might be going through, there is always something to be grateful for. If you spend every waking moment being upset or angry about the tumultuous situation you might be in, chances are, all you'll get from that is more turmoil. Find that one thing, that ray of sunshine, that smile from a stranger, a hug from a child, that fresh cool breeze and say: thank you.

Something incredible happens when you shift from 'I do not want this' to 'thank you'. Your energy shifts, your attitude changes, and the universe around you responds. Hold on to that gratitude as you move forward into your day, and you will find that as you go, you'll notice more things happening to be grateful for. The kindness of a stranger, an uplifting phone call from a friend, a courteous driver lets you out of a parking-lot onto a busy road.

Gratitude sends a powerful message into the universe from your heart. It tells the universe that you are open to receive goodness. When you are in a grateful state of mind and you will find that more things happen to be grateful for. Little by little you are changing your life.

...


I've been in my share of less than desirable situations. I feel almost as though each has a critical lesson that needs to be learned before I can move on, and in the end it always comes down to Gratitude. Homeless, jobless, stuck and alone... all of these situations have come up one by one or all at once since I decided to uproot my life and move west. And in each situation, it took arriving at my wit's end before I'd take a moment to 'count my blessings'. And it was only then that things would begin to change.

My current struggle has been a financial one. I've always been pretty keen and on top of my finances, even when homeless, jobless or traveling. This whole being rooted and learning a trade thing has been an adventure in itself. [Un]fortunately, I had to learn some things the hard way. I was subbing contracts through a company for work, which worked out really well for me. I could make my own schedule, work at my own pace and bid a decent price for the job.

Only problem is, it wasn't always easy to get paid. Having several month long periods of next to no money coming in, and only getting paid tiny portions when it did come, forced me to borrow with lots of interest. Until this year I've always had immaculate credit. That's gone pretty much down the tubes. My bills were always late, I was lucky if I can pay my already cheap rent on time. Something had to change.

I had to make it stop. I had to quit, and hope for the best. I started calling other contractors and leaving messages. Many of these contractors had asked us to do metal in the past, so I figured what's the harm in asking. I listed all of the skills I've picked up this past year, and all that I've learned and just felt so thankful to have all of these things out of the shitty situation. Learning what to do when we really have to improvise opened up my mind to new ways of doing things that I never would have learned in a less chaotic environment. Plus I've become super frugal. Even more so.

When I began to think about what might change if I have to quit my job, I was running through my mind all the things that I was grateful for amidst the shitty situation. I LOVE my team. We're a team of 3, myself and my partner and our friend, the 'muscle'. We work well together, we make it fun, our skill sets and abilities complement each other, and we Get Shit Done. I didn't want to lose that. Plus the builder that we get our contracts from is amazing. And the team of other trades we're always working with, they're great! Everyone smiles and shares, and helps one another out. I feel very lucky to have had a work environment like that. At the end of the day I could still say, "I love my job".

The day I started looking was the same day that company got fired by the builder. They never finished their end of the jobs on time, and delayed our materials which slowed us down on our timeline, and our pay! Persistence paid off, and we found another company to scoop us ALL up together, and right away... and even keep us on the same job site for the same big boss. Only now I'm the 'boss', I pick the contracts and the price, AND the companies we work through depending on the locations. And.. we actually get paid! After a year of struggling [and learning some harsh lessons], it's finally starting to pay off. Woohooo! It's going to take me a while to get caught up here, but I finally see the light!

...

No matter the shit storm I occasionally walk into, I know there's something going on worth celebrating. I do my best to smile at the positives. It might have been a huge pain in the ass to be working two jobs while sleeping outside, but it was kind of neat that I'd roll back to the forest every night and light a fire and watch the stars. Eventually, I found a Home. It sucks big time that I've gotten into a hell of a financial mess, but I learned a lot about homesteading and reducing my cost of living in the midst of it, and I'm very thankful for that. Once I put it all together, I create a better situation. Shit might suck for a minute, but I do my best to always find the light.

I began writing this series because of the reactions I get regarding my never-boring, always changing, unpredictable life that has allowed me to essentially 'live the dream'. I so happen to believe that there is a lot more than 'luck' or 'fate' involved. It's about intention, and using intuition. It involves speaking to- and listening to the universe, my environment, my mind and my heart. I have no science to back my experience with, although I'm sure it's out there.. I just want to share my experience as it is. This is 'how' I've managed to 'Live the Dream'.

Living life 'off the cuff' isn't always sunshine and rainbows, and I've had manage my anxiety to allow myself to continue living this lifestyle. I learn something new- and fall in love with every day. I've learned something that has allowed me the freedom to carve my own path in my moment of existence.. to Love My Fucking Life!

Thoughts become reality series

ta for now.. thanks for reading!

xo

Monday, March 19, 2018

Shamber- Kings of Hearts.


You all haven't left my mind since I got the phone call yesterday morning. I hadn't seen the wave of condolences on social media yet, because I was too busy sipping my morning tea, writing on my blog about how every five years is the best year of my life. When the phone rang, I was writing about you!

Back in 2013 when you asked me to photograph your wedding in the Dominican, I was taken aback. Why on earth would these two wonderful creatures want a barefoot rucksack wandering amateur photo journalist- not even a 'photographer'- to fly out with them to a tropical paradise to document this beautiful union? You barely knew me, and for whatever reason wanted me to be a part of the Shamber experience.. and it forever changed my life.

The two of you succeeded at pushing me miles outside of my comfort zone.. literally. I got on a plane, went somewhere tropical, and photographed a wedding?! Those are most usually three hard no's in my book. I can't imagine my life now without having been that part of yours. I have never met two people more obviously in love. With one another, with the beautiful family you have created together,  with life and everyone in it. I was then- and still am- eternally honoured to have been included in your journey.

I was hesitant at first about the whole thing. I didn't know anyone else who would be attending besides you two, the bride and groom. I have anxiety that can get quite intense at times, hate flying, can't handle the heat, and felt very overwhelmed about being relied upon to document this momentous event.

Shane quite often took the time to check in on me, to make sure that I was comfortable. He reassured me constantly that it would be okay, everything would work out fine, and you'd both love the photos, and loved me being there with you. I felt bad that I was taking up his and your time with these reassurances, for being invited back to your suite in the evenings for a drink and a chat. But he wouldn't let me feel bad or guilty or in the way.

As the week progressed and I got to know the rest of the Shamber crew, I eased up quite a bit. I quickly overcame the anxiety that had me choked, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the week with this amazing group of family and friends. It ended up being one of my most memorable adventures to date.

This whole experience set the tone for the rest of my life. I gained the confidence I needed to choose a path for myself that was more outgoing, that allowed me to 'talk to strangers' more comfortably, and to step outside of my comfort zone over and over and over again. Without this I don't know where I'd be. Probably still hiding from the world in a dank basement, working the night shift to avoid human interaction. He changed me, you all did. I couldn't be more grateful.

Shane may be gone from the physical plane, but the energy and love and joy that he had instilled in everyone he came across will surely live on forever. Thank you...


xo


Please share their story, and contribute to the GoFundMe page set up to help cover costs in this difficult time.

If you would like to help me get home from the west coast to attend Shane's celebration of life, please order yourself or a loved one a gift from my Scentsy store. As Amber is my scentsy mama, she will also benefit from my sales. Thanks for reading and sharing. Stay blessed!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Thoughts become reality- never stop dreaming.

If someone told me 5 years ago that in five years I'd be building a microfarm in beautiful rural BC, living in a tiny home, writing my own schedule, and actually driving, I would have said something like 'in my dreams'. Because it's true.. 5 years ago those were the kinds of things I was dreaming of.

I had no idea how I'd get there, all I knew is that is what I wanted. As time went on, unexpected events occured. Not all of them were 'good'. Some of them broke me down to the point I wasn't sure I'd get up again, but I did. Big losses, reaching a dead end in a 'career path', devastating realizations, dissolving relationships.. Instead of letting negative experiences of loss scare me into a corner, I allowed them to be gateways into positive change.

Visualization is key in manifestation.. and I've always had a pretty keen imagination. It seems as though these visualizations left a cookie crumb trail [in a roundabout way] to get me to where I'm at, but it was up to me to pick up on it. It was my responsibility to act.

Moving to BC [and throwing down roots] was never an immediate option for me. It was always more of an 'early retirement' plan. But it was there. I could never bring myself to uproot, and plant so far away from my mother. She suffered a long time with degenerative dis-ease, and I couldn't bring myself to leave [except to travel]. She lived my journeys vicariously through me and it brought her great joy.

Losing her suddenly was for many years a possibility, but I certainly didn't see it coming when it did. She was doing well, feeling better, and for the first time in a long time, smiling and happy. I was just about finished building her an epic little microfarm that she could visit and enjoy. It was a shock that slipped me into a downward spiral.

I too had been feeling better, I worked hard to get myself in the best shape of my life, and I had a home after a long stint of vagabonding, couch crashing and room renting. Life was pretty good, I felt 'settled'. Well, mostly. I still had dreams.. After she passed, I felt that my purpose had shifted. Many other things ended for me in the following few months. A few not-so-ideal changes in the company that I had been with for over a decade sparked my sudden retirement from the industry.

Lost and feeling unsure of what to do next, I sat in that garden. For days.. weeks. I set up my tent and slept in it. I allowed everything around me to just be. In my silence, a concerned friend reached out. I was offered some couch space.. in Vancouver BC. I agreed that I could use the vacation, and accepted. I spent the end of that summer moving my things into a storage locker. Then had an epic greyhound journey west.

From there, I cycled through a few temporary housing solutions while changing up my career objective. Whether I was planning to stay in Vancouver or I was just visiting was yet to be determined but one thing was for sure. If I was gonna stay a while, I needed to make money. After a few temp roles doing random shit I found myself working two jobs back and forth [and all at once]. Home and Garden stores, and landscaping.

Somewhere in there, I found myself living in a truck in the woods, then a tent, then a couch- then a trailer.. while I continued to do all of those things. Handling building materials and maintaining a garden center inspired dreams of building things, having a home and planting a garden. But living the way that I was worked me into isolation and exhaustion. At about that point, I'd met someone who had ended up in the same situation, but had just as large ambitions to get ahead.. to get back to living deliberately.

We collaborated on our dreams and discussed them out loud. We started reading books and watching shows and looking on the Craigslist. Tiny homes and living simply. In the searching and reading and dreaming I stumbled upon an ad for a little farm cabin for rent in the valley.. a few months after he had happened upon the ad that found us a sweet deal on some wheels.
 

Fast forward to today.. we've been out here over a year. We're in a tiny home, although it is rented, it has given us ideas (and space!) to build one of our own, eventually. We are about to plant for the second year on our microfarm, and I'm now writing my own schedule by getting contract work instead of typical scheduled 40 hour work weeks.

Once I had realized that I'd arrived at the threshold of my dreams becoming reality, I kept dreaming.. I began visualizing things that would improve our quality of life. Imagining other ways we could become more self- sufficient. Making more lists...

It almost seems like a snowball effect of my thoughts becoming my reality. Once I'd seen it happening, my faith in possibilities grew, which opened up my mind to even bigger possibilities.

Upon moving here, the land owner was very strict on his 'pet' policy. He doesn't want any animals in the house. We'd asked one time before how he'd felt about us keeping rabbits, but he never really gave an answer.

He summoned us to the big farm last weekend to help with a project, and when we were done, J asked why it was that he didn't want us having animals. Once he'd learned that we intended to keep them outside the house, and mostly wished to have them to help us clear and maintain the land, he agreed to let us have livestock. I couldn't believe it, I'm still in shock! I thought for sure my dream of having goats was one I had tucked away for further in the future. Now all I have to do is build them a home..

...

Never stop dreaming.

- once you've achieved your goal or arrived to your dream situation, don't let that be the end! Expand on your dreams.. there's always room for improvement!

- Make a list! Listing goals, to-dos, and things you want or need is a great way to jumpstart visualization. You have to see it happen to make it happen!

...

Thanks so much for reading and following. This is part two of a blog series I'm writing about thoughts becoming reality. I was inspired to write this based on many social media comments from friends and family saying that I'm 'living the dream'. I am, I'm living my dream. And I believe this is how I got here. There were many unexpected turns along the way, and a good number of 'why me' moments that came full circle to an eventual 'oh, that's why'.

I can't promise anything, but I'm sharing because I believe that there has been more than luck and good timing involved in my dreams becoming my reality. I truly believe that mindset shapes our reality. That's why 'waking on the wrong side of the bed' leads to a shitty day. That's how many athletes win competitions over and again. Visualization is a powerful tool, and mindset is half the battle!


xo

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Thoughts become reality- make a list

The idea that thoughts become your reality is not a new one. The "power of intention" or "mind manifestation" has been written about over and over through time, and I happen to believe it to be true.

I've always been the type to write things down. Journals turned into blogs and day planners and notepads, and as it would appear, my thoughts became reality.

I never realized at first that this was the case. I had my 'aha!' moment a few years ago when I made my first attempt to get healthy again. I had made a list at the beginning of the year of goals that I wanted to achieve. I'm pretty sure I didn't even look at the list again until the year was almost over.. and somehow, everything I'd written down had happened.

It was a mix of goals that were easily attainable with a little effort, goals that would take a lot more effort, and goals that I could not yet even envision a path to achieving, but I'd written them down anyways because they were important to me. One by one I had achieved them.

I thought, this is pretty huge.. so I started writing a list at the beginning of every year. And every year, most if not all of the things I'd written down had made their way into my life.

Early this year I had another similar 'aha!' moment... it's not just the lists. After reading back over my blogs, forum posts, and day planners from the past few years, everything I wanted or dreamt that might happen in my life did, one way or another.

Now I'm not saying I simply wrote everything down and that's it, it happened. There were steps along the way. Nudges from the universe so to speak, gut feelings and presented opportunities that needed to be taken. But writing it down, for me, was the first and most critical step.

And even though I "know" this, I clearly still experience some pretty hard times. It might be because I have the attitude that anything worth having is worth the challenge. It's probably because I still have my doubts, and worries and anxieties about life situations. Even so, I always knew no matter what I would pull through.

So back to manifesting the things. Of all the ways that things have come to be, I think the most powerful suggestion I've ever made to myself/the universe is The List. The grocery list gets purchased, the "to-do" list gets done, the goal list becomes achievements, and... The List... it happens. One way or another or another or another.


Maybe it's because when I make a list, it becomes a bullet note of visualizations. As I'm writing the list, I'm seeing very vividly what it is that I want in my head. Sometimes it's in that moment of writing the list that I have a sudden idea on how I might tick that one thing off. Other times, something completely unexpected happens that results in the intended conclusion, but I could have never seen it coming.

It could simply be that for me, making a list is the best way to tap into my subconscious. I'll find myself happening into a situation that would somehow, as if by magic, end up leading me to something that I wanted, or a place I needed to be.

I don't know what it is, to be honest. But it seems to work for me ;)


...


Thanks for reading. This is part one of a multi-part series I'll be writing over the next few months about mindset and manifestation. I have too much to say to write everything down in one go, but I feel the need to share. I've been through a lot of sh*t in my life as many have, but I've also been very lucky and incredibly blessed- and I think there's sort of a "reason" for that.. state of mind.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more wonderful weirdness.

Xo

Sunday, January 14, 2018

One Year Out Here.

One year ago tonight was our first night in the cabin. I still remember not being able to sleep, listening to every little thing. It's hard to believe time moves so quickly. I remember being so excited about 'cabin camping with the interwebs' which is my meme dream come true. I'm still just as excited, especially this winter having the wood burning stove. I remember wondering what are the chances.. in that very moment when I thought I'd take another look after over a year of searching, I'd find this very place. I never gave up hope to find a home.


I think it took me the entire year to get over the anxiety that comes with planting myself somewhere. I'm finally okay with having a home that's more than temporary. That, more than anything, was a critical step for me to stop the self-sabotaging reactions I have when things become "too comfortable". But I also believe that the nature of this place and the lifestyle that comes with it is a big part of why. On one hand it feels like home, no doubt about that.. on the other hand, it's kind of hard to be too comfortable. There's a delicate balance that must be maintained. Everything is hard work, and hard work is everything.. I like it that way.

When we first arrived, we had but a minivan full of various furnitures and another trip of all our gear and clothes. The only thing we had to sit on was a couple of folding lawn chairs. We have since collected many wares [mostly for free] to turn this cabin into home. We found a pile of bricks and built a fire pit, and constructed a compost bin [and two greenhouses!] from scraps. A couch from Craigslist, a tiny table and chair set perfect for the corner of our kitchen, a full sized smoke house, pots and pans and dishes- I even managed to score a television.. and suddenly, it looked like we lived here! We've even collected a few pieces of art for the walls. And the wood burning stove, my favourite piece [yep, free!] that completes the country cabin feel.


Winter was the perfect time to move here. We were introduced to our new home environment in the bone chilling cold, at the apex of the season. Being here to witness the transition as the valley turns from white to green was exciting, especially with perfect timing to plan and till the land. Most of summer was spent shrouded in wildfire smoke, and the mountains disappeared for quite some time. Thankfully our home and our crops were safe, and we enjoyed collecting a bountiful harvest late into fall. Speaking of, autumn here was the most beautiful autumn I've ever seen. Rainbows and vivid sunsets were almost daily events.

Our first garden was abundant.. perhaps a little too abundant! This was the first garden in a long time for both of us, and we went a little overboard on planting seeds. Unfortunately, we didn't thin the crops as well as we should have. I always feel bad picking a perfectly good plant, but I've learned [again] that it must be done for a healthy [and accessible!] garden.

Now we've come full circle. We've weathered two major winter storms, a very high freshet, many windstorms [and one ripping monsoon], and the skies are ever changing. I never tire from the ever changing view in my back yard. The landscape is always colourful even in winter. I especially enjoy sunny days when the bare blueberry bushes gleam a rich red against a snow dusted green mountain backdrop and a bright blue sky. The view still has the capability to take my breath away.

I'm looking forward to year two. Garden season is coming up fast, and it's almost time to pull the boat back out from storage. It will be a big year of hard, satisfying work to make our home and lifestyle more sustainable. Now that I'm fairly established as a housed individual [and finding comfort here], it's time to get back on top of my journey to good health. I've done it before, and now with the support that I have and a comfortable place to do so, I will do it again. For life this time.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

journalog 1-7-18

It's quiet out here. Well, sort of... It became quite loud all of a sudden yesterday, and just as quickly it was done. The several inch thick layer of ice on the roof let go in an instant- weighed down with snow and then rain. When it crashed onto the awning separating it from the house, it sounded like we were run over by an avalanche.

We got up at first light today to venture over to the other farm. Our land owner had a stash of materials we could use to repair the awning, the only challenge was getting to it. He ran the tractor to dig out a path to the barn, and we loaded Delilah's roof racks with lumber while taking in the view. The warmer temperatures and slight breeze brought in a fog that made our mountain backdrop disappear in sweeping brushstrokes.


The awning adventure and getting a fire going was our excitement for the day. Cabin fever is a thing, and we're getting a little restless. We're going on our tenth week without steady work. Putting around the property when the weather allows to keep ourselves busy. We seek out downed branches we can buck up for the woodpile, and make our way out to the general store every few days to keep up on the social and make sure the van runs.

It's been a challenge to be at total peace with our situation. If we were truly remote, off the grid and not so reliant on finances, we'd be much more comfortable with what we have. The fact that we have to pay for the space that we occupy monthly is the part we're having troubles with. We've managed to find odd cash opportunities here and there to get a few bills paid, but it's been tight.

I'm glad that we stored up as much as we did for the winter. Every trip to town we made through the summer I chose an essential to buy in bulk. We've used a decent percentage of our food stores though, and we're edging on 'uncomfortably low'. We're getting into our last can of coffee, jar of honey and bag of sugar. The frozen fruit stores are well below half, and we've made a sizeable dent in our veggies. Our cupboards are fairly light, though we do still have a decent amount of rice and flour. Three weeks from now, we'll be setting into 'desperately low'. It's essential that we get steady work soon. Garden season is still a couple months away.

Hibernating hasn't been a total bummer though. I couldn't have imagined a better place to be holed up in for the winter. Something tells me I wouldn't be as settled being so long without work if I were living in the city. I know this from experience. After one week without a job I lose it- city living is costly on the daily and it's hard to avoid.

Out here the shift in priorities makes not having steady work much more bearable, even enjoyable at times. There's so much to do to maintain the cabin and the property- especially in storm season.. it's enough just to make it through the day without a panic attack. When you're more concerned with staying warm and making sure your home isn't destroyed by the weather, having a couple bills a few months overdue doesn't seem so pressing. There's no real worry to get anywhere on time if you can't get anywhere at all.

Also the view ain't half bad. We find enjoyment and satisfaction in the beautiful simplicity of country living. We could sit for hours watching the fireplace, and bundling up to go for a walk down our road is a scenic nature tour. Watching the eagles by day and listening for owls at night is a delightful blessing. Maintaining the house is more than just chores, it's fulfilling and satisfying that we are free to enjoy our own space as we choose.

I feel very fortunate to be here. There are far more challenging places I could be while broke in the middle of winter, like tenting in the woods. We may not have access to some basic luxuries, and it may get a little uncomfortable at times, but as Erik Salitan says, "excessive comfort is detrimental to one's character". There is always peace to be found amidst the chaos. There's always so much to be grateful for that it outshines the not-so-glamorous aspects of living a transient sort of lifestyle.

I anticipate getting real busy real soon with work in the field and in the garden, so I'm doing my best to savour the downtime. I've made one of my goals for the year to be better organized in my writing and little photography projects so my ideas and images don't get buried forever. As always, thanks to everyone reading this, for always sending words of encouragement and support. And a HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed near and far by ordering smelly things from my website, and sending us Timmies bucks and lunch cards. Your generosity and thoughtfulness truly warmed us! All the love.

xo