Friday, March 30, 2012

the shoe doesn't always drop.

part of this whole living in the present practice
that i'm working on
involves not bringing baggage along and also
not borrowing trouble.

being here right now and counting the blessings and gifts
allows me to fully engage in daily living.
and by accepting that tomorrow may not look or feel like today
helps me hold today precious.
like a gift.
because it is one.

i have learned during these past eight years with owen
that the shoe doesn't always drop.
there are individuals in my life that are exactly as they appear to be.
kind and dedicated and even tempered.
loving and forgiving and accepting.
and for no reason other than that they love me.

i have stopped waiting to meet the "other side" of people
because not everyone has one and the looking diminishes the experiences that are happening today.

this is also true with my children.
right now, life is calm. peaceful. safe.
and right now, we are spending alot of time together
and this is good.
i love that our living room looks like a creative labratory
where Hannah and I have been spending the past few days
making garden plans, travel plans, art experiences
and sharing endless cups of tea.

i could worry about what is next in her life.
in my life.
i could hold resentments and fears based on our past year together.
i could be guarded and stingy with my time.
i could spend these precious days
waiting for that shoe.

or like with owen,
i can choose to embrace every good moment as just that -
a good moment.
and those good moments add up and become days of good moments
and before you know it when someone asks
"how was your day?"
all that comes to mind is a whole string of twinkly goodness and
days become weeks and then months and years.

or i could stew about the next big crisis
which may or may not come.
and in the process of all that stewing
miss out on the wonderful exchanges that are happening today.

i want to take people at face value.
for who they are, now, as we spend time together.
i want to let go of past stories and i want to be a part of changing  endings.
i want to believe with my whole heart that there is always good if we look hard enough.

that is part of my living in the now, living in the present moment work.
and it is work. no joke about that.
 remaining here is sometimes harder than returning to the past or jumping into the future.
however, here is where i want to be.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

grateful for this and that and the reason why!

there is a family of birds living in our white bird house
every morning as i sit at the computer i can see them bringing nest making supplies to the window.
this delights me!

for the past week, i have not gone to be worried.
thinking lots, still not sleeping, ideas swirling, intestines growling at me,
but not worried.
for this, i am most grateful.
worry is so not in line with how i choose to live my days,
but he creeps in and gets me when i am not looking.

there are butter crunch lettuce, leek and onion seedlings on my windowsill and
i am optimistic they are going to grow into beautiful vegetables this summer.
i am in love with gardens and all the hope they hold.
i am so grateful that i discovered the wonder of the garden 12 years ago.

i watched the girls paint and journal and drink tea during their visit together and this
made me very happy. i believe there is great healing in those activites and seeing them
learn this at such a young age makes me feel optimistic for the type of women they are going to become.
i am grateful Hannah has such a good friend in Kate.We all need a friend who knows and loves us at our best and our worst and that is those two.

last Friday the girls and I babysat. Can I just say that one sure way to fill my life with joy is to spend it in the company of two year olds. I love that they freely live with their emotions and there is nothing quite like a two year old squeeze hug.

how joyful are they!?

so much to be grateful for.
so much.
be blessed today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


i read last week that the antidote to exhaustion is not rest.
it is wholeheartedness.

i've been sitting on that thought for a week now
and i believe it may be true.
(for me at least.)

the definition of whole.hearted.ness is this:
"complete and sincerely devouted, determined and enthusiastic"

it's no secret that i am happiest when i am busy. have a sense of purpose.
am creating or have various projects on the go.
these past 3 months have passed slowly and have been heavy.
there is a need for spring in my life, in my family
 and in my day to day 

i am sitting on a project that excites me.
it also excites Hannah and has the potential to give us meaningful work to do together.
it still allows me to be home, to rest when i need to,
 to be outdoors and to do something that  is dear to me

i feel excited and that excitement leads to more energy.
i feel productive and that leads to more self worth.
i feel alive and that leads to health.

i am wholeheartedly embracing what is being given to me.

Monday, March 26, 2012


the weekend was full of life's little moments.
the ones that make up the soul and heart of me.

i spent three days in the company of this girl.
and from where we've been lately
it was priceless.

we did the long drive to the Long Beach
with friends and soaked up the amazing sunshine in Tofino.

it was the kind of weekend where at the end you feel different.
renewed. loved. wind swept and sun filled.

you feel at peace. happy.
like the stress has gone down a little.
a lot.
and you know that it is worth it.
all that loving was and is worth it.
if for only 3 days.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

in the middle...

i'm in the middle of a 3 day love fest with
my Hannah and her friend Kate.
See you on the other side...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

for the small ones..

i went for a walk on our trail today
and instead of taking you all with me,
i took my camera instead.

if i had been walking with you
these are the things i know we would have stopped
and noticed...

a very, very blue sky
and the pussy willow tree has buds that are so soft to touch.

i touched them for you.
and i thought of how miss m and miss v
would have wanted to put them in their pockets to save for later.

the tree stump was empty without all of you climbing all over it
and wiggling for space.
you will be happy to know that i saw 2 dogs and one little girl
just passing the stump.
perhaps she climbed on it for you.

"oh look!"
i would have said when we walked by this laural bush.
Look at how the sun shines through the leaves...isn't it beautiful!?
and Tejan, you would have stopped and noticed for a long while because
you are a noticer on our walks.

i passed our hill and remembered how proud
miss V and mr  C were when they could make it to the top.
 Guess what?
the grass is growing again, so the slope is not all brown and slick like it was at the end of summer.
if you had been walking with me,
we would have climbed to the top and felt sooo tall!

you all would have noticed these

i would have reminded you, gently,
that no, we can't pick them.
this is their home and we will see them tomorrow
because we would be going for a walk again.
and again.

i stood on our standing stump,
and looked carefully for tiny mushrooms,
but they aren't there yet.
i will keep looking for all of you.

remember how in the winter the river is wide and deep
and we can't go in it?
well, today the river is so wide that our beach isn't even there!
the water is clear and runs fast
and there are ducks living here.

i quacked at them for you.
i felt a bit silly being i am a grown up and was quacking at the ducks
but i knew if you had been with me,
i would have been quacking quite happily and probably singing lots too.

i can not walk by this tree and not give thanks for each of you.
this tree, more than any other spot on our walk reminds me of each of you
and how big and strong you will grow.

new logs for balancing on
to replace the one that the workers took away one day.
if you come and visit me,
and we go for a walk,
we will balance on these logs together okay?

at the very end of the walk,
just before the big hill back up to the road,
i found mud!
i couldn't jump in it or squish through it though because
i wore the wrong boots.
but there were footprints
so someone was lucky enough to have remembered their mud squishing boots.

just before i got home,
i remembered the flower patch on the side of the road
and sure enough,
there were snowdrops having a party in the sun.

we learned alot on our walks
you small ones and i
but mostly, now i reilize
 i learned how to see.
thank you for teaching me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

living close to the tears

-canvas in process by hannah-

learning to be the parent of a teenager
is a process.
a process that is long in the making
and never over. never a journey completed.
(at least until they get all grown up)

it reminds me some days of becoming a mama for the first time
and living so close to the edge of tears.
tears of wonder and gratitude and blessing
but also of
exhaustion and concern over this and that.
tears that arrive out of the blue or after a long spell of
"nothing is working to settle her down, why won't she stop crying"

there are days when i do it well.
days when i keep my own patterns and responses
under wrap for the betterment of all of us.
days when laughter rings through the rooms
and i am able to stand strong in myself, seperate from the emotional
roller coaster of adolescence.

 there are days,
where the  utter lack of normalacy get to me.
the caregiving feels intense and consumes all of me.
i shouldn't and don't really expect anything less during this time
the hormones and brain waves are having a messy party inside
of them.
i wouldn't expect a newborn to have control
and let's face it,
a teenager has a lot of rapid grown development going on too.

similar to having a new baby,
similar to walking through a lost love
similar to a hangover after a night of too much emotion

those are the days when i am not living close to the tears.
i am in tears.

tears over the simplest of dilemna's
or as a response to the sharpness in the words.

"toughen up", "don't take things so seriously"
i hear.
but i do.  i do.
i notice each edge in the words, hardness in the eyes, frowns on the face,s
silence in the room.
and it keeps me close to the tears
let's face it,
it's been 40 some years and i am still easily wounded.
"overly sensitive" some might say.
i still love deeply and fully and throw myself head and heart first
into those i am closest too.
this is who i am.
 navigating and loving four teenagers ,
now just two,
hasn't hardened my heart, nor dried up my flow of tears.
i haven't "gotten used to them"
because every one is complex and unique and beautiful and full of so much potential
that i can't and i won't disengage
even if it did mean less tears.
less stress. less confusion. less "toughen up" gremlins telling me how to do it.

i intend to live my life close to the edge of tears,
because that is honouring of who i am
and allows me to be here. right here.
so i don't miss a step.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

hello Spring!

oh hello! hail and wind and sideways rain.
oh hello! crocus clusters in my garden.


oh hello! trees that are swelling with blossoms.
oh hello! rubber boots and rain jackets and puddles to jump in.
oh hello! baby seedlings on my window sill
oh hello! bare garden beds hiding worms and moist wet soil that will soon be ready to plant.
oh hello! hope of sunny days and scents of newness.
oh hello! birthdays that abound this month.

Hello first day of Spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

again and again...

here's the thing.
i need to start again.
again and again and again until it gets figured out.

the doctors say that food has nothing to do with it.
the medicine takes care of whatever is going on inside my body.
the extreme foodies say that medicine has nothing to do with it
it's all about the food i put into my body.

here's what i would like to put into my body.

or how about these

yes please.

the reality is that i should not eat either of those things.
not one bite.
i also need to not eat any gluten, any dairy, any starch, any sugar, anything with seeds,
anything raw, anything that belongs to the nightshade family, anything that comes in a can because it might have hidden ingredients, anything with gmo's or that has pesticides or hormones,
and the list goes on.

and for a long years. not just days or even months.

i know this because when i try to eat these things, even one bite
my body screams at me.
or occasionally,
it lets those bites slide by
and i think i can do what i want.

sometimes i am a bad listener.
that is because i am tired of this.
i am tired of the medicine not working,
i am tired of being cold all the time
i am tired of sitting with a cup of kefir while everyone else eats a plate full of dinner.
this is not fun.
i pretend i don't mind
and sometimes i don't. at all.
i am all accepting and noble and stoic about the whole thing.
but then,
when i take a risk and do what the doctor says
and accept medicine into my body that i really don't believe in
 so that i will be able to eat
and more importantly
be pain free, be healthy, have energy, think clearly,

and that doesn't work.
then i get mad. and sad. and frustrated. and hopeless.

until today.
today is the day i try again.
today is the day i say
"i have failed miserably many times"
i have come downstairs and snuck food that i know is bad for me because
i just want to feel satisfied.
i have ignored my body and treated it with unkindness.

but i have also tried valiantly
for months at a time
without sneaking or satisfying.
i have done 8, 10, 12 weeks on kefir and kefir alone

kefir has the ability to sustain me.
it meets my needs nutritionally
but it  doesn't meet my needs emotionally.
and eating is a big part of our emotional well being.
it just is.

this brings me back to today.
i am choosing to be hopeful and to try the SCD diet again.
it is extreme.
 it may not work. it hasn't worked in the past
but it is worth another shot.
this post inspired me yesterday to give it another try.
and so here i go again.

that's the thing right.
with anything in our lives that are hard.
we need to keep trying. to not give up on ourselves,
to forgive our mistakes, to accept our limitations,
to be honest about how hard it is.
no matter what IT might be.

so here is to being hopeful again.
in all the areas of our lives.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

remembering this.

"my first reaction will keep me making the same choices.
It will keep me at the same level.
It will have me say things in defensiveness
that i would not say in sanity and i'd never think in love.
Pain is the opportunity to practice.
Pain is the portal to another choice, another self, another life."
-tama kieves-

i am crawling through people. crawling through.
i love this line
"it will have me say things in defensiveness that i would not say in sanity and i'd never think in love"
i need to keep my mouth shut right now. and my thinking held captive so that i don't say things that aren't loving and true and kind and wise and gentle.
to others,to myself.
especially myself.

Friday, March 16, 2012


i'm staggering around in an insomniac's haze.
i feel as thought there is a backpack full of rocks strapped onto my back
and no matter how hard i try i am unable to take it off.
set it down for a rest.

lack of sleep will do that to you.
make me feel like i am walking a wee bit too close to the edge of the trail.
you know the one
that has the steep cliff that goes down, down,down.

i "suffer" from insomnia often.
it comes for a while, a long while to visit
and then for some unexplainable reaon will leave
and in true tania style,
i forget that i ever don't have a good night sleep, and certainly not months of not sleeping,
 and i feel such empathy and concern
for all you other non sleepers out there
completely forgetting that i am one as well.
i accept, encourage and welcome your strategies for coping with the condition
but i don't recognize i need some for myself.
heck, you might even hear me brainstorming with someone  for ways to help them
make it through the long days.
but i don't recognize i need some for myself.

(yes, i repeated that sentence on purpose..perhaps i will listen better)

it's a common theme i am noticing.
a whole lot of compassion and understanding for everyone else who is struggling.
but very little for myself.

last night i murmmured quietly to owen over tea
that perhaps i was tired of not working and would start again in September.
tired of not working?
 try too tired to think straight, but yes, let's hide that under "tired of not working"
that makes sense.
oh, tania.
wasn't it just last week that you blogged about the gift of having this year,
the gratitude i was feeling.
yup- here it is as proof!

but give me a few days of not sleeping,
a flu bug, the usual day to day stresses,
the numbers not adding up, the medicine not working,
the rain still coming down,

and i am completly forgetting that this year has a purpose.
it doesn't matter how hard it is to balance the budget
or how uncomfortable i feel with not having an outward purpose.
i committed to this and i need to stick with it.
it isn't about what my life looks like to me
..all loosey goosey and unstructured.

it's about getting healthy. sticking with this journey till the end.
or at least half way.
my goodness, girl...
it's been two months and i am already caving.

doing myself a disservice
is what owen said it would be,
 if i didn't stick with the plan.
short changing myself and other emotional phrases like that.
hard things to hear. from the man who loves me more than i can fathom.
reminding me again, unintentionally, from a place of great grace
that i really don't love myself very  much yet.

i need to treat myself with the same love and compassion and patience and empathy that i extend to others.
and i don't think i know how.

to be continued...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

project hands.

inspired by a sister in law's email to me
and because i want  to start using my real camera again
i am embarking on a project.

if you have hands i want to photograph them.
if you know of hands that crave dirt, paint, bread dough,
 hands that tell stories with their newness or their lines and curves
i would love to see them
and photograph them
and learn from their stories.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

it was a magical walk.

i rarely do activites alone.
at home, i am content to putter and spend time in solitude
but when i venture out into this wonderful world i am always with someone else.

last week,
on Tuesday afternoon,
 i had a magical walk.

Like participating in solo activities,
i also rarely use the word "magical."
it carries more weight than it need to. 
i am learning
 new definitions for words like
magical, yoga,,spirituality,
balance, prosperity, success.
 The list could go on and on,
but that is not what this post is about, now is it?

 This walk felt enchanting,
which is the simplest definition of magic
according to my dictionary.
( dig deeper..then there are all sorts of definitions that i don't want to get into)

what made this walk so enchanting, so magical, so wonderful,
 was the spontaneousness of it,
the aloneness of it and the great sense of bravery i felt.
 Those,  combined with baby lambs, hissing geese,
and all sorts of natural miracles led to me feeling
 euphoric by the end.

the magic continued when i found a heart shaped rock
that appeared to have a mini collage affixed to the surface.

i broke my rule about leaving natural items in their natural home
and i placed the gift tenderly in my hand and brought it home to rest on my white shelf.
a rock can make me that happy.
true fact.

this walk took place in less than half an hour, yet it felt as though
every step allowed me to discover another gift.


this was my favorite discovery.
a pussy willow tree with buds just opening.
for this i wished for my real camera
as i just couldn't capture the unfolding as i wished to.

for those of you who practice the art of alone activites
this probably seems silly or simple to you.
but to me,
the very act of going to the beach, for a walk,
by myself, with no agenda, no expectations whatsoever
is a pretty big deal.
 it was huge.
i felt like i fed my soul
 and the bubbling over of gratitude was uncontainable.

Last Tuesday was a magical day.
I anticipate many more in my future.

 all the extra iphone photos in this post are for you Corrie!