May 2-4

I grew up in Manitoba and a couple hours North of my hometown is Riding Mountain National Park. A few friends have cabins up there and May Long weekend is the time open them up and mark the beginning of summer!

I spent May Long weekend opening up my tent and my land to sunshine and stars!

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The tent stood the test of winter!

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I cut down trees

jbi-maylong17Jeremy cut down bigger trees.

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Mia worked the axe.

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A decent wood pile is forming.

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A bridge out to the car park is almost done.

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Fence posts for the HillyBilly Hot Tub area have all been cut.

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Looking really good after only 2 days up there!

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Thanks, yet again, to some amazing help from some awesome friends!!

Summer is coming and Camp Just Broken In is getting ready for the season…

DAY OF THANKS BEFORE I GO

ryan on BC bike trailsLeo Jul 23 | Aug 22 Do you ever feel reverence and awe, Leo? Are there times when you spontaneously yearn to engage in acts of worship? Is there anyone or anything that evokes your admiration, humility, and gratitude? The coming weeks will be a good time to seek out experiences like these. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will get tender jolts of transformational inspiration if you blend yourself with a sublime force that you trust and respect.

These horoscopes come out in Now Toronto on Thursday but I usually like to sit with them for a few days. Hard to interpret someone’s interpretation of the stars for you.

I am posting today because I am leaving for 14 days to go hang out with my BFF from Grade 4 in Panama and Costa Rica. Aside from my family, he is the first mentor the universe gave me so once again, I could not agree more.

 

Day of Thanks for February 16

UP TO PHOTOLeo Jul 23 | Aug 22 Is there any sense in which your closest alliance is a gift to the world? Does your relationship inspire anyone? Do the two of you serve as activators and energizers, igniting fires in the imaginations of those whose lives you touch? If not, find out why. And if you are tapping into those potentials, it’s time to raise your impact to the next level. Together the two of you now have extra power to synergize your collaboration in such a way that it sends out ripples of benevolence everywhere you go.

Toronto is my closest alliance. Toronto is where I have grown into me.

If you asked me what my great accomplishment in life has been so far, I would say without hesitation, “My relationships.” This city has provided me with the most amazing network of friends and I feel very confident to say that my life is inspiring, energizing and is helping to light fires in the imaginations of those around me. I am going to take the brains, hearts and hands of my Toronto friends and go build up North.

We are about to create a place that will be run by one really awesome benevolent owner.

 

Just Broken In – Lessons Learnt

As 2014 comes to a close most of us are sitting back and taking stock of the year that just passed. When I look back on the past year, I smile at all of the things I thought I was going to accomplish but I am also amazed at what I did get done on my land. So what did I learn?

1/ The hanging of the sign. I actually bought a fence post for this sign. My friend, Judy, looked at me like I was crazy and said … You know you have a lot of trees. Why did you buy a dead one? Lesson learnt – I have a lot of supplies on my land.

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2/ The deck. Working outdoors is nothing like working indoors, not even close. Lesson learnt – I am out of my element and need to slow down, do research and make way more informed decisions because if I don’t this will not work.

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3/ The camp location. I put the tent on the most level spot of land that was closest to the driveway. We did not look up and ended up building right under a widow maker tree (a tree that is dangerously close to falling).  I also put it at the bottom of my hill and am about to experience my first spring melt so it may or may not be flooded out. The ground is basically years of decaying organic matter so after a few months of heavy equipment being used I now open my door onto a mud pit. Lesson learnt – look at all angles before making a decision.

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4/  The wood burning stove. It came with wire netting for the top of the chimney to keep debris out. This is a great idea for short amount of time but in my case the wire netting is pointless. Rain turns a stove into a small dirty tub but add a new metal T top and all is well. Leason learnt – this is not a vacation this is about to be an all element lifestyle.

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5/ The canvas tent and wood burning stove. Making sure that everything is clear of stove inside the tent is great but making sure everything is clear of the stove pipe is also a good idea. Leason learnt – metal gets really hot and dry leaves burn really nicely.

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6/ Mice. I have successfully build the best home a mouse family could ever hope for. I had no idea that there were so many mice out there. Lesson learnt – you are living outdoors and there is a lot of outdoors you don’t know about coming from the city.

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7/ Black flies. Back in July when we went up to survey for the driveway I had my first ever Black Fly experience. I grew up in a province full of mosquitoes but not black flies. Lesson learnt – Black Flies love my blood.

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8/ Winter. I actually thought that I could leave the tent up all year without any worries. Then my neighbours and I talked about the weight of snow. Thankfully, this winter has been very kind to us and as of today the tent has yet to collapse. Leason learnt – this is not a vacation this is about to be an all element lifestyle and you are living outdoors and there is a lot of outdoors you don’t know about coming from the city. (Reoccurring theme)

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9/ I have really amazing neighbours and awesome friends. Thank you all for your support either up there working or simply telling me that this is beautiful and that following your heart is the best thing anyone can do.

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Goodbye Rust, Hello 2015

In the last year of researching for this move, my style has been heavily influenced by all the beautiful Nordic design out there. Clean lines, open spaces, minimalist beautiful. Before if you asked me to define my style I would have said Rusty Urban Canadian Cabin Pretty and now I would say Nordic Beautiful, Mid Century Minimal with a touch of Canadiana.

I used to love Rust. So much that my good friend, Chris, once said to me … “You are the only person I know that when I help them move, I am glad I had my tetanus shot.”

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When one decides that their next home is going to be 100 square feet one realizes how many things they own. In the next month I will have paired down my life by about a third. I used to hang this piece of art in my bathroom. It is a rusted, old metal shelf from something but the lines and rust on it reminded me of a lonely winter prairie road so I painted an electrical pole and added a quote by W.O. Mitchell about being from the Prairies. Today I decided to put it up in Trinity Bellwoods Park to share it with Toronto.

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Before we showed up

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After 10 minutes of really cold hands (Thank you Jill!!)

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2015 Thank You for a lovely start!

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Chris and Justin

heart - c&jJust celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. I was Chris’s best man at their wedding. Last night we had our holiday dinner and drinks together. They are two of my most favourite people and hopefully soon will be a family of 3.

Day of Thanks for December 22

xmas-sweater-torontoLeo Jul 23 | Aug 22 “There are two kinds of light,” said author James Thurber, “the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” Lately you have been an abundant source of that first kind of light, Leo. The fire in your heart and the gleam in your eyes have not only brightened the mood wherever you’ve gone. They have also clarified confusing situations, warmed chilly attitudes and healed dispirited allies. Thank you! In the coming weeks, I’d love to see you continue on your hot streak. To help ensure that you do, keep your ego under control. Don’t let it pretend that it owns the light you’re emitting. With a little introspection, you will continue to generate illumination, not glare.

 

Back in 1986 my Grandma knit myself and my sister an amazing Christmas sweater. My sister found them this year and mailed mine out to me. On December 14th I started the “12 days of Christmas” Tanya Style! Tonight is the 9th day of Christmas so I will be heading over to Chris and Justin’s home for dinner. Each night I have been subjecting my friends to photo shoots with me and the sweater. When we part ways I then post the photos on FaceBook with a blurb about why I am grateful to have them in my life.

Its funny that this horoscope came out 4 days after I started my Christmas countdown. I have definitely have been bringing the ‘light’ to the parties but am completely aware that the beauty of the moments are because of all the love, support and laughter we have been giving each other for many years.

May your holiday season shine brightly!

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My buddy Stephanie.

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My friend Catherine and her family.

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Fellow arts and crafter Chua!

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My neighbours Kelly and Victor.

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Robert and the Christmas Sweater.

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My work crew after the Nut Cracker.

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Justin and Chris and of course Marvin!
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And my favourite fellow in the world …. Tigger! xo

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