Saturday, November 17, 2007

10 Years

Yesterday was our 10 year anniversary. It is the day Dean moved in with us in 1997 - into the little farm house I can see from here. 6 more sleeps until we leave for Mexico. But to celebrate, here are some of my favourite pictures and a list of 10 things I love about him (there are so many things I love about him but here are the top 10 for today)... in no particular order

1. I love that we both enjoy the outdoors so much - we have taken many great hikes together and both appreciate the grandeur and beauty around us.

2. This is probably the thing I love about him the very most. It has been said that I am bossy. And I can accept that this is true. I often try to hold myself back so as not to overwhelm people... which can be a hard thing to do. I don't mean to be bossy, I really don't. But as the eldest of 12 children (and started babysitting at 8 yrs old), it seems ingrained in me. Sometimes I don't mean to sound bossy, it just comes out that way when really I am enthusiastic.... Anyways... my point is that with Dean I don't have to hold myself back. Not that I boss him around, thither and yon. What I love about him is that he lets me be me and just ignores me when I am too bossy or stands up to me. It is a huge relief to not have to hold myself back (I also have great friends, too!) and not worry that I am hurting him. I am so grateful for his quiet strength that allows me to thrive in this relationship.

3. Or maybe this is the thing I love about him most... I love what a great father he is. I love how hard he tries and how much he cares. I am so grateful to the effort he has put into step-parenting my 3 older kids. I know it has challenged him more than he ever thought possible and he has risen to the challenge.

4. See this lamb? His name was Charlie. He was Dean's favourite. Eventually we ate him. This is the fourth thing I love about Dean. Although he would have never thought of raising bummer lambs and eating them, he got right into it. He played with those lambs, carried them about on his shoulders, cleaned up their poo off the front walk. Although he swore he wouldn't eat them after all of that, he was there, chomping down on the first BBQ'ed lamb chops! And although he didn't ever even think, "hey, we should get chickens... wouldn't that be nice?" And I got them while he was gone on the road..., he loves them and goes out to the coop and plays with them, feeds them from his hand and picks them up. When Rhiannon and I show him Brownie's first egg, he is almost as excited as we are. I really love that about him.

5. I love his incredible creative energy. I love to listen to his guitar playing whether it is the gentle, melodic strummings on an acoustic at home or his hard rocking groove on stage. There is no one more sexy to me than this guitarist rocking out in his own incredible creative groove. I am always in awe. I could watch him for hours...

6. I love that he enjoys discussing ideas. We have talked hours into the night about a good book and what it means, the truth about ancient british history or the philosophical underpinnings of "The Doors". After the initial flush of passion and infatuation waned in our relationship, there was so much real stuff to talk about that has kept us going for 10 years of great conversations.

7. Did I mention he is great in bed? hehe

8. I love his warm brown eyes and the way they look at me. I think it would be a very cold and lonely world without those eyes looking at me like that.

9. I love that he loves the clothes I sew for him, the hats I crochet for him and the food I make for him. He does. He loves them. He asks for more.

10. Maybe this is the thing I love about him most. It is surely the thing I count on the most. I am so grateful for his commitment to me and our family. It has seen us through many rough times. I can be much more mercurial. I am grateful for his steady commitment. It has been a great example to me and a great comfort.

Here's to another 10 years. I love you, babe!

Friday, November 16, 2007

They're Back...

With the cold weather (and recent van repair bill...) I have updated my hat blog with my summer and fall crocheting projects. The first one here is my favourite inspired by Debbie Stoller and the next one is actually knitted! Yes, it is! Inspired by my friends on the SD village, I got Elizabeth Zimmerman's video out of the library and learned some new knitting tricks... now I can do more than just wash cloths..

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mazal tov

Here is someone's first egg. We are not sure who. Is it Brownie's? (the former Pinkie but her feather's grew in) Is it Fluffy-the-for-sure-hen's? She is supposed to be an early laying breed (she is almost 5 months). Is it Marigold's? (who we once thought was a rooster but now think is a hen) Is it Edgar's? Who we first thought was a hen, then thought was a rooster and now we are just wondering as s/he has yet to crow or lay an egg and has characteristics of both... It is a rather weird colour of brown that you can't quite tell in the picture - kind of a taupe colour, rather than the creamy brown of the Silver Laced Wyandottes. Could it be the pink that they say Ameraucana's can lay (in which case it would be Edgar)
It means keeping a close eye on the nest box to see who goes in and out and what they leave behind.

Edited to add: It was Brownie's egg (our Buff Orpington). I caught her coming off the nest this morning. So wahoo! We've fed her for 6 months and she finally laid an egg! Yay!

Edited to add: actually it was Fluffy's egg... Brownie did eventually lay an egg but this one was Fluffy's - it has a very distinctive colour.

I am so excited. That means we got 4 eggs today. 4 eggs. That is the most since we acquired them in May and we only have 4 mature hens right now. So that would be really awesome. It means either that they are all laying or that some of our chicks have started! Yippeeeee!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things I Hope I Never Forget...

Riding my bike home from Rhiannon's piano lesson with her on the trail-a-bike, whizzing through the cold sunshine while she sings Seitz behind me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A New Day

I woke up feeling very discouraged this morning. Last night, I got into a fight with my sister who is mentally ill. It was an especially bad fight or a big one but it felt terrible. It is the first time I can ever remember fighting with her and certainly the first time I ever lost my temper with her. I instantly regretted it (upon hanging up) and sent her an e-mail acknowledging where she was right but being firm with my own boundaries and striving to be more loving.

Yet I still felt bad. My 2 half egos were working on me - one trying to shrink me with my shame and self-judgement and the other trying to blow me up with grandiose thoughts of superior spirituality (like there could possibly be such a thing!) I wrote in my journal and lit a candle for myself and my sister. And then I went for my scheduled bike ride. As I pedalled around Middleton Mountain, up and down the hills (feels like mostly up), it occurred to me as I sweat and pushed myself up yet another hill. It doesn't matter if I get off my bike and walk up the hill as long as I am headed in the same direction.

So I was slowed down a bit by the sad altercation with my sister but I am still on track and headed in the right direction.

So there is my thought for the day!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mexico Bound

November 16 will mark 10 years since Dean and I began our journey together and became a family. Last year when we celebrated our 9th anniversary we made a plan for this year. Each year on our anniversary we try to do something that we have never done before. Usually it is as simple as hiking on a trail we never have before or eating at a restaurant we never have before. But 10 years is a big deal - to us anyways. We have both long surpassed any previous relationships and we are still happy with each other and growing and learning together (not that it is always easy or even fun but it is rewarding). We wanted to do something BIG to commemorate 10 years to set us off into our next decade together.

We decided to go to Mexico. Neither of us has ever been. The farthest south he has been was a family trip to California and the farthest I have every been is Las Vegas, Nevada when I was 18. Now this may be a small thing to accomplish for most but for us it is a big thing. We choose to live a simple lifestyle not requiring a huge amount of money that allows us both to pursue our dreams and live in a way that is true to our values. He plays his music and travels with his band and I homeschool our children and work at the Inner World School which has yet to turn a profit. And together we run our window washing business which is simple and allows us to live. So to save the additional money to make a trip like this required careful planning for the whole year. Something that neither of us is particularly good at, either - being more the 'in the moment', impulsive types.

But we did. Bit by bit. We got our passports in May. I started a secret savings account. And $50's and by $100's it grew. And we feasted from the garden and grew our own chicken and went on a family holiday, and worked and saved. Until last week end, we took our money down to the travel agent and bought two all inclusive tickets to a wee fishing village outside of Puerto Vallarta - Rincon de Guayabitos where the ocean temperature is 79 degrees (I can't even imagine that!) and this is where we are staying.

We leave on the 23 for a week. We fly out of Vancouver. Drew will be staying with Erin and the van in Vancouver, Rhiannon is going to Bozenka's and Kaetlyn is staying here to look after the chickens, cats and dog. I can hardly believe it.... we're really going....!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day of the Dead

I have come to love Halloween. This was the time of the ancient British New Year - a time to tie up loose ends and put things to rest for the winter. Despite our essentially christian culture, the ancient traditions persist. Halloween is replete with carved pumpkins, candles, fires and trick-or-treating across North America. People are drawn without even really knowing why.

Our Halloween this year included this carved pumpkin which Rhiannon did entirely by herself. Daddy was a little disappointed to have been fired from his job... next year we'll have to get him his own pumpkin, I think.

Here are my trick-or-treaters on their way out. Rhiannon had been planning her cowgirl costume since stampede time when Sheila sent her this hat from Calgary.

Earlier in the day we met with friends over a fire where we let go of things that weren't serving us, invited new things in and ate hotdogs and made pull taffy.

Yesterday we celebrated the Day of the Dead. This is our display in the middle of our kitchen table. There are pictures of our grandmothers, Dean's grandfather and cousin, and beloved pets - Buck, Darion and Brownie and pictures of lambs we loved and then ate to symbolize all the animals that give up their lives for our nutrition.

And I included knitting needles because it was my Gram who taught me how to knit. In fact, she helped me work on a project with that very yarn. And there are 2 silver spoons there - one from my Gram's silver and one from her mother's. Her mother, my great-grandma Scott died when I was 12 so I had a chance to know her. I loved her - I loved touching her old, soft, wrinkly skin on her arms. And I used to have naps with her when I was very young and she used to take the hairpins out of her hairnet and put them in those little shoes while she napped. And that is her biscuit cutter, too that Gram gave me after she died.

So we thought of our dead loved ones yesterday and we felt them near us.