I recently moved into a new home, which always comes with new projects, large and small. The space is significantly larger than where I was previously, so there's an opportunity for additional furniture which wasn't there before. Problem is, money IS an object in my case (as it is in most of yours, I'm sure!). So I sing the praises of secondhand and DIY!
It's amazing what one can find on Kijiji or Craigslist. We live in such an immediately gratified culture ... and those of us who are willing to wait can benefit from that big time! I like to buy clothes second-hand as much as I can too. It keeps stuff out of the landfill; it reduces the demand for more manufacturing; it saves money and drives the micro-economy ... and how satisfying to find that one-of-a-kind piece! Or to create it ...
My son is at the age where he could use a desk. We went browsing online and found a great looking and good sized desk with a hutch that would work perfectly for him and all his stuff. - for $40. But it was white. Kind of feminine. He's not a feminine dude (sweet and compassionate, yes; feminine, no). This is a kid who has always been into comics. He is an expert on the most tertiary characters in both the Marvel and DC universes. So we spray painted the desk blue (and how super awesome for him to get to spray paint!) and decoupaged various surfaces with $15 worth of torn-up comic books. New stuff, old stuff ... it looks amazing. Super unique and very, very him. AND something that he is proud of helping to have made!
Our new home includes an outdoor space that we didn't previously enjoy. So we dug out our beautiful rope hammock, only to discover that a critter had chewed through a few of the ropes. I figured if the sailors and fishermen can do it, so can I! A quick google search for "splicing ropes" let me to a fabulous animated knot-tying website, and over the course of an evening while catching up with a bestie on the phone, I super-spliced the ropes back together (short-splice anyone?), replaced a missing stretch (double fisherman's knot?) and our hammock is as good as new! Our backyard is just like a cottage ... almost.
It's not always so smooth. With a housewarming contribution from my parents I ordered a stunning new chandelier from Turkey (from Etsy ... another favourite online destination ... be careful ... it's dangerous ... but it also drives re-used, re-purposed and micro-economic items). I was committed to mounting it myself - watching my dad take down the old light, carefully googling and Youtubing the process ... making sure the power was shut down to the box.
But for the life of me, I can't get it up. I've changed hardware. I've consulted lighting stores. I've made three separate trips to the Home Depot. I've called-a-friend. And it won't go. And I don't know what I'm doing wrong. My son was helping me with the last effort - holding the weight of the fixture so I could fiddle with housings and screws and crossbars. I was in tears by the end, using language that he's never heard me use. In response to my statement that I felt like a dolt, gently said, "But Mom, you've never done this before!" And when I despaired that my good friend and go-to handyman would come over and get it up in five minutes, he reminded me that if I were to ask this friend to take care of one of my patients, he wouldn't be able to do that. Ah. Right. How did he get so wise??!
I was so stuck on perseverance; insistent that I should be able to figure it out. I was reminded by my man that humility is also a virtue and asking for help was okay. I can swing back to perseverance again on something else.
So my good friend and go-to handyman is coming over this weekend to - hopefully! - get my light up. Maybe he'll take five minutes. Or maybe it IS a particularly tough situation!!
There are other projects. I bought a lovely solid wingback chair (Craigslist) that I hope to reupholster (forgetting that I tried that once before and ultimately gave the half-finished chairs away when I got frustrated with the project ... invoking perseverance this time!). What's the expression about the devil and idle hands?? The devil won't get me - I have a tendency to make myself a bit pathologically busy, but it's oh-so-satisfying to learn new skills and make things happen.
So let me know if you ever need a rope spliced! But maybe call someone else if you need a light installed ...
Healthy children become healthy adults. Healthy adults raise healthy children. And the healthier people are, the more capacity they have to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. It's a beautiful cycle of perpetuation. I want as many people as possible have access to good information and strategies to help their families be healthy for life. Naturopathic medicine is a wonderful vehicle for encouraging families to make positive lifestyle choices; however, one-on-one visits may not always be enough AND they are not accessible to everyone.
With a group of committed students at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, I developed Healthy Families, Healthy Kids (HFHK). HFHK is a family-centered program which we have been offering in the community for the past two years. The program empowers caregivers to make healthy lifestyle choices for the short and long-term health of the whole family. We talk about nutrition, bonding, environmental exposures, what to do when kids get sick ... all in the context of supportive community. Our activities are hands-on and practical, and we have participants set goals every week to encourage them to apply what they've learned. The feedback we've gotten from this program has been terrific - people have found it to be so helpful to their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours at home. And we feel good knowing that this is one small way in which we can make this information more accessible to folks who may not otherwise be in a position to have one-on-one naturopathic care.
So far it has been a labour of love; funding would enable us to expand our reach and make this program available to more families. Canadian Scholarship Trust (CST) is hosting a funding competition for ideas that support the growth and development of kids. HFHK is a perfect candidate and could win up to $50,000! But we need your help.
Here’s what to do:
1. Go to http://learningproject.cst.org/ and REGISTER to vote (you can opt out of receiving communication from CST).
2. Starting now, visit the HFHK idea page at http://learningproject.cst.org/ideas/568 and click on the Facebook, Twitter and email buttons to SHARE the idea with your networks (ask them to share too!). You can also COMMENT on our page to tell us what you think about our idea! Consider forwarding this message too!
3. Every day from May 4-18, visit our idea page and VOTE all three ways (vote, Facebook and Twitter).
· Set up a reminder in your phone or calendar daily to vote!
We hope to make it to the second round - and your votes will make a huge difference in our ability to do that. If you think this project has potential (I know it does!!), then please take the time to vote, and spread the word!