Sunday, March 30, 2008

I am still here. I am trying I ache for my husband. I miss him so terribly I can't stop either crying or living in a state of numb distraction. The shaking that I had for the first two days has stopped but I don't feel much better. I am so very worried about my children. Liv is having difficulty understanding and Briar just wants me as much as possible. I am not able to be the mother I usually am. This causes me pain. I want to help them but I can't. I am lost.
The autopsy results revealed that Jeff died of a pulmonary embolism. It was most likely cause from prolonged periods of sitting while running the boat.
I hope one day I can live again.
If anyone can think of a way that I can make money to stay home with my children, please let me know. I am afraid. I want to be able to raise our children the way we had decided was best. How will I do it (homeschool, SAHM) with out a source of income? What am I going to do?


A wonderful loving heart stopped beating on March 25, 2008 when we lost an amazing, crazy and kind man, Jeff Chandler.
Jeff was born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia on 1962 and lived in Nova Scotia until moving to BC in 1988. He was a devoted commercial fisherman and loved to be at sea. He was the skipper of the Cape Morien. Jeff loved to laugh and make people laugh with him. He was a very large man who resembled a Sasquatch; but was a true teddy bear at heart to those he cared for and to children and animals (except fish, of course). Jeff always had a story or fish to share with anyone around. He loved playing with his children, having a job to do,and building in his workshop. His dogs, Eli (Bucket-head) and Freckles will miss him terribly.
He leaves to mourn his adoring wife and best friend, Jackie, daughters, Olivia and Jessie (1st marriage), sons Briar and Glenn(1st marriage), parents Rita and Gary Veinot and Aubrey and Sheree Chandler, siblings Lisa (Gordie), Tabitha, Amanda and Jake all of Nova Scotia. He also leaves many saddened family members and too many friends to count in both BC and NS.
He was predeceased by his son, Kyle, his brother, Craig, grandparents, Gerald and Beatrice Cross, and grandmother Felicia Chandler.
Funeral arrangements are in the care of Sands Funeral Home. Viewing will be Monday 3-4pm. The funeral will take place on Tuesday, April 1st at 2pm. A Reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, a trust account has been set up for the care of Jeff’s small children...
Also, any stories of Jeff and his life that you can share would be very happily received to be included in a book so his small children may know and remember him through these stories.

*some of the obit info has been removed*

Thursday, March 27, 2008

the loss of my love and my life

I haven't written in a few days and probably won't for awhile. My best friend, love of my life, father of my children and husband has died. It was sudden and terrible. I can not explain or express the horrible and awful depth of my pain. I worry for my children and I can't seem to think. I don't know what to do. I am lost. I don't know how I'll survive.

I tried so hard to save you, Jeff. I tried. I am so very sorry. I wish I could go back and try again. I would have given my life for yours.
I hope there is a place that he goes. I hope this isn't the end of his existence. I hope he can see me and be with me while I raise our small children. I will try to stick to what we had decided was best for our children in the raising and education of them. How am I going to afford this? How can I live without him? How can I even take one step or think about another day? I am so lost. I wish I could follow him.

I miss you....endlessly.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

my butterfly box

If you're part of my family or friends that I send gifts to, look away! I am thinking this may be this year's Christmas gift.....

I found this and had to try it myself. This one, Liv and I actually made for my sister for Easter but couldn't keep it a surprise and gave it to her right away. We tried with various types of paper but found many of them too floppy and flimsy. We settled on Amy Butler mat paper. It was the perfect thickness. It even allowed me to roll the edges up on the top and bottom a bit to make them more 'life-like'.
I made this one and thought I'd keep it for myself. I think I may make myself another as I would really like some vibrant blues in there too. Anyhow, I'm addicted....

It looks like it is sitting on my lampshade. It's not in real life.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter-y festivities

We went for an Easter egg hunt and hay ride at a local farm and market today. It was a bit of an...experience. The idea was lovely. The concept was great! The follow-through wasn't so rosey. I won't go into all the details as it may be pretty boring (and sound as if I am just complaining about spending $10.50 on a 'crappy' experience.)

BUT, I will say that I do not suggest hosting an Easter egg hunt in a field where many sheep and goats have recently grazed and therefore POOPED. *internal shudder* Chocolate and crap are brown. People walk on the brown poo and the brown (although mostly tinfoil wrapped) chocolate eggs that are strewn on the ground BESIDE OR ON the poop and little hands pick it up and eat it....the chocolate and the crap. Gives new meaning to crappy chocolate, doesn't it? Now what are the signs for E.Coli so I can keep an eye out for them?
We did have a moment of hilarity, though, when the kids were waiting for the Easter Bunny's appearance....
and saw this....

That slayed me!! It was so....odd. This beautiful natural setting suddenly marred by this mangy, moth-eaten, ill-fitting costume of an ENORMOUS rabbit. He hopped into the setting, waved, hopped out and sat behind a tree occasionally peeking out and waving. I can imagine that he was tuckered out from leaping about in that ridiculous rabbit-shaped monstrosity and had to sit down and smoke a cigarette. (Not that I condone smoking at all, it just looked like that sort of situation). I don't know WHAT I was expecting but it reminded me of that scene in 'A Christmas Story' where Ralphie goes to see Santa. Pure hilarity!
Liv later told me that she didn't think that it was the 'real' Easter bunny because she could see hair out the back of his gargantuan head and his eyes were way too big.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

there's a Spring in my step

The seemingly LONG awaited arrival of Spring is now here! Oh, how I itch to plant my seedlings...and now I can!
This week I'll be putting a bunch of work into the garden. So much to do! You're actually 'supposed' to wait until the last week of March to plant around here, but I am throwing caution to the wind!! What a rebel I am!!
Liv and I have been searching for 'signs of Spring' for the last few months. Yesterday, we took some pictures of the ones we could find. Aren't they glorious?

Happy Spring everyone!! (and Happy Fall to those in the Southern Hemisphere!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

marshmallow madness

On Tuesday, Krista and I decided that we would try our hands at marshmallow making. We had GRAND plans - chick shapes, yellow colouring, an unsticky kitchen....We doubled the recipe so we would both have enough. I don't really think we needed to. At our house, we can't finish ours! Don't get me wrong, they ARE delicious, but I think they may be even sweeter than store bought marshmallows (Is that possible?).
The consistency of the marshmallow 'batter' is what amazed me. Any surface you touched was not only afflicted with marshmallow stickiness but it didn't seem to lessen the initial amount that was stuck on whatever you first had stuck. Does that make any sense???? (both the sentence and the concept)
We had a great time! I do think that Krista and I got more out of it than the kids. They enjoyed the measuring, we enjoyed the mixing (by the way, the 'batter' was SO thick that it kept climbing up whippers into the beater!! Wow!) Clean-up was actually A LOT easier than I had expected.
We sat the big pot in water while we went to play outside and it had all dissolve by the time we came back in. Wee-hoo!
As Krista says, it was a great experience, but one that we'll probably only do once.

You make my day too!!!

Thanks you SO much Poppy & Mei ! You definitely make my day! It was wonderful to wake up to this gift. It is such a wonderful community here in blog land with all of you! You ALL make my day....but I'll pick a few of you to link to. Thanks for making my day:

Krista - Thanks for the marshmallow making fun!
Rach - I love your comments and your blog.
Purple Grasshopper - Your artwork is fabulous and I love it.
Christina - Thanks for making my daughter's ....years with Maisy.
Kirsten - I know you'll never do this, but you are a fabulous sister and I am SO lucky to have you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

best play-dough ever

I stumbled upon this book at the Sally Ann quite awhile back. It has crafts and recipes that are SO easy but a tonne of fun. We have made the play-dough in here two times and it lasts and stays pliable for ages. We made it about six months ago and it is still going strong! It is softer and smoother than the store bought stuff and not feeling rough from too much salt like most homemade recipes.
I thought may be someone else out there could use a fabulous play-dough recipe: 500 ml (2 cups) flour
250 ml (1 cup) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) cream of tartar
25 ml (2 tablespoons) oil
5 ml (1 tsp) food colouring (optional, but more fun, in my opinion)
500 ml (2 cups) water
-Mix ingredients in saucepan over medium heat while stirring constantly. It's done when dough starts to leave sides of pan.
- Remove from saucepan and knead for a few mintues once it's cool enough to touch.
*We just keep ours in a closed container when we're finished.
A totem pole!

We have babies!!

Everything is sproating in our little peat pots; kidney beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, etc....except for the bloody cilantro. I need to check out EXACTLY what it needs. I LOVE cilantro, why, oh, why, can't I grow it?
Anyhow, everything else is growing and will being going into this beautiful dark yummy soil soon! I can't wait! Wee-hoo!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

life goes on?

Okay, I warn you; this is going to be a post where I indulge in...reminiscence and 'if onlys' . If you can handle that, read on....
Just a few months ago, I wrote a post about liberating the blog from being primarily about our family and make it a source for the unburdening of MY mind. The majority of my mental release has always been creative (okay, that and talking).
As a child, my creative outlet was painting/drawing, reading or imaginative play. As a teenager, basically, whatever supplies the art class provided became my medium and, again, reading. It was at this time that I had decided that I would LOVE to illustrate children's books. My favourite illustrator/author was always Steven Kellogg.
As I got older, my life veered onto different tracks and into different towns. I worked in a pub for seven years where I would sit and draw on quiet nights and even took some distance education college courses. When I moved from that little town, I moved in with Jeff and started going to school in the hopes of getting a degree in Graphic Design.
Weeellllll, life happens so differently than we plan so often and we were very shortly expecting our fabulously amazing little daughter. I didn't continue with school after Olivia was born, but I have tried to keep 'crafty'. In the last while, I have noticed that I haven't been drawing... at all. I find myself looking at other people's art work longingly and enviously (nicely, though!) wishing that I could do something even remotely as beautiful too. I don't completely know why I haven't other than the business that comes from raising little ones; but I think I lost my artistic mojo. I am mourning it.
I was searching and searching for my portfolio to take me down memory (and hopefully, inspiration) lane only to find it missing! I thought I had searched every nook and cranny, thinking that it had been lost in our move six months ago, when I finally looked one last time in a closet that I know checked before and FOUND IT!
I am so pleased to have it with me and to look through the artwork again. I am finding that the much of it isn't finished. I would love to try to work on getting myself confident enough to try drawing/painting again...just even doodle. It seems so long ago and a different person who worked on these things. I wish I could go back in time and push myself a little harder.
I know that some same that the path you're on is the path you're meant to be on....but I still wonder. Do you ever wonder? Is there somewhere else that you thought you'd be?
I so do not regret my life or my family. They are the BEST things that have ever happened to me....I am just having a major case of the 'what-ifs'.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


We made bread! Edible bread!!!! Hope is restored! That recipe rocks, man!!! How come anyone uses anything else??? Rises only once?! Four ingredients?! Fab!

I made some leaves (to signify Spring) for the front door wreath. It still had the hearts from Valentine's on it. I toyed with the idea of eggs or chicks but decided that there is no such thing as 'Labour Day eggs'. ;) I may add some flowers soon....
We had an amazing lay-on-the-floor-and-make-cupcakes-and-sing kind of day. It was fabulously relaxing and SO needed. The sun came out and we blew bubbles outside. It felt like a Sunday from when I was little - quiet and mellow.

I got some fabulous pictures of the kids today. I'm trying to think of a creative way to make them into a birthday gift for Jeff to take along with him while he's at sea. Any ideas?

Friday, March 14, 2008

getting back on the

We're just in the process of trying bread AGAIN - but this time with Thegoodwitch 's recipe. (Thank you so very much!) I am SO hoping that it works!!!! I am tempted to say that if it doesn't, then I'm finished with bread. *deep breath* I shouldn't work myself up...yet.
Anyhow, I had to share a very sweet and funny thing that happened while making the bread:
Liv: Can I see one of the little yeasts, please?
Me: ....okay....
Liv: *ponders for a moment* But I can't see its' mouth....or its' eyes!
Me: Huh?
Liv: You told me that we were using 'live yeast'.
So cute!
We've been working on our seasonal tree to get it ready for the coming of Spring by making cherry blossoms out of four layers of flower shaped tissue paper and a dot of yellow paper in the centre. I suggested that we remove our display of the birds that we ahd seen at the birdfeeder recently, but I met with some reluctance. So the birds will now be in the company of flowers!
I think they turned out very pretty....a bit sparse as someone got tired of making them before I had anticipated, but pretty nonetheless.

I find these moments when they are playing quietly and enjoying each other's company so much as close to heaven as I can imagine. I love to watch them and listen without them knowing. I love the names that Liv picks for them, 'Clarabelle and Rabbie'. I love how Briar plays along and copies all his sisters movements. They are so sweet.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I will never be a baker...

I thought I'd try the bread thing again, but this time with buns! Evidentally, I'm a crappy baker. The buns looked pretty....but they were little pebbles and were practically GLUED inside the baking trays. I tried prying them out with a knife and ended up having to soak them (with the rock buns inside) for a day and a half before I could scrape them out. Argh. Try, try again, right?

I've made a few of these eggs with removable ducklings from wool in the last couple of days. I'm hoping to post them on Etsy later today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

walk and talk

I went for a LOVELY Spring-like walk today with our friends, Krista and Michele while Liv was at farmhands. I so enjoyed our walk and our talk. It is fabulous to be able to talk to these other homeschool mommies (and our littler ones) about our successes and failures with lots of laughter along the way. I really relish these times and thoroughly look forward to hanging out again.
When I got home from our walk, I noticed a clipping that I always have on the fridge and it made me think of our conversation:

10 Ways We Misunderstand Children
1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready.

2. We become angry when a child fails to meet our needs.

3. We mistrust the child's motives.

4. We don't allow children to be children.

5. We get it backwards (instead of accepting our parental role to meet the child's needs, we expect the child to care for our needs.)

6. We blame and criticize when a child makes a mistake.

7. We forget how deeply blame and criticism can hurt a child.

8. We forget how healing loving actions can be.

9. We forget that our behaviour provides the most potent lessons to the child.

10. We see only the outward behaviour, not the love and good intentions inside the child.
(From the Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart by Jan Hunt)

There is not much giggling in this clipping but the feelings were the same, I think.
I love how human and flawed we can be together. I cherish the insights and forgotten comforts that other mommies have to share with eachother. And even though in 'blog-land', we can all pick and choose what the world sees through our 'open curtains' (thanks Michele!) we ALL have moments that we wouldn't want to be recorded.
The point was made that although we try our best to make our children's childhoods the BEST that they can be, we also must parent in the way that gives us joy as well. I had never thought of that and it warms me inside that my children and I can enjoy this journey of learning together.
Anyhow, I am not sure if this sounds like one cohesive post or like a bit of aimless rambling, but it's what I thought about today and wanted to share.... :)
P.S. I just listed these little bunnies on Etsy ! I am hoping to get a few more things on there in the next little bit...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring is COMING!!!!

We have been finding so many ladybugs in our house over the last few days! I'm not sure where they're coming from, but it seems to me that they're heralding Spring.

We have occasionally been outside without coats and sweaters the last week. It is delicious to open the windows and hang the sheets on the washline to dry. Today, it is pretty stinkin' cold, though, and we are in the process of lighting the woodstove. I LOVE woodstove heat. So cozy.

I am finding the imminent arrival of Spring creating a bit of panic in me...happy panic, but panic, nonetheless. So much to do in the yard!

I am trying to plan out the garden and have it all arranged and worked out before I stick one seed in the ground. I am trying a few new veggies this year. Kidney beans. Pickling cukes. Cilantro (okay, this one isn't new, but I have a HECK of a time growing it, so it would be new if it actually grew!) Delicata squash....and more that I just can't seem to remember at this fine moment.

Liv and Briar have decorated and furnished the bean tepee now. The interior of the tepee is dominated by a table (our chopping block for firewood). There is a piece of bark for the welcome mat and some twigs that I pruned from the garden as a fire. Oyster shells as used as dishes and a plant saucer is a sink! Rocks are used as stools and a garden gnome is the greeter at the door. It reminds me of when we were little, we used to make 'bunny houses' in the woods and use what ever we could find as furnishing. SO fun and imaginative!

Friday, March 07, 2008

General Silliness

I REALLY wish that I could pull this off....Why, as adults, aren't we 'allowed' to dress anyway we want! *stomps feet* OKay, I just had to share these with everyone. I think both of the kids faces are priceless in these pictures. It's almost believable....almost.
It does, however, look like Olivia has incredibly hairy arms....