Hi, I’m Karen Bouchard, doer, blogger, amateur photographer and project manager of eff-it.ca which features me doing shit that I’ve got to do because eff-it if I don’t do it who will?
If there is one thing that I’ve learned in life it’s that there is only one person that you can count on, YOU. You are often capable of much more than you ever dreamed, and if you put your mind to anything, you can, and will accomplish it! Excluding interpretive dance and knitting…everyone has their limits!
At eff-it.ca, you’ll find amateur advice on letting go of fear and doing what makes you happy, DIY projects, garden ideas, and landscaping plans, delicious recipes, menu plans, and more! Like most of the shit that I do or try to do, I am motivated by dollars and sense, and a deeply planted desire to figure shit out. For free. If I can’t get killed doing the job, you can be sure that I’m going to try! To do the job, not to get killed…
If you’ve stumbled upon eff-it.ca hoping to get professional advice, here’s some advice for you; I am in no way a professional. I’m here to show & tell you that you can do shit, just don’t do shit that might land you in the hospital or worse!
Raised in the Niagara Region of Ontario, I am a busy married mother of two boys, and we are all about to pick-up and move to the Kawartha Lakes Region of Ontario. Why might you ask? Do we have jobs, you might ask? Were you transferred there? Do you have family up there? Questions, questions, so many questions.
We chose this region of Ontario because my husband attended college there in the 90’s, and for the better part of the past 16 years he has extolled the virtues of Peterborough and the surrounding area. Year after year we make like the Beverly Hillbillies and pack our vehicle to its weight limits to head up to relax at the cottage or to go camping in the Near North, Kawartha Lakes, or Muskoka regions of our beautiful province. And year after year, when it is time to pack up and head home, we have the same discussion: “We should think about moving up here”, “It’s so beautiful, we don’t want to leave”, “What about the kids, will they like it, will they make friends, where will they go to school?”, “Winter is awful, there’s so much snow, what will we do”, “It’s only enjoyable in the summer” and the conversation continues. Every year. We have also been known to look at the MLS listings and use at least one of our precious vacation days to dare to dream while driving around looking at property and homes in our price range! (You can imagine how much the kids prefer doing this over one more day at the beach.)
For the past three or more years we’ve also been researching how difficult/realistic it would be to build an off-grid or Net Zero home for our family. We went on a couple of tours of different types of off-grid homes, and we were hooked! Perhaps I’ve bored you to death with a conversation or two about Earthships or shipping container homes? If you were a victim, please accept my apology!
For us, there were many reasons to be hooked. The price of building this type of home is more affordable than we ever dreamed (as long as we are willing to do some of the work), it would reduce our carbon footprint (with the Weather network becoming as terrifying as CNN to watch, this was becoming more and more important to us), and lastly we wouldn’t have to work until we are 85 to pay the effing place off!
You may be asking yourself what the heck does eff-it.ca have to do with all of this?
At first, I had that initial feeling of failure. Failure? Yeah, failure. Failure because we weren’t able to fulfill our dream of getting off the grid right away.
Then I thought, We are moving to be closer to the parts of Ontario that make us happy, the community college offers a course in Sustainable Building and Design, there is an active Transition Town in the city of Peterborough, and land is plentiful and much more affordable than land in Niagara. We can make everything happen. How can I think that that is a failure?
We grabbed onto the wave, said eff-it and dove head first into this new life adventure. We weren’t prepared to sell our home as quickly as we did, and it was then that I realized that I truly have always used this philosophy in everything I set out to do in life. I do say eff-it often…you should see my resume!
And so, eff-it.ca was born. Come back often, and enjoy the show ’cause I can guarantee that there will always be something happening around here!