My transition from cluttered to simple living.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I slept...

...and dreamt that it was spring...

I woke to winter's fury....

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's a boy!

Owen Brydan James is barely 5 inches long and probably weighs little more than 5 ounces, but he knows where his teeny tiny thumb is! Congratulations Mandy and Jamie!

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Friday, February 19, 2010


I often struggle with the title of this blog...."Overhaul. My year of Transition from Cluttered to Simple Living." What does that really mean? Did I really believe that it would only take a year to get my house in order? What kind of clutter am I talking about? What am I so dissatisfied with? What do I feel needs change. Why now?

When looking for a title for my kayak painting, my dad re-introduced me to a quote from "Ulysses".. by Alfred Lord Tennyson, written in 1833 and published in 1842. Ulysses longs to return to the sea. He is aging and he longs for more fulfillment... to make the best of the rest of his life.

...that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Like Ulysses, I long for more. My journey is a journey within. What is it I seek? What makes me happy? What makes me feel fulfilled? What causes me pain?

When my last child left home, I was faced with the questions, "What now" and "what lies ahead?" One half of my life was involved in mothering. A "mother" is how I defined myself. The void created by their absence cried out to be filled. With what? Heavens...I did not even know myself! How could I possibly know what would make me happy?

Over the past several years, I have started to discover those things that bring me great joy. What are they? Sunday night dinners with calls from my kids....grandkids who snuggle in my arms...a paddle....a paint brush in my hand...a visit from a friend....a community of friends.

What is it I seek? Peace and simplicity. Peace and Simplicity.

How do I reach that place of peace..simplicity? I am learning. The less cluttered my home, the more peaceful it is.. The less contact I have with those who are easily offended and perpetually fault finding...the more peaceful my heart is. When I search my soul and strive to practice the Virtues, I am on the road to contentment and peace. When I strive to live in a world with as little impact as possible, I have found simplicity, and thereby I have found peace.

My journey is is yours. What is it that you are looking for?

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Craft and I

Below is a picture that I snapped, while on a paddle on Lake Simcoe a few summers ago.

That picture cried to be put on that when the winters were cold and dreary, I could better picture myself in my craft, on a beautiful sunny day.

This is my painting.

I have entered in a Women's Art Show in Orillia, entitled "The Journey" that runs throughout the month of March. I am honoured to say that it has been chosen to be used on the brochures and pamphlets advertising this show. A book will be published that includes the paintings and stories that have been part of the show.

Entitled "My Craft and I" (thanks dad!) this is my story...

“To strive…to seek... to find…and not to yield." At a time in my life when I was mourning the loss of my dear friend, Kitty, I discovered “Paddle to a Cure – Journeys of Hope,” a sea-kayaking expedition that in five years, raised close to one million dollars for Breast Cancer Research. I participated, and not only discovered a love of kayaking, but also a way to channel my grief to benefit others.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Squirrel Proof".. Excuse me!!!

Spring Fever

I spent a great part of my day surfing seed companies, yesterday, and finally got busy and ordered from one site that a friend recommended. You can visit here. I think I am well-equipped for spring planting now.

Again this year, for my birthday, I have asked for a present of labour from my sons and SIL. I want 6 more raised garden beds. My two gardens produced enough, last year, for the odd meal...and no more. I have decided that I will plant one or two crops at the most per bed, and hopefully I will be able to preserve something for the winter.

The seeds I have are getting old and I am not sure how good they are now. I visited this site and decided to try winter sowing. I set to work washing containers. (Now I have a use for those plastic containers that are used for roasted chickens.) I will puncture holes in the bottom and fill them will soil, and when I have sown my seed, they will be placed outside in the snow. This project excites me!

I am feeling tiptop lately and find that I have more energy. I have busied myself with cleaning house and closet. Spring MUST be on the way!

Is there something that you are looking forward to?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Last...but not least...

I would like to introduce you to Bryan, my "middle" son, and his wife Carolann and sons, Dustin and Halen.

Bryan is an interesting guy...tough but gentle...talented in the use of his hands... a guy that has a wicked sense of humour. He would much rather spend time tinkering in his shed, building something...anything.... or outside, wandering in the bush, or fishing. We have all benefitted from his expertise in building and repairing, and for that we are grateful.

Bryan is an excellent father. He guides, corrects and loves with a passion.

Carolann is a wonderful gal, who is both "girly girl" in nature but who knows how to mix with the boys. THAT is a good thing... because you can see that her household is dominated by the men in her heart. She works with children and is very talented in that field. She brings a rich Italian heritage into this marriage, and a family who have room for everyone in their hearts and home.

All in all, I am one lucky mom. My life is a colourful world....enriched by many different personalities that make up our family. Three children, two step children, their spouses and my grandchildren... my cup runneth over.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I am Committed!

I have signed up for a paddling adventure in September. "Waterfalls, Wanderings and Watercolours" takes place in September 2010. I have really stepped out of my comfort zone in arranging this trip. Although I have paddled before, I have always relied on my husband to deliver me "there". This time, I am making all of my own arrangements, from transportation to dog care and everything in between...and I am SOOOO excited!

Would any of you care to come along? It is a beginner course and the art part of it can be writing, painting or photography. I would LOVE to have company! (Chris...Diane...Bernie...Amber...LA...DJan...TRO... Please consider!)

Forgot to mention...The paddle takes place in Algonquin Park.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Who Can Resist....

A Sunday drive?

These folks don't seem to mind the cold....

A walk in the forest reveals...

a stroke of The Painter's

and here...

...a silent spring....

...and a sleeping field.

Who put this here? Did we interrupt his meal?

So much to see when you leave the comfort of your chair for a Sunday drive.

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