raw barn

IMG_1480 copyI have a question for you guys. What format do you shoot your photographs in? Up until recently, I had only being using JPEG. Truth be told, I didn’t know that there were any other options. Then one day, I had some free time and I decided to watch over an hour in YouTube tutorials on Canon cameras. That’s when I heard about a little something called RAW format. What is this RAW, I thought? And why are professional photographers swearing by it?

I put it in the back of my mind until a few days later when I was scheduled to do a photo shoot. I walked to the edge of our deck and snapped two pictures of my mum’s baby barn. I took one in JPEG, and the other in RAW. Oh-my-god.

From this day forward, I will never go back to JPEG. What a difference. The photographs are instantly balanced, sharpened, and more vibrant. The little editing that they do need does not distort the original copy like what usually happens with its lesser counterpart. Why had no one ever told me about this before? My photographic experience has been heightened to such a level that I now want to go shoot any and everything. My life will never be the same.

<3

Emory

jack kerouac on the moon

Moon.jpg“I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.”

– Jack Kerouac, The Portable Jack Kerouac

the truth about acreage living

12Both my husband and I thought we were acreage people. I lived on one when I was a child and can remember all the fun that my siblings and I had in the country. My husband spent his teenage years on one as well, up until his second year of post secondary schooling. When I was in university, we moved back to an acreage. My parents have been there ever since, and my husband and I have been living with them off and on over the past few years.

Many of you joined our roller coaster ride in our 5 month search for an acreage of our own. While we didn’t end up settling on one, we did purchase land in the country. Do you know what? I think it’s a blessing in disguise. It’s funny how you may think that you want something so badly, and go after it in full force, only to realize that it’s not what you wanted in the end. Living on an acreage at this stage in my life has made me realize that. All of our jobs are located in the city, on top of which our free time is also spent there. With no desire to spend our days off mowing the lawn, and no children to speak of, the only good thing about living in the country is the peace and quiet, and having space for our animals. I’m hoping that therefore our city-sized lot outside of the city will be the best of both worlds for us and our animals. At least for right now.

14Not everyone will share this opinion, just as I don’t expect them to. Some people are made for country life, like my mum. While she would probably whither up and die in the city, there are days when she, too, needs a break from it all. This was an email that I received from her one Sunday morning.

“So here’s my day so far…. Ben (dog) left a dead mouse in dog room. Two puncture wounds. Then he was sniffing dead grass. Grass went up his nose and he started choking. I pulled it out of his nostrils. A handful. The graham wafer broke while feeding the donkeys and Mama (donkey) bit my finger. Bleeding. Sam (mini horse) ran into page fence. Got his head stuck. Ripped hair and has two nasty holes on his face. Mesa (kitten) has climbed a tree and can’t get down. And it’s only 10:30 (am).”

I think that acreage living is suited best for children or individuals who either do not work away from home, or do not work at all. Those who fall in between can also make it work, but you had better like rising with the sun and going to bed at sundown. If you do, I applaud you.

<3

Emory 

13Above are photos that I have taken over the summer while living on my parent’s acreage.

meet you in meacham

IMG_1.jpg IMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgIMG_7.jpg IMG_8.jpgIMG_9.jpg IMG_10.jpgThe spring edition of Kinfolk was dedicated wholly to the idea of home. Volume Eleven explored everything from living as one, to living in a full house, to being homeless, to being a wanderer, to furniture design, to home tours. One small section of the magazine explored four children’s ideas of their dream home. Each child described what their house would look like in one paragraph, which it was then built for them out of cardboard. I thought that this was such a beautiful and simple idea, yet one that was deep rooted with my own search for a new home. I was somewhat envious of the naivety of the children, yet found their imaginations to be extremely beautiful. I think the whole appeal of the article was geared towards the little kid in all of us.

The photo below is what my twelve-year-old self painted in my very first oil painting class. I stumbled across it very recently and very much by accident. Only after reading Kinfolk did I put two and two together and realize that I was doing exactly what the article was also exploring. I find it amazing that I had some sort of idea of my dream home before I was even old enough to consider owning any property.

BeFunky_photo-24 copy.jpg

Having already seen countless acreages, Geoffrey and I have turned our search to include homes on large lots situated in small towns outside of our current city. One particular home was located in the village of Meacham, Saskatchewan. With less than 100 people inhabiting the small town, to say that it looked and felt different from our current city of over 300,000 would be an understatement. However, that is what I find so tempting. As I grow older and am becoming more self aware, I notice that I seem to feel more at home in smaller towns that offer next to no amenities. I love the idea of living in a Tiny House, off the grid, in the middle of the prairies, and with a few acres for our animals. I would like to be young and mortgage-free, and to grow our own food and raise chickens, of all things. I want to live quietly with my small family amongst nature. I want to accomplish these dreams sooner rather than later.

Emory

The Flower Cottage
“I’d like to live in a normal little cottage with flowers on the roof. I’d invite my friends over all the time to make daisy chains and play I Spy. It would also have a nice kitchen. My favourite thing to bake is cookies and my oven would so big that I could make hundreds and share them all.”
– Willow, Age 6, Kinfolk

in search of our dream home

IMG_1.jpg IMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgIMG_7.jpg IMG_8.jpgIMG_9.jpg IMG_10.jpgIMG_11.jpg IMG_12.jpgIMG_13.jpg IMG_14.jpgIMG_15.jpg IMG_16.jpgIMG_17.jpgOur search for an acreage is now in it’s third month. I gave first mention of our house hunting plans in this post here. What I have learned so far is that acreages are tricky. One may have a beautiful surrounding but a house that you could never dream of inhabiting, while the other may have the most gorgeous house sitting on a piece of land that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. Price is another issue in upon itself. The more space an acreage has, and the closer it is to a major city, the more expensive that property will be. Given the fact that my husband and I are trying to live mortgage-free either with this purchase of an acreage or sometime in the near future, our selection of properties has taken us to more than 30 minutes away from the edge of the city. In a province where half of the year the highways are covered in blowing snow and ice, this is not an ideal situation. 

The little grey acreage that I first showed had a recently redone home. It was stunning. However, it sat on 4 acres of bare land. There were no trees, grass, or a any fence in site. What was in site were your neighbours on either side of you. These photographs today are of another listing that we looked at. As soon as I saw it I immediately fell in love with the land. The house sat on top of a hill, which is rare for our flat, prairie province. Within the 10 acres were a handful of sheds and shops, a 800 square foot barn, fenced land, and a huge pond at the bottom of the hill. It looked like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. The inside of the house, however, looked like a Norman Bates setting. The house would inevitably have to be torn down and a new one built in its place. Yet, with its well water, oil heating, and being situated 35 minutes from the city, it would never become our dream property.

In the end, we will not be deterred. We will just have to keep on looking.

Emory

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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