Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cows, Deer and Signs of the Time

We faced the cold weather on Friday and took the bikes out for a spin. Oh joy! The rain had stopped and that was all we needed. Long-johns and woollies were layered on the old bodies and off we went. It was a bit nippy on the fingers and nose, but under all the layers I was toasty warm and enjoyed the ride immensely.

AC's back is getting better with each passing day, so we decided to go a bit further and explore some new territory while we added extra kilometres to our ride. Full of energy we set off down a new, never been tried before, road. Big mistake! It was a gravel washboard and the bumping and jarring sent my neck into spasms. Ouch! We kept hoping that we would ride out of the ruts onto smoother road, but it just wasn't happening, so we decided to take pity on my poor neck and turn around. Ah sweet relief when we hit the smooth paved road again.

The unknown road was a big mistake, but we did encounter this amusing herd of cows on our excursion, and they made the bumpy and rather painful side-trip worthwhile.

We puffed and panted to the top of the first washboardy-gravel hill and all the noise we were making apparently startled the cows and sent them into a stampede. It was quite funny to see them running wildly along side of us as we pedalled along. We were no threat to them whatsoever but they didn't know that. They just knew that we were new and noisy and possibly dangerous, so off they galloped. Like humans, they thought it was best to run just in case, rather than stand around and wish they hadn't. Who said cows were dumb? Pretty smart if you ask me.

I stopped to get my camera out of my backpack to try to get a picture, but by the time I got it out and focused, the stampede was way out in front of us. What a hoot. Their antics added a bright touch to a painful patch in the road, and sure made us laugh.

Shortly after we turned around we were on familiar paths again, zipping happily along the smooth roads back to the bike trail that would follow the river home and wind through wooded areas as it did. We turned a corner along this wooded section and there right in front of us was a deer. Wow! So amazing and Beautiful! We stopped our bikes and I tried to quietly dig my camera out of my back pack. The deer raised her head and looked at us then slowly started to saunter away from us noisy creatures. Drat! By the time I got my camera out and focused she had moved into the brush, but turned to look back at me, and I got this picture. Isn't she pretty?

As we came to the end of the trail on the outskirts of town, we passed this business and I just had to take a picture. It speaks for itself.

If your world seems a bit upside down today I hope you find something to make you smile and put it right again.

If you happen to be on a rather bumpy painful patch of road right now, keep your eyes open for those bright touches along the way that help you hang on til you reach smooth familiar ground again. Just hang on, things will improve.

If you are running wildly away from something you fear, take time to turn back and get a clearer look at it. Maybe it isn't as bad as you think and there is nothing to fear after all.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Brain Drain

I was reading Heather's blog the other day and her first paragraph described perfectly what I am going through. She said...

I’m suffering from brain drain these days. My brain seems incapable of focusing on anything for longer than a few seconds. I’ve tried to write a few posts, but abandoned them when I couldn’t get anywhere. So here are a few random thoughts to fill up the spaces while I attempt to re-ignite my brain.

So, while I try to re-ignite my brain too, here are a few random thoughts.

New Pot Trauma
As you can probably tell from the lack of blogs these days, I am going through a bit of transplantation wilt in my "new pot". rrrriiiippppp will explain the pot I am talking about.

The cardboard is all gone, the soil is new, the pot is pretty and the windowsill in this corner of the country is wonderful, but I am feeling lost and uprooted and can't quite settle into any sort of routine. I sit down to write and have to fight the urge to jump up and work on some house project that still needs tending to. I pick up a book and find that I have to read the same paragraph over and over again because I am reading the words but my mind is elsewhere.

My pen and ink journal is getting a lot of use these days, but the laptop gathers dust. I need the feel of the pen in my hand and the sound of the nib scratching across the paper. There is magic in that combination and I sure need that magic right now. I am hoping that it will sooth my raw torn root ends so they can heal and start to take in the nutrients from this new soil. In the meantime I will continue to be patient with myself and give myself time to adjust to this new window sill.

I am happy to report, that we had the kids home for Thanksgiving and I found everything I needed to cook the turkey with all the trimming! That was a major step in the right direction even if I took a few steps in the wrong direction trying to find the turkey baster and other odds and ends that aren't used every day. It was great to have the family home and all sit around the dining room table to enjoy a meal together in our new house. The kitchen here is much smaller, but the dining room is bigger, so we all have lots of elbow room when we gather 'round the table.

We had Thanksgiving dinner here on Saturday, and then we drove to Riverwood for another dinner with my sister and her family on Sunday. The trees were all decked out in their most colourful dresses and paraded their glory on each hill and valley all along the route there. What a glorious drive we had. Once we got there we gathered 'round the old kitchen table and feasted on turkey dinner in the cozy country farmhouse, and then walked along leaf carpeted trails in the woods after dinner. It was fabulous.

Pretty in Pink
I stood in the kitchen yesterday morning waiting for the coffee to drip into the pot. Ahhh, anticipation. The fragrance was delicious and I could hardly wait to get my hands on a fresh hot mug of the brew. Nothing quite like that first cup on a cold autumn morning. I wandered from window to window to check out the day, while I waited for the last drop of coffee to drip into the pot. Finally it was ready and I grabbed my favorite mug and eagerly poured myself a steaming cup. The house was cold, so I wrapped my fingers tightly around the mug to capture all the heat, and with cup in hand I padded back over to the front window to drink in the view while I sipped my hot coffee. Bright pink Impatients surrounded the base of our tree on the front lawn, and they were a sight to behold. Each plant was bursting with colour and full of blooms. Oh so pretty in pink.

We had frost last night! I looked out the same window this morning and was shocked to see that every plant was dead. Not a speck of colour anywhere. What a difference a day makes. I am so glad I took the time to look out the window yesterday morning and enjoy the beauty offered while it was still here. There is a lesson here for all of us.

On the road again
AC's back has been feeling better so we decided to try a short bike ride yesterday. Oh glory, how fabulous to get back out on the road again. We only did 10k's, but it was a great ride. It is -2 out there this morning, but the sun is shining so we might get out on the bike paths again today.

.....I only got this far this morning when AC came upstairs to tell me the sun was shining, it was a cold but glorious day and he felt his back was up to another bike ride, so the laptop got pushed aside and out we went. We did 20k's along beautiful country roads and AC's old back is still ok. Yahoo.

Company's coming
It is now 8pm and AC is busy in the kitchen making Sweet Potato soup. We are having company for dinner tomorrow night, so he is getting a head start on the feast by making the soup tonight. AC makes the best sweet potato soup you ever tasted - roasted sweet potatoes, fresh ginger, cumin, cloves, orange zest and sour cream. Yum, yum, yum!

Date at the Theatre
Dale over at Musings and Meanderings makes live local theatre sound like so much fun we thought we just had to try it, so when we saw an add for a local little theatre production we ordered tickets and will go to see Sleuth put on by the Barn Door Theatre company tomorrow night. Sounds like fun huh?

ipod debate
I say keep the ipod AC.

Our Song
AC posted our song on his blog and I must tell you that it melts my heart each time I hear it. I remember vividly the first time I heard it. I was busy in my studio working away on something, and AC brought his walkman to me and asked me to listen to this song.

He said "Every time I hear this song I think of you and I wanted to share it with you." I stopped what I was doing and sat back with the earphones on and listened. It made me cry and still does. Love ya AC!!!

Well folks, I guess that's it for tonight. I hope you all have a great weekend. Walk in the sunshine, share a song with a loved one and take time to drink in the beauty all around you while it is there.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Scarlet Maple Tour

Don't you just love the sound of that? Not the Red Maple Tour, but the Scarlet Maple one. The words in the newspaper caught my eye right away, and I stopped to read more of the article...

"Come and enjoy the spectacular fall colours of the area highlands and walk through the 'Open Doors' of heritage churches, museums, studios and country businesses all along the route. Doors will be open and welcome signs out from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and Sunday October 1st and 2nd. Pick up your self guided tour map at …"

I was hooked. We drove to town and picked up the brochure last week and made plans to take the tour yesterday. The colour of the trees and a closer look at the area are what interested us the most, but the added treat of having all these doors open for us all along the route was an extra added bonus that sounded wonderful to me. Thirty places of interest were listed in the brochure and each looked worthy of a visit. We knew we couldn't get to all of them, but we would give it our best shot.

We set off under sunny skies yesterday morning and after a stop at Tim's to pick up our coffee, we were on our way. Winding back roads were the order of the day, and they took us to many a breathtaking spot. We only covered about half the route before we ran out of steam and headed for home around 5 pm, but what a delightful day we had.

Butterfly and I outside one on the old churches

Little wooden churches on hills just outside of many towns, huge stone churches seemingly in the middle of nowhere, unique gift shops, artist's studios, quaint restaurants and rolling hills full of colour, greeted us around each bend in the road yesterday. Over and over again during the day I was amazed at what a pretty area we had moved to. I felt like I was on vacation instead of just riding around near my own back yard. How neat.

An artist's studio set up in an old blacksmith's shop.

I have brochures for at least four Artist's Studio Tours set up for next weekend, but won't get to any of them because next weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday. We will have our family here on Saturday for our first turkey dinner with all the trimming, served in our new house. Should be interesting to see how we manage cooking a big dinner in a much smaller kitchen. The dining room is larger though, so that will be nice when it comes time to all gather 'round the table.

On Sunday, we will all head off to meet my sister and her family at Riverwood for a country Thanksgiving feast at the farm with them. Pots of coffee, turkey and stuffing, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream will all be consumed with glee, and we will also take a break now and then for walks in the woods during the day and talks over cups of tea late at night. Sounds like fun huh? It has been too long since my last visit to Riverwood, so I am really looking forward to next weekend. The colour up there should be at its peak so we will be treated to quite a show.

I can't tell you how nice it is to be getting back into the swing of things again and be out from under all that dull brown cardboard. There are all sorts of colours in the world around me right now, and I need to fill my senses with them for awhile. My "to do" list is still pretty long, but most things on it can wait, and while the sun is shining and the trees are blazing, I will make them do just that — wait.

AC's back is still bothering him so we haven't been out on the bikes much, but we are making up for that by doing other things and enjoying them immensely. Life is full of challenges and unexpected changes in plans sometimes, isn't it? The key to happiness when that happens is to roll with the changes and try to focus on the positive.

The bikes are gathering dust, but we are not, and that is a good thing. Don't let any dust settle on you today either. Go out and enjoy the sunshine. Walk in the park, crunch a few leaves under your feet, sit in your back yard or on your front steps and look at the beauty of the sky. Do something outdoors. Don't settle for a plain old red day, make it a Scarlet Maple day and enjoy.