Sunday, October 04, 2015

These October Days

These early October days hang, suspended between full summer and dark November. The blue bowl of the sky seems rounder, its shape accentuated by sharp silhouettes of trees and hills. 

As the days slip by and we go about our daily tasks - home, work, school, church, community - each of us absorbed with life. But for some these days hang, suspended between hope and despair. 

A young couple loses their first baby just days after birth. They go home from the hospital with empty, aching hearts. In tears I pray for comfort.

Friends wait for appointments, slow to come, to determine the cause of worrisome symptoms. Frustration mingles with fear of the unknown. I pray for peace and action.

Rose hips hang now against the blue sky where scented wild roses once arched. To everything a season.

Others I know embark upon waiting, too. Days are filled with the ordinary tasks, but behind each one lies questions. I pray for grace.

And still the sun shines, the leaves delight with their colors, and the marvelous beauty of this paradoxical world fills us with wonder and gratitude.

Linking to Mosaic Monday

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Mellow Days

Another October rolls round. My birthday month, but not until the end. Days of cooling nights and still sunny days. Pumpkins and apples. Pears and warming soups. Thanksgiving.

Golden rushes that will soon burst those fat tails. Photo taken in Alberta - ours here have long flung their seeds to the four corners on the wind.

Last Friday 45 of us (40 students + 5 chaperons) boarded a big yellow school bus. Over the water we went to Vancouver, to see Bard on the Beach - a yearly venue for Shakespeare productions. The Comedy of Errors was playing, with a steampunk theme. Delightful! We all laughed at the antics and wit of the actors. I especially enjoyed the costumes and set changes.

Home again, over the water as the sun drifts lower toward the horizon. Misty islands. Sculptured clouds. 

Over the weekend I tried out a new recipe from another blogger. Penny of The Comforts of Home posted this a few weeks ago. Slow Cooker Chicken Chile. Delicious! This hearty dish will become a regular around here. The only changes I made was to use one can of beans in place of two. 

The slow cooker has become a dear friend as I've transitioned back to work. It's a wonderful thing to walk across the parking lot after classes and know that dinner is mostly prepared.

And so begins October. How's it looking around your place?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tea with a New Friend

Several months ago, Marilyn of Delights of the Heart, wrote that she and her husband would be visiting Victoria. We planned to have dinner together, but that idea was scuttled when Tim had an evening meeting. Instead, we met for morning tea at the White Heather Tea Room.  

Marilyn's husband was a good sport, enjoying tea along with us while we talked about blogging, pattern making, and other sundry items. 
The scones were delicious, soft and warm. One Apricot Ginger and the other Raisin, served with Lemon Curd, Raspberry Jam, and a tart-sweet cream. I didn't need any lunch after that! 

Marilyn is a retired pattern maker and the tea cozy she gave me is one of her patterns. It will certainly come in handy in the colder months to come. She's also published a book of tea recipes that I'm looking forward to trying. Isn't her card pretty? Love that square shape.

Marilyn's husband kindly took a photo of the two of us. Isn't her smile beautiful? (unlike the person sitting beside her who barely cracked a smile) 
Meeting blogging friends is always wonderful. I'm a bit apprehensive and nervous at first, but every blogging friend visit I've had has been great. 

Have you met many of your blogging friends?  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Walk in the Woods to the Ocean

I stand still. A leaf falls, slowly twirling downwards to land on a fallen log. A cool wind sighs in the treetops. The sun streams through the branches, but it cannot completely warm the air any longer.

We arrive at McKenzie Bight. Light filters through tired green to sparkle on the water.  One hardy soul swims around the point. "He must be crazy," we think. "Or very brave."

Mosses and grass flourish now. A bit of rain works wonders although the waterfall is still dry. The filtered light beyond the moss captures the palette of this late September afternoon.

A toadstool springs up from under a dry leaf. On such a golden day it would have been a crime to stay indoors. 

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith of Lavender Cottage, and with Through My Lens, hosted by Mersad.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pattern and Design

Monday morning. Temperatures hover just above freezing. Then the sun comes out. A good day for visiting a farm in Alberta. Su

Sunlight plays through leaves and branches, casting shadows on the woodpile. I can't resist a well-stacked woodpile. All those shapes and textures form a beautiful pattern. 

This hen, along with her hen-mates, is truly free range. She clucks and runs hither and yon in utter randomness. Her beautiful feathers ruffle in the wind. The eggs she lays form part of our delicious brunch.

The old barn with a (relatively) new roof stands on the hill overlooking the farm like a protective watchman. Patterns here in the wood, some running vertically, others horizontally. Clouds form random and ever-changing designs in the sky.

A week or so before we left on our trip, our youngest daughter decided to join the family gathering. All our children would have liked to attend, but family and work commitments didn't allow it. Ashley flew from Vancouver, we from Victoria and we met in Calgary. 

Do you ever wonder anything about the clothes you wear? Who designed them? Who made them? How are they constructed? I never thought too much about such until the past few years. Ashley works as a pattern drafter for Kit and Ace, a new clothing company that is growing fast. She was recently featured in an interview and short video. I thought you might enjoy it, and you might think differently about your clothes after reading/watching it.

In a fun bit of serendipity, I'm meeting a retired pattern designer for tea this morning - I'll be sure to let you know all about it later.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Early Fall on the Prairies

Mid-September mornings in Alberta lean more towards autumn than summer. Clear, bright air. Tim and I flew over the Strait, over British Columbia, and over the Rockies to attend a wedding and an 85th birthday celebration.

One morning I got up early to walk around the ponds nearby our lodging. The sun crawled slowly up from behind the hills. Dull-leafed trees changed to gold.

Autumn draws the eye with irresistibly colored trees. There's still plenty of green, but yellow will soon take over.

Scuffling my feet in crunchy leaves is one of my favorite fall activities. Wonderful sound. I kick the leaves as high as possible and down they twirl. Do you scuffle in autumn leaves?

Isn't it lovely?

We're home again, tired and content to sit with a cup of tea and a snack. Suitcases are unpacked and tomorrow will be here soon enough. 

Over the week I'll be catching up with lots of things - what my students have been doing, laundry, and blog visiting - to name a few of them. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Just a Touch of Fall

A little house fluffing over the weekend had me thinking of a better way to organize the earrings I wear often. I tend to leave them on the bathroom windowsill or on the top of my jewelry box. 

A few pieces of blue and white (one from Spain, one from Holland, both gifts from children), a thrifted consomme cup and an old blue willow cup from Japan play nicely together on a silver tray. 

"Height is needed," thought I. So a crystal vase filled with hydrangeas that will dry in situ was added. One cup holds my opera length strand of pearls, the other my watches. The driftwood stick is something I pulled out of a coat pocket - bits and pieces often come home from a walk. 

The sun streams through the window, highlighting the varying shades of petals. 

There. One corner of the house has a little touch of fall. How's it going around your place?