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Transition….. April 29, 2011

Posted by boaktree in Uncategorized.
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I’m surrounded by boxes.  We’ve been carefully packing up the things we can do without until the move is complete.  Some things, like books, only just came out of boxes mere weeks before we decided to move again.  (See, we truly weren’t intending to move any time soon.)

As for why we hadn’t ever truly finished unpacking?

This house, while it is gorgeous, and we have been very blessed to have lived here for the past year, has never felt like “home”.  It has always felt like a place of transition.  Maybe that simply has to do with the fact that we don’t own it.  Maybe it has more to do with where we were at in our lives.  I will say that not being able to paint the walls and decorate as I wish had much to do with it never feeling quite right.

We have joked that it’s been like a really, really awesome and affordable hotel stay.  We have basically lived like it is.  We barely put anything up on the walls, left the lacy curtains our landlords put up in place, didn’t have a vegetable garden, and didn’t paint a thing.

It’s been nice in a way, not having to invest much energy into this place.  This past year has been a point in my life I haven’t had much extra energy to give, so I didn’t really mind not being able to do many of the things I would have done were this place ours.  However, I’m ready to move on to something more.

I’m ready to  leave the transition place.  I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life.  I’m ready to make our new place our “home” both inside and out.  I can’t wait to pour my energy into transforming that 1.7 acres of the earth into our own personal sanctuary.

One more week.

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Live Better….. April 27, 2011

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I’ll preface this post by explaining that we watch Survivor on Wednesday nights.  It’s date night for my girls and I, this one hour a week.  We only started this tradition this year, but we love it.

This is the only television we really watch in a week, other than documentaries and stuff we watch on the internet.  So, what I’m getting at is, this one hour a week is the only time that myself and my girls really see commercials.

Ah, yes, commercials.  Advertising.  We talk about them, laugh at them as they interrupt our viewing regularly throughout the show.  Joke about all the things we are being told we “need.”  Comment sarcastically on how I’d obviously be much happier (and prettier and younger looking) if I had a certain face cream.  It’s quite fun, really, watching these commercials with my girls. 

But tonight was particularly funny.  Let me explain.

It all started with a Wal-Mart commercial, of course.  One that showed us many products that we must need, from packaged foods, to paper towels, to potato chips.  Most definitely things we need to buy.  We are certainly deprived since we do not.  It then stated, “Save Money, Live Better.”  Great tag line, I’ll admit.

So this commercial is on, and the tag line is stated.  Wal-Mart.  Save Money. Live Better.  To which Gracie replies indignantly “Whatever!.  Save Money, Live Better, Grow Your Own Food!”

Her older sister and I cracked up.  Totally.  I laughed and stated just how much I love her.  Sayward commented on how very right she was. Gracie then went on to explain what she meant, and how the commercial was silly, and we don’t need any of those things, that they will not, indeed, make our lives better.  And of course, that we will save more money by growing much of our food, which we hope to do. (I will mention that this girl cannot wait to have her own vegetable garden.)  We reassured her we more than agreed with her.

Makes me think what we are doing may just be working. 

They get it.

Twenty Nine….. April 26, 2011

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I suppose I should write a blog post about my own birthday, don’t you think?

In another hour I will turn twenty nine.  That number seems very strange to me.  Each year I gain a number, even though I don’t really feel any older.  Wiser? Yes.  More responsible?  Maybe. More tired? Definitely. But older?  Not at all.

I’m not really sure how I feel about being twenty nine.  I never really pay much attention to my birthdays, but as I move towards my third decade, they are starting to get more noticeable.

Come along with me while I reflect on what twenty nine years on the planet has brought me.

An enchanted childhood, made even more so by having an enchanted forest to play in.

Said childhood spent with devoted parents.

An older sister who is my best friend.

A passion for horses, made possible by being lucky enough to grow up on a hobby farm.

Some very rough years dealing with depression and a severe eating disorder.

A  teenage pregnancy that totally changed my perspective on life.

Years spent as a young single mother.

A relationship that taught me to stand up for myself and my children, even if it meant being a single parent again.

College.  I may not work outside of the home, but I use the knowledge I gained there every single day.  And I made some fabulous friends as well.

Allowing myself to admit to still loving someone who had hurt me deeply.  Best decision of my life.

Being married to my highschool sweetheart.

Some really, really crappy jobs.  That were also a ton of fun at times.

The opportunity to be a stay at home parent and homeschool my children.  Absolutely amazing.

So, I’m turning twenty nine.  And I’m grateful for every single experience I’ve had during my twenty nine years on this planet.  They have all helped me become who I am at this moment, and to tell you the truth, I’m pretty okay with me these days. 

 That’s the best part about each passing year in my opinion.  Each year gives you a chance to improve yourself, to be a happier person, enjoy your moments more.

Here’s to me!

The Fence Fund… April 18, 2011

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I need to buy materials to build a pasture fence.  I really want to move my horse to our property as soon as I possibly can, and that means getting materials together and digging an awful lot of holes.

As per our challenge, I am doing my best to find these materials used, which takes considerably more effort than simply heading to the store.  Also, according to the “rules” of our challenge, I need to find the money for these materials outside of our budgeted expenses. So, what does one do when the debit card and new materials are not an option?

She declutters while she packs!  I’ve been setting aside the things we no longer need/want that I think could benefit someone else, and I’ve been making ads for them.  So far I have the money together for the fence posts I am going to buy (yay for kijiji, where I not only have sold a couple of things, but also found said fence posts!)

I’m also planning to paint the house before we move in.  Okay, that’s not true.  I”m planning to let my talented sister paint the house before we move in.  Which means it will look much, much better than it would if I were the one doing the painting.  This is an area I’m kind of stuck on though, because I don’t know much about paint.  I’d really like to get an eco-friendly paint, but I’m not sure if anything of that sort is available around here.  Any suggestions?

I’m hoping that by the time we move (closing date is May 6th!) I will have enough money raised for my posts, wire fencing, chicken wire, and all the paint we need for the walls and cupboards/furniture we are painting.

When this goal is accomplished I will start a new fund, with some other ideas for income I have up my sleeve.

Which fund is that, you ask?

Why, the horse and pony fund, of course.

 They are herd animals, after all.

2011 Election – Fiscal Prudenc, Moral Bankruptcy April 16, 2011

Posted by jaboak in jaboak, Uncategorized.
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I once heard a saying… “If you’re not a communist by the time you’re 20 you don’t have a heart. If you’re not a capitalist by the time your thirty you don’t have a brain.” I am reaching an age where I’m surrendering some of my ideals to realities. In spite of this part of my reality is that I live in one of the greatest socialist countries on the planet. A country that is not simply a winner take all – whoever has the gold makes the rules society, but one that fosters and promotes moral character, or “heart”.
The realist in me, or the capitalist, is sure that Canada is off to a great start steering through potentially hard economic times under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. How much credit lies with the politicians, and how much belongs to Canada’s fiscally prudent banking system is a distinction that is rarely made. Even Harper’s Economic Action Plan has been essential in spurring our economy in the right direction; but fiscal stimulus in times of recession or economic depression is obvious to anyone who snoozed through Macro-Economics 101 and recalls the name John Maynard Keynes.
But I will not cast my ballot for the Conservatives. I will not vote for a party without heart. Twice Stephen Harper has turned tail and prorogued parliament to avoid tough situations (a potential vote of non-confidence in 2008[1] and questioning over the treatment of Afghan detainees in 2010[2]). He lied about not making appointments to the Canadian senate. He hung former cabinet minister Helena Guergis out to dry for reasons that we can only begin to guess. During the leaders debate he repeatedly denied that they were corporate tax reductions in effect. He had us on a technicality there – the changes were legislated in 2007[3]. In Harper’s mind the fact that the tax cuts are rolling out between then and 2012 means they aren’t actually happening right now.
I am going to cast my ballot with a view to future elections. I am going to vote for the Green party. I encourage anyone who would put the environment first in their politics to do the same. You are not throwing away your vote. If the Green Party is able to show a larger and larger total percentage of Canadian votes they will necessarily gain credibility as a political alternative in this vacuum of viable political choice. And another mainstream party in Canada will encourage coalition governments by further dividing our votes, which inherently promotes the multitude of views our population represents (I don’t care if that’s mean more elections in which I get to exercise my rights – I like democracy). I’m not afraid of coalitions – they help many other countries realize multiple political paradigms at once. And/or a stronger Green party will help us to realize the fairness of proportional representation – where a percentage of votes equals a percentage of seats, hence the population’s proclivities are embodied in our house of representatives.

[1] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2008/12/04/harper-jean.html

[2] http://www.economist.com/node/15213212?story_id=15213212

[3] http://ipolitics.ca/2011/01/29/corporate-taxes-at-the-house-returnsa-primer-that-cuts-through-the-spin/

Right Now… April 13, 2011

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While we are constantly looking forward to our move in a few weeks (it’s getting closer!) I am trying to stay focused on the present moment as well.  This means not constanly planning and daydreaming about gardens, fences, paint and animals, though I am doing an awful lot of that. 

It means actually doing something once in awhile.  (packing doesn’t count) 

It means enjoying this moment, right now, for exactly what it is, and exactly where I am.

I remembered that today.  I’ve been forgetting, while looking forward to our new living space and all that it will mean to my life and those of my husband and children.  I’ve been forgetting about Right Now.  And really, we all know that the present moment is all we really have, all that really matters.

Today I sat in my backyard, watching the children play, and soaked up the sun.  Felt it brighten my day, my moment, my life.  Let it fill the space it had missed during the long winter I spent indoors with my youngest.

It felt absolutely fabulous.

And I realized just how very much I love being here, Right Now.  Even though that means that I’m missing out on time I could be spending improving our new home if we had possession of it now, this is perfect.  If we were there, I most likely wouldn’t have been spending any part of my day simply sitting, soaking up the sun and thinking.  I would have been working on any one of the projects on my To-Do List.  (Not that that is a bad thing, I truly can’t wait to tackle that list…)  But, having the time to simply sit, it made me appreciate everything we have, and will have, that much more.

I look around me, at my loved ones, my friends, my experiences, my home, and yes, even some of my stuff

It’s beautiful.

I feel so blessed.

Things that make me smile….. April 7, 2011

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Spring flowers poking out of the ground…..

Morning visits to our favourite bakery for a special treat…..

A certain three year old’s style…..

The way my oldest mother’s her siblings….

The fantastic relationship between a ten year girl old and her three year old brother….

Planning for the life changes ahead…..

Hearing history repeat itself at my piano each day……

The passion of a lovely two and a half year old I know….

The way only a one year old can kiss.  Oh my…..

Being here.  Right now.

This is wonderful.

New Pants….. April 4, 2011

Posted by boaktree in Upcycling.....
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Recently my girls were given a large bag of hand-me-downs to go through.  In that bag were a pair of shorts that Liam absoultely loved.  However, I think they were about a girls size 14.  Most definitely not going to fit someone who still wears a size 3.

So, I did what any crafty/thrifty/resourceful Mama would do in this situation.  Grabbed my fabric scissors and cut into those suckers.

The result? A size 3ish pair of capris.

Their new owner approves of them fully. We had planned on having him model them, but when you are three naps happen unexpectedly some days.  So, this is the best modeling pic I managed.

I do believe they will be perfect for the warm days we are bound to start having soon.