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Showing posts from April, 2016

Five on Friday

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Outside my window the branches are tossing in the bright-lit wind. During my drive home from work I passed through a swirl of yellow petals from some unrecognized tree. The front yard contains two pink flowering bushes that are competing for best-in-show, I think. A small rhododendron has buried all its leaves with pale blossoms. The weigela is a mass of slightly warmer pink flowers. Lavender buds are forming.  


I am marveling at roses in April. Really. These past two winters have been so mild that everything blooms much earlier than usual. I have dared fate and the late frosts to plant my garden. Not the tomatoes and squashes, but hardier things like carrots, peas, radishes and spinach. Usually, I wait until the last full moon in May.


Better late than never, they say. Earlier this week I arrived home to a parcel on the doorstep. The return address said Australia. Bella sent me the beautiful items above as part of the teacup exchange hosted by Stephanie of The Enchanting Rose. I missed …

The Domino Effect

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A domino effect is most often cited as a negative thing - you know - something bad happens that triggers a set of equally unpleasant circumstances.

I've never thought about the domino effect as a positive thing. Until now. 


Melissa Michaels, who writes the blog The Inspired Room, has also authored a couple of books. Her latest is MakeRoom for What You Love, available May 1. She sent me an advance copy of the book and I'm slowly making my way through it, taking time to think about the questions she asks.  

I've followed Melissa's blog for quite a few years. Her decorating style is both beautiful and accessible. It's real. And very applicable to someone like me who lives in an average home, but who still wants my home to reflect my personality and taste.  

There's plenty of fodder for thought, including this: "but what if we were able to harness the domino concept in a way that actually works for us rather than against us?" 

She goes on to add, "even on…

Mini-Vacation

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Things have been hectic for both of us recently. A mini-vacation seemed to be in order, and what better place to relax than on the water. Tim readied the boat and I haphazardly threw food together and off we went, to Tod Inlet for two nights. 

The photo is of our little boat in the inlet, taken from shore. I played with the watercolour options in Photoshop Elements to get the above effect.


As we ate dinner on Friday night (salads and roasted chicken courtesy of our local grocer's), I looked around and wondered where Tim had stowed the blankets. 

Hmmm. Seems like we'd forgotten them. What to do? Return to the launch, unhook the trailer from the truck and one of us return to town? That would take a long time and we'd be boating and finding anchorage in the dark. Another thought - the entrance to Butchart Gardens was a short dinghy ride and walk away - would our son be willing to give up some of his Friday night to bring us our bedding? Yes, he was. Wonderful son! 


We were VERY g…

On Wednesday Morning

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Thank you for all your encouraging words about my father. He is doing well, and should be home from the hospital this evening after an angiogram. We are thankful.

Bluebells are in bloom here at the moment. I moved several clumps from the front garden to the back and didn't know if I'd get any blooms this year. But here they are, in all their glory. 


Lilacs, too, fill the air with beautiful fragrance. I have a bouquet indoors, and it perfumes the room wonderfully. To keep the lilacs from wilting soon in a vase, I smash the woody stems with a hammer meat mallet. They last much, much longer and drink up lots of water.

Report cards will be finished by this afternoon, and then life should return to a more normal routine. We're enjoying very unseasonably warm temperatures.  The sun, the flowers, the bees - oh, how the world is filled with beautiful things. My heart is glad. 


Life Lessons

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My husband walked by the bedraggled bouquet of tulips on the kitchen counter and said, "I didn't know tulips were blue on the inside." 
So I felt better immediately, thinking that my delay in disposing of the flowers was a little bit educational!

Just a quick post. My father, active and healthy as a horse, suffered a mild heart attack on Friday and I've been preoccupied with that and with the marking for end of term. I apologize for not commenting on your blog posts - I'll be back in a week or so.

My father is spending the weekend in hospital while waiting for some tests early in the week. He's quite bored and chafing to be back at home, so that's a very good sign. 

Back to the marking...accompanied by tea and the lovely scent of lilacs.

Five on Friday

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On homesteads scattered across the prairie provinces of Canada, women planted lilac bushes near their homes. Lilacs are hardy plants, blooming reliably year after year, even as the old wooden houses fall into disrepair and lie neglected. Now, in many places, only the rows of trees and lilac bushes stand in witness to the hopes and dreams of those who once farmed the land.

The lilac bush in our garden is relatively new - not yet 15 years old. Its blooms increase each year, in spite of being moved around a fair bit. The blooms are just beginning to open. Such sweet fragrance.


Leaves emerge from the fig tree about the same time as tiny fruit. The larger fruit in the bottom of the photo is left from last fall - it didn't have time to ripen before cold weather set in. 



I received some new sock yarn (the grey and the variegated turquoise - 2 skeins of each) from Yarn Canada. I've just wound them into balls and am contemplating what I'll make with them. In the meantime, I'm enjo…

Worms, Growth and Gardening

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"Worms, Nana....dig worms." A plea from a sweet two-year couldn't be denied, so we spent a happy time digging for worms in the as-yet-unplanted garden beds. 

"ooh, big worm, Nana."
"baby worm, Nana."
"Would you like to hold one?"
"No." Emphatically. 
"Yes." And his sister picked one up and watched it intently on her palm.
"bye, bye worm," as he sprinkled dirt over the earthworm. 

The next all three cousins were over and there was more digging for worms. And happy, dirty faces. 

If everyone is said to have to eat a pound of dirt in his/her lifetime, this little boy is well on his way.



In early spring, I wander out to the garden and am enchanted by the first uncurling leaves, the delicate snowdrops, and the sharp thrust of green-leafed bulbs through brown earth.

Then come the crocuses, the aconites, the daffodils, and my heart wells up with delight as the sun warms my back and growth is prodigious. One by one the plants com…

Five on Friday

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Spring is popping out all over southern Vancouver Island. Yellow-green baby leaves unfold more fully each day. The sun shines. Heavy dew falls in the night. In the morning I use the heater in the car; in the afternoon, the air conditioner. 


I'm enchanted with the bleeding hearts. I clipped a couple of stems for a jar on my kitchen window sill. The first photo was taken in daylight, the one above at night. A bunch of mint is next to the bleeding heart, dropping pollen. Pollen is drifting everywhere - thankfully, I'm not affected by it, but plenty of others are.

Some weeks are better than others. This has not been one of them. Hopes dashed. Some heartache. Much thankfulness. Life is like that - a mixed drink. And God is here in the pain as well as in the joy.

I like to help mow the grass. I can push the lawnmower, but the edge trimmer is too heavy for me. So Tim begins with the trimming and I with the lawn mower. Back and forth. I love the smell of newly cut grass. I get a workout …

In Defense of Keeping Things

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It was just a drywall trowel and tray, but it started me thinking. Tim had used the tools to patch up the wall after replacing the shower in our ensuite bath. As he washed them out, he said, "I bought these at Northern Hardware in Prince George. That must be 30 or more years ago. I don't use them often, but when I need them, they are there." He has a shop full of tools, used infrequently these days, but there when he needs them.

There's a movement in some circles that getting rid of one's things is beneficial. I agree, to a certain extent.


I've moved house over 20 times in our marriage of almost 39 years, including moves overseas and back. Each time I've packed, I've discarded stuff. Papers. Clothes. Books. But there are always items that I hold in my hands and consider, "Do I need this? Will I want it someday? Will I ever use it again?"

Tim's trowel and tray were stored for many years in my parents' basement (thanks, Mom and Dad) while…

Five on Friday

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It's awfully difficult for teenagers (and teachers) to focus on grammar, classical roots and literary devices when the sun shines as gloriously as it has this week.

We're basking in warmth and blue skies for a few days. So very lovely. The pot of ranunculus on the front porch welcomes me with pinky smiles when I walk up the steps. 


Tulips are beginning to bloom, in fact, this one caught me unawares and it's almost done! It's from a mixed planter I had last year and put into the ground after it finished blooming so there are just a few of these interestingly tinted tulips.


I went out into the garden for a few minutes after school today and heard plenty of buzzing around the rosemary bush. Bees a-plenty dove in and out of the blossoms. A most welcome sight.


This graceful string of bleeding hearts looks like jewels on a chain, or a charm bracelet of the prettiest sort. They look as though they should chime in the wind, but they are silent.


I hope the bees make it over to the L…