Monday, November 27, 2006

A Storybook Christmas

On Saturday, after we decorated Butterfly's Christmas tree, we went downtown to see the Santa Clause Parade and we had a fabulous time there. The weather was mild enough to make the two hour stand on the downtown sidewalk most comfortable, but I would have preferred lots of snow and frosty temps. Oh well, I can always hope for those conditions next year. In spite of the lack of snow and warm temps, it was a festive wintry parade and really got us in the holiday mood.

The theme for the parade this year was "A Storybook Christmas", and all the floats followed the theme most creatively as you will see. It was a night parade, so a lot of my pictures turned out blurry, but I did manage to get a few almost clear shots to share with you.

We didn't have any big balloon floats or glitzy smitzy ones, but the cute factor was way off the charts on some of them I assure you.

My favourite was this one, "The Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens". Don't you just love the driver of the float too? She was all decked out in a pink pyjama type suit and added kitten ears to her hat. What a good sport.

This might have been the most glitzy float in the whole parade – a hummer covered in lights. I am not sure what the Story was behind this one, but it was bright and colourful and added a bit of glitz to the parade.

This was one of about five cartoon characters that marched in the two hour parade. Most of the floats were homemade like the Three Little Kittens one and really made us smile with their homemade charm.

One store did the Twelve Days of Christmas and had twelve cars, flat-bed wagons, trucks, and walking groups portraying the twelve days of Christmas. As you can imagine some of them were pretty funny. The Nine Ladies Dancing walked past us before I realize they were supposed to be dancing. The Ten Lords a Leaping were a hoot too. Ten guys sauntered by and when I yelled out, "Hey, you guys are supposed to be leaping", one lord started to leap while the rest of them just stood looking at him. The crowd cheered and laughed and he continued to leap down the street. What fun. It was too dark to get a picture of the leaping lord though. Drat!

This wagon went by with the number 11 on it and consisted of rows of big stuffed animals. I wracked my brain trying to figure out what the song lyric was. I couldn't for the life of me remember anything about eleven stuffed animals. Butterfly saved the day when she leaned over and whispered in my ear that it was Eleven Pipers Piping, and it was only then that I saw each stuffed animal was holding a pipe. Tooooo funny. I know the picture is really fuzzy, but can you see the white pipe the bear in blue is holding?

Yes the parade was unique and homemade, and an absolute delight. We love this small town we are living in. Nothing quite like it for enthusiasm and small town spirit.

After the parade we went back to Butterfly's house cold and hungry, and were pleased when the delicious aroma of dinner cooking in the oven greeted us when we walked in the door. MMMMM good, the perfect ending to a very festive and fun day.

Talk to you all later.

Tree Party

We had sunshine yesterday, but the rain is back today and looks like it might stick around all week. Drat! I would really much rather have snow. Yep, I want winter to be winter so I can dust off the old snowshoes and give them a good workout. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. I'm ready.

In spite of the lack of snow, we really got into the Christmas mood on Saturday. Butterfly held the annual tree decorating party at her house in the afternoon, and AC and I joined the party to add our artistic touch to the decorating of the Old Tannenbaum. I used to host this event, but gladly passed the torch to Butterfly when she got her own house. She is our Christmas baby and she loves the season like none other. She decorates her house from top to bottom and even has two trees; one in the living room on the main floor and another in the family room in the basement. We are in much smaller digs now, and seeing as we spend Christmas Eve and Day and any other family events at Butterfly's house it just makes sense to have the big trees over there.

I have a little pre-lit, pre-decorated tree that I can pull out of a box, set on a small table and plug in. Voila, in less than ten minutes, my tree is up and decorated and I only have to move one lamp to make room for it. I like that aspect of it. I do miss the big tree, but I can go over to Butterfly's and gaze on her tree whenever I want to.

We missed Bug and Puff at our party, but we sent them heart hugs across the miles and look forward to them being home soon to share the beauty of the season with us. Hurry home girls, it has been too long see we have heard from you and much too long since we have seen you.

This seems an appropraite decoration for Butterfly's tree.

Finished product. Pretty huh?

AC relaxin' beside the fire in the family room after his busy afternoon's work.

After we decorated the tree, we put dinner in the oven and then headed out the door to attend the Santa Clause Parade that evening. I will post a few pics of the parade later today.

Whether you have rain, snow or sunshine today I hope you walk in peace and enjoy your day.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thank goodness for Re-chargeable batteries.

AC and I put in another busy week, but managed to find time to visit the park to recharge our batteries. AC was still feeling the affects of a bug he picked up earlier in the week, but a visit to the park always helps one feel better, so after a couple of short errands we headed for our favourite spot. We were really surprised when this sight greeted us.

I thought all the geese had flown south by now, but maybe this warm weather is confusing them. It sure is confusing me. There isn't a speck of snow on the ground, the temps are hovering in the low double digits and it feels more like spring than late fall. We soaked in the sunshine and warm temps along with the geese and enjoyed the quiet of the late afternoon. It didn't last long though because soon a car pulled up with a bright alert Border Collie in the back seat. He patiently sat there, eyes all a-sparkle, while his owner finished a phone conversation. As soon as dog and owner emerged from the car with a Frisbee, the geese hightailed it into the water and headed for the other side of the river. The peace and quiet gave way to barking and running and high energy entertainment. We loved it. AC had his camera with him and had fun snapping pictures of the dog.

After a few minutes AC got out of the car to say hello to the owner and show him some pics he took of the dog leaping and flying to catch the Frisbee. As he stood there talking, the dog came up to AC and woofed at him to throw the Frisbee. AC was pleased as punch and gladly obliged the dog.

When the dog kept coming back to AC with the Frisbee, and ignored his owner I just had to grab the camera and take a few pictures of him and the dog. The three of us stood there talking and before we knew it, the dog was bringing the Frisbee to me too. What a hoot. AC has posted more pics here.

We stayed chatting with the owner, and throwing for the dog, until our feet got cold and we had to retreat to the car to warm up. Said owner and dog continued their game of catch as we drove off to our warm house for hot tea. Our batteries were re-charged, spirits were high and we were ready to settle into our warm little nest for the night to prepare for the busy weekend ahead. After dinner I iced some holiday sugar cookies and got things ready for our tree decorating party at Butterfly's house the next day while AC worked on pictures. We both felt energized and ready to move forward into our busy week to come.

When you start to feel your energy drain during this sometimes hectic time of year, find a few minutes to go outside and sit by the water or walk in the park. Plug in to the great energy source of the great outdoors and re-charge those batteries.

Friday, November 24, 2006

All Aboard...

Come on now, get in the spirit. Grab your travel mug and let's hop on the Holiday Train and go for a ride. The kettle just came to a boil and the tea's almost brewed, so join me on the Holiday Train for a relaxin' cup of Christmas Tea. We will need lots of quiet cups of tea to calm us as we travel through this busy season.

AC surprised me with this new template this morning. Nice huh? These are pictures of the Holiday Train that came through our little town last year. I posted pics here and AC writes about it here.

Ah yes, the season is almost in full swing. I love it. We got our outside lights up yesterday and Butterfly will hold the tree decorating party at her house on Saturday. Whoo, whoo, the train is leaving the station. Total fun.

Enjoy the ride of life today.

Chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Probably for Canadian Eyes/Ears only.

I was getting ready to go to the Optometrist yesterday morning to have my eyes checked and I thought I was having trouble with my ears when I heard something announced on the radio. It took me a second or two to process what I heard and figure out what the problem was. The announcer gave CBC's postal code as "Mangle 5 Words, 1'll Enunciate 6"!!! What is the world coming too? Everyone knows that the postal code is "Make 5 Wieners, 1"ll Eat 6"! Arthur Black told us this was so didn't he? Oh the world, or at least the CBC, it is a changin'.

We are CBC radio fans at our house and always have been. What a national treasure it is. I wouldn't care if we lost CBC TV, but would really feel sad if we had to go without CBC radio. It is truly Canadian and ties us together from coast to coast to coast. So many times AC and I have listened to something, only to shake our heads and turn to each other in fits of laughter and say "Only on the CBC!" We have our radio dial set to it in the car, in the kitchen, in the bedroom and with a little effort, we can even tune in up at Riverwood. Yes, we search for it on the radio dial wherever we go.

I must say it was disappointing when The Royal Canadian Air Farce and Double Exposure moved from the radio to TV. Both programs lost something when that happened. It was so much better when we could just listen to the humour and let our imaginations do the rest, rather than have the cast do some phoney sight gags. It was never as good on TV as when it played only in my mind's eye.

Other sweet memories are those of Alan Maitland reading The Shepherd on Christmas Eve; Stuart McLean regaling us with Dave's antics cooking the Christmas turkey or his visit to Polly Anderson's Christmas party; Barbara Frumm's classic interviews on As It Happens, such as the one with the nearly deaf man who kept saying "Ay? What did you say?" no matter how loudly she spoke. Each question got louder and louder but he still couldn't hear her. She kept repeating herself and ended up laughing uncontrollably while we laughed right along with her. I also remember the interview Barbara did with the lady who couldn't stop sneezing. The poor woman sneezed throughout the entire interview, and when Barbara asked her what she found to be the most difficult thing to deal with when you couldn't stop sneezing. In a very dignified British accent the lady answered after much thought "Well, achoo it makes it almost impossible achoo to go to the achoo theatre!" It was just too funny.

Oh, and I can't talk about the CBC without mentioning Peter Gzowski and his Morningside program. What a window on Canada that was. His program introduced me to Canadian writers, musicians and everyday heroes from all across the country. He made me laugh and cry and feel very proud to be Canadian. I remember standing in the kitchen with tears streaming down my face when I heard Shirley Eikhard sing Emily Remembers, a song about loving someone with Alzheimer's. Another day while I was driving the car I had to pull over because I was laughing so hard I couldn't drive. It was the day Peter and Stuart got into a laughing fit over the dead cricket!!! Do you remember that one? Oh my, it makes me laugh still.

Well, I guess that is enough of a walk down memory lane for tonight. Let me just end by asking you this question - Do you know how far you are from Redding?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Coffee with Raindrops

We had days and days of rain last week and by Friday AC and I were both feeling rather damp and dreary in spirit from all the wet weather. I just knew it was time for a trip to the park even if we had to sit in the car and sip our coffee while the rain pelted down. So after lunch we set off to do some errands and then make a stop at Tim's to pick up coffee and take it to the river's edge.

The above is a picture AC took out the car window just after we arrived. I thought it was the perfect picture for a "Coffee with Raindrops" blog. Below is a picture he took about half an hour later. The sun broke through the clouds, lit up the world around us and filled our hearts with hope and joy. I was so glad we were outside to catch this marvellous yet fleeting gift from Mother Nature.

The rain stopped, the sun shone (albeit for only a few minutes) entertainment arrived and all the while we sipped cafe mocha's as we also drank deeply on the beauty of this day.

AC has posted pictures of our visit on his blog here. We were thoroughly entertained by the raindrops, the sun and then the border collie. What a great way to end our busy busy week.

Rain or shine, I always enjoy coffee with Raindrops.

Busy Week and Balance

Wow what a week this has been. I managed to get my morning pages written each day, but other than that, this was a lost week for writing. I did find time to read some blogs but didn't stop to comment much or squeeze in time to write my own. Sigh! Just plain ran out of time I did. Someone would think that Christmas is just around the corner!

AC and I spent the whole day in the big city on Monday, Christmas shopping. It was fun and we got a lot done, but we were knackered when we got home. Because Monday was spent gadding about in the big city, Tuesday was eaten up with housework and other tasks that are usually done on Monday. We also had to take a chunk of the afternoon on Tuesday to practise some new line dances to get ready for class that night. We are having so much fun kicking up our heals at that class. It is great exercise but the music and dancing just make it seem like fun instead of work.

Wednesday I was up to my ears in Advent Calendars. I make them for Butterfly and Bug each year and they require a fair bit of work. You can see a sample of last year's starting here. It took me all day to put this year's together, so the laptop gathered dust for another day.

I was going to make a big pot of coffee on Thursday morning and sip it luxuriously while I caught up on blogs, email and writing. Those plans went out the window on Wednesday night though. We were out for an evening of fun with the neighbours – AC wrote about it here – and my neighbour, Ivy, and I were chatting about AC's violin lessons and how one day he would be joining the circle to jam with the rest of the musicians. I mentioned that I would like to learn how to play the Bodhran and maybe join the circle too. She looked at me and asked me what I was doing the next day. I told her I would be home waiting for the furnace repairman and puttering around the house doing this and that. She said she had a Bodhran and an instruction CD that she would loan me just for the day if I wanted to give it a whirl. I did, and she did, so Thursday was spent playing. I loved it. The technique is a lot harder than it looks, but I think with a lot of practise I might be able to pick it up and join the jam circle some day. What fun! I reluctantly took the Bodhran back to her house at supper time on Thursday and thanked her for letting me get my hands on it. I made a copy of the training CD and thought I could at least listen to it and practise the rhythms using a pencil and a piece of cardboard or something like that even if I didn't have the Bodhran and stick. That night when AC went down to the basement to practise the fiddle, I headed up to the bedroom to drum. I used an Atlas and a magic marker that was about the size of the Bodhran stick and I had a blast. I was hooked for sure.

Friday morning I went out for coffee with the girls and I told Ivy that I had made a copy of her CD, and was practising on an Atlas with a magic marker. She thought that was a hoot. The Atlas didn't exactly have the same tone as the Bodhran, ha, ha, but I was learning the stick rhythms and maybe by the time I got my hands on a real Bodhran again I would know what I was doing.

I came home at lunch time and found AC busy working in the den. We talked for a bit and then I headed into the bedroom to change my clothes before heading down to the kitchen to rustle up some lunch. What a surprise greeted me there. A Bodhran of my very own was perched on the corner of the bed. A Christmas card on top said “Why play with a pen and an atlas when you can have the real thing? Merry Christmas” I could hardly believe my eyes. AC and Butterfly had gone Christmas shopping in the big city a couple of weeks ago and had purchased this for me. AC couldn’t stand the fact that it was in a closet at Butterfly’s house waiting for me, and here I was playing with a pen and atlas. So, while I was out for coffee with friends, he retrieved it and gave me an early Christmas gift. What fun!

Yesterday Butterfly and I set off early in the morning to run a few errands, and then head back to her house to wallpaper the nursery. The Boy spent the afternoon putting up the outside lights, AC and I wallpapered the nursery and Butterfly puttered around the house keeping busy with this and that. It was an enjoyable day and we got lots done, but nothing on the laptop - again.

So, here I am on a lazy Sunday morning and I am bound and determined to write something, even if it is just an account of my busy week. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and life is picking up speed. I hope to find more of a balance this week though and post a few more blogs.

Ah balance is the key isn’t it? Hope we can all find it and keep it during this busy, busy season to come.

Talk to you all later.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Granny's Meme

Maya's Granny tagged me with this Movie meme, so let's see what I can do with it on this lazy Sunday Morning.

1. Popcorn or candy?
Popcorn, popcorn, popcorn, without a doubt. I can have a big dinner, feel fuller than full but still devour a bag of popcorn at the movies. We have a rather delightful little movie theatre in our small town that AC and I enjoy going to. It is in the basement of an old church and has a quaint air about it. AC wrote about it here. The popcorn there is the best, the absolute very best. I was amazed when I ordered my first bag of popcorn and asked for butter on it. The man behind the counter grabbed a glass coffee pot full of melted butter and poured a more than generous amount of the liquid gold over my popcorn. Wow, no modern contraptions that gives you a little squirt of butter here and there! Real butter, melted in a coffee pot, kept warm on the heating element, then poured liberally over my popcorn. Oh so yummy.

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.
Schindler's List! I have a hard time watching movies about the holocaust. They hurt my heart and haunt my dreams for a long time after I have seen them so I stay away from them. I had to leave the room during Sophie's Choice and have never finished it. I just couldn't watch it. So many people tell me that I must see Schindler's List though, so I plan on renting it sometime in the future, but each time I pick it up I end up putting it back on the shelf.

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?
Denzel Washington would lose his for TRAINING DAY, and Russell Crow would get it for BEAUTIFUL MIND.

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be?
The gown Audrey Hepburn wore to the grand ball in MY FAIR LADY.
I also remember the dress Carol Burnett wore with the curtain rod still in the shoulders and that would be a close second. Ha ha! The Carol Burnett Show was so funny wasn't it?

5. Your favorite film franchise is...
The Lord of the Rings by far!

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them?
Oh darn, I just put my list together of the five people I would like to invite for dinner and then I saw it was "movie" people. Drat! I think my original list would be more fun.
Here is my movie list, but I will give you my original list too.

Movie list - Oprah, she has a great sense of humour and would be a hit at any dinner party I am sure; George Clooney because he just seems like a nice guy to be around and a natural conversationalist; Brenda Bletham and Helen Mirren because I admire their work and would love to meet them, and lastly Emma Thompson because I would love to ask her about her castle. Poor George would be outnumbered wouldn't he? I am sure he wouldn't mind though.

My regular list - My maternal grandmother because I have so many questions I would like to ask her now that I am going to be a grandma for the first time,(she would also want to help me with the cooking), Jon Stewart because I think he would make the evening very lively and fun, my sister Heather because she is such a great story teller, AC because he is my favourite person to do anything with, and last but not least, Lynn over at State Street because he is one of the first people I met out in blogdom and I would like to meet him in person. He sounds like such an interesting person. Actually I would like to invite a lot of friends from blogdom to dinner, but Lynn gets the nod this time.

I would serve fondue at either party because you do a lot more talking than eating when you serve fondue.

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theatre?
A ringing in their ears that only they can hear and which won't go away each time they need some peace and quiet.

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days.
I only know Mystique, so I would have to chose her.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?
I have to change to a TV program not a movie for this one. It was something I saw on Twilight Zone when I was a kid. A young girl was in bed and when she rolled over and touched the wall beside her bed she rolled right into another world. I stayed clear of the wall next to my bed after that, and to this day I don't like to touch the wall when I am sleeping. I am sure it has something to do with that show I watched those many years ago.

10. Your favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is?
I like Good science fiction/fantasy like The Lord of The Rings too, but what I usually hanker for is a devilishly intriguing British mystery.

11. You are given the power to green-light movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?
I would outlaw car chases of any kind!!
I would insist that the actors playing an intelligent roll wouldn't insult my intelligence by doing stupid things that a person with half a brain wouldn't even think of doing. That is so annoying!
I would also insist that the casting departments use people that look like everyday people – warts and all.

12. Bonnie or Clyde?
I saw the movie but it was a long time ago and don't remember much about it. I guess it didn't make a very great impression on me.

13: Who are you tagging to answer this survey:
Anyone who has the time or inclination to have some fun with it.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I am sure you heard my big sigh of relief today when I checked blogs and discovered that the girls had posted. Oh joy, joy, joy! I can breathe a bit deeper now and feel a whole lot better since they have checked in. Less than a month to go and they will at least be on this side of the planet and in phone contact again. Counting the days I am.

It is a very funny blog if you want a chuckle, go check it out here.

Enjoy your weekend, I sure will.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Roots and Wings

"Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is and wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them." Jonas Salk

This quote came to mind the other day when I was reading The A-Team Adventure blog. Oh sure I thought to myself, that quote sounds great, but when our kids start to preen their feathers and spread their wings it is a scary thing. Do they really have to fly so far away when they decide to ruffle their feathers and leave the nest? Why the deep dark jungles of Malaysia for goodness sake or the chaotic streets of Phnom Penh? Whoever would have thought they would fly there, with lizards and bugs as big as your hand for companions, soup in bags for their main meal, three foot rats for night visitors, sizzling snake bits in baggies for dessert and bed bugs dropping by to munch on them for a middle of the night snack?

The last we heard, the girls were in Vietnam and were heading from Saigon to Hanoi. It has been over a week since they have contacted us and I am starting to get a bit anxious. Heaven help me survive this trip! Come on girls, it's time to spread those wings and fly back home.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Feeling on top of the world, now that "it's" at the bottom of the pile…

We enjoyed a beautiful spring like day yesterday so we took advantage of this most delightful and unexpected gift, and went out to play in the sunshine. What fun to luxuriously soak in the warm sunny rays being sent our way by Old Man Sol. It was grand and glorious indeed.

This morning though, we were greeted with rain clouds and sprinkles. Ah, the variety only makes life more interesting because each day has its own distinct beauty. One means more walking, the other more writing. Each makes the other more enjoyable.

Speaking of variety and beauty, I want to thank you all for your comments on my struggle with One Hundred Years of Solitude. Should I try to read it again, or just give it up as a lost cause? Hmmmm?

After AC read my blog yesterday he came into my room and said "You're not really going to try to read that book again are you?"

"Well, I was thinking of it" I replied meekly.

AC shook his head and went on his way. I am sure he was thinking "crazy woman", but he didn't say anything.

I haven't touched the book since getting home from my book club meeting, but it is still sitting on the table here beside my favourite chair. Said table is piled high with other books calling my name, and I just got a message from the library informing me that two other books I asked them to track down for me are in and awaiting pick-up. So many books, so little time!

Here beside me I have - Deafening by Francis Itani; Wake up Laughing by Pat Schneider; A Short History of Indians in Canada by Thomas King; Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach; Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee; Walking in this World by Julia Cameron; and The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Novel, short stories, biography, poetry, travel journal and creativity workbook – I am itching to read them all

So, I am going to scratch that most delicious itch instead of picking away at the annoying one called One Hundred Years of Solitude. Marquez's book is being moved to the bottom of the pile right now! Maybe if I give it a few hundred days (or months) of solitude I might want to touch it again, but somehow I don't think so.

Ahhhh, I feel better already.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Book Club Update

If you haven't already done so, you can read my initial reaction to the book here.

So, I went to my book club meeting the other night not knowing what expect, but was anxious to hear what the other members had to say about One Hundred Years of Solitude. I was disappointed to see that sickness or busy schedules had done a number on our attendance and there were only three other ladies present. Drat! Oh well, at least I would get some input and hopefully the discussion would be lively. Hmmm? Would they rave about the emperor's new outfit or be like me and scratch their heads as they adjusted their glasses to try to see more clearly.

I was totally surprised to learn that they all liked the book. Yikes! They agreed with Lynn and said it had to be read like poetry and I had to listen for the music of it. They were totally confused with the names of the characters and couldn't follow time lines either, but said that didn't matter. They didn't try to figure it out or make sense of it, just read it quickly and let it sink in later. One girl said it was like waking from a dream when she put the book down. She knew it had meaning, but couldn't quite grasp what it was, like a dream just beyond her recollection.

So, I am going to try to read it again, with a different mindset this time and listen for the music of it. Who knew that I wouldn't need to adjust my glasses, only my hearing aids to read this book.

Wish me luck. I will let you know if I hear anything.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Live in the Sunrise

He who binds to himself a joy,
Doth its winged life destroy,
But he who kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

-- William Blake --

My sister sent me this quote this morning and I plan on following its advice today. You might want to join me, so freshen up your lipstick or lipbalm and kiss the joy as it flies. Let's live in eternity's sunrise.

Are you ready now lips? Smack, smack, smack!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bending and Bouncing

When my spirit is rumpled, it always helps to pay a visit to old Mother Nature and let her work her magic on my ruffled soul. There is nothing like a walk in her world to calm me down and help me find my centre again.

Sitting by the water soothes me and washes my spirit with peace.

Walking along wooded paths quiets me and opens my heart to hear life lessons.

The trees are wise teachers and I learn from them how to stand. They don't worry or fret, they just stand. Rain or shine, heat or cold, they stand. They put their roots down deep and they stand. I walked among them yesterday and drew courage and strength from them.

We were still feeling rather ragged around the edges emotionally, so when we were given the gift of sunshine yesterday, we dusted off our hiking boots and hit the wooded trails at the Mill of Kintail.

AC headed off the path into this field of milkweed to check out the building just past the trees. I stayed put to give him a reference point to find the path again. When we encounter overgrown, rough areas in our lives, we all need someone to help us find our way back to the path again don't we? We take turns doing this for each other.

We came home revived in body and soul, feeling like we had been given a dose of tonic. Good old Mother Nature. She will work her magic if we will go out and walk with her a while.

Last week during the wind storm that swept through our area I had a front row seat in Mother Nature's classroom of life as I watched the maple trees in our back yard follow her advice on how to get through a storm. They were taking quite a beating, but when the wind gusts reached their peak, the trees bent when they needed to and snapped right back when given half a chance. What a life lesson - put your roots down deep in who you are and when the storms of life hit, bend when you need to but bounce right back when given the chance.

AC and I were bent low on Tuesday, but yesterday we snapped back and enjoyed standing tall in the sunshine. If a storm seems rather relentless in your life these days, bend and bounce, bend and bounce, bend and bounce.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sunshine and Shadow

As AC already mentioned, we had a rough day yesterday and wandered around like lost souls trying to process upsetting news. We can't go into details because it is not our story to tell, but let me just say that by dinner time we got word that things weren't as bad as we initially thought they could be, and once we heard that we felt some relief. Just in case your imagination is running wild, The A-Team is fine. This news didn't concern them at all.

On the weekend, I prepared my costume, got a huge bowl of candy ready and decorated the front porch for Halloween, but I sure didn't feel much like participating in the event after my horrible day yesterday. AC rallied a bit in the afternoon and made a delicious pot of soup for dinner and when we got the encouraging email informing us that the news wasn't as bad as first thought, we were able to enjoy our dinner and prepare for the ghosts and goblins to visit. AC didn't feel up to greeting the little munchkins, so I donned my costume, lit all the candles in the porch, made myself a huge mug of hot chocolate laced with Bailey's and took up my post at the front doot. I sipped my hot chocolate to keep me warm, and I indulged in a few chocolate covered peanuts and raisins while I sat at my post. MMMM, such a nice yummy payment for doing my duty and guarding the basket of treats. AC visited me from time to time, munched a few treats and then went back to work in the den. A nice evening was enjoyed by both of us after such a miserable day.

The costumes were marvellous and each little goblin was very polite and thanked me for their treat or wished me a Happy Halloween. My spirits were lifted and I felt better after interacting with all these cute little characters last night. Between 5:30 and 7:30 I had 250 kids come to my door. Yikes! They ranged in age from little ones held in mom's arms to groups of very tall gangly teenagers. Old and young alike had great costumes and all were a delight to see. My neighbour said he thought they were bussing kids into our neighbour from Ottawa! Tee Hee! He hadn't seen a Halloween quite this busy here before. We don't have that many kids in our neighbourhood that is for sure, and we had a steady stream of cars and vans going up and down our street dropping off kids last night. Maybe there were coming in from Ottawa! At any rate I enjoyed each visit and happily handed out treats.

Doors were locked and candles extinguished around 8pm and all was quiet for the rest of the evening. I toddled off to bed early and slept peacefully until the sunshine woke me up this morning. Oh joy, a day of sunshine after our day of shadow. We celebrated the warm gift sent our way and spent the afternoon hiking the nature trails at a local conservation area. It was just what our spirits needed after yesterday.

It is getting late now, so I will post this tonight and tell you more about our day – tomorrow.

Nite nite, don't let the bed bugs bite.