Life

Do it anyway

For many years now, I’ve had a block around writing. I would sit down and try to access the part of my brain that had flourished at the tail end of high school – the endless imagination that could create worlds in an instant. Instead there was a wall; high and thick and gray. It was immensely frustrating. The words that used to flow (not easily, but the trickle that wouldn’t die and sometimes poured out like a storm) were gone.

I’m not sure there was a single reason things stopped. A combination of well-meant pressure and a flood of depression were certainly part of the reason. In the end it doesn’t matter. The words stopped and instead I took up the camera. I found a way to describe without words. I could click the shutter and capture those thoughts and memories. I can look at an image and remember – cold air that fills your lungs and brings colour to your cheeks. The warm sunrise hitting the trees. The sound of gravel underfoot.
Elk Lake Morning

Images were how I spoke. They took the place of awkward sentences and blank walls and fear.

This summer, I decided I’ve had enough. I came across an interview with an actor who spoke of realizing he was making a decision based on fear, and realized he needed to do it anyway. Being afraid isn’t an excuse to say no. It’s a reason to say yes. (I have grudgingly come to accept that I am a Gryffindor at heart. Dammit.) So (with my heart in my mouth, ready to escape) I sat down and started searching. I found a free online course excerpt to jump start my brain and wrote. Oh hell it is so bad and those words won’t be seen by anyone else, but making that decision and opening those floodgates reminded my how much I fucking miss it. I’ve set a daily word goal for myself, a tiny 200 words. (As though I will scare the words away if I aim too high.) After a week I could talk about writing without feeling like I’m chasing away a wild animal. I posted some publicly, for the first time in a decade (no, you can’t read it. Pen names are my safety net.)

I realize this might not seem like a huge deal to people outside my head (the fictional folk inside are throwing a damn party). I am a fierce worrier and fearfully courageous dumbass. But the best thing I learned in my 20’s (the wordless decade) was to feel afraid but do it anyway. Don’t let it stop you. Own the nerves, feel your heart race, and jump.

Nephews are the best

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My nephew is only nine weeks old, but he’s got the whole range of emotions down. The way his face totally changes colour when he’s unhappy is impressive.

Today’s theme:

Can’t stop|Won’t stop. . . #learning #education #selfimprovement #write #create #teachyoself

A photo posted by Mel McNiece (@meljammin) on

So. Many. Tomatoes.

It’s early August, and I’m already fearing the tomato harvest. I have a feeling everything will ripen at once and I will be scrambling to freeze and preserve as fast as I can. Not that I really want to complain – the reason I dedicated half my garden to tomatoes this year is how delicious they are when picked perfectly ripe. I only hope I can keep up in eating them. Yum.

The floof couple

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Because sometimes you need to take a ridiculous photo with a cat.

Also I don’t know what’s going on with my hair today.

Nibling*

Photo from Chelsy’s baby shower in April.

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In June, Eric and I will have our first niece or nephew <3. My brother and Chelsy are having a baby! The closer we get to the due date, the more excited I am to meet this new little person. (Eric is still getting used to the idea, I think). Of course, even though they will be a summer child, I had to knit a tiny sweater. Enter Baby Sophisticate.

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I knit up the 6-12 month size in a soft, slubby cotton that will be perfect for the fall. We won’t be able to visit as much as I’d like so I’ll have to settle for lots of care packages and Skype dates – but this kid is already loved so much. (Much like its parents!)

 

*Nibling is the gender neutral version of niece/nephew. Plus it just sounds cute.

Summery Drive in February

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Today was the perfect day for a photo drive; warm, not too windy, and so sunny. I found an oldies station to listen to on the twisty highway up the coastline. It wasn’t quite warm enough to have the windows all the way down, but I lowered them all enough to smell the ocean breeze. (Perfect!)

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(I know, beauty garbage cans, eh?)

I drove out to check out campsites for a potential camping trip in March (I love it here!) It was wonderful to get out and sit on the beach for a while and watch the waves.

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I think looking for log swirls is one of my favourite beach activities. I enjoy looking for the details.

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Can I just say how awesome it is that we have so much green on the island. The Okanagan winter & spring is beautiful in its own way, with the browns and subdued sage, but the green growth here just feels so exhuberant!

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What’s your favourite thing about where you live?

Sunday walk

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Sundays are for walking with J and Fenrir. Today we (eventually) found our way to Elk & Beaver Lakes. We didn’t go all the way around, but that doesn’t mean it was perfect mud walk weather.

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It rained last night, so there were little water droplets everywhere. Some of the bushes where even producing little buds! In January!

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The sun peeked in and out of the clouds, but the temperature stayed comfortable. I’m thankful it wasn’t blustery and rainy like I thought it would be.

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Fen found his way into every mud puddle. So did I, honestly. I have mud sprinkled up the back of my jeans, but it was totally worth the cleanup to get outside!

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December Handmade List

In December I handmade:

Four hats (three gifts, one for me!)

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Two hats look like that ^

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I completed my first stranded project!

The fourth hat is a secret until I mail it out!

Two pairs of fingerless mitts (gifts)

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For my mum

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For Bailey

One scarf (gift)

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For my FiL

Two custom stationery sets (gifts)

Two art prints (gifts)

I think I did alright, eh? Plus January first and second I made another hat as a surprise for a relative. I can’t wait for her to get it!