Friday, August 29, 2008

The Family

The girls come home today, so I should get my hands on lots of pics over the weekend, so I can post a ton next week. In the meantime let me share this one last one I have of the family with you.

We are heading to RW for the weekend. Talk to you all again on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Happy Couple

D2 and D3 under the chuppah. David ( the officiant) is singing one of the seven blessings during the ceremony. Every part of the ceremony was full of meaning and most beautiful. The chuppah the girls are standing under consisted of two parts. The green cloth was made and decorated in Vancouver by their circle of friends there. On top of that was D3's dad's prayer shawl.

The Happy Couple on the way to the Playner Mill after the ceremony

Dancing the hora in the Playner Mill. What fun.
As the happy couple spun in the centre of the circle, friends and relatives danced in circles around them. Total, total, fun! After all that gaiety, the wedding party went off for official pictures and the guests stayed at the Playner Mill to relax, sip a cool drink, and munch on a delicious tidbit of food.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Smudge before the ceremony

The ceremony took place beside a beautiful Willow tree in Bridgesward, and Smudge loved playing in the leaves.
Then it was time for a hug from Auntie before her walk down the aisle...

...and a picture with Mommy and Daddy too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Smiles all around

Oh, found a shot taken before the ceremony. We were not allowed to see D3 at this point, so someone took this shot of Mom with D1 and D2.
It was the most beautiful and amazing day. Very hot, but not a speck of rain fell, and the bugs went somewhere else to play, so we weren't swatting at the pesky blighters at all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First of many

We are home and are now enjoying the after-glow of a most marvelous weekend. We took hundreds of great pictures, but left them all with the girls this week, so I only have a few shots on my camera that were taken after the last upload. I thought you would want to see them anyway, so here they are - the first of many.

This is Sunday morning in the Playner Mill. We all gathered to watch the happy couple open gifts before we set off for home.

One of Uncle Brian's photos of the farm brought squeals of delight from both girls.

What a funky toaster!

Chillin' with a cold beer, in Ben's cool chairs. Wish you guys could have been there Benmar and Sare. We REALLY missed you.

View from the Playner Mill window.

The morning after.

Smudge was one tired Pumpkin at the end of a very busy day, and enjoyed having a dance with Auntie before being trundled off to bed.

The Art Gallery of Northern Ontario.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Things are spinning faster than the speed of light around here these days as we head into the last week before the wedding. Laptops gather dust while AC and I race around chasing loose ends, then struggle to tie them down.

For all the Smudge fans in the group, here are a few pictures from her trip to Parliament Hill with mommy and daddy last week.

She is so sweet. When I get frazzled from all the running around, I just go to her for a hug and somehow that refreshes and revives me.

Stay tuned for pictures of our Girl's Night Out last weekend, and Wedding pictures to be taken this weekend. We hope to post lots and lots of them next week.

Talk to you all next week sometime.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Ent Encounters

"Hey Grandma, this is really cool."
Do you hear the sound the tree is making?
These leaves are amazing.
Here, do you want to feel one too?

Smudge Lesson for the Week - Don't stay on the sidelines of life. Get right into the middle of things, touch, feel, smell, listen - enjoy the whole experience.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Up close and personal with an Ent

On our walk to the park one day, Smudge was quite taken with the sound the wind was making in the trees. She squealed with delight when we walked under one large tree, just as the wind dashed through the branches and swished them around over our heads.
I found a smaller tree with branches close to the ground and wheeled her stroller right into the middle of the leaves.
Smudge thought that was grand, thank you very much.

I love going for walks with this little one. She listens to every little sound, finds great delight in many things that most of us pass right by without even noticing, and teaches me to stop and look at the beauty all around me.

What a little Zen Master she is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun with Skylar

Smudge likes Skylar, a neighbour's dog. I think it is because she is just Smudge size, comes to visit often and is very gentle with Smudge.

Skylar waits for a cookie at the gate while Smudge gets a head start down the ramp. Grandma caught Smudge at the end of the ramp and.. Smudge finds herself on the other side of the gate and Skylar has gone home.
"Come back Skylar. Let's play some more."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More fun with bridal veil

This is a very busy week with all the last minute loose ends needing to be grasped and tied down before the girls arrived from Vancouver for the wedding next weekend. Don't know how many blogs I will get too, but will try to post a picture or two for the Smudge fans that need their daily fix.

She quite liked playing in the bridal veil.
She thought it was funny when Grandma wore one too.
A thoughtful moment.

Monday, August 11, 2008


We had a surprise virtual Bridal Shower for the A Team yesterday. Smudge was our stand-in Bride here in Ontario while the girls celebrated in Vancouver.
As you can see from these pictures, Smudge was having a great time prancing around in the bridal veil.

Grandma got into the act with Smudge later in the day.
What fun we had. Hope you had fun in Vancouver too. We love you guys and miss you.

See you real soon. Hugs and love from all of us here in this corner of the country.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Sunny Spot

Smudge has her own little reading chair in a sunny spot right beside her bookshelf. By the look on her face, I do believe that she thinks it is pretty neat to have a chair that is just the right size for her. No climbing to get in and out of it is a real treat I am sure.

Smudge Lesson for the Week - Set up a comfy chair in a sunny spot, make sure a good book is close at hand, then plop yourself down and relax.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Calm Day

Yesterday Grandpa was away at one of his violin sessions so Smudge and Grandma enjoyed the day together. I must say it was much nicer than the last time - Poor Baby.

We walked to the park and I didn't once have to think about rising temps, swelling face, or spreading infection. Ahhhh, a much better day by far.

I had to plan my route carefully to avoid the dock area because Grandpa wasn't there to hold onto the Smudge, and be ready to jump in if Smudge toppled in. He is a strong swimmer. I am NOT! I wasn't going anywhere near the water's edge without Grandpa that was for sure! I don't mind watching a baby paddle around the beach, but the dock area has deeper water and makes me nervous, to say the least.

I didn't go near the dock end of the park and we had a very pleasant walk. Smudge was distracted by her dandelions, and held onto them tightly for the whole walk. I drank in the beauty of this most calm and peaceful day, and thanked the powers that be, once again, that we avoided that speeding car the other night.

Enjoy your day, I know I will.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Newest Game

This is the latest game. Playing under the "tent" with Grandpa.

They are having the most amazing conversation under there.

Smudge thinks this is the best game ever.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


In spite of hungry mosquitoes and rain, we donned hats, coats, long pants, and boots to go for a walk at the farm on the weekend. We braved the deep woods along the Old Logging Road, Maple Lane and Riverside Ramble, and the bugs swarmed. We had sprayed hats, coats and pants with bug spray, so I escaped with only one bite on my hand. Not bad for the number of biting blighters that clouded around us on the walk

Here Farmer Tuck and I are walking towards Bridge Sward. What a sweet relief to be out of the woods and leave most of the bugs behind. They didn't bother us too much out in the open.
When we walked over to the bank of the river this is what we saw. The high spring water had washed the old bridge out. The new bridge survived the high water just fine though. You can see it faintly in the background.
From our spot near the old bridge this is the view behind us. The beautiful old red barn.

Deep in the woods I was surprised to see these red leaves already. Yes, summer is zooming by, and autumn is just around the corner.

Monday, August 04, 2008

That magic place

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

I know I have posted this poem before, maybe even a couple of times, but it came to mind again today when I had to take myself to the place where the wood drake rests so I could gather to myself the peace of wild things.

My magic place indeed.

Still Shaking

Heaven on Earth at Riverwood

I don't quite know where to start, so maybe I will just send you over to AC's blog for some details first.

Oh my, I am not kidding when I say I am still shaking. I read AC's blog just now and got goose bumps all over again. It was such a close call, and it would have been head-on at 100k's per hour. We would NOT have come out of that alive, and if we had, we might have wished we hadn't.

I took my journal and my coffee out onto the front porch this morning and sat in the sunshine in stunned silence while my brain wheeled and spun around the events of last night. On this particular morning, the sunshine felt brighter, the coffee tasted richer, the bird-songs sounded sweeter; my quiet life blessed. I was so thankful to be sitting in my peaceful house without a scratch, bruise or broken bone. It could have been so different.

After our narrow miss, I sat in the car and shivered last night. I had hot coffee in my hand, for we had just stopped at Tim's five minutes before our encounter, and my hand shook as I tried to bring the cup to my lips. I think there was a coat-of-paint distance between us and the other car when we passed each other going in opposite directions at 100k's per hour. I could feel air blowing on me through the open door to the next world as we whizzed by the other car. It made the hairs on my arms stand on end.

The road we were on was dark, narrow, twisty, and hilly. We passed rock outcroppings, gullies, marshes, lakes, and guard rails in spots with no shoulder. The dark woods, full of deer and other animals that have been known to dart out in front of speeding cars late at night, were all around us. We were on the alert for all of these things, but speeding cars trying to pass a line of cars under such conditions was not an expected sight around one of the bends.

We avoided a major crash, we were OK, we would live to see another day, but as we sped on into the night, the terror of what might have happened wrapped its icy fingers around me, and I shook.

Sitting out on my sunny front porch with my coffee and my journal this morning I realized that if we had crashed last night and my life had ended, I was pleased with the way I spent what might have been my last day on earth. A day that started with a beautiful early morning drive in the country, and then was filled with family time, a walk in the woods at Riverwood, good food, laughter, hugs, and talk about wedding plans, was just about the best day that one could have.

Farmer Tuck and I walking along the Logging Road at Riverwood.

I also realized that I am doing what I want to with my life. What more rewarding task could I be doing than giving Smudge my tender care while Mommy and Daddy are at work? It is a rich and rewarding venture AC and I are on. I have started to paint again, and found a way to do it without pain. The ink is flowing on the journal pages, wedding plans are moving forward for Bug and Puff, and a new baby is on the way for Thesha and Theboy. Life is good. One of the first things on my "to do" list for today though is to give Smudge and family a big hug. Looking forward to giving Bug and Puff a big hug when I see them too.

We don't know what today will bring, or if we will have tomorrow, so I suggest you do the same and hug someone you love while you have the chance!

This favorite Mary Olive poem came to mind this morning, so I thought I would end this post with it.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver