Monday, May 21, 2012

Knit one, purl whatever.

After an action-packed month, filled with packing, moving, rehearsing, having a great family visit, putting on a show, unpacking, reopening the store (you know – the usual), I am feeling just a wee bit burnt out.  Yesterday, I decided to take the day for myself – yep, right in the middle of a long weekend – closed the store to look after me. 

Thanks to my good friend Mimi, I was lucky enough to enjoy a massage and facial at The Horseshoe Bay Laser and Beauty Clinic (  Afterwards, I promptly went home, donned my most fetching flannel jammies, curled up on the couch, watched probably the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time and cried my head off.  It was just what I needed.  I realized I had been fending off a considerable level of stress and yesterday was the day to take it all in, experience it, and let it go.  (Marty – I really did try to write this post yesterday but my mind was not co-operating!)

Today, I find myself sitting in my new digs, pouring rain outside (of course it is, it’s the long weekend!), wondering if anyone will wander in to browse, chat, or acquire a lovely little memento of their visit here. I am also in the process of (don’t read this next part Susannah) knitting a baby sweater.  It’s super cute, a fisherman’s pullover that will be adorable when I get it done.  If I ever get it done!

I don’t know what it is about this little garment.  I am a very experienced knitter and yet I have had to rip out the &%*@# thing several times now to get it right.  I’m frustrated, impatient, and mad because I am clearly not understanding what the pattern is demanding of me.  So I have stopped for a bit so I can see what this little green pile of recycled cotton yarn is trying to tell me.

And here’s what it said (or sang, rather.  Sounded a little like Morcheeba…)

Take your time now
Feel like standing still
Get your bearings until
When the day is through
All you got to do is slow down
When the day is through
All you got to do is slow down
Full of tension

’Cause you love the chase
You just need your 
own space

When the day is through
All you got to do is slow down
When the day is through
All you got to do is slow down

When you've had enough
Of the faster stuff just slow down
When you're sick from stress
Bust up in a mess slow down 
(insert hot guitar solo here)
When the day is through
All you got to do is slow down
When the day is through
All you got to do is slow down

When it's hot up there
And you got no air, slow down
You just need some time
To fall back in line
Slow down down down down down

Branded by relaxation,

Buns xo

Friday, May 11, 2012


We are celebrating some important birthdays with music and memories. It’s been four years since Duncan’s passing and the annual gathering that unites his family and friends in music and honors both his memory and his big brothers birthday is an event that is inspired by depth and laced with feeling.

 His guitar and love of music was such a passion of his, bringing people together was just a natural gift, and living full out was the fuel that kept him shining.

One of my favorite Duncan moments was a weekend on the Sunshine Coast where we met up at a cottage I had rented on the lake. As my friend and I unpacked food from our car, the boys were unpacking beer from theirs. And it kept coming and coming and coming. Once the fridge was full to capacity the deck was getting stocked…a never ending supply of coolers, and ice and beer.
“Really, I said….there is no way you two are going to drink all this.”

Duncan shrugged and gave that sweet smile that was so full of living in the moment, so full of twinkle. I always felt his capacity to live large, to be spontaneous, and to go for it without fear or measure.

And so it began, 3 days of boating and feasting and singing late into the night. Dunc’s guitar playing was stellar, our drumming and singing…not so much. But it didn’t matter. Not to him, not to us. What we all loved was the joining and sharing and howling late late into the dark until the morning light began to break through the aubergine sky.

I told them not to go boating without life jackets. No one listened. I told them boating is like driving, you can’t drink and drive. No one listened. I wasn't the best authority figure I admit. But they did discuss their moms one night, and I hold that memory dear. Buns and I had only met briefly once or twice at that point. Duncan was so protective of his mother with lots of strong opinions and a clear love that shone through every word, every nuance, every story he shared. Their connection was fierce.

Duncan is a treasure that is missed and yet will always continue to whisper. His inspiration calls on us to be all that we can be, to live full out, and to never, ever, let fear drive the boat. He reminds us that to be swept up by the adventure of the present moment, as he was, is the only way to fully celebrate and revel in life.

 He reminds us to be grateful!

Today and always I open to that honor.

Albert Einstein once said there are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Duncan always chose door number two.

Thank you Duncan. Thank you for being you.

Branded by remembering,

Authentically yours,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sittin' in the morning sun.

I came to my store early this morning to try and get as much done before I fly out the door for a mid-afternoon gig today.  I want to re-open tomorrow and I know that’s a pretty ambitious goal.  In one week, we packed an entire inventory, moved it all across the street and put it all in to a place that’s half the size, all while my son Sean was giving our new location a facelift.  It was hard work and we’re not done yet, but the incredible help that came out of the woodwork (so to speak!) was heartwarming.

Because my full attention has been on this move, I almost forgot to stop and smell the roses.  I did however, stop and smell the coffee next door at Flour Bakery and yes, I succumbed, not once, but several times to the tempting aroma of the fresh, made-from-scratch cinnamon buns.  I have definitely made the right move! 

To be honest, I don’t have a whole lot to say.  I’m taking a little breather before I dig in. I am sitting out front, taking in the sounds of a village waking up on a sleepy Sunday morning.  The sun is shining, the birdsong is in full swing, cherry blossoms are in glorious bloom, sprinkling pink snowflakes when a gust of wind comes up. It’s really beautiful. 

As I sit here, my thoughts also go to what I have left behind.  At first, I felt like I was leaving my safety net – one that I had created around me to soften the blow of Duncan’s passage.  As I have had time to take this in, I realize I am actually ready to take a further step in letting go of my constructs.  What I am realizing with such a warmth in my heart, is that it actually allows me to be closer to him without all the other “stuff” getting in the way.  It’s time. And it’s timely.

Next weekend, we are hosting the fifth annual McPhee Brothers’ Birthday Bash, honouring both Sean and Duncan with music.  Friends and family join us from far and wide and it truly is a lovefest.  I can’t wait.

And as luck would have it, I have scored the most awesome castle on the water so I can house my guests for the week.  When it comes to housesitting (or castle sitting) I do have horseshoes.

Sorry for the rambling.  Lots goin’ on. 

Branded by cherry blossoms,


P.S.  I’m almost afraid to list names here because there are so many to thank for their help this week.  I might forget some but here goes… Sean, Mary, Marty, Michelle, Karen, Donna, Laura, two Marks, Glen, two Blairs, two Bruces, Farris, Nick, Tina, Vicki, Emma, Albert, Lawrence, Neil, and Al.  For those of you that I missed, my gratitude is no less sincere.

And now, for your listening pleasure…