November 30, 2006

NaBloPoMo is over!

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:08 pm by skijumper

This is my last post for National Blog Posting Month!

How do I feel.  So relieved. Happy and relieved. A bit of tired mixed in.

I am really glad I blogged every day for a month.  It wasn’t that bad and I am now in the habit of posting more frequently.  I won’t commit to posting every day but I have enjoyed the chance to check out stuff I am interested in.  I have learned that I need to improve my writing quality however I am in the process of moving to a new continent so part of my rough writing is due to pure distraction. 

So long. Farewell.  I will post once I have settled on the new continent.  Ciao.




November 29, 2006

Where Does Your Coffee Come From?

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:47 pm by skijumper

I love coffee, and chocolate, but I also want to support sustainable economies and trade, this movie about fair trade products and the reality of the alternatives looks pretty interesting…

Through just one cup of coffee, we are inextricably connected to the livelihoods of millions of people around the world who are struggling to survive.–from the Director’s Statement, Black Gold

Source: Have Fun ” Do Good: Know Where Your Coffee Comes From

What can you do? Some Cynics say that fair trade means nothing, but really, Fair Trade means fair price, fair labor conditions, direct trade, democratic and transparent organizations, community development, and environmental sustainability.

There still may be a ways to go before the laborer is treated as we would want to be, but by supporting Fair Trade products, a program of continual improvement and certification is able to grow in influence and market share.  Now, that’s a good thing.

November 28, 2006

Weather Forecast – Nanaimo vs Newcastle

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:35 pm by skijumper

 Talk about opposite ends of the scale.  I am sitting here, in Newcastle, enjoying a sweltering 37 degrees (celsius) while my friends and family in Canada are experiencing an early cold snap.  In one week’s time we are headed to Nanaimo, BC.  It may well be that we get on the plane in Sydney in a heat wave and arrive in Vancouver in a Blizzard (I have done it before)! 

Mom and Dad sent some great pics of their recently snow-covered home.  Dad got into the spirit by building a great snowman.  The following is the forecast for Nanaimo – if you’re headed that way – like me. 

Snowfall warning in effect.
Tonight Flurries. Local amount 5 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 11. Wind chill minus 18 overnight. Tuesday A few flurries ending in the morning then clearing. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 19 in the morning.

Source: Nanaimo, British Columbia – 5 Day Weather Forecast – Environment Canada

November 27, 2006

My Homeschooling Mistakes – HomeSchooler Network

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:34 pm by skijumper

 I have considered homeschooling on and off since our first child was born.  I am currently of the mind that I don’t have enough patience…not even close.  However,  I will investigate the HomeSchooler Network and I found this article encouraging and informative.

Isabel Shaw writes:
Parents who are new to homeschooling share certain characteristics. They want to provide a great education for their children, and they are willing to go that extra mile for them. However, they’re also very uncertain if not actually terrified about the homeschooling road that lies ahead. I know from personal experience that this uncertainty can cause well-meaning parents to make mistakes. By sharing a few of the errors I’ve made myself, I hope to help others avoid repeating them

Source: My Homeschooling Mistakes – HomeSchooler Network


November 26, 2006

Searching for Orca

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:48 pm by skijumper

In preparation for our move to BC Canada, I have been offering up fascinating tidbits to our four year old daughter.  The tidbits are probably more like very, very random spurts of un-fascinating information from a woman who has packed to many boxes, sucked air out of too many vacuum-storage bags and blogged way too many posts this month! 
However, my ramblings are always interesting to my four year old and once she hears something she wants me to fill in all the details.  My standard reply is ‘ that’s a great question sweetie, we should look that up on the internet later’.  Hence, a blog about the orca – or as she prefers to exclaim dramatically ‘killerwhale’.  The question as you may have guessed was ‘what do they kill?’  I quickly replied that they just eat a lot of fish and are a natural link in the food chain, blah, blah.  Did I mention that I said we may see them on the ferry when we get to Canada?  I have come to realize that she probably has many trepidations about getting close to the killer whales on the ferry!  Alas, we will sit down tommorrow and review this information offered by Wikipedia about the eerily beautiful and not-so-scary orca.  

The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). They are sometimes referred to as blackfish, a group including pilot whales, pygmy and false killer whales, and melon-headed whales. It is the second-most widely distributed mammal on Earth (after humans) and is found in all the world’s oceans, from the frigid Arctic regions to warm, tropical seas. It is also a versatile predator, eating fish, sea turtles, seabirds, pinnipeds, elasmobranchs, sirenians and even other cetaceans. This puts the orca at the pinnacle of the marine food chain. Orcas are marine mammals with a fearsome reputation that goes as far back as Pliny the Elder’s description of the species. The name “killer whale” reflects the animal’s habit of attacking whales, and does not mean that orcas are a threat to humans

Source: Orca – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 


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November 25, 2006

Farewell Questions & Picnic

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:55 pm by skijumper

Here are the questions Mike and I are being asked about our time with Hunter Bible Church and our move to Castlegar, BC.

  1. Highlights of being at HBC?
  2. What are we looking forward to in Castlegar?
  3. How do we think that having been at HBC will help spread God’s kingdom in Canada?

We’re going to sit down tonight and work out our answers.

 Following Church (our last day) we are all having lunch at a park nearby.  I think it will be a very casual and enjoyable way to bring closure to our time at HBC.  We have so many fond memories and friendships that will last forever.

November 24, 2006

Victoria BC’s Sorry State of Sewer

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:35 pm by skijumper

My husband Mike has recently started writing for the worldchanging network, mainly about stuff going on in Canada in the field of sustainability and environmental innovation, here’s a link to his first post…

Victoria, the Capital of British Columbia, has a problem.

For decades the city has been dumping raw sewerage into the ocean, with little regard to marine health or the sustainability of the practice. It seems that public opinion is divided on the issue, with some even questioning why treatment is needed at all. For a nation as proud as Canada about it’s natural tourist resources, this seems to be a short sighted outlook.

Thankfully the provincial and federal governments are working towards an innovative solution. (Now that sounds like the Canada we all love and enjoy, doesn’t it!)

Source: WorldChanging Canada: Sustainable Sanitary Sewer for Victoria

It sounds pretty gloomy until the last part, innovative solution. Where there’s publicity and money, solutions can be found and built. It would be great to see a stop to the release of raw sewer into the beautiful waters of the Straits of Georgia, which the girls and I will be crossing by ferry in the next couple of weeks.

For more of Mike’s writing, check out UrbanWorkbench or Discerning Discipleship.


November 23, 2006

Going out for dinner

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:52 pm by skijumper

The extent of my blog tonight is to say that I’m going out for dinner!!

I have promised myself I will not have fish and chips …hey, as long as I’m not doing the cooking right!

It is a farewell dinner for us as I am leaving the country soon.  I am excited to relax and enjoy an eveing on the patio with some close friends.

Till tommorrow… only 7 more posts to go in November. 

November 22, 2006

Go for Green – Gardening for Life Program

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:02 pm by skijumper

 I just found a great informational source for Canadian Garden Greenies at Go for Green.  This is certainly a site that I will refer to while growing my garden.  There is a plethora of articles, case studies, success stories and the ever useful links.

Gardening for Life is a national Go for Green program that supports the idea of natural gardening including careful use of water, tree planting for home energy efficiency, and avoiding the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

Source: Go for Green – Gardening for Life Program

Soil-Free Water-Wise Gardening –

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:56 pm by skijumper

 Wow!  A few posts ago I was recalling how much I like digging in the dirt – a highlight of any gardening experience.  Well, the people at ProgressiveGardening are showcasing numerous options for growing plants without soil. 

The Future of Gardening is Growing… Without Soil
Imagine a kitchen appliance that automatically produces 12 heads of fresh lettuce and salad greens, every week, without soil, under artificial light… right next to your dishwasher.

There’s more…

Simply Amazing Soil-Free, Water-Wise Fruits & Vegetables!
Fruits and vegetables grown without soil are nothing short of phenomenal. Tomato plants so tall, you have to use stilts to pick the fruit; strawberries the size of your hand; herbs and salad greens so bountiful, you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood as you share or sell your excess harvest.

You really must check out the photos on this website.  The innovation is impressive and the produce yield is hard to believe. 

ProgressiveGardening is suggesting that the future of water conservation lies in the adoption of these technologies.

So how can soil-free, hydroponic gardening help conserve water?
To begin with, producing a given amount of food in a soil-free hydroponic system uses just 5 to 10 percent of the water the same amount of food would need in an open field, and sometimes less. How?

Source all quotes: Soil-Free Water-Wise Gardening Planters & Plant Growing Systems –


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