So, Dean's finally jiggy with the new millennium. Late, but better late than never (i.e. his Canadian schedule has afforded him time that his Cali one never did). He's got himself a website, a blog, as such. For work, of course. Pass it on: http://deanalannelson.blogspot.com/

O'Canada: Lamentations On Life In London.

Don't be blue little Canuck, it'll get better, eh?
Even if 8 months of winter are upon us.


I have made a deal with myself to find the beauty in our everyday, here, in London, Ontario.

The truth is--and any local who reads this may be more than a little upset at my admission of this--I don't like London. I haven't written much to this fact on this blog. I wanted to give spring and summer a chance before I aired my dirty laundry about the place. But the real truth of the matter is, I'm not a fan and I am not sure that I will ever be. What can I say, eight months of winter just doesn't tickle my fancy.

Honestly, any place following in the wake of a decade's living in Southern California and Malibu to boot, truly has tough competition--let's be fair. It's hard to move an inch without oozing with inspiration over everything in eye shot--turquoise seafoam, surf urchin, glistening sea rock, desert-flowered cliffs, sea lions and dolphins dancing with bronzed surfers, golden pacific sunsets, trannies on unicycles--eye candy is plentiful. It wasn't hard to find something unarguably beautiful everyday.

Aside from the aesthetics, London just hasn't opened up for me in the ways that L.A. and its closest shores had for me as a new arrival. And as every season passes too drastically here (summer too hot, spring too rainy, and fall too short) on to the one that lasts the longest--winter--more than half of the year long--I yearn for the hum drum melancholy of Southern California's perpetual spring--where the sun shines everyday and flowers are always in bloom. Not everyone may be a fan--I get that. But I was smitten with the place and it's memory in my fond heart only goldens as the distance and time between us widens. Will we go back? We are definitely planning on it. But in the meantime, to make the most of this Californian hiatus, I must stop longing for what was and embrace what is.

Therefore, going forward, I'll try as I might to make London not just a place of residence, but a place that I enjoy living. I must. For we will be homesteading here yet another few years, I fear. So, I vow at this moment to make a conscience, concerted effort to look only ahead--never back--and find the beauty in our everyday, even here, in London, Ontario. It will just take a little work and a sharp eye. But I am finally willing to put in the time. Let's see what I can find.


The Summer That Was: Babies, Roadtrips & Poutine.

Home Sweet Home.

One nervous meltdown, four toll booths, one rain-drenched car interior (don't ask), and 2,000+ miles of roadway later, w e a r e h o m e and I am woefully late blogging about it. We've been home for several weeks now, but getting back into the swing of things has taken longer than I anticipated.

For starters, we had our dear friend, Gabe (of the band, bikos--check them out here and here!), out for a visit from Los Angeles. Every time friends visit us from the sunny southwest, I ache for it's golden shores even more--I m i s s home. His visit passed with a blur (time flies when you're having fun!) and ended with heaps of potine--a Canadian, or should I say, a Montreal-ian delicacy, that Dean and I had been putting off trying until that perfect moment--and so, with Gabe, on a rainy and chilly Sunday evening it was to be tried for the first time. I hate to say it, but it was sinfully delicious. Who could resist fries topped with cheese curd, gravy and any other heart clogging topping one could dream of?

Gabe & Noah--boys, being boys.

But now that summer has halted abruptly into 50 and 60 degree temperatures this week, I must reflect back on the summer that was . . .

Summer 2011 brought with it sweltering heat, drenching humidity, a new baby girl and a three-week road trip from Canada to North Carolina and back. Are we crazy? Perhaps. Nuts even? I am sure of it. If not before this trip, than certainly after. Traveling with a nearly 3-year old toddler and a nearly 3-month old baby was harrowing, confusing, exhausting, hilarious and downright completely insane.

Here was our harrowing road trip route: Niagara Falls, Baltimore, Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Raleigh, Greenville, Emerald Isle and Fayetteville in North Carolina, D.C., West Virginia, Pennsylvania, upstate New York--and a few more little stops in between. We went to pools, beaches, mountains, museums, a baseball game (which we sadly do not have any pictures of) and visited more family in more places than you can shake a stick at (pictures of the roadtrip warriors here).

All-in-all it was a fantastic trip--a vacation, not so much. But that kind of goes without saying when traveling with kids. The drive from Carolina to Canada was actually somewhat pleasurable. We had finally mastered the stop and go rhythm needed for naps, playtime and drive times to coincide happily. Therefore, you may have noticed that there are many more picture collages on the back side of the vacation travels for just that reason. On the front side there are very few--and the reason is simple--it was worth forgetting.

Since we've been back, I've been one crafting mama. Thanks to the incredible Lotta Jansdotter simple sewing book for babies and toddlers given as a gift from my sweet friend Cyndy, I've been one bib, drool kerchief and giraffe rattle making lady! And, so much so that I have been derelict on my task of getting to work on Halloween costumes.

Fernie Drool Kercheifs.

With our Parent & Child Program at Waldorf resuming and Dean returning to a teaching schedule this week, I hope to also gain a bit of normalcy in my routine with the kids. Since Dean has had only a partial schedule since the birth of Fern in May, this will be my first stint entirely on my own with the two maniacs. How I will fare is yet to be seen. Especially with winter just around the bend. Winter, in London, Ontario, uugghh, uugghh, uugghh.

In the meantime, we'll harvest our pole beans and frolic outdoors as long as Father Fall permits!


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