"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The siren song of home does lead one into some tricky spots adventures, don't you think?  Well worth it, but phew!  It has been a rather challenging few weeks (months), beginning with our very drawn out house purchase, endless closing delays, and The Move.  Given that we are fairly experienced movers - after all, we've shifted countries several times - I rather figured we had this one in the bag.  As it just so happens, packing up a pallet's worth of boxes to ship overseas and organizing immigration papers is nothing compared to moving house with ferries involved, much bigger kiddos missing friends and school, and so much more stuff to load and unload.  But we're here.  And it's not a bad place to be.

Not bad at all.

This new space we have been looking forward to, and are just starting to get used to calling home is somewhat overwhelming, to say the least.  I keep looking around at a house that is exactly triple the size of our last home, with an acre of very un-landscaped land, thinking:  "Are we ready for this?!"  Along with the sheer gratitude and excitement to have this place, at long last, comes a helluva list of Things to Do.  Water heater to replace (check!), propane tank to fill (check!), firewood to buy, one of two ovens kaput (two ovens, though, not complaining!), waiting on a washer and dryer to be delivered (exactly how much laundry does a move incur?!  A lot.), and an ancient curmudgeon of a furnace that has reached retirement age and then some (a mere two years younger than me...so, 24, right?  Um, yeah...), a garden to plan, trees to learn how to care for...  All these teething issues are beautifully balanced out by the lovely welcome the Island is giving to our family.  The view of the water, a gorgeous space for kids to run and play, a morning cup of coffee while taking in a stunner of a sunrise, the kind teachers at our new school, every friendly Islander we've interacted with, has been more than enough to convince us that we chose well.

Cooking will begin again soon, along with recipes to share, now that we've got hot water in the kitchen...knitting warm gear needs to happen, as we've got a huge space to heat and are a little fearful of that first bill...remodeling and redecorating stories to share once we settle in a little bit more...This Oddysey is happening, my friends.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Before We Go

We're down to the wire here, and still uncertain when we'll be closing on our new home.  And while it is absolutely the most trying time I can remember experiencing, while my rather limited patience has been tested and pushed to its very limits, there is a bright side.  (However dim that brightness may seem...)  For we are at least able to squeeze in one more thing, before we go.

 One more glimpse of Mt Si on a sunny day...

 One more gathering with dear friends, with the knowledge that it's going to require a bit more planning for future gatherings, making it all the more precious...

One more dance party...

One more race through the fallen leaves...

One more visit to our most amazing local cheesemaker, River Valley Cheese, enjoying their gorgeous chevre paired with Mim's World Famous Tomato Relish (and wishing I'd known of them sooner, to have one of their cheese making classes under my belt)...

One more loaf of bread baked in this oven, and the excitement of seeing how the island air will affect the flavor of my homemade levain...

And so, I'll do my very best to focus on these very real blessings, while we await the final word that it is time to begin our new adventure.  

In the meantime...

...there's always one more mind-blowing sunrise.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Don't Sweat It

Hello?  Is anyone there?

I've been a bit silent around here lately.  Our pre-moving world is looking a bit like this:

Boxes, boxes, and more boxes.  Again.

This is a new one:  Boys in Boxes.

With the Big Move planned for this weekend, I am once again packing, planning, and hoping that the house closes on time.  We're five months into this purchase, and it has been one heck of a roller coaster ride.  News on approvals, permits, installations - it changes almost daily.  (Sometimes hourly.)  And with the ups and downs, I do try to keep reasonably calm, aware that this will all be worth it in the end.

Thank goodness for my rock of a Mister, who alternates between a stoic "It will be just fine" attitude, and a "I don't need to stress...you've got that covered."  Either way, he keeps me from sweating it.  Mostly.

As does this stuff:

Okay, we're entering into possible too-much-information territory here, people.  Fair warning.

Does anyone else have issues, like I do, with deoderant/anti-perspirant?  For years, I've struggled with using the hard stuff, worrying about the chemicals, and the possible future health issues associated with them.  I've used the natural stuff too, but the thing is:  None of them, natural or chemical, really worked for me.  And it kind of sucks to be going about your day, worrying that you smell, or that your shirt may be getting just a wee bit damp.  Ew.  Gross, I know.  I did warn you.

So, a few months ago, I happened upon a recipe for homemade deoderant, in The Urban Farm Handbook.  While this reeked of the ultimate hippie-dom (excuse the pun), I decided to try making some.  I really didn't have anything to lose.  I mean, it's deoderant, after all.  And my usual bag of tricks wasn't cutting it.

Guess what?  This works.  It's a mere two ingredients, that many of you probably have around your house right this very moment.  It takes all of two minutes to mix up a batch.  And in the midst of crazy-busy life, you won't sweat it.

That's good enough for me.  Here you go:

Homemade Coconut Oil Deoderant - adapted from The Urban Farm Handbook


2 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp baking soda

If your coconut oil is solidified, set the jar in a bowl of hot water to liquify it.  Mix the oil and baking soda, and store in a container with a snug-fitting lid.  (I use an old glass lotion jar.)

In colder weather, the deoderant tends to solidify, because of the coconut oil.  Simply rest it in a sink of hot water for a minute, or bring it in the shower with you.  It will be ready to apply by the time you're towelling dry.

To apply, scoop a pea-sized amount on your fingertips, and rub it in.  It feels a little gritty when you first start using it, I will admit.  But given that it works so well, it's worth it.  Also, coconut oil is crazy good for your skin, and it smells absolutely lovely.  When I switched to making my own, it took about 2 weeks for my body to adjust, and I've been using it for about four months now.  

This batch lasts for about two weeks.  I don't make more than that, because I figure the baking soda might lose its effectiveness.  (That's just a theory.)

Don't sweat it.  Make your own.

Have a great day.