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living the coastal life

West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC

Whalecome!

Lennie and I are a water-loving couple in Ahousaht BC. Ahousaht is on Flores Island – a 35 min boat ride north of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. We have a very unique living experience here. No grocery stores, no gas stations, wolves roaming our streets and a water taxi ride to get in and out of the village.

I’d like to share some of my experiences here – Both the every day and the extraordinary and showcase a little bit of what life is like for us on the coast. Please shoot me questions and comments! I would love to feature topics you are interested in!

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Featured post

The Honest Truth

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted for a while. Well, my wonderful, picture perfect marriage has suffered a breakdown. I was scared. I am scared. And I ran. It was a knee-jerk reaction, the hardest decision, but still the best one in the long run. We’ve decided to heal and rebuild.

But here I am again, the one alone and isolated, despite being surrounded by others. This time I am at my parent’s home. It’s been nearly 6 weeks already. I have few peers in the area I still know. Blood relatives just aren’t the same. They want the best for me. They want to protect me. They want to wrap me in bubble wrap and make sure this never happens again.

But I need to take that risk. Because I am not ready to give up on my marriage and my life I have built with Lennie. Few people understand this. Those that do are my lifelines. No one is telling me to rush blindly back into his arms, despite what some may think, and that’s not what we want either. We want our space, despite how difficult it is to maintain.

Lennie is soon entering another treatment program. I have found a councillor with a background in what we are experiencing and Indigenous issues. We are moving forward, step by faltering step.

This pain stems from the traumas of residential school. Everything we are going through right now has come from Lennie’s experiences there. The residential school legacy still thrives in those it imprisoned. It affects their life, relationships and family every single day.

No one is just “get[ting] over it”, despite what the critics like to preach. Those who think it is that easy, have no connections with a Survivor. They would see first hand that it is not so simple. Lennie battles every day with his demons, and I am weilding a sword right alongside him to protect both of us. Because his pain becomes my pain, but I’m not going to walk away for good. We’re in this together now.

We said vows. We made promises in front of witnesses. We promised each other eternal love. And that is what I will give him while he is at his weakest. The hardest thing, is giving that love to myself too, while he is unable to.

One day at a time, we will move forward. One day at a time, we will heal. And eventually, we will be whole again. I promise.

Signs of Spring

Even though winter is only a month underway, I can feel spring creeping up on us. It’s just around the corner, yet so far away.

It’s exciting to see the bulbs emerging from the ground and new buds on the alder branches. How long before the first vibrant salmonberry blooms burst open with a shower of pink?

January is a month of rebirth, for us and for the world around us.

Here’s to spring! Our saving grace after the rain and wind of the past months!

New Year, New Me?

January 1st is a time for rebirth and renewal and many people use it as a jumping off point for resolutions and promises. In past years I have used New Years as the starting point for my resolutions, but in 2018 I began making commitments to myself and our planet during the course of the year.

It started with bringing my own reusable mug as much as possible for coffee. Then, not using plastic wrap in my home and switching fully to beeswax wraps. Next I became hyper aware of my purchases – what is the product made of, is there a more environmentally friendly option, is there a version with less packaging?

I feel like I’m doing fairly well. Lennie and I have both switched to shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles too. We’ve never used straws to begin with and Tofino has even gone plastic straw free! The thing is, plastic is everywhere. It’s impossible to avoid it in today’s society but our consumer choices do make a difference.

This year I won’t specifically be making a resolution, but I will commit to continuing my plastic free journey and making ethical choices when it comes to my purchases. Every improvement I make in my life helps our planet and the environment around me. Less waste = less impact, and more change = a greater impact!

Be a part of the movement to be plastic free in 2019!

Marcie’s Monthly Reads – December

I read 12 books in December! So many were really fantastic. Washington Black was definitely one of my favorites for the year! And I got through lots of NetGalley digital advanced copies. It’s super exciting when the ARCs I read go to print and I get to see them in hard copy at the bookshop!

Dec. 3 2018

Seascape by Karis Walsh

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

I just finished an ARC of #Seascape by Karis Walsh and loved it start to finish! This cute romance is set in the rainforest of the Pacific Northwest with the fantastical orcas of the Pacific drawing the characters together. A perfect read for a stormy west coast night!

Dec. 3 2018

Ride: The Search for TK by Bobbi JG Weiss

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

Ride: The Search for TK is a great juvenile novel, set at a UK boarding school. Rebelling against the pressure she faces from the Headmistress, Kit is determined to get back her favourite horse, that has been sent away to protect her and the school’s reputation. Horse crazy pre-teens will love the unfolding drama as Kit fights for what she loves.

Dec. 3 2018

Invalid Evidence by Stevie Mikayne

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

A romance and a mystery all rolled into one! Set mostly in the Caribbean at a failing marine park and juxtaposed against urban Canada, both of our protagonists solve their own mysteries while forcefully separated – I appreciated that the orca and dolphins got their happy endings too!

Dec. 6 2018

The Smile of the Wolf by Tim Leach

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

I just finished an ARC of The Smile of the Wolf by Tim Leach. What a fantastical tale of adventure and triumph over Nature and Man. I do wish the ending was different but the twists and turns of the story made it a real page turner! I really enjoyed the historical perspective and even the naive view from characters, explaining Iceland’s geothermal heat!

Dec. 9 2018

Washington Black: A Novel by Esi Edugyan

Cover image for Washington Black

Wow – I can see why Edugyan’s novel has been winning so many awards! It is very well deserving! Not your typical tale of escape from slavery. Washington Black, or Wash as his friends call him, defies all the odds to escape from the plantation and not even of his own volition. His amazement at seeing the city and sea is just a precursor to the other things he will come to experience! The cover always confused me – But the Octopus does fit into the story. I promise!

Dec. 9 2018

The Girls at 17 Swann Street: A Novel by Yara Zgheib

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

I just finished an ARC of The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib. It was heartwrenching & painful, but you cheer for the girls with every victory, big or small. Possibly a trigger for those suffering eating disorders, but an in depth look to help readers understand the challenges of both anorexia and bulimia. The author has applied her own experiences to her writing, giving the story authenticity.

Dec. 15 2018

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

I absolutely loved this action packed romance. It was natural and not forced or overdone. I appreciate an author that can keep me wrapped up in their world, long after I have turned the last pages. This is a delightful read and a good one to escape reality into!

Dec. 16 2018

The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad

Cover image for Last Girl

This is a gripping memoir from a young woman, sold into slavery in the ISIS organization in Iraq. Nadia’s amazing story of survival and miraculous escape despite all her losses will keep you turning page after page.

Dec 20, 2018

Lovestruck by Kate Watson

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

So cute and I hope there’s a sequel in the works!! A perfect blend of Greek mythology and modern influences. There was lots of depth to all of the characters and relationships and I think adults and teens alike will appreciate this novel.

Dec. 21, 2018

Valhalla by L.A. Ashton

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

A wonderful romance, it almost seemed too short! I really appreciated the imagery and descriptive language. Very sweet and touching, while juxtaposed against the harsh background of the battlefield

Dec. 21, 2018

Belly Up by Eva Darrows

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

Belly Up is an adorable story of a teen named Sara who becomes pregnant and goes through all the hard choices to do what she feels is right. Her mom and grandmother support her, each in their own way. Her new circle of friends have the potential to make everything worse if they don’t accept her after sharing her secret. I loved this young adult novel and highly recommend it!

Dec. 22, 2018

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

The Perfect Girlfriend is such a compelling novel! The reader is so invested in Lily’s plan that once the book is done they still feel like they are a part of the plot! I actually felt weird talking to my husband after, as if I was still a part of the story. I thought that I would despise Lily for being obsessive but she is like a trainwreck you can’t look away from. I wasn’t particularly cheering for her but her reasoning made sense in the end! A great read!

DIY Lip Scrub

I’ve suffered from dry cracked lips for ages. They never seem to heal and I’m always picking at them.

I looked up some online recipes for sugar lip scrubs and adapted a simple coconut oil lip scrub with an essential oil of choice. You could basically take this core recipe and scent/flavour it however you like!

The recipe I used was one part coconut oil to one part brown sugar. I did about 2 tbsp of each so it would fit nicely in the glass jar I had. This scrub should be good for ~6 months before you should replace with a new batch so don’t make too much unless you plan on giving lots away. I added about 8 drops of Sea Wench vanilla oil but you can use any type of essential oil you choose. Because it’s going on your lips, I’d use one that’s safe for internal use (but rinse the scrub off, don’t eat it!)

Adjust the ratio of sugar to coconut oil depending on how rough you want the scrub to be. Store in an airtight container. Reuse containers whenever possible!

I can’t wait to keep experimenting with this!

Stormbound in Hotsprings Cove

Well this wasn’t the plan, but plans don’t always work out on the west coast.

We were invited up to Hotsprings Village for the Hesquiaht Nation Christmas dinner. We decided to go up earlier in the afternoon so we could relax in the Hotsprings for a bit too!

The springs were amazing. The pounding storm surge was moving logs and foam right up to the waterfall and so we watched in awe from the pools at the top of the falls. You could feel the thunder of each wave ripple through the rocks.

Dinner was amazing as always. Hesquiaht always feeds us so well! We knew there was a chance we would be staying the night as the winds weren’t dying down as we had hoped they would. We walked down to the dock after dinner but there were now whitecaps in the harbour so we double checked the boats ropes and headed to a friends house for the night.

I had work in the morning but let my coworkers know I might be late coming in. Hotsprings is about 40 minutes further from Tofino than Ahousaht and I would need to stop at home to grab my things and check on the animals.

In the end though, we couldn’t get out in the morning either. Well, so far anyways. The water has calmed down somewhat but the swells are breaking all the way across the mouth of the bay.

Hotsprings village used to have a backroad to Stewardson Inlet which is much calmer for the boats but it’s been washed out in three places now and is inaccessible by road.

Thankfully my coworker is able to take my shift for me today, and I’ve learned my lesson on relying on the weather to do the right thing and let me go where I need to go!

So for now, we’re stormbound, but I know someone here will have another pot of coffee for us!

Update:  I did end up getting out with village locals who needed to drive around to Stewardson Inlet, despite the washouts, to take a patient out to access the hospital. More than anything I needed to get home to look after the animals and the waves at the Point weren’t calming down enough to let us out. About an hour after I left though, Lennie was able to get out, more willing to take a risk without me with him. He took advantage of the low tide slack to make it around and thankfully home to Ahousaht, in one piece!

Facebook Detox

How many of you feel overwhelmed by the drama of social media, caught up in the whirlwind of picture perfect lives juxtaposed by personal rants and drama? I sure do. Facebook has ruled my life for over 9 years.

I began feeling the urge to delete my account close to a year ago but one of my jobs needed me to stay connected with the community and actively post on Facebook, so I found it impossible to disconnect. Monday was my last day in that job and today I made the decision to disconnect!

I’m not sure how long it will be for. Because I run several pages and wanted them to stay up, though inactive, I only logged out and removed the Facebook app from my phone, while keeping messenger. I still have Instagram because that platform brings me more joy than stress.

Already I feel more relaxed and less of an urge to pick up my phone to see what’s the latest update in my newsfeed. I moved the Instagram app into the same slot the Facebook one was in on my phone homepage so I tap on Instagram out of habit rather than searching for Facebook.

Because if I really want to give into the urge, I will find a way, but I’m hoping I can embrace the change and enjoy the peacefulness and apply my extra time to more productive things!

Marcie’s Monthly Reads – November

Earlier today I posted my October monthly reads and I finished up with a list of books I wanted to get through in November. Now as I start this draft that I will publish in roughly a month’s time (Or around 3 weeks from now as I started late), I can start by saying I have already completed one of my “goal” books for the month!

Nov. 10 2018

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

The last time I read any of Eden Robinson’s work was in my Indigenous Literature course at the University of Victoria. I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of her book Monkey Beach, but I could appreciate her literary genius. I am planning on revisiting Monkey Beach, especially with a movie in the works(!) but with the launch of Trickster Drift, I wanted to work on Son of Trickster first. This book drew me in with relatable characters, mysticism and tradition, all of which swirl around a familiar land and place, especially with my husband having been in the Terrace/Kitimat region so recently. Maybe another reason I connect more with her work now, after living in Ahousaht, is because things like the All Native Basketball Tournament are a part of my life now. I connect with the story on a personal level, which always draws me in. But that aside, the story line was enchanting and it was hard to put the book down, especially when a customer came up for a purchase as I turned to the last page! The challenges of reading at work…. sigh.

Nov. 11, 2018

Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson

img_20181111_191008_811228198875964293875.jpg

Just as good, but maybe even better, than Son of Trickster! It’s longer but I still powered through it in a day, frantic to find out what happened next to Jared as we follow him to Vancouver. Now I am stuck waiting for book 3 in the series, and if there isn’t a book 3 Robinson is going to have some explaining to do! I really can’t recommend this series enough. For a bit of reality, the unexpected, the mythical and the magical, all rolled up into one!

Nov. 14 2018

The Farmer’s Son: Calving Season on a Family Farm by John Connell

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

The Farmer’s Son is a dose of reality in our fast paced, industrial and urban world. It brings us back to the original methods of food production – small scale family farms where animals are valued as individuals and not just numbers in a feedlot. The family dynamics will be familiar for many who read this book, and the daily routines of the farm will be a welcome break for many. John Connell does a wonderful job introducing his readers to the life he is returning to after a long absence and his passion demonstrates why these small scale farms are so important if we are to continue including meat in our diets.

Nov. 15 2018

Bump by Matthew J Metzger

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

Matthew J Metzger is a fabulous writer who can always bring readers right into the homes of his characters, feeling like we are in the midst of the emotions they are experiencing. “Bump” starts with an established couple, and we don’t spend the first few chapters in pursuit of a relationship. Details of their lives are revealed later in the book, and readers piece together their story as more is shared. I really appreciated that both main characters come from minorities underrepresented in literature, and we come to understand the daily trials they must face. If anything, maybe “Bump” can inspire more empathy and compassion in our world.

Nov. 16 2018

Otherwise Engaged: A Novel by Lindsey Palmer

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

Otherwise Engaged is a quick and easy read, with a hopeful ending, rather than storybook perfect. Honestly I did feel my own anxiety rising in succession with the characters decisions and drama. I didn’t find it to be as relaxing as your typical romance. I enjoyed it though and read through to the end to see how things turned out!

Nov.17, 2018

Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel by Casey McQuiston

***I received a free digital advance reading copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.***

This book is so cute – laugh out loud funny (Literally, me, snickering at work while I read it!), heartstoppingly painful and absolutely adorable. I recommend it a thousand times over. The perfect romance novel to escape into.

 

I have unfortunately slipped back into an old habit of having multiple books on the go at once and finishing none of them in a reasonable time! So there hasn’t been much progress lately unfortunately! looking forward to what I can accomplish from my reading list in December! I am working on a complimentary copy of ” The Wake of the Whale: Hunter Societies in the Caribbean and North Atlanticby Russell Fielding which was sent to me at the authors request from Harvard University Press. It appears quite promising and I am looking forward to getting further into it and providing a full review!

 

 

Treating my Chickens for Scaly Mites

Lately I’ve noticed my three oldest hens, the “Golden Girls” have the tell tale signs of scaly mites on their legs. Raised scales instead of nice smooth legs.

There are several treatments online including one quick fix treatment using gasoline. I opted for the cooking oil treatment and enlisted Lennie to help me out.

We attacked the flock in the evening when they were all on their roosts. It would be much easier than running around catching each one and then trying to sort out who had been treated and who hadn’t!

The system actually worked pretty well. We had a nail brush to clean any feet that were grimy so the oil could soak into the whole foot and under the raised scales. Most of them had pretty clean feet though.

We had bought cooking oil on sale so I didn’t feel bad about using so much. I filled a tall Becel container and had Lennie hold it while I slowly lowered the hen in, dipping her legs but avoiding the feathers.

Most stayed quite relaxed. One was determined not to get wet and would grip the sides of the container like a cat! I placed each one back on their roost afterwards and they seemed pretty chill overall.

Ever two weeks they will be treated for a total of about 6 treatments. At some point the affected scales will fall off and new ones will grow in their place.

We treated the younger birds too who aren’t showing any signs of mites, just for consistency considering how easily they spread. This morning I will also treat the coop with diotomaceous earth again too!

Have you had any battles with chicken mites?

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