welcome to my blog. Sharing God's goodness with you in a wide and wonderful world.. so glad you are here.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

After A While Flowers Mean More Than Ever

                   Flowers; they've been on my mind lately.        

 Maybe it's because they are rather scarce this time of year.
Maybe it's because the weather has been crummy, not sure whether to be frigid or balmy.
Maybe it's because when daughter brought that pretty bouquet home from her boyfriend, she  took them to her room to enjoy.

Maybe it's because eventually you learn that life is too short  not to share it with someone and flowers like everything else are so much better shared.

The poem After A While  has  been a perennial, (pun intended) favorite of mine,( I posted it  HERE )
Recently I came across an absolutely ,beautiful  conclusion to this poem.
 May you enjoy these wonderful words...

After 'after a while'
You want to hold a hand not to chain a soul but
to enjoy its company,
and you want someone's lips to kiss,
not because you are lonely but because you are
happy, and you want to give presents
and you want to make promises.

After 'after a while'
You begin to accept your defeats like an adult,
but like a child, will want someone to listen
and care,
and you want someone who will build roads with
you today so maybe you can pave the way for your
future together.

After 'after a while'
You want someone's sunshine and warmth,
but also accept the rain and the cold,
and you want to give flowers picked from your
own garden.

And when your garden is picture perfect,
you want it to be more than a picture
even if it means having to be imperfect
because you want someone in it to stay and to
Then you'll see that there is
such a thing as love...
and that you were made to live in someone else's garden...
and you'll know that there is more to life than yourself.

You realize that no matter how tightly you hold,
if you're meant to let go, you can
And then you will understand that love
gives you reasons to understand
even the most complicated situations
And you will grow older believing that just
because you have convictions
doesn't mean you're always right

You will remember lips because of the smiles
that made your day,
the words that touched your soul, not only
because of the sweet kissesAnd as you graciously accept defeat and absorb
the meaning of lessons
You feel that you are finally being the person
you never thought you'd be

So, armed with courage, strength and confidence,
you will face the world
head on...
With or without an army behind you
Because you know your worth and that alone is an

    more than anything, I must always have flowers.
                       ( Claude Monet)

                   A gardener dreams in color, all winter long.....

Monday, 28 January 2013

Ideal Idiosyncracies

"Wow, listen to this,"I said to my husband, "world traveller since she was six months old, citizen of the world,  she has lived in 32 countries, married for only  2 short years...
or how about this one; suddenly at home at 34 years of age...devoted mother to Julie and late baby Islay," hmmm I murmur, "that is really sad."

I was seated beside my husband on the couch and was reading the obituaries. This is something I like to do when I read the paper.
 My husband does not understand this at all -and finds it quite a rather morbid fascination.
I on the other hand find it to be  an eye opening ,thought provoking and  quite simply profound observation.
 After all these are loved ones final assumptions of this person, and there is something about the tribute even if it's somebody I don't know, that can make me feel what is being conveyed.... whether that is shock, sorrow, tenderness, regret, remorse,pain,sadness, and also faith, hope and love.

A few carefully chosen words, sum up a life ,that now has come to an end.

It made me think about a poem that I found years ago...
A poignant reminder to  me how important it is that the people I love; know it  and I have cherished them while they were alive.
I hope you like it too, and it inspires you to love and appreciate and if necessary, mend fences quickly, as life does not carry a return policy.

                    DO IT NOW
If with pleasure you are viewing any work a man is doing,
If you like him or you love him, tell him now;
Don't withhold your approbation till the parson makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow;

No matter how you shout it he won't really care about it;
He won't know how many teardrops you have shed;
If you think some praise is due him now's the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead.

More than fame and more then money is the comment kind and sunny
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend.
For it gives to life a savor, and it makes you stronger, braver,
And it gives you heart and spirit to the end;

If he earns your praise - bestow it; if you like him let him know it;
Let the words of true encouragement be said;
Do not wait till life is over and he's underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead.

--B. Braley

sad tombstone in old cemetery - "and silently the tears run down her face and in the still of the night ..."


  Love one another deeply,from the heart.
                 I Peter 1 : 22

A Weekend's Offerings

It was a ,busy weekend here...but on Friday morning I enjoyed watching about 6 cardinals outside my window...looked so pretty with the snow.

did you know? 
Cardinals hold the standard for monogamy
among birds.Mates for life, they stay together year round,feeding and nesting up to four broods each season.
They are known for the harmony of their singing; one bird trilling a melody,which the other picks up and completes. (J L Turner)

Later I picked up my daughter. This is a good three to four hour trip all round, the roads were messy with snow so it took us at least that.
Always good to be home safely again.

Saturday was a blur of activity, but I managed a great ski out in the glorious sunshine. My oldest daughter and friend were on the ATV in our bush when they came across a herd of forty deer!!!!
Now where is a camera when you need it?

             I call this my retrospective view...
         I love skiing out to this spot and looking back. (that is our barn in the distance)
               I breathe the fresh air deeply  and simply thank God for life and His faithfulness,

Sunday; beautiful  frost decorated the trees outside our window, 
                  what a lovely scene to wake up to! 

When hubby came out to the barn later he found one of our ewes had  given birth to twins! Let's hope they survive....(raising sheep hasn't exactly been a breeze!)
                             here's a peek at them ( the photo is a little blurry but I thought this pose was so cute)

We did still make it to church...and later on we enjoyed skiing and then relaxing with friends.I love a rest from the usual race and routine on Sunday's, and relaxing with friends is a good way to do that!

cake anyone?

              I hope your weekend was sweet.
   Can you believe one month of 2013 is almost over?


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Winter Memoir


motivational quotes



The dusk had gathered like a curtain closing in the day. 
I realised my youngest was still outdoors somewhere in the clear,crisp edge of evening.
Thinking I should check on her I went to the door and called her name and asked  " Are you still out here somewhere?"
"Who me?" her voice echoing off the barn came back. "Yes,under the mulberry tree."
I closed the door and smiled. I couldn't call her in just yet, homework and piano practice would wait.

After all childhood is brief, and dreams must be dreamed when you're young, before they are buried by life, and it's constant demands,of purpose and duty and good, honest work.
I drift back to the innocent days of childhood.Oh how winter evenings would lure me out to experience their mesmerizing power. I remember the feeling of exhilaration as I coasted down the long hill in our field, and finally rolling off at the bottom I'd stare up at the star filled  heavens and wonder about life and meaning but not really caring too much... because my world felt  safe and happy here on this tiny piece of  earth.

There was a song waiting to be discovered deep inside of me....but for the moment it wasn't important because here on a snow covered hill staring up at a thousand twinkling stars, my life was significant and promising, and that was really all that mattered.
There was a delicious supper waiting for me inside,and siblings and parents who cared about me.

 Life was simple and unblemished as it should be.

                   And things looked ever so clear ...
            on a dark and frosty, starlit winter's night.

                   my younger sister and I.( I think I was  4)suddenly I feel very old:)

   Home is a starting place for dreams and love.

313-finally a decent cover of snow,314-reciting scripture we've memorised,315-skating together,316-floor shopping with hubby,317-fireplace fixed again,318-smoke alarm that woke daughter who woke us,319-baking,320-homemade soup,321-understanding sisters,322-patience beyond myself sometimes,323-trying to listen more,324-enjoying Love and Respect study together,325-prayer power,326-hugs ,327-hubby laughing insanely at Duck Dynasty,328-acceptance in the fact that we are very different,329-gratitude in that fact!330-winter clearance sales,331-Target and Starbucks coming soon,332-fruit that I canned in the summertime,333-seasons of life,334-health for so many of us,335-dreams,336-love in my heart ,337-tucking in kids at night,338-learning from my children,339-reading to them,340-antidote of that fresh winter air.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Gift Of A Bargain Movie

Sometimes sitting down as a family and watching a movie together can feel like a gift, and sometimes that movie can be the gift.
Recently we watched the movie THE ULTIMATE GIFT.
It is a profound and stirring movie.It has all of what I consider important elements of a great movie,
  wise wit and humor, cute actors,good music and beautiful scenery,( it does have a couple frightening scenes for young children,my two youngest chose not to watch these.) but most importantly it delivers something to take away with you, to hide in your heart and learn from....

My children are at the age where it can be increasingly difficult to find a movie we all enjoy, that is appropriate, and worth our time.
I don't believe  things just happen, so I know God's hand was in even such a simple thing as leading me into the store that I usually don't go in and searching through a bargain bin and finding this movie.

I just love when something as entertaining; but thought provoking, as a movie  can hit home and hopefully say things to my children that can influence their teenage perception of life and beyond.
That is certainly what I took from this movie,
and as my children grow and find themselves in a world driven and obsessed by greed and self... I hope that the seeds that have been planted in their hearts in various ways;  some by the mere power  of a movie they watched at home on a windy, Saturday evening , will somehow shape and mold them into being instruments of gratitude and  grace far beyond themselves.


"The school will teach children how to read, but the environment of the home must teach them WHAT to read. The school can teach them how to think, but the home must teach them WHAT to believe." ~ Charles A. Wells
                                                                      ( also true for movies I think.)

side note...' I  can't believe this movie has been out since 2006, and I don't think I have ever heard of it!!! - actually I can believe it..., movies aren't really something I stay on top of. :)
now I would like to read the book as it has been my experience that the books tend to be better, I have a hard time believing that in this case, but I will find out!

                Do you have a favorite movie?? and why?

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snippets Of Pretty

The remaining rays of the late, afternoon sun through a window.
Frozen stems of hollyhock are silhouetted to paint a striking view.

                                 I try to soak it in...

  while I ponder the power of words....too often I've spoken in haste,which is why I know this VERSE so well....

are better
held back....

    pretty; holding flowers and photos I treasure..

 pretty can be cracked and broken, more useful that way.....

         and pretty can reflect....so smile!

         pretty exudes warmth.....which is always in style.

                   pretty is,as pretty does ....( Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables)

    the array of pots rather amazed her at first,but John was so   fond of jelly, and the little jars would look so pretty
                     on the top shelf. Louisa May Alcott

       Since we cannot change reality,let us change the eyes 
                    which see reality.- Nikos Kazantzakis 


Monday, 14 January 2013

The Art Of Bread Making

I have always enjoyed baking. There is pure joy and satisfaction in mixing up simple ingredients and producing profound results.
No single ingredient is particularly wonderful all on it's own, but combined and baked together they can become a taste sensation!( Isn't this sort of like people? Many of us become better indviduals when others  bolster and encourage us to be all we can be!)

If perhaps you have never tried baking bread from scratch I thought I'd 'show ' you today...
in a large bowl, put;
4 cups water,(I use 2 cups boiling, and 2 cups cold)
 add 4 tblsp. oil (or shortening)
3 tblsp. sugar
3 tsp.salt
in a smaller bowl, put 4 to 6 cups of flour, and add 2 generous tablespoons yeast.( I use Fleishmanns instant yeast,this is the kind to mix with flour,not water)
Now add the flour and yeast mixture to water (which should still be warm)
Keep adding flour.(you may add wh. wheat flour here, ground flax or wheat germ etc.)The dough should be soft, not sticky, once you have enough flour.

 Dump out the dough onto a floured surface and knead.....
this is the fun part...:)
 a therapy of sorts...

I wonder if there would be
 world peace if everyone 
baked bread?

after all this...
place in bowl, cover and find a warm spot to let it rise.(i use my stove top if the oven is going)

           in an hour or two, it should look like this....

 here the dough goes back to the counter, and you cut four loves from it...

 place in greased pans and prick with fork...(to remove air bubbles)
(kids love this..)

here they are...
 tucked into their pans, ready to go back to the stove top to rise again!
(I cover them to keep warmth in,I use a plastic bag and then a tea towel)

                                      once the loaves have risen slightly higher than the pan , they are ready to bake.
Temperature really depends on your oven..350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 some minutes is a guideline.

now bake...oops no picture!
after you have removed them from the oven,butter the tops slightly and cool.

I've heard it said...if you're looking to sell your house. the smell of freshly baked bread will do it! 
(I wonder if it could also make them  want to keep it??)

          there you have it! Four delicious loaves, waiting to be sliced and 
                      enjoyed with butter, honey or cheese. 

In honor of my mother ( who taught me bread making) I want to include this verse.... I remember her reciting it on occasion.

                         Be gentle when you touch bread
                     Let it not lie uncared for--unwanted
                        So often bread is taken for granted
                     There is so much beauty in bread  
                       Beauty of sun and soil                 
                   beauty of honest toil.
                                Winds and rain have caressed it,
                   Christ often blessed it
                         Be gentle when you touch bread.

                                                                         (author unknown)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Treasure Hunting

One of my favourite 'pass times' in the winter is treasure hunting...

many stores are clearing out merchandise, getting ready for spring...
this makes it fun and easy for bargain shoppers such as myself, to find a sweet deal on just about anything.

Today ,I'll share a few of my sweet deals...

I happen to love white dishes, so I was happy to complement my collection with this one I found recently for all of one dollar!

perfect alone,

               or with a few shells....

or one hydrangea.

this lace skirt is one of my favourites...
it's off of a clearance rack for seven dollars.
I found the necklace yesterday for two dollars.
it has a pretty, iridescent look.

         this little bird reminds me spring
               is on its way....

   and to everything there is a season.
          Ecclesiastes 3:1

                     a lovely mug,with a favourite verse 
                                               was another clearance rack find.

I laughed with delight when I found this tin box a few weeks ago!
It fits perfectly into my bathroom, and I just love what it depicts with these adorable,little girls.They seem a bit perplexed and curious!
(brings back memories of my own cherubs at that age.....:)

        Well, happy treasure hunting...
                           but may your tangible treasures            never be bigger than the intangible.Lucy~

linked here...http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.ca/


Monday, 7 January 2013

My Word of the Year

The beginning is the half of every action...

Routine began anew this morning.
 And  I am the one who loves the hum of routine most days, except for this morning I was calling recant.
 I need another day I say and I pull the throw up around me, after I've made the lunches and breakfasts and combed hair, and prayed  with them and waved to the bus driver.
The world outside my window had been softly and  regally draped in a pure, white garment.
It was ever so still and quiet. Hushed was the word.
 I don't want to move...BE Still and KNOW that I am God.
Be still, still, still.Psalms 46:10

I am pondering my word or words for the year. I like the idea of having a word that resonates a theme for the coming 365 days. Last year I went with the small; but ever so mighty word YES.
The word that keeps  coming back to me as I consider this is RESPONSE. I talked about it here.(thank-you Amy)

Last years Yes,was a response.This year I'd like to "bear it in mind" a little further.
So many times I cannot change the outcome, but my response is entirely up to me. This was something I thought about while hubby and I watched the absurd movie Ground hog Day last week. While I certainly don't condone everything about this movie,it really impacted me how Bill Murray ultimately came to the conclusion, after nobody believed his strange tale of repeating the same day; that his own RESPONSE was the pivotal key to his own happiness.(Inspiration and observations come from the most unlikely things sometimes.)
The way I respond is up to me... ,whether someone arrives late or on time,
hold or relinquish,give or take....HOW I respond is what is important!
So much is a response,and has the power to change me! I have a feeling I may learn some frightening things about myself but I am ready for the challenge!

Even when I think I am NOT responding, that alone is a response.

 I have a couple more words that I'd like to integrate in 2013, that I will share with you another time.

       How about you, Do you choose a word for the year?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Of Clutter, Colds and Chaos

                                                                                                             these magnets tell it well..
Beyond the colds , clutter and chaos.                 
I sense a calm.
For my spirit knows nothing stays forever.
This is but a murmur on life's sea.
So when a fevered child lies restlessly waiting for life to resume to normal, I say quietly "what is normal?" 
There surely are different kinds of normal.

Today it was chaos that is the normal here in the holidays, with children ;plus a couple extra around . 
Deserted toast crusts lie on the carpet, left by child who has been on the couch with a fever and cold.
Grocery bags brought home from a quick jaunt to the store, line up by the counter ready to   find their place eventually.                                                       
"Mom we can't find the all the pieces for our game," call a couple girls as they set chairs up in rows to play airplane.(The game is for the passengers.") Can you come? They implore, "West Jet is now open!"
"Sure," I oblige," I've always wanted to fly!"
Imaginations soar as they welcome me aboard.

"Yes" please do come in,    I greet second daughter's friend here  to help with a school project. Soon  computers are set up  as girls laugh, and talk about what has been new in their lives over the last two weeks. Resuming homework seems like a vague proposition.

"Oh no" I realize I missed starting the drier when the time of use was at it's lowest for hydro,quickly I go to check and am pleasantly surprised to see it full of dry clothes. Thank-you, I murmur as I close the door to retrieve later.

Later in the afternoon we take a
two minute drive to our school and soon we're sliding down a hill on toboggans and sleds. Hysterical laughter erupts when the school bell rings loudly, right on cue, holidays or not!
Hot chocolate warms us up when we come home.

The Christmas tree here looking dejected and forlorn, such a contrast from short days ago,
when it twinkled and held mystery and intrigue.    

The Christmas cards and photos smile on, serving as reminders of what was and what can never be taken away from our hearts..... memories.....precious memories.

This is a wee snapshot of my day. I really should have gotten a few more pictures, but quite truthfully I wasn't really thinking about photo ops today! This evening as I sat down here, it came out like this. 

these shots were earlier in the week:
   some winter fun...

                                          four wheeling fun with GT.

a skate in the city...

                 finally here is our winter campfire we had on New Years Day.

  Hope your first week of 2013 was happy and healthy, if it wasn't
                 just remember it can always get better.....CHEERS!

linked tohttp://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.ca/