29 August 2012

Procrastination and a Plan

I am still alive over here.

I have been taking one class this summer and have been busy finishing off my final four essays before my two month break from school.

I am taking the history of global labour and aside from learning a few things I didn't know about the slave trade, it has been...well, I'll just say that it isn't my favourite class. Taking a class that I am not really enjoying during the summer while my kids are home has been a little challenging and has given me opportunity to work on perfecting my procrastination talent. I look at it as part of my education towards becoming a writer. I am now really good at working under pressure with a deadline looming in front of me. Not only that, but I have also completed a few lingering projects that needed doing...procrastination does have some benefits. On the downside I have two more essays to write by Friday night.

One of the great paradoxes of my life ~ I love to write, but I will do almost anything to get out of doing it. I still haven't figured that one out.

I am also finalizing some of my future plans. My hubby promised me a nice long talk once his show was in place in the gallery... and I did not forget the promise. We always intended our stay in the Okanagan to be temporary. There were a few moments when we thought we might stay. Some days being close to family and friends is really tempting. But, deep down we know that is not our path.

Nothing is really finalized yet, but we have had some great discussions about what we want out of life and where we want to be in 5, 10, 20 years. We spent a few minutes despairing not knowing how to get there and wishing we were independently wealthy so we could be where we want to be NOW. The desire was strong enough that I actually bought a lottery ticket. Spending a few days dreaming about the what if? was a fun experiment. But, when the "you are not a winner" started flashing across the screen I quickly came back to reality.

We are formulating plans that we are both really excited about. They are not perfect but they will take us towards the life we want. As I often remind my kids ~ If you want a clean room, you have to clean it. (unless you have enough money or Tom Sawyer smarts to get somebody to do it for you). I think we have found something that will give us some of what we want now and will help take us towards getting everything we want. Things are looking pretty good. I just have to finish off these essays, do a little more research and hopefully by the end of the year our plans will be finalized!

I'll keep you posted.

16 August 2012

Random Summer Happenings...

Just thought I would post a few random photos from the past three weeks (not necessarily in chronological order)...

My second son spent a week at "British Football" camp and LOVED it. He had so much fun, learned a lot and really enjoyed the last day when they brought costumes from home for their coaches to wear.

I was really happy that the weather co-operated and what is traditionally the hottest week of the year was a little cooler than normal. We walked to the camp each day and I was able to stay and watch him and enjoy his water breaks with him. Being the third of four kids, we have had very little one on one time together. We both really enjoyed our "just me and you" time.

about two and a half weeks ago, my town had a crazy, freak wind/rain/hail/thunder storm. First came LOTS of rain, followed by hail. This photo is the beginning of the hail. By the end the boots were covered.

Our power was out for almost twelve hours. I was very thankful that we had a barbeque. I lovingly sent my amazing hubby out to grill up some burgers for dinner. Notice the lake forming in our backyard...

I celebrated my 39th birthday...I am now officially the same age that my dad says he is. I use the term "celebrated" loosely. July was crazy busy as usual...maybe next year will be the year that I actually do something other than pack, move, write essays or exams on my birthday. I think I better tell the hubby to start planning something. I have never really been big on birthday celebrations - my own anyway - but, maybe 40 will be my year.

The biggest excitement we have had is my husband's solo show opened at the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

He has been working on it for months and has kept him very busy.

The show is on now until October 11th.

The opening went well...although, I didn't stay the entire time. I'm not mentioning any names, but a child or maybe two of mine became a little restless as the night went on...

we left after an hour. It would have been great to spend the evening with my husband. Get out and have some adult time. But, I really wanted the kids to experience the art opening. I'll get my time when they are grown. I want them to have memories of attending their dad's shows. This is the third opening they have attended. The hubby has had three solo shows. (If you count his grad show). I didn't see the inside of an art gallery until I was an adult. I love that they have seen famous - and not at all famous - original works of art. My hubby lets them touch the paintings, - his paintings, not other artists'...just thought I should clarify that point - feeling the different textures. I don't think they really appreciate it now, but I am hoping they will when they get older.

Other than that and a few hikes, beach visits, and playing in the back yard...the rest of our summer has consisted of trying to avoid the heat. Our family isn't really big on the above thirty weather ...hmm... another pro for my Nova Scotia list....

This week, we have started thinking about school supplies...I better get some soon...many of the stores are already prepping for christmas, if I wait too much longer there may not be any school supplies left.
That really annoys me...christmas? Really? It's AUGUST! The past few years as I have tried to shop for Hallowe'en mid-October I have failed to find anything but Christmas supplies. It really puts me off shopping. The one benefit of having little cash this summer...I have stepped into the mall only once and I can honestly say that I don't miss it.

I am going to enjoy a few more hikes, beach visits and plenty of barbeques over the next few weeks...

Happy Summer!

09 August 2012


Right now, this is what I miss the most...

Rustico Beach, Prince Edward Island

Northport Beach, Nova Scotia

Blomidon, Nova Scotia

Somewhere along the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (The word Green comes to mind...but I really can't remember the name of this exact spot.)

Joggins, Nova Scotia

When my hubby decided to leave architecture school, we decided to go back to Nova Scotia. The reason we returned to BC was so he could do his Masters of Architecture at UBC.

Our experience in Vancouver taught us how much we missed Nova Scotia. When we left Vancouver, we returned to the Okanagan because the hubby had a show booked at a local art gallery that he needed to do some paintings for and because we had to move only a few weeks after making the decision to leave Vancouver. Moving across Canada with little notice at Christmas was not appealing.

We decided that we would move in August after the show opened.

His show opened last week.

I am still in BC.

Things haven't worked out exactly as we planned. We need to save a few more pennies before we can pack up and go. The hubby also needs a day job in Nova Scotia. ( I am still in school so I am leaving the day job to him).

Because things haven't worked out exactly as we planned...I think we are here for another year.

Staying has some good points. I do love BC...

but this week I am feeling VERY homesick. I feel like I have been on an extended vacation that is dragging on a lot longer than I want it to. Do you know that feeling?

Home...funny how Nova Scotia feels like home to me. I only lived there for just over two years in my nearing forty years of life.

If you have the time I'll tell you a little story...

I grew up in a smallish town not far from Vancouver. I loved it. It was home to me. I had family, friends and lived in a great house on five acres outside the city; my granny lived in town - walking distance to everywhere I needed to go.

Unexpectedly (to me anyway) my parents decided to move to the Okanagan - to a very small town. VERY small town. Nothing was really within walking distance, unless you count the fish and game club. I was fifteen when we moved. I hated it. I couldn't wait to leave. As soon as I was eighteen, I did. I moved around a lot.

When the hubby and I became engaged (over fifteen years ago) we realized that we could go anywhere and do anything. I was working as a travel agent and brought home dozens of brochures from tourist boards all over the world. We read through them all looking for a perfect place to live. We researched for weeks, searching the internet for additional information on our favourite places.

For a reason that I no longer remember, we chose Prince Edward Island...probably because it had pretty much everything on our must have list and we could stay in Canada avoiding mountains of paperwork.

In hindsight, I think I was looking for a home. In all the moving I had done in the previous decade, I hadn't really felt at home anywhere. Something was missing. I didn't know what, but I wanted to find it.

After we married...we stayed where we were. We had a mortgage to pay and moving to a place we had never been seemed a little too risky. My husband became my home. I was so happy to be married to him that it didn't matter too much where we lived.

Less than a year after we married I was offered a trip to New Brunswick - three nights, all expenses paid, packed itinerary - by the New Brunswick Tourist Board. I was very excited to go and had an amazing time. I loved everything about that trip and I am sure that I bored everybody by announcing "I want to live here" every stop we made. I called my husband every night trying to figure out a way that he could just meet me there so I didn't have to leave.

I can still vividly picture my last night there. I went for a walk late at night around the grounds of the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea. It was a beautiful night. I could hear piano music softly escaping through the open windows of the hotel. I could smell the ocean. I stood outside for a long time with a cool breeze blowing over me. Even though the breeze was cool, I remember feeling very warm and thinking "this feels like home - I don't want to leave". I remember crying and smiling at the same time. I hadn't felt like that in such a long time. I felt safe, comforted and happy... and then my mind would remind me I was leaving in a few short hours and the crying would start up again.

Ten years later, my family and I moved to Nova Scotia so my hubby could do his Masters of Fine Arts degree. The second I arrived I felt that feeling of home again. I had felt at home often with my hubby and kids. They were home to me, but I hadn't experienced that feeling about a place until I returned to the Maritimes. I missed it. When I look back my two years in Nova Scotia were probably the best two years I have ever had. Even though we struggled a lot (with long commutes - that's another long story - and financial problems) we had so much fun and grew so close as a family.

I know that Nova Scotia is not perfect and that there are many people who will look at me like I am crazy for wanting to live there instead of BC. I love so many things about BC and there are things that I don't like about Nova Scotia.

But, for a reason unknown to me,  the Maritimes are my home. I love Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and have spent many hours exploring all three. Right now, I could list dozens of activities I want to do and places I still want to see or go back to that would keep me busy for decades. The list I have for BC is comparitively short. I was born and raised in BC and could live here happily all my life if I didn't constantly feel like I needed to go home.

Hopefully, someday soon, I will.