Saturday, 31 December 2016

The story of our 're-wilding', continued; trust

I realize that I may be misleading folks when I say that we have a big back yard. To us, it is very, very big. But that might be because living in the city all my adult life, I never had more than a postage stamp to work with. (I did some marvellous gardening in very small spaces of course - flowering vines are your friend!). I blush to tell you that in all, our total property is probably no more than 1/5th of an acre. Half of that is taken up by the driveway, our little house and the front yard. The other half is the yard proper - and we sure do have a lot going on in what I suppose is only 1/10th of an acre.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The story of our 're-wilding'; body and soul

Okay, first off, I hate and detest the term "re-wilding".

It's right up there on my personal annoyance meter with "paleo" and "primal"; all these damned jingo-ist terms are so over-used, aren't they? And embraced for the most part by urban theorists, most of whom wouldn't know a gooseberry in the wild if it jumped up and bit them in the keester (but they put expensive 'alma' (gooseberry) powder in their smoothies!). You know the types, they also use words like "lifestyle" and some even wear those weird toe-shoes, believing, in a masterful leap of logic, that they are in some way going to trick the body into thinking it has bare feet.


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

On the training of the mind to obey the heart's convictions

I've written a post over at the garbling blog about what it takes to be a well rounded herbalist. It's actually (although I didn't say so there) also about what we talk about here, letting the heart lead the mind. So pop over there and have a look-see, taking into account (of course) that each person's journey is a their own. You can comment back here or over there, where ever you feel most comfortable.

Here's the link.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Learning to not worry is HARD

As I begin to write this, the whole of Christmas is in a state of flux for our family.

When you have the kind of family we do - and most of us do these days - between all the step families and inlaws, everyone has to do Christmas a few times over.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Alchemy of Woman

Some of the discussion developing in the comments to a previous post is veering into dangerous territory, the academic take on feminism and equality - oy.

Oy, oy, oy.

I never quite know how I'll respond when someone starts quoting the 'thinkers' about the 'lot' we women face; probably I should chuckle but mostly I get rankled. I get rankled because our lot is not just one, but many, and I find it offensive that 'we', and 'our experience' are discussed in academia as though we are creatures that can be understood by study from afar.

Just amongst the readers of this blog, no two women have the same experiences, needs, passions and desires, very few of which can be reduced to matters of 'equality'. As Navillus, in that comment thread, so aptly puts it: "I am not a feminist but am myself."

Multiply that by the billions and the generalisations made by the 'thinkers' get even sillier.

Not to mention dry as dust.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Clearing the temple

Paul and I are having exceedingly bad hair days.

That's just one of the symptoms of the flu-ish type thing we seem to have picked up on a shopping trip. (I'm figuring flu simply because it came on so fast. Colds kind of creep up, flu is a 'wham', you're sick kind of thing).

Apart from the bad hair - which is amusing more than anything - we're not feeling too bad. Gross, yes, but not entirely miserable about it. No doubt it is psychologically easier to be sick when you're retired and don't have anything really pressing to attend to, just the usual chores which can be done more slowly and with a chuckle. The foggy brain means we have to think about what we could normally do with our eyes closed. I had really had to concentrate when I made the bread yesterday and Paul had some trouble folding his laundry.

In our strange and twisted private world-view, catching a virus once in a while is a good thing.

Friday, 9 December 2016

"Who close their eyes and still can see"

(Part of this post comes in response to an email, the rest is just my babblings)

I just had a jolly little dance session in my living room, radio volume at full blast. I'll link you to the song at the end of this post - and who knows, maybe you'll dance too.

'Who cannot dance must bleed' they said, as Doris Lessing put it in her novel Briefing For a Descent Into Hell*. Ms Lessing sometimes lapses into poetry to say what can't be said in prose. I like that about her writing.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Apples in the snow

When the snow hit, I just wasn't emotionally ready for it, not even close. In fact, I broke my own personal record for days spent indoors - 6 of them! - and it felt wonderful. I stayed plenty busy, it's not like I was sitting on the couch eating bon-bons (although there were some brownies ..) but I didn't even stick my nose out. Not once.

But by the 6th day, I was getting a teeny bit pale. So the husband put his foot down and dragged me out. Of course that took some cajoling. I had to be bribed with just the right destination.

My favourite swamp.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Living truths

The heart does not have to be taught how to sense the world.

The mind does not have to be taught to acquiesce to the heart, to cede control.

They both know what to do, innately.

(There is no "they", either, but we have to pretend such divisions are real, in order to get this ball rolling.)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

In the forest, I know who I am

It's the silence.

It's the sound of my own footsteps on the old logging road that leads partway into the forest. They sound so .. human. But in a good way. As though, knowing that the sound of my footsteps is heard only by the trees - who welcome me - being human means something else, something other than what it usually means, and with each step deeper into the forest I walk deeper into that meaning.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Things are not always as they ap-pear

That's the worst play on words, ever.

I'd been sitting in the back yard just enjoying the last of the sun as it glinted off the distant river. It was time to go in, so I took one last long look at what I consider to be the most beautiful place in the world, our chaotic, overgrown, unconventional and oh my dear Lord we thank you for the blessings generous back yard.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Creation just keeps on giving

We seem to be having what the country folk call a 'long, open fall' here; no snow yet. And as this comes on the heels of the best wild fruit summer we've seen in our 10 years here, I am one happy camper these days.

I keep going for walks and coming home with the likes of this:

Top - dandelions
Left - nettles good for eatin' (and we did) Right - rosehips and wild grapes for juice.

The rest of this post is over at the wildcrafting blog

Monday, 24 October 2016

Heart's ease, cocoons and redemption

The mind, in the service of the heart, can open itself up in some interesting ways.

Let me explain. Ha! Or try to ..

Yesterday morning, still a-bed. Although (from deep under the covers) I was assuring my oh-so-chipper in the morning husband that yes, I was waking up and would report for coffee soon, I was actually slipping sideways into a sort of dream. I found myself in conversation with a flower.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Taking the by-ways (2)

We're a couple of ramblers, that's what we are.

Family obligations of a rather depressing sort (and then Thanksgiving which was actually pretty uplifting) saw us zooming to and from the city several times over the last couple of weeks. We don't mind the drive, even from the highway the scenery is pretty at this time of year. It was being in the city itself, with all its straight lines and angles and broken skies and noise and blank-eyed people that was really hard on our psyches. And words! There are so many words in the city; all those signs trying to grab our attention are wearing when you're not used to them any more.

City dwellers laugh at me when I complain about these things. Or they worry that I'm not all right. Too sensitive. I think they should worry about themselves, what with being so numb they don't notice any of it any more. It can't be good to be so cut off from your senses. It just can't be.

Yeah, it was all kinds of good to be home at the end of it all.

The due-west corner of our own back yard.

I was out of sorts when we got back though. Very.

Taking the by-ways (1)

Check this out:

We LIKE it when the car looks like this.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Autumn begins: flutterings and dreamings

 On this blue skied morn, with the first flashes of colour on the tips of the trees and the garden full of birds, Paul (D.J., artist in residence and all around good guy) chose this piece of music to have our coffee by ..

.. and it seemed the birds came a little closer to the house for a listen.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Thursday, 8 September 2016


This critter:

And I have something in common.

Or at least I feel like I'm seen like this sometimes, as though I am pulling myself this way and that.

From the outside looking in (apparently) I seem to hold contradictory ideas.

I'm a both/and person living in an either/or world. To the crowd of disbelieving onlookers, that makes me a freak. That's okay, I play to the crowd; as long as they know they can't figure me out it keeps their minds open to what might really be going on.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Dem bones

This is a story about re-integration. 

Do you remember this old Spiritual?

Ohhh, the toe bone's connected to the foot bone
The foot bone's connected to the heel bone
The heel bone's connected to the ankle bone
Now hear the word of the Lord ..

That song's been in my head since I got up this morning, but my version of the lyrics goes like this:

Thursday, 11 August 2016

On coyotes, St Augustine and forgiveness

(with random pics by Paul)

It was a bit past midnight. I'd been hanging out in the relative cool of the basement, at my desk, reading Matthew Wood's take on herbal treatments for the muscular/skeletal system. Fascinating. My mind traced back and forth between the green world and our insides, the affinities and sympathies between all things in Creation. Nature uses the same structures over and over, as though she doesn't differentiate between life forms; plant, animal, fungi, bacteria, soil - we're all made of the same stuff. "All" we have to do, it seems, is understand whether to strengthen a system/function that lacks energy or to calm an overactive one. Simple enough, but not easy.

Friday, 5 August 2016

You can't freeze dry veriditas

I put up a video over at the garbling blog some of you might be interested in. It's part one of a talk by one of the old guard (and most well loved) herbalists, David Hoffman.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Lessons from the allies: Eyesight vs vision

Yesterday evening Paul and I took a little ramble over to the island ..

Yonder island,
Grand Calumet

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Upside down days, right side up convictions

Walk the talk?

I don't have the "luxury" of doing otherwise.

For example, air conditioning. I don't 'believe' in air conditioners. They're nasty, whether central air or the ones that stick out of the windows, I just can't breathe the stale crap they spew into a house. Being surrounded by air conditioned buildings when we lived in the city meant a constant electronic/mechanical hum added to the general din, and of course they heat up the outside air, only compounding the misery of a heat wave. Ugh.

Some call it monarda, some call it bergamot.
Warming & stimulating medicine.

Now that we're older, retired (read poor), we couldn't afford the electricity to run one anyway. And that's actually a good thing. I often wonder if the Lord is keeping us just poor enough that we won't be tempted to 'need' things we don't really need. It would be 'easier' on us, especially as we age, to have a cooler house.

Instead, we have to walk our talk.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Something about women

My dad - when he was 'in his cups' - used to say "you know, women are funny buggers ..".

He didn't mean funny as in amusing.

I've got a post up over at my housewifely blog that kinda proves his point. That blog's not for everyone, so I won't take offence if you skip it. But if you're interested, it's here .

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The wake behind the boat


Who does this life belong to, anyway?

(I'm feeling thoughtful today, and working it out 'on paper' so to speak. Feel free to skip this one if you're not in the mood for ruminations.)

I never did catch on to the 'self help' book trend, but a couple of years ago I picked up something by Wayne Dyer from the book table at a church sale. The title escapes me at the moment but it's a rather nice book. Cheerful.

One key point that he makes is that we are not bound by our pasts.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Untitled post

"We are circling,
              circling together,
We are singing,
            singing a heart song.                                                            
This is how we grow
            This is how we get to know
                                This is celebration
                                          This is sacred .. "

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

It's personal

It's always interesting to find out how others see us, isn't it?

I wonder how God feels about how we see Him. Amused, I hope, but more than likely He's chagrined fairly often, too.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Allowing miracles

Wild ginger

The one thing that can keep us separated from God is fear.

Fear comes to us as a matter of course when the intellect is solely in charge. That's because the intellect knows, deep down, that it doesn't have all the answers. Yet because the intellect also believes itself to be the final authority, this sets up a bit of a conflict. Cocky intellect isn't quite so sure of itself as it seems.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Gobbling what you garble

There's a post about eating weeds for supper over at the other blog. Follow the link, and I'll see you there!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A how-to

I've just put up a post on garbling comfrey over at the wildcrafting blog so go see, if it tickles your fancy.

Friday, 13 May 2016

"And the little hills rejoice on every side"

Lines like the one I've used for this post's title just jump off the page at me and stick in my brain.

No, make that heart, they stick in my heart. Heart-mind. That line is from the 65th Psalm, in case you're wondering.

It's spring, finally, and as the world grows greener by the hour the little hills around us do, indeed, rejoice. It's in the bird-song in treetops and the fragrance of forest floor, it's in the laughter of running brooks and the glow of lichen on wet rock. Here, in my own back yard, I could swear the unfurling leaves of comfrey that come up in the lawn (where they're not 'supposed' to) have a slightly defiant musical note to them and when I smiled at finding the first violets yesterday, they most assuredly smiled right back.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

All dammed up. And damned. An expletive loaded rant.

(I let this one sit in draft for a day before publishing because, well, it's in the tough love category.  Don't take any of my venting personally - unless it applies, and then take heed!)

I haven't been writing much lately, have I?

That's because I haven't been thinking in words as much as I often do.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Big sky, big trees, and really big water

Another Sunday, another little wander through the 'neighbourhood' .. back to Chutes Coulonge, a fantastic park just about 40 minutes from us.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Biblical aliens

"I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, 
he said to me, "You must not ask for so much." 
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, 
she cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

                                                            Leonard Cohen

Funny how the "official" lyrics to the song don't exactly match how Leonard most often sings it. But it's his song, right? He sings it differently every time.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Tending the fire - thoughts on 'necessity'

Yes, we live differently here.

We say we live in the country, in fact we live in a village. But with barely 800 souls, nearly all of whom come from pioneer stock, and the fact that our village is surrounded by farms, a great big river and then nothing - and I mean nothing - but wilderness for thousands of miles extending north and west, yes, this is the country. There are other villages in the immediate area, placed a half-day's horse and buggy ride apart along the rivers, big or small, or nestled by lakes. One is even a real 'town' of a couple of thousand. Some of the others are shrinking hamlets of a dozen or so houses; the young leave, you see.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Splendidly nuts

That's what my sister called me the other day when I sent her the link to "All robins answer to Tippy" (the post before this one). I'm pretty sure she meant it fondly ..

Paul thought it an accurate description of my character. I know for the most part he likes me this way (a little eye-rolling at some of my antics aside) and I probably couldn't not be this brand of nuts if I tried, it's built-in. Mostly a feature rather than a bug.

But it can make for some awkward moments.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

All robins answer to "Tippy"

It's too early to tell whether Tippy himself, our original and by now quite geriatric front-yard robin will return this spring. So far, only one robin has appeared in the neighbourhood, a youngster by the look of him and a bit shy. He hangs out in the top of the tamarack tree across the street.

Today on a ramble, after Paul took pictures of the wild white water of Ragged Chute, we took 12th Line over to a quiet little spot on Killoran Road.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Paul finds more white water

I confess, this time I was worried as he went out the door.

I was doing the house prep for the Easter Sunday invasion visit from our ever-expanding family (3 little ones now, 3!!) (not that #3 takes up much room yet) (and they're all adorable so I ain't complaining). It was just as well he fled, seeing as how when I get ready for these things I tend to explode the whole house for a while ..

But he was headed for some wild places, scary places, icy places. Luckily for him, the park surrounding the scariest and the most grand of all was open, (read the trails and such had been inspected and were safe) and free for the day.

(And? When he reads this about me worrying that one of these days they'll have to fish his body out of some river, he'll "tsk". Too bad buddy! I loves ya. Wives worry, husbands "tsk". It's the way of the world. Yes? Yes.)

He got some great footage of course!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

One song leads to another


It's sappy music day!

There we were, at the grocery store check-out .. I heard just the first damn note and I knew the song. And not just any song, one of the sappiest, most bubble gum songs ever, one I don't suppose I've heard more than twice in the last decade. Back then? Yeah we all heard it a lot. It's also kinda sweet and I love it.

But you see, it set off a chain reaction in the music section of my brain. Now song after song is 'coming in' on the psychic radio station. Next up:

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Understanding Grace, exploring Chesed

Keep in mind, please, that I am uneducated, so when I use words and phrases familiar to your ears I am probably not using them in the ways now officially accepted by the Thinkers, Academics and Theologians. I have just enough education that I enjoy learning; not so much that I've been indoctrinated into any particular school of thought.

I do love words, very much so. My only fond memories of my highschool days (besides those times I skipped class and wandered in the nearby fields) are of Mr. Harvey's English class. My hand was up so often in that class my arm ached by the end of it. He had to ignore me most of the time or the lesson plans would be derailed. But near the end of the class he'd smile, finally point to me with a nod (knowing what was coming) and I'd ask what he & I (for we understood each other) considered the most delightful of questions, "Sir, what's the root of the word ...?" Ah, dear Mr. Harvey.

Which reminds me, isn't it interesting, that familial relationship between the words "indoctrination", "doctrine" and "Doctor"? I'll leave that for you to play with ..

Friday, 4 March 2016

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Thursday, 3 March 2016

tick-tock .. tick-tock ..

Time, of course, is a human invention. We forget that. Nature is cyclical - the seasons, the tides, the phases of the moon - not linear.

It is only recently in the history of time-keeping that villages had to co-ordinate their versions of  'the time'. It was the railway, that most linear of inventions, that required that we all synchronize our watches and town clocks.

As we think about time as a human invention and take that thinking a little deeper, what about the pendulum that marks the seconds off so neatly? Or what about the accepted version of reality, that our societies, our ideas of who we are and what is right, must swing "like a pendulum" from one extreme to the other? I speak, specifically, of the ideas of feminism VS the patriarchy. Hard science VS woo. Right wing VS left in politics (the latter being the most ridiculous of metaphors, as though the American Eagle flaps one wing and then the other, essentially, then, limping along on one wing at a time .. although, come to think of it ..)

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Well and truly rosed.

I suppose I should be writing this for the garbling blog. But at the garbling blog, I write about the medicine plants without the "woo".

I'm afraid that's just not possible when it comes to roses. They are the ultimate in "woo"; I take their very existence as proof of the Divine and the benevolent nature of Nature.

They are also very practical things to have around.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Exploring the contours of the Self

Think of yourself as a place. No, let me rephrase that.

Think of your Self as a place. What sort of place are you? Are you a street? A meadow? A canyon carved by ancient rivers? How's the weather there?

Think of your Self as an event. What sort of event are you? Are you birthday party? Are you a church service? Are you a star a-borning?

Link of your Self as light. Are you a particle or a wave?

Monday, 25 January 2016

The company we keep

This is a post about beliefs.

Health is not complicated. Sickness isn't even all that complicated but we've made it that way.