Shirley Blog

what a difference a YEAR makes

what a difference a YEAR makes

"There is more to life than simply increasing its speed" - Mahatma Gandi In April, we celebrated one year in our new home. While they say time flies, I have felt more like I am living in slow motion than at warp speed.  This is partly due I’m sure to the slow and...

NATURE for the win

NATURE for the win

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir I was born in a city.  I have spent the past six decades in cities and towns and many of my vacations in places like...

50 shades of GREEN

50 shades of GREEN

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair —Khalil Gibran It’s been almost eight weeks since we moved into the woods. I am surrounded by dirt, pipes, trenches, building supplies, and tools, but mostly I am...

you’ve come a LONG WAY baby!

you’ve come a LONG WAY baby!

“Progress is not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” Khalil Gibran It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post to update you on the build.  What had appeared for ages to be a slow grind, has suddenly gained momentum and we are well...

intentional by DESIGN

intentional by DESIGN

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” Charles Eames I have always been more about practical than pretty.  When I got my first job as a teen, I remember my mom’s advice was to “buy separate pieces, not dresses, they are far more versatile and...

FRAME of reference

FRAME of reference

I have always had the ability to envision, to form a mental picture including size, texture, and colour. It’s been helpful as an event planner to be able to view an empty space and see what’s happening there; the band on stage, fully dressed dining tables, the flow of...

a sense of PLACE

a sense of PLACE

Recently, during a break in the build, and with some time on our hands, we decided to reflect on leaving our home of 25 years; what will we take with us, what will we leave behind, what has this place and home meant to us.   I grew up in different houses; my...

how SLOW can you go?

how SLOW can you go?

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” Alan Watts For more than two decades, I have been a...

till DEATH us do part

till DEATH us do part

When we married in our late teens, we took ‘till death us do part’ out of the vows we read; we just weren’t comfortable signing off on that level of commitment.   Now, nearly 40 years on, we are looking at our final chapter and making plans to support each...

a LEAP of faith

a LEAP of faith

In 1992, having recently had twin boys, we started a conversation around change; how could we raise our children with one parent at home? What might life look like if I gave up my career? And so, after much soul searching and a brief chat with our bank manager, we...

HOME away from HOME

HOME away from HOME

In a former life, and for more than 11 years, I travelled 90 kilometers daily for a job I loved in Toronto. For the most part, I enjoyed the trek, however, through the years, the scenery changed from green to grey with neighbourhood views replaced by concrete sound...

Show me the MONEY

Show me the MONEY

One of the most challenging aspects of our new build has been managing the budget.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been managing money for a long time, and I learned its value very young.  I grew up in a house where finances were private, an adult arena. I...

Having Blind FAITH

Having Blind FAITH

One of the most interesting outcomes for me in the process of designing and building a house, has been the learning that there is so much that you don’t see, not only behind the scenes, but underneath them.  And what remains unseen, is as important, if not more...

The FAMILY that builds together…

The FAMILY that builds together…

The discussion went something like this “Who wants to take care of us when we’re older, so we can age in place and die at home?”  And, the response went something like this, no hands went up.  It was Christmas 2016 and we were all together; three grown...

FLOWING with Wisdom

Those who know me well will tell you that I am not sentimental nor am I nostalgic. I don't pine for a bygone era nor do I wish for the return of an earlier time. I do however spend time reflecting on the past, primarily to see what I can learn from it and to determine...