Posts from — May 2014

Best of Season: SH Autumn / Fall 0

May 31, 2014

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Okay. I’m starting to get the idea that at the end of every season here I am, again, blabbering on about how it was soooo awesome and my favourite season ever. Swooning, practically, like I’m in a Jane Austen novel (if I had pearls I would be clutching them, if I had smelling salts I’d be inhaling them). Is it getting tiring? Because after the last three months of clear skies, piles of potato-chip-y leaves and mandarins the size of cricket balls I think Autumn might just be, you guessed it, THE BEST SEASON EVER.


I have to say there’s something about keeping track of time in seasonal, three month blocks, that really rocks my world. Perhaps it’s the journal-writing-teen in me, perhaps it’s a hangover from corporate days of quarterly reporting (bleh. shudder.), perhaps it’s just the way us human animals were meant to live. Whatever the reason – how satisfying it is to look back at the season, led by the memories of what nature did or provided, and make summaries. I highly recommend it.


And you won’t believe it but this season I enthusiastically – read some stuff, listened to some stuff and baked some stuff. I know. Get. Out. Crazy times. Here’s the best of the best:

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In: From Hannah, Seasonal, Writing

Sweet Little Something 1

May 30, 2014

Hi there, Weekend. It’s time for Sweet Little Something – an end of the week morsel that we would love your comments on. It may be a photograph, a link, a poem…some tidbit of inspiration. Leave us a note or create a haiku for a photograph if it takes your fancy. We love hearing from you.

From Hannah:


From Ria:



In: From Hannah, From Ria, Sweet Little Something

Coming Home 3

May 25, 2014

Did you get my postcards? What a trip we had!

And now it’s back to…all the things we left behind. Specifically things that grew (and grew) while we were away. So I thought I’d do a little photo essay of those things, because don’t you always feel a little nostalgic when you get home from somewhere far away? DH and I both gained some useful insight into our life and our house while we were elsewhere, and these photos help me to remember that. We have it pretty darn good. We love our house. We love our (sometimes-jungly) garden. We love our family unit.

Isn’t spring a great time to come home to your home? Things just keep right on exploding with life while you’re not there and even though it’s a little like the party happened without you, there’s something really welcoming about a garden full of flowers (and, yes, weeds) and the promise of fruit and vegetables.

First up: the epically long grass, long enough to hide in, wild enough to feed a small herd of grazing animals for at least a few days.


Next: the enthusiasm of rhubarb. We have two very happy rhubarb plants (read: insanely productive, almost to the point of annoyance. If you come to our house at this time of year, you will take rhubarb home, no arguing.) and while we were away, they both decided to flower. Never seen a rhubarb flower? Here you go:


Third: strawberry promises. This promise is so beguiling that Little e now asks several times a day if the strawberries are ready yet. As you can see, they are not. As timing would have it, I’m able to assure her that they will be ready around the same time as her baby sibling. It remains to be seen which one she’ll be more excited about.


And last–because don’t weeds always get the last word?–the dandelions made their usual advance and are now spreading their offspring far and wide, but mostly, it seems, in our lawn and flower beds. I find myself torn when Little e picks up a fluffy-headed stalk and exhales deeply. Yes to childhood fun, but oh the weeding next spring…


And now it’s back to life, the life we live in this house and this garden. Which is why seeing these fecund reminders of the season make coming home so sweet. It was wonderful to be away. Almost as wonderful as being home again.

What do you love coming home to?



In: From Ria, Travel

Sweet Little Something 6

May 23, 2014

Hi there, Weekend. It’s time for Sweet Little Something – an end of the week morsel that we would love your comments on. It may be a photograph, a link, a poem…some tidbit of inspiration. Leave us a note or create a haiku for a photograph if it takes your fancy. We love hearing from you.

From Hannah:


From Ria:


In: From Hannah, From Ria, Sweet Little Something

Ready, Steady, Procrastinate. 3

May 18, 2014



You know we love our work, right? Have you been reading Ria’s postcards from her travels to Toronto? She’s been having the most *miserable* time eating perfect pasta and reading to legions of adoring fans. For all the moments of slog on the job those are the kinds of experiences that make up for them.

But, The Slog. Hmmm. You know what it rhymes with, right? That’s just what I have been thinking – as I lug my disagreeable self around the streets, drumming an irregular beat, feeling alternately grumpy and virtuous – hey, this running business is a lot like that writing business. Now I just can’t help but notice the similarities.


Here are my “Top Ten Ways Running Is Like Writing”. Or vice versa.


10) No matter how good or practiced you are the first ten minutes (first draft) is generally horrible.


9) After that first part you might start to think you’re actually quite good at it. Yeah, pretty good. Then not. Not at all.


8) It’s better when you are doing it in Paris. (This may apply to everything).


7) When explaining that you (write / run) there’s often the accompanying urge to add “But I’m not actually good at it. Like those other people.”


6) There may be naturals but generally, simply, it’s about hard work and teeth-gritting tenacity.


5) Every runner has their injuries. So too every writer. (Deep tissue ego-bruising is especially common)


4) It helps to have a deadline, a race, a partner or a goal.


3) You have the thoughts – I’ll do it when it’s sunny / not windy / I have the perfect equipment / I’m better at it / the moon is in Saturn.


2) Referring to point 3 – You need to just do it.


1) Somewhere in there, in the middle of it, you have the very brief thought ” 8%&*. Life / The World / The Universe / Everything is….a bit…amazing”

Which is why you keep doing it.




PS. My sister, bro-in-law and I, post-race,  were comparing our running styles to animals. Bro-in-law was an antelope / gazelle, hooves down. He just skips along. I think I was a platypus. Nice. My sister actually self-selected a hyena. Apparently she was cool with that.

(She is going to LOVE me for this photo. Hee hee ho ho hee hee ha ha.)


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In: From Hannah, Writing