Showing posts from March, 2017

Time for Tea

The first week of Spring Break is over. It was a mixture of mostly pleasant and a bit of unpleasant, the latter including a dental appointment. How I dread even a cleaning appointment. All those sharp instruments. The feeling of helpless vulnerability. It's over for another six months and I'm relieved.

I haven't had as much time to relax as I thought I would. Several appointments, and fun time with family filled the days. Finding balance can be a challenge. There's so much possibility, but limited energy and time. 

Our visit to Butterfly World (previous post) and a tea party on Friday were the highlights of the week. 

Three adults watched three little ones enjoy their tea. The girls dressed up; one with a crown and her Easter dress, the other with a sparkly dress complete with a jewel. The sole male at the event wore the cutest blue jean overalls. 

What fun to have tea, just a little, with lots of milk added, and sugar lumps! Stir, stir, stir. Sip, sip, sip.  

Scones with j…

There and Back Again in No Time

The double set of glass doors closes behind me and I am met by a rush of warm humid air. A long dormant recess in my brain leaps to attention. Neurons begin firing and in a millisecond I am transported in time and space to Chupientsa, a tiny village in the Ecuadorian jungle.

Tim and I, with our young daughter, along with Tim's brother and his wife, are staying with friends, an older couple from our mission. I am 6 months pregnant. 

Our friends tell us about a beautiful waterfall and we make plans to visit. They look at my protruding belly and say, "The trail is not long, but it's steep." 

Forewarned, I decide to accompany the group. 

The trail downwards is almost hidden, covered by dense green growth. A thick strong rope, tied securely to a tree, marks the beginning of the descent. I rely on the rope to keep me from slipping on the damp leaves and skidding to the invisible bottom. Tim precedes me, ready to stop any fall. 

We reach the floor of the small canyon. Far above,…

A Walk Followed by Cake

Pink is coming! Such a welcome colour, and late to the party this year.

Saturday afternoon was the day set for an early celebration of Tim's birthday. The Vancouver couple were over for the weekend, but one of the local families was out with the Norwalk virus and they declined spreading it to the rest of us. We missed them, but were happy to miss the virus.

The sun shone in between clouds. A chilly wind bent the grasses and crawled along our necks. But once we got going, we warmed up.

Auntie and Uncle are a big hit with the littles. In the bottom corner, a three-generation photo with Mister F's short legs stretching as far as possible to keep up with Daddy and Grandpa. 

Bird life on the Bog. Mallards, geese, coots, and more.

There's not a lot of green yet, but the colours and shadows caught my eye and I took this photo. When I looked at it on the computer, I noticed, for the first time, the blue heron against the rushes. Can you spot him?

Zoomed in a little closer. He certainly …

Yellow is IN!

Sunny yellow. Not my favourite colour, but very welcome these days. 

I peeked under the cloth covering the lemon tree, wondering how the tree had fared during our longer and colder winter. Such delight to see these lemons that slowly ripened in the cold and darkness. They are smaller than usual, but I noticed blossoms and little green lemons on the tree, as well. After picking these, I covered it up again until May or June when the days are reliably warmer.

Two bunches of tight daffodil buds came home with me last weekend. They've opened into a cheerful bouquet for the kitchen table. 

As I look out the kitchen window, I see these yellow beauties, miniature daffodils, nodding their pretty heads. Spring is well on her way!

More yellow! The forsythia is getting ready to burst into gold.

I cut some long branches of forsythia for a blue vase from Spain, made from recycled glass, that I recently found. I expect the buds will open this weekend. They don't last long indoors, but are so pre…

Dragging Forward

It's that time of year when clocks everywhere are set an hour ahead while our bodies wonder what on earth is going on. It seems so illogical. I admire our Saskatchewan province for sticking to their guns and not going along with it for all these years. 

There's more leaping ahead going on in the garden. Our cold spell lifted slightly and in response, all sorts of things are showing life. Rhubarb unfurls wrinkled leaves, cherry tree buds cluster tightly on branch ends, blueberries look like they might flower, and when I peeked under the cover of the lemon tree, I saw a few buds there, as well. Bring it on, I say!

On a recent walk along the water, a raucous crow had me turn my attention to the trees, and I caught the object of the crow caws, a Great Blue Heron, perched not too far above me. Branches were in the way of good photos, so I asked Tim to take a few shots from his taller vantage point. 

I think herons look like grumpy old men all hunched up, mad at the world, and not afra…

While I Wait for Spring

While I wait for spring, winter weather lingers long past its "best by" date. While I wait, I walk, bundled up against the wind and rain, and discover spring shades lurking behind bare bushes. Heather is blooming, and the shrubs themselves are bursting with colour, too impatient to wait for leaves.

While I wait for spring, I eat. Too much sometimes. I had a hankering for hardboiled eggs this week and then wondered what to do with them. I decided to slice them, top them with a drizzle of heavy cream, some grated Swiss cheese, and a sprinkling of parsley before heating them briefly in the oven. Quite yummy, they were.

While I wait for spring, I read. I'm going to do a book club unit in English 9 and ordered 6 each of a number of books. They arrived at school yesterday and I brought one of each set home with me. I finished Paper Hearts, a story of friendship born out of shared suffering in the death camps of the Holocaust; and am half way through All My Noble Dreams and Then …

Mosaic Monday: The Tower of London

While looking through my blog book (see the previous 2 posts), I realized that I hadn't shared a few sights from our trip last summer. So, let's pay a very quick visit to the Tower of London.

We walked along the opposite side of the Thames River for our first glimpse of this massive place. I could hardly believe I was there, in this place where so much history occurred. I've read history books and historical fiction since I was a child, and much of it was English. 

The building with the four towers in the photo is the White Tower, built in 1080 by William the Conqueror as a royal residence. Subsequent kings added to it. 

From the river, many prisoners entered the Tower via this entrance, now blocked up. What fear they must have felt going into this prison, knowing that the likelihood of their release was minimal, and highly dependent upon the whim of the current monarch. Among them two young queens - Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey (the Nine-day Queen). Anne Boleyn most l…

On Printing a Blog

A number of commentators expressed interest in how I had my blog printed into a book. Here's a fast rundown of how I did it. 

The company I used is Blog2Print. It's an American company, so the price was in US dollars. It crossed the border without incident. The blog book was pulled from the internet, with very little effort on my part. 

One minor hiccup occurred - About the time I thought my book should be arriving, I received an email from a kind woman, Jen, in the southern states who had received a copy of the book. She found my email address through the blog. Any of her attempts to contact the company to let them know were useless.

I contacted them, and they said to check the tracking number given, and that the book was on the way. I did, assuming that they had sent another book. No. They hadn't. So I contacted them again, and they printed another copy and sent it off. They also gave me a discount for all the hassle. 

For this first book, I went with the basics - medium siz…

Five on Friday: Little Things

"I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things...I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind." (Leo Buscaglia)

We had snow again this week. So unusual. But since it comes so seldom and stays for so short a time, we might as well enjoy it. I know that I did. My hyacinths were almost ready for the compost heap, but I posed them on the snow for a chilly blue and white photo.

I try to read every day. I don't count reading on line. I like to sink into a book and lose myself, for even a little bit of time. Reading is as good as taking a nap for refreshment. 

I've read all of P.D. James' detective novels (I think). She died over two years ago, but in 1999, she published a "fragment of autobiography"; a diary she kept for one year. I found it fascinating. What broad experiences she had - a BBC Governor, a member of the House of Lords, time with the National Health Service, and work with the police.

Some things are best written with pen…