Hello. I’m Karen and I’m delighted to have this opportunity to spend time with you. What are the themes that shape this website? Since it’s a personal collection of my daily interests, I’ll tell you a little about myself and I think that will answer the question.

From my very youngest years, the love of creation has been front and centre. I credit my mother with fostering my lifelong sense of treasure in nature – seeing the beauty, discovering the secrets. If I had ever heard of ethnobotany in my younger years (the study of plants in respect to their usefulness to humankind), I probably would have aspired to become an ethnobotanist. The value and uses of plants fascinate me, like an endless treasure hunt. 

It was the love of beauty and a desire to create that lead me into a career in art and graphic design. As much as possible, I have worked for not-for-profit organizations. I actively resist the mindless consumption promoted by our consumer society. I try to refrain from a lifestyle that requires me to spend money, accumulate stuff, and contribute to environmental damage. I aspire to cut the noise and busyness of modern life, to deliberately slow the pace. 

As a result of my passion for nature and natural living, my enthusiasm for the back-to-the-land movement of the early 70s has stayed with me all these decades. Even now in retirement, every spring the desire for a small acreage hits. But at our age and in our real estate market, that’s not practical. Instead I enjoy the challenge of finding ways to be a back-to-the-lander without the land.