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Showing posts from April, 2011

A Day for Blossoms

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I didn't set my alarm clock for 4 am to watch the royal wedding. But since I awoke on my own at 5:30, I did get up and caught the second balcony kiss live. What a beautiful wedding. I hope that the delight the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge feel today is a harbinger of joy for the years to come. I pray that God will be very present in their marriage.

It's a beautiful morning here on the Island. Chilly, with a touch of frost, but blue, blue skies. I've been admiring our clematis, so I grabbed my camera and shot a few photos. I think it's a clematis cartmanii "Joe". Whatever the name, it smells sweet, like jasmine, and tumbles in luxurious drifts down the rock waterfall in a sheltered corner. It reminds me of a bride's veil.
I thought the green trees in Westminster Abbey were so beautiful - adding a bit of natural beauty to complement the wonderful stone and glass. It looked fresh and airy. 

Then, I wandered a bit and noticed a few rhododendron blossoms, an…

The Days Fly By

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Easter weekend passed in a flurry of activity. We stayed home on Good Friday, then drove down to Victoria on Saturday evening and spent the night with our daughter and her husband. After church on Sunday morning (in our "own" church where we know so many people), we had dinner with all of our children plus a couple of extra guests. I cooked, our daughter and her husband hosted, and others contributed. Lots of laughter.
In my spare moments over the past week, I sewed this little bubble top and bloomers for our granddaughter. It's a bit big for her yet, but hopefully will fit her over the summer. What fun I had!

On Friday I made hot cross buns, no photo, and on Saturday, these date-filled oatmeal cookies, my dad's favorite. After Sunday lunch/dinner with the kids, Tim and I headed off on the 5 pm ferry to the mainland. Not only was it Easter Sunday, but also my dad's birthday. On Monday morning we were together with my siblings for breakfast (minus one brother-in-law…

He is Risen!

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Last night did Christ the Sun rise from the dark, The mystic harvest of the fields of God, And now the little wandering tribes of bees Are brawling in the scarlet flowers abroad. The winds are soft with birdsong; all night long Darkling the nightingale her descant told, And now inside church doors the happy folk The Alleluia chant a hundredfold. O father of thy folk, be thine by right The Easter joy, the threshold of the light.
Sedulius Scottus (c 820-880) translated from the Latin by Helen Waddell

Good Friday

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Alone to sacrifice Thou goest, Lord, Giving Thyself to death whom Thou wilt slay. For us Thy wretched folk is any word, Whose sins have brought Thee to this agony?
For they are ours, O Lord, our deeds, our deeds. Why must Thou suffer torture for our sin? Let our hearts suffer for Thy passion, Lord, That very suffering may Thy mercy win.
This is that night of tears, the three days' space, Sorrow abiding of the eventide, Until the day break with the risen Christ, And hearts that sorrowed shall be satisfied.
So may our hearts share in Thine anguish, Lord, That they may sharers of Thy glory be: Heavy with weeping may the three days pass, To win the laughter of Thine Easter Day.
Peter Abelard Good Friday: The Third Nocturn

Behind Parisian Doors

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Saturday morning in Paris. My husband, Tim, and I chatted over breakfast. A fresh baguette, crusty and warm, café au lait (for him) and chocolat (for me.)

We organized our day – breakfast, then laundry and a few hours of free time before boarding the TGV to Avignon.

Tim took a bite out of the chewy baguette. Snap. We both heard it. Embedded in the bread was Tim’s front tooth. He looked like he’d been in a bad fight, root exposed, jagged tooth front and center. Rick Steves hadn’t prepared us for this event.

“There’s two weeks of vacation left. I don’t want to keep my mouth closed the entire time,” Tim said. He fished the tooth from the bread and wrapped it carefully in a napkin. “We’ll have to find someone to glue it back on.”





The concierge at the desk of our small hotel assured us that there was a dentist just around the corner. He made the call and the dental receptionist asked to speak with Tim.

“Does it hurt, Monsieur?” she asked.

Upon hearing that the pain was negligible she spoke fi…

Sights of Spring

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While walking the other day, I noticed these deer grazing. Not in my yard. 

Another pair. They are graceful. I can admire them a little more now that our fence is up. They still eat whatever they can find in the front part of the yard, but behind the fence, I've started planting - or transplanting. The wisteria they gnawed and a couple of leafless shrubs for starters.

Tulips are a delicacy. Since there was no point in planting any until now, I picked up a bunch at the store. All dark pink with white edges - like a lace ruffle. And that warm golden center - what a wonderful creation from the hand of the ultimate Creator.

I Must Go Down to the Sea Again...

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Does that line from John Masefield's poem ring any bells in your memory? 
My education was lacking in the memorization of poetry.  But I do remember this poem from Grade 5 or 6. The lines captivated me. I never imagined that I would ever live near the sea, but here I am.
On Saturday night, after a day of work in the yard, and a hearty dinner, Tim and I walked to the marina, about 20 minutes from our home. The moon is almost full and the sky clear. The water - smooth as glass, reflecting the boats tied to their moorings. 
It was also very cold, and a cup of steaming tea was just the thing when we got home. And yet, today, beguiled by the sunshine, we were at the beach again. It was a lonely sea - no boats, just a handle of people. Cold and windy. Tim climbed a big rock ... just because he could. 
Here is the poem - maybe it will trigger memories for you, too.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the…

Tweaking

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Blue thou art, intensely blue; Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue?
James Montgomery
Grape hyacinths make me smile. They bloom in quiet places here, under trees, tucked behind a rock, or almost hidden in other foliage. I find them enchanting.
I usually don't pick them because they add color to a landscape that needs it in spring. However, the deer are also enchanted by them and nip them off, leaving short stems, and my heart to mourn their loss.
I have thwarted the deer, and picked a few stems to enjoy indoors.
Thank you, my dear readers, for your encouragement regarding my paper. It's done except for the final polishing. I dither over pushing 'send.' There's always a word or a sentence that can be tweaked. Or a sentence rearranged. Or a comma to insert or omit. 
My husband and my children tell me to just push send ... So I will. This weekend. Sometime. This is what comes from studying on my own, without firm due dates. Dithering. Tweaking. 
Now I'm off to tweak my ho…

A Matter of Perspective

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It just sits there. A log washed up on shore. Impossible to move.

Huge from any angle. Looking more closely I see more character.

Openings. A way through.

Just choose the path.

Look closely. 

Look past the immediate to see the mosaic beyond.
A post written in frustration over a paper I'm working on. Political Science is NOT my thing (and taken only to fulfill a requirement.) 
Little by little. Word by word, or, as Anne Lamott says, Bird by Bird. 
Back to my Word document.

A Puttery Sort of Weekend

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After 6 weekends in a row spent in the company of family and friends, I hardly knew what to anticipate with just the two of us. Our weekend ended up both productive and relaxing, fun and mellow. 
On Saturday we puttered in the yard. I'm enjoying the bright, dancing daffodils in our neighborhood. Every yard has at least one clump. Deer are not at all fond of them, hence their ubiquitousness.
I made some granola, and a pan of apricot almond squares. Click on the links for the recipes.
Tim puttered in the shop, building the unit of cabinets we need to complete the kitchen. Next step is replacing the countertops, then painting the cabinets.
Today, Sunday, has been wet and blustery, good for spending some time with a cup of tea and a library copy of the British Country Living magazine. A bit of dark chocolate never comes amiss, either.
And I finished a sweet garland for a little girl I love. I was inspired by Vee's links, and adapted the garland somewhat. It felt great to do something a…

Spring Buds

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"Nothing is so beautiful as Spring -  When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;..."

"... And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs - 
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast with  ah! bright wings."
Gerard Manley Hopkins (Spring) (God's Grandeur)
My days are filled with study, study, study, and did I mention study? Essays, study questions, readings ... they seem never ending. I have two more exams scheduled in the next month and need to finish the course work before then.
My back screams in protest at all this time in front of the computer, so I try to get out for a walk. It's been so pretty lately, I take my camera and capture the bits of beauty I see along my way. That's the only creative thing I'm doing - enjoying God's creativity.

Cherry Blossoms

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"Early oats greened over the red fields; apple orchards flung great blossoming arms about the farmhouses  and the Snow Queen adorned itself as a bride for her husband."

"Anne liked to sleep with her window open and let the cherry fragrance blow over her face all night.
She thought it very poetical. Marilla thought she was risking her life."

"It seems to me, Marilla, that a pearl of a day like this, when the blossoms are out, and the winds don't know where to blow from next  for sheer crazy delight, must be pretty near as good as heaven."
(L.M. Montgomery)  Anne of the Island

Weekend Getaway

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After an intense weekend of study culminating in a final exam (yay, one more course finished), we packed the car and drove down to Victoria.
Saturday morning saw us on a ferry to Pender Island. Blue skies mingled with grey and raindrops. But the atmosphere immediately around us was as sunny as can be. With four of our good friends we enjoyed the steam cave, the swimming pool, the hot tub, and the beautiful view from our three-bedroom cottage at Poet's Cove.
The cottage was outfitted with a small kitchen and a gas barbecue on the deck. We all brought something to contribute to dinner - meltingly tender steaks, prawns with garlic butter, roasted asparagus, raspberry shortcake and more. Our evening lasted long as we laughed and talked.
Spring is dawdling this year, but on Pender the hellebores and euphorbia added color along with sunny daffodils. Trees are showing hints of green. I feel for so many friends and bloggers who continue to see snow and suffer intense longings for spring. I h…

Words to Inspire

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"I will sing of the Lord's great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations."