This year was a great one for our family! There were many adventures, lessons, trips, parties and projects.
Trips & Events: Pat and the kids took a fun vacation to Mexico in February while mom stayed home on a very productive stay’cation. In April we all went to Tofino for Easter, and to celebrate our 14th anniversary. In July we all took to the road and drove though the mainland to Sicamous Sands and left the kids with their grandparents whilst Pat and I returned home and caught up on some house projects (including the enjoyment of our new back patio!) In September, Pat and Fox went on a multi-day hiking trip on the Juan de Fuca Trail with a couple of friends. This year we saw friends get married, and held a couple of awesome parties in our backyard. Locally, as a family we spent lots of time swimming in the Nanaimo river and exploring the trails and beaches. We’re all looking forward to spending a month in Costa Rica.
Fox: Fox enjoyed his 9th birthday in February and spent lots of time on the ski hill with his dad. He had swimming lessons at the pool in Ladysmith and is now an accomplished level 5 swimmer. Over the summer Fox rejoined baseball and showed lots of dedication and determination, never missing a practice. The Black Panthers finished second in the league. In September, he joined the Aligned Learners alternative school and has made so many new friends, and still hangs out with his buddies from his old school. He’s now in piano lessons and is looking forward to the holiday season. He’s made lots of amazing art this year, really developing his detailed illustrations – and even drew his first piece of tattoo flash! Our friend Geli got a snake he drew tattooed on her. Big deal for a 9-year old.
June: June has had a big year! She went through her first round of beginner swimming lessons, and completed both jazz dance and ballet. She turned 5 in June and we had a big party for her and all her friends (lots of ours too!). In September, she started kindergarten at Ecole North Oyster and has absolutely been loving the activities and making new friends. Her interest in drawing has expanded a lot and will sit for a long time doing activity sheets, crafting, and colouring. She is starting swimming lessons again at the end of November and is so excited for the holidays. No teeth lost yet!
Me (Ashta): My company celebrated 2 years in March and is doing well, now supplying 12 retailers and filling orders through my website smokelorebotanicals.com on a regular basis. Im still doing a radio show every week, though in September the timeslot changed (for the first time in 11 years!) and now my show is on Friday nights at 9 PST on CHLY 101.7fm. We had an awesome birthday party for my 37th in September. I accomplished a one-year commitment to intermittent fasting for 18/6, and have since begun a practice of hiking for 30 minutes every morning and swimming in the ocean every week. Since I opted out of Christmas last year, having sent Pat and the kids to Calgary without me, this year I’m feeling the spirit! This is the first year I’ve sent out cards or wrote an annual update to share with you lovely reader.
Pat: Patrick is so great as usual. He can be found splitting an unending pile of wood for our woodstove, making some kind of cool project, digging, planting, and pruning as it were. He made an amazing outdoor shower for us on our new back patio, and crafted a gorgeous live-edge table for our living room. He’s always doing some kind of Wim Hof breathing and loves his regular cold water therapy. In June he got to enjoy a roadtrip with his buddies through the western US states, and is looking forward our trip to Costa Rica to visit his brother. His commitment to keeping the mood light is so helpful to everyone! Even if he is the stingiest with tv time.
Pets & Property: Our dog, Wilma, is doing very well in her 6th year, and towards the end of 2022 we got 2 new kittens, Peanut Butter and Peppercorn (brother and sister) who are thriving on our 5-acre property. We tore out the big deck out back which was full of rotten boards and hazards. Its replacement is a gorgeous multi-level patio made of pavers and river rock – my favourite part being our outdoor shower area. We lost some big trees in an early snowfall before the leaves fell, the saddest one being our mature Italian Prune Plum. Maybe we’ll add a baby prune to the newly cleared area of the food forest – the product of many hours of Pat’s labour to hack down a tangle of himalayan blackberry. We added a new hive to our bee yard, and this year were able to harvest about 30 kilos of honey and 20lbs of wax.
This website & contact: This site is mainly used as a host for my weekly radio show Ashta Made You a Mixtape, which you can hear any time online a mixcloud.com/ashta
If you want to see more pictures, I regularly post images on Instagram, though not much of the children, because I like to keep their faces off of social media. Below are some highlights of our year, with captions underneath.
I will add more photos as they come towards the end of the year.
- Pat’s email: patrifix(at)gmail.com
- Ashta’s email: ashtacormier(at)gmail.com
- Personal Instagram: @ashtaravaganza
- Business Instagram: @smokelorebotanicals
- Radio Instagram: @ashtamadeyouamixtape