The Next Great Adventure

The Mr. and I were recently talking about the places we’ve lived over the years, and he pointed out that a lot have had an interesting story to go alongside them.

We’ve lived in a condo in Surrey which belonged to my grandmother. I loved the place, I did not love the neighbourhood. I was still sad to leave when my grandma had to sell it.

We’ve lived in a basement suite where we developed some of our closest friendships, with the couple who lived upstairs. I think my favourite story was when the Mr. and I came home with a pumpkin pie in the middle of the summer… only to find out that our friend upstairs was cooking a turkey.

We moved in to the upstairs of Porter’s Coffee House on 5 corners in Murrayville. This was a bit of an impulsive move. We had no real reason we needed to leave the above-mentioned basement suite, except that this place came up for rent and I desperately wanted to move in. Porter’s is a Murrayville heritage building. When I was in high school, I participated in a historical writing project centred on the early Murrayville families and buildings. My tale, a ghost story, was set at Porter’s, and the completed book is still available to flip through in the coffee shop (don’t go read my story, hey? It’s terrible).  We had the whole top floor here, and waking up every morning to the smell of cinnamon buns was amazing. The tab they allowed us to carry at the coffee shop was dangerous. You can understand why I jumped at a chance to live at Porter’s!


We lived in a 500 square foot (including stairs!) residence at UBC immediately after marrying. I loved living on campus. It was truly gorgeous, and it was my favourite place to live in terms of having lots of spaces to walk and explore. I did not love 500 sq. feet.

And, 3 years ago, on a snowy March 1st weekend, we moved to the little farmhouse. This place, as you may know, has plenty of family history. I have adored living here. I am glad that Sweet Pea had the privilege of being the 5th generation to live in this very place. And on this snowy March weekend, I am both excited and a little bit sad to announce that we will be leaving the farmhouse at the end of April.

We are moving on, my friends, and the spring will find us living in a Cohousing Community. I had not expected it to happen so quickly, but doors have opened, and we are listening to that timing.

What is cohousing? Glad you asked! Let me quote my little cohousing cheat-sheet from the Yarrow Ecovillage…

“A cohousing neighbourhood is planned, owned, and managed by the residents. The private homes are similar to conventional homes, and are supplemented by a community hall, workshop, and vibrant play areas. Couhousers own their own homes and have separate finances, but are inclined to work together with neighbours who become friends to host community dinners, tend to garden spaces, and tinker in shared interests. All ages, religions, and walks of life can be found in cohousing. The common thread? A strong desire for community.”

What do I like about cohousing? I am excited for indoor and outdoor playspaces for Sweetpea, and other kids for her to play with. I think it’s an incredibly healthy space to raise our family. I am glad to be part of something that is a little less material, a little more eco-friendly, and a lot more community oriented. I like the people I’ve met. I am looking forward to sharing tea and dinner with neighbours, but retreating to my home when needed. I’m looking forward to having my own laundry room… but being able to use the community laundry space when I need to catch up. 😉 I might even be looking forward to trying some gardening again, with many seasoned gardeners available to walk me through it.

We have 2 months to say goodbye to the farm, and I know it’s going to be hard. But we are ready for our next great adventure – and I think it’s going to be good.

I don’t have pictures yet. For now, you can admire the farm in the snow.

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An Anniversary or Two

Happy 59th anniversary to my wonderful grandparents! We share a wedding anniversary… the Mr. and I are celebrating our 3rd. Last year I shared a photo of Grandma and Grandpa at our wedding, holding their own wedding photo. This year, I wanted to share a better look at that wedding photo. Isn’t it great?


At our wedding, I opted not to have a bouquet toss. Instead, I presented it to my grandparents in honour of their day. I loved this idea, and it resulted in a great picture of me and my grandma:


So… we had a great anniversary! I’m looking forward to the next 56 or so…


Motivated by Mango

I love mangos, and I’m not the only one around here. I gave the chickens a stone to peck at yesterday, thinking it was nice for them to have something a little extra-hydrating on a hot day (Pearl prefers the zucchini, though). I came in to write up yesterday’s blog post, and came out to find… well…

Is this a dog that looks contrite? She was very pleased with herself to have reached that mango pit.

Marigold-or-Buttercup, checking out the situation.


How cute are these coffee-filter flowers? I had the kids in my church class make them some weeks ago, in preparation for our annual June flower service. Which was last week.

And in the time-honoured tradition of “Kate forgets to take things to church,” they didn’t make it. Not one kid asked, so I’m hoping they’d all forgotten.

But, I just couldn’t bear to throw them all away yet, and so they’ve made it to the farmhouse widows as a bit of cheerful and sunshiny decor for June. Which is so nice, since it was sunny today… but I hold out no hope of it staying that way!

Does anybody need a craft? I know there are some moms and dads who read this blog, and there couldn’t be an easier art activity for a rainy summer day. Here’s how:

1) Get out some coffee filters and have the kids colour them with washable markers. You can colour too, I won’t tell! I may have done a few of these myself… You don’t have to be tidy about it.
2) Cut them into a flower shape either before or after colouring.
3) Lay them on an old towel (or several) and spray with a water spritzer. This is the fun part! Watch the colours run and create a tie-dyed effect.
4) Let dry. They’ll flatten out, too, which is nice. Make stems or tape up – I like them where the sun can theoretically shine through.

You know… if we got some sunshine now and then. 😉

You know what’s great about not using our lights? We have somewhere to hang our herbs for drying! I trimmed this lovely lemon balm plant today. A gift from a  friend, and the rest will be planted in the garden.


Weekend in Long Beach

I didn’t do a Sunday post, and there’s a good reason for that – we were out of town. We discovered the Adrift Hotel via a Groupon that was a Christmas gift from my in-laws. We knew it would be a great weekend getaway. We did not expect to completely fall in love with the little seaside town of Long Beach, Washington, but we did.

And who can blame us? This was our view:

Sunset was gorgeous. I’m sure early morning was beautiful, too, but I wouldn’t know. This is a pretty beach. Long Beach is close to Oregon, so you can imagine the waves, and the sand is that lovely fine silky stuff. There were dogs all over the place – ours stayed home, but we’re hoping to make this an annual visit and will definitely take her along. In the meantime, we rode horses on the beach:

Went for a bike ride:

And not even my fear of tsunamis stopped us from having fun (little known fact, but true. I blame Dad an The Day After Tomorrow):

One Picture of Tuesday Night

The coolest thing about this photo? I didn’t have to set it up at all. This is exactly the scene in our kitchen last night, and I just had to capture it.

Our lamp in action! It is so, so cool. The Mr. came up with the idea of putting it on a lazy susan so we can swivel it around from it’s central spot on our table, giving us light where we need it. It’s good enough to read by. I have a feeling we’re going to be spending a lot of time at this table.

Do you like our “fireplace” in the background? It was my husband’s birthday gift from me. He really wanted it (it’s a small electric heater), and now that the lights are off, I love it, too.

Can you tell what he’s reading? Nothing like sitting around in the dark reading about chickens! The name of the chapter, by the way, is “Suitable Breeding Stock.” It’s going to be a fun Spring.