roly poly pumpkins.


Two weekends past, a Sunday trip to the local pumpkin patch was fruitful; we returned home with restored smiles and two slightly uneven - but lovely - pumpkins. One week later, we plopped those glistening pumpkins on the kitchen counter and set to work; we hacked, sliced, sawed and scraped. From my choice of verbs, you'd probably think that we were committing murder. Quite the contrary, but it was a feat of similar difficulty. Our pumpkins just did not want to obey. They were rebellious pumpkins, our two. My pumpkin lost a feature or two in the process, and Graham's suffered minor injuries. In the end, we wrestled them down and got the job done (partially, at least).

This year, the orange-and-black glamour of Halloween did not beckon to me. This sudden closed-off emotion towards the holiday may be associated with current events in my life, but I decided to practically skip the 31st this year. However, my brother did not -- enjoy the last photos of Graham decked out in his authentic nerd costume and have a happy Halloween!


we all struggle, keep going.


As quickly as Autumn arrived, with its subtle breath of woodsmoke and fallen leaves, has come the inevitable motivational rut. Artists deal with these phases constantly, and I am no exception. The blues have struck me violently, leaving me feeling like an empty shell, stuffed only with cotton and feathers. My camera collects dust during daylight hours while I'm either going through the motions at volleyball practice, cheering my team on at a league game, running at the track, attending classes or finishing off homework. During the evenings, my favorite activities fight for time -- such as writing journal entries, posting on the blog or reading -- but catching as much sleep as possible is also ideal. I feel like an extinguished bulb; out of ideas, inspiration, and the willpower to make art.

Every morning starts with the blare of my alarm at 6 a.m., and each time it's a little harder to leave the comfort of my bed. School is a constant collection of monotonous drones and crowded hallways. Class lessons that seemed fresh and new at the start of September have fizzled out. Gym class makes me want to bash my head on the ugly beige walls, listening along in Tech. Ed. makes my ears bleed and even my English note margins have filled with doodles of Paris streets, Manitoban prairies and British teashops; all of the places I'd rather be.

So it makes me question, why do I keep getting up? Why do I roll out from under the blankets each morning, mustering my strength to face the day ahead? A simple answer: "We all struggle, keep going." 

As much as I wish the calendar would fast-forward to Christmas holidays, I am firmly aware that there's something to treasure in each day I get through. Maybe it's a rewarding trip to the pumpkin farm at the end of the week or simply a heartfelt compliment from a passing friend in the hallway, but there's always something.

This funk will lift, the clouds will pass and the storm will reside. My inspiration will come back. It always does.


this is how we bake in fall.

It begins when the temperature outside reads below 6 degrees Celcius. The sounds of someone rummaging for flour, sugar and baking powder come from the pantry, and if you take a peek at the oven, you find that it's been turned on to preheat. Curious noses turn up in the kitchen, asking "Whatcha making?" in pleasant tones, hoping to secure their spot as a prime taste-tester. Someone is sneaking chocolate chips, and someone else is dipping their finger into the bowl of batter (for the second time). Pans of raw cookie dough, carefully scooped into rounds, or dishes of sliced apples and raspberries, sprinkled with flour topping, slide into the oven. Eager hands wind the kitchen timer again and again, hoping that somehow the time will pass more quickly. The delicious goods pop out of the oven, significantly more golden and crisp than an hour prior.

It ends as the wind howls mournfully outside of the windows and rain taps at the door, and biscuits and crumbles are gobbled up; every morsel is savoured.

This is how we bake in fall.




Why is Thanksgiving such a faded holiday to so many; shadowed by Christmas and Halloween? Thanksgiving is often regarded as nothing more than an opportunity to stuff our stomachs with food. This makes my heart sad, for the holiday of Thanksgiving is a precious little gem, tucked away between the start of autumn and the sparkling Christmas season. Thanksgiving has always been important to me, and not just because Mom plops a roast turkey on the dinner table. It's a day entirely dedicated to being thankful for what we have. It's a chance to let all of the little disappointments drop off of our shoulders and be happy with what we've got.

This year was the best Thanksgiving yet. By my mother's side in the kitchen, I chopped, peeled and diced. I ran along craggy cliffs, wrote what was on my heart and knit for as long as I wanted. I ironed, folded and washed. I'm a girl who enjoys being busy with tasks. With the exception of lying down with a good book, I don't like sitting still for long.

Dinner was a small affair for just the four of us, but we made it special. We donned pajamas for our feast and sat down with full plates. After our tummies could take no more, we settled back into the living room couch with the fire crackling before us. It was a beautiful evening to cap off a wonderful day.