Fuss About the Bus

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Living in this little community of Pender Island has given me so many opportunities to collaborate and play with other musicians that I probably never would have otherwise crossed paths with. I’ve been able to step out of my comfort zone, learn new things and be amazed at what can happen when people get together and play music.

This past weekend was no exception. I had the honour of helping organize the Fuss About the Bus: a fundraiser for our local community bus that currently only operates on Fridays. It was the brainchild of my neighbour Robert who uses a wheelchair to get around and who knows first hand how much it would benefit the community to have the bus running every day. We enlisted the help of a wonderful group of local musicians including Juno award winning guitarist Lester Quitzau, and our dear friends Whitebird and Deer & Coyote and we raised $1000 for the bus!

We all had so much fun on stage, playing lots of originals as well as a set of classic blues, rock, pop, funk covers. It was a great opportunity to get out of our comfort zones, learn new songs, and improvise together. There were so many moments during the night where all eight of us were singing together and it was just heavenly!

Anyway, I thought I’d share some videos from the night so you can check it out for yourself. Enjoy!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Advertisements

Winter Comes to Pender Island

Last week, Old Man Winter made a special trip to the Southern Gulf Islands, covering us with layers upon layers of snow. I guess he wanted to see what all the hype was about for a place that was featured in the New York Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2016.” Though the snow made travel quite treacherous, it turned the island into a winter wonderland, like something out of a storybook. I’m used to the snow from living in Calgary most of my adult life, but thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of it here on the island.

A week ago, I joined some friends and went tobogganing at the local golf course, which has an amazing hill! We had plenty of good runs and some equally awesome wipeouts and left before the snow started falling too hard. Unfortunately that didn’t stop me from getting stuck and not being able to get out of the parking lot without a tow from a kind passer-by. It was a harrowing drive home, but I made it without incident. Well, I almost made it. We live at the top of a really steep hill, so I opted to park at the bottom and walk up for fear of not making it.

We’ve spent a lot of time holed up inside the house while the snow was falling, and even though I’m enjoying this wintery season, I’m glad the snow has melted and we’ve had some days of sun and warmth…a glimmer of spring that is coming soon! I had started pruning all the fruit trees and that progress got halted because of the snow so as soon as I can I’ll be back at it.

Enjoy these shots of our magical winter wonderland, and I hope you’re enjoying winter wherever you are as well! Any crazy weather that has happened your way this year?

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Dearestly vinyl giveaway by sharing a story about putting on a brave face and overcoming your fears! Check out this post for more info and to enter!

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Processed with VSCO with oc presetProcessed with VSCO with oc preset

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Processed with VSCO with oc preset

Stay safe out there, friends!

❤ Lauren.

Green Winter

photo 4

Today I took a break from the demands of my day and spent some time in the garden. Last time we were in town I bought a rake, and I put it to good use this afternoon, clearing some piles of branches and pinecones and the garden beds and pathways. Before we bought our house it was vacant for five years, and the once beautiful gardens were overgrown and in need of some love. I haven’t done much gardening, but I love the challenge to bring it back to life. My ambitions this year are simple, mostly just to clear the yard so we have a fresh start, and get a little herb garden going.

I also can’t believe that it’s the first day of  February and there are things growing in my garden! It’s a far cry from the Alberta winters I’m used to, where plants don’t start budding and blooming until late May or June! I haven’t really had any moments missing the snow, probably because I’ve been enraptured by the eternal green that surrounds me.

Did any of you make New Year’s resolutions? I didn’t make a list myself, but I did write down some words and themes that I want to see in my life this year. One word that kept popping into my mind is BLOOM. I’ve been planted in a rich community, and the past few months that we’ve lived here have been so full of vibrancy and friendship and healing. It’s amazing how being surrounded by an authentic, honest community brings out the best everyone. When we encourage and build each other up, not only are we seeking the best for those around us, but we are also living our potential and we in turn are encouraged and built up. It is a beautiful cycle that I am grateful to be a part of.

I’ve been doing a lot of growing in the past year, and now, like the bulbs that are pushing up through the dirt in my garden right now, I look forward to this next season where I can bloom in this beautiful community where I’m planted.

photo 3

Cheers,
Lauren.

Lauren and Zoltan Move to an Island

We’ve been on many long treks and journeys since we started pursuing Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk as a full-time venture, but I feel like this past weekend has been one of the most significant journeys we’ve embarked on thus far. We packed up all our belongings in Calgary, AB, loaded them into a giant UHaul, and drove 14 hours, took two ferries, and ended up at our new house on Pender Island, BC. It’s been quite surreal, and a little overwhelming at times to start a new chapter of our lives in a new province and new community, but I can already feel that this is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

photo 2

If you don’t know where Pender Island is, it’s a small island in the southern Gulf of Georgia, between Vancouver and Victoria. It’s a beautiful place with endless amounts of hiking, beach combing, kayaking and other outdoor activities to do.

photo 3

photo 4

The journey from Calgary to Pender was quite long, especially since we had our kitty Maxine with us, and since the UHaul didn’t appreciate the mountain passes so much. We got delayed at the start of our journey because of a mechanical malfunction before even leaving Calgary, and while we were able to get it fixed (luckily before all the mountain passes), we weren’t able to leave Calgary until 2pm. We drove for twelve hours, and made it to Hope, BC where we got a room for the night, and then took off early the next day to drive into Vancouver and catch our first of two ferries that would take us to the island.

photo 1 (1)

photo 2 (1)

Once we made it to our new house we were greeted by friends and neighbours who helped us move in, invited us for dinner, and brought us chocolate cake, houseplants, and a box of fresh garden produce. Pender seriously has the most wonderful spirit of kindness and community that makes moving far away such a positive experience. We spent the first few days cleaning the cobwebs that have accumulated over two years of the house being vacant, and thouroughly cleaning the kitchen, and although it’s been hard work, it’s so fulfilling to be able to start making this place our own. Not to mention waking up every morning surrounded by trees and complete serenity. It’s the perfect fit for us, and we feel so blessed!

photo 3 (1)

We’ll be posting more photos of the house and what we do to it, so keep in touch, and if you’re ever out our way, let us know…we love visitors! I hope you’re all having an amazing summer!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Victoria Day Vibes

051815_1

I hope all you lovelies are enjoying the long weekend, and if it’s not a long weekend where you are, then I hope Monday is treating you well! Maxine and I are enjoying a relaxing day at home working on music (me) and playing in the grass/napping (Maxine). I’m so thankful to be able to set aside Mondays and Fridays to work on music and have some intentional creative time. Today I’m working on some really old songs that we’re re-recording and refining for our Exclusive Content Project.

This project has been keeping me on my toes with music and other creative endeavours and I love it! It’s been stretching me way out of my comfort zone, but even in just the past few months, I’ve become much more confident in the ways of recording, something that used to intimidate me because, while I knew how to write the musical parts, I wasn’t very familiar with the technical side of things. More and more I’m learning how important it is to always be challenging yourself and be ambitious about working towards goals. You will undoubtedly see so much growth in yourself, and that is the most encouraging thing!

051815_13

051815_9

051815_5

051815_3

Anyway, I couldn’t help but capture these shots of Max playing in the grass this morning. She loves being outside, and today instead of leaving her to play, I sat on the grass and joined in, and it was so fun! Of course after the playtime was some hardcore nap time. Maxine is definitely able to find the comfiest napping spots.

051815_4

051815_9

1805_5

Happy Monday!