Friday, December 16, 2011

Simple Christmas Pleasures

Yesterday I was lamenting about how I’m not yet in the mood for Christmas. It’s funny how sometimes a small thing is all I need to change my perception.

Wednesday afternoon I went shopping with a friend and while we both managed to pick up a few things we spent most of the afternoon chatting and dreaming about new shoes. Towards the end of the afternoon I was handed a Christmas card and it got me thinking how most of us (yes – me too) have given up on the time honoured tradition of giving cards this time of year.

I put the card in my bag and then the bag went into my trunk and my car ended up staying in Kanata overnight Wednesday. When I picked up my car and took my packages into the house I remembered the card. We already have a couple of Christmas cards kicking around the house; one from our mortgage broker that doesn’t even say Merry Christmas or the more generic Happy Holiday all it says is “thanks for your business, we appreciate your referrals.” (Note my sarcasm!) We have one from the sales guy we buy most of our construction materials from...again, not very meaningful.

The card from my girlfriend is lovely as is the sentiment written in it. In one moment I was cranky and overwhelmed and the next moment I was feeling grateful and appreciative for both friends and the season. All it took was a thoughtful friend and a Christmas card. It makes me think we should go back to the tradition of sending cards; they really are simple Christmas pleasures we can all enjoy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fall Fantasies

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn;
While the Lily white shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn, nor a threat, stain her beauty bright.

~William Blake, ‘The Lily”

As most of you know I love gardening and especially flowers. This time of year I start to get a little sad without my garden to poke around in. My guys don’t buy me flowers quite as often as I might like so I have to take things into my own hands occasionally. The last time I was at the grocery store I picked myself up a small bouquet; and while they’re lovely they’re just not quite enough.

With fall here and winter just around the corner I know my flower fixes will be few and far between for the next several months. Each year right about now I have a little fantasy about becoming a florist; then all my days would be spent surrounded by flowers....aahhh, just thinking about it always makes me smile.

I love this poem by William Blake so much that I’ve often thought about making the first words the name of my floral business. ‘The Modest Rose’ would make a lovely name for a florist I think. This little fantasy, the odd bouquet here and there and my plans for next summer’s garden will just have to satisfy me through another winter I guess.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Snow Fall

Yesterday morning was bright and sunny with clear blue skies and this morning is grey and blah....just like November is ‘supposed’ to be. I jumped out of bed this morning when I saw the snow. I love the first snow fall of the year and this one’s a good one!

Technically this would be our second snow fall because we had a crazy 15 minute storm one day last week that left mini snowballs everywhere, but they only stayed a few hours so it doesn’t really count in my books.

I was curious how Astro would react to the snow because she’s so skittish about everything but she bounded out and played like she remembered it from last winter. It was so much fun to watch the dogs romp around in the snow. I haven’t been out yet but I’m looking forward to a walk through the field with all the girls. It will be our first trip this year to the creek and I know it will be a barrel of fun.

I love our changeable weather – to me it’s one of the wonders of this part of the world. I can’t imagine every day being the same. I’ll take sunny and bright one day and a storm the next any day over sunny and warm all the time. 

My front yard Nov. 22nd.

My front yard Nov. 23rd.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Beauty

I’ve heard November described as ugly, blah and grey. That’s not what I saw this morning on my tour around the yard. The beauty in my own yard moved me so much I have to share with you some of what I saw this morning....

Frost even makes the weeds beautiful.
I love milkweed.

My self portrait ;-)
I know you've seen it before but I
just love my falling down barn.

Astro is so cute somedays!
I think the ice crystals are beautiful.
This is why I live in the country!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank You

I’m sure you’ve heard about the law of attraction - whatever you focus on grows. With that in mind today I’m going to focus on saying thank you. It’s often also said that with gratitude love flows and I’m very grateful for so many things.

Today I want to thank you for reading. I’ve been trying to grow my audience a little and so far it’s not going quite as well as I’d hoped. Although I enjoy the writing and the photos I don’t necessarily enjoy self-promotion. I don’t even know how to answer the question “what do you write about?” without sounding (to me) ridiculous.

I know I have a small group of loyal readers and I want to say thank you to all of you for reading and for your encouragement through (the occasional) comment, facebook and emails. I really appreciate you taking the few minutes it takes to read my ramblings. I’m looking forward to the process of growing and I hope you’ll continue to be a part of it. Without you guys I’m just talking to myself, and I’m very grateful that’s not the case.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Day We’ve Been Waiting For!

Not only do I try to notice life’s small pleasures and record them here I also often anticipate them and today is a day I’ve been waiting for for months. The corn in the field surrounding us is being combined.

Summer Corn

Our house is in a 100 acre field, and this year it was planted with corn. I’ve never really given corn a lot of thought – until this year. I don’t like being surrounded on three sides by it. It’s like having a 10’ sentinel around the house and yard all the time.

The corn yesterday

Last  fall and winter we used the field as our own back yard. We’d romp around it with the dogs, the girls and I would snowshoe almost every day (well, I snowshoed and they ran around!). When it’s not planted it’s like our property goes on and on and with the corn there since mid-spring we’ve been feeling a little closed in. Not anymore!

The combine

It’s a small thing for sure; but a big thing too. I’m really excited about it and now I can’t wait for the snow. Listening to the combine do its thing right now reminds me how much I love living here and how grateful I am to be able to step out of my door and have all the space I enjoy so much. 

After...isn't that better?!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Misty Morning

It’s a misty morning here today and it makes me feel all cocooned and cozy sitting here in the kitchen beside the woodstove. I like days like today; days where I have nowhere to be and nothing pressing to do. I can putter around the house and the yard to my heart’s content.

I was supposed to be off this morning to my brother and sister in law’s place to have tea and talk shop but my car broke down yesterday so I’m stranded for a day or two until Jon can get it fixed. Although I was annoyed about it yesterday, today I’m going to take as a sign to relax a little and enjoy the solitude.

I’ve already had a few moments of joy this morning. I had a little walk around the yard with the dogs and my (newly repaired) camera, I hung out the laundry and pondered how much longer I’ll be able to do it this year and I watched the chick-a-dees at the bird feeder.

Right now I’m going to enjoy another cup of tea in my rocking chair by the’s going to be a good day J

The view out my front door this morning
and in the other direction....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Merry Christmas

Halloween is over for another year, which means of course that it’s now the Christmas season. Once all the Halloween candy has been bought it’s a mad retail rush to let us know it’s time to start shopping for Christmas.

Jon was at Lowes one day last week and on an end cap as soon as you walked into the store there was both Halloween decorations and dancing Santa’s. It used to always be Halloween and then Christmas; the two never shared a shelf. How times change.

We’ll see all the decorations in the stores now and Christmas flyers to entice us into the stores and to spend our hard earned dollars. It wouldn’t be Christmas without all the shopping and expense right?! At least that’s what retailers would have us believe.

I love the Christmas season; especially Christmas music (which starts in my house December 1st) so I’m glad it here for another year. I haven’t given it any thought yet – but I will soon. J

With all this in mind let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas this holiday season!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Fall Garden

Jon and I planted 80 trees over Sunday and Monday and I loved being outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather so much I decided to prolong the weekend just a little longer by taking a few minutes in my garden this morning.

As much as l love my garden when it’s in full summer bloom I love it almost as much now. There’s always something to see when I look carefully. This morning I noticed I still have many alyssum blooming and my wild roses are still going strong. I saw one lonely cosmo in the mess of dried and tired greenery and of course the leaves are a wonderful back drop this time of year.

Wandering around the yard listening to the rustle of the fallen leaves is relaxing and meditative and makes me wonder what’s coming this winter. Although I’m looking forward to winters quiet charms, for the moment I’m content to enjoy the fall colours and marvel at the last of my flowers.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Our family has a tradition that during Thanksgiving dinner we take turns saying what we’re grateful for. Sometimes the things we’re grateful for are big important milestones and sometimes they’re very simple; but no matter, big or small they are all meaningful.

I think gratitude is one of the easiest ways to connect with our lives and although I make it a daily practice it never ceases to warm my heart to hear what my family is grateful for once a year.

Some of the things I am most grateful for are:

~ My amazing family

~ My friends, both old and new

~ My pups – even though they drive me a bit batty some days

~ My home, it welcomes me regardless of how often I vacuum

~ The trees around my home that make me feel like I live in a park

~ My books for the knowledge, entertainment and comfort they offer me

~ For being creative almost daily with my blog and my photography

Life is good!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Frost

I walked around the yard and garden for the first time since we had frost last week. As much as I enjoy the Fall I really hate seeing my garden slowly but surely dying off. The morning glories in the main garden were done immediately, as were the tomatoes. I still have a few morning glory stragglers left in the bed beside the house. I’m not sure if the frost has gotten most of them or if it’s Astro running through the bed that’s killed almost everything in it. I guess next spring I’m going to have to fence all the gardens. I’ll think about that through the winter.

With the nice weather winding down I’m taking a few minutes every morning to wander a little with the girls and my camera to see what I can see. This morning I came upon a few weary flowers and a mini visitor who decided to let me take a few pictures of him. A few minutes admiring the ‘wild life’ is important to me knowing that soon the only animals we’ll consistently  see around here are the turkeys and the Canadian geese munching on what’s left of the corn once the field has been harvested.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It’s a Moody Monday

With the days getting shorter, Jon and I are getting up in twilight. Most days I don’t even notice, but this morning I got up and looked out one of the library windows and this is what caught my eye....

What a beautiful moody sky to start my week. As I stood outside this morning for a few minutes the sky changed colours almost as quickly as I could capture it. With Fall here and Winter fast approaching we need to enjoy the dawn of every beautiful day. Here’s to a wonderful week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Today’s post is dedicated to the most amazing man I know; my husband Jon. Tomorrow is our sixth wedding anniversary and a celebration of one of the happiest days of my life.

“Once, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives you a miracle.”

We’re a bit of an odd pair. He grew up on a farm and I grew up in the city, he comes from a large close knit family, I don’t, he’s logical and I’m creative, he’s tall and I’m short. J I guess we’re a case of opposites attracting and I’m very glad we do.

When we first met, Jon thought I was one of the weirdest people he’d ever he’s my biggest supporter. I feel so grateful to know he’s always in my corner loving me unconditionally. I’ve given him challenge after challenge and he’s risen to them all. When we got married he became step Dad to a 10 year old and a 14 year old – how’s that for asking a lot? Now of course my kids are perfect ....however, when you’re a young man with no experience with kids having a readymade family can be stressful, but Jon stepped up to the plate and always tried to do his very best. That doesn’t mean we haven’t had conflict, because of course we have; what it means is that Jon came into our existing family with an open heart. He was more than willing to love my boys – he expected to and he does. The best part? They know it. Shane and Bradley know they can count on Jon for whatever they need. He’s managed to blend being a parent and being a friend to them.  Is there more a mother can ask than to have the man she loves love her children? Not to me.

In our time together I’ve learned so much from him. I can see the world through eyes other than my own and what a wonderful gift that is. He makes me laugh and  sometimes cry, he makes me feel safe and loved and very often when I see him across the room my heart still does a summersault in my chest and that makes me smile and remember what falling in love feels like.  I look in his eyes and I see love looking back at me. I need nothing more.

I love you Jon, now and forever.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quotes I love This Week

I love quotes and I’ve been collecting them for years. I have books dedicated to them, I have post it notes everywhere with them jotted down and I often have them on the edge of my computer screen and on the front of the fridge. With regularity I share them with my Facebook friends and every now and then I learn that someone I know is a quote collector too and I immediately feel a closer connection with them. I never fail to find comfort and inspiration in the written word. The way people choose to express themselves always amazes me and this week has been no different. I’d like to share my favourite quotes of the week today. I’d also like to say that they’re in no particular order but in reality my most favourite one is the last one...I guess maybe it’s been one of those weeks ;-)

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” - Walter Winchell (1897 – 1972), American Journalist

“All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is exclusively my own.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832), German writer, Theoretical physicist, Artist and Biologist

"If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies." - Author Unknown

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world," Jack Layton 1950-2011 Leader of the Official Opposition

"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes." -William Gibson (1948 - ) American born, now Canadian novelist

Quotes are small things that really add to my life. Some days the right one helps remind me to be grateful, other days I’m given a little extra strength, some days it’s simply just a laugh.  Occasionally I shake my head because I can’t imagine why some people say the things they do and if I’m reading it as a quote then I wonder twofold – why would someone quote it? No matter how I look at it being a quote collector has added to my life, and having said that I think I may start a weekly tradition of sharing them here. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chilly Air

This morning was the first day so far this summer that it's been a little chilly wandering around the yard in my pj's. I love the fall so I'm looking forward to shorter chilly days. There isn't a lot I find more enjoyable than cool crisp air; it's so refreshing and energizing. The only thing that I don't like about the upcoming fall is the end of my garden. I so love my flowers and the inspiration they give me on a daily basis. It makes me just a little sad this time every year to watch them start to fade.

I used my borrowed camera this morning to take a few new pictures of the garden. My poppies and roses are still hanging in there, my coneflowers not so much. My tomatoes are all but exploding off the plant, and many of the wild flowers are still blooming. I know the days of blooms and blossoms are winding down so I'm going to enjoy them while I if only my camera would come home from service! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Gratitude

I woke up grouchy this morning because my first thought getting out of bed was a reminder that my camera is still in the shop for repairs/service. UG! After Jon and I had our breakfast I thought a good antidote to my grouchiness would be to write about gratitude because I have a lot and when I focus on it my mood always improves. As I walked around the yard this morning with Hunter and Astro (Meg wouldn’t join us today), in my pyjamas, (I might add!) with a borrowed camera I saw shot after shot of gratitude just waiting to be shown. So for today that’s exactly what I’m going to do; rather than ramble on about all the things I’m grateful for I will show you a few of them instead.

Our Neighbours...

The Oak we planted for Dad...

The sun shining through a morning glory....




And my beautiful front yard...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoons

Is there anything more enjoyable than a lazy Sunday afternoon? I spent the afternoon going to the ice cream shop with Jon and Bradley, helping Jon with one of his crazy ideas and lounging in a long hot bath and now I’m sitting here hoping that if I sit here long enough someone else will present me with dinner. is good!

"Leisure does a body and soul good", is a German saying and my motto for today. I’m taking a Sabbath; we all should from time to time. Remember the days before Sunday shopping when Sunday was really a forced day off? I realize I’m aging myself when I say this but I can remember a time when pretty much everything was closed on Sunday. There was no shopping, no groceries, no doctor visits, no banking – can you imagine – you can now bank on a Sunday if TD is your bank of choice?

While it’s only my humble opinion I’m going to say: our little corner of the world was better and easier when we all had a day off each week – the same day off each and every week. It was better for families because there was nothing else to do but be home together. Mom didn’t work at the clinic and Dad at the Bakery. Sunday was a day for family get togethers and Sunday dinners. I guess I’m old fashioned. I believe that Sunday’s should be sacred – bring back the Sabbath. A lazy Sunday family is a family that stays together!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Joy of Gardens

It’s a grey day here today. I love the rain and always feel more like myself on days that it’s overcast and rainy, but today it’s just simply blah; not enough rain to make it rainy and not enough sun to make it sunny. Jon and I ran some errands this morning and I looked for inspiration in something – in anything, but it’s one of those days. The only thing that grabbed my attention this morning was a new morning glory flower on my vine.

There is very little I love more than flowers, they never fail to brighten my day and inspire me to get out my camera. Since it’s one of those days I indulged myself in a few shots of my messy mostly wild flower garden. When we moved here last year the only flowers already here were some very old bleeding hearts. I always find it odd to see an old house with no gardens. It makes me wonder what kind of people lived there. I can’t imagine not having gardens and gardens and more gardens. By the time I’m done here – in 40 or so years there will be acres upon acres of gardens and flowers.

I can picture it so clearly in my mind. I get excited just thinking about it and how beautiful it will look that occasionally when I look outside and see only my little wildflower garden I’m surprised that it’s not already here. I can see the lavender, the roses, and a gazebo going towards my little building. I can see dozens of flowering fruit trees and my pond. I can’t wait for my pond! I can see the labyrinth and benches dotting the paths. There’s joy in just thinking about it and planning it and I’m enjoying every step of the way.