mountain climber

my husband, the artist.

so jeremy sorrell is a big time artiste. he's the last guy to admit it too which makes him an adorable genius and me the luckiest wife ever on christmas morning. he made me SO many cool things this year.

like this moss terrarium. he called it 'christmas in the cretaceous' and it's a mini ecosystem complete with soil and plant matter and the tiniest snails you ever did see. also velociraptors and a brontosaurus.

and this taxidermy style nature plate on which he's made all the bugs out of various leaves, seeds, pods and twigs. collected from our many out of door walks and shoved in his pockets quickly, so i wouldn't notice.

this is a golem and jeremy made him out of clay. the mystical symbols he carved in his body bring the golem to life. he'll spend his short life serving his master, (me) before his clay body crumbles and his glowing heart fades. until then he's lovely to look at, lit up with tea-lights on the window ledge.

i love his heavy, curled hands. and that i've never heard of a golem before jeremy made me one. and that i'm married to jeremy.

and lastly there's this! the pièce de résistance! i actually don't have a favourite thing but i love this one a lot and i love using that term so there you have it.

this is the moon, complete with its proper craters and ridges, and a sky full of stars and a little house looking on.

it's plasticine on canvas and jeremy said it's our house in the future in the winter. presently it hangs in our bedroom where i can look at it in the moments before i fall asleep and think about the moon and the ground and the space in between.

amazing, eh?! i am amazed. i am blessed and i am amazed and i am selling tickets in advance to jeremy's first show.

christmas day hike (happy holidays, nature)

extended holiday

merry christmas!!

is everyone still enjoying themselves? feeling festive? gorging on clementines and assorted nuts?

jerry seinfeld once likened people snapping out of the christmas spirit to people coming out of a drunken stupor. boxing day is still pretty christmasy (unless you go to the mall) and you can potentially negotiate the entire week between christmas and new years as one big holiday but i know what he means. it's all this big work up to this amazing day of love and turkey and then WHAM. the bus schedule resumes to normal and people are getting angry at each other in the parking lot at best buy.

it doesn't have to be that way though, you know. in fact it's our new years resolution in the sorrell household to stay (figuratively) in the drunken stupor all year long. and why the heck not? it's still winter and it's still the end of one year and the start of the next and there's still so much to be thankful for and so many reasons to slow down and take stock of them.

also we have champagne left.

it's this moment right here

i'm sitting at home watching love actually. the wrapping is done and the fridge is full. when jeremy gets home we're going out to get the christmas hens and share an assortment of pastries over giant mugs of something hot.

later we're making ginger molasses cookies. later still we're listening to a holiday special on the cbc.

this is the sweet spot of christmas, isn't it? when all the preparations come together and you relax into the season that has taken on a tempo of its own. you enjoy. you eat. you drink. you sing. your home is brimming with warmth and food and presents waiting for their shining moment.

these are all shining moments. sparkling little collective gems of joy and peace, i think of everyone celebrating something and am filled with nostalgia and hope and milky sweet tea.

merry merry.

baby barn owl with scarf

this little pip is a custom order. i wrapped her scarf twice for fashion and the late december wind.

she doesn't have a name yet. she needs some time to develop traits and a fine personality.

the holidays are here!! even though i have a holiday cold, i'll take one of those with jeremy and some tea over any other option out there.

reading and writing (an affair)

"how does the reading feed into the writing, and vice versa? continually, continuously, promiscuously, in a million ways.”

philip pullman

dance of six

i took the shuttle up the hill with the girls from work.
(sunny, sunny, cold.)

we breezed through errands, like crowds in a holiday parade.
(mittens, mittens, hats.)

time left, we whirled ourselves inside a sweet boutique,
trying dresses, trying tops, coats on heaps on chairs.

brown bags, white receipts, back on the bus we’re laughing,
taking treasures, stealing moments from the day.

zen lessons in crafting

i fell in love with the bear i made. the first one with the tartan scarf.

i loved him so much i'd look at the cut out shapes of the second bear and think it's just not fair, that he should have to follow in such well loved footprints.

but i made him anyways cause he was halfway there and i chose him the nicest fabric for his scarf. i made it long and wrapped it around his neck twice, a burnt orange swatch of warm and wool.

then i caught him staring out the window in this melancholy way like he was both the youngest and the oldest living thing and i remembered my ability to love in myriad ways.

sunrise stroll (and a rainbow happened)

big black bear

i made this handsome fellow for a custom order for a special lady. ain't he swell? i love his scarf and his furrowed brow.

soon it will be time for the long trek north but for now he's hanging out on our mantle, looking pensively down at the floor, wondering when it's time for breakfast.


i have a friend at work named stuart. he does cool things like organize groups of volunteers to monitor bees in the summer and birds in the winter and sometimes we go for strolls and talk about life and tom hodgkinson books.

one day he made me cross a log over a creek and last week i held a bird feeder open with a stick while he poured the rushing seeds in through the top.

who are these people we spend 8 hours of our day with? learning it's the small pleasures of their company that make our time feel new, punctuated by their thoughts and ideas and interesting ways of approaching the hundred little choices that make up a day.

his and hers (and the things they celebrate)

i made us stockings! a plaid wool one for jeremy with an evergreen tree stitched on the front and a caramel linen one for me with vintage lace hearts, each one sewn on by hand. in between the stitching i got to thinking about the holiday season and why we celebrate.

deeply spiritual and affected am i but religious i am not, so how can i (in good faith) participate in the goods of a season, (food! food! drink! PRESENTS!) without recognizing and ascribing to its original purpose? and can i be moved by a christmas carol, tied so deeply to my christmas memory bank, without feeling hypocritical. without wondering if it's okay to sing about baby jesus if you think he just grew up to be a really nice guy with a great falsetto in the musical.

i like giving presents. i like eating shortbread cookies shaped like angels and i like waking up on december 25th and feeling like for that one day, the world is in a state of suspended animation.

maybe belief, (or disbelief as the case may be) is suspended animation. a question unanswered. maybe asking yourself these questions while you're making stockings, soon to be filled with well planned presents, is the point of anything done en masse. WHY do we do the things we do. WHY are they important. are they relevant. are they helpful or harmful. are they real or prescribed.

i look at our empty stockings and they have no answers for me. but boy are they cute and well made.

for now, this is a Prince blog.

if getting michael jackson tickets and not getting to see michael jackson was the biggest concert let down in my wee little life, then getting prince tickets and going to see prince was the best consolation prize.

prince was PHENOMENAL.

from the moment he popped out of the floor of his namesake symbol shaped stage, with gold glittered (well fitted) pants, the crowd was HIS. he looked great, he sounded incredible, he was epic and intimate at once. he played four different guitars, he did three costume changes, he danced his fancy footwork from one end of that swirly stage to the other.

he did an mj cover of don't stop 'til you get enough and he did an explosively epic version of when doves cry during his second encore when the crowd REFUSED to go home. seriously, the house lights were on and people were mopping the stage but we all kept clapping and screaming and he came back out and that telling guitar solo started and i actually. lost. my. mind.

even now, the morning after, with my sore throat and my slow ass version of itunes downloading the best of prince album, when i think about last night i get goosebumps. THAT is what concerts are all about.

i actually transcended to a higher plane. prince was there, singing raspberry beret.

dvp at dawn

from this distance the flow of cars is hypnotic,
from this distance i excuse myself from their small important differences in speed and style.

a steady stream of lights
a unified forward intention

if their end places are different you wouldn't know from looking,
only guessing at the improbability of one final destination,

reachable by faith and morning commute.

claude and richard say goodbye.

upon hearing of claude's impending departure, richard felt it necessary to impart some whale wisdom. he was surprised then, to learn that claude had some wisdom of his own.

"see the world," said richard, "the one out there? it's big, claude. big and full of possibilities"

"i know richard", said claude, "but in all the world there's no other you"

the passing of fall (the visiting of mother)

my mom comes every year at this time and it's always a whirlwind of talking, eating, and walking outdoors. november is the last month you can pretend it's going to be fall forever and we certainly take full advantage of that - bundling her up in her bc warmest and taking her to all our favourite natural spots.

we supplemented our walks with homemade grub and warm drinks and literally watched as the last leaves fell from their reluctant holdings.

thanks for coming, mom! fall in ontario bids you, and the rest of us, adieu.


lentil curry with naan.

(and the part of november when we still sat outside to eat lunch).

out to lunch

the place i work, the actual physical landscape where i go every day of the week to do my job, is unbelievably beautiful.

the truth about occupations, even if you enjoy them, is that they're work. deadlines and accountability and expectations can add up to a healthy sum of stress no matter who you are and how many downward dogs you do.

but when you work in a space as magical, as wild, as engaging to all of your senses,

and when you can walk out of your office and into that space for your lunch,

or for a stroll,

or to sit on the ledge of the north slope and marvel at the fall colours - weaving bracelets out of grass,

you count your lucky stars that somehow the world conspired to bring you there. and you think that any sort of stress can't help but be beaten back by the patient, gracious grandeur of nature.