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Showing posts from June, 2012

Enjoying Summer Moments

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Here on the west coast of Canada, summers are short. And they seem even shorter when June is cool, windy, and rainy. Yesterday, we had summer. We took advantage of that by eating outdoors on the deck. I picked a random bouquet of roses as food for our eyes. 

Eight of us sat under the summer sky, laughing, talking, eating, or sleeping peacefully, in the case of the youngest, Miss Tiggywinkle. Summer moments - I wish for many more of them.



My garden is thriving in this weather. The greenhouse affair protects the tomatoes from too much wet, but the broccoli and Savoy cabbage are drinking it in and growing well. The beans are a little slow; they flourish in the warmth that we hope is coming soon.

This morning I awoke to rain. Fat clouds plaster the sky and showers are forecast throughout the day. The grey suits my mood at the moment.

Just to "keep it real" - you may remember that we have a house in Parksville that we are trying to sell. No action there, and so we rented it, as of l…

In Progress

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When we moved a few months ago, I asked the movers to leave the china cabinet in the garage so I could paint it. It took awhile, but here is the almost-finished project. A close look will reveal that the handles differ and one drawer has no handle. I'm waiting for more handles on a back order, and installed the old pulls on the doors to make them easier to open in the mean time. 
Here's a link to a photo of the cabinet - before. It was taken in our former home, and is just in the background of the second image. We removed the doors on the hutch to create a more open feel.


How does anyone take a good photo of a gallery wall on a staircase? I stood upstairs, downstairs, half way - and this is the best I could get. Another project in process. The three large wedding photos will anchor the gallery and other photos will fill in. These frames will be painted as well. But I wanted to get started. Tim helped me with the measuring and leveling - so glad for a husband who will take the t…

Downtown Fun

On this sunny Sunday morning Tim and Travis strapped on their helmets and rode in the Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria bike ride. Riders ranged from the ultra-committed who rode 140 km, to others riding 100 km, and others who rode 50 km. Tim and Travis were in the latter group. Travis pulled ahead of Tim in the last 12 km to arrive at the finish line under 2 hours from starting. Tim was about 10 minutes behind him. 

Ryder Hesjedal is the Canadian cyclist who recently won the Giro d'Italia race.


After Tim came home, rested for a bit and had some lunch, we went back downtown. A mountain biking track, set up along the waterfront, provided spectators with the opportunity to oooh and aaah at cyclists performing 360 degree turns in the air on their bikes. There were a few falls as well. 

The activity didn't stop at biking  - buskers, fire juggling, steel drums, and more offered all kinds of entertainment on a sunny, if cool afternoon. We usually spend our free time away from crowds in m…

Routines and Creativity

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How many crows does it take to make a murder? A murder meeting took place in our back yard this morning. Fluffing, cawing and swooping. 



Morning light on my Bolero rose. The bush has tons of blooms on it. But it's potted and I think the foliage is suffering because of it. More food? Change the soil? Transplant it? Any ideas?


Now that classes are over and my job has ended, I'm spending time helping our daughter with little Sadie. Her husband took the first week off, but he's mostly back to work now. Yesterday afternoon, while Mama napped upstairs, I sat downstairs with Baby and stitched while she dreamed in her blanket cocoon.

I'll be going over there again around noon, but meanwhile, I'm getting a few things done around the house. 

Tim had an early meeting this morning, so my day began around 6:30 with a shower and drying my hair. Then downstairs to fix his lunch and chat while he eats. I have a hard time eating that early and so I wait until he's gone. But b…

B.C. Wildflowers - June Note Card Party

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This wild rose grew alongside the road near our home in Parksville. Since last summer the bushes have been torn out, the trees cut down and a new subdivision of small homes crowds the land. Sigh.


This last selection is a Henderson's Shooting Star, captured while hiking the Coast Trail at East Sooke Park in April.
It takes time to go back and find these photos, and the posts in which they were featured, but it's fun to re-live some of the experiences.  Click on over to Vee's Haven where you'll find many more photos that would be lovely as note cards.





Perfect Peonies - Mosaic Monday

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Our cool weather that is lingering long has at least one benefit - the peony blooms are lasting for more time. I don't remember seeing so many bundles of them in the store before. Late one afternoon I took some time to photograph the ones left from last week's baby shower. 



They are just so pretty, all layers and ruffles. In flower language the peony symbolizes secrets because small fairies were said to be able to hide inside the overlapping petals. 

Outside, my peony blossoms were torn into shreds today by a constant strong wind that danced wildly with treetops and flowers alike.  A couple of tight buds survived and I hope they open. Perhaps the wind is blowing in warmer, sunnier weather. We would all welcome it. 

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary of the Little Red House.http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.ca/2012/06/mosaic-monday-rose-garden.html

Father's Day Thoughts

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What can I say about my father? He's a rock, always has been. He loves his family intensely: his wife, his three children, his 10 grandchildren, and his 10 great-grandchildren. His faith is strong and deep; I know that he prays for all of us regularly.

As the first son (4th child) born to large family during the Depression years in rural Saskatchewan, he learned to work early on. Love was there, but when I once asked him why he didn't tell stories of his childhood he said there were few good memories. I know that school wasn't much fun - he was strapped the very first day of Grade One because a picture fell off the wall when the door closed behind him. He came from a German-speaking home and during the war years, that made for ostracism and taunting from the English-speaking community.

He's been retired for a number of years now, but he's still one of the hardest-working men I know. Countless hours are spent volunteering at his church - painting, renovating, cleaning…

Summer Evening

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A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Brenda of It's a Beautiful Life asking if I would be interested in the cover of an out-of-date planner. The William Morris design was just too pretty to toss. Of course I said yes, and so she mailed it off to me. It arrived a week or so ago - in the midst of travelers and baby arriving, and I've just had time to photograph it now. The design is so rich - I'll look forward to creating a journal worthy of it. And the tags she included are so pretty. Brenda's blog points the reader to find the beauty in every day life and it's one that often gives me thoughts to chew upon.Thank you, Brenda, for the parcel, and for inspiring your readers.


I've been dragging with a cold for the past few days. I've managed to go to work, drinking copious amounts of lemon-and-honey-laced tea all the while, but the evenings have mostly been spent doing nothing. Today, I feel like I'll survive. I've stayed away from the baby but …

For the Love of Books

Chapter One  -
in which a girl learns to read
and escapes to many worlds
but always returns home for dinner with her family


I cannot remember learning how to read. I remember Dick and Jane but not the struggle to decipher the letters and words. Once I did learn, I was off like a rocket, devouring every printed word I could come across. My younger sister and brother say their only childhood memories of me were with my nose in a book.


I've spent the past 5 weeks here, with a few days off last week to help with the new baby, in the school library, surrounded by books. I arrange the shelves, neatly pulling the books out to the front of the shelf, shelving them by strict alphabetically (or numerical) order. 

And I am overwhelmed.

I recognize many of the books and have the time to open a favourite, read a chapter, then close the book and put it back. Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien - their stories live on and on. Newer authors like Tom Clancy, JK…

Sleeping Beauty Baby Shower

A baby shower was planned for BEFORE the baby's birth. But the baby must like parties and really wanted to be there in person. And so she was. The baby's mother thought she could swing a couple of hours sitting in a chair eating, visiting and opening presents. So we went ahead with it. 

Sleeping Beauty was the mother's favourite fairy tale and so we went with the that for a theme. Pink was the colour of the day, with lush peonies in vases around the room. On the door, a white wooden frame held a bouquet and across the frame was a ribbon lettered with the classic opening lines, "Once upon a time..."



We took a few quotations from the story, lettered them onto cardstock and placed them on easels. And another quote "Every good and perfect gift comes from above..." from the book of James in the Bible. A banner over the fireplace said "Sleeping Beauty" and we gathered the gifts in and around a doll bed made for Baby Sadie's Auntie when she was a c…

A lot like yesteryear ...

Here, she is - Sadie Victoria - wearing the same dress her mother wore home from the hospital after her birth in a little jungle hospital in Ecuador. The dress is newborn size, but still very big on Sadie. 

I awoke in the night after the excitement of Sadie's birth. Two scenes played in my mind - one was the hospital room I had just come from - full of aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Cell phone calls flew back and forth all day. Joy shared is joy multiplied, don't you think? 


The other scene was the hospital room in which Sadie's mother was born. Just the three of us. We were newly arrived in Ecuador and hadn't made many friends. The doctors and nurses were so caring, but we missed family. No cell phones in those days, no internet, nor a reliable land line. Instead I lay there, waiting 36 hours until a scheduled ham radio call could be made and a call patched to family. Tim and I were overjoyed at the birth of our daughter, but longed to share the news. 


I have to confes…

And the excitement continues

We all joked that Ashley and Owen had to arrive home before Cristal and Gerry's baby could be born. We didn't expect that the baby was listening, but apparently, she was. Eight days before her due date, and just 24 hours after the travelers' return, we welcomed a new baby girl into our family.

All babies are special and this one is no exception. Her arrival has been long anticipated, and we are so happy to welcome her into our family. Aunts, uncles and grandparents gathered, held her, and marveled at her perfect newness. Thanks be to God!

I'll be busy for the next few days, helping where needed, and cuddling my new grand-daughter. If I'm not around the blogging world, you'll know where I am.

And the Travelers Return

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Our son-in-law Gerry chose the perfect word to describe my feelings this evening - complete. All of our children (and grandchild + grand-to-be) sat around the dinner table, laughing, talking, eating, sharing. Together. Complete. Wonderful.


Tired and jet-lagged, Owen suffering from a cold, they smiled and we smiled back. They look so much better in person than on Skype, wonderful technology though it is. The weary travelers went to bed early and I hope they sleep soundly through the night.


Little Miss wasn't even walking when they left, now she runs and climbs with aplomb. Here she is, trying to fit her 18-month old self into the doll bed made for her auntie long ago. Her contortions were hilarious, and she eventually curled herself up and settled in - for a few seconds. 

I'm just so happy, and give thanks to God for bringing Owen and Ashley home after nine months of adventures, from Germany to Switzerland, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Ireland and England. 

Sigh of conten…

A Bit of This and That

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On Saturday night we enjoyed our first salad from the garden - tender lettuce leaves and crisp radishes. Delectable! The first of many to come, I hope.


Although a watched pot may never boil, a watched peony will eventually open its tight buds. 


Early last fall, I planted tulip and Siberian iris bulbs in pots, suspecting that we might move. I wanted to take the flowers with me. The irises emerged from the ground first, long reed-like stalks. But they never bloomed. Until now, when I had given up hope.

Isn't that the way of life sometimes? After longing for something for what seems like aeons, hope dies, yet not infrequently, in my life, those long awaited for dreams eventually come to pass. 


Gardening teaches patience. The seed is planted, then watered and fed. A small tree grows larger, finally producing fruit. And all we can do is wait and watch, trusting that God's plan for the seed will unfold in due time. 


This post took an unexpected philosophical turn.  I'll let it be. T…