Sunday, November 12, 2017

HUNGRY?

Every time feed Lulu it is a high 5 celebration, or in Lulu's case, high 10. I open the cupboard and drop in some dry food and that's when Lu jumps up and gives me a two paw smack down.

High 5 (x2)! Let's eat! It's gone in about 15 seconds or less so I'm not sure she even tastes it. But we celebrate these moments.

Food...glorious food! 

This week was colonoscopy week for me. Now I won't go into all the details but part of the prep includes very little food. On Monday  I ate light, knowing what was ahead. After supper it was nothing but liquids (juice, broth, water) until Wednesday when it was nothing at all until after the procedure. So for nearly 2 days there was no food going in and LOTS going out. 

Let me tell you I was hungry. And dehydrated. And once I was given the green light, food tasted glorious!

My oatmeal was as Lulu would say a High 10.

Warm with raspberries and a bit of maple syrup...Please sir, can I have some more??

The family took me out for a belated birthday dinner on Friday and at Linguine's I had the Olio pasta.

Rich in garlic, olives, artichokes and mushrooms with penne pasta. 

Heaven!!

Proverbs 27:7 says "One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry, everything bitter is sweet." 

You can apply this to pretty much everything. Christmas is coming and we here in Canada have so much. Sometimes we take it all for granted: food, clothing, gadgets, peace and protection. Hunger for anything is something most of us are not familiar with.

So, if you need a reminder....just go on a fast for a couple days, whether that be food or your phone, car, whatever. 

I guarantee you will find everything seems sweet again. 



Sunday, November 5, 2017

I RAKED, I BAGGED, I MOWED, I'M DONE!

There are certain times in home ownership when you just have to hunker down and get'r done. 

Yard work...for example, particularly in spring and fall. For me, yesterday was one of those days.

I'm blessed with a beautiful back yard so I can't complain too much about having to spend the day out there.

Time to rake the leaves up!


It was chilly but I bundled up and doubled up on sweaters and mitts and got to work raking all these bits of gold up.

Lulu, though not much help in the raking, bagging and mowing department, is very helpful in the assessment and moral support department.

After making a number of piles here and there, the bagging commenced.

I found one last rosebud. She looked a little frostbitten but I snipped her off and brought her inside, hoping she would open up. 


Raking and bagging done, it was time to move on to mowing, hopefully for the last time this season. And here is the final product friends:

My husband helped take down the canopy on our gazebo and other than one last raking job and putting in the spring bulbs my work back here is done. 

A cup of tea and nap were in order to rejuvenate and I'm ready to move onto the next stage of home ownership....

For the next few months it will be me, a shovel and lots of time in the driveway!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

VIVA LA VIGNETTE!!

It's no secret I'm not much of a shopper, but I was out doing just that this week on a few days off and had to admire creative vignettes set up by local store owners. 

"A vignette is a short description, picture, or piece of acting which expresses very clearly and neatly the typical characteristics of the thing that it represents."
It is French in origin pertaining to "little vine", describing the little decorative vines across the bottom of a page, per se. Somehow that has morphed into a description of all sorts of little things. By that description, I guess I'm a walking Vignette!
Clever store owners display little vignettes to grab your tickle your senses. If you are into jewellery, here's one I found in Bloomfield:
Look at all those pretty baubles!
Same store, in the spirit of Halloween, was this spidery vignette, which makes me uncomfortable just looking at:
I can practically feel them crawling on my fingers!
In a store that specializes in Mexican goods was this vignette in honour of the "Day of the Dead", a mexican holiday to honour, remember and pray for friends and family who have passed away.
Might as well throw in a cottage sign, while you are remembering the good family times!
I like my own personal vignettes to include reminders. This one at work includes an old photo of myself and Sam aka Dogzilla, an Angel given to me by a friend after Sam passed away and a turtle, cause I have to remind myself to slow down.
I also like a bit of quirky humour thrown in, so Woody is there too, just hanging out. 
Here is one on the top of my piano. Brahams, Beethoven, Chopin and Bach all sternly assessing my bad piano skills. But Super Grover? Well he just likes to party and have sing-a-longs! 
"Come on fellas! Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety-nine bottles of beer!!"....look like a bunch of party poopers to me...
Next time you are out and about, check out those little vignettes set up and try to find the story being told. They may be enticing you to buy the pretty baubles or remind you of something or maybe they just want you to relax and not take life too seriously!








Sunday, October 22, 2017

THE WAITING GAME

This is Amelia (God love her, I sure did). She was the best dog I ever had and I waited a long time for her. 


As you can see from this pic, Ami was waiting....who knows for what, probably food or a walk, but clearly she's waiting...just like the rest of us.

Have you noticed that? You spend a lot of time waiting for something? Waiting for a change, for something to happen, for someone to show up, for that perfect job/partner/whatever?

I know I do. There are people who will tell you to stop waiting. If you want something go on out there and get it, make it happen! You can spend your whole life waiting!

But there is also a lot of sense in waiting too. If we rush into something without assessing the pros and cons, the results can be messy all round. Because, it's not just about you. You and your actions affect a lot of people and situations around you. You have that kind of power!

I read a C.S. Lewis quote today that said "I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait." 

Sometime we are kept waiting to teach us patience, sometimes it is because there are many other pieces to the puzzle that need to align to make a perfect picture. Sometimes....who knows??

But this I've seen in my life: there are those who wait with great frustration, always grumbling cause things are not the way they should be and there are those who wait with expectation and patience. The former are generally miserable their whole lives, the latter enjoy the ride. 

We all have to play the waiting game, at one time or another, whether you are a go-getter or a patient one. I hope you can enjoy the Waiting Game and all your dreams and wishes come true in perfect timing. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

IN SEARCH OF THE GREAT PUMPKIN



Do you remember Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch for the "Great Pumpkin" to arrive? Can you believe this was created in 1959?? Me neither. Linus firmly believed that the Great Pumpkin would rise out of the pumpkin patch and deliver toys all over the world to good girls and boys..

Well, Linus, I wasn't too keen on waiting all night in a pumpkin patch so I headed to the next best option - Pumpkinfest in Wellington!  If the Great Pumpkin is gonna be anywhere, it's there.


There were some mighty big pumpkins there and they take this business seriously. 


Trimming and a-cleaning are required before an official weigh-in to see who will be the "Great Pumpkin" winner. The biggest I saw weighed in over 1000 lbs.  That's a lotta pie. 

But don't worry, if anybody can utilize a good gourd, it's Wellington on Pumpkinfest. 


Pumpkin tarts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread..if it can be made out of pumpkin, it was there to be had. 

The day starts off with a parade (I missed the parade, dang it, I love parades) and then the whole town just gets into the spirit.


Almost every third person, big or small, young and old, were wearing these little pumpkin toques. Best...Hat...Ever.

So, like Linus, I'm now a firm believer. The great pumpkin is out there. He's either showing off his accolades picked up in the Wellington beauty contest on Saturday or yet to be discovered, somewhere in the most sincere pumpkin patch prepping for his Halloween flight. 

Now can someone please pass me the whipped cream?

Monday, October 9, 2017

RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS DON'T HAVE TO GET ME DOWN

It's Monday and we are at the end of our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. The weather was balmy and warm until this morning when, thanks to Hurricane Nat, we are getting a good drenching. 



"Hanging around, nothin' to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down" ☔️ 


That's what the Carpenters taught me way back in 1971. 

Well, it's Monday and definitely rainy but it don't have to get me down! For one thing, I have the day off work. Can't tell you how many times I've stared out the kitchen window at the office on a rainy day wishing I was home puttering and cooking. Today, my wish has come true!



It's a perfect soup making day. We went to the orchard on Saturday and I had a big bag of cortlands to contend with so I made a roasted squash and apple soup.




Garnished with goat cheese and candied pecans, this soup has a bit of zing thanks to the apple in it. It's thick and autumny-warm going down.



But I've got leftover turkey too so why not soup that up as well? 




Lots of big chunks of turkey with carrots and mushrooms to start. Sadly, I had no celery on hand so I made due with other left over vegetables from Thanksgiving.




This goodness is simmering on the stove and will be perfect for supper. 



Now it is almost 3:00 and what I call "3:00 syndrome" aka Need-a-nap time is setting in. And, since it's Monday and rainy and I'm lying here on the couch and not sitting at my desk, a nap is just the ticket. 



Rainy days and Mondays - they can have their perks. 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

Have you ever watched Gilmore Girls? Yes, ladies, I see those hands. One of the endearing things about the show is the quaint sense of community in the little picture perfect town they live in. Everybody knows everybody, and there is always some sort of festival going on. 

There is a lot of power in community! If I were to give you a definition (and I am) it would be "a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage." 

This past weekend I saw a lot of community power going on: We had Porchfest for one thing.


We Bellevillians could walk, ride or bike to different houses and check out live music. My friend Ted was jamming on the bass at this hot spot. Kids, dogs, people all enjoying the sense of community.

My work community is made up mostly of women, which means lots of mothering and good food. If you want to grow Community somewhere, start feeding people!


The Social Club board is highly focused around eating- chilli fest and potlucks but there is always fun to be had, like Halloween Bingo (for Sue, our longstanding employee cause she loves Bingo). 

In the office we have one area where plants are thriving. Someone stuck this sticky note on one of the plants:


Because we can have fun in Community and at work we need to have a good laugh every now and then. 

My Church community was also connecting in a big way this weekend with a Conference and special speakers.


When a community starts to form around common ideals and goals it births a culture where people begin to feel a part of something and connected.

Finally, last night we took part in a celebration of life for my brother in law, Wyatt, who passed away in early spring.


Friends and family gathered together for a barbecue to remember honour Wyatt's life. This community of family was there to support, encourage and strenghten.

If you find you and your TV are just not cutting it, get on out there and see what's going on in your Community. Check out events, head to church, gather your family and friends together. You will find a sense of connection and power is in the air. And, probably, some good food!