City Mouse No More

Two gals who are very excited to move to the country.

Two gals who are very excited to move to the country.

It’s our so-called spring here in Southern Ontario, and new beginnings are the theme around here. After finally sharing the news with all of the most important people in my life (namely, my children) I can now leave an update here. I’m leaving city life behind, at least for a little while.

Our family business has left us wanting more, and so while we contemplate the future and hatch our next great plan, we will be heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake, to the house in the country that we love so well. We call it ‘The Lincoln House’, and that’s how I’ll refer to it here. With 30 acres of secluded play space, our children will hopefully thrive in a way that just isn’t possible in the city.

We’ve built up a nest of memories here in our Toronto home – equal parts good and bad. It’s sad to leave because I love this house, I love our neighbourhood, I love the school our children go to, and I love having the energy of the city at my fingertips in those rare moments when I want to venture out. I haven’t lived in the country in about a decade, when I did a brief newlywed stint on a very isolated one-hundred-and-fifty-acre nature preserve in upstate New York. That was another lifetime ago, and an experience that still feels bittersweet.

There is no Waldorf school to speak of in the area, and another round of private school tuition just doesn’t make sense right now, so I am undertaking the wonderful challenge and adventure of homeschooling the girls (and I guess little Noodle) with Waldorf curriculum created for homeschooling families. At first I thought this idea was insane, (I mean, I never imagined myself as the marm of the polyamorous family who lives in the country and homeschools) but now I’m really, deeply inspired, and feeling so passionate about this opportunity. I already feel closer to my children. We’ll do this for a year and see how it goes, and see where we’re at. The ideal end goal is to set up home in a slightly more urban area with a Waldorf school nearby, but who really can tell what will happen next?

All of the adults in our home feel the need to simplify, and so we’re going to extensively pare down our material goods, selling everything and keeping only the very basic things we need. I’m overbrimming with glorious information gleaned from the countless, inspiring blogs I’ve found from homesteader types who have dedicated their life to family and simplicity. I can’t wait to purge, pare down, cut out, and free ourselves from so much STUFF! Stay tuned for the yard sale to end all yard sales.

We’re leaving the city at the end of June, when the school year is through. Before the move, we are planting an extensive vegetable garden at the Lincoln house as both a teaching tool, and a way to nourish our family with vegetables that we know are organic and safe to eat. I’ve never undertaken anything quite so extensive, and to say it’s an experiment will be a bit of an understatement.

The girls took the news so much better than we expected. They were excited, and very accepting, with lots of questions, and the predictable concern over friends and keeping in touch. We’re hoping some of the families we’ve gotten close to will be up for weekend play dates, but we’ll be sure to find some extracurricular activities that allow for creating a new social circle.

I’ll still continue with Les Coquettes, because I love performing with them, and I love creating shows. I do wonder what we’ll have in store after this year? So many of us are having families, and/or our priorities are shifting, and I personally find that writing satisfies my creative energy in a way that nothing else can compare to. Perhaps my Showgirl Madame days are coming to an end?

My new life will afford so much more time for writing. I want to share each step of this experience, and all of the little nuggets of wisdom we can pick up along the way. I used to think maintaining a certain glamorous, artsy, sexy persona was the key to my happiness, but with each passing day I realize that my happiest moments are with my children, and they are the greatest legacy I can leave behind. They afford so much opportunity for creativity and connectedness, and I have never experienced anything as inspiring as them. I feel like they are the catalyst that has led me to step into the next pair of shoes I was meant to wear – the pretty, yet comfortable ones that feel much better than the platform stilettos of old.

There is a giant field of question marks that I stare out into every day. This field is daunting, some parts of it scary, but  the breeze that rustles through it whispers of excitement. Change is a wondrous thing, isn’t it? By taking charge of our life, and making some big decisions, I feel like we’re empowering ourselves to be bigger and better.

What’s the biggest, scariest decision you’ve ever had to make?




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  1. Tammy
    May 6, 2013 / 3:11 pm

    Hey Cat,
    I have and continue to make the scariest decisions of my life. I am getting married in 11 days and shortly after will follow my residency in Germany. Christian and I will start building our house (with a hopefully lovely vegetable garden too) shortly after the wedding. We will be living in a small village with the forest as our backyard. I expect that in the next year or so we will be starting a family of our own. This will be very hard for me as my Momma and Poppa bear are across the ocean. I am slowly learning the language here but it’s tough. Not knowing many people and not speaking the language very well are very daunting factors and I question this decision every day, but when I listen to my heart I don’t want to be anywhere else but with Christian! I wish you all the best and I think you will be an amazing teacher, guide and Mother to all of your amazing children! All my love to you and I hope our paths will cross again in the future!

  2. April
    May 7, 2013 / 2:24 pm

    GO CAT GO! I’ve always admired all that you do. Gusto, thought, love and honesty.

    Big kiss,

  3. May 21, 2013 / 11:10 am

    You are going to have such a gorgeous experience there, dear one. **HUG** Moving from Toronto to our little house in the forest was the biggest, scariest decision I’ve ever made, but we have to keep in mind that when we take a step off a familiar ledge, we always manage to fly.

    There is something so magical and sacred about waking up to birdsong instead of honking horns, and the ability to walk down country roads without fear. As I write this, there are redwing blackbirds on my balcony, a raven in the cedar nearby, and 2 enormous eagles circling the lake nearby. Your family will thrive there, without a doubt, and if you plan to start any sort of veg/herb garden out there, let me know: I’m starting a shared seed bank project with a group of friends, and would be happy to add you as well.

    Love and light to all of you.

    • May 23, 2013 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks Lana,

      I’m a ball of excited, nervous, sad, tired and relieved. Tell me more about this seed exchange! I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like fun.

  4. May 24, 2013 / 10:14 am

    *hugs* It will be a remarkable adventure, dear one. Don’t you fret. <3

    With regard to the seed exchange: a few people I know are also dedicated to only using heirloom, organic seeds in their gardens, and we're all making a point of saving our seeds after harvests to ensure that we maintain these diverse, non-GMO diverse plant strains.
    We're keeping notes about the plants (their yield, the taste, how resistant they are to insects, etc.) and then if we'd like to try a plant that another person grew, we trade seeds. 🙂

    Those of us who live too far apart to get together to trade seeds in person mail them to one another.