"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Monday, April 16, 2012

An Unexpected Journey

Last November, I shared a mini-bucket-list with you, stating that before I die, I'd like to write a book, start a business and visit Hobbiton... Well, one of my dreams is coming true. In a few weeks we are travelling down under to New Zealand and Australia! One of the highlights of the trip is that while in New Zealand, we will be staying only 60 kilometres (in Rotorua - named New Zealand's most beautiful city 2010) from Hobbiton, and on May 6th, we take 'the official tour.' Mere words cannot begin to express to you my sheer delight at the thought!! 

I look forward to sharing highlights and pics with you once I return.  In the meantime, in order to properly prepare for our trip, I will be taking a very necessary bloggy-break. I'll try to visit you all as time allows and I hope you'll understand if I'm a bit scarce for the next few weeks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Warm Welcome

We had serious meltage over the weekend and I saw a number of robins and even a big 'ol housefly, so I got on my rubber boots and went outside to look for signs of life in my garden! I can already see that our first order of business will be to re-stain the deck...

I hadn't opened my garden shed (aka: my "office") since I'd shut it tight one very bitter afternoon in early November. This was the delightful greeting I received when I threw open the doors :) I'll admit that I actually got a bit choked up, lol! It was a long winter. 

The familiar smells were so welcoming (Eau de Summer?) and I sat down with my coffee for a spell. Does your shed look like mine first thing in the spring? Be thankful for what you can't see! We shove all our lawn furniture in at the very last and anything else that's lying about just before the snow flies and come spring have to do a big clean-up. 

A little camera shy :) You can barely see it, but that green step-ladder has been kicking around over fifty years - we've had it for close to thirty. Needless to say it's getting rickety! 

Speaking of clean-up - my yard is a disaster. As the leaves descend in the fall, I bag up the majority, but a good portion are piled on top of the beds to blanket them through the winter. What a mess come spring! I spent three hours outside yesterday and plan to work at it a little bit each day this week.

Poppies are one of the first plants to wake up. I love their bright green furry leaves.

A peony bud - this plant has white blooms.

Did you know that April is poetry month? I didn't either - thanks Em :) I'd love you to share your favourite piece of prose - perhaps it's one that you remember from childhood or something you've only recently discovered. When you open my comments section, you'll see a silly one I committed to memory many moons ago - for some unknown reason it comes back to me quite regularly!

Here's one of the great modern poets - Joni Mitchell
I am always impressed with her verbal gymnastics in this one!

Have a great week :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Extreme Downsizing

The Small (aka Tiny) House Movement is getting huge!

A word of warning: this is going to be a big post... thankfully now that I'm down to posting only once a week, you have the luxury of returning again throughout the week if you don't have the time to look at everything the first time.

I have been fascinated by people who live in smaller spaces, either by necessity or choice, for quite some time now. Last April (almost to the day) I profiled a woman who lived in a very tiny Manhattan apartment. I was totally transfixed by the cuteness - and challenges - of her lifestyle. Last Thursday I happened to stumble across this interesting article in the Huffington Post, and then when a good friend forwarded me a very cool page she'd found in Bing Images, I figured it must be time for another look!

The past number of years have seen houses get progressively larger and larger, with the average new home somewhere in the mid-2,000 square foot range. Tiny homes are generally anywhere from 90 to 400 square feet! There are a multitude of reasons why people are choosing smaller homes; some are attracted to the mobile lifestyle, since many are built on trailer beds, while others like the idea of owning a home, but without the mortgage payments and upkeep of a traditional house. Some are drawn to the physical and philosophical freedom fewer possessions afford; these are the people who most intrigue me. Below are three videos that I hope you can find the time to watch over the next week. I think the tiny house movement has the makings for a great reality tv-series (even though I generally despise this genre).

When you have the time, this ten-minute profile is worth watching.
Fascinating to say the least.

The Japanese are renowned for maximizing space, while still retaining beauty.
Given it's size constraints, this house is astounding.

You will be amazed by what is packed into the wall to his left!


Also, it's time to announce our latest contest winners! Along my side-bar is this month's recipient of the Whoo Loves Ya Baby! award. Congratulations to Diane from Always Crave Cute "A Blog About Crafting, Cute Things and More..."!! Cute doesn't begin the describe Diane's blog - adorable, darling and precious are a few of the words I'd use to describe the things Diane shares with us. If you haven't already, I encourage you to stop by and perhaps become a new follower - you'll probably need to visit the dentist after a few visits, she's so darn sweet, but it'll have been worth it :)

As well, the winner of the March caption contest is Martha from Plowing Through Life! She has earned the coveted (lol!) spot along my sidebar for April and a little surprise winging her way via Canada Post. Thanks for your rocking line Martha and thanks to everyone who participated - all your submissions were great, but alas there can only be one winner. Check out the April Caption Contest page (under my header) for this month's quip-provoking pic :)

Have a great day and try to find some time to visit your local thrift store this week.
Who knows, you might find an original Picasso print for $14, like this guy!