Category Archives: Mentoring

Working through the b.s.

Luke and I went camping to bring in the new year, and had quite the mishap. We arrived at the trail head at 3am and decided to sleep there before hiking in in the morning. We laid out our sleeping bags, and since it wasn’t raining, figured we would be fine with a “just in case” tarp rolled up at our feet to pull on top of us. If you’ve done this, you would know: it never works. The condensation just accumulates under the tarp, and there you are, soaking wet, with a wet tarp laid over you like a blanket. Obviously, it rained. We retreated to the car, cold, wet and dehydrated, deciding what to do. We talked about going home. And then, we looked at each other and said: are we being babies about this? And right there, it was settled. We were hiking down to that beach. We rehydrated, napped, layered up, and boy was it worth it. We had the beach to ourselves for 2 whole hours, and then climbed up to a cliff and watched the sun set on the last day of 2012 over the Pacific Ocean. And you know what? I’m glad we can challenge each other and decide to do things we might quit on if we were alone. That’s what makes Luke and me such good friends.
We didn’t get pictures, and I’m glad. It was out moment.


Nature table

Every good naturalist needs a nature table. Here is a picture of mine. It’s a combo of skulls I have found or have been given to me, my favourite field guides, track casts, and projects I’m still working on.
I find it inspiring, as it brings
Some nature into mu urban bedroom, and it makes others ask me questions and so helps us better to get to know each other, with all my cards ( read: skulls) on the table.


Teaching outside

My buddy Steve hired me to work some weekend programs for kids. One of my favourite things is coming up with fun and exciting ways to wake them up in the a.m., because we take away their watches. Steve dressed up as a dragonfly with a fox tail, and me as a bear with moose antlers. Both our costumes were home made! Steve
Played guitar while I danced in the twilight, and I think it set the tone just right for the rest of our wilderness adventure. Steve turned to me on the first morning and said:” how could they be expecting this?” Exactly. That’s the whole point! Act in a way that blurs the boundary between kid behaviour and adult behaviour, to show that adults can and still do play. I love my job!


Play Dough

Not just for kids. It’s really fun to make home made play dough and then do some sculpture. And you can make it with things already in your pantry!

1 part flour

1 part water

1/2 part salt

drop of oil

heat in a pot at low heat and mix until its at play dough consistency. Let cool, add food coloring, and model away!

Home Made Decorations

So, christmas is coming up. As a jew, this means that I get to spend hannukah with my family, and christmas with my friends, which is most definitely an advantage. But it also means we all get to think about how to make nature based, and FUN decorations for the house, and the tree!

My friend Michelle showed me how to do this, and i absolutely love it. It’s so simple! You just gather rose hips, string em up like popcorn with a needle and threat, et voila!

Hanging Out with my Niece

Today my beautiful ten year old niece, Abigail, came over for some girl time. And boy did we have it! Her and I had a great time making all kinds of things: deodorant, lip gloss, calendula salve, and sauerkraut. We made our own labels, and both had a ton of fun.

(Recipes soon to come!)

Abby mixing the Deodorant

Abby smashing the cabbage for Kraut (Manual labor is good for the young mind!)

And the finished product!!!

Relaxing time

This is what my summer looked like: Sitting on the lake, reading books, for hours on end. This is what folks who are familiar with the medicine wheel call ‘South West Time’. Every day, every year, and every lifetime comes a time when you just need to wander and relax, do nothing, and veg out. In a day, this may be siesta time; that two o’clock feeling when all you want to do is lay down. Or that time of year, when you’re waiting for the food you’ve worked so hard to plant to be ready to harvest. Or, in your lifetime, that stage when you are no longer a teenager, not yet an adult, and you wander the landscape and try new things to figure yourselves out.

People often underestimate South West time, but it’s actually crucial to brain development. You can’t keep learning if you don’t take a break. Your brain (and body) need time to encode all the things you’ve learned, and turn them into a part of who you are.

So, this summer, I took my time, slept a lot, and encoded, in order to be prepared for a new school year. Hope you did too!