Category Archives: Friends

Hawaii or Bust

We are fresh back from Hawaii. And you’d think we’d be tanned or a least a bit rosy but we used this all natural hippy sunscreen which must have lime stone or clay in it. It created such an effective cement wall against any sun damage that we don’t even have a lick of sun-kissed skin to show for our adventures. So we’ve been making up for it by wearing flowers in our hair.

I was nervous traveling with wee Gabrielle. She’s nearly 16 months and has a self-appointed naptime and would she be ok sleeping in a bed that wasn’t hers? How would the airplane be for her?

Well it turns out she was made for world travel. Next stop: THE WORLD! She was a complete champ and we had no problems! (except when we doused her in sunscreen which became known as sunSCREAM)

It was a great trip. My highlights were:

-Gabrielle on the moving sidewalks in the airport looking utterly delighted.
-The 15 person pile up when Gabrielle couldn’t figure out how to disembark from the moving sidewalks. Like a tourist accordian. Fantastic.
-The look on Gabrielle’s face when she realized we were airborn. She pointed to the sky and signed BIRD BIRD BIRD. Completely thrilled and thrilling.
-Seeing friends, some I hadn’t seen in a couple years, and singing along to their newly-purchased ukulele.
-Teaching Gabrielle what a volcano says, “POOOOWWWWFF”
-Wearing sun-dresses and bikinis every day. Man it’s cold at home!
-Watching Roslyn walk down the aisle, at her brother’s arm, to the man she loves
-Laughing as Roslyn and Pete, newly married, climbed palm trees like little monkeys.
-Dancing the Hukilau with people I love.

Thinking of Henry

Please let me introduce you to someone special. This is Henry. He is 2 1/2 years old. And he has cancer.

I first met Henry when he was a year old and I was pregnant with Gabrielle. His dad, Jo, was telling me how fantastic it was to be a dad. I was bolstered by his enthusiasm. Within the past year, Henry has had quite the journey. The doctors discovered a tumor on Henry’s spine when he started having trouble walking. He has endured at least 4 rounds of chemotherapy as well as radiation to shrink the tumor enough so they could operate.

Today Henry is at Children’s Hospital preparing to have the nasty tumor removed from his spine. Today we will be thinking and praying for Henry and his family all day as the Doctors expunge cancer from his precious little body.

I hope you’ll join me in sending love to Henry today.

Happy Hallowe’en!

Hallowe’en with a kid is so different than without. Last year, I had brilliant and unoriginal ideas for dressing up as a pumpkin (because I was 8 months pregnant) or Santa Claus. You know, something with a belly. And before that, I was bent on going as Calvin & Hobbes with Marc as Hobbes and me as Calvin. The height difference is what makes this couple costume most plausible. But try finding a 6 ft tiger costume, and I was stumped.

As for dressing my baby, it was a no-brainer. Yup she’s a bee. Gabrielle As A Bee!

Good thing we didn’t take her trick-or-treating because she was in bed by 6:30.

We did manage to get some photos with her caterpillar cousin.

(Gabrielle was not fond of the head piece that went with the bee costume.) Seriously aren’t they the cutest bugs that you ever did see?

Today also came with a wonderful gift from dear friends.

Danielle got together with some of my friends, some people she’d never even met, and organized a quilt for Gabrielle to take to the hospital with her. It is to remind her that she is not alone. This is what I’ve been repeating to myself. She will be fine. And we are not alone. This quilt is an amazing reminder.

Friends from all over sewed a square, some friends who I did not know how such talent, and they mailed in their square of the quilt to my mom, or Danielle and now my mom is putting it all together.

How do my friends have such big hearts? How is it that we are so lucky, so blessed, to be loved so well? Thank you dearest friends with wet eyes and big smiles. I wish I could give every single one of you a huge hug for your beautiful stitching, for your creative efforts, and for loving us so fully.

Emily, Holly, Gail, Charlotte, Wendy, Michelle, Cidnie, Katie, Theresa, Shawn&Emma, and especially to Mom and Danielle for putting it all together. What a wonderful physical way to show Gabrielle how many people were holding her up to the light during this hard hard time.

Our bags are packed and we are off to Vancouver tomorrow on the morning ferry. We will arrive at the hospital a little before 1pm. Gabrielle can’t eat or drink from 10am onward. This will be a challenge for her. She also can’t eat any solid food from midnight tonight, so no breakfast for her. It will be a challenge to keep her from realizing how hungry she is. Then we get to the hospital at 1pm. She will go into Surgical Daycare. I hope to be able to be with her when they put her to sleep. Then they take her away and do a CT scan which they said should take about an hour. We’ll be called in to get her and she’ll be in recovery for about 45 minutes. And that’s our day tomorrow. We’re not sure if they’ll do the chest x-ray tomorrow or the next day.

The chest x-ray was rather traumatic for me (and her) last time because they strap her with her arms over her head to a board and lift her up with a machine arm to take photos. She screamed last time like she was being murdered but it’s so quick that it’s two clicks and the x-ray is done. The hard part was standing in the booth watching her scream and being able to do nothing about it. Hopefully this time it’ll be less dramatic.

Thank you dear friends for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. It means The. World. to us! Really, it does. Because we remind each other We are not alone in this.

 

My Happy Girl

 

Thank you Red Charlotte!

I met this fantastic girl named Charlotte. She lives on a boat. She has a baby. And she sews. So she’s kinda like me, but she sews. And like, she is completely amazing at sewing, so really, she’s nothing like me…. But I would like to be her. I turn a bit green with envy when I look through her Etsy page. Charlotte blogs here, and since she is so amazing, or because she is so amazing, she sent me a box of stuff for Gabrielle when she was first born. Through the good ol’ internet, she and I have become friends. Yup, I’m a lucky gal.

But you see, I am lucky having Charlotte as a friend not just because she sews amazing, and I want to be her, and she has a nice boat and a handsome husband and an adorable baby, but also (yes, also) because she mails me stuff.

I don’t know if she felt me creeping on her page and coveting the little suckie pads she makes for baby carriers. If she could feel me virtually breathing down her neck as she sewed, knowing that I was wishing to steal her mad skills. Or if she’s just such a wonderful nice person, but she sent me a pair of suckie pads for my ergo. Yup, un-asked for, just because she’s great.

So, because Charlotte is rad, check out her page and her store. Just make sure you get a cloth to mop up the drool after looking at her beautiful baby and her talented sewing creations.

Cobbin’

There is a really neat family on Pender Island who are building a straw-bale home. They are very welcoming about people stopping by and learning about this “new” construction method. And sometimes they have work parties. They are people who are excellent at building community around them. They don’t have a door on their house yet, so their door is always… open?

Last year we helped shovel buckets of dirt and haul it up onto their roof so they could have a living roof. This last weekend it was Cobbing.

First you mix half sand and half clay and you stomp it like you’re stomping your favourite grapes for your favourite wine. Yes, you need to use passion. Passionate stomping and maybe some dancing. That gives the wall some pizzaz, some flavour and definitely some love.

And we all know that love, pizzaz and dancing go best with two people. We threw some hay in with all that stomping and danced for a bit longer and voila! We had the foundation for cob building.

Then we rolled the tarp and the mucky concoction was ready if it looked like a baby seal pup, (we were told.) Wheelbarrowing it into the house, there was another crew ready to pack it onto the wall.

The wall was made by putting snowballs of the cob material and then breaking it up and molding it with a paint scraper.

The beautiful thing about this kind of construction is that you don’t need square walls. Your walls don’t even have to go straight. They can curve around and you can embellish art into your walls.

You can also find creative ways to use your recycling when you’re making a straw-bale cob house.

The photo above is their curved wall where their shower is going to be.

I enjoy that this couple invite people to learn and experience building such a unique and eco-friendly house. I love the creativity and freedom that this kind of construction allows. And really, playing with mud is always a good time.