I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Yesterday was the Regional history fair; A and M awoke looking forward to the day. They spent it at the Museum of Civilization in this amazing huge hall overlooking the river, visiting with friends, presenting their projects for judges, and taking part in workshops. One hundred fifty projects from schools all over Ottawa were there to be showcased.

After getting them set up I drove waaaay back to the town with the feed store, where 14 little peeping chicks had arrived for us. They were brought home and put under the able care of R before I returned downtown.

On returning, M excitedly showed me a note that had been left on her table by one of the judges, saying that her project on the Canadian Horse was that judge's personal favourite, and giving M three books as a small prize. I thought it was sweet, and her day was pretty much made at that point. Soon after, the kids' choice awards were announced, the kids having voted on their peers' projects, and A won a gift bag from that.

When the real awards ceremony started, I was surprised to hear M's name called as the first winner of an award on behalf of Canada's History Society, which came with a 2-year magazine subscription. She was beaming as she went up. A few more awards were given out and then a Founder's Award, one of several given to kids who showed real enthusiasm in their project, was announced - and M's name was called again. Wish I'd caught the look on her face at that instant. The Military History award was announced, and went to A's Vimy Ridge project, which beat out several excellent ones, including some done by groups and older students. She was ecstatic.

A good day, all in all, for Creekside School. The girls did great work on their projects, knew their material, and - perhaps best of all to the teacher in me - found interest and curiosity in history, and found excitement in sharing what they'd learned with others. Fostering a love of learning, and teaching the ability to communicate well, are two of our goals with homeschooling. A and M did that today.

We returned home to a very peep-y home. A cold front has moved in and so the chicks spent their first crucial night in a washtub on the kitchen table, on a heating pad and with a warming lamp overhead. All fifteen made it through the night. So far so good!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Some blessings in life you just wonder what you did to deserve them. Then you realize, probably nothing.

I spend my days doing what would officially be considered nothing of worth. I do not have a job; I do not earn money. I homeschool my kids and write music (okay, maybe a little more than that). Some days I feel like I have little to show for it. I'm not driven by the need to accomplish things, to get more done on my list than I did yesterday. Sure, sometimes I wish I got more done. But then I'd miss out on moments with the kids, or playing with a phrase that catches my fancy.

And then.

Oh, then.

I thanked D today, as I emailed him a lyric on my latest ramble with words, a little something called 'Scatter' (for now at least), for never making me feel like what I was doing wasn't worthwhile. For encouraging me and not treating my writing as a waste of time.

And then.

Your writing, your music - is part of who you are. Part of what makes you beautiful. Part of what makes me love you ... To squash it would be in conflict with my love. It is not a waste of time because I see the joy it brings you and so it brings me joy..."

Well, of course I cried.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

i could

Today, a few cleanups, some errands, and scraping old paint off the metal bistro set in preparation for a new coat of paint. I could have enjoyed today's sunshiny weather much more if the itchy infection in my eye (a mild case of conjunctivitis, a.k.a. pink eye, I believe - antibiotic drops to the rescue!) hadn't made me want to scratch it with a fork and had me looking longingly at the wire brush we were using on the table and chairs.

On the plus side, said table and chairs now look nicely spruced up, and my eye's itchiness is now demanding merely a spoon. must ... resist ...

Friday, 23 April 2010


I like writing that just ... shows up, sweetly and often suddenly. To stumble across the line or tune that makes the song is blissful. It moves on its own - sometimes not going where I want it to but instead demanding its way, quiet but doggedly stubborn.

Then if I give up (dare I think it wisdom to do so?) and follow, I find myself in places I'd not planned to be. And some are just plain, maybe even ugly, places and I look at the song, shake my head and say with a smile, "oh, my little silly. Are you sure?"

But sometimes we round the corner and, there. There it is. It's a beautiful surprise. The light, the sounds all come together in a moment. And then the song looks at me, shakes its head and says with a smile, "oh, you silly. i told you so."

It's organic. Organic writing, I do like that.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


My journey is not yours.

It is not meant to be.

If life is carrying you up

While I find I’m sitting still,

In the gloomy fog of the lower land,

It’s not unfair.

It’s not wrong.

It’s just how it is.

Your journey is not mine.

We can walk it together:

Sometimes close enough to hold hands,

Sometimes waving across a field,

Sometimes calling through the darkness

To find our way back.

And we do.



Even though we have our own journeys,

We've been given the gift of sharing them with

Kindred spirits we meet on the way.

And you, my friend, are one.

Monday, 19 April 2010


We're writing again. It started in 2006 as a trio, Seren, EB and myself tossing small phrases at each other via email, then all of us writing short, often free-form poetry using the phrase. I linked the poems that I wrote out of it in this blog in May/09.

But we're back at it, using a blog format (at and joined by my newfound old friend, EMP. We're writing twice each week and I'm enjoying the exercise, the camaraderie of sharing these mini-creations with other writers.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


I'm trying something new with Seren. It's a site called the Daring Kitchen - a monthly cooking challenge, following a specific recipe and blogging the results on the reveal date a month later. I'm hoping to be spurred to try new things, make new discoveries ... and eat the results!

So, nothing more on this til next month's reveal, on May 14th. I find out in two days what I'll be making. I'm feeling kind of silly being so excited about it.

But I am.

If any of you join, let me know - we can buddy within the website. :)


One song fragment was a little slower to run than the rest. Or perhaps, more persistent. I got the first inklings of it yesterday morning and started typing, cutting, pasting, editing. A full song took shape and was printed off.

To the piano I went, to start finding chords and seeing if the melody that had flitted through my mind with the words worked. Some words were scratched out to suit the beat of the song. More chords added, arrows drawn to move sections around. A bridge riff jotted in. A tempo determined, changed, fixed upon.

Played it in fits and starts through the day until the feel was right. Played it at band rehearsal last night and have some guitar pieces to add to it now.

And 'Knock' will make its debut on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


My mind seems to erupt lately with bursts of ideas for songs. I get fragments of lyric, of melody, but when I try to catch them and pin them down they laugh tantalizingly, wriggle out of my grasp, and slip away. I'm left holding the memory of something that sounded pretty cool.

But I've typed them down, in hopes that the muse will revisit (after all, she may just have been passing through on her way to another destination and will stop in on her way home) and the fragments will become something bigger.

Meanwhile life on the farm continues to give me perspective. I spent hours yesterday spring-cleaning the chicken coop, removing manure and old shavings, putting fresh shavings in, putting away the heaters that we needed over the winter. One hen who'd been fading did indeed have her last moments yesterday, despite the girls' hopes of nursing her back to health.

And this morning I wrote what looks like a complete song in one sitting. Wow! Been a while since that happened. We'll see if it works into a song or was just me being delusional.

Monday, 12 April 2010

you know that

stingy feeling in your eyes? When they're saying "please please we want a nap and it won't take long and we promise we'll stop stinging if you just have a nap and see? We'll just close for a bit here, now doesn't that feel nice? Mmm ... WAIT! why are you opening us again? We had a deal here. Nap, just a nap... please please"

I've only been up 3 hours and they're at it already.

le sigh.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

today and every day

"I pray you stay foolish enough to think
you can change the world."

- Seren

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


You can't schedule creativity. At least, I can't. I can plan times when I want to put things together, make myself sit at the piano and figure out good chord progressions and melodies; I can stare at the page and try different phrases. Sometimes that works, and it is a good exercise in writing and composing. I find, though, that for me it often comes of its own volition and then not when I've expected it.

Last night after I dropped the kids off at choir and I was driving home, I got smacked with a new song idea. And I liked it. I kept repeating it, getting more excited about it as I came down the driveway. I muttered line possibilities to myself while I closed up the chickens for the night as they rolled their eyes and clucked "there she goes again...". This morning, I added a few more lines, changed some. I revisited the idea to make sure I still liked it, and I did.

And it's a secret. For now.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


I've been over this before. I don't enjoy it. While I do it, every step asks "why?" or whines "noooo...". But it's easy, it's accessible, and I must grudgingly admit that I'm feeling better today for it.

From house to road is 500 metres. I was up and back twice yesterday, and but for pauses at each end and caving in for a brief walk on the last stretch, I did it. 2km isn't much, but it's a start. I have no plans for entering a race, but have my own little goals. They're a secret for now, whispering excitedly in my head.

The paradox of discipline: I don't want to do it. I don't like it. I make myself do it. I complain while I do it ... but know, deep down, that the complaining is not what I need to listen to. I push through. I feel better and am better for it. And that's not just running.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


... the amount of work left to do here gets me a little down. It is, frankly, overwhelming. Never-ending. Daunting. Difficult. Physical. That's enough adjectives; you get the point.

Today, one of a series of beautiful days almost too pleasant for early April, was one of cutting unruly shrubs, bringing out patio furniture, and more cleanup. I admitted defeat in the rake search and bought another one at the hardware store (and, by so doing, ensured that I'll find the old one soon. Always works that way). The gardens - so many! - need attention. The chickens were dust bathing in my veggie garden boxes until I shooed them out. The composter is going to be moved. D very obligingly chainsawed some growth that was beyond my cutters' ability, before continuing on his way to clear more of the undergrowth along the driveway.

Inside was busy too; I changed the girls' beds, washed their quilts and the soon-to-be-shelved flannel sheets, and made up the beds with fresh cotton sheets. Four loads of laundry, all dried on the line in the sweet spring breeze, and I seem somewhat caught up. The mittens, hats and scarves were put away and the summer shoes brought out.

It is getting better, so much better than when we moved here. What a mess it was! I love it here. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. But sometimes I get a little down about how much is left. After supper (roast beef and fries with gravy) I believe a walk to the log I sit on by the creek is in order.

I heard spring peepers last night. Remembering that fact alone is enough to give me a little lift.

It'll get better.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Sometimes I need to get my hands dirty and work, and thanks to a sunny week the girls and I have been spending afternoon time in the vegetable garden, wresting control back from the weeds. It's going well and the progress is good.

The chickens are interested in the worms and caterpillars we find, and do their own bit of scratching. A decided today that pulling up a taproot (often mispronounced "taperoot" which at least beats "tapeworm" that she kept slipping to say earlier) was a satisfying thing. Almost half of the boxes have been tidied, though the remaining ones look to have the most work required, and some of the boxes themselves need repairing. Lots done, lots more to do.

But sometimes I need to leave things alone. Like the ladybug that crawled across my keyboard with the large tuft of dust on its back like a flag or some ungainly cargo. I tried to gently wipe it off but he (she? no idea) would have none of my help. I could have forced the issue, I guess, but I think the world would have been one less ladybug for it.

Knowing the difference can be obvious ... but sometimes it's hard to be sure which is the right thing to do. No answer to that today, just a thought prompted by the wanderings of the dustybug.