Tuesday, 22 November 2016


 


archived post: party of one


11 / 20 / 2016

This post was originally published on February 1, 2012. Although Patt and I broke up in the December prior, we continued to see and talk to each other regularly. We loved each other and would tell each other so. I assumed the break up was temporary. When he told me he was leaving Calgary to start working up north I was stunned.
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Another heavy conversation yesterday. Sigh. These conversations are going to do me in! Last night I chatted with P on the phone, and found out he is going up North to work. I felt like we had broken up all over again when he told me... Yes, we have been broken up for two months. No, I don't want us to get back together right now. Yes, I am happy he is using this time in his life to work on his happiness and hopes for the future. So why is this hitting me so hard?

Part of it is that I had hoped that we would have a break from each other, and over time come together again. This move of his makes me feel as though breaking up is a lot more final, that the possibility of a future together seems slimmer somehow, or maybe just that more uncertain. I keep thinking- I just have to get to a place where I am ready to embrace any possibilities for my future- but that just seems to be so difficult right here and now. Oh poor me, my sad and sorry self. How's that for a little self pity? ;) This is all part of something greater, I trust...

One day I hope to read this and chuckle about how worried I was over nothing, because everything worked out how it was meant to.

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On Sunday afternoon in the hour before we dropped Patt off at the airport to go back up north, we all hung out in the living room. Patt strummed the ukelele, Juliette played with the brio trains on the rug and I sat nursing Louise. I'm so glad we went through that hard time, because it got us to this place. So much love. As my friend Jessica said of blogging "Its the most incredible gift to be able to look back over all the years." Thats how I feel about this post.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

november + rosehip reduction


11 / 17 / 2016


Its finally snowing again over here after a warm spell that had us strutting around in short sleeved shirts. We're building up to the holidays, and I always think of November as being a month of great anticipation just waiting for the December cheer to kick off. I'm constantly thinking about the spaces in our home and how we can spread as much Christmas around without over doing it- such  a challenge for me because I LOVE Christmas!! 

November this year is especially a month of anticipation because Feast and Forage is coming up soon, and I am so so looking forward to having an evening out making an extra special wreath for our door with other creative minds, chatting, laughing and learning from each other, in what will be such an enchanting space. Also Juliette, Louise and I are paying so much attention to the landscape around us on our nature walks, looking for little accents to add to our wilderness wreaths and I'm blown away by how beautiful the plants are at this time of year.


Our favourite park find are rosehips; they have become our full out obsession. Earlier this week Patt left to go up north for a few days of work earlier and when he goes I'm always creating some sort of project to fill the space he leaves, so on our explorations this week we carried buckets off the beaten paths to find the little red fruits sprayed throughout the park behind our home. The bright red colour pops so drastically in what is otherwise a muted landscape and I was so intrigued by what could be made from them.


I've been doing a lot of research on rosehips and the recipes you can make with them, and I think next year we'll try picking them earlier when the fruits are ripe and smooth. The ones we collected this week were either softing and drying, making them sweeter though less full of vitamin C.


The girls were both so curious about what we were foraging, and Juliette proudly picked rosehips herself and carried the bucket we put them in. She was so tender with that bucket, being so careful to keep it from spilling. I love how serious she was in her occupation and how important she felt. Miss Lou chatted with us constantly from the hiking carried until I looked over and saw she passed out. The cool, fresh air- it coaxes her magically into the deepest sleeps. 


With the fruits we collected I made a rosehip reduction to accompany the meatloaf we were having for dinner, and I'm drying the rest over the next couple of weeks to use in making a winter tea. We were also given a lot of raw unpasteurized honey this year and I was excited to have new recipes to make with it too.


Rosehip Reduction

I will admit I was slightly sceptical of how this would turn out, but it was so fragrant and delicious. A mixture of tangy, bitter and sweet flavours that paired perfectly with the fatty meatloaf we ate. I would also love to use this reduction to garnish brownies, a ganache tart, or cheesecake.

Ingredients:

2 cups foraged rosehips
2 tbsp raw, unpasteurized Canadian honey
1/2 tsp cornstarch
water as needed

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, combine rosehips, honey and just enough water to cover the rosehips. At medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Continually add water to keep rosehips just covered. When the rosehips are softened mash them in the simmering water with a wooden spoon and allow to simmer for three more minutes.

When the water has turned to rosehip juice, pour the mixture through a strainer into a heat proof bowl and discard the rosehip remnants. Pour the most of the rosehip juice back into the sauce pan, leaving 1/4 cup in the bowl and mix with cornstarch. Pour cornstarch mixture into the saucepan and simmer for 3 more minutes or until slightly thickened.




Saturday, 12 November 2016

archived post: love in december


25 / 10 /2016

This post was originally posted on December 18, 2011. Patt and I dated for nearly 3 years and had moved in together in the summer of 2011, but differences in lifestyles and expectations caused us a lot of friction. Really I think we just needed time to decide on what we wanted to compromise on. I posted this a week after we split up, and was trying so hard to be positive and rational, but man it was a painful time! True heartbreak! 
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This month has truly been a time of change, heart break and hopefulness. At the beginning of the month, and surprisingly out of the blue, Patt and I broke up. There was no specific reason for the break up, it just got to a point where I felt we needed time to love and nourish ourselves as individuals. I love Patt very much; so much so that while it hurts my heart to know that I am not with him, I can't help but sending him thoughts of love and warmth during this journey we're on.

P and I are keeping our house with each other until January, when he will find a home for himself. I am staying in my sister's house, with Min, while Patt is caring for Lhotse (something I am incredibly grateful for) until the end of the month. I will, however, be going to visit my family over the holidays, in Kingston, Ontario. Then in January I will have a roommate move in (a friend of a good friend) and 2012 will start anew in as many ways possible. I have so much hope for 2012, and feel it will be a wonderful year with many opportunities for happiness.

As I don't have internet at my sister's house, my blog will stay on the back burner until I get to Kingston. One more thing I do want to say though, before I go, is that I am so so so thankful for having caring, thoughtful, and compassionate friends in my life. They have made this process one that focuses on the joy life brings, and for that I cannot express my gratitude enough.
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When I returned home from the holidays the house we had shared was stripped to its bones, Patt having moved his furniture to his next apartment. It was gut wrenching to experience. He later told me it was the loneliest Christmas he had ever spent, just him and my dog. We are such emotionally driven people!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

falling in the mud at big hill springs


11 / 02 / 2016

 

We recently took a trip to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, my favourite place to visit when I want to escape to somewhere quiet and just be with my daughters. The best thing about Big Hill Springs in the waterfalls that run alongside the path. It reminds me of the West coast, where I'm from, and I think that might be why I love this place so much. We go on weekdays so the girls can explore freely and breathe nature in, but on this particular day the park was so muddy! The snow that had fallen earlier during the cold spell melted with the warm weather we've been having, so Juliette and I marched around with an inch of mud stuck to the bottoms of our boots most of the time we were there.


Juliette is usually obsessed with throwing leaves and sticks in the water and watching them float down the waterfalls, but after visiting the Bow Station Habitat last week her latest obsession is fishing, so she kept dipping sticks in the water, trying to catch a fish. She talked about fishing with her Dad last summer in New Brunswick, sitting on the dock, using bread to catch the chub. Listening to her chat about the Habitat and being with her Dad makes me realize how much she is soaking in from her experiences with us at this early age.


I am constantly using the experiences we have to explore new interests; I've got an insatiable thirst for information and understanding, which means that sticking to a task can be difficult in the best of times! The reason I enjoy being a stay-at-home parent is because it allows me to explore alongside the girls, to see experiences through their eyes, to watch them learn and piece together the world around them, and to have the time to do that for myself also. It is so important to me to help instil within the girls a passion for learning and assertive exploration. After listening to Brene Brown's Ted Talk on vulnerability and hearing her say "Our job is to look [at our children] and say, "You know what? You're imperfect, and you're wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging." So much of what she says is linked to our willingness to explore and try, and my sense is that if I let the girls challenge themselves to learn and let them fail, and let them know that failure is part of the learning process, that they'll be okay to keep seeking information and exploration, certain of our continued love and support. 

On our nature walk Juliette was determined on going the muddier route, so I let her. Sure enough she fell over and her knees got mucked up, but that was okay. I'd much rather her remember with fondness experiencing the outdoors with a mother who can say "Wow! That was a big fall, isn't the mud squishy? Let's wipe your hands off on that tree trunk" than being with one who agonizes over mud stains and having chosen to explore the muddier path. How will she feel confident to forage new paths if she feels cowed when she tries?



In thinking this, I can't help but consider what this means for myself exploring as an adult. Pushing along new paths. Being vulnerable to failure. Struggling. Learning. Continuing onwards. As children this seems so natural, but as adults we're seemingly weighted by responsibilities and a need for stability, making it so much harder to take risks and admit to failure, even when growth and understanding is the very minimal payoff. But why not forage new paths and let myself metaphorically fall in the mud every so often? Chances are I'll be able to get back up again relatively unscathed, understanding more about myself and the world around me.

I love these girls so much and want to be the best example for them, so I suppose challenging my imperfect self to try for greater things is part of this, even when it means feeling vulnerable.