to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gerson Therapy

If you haven't heard of the Gerson Therapy, you ought to give a listen.  It's something either you or a loved one will likely have to deal with.....the treatment for cancer.  Get informed today, so that if you are in that unfortunate situation, you won't panic and give in to the standard  poisoning treatments.

The interview between Mike Adams (The Health Ranger) and Charlotte Gerson about the cancer industry, and the true answer to healing cancer.  A great audio.

It's worth noting that oncologists don't choose chemo and radiation for themselves if they end up having cancer themselves.  They themselves chose alternative treatments.  Something to consider.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Books Everywhere

A common sight when we've returned from the library with a new stash of books.  A favourite event.  Often on a Tuesday evening since the library is open late.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Hint For Women Fasting

Over the years one comes to realize after reading the magazines you can pick up for free at the health food stores that spring is traditionally a time for cleansing and detoxifying the body.  But I have recently discovered other times that lend themselves well to fasting, whether that's a complete fast (presumably still drinking water) or some other type of fast.  Personally, I juice fast/feast (can check out Juice Feasting) so that I have enough energy to keep up with the members of my family as I don't have the luxury of an intense fast where I would need to spend a lot of time resting and aiding the detox through different modalities.

Anyways, what I discovered recently was that you can fast according to:

a) the cycles of the moon.  Whether we realize it or not, our bodies are effected by the phases of the moon.  So when it is near full moon your body is naturally more receptive to the detoxing, making your fasting efforts more powerful.

b) your menstrual cycle.   When you get your period, your body is in a cleansing mode naturally so its a good time to increase that cleanse.  I find I am not very hungry during these days anyways, so it lends itself well to (juice) fasting, and I find temptations to be minimal.

I never used to be able to fast, or so I thought.  I usually suffered from headaches terribly, and a lot of light headedness.  I'm not sure what exactly has made the difference, but since Everette and I did 5 days of a juice feast just over a year ago, I have found doing a day or two with just juice is really easy now.

So, if you've always wanted to fast because you've heard of the health and spiritual benefits, but you haven't succeeded in the past, I'd say Don't Give Up!  Keep Trying!  I finally found what works for me, and it works Simply!

And do check out Juice Feasting.  There's tonnes of information.  Helpful, even if you don't do a long fast.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Danaka & amazing jellyfish

Laars and this crab were talking together.

All the creatures are from the Salish Sea which is basically local to the southern regions
 of the Strait of Juan de Fuca & Georgia Strait area.

The fish were incredible and quite colourful, even if they
were basic grey & yellow like this fella.
My fav was a fish with browns, pinks and blues,
but he was a challenge to photograph because he
was constantly on the move.

 I didn't count the legs on this one, 
but I think it had more legs than the one I did count with 21.
 The children could climb under the table and pop up into this bubble and be
right in the middle of the sea creatures!
 After cleaning their hands the children could touch some of the creatures by using their gentle pinkies!
The creatures are On Rotation, so those who need Time Out are in deeper pools here so the children aren't to reach in and touch those ones.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter

Not a great picture, but that's all there was to look at.  Put roasted peanuts in a heavy duty blender and blend away.  Add oil if necessary.  This needed some oil, so I added flax oil.  I found it a bit strong so next time I think I'll try walnut oil, I think, or some other lighter healthy oil.

Actually, I keep wanting the family to skip the peanut butter and just use almond butter, but it keeps showing up in the house (I don't purchase most of the groceries!)  I admit to eating my fair share, but I know it isn't healthy for us so I'd rather us be eating other types of nut butters.  I think I'm going to try a blend of different nuts and seeds, as I've tried some at the farmers' markets and really like them, and think they are packed with dense nutrition.

Anybody out there got a good recipe for a mixed nuts/seeds butter spread?   Preferably raw.  I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From Cape Breton

Uncle Kevin
Aunty Joanne

They are out west, thawing from the cold winter of Cape Breton, and were able to come over to the Island to visit for a few days.  It was really nice to see them again.  The children adore both them, miss them immensely and are often asking when we'll be able to go back out to Cape Breton to visit them.

Some day, maybe.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update on My Brother

For those of you who don't know, my 49yo brother became ill with headaches & loss of memory suddenly in Sept 2010, and was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  He was given 3 months to live if those chose no treatment.  And with allopathic treatments (ie, rad & chemo) he was given a 50% chance to survive 12-14 months.

He had brain surgery in Oct, took radiation along with chemo until Christmas, and has been taking rounds of chemo since then.

His recent CT-scan says "there is no residual sign of the tumour".

We are thrilled at this news.

He does not feel well.  He continues on with chemo for another 4 rounds.
He suffers with his memory and cognitive abilities, besides other things.  But I suppose, what does one expect when you've had brain surgery, been bombarded with radiation and ingest chemotherapy?

Their family is "cautiously optimistic".


Monday, March 21, 2011

In Light of The Past Week

What a devastation in Japan.  Words can't express what many feel for the loss.  Pictures make my heart pain, my eyes water, my mouth drop open.  What can one say?  My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, lost homes, lost whole communities, lost faith in those whom they trusted. 

As shocked as we are in the west to hear of Japan's devastation, we move on with our lives.  To blog even seems so.......disrespectful.  So......insignificant.  But the reality is we don't have the rubble and the mud and dead bodies and the radiated water & food to deal with.  We have concern.  We can send aid. Some people can physically go and help, either immediately or in the future (or both).  But for most of us, we continue on with life as we basically know it.  Somehow effected by world events but otherwise Same-Old.

Van Gogh

This week a fair share of my attention has been focused on what's been happening concerning the Fukishima nuclear plant in Japan and keeping abreast of news coming out of there.  News seemed to change once Obama basically told the US citizens "Don't Worry; Be Happy.  Watch the news and go on with life because we're all safe and sound."  But I still keep abreast of the news thru Natural News.  Independent news.  I like that.

I suppose in a sense, we have gone on with Life As Normal (in the shadow of the heartbreak for the Japanese).  'Life is Educational' is our philosophy, so we talked about earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear power plants, iodine, sea vegetables, contamination, radioactive particles binding with cells in our body, geography, jet streams, miracles, etc.  A real hodge-podge!

Trying to deal with the news at hand in a non-fear-mongering way can be a challenge, particularly when sharing that news with a wide age-span of children. I didn't want the children to be fearful, or have their sleep disturbed (so far so good).  We wanted to cover the news and evaluate our family's preparedness in case of a catastrophe.  Hopefully things will get under hand in Fukishima, Japan.  Yet, that won't eliminate possible nuclear or other types of catastrophes, both natural and man-produced, that any of us can succumb to.   Are we prepared in case of those?  Some fore-thought is better than ignorance and/or panic.  Panic really serves nobody well.  If anything it is more detrimental than beneficial.

I don't know about you, but I don't look to my own government for the well-being of my family, and I most certainly don't look to the US government for sound advice. I think we ought to grow up knowing to take care of ourselves and others, rather than expecting some other identity to do that for us.  I've heard over and over that by the time we are forty years old, we should have gathered enough information so that we are able to take care of ourselves.  That means we should know enough about how our own body works, how to mend it, how to deal with injury, how to fend for ourselves.  And know how to assess a real emergency.

CHEERS, to taking Responsibility

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Zero-waste California Home

I Love this article. Simple living, very little garbage or recycle. How to lower our negative impact on the world and live simply.

Zero-waste California home - Photos -

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indoor Composting

Take two Rubbermaid boxes, one lid.  Drill holes in the bottom of one of the boxes (we did it in the bigger box so it can hold more wastes) and a few in the side of the box within a couple of inches of the bottom.  Also drill some aerating holes in the lid.  Mitchell drilled 9 in the lid.

Everette put 4 fair sized rocks on the bottom box to help keep the upper box from settling too far down.  This is to leave room in the bottom box to receive 'soup', the sloppy wet stuff you don't want the earthworms and compost to be swimming in.
Big fat juicy earthworms Everette found while digging up dirt to add to the Rubbermaid to introduce micro-organisms.  By the time I thought to take photos, the hundred or so worms had already dispersed throughout the box, burrowing down through the layers hiding from the light.

Shredded newspapers (no coloured ink) were spread on the bottom of the box, dampened.  Then a layer of compost with some earth was put on top of that.  Repeated.  Topped with dampened, shredded newspaper.

Toveli is adding fresh compost material from the kitchen.
Put the lid on top and its complete.

We'll let you know how it turns out, and if we have any issues with odours or bugs.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reach Out & Touch Someone

It's hard not to consider what has recently happened in Japan and it not effect you at some level.  Even if it is to realize that what we spend out time on is quite insignificant.

You may or may not feel that there is anything that you can do to help the Japanese at this time (there are lots of organizations to donate to like Salvation Army or  Tzu Chi)but there is something we can do in all circumstances, every day of our lives.  

“I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.” -- Maya Angelou

It may seem insignificant, but in somebody's life it may make a huge difference. 

If you aren't walking in their shoes, you have know idea how uncomfortable to them their shoes are.

Be a Blessing to Someone Today.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi Day Today

Pi Day

Some celebrate Pi Day on the 22nd day of July (the 7th month) because of pi being the fraction 22 / 7.   Others celebrate today at 1:59 pm today for the decimal of 3.14159

We are having raw pies today and discussing circles, watching a few goofy videos and see whatever else transpires.

How about you???

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Last Winter Birthday

And she let Maret come along and get hers done at the same time.

It's helpful, because they can remind each other to clean them 3 times per day, and it alleviates some of the pressure from Mom to do the remembering (which stresses me out, because there are soooooo many things to try and remember).

On Saturday we had our best friends come down island to share a meal together.....but unfortunately I forgot to take photos!!!  But we had a good time.  The children went down to the river, walked to the 'gravel pit' (one of the 'visitors' named it that), walked their dog, ate too much, etc.  Us adults shared our hearts, books, ideas, computer knowledge.  We laughed and cried, and parted with hugs and "can they come back here tomorrow?" and wanting a date on the calendar of when we'd see them again.

Big sister, Rauchelle was here for the weekend too, but sadly had to go back today ;(  We always hate to see her go, but then that just means we'll be Soooo excited when she comes back again ;)

Toveli says "It was crowded in the house, some of us sat on the front deck to eat supper.  It was actually a really nice weekend.  I enjoyed it!"

Happy Birthday, Toveli!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Learn laughter from little children
by thinking their thoughts,
dreaming their dreams,
and playing their games.

~Wilfred A Peterson

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No Schedules?

I occasionally plan out a schedule, in hopes that I might feel like we've accomplished more at the end of the day.  I know there are things we would like to get done, but often we are poor managers of our time and we allow it to be wasted away at doing mindless stuff.

But schedules have never seemed to fit my personality.  I feel very restricted by them.  Controlled from the outside, imposed upon, rather than self-controlled.

What works best for me/us is to have a basic outline, an idea of the most important things we want to get accomplished on a typical day, and then we see to it that those things are done, but not at a pre-scheduled time.  For example, we have Reading Aloud Time, where I read to the children (usually all of them).  This usually takes place at least 5 days a week, and we try to get it done before noon but sometimes it takes place during lunch while the children are gathered to eat.

I know that schedules don't work for a lot of people, and so I wanted to pass on what Jessica/FishMama has so openly shared about managing her own time while home-educating her 6 children and making the household function well.  So, check this out!

I don't like to add more Obligations into my life, and that's what a Schedule says to me.  I like to live a Simplified Life, and having a basic game plan from which I work, but that allows lots of flexibility within its parameters......that's something I can work with.  It IS what I work with.  And I like that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Love Them

When children try your soul, as they will,
When they cause you grief, as they do,
When they rouse your anger and provoke your wrath, as is their way,
When they reduce you to tears and prayer, as often happens,

Love them.

Don't bother about anything at all
Until you have first made clear to yourself
That your love for the child in question
Is holding firmly, swelling warmly in your heart.
Then, whatever you do will be as nearly right
As it is possible for human judgment to be right.

~ Angelo Patri, 19th Century Educator, New York City

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bandana Mania

The Culprit.  Chelle got it all going.

Both Mitch and Anders had them around their necks in these pics
but they both are adorable wearing them on their heads.

Only people missing these is Laars, Mom and Dad. 
No luck finding me wearing one, but Everette actually has something like a bandana he wore while we were in Belize. 
 It had a tube of some kind of gel that expands and keeps you cool when its soaked in water. 
Laars would probably like one, I'd think, if somebody was so kind to give him one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

No More Figs For Me

I'm presently reading "Under the Tuscan Sun" by Frances Mayes, and she has turned me off from eating figs.  Ok, I haven't been a big fig fan anyways, but now its confirmed.

This is Why:

"Oddest, too--the fig flower is inside the fruit.  To pull one open is to look into a complex, primitive, infinitely sophisticated life cycle tableau.  Fig pollination takes place through an interaction with a particular kind of wasp about one eighth of an inch long.  The female bores into the developing flower inside the fig. Once in, she delves with her oviposter, a curved needle nose, into the female flower's ovary, depositing her own eggs.  If her oviposter can't reach the ovary (some of the flowers have long styles), she still fertilizes the fig flower with the pollen she collected from her travels.  Either way, one half of this symbiotic system is served--the wasp larvae develop if she has left her eggs or the pollinated fig flower produces seed.  If reincarnation is true, let me not come back as a fig wasp.  If the female can't find a suitable nest for her eggs, she usually dies of exhaustion inside the fig.  If she can, the wasps hatch inside the fig and all the males are born without wings.  Their sole, brief function is sex.  They get up and fertilize the females, then help them tunnel out of the fruit.  Then they die.  The females fly out, carrying enough sperm from the tryst to fertilize all their eggs.  Is this appetizing, to know that however luscious figs taste, each one is actually a little graveyard of wingless male wasps?  Or maybe the sensuality of the fruit comes from some flavor they dissolve into after short, sweet lives."

Isn't that amazing?  Consider yourself more educated.

How do fig wasps pollinate?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

'Typical' Minimalists?

"We’re a pretty diverse lot, with people in a vast range of economic and family conditions, places, and employment. But to read some minimalists, you’d think we’re a nation of childless, 20-something information workers, living out of backpacks and Macbooks as we commute between $500-a-chair seminars on how to blog our way to financial independence.
There are not many people who would want or be able to live this manner."

Try..... more than twice their age, married, with 9 children, SAH-homeschooling mom with entrepreneurial dad, living in a big rental house because people think we need all the space and wouldn't rent a smaller place to us 'with all those kids', with out-of-commission computers (except for the ones through the school....thank God for funding), no money for seminars of any kind, and blog because I like it, even if I'm not a good writer.
That's what makes it a bit frustrating at times, to read about minimalists and the way they make their decisions in life, and then realize that it just is not even practical for a family like ours.  
Let's get real!!
They talk about 2 plates and 2 cups and 2 sets of cutlery because there are 2 adults in the house hold.  They undoubtedly wash their dishes after ever meal in the kitchen sink, and have the spotless kitchen ready for the next meal.  Add 6 or more children to the mix and its difficult to have a spotless kitchen except between the hours of midnight and 5am when all hungry littles ought to be asleep.  Once dawn breaks it can seem like an endless revolving door in the kitchen.   In our house at least, there are always glasses and tumblers on the counter for the constant need for hydration.  Re-used throughout the day.

I don't get excited about decorating in white.  I love colour, and so far my favourite kitchen was done in a deep red (blue-undertone ).  I adore green, almost any tone.  I love the serenity it invokes.

Going without a vehicle?  Not likely.  Try a gas-guzzling 15-passenger van.  I know.  Bad for the environment.  We are trying to do our part.  But we obviously blew it when we had our 2nd or 3rd child.  Could it have been the un-filtered water we drank?

We might be sleeping on mattresses or sleeping bags on the floor, but honestly, if we hadn't given beds up for light travelling 3+ yrs ago, we might still have a bed or two.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm quite happy without the beds.  But I don't think I would have just given them away if they were still in good condition, just to feel more minimalist.  And, the point to that would be...?????

If you are new at learning about minimalism, I warn you to think for yourself.  See what fits and what doesn't, and throw the rest of the ideas out.  Think about your relationship to your stuff--present and possible future purchases--and be mindful about it all.  Do what suits your family.  In all things, be yourself.  Be unique.

There is nothing Typical about being You.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moving Things



The children having fun using 'machines' to move a stack of books around the living room.
Easy science.
Wish housework was as easy & fun.

And,I don't think these will aid Layne 
whose decided to move 'home' with her family later this week.
Two years living on the Mainland is ending.
She wants to be close to Victoria, 
a beautiful city she adores
and hopes to capture the architecture in photos.

We'll be happy to have her with us.