Canada Day – Our National Holiday

Fireworks! Wear your red and white!

H0018807_crop-Canada_400It’s already 149 years since Confederation, when the British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick negotiated to form the Dominion of Canada. That fledgling nation of four provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario) formed the core for our modern country. The rest, as they say, is history– literally. Continue reading

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Garden Musings: On Changes

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Garden Musings: On Changes

Perennials I planted ‘round the bower
Have sprung up, green, and hasten on to flower,
While bulbs I placed in careful clumps last fall
Now bloom where squirrels rearranged them all!

Continue reading

Sonnet on Time

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They’ve come and gone again, these endless Ides*
That ebb and flow relentlessly as tides!
Thank God they’ve lapped again upon my shore,
Each crash of waves unlike the ones before. Continue reading

Why Try to Describe Nature?

I love walking around in nature– out in the open or in gardens– breathing fresh air. Well, I mean I love it when there are no mosquitoes, and when it’s not too hot, too humid, or too cold! Under those circumstances, I still love viewing beautiful scenery through a window or from behind a mosquito screen, or barring that, vicariously through poetry, prose, photography, or art.

The Solitary Tree. “Caspar David Friedrich – Der einsame Baum – Google Art Project” by Caspar David Friedrich – VgEo9JDzFjfGGg at Google Cultural Institute. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –

It would be easy to leave it at that, but then Continue reading

Ruminations on Past and Present

“Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been?” 
“I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.”
“Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, what did you there?”
“I frightened a little mouse under the chair!”
     – English nursery rhyme from the 16th century

Another month has passed too quickly, and I ask myself, “Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been?”  (Or more accurately, “What have you done in all this time?”)

Well, I’d say, “I’ve been to London to visit the Queen,” but only in a metaphorical sense! However, Continue reading

Laughter, Seriously

IMG_9678_Laughter_500I accomplished an archaeological dig through the stuff on my desk this week, and found this treasure: “Laughter is God’s hand on the shoulder of a troubled world.”

My sister had given me this little mini-plaque a long time ago. I had stuck it on the front of the wooden box that holds my scissors and hole punches, handy to look at anytime. No surprise, it’s always there; but suddenly, today, I SAW it! And, with my mind almost as clear as my desk, it got me thinking. Continue reading

After R comes W: What Came Out of the Woodwork!

Another one-room log schoolhouse, dated 1865, now at Calagobie Pioneer Museum, Ontario. My own school, originally built in 1845, would have looked like this back then, but was destroyed by fire in 1854. Its successor was replaced in 1885 with a yellow-brick building that remained in use until about 1965.

Another one-room log schoolhouse, dated 1865, that we enjoyed “playing school” in with our grandson, at Calabogie Pioneer Museum, Ontario. (My school in Wellington County, originally built in 1845, probably looked like this too, back then, but was destroyed by fire in 1854. Its concrete successor was condemned, and replaced in 1885 with a yellow-brick building in use until 1965).

Country bumpkins? Humph!

In response to my previous post about “R” and my one-room country school, it turns out that friends from my progressive District High School in the big town also had attended these quaint elementary schools, not noteworthy to us teenagers then, except that they had just closed. No sugar-coating my early education here, in the stereotyped manner of “old folks”– You want just the facts? They’re confirmed here by reliable witnesses: Continue reading

It Started With an R – and Then There were Three!

It started one morning while I was waking up slowly, groggily. Ruminations about my blog rumbled around in my brain, (i.e. no writing recently, even though the left sidebar claims there’s “writing, picture-making, ruminating” going on here). Ruminating, mostly. Murmurs of R— ruminating, writing, ruminating, writing— kept rippling along my stream of (semi-) consciousness, until this sloshed in: Continue reading

Fault and Default

 

Thinking Hard - Yes, there's a story coming some time this year

Thinking Hard – Yes, there’s a story coming some time this year

Somehow, two months slithered through this blog’s word processor in total silence, and froze there. It’s Febrrruary, and our cold temperatures have reached record lows. Cozy in my house, I’m thawing out some frozen chunks of writing starts, perhaps coming soon to a blog near you…  There’s a little piece describing a sunny flight over snowy southern Ontario in a Cessna 150. Some illustration efforts. Another chunk with fragments of deep thoughts inspired, but more eloquently expressed by other writers, photographers, artists and musicians.

Well, after all that, surely through no fault of its own, my brain simply defaulted to its favourite mindset for “when the going gets tough”: sheer silliness! If you dare, you can read some in the attached pdf below. Continue reading

Making a List

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Decoration: Angel playing a stringed instrument

Dec. 2: “Making a list and checking it twice…”

… a list of things to do, that is.
Honestly, with snowflakes swirling through the frosty gray morning light, (and I snug inside, looking out, still in pyjamas, with a second cup of coffee), making a list is just my easy way to feel “productive” while I procrastinate. I already know what I need to do. Half a dozen things I should have finished last month. Plus all the things December traditionally brings. I should just focus on December. Mmm, this is good coffee… Continue reading

Red is for November

Tree of Life (Austrian cross-stitch folk-art)

Tree of Life (Austrian cross-stitch folk-art)

It has been one of those “roller-coaster” months for me, seeming a whole lifetime of profound events crammed into thirty days. It’s been a time of grieving, remembering, rejoicing, recoiling, rethinking, refreshing, repenting, reaffirming.
Here are some of my thoughts.

My November calendar has scarlet outlines, squares marking the life-blood throbbing and oozing through our decades–beginnings and transitions, overlapping marked time with eternity: Continue reading

About (Not) Writing – Blame the Month of May!

(Chaucer did, so why not I?)

Distractions! One of my favourite down-to-earth poets, Geoffrey Chaucer, put it most eloquently in the prologue to his book The Legend of Good Women:  after declaring his fervent devotion to reading books, from which nothing could waylay him, he confessed in lines 34-39 [non-rhyming modernization]:

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“…except, certainly, when the month of May
Has come, and I hear the birds sing,
And the flowers begin to bloom–
Farewell, my book, and my studiousness!”

Well, like many humans, I do enjoy writing, “except, certainly, when” I also succumb to Chaucer’s distractions.  But it’s not just the birds and flowers. It’s living life! Here in a nutshell, in chronological sequence, are our two main wonderful distractions of May 2014: Continue reading

Mindset – Reflections En Route is published!

Introducing Mindset – Reflections En Route  – a book of poetry with photographic images:

Book Cover

A personal path travelled: enjoying nature’s beauty in four seasons with reflections on life, treading through dark ravines of adversity (including my personal experience of breast cancer), finally coming to a place of profound Light. 

The positive mindset of hope, patience, and joy underlying all situations emanates from reliance on and thankfulness to God.

The variety of traditional structure, free form, haiku, and tanka poems together form a cohesive “story line” enriched by the skillful blend of images.

Dear friends, the winter was long, the publishing learning curve steep (pretty much straight up),  Continue reading