About Me

I am the 50-something mum of two teenagers with autism who were homeschooled for most of their educational years.

The title of my blog, “A Thousand Shades of Green”, refers to the fact that we live on the West Coast of Canada, in the temperate rain forest. I love hiking and walking in the woods, and I always marvel at the myriad shades of green. From pale maple leaves and mossy lichens, to the dark green of fir needles, combined with rays of sunlight that make their way through the forest during the day, it seems that there are more shades of green in my view than the largest box of crayons could ever provide.

This blog has morphed and evolved over time, but is essentially the record of one woman’s journey through midlife and beyond. As a fan of history, I think the daily lived experiences of ordinary people can be more interesting than those of famous individuals, because they capture what it is to be human – not the big important things, but the little everyday stops along the journey of life. For as I get older, I am understanding on a fundamental level what is meant by the saying that life is not about the destination, but the journey along the way.

I’ve covered many topics in this blog, as my identity has shifted with the passage of time. It begins with me as the parent of young children with special needs, and as a homeschooling mum who is largely responsible for their education and learning. I also talk about my hobbies of knitting and quilting, the adventures of city folk buying a four-acre property and attempting to turn it into a homestead, the design and build of my Dream Home on said property, and the growing freedom that comes with kids getting older and becoming more independent. Now I am making my way through another transition: the end of my 18-year marriage. Although this has been one of the most painful experiences of my life, it has also provided me with new opportunities for growth and to craft a future that I could not have envisioned even a year ago.

The URL name FreeLearners is the original title of this blog and referred to our style of homeschooling. But it also applies more broadly to my approach to life and learning. I am drawn to the notion of “crafting a life”  – deliberately creating the lifestyle I wish to live. I chose to homeschool in part because I wanted to savour every moment of the precious childhood years, and I set aside my career as a biomedical research scientist to do so. I’ve run a small, part-time consulting business all these years, combined with some university teaching and other experiences, but now it’s time to return to the workforce and forge a new career so that I can take care of myself and my family. I am excited about what lies ahead for me, and I hope you will enjoy reading about my experiences.

Thanks for stopping by!


3 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi there,

    I was hoping you could contact me…I am a local to Vancouver Island as well, and have a few questions! (Just moved here) You seemed like the right person to ask as we seem to have similar philosophies with food & lifestyle 🙂

    Many thanks!

  2. Jonathan Teller-Elsberg

    Hi, I’d like to ask a question about an image on your blog (one of your previous blogs, actually). May I have permission to use the design you drew at http://ruralaspirations.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/map.jpg on a flyer? I don’t see a way to contact you other than through this comment form. Sorry to muck it up with something off topic.

  3. I love your blog! Thanks so much for sharing! If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to touch base with you about an interesting idea. Feel free to shoot me an email sometime and we can talk!

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