Wednesday, December 30, 2015

fun stuff: daring greatly

five days after christmas...
and i'm here with my knitting (yes...i've started another scrap blanket)
and the book that mesmerized me for at least a month.

i discovered brene brown through a friend who shared her TED talk 
on her facebook page.
have you seen it yet?

like always i am five years behind everyone (when it comes to social media)
this came out ages ago...and i've just stumbled onto it !!!

it's powerful brown has done such a thoroughly amazing volume of work.

and guess what i got for christmas?
a non-library copy...yes, my very own copy so i can highlight 
as much as my heart desires...of her book daring greatly

read it, if you haven't yet,  guaranteed you'll be mesmerized !!!


laundry day

clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness
                     -colossians 3:12
it's a big mountain i'm climbing this morning...
the last time i was in our laundry room was two days before christmas 
(before all our guests arrived and all the festivities began)
thank goodness for our drawers full of extra underwear and socks !!!

the sun is shining here today and the two week forecast is for the same to continue.
this is wonderful news because i have this thing about hang-drying 
my bedsheets, at least once a month.

after tackling the everest mound of laundry...i'm spending the day reading and knitting
and later, folding and sorting and left-over snacking.

it is going to be a lovely, lovely day...

wishing you all the same

p.s.  thank you to my sister and her family for my beautiful 
sea glass laundry day reminder...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


HO HO HO !!!
these crazy photos where taken six years ago...we had all just gotten 
our eyes checked that week when i found these silly glasses at the dollarama.

i still get a good giggle every time i look at them...
i think they make up for the fact that my kids have never and probably 
never will - have their pictures taken on santa's lap.

but most of all, i love them because they remind me 
of the beauty of our imperfections, our brokenness, 
and how through all of it, we are growing an able-ness, a willingness, a strength 
to embrace each other in our most vulnerable true-est level. 

as a new mom, i remember dreaming and trying to grow a perfect family 
especially after birthing a beautiful, beautiful boy
 and then the most adorable baby sister for him.
now, as a mom of teens, i'm truly seeing the craziness and impossibility
 of that old dream and instead i am starting to really see the beauty 
of embracing the imperfections and the messiness of our life together.


before i sign off for a few days... 
in order to sink deeper into the chocolate almond bowl and the holidays,

i wanted to extend 
sincere and warm holiday wishes 
to all of you.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

solstice light up

solstice came to our little corner with hardly any light this year... 
it was dark and gray and stormy and wet alllllll day long.
after a very successful cross-things-off-the-christmas-list morning, 
we came home and lit up for a solstice celebration.
we had been to an annual solstice party the night before, 
so we were still in the celebratory mode.
we loaded up the cd player with our favourite christmas cds, prepared a roast and some potatoes and veggies for dinner, then sat around enjoying the glow of candle light.

it's amazing how festive one can feel, 
once chocolate and eggnog gets into your system !!!
we had so much to celebrate this solstice evening:
* from now on, the days are only going to get longer and brighter,
* family, from far and farther still, have descended and will continue to arrive
 on the island to celebrate christmas with us,
*although it has been a very stressful work and school term, we have all survived and  learned some valuable coping mechanisms in the process, 
*once we tackled the christmas list, the grinch inside us/me seems to have 
left our/my constitution(s) for another year,
* ian's roast just gets better each time he makes it !!!
harlow doesn't like the rain (especially torrential downpours)...
harlow loves his pillow...
so here is harlow celebrating solstice.
he was definitely dreaming about the roast !!!


Monday, December 21, 2015

christmas lush

my friend said, 
come and get it if you want it, 
i simply have no room for it !!!

i, the rescuer of all 
was there in an instant
(or did she deliver it to me?- i can't remember now)

my house is smaller than hers, yet the norfolk pine found a corner to call home
good news:  i rescued the chartreuse christmas balls yesterday during another thrifting
expedition while visiting with my mom-in-love.

who could resist the whole-lot-of-sparkle-for-a-dollar deal?

bad news: so far, chocolate is the only thing i've crossed off my christmas shopping list.
never the less,
i know, i feel, it is going to be a great day.
i am off to an early start.

wishing you all a lovely solstice monday

Sunday, December 20, 2015

december storm

fate whispers 
to the warrior
"you cannot withstand the storm"

and the warrior
whispers back
"i am the storm"

90 km/hr winds came whipping through victoria last weekend
and our usually calm oceans showed its other personality.

however ...there were a lot of storm lovers/warriors out there (with their cameras),
taking in her howling and moaning winds, 
her crashing and slamming waves, 
her ANGER, her POWER and BEAUTY.

eventually, she calmed down
and we picked up... the broken fallen branches.

don't you love it when nature teaches/wakes you up by mirroring?


Friday, December 18, 2015

pixar does e i ...

our emotions need to be as
educated as our intellect.
it is important to know
 how to feel,
how to respond,
and how to let life in 
so that it can touch you.

                          - jim rohn
have you watched pixar's inside out yet?
if you haven't, do it (with your kids) does an awesome job 
with explaining emotional intelligence.

emotions run pretty wild around our house...especially during exam time 
or work deadline time or last minute Christmas shopping time 
and last, but not favourite: 
time to clean the house because company is coming time !!!

after a friend told us about it, 
we (all four of us plus harlow) took a break from busy and watched it.

definitely, a two thumbs up
(yes, even my two teens loved it)

no spoilers here...


Thursday, December 17, 2015

the twinkle is ON

                 not slowly wrought, nor treasured for their form
              in heaven, but by the blind self of the storm
 spun off, each driven individual
     perfected in the moment of its fall.

                      -howard nemerov, "snowflakes"
yes...i'm finally getting into the spirit of the season.
our tree went up this past weekend and the twinkle is ON.

with nana mouskouri singing in the background, my kids and i spent the afternoon
stringing these thrifted snowflake ornaments i found last year.

buried and hidden in the corner of a local thrift shop, 
was a whole basket of these delicate crocheted beauties 
selling for a nickle a piece (can you believe it?????)

what is even more that, in this hand crafted collection, 
there is very few doubling in design...almost like real snowflakes !!!

there is very little chance of snow in our little west coast island for this holiday season.
so you can imagine how these snowflakes...are purely magical for us.

isn't it wonderful to find magic in something so delicate...
as a snowflake,
or a twinkle?

wanna know a secret?...
( i haven't started my christmas shopping yet)

Monday, December 7, 2015

naomi's poem

the art of disappearing

when they say don't i know you?
say no

when they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.

someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem,
greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
then reply.

if they say we should get together
say why?

it's not that you don't love them any more.
you're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
trees, the monastery bells at twilight.

tell them you have a new project
it will never be finished.

when someone recognizes you in a grocery store.
nod briefly and become a cabbage.

when someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door.
don't start singing him all your new songs
you will never catch up.

walk around feeling like a leaf
know you could tumble any second
then decide what to do with your time.

                               - naomi shihab nye

isn't it beautiful?
I've been trying to put it to memory and reciting it to myself during this intense period of christmas parties and get-togethers and ho ho hos
i'm just realizing that i'm becoming more introverted as the years pass...

yes...i'm writing as if i haven't been on this blog for weeks now
but i'm not quite back to my blogging self yet...and i so wanted to share this beautiful poem for all you introverts out there.

for just a little bit longer, i'll be cabbage-ing at the produce aisle.


Monday, November 23, 2015


hello everyone...

i'm going to take a little bit of a blogging break.

i've stumbled onto something that has completely mesmerized me, and has left me unable to write/post anything bloggable!?!?

don't worry, all is fine in my little world (all my main characters are still healthy, crazy, and alive)
i just have a wee bit of processing to do....


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

thrifted threads: dry and cozy

 a mighty storm came through our city yesterday.
the rain was horizontal,
and the wind came blowing through at 100 km/hour.
but look who was dry and cozy, all wrapped up in my thrifted robe !!!
(so much to be thankful for:  thank you, thank you ,thank you)
i spent most of the day puttering/cooking in the kitchen
and looking out the window
 to see who was brave enough to be outside.
 we live only a few blocks from the high school
but my teens convinced me to drive them in for the morning 
(i didn't blame them for wanting dry feet for the school day).
lucky them (and chauffeur me) that the worst of the storm was over 
before the final period of the school day.
i got to stay in my robe and left the car keys out of the ignition.
the weatherman is calling for a few showers for today
and then sunshine for the a stretch of four or five days.
my robe is off and my boots are on.
harlow and i are off for our morning walk
to see what branches came down around the neighbourhood 
and assess any damages from the storm.
 happy hump day everyone !!


joining lindsey for 'what i wore' wednesday

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

fun stuff: duck weather knits and reads

it is just coming down in buckets out there 
as i sit here in my writing corner composing this post.
harlow did NOT enjoy his walk this morning - my poor wet dog,
i tried to share my umbrella with him but he wouldn't come under with me.
all day today, the weatherman is predicting very fine weather for ducks...
 so... i will be puttering indoors today (yay!!!)
and picking up and working on my purple scrap blanket during my little breaks.
i'm still reading we are all completely beside ourselves but have had to put it aside.
i was able to get hold of a copy of camilla gibb's this is happy (previously, i had to return it before finishing the first time i took it out of the library)

this is happy wasn't a very happy book
but i loved it.
i think it is autobiographical, gibb describes a lot of her experiences with depression.
what i enjoyed most about it is how she writes about 
her relationship with her filipino nanny.

i was born in the philippines and grew up in canada and my filipino/canadian up bringing always gave me an awkwardness with meeting/being/associating 
with women who come to work as nannies.
this book touched on so many issues about caring and caregivers 
and did so with such eloquence and honesty.
read it !!!


Monday, November 16, 2015


today's multiple choice:

busy is a choice
stress is a choice
joy is a choice

choose well
                    - ann voskamp
we were blessed with a beautiful and restful weekend (thank you)

i was able to dance my soul away with my step choreography class 
(this week's routine had lots of spinning and twirling in it- soooo much fun!!!)

ian played soccer twice.
(not one but two full games of run-around-until-your-joints-can't-take-it-anymore)

the kids got caught up with their sleep
and then ate/played/contemplated cleaning their rooms/rewind.

we visited grandma and we all got showered/pampered/spoiled 
with so much grandmotherly love.

it was lovely...
grandma lives at the end of this beautiful walkway.
when we visit (by car), harlow and (lucky) i get dropped off at the beginning of the walk 
and make our way by foot to her place.
if the weather is beautiful (like it was yesterday), 
we meet up with the gang at her house and circle back 
to enjoy the sea walk facing the sun.
it's a spectacular view of san juan islands.
happy monday everyone!!


joining karen 

Friday, November 13, 2015

happy fifteenth !!!

fifteen years ago,
you were born on the darkest hour 
of a dark, stormy day 
of the darkest november,
and brought such great light !!!
you twirled out of utero and have been twirling ever since.
you have such capacity 
to be lighthearted, 
to be happy,
to be free, 
that every third step of yours is a skip and a hop.
fifteen candles,
fifteen wishes,
fifteen blessings,
fifteen kisses...
for my sweetest fifteen year old !!!

libby's mom

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

fun stuff: nearing completion

 my pink/yellow/orange scrap blanket is nearing completion (only a foot or two to go ?!?)
i've been knitting these blankets to cover the size of a single twin bed but surprisingly, when i stretch them out, they will actually cover a double size.

my basket of scrap yarn is slowly diminishing.
soon it will be time to sift through the thrift shop bins for balls of scrap yarn 
and/or old sweaters to be unravelled.
 i'm in the middle of karen joy fowler's 
we are all completely beside ourselves

it is a really great read that i could easily spoil for you if i said anything more than that.

put it on your list  !!!
(if you're in the market for great fiction that analyzes family dynamics)

 what are you knitting? reading?
care to share?