In the still of the night-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

Wellness, cabin in the woods, solar power, eco retreat, mara lake, british columbia, mindful, mindfulness, happiness, gratitude, Wise Project

I woke early to the soft tap of rain on the cabin roof. I boiled water outside on the bbq and made the most fabulous camp coffee ever made. I built a big roaring fire in the wood stove that has quickly lulled my husband back to sleep. My daughter is gently snoring in the loft. I am curled up with a soft blanket sipping coffee on a comfy chair by the fire. I am charmed by the crackle and snap and the serene quiet of this wooded retreat and I am full of gratitude.

I want to go for a quiet walk in the woods and find the little waterfall the owners told me about but I am a bit nervous knowing that there is a mama bear and her cubs close by. The owners of the cabin say they haven’t seen them by their house but they like to eat from the neighbors fruit trees. I would love to see them from a distance but not face to face alone in the woods. I circled the immediate area and delighted in birdsong and the sounds of nature instead of early morning traffic.

This cabin gives the illusion of being deeper into the wild than it actually is. It is a short drive or five minute walk into the woods so once you are here you feel very far away from the stresses of everyday. Our hosts Chantal and John put a great deal of love into this little getaway and it is evident in the little touches. The solar power is something that I wasn’t familiar with but besides a few common sense things it is pretty straight forward. Want not, waste not!

I know it is not my family’s cup of tea and they humor me a lot, but the truth is when you take away electronics, clutter and conveniences we are forced to live in this moment instead of the next one and we connect more as a family. They cannot deny it. The fact that my husband has drifted off into untroubled slumber several times this morning alone speaks volumes.

Last night we had a tasty camp dinner and played 5 second rule and charades. There were a lot of laughs and I was happy for the quality family time. Our daughter  was terrified of going to the outdoor washroom and hadn’t peed once between four and midnight. She is such a city girl. She insisted she didn’t need to pee at all but I dragged her out there and she managed to not get murdered or eaten by bears. She made us barricade the doors so that mice, bears and woods cabin murderers couldn’t get in and thank god because we are all living this morning.

Despite her fears she fell asleep almost immediately after settling down in the cozy loft. I caught her talking in her sleep several times. The still of the night here is very still. Though I was up early because it is light in here with all of the windows I feel extremely rested.

I am immensely enjoying this place. It feels like you are miles away from everything which is clearly more of a comfort to me than it is to my daughter. I do think it is a memory that as an adult she will cherish and hopefully she will take her own family on similar adventures. When you are an adult you really appreciate getting away from everyday worries.

Mara Lake Beach

She was quite excited to go to the beach today and though we originally thought it wasn’t going to be a beach day the sun won it’s battle with the grey clouds around 3 pm and it is quite gorgeous.  Mara Lake beach is located in Mara, between Salmon Arm and Sicamous in the Okanagan/Shuswap region of British Columbia. It  has a white sandbar and deep blue water that is refreshing and rejuvenating. It is the first time my daughter forgot that she doesn’t have wifi. I loved swimming with her and watching her build herself into a sand mermaid. You cannot have that experience in the city.

It is easy to be mindful in a place like this. The slower pace and lack of distractions forces you into it.  The quiet and the soft glow of candlelight is not so bad either.

I would highly recommend this place for a quiet retreat or for a couple looking to reconnect. There is no fridge or stove but there is a bbq with a side burner and the cozy kitchen is quite equipt. Frankly there is a coffee pot and a wine opener so I felt very much at home. I am fascinated by the tiny house movement and the “less is more” lifestyle so this was an enjoyable experience for me.

If you are planning on traveling to B.C. and would like to have a serene stay in a solar powered cabin in the woods check out this wooded retreat in Mara HERE

I talk about the Sweet sound of silence HERE, grab a coffee and have a listen.

Just a reminder that the W.I.S.E. Principles for July are Welcome, innocent, special and enjoy. I hope you are welcoming new and exciting experiences, seeking innocent and guiltless adventures and quiet time to rejuvenate. Treat each moment as if it is special and unique and live in the moment fully before moving on to the next.

Be W.I.S.E. friends. Chat soon.

 

xo Michelle

 

HIBERNATION

Photo Credit McQueen Photography https://www.facebook.com/pages/McQueen-Photography/164760966993552?ref=br_tf
Photo Credit McQueen Photography
https://www.facebook.com/pages/McQueen-Photography/164760966993552?ref=br_tf

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and rang in a rockin New Year with those you love. My Christmas was very quiet, spent just with family. I had a couple of moments where I was very homesick for our family and friends in Nova Scotia, especially upon hearing some bad news from home but when I take a second to reflect I am always reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.

I have been absentee on here throughout the holidays to give my family my full attention. We have basically been hibernating. Late nights, late mornings, lots of movies, board games, card games. A whole bunch of togetherness!! Just the act of providing my family with three meals a day, cleaning up after those meals and laundering my families clothes seems to take up a great deal of time. The sleeping in may sound blissful but truthfully I am just trying desperately to sneak some shut eye in in between fighting for blankets and bed space. With hubby working away most of the time we are both very used to sleeping on our own. Most of the year we spend four solid days together at best and then he is gone for ten. Both of us are very used to our own space. I feel I adapt fairly well and respectfully to the addition of the extra body in my bed but it has been over three weeks now and in the wee hours of the morning while the moon hung low and the sun had not yet kissed the winter sky I woke to shots in the rib. I have no idea what my husband was dreaming of but he was lightly punching me in the ribs. I managed to roll him over but woke awhile later to an elbow in my face. He was spread eagled with his arms behind his head like he was lazily tanning on a beach hammock. He looked so adorably relaxed I settled myself onto a very small fraction of the bed, hugging the side so that I didn’t fall off. I dozed off once again and woke freezing. Hubby had all of the blankets wrapped around him tight and was snuggled in like a mummy. This is how I have been sleeping for weeks, here and there!

I came down the stairs to make coffee the other morning and found soil from my Mandevilla Vine all over the floor. It has started to dry up recently and I caught my cat in getting in it one day right in front of me. Today after seeing the soil all over the floor I inspected the plant to find that my cat has been using it as her personal potty. Unwilling to give up on a living thing I cut out the roots, disposed of the soil and I am soaking the roots to see if I can salvage them! My family thinks I am crazy. On top of this my allergic reactions to my cat are getting more severe so in turn she takes every opportunity to rub up against me and wrap herself around my neck with no regard to my swelled up eyes and congestion.

Our 9 year old Haley has been having Crazy eight tournaments with us in the garage. Her and I can not seem to win but if the mood strikes us we will keep playing till 4 am….NEVER GIVE UP!! I have great memories of playing cards with my parents growing up and I want to share that with my children but so far only Haley is interested. Morgan is fourteen so therefore not very interested in us at all!

We even did some Telus Christmas karaoke over the Holidays. I learned that after a couple of glasses of red wine I can do a pretty good rendition of Patsy Cline. Please note my standards are low and I am tone deaf.

As you can see nothing too exciting is happening and my brain is mash potato mush. I wanted to thank all of you for continuing to stop by during my hiatus and when my Staycation is over I will be back, I promise.

I figure by now most of you have sobered up and decided that your New Years resolutions were little more then drunk talk. I was stone cold sober on NYE so therefore I didn’t make a bunch of grand New Years resolutions. Too much pressure 😉

I am just going to fly by the seat of my pants. Welcome 2014, let’s have a fantastic year together!

Wanna be Startin Somethin

Me and the little assholes. Miss those little shits!

It was February 1984, the 29th to be exact. It was a leap year so there were 306 days left in that year. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney were sitting pretty at the top of the Billboard Charts with their hit Say Say Say and Van Halen was waiting in the wings ready to JUMP.

I think fashion could easily be described as “anything goes” highlighted by mismatched colors and textures, cheap jewelry and lots of it, billowy, flowing, cropped and carefree. Hair was big and about to get bigger.

When you are ten Pop Culture is important and you look up to and emulate your role models. 1984 was a big year. Cyndi Lauper made the bold statement that “Girls just wanna have fun” Madonna burst onto the scene telling us it was sexy to be “Like A Virgin” Frankie goes to Hollywood and tells the world to “Relax” George Michaels Wham wants you to “Wake me Up Before you Go Go”, Prince had “Purple Rain” falling out of the sky and the big haired super couple of the year was Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez, I guess today they would be called De-milio. Michael Jackson starred in the Classic Pepsi commercial making Cream Soda so yesterday.

That morning I rose early and went down to our little work-out room. Aerobics was also big and I was donned in pink tights, a black leotard and leg warmers. I had a cotton head band, not really holding my hair back but it looked super cool. I looked very Olivia Newton-Johnish. I was excited because my Michael Jackson cassette was already loaded in my little black tape player and my blue puffy mats were arranged perfectly and I was all set to do my ten year old version of a Heavenly Bodies work out set to the tune of Wanna be Startin Something. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the work-out room to find all my MJ posters torn and hanging off the walls. I was devastated and I held back tears. My brothers were hiding around the corner stifling their childish giggles.

Little fuckers!! Had I been able to talk through my tears I would have told them to go jerk off in some socks or something!

So here I was in my ridiculous pink outfit, crying like a damn baby and my brothers were laughing at me. It was the worst day of my young life so far. I stomped up the stairs making sure that each step landed harder then the last and when I got to my bedroom I slammed the door and then I opened it and slammed it again, just in case everyone didn’t get it the first time.

I changed into my school clothes and dreaded spending a morning on math problems that at 39 I have never had cause to refer to. At some point during the day I passed both my brothers in the school hallway. The younger one was quiet and hung his head, not feeling like such a big man on his own. The older one was still incredibly smug and looked and me with a sneer.

My mother tried to make it better but in those days I liked to hold onto my surly anger. She must have spoken to my Dad because he came home with the medicine to bring my smile back. He brought a framed picture of Michael Jackson, better then all those torn posters put together, some silver sparkly MJ socks and an imitation of his famous silver glove. I was elated. How cool was I?

The little brats didn’t get anything. Na na na na

Carefree-Weekly photo Challenge

I have a lot of shots that could fit into this category but I think this one signifies total abandonment of   inhibitions which to me is Carefree. This is on a summer trip to remote British Columbia, far away from city life. The quietly encouraging sunshine watches over her and the only sound my daughter is hearing is the beat of her own heart-Carefree

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Summer memories make everything feel magical to me — carefree and untroubled.

Even on the trips where everything went wrong, I look back and smile at the narrow escapes, or the long walks on a beach while I sorted out and righted the world.

Whether a good memory was made in years past, yesterday, or only moments ago, I love letting the nostalgia wrap me up — like a borrowed sweater on a cold summer night. Even more, I love making new memories: a carefree summer at the lake, a stroll through the park, dancing in the rain… then all I need to do is remember, and the same carefree feeling washes over me.

In a new post specifically for this challenge, share a photo that means CAREFREE to you!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/photo-challenge-carefree/

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Under the light of the moon-Movies on the Square

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I love Sir Winston Churchill Square in the summer. The city organizes all sorts of family events and festivals to bring people to this downtown meeting place. Last night the offering was Movies on the Square, a free screening of Despicable Me on a huge blow up screen.

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The fun commenced long before dusk fell. A D.J. lit up the popular downtown mecca with the sounds of summer, Polynesian dancers delighted young and old alike, even giving mini dance lessons to those willing to shake their groove thing in front of strangers. Free hoola hoops, beach balls and sunglasses were a hot accompaniment to a summer evening that’s weather could only be described as “close to perfect”.

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Families delighted in face painting, balloon making, outdoor chess, table tennis, a bouncy house slide and some cooled off in the city hall wading pool. Food trucks offered tasty delights such as pulled pork, hot dogs, pizza, mini donuts and no movie night would be complete without hot, fresh popcorn.

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In addition to the Amphitheater seating families brought fold up chairs and blankets to ensure a comfy and cozy movie experience under the stars. It was a wonderful night, even long before the movie started my teenager told me how much fun she and her friends were having and the youngest loved the beachy atmosphere.

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A crowd favorite was Spider Man who talked and posed for pictures with all the children. Lots of prizes were given out, I won glow in the dark bubbles 🙂 The movie commenced around 9:45 when nature struggled to dim the lights on a magnificant summer day.

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Movies on the Square will be back on August 30-31. Tips for first time movie goers with young children, It is a long night, the movie does not start till dusk falls. Bring cold drinks and snacks if you are looking for an inexpensive evening. Weather can change quickly, pack cozy blankets and sweaters. Looking for more info about movies on the Square and other city events see HERE

Cheers. Happy Sunday!!

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