Cheers for a Playful 2014!

Hello and Happy New Year!

Have you ever chosen a word
just one single word
to guide you through the year?

For the last couple of years I’ve held the word balance close to my heart. It was the word that helped me to navigate a very busy life: teaching up to 5 dance classes per week, directing a dance troupe, choreographing and producing shows while managing to have a family life and working a 9-5 day job (phew!)


Balance was the word that got me through to the other side of menopausal depression. I was out of balance physically, emotionally and hormonally. Searching for and maintaining balance was the lifeline that I clung to and the rope I hauled myself up by. It kept me secure during the heartache of deciding to let go of my dance troupe and students. I kept it in the front of my mind during my weight loss journey (65 pounds!).  It was the word that taught me to put health and happiness above productivity.

Balance guided me through the waters of deciding to retire relatively young; to move to a new town and seek out new adventures.

1-CollinsBalance: what a beautiful word!

But now it’s time for a new word to live by. It’s time to get out of the box and…


This year I am going to play in my kitchen and learn to bake a cake from scratch. Specifically, some of the Chatelaine cakes. Yum!

…and I will experiment creating delicious meals from all over the globe: India, Japan, Italy, Thailand…! No fear in the kitchen will be my new motto – play with those spices, Nita! Try it out!

37-CollinsIn my Creativity room I will play in the sewing nook, on the yoga mat, in-front-of the dance mirror and with words at my laptop.

My body will become stronger as I play outdoors, exploring local walking and hiking trails with Kelly and Sammy. We’ll take our bikes out and explore some of the country roads.

I will play in the garden, discovering all the wonders of living in a zone 5 gardening region.

I vow to put myself “out there” and be open to meeting new friends, getting involved in the community somehow (music? theater? dance?)

32-CollinsMy friend Melissa at 100 Billion Stars puts it brilliantly (you can read her entire blog post here):

Play is a way of making room for our potential. It isn’t about pretending to be something we hope to be one day. It isn’t about presenting a different face to the world, trying on masks and personae. It’s about being authentic and true to ourselves in an atmosphere without judgment or rules. It’s from this place that growth begins, releasing the possibilities that have been lying dormant all our lives.

So here I am this morning, wishing you all a wonderful year of play and a hell of a good time doing it!

70-CollinsNo fear! Have fun!


(these wonderful family photos were taken by Heather Jones of hpj photography at our Fox Lake cabin last September. We had so much fun!)

Retirement: week one

Today is my 6th day in my new home in Salmon Arm, B.C and I have been procrastinating (no, really!). This week is GIVEAWAY week over at Sew Mama Sew, and I have spent literally hours entering all the draws. There are over 300 draws.  Three Hundred. Yes, I entered every single one. :).

As a result, unpacking has been going very slowly. We bring in a couple of boxes and I take some things out and put other things back in then send the box back to the garage. Then enter another dozen draws. Then open another box. etc.  Actually, there is so little storage space here compared to my old house t trouble figuring out where to put stuff. Which takes me from “zero to overwhelmed in 60 seconds flat” several times a day. But that’s okay. There really isn’t any hurry, and I’m slowly finding the things I need the most.

Yesterday we were out all day and today we’ll be out again…Kelly’s new business as regional flight test examiner took him to Vernon yesterday, Kamloops today and Kelowna next week. (what? isn’t he supposed to be retired?). Not being familiar with these places, I’ve been riding shotgun.

We hung the cuckoo clock, the Jim Rob and the Chris Caldwell the other day. Funny how those little touches of Whitehorse brings the house that much closer to feeling like home.

On Sunday we were reacquainted with a friend from years ago (Anita) who came over with our dear friend Karyne who was visiting from Ottawa. Karyne considers it her good fortune that two of her good friends now live in the same town!  Makes it much easier to visit! So Anita drove her over and we had our first visitors in our new home. I had unpacked the tea and the cups, thank goodness! Next time Anita comes over I will have some cookies to offer her, and maybe even a plate to put them on, lol!

Upon our return from walking Samson on Tuesday afternoon, we were met on the street by new neighbours just down the hill (Bob and Darlene) who invited us in for coffee and shortbread. Isn’t that nice? 🙂

And since it is Christmas after all, I look forward to putting a halt to everything and baking some cookies soon. Maybe tomorrow can be a stay-at-home day and I can make a floury, sugary mess in the kitchen then. 🙂

This is just a little update so you don’t think I’ve forgotten y’all!


The last 2 days of my trip were without internet, so I will post about the 2nd half of my drive in another post. I wanted to send an update first, so you aren’t left wondering…did she arrive? Is she in a ditch somewhere? Lol! You’re welcome!

Yesterday was my first full day in my new home. What a wonderful day it was…yesterday just happened to be Open House day at the local wineries! Who cares about sorting and unpacking…lets go wine tasting!  We visited three local wineries: Ovino, Larch Hills and Sunnybrae. We came home with 4 bottles of reds and 2 bottles of whites. Oh my, you haven’t tasted wine until you’ve tasted it right from the winery and from grapes they grew themselves!

Kelly did my homecoming justice. The house was immaculate. Freshly painted, freshly floored (see this post for before & after photos). We still have the bathroom, the entrance room and the Kelly’s den to renovate, but those can wait until spring.

Oh, my! I am really retired! At age 52! It hasn’t quite sunk in yet…

Here is my den. I’ve been living out of these two bins since the end of June! I can’t wait to unpack my sewing supplies and make this room completely my own. I still don’t know what I want to call it. I don’t want to call it my “sewing room” because a lot more will be going on in here besides sewing. It will be my sewing/yoga/dance/writing room. That’s a lot of activity in a tiny 9 x 11 room!

Studio? Office? Den? Suggestions welcome!

binsAnd here is my computer set up in my den 🙂


Good enough for now. Until I am quite a bit more organized and ready to decide where to hang shelves etc.

After we got home from the wine tastings, I decided that I wanted to put up the Christmas tree! I know, I know…I can hear what you are thinking! Crazy!


But it feels so much more like home now, with my own little tree and familiar family ornaments.


…and look! I finally have a mantel to decorate!