Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Reading Club

             This Summer- at our house- has been declared the Summer of reading by the Littles- it's only natural that they catch the reading bug as both The Mr. and I are big readers- some might even call me a book worm. At any given time I usually have at least two or three books on the go- my tastes vary and are fairly all inclusive- I read a lot but am not a literary snob! With the Littles deeply immersed in our regional library's Summer reading program I thought it would be fun to talk about what books I have my nose stuck in right now!

      Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton is an old favourite- I have read this book no less than three times already but still I keep coming back to it again and again. Gabrielle writes about her relationship to food through her journey as a chef- from childhood to the kitchens of France and Greece to the experience of owning her own restaurant. She paints pictures with words of people sitting down to eat- a satisfying experience.

     Creative Block by The Jealous Curator- Danielle Krysa- this book is an extension of one of my favourite art blogs- interviews, projects and real life advice from 50 contemporary artists- including my friend and artist Jessica Bell! This book is a source of inspiration for days when I need a quick hit of creative block- busting!

     Made By Hand by Lena Corwin- this is my most recent book purchase- I had been holding out even peeking in this book at Spool Of Thread as I was saving it for the Summer! Full of projects from some of my favourite bloggers and makers this book is full of inspiration! I have already started on the boot sock pattern from Jenny Gordy- hoping they will be done by fall! Made By Hand is like Summer Camp- I sat and soaked it all in- cover to cover over our vacation!

        This is what is in my current reading stack- I'm interested dear friends what you are all reading this Summer! Please comment here- I'm always looking for some new book recommendations and I know there are some fellow book worms out there!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns
what we have into enough and more. It turns
denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion
 to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend."

Melody Beattie

Monday, July 21, 2014

Into The Woods

         In extreme contrast to the past couple of weeks we awoke to grey cloudy skies this past weekend- the clouds slung low over the North Shore mountains came as a bit of a relief after weeks of extreme heat. Waking up refreshed from a good night sleep on Sunday morning we decided to head to the forest and trails around Sasamat Lake- out past Anmore near Port Moody British Columbia. Our little family lived in Port Moody for  a year- trying the whole suburban thing- we haven't visited this beautiful place since we moved back downtown three and a half years ago.

         The last time we walked these trails Miss Lo was a wee- tiny babe- all cuddled up in the Ergo and The Boy was much shorter but equally curious about the world. It was with a bit of nostalgia for this young family that we re-traced our steps and ventured further beyond- bigger and even more inquisitive kids hiking independently. The day was full of bird watching, fungus spotting and learning all about nurse trees- spotting and identifying each item as we went.

          All agreed it was a perfect day- so quiet and peaceful- the cool wind on our faces- a light drizzle on our shoulders. This is exactly what we had all been needing - a respite from the heat- we are indeed a real West Coast family- operating better in cooler weather. Days like this fill me up for the week- sitting here on Monday morning- easing into another sunny day- looking at these memories from yesterday I am reminded of the beauty that surrounds us and how lucky we are to live here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gone Fishing

        This morning we are waking up to news of a large forest fire burning out of control in our beloved Okanagan valley- it hits very close to home with some of our dear friends being on evacuation alert and family members actually being evacuated from their home. Our hearts are breaking watching this place burn on the news- a feeling of hopelessness has descended- there is nothing anyone can do but watch.

        This time last week we were still there with our family enjoying everything the Okanagan has to offer- including a trip to the back country with my Dad to go fishing on one of the many small lakes that dot the mountains. When we were out there it was very evident that conditions were tinder dry- when we were out there we also noticed many incidents of human carelessness including lots of garbage. This place is beautiful and special and yet people feel they can't be bothered to pick up beer cans and fishing wire.

           On the day we went the skies were clear and blue- the mosquitos and black flies buzzed thick  around our faces -as did the dragon flies on the water and in the reeds. The Boy was equally excited about riding in Poppa's truck as he was to be going fishing- excited to get to sit up front and up high- he was excited about the roadies* Poppa brought along- he was just excited about pretty much everything!

         While the Gents got down to the business of fishing- the teaching and learning of casting- I settled into my spot at the bow of the boat- in charge of the anchor and catching a few rays. My idea of fishing is slightly different than theirs- it was so quiet with no other people around- the wind and the water were almost the same temperature.

          This is how my sister and I grew up- being dragged along to all these fishing holes by or parents- thick with bugs and heat and not many fish. Long ago I learned it isn't about the actual catching of fish- which is nice- but about the quiet- the escape from daily routine- escape from a hot house. This landscape holds my heart and it always will- I am so happy that we were able to spend such a beautiful day at this beautiful lake while the skies were still clear!

     Dear Friends it is Friday again- this summer is just flying by- if you need me this weekend you can find me and my friend- fine boxed wine- basking out on our deck. After weeks of travel we are going to take it easy and stick pretty close to home. Thinking of our family and friends in West Kelowna today- much love and peace.

*roadies- a roadie is a beverage for the road- in certain circles it is ginger ale and juice boxes

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thrifted Thursday

           The hot weather arrived a couple of weeks ago and with it my panic in regards to my wardrobe- here's the deal- over the past year I have just been wearing out my clothes and not really replacing them- a novel approach these days perhaps. Since becoming more aware of fast fashion and how it relates to the environment I pretty much put a halt to any new buying- home sewn garments yes, sustainably made garments yes, vintage and second hand yes.

          When building a wardrobe becomes more like a scavenger hunt what often happens is that large holes appear in one's closet- this was the case regarding my summer items. I had very few warm weather items going into this heat wave and so walking down Pender one day I decided to stop into the new consignment shop Hunter & Hare to see what all the fuss is about.

        Hunter & Hare is a gorgeously well curated shop- full of good quality, fashionable items as well as a nice selection of locally made goodies- candles, soaps,totes and accessories- lots of lovely bobbles! I found a few things I liked and as I was chatting with the gal at the till I noticed a wee bit of lace peeking out the bottom of a stack of clothing on a chair- items not yet out on the floor. The sales girl was gracious enough to pull this lovely white smock out and I added it my take home pile immediately- I'm a sucker for white in the summer!

      This is what I love about thrifting or vintage shopping- you go with a general idea of what you need or want (because the two are not mutually exclusive) and magic happens! I'm so happy to have discovered yet another well appointed consignment shop in my neighbourhood- it makes life and my wardrobe so much more interesting!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Silver Spurs Trails: A Horse Adventure

        Last week- while still on our Okanagan vacation- my Father In Law came to us with one of his plans- he had booked the Littles their very first riding lesson. So we packed up snacks an headed out past Lumby towards Mable Lake to Silver Spurs Trails- a slice of paradise just outside the city! Silver Spurs is a full on working Dude ranch- the property includes two tee pees which can be rented out for a weekend or a week. Other activities- besides horses- include hiking, fishing and in the winter snow shoeing through the pristine wilderness of the BC back country.

          Upon arrival the Littles were introduced to Starling- the ranch's quietest and easiest horse- they were shown how to say hello- brushed her coat and then learned about putting the blanket and saddle on. This very gradual introduction to the horse helped the kids get comfortable around the big animal-  when the time came to go for their first ride both kids were relaxed and excited at the same time. The staff were so in tuned with the horses and engaged in what they were doing that it naturally drew the kids in and got them interested- although The Boy might have been more interested in the barn cats!

         As much as I was watching my kids I also had an eye on my Father In Law- in his youth he worked extensively with horses- in Germany he was an Olympic Equestrian rider- so it was only natural that he was having a really proud Opa moment watching his kids take their first ride. Both kids were so blown away by being up on the horse- they really loved everything about the ranch though- from the ranch dog Trapper to helping feed the other horses and pick cherries!

        Silver Spurs is such a beautiful spot- fields of daisies surround the property- making everything all the more magical. Surrounded by mountains and close to Mable Lake this would be the ideal spot for a family getaway. The Boy has requested we return and stay in the tee pees and Miss Lo wants to visit her friend Starling again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer's Day

"To lie sometimes on the grass
under trees on a summer's
day, listening to the murmur of
the water, or watching the 
clouds float across the sky, is by
no means a waste of time"

John Lubbock