tea and a date square

datesquare I do not know where the time is going. It is seriously flying!

I’m sneaking in this blog post at the Wentworth Perk cafe on George Street while I wait to meet someone I’m working with. This meeting is for my actual day job, but this person works his own day job and then works on the database project with me some evenings a week while his daughter is in her cheerleading class.

As you can see I have a tea and a date square lined up to consume. My computer is open and I’m ready to play with PHP. I’m hoping to leave by 7:30 so I can make it home in time for dinner with my honey.

So after the Vital Awards last week (and hi! to any new readers I gained as a result), on Friday I helped out with the annual client Christmas party at work, which was a whole lot of fun. Then I went out with work friends after and danced like a silly person. (Oh, wait, I am a silly person.) The day after I was, umm, indisposed, although I did get it together enough to have brunch with some dear friends. (I don’t look too bad for someone who had only a few hours of sleep the night before, hey?) Then Sunday was the only day Adam’s had off in a while so we spent it being lazy, although at one point I did go outside and plant my garlic in the raised bed.

This week coming up at work, we’re organizing a Business After 4 event along with the local chamber of commerce, so there is lots to do for that. (I designed the ad that you will see at that link, for starters.)

And that’s my brain dump for today. No deep thoughts or inspiration for the future of Cape Breton, so much, but I wanted to write something!

Hoo! Ok. Onwards with database fun. What are you up to?


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my Vital award acceptance speech (only a day late)

One of the inaugural Vital Excellence Awards from the Cape Breton Partnership

I didn’t write a speech to deliver at the mic for when I got this award yesterday, but in a way I wrote one this morning, in my head, as I walked in the field and woods near my house.

Ha, ha, better late than never, right?

My speech is this:

This award is actually for every single one of you. You are vital. This island needs you, and each person under the age of 40 (which is the cutoff age for the award), and for that matter, over 40, is essential. You are like the soil, the trees, the water, the air: essential elements of a healthy community.

You are vital, when you help out others. You are vital, when you help out yourself, by educating yourself or by taking risks. When you volunteer your time for your community, you are vital. When you say no to volunteering in order to take care of yourself, you are vital.

If you are here and you have something to offer, you are vital. If you can teach a kid to read, you are vital. If you can have tea with a new friend, you are vital. If you can make a living for yourself, even if it’s not exactly the living you had envisioned, you are vital. If you are working towards that vision anyway, you are vital. If you don’t even really know what your vision is yet, you are vital.

The “vital signs” of a person are the heartbeat, the breath. To each person that actually physically lives on this island, or who plans to in the near future: you are the living breath of this island. You are the thump-thump-thump, healthy heart beating, flowing, pumping the blood through the veins. That’s all you. You are doing that!

Here on the island and around the world, really, what our generation is learning is that the big systems of global economics that made things feel prosperous in the past are changing, breaking apart. And as that happens, we are learning how to create our own systems, and that we must create our own systems. Systems, and communities, that are smaller, local, strong, vital.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Posted in Leah's thoughts | 4 Comments

On the smell of night air in November


When I stepped out of my car this evening, in the driveway, I could smell woodsmoke on the cool night air. I absolutely love this mix of smells and temperature that this time of year brings. I love it so much. It always transports me to another time and place, and subsequently, to a feeling: freedom.

The other time and place is Tasmania, 2003. I was 20 years old. (That’s me in the printed photo in the above photo, in a CBLocals hoodie in the Botanical Gardens in Hobart.) I was travelling by myself at that point in my stay in Australia. It was May, but Down Under at that time of year it is Autumn. The air was cold and crisp, and carried the smell of wood smoke. I was staying in Hobart, and spending time exploring the city. Soon after I would travel North to a small community called Lorinna, and work as a WWOOFer on an organic farm. I was returning to Canada in a month but my time there in Hobart was all mine, to do whatever I pleased.

I pleased to roam, and to smell the cold, crisp air. And I felt free, and it was brilliant.


*** 100rejectionletterssneakpeek I’m doing a program with a life coach named Tiffany Han, these days. The program is called 100 Rejection Letters and I’ve been doing it for a month or so, give or take. I’m getting ready to share with you what it’s been like so far in a post here on my blog (spoiler alert: it’s AWESOME), but for now I’ll just share a photo of a page in the workbook (above).

The bottom goal of those three goals had been blank until today. Over the last month, I had been taking a few things off my calendar, knowing I wanted more free time, and knowing I wanted to create space for doing work that made me thrilled. The issue was, I didn’t know what that was, exactly. Or, rather, I’m doing this program in order to figure it out and move towards it. And it’s such a cool process, so I’ll definitely be telling you guys more about it soon.

Anyway, today I got a call about an opportunity that makes me really excited, and if it does go ahead, I’ll for sure be telling you about it. What I can say for now, though, is that if it goes ahead, I’ll be doing a lot more writing! (Although I should say, it is NOT a book deal. Not yet anyway, LOL.) And after yesterday’s post, and thoughts, and subsequent comments, I’ve realized that the universe is saying to me: Leah, darling daughter, write. Write with your whole heart. Writing is what you have loved since you were small. It is what you still love. So keep doing it!

Posted in Leah's thoughts, Writing | 2 Comments

your bravery looks different than you think


This morning I got a Glitterbomb in my email.

(I do every morning, and this is where you can sign up for that glittery goodness from Tiffany Han.)

It said, “Your bravery looks different than you think.”

And that made me stop, and think.

It made me think about how, these last few weeks, what keeps me from opening up a “New Post” page in WordPress and just typing what I’m thinking, feeling and wanting to tell others, and hitting “Publish,” is that there is a voice in my head that tells me, “Maybe you shouldn’t do that.”

It says, “Who do you think you are, to be a so-called leader?”

It says, “You have everyone fooled. You won an award? Big deal.”

It says, “You don’t have all the answers for the problems Cape Breton has, so why are you even trying to help solve them?”

It says lots of things to try and keep me quiet.

And I listen, because I think that bravery in the face of this voice and in the face of (possible) failure must mean a huge blast of courage, or a bold and reckless action taken.

But my bravery isn’t what I think it is. My bravery is the quiet but steady existence of a tree, always reaching for the sky and the sun, flexible enough to sway in the winds.

My bravery is my “willingness to say something out loud, just once.”

And to tell you all — I do not have it all together, all the time. But I have a voice, and a belief strong and crazy: that Cape Breton (and the Earth it is part of) is my beloved home, and that we and it deserve success, and sustainable lives that we can pass on to our children and our grandchildren, and their children too.

And I don’t know what it all looks like yet, but I am willing to put my time and my voice into finding out.

So here’s me being brave: I’m going to write more, despite that voice inside me that tells me all the mean, untrue things to keep me from hitting “Publish”. Instead of stopping writing, and thinking that that will help me figure out what I want to do with my blog, I’m going to figure it out in writing, here on the blog. Take that, voices!

🙂 Have a good day, friends.


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november delights

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current delights:

  • helping out at the Craft Fair yesterday.
  • sleeping in today.
  • a bit of freelance design work to do (but the knowledge that for the next month or so, after this stuff is wrapped up, I won’t have any.)
  • Chrissy Crowley tunes.
  • a big mug of organic green tea with honey.
  • lunch with my in-laws.
  • having my brother here for the weekend.
  • a view of snow squalls over the harbour.
  • feeling simple, slowed down and minimalistic, and feeling like the woods are feeling the same way.
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oh hey there!


IMG_2480 Ha, just me, lying on a floor, like you do. At a Zumba marathon in PEI last weekend. My friend Patti that I was staying with is a Zumba instructor. As you can see, I do not do Zumba, hehe.

(Although it looked fun, and I may give it a try one of these days!)

IMG_2439 IMG_2440 IMG_2465 IMG_2476 IMG_2497 IMG_2519 IMG_2521 IMG_2532 IMG_2544 IMG_2555 IMG_2556 My PEI trip was so lovely. Getting away with a girlfriend, going to another Maritime island, and province, and spending time with two other girlfriends that I’ve known for ages, was such good medicine for the soul.

Anyway, I’m still here, still manning the ship at this blog!

I’ve been quiet lately in this space, as I’m mulling some stuff about how I want to do things here. I know I don’t want to do daily posting anymore (at least not for the next few months), but I do still want to post here: I still love blogging, writing, sharing ideas, and talking to y’all.

I’m figuring out what my schedule will look like as I slow my life down a little. I’m preparing a post about what it’s like to do the 100 Rejection Letters program with Tiffany Han, and in that post I will talk more about what’s up in my creative life and what I’m hoping to do in the next year. Which includes this space!

In the meantime, keep on being rad, and keep on loving Cape Breton! Positivity is so important and even if it feels sometimes like there’s nothing but bad news, it’s not true. We have so much going for us. I’m excited for the brilliant future.


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happy Friday!

happyFriday happyFriday2 HappyFriday3

Crazy to think it’s already November of this calendar year. The year has flown by! A lot of the time, this fast-time-passing thing makes me feel frantic, like I want to look around me to see where this time is slipping to, and grab at it with my hands. Hang on to it, and slow it down by pulling hard.

Then I get distracted by something and before I know it another day is gone.

That might be why the time goes by so fast.

Poster behind me in my office is this one and the one on the left of the desktop computer is this one.

Today I’m: …listening to Shakey Graves while I design stuff… Planning to attend the Vital Cape Breton Excellence Awards. … Eating lunch at the Lebanese Flower with two of my co-workers… and looking forward to a mini road trip tomorrow to PEI with my friend Rachael!

I’ve got some thoughts I’ll be sharing in the next week or so about the thinking and planning I’ve been doing on my blog break, about where I want to go with this blog next, and about just my creative life in general. But I haven’t thought and planned it all out yet, so it’s going to need a bit more time in the ‘oven’.

Driving to PEI oughta help…

And yes, I have my snow tires on. 🙂

Have a great weekend my dears!


Posted in Community, Day to Day Life | 2 Comments