Extending the Table

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Location: Carlsbad, California, United States

I'm a wife, crafty mum, teacher and writer. I write to remember, I write to stay sane, I write to share what we five are up to. Grab a cup of tea and stay awhile!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Moving On

Whew. So long since my last post here. I think the time has come to call it a day, and move on. I have been writing simultaneously for this blog and also for my Life On Bowen blog. Yesterday we arrived in DC, and our time on Bowen came to an end. And I will be closing both blogs down, and moving to a single site - the Fairy Mum. This is a very uncertain time in our family's life - so I am not sure what the blog will be about, except to say that it will be about us, the joys and the challenges of being a family of five in a new and changing place, probably most like a letter to our friends.

If you've been reading along, I thank you - and hope to see you on the new site!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The countdown begins

Not much going on in blogland these days, as we've begun the countdown to leaving Bowen on Halloween night. Halloween is THE Bowen holiday, and we couldn't miss it for the world, even though I'm not a huge fan of a holiday where my children consume and collect more candy than their own body weight. But we get to travel with what will feel like the entire island around one particular neighborhood and at each door be greeting by what will feel like old friends (even the new ones) and then stand on the causeway by the lagoon and watch the volunteer fire department wow us all with a genuinely lovely fireworks display. All the while drinking free hot cocoa and wearing those snap and glow stick necklaces and slyly eating candy from the kids bags. I love this day - strike that - night of the year, and I am so thankful we can stay through that day...

But enough moaning about leaving. Things have been busy in the household. Chris and I have been going through everything, one day at a time, and reduce/reuse/recycling our way to a trimmer house. I have given away over 6 garbage bags loaded with kids clothing, almost the same in adult clothing, sold baby and kid things, convinced myself that if I haven't used a fabric in three years I am not likely to do so while it is in storage (and so giving it away, gasp, it was hard), and even managed to go through my paper crafts and give away more than half of it. Chris keeps looking at my craft shelf and saying helpful like, "gee, it is still pretty full, isn't it?" and that is actually very good because I am nothing if not a bit competitive, and then I get the oomph to actually go through it one more time and be a bit more realistic and share the wealth with a few more lucky friends. Wish I were in the US postage-wise, because then I could mail off some of these fun things to those who would love them...

So that is the destructive front. On the creative front, I have finished a few projects. I will try to get the photos up and posted soon - there is a darling tag/ribbon blanket, a teething ring, an apron for Siena, and I am in process on a bag for me. All in the name of using up a few things.

It occurs to me that I have lost my momentum on "intentional Thursdays" - but that is really because (she justifies, she scores) I have been so intentional about moving through our own house and getting ready for this move in a way that isn't too frantic. Ha. Well, we are getting there, and I hope that once I am settled into DC I will figure out if this blog will continue there, or if it will, like my life on bowen blog, just become an incredible memory of our time here...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Don't know when I'll be back again. But boy, I hate to go.

I guess we should have known, being Americans, that our stay in Canada was not permanent. But I think we never saw moving as a choice to move to Canada, but simply to Bowen Island. Unfortunately, Immigration Canada does actually recognize Bowen Island as part of their world, and that means that we are illegal here. Not terribly, and after so many years in southern California, where "illegal alien" has some pretty concrete connotations, saying it feels strange. But the reality is, we have been allowed to reside and live on Bowen because Chris has a student permit, and he is no longer a student.

There are other reasons too, of course. We are actually American, and being in Canada is a cultural change for us. Not one that we dislike, but one that exists, and there are things which we deal with that make it more difficult than easy (paying taxes in two countries is just one example). We are also very far from our family, which makes all of life more complicated! And, Chris is raring to go in moving to the next stage of his Story Collective/ Piko Fellowship (we are calling it Piko Version 2.0), and with our ability to work in Canada non-existent, that becomes quite difficult.

Needless to say, nothing can really describe how sad we are at making this decision. We not only love the location - the beauty surrounding us, the water and the green and the mountains, the ferry, the isolation and community - but we love the people here. We have friends for life here, people we don't ever want to live away from, much less MOVE away from.

But move we must. The plan is tentative and firm at the same time. We will go trick-or-treating on Halloween - the ultimate Bowen holiday - watch the fabulous island fireworks in the evening, and then catch the last ferry off Bowen. We will cross the border late that night, stay in a hotel in Washington, and fly out from the Seattle Airport on Nov. 1 (hence, leaving on a jet plane). The car is taking its own special cross country trip from Seattle, hopefully not arriving too long after we get there.

And where is there? Temporarily, Washington DC (from the OC to BC to DC is our route, it seems). The vast majority of my family is on the East Coast, and this will allow us all to reconnect and build on our family relationships. The kids will get to know Gramma and Papa Carlos (and great aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc). in a real way, not the hyper environment of a vacation. It will be a time for Chris to work with those he has already met in the DC area, and those he will meet because of them. Our prayer is that this six months (a total estimate) will be a time for us to grow as a family, and to develop his next move strategically. Where will we end up after that? It really is anyone's guess. Thankfully, we don't need to know that today, because I am too busy grieving for our move from this place.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Life On Bowen...

Is about to end for us. The last blog was about the four sleeps left until preschool/kindergarten began again. And this one is about the sad, very sad fact that there are only fifty-three sleeps until we move from our island idyll. In fact, that is all I am going to write right now, as that fact alone nearly unglues me. Stay tuned for a fuller update as I pull myself together!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Only four more sleeps

... and school starts again! And that means that at long last blogs will begin again. I have a long list of posts - birthdays have come and gone, summer activities, crafts and kids. I hope to have a rash of blogs coming out next week.

Until then, enjoy this final weekend of summer!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quiet on the Set!

Well, no set here, but quiet on the blog front. I'm not great at regular posting anyway, but this is getting ridiculous. Last night I got 4 hours of interuppted sleep, so I have a good excuse for not having the state of mind to raise the kids, finish my tenure as school president and try to sleep. Not much creative is going on. I will add a few photos and blogs regarding our wonderful summer as I get the photos uploaded to flickr. I hope everyone is having a summer that is as sunny and beautiful as mine, but with lots more sleep!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Eating the way I want

Gosh, it was almost two months ago that I wrote this: "Today we had our first playdate (of the summer), and for lunch I made funny shapes on their plate with cheese. There are so many flickr groups out there in blog-land --Work In Progress Friday, Color Week, Corners of my Home... I would love to see a week of Fun for Kids Lunches - because I know there are mom's out there with great ideas, and the motivation of coming up with five unique lunches is a great challenge. Don't know how to start such a thing - it won't be very good if it is only me (good on the motivation, bad on the variety). So, something else to figure out this month!"

Well, haven't done anything about it, but discovered that there is at least one very dedicated mother who is coming up with creative lunches. This blog is incredible... I've only read a few months worth, but my idea list has blossomed! I'm not vegan, not really even vegetarian anymore, but her commitment to doing this is huge. Today the kids and I took a picnic lunch to the lake for a hike/bike (girls hiked, the boy biked), and it was a trick, as ever, for me to think of something creative to eat (given that Siena doesn't like sandwiches and Sterling doesn't like much else). This blog has given me some great ideas (and two incredible lunch box ideas - here and here). Now, to begin to plan for the fall, when I'll have Sterling in Lunch Bunch for a few days a week, and all of us the rest of the time. I really like the idea of planning the lunch at breakfast, so even for Siena and I at home, it is like just opening up the lunch pail and eating, instead of making and planning and sweating over it (yeah, it is silly, but lunch is the toughest meal of the day for me).

The other thing that jazzed me about this blog is that she is also struggling with sugar addiction, something I hate to even verbalize, but is certainly a part of my struggle with food and healthy eating.

So, intentional Thursday... I really want to continue in my pursuit of a healthy, balanced approach to eating the way I want.

Balanced is the key word here. I tend to be a swinging black or white girl, and finding the appropriate middle ground is quite difficult for me. It's either sugar all the time, or no sugar, not ever, even if it kills me (which it nearly does). Some key things to try for (this is the intentional part):
- planned breakfast and lunches
- minimizing sugar intake during meals and especially desserts
- eliminating sugar intake for snacks
- hence, make up a snack list so I don't panic and eat a chocolate bar instead of trail mix.
- gently encourage the kids to try new things and eat more variety
- accept that they won't eat more variety, and work better with what they love

Nothing too exciting, this, but a starting place. I would like to be excited about packing the monkey's lunch if I can, and it will take me the next few weeks to get ideas flowing so it is great!

Happy (healthy) Eating!