Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summers in British Columbia

Because our winters are grey, dark and dreary, our summers are GREEN and GLORIOUS. And this means that we don't spend an extra minute indoors that we don't have to. This also means that I am a deliquent summer-blogger!

Our summer has been full to brimming with camping trips, music festivals, reunions, gardening, berry (strawberry, raspberry and blueberry-almost time for blackberry!)- picking and general summer shananagans.

With the added space of the downstairs, we've been painting walls and murals on walls, posting old fridges and stoves on "Craigslist" to sell, hiring "Dale the Cleanup Guy" to truck away two large pickuploads of general junk and parts of the two outdoor sheds we tore down. Whew!

Once again, I will need to post a few things in retrospect. More frequent posts to come!

This past weekend was our 2nd annual Feast Collective. Last year, a dear friend (Carrie) blogged about the feast. This is what she wrote:
About three weeks ago now I was able to be part of the most interesting hippy event. It was a reunion of sorts, with a philosophy. My first year out of university I lived with three other girls in what became known as the "llama lodge"... It was a great year of family as we all pitched in for meals and parties and sadnesses and joys. Community at its rawest!!! Since those days all of us vagabonds have shuffled around, and this "Feast Collective" was to be a reuniting of that community, atmosphere and people.
As we got together to roast a pig, prepare a feast, take care of children added to our original numbers, camp in the rain, sit by the fire, swim and play on logs in the lake, share stories of what has been and hopes for what may be .... I was amazed at what a dedication to vulnerability and honesty could do to meld a group of disconnected strangers together. Beyond catching up, there was a sense that for these days we could carry each others lives and all they entailed. With the reality of not being able to keep in touch with everyone it was amazing that such a sense of connectedness and support could be felt throughout the weekend. But then... that was the philosophy behind the whole reunion."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Looks like an incredible film

My sister sent me a link to the film BELLA today. Please check out the website and consider promoting it in your city--

I received a link from my sister today to the movie BELLA. It looks like an amazing film. It recently won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

I poured a cup of tea and watched the four video segments. Lots of goose bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes by the end. Well done movies with meaning make me feel hopeful. If you have a minute, spend some time reading the story and watching the trailers.

My husband attended a Leadership conference last week. It was organized and put on by Bill Hybels, the pastor of WillowCreek Church in Chicago. The Producer for Bella was introduced during the final conference day and able to share his story about working on Bella.

So, needless to say, we are excited to actually SEE what we're excited about:).

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Best Birth Scenes

I have recently watched two movies with incredible (realistic!) birth scenes. There's a lot of harsh content and violence to get through in both films. But I don't regret seeing either one. In fact, they are remarkably well done.


There you have it. Are there any other great birth scenes out there that you've seen?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


This will be my final roadtrip post. I have enjoyed sifting through the hundreds of photos during the trip (digital photo technology is wonderful!), remembering some of the meaningful moments
and sharing them here on my blog. But, summer marches on and there are many other things to write about. So, here we go.
We continued our roadtrip north to the South and North rims of the Grand Canyon. They are vastly different, and my dad made us promise to visit both. We lingered on the rim, watched the mules and hikers ascend sweat-drenched and sun-reddened, ate icecream cones at the old-fashioned soda fountain and generally marveled at the immensity of the GRAND Canyon.

Since I lived so near it during my childhood, I have probably been there 10 or more times. Though familiar, it was just as spectacular as I remembered it and especially so as I watched my husband and children gaze down toward the tiny Colorado River at the bottom.

The North Rim was more rustic and geared toward serious back-country packers/explorers. The main lobby of the Grand Canyon Lodge overlooks some of the most awe-inspiring geology and vistas in the world. We were stunned by the extreme, rugged beauty and angles of light, so different from the Southern perspective.

We ate dinner in the open air at a picnic area off the main road. There were no guardrails, and a serious dropoff just beyond our table. Our quiet and powerful mover and shaker was on the go and ran so dangerously close to the rim that we decided to tie him (with a loose rope around the waist) to a tree. He was free to roam and we were free to eat our meal without mortal fear for our child!
We camped on the South Rim for two nights, explored the surroundings, listened to the ranger talks, roasted marshmallows. After the kids were asleep, we rested in our hammock between two trees and sipped small bottles of Cabernet Savignon.

Our day at Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks was refreshing. We hiked The Narrows, and drove leisurely to each lookout along the path at Bryce Canyon.

While in Utah, we looked into the possibility of renting a YURT at one of Idaho's State parks. Ponderosa State Park had one available for 45 bucks a night, which we gladly scooped up. Below, is the view out the ceiling window. It was cozy and warm with a double bunk bed, futon, table and small heater.

The next morning, we stumbled upon an amazing restaurant called The Pancake House in the neighboring town of McCall.

From Idaho, we drove the back roads (Hells Canyon Scenic Byway) into Eastern Oregon. We visited our dear friend Katie for two nights at her home in Enterprise, Oregon and one night at a gorgeous cabin on the Imnaha River. Below is a picture of Alley and Katie picking produce for our dinner from Dr. Boyd's (her dad's) greenhouse. It would take me a few posts to pen all the events of our visit. Suffice it to say that we had a full and wonderful time.

One of the more interesting aspects occurred around 5 am the first morning we were there. I woke up with Soul baby and resettled him to sleep. I felt really rested, so I decided to stay up and brew some coffee. The smell of smoke was heavy in the air, and since the previous day had been unusually cold, I assumed someone was burning their wood stove.

I peeked out the window and saw the sky dark with smoke. I walked outside and noticed the smell had a different, more chemical quality to it. I started to walk down the street, in my pajamas, toward the cloud of smoke. It led me to downtown Enterprise, where a large brick building, attached to the fire station, was in flames. There were at least 10 firemen holding water hoses from different angles. The flames were licking so fiercely and destructively that I started to cry. What an unbelieveable sight.

The entire building (a saddle shop below and apartments above) was destroyed. The feeling I had watching a huge building reduced to ashes has stuck with me. It has reminded me to live deeply and fully now, to not be attached to possessions and to have compassion on those who have experienced a similiar tragedy. If I could only save two things in a house fire, I realized it would be our family pictures and my journals. Writing this reminds me that I need to get them together into one box.

Our final visit with friends was in Wenatchee. Mark and Wendy fit us into their lives the same week they were moving across town! We had a wonderful time , enjoyed Wendy's delicious cooking and watched with joy as our kids had a blast together. Wendy and I have simliar (horrible) pregnancies, and with their third on the way, we had a lot of shared experiences to catch up on.

It seemed appropriate after all of this, that we had a full week with extended family at our "every- two- years" reunion. My heart felt especially appreciative for the friends and family we have, the relationships that exist outside of possessions. We had a blessed, life-giving time with everyone at a retreat center/family camp in the Wenatchee National Forest.

And after a month on the road, we returned to our cozy home and Alley exclaimed "It's our house! I'm so excited to sleep in my own bed again!"

And we agreed.