Sunday, February 27, 2011

Listography Sunday

Seems like a great day for making lists and my Listography Book has a place for me to list my favourite movies. Since it is Oscar Sunday that seems to me like a perfect fit. 

The following list changes as the viewing changes.  If you were to ask me a year from now you would see my list has changed some.  These are here in no particular order just what comes to mind.  What is it that makes a movie good or a good movie or both?  These work for me.

1.  Immortal Beloved   has a story that keeps you interested but the music is outstanding.

2.  Up   is a story of an adventure and having lived through some adventures in my life I feel very close to this one.

3.  Wit   is very well done by one of my favourite actors, Emma Thompson.

4.  Juno   tells the story of a teenager pregnant before her time and having been pregnant myself earlier rather than later I can relate story wise but the music and the graphics really keep me going back to this one.

5.  Slumdog Millionaire    This story means a lot to me because of the orphans.  These children remind me so much of some of our little ones that we have lived with.  The music and the dancing are wildly wonderful.

6.  Out of Africa   is a story I haven't watched in years but the sweeping musical score is lovely, Meryl Streep tells the story effectively and of course there are some Houseman poems in there that catch me every time.  After having seen the movie a number of times I bought Karen Blixen's book of the same name.  The written story is even better and makes the movie more meaningful. 

7.  Memoirs of a Geisha   is enjoyed for the fine cinematography and the cello music.  It helps to have read the book first. 

8.  Chicago   has the hottest musical score!  Probably this picture has the least redeeming value of all I have listed here but it is highly entertaining and indicative of the times it portrays.

9.  Casablanca   deals with the hard choices in war.  And the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman is no small thing either.

10. Mama Mia   I love mostly for the wonderful music.  It is sooo fun!  You cannot help but sing along and dance and love it.  And the costuming is great.

There are the first 10 that quickly came to mind but I notice there are none (or not many) of my favourite comedies or musicals or old black and white movies that I can watch over and over on this list.  Often my favourites are just that because of the lead actors.  Emma Thompson will get me back anytime, Vanessa Redgrave is stunning in Camelot and others I have seen, Anthony Hopkins has been entertaining in many movies, Hugh Jackman has a nice way about him and many, many others are good to watch.

Recently we have been enjoying documentaries around here so Michael Palin is high on our lists right now.  We have even signed up for his newsletters.  He is now President of the Royal Geographic Society.  Who would have thought watching him in his Python days that he would be doing this. 

So on a rainy, Oscar Sunday you have my list.  I am sure if you asked me another day I would give you other names.  There are days when they would all be very noble stories and other days they would all be love stories or musicals.  I seem to have a varied preference in what I watch though I am somewhat fussy about content.  You caught me on a rather light hearted day, hence the list.

Tell me, what is your favourite movie and why?  What influences you in your choices? 

Friday, February 25, 2011

End of the Week Thankfulness

Here we are, wending our way home via Galiano Island.  Now, for those of you who haven't traversed these waters much, we have to go past our island to reach Galiano and then come back to Mayne.  They cannot hear us softly yelling, that is our island, just stop and let us off.  No, they chug on by and so the trip home tonight is long.

But I am thankful for the ferries that ferry us back and forth, to and fro on the face of our part of the earth. 

I am so thankful that it is Friday night.  Yes, I know, I don't have schedules and clients and appointments that drive me through the week but still I long for Friday night.  Friday night means peace and quiet in my soul if no where else.  Friday night means I can stop still and know that others stop still and wait for grace. 

Tonight I am very thankful for the yummy food that we enjoyed for our dinner out in town at The Black Olive.  They have a good cook, lovely ambience and tonight we enjoyed a sweet little Irish lass as our waiter.  She was very pleasant, has only been in Victoria for 3 weeks but is finding it somewhat more hospitable (weather-wise) than Calgary where she landed 5 months ago. 

Anyway, I was saying I am so thankful for the food.  My appetizer was brie cheese melted in a phyllo pastry roll on a bed of greens with blueberries.  It was so delightful I should have ordered 3 of them and called it dinner.  But no, I had a lamb shank with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.  And to top it all off, I ended with a decadent chocolate cake in a berry coulis and topped with whipped cream. 

Sounds very celebratory, doesn't it?  What could we be celebrating in February?  Maybe we (as in me) (and probably he too) are celebrating surviving a long winter.

Tonight I am thankful for the blessings of children and grandchildren who never cease to delight me with their creativity in thought and action.  It is just a joy to watch what they all do.  This past week on my 365 Project I posted a photo of Lucy watching her Zune at our house last weekend.  Loved the comments I received from people who do not know me but comment on my photos.

Which leads me to another thankful moment.  I am very thankful my daughter suggested the 365 project for me to enter and thankful that I picked up on it and have met and enjoyed so many new people.  If you have a moment you can see what I do there and if you badger around you will see the absolutely marvelous photography that is happening on that site from people all over the world.

And if you are so inclined you can join in any time through the year and start your own project.  It requires a certain discipline to post a photo every day but the blessing far outweighs the time spent.

Tonight I am going to post on '365' a photo I took back in 2005 of my dear little Mexican friend, Scruffie, who gave me much joy and delight.  I still believe the Lord sent him to my door to help me through four winters.  He was a dear little fellow and for all the memories of him and our time together I am truly thankful.

There is no thankfulness list ever that is complete without my husband.  Do you realize that this coming October we will have been well acquainted for 49 years?  Actually October 20, 1962 is the date of our first 'date'.  And where he is, it is home.  For that I am thankful.

As the week closes over the next 24 what do you find to be particularly thankful for?  Where is your list?  Be well and God bless.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Thought on Thursday

Truly, Thursday is not the only day of the week that I think, though some may argue otherwise, but I like to wonder out loud sometimes, hoping for some insight from all of you thoughtful people.

This morning I read the question, 'What will be your legacy?'  That is a good place to set a spell and think.

Legacy:  my dictionary says it can be 1. money or property handed down in a will or 2.  something handed down from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.

So, what is it that I can hand down to my children, their children and their grandchildren?  Maybe I should start with a eulogy and then go on to the reading of the will.  All pretend, you understand.  (Too much Michael Palin lately!)

When I begin to think of it I wonder if what I want to hand on or what I value is of any significance to later generations.  What could I say or give that would be relevant in their lives? 

What is it that I love most that may appeal to them?

-  books and reading
-  flowers
-  order and  beauty around me
-  creativity
-  good music
-  love of a job well done
-  activity whether it be running, walking, sports
-  making friends/keeping friends
-  but most of all, above all else, I want to tell the succeeding generations that God is love, He is there and He is not silent...

God's peace is joy resting; His joy is peace dancing.

So, tell me, what does a legacy mean to you?  What do you think is most relevant to hand on to our children? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mid-Week Memory

Time flies by but I can quite distinctly remember when:

We took Shelby to a children's zoo in the fall of 1968 just before Sherilee was born.  He loved the animals but was not at all happy that they liked the food I had put for him on his tray.  He pushed hard on the big sheep but of course what can a little boy do against a beast many times his weight.

Now see what I mean by time flying:

He is one sweet, kind son, rarely this serious!  Thanks for the memories of this past weekend, son.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Poetry of A Tuesday

Dedicated today to our children and their beloveds...

The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3     by Mary Mackey

It's easy to love
through a cold spring
when the poles
of the willows
turn green
pollen falls like
a yellow curtain
and the scent of
Paper Whites
the air

but to love for a lifetime
takes talent

you have to mix yourself
with the strange
beauty of someone
wake each morning
for 72,000
mornings in
a row so
breathed and
bound and
that you can hardly
sort out
your arms

you have to
find forgiveness
in everything
even ink stains
and broken

you have to be willing to move through
the way the long
grasses move
in a field
when you careen
blindly toward
the other

there's never going to be anything
straight or predictable
about your path
except the
and the springing

you just go on walking for years
hand in hand
waist deep in the weeds
bent slightly forward
like two question
and all the while it

my dear
it burns beautifully above
and goes on
like a relentless

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thought for Thursday

You have seen my little "Freedom Bird" before but the following poem that came today on the Writer's Almanac blog spoke to me/about me. 

Art Sanctuary by Nikki Giovanni

I would always choose to be the person running
rather than the mob chasing
I would prefer to be the person laughed at
rather than the teenagers laughing
I always admired the men and women who sat down
for their rights
And held in disdain the men and women who spat
on them
Everyone deserves Sanctuary a place to go where you are
Art offers Sanctuary to everyone willing
to open their hearts as well as their eyes

Tell me, in what way do you find some expression for all that is raging around inside your heart and mind? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mid-Week Memory

On this bright and shiny, in a wintery way, day I am off to Big Town again for the second time this week.  As we leave our little island the ferry turns about and I go backwards down the Strait towards our first stop at Pender.  There we get turned right-about and I can face the world as we travel towards the city. 

There is something about ferry travel that says adventure, romance, something new but that isn't what my memory is about today...

Have I mentioned before my love for carousels? For the music, the colour, the dancing horses or whatever animal the ride provides?

Recently Sherwin and I went to Butchart Gardens with Morian and Rose and of course we had to look at the carousel...we did not ride it and now I do regret that.  I believe there is a need to still our beings long enough to do the things that speak to our hearts no matter how old we get or how hard it is to remember that time is really all we have.

Aren't these lovely creatures?  This carousel was built at considerable expense and each of the animals is handmade.  The colours and imagination that went into the construction is admirable.

But Butchart Gardens carousel only leads us into our true memory of the day. 

I wonder if this was the first carousel ride I enjoyed.  I look happy.  Father looks happy.  He was ususally happy if he could make me happy so the two of us probably had a great time. 

At this time we lived out on a farm in north-central Alberta so there were no fairs, no amusement parks or circuses that came around for our entertainment so this must be the carousel at the Calgary Zoo.  If any of my sisters could tell me what they remember of this  I would love it.

The photo I scanned for this is in rather deplorable condition but I did the best I could with it to remove the wrinkles but the large scrape in the middle is hard to repair.  But I love the photo. 

Tell me a memory of your childhood that made such an impression that you enjoy that type of experience even today. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

End of the Week Thankfulness

Wednesday is my moment in the week when I particularly go for a memory of yesteryear to share with you all but since I have had a whole week of memory gathering with my photo sorting, organizing, and stacking, this subject is definitely on my mind.  My dining room table is so full of photos,  I am beginning to wonder where we are going to eat when our guests arrive next weekend.  And there are two shelves of photo books yet to look in!

What I am trying to say is that memories are a good thing, something to be thankful for.  I am thankful for all the people that go into making the memories and places I have been and the sights, sounds, and even smells that come back to me when I look at these old photos. 

One good thing I have learned this week that I want to carry with me forward is that it seems to me I have been afraid of memories. Afraid that I will feel the hurt/anger/disappointment that sometimes plays around the edges of my head when I start to remember.

What I found out was that if I would just go into the memory, talk about it outloud even (mostly to myself), shake it up a little and allow myself to wallow in it, I would more often than not find beauty and delight in the memory along with the hard bits.  I have discovered that by shaking the crummy bits off the memory like I would a tablecloth, I could see it more for what it was and reclaim the good bits.

I did find that there are some memories that jarred me into getting up, dusting myself off and going to another part of the house for a while...then I could come back and look at it again and deal with it.

When I get right down to the editing I will start filling the dustbin with pictures that just gotta go. I found some blurry, browny, grey, blueish photos of somewhere in time that if they had not been with others I would never know what story they were supposed to be telling. Some of those have already hit the bin.

Thankfulness is a great broom to sweep over memories often just to remind yourself that there is good in our pasts as there is in the future.

Will you think or do anything today that is worthy of future memory?  Robert Grudin

The heart always has room for beautiful memories.

God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.  James Barrie

Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.  Cicero

Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again. 
Willa Cather

Let us not burden our remembrances with a heaviness that is gone. Wil Shakespeare

Tell me, what memory can you share with me that you have been able to find beauty in even though it has been tainted with some sad?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mid-Week Memory

Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never sing and dance forever and a day!!!

Seth and Grandpa clearing the driveway, probably the winter of 1999-2000.

We dedicate this post to those of you struggling in the piles and piles of snow that you have been blessed with this winter. 

Tell me, how are you surviving winter this year?  What are you doing to chase the winter-blues away?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's Poem

With someone like you, a pal good and true
I'd like to leave it all behind, and go and find
A place that's known to God alone
Just a spot to call our own

We'll find perfect peace, where joys never cease
Out there beneath the kindly sky
We'll build a sweet little nest, somewhere out in the West
And let the rest of the world go by.

Written in 1919. J. Keirn Brennan (words), Ernest R. Ball (music)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Does Matter

Yes, today, all day has been Monday and you have had a chance yet again, at the beginning of the week, to decide how you will make a difference to yourself and the world around you. 

The website at Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference there is a suggestion for this week:

Go there and read about all the ways you can thoroughly and decidedly get rid of junk in your mailbox.  Now most of the suggested websites are for American readers but some years ago I gave notice at our local post office and requested NO JUNK MAIL.  And it has been great. 

After you have read that article I would suggest that there are many other areas in your life where 'junk' can gather and distract. 

Besides getting rid of my mail junk I have recently gone through my email inbox and hit the 'unsubscribe' button a few times to get rid of mail coming for which I have no further use.  I have gone through my facebook 'like' additions and reduced them so that I get my friends and not all the products and websites that I have clicked on over time.

Today I began the delightful task of sorting through photos and arranging them chronologically. I find there are some very poor quality photos there that will never be missed or looked at, for that matter, so they have hit the trash bin.

So, you see, there are many ways to begin getting rid of the junk in your life.  I encourage you to look around you.  The people at Value Village/GoodWill/Salvation Army will be happy to relieve you of a lot of accumulation that just happens.  There are others in this world who will be delighted to take the 'stuff' off your hands. 

Last year I commited myself to using the phrase more, 'I do not need any of that...', when I am out shopping, especially tourist shopping.  And it has worked quite well most all the time.  I am not 100% cured but am on my way.  The first step is recognizing that it is time to relieve ourselves of clutter.

Tell me, what distractions keep you from having a clean life around you?  What do you see yourself doing to eliminate the riff-raff out of your life? 

Good luck and enjoy the feeling of clean space in your life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lists...of One Sort or Another

Sometime ago I said I was going to fill up my new `Listography` book that I received for my birthday and I did make a start but when I got to the List of My Closest Friends, I got stopped up.  Friends are a valuable commodity, worth treasuring and hanging onto.  But I have thought about this some and decided that:
1.  I cannot list my friends for the world to see. . .what if I left someone out or wrote down a name that was not appreciated. . .hmmm. . .and
2.  I fear that I have not always been a good friend to those I hold dear and I needed to pause a while and wonder what I could do about that.

So, I decided to make a list of those qualities that friends have and I should have to be a friend.  I wondered what is it that constitutes a good friend, a friend that will be around for many years.  And so I began my research and my list of qualities.

I decided that I truly want to grow my friends and grow my own soul so I would be considered a friend in the best possible light.

I would be friends with you and have your love.

Now what values or qualities would I have to be considered a friend. . .

1.  loyalty. . .

The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.
Richard Moss

2.  honesty without judging. . .

My friends are not perfect - no more than I - and so we suit each other admirably. It is one of the charitable dispensations of Providence that perfection is not essential to friendship.
Alexander Smith

3.  comfort to one another. . .

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot

4.  unconditional love or acceptance. . .

Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's successes.
Oscar Wilde

5. let us look out for each other`s best interests. . .

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things…and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful, radiant belongings that no one else has looked quite far enough to find.

6.  something in common. . .not everything. . .but maybe some values. . .

I'd like to come and put my feet under your table.
Lawton Lowe

7.  laugh and cry together. . .

Be more prompt to go to a friend in adversity than in prosperity.

8.  let me be a mirror to you as I would like you to be for me. . .
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
von Goethe

Tell me, what do you consider the best trait of your favourite friend and what do you value the most in that relationship. . .

If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.
Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Today I am very thankful for my eyes which can read, thankful for the variety of books I enjoy and thankful for the hours of joy and delight that I have gathered from them.

When I was a child there was a book, "The Boss of the Barnyard" at our house with the story, "The Reasonable Rabbit", where it told of a rabbit whose wisdom saved the lives of his fellow rabbits by exercising sweet revenge on the bobcat villain.  When I ordered a copy for myself from an antique book dealer I found that the illustrations that I loved so well were some of the very first book illustrations done by Richard Scarry. 

As a teenager one of my all-time favorite books in our family library was "I Married Adventure", the story of a young Osa who married Martin Johnson and lived a life of high adventure trapsing around the world helping her husband with his photography/adventure tour business at the beginning of the 20th century. 

After I had been married for a few years I received a package in the mail from my mother and there inside all the brown paper wrapping was her copy of this great book.  On the flyleaf mother wrote simply, "Enjoy!".

Today my cupboards are full to overflowing and I know the time has come to make some hard choices; clean out books that I will not read again or maybe ever.  Not everything on my shelves has made it to my bedside table and maybe they won't.  Some time ago when Shelby turned 40 I told him to come home and take 40 books off my was great fun watching him go from shelf to shelf taking books that would interest him.  Now I need to have all seven of them come home and take a stack of books.

Books are my friends, as my sister Sheila May would say.  How do you cull and discard?  So it is important that if I am to give up any of my books they should go to good homes. Spring cleaning, here I come!

Tell me, who is your favourite author, favourite book, favourite genre? 

"When you give someone a book, you don't give him just paper, ink, and
glue. You give him the possibility of a whole new life."
Christopher Morley
"God deliver me from a man of one book."  English Proverb
"Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them."  Charles Caleb Colton
"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"In the absences of a decent time machine, fiction remains the most
sturdy vehicle for visiting other eras."  Tom Nolan
"Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter."   Paxton Hood

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday's Poetry

Poem For The Family by Susan Cataldo

Before I went to sleep, the soft lamplights
from the tenements across the street,
still, in the night, resembled peace.
There is something I forgot to be grateful
for.  But I'm not uneasy.  This poem
is enough gratitude for the day.  That leaf
tapping against the window, enough
music for the night.  My love's even
breathing, a lullaby for me.
Gentle is the sun's touch
as it brushes the earth's revolutions.
Fragrant is the moon in February's
sky.  Stars look down & witness,
never judge.  The City moves
beneath me, out of sight.
O let this poem be a planet
or a haven.  Heaven for a poet
homeward bound.  Rest my son's head
upon sweet dreams & contentment.
Let me turn out the lights to rest.