Category Archives: Family Life

Little Visitors

Since the weather has warmed up, all sorts of little visitors have come out to play on our property. Dragonflies, hummingbirds, bumblebees and frogs. Not too long ago after arriving home from work, my daughter Emily announced that a bird had flown into her room. So with soft reassuring whispers we carefully cupped it in the palms of our hands and set it free back out into the sunshine. We often gently relocate all sorts of insects found on our living room windows and though the feeling is rewarding (save the bees!) they are hardly exciting compared to the rescuing of a trapped bird . It was such a magical and lovely experience and made Emily’s wish of holding a real live bird, come true.

Our second little visitor of this season came as I was watching a movie in our bedroom. I noticed something move out of the corner of my eye when on the far side of the bed, I saw a small shadow jump. This instantly got me up for an instant investigation. I was surprised to ¬†discover a little green tree frog perched on the edge of my grandmother’s quilt. If I hadn’t know better I would have said he actually seemed interested in my entertainment for the evening! The way he just sat there quietly facing our TV screen, atop his small hill of patchwork, certainly made it seem that way! My husband and I had a good giggle thinking of this. Then, picking him up gently, I returned him back into the outdoors.
This is our family’s fourth year at Iron Wood Ranch. It’s now common knowledge that soon-to-be-summer rescues and little visitors will become weekly, even daily, events and welcomed ones at that. To me they are the simple, small reminders that we are all connected, and a part of something greater…..

Actual frog from story not pictured ūüėČ

Happy Spring!



KarenK - May 16, 2013 - 2:08 pm

I grew up in a family of critter rescuers. The memories of so many of our saved friends has always stayed with me. What a lovely way to teach your daughter that “we are all connected, and a part of something greater”. Beautifully written!! ūüôā

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Home Life – Building

The fact that I have a love for everything that has to do with fabric (almost everything) is a given, but that is not the only material I enjoy working with. A while back, my fingers were itching to make something from some leftover pieces of wood in our little shed and this is the end result…



Catherine - May 13, 2013 - 4:06 pm

Stunning! Will it stay outdoors? What a peaceful, lovely setting, too.

Linda JT - May 13, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Thamar, What will it be used for? A plant stand? A sewing table? Do tell…..

Kim. G. - May 13, 2013 - 4:29 pm

It’s like an open door when you’re creative. I love that you delve into other materials. Once again, expansion/contraction. What a great jump-board to new and beyond!!

thamar - May 16, 2013 - 9:34 pm

I use the bench in the kitchen to replace some chairs(chairs I don’t even have), in fact, i’m sitting on my bench while typing this comment ;).
Being creative has no bounderies… some of my projects are quite usefull and look great some not so much ūüėČ


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Cowichan River

Well, last weekend the summer seemed to hit. It was quite amazing to
garden in the sun and take in the light of the warm season. It was so warm that
my husband, my 11 year old son and I felt it was time for our first river swim of the year.
Our place is a 5 minute walk to the  Cowichan River which is a Canadian Heritage River
that carries a great amount of history in it’s flowing path.

We made our way down through the forest and enjoyed exploring the wild flowers of spring and listening to the birds
celebrating life through their symphony of song.  The sound of the river grew louder and the green life
surrounding us felt heavenly as the light danced through the upper branches onto the layers of growth beneath them.

We made our way to the edge of the forest and over the uneven rocks that strengthened our balance.
I brought my bodyboarding booties for my dip as my ankles seem to get really sore when it’s cold.
We took our time feeling the water with our toes and eventually I went in for about 5 seconds.
My water loving husband went in for a bit longer and our son just stood at the edge.

I felt so alive after that dip in the river. I’m so grateful to call this place my home.

“Every year we were assured great riches as the spawning salmon returned to the Cowichan, Koksilah, and other rivers and streams.¬† Their capture and distribution was carefully managed by our Elders through the use of fish weirs, a gift from the First Ancestor Syalutsa.¬† The weirs ensured abundant fish for our people to eat, while allowing enough fish to reach the spawning beds to ensure future returns.¬† Other resources were equally managed with an eye to future abundance.

Our ancestors touched the lands, rivers, and oceans in our territory lightly and with respect.¬† We used only what nature provided, and only what we needed.¬† Today, you can walk on ancient village sites and see little evidence of our ancestors‚Äô presence because of this respect for the earth.”*



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Hk’s Bicycleitis

This gorgeous weather we‚Äôve been having has motivated me to get on my bike and cycle around Shawnigan Lake. ¬†I love Bicycleitis, our local Shawnigan bike shop. ¬†Hans, the owner, knows me by name and helps me with even the smallest things.¬† I stopped by the other day to grab a repair kit for a flat tire I had.¬† When I got home to fix it, I realized I was missing the thingamajig to take the tire off the rim, and by now the shop had closed and I wanted the bike repaired asap.¬† I was honestly too lazy to find something else to use, so on my way to work the next day I left the flat and a note at the door of Hans‚Äô shop and on my way home, stopped in.¬† Instead of repairing the tube, Hans used a new one because as he told me ‚ÄúA tube is only $6 and a repair is $10 and besides that, your tube had countless patches already‚ÄĚ. Hans had repaired my tire and only charged me for the tube…$6 and no elbow grease on my part.¬† Not only is Hans cool with notes left at his door, but he‚Äôs quick, super knowledgeable and very inexpensive (and he sells fresh eggs too).¬† I was able to get on my bike the same night and ride the approximately 25km around the lake.¬† And I found a sweet little waterfall along the way.

Thanks Bicycleitis!


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Vintage Wrapping Paper

I try to live a ‘green’ lifestyle, always doing my best to be conscientious¬†about my consumption. One place where I noticed a lot of¬†senseless¬†waste was in gift wrapping. Huge piles of paper, that if lucky, would at least end up in the recycling. For a long time I switched to wrapping with old newspapers. They did the trick, but I missed having cute prints to choose from. I do¬†appreciate¬†a well wrapped¬†parcel… This is how I discovered vintage wrapping paper.

One day while thrift store shopping, I stumbled upon a bin filled with wrapping paper. Some pieces were just single squares, others still in there original packaging. The vintage prints are so adorable!  This was the answer I was looking for. I could justify buying my wrapping paper from a non-profit thrift stores. Knowing that the money I spent would stay in my community, and be used in ways that help out so many people. Win Win!!!!
Here are a few of my favorite prints…
Heather D. - May 3, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Very clever! I wouldn’t have thought to look for wrapping paper at Goodwill, etc. but will now! I love that bunny print in your pick. Enjoy the weekend!

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