Photo Post – Wind Gypsy Life

I’m here to brush the dust off my blog and finally put up a new post! I apologize for my absence; I am 4 months in to another wind project, but this time I am 3 hours from home. Working away from home has been a rewarding but incredibly challenging new venture for me, and I could easily devote an entire post to that subject alone. For today however, I just want to post some of the photos I have taken since starting this latest wind farm. Enjoy!

Wind Gypsy ~ One who travels far and wide to build or service wind turbines.

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The view from the emergency escape hatch.
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A positive sign for once!
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A Bluetooth speaker is a must.
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Sunset over some of our towers, Dunnville, Ontario.
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Working into the night, offloading components.
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I think we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
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The base section of a tower rolling in.
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Harness, lanyards, carabiners – Oh my!
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How cool is this sticker though?
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We shared a site with Canada’s Worst Driver!
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A blade being offloaded.
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Sometimes my outfits match my brake cleaner.
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The day truck 07 became 007. Brilliant.
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Another day in the books.
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My bracelet vs. the real deal.
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Inspecting a rotor. That’s a big blade.
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Summer tower climbs; enough said.
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Angry sky during a lightning stand down.
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A less angry sky. Back to work.
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This is how we start the day.
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The 100 meter high office view.
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Wee little components.
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Hope you don’t mind heights.
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An 85 ton nacelle headed for the top.
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The view from top out crew.
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Last piece – the rotor.
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Got bruises??
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Setting a base, positioning it just right.
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A navigation light and a beautiful sky.
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Getting ready to set a tower section down.
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Rainbow!
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My shaker cups come with me everywhere!
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My partner at work is a life saver!
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Well, I hope you enjoyed the visual sample of what my work day can look like. I am truly blessed to be out there loving what I do, and doing what I love!

Until next time,

~Meredith

Working In Wind

In September of 2010, I set foot on my first wind project as a security guard. I must admit I had set foot on wind farms prior to this, but just as a gawker who wanted to see the giant components up close. My job on that first wind farm involved looking after a substation which had been a hot target for copper thieves. Even though I mostly worked long night shifts, I enjoyed the work a great deal. I worked the odd Saturday day shift with the linemen and construction workers building the substation and watched them with growing interest. They treated each other like family. They worked hard. They were proud of what they had accomplished at the end of their day.

I worked on two more wind projects as a security guard, getting to know iron workers, electricians, crane operators, turbine technicians and project managers. My interest in a job on the construction side of a wind farm grew. As much as I enjoyed security work, the pay was minimal and there was no foreseeable career growth. I really wanted to be out there, or rather up there, working on wind turbines, the substations or really anything involving wind energy. The problem was that I was scared. Scared to voice my wish to become a construction worker. Scared that as a woman, I couldn’t do that work or shouldn’t do that work. It was silly; but that little negative voice in my head kept me from making a move.

That little voice persisted until 2013. I discovered a group called Women of Wind Energy and decided to join. Even though I was just a security guard, I was working on wind farms and decided that made me part of the wind industry. My husband and I traveled to Toronto at the end of January for a WoWE meet-up. I was incredibly nervous to be walking in to an event filled with professional women who worked in wind. After all, I was just a security guard and didn’t think too highly of what I did. I was greeted warmly by the head of the Toronto chapter and all my nervousness melted away. Everyone I met that night was warm, encouraging, enthusiastic and genuine. My dream of working in the construction of wind farms didn’t seem so unrealistic anymore.

I left Toronto feeling encouraged and validated. I felt that my goal was attainable, and that I could do whatever I set my mind to. I tore down all the walls I had built in my head that were stopping me from doing what I truly wanted to do. I purchased tickets to a CanWEA networking event in Toronto at the end of February. Once again, my husband and I traveled to Toronto and I nervously stepped in to a room filled with the who’s who of the wind industry. I met as many people as I could and exchanged business cards and good conversation. When I left that evening, I was hopeful but unsure if anything would come of my efforts.

A week or so after the CanWEA event, I received an email from a gentleman at Surespan Wind Energy Services. We exchanged a few emails back and forth, and eventually I traveled back Toronto way for a face to face meeting and interview. I left with an offer of employment as a wind turbine technician, working on the quality assurance team for Surespan. The project I would be working on was located in my area, with one of the turbines being built right behind our house! I was ecstatic beyond words. My dreams had become reality. I had done it! I could hardly stand the wait until I started my new career in June that year.

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Fast forward to the present. I have been working for Surespan for 7 months now. This is the first time in my life that I have honestly been able to say that I love my job. Yes, I work long hours. My personal best was just shy of 80 hours in a week. Yes, I wake up early. 5 am every day. Yes, there are lots of challenging aspects… but the feeling of accomplishment that I get from meeting those challenges makes it all worth it. I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to get up each day and go to a job that I’m passionate about. I now understand that feeling of camaraderie and family that I saw way back on my first wind project.

You may be wondering what’s so great about working in wind, and why I love it so much. I’ll put together some highlights in point form:

-Better than a gym membership. You get paid to work out, and you can’t flake out on those workouts.

-Not stuck in a cubicle. Your office is out in the field; sometimes 330 feet in the air.

-Amazing co-workers. They become like family. Having a bad day? Guaranteed someone will have you laughing in no time.

-Dynamic. Every day brings new challenges. You are always learning, always adapting. Always becoming better.

-Being part of something bigger. Helping the world transition from fossil fuel addiction to renewable sources of energy.

There are so many more things that I love about my job. The sense of pride, the independence, the accountability, the problem solving… and on and on. If nothing else, I hope this blog encourages everyone out there to pursue their dreams. DON’T discount yourself from anything before you even try. DON’T convince yourself that you can’t do what you dream of. Be courageous and take a leap of faith. Decide that you are good enough, strong enough and smart enough. Your gender does not determine what careers you can or cannot have. You are your own limiting factor.

Break down your walls.

~Meredith – QA Wind Turbine Technician

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This Crazy Life

Wow, things have changed completely in my life since my last post! It’s amazing what can happen in a month or two, or even a week! I have a new job, my husband is just about to start a new job, I have become a first time aunt… life has been full of wonderful surprises lately and I am feeling exceptionally blessed and thankful for each and every one of them.

I knew about my career change a couple months back, but I wanted to keep quiet about it until I had signed my offer letter and actually stepped foot on the job site. What can I say, I am cautiously optimistic about things (okay, I just didn’t want to make an ass of myself if things didn’t turn out). Now that I am entering my third week at the new job, I think it’s okay to let people know! My official title is “QA – Wind Turbine Technician” and I am working on the South Kent Wind project. So far I have been LOVING it! It’s challenging, engaging and I’m learning an incredible amount every day.

At this moment I am in Oakville for two days of climb & rescue training. I wrapped up day one and headed straight to the hotel for a shower! Whew… we were all pretty damn sweaty by the end of the day. Tomorrow will be even more intense and I’m pretty excited about it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do, but so far so good. The biggest challenge was a simulation of going out the escape hatch of a turbine nacelle. Obviously the height wasn’t the same, but letting go of the rope and trusting that the controlled descent device will work was quite a rush. We then had to do it with a partner, attached to the same hook, going through a small hatch door. It was cozy! A very cool learning experience to say the least.

My husband is done with the security business as of this Friday and I couldn’t be happier for him. While his old job did allow him to grow and develop his management skills and technique, it was definitely time to move on. I was surfing the Job Bank website after becoming upset with something that had happened to him at work and stumbled across a job posting that suited him to a ‘T’. I have never had any luck with job postings on the Job Bank but he applied and lo and behold, he got a phone call! After two interviews, he was offered a position and signed on the dotted line. I am so proud and excited for my babe… I know he will do great things.

Amidst all the new job excitement, my brother and his wife became first time parents and brought a beautiful baby girl into the world on June 1st. She is the first grandchild in our family, and I think every single one of us is completely wrapped around her finger! I am totally in love with her and I can see myself spoiling her silly. Before anyone says anything, NO, I still do not want children of my own! I am excited to watch her grow up and be a part of her life, but still be able to pass her off to her parents when she misbehaves, haha!

There’s plenty more in the works for Brendan and I, but I will continue to be cautiously optimistic and only talk about things once they’ve happened. I can’t wait until I can post a photo here from the top of a wind turbine! Soon I hope.

Cheers,

~Mere

 

A quick weekend getaway to Wheatley Provincial Park.

 

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Bacon, eggs, toast and breakfast Caesars.

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Hemi loved the lake! We swam twice even though it was cold!

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My babes. <3

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Pie iron pizzas! So delicious. It was a great trip!

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Spring, Finally!

What an absolutely gorgeous weekend. The weather has been perfect! I’ve been trying to make the most of these nice days by getting back into walking with Hemi. In the last 4 days, we have walked 21.1 km together! I wonder how many kms we can cover in a 30 day period? Sounds like a nice little challenge to me! I need to lose some of this winter fluff (okay, a lot of this winter fluff) and Hemi loves our walking adventures together. I need to break out my Vibrams and start hitting the beach for some walks as well now that the weather has warmed up. I can jump in the truck and be at the beach in 10 minutes. I love where we live!

Last night I worked a last minute security shift on the South Kent Wind project (which was also our first shift out there). I was next to the South Buxton Raceway but I couldn’t see the races. Boo. One of my friends was on the pit side of the racetrack and came over to talk to me a couple times. Seeing her was completely unexpected and made my night! When we weren’t visiting in person, she was texting me to keep me entertained. Bren was at a wedding reception and made sure to text me pictures of the food, the first dance and one of our friends eating pie with a toothbrush (don’t ask, I don’t quite understand it myself). I was able to go to the ceremony, but had to leave right after to head in to work.

At this moment Hemi is laying next to me, smelling like she needs a bath. I really need to stop letting her swim in the ditch on our walks, but she loves it! Sigh… the joys of dog ownership. Well, Bren will be home shortly and we’ll have to head out to find some din dins. I better wrap up this little post, touch up my makeup and make myself presentable for the general public. Until next time…

Cheers,

~Mere

After one of our walks. My rainbow shoes are still going strong.
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Love this crazy girl.
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This right here is why she stinks right now… ditch dog.
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A new sticker for my hardhat. Was difficult to find a spot for it!
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The only type of ‘office’ I ever want to work in.
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Rocking out. Working hard.
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I just loved the way the sunset looked between our house & the apple tree.
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Life. Work. Dreams.

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted around these parts. Truthfully, I wanted to leave my last post ‘on top’ as long as possible because I felt it was important and needed visibility. I just noticed that nearly two months have passed since that post! Wow. Time flies. I was sure it had only been one month!

I’ve been busy for the last two months. I’ve had a couple job interviews. A  Florida vacation. A day trip to Queens Park. Photographed my brother’s wedding. The groundbreaking ceremony for South Kent Wind. A night at the cottage in Grand Bend. Trips to the beach. New plans, goals and adventures with my ever supportive and loving husband. All while working full time, advocating for wind energy, maintaining our household and attempting to remain relatively sane!

For the next two days I’m working at my mom’s office while the staff are out for meetings. All I can do is answer the phone and greet the odd client that happens to come in. It’s a nice reprieve from my usual job and allows me lots of quality time to blog, tweet and browse the web obsessing over carousel lions. Yes, carousel lions. Allow me to explain.

Bren and I have found some new motivation to finish up all the final details our home needs. Rain chains, transom windows, landscaping and the construction of a garage. Since we have a very unique century-and-a-half farmhouse, a plain two car garage would look out of place. We looked at lots of different barn designs and I *think* we have a good idea of what we want. Storage for two cars and our lawnmower, an overhang for the BBQ and most importantly a big loft where we can have a bar.

Where does this lion come in to play? I’m getting there, I promise! As a lover of local history I read a book on the history of Dawn Euphemia township. Within the collection of stories about that area of Lambton County, I found a paragraph describing a bar that existed in the small settlement of Cairo in 1898 called The Lion Tamer’s Club. It was no less than 6 years ago that I read the book, but the story has stuck with me. The farm our house sits on was purchased from the Crown in 1848. Our home was built in 1858. It would only be fitting to have a bar named after one that existed in 1898!

The ultimate piece for the loft bar would be a carousel lion. I’ve actually looked at carousel animals in the past as a piece of art for the house, but sort of forgot about it. Now it’s back front and center in my mind. The antique, hand carved animals are far too expensive so I’ve been searching for fiberglass versions instead. I have found two lions that are unfinished but have zero clue as to who, what, where or how they could be painted. I’ve got time to figure it out; we need to actually build the barn first, right? (That’s me pretending to be rational. Was it convincing? :-) )

Well, I’ve probably rambled on long enough about lions, barns and bars. I’ve got some emails I need to respond to and I might mosey down the hall and make myself a green tea. It’s such a beautiful day out there. If you’re able, get out there and enjoy it.

Cheers,

~Mere

Possible design for a barn/garage/bar. Love the colours.
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Example of a carousel lion. I’m smitten.
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Anti-Wind Groups Make Me Sick

I often wonder if my experience living near windmills would have been different had I been inundated with the anti-wind message before we bought our home. If I had heard the ‘wind farms make people sick’ message over and over again, would that have changed my perception of reality? It’s hard for me to say. I consider myself a critical and analytical thinker. I am intelligent. I don’t fall for things easily. I may nod my head just to get through a silly conversation when I know the other party is completely irrational or beyond reproach, but I’m not going to believe anything at face value when I have doubts. I try to research things before I form judgement.

Wind power is a fairly new method of power generation in Canada. New things are scary. Humans have an inherent fear of the unknown. Many people also fear change. The anti-wind groups have taken advantage of these emotions and perfected the art of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about the health effects of wind energy. Anti-wind groups prey on those who are uncertain and uneducated about wind power. Working in wind, I have heard the most ridiculous claims about wind power. I have had to try very hard to keep my jaw from dropping in awe; I find it hard to comprehend how people can believe such utter crap. None of these things are worth repeating, as they do not deserve any more spread than they’ve already received. That, and the sheer idiocy would likely cause some blog readers to immediately bash their head on the nearest solid surface.

I am not writing this blog as a scientist, a doctor, an engineer or an accoustician. I don’t need to say the same things that science has said over and over again. The fact of the matter is this: The balance of peer-reviewed scientific evidence states that windmills / wind farms pose no risk to human health. None. Zip. Zero. Science wins over anecdotal evidence every time, unless of course you are part of an anti-wind group. There are plenty of scientific studies on the very real negative health impacts of fossil fuel burning and nuclear, but people are used to those sources of power. Ever wonder why all the anti-wind court cases get thrown out? There is NO real evidence with which they can win a case to stop development!

I watched one anti-wind court case with particular fascination because the people who were suing the wind farm’s parent company lived in my old neighborhood. This family was claiming to suffer all sorts of health problems since the windmills went up near their home. As I said, I lived quite close to these people at one point. Their home was located directly beside a rail line where freight trains would pass frequently. There was a railway crossing at the edge of their property where the train would sound it’s horn. The train would also sound at 3 other crossings nearby, all of which were audible from this property. The home which these people inhabited had no siding on it (and had been that way for years). Do I need to point out the blatantly obvious problems with this scenario? No? I didn’t think so.

I’m going to say something here that may seem shocking, but hear me out. People who live near wind turbines are suffering from real health issues. People are losing sleep, experiencing headaches, nausea and so on. The reason for this is what’s important here. Windmills are not making people sick. A person’s fear that they will be made sick by windmills is making them sick. The very messages that anti-wind groups spread are causing these symptoms. Our mind is a powerful thing. Dr Clifton Meador, of Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville in the U.S, said fear can turn into self-fulfilling prophecy. “Bad news promotes bad physiology. I think that you can persuade people that they’re going to die and have it happen. I don’t think there is anything mystical about it. We’re uncomfortable with the idea that words or symbolic actions can cause death because it changes our biomolecular model of the world.”* Now death is a little extreme for what we’re discussing here, but it solidifies my point.

What if I been told that windmills would make me sick, make my dog sick, make my family sick, etc, over and over again until I believed it? Would living here, looking out at the things that supposedly make me sick every day, make me sick? If I truly believed in it, yes, I have no doubt that I would make myself sick. I would stress myself out thinking about these windmills making me sick. I wouldn’t sleep. I would give myself headaches. I would be filled with worry and anxiety. If my dog threw up (which is perfectly routine around here), I would believe that it was because of the windmills. In a situation where I am anxious or stressed about something I tend to develop a headache, so if I was stressed out by the windmills it makes perfect sense that I would have that happen. The symptoms are real. The cause has been wrongly attributed. Anti-wind groups are at the root of this suffering, planting seeds of doubt and fear in people’s minds until it manifests itself in illness.

I will say that I do believe that in earlier days of wind development some poorly placed windmills, some that were improperly installed or poorly designed could have been responsible for real issues. There are handful of people who have had real experiences that need to be learned from. In this article I am discussing the present day issue of widespread fear of wind energy and the consequences of that. I am pointing an accusing finger at the anti-wind groups. This has not been an easy thing for me to sit down and write, but I felt it was absolutely necessary. People need to think critically, do their homework and be realistic. Everyone needs a chance to educate themselves on wind energy before an anti-wind group convinces them that windmills are evil things that will cause harm. That is not reality.

There is so much more that can be said on this topic, but I don’t wish to dive in to politics, start dissecting research papers or quoting scientific studies. That has already been done. My mission is to quell fears, destroy doubts and satisfy uncertainties. My husband, my dog and myself live among windmills. We have worked underneath them for months on end. We have neighbors and friends who live in even closer proximity than we do. I am friends with turbine technicians and tradespeople who have spent countless hours inside nacelles, 80 meters in the air. We are all fine. We are happy. We are healthy. We chose to believe in science instead of scare tactics.

~Meredith

 

World’s Greatest Procrastinator

When it comes to sitting down to write a blog post, there is no greater procrastinator than I. Time is something which I have an abundance of, mainly because my current job demands very little from me and I have the freedom to bring my netbook to work (I’m pretty lucky in that respect). Even with this abundance of time, I will still avoid blogging. Instead I look at Twitter, Instagram and foodgawker for hours on end. Then I end up on eBay browsing all the lightning rod balls up for auction that I can’t afford. Heaven forbid I actually put forward a real effort and type up a blog post. Well… at least I’m here now.

Tonight I’m out of my element and sitting in the chilly back room of a retail store. I’m here with about 6 contractors who are keeping to themselves while they renovate this place. I’m 6 hours in to my 11 hour night (YAY! Over halfway there!) and I am working on zero sleep. My first night shift after a couple ‘normal’ days is always a disaster. I can never sleep. I figured I’d have no problem napping today as I did some strength training at the gym and took Hemi for a 6km walk. Nooooope! I laid in bed for an hour, thrashing around, wide awake and increasingly agitated. I finally said to hell with it and just got up.

During a shift like this I always think, “I am going to sleep for the entire day tomorrow!” which sounds absolutely glorious while I’m at work. I will get home, crawl in to bed and sleep for about 3 hours. Maybe 4 if I’m lucky. After that my body decides that I am completely awake and should definitely start doing stuff; None of which includes going back to bed. After 3 years of working night shifts, I really expected this to get better! If anyone has any secrets for getting a solid daytime sleep, please share. So far everything that has been suggested to me involves liberal amounts of Benedryl or NyQuil. Surely there must be another way…?

On the bright side, this may be my last week of night shifts. I may actually get to work an 8 hour, Monday – Friday day shift which will completely throw me for a loop. It’s still security work, but I’m interested to see how it’ll feel to sleep at night, every night! Last month I attended a few wind energy related events and did some networking, so I am hoping that my security days are numbered. I also celebrated my 27th birthday at the end of February. Eek. The downhill side of my 20′s isn’t feeling so great. My birthday + my job + winter + no sunshine has all combined to make me feel a little blue lately. I cannot wait for spring to get here.

I have gotten outdoors the last two days which has been nice. Today nicer than yesterday since it was warmer, a little less windy and my shoes were actually comfortable.  Yesterday Hemi & I walked just over 4km and today we did exactly 6km. I have been wearing my Polar Ft4 so I can see how many calories I burn on these adventures, which is awesome! Best birthday gift ever! I’m anxiously awaiting spring so we can get back to the beach and cover some serious kilometres in the sand. I am dying to try out the Vibram KSOs I picked up in Toronto. The material on my Fila Skeletoes finally gave out after countless beach hikes. As much as I want to walk another 5km today, I’m really hoping I just sleep…

Well, 4.5 hours to go. I need to stop thinking about sleep and power through the rest of this shift. Hopefully I can find some interesting reading material to keep me occupied between tweeting and bookmarking recipes to try.

Cheers,

~Mere

My giant awful blister from 4km walk. Put on bandaids & walked 6km!
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Best birthday gift from my babe <3 Polar FT4 watch. Love it!
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My dedicated & muddy walking partner. She never says no!
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A (Wintery) Day At The Beach

I have been dying to get out to the beach with Hemi. We’ve both been going a little stir crazy this winter. The stars aligned this morning with me waking up early, the sun shining, mild weather and very little wind. Perfect! I loaded Hemi up in the Ranger and we hit the road. The beach at Port Alma is less than 10 minutes away and offers great scenery and some challenging hiking. We couldn’t go nearly as far as I’d wanted to because of the ice jams and sticky mud, but we made the best of our Saturday morning adventure. Can’t wait until the mud turns back in to sand and the ice gives way to waves…

I didn’t want to flood Twitter with all my photos, so I decided to share them here. Hope you enjoy! :-)

Cheers,

~Meredith

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Why I Love, Support & Believe in Wind Energy

My fascination with wind turbines began sometime around 2006. Driving down the 401 eastbound, I noticed the two-blade wind turbine that sat off to my left somewhere around Highgate. I looked at it in wonder and thought to myself, “That is brilliant! Why aren’t more farmers generating their own power this way?”. A short time later I came across the same style two-blade turbine at a turkey farm just outside of London, once again thinking it was an amazing way to generate power for the turkey barn. Those two-blade turbines planted a seed in my mind that would lie dormant until 2009.

Having been quite literally born and raised on a farm, I was always interested in agriculture and rural life. Until I was 12 years old, we lived on a farm on the outskirts of Thamesville. In an odd twist of fate, that farm was sold to a gentleman who had a dream of building wind turbines, but I’ll come back to that later. I had never lived in ‘town’ until I moved in with the man I was dating (now my husband) in 2008. City life and myself were not a good mix; I longed to get back to my rural roots, and let my boyfriend experience the quiet, relaxed living that the countryside provided. He agreed to try it and in August of 2009, he sold his house and we purchased a home together in Tilbury East township.

Our new home was actually quite old, having been built in 1858. The land it sat on was purchased from the Crown in 1848. We had an expansive yard, barns behind us and fields on all sides. We also had something else nearby; Wind turbines. The Boralex Swanton Line project turbines were the closest, sitting within 1km of our home. Many of the Kruger Port Alma project turbines were close by as well. Later on, Kruger added turbines even closer when they built the Chatham Wind Farm. Contrary to what many of those who oppose wind energy perpetuate, we had absolutely no qualms or hesitation whatsoever about purchasing a home near wind turbines.

Living among the turbines was every bit as peaceful and benign as we expected it would be. Watching the sun rise behind them from our bedroom window was always beautiful. It was nice to gauge the wind direction and speed by taking a quick peek at them. Occasionally, we would hear the gentle ‘wooshing’ sound of the blades when the wind was passing through them directly towards our house. Once again, counter to everything the anti-wind people say, this was completely unobtrusive and not offensive in the least. We would hear it for a moment and then carry on with our day and forget about it completely, as it was drowned out by something as small as the noise of your feet on the floor.

In June of 2011, we were married on the front porch of our home. We had spent the last 23 months tirelessly renovating the centenarian Ontario farmhouse, spending nearly 6 figures on a complete restoration by the time all was said and done. The fact that our home was surrounded by wind turbines did not in any way deter us from investing significantly in the house. We had added the original style wrap around porch back on to the house in our reno, and there my fiance and I exchanged vows, rings and a kiss making us husband and wife. Our small gathering of family and close friends stood on the lawn for the short ceremony. Everyone remarked how beautiful the wedding was and how serene our surroundings were.

Fast forward to today. My husband and I still live in our country home and love it dearly. Our 5 year old dog, Hemi, has no complaints about life on the farm. Anyone and everyone who has visited our home either for a bonfire or a BBQ out on the porch has marveled at how peaceful it is on our little slice of rural property. I enjoy asking all our new guests if the wind turbines are driving them crazy yet; it always garners a laugh and sparks a discussion about the ridiculous claims surrounding wind energy. My husband and I, as well as our darling dog, are all in excellent health and enjoy much happiness in our day to day lives.

We have been blessed to not only live among wind turbines but to also work around them, which began in the fall of 2010. In the years since we have worked on 3 different wind farms, including Kent Breeze; A project which was the brain child of that gentleman who bought my parent’s farm so many years ago. I can’t help but think that our positive feelings and belief in wind energy helped us find a place on those 3 projects. Working as a security guard, I have taken great pride in watching those wind farms take shape around me as I watched over them. Someday I hope to transition from security to a different role in wind, such as a turbine technician or a lineman.

It has been incredible to watch wind power blossom into a mainstream source of energy in Ontario. Farmers are no longer feeding cities with just food but with power as well. We have come so far from the days of those two-blade turbines that caught my eye and fascinated me. In 2011 I stood in awe and watched as the first 2.5 megawatt GE wind turbines turned for the first time ever in North America. The fact that it happened in Thamesville, my old stomping grounds, made the experience that much more dear to my heart.

I could delve into all the technical specs that support wind energy as a viable source of power with this blog entry, but that information is readily available to anyone who cares to search it out. Wind is powerful, it is beautiful, it is peaceful. Turbines will not saddle countless future generations with toxic waste. Our greed for cheap power blinds us and makes us believe that sort of thing is okay when it truly isn’t. A landscape dotted with gently turning wind turbines is a beautiful thing if one chooses to view it as such, appreciating that a natural resource is being harnessed and converted into electricity. It is truly incredible.

There is so much more I could say on this subject, but instead I will keep it short and sweet; I live, work and breathe wind. I will be forever fascinated.

~Meredith

Boralex Swanton Line turbines at sunrise, taken by me.

Photo Friday… Playing Catch-Up

Since I’ve yet to post in 2013 (slap me on the wrist), I figured the easiest way to play catch up is to post pictures. I’ll go in chronological order from December until today!

My Christmas gift from my amazing husband, a Canada Goose coat.
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New Years Eve dinner at Rossini’s in Chatham. Prime rib!
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I have a little obsession with taking nighttime photos at work.
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Wasn’t lying about that obsession.
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Working away. Tired, but at least my hair looks okay.
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The nighttime work photo obsession continues.
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The patrol truck SUCKS in the snow! (Likely because it’s a Chevy)
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Suited up in my camo Carhartts to go rescue the stuck patrol truck with my man.
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My sticker collection is growing nicely. Decal donations always accepted.
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My baby on the way to London for a motor swap! 300+ HP here we come.
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Watching the Giant Wind Turbine episode of World’s Toughest Fixes. It’s a tradition that I watch it once for each project I’m on.
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This is the correct way to pack  for a trip.
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This was an epic evening. Mini pitchers of Somersby and delish BBQ with great people.
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Walked around the SouthWest Regional Center and took a panoramic shot. Cool place.
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I came home from work one morning to this little scene. She’s lucky she’s cute.
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Dressed up for my Women of Wind Energy meet up in Toronto. Hiding my face since I hadn’t done my makeup yet!
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Having a blue lagoon at The Tilted Kilt in TO. Bren had Harp. The waitresses were smokin’!
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Waiting outside the OR for my hardware removal surgery. Stylin’!
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Waiting, waiting, waiting. The IV hurt more than anything!
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Home sweet home after my successful surgery.
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So, there you have it! A brief run down in photos of what I’ve been up to. I really need to make a  better effort around here to keep up with blogging.

Follow me on Twitter, where I’m quite active -> @LifeAmongGiants

If you have Instagram, you can find me there too -> mustangmere

Cheers for now! I’m going to put my leg back up for a while!

~Mere