Thursday, May 29, 2014


the earth laughs in flowers in a crazy, special way
in tropical countries wouldn't you agree?

Monday, May 26, 2014

this beach and i had a fling;)

it is no secret that i am a lover
of the ocean.
i search them out and feel lost when i haven't been to one often.
my bucket list includes dipping my toes in all the major oceans of the world
(i have done so in 5 so far)

so when we stumbled upon this black sand beach,
inhabited by no one but us 
i kinda, sorta, lost my mind with happiness.
this is when i noticed he was taking photos.
i was unaware my ocean frolicking was being documented.

 i think what was most amazing about this day and this beach
 in Costa Rica
was that it was completely unplanned.
my wandering spirit was alive and well and all i wanted/needed to do was get
into our little rental vehicle and drive.
drive where we had never been before and without a plan.
we were hot and sticky and some of us were doubtful of 
my plan to go,
well, nowhere.

we found paradise.

Friday, May 23, 2014

when my blog becomes all about vacation photos and chocolate

 we spent 12 days in Costa Rica at the beginning of May.
People want photos I keep hearing, and I have stories to share,
so I shall blog. I am not sure that I am a vacation blogger but we shall see.

 let's talk about cacao first.

i had no idea
this is how it grows!
how cool is this to stumble upon in a jungle forest,
surrounded by sloths, toucans, howler monkeys, dripping humidity, lazy rivers and the occasional loud buzzing insect.
 and squirrels too. 
they are a nuisance to gardeners everywhere it would seem.

 here is a pod freshly cracked open filled with the seeds. they are coated in what is a rather unusually tasting slime. not what one would expect. 
but if you suck all that off, then you find the chocolate, 
he promised.
there! see it?
 if you love bitter chocolate, more bitter than you can imagine,
then this is for you. this is straight from the pod, to the drying table, to your mouth.
oh my. so very organic and farm to table:)

the smell was heavenly. 
and we could feel ourselves getting happier by the moment from all those endorphins being released.

i  have a fondness for woodstoves, thanks to my childhood
so was quite delighted to roast the cacao over the fire.

 the grinding into cocao powder was much harder than it might look.

Friday, March 7, 2014


i am sleeping less these weeks.
perhaps it is because of my age i wonder
and that forces me to remember my age
and i shake my head and try to figure out
 which leads my mind down a path of musing  of other significant numbers.
i think of my first boy.
the one who spends his days and nights preparing very delicious food
in a very delicious restaurant for very delicious people
and the food is sometimes so good  on the plate before me
that i

how did my boy child become a full grown man
who now offers to buy my purchases for me if we go through the checkout together?

 it is a comfort to have wonderings that are filled with gratitude rather than concern.
i am grateful.

my musing of late has also been about my marriage
and i think about the 10 years we have spent together,
my owen and i.
and i can't help but notice how 5 of those 10 have included my illness.
this realization  stops me in mid thought and i have a choice to make.
even in our musings we can direct the path.
i  choose to focus, for this long night at least,
on the easy parts, the free spilling abundant life we live together.
i refuse to define our relationship through the lens of chronic illness and struggle

but half our lives together..that kinda feels heavy you know?

and then my musing turn to marriage in the wider sense
and i wonder.
have i been married for 10 years or have i been married for 23?
this is not meant to offend or hurt 
and when someone
asks me how long i have been married
 i of course answer 10 because we are referring to my life now,
but if i am having a deeper conversation 
or if i am wandering through my life in my thoughts
 it makes sense that i would include my first marriage.
after all,
darryl and i were married and that counts.
the numbers attached to marriage seem to be important to people.
and i find myself wondering about this.

musings keep me company when the house sleeps and i notice that
for the most part the wonderings are lighter and more playful in nature these days.
i am able to direct my path and choose my response with more positivity than before.
my gratitude practice, my optimism,
 my discipline of seeing the good in all things is becoming second nature.
i wander through the stories that are deep but i also spend time on the shores
thinking of nothing more important than paint and seed and toy and book.
my manifesto working itself out in my days.

often spring became deep and serious for me and rather than shedding
the heavy coat of winter i would often be found buckling it up tighter.
each passing spring, the load feels lighter 
and i am happy that this year it feels the lightest of all.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014


i see the word over and over in the comments.
some of you just simply write the word


  others pen me love notes and affirmations,
reminders, and gentle chastises. 

some of you i don't know by name,
yet you took the time to ask me to stay.
to thank me for writing.
 to show up for me.


 all the words settle on my heart with the gentleness of a feather-


make my heart quicken and quiet.

can  that happen at the same time?
of course it can and it does.

there is an inhale and a deep exhale.
a softening rather than a hardening.
my shoulders relax.

that confirmation of what i needed to hear
 the gentle little push to continue being who i am
it  became forgotten briefly
 in the roar and rush of a life unsettled.
a roar and a rush 
despite the constant practices of quieting my  being.

{this is hard work and needs to be faced with diligence}

of course i am going to quake and waver
when time and time again i awake to a  challenging day
and decide to root my feet and face it head on.

{today is day one}

 you do the same i know
and i am in awe
 of your bravery and forward marching, 
crawling, skipping, walking,

however you navigate dawn till dusk.

be it in words, in work, in quiet surrender, in prayer, in paint,
in tools and dust, in books, at desks, with pots and pans,
in ditches, in fields, with others, in solitude, in the company of the elderly or the little
or the ones in between, 
be it with dirt and seed or pen and paper.

your navigating, my navigating is beauty.

i am in awe of us all really
and i want to share my journey with you.
please continue to teach me how
by being who you are meant to be.
i will continue to.

thank you.
my appreciation for your love of me,
your belief in me,
your rooting for me 
means the world to me.
it really does.


Monday, February 17, 2014

this space.

this space.
this blog, this open journal that has partial, small
glimpses of my life-
we have become at odds again lately.

i want to be here but find that i am careful with my words
as of late.
this has happened before and i left for a while, 
but the clicking of the keys drew me back.
i missed them.

part of me,
a large part wants this to be a place of happiness and light.
of pretty and free.
i do not want people like you
my dear reader
to wonder each time you open my blog 
as to what you will find.

will she be depressed today? sicker than yesterday perhaps?
lighthearted and creative? dark and deep?

i worry that i will be seen as self indulgent
or seeking pity or worse yet, looking for attention.

{and yes i know, that my blog is for me
 and it doesn't really matter what others think.
 it really isn't that big of a deal, 
 but for me it does, so please indulge me}

i came here each day to share my heart, my journey and 
when this blog began with my dear friend Suzy 
i had no idea that the next 4 years would be 
a journey over difficult terrain.
and that the themes here would be as they are.

i think i imagined a blog that would contain images
of beauty and fun, inspiration and love
a blog that was, well easy.
easy to write, easy to read, easy to want to connect with.

instead it has become a place
 i turn when there is no where else to put down what i need to say.
you see,
i am not gifted with sharing my journey with words over tea.
my face to face community is small.
i jam up, i become clumsy and concerned.
i genuinely want to hear your story 
and that makes it easy to not share mine.
i am working on this and it is becoming easier
but easier only in the sense of
doing something really hard every day makes it easier.

{i do wish sharing our stories wasn't a hard thing.}

 so i am at a loss of sorts.
not sure what to do here.
and i come asking those of you who are here faithful with me,
for your thoughts.

 shall i stay or should i go?


Friday, February 7, 2014

what waiting looks like.

i am waiting for the specialist to call.
we have a phone date that was meant to begin 
5 minutes ago.

i have decided that i am going to situate myself
in my sunniest window,
with a cup of extra sweet earl gray tea
because after all
if one needs to be on the receiving end of news
that is either going to be
discouraging, disheartening, depressing
and most likely
life inconvenincing

one can at least be surrounded by beautiful sunshine and extra sweet tea.
do you love extra sweet tea?
i sure do.

{ i also really love a brilliantly made lemon drop martini}

i am aware as this health journey continues on and on and on
that somewhere along the way i have gotten stuck in the stages of acceptance.
i am not yet full circle.
i pretend to be most days
 and i certainly work my program of gratitude, surrender and grace filled living
but really,
i don't think acceptance and i have made friends yet.
i am still in conflict with this condition.
does that ever go away i wonder?
do we need to be in combat 
with it in order to learn how to manage and live with it?
or can acceptance work?
full surrender, this is how it is going to be surrender and acceptance?

{these are not questions that have answers. i know that.}

goodness it takes a long time.

"it takes as long as it takes"
she says and i let those words sink in 
again and again.

the phone rings.
i am off to my sunny spot.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

what it actually looks like at this moment in my life.

we haven't had hot water for 2 days
and the kitchen is a mess.
i have no intention of cooking tonight
even though that is financially
whatever that happens to mean.

it is hard to do dishes without hot water.
also, you should see my hair.
oh my!

there aren't any new photos to use on my blog 
because i can't find the cord to connect my phone,
so i look back through old ones to use,
and hope they aren't reposts.
but i don't actually care all that much
if they are.

the living room is collecting random piles 
that share parts of the individual stories that are played out in our home.
i can tell that children have been here,
i see the piles of their books,
 the sticker pictures
 once so precious but forgotten in the transition to home.

{i will save them, just in case they remember}

there is evidence of Hannah and Cody playing scrabble.
i wonder is she won again?
this makes her quite proud.
tea has been drunk recently and 
someone needs to vacuum-

the gravol bottles are becoming empty,
same as the pain killers, the muscle relaxants.
there are sick and sore people here.
we are looking for relief.
with the medicine and the juicing and the chocolate.
it isn't working.
neither is the endless napping, 
the trips to the chiropractor, 
the magazine buying.

i spilled words all over a page last night
and pushed send.
i felt ill.
too much spilling. not enough editing.
it doesn't matter though
they are words.
 just words.

i want to see my friend
and my family,
to drink tea with 
owen's sisters.
but there isn't the energy or the time.

how does that happen?

at this moment  my life
it looks messy and dull
and i find myself wanting to wander away
to somewhere else.
but i know that i know
that this is just a moment,
and there are gifts here too.

endless illness fogs up my vision.
there is no trusting the emotions that swirl in this place.

sometimes i tire of the gifts
 that come disguised as lessons, as challenges, as opportunities.
i would prefer pretty presents please.
i tell owen that i don't really need to keep practicing
empathy through experience.
really, i am done with all that for now
i say with a sigh.
 he smiles at me
knowing that comment is just me
 delayed in my very human complaining
about what would long ago  been okay to have been  too much 
but i am just now deciding to tire of it.

my cat sleeps through the mess
perches on the unfolded blankets.
i go hide for a while
there is always tomorrow.
or a someday to find these places again.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014


life is serious you know?
and as one who spends a lot of time-
perhaps too much time
 being introspective
and in deep question mode,
sick and tired
stretched thin and fragile mode
i need to lighten up.

 there are the times like the one above-
where i just can't keep a serious face for another moment.

 {and going all the way to Thailand to cut loose was pretty awesome-just look at those pants}

or there are times when we will be sitting around quietly
reading or being on our phones,
caught up in our own worlds
and i will suddenly 

across the room and tackle that man of mine
and before you know it there is laughter and silliness and an overflow
of so much love.

perhaps in the middle of a most serious day,
which most seem to be,
i can find myself being laughed at by one of my little's
as i read a most ridiculous story
or i may find myself laughing with them as they do the most absurd things.
{gosh i love my job-so much laughter}

sometimes it takes a very funny movie
or a passage in a book
like a few nights ago,
that found me giggling away 
without any way of stopping to 
share just what was so funny.

laughter was abundant last week
when the curly haired girl and i tried out
aqua zumba...
are you kidding me..
do THAT in a pool?
i almost drown..
in the shallow end!

i am looking for laughter more these days,
seeking it out,
finding it in unlikely places,
new places
like on a skype date with a dear kindred
{skype is very new to me}

i am discovering of course
that  the more we look for it,
embrace it,
ALLOW for the joy,
the silliness 
the ridiculousness of the moment
 to fill and flow over,
lightheartedness follows
and i will always welcome more of that in my life.

[it's a nice balance,yes?]

and those pants
well  in Thailand, they felt just right
yet every time i put them on here, i find myself thinking;
"really Tania, really?"
i think i need to go back!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


for quiet morning, green juice, extra deep baths,
the laughter and tears that have filled
the house this week,
saying "yes!" and experiencing new opportunities,
messy paint stained hands, conversations with strangers,
brave mama stories and communities that gather.

thankful for the ease of texting love and the joy of mailbox messages,
hard conversations that can turn soft with the right approach,
money jars with trip plans written on the front
for tea with a friend
for the warmth of shared stories

for pushing through and feeling the release,
reading blogs that just might convince me it is okay to search for Him again,
children's art, my art, your art
the gifts that are given without anyone ever seeing
the wonder of the fog and forest
tall majestic trees

thankful that i am learning to be angry
to find a way to honour my emotions and not suppress and also not cause harm
paint chips that have just the right word as the colour description.
being wise enough to not blame god for what happened,
knowing it wasn't him. it really wasn't.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

with use.

i read it, 
and then find myself going back and reading it again,
the words,
 then the deeper meaning,
 the questions about such a sentence possibly being true,
 and finally
i agree and the words finds a home.

 "Our friendships will flourish with (its) use"

friendships and i have had a rough go since i 
became sick those few years ago.
the story is not unique but it hurt all the same.
sometimes people need to disappear when we present them
 with the new shadow of whom we were,
when we cancel more than commit,
when we can't eat anything in their house
and goodness,
 what do people do together 
better than break bread together?

isolation comes like a thief in the night.
when we are a trigger 
of past stories and ghosts
long forgotten.

i disappeared too
 when their lives were a daily reminder
 of what i thought i had lost forever,
 but really had just lost for a season 
when i thought that i wasn't worthy without all the 
performances i used to engage in to earn people's love.
when the reality often was that i was too sick, too tired, 
too broken to leave the couch.
it became a dark journey.
a lonely one.
a fearful walk between my heart and my brain.

{how i wish i had chosen differently}

i read the sentence again,
drawn to it like a magnet searching for its opposite.

"our friendship with flourish with use"
and i think about my life now,
the life that has passed through those shadow lands for now
a life that is filled with connections, 
so many shiny and new,
  some old, steadfast and rooted deep

and i let the words seep into the place 
of my heart that are still guarded and locked up tight.


abundance. not lack.
freely giving freely receiving
this is what i choose.


my old and steadfast friends,
thank you for  just showing up to my couch during those dark of dark days...
you know who you are:)





Friday, January 3, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

today arrived

January 1st arrived. 

Despite my refusal to create 
end of year blog posts, my year in photo reviews,
lists to-dos, word choosing, resolutions, project ideas.

Despite all my boycotting of all those above good and wonderful practices
that I have for so many years participated in and loved oh so much.
Even with my wavering around this brand new
 "i will do nothing" stance 
despite the occasional
(well, frequent i suppose) 
lamenting  about how strange it felt,

today arrived.

and with today came an
unexpected feeling of anticipation and newness
that hadn't required any pre planning on my part.
{well, imagine that!}

conversations began to happen, 
unfold, and grow 
between owen and myself,
between my heart and my head

and i realized that fear,
fear of failure, fear of quitting, 
of not being able to sustain, 
to maintain, 
of not succeeding
that was what this boycotting was actually all about.
was standing right there
 on my path that leads me forward
blocking my way and my view.

i still have no intentions of resolution lists to be made in haste so i am not behind,
there will be no new grand projects.
 realizing that it was a fear of failing 
and saying
this is not how i am choosing to start today" 
allowed for a shift.

 Suddenly there was new energy flowing
and i found myself free
 to see and remember
 what i might choose to embark on
that would bring me joy.

renewing my commitment to my gratitude's.
but with a twist.
not in a notebook as in the past
 but through my IG photo stream
with a fun new hash-tag

starting a new commitment to doing.
not in a 
"i must perform to be worthy doing",
but a
"you got this Tania, no go do it"
{that feels good}
and has a hash-tag too!

-insert laughing at myself here for my intense love affair with Instagram-

i am happy to have cleared the path today.
it's steep..i can see that again, but so much longer and friendlier 
with the fear pushed aside for today.