With hardly anything exciting going on in our lives or in our kitchen for weeks, I've resorted to remaining silent, hence my being MIA from the blogosphere for so long.
Things have recently taken a sudden and unexpected turn for us, though, which is now encouraging me to resurface and write at last. But before I share this new development with you all I figured I better first tell you a little about our summer, as uneventful as it was.
My Internal Battle
It's certainly been a strange and difficult last few months for me; my internal landscape being one of almost constant psychological discomfort and disheartedness. For one thing, the warm weather and sunshine didn't arrive until the very end of July. The pleasant summer season being already short as it is here in Canada, it was hard not to lose morale after a while. (Especially when you're a sun lovin' girl like me!)
When we settled on some friends' property in June, the initial thrill of "having nowhere to go" and "nothing to do" - compared to our busy months on the road - soon gave way to a painful lethargic limbo. I felt miserable and depressed, every day blending into the next in a sort of dull blur. At first I blamed the inclement weather but later had to acknowledge that the cause had to be much deeper than that, as my foul mood prevailed even after the sun showed up in earnest.
There was nothing particularly challenging going on to account for my funk, yet I knew that my energy had to be going SOMEwhere. I eventually came to conclude that it had to be connected to what's happening in the collective unconscious during these stressful times of economic upheaval, when the very fabric of society and life as we know it is being alarmingly threatened. In time I discovered that I wasn't alone in my plight; several others seemed to be experiencing something very similar; the tiredness, the lack of energy and purpose. One friend was told by his M.D. that his symptoms were attributable to 'environment stress', which points out towards the same general direction.
Not that this knowing made my discomfort any more bearable, but it helped me remember that this was something outside myself and beyond my control. All I could do was continue to watch it unfold and feel it, without judgment or condemnation.
And so the months went by while I waged my inner battle, going about the quiet motions of the days, sunning, walking, exercising... I hardly spent any time on the internet, preferring instead to enjoy the precious sunshine and read novels.
Which isn't to say she didn't still value her rest, as you can see.
The Corn Craze
While preparing food has been my favorite creative outlet for the last 5 years, I helplessly watched myself losing interest. The fact that this was one of the worst mosquito years in at least a decade certainly didn't help motivate me to spend time in our outdoor kitchen. We were mostly keen to get something ready asap before we got eaten alive. And so Don and I virtually ate the same things every day; our usual morning juice and smoothie, nice and juicy watermelon, followed later by a raw soup, salad and corn on the cob for dinner. I know, sounds kinda boring, but strangely I came to feel quite content with our simple fare and not to mention grateful not to have to orchestrate anything more complicated.
Actually the whole family ended up on a major corn kick! Kylo and his sweetheart Angel anxiously awaited for us to finish our meal before getting their turn at the cobs.
Angel thinking "To heck with it!" and wolfing down the whole darn thing! lol She's such a funny girl!
After a while, even Puss started to develop a keen interest in corn. Being small and agile as she is, she was able to get real close and pester us while we ate (much to the dogs' dismay, of course!)
Pu' patiently waiting for us to finish our soup before the 'corn action' began.
Alright, there she comes...
"Why wait when you can just lean over and go for it?" has been her motto. hehe
It speaks to the sad state of affairs that I could hardly muster the energy to whip up raw desserts which are normally such a source of joy for both of us. Thankfully Donnie didn't complain too much about his plight in spite of his obvious DDD (Dessert Deficit Disorder) as we've come to call it. ;-)
Playing House (Almost) By Myself
The quiet summer routine was broken twice as I left the boys behind and house sat for friends. I've already told you about the time I looked after Camille and George's lovely home by the river for most of July in this post. They asked me to do the same again in September for a few days. This time I wasn't alone, as they left their wonderful furry girls with me. Calla and Daisy are two of the loveliest dogs I have ever encountered! They are so sweet, affectionate and playful; it was such a joy to get to spend time with them and know them better.
The girls having their meal. I couldn't help having a huge grin cross my face as I watched Calla flop on the floor next to her bowl and contentedly dine.
For all the cool temperatures and rain we had this spring and summer, August and September scarcely saw a spot of cloud. (Yay!) And so I took advantage of the bliss-full weather and the house's ideal location to go tubing down the river every day.
The serene Slocan River
The girls accompanied me, not wanting to miss out on the adventure, and excitedly explored the river banks.
Cute little Daisy.
Her mother Calla.
No doubt smelling something VERY interesting in the air.
I thought Calla looks as though she's winking at me in this next pic. hehe
The Magical Bear Encounter
One day, as I leisurely allowed myself to be carried down the river, I caught sight of a blur of black fur in the water at the exact spot where I'd been just a couple of minutes earlier. It turned out to be a great big black bear happily splashing in the river! I held in place for a few minutes so as to better look at him, then continued to drift on while the bear made its way along the bank. At some point I stood up from the other side of the water to watch him snacking at something in a bush. He also noticed me, then stood on his hind legs and watched me for a few seconds. What a powerful and thrilling moment that was! I was highly aware of how quickly he could cover the mere dozen meters separating us if he decided that I was a threat, yet I did not move, willing my mind to remain quiet and still. Then, just like that, the moment was gone... He fell forward on his paws and proceeded to climb up the gully and cross the road.
I was filled with such gratitude and awe for this close encounter with one of Nature's wild inhabitants. In spite of us living in the boonies, surrounded by mountains and forest, it's so easy to forget that they are so nearby.
Garden of Eden
For all my lethargy at least I did muster the energy to get involved for the second year with the local community garden. Of that I am so very grateful!!! The location is amazing, overlooking mountains in the distance, and the soil is fantastic. It was such a joy to spend a few hours each week in the healing company of veggies and plants.
The sheer abundance coming out of this garden was incredible! You can tell that plants are so loving it there and desperately wanting to grow. There were several kinds of peas, onions, carrots, beets, different types of kale, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, bok choy, collards, tomatoes, beans, parsley, cilantro, Jerusalem artichokes, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchinis, cucumber, potatoes, corn and squashes. And I'm sure my list must be incomplete!
Several people were involved in this communal venture this season. Here you can see Shanoon and Tyson thinning carrot beds.
Camille and Livina happily showing off their loot of onions and beets.
Even Don came a few times to give us a hand with the harvest. Being the potato lover that he is, he certainly got to pick them to his heart's content among the some 15 different varieties growing in the garden.
And actually I learned that I also love digging 'tatoes... It brings up the child in me. Something about discovering buried treasures I guess.
Selecting beautiful red leaf kale.
One of my favorite crops, Swiss chard, which we use generously in our daily green smoothies. I also dehydrated lots of greens which I then blended into a powder. I'm sure this will come in handy in the future, especially as the price of greens (and produce in general) keeps rising.
The bed of Italian parsley - seen in the front - was so prolific and full! The stems were fat and oh-so-juicy! What a treat to munch on these as I played in the dirt.
There were several varieties of squashes, including two kinds of pumpkins specially prized for their seeds. We were forced to pick them sooner than we expected due to an early frost.
Some wheat managed to sneak in among the potato beds. A beautiful golden sight!
Part of the space had been set aside for little piggies. They are such a joyous bunch; rolling in the dirt and chasing each other around. Sadly, a gloomy future is lying in wait for them. Last time I went there were only four of them left. ;-(