Wednesday, June 27, 2012

feeling nostalgic about last June

last June i saw these and decided i was going to grow easter egg radishes in my garden.
so i did.

last June i met a woman who made paint from clay and garden flowers and herbs
and she was so full of love and intention and goodness that i bought some from her.
they are still in my fridge.
i used to use them as face paint for the little ones
and sometimes myself.

last June on a warm evening owen took me to the chairs on the edge of Oak Bay and we sat and talked and drank tea and watched the sky change colour.

last June we took one last walk with our dear V and had our last sleepover with her at our house before she moved away and continued her journey of growing up somewhere new.

last June i thought about buying this dress
 but i didn't because i used to often leave favorite dresses in the store instead of buying them and bringing them home with me.

last June was when i started documenting my daily life with the ipone
 and taking photos of everything!
 i'm so glad i do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


i can feel it returning!

sunshine instead of rain
a beloved husband
4 days of a liquid diet
(which always makes me feel better until i start craving again)
asking for help
fresh flowers
happy chickens
new tea towels
cherries on the tree
anticipating ripe strawberries in the garden
secret message mail

all this makes for a hopeful day

Monday, June 25, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

two lies

i've been listening to myself carefully
looking for patterns and such.
listening to the words that play in my head
and i've caught onto the fact that i am telling myself or at least belieiving at least two lies.

goodness knows, there could be millions more
but i am in enough trouble with these two so i am going to stop looking for a while.

lie number 1
"i can't afford wellness"

lie number 2
"speaking truthfully about how you feel is complaining"

i am fascinated by myself and the crazy stuff that goes on in my head against my better judgement but obviously these things happen and now that i have caught myself
i have to figure out what to do next.

oh, and see that pie?
it lied too...
or at least the sign posted next to it did.
looking all delicious and boasting organic and wholesome.
 and maybe even ethically made.
worst pie ever.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

it was a whisper

i asked for a blanket today.
this is progress.

it came out as a whisper
even though my other exchanges had been at "normal" tone
my nurse had to ask me twice
and so,
i asked for a blanket today

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


quietly tiptoeing through this week
i am weary friends.
weary of this particular story of illness
quietly wondering what i need to do next, if anything.

there feels like there isn't much left of me
but then there is always enough.
i am learning to trust that.

but i miss my old life.
i really really do.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

focus on the can do, not the can not

following up from this post

i can make a delicious kale and bacon quiche
i can stay connected with my dear daughter every day
i can water the plants in the window sill and change the flowers in the vases
i can smile at strangers
i can notice the beauty around me anywhere i might be
i can send mail
i can create herbal teas and bath salts
i can collect eggs from the chickens every morning
i can take photographs
i can be a listening ear
i can read and hear my story woven into theirs
i can create a beautiful garden basket
i can deliver flowers to what used to be strangers and are now friends
i can exchange love conversations with babies
i can welcome whoever ends up sleeping on my couch when i come downstairs in the morning
i can continue to be hopeful
i can continue to be vulnerable and truthful about my story

Friday, June 15, 2012

the asking for help dilemma

i adore white furniture, white walls, white dishes, white daisies, white bedding.
the way the light bounces off of it and the fresh clean feeling it can evoke.

the problem is i can not keep it clean.
(and this is only one of the reasons i don't wear white clothing)
it takes me two days to wash and hang dry one of my couch's slip cover and cushions and being we have two identical couches, it's a 4 day ordeal.

today being the end of that four day experience
 I was thrilled to notice that the first couch I cleaned earlier this week already is dirty.
it's a never ending battle if I choose to engage in it and most often I don't but being I am trying so hard to find my house, my happy place here at home, the noticing of the already dirty couch has sent me to sit in the sun and do nothing but breath deeply for the rest of the day.
the living room is upended, one of the slip covers tore when I was putting it back on, the kitten has shred kleenex everywhere, there is a random assortment of dimes and pennies and if you stopped by today you would think,
wow..that's a lived in living room...or...this girl needs help.
)where did her organizational skills go? i know she used to have them. i saw them once"

which leads me to a question.
is it okay to ask for help cleaning and organizing my house in exchange for
well, nothing but the privilidge of being in my messy presence.
imagine, if i invited a few of my friends over, promised to feed them and we just tackled it and got it done. is that okay?
i'm not good at this asking for help thing, and i'm not sure what is too much and what is just right and what is normal...maybe there are women all over getting together and cleaning up each other's disaster areas..and i'm missing out
or maybe,
this is one of those way to vulnerable, don't come see my messy drawer kind of situations and i should keep my mouth shut.

"Turning out drawers is so personal that you wouldn't want any but a good friend to see what's in there."

what would you do?
 would you ask for help? enlist the husband and children
  just do it yourself and stop thinking about it, blogging about it and avoiding it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Loving Right Now

i am in love with this plant this year for the first time ever
can't get enough of it...

people who plant vegetables in random spots and containers
gutter gardens, tire gardens, gardens that grow where you just wouldn't think they would.
love this...

my front flower bed.
love that every plant in it was given to me from someone
it isn't the prettiest bed, and i neglect it horribly and it doesn't benefit from rain because of the eves but i love that it is filling up all through generosity.

garden saving expeditions
i love that this past weekend owen, judi and i went and saved some plants before the house was demolished.
it felt right.

fresh eggs
our chickens are learning to lay and we now are getting 3 eggs a day, most days.
it's a noisy affair and seems to take all day but still,
fresh eggs from the backyard.
yes. i love this!

daisies and flowers that have been gathered by small hands.
it's been 6 months since i stopped working and i notice it now more than ever.
spring is here and my house would have been filled with flowers and grasses and random leaves gathered on spring walks.
this little bunch was gathered by Alice, our niece and I enjoyed it over dinner one night at Grandma's house.


Our kitten Marmalade
I call him JamJam for short.
We love him.

The gardens
I am loving having two gardens.
The big one at the farm and the small one at home.
I love that we are discovering new ways to use what grows in abundance,
like Mint and Borage and Kale and Calendula Flowers.

those are a few of the things I am loving right now.
what about you?

Monday, June 11, 2012

this makes it sound alright.

as i've been thinking about where i am at right now
and how i need to move forward and be supported in that movement
there has been such a comfort in being able to rely on what i know about supported learning and now applying it to myself.

the zone of proximal development briefly and in simple terms is recognizing what a learner can do without help and what he/she can do with help.

and then allowing that learner to follow another's example and gradually develop the ability to do certain tasks without help.

so, a mentor, a guide, an example, an inspiration.
all perfectly wonderful support systems that used to always be in place with smaller communties and tight knit families and deep relationships.

for me, being able to frame a need within an educational context helps me accept it as alright because i have always believed that part of being congruent in what i model for others means i should also be willing to use the strategy myself if necessary.

(i don't think i ever thought it would be necessary at some deep level though..oh the undoing of pride and the walking in humility is such a curious process)

so in regards to the aspects of my life that are struggling it seems very acceptable to find support and also to recognize what is going very well and what is managable for me as well as recognize what is not managable, accept those limitations and make a support plan to move forward.

risky and vulnerable.
inspiring hope.
feelings of self doubt rising to the surface.

it's a mixed bag of emotions here let me tell you.

then, in my reading and digging i find this quote and i know that it is going to be alright.

"the zone of proximal development defines functions that have not matured yet,
but are in a process of maturing, that will mature tomorrow,that are currently in an embryonic state; these functions could be called the buds of development, the flowers of development, rather than the fruits of development, that is, what is only just maturing.

i understand the language of buds and flowers and fruits  and that there is no character flaw in any stage.
each stage of developement serves a vital place in the full maturation of any living organism.
even me.
 every one, including myself needs to continually rebirth and in that there will be stages where i am not completly mature... but this is okay..the fruit is coming. in the right season...and some of the fruit has already matured and fallen or been used by others to strenghten them in their journey.

i am creating lists today.
my assets..what is going well. what i have to offer. what i have mastery over. what is easy and successful for me

what i need to be supported in. where i actually just can't do it alone, even though i have been trying.
these are the areas that i need to call in the examples to follow.
so if i start asking for help, don't be suprised.

Friday, June 8, 2012


i'm thinking that my scaffolding is being taken down.
 without my permission and some faster than i of course, would like.
but it's coming down.
there is a pile of rubble at my feet every time i look down.

yesterday, the word began kicking around in my head
and being i woke up this morning,
after a painful sleep,
still thinking about it
i decided it was time to dig a bit deeper.

i love when a word does that. gets inside you and forces a conversation.

 a temporary structure used to support people and materials in the construction or repair of buildings and other large structures

it is easy for me to make the leap from scaffoldings surrounding a building that is under repair or construction to scaffolding being the busyness and attachments we place on external experiences and activities to support our self worth. to create who we want to be. or want the world to see us as.

this is the type of scaffolding that is falling down around me.
the value that comes from work and a paycheck, the security we feel when we are healthy and the world feels conquerable, the pride we attain from having a family that is functioning "well"
these are the scaffoldings that have supported me,brought me a sense of self, comforted me,
 allowed my pride to continue to grow rather than diminish,
 and instead of being temporary they have been standing a very long time and become somewhat permanent.
they were never meant to be.

but not any more.
they are being dismantled piece by piece and it is noisy, chaotic, dusty and painful work. the screws holding the scaffolding together are bound tight and needing to be wrenched loose. the building behind the scaffolding is slowly being revealed and while some of it is lovely and fresh, there are raw spots that are shying away from the light.
deconstruction is always slow, meticulous work and i am in the midst of it
and still suprised to find myself here.

so as i am being cleared away of the temporary supports that has defined me for too long,  i will explore my prefered form of scaffolding and one that i am very familiar with:

instructional scaffolding
a learning process designed to promote deeper learning. Scaffolding is the support given during the learning process which is tailored to the needs of the student with the intention of helping the student meet his/her goals

guess who the student is in this definition?
yup, me.

this type of scaffolding relies on collaboration and follow through and practice and the end result is moving from a place of being stuck to a new found ability to soar on one's own.

i'm currently in the follow through and practice stages.
i need to continually be reminded to take care of myself. to nourish myself. to remember myself.
to put myself in the equation

instructional scaffolding
 relies heavily on the work of Vygotsky and the Zone of Proximal Development
and is an educational stategy I used frequently in my work.
now, it's time to use it on myself.
this should be fun.
yes, it's geared towards children and students but really,
 are we not all learning all the time.
are we not all students of this journey we call life?
i certainly am.
 and if i valued this stragegy enough to use it with the students i loved immensely, surely i can adapt and use it for myself.

more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

it's a thin line i walk somedays.

the tears started at 10:15 when i reilized the keys to the car
were with Owen who was 45 minutes away
and i needed, in a big way, to be downtown in that exact amount of time.

impossible to fix i though
and so the tears started.
and my goodness there were alot of them waiting to spill out and over.

of course,
i also had two strong minded individuals,
my "book ends" i call them
needing rides from me as well
so not only had i inconveniences myself,
i also now had disrupted the lives of caleb and hannah.

this felt formidable.
 and the tears fell faster.

we ended up taking a taxi we couldn't afford to the places we needed to be.
i'm still crying and the two children are unimpressed to say the least.
i am wearing sunglasses of course to hide the breakdown but they know.
everyone knows.

we make it to our appointment with time to spare so i figure tea will work as a peace offering to the girl for all the morning drama and also will help me stop crying.

"chai tea with almond milk" i whisper to the barista as i can't speak yet
and a "chocolate shillling"
that's a little gluten free cookie that looks very chocolaty and should also help.
"just one" she asks? i nod.

the girl gets her drink first and leaves me standing there waiting for mine, so she isn't late. she still loves me at this point and just thinks i am weird.
that is all gonna change but at this point she is okay with her mother.

i eat my cookie while waiting for my drink. which is forgotten and others are made first. but this is okay because i am a patient person and have no where to be for an hour.
the cookie helped.
the drink was made wrong..dairy instead of almond but he remakes it and i order 6 more cookies.

i eat three more before i even get to the office to wait for hannah.
and i am still crying.
 at this point i am needing to get out the kleenex to stop the drips and while i am sitting in a counselling office filled with caring individuals,
they all give me wide birth.
the girl is making plans, filling out forms, wandering around the office like she owns the place because she is very comfortable there and is excited with what she is setting up.
i am filled with fear and hurt and despair and my sniffling gets louder.
suddenly she is standing before me and i am needed in the back room
 i start sobbing. full on sobbing.
for no reason other than i haven't cried for so long and the keys got lost and the taxi was expensive and my girl is so hopeful and confident in her plans and i am not.

this is where she loses patience with me.
why am i crying. what is my problem. she pats my back and laughs at me.
she needs me to stop crying. i need to keep crying. it's an unsolvable problem.
M. looks quietly at the floor while Hannah and I have this exchange and I do what I need to do and stumble out the door, leaving them to finish up their time together.

we still have to get home on a bus to get home, i am thinking.
this feels impossible.
  Thankfully, Owen, who is feeling bad he had my keys but really has no time to spare in his crazy day  came and met us, willing to drive us home, and hannah bought me a gingerale
as a peace offering.
the second peace offering of the day.
i didn't drink it.
i cried all the way home while Owen patted my leg and Hannah texted non stop,
probably about me.
probably not. actually.

it's only noon people and there is still an entire afternoon to navigate.
 i eat more cookies. now my stomach hurts.
next stop: the offices of the local high school.

but off we go, now with a car to drive, still crying but at least i am driving.
and we spend an hour in the school and i don't cry once.
until we get home.
and it starts again.
i head to the bath.
but neglect to notice i am filling it with lukewarm water, not hot.
this is not helpful. a lukewarm bath does nothing but make one feel lukewarm.

then there is a fight. of course. there is. how could either her or i survive that much stress without turning on each other.
that would have required an inner strenght  that i did not have.
the fight results in more tears
 on my part
 and a drive to the beach where all the stress and anxiety that comes with trying to love this girl through these tough days spills down my face.
all the fears and the brokeness and the exhaustion come pouring out.
my face is super clean.

i return home after she has left for work
and i lie in a crumpled heap on the floor where i am found by owen when he returns home from a long day at work.
we lie together on the floor that really needs to be vacuumed, i notice,
and i create scenarios that are elaborate and only partially true and are all rooted in fear, and try to not spill out all the ugly that is going on in my head and heart.

this goes on for quite a while.
i have by now, stopped eating the cookies and moved on to just eating nothing.
and of course, crying is hard work and i am cold and shivery and hungry but refuse to take care of myself and so it goes for another hour or so.

the story ends as it always does.
love wins. again. always.
 the prayers are heard and answered. the girl returns from work just fine and with another peace offering which i gratefully accept ..we hug and i can feel the exhale.
my body and brain are done. taxed further than they want to be.
the headache arrives and we all settle on the couch to re connect with each other and to recover from a very long day.

Marmalade, our brand new kitty helps us with that.
today is a new day. and i am optimistic it is going to be much better.

Monday, June 4, 2012


i'm trying to spend more time barefooted.
i feel more aware and connected that way.
tender and tough at the same time.