12 February 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Today I attempted to start a massive project.

Aside from what I needed to print for school, I have not printed a single photo in seven years. 

I also have not organized my photos. I do have them backed up on an external hard drive...but I really don't know where anything is. And so, today I decided that now is the time to organize, sort, delete...all of that fun stuff. 

First I had to find everything. 

As I opened up the computer and looked at the many thousands of photos I have accumulated many memories were brought to mind. I smiled, laughed and maybe even shed a few tears. 

What really stood out to me is how fast time has gone by. I mean seriously fast. I quickly scrolled through holidays, birthdays, and numerous road trips. My kids lives flashed before my eyes and I realized how soon they will be grown and gone. 

This was my first "photo shoot" with all four of my kids. I remember thinking how getting four kids to look at the camera at the same time was an impossible task and wondering how long it would take me to get a really good shot of all four of them (still waiting!). 

The baby can't wait to turn eight this year and the oldest has started making plans for university... 

I have put off organizing until tomorrow and am heading out to start the after school run and spend the afternoon hanging out with four of the coolest people I know.

09 February 2015


Yesterday I read about Canada's new law allowing for doctor assisted suicide. I don't want to talk too much about this but I do feel a little nervous about allowing the government to make decisions on value of life - which lives are worth living and which are not. I do sympathize with people in these situations and I really hope I never have to experience that kind of suffering but I think allowing doctors to decide a life is no longer worth living can be dangerous. I also think that this could be a slippery slope - how far away are we from governments and doctors alone deciding that a person's life is not worth living or not worth taking up a hospital bed. I am interested to see what guidelines the government comes up with over the next year.

Last night I was watching a seminar by Joel Salatin. He was participating in a class of Michael Pollan's at Berkley. I have been reading and listening to Joel Salatin for years. This past year or so I haven't spent much time researching farming and food (other than researching food photography, which is totally different). Lately, I have started looking back into it and seeing what I have missed. I really enjoyed this seminar. If you are interested you can watch here.

This morning as I was waking up I started thinking about both topics and put the two together. I became very frustrated.

 I am having a hard time understanding a world where I can choose (along with my doctor and my government) to die because I don't feel that I have quality of life.

I can also walk into a liquor store and buy enough alcohol to give myself alcohol poisoning. I can chain smoke all day long, every single day if I want to - and do it in front of my children filling our home with second hand smoke.

But, I can't buy raw milk or give it to my children.

In BC raw milk is considered a health hazard. I can't buy a cow or two and sell the milk to my neighbours and friends. According to rawmilkconsumer.ca selling raw milk here carries a fine of up to three million dollars and a maximum of three years in jail. Seriously. Even giving raw milk to someone is considered knowingly causing a health hazard and is subject to the same penalties.

This just doesn't make sense to me.

I must agree with Joel Salatin who asked (and I paraphrase) what is so wrong about having an opt out clause... why can't consenting adults agree to sell and purchase a food product that they feel is safe to consume?

Why can I blow smoke in my kids faces everyday (I don't - just to clarify!) but I can't give them raw milk? I grew up drinking raw milk...a lot of people did...I think the dairy industry has been very successful in creating fear in the general public. Everything we do can be dangerous if we aren't careful. Do they really think milk is more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco? I have not been convinced that it is.

Our world is a very odd place.

I think I have a new project to research...
What can I do to create change?

I have been reading and thinking about raw milk, local farms and food regulations for years. I have often been discouraged, thinking that there is nothing I can do. But this new ruling has given me a tiny sliver of hope. If I live in a country where I can legally choose to kill myself surely someday I should legally be able to give my neighbour a fresh glass of milk...

20 November 2014

Working Hard and Playing Hooky...

I've decided to take more time to work on my photography. Even though I spent a a year in photography school I didn't have as much time to practice as I would've liked. And then post move I've been so busy that I haven't taken much time to work on my photography.

I don't know why, but I tend to feel guilty taking time to do things I enjoy. I always feel like I should be finding extra work to do. I could always be doing laundry (why does laundry never end?), organizing something or washing the floors. I know practicing photography is useful (especially after spending the money to learn how to do it), but I like it so much that I feel like I should be doing something else. My husband's at work, the kids are at school. I shouldn't be enjoying myself...

My husband has been trying to convince me not to feel guilty and to take advantage of the time I have. This morning I decided to go out and take pictures of the beautiful mountains that surround us. When I stepped outside I realized that the sky was very overcast but I did see a bit of sun poking through the clouds so I went out anyway.

I really love the mountains. I missed them so much when we lived in the east. I was able to get a few shots that I was satisfied with considering the weather. I was planning on going alone. But, I brought along some company and enjoyed my time so much.

My seven and a half year old has been having a hard time going to school over the past few weeks. Every morning he dawdles and begs to stay home. Every morning I manage to get him off to school. The past two days he has been trying really hard to get ready and be on time without me having to drag/threaten/beg him. This morning he looked so cute. He came and told me he was ready. I told him how proud I was of him and that he was doing so much better. He just looked up at me and said (as he has every day this week). Mom, I only want some just me and you time. That's what he has been calling our one on one time for the past few years. He loves just me and you time. But, as one of four he doesn't get enough of it.

So today, I told him that I wanted just me and you time too. Watching his face light up and feeling his little arms around me and hearing his thank-you mommy's made me feel so happy. I know he shouldn't really miss school. But he's seven and a half already. Time passes so quickly. My kids are getting so big so fast. We had such a fun day together just hanging out. He even helped me with my "work"...

Normally, he doesn't like modelling for me. He made an exception for just me and you day. I love this toothless smile and I am so happy that I took the time to spend a day with him. Years from now I don't think the occasional day of missed school will be worth remembering... but a day of just me and you will hopefully never be forgotten.

17 November 2014

Confucius and my lack of perfection...

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop" - Confucius

When I started writing this blog I wanted to keep a journal of my life moving forward. I wanted a way to mark our family's progress so that when I looked back I would be able to see how far we had travelled - that each small step we took brought us to a more perfect future. I was hoping that with each decision we made we would be able to see a direct upward moving line.

That obviously hasn't happened. My life - as I suppose all life - has moved forward and backward, right and left (or east and west in my case) and has curved in all sorts of directions. I sometimes feel like I'm not moving forward at all and I get frustrated.

But, when I look back  I am reminded of how much we have learned over the past five years. Life has been very difficult at times and even though we've been working very hard we've not seen the results that I thought we would. We are not yet where I thought we would be. What I do see is growth and lots of room for improvement and that is a good thing.

This quote reminds me that even when progress is not speeding along as quickly as I would like it to - it is still there and that is what matters. It is important to relax a little and enjoy the journey - not to expect perfection so quickly because it may not arrive at all in my lifetime. I have to remind myself that a lack of perfection is no reason to give up but is an excellent reason to keep moving forward one tiny step at a time.