Odds & sods

November turned out pretty well for us. This is remarkable because for the past few years November has been pretty hard. Between the anniversary of Matt’s death, an increase in tantrums (an annual event for some reason), illnesses, the time change, darkness, and cold temperatures, it tends to be a tough month.

We’ve gone through all of the usual hard stuff, but we’ve also had some good times. The month started off with very warm weather, so I blitzed through outdoor projects like the garden and wood chipping. We watched my sister run her personal best marathon to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Then we went straight on to winter with cold and our first (and several more) snows. We embraced it, changed the art in the mudroom and built our first snowmen. Along the way I still managed to squeeze in one more big outdoor project, even if I had to scrape off some icicles first (more on this to come).

Before we look ahead, let’s look back at some of what caught my attention this month:

We hit 1,000 hours outside. This is our second year doing the challenge, and our first time making it to 1,000. I’m really proud that we did it and am excited to start counting again in January.

What happens to your soil in the winter?

Ontario’s premier is opening up greenbelt land for development. Ontario is losing 319 acres of farmland daily. Once farmland is paved it’s gone forever. Farmland produces food. Let’s keep it that way.

Media paywalls and democracy

Ellie and I love variations on the three little pigs story. This Canadian hockey version is a winner.

I consistently let go of things that weigh me down so that I can hold on to laughter, kindness, joy, compassion and love–and those things give me strength and fuel my power.”

Jillene Joseph


How did November go for you? Have you transitioned to winter where you are?

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11 thoughts on “Odds & sods

  1. Congratulations to your sister for running a marathon. I think that that is an amazing accomplishment, at any age! 1,000 hours? I think I am going to start counting too. My November was eventful, to say the least. Got quotes from some contractors to pave our long, long driveway, and I almost fainted by the amount they were asking. Oh, before I forget, I almost got ripped off by one of them that insisted on getting a third of the price down. Not uncommon, but the contract had a different name than the company he supposedly was representing. Long story short, he was planning to get the check and run. There was something about him that didn’t sit right with me, and I was right. No more mowing of lawn, but we had to take care of a lot of leaves. Not a bad November even though we’ll have to start next year talking to contractors for our driveway. Hang in there. Sometimes things look a bit bleak, especially with the cold weather, but you got to keep going. Losing someone is never easy, and I can not even imagine what it would be like losing a husband, but the people I lost, aunts, niece and mother, hurt like crazy, but I have to keep going. It’s nice to know that you are continuing to work on projects and living your life. Happy belated Thanksgiving from all of us!

      • Totally! Any time outside counts. I counted sleeping in a tent, meals on a patio, or shoveling snow as time outside (most people seem to). There are no auditors for the challenge. Most people seem to want to be very honourable in their calculations and look for rules of what counts and doesn’t. The most important thing is just being outside. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing!

      • That’s a relief! I love to walk with my dogs, and I am starting to really enjoy being outside. I’m usually raking leaves, cutting grass, etc. I’m going to start keeping track of it. Thanks!

  2. If your daughter has an increase in tantrums around the time of your husband’s death, it may well be related to that. Our bodies and minds remember even if we don’t consciously remember and the trauma of losing her daddy and the sorrow she felt from her mommy could still be impacting her. I adopted a child at 8yo and there were definitely times of the year that were more difficult – the time she was taken to the orphanage, the time that she came home to her new family, etc. All of it is traumatic and leaves a mental scar that we often don’t recognize since it’s not a conscious memory. I found that holding my daughter and talking about the trauma while patting her (a form of EMDR) was really helpful when she was having those moments.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds like you’ve had some really challenging experiences, but also have found a way to deal with them and increase your connection. I absolutely think memories stay with us. As well, the energy around us influences each of us, so I’m sure that contributes. Plus confusion over why it’s now dark when we eat dinner, transition to cold temperatures. Lots and lots going on at this time of year, and little people aren’t equipped to deal with all of their feelings. I try to give her support to process whatever she’s going through in the same way it sounds like you do with your daughter.

  3. You really accomplished a lot this November. Mine was quite fruitful too: I have finally been hit by the crafting bug again. I’m always happier when I’m creating. I also am making a few of our gifts this year, which is a good feeling.

    I assume you have read The Three Little Wolves And The Big Bad Pig? If not, do check it out; it’s a fun one!

  4. Congrats to your sister on her PB marathon. I turn 40 in April so that gives me inspiration. Congrats on outside for 1,000 hours too! I’m going to look into this challenge now.

    We just bought a house with 4 acres. I’m so excited for my dogs to finally have a yard!

    • Congrats on your property! That’s a big step from where you guys were!

      Between turning 40 and the baby, a race (big or not) could be a big milestone for you. It’s also a way to have something for you at this stage. It’s so nice to hear from you, and I’m glad to hear that you sound well.

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