Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The day after the day after

Yesterday, Boxing Day, skulked by in a fog. I thought I might write a blog, catch up on my reading of your blogs, answer a few email, and write some snail mail, but I took one step forward and two back all day, so eventually I gave up. I just couldn't get the cobwebs out of my head and make any progress at all, so I shut the laptop, put my "to do" list aside and picked up my new book of poetry, Thirst, by Mary Oliver. Ahh, it was just what the doctor ordered. I sat quietly and drank deeply there then listened to music for a while. Yes, that was what I needed to do.

Let me share one of Mary's poems with you.

When I am among the trees

When I am among the trees
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile,"
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.

Oh goodness I can't stop at just one, let me share another with you -

Mozart for Example

All the quick notes
Mozart didn't have time to use
before he entered the cloud-boat

are falling now from the beaks
of the finches
that have gathered from the joyous summer

into the hard winter
and, like Mozart, they speak of nothing
but light and delight,

though it is true, the heavy blades of the world
are still pounding underneath.
And this is what you can do too, maybe,

if you live simply and with a lyrical heart
in the cumbered neighbourhoods or even,
as Mozart sometimes managed to, in a palace,

offering tune after tune after tune,
making some hard-hearted prince
prudent and kind, just by being happy.

Ok, I'll stop there.

The cobwebs cleared a bit today and I made much better progress with my "to do" list, but at noon I put it aside and went out for a walk among the trees to find some light that I might shine; all the while listening for a few notes of the finches' song.

After our walk AC and I sorted through some pictures of our Second Christmas to post on our blogs. Let me share a few of those with you now. AC has also posted some on his blog be sure to stop by and have a look here.

Christmas 31
Butterfly prepared a Christmas Eve Buffet to munch on while we played Trivial Pursuit, after which we watched Dickens' A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim. Here I am helping prepare the buffet by icing the cream cheese with Apple Rum Chutney. Yum!

Christmas 26
We arrived back at Butterfly and the Boy's house about 10am on Christmas morning to nibble on toasted crumpets slathered in butter, and sip coffee while we opened the gifts Santa put in our Stockings during the night. Yes, he still visits our house and leaves goodies for us. What fun. Hmmmm, I wonder what Santa is trying to tell me with this gift?

Christmas 32
Butterfly and I spent lots of time in the kitchen on the weekend and had fun working there together. Work is always more fun when you take time for a hug

Christmas 23
and a kiss. Yes, The Boy and AC helped out in the kitchen too.

Christmas 30
Ahhh, the relaxin' side of Christmas. I love it. How neat to enjoy a hot cuppa whilst watching A Christmas Carol.

Christmas 27
Butterfly is in gales of laughter while The Boy tries to talk to Smudge.

Christmas 20
And finally a Merry Christmas picture of Mr and Mrs. C.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Early Christmas

Today is the day to cook the turkey, so AC and I were up early to prepare the stuffing and get the Old Bird ready for the oven. We make a really good team. AC sits at the kitchen table and chops bread, apples, onions, and celery while I bustle around gathering spices, broth, butter and other assorted things to add to the mixture. I stuff the bird, AC pops it in the oven and we both enjoy the aroma for the rest of the day. MMMMM good.

Christmas music is playing, turkey is cooking, and AC just went out to get our lunch so I have a few minutes to relax, say hello, and post a few pictures of the Early Christmas celebrations we enjoyed with Puff and Bug last weekend. AC has posted lots more pictures here.

Christmas 3
Bug and Puff wanted to try their hand at playing the fiddle and the bodhran. They actually did ok.

Don't you love the hair dos? They both had dreads (sp?) put in just before they left Thailand. Puff had very long dreads woven with blue threads on either side of her head and Bug had short dreads woven with yellow and red orange looking wool on top of her head.

Christmas 8
Daughters number one, two and three. See the fingers?

Christmas 13
Bug got a new Batman T-shirt for Christmas. Quite the high fashion pose huh?

Christmas 17
Butterfly is really pleased with a new blouse she got for her birthday.

Oh, AC is home with lunch. Must run. Will try to post more thoughts tomorrow.

Friday, December 22, 2006


The Lion and the Lamb

Whilst I was shopping with Butterfly last month this delightful duo caught my eye, and I fell in love with them. They made me smile just to look them, and portrayed peace so beautifully I was tempted to buy them for myself, but I was Christmas shopping for others, so dutifully put this cute pair back on the shelf. Sigh.

What a nice surprise it was to find them all wrapped up and waiting for me under the Christmas tree this past weekend. Thank you Butterfly!

I long for a time when enemies around the world will become friends and wars will end. Will there ever be a time when the lion will lie down with the lamb? I hope so.

I wish you all, dear blog friends, Peace during this holiday season and for the year to come.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sanity Stroll

The world continues to tilt and whirl at an ever increasing speed as the holiday draws closer, and some days it spins so fast I want to yell – STOP, let me off! I can't make the world stop, but I can choose to remove myself from the hustle and bustle for awhile and that is exactly what I did the other day.

AC and I bundled up, grabbed the camera and headed for our walking path near the river. I always find tranquillity there.
Early December Snow2
It was very cold, but we dressed for it and were snug and warm in spite of the blustery winds. Ahh, I could feel the peace and calm soaking into the core of my being as we walked in the quiet woods. The sweet sanity of nature washed over me and I returned from our walk refreshed and energized.

Early December Snow1
Above is a picture of the place along the path in the woods where the river overflows its banks when the water is high. Pretty isn't it?

If the pace of the season is threatening to throw you off your feet, grab Mother Nature's hand and go for a walk in her woods. It is amazing what she will do for you if you will let her.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Barley Shaker Concert

AC and I "donned our gay apparel" on Sunday night and headed for a most unique concert at the little Community Centre where the Celtic Jam's are held throughout the year. AC wrote a blog about the Jam's here. This concert featured The Barley Shakers group. Don't know where the name comes from, but they shook the rafters with their music and we had a blast. It was toe tapping hand clapping fun from beginning to end.

The main room of the Community Centre was all decked out with a huge decorated tree standing to one side of the stage at the front. A garland of white lights and greenery was draped across the ceiling and red and green garlands, bows and mittens were place on walls and window sills here and there. Very quaint indeed.

The Band was set up on stage and right at the front was a rocking chair draped with an afghan. When the show started a lady came out and sat in the rocker and knitted while the band played. She got up at certain intervals and lead us in singing a carol or two, and then she sang a solo or two and in between she sat front and centre in her rocking chair and knitted. While she was knitting she looked out at the audience and smiled and had a grand old time. It was....I am not sure how to describe it....let me just say it seemed to fit the evening perfectly.

Before the show started they sold 50/50 tickets to help raise money to keep the Community Centre open, so everyone bought tickets. One for $2 or $5 would get a roll of tickets as long as your arm. AC bought a roll of tickets as long as his arm and we won part of the pot. Four people won $20 each, and the rest of the pot went to the centre. They also had a draw for a door prize and AC and I won one of those too! Neat huh? We got a gift bag with two mugs, hot chocolate, and two boxes of chocolates in it. Wow!

The music was fabulous, the crowd warm and thoroughly into the show, the knitting lady very interesting, and the soloist...well, she tried hard. One lady in the band got up from time to time to step dance, and we clapped and cheered her on each time she did. What total delightful fun.

The evening was very Christmassy and made me all nostalgic for childhood Christmases past. I felt like I stepped back in time and it was a heart-warming memory filled step. Thank you Middleville for this most wonderful and unique Christmas Concert. I loved it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Holiday Train

I finished the gift wrapping this afternoon and have a few minutes to spare before I have to get ready to head out the door for our Line Dancing Christmas Pot Luck dinner tonight, so thought I would take advantage of this time to post a few pictures of the Holiday Train's visit this past weekend. It arrived in our little town on Saturday night and AC and I were there to greet it with toe tapping joy.

It was a cold cold night, but we bundled up and had toasty warm toes in spite of frosty cold noses.

Above is a shot taken through the crowd as the light of the train approached. I think the whole town was there.

Below you can see some of the lights on the cars as it got closer to us.

Again this year we lucked out and happened to be standing right in front of the stage car when the train stopped. When the stage car doors opened and the frosty air cleared there was Santa singing us a song. The crowd clapped and cheered and Santa rocked on in song.

AC and I both had our cameras at the ready and snapped pictures with abandon. Because of the low light not many of them turned out, but we both managed to get a few shots to share with you. Be sure to check out AC's blog for more pics.

We had fun singing and dancing along with the performers on the train, we met friends and neighbours there and wished them a Merry Christmas, and most importantly the local food bank got a generous donation to its coffers. It was a great evening.

After the train pulled out of town we headed home for hot cocoa laced with Bailey's. It sure hit the spot and warmed us up beautifully after we had been standing out in the cold for two hours. MMMM good!

Well, I must run now. Hope you had a sunny day of the heart and found something to bring a smile to your face.

Talk to you all later.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Don't know if you have seen Molly over on Maya's Granny's blog, but it is a perfect picture of how I am feeling these days. Yep, my hectic schedule is making it hard to keep my balance and stay on my feet at times. I am happy to report that I am still upright, but my writing has taken a nosedive. Sigh! There are just not enough hours in the day or energy in the tank to get everything done.

We have had days and days of rain, then an ice storm but today we are being treated to sunshine and I am rejoicing. Housework is just about done, last load of laundry is in the dryer, and as soon as we have lunch we will head out for a walk. Oh joy! I could stay home and write, but the sunshine is calling my name and I must answer. I just wanted to take a minute to let you know that I am still alive and sort of on my feet.

Must run now, but will talk to you again soon.