Welcome to my blog, where you'll read about my family's progress in renovating our home - a custom-built board and batten (minus the battens) house built in 1975 on a rare 5-acre conservation-type piece of property in small town Ontario, boasting spectacular views of the village from the ridge at the back of the property (which I like to call, Ridgeview). When we moved here in the summer of 2010, the house had original carpets, flooring, cabinetry, windows, and decor. All it needed was a little TLC and a creative mind to remodel it, and so we got started...

You'll find links to some helpful home improvement sites and local contractors.

I also write inspirational poetry and quotes...so you'll catch glimpses of some of my work, and find links to my favorite sites and blogs, or you can follow my Poetical Soul blog (click here or the link at the top of the page).

Hope you enjoy your visit.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Divine Timing: Going with the flow and letting it all come to you, for you

A lot has happened in the last three years, but none of it according to what I had planned...
  • When my husband and I bought this house four years ago, we HAD planned that we'd do a lot of the renovating and revival work ourselves, over a ten-year period or so...NOPE - he had an accident three years ago that left him partially paralyzed and unable to do any of the hard labour work...MAJOR RE-DIRECT!
  • Just before his accident, we HAD planned to get the house exterior finished that fall...NOPE - his accident was a re-direct in timing and scope of the work...at that time, we weren't sure if we would even be able to stay in the house given his limited mobility.   Enter Divine Timing - I hired my uncle's company a few months ago to do the exterior work on my house..with a completion deadline a week away, it will be finished by the time I come back from Italy in 2 1/2 weeks.  YIPPEE HOORAY YAHOO!!!  I'm so excited to finally see the finished product!  Sharon Homes Construction has been doing a great job at getting the work done, explaining to me what they're doing, and keeping me informed of hiccups that come up.  I always wanted my uncle to build me a house, and while it may not be a new build, it IS a complete face lift!

Step 1:  Add 1 1/2" rigid board insulation
Step 2:  add 12" barn boards
Step 3:  spray 1st coat siding stain (4+ steps to go!)
  • When I got married, and even through the hardships of marriage, children, illness and disability, I HAD planned on spending the rest of my life with my husband....NOPE - we separated almost two years ago...life is not without it's challenges but you have to choose to honour yourself and find joy for yourself.  In choosing to honour myself and my children, I chose separation and the re-direct that the Universe presented IN MY FACE. 
  • I HAD planned on a quick and easy separation....NOPE - separation is NEVER easy, and it took 13 months to come to a final agreement and get everything settled.  But THANK YOU UNIVERSE, for providing me with a super support system to help me through it all.  I learned so much about myself, my kids, my husband, my friends, lawyers, co-workers and so many others through the whole process.
  • After we separated, I HAD planned on staying single for a long time, to be with myself and rediscover myself on my own....NOPE - another IN MY FACE moment from the Universe with a divine match later last year!  My ego went kicking and screaming against the thought of being in a relationship and falling in love again, not wanting to be entangled with anyone...when I ignored my ego and lifted the brakes, love flowed with complete ease - something I would have surely missed out on had I listened to my ego instead of the Universal flow :)
  • I HAD planned on leaving my job two years ago, but with everything else going on in my life, the Universe told me to hang on a while longer....SO I DID, and left with a severance package at the beginning of July, allowing me to stay home with my kids this summer, to travel to places I never would have been able to before, to organize my life, and start my business...again THANK YOU UNIVERSE for Divine Timing.
These are just some of the highlights but needless to say, the last three or four years have been a major roller-coaster for me.  Some people have asked me how I get through it all, and my immediate answer is JUST GO WITH THE FLOW, and DON'T JUDGE ANY OF IT as a bad thing.  When things aren't going according to how you'd like them to go, recognize it as the Universe's message to stop and think about what you're trying to do, and to consider that maybe there's something better on a different path.  Then, ask the Universe to SHOW YOU, and see what comes up...it's giving messages constantly - you just need to open your eyes to see them.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

In My Own Back Yard - Coyote at Work

I didn't see him...but I heard the tale and saw the evidence.  The remains were gruesome, laying there in the middle of the lawn between the decrepid deck and our trampoline (a very popular spot for the rabbits to come and graze).  The body was torn apart, exposed....face half torn off (as my son put it)...bits of hair here and there.
Poor Joey - that was the name I had given him.  I asked that he be disposed of before our dog Marley went out...or she'd take care of him herself.
"Take a shovel and throw him over the edge," I said, matter-of-fact (this is the country, and these things happen after-all)..."I don't want Marley getting into that!"
How did it happen?  Where did he come from?
He was quiet, stealth...it was a surprise attack....the witness said he'd never seen anything like that before.
"He jumped out of the bushes and in two leaps he grabbed the poor thing and shook him so violently!"  Then is was over.
But he must have gotten spooked because he looked up and bolted down the hill towards the road...not realizing he was being watched from the living room window.  The stealthy grey one with piercingly wild eyes was gone as quickly as he had appeared.  .
"And you're sure it was a coyote, not a fox?" I asked.
"Oh no, it was DEFINITELY a coyote!  You should have seen it!  WOW!  I've never seen THAT before!"

No, although we had never seen a coyote attack its prey in our backyard, it wasn't the first time one was so close to the house....just another day at Ridgeview, with Nature working exactly as it should.  As sad as it was to see another dead rabbit (one had been hit by a car by the driveway earlier that day), and as disturbing as it was to have a coyote capture its prey so close to the house, it's all part of the life cycle, and part of living life IN Nature by conservation and farm property...and no surprise - the town issues coyote warnings every year.

As humans, I think that we forget how great and powerful Nature is, and that we're just a SPECK amongst its existence.  We have to respect that it has its own laws, which far transcend anything that us humans like to make up as "law".  Nature doesn't care - it just IS - and exists with or without us.

I for one am grateful to be OF Nature and IN Nature, to bear witness to Nature's power and glory - be it torrential thunderstorms, glorious sunrises and sunsets, visits from dragonflies and butterflies or any of the many species of wildlife in my own back yard....even COYOTES :)
(Photo from:  http://www.theifp.ca/news/town-reminds-residents-to-beware-of-coyotes/)

Coyotes are well-adapted well to both urban and rural environments.
If you encounter a coyote, keep your distance and do not approach it.
Do not turn your back and run from a wild animal - remain calm and back away; stand tall, wave your arms and make noise.

Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk and during the night...carry a flashlight at night and keep your property well lit (I know I will be installing more lights around the house this summer).

Install fencing around your yard (not practical on 5 acres of property, but I can make the yard less appealing to coyotes with other measures such as lighting and keeping the yard clean).

Coyotes will come in your yard looking for food, particularly rabbits and rodents. They are also opportunistic feeders, so keep your trash secure inside the garage or other structure where its enclosed and inaccessible.

Don't leave pets unattended, especially at night.
Clean up after your dog - coyotes are attracted to dog feces.
Spay and neuter your dog - coyotes are attracted to and can mate with domestic dogs.

Teach your children basic safety regarding wild animals (and even domestic ones for that matter).
Don't leave small children and babies unattended in your yard - there have been reports of coyotes dragging children off into the woods.

Most of all, use common sense when it comes to living with and IN Nature.  Remember, animals was here before us, and they have just learned to adapt to us encroaching on their habitat - we should respect that and appreciate the full beauty of what Nature is.  In so doing, we could learn to adapt to wildlife living around us, and create a harmonious environment for all of us.

For more information on living with coyotes, see the following links:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Weekend of Thankfullness

It's that time of year again - Fall, Thanksgiving, bright colors.  As much as I love my fall views at Ridgeview, nothing compares to the rich brightness of the fall colors in areas a bit further north and in Quebec, where frost sets in a little earlier than Southern Ontario.  This Thanksgiving weekend was no exception...

I always look forward to the Thanksgiving weekend trip to Quebec to see my family - somehow everything seems better at home (good food, family, sun, bright colors - what more could you want!).  Saturday's trip did NOT disappoint!  It started off in the darkness of the morning, when the stars still lit up the sky as I packed the FJ.  Then, as I moved east of Toronto, I watched the sky as it turned golden at dusk, until the sun finally made its appearance - WOW!  what a sight!  My body buzzed, my smile grew, and my heart filled with gratitude...and I thought about all the things I was grateful for that day.

Oh, but it didn't end with the sunrise...the further I moved east, the brighter the colors got - yellows, oranges, reds, mixed with a dash of green... I lost count of the number of times I said WOW! on the trip!  I finally rounded the bend before my parents road, and pointed to the hill and said "Hey kids, look!  The leaves are so bright that the forest looks like it's on fire!"

The weekend sure showed me a lot to be thankful for...it gave me a chance to reconnect with Nature for a few hours - to play, to get down in the leaves and enjoy the beauty of Fall (even had the dogs and a squirrel join me :)) <3  I'm always thankful for that chance - not only at Thanksgiving, but all year long <3 <3 <3


Thankful for the tranquil moments, and time spent with family and good mom-prepared food (especially the pies!), the weekend ended with the opportunity to watch the sunset, in the exact spot where I watched the sunrise two days earlier.  And what a view it presented :) 

What are you thankful for?