A fine balance: Meet Joy Nixon-Botting


Every two weeks, I will be profiling an extraordinary human being who lives in our community. If you know someone who is doing something interesting with their life, I want to hear about it. Send me an email at [email protected].

Joy Nixon-Botting knows a little bit about lots of different things.

“I can teach you the basics about something but if you want to know more I’ll find you an expert,” she says.

Her son recently came up with the perfect description of her. She’s the best one-on-one teacher of the basics. What’s refreshing about Joy is her genuine quest for knowledge. The sky’s the limit when it comes to learning and she always has a project on the go. Actually, she has many projects. Sometimes she’s quick to finish and other times it can take her years. The 52-year-old likes to keep busy. Any idle time is spent doing what she loves.

From the quiet of her quaint Yearley Road home, Joy has been living an enriched life of balance and purpose. She came here from the city 30 years ago and she did so with the intention of planting solid family roots. At first, she didn’t want to stay. She didn’t think she fit into the country living lifestyle. But it didn’t take long before she adapted to the silence and beauty around her. Now it provides all the inspiration she needs to feed her creativity.

I love the peace and quite and solitude. I like to have the balance. Living here and doing what I do gives me the balance I need, as life is too chaotic on the best of days.

Joy has become aware of the connection between mind, body and spirit. She’s a big fan of essential oils and she’s a wealth of information when it comes to their benefits. (She swears that Lavender got her through those tough late nights with a baby. It’s a natural, magic bedtime aide).

Joy sews and knits on a loom and makes baby hats which she donates to various organizations. In the summertime, she gardens and then makes preserves from her bounty and she has shelves of her own homemade herbs and spices. She grows her own sprouts (and buys seeds from a Port Sydney-based company) and speaks highly of those microgreens that pack serious nutritional punch. She also has a part-time job at the Yearley Outdoor Education Centre. It’s just a few minutes down the road so she walks to work every day.

And while she thoroughly enjoys being creative and appreciates the diversity in her abilities, what Joy really excels at is bringing women together to learn. She’s opened up her home to offer courses on a variety of subjects including quilting, sprouting, kombucha, essential oils, crocheting and even Bible studies. And if someone is interested in learning about something she knows nothing about, she uses her connections to find the right woman to bring in. She’s had groups as small as four and as big as 15 gathered in her living room and around the kitchen table.

For Joy, it’s about bringing women together to network and swap ideas the old-fashioned way. She’s been doing it for years and her friends will tell you the way Joy opens up her home and heart is something not everyone would be willing to do.

“I don’t think I’m doing anything extraordinary. I’m just trying to help bring women together to network and share. At the same time I’m expanding my knowledge when I get to meet new women.”

Joy recalls the days when women’s institute groups were very active and says she was always inspired by the older ladies who were so willing to open up and share their knowledge. The Aspdin Community Centre used to have an active women’s institute but many of the members have passed away and this is Joy’s way of trying to keep it alive but in her own unique way.

“We’re losing that generation and that knowledge. I think it’s important to teach these bits and pieces.”

I was totally captivated by Joy’s treasure box, a box full of little toys for when her grandchildren come to visit. She decorated the box with pieces of her life.

(Many thanks to Evelyn Coker who suggested Joy as this week’s extraordinary person. I can personally attest to Joy’s creative zest and kind heart. When I first arrived at her home, I was pampered and showed with gifts. I received a hot wax treatment on my hands, which aids in drawing out toxins. Joy also made both of my boys ‘dream pillows’ that contained essential oils to help them get drowsy at bedtime. She also made both of them the cutest Batman hot bags and gave me my first sewing lesson. Thank you, Joy!)

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  1. A beautiful article written about a beautiful woman with a good heart. Joy encourages and empowers women by opening up her home to welcome in fellowship and promote their home businesses. Her infectious laugh and sense of humor is like no other. Well done Laura you wrote a great article about Joy and captured the very essence of who she is …..a loving, nurturing soul that I have the honor of calling my friend.

    • Suzanne Holmes Rutherford on

      Hurray for Joy! I am but one of the many women she has blessed with her culinary skills, herblore, killer sense of humour, spiritual wisdom and generous friendship. She and our mutual friend Donna King gifted me with a case of homemade Essiac when I was diagnosed with Stage Four ovarian cancer 3 years ago. Still here. Still kicking . ❤️ you Joy!

  2. Phyllis Winnington-Ingram on

    I have known Joy for over 20 years. She participated on a committee that I organized to help better children’s lives. She was amazing then and still is amazing today. Joy is a wonderful example of how to bring back community spirit and skills to our rural villages.

  3. I met Joy a few years ago when I naively volunteered to care for her neighbour’s hobby farm. It turned out to be the coldest winter in Muskoka’s recent memory; needless to say, Joy and her family became fast friends, inviting us for cards (when the lights went out) helping us to obtain firewood and even helped milk the goat. Don’t know if we would have all survived that winter without them, but what could have been a disaster became an amazing experience! I even made my first quilt on Joy’s table and kitchen floor. Joy is a national treasure out in Yearly and once a friend, a friend for life.

  4. Joy nixon botting on

    Thank you ladies I am truly blessed having all of you wonderful talented amazing women in my life. A shout out to the amazing men in my world who have had to put up with my creative mess; my wonderful sons and loving husband. And thank you Laura for doing such a wonderful well written article.

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