Saturday, October 19, 2013

Life is Good.

It has been too long, and I have gotten too lazy.

We are back to normal, the new normal, after a week away at my brother's wedding, at home.  So nice to smell the salt air, to breathe through my nose, to visually devour the fall colours and the abundance of green.  Home will always be home, no matter how long we're gone, no matter how far away, no matter what.

Despite my cold and lost voice, I talked and talked.  A swarm of family swirled, a party after party.  It was fun of all fun, and full...of laughter, of chaos, of love.  I sit here now in quiet (how my mom must have felt after we had all left) looking out my picture window at the mountains (as she would have done her garden and the glorious Palmatum full moon turning from yellow to orange).  Life lays before me open and ready.  I feel a shift, in the wind, in the weather.  I feel a shift about to shift me.  "The breath of God." He read.  And I make my own sense of it.

Life is good.  It has to be, the t-shirt says so.

We just have to make the choice.

Friday, October 4, 2013

To every day, turn turn turn.

So, this morning I did the unthinkable and the desperate:  For lack of cream or milk, I strained my kids' cereal milk into my coffee.  I actually think it's pretty ingenious...Desperate times call for desperate measures.

After zapping it for the 3rd time in the microwave, I think the Honey Bunches of Oats taste is neutralized.

We are now into freezing, having lolled in the last of summer warmth yesterday.  Mid-night hail beat down on our bathroom skylight, a not so gentle proclamation of a new season.  The sun is still out, but it's cold...and oh so beautiful.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Flash of Fur.

This morning, early, with a broken Bodum and coffee made in a tea strainer.  The cream was bad, thick sips of sludge; I tried, but I just couldn't.

As I sat in my morning routine, browsing and sipping, I spied a flash of fur zigzagging to and fro across our back hill, head down, hot on the trail of something good: a rabbit, a bird, something?  She (I'm sure it was a she) stopped long enough for me to grab my camera, point and shoot.  As fast as that, then she was gone.

Now we know for sure not to let the cat out, and why there is a worn spot strewn with fur and feathers in the mulch under the deck.  A raw glimpse of Colorado wildlife.  

Too bad the kids were asleep.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mental Homesteading.

I keep saying, "You know, I'm actually kind of getting into it now..."  And I am.

Today was the Colorado Springs Urban Homesteading tour.  My joie de vivre and interest of all interests, I happily hopped from home to home, listening, documenting, making grand plans.

Other than the 6 or so pots of starts on the deck, I won't really garden much here.  Not my house, not my garden, so it just doesn't make sense...But I do plan to learn from this very dedicated and vibrant locavore community, to reap information and sow mental seeds that will, one day, become OUR farm.

This was my idea all along: to learn and learn, to devise and scheme.  Among other things...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Land of the Silver Birch.

Naiya comes home with a new song every day.  She greets me at school with a "Guess what I learned today?" and sings and sings, in car, at table, into bed.  She teaches and I learn, and it is wonderful.

This song was today, over and over and over again.  It's about Canada.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Colorado floods.

It's been raining like crazy around here causing floods and mayhem, but I love it, it reminds me of home- minus the floods and mayhem.  Naiya wants to watch a flood, like with cars spinning out of control, their drivers trapped and panicky. We saw a clip of that on Facebook, just up the mountain a bit, not far from white-water rafting on a river of sloshy mud water, only not fun.

I told her that we don't want to be near there, that it's too dangerous.  She said she'd still like to see.

I guess I would too, if it just so happened that way.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The 1st Differences.

This is what's different about here (so far):

  • There are so many really big and dangerous pot holes in the more than you'd expect, and THAT's just crazy.
  • Food is cheap, like really cheap.  Grocery food, restaurant food = cheap.  It is so easy to toss the arms and go get take-out, and it doesn't have to be crappy, greasy take-out...there is a plethora of good, tasty and healthy to go, and, thus, easy to get.
  • Lots and lots of selection of organic food.  I'm not totally sure how 'organic' it is, but it's there, label and all, cheap and abundant.
  • Oh, and gas is cheap too.  Depending on your loyalty card, you can get one Gallon for $3ish (no loyalty card = $3.49).  Compared to Vancouver Island's one Gallon for $5.30ish, that's a steal.
  • Hence, there are a lot of cars on the road and not many bike commuters.
  • And drivers are fast and swervy and talk on their cell phones and/or text.  (This was so shocking to me when we first arrived-all the texting drivers.)
  • Another hence, all the bashed up cars.
  • Which leads to don't have to get full insurance here.  Infact, in many cases you can't.  Some insurance companies will only give you liability based on the car, the person, whatever; so, many cars (or people) aren't covered for self-caused crashes.  But, many people also don't want to shell out the cash, so they just get the minimum (liability) anyways.
  • Health care system?  Yeah, I haven't figured that one out yet...but I do know that I like Canada's Universal system in that everybody (for the most part) has equal access to it. 
  • Oh, and the school system(s)!  I checked out 4 schools before deciding (for good) on the one we're in now.  Like home, there is public and private, but then there is the added 'Charter', which is kind of both.  It is publicly funded but (mostly) privately run, so that's where you'll find the free Montessoris, Gifteds, Waldorfs, Religious and other schools that people have decided to open in retort to the public system.  A lot of people are not happy with the public system.  I wasn't.  (Although, to be fair, many people are.)  It was way too hardcore for me, way too competitive, and way too suck the fun out of life and turn your kids into little test taking robots.  (That's how I felt anyway when I took the tour and spoke with the prospective teacher.)  There is enough good gab on the system to fill an entire post so perhaps I'll leave this at this...Suffice it to say, we (read I with my poor husby rolling his eyes and waiting patiently for me to stop vacillating) choose Waldorf (which I couldn't at home because there is no Charter system and we would have to pay, so, Charter is good.)
It's funny how, when one is out of their element, everything is punctuated and interesting.  I speak with people clinging to their every word, listening to stories with intent and purpose.  Getting clues and hints.  Not all the time, but alot of the time.  You can learn so much about a system or a place just by paying attention to the chit chat, by being new and curious and open.  Despite myself and my love for home, despite the anti-American criticism that has infiltrated over the years (from many sources and experiences-a whole other story), this place isn't so bad. 

I'm sitting straight and listening up.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A New Phase of Normal.

We've entered into a new phase of exploration and adventure.  School is in full force, programs have begun, and I've opened up to the many many things this place has to offer.

It took awhile but I am ready to delve.

Last week, G and I took off to Cheyenne Mountain State Park to hike with a ranger and learn about what's what.  It turned out that I knew so many of the plants, familiar and different at the same time, just a little more drought tolerant and a lot less green.  It was that moment of being here that I felt purpose, envisioning 4 years of learning and potential, and that feeling of wanting to fly.

I have since signed up with the Urban Gardening society, RSVPed for the Urban Homesteading tour, booked an art class for me and G, and will go again and again to Cheyenne Mountain for their preschool programs.  And, sometime in the next month (before we go home for my bro's wedding), we plan to go camping for the weekend at Mesa Verde, a wee bit further south.

My goals here include:

  • learning how to garden in the Rockies.
  • reaping all the knowledge I can about Urban Homesteading, all the how to's and possibilities, so that I can expand on what we've already begun at home and make my dream of a working Sub-urban farm a reality. 
  • A weekend adventure a month.
  • keeping track of all of these adventures here.  (For future reminiscing and referencing purposes.)
  • start sewing again.
Thrift store shopping isn't really a goal but is fun.  So, I'll be doing that and maybe talking about what I've found...and, of course, all of this will evolve (as will I) and things will change (as will I) and new goals will develop.

But, basically, YAY!  The, "I just want to go home" has turned into "I can't wait to see what's next", and that's good.  

Good is good.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


It's early morning.  I'm up before the first "Mama!  Mama!" Up with the birds, the deer and the sunrise.

It's beautiful, and it's all mine.

I found an enormous desk yesterday.  A retiring sewer letting go of a lifetime of stuff, pairing down and moving on, closer to the grandkids, closer to the end.  The desk is 10ft by 6ft, room to write, room to sew.  So much will happen at that desk...stuff I can't even fathom...lingering, festering, chomping at the bit.

Today marks the first day of this long weekend.  I want to go up into the mountains.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

BeComing Home.

We're getting there...that bit more comfortable, that much more familiar.

Giving instead of asking for directions; strangers are becoming friends,   We got a couch and a blue floral chair, and the moon picture has a wall of its own.

Tomorrow I see about a desk: a sewing, writing, 4 years worth of exploring place to be. My second piece of Craigslist luck making this place home, as life unfolds and the mysteries begin to show themselves.

Right now is all good.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The beginning.

If I could describe the last 25 days in a word it would be tumultuous.

Actually, this has been brewing for months...months and months of preparation...but the last 25 days has been the start of the actual adventure, the driving away from familiar and into the unknown.

We left home (like home as in deeply rooted, familiar and loved) to here: new and different, uncomfortable (at times) and unsure.  Like a fish out of water or an alien from another planet, that's how I felt.

But, there is no turning back, no change of mind...this is now.

So I venture forth, chin up and smiling through gritted teeth.  I figure things out and take the heat (literally, it's hot here-like Africa hot).  My fears and trepidation like beaded curtains to pass through, glimpses of good on the other side....glimpses of something at least.

This blog is the unfolding story of our next 4 years.  Right now it is a mystery...but eventually it will just be.  I look forward to all the good that lies ahead, 'cause I know it's coming.

Ready, set?  Here we go...