Category Archives: Gulf Island Living

The next stage

I’m not one for settling into a predictable boring life. There is a lot I have to do to maintain a friendship with myself. For example, last year, our car was on it’s last wheels so to speak, and instead of buying a car with the money in  our tiny bank account, we bought a little boat. Still a mode of transportation, we figured. It didn’t help that our car died in the next 6 months. But things tend to work out.

My point in that story, was that I have to do adventurous things to maintain a friendship with myself. I have to be able to look at my life and find myself interesting. I like change and adventuring, unless- apparently, I’m pregnant. If I’m pregnant, I prefer being boring. I prefer nesting into a cozy little hole and piling the blankets around my head and reading classic pregnancy books like “The Guide to Childbirth” and “The Active Birth” and “Birth Reborn” and “Your Birth, Your Way.” But instead, I am tucking my instincts away, under the pile of blankets, and I am packing my house up into boxes to go to the recycling centre, the Nu-to-U and the dump. I am extracting my treasures and putting them in tupperware boxes with labels like “In Case of Fire, Please Grab First!” and “Manda’s Most Precious Possessions, to be brought into the after-life.”

And we have been avoiding small breakdowns like “All I want is frozen pizza for dinner and we have no pizza pan!” and “Where is the pepper? Don’t tell me we packed the pepper?!”

Yes moving is challenging. But, we now have somewhere to move to. Granted, we will be in limbo for a few weeks as we sort out mooring etc. But, read this: We now have a home!

This is our 47 ft home. It is sitting in Sidney, BC right now, awaiting transport, and awaiting a mooring slip at the dock on Pender. Awaiting a new adventure. From farming to sailing, we are onto a new stage.

Don’t worry, the bees will still be happening. I can’t give up my favourite spatula and half my kitchen appliances and the bees now can I?

Saying Good-bye

My life seems to go in stages.

Maybe everyone’s life does this. Maybe it’s just mine. But I have significant stages in my life where I live in different places, do completely different things.

I have lived on the very edge of the Pacific Ocean in a tiny fishing village. I have lived in New Zealand, Scotland, and even a short stint in the South Pacific Islands. I know what it’s like to be a nomad.

And I know what it is to have a home.

We’ve been given notice that we must leave our paradise on the Farm by September. It was a surprise and a sad surprise. I spent a couple days walking around the farm, imprinting the smells, the textures of the soil and leaves and the way the sun sparkles across the pond at dusk. It is a beautiful place that we’ve had the privilege to live in for a year and a half. And now it is time to move on.

Having a home is a very rare thing, because often I forget what home is. Recently I’ve realized again, that the box I sleep in isn’t my home- it’s definitely a house. Where I keep my stuff isn’t a home. Home is being with Marc, home is the sense of belonging and being safe. I haven’t had that taken from me.

Imagine the next adventure! Imagine the next stage in life that could be completely different than what I have been doing. Though the bees will be staying as part of my “home” now. I’ll be spreading them out all over the island to willing hosts. I will continue to do this as I simply love it!

But the rest of it, well it’s up for grabs.

So what’s the next adventure? I’ll keep you posted as it unfolds.

Have you been here before? What great adventures did you find yourself in that you never would have imagined? I’d love to hear your stories!

the Stuff we’re made of


We’ve been re-drafting our life lately. What do we need? What can we do without? I always appreciate these moments of transition and these moments of re-evaluation. It refreshes me and refocuses me. Because I need a purpose or a goal to keep me from being miserable, times like this are exactly what I need.

So we are looking around our tiny thumb-print house, and saying “Do we need that?” And we are forming a list (which I also love) of things to sell, things to recycle, things to give away. The first time I moved, I could fit everything I owned into a Toyota Tercel and it stayed like this for a very long time. Everytime I moved,  I would pack up whatever junk I was driving and it would be that easy. Now, even though we’ve only been on the farm for a year, we have STUFF! How did we get so much stuff? It’s astonishing how easy it is to accumulate even though we look around and realize most of it we were given, we didn’t buy it. What a rich society we live in that we can replace things so often, that we have a surplus that goes to our poorer neighbours (ahem, that’d be me) or the recycling centres, or the *gulp* dump!

And to think, we have a baby coming along, and with the baby, comes the acquiring of stuff that we’ve never even thought of owning. Like a stroller, a carseat, a crib, and clothes for another human being. Already, this babe who has not even emerged into our green earth has stuff stockpiled behind the dresser.

So in this quest to simplify our lives, we are also simplifying our stuff. Do you want any of it? Seriously, if you’re interested, I’ll post a list of what we are trying to relieve ourselves. It’s nice stuff. Stuff I’m fond of, but we just have too much. Please, come, take it.

And we are not hoarders… or pack-rats… We move too often to do this…. We just happen to have passed through a lot of hobbies that we are too busy to pursue…

What do you do to purge yourself of your stuff?