About Me

My name is Christine. I'm a visual artist, musician, traditional storyteller, DV survivor, and have been a fulltime caregiver for an individual living with various diagnoses. After my marriage, I learned how to play various instruments, started exploring various means of creative expression, worked with at-risk teens/families, volunteered with the local crisis lines, participated in starting up a family resource center, completed my BA, furthered my studies towards becoming an art therapist, managed homes for adults living with disabilities, and facilitated therapeutic music/art sessions. I was doing everything I could so my children and I could have a brighter life, present and future. My physical health, however, continued to show evidence of too many chronic stressors over many decades. This blog is about my journey in discovering peace and better health by meeting life in the most basic and, in my opinion, the most rewarding of ways - by focusing on the riches of simplicity. If you're a new visitor to my blog, you might be interested in starting here: Finding the Riches.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I'm not a pro-Facebook person.

I'd rather be painting, playing an instrument, writing, cooking, visiting with friends, talking with folks, felting, eating, singing, taking photos, colouring, etc.,etc., etc.

That said -

Being a single mom without a vehicle in the middle of Winter, however, leaves me semi-isolated.
I'm not able to go out with friends unless my son can come along or unless he's in respite. I don't have an issue with that because I do enjoy the life my son and I have carved out, but it really does decrease my time away from the house and my  time with friends, as well as my conversation skills with other adults. Being on facebook allows me to connect with folks I know. It also allows me to share joys, discoveries, my own journey and hear the journeys of other families who live with children who have various mental health/disability challenges. And I'm able to do all of that while I'm working on my computer otherwise.

Ever since I was a child, I've always sensed that we're here to contribute - that we're not just here to have fun and goof around, but to be a part of something that contributes to the increased well-being of others and the betterment of society and the global community as a whole. Being on facebook allows me to learn, share, show care, inform, advocate, be part of the larger community. It also facilitates the coming-together or folks who live with issues that would benefit from advocacy and allows me to be part of that even though I'm at home.

So, from someone who used to stay clear of Facebook and still does at times, there can be healthy benefits.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Today I've been thinking about books.

Actually, there are many days when I think about books.

As I continue to work towards minimizing belongings, one of the most difficult/growth-inducing challenges has been to find new homes for my books. Initially, I believed this difficulty was due to the fact that so many have turned away from books to embrace all the technological possibilities that are available today for readers across all genres. I started to see myself as one of the old guard. A bastion to protect books from the destructiveness of modern-day, throw-away, disposable-minded society! A caped crusader, providing sheltered residence for written works that might otherwise be forgotten in today's under-appreciative society! Cue the fanfare!

There are so many layers to my "keep the books safe" journey:
-Some books have been collected over the years with thoughts of passing them down to my children. Others were lovingly gifted to me by friends. Some books were passed on to me because I had a home for them. Yet others were purchased by me as my son and I journeyed through his assessments/diagnoses. My books are precious to me.
-I have a strong appreciation for books, particularly older storybooks. What about all those books that won't find make their way onto an electronic booklist? Are they now forever doomed to just fade into non-existence? Each writer has shared a completely unique part of themselves. If we give pause to think about that, why wouldn't we all want to protect older storybooks?
-Books provide a unique sensory experience. When I go into a bookstore, the first thing I enjoy is the smell. The logical part of my brain wants to think about mustiness and dust being breathed into my body - the appreciative bits all smile and breathe it in joyfully. And then there's the act of hooking my finger at the spine of the book to nudge the top of the book from a row of other books, and/or placing my hand into that stereotypical hand position of thumb on one side and fingers on the other in order to slide (sliiiide) a book out from beside/underneath another book or to pick up a book from another flat surface, or the flat-fingered-on-top manoeuver to slide a book closer to me. I encourage you to put your day on pause to take some time to slowly go through each of those steps - slowly - allowing yourself the luxury of living in and truly feeling those moments. Pause. Sigh happily. Now let's move on to opening the cover and feeling the coolness and/or texture of that first page - and how our brains are trained to turn pages in only a few different ways. There's so much to explore in all these seemingly simple acts.

I had to figure out how to re-home my books with the awareness that I'd never find the perfect home for each of them. It took time. It took growth. It took the idea that some of us view our books almost like our children - and the realization that they too need to be released out into the world to fulfill their purpose.

So now I'm thinking of sending the remainder of children's books to some place that will distribute them to children in other countries who don't have easy access to books. Why didn't I think of this before? My daughters are satiated with books for their children, my local library stated last summer that they're not accepting donations, I've already sent some to local places, offered to friends. Now it's just a matter of figuring out where to donate them...