Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"It is by knowing where you stand 
that you grow able to judge where you are."
- Eudora Welty




Monday, January 30, 2012

Monochromatic Monday


Yesterday I tried to email this photo to my Walla Walla children but they were not able to open the photo so I thought I would try to make this photo my black and white (Mono Monday).  Let's see how it comes out.


Hmmm . . . not sure I would like the second photo best.  But this way I am getting the photo off to my kids.

You all have a day full of colour, even if you have to make the colour yourself.

Be well.


In Remembrance . . .

Today marks the 100th birthday of Barbara Tuchman, a writer of history.  Her love for history and her ability to write a good story went together so naturally and gave her the success with her books that she found.

Mrs. Tuchman wrote about a dozen books over the years starting out when her two oldest daughters were young and she still felt the need to be home with them.   When she passed away at the age of 77 her latest book was on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Of her dozen books, I have only read four.  But I am always on the lookout for another.  If you love history, well told, pick one up and enjoy.  Of the four I have read I cannot recommend one over another... they were all great books.


Barbara Tuchman is high on my list of 'people of influence' in my life.

Have a great day and be well.






Sunday, January 29, 2012


"I have always loved the beach.  The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm."  - Author Unknown


Saturday, January 28, 2012

First Sign of Spring . . .


Clean - up has started around here already, for which I am most thankful.  When it is warm enough for me to stay out and rake I know that spring is really coming.  The tractor and my rakes are my constant companions.


Book Review . . ."God's Secretaries"

Bible translation discussions or debates have never interested me.  It seemed to me that people were very committed to their position about the value of certain translations, but I figured that until I understand the origins of the different translations I don't have anything to say in any translation argument.

Over the years I have read the Bible through, using a different version each time.  I have read it in The King James, The New King James, The New American Standard Bible and then a paraphrase, The Clear Word Bible.  Each time was a delight though I did take the paraphrase with a grain of salt.  After all, I have paraphrased a good portion of the Bible myself and I know who I am so that version did not hold much weight with me.

And then I was introduced to Adam Nicolson.  He wrote the book, "God's Secretaries" that I mentioned last night in my gratefulness post about the wonderful books at my disposal. Well, today I finished the book and when I clicked on my Kindle and saw that I was starting the last page of the last chapter I cried.  I did not want this story to end.

Mr. Nicolson leads the reader through the culture of the early 17th century when the Translators worked to put together a Bible at the behest of King James soon after his ascension to the throne in England.  There were 60-some men who met in different places in groups of about 10 tackling their assigned sections of the Bible.  These men were very educated, knew their Hebrew and their Greek, with interesting stories to tell.  

It is a wonderful story.  If you love the English language you will truly delight in the way Mr. Nicolson handles his subject.  If you love The Bible you will be so pleased to understand better all the twists and turns that have kept that book alive through this crazy world's history.  If you love Shakespeare and his use of the English language you will appreciate this book.

And then...

Tonight I found the following You Tube video/documentary of Mr. Nicolson talking about the making of his book.



I realize that this documentary is not short but it was a great thrill for me to find it.  Sherwin has it figured that if he watches the doc he won't have to read the book.

This is the first full book I have completed on my Kindle.  I have come to the conclusion that there are books to buy as an e-book and there are books to buy hard copy.  This is definitely one that needs the real thing if you tend to want to underline, go back and easily get quotes, etc. etc. etc.

This book comes to you from me with a High recommendation.

Happy end to the week and be well.




Simply Sabbath


Winter is the Best Time
by David Budbill

Winter is the best time 
to find out who you are.

Quiet, contemplation time,
away from the rushing world,

cold time, dark time,
holed-up pulled-in time and space

to see that inner landscape,
that place hidden and within.



Tell me, what is it that you like about winter?  What is your method of coping with the dark time of the year?   How do you make the time move forward when it feels otherwise?


Friday, January 27, 2012

Gratitude

What is it about a good book that draws you and warms or even chills you but compels you to keep turning the pages, making you downright sad when the last page is read?

Since I was a young girl I have loved to read and have been known to take a flashlight to bed with me back then.  Books still hold an attraction, whether it is my Kindle or a bona fide hard copy of the book of the moment.

I am coming to the end of "God's Secretaries", which is a brief encounter with the men who translated the Bible in the time of King James of England.  Adam Nicolson, a fine researcher and storyteller, keeps you returning every chance you get to read about this motley crew that gave us a most brilliant sample of the English language.

At the beginning of the year I said I would read one book at a time and the first month is not behind us and I have also started "The Hobbitt".  Have to get ready for the movie coming out at the end of the year.

And then I purchased the hard copy of "The Princess and The Goblin" by George MacDonald. MacDonald was an inspiration to CS Lewis.


Which all leads me to the point of thankfulness this week.  I love books, words, the English language well used, and the ability to read.  When my eyes were not well during the past couple years, I read less and less so am happy to get my new eyes and most grateful for the wonderful books that have come my way already this month.

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love."  - Rumi

"A book is made from a tree.  It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called 'leaves') imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles.  One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years.  Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you.  Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people. citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another.  Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic."  - Carl Sagan

Tell me, what are you reading right now?  And do you recommend it?

Go curl up with a good read and be well.

Pre-breakfast sky today on Mayne Island






Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mid-Week Mystery

Who, What, Where and How?


I think I need to start offering prizes for my mysteries...

Have a great day!  Be well.


Lesson Learned

Due to personal taste, I guess, I have never been terribly fond of African Violets.  I like the flowers (only if they are the right shade of blue/purple) and I am fussy about the leaf colour too . . . I know, fussy, fussy, fussy.

But last June when we visited Sherwin's sister she had a violet that is said to have been handed down from my mother-in-law, Charlotte, to her granddaughter Stephanie, passed on to Rose, the mother of Stephanie and now I was being offered this plant.

Violets sometimes have the look of having gone on a long journey without packing the proper clothes, you know, sort of ragged and rough.  That is how my violet was starting to look and I determined to figure out how one is REALLY supposed to care for them.

Google is a wonderful tool and so I set my mind to learning all I could about the tender love and care necessary to having a happy violet.

The first thing I learned was that the violet needs to be transplanted once a year.


The violet also does not like too big a pot.  Measure your plant and if it is 9" from tip to tip of the petals then your pot should be a 3" pot.  That seemed pretty small to me but that is what the experts say and they know more than I do.

I also read that the stem that shows above the soil should be scraped down and buried under the soil so new roots can shoot off of it and give you lovely new growth.


One thing I did know from previous experience with transplanting other small house plants was to put the finished plant into a mini-greenhouse atmosphere.  I happen to have an old fruit ripener from 20 years ago that works very well.  Once my violet has started giving up new leaves I can take it out of that environment and let it just be.


One more care-tip that was not on Google, but I know helps, is the singing and talking-to that a plant requires to flourish.  Soft lullabies are good, anything with a sweet comforting sound.

So now, when you come to visit, I do hope to have a lovely violet for you to admire.  If you do not see a violet in my sitting room you will know that it met the compost heap out back.

Now that looks like a grannie blog, for sure!

Have a lovely day, rain or shine, and be well.




Monday, January 23, 2012

Monochromatic Monday

Something about these palm trees turned into Black & White reminds me of Southern California in the old photos from the 40's and 50's.   It seems to me that not all nature shots look great in B&W but the texture of these tree photos taken in November and December of 2005 in Mexico, give the contrast needed.  


This next one, in particular, has the old time look.  Notice the moon still keeping watch?  Gotta get me a book on B&W so I can make that moon pop out, if possible.   Or maybe just download my Photoshop program.  


Wishing you all a colourful week.

Be well.

(These photos were altered into B&W, sharpness was added and one level of 'boost' on my Mac computer.)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

At The End of The Day


"No one but Night, with tears on her face, 
Watches beside me in this windy place."
-Edna St.Vincent Millay





Listography . . .Your Life in List Form

After a great rest yesterday I am ready for a new week, well, at least in my mind.

But I need a list, or do I?  I promise not to bore you with the list of all I think I need to do in a new week, in fact I am beginning to wonder at the value of lists.

What is the purpose of a list?  Does it make my mind lazy so that I don't have to think but just look at a piece of paper?   Does a list remove the spontaneity of life?

Now on the other hand have I been accomplishing less lately because I am getting used to the chaos that has been surrounding me in this building project?

How is it that some folks can run with the wind, do as they wish, when they wish and sail through life in a rather breezy manner and then there are others who labour under the notion that life should be organized, tidy, taken with care, moved with prudence?

I did say, recently, that you can teach old dogs new tricks and I am proof of that but do I really want to give up the order of a previous life for the chaos and 'freedom' of a disordered life?

Hmmm . . .

Back to the lists.  There is comfort in a good list.  So much happens in a week with a good list.  To me there is a strong correlation between a good list and good use of time.  And you know me . . . I love the good use of time.

Ignore all that ramble up at the beginning of my blog.  It feels good just to think of the beauty of time and remember the love of a good list well done!

"The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it."
- Schroppenaur

"It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants.  The question is, what are we busy about?"
- Henry David Thoreau

"You're writing the story of your life, one moment at a time." - Doc Childre and Howard Martin




Saturday, January 21, 2012

Simply Sabbath

What a wonderful week . . . it was crazy fast but full of blessings. What I consider a blessing may be looked on by others as a pothole in the road of life.  But there is always a sunny side to look at things. Just look at this weather we had . . . 


We could whine and whinge and carry on about the weather (of course, we didn't, ha, ha) but when we woke this morning and all the snow was gone and the thermometer was well above freezing we doubly appreciated the change!


So now we are back to normal winter weather for our little island and happy for it.

This morning when I was asked if there was anything 'fun' for breakfast I figured I better shift gears and do something about that . . .


Why is it that I am so surprised that my scones turn out so heavenly?  I don't make them often but am always surprised when they turn out so well.  This is what is left of the eleven that came out of the oven.

Today, being Sabbath and all, I wish you a peaceful day.  May your hearts rest easy in the great Maker of the Sabbath.

Lately I have been thinking of the Sermon on the Mount and what has been my response to those words so I am reading that again.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 5:3

"That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or an inspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, 'Thou art my Refuge'.  - George MacDonald






Friday, January 20, 2012

Something Musical to Wind Down Your Week . . .

"Music is the soul of language."  - Max Heindel

"Music is the shorthand of emotion." - Leo Tolstoy

Whatever music means to you, it is a very personal thing.  My children have appreciated music all through their lives and I see the enjoyment they derive from it.

I always thought I didn't have enough time to experiment and listen to various types of music but it seems with the media and technology we have at our fingertips today there is no excuse not to take a more serious look at the subject.

The following videos are not at all serious but three I found this week just snooping about online and all three appealed to me.  All three are vastly different but they make me smile.

This first one speaks to my childhood and youth.  CFCN in Calgary played this music and I can remember coming home from school, cleaning house and Marilyn would be in the living room dancing to the music.  Good memories.



Times change and our horizons expand, don't they?  Came across this next one and was amazed at the other talents of Hugh Laurie.



And finally, do enjoy this next one...one of my favourite singers and of course, what's not to love about watching the actors of a past era dance to his music.



Tell me which is your favourite?  Why?  And share with me your favourite singers, type of music and composers.  I am proof positive that you can teach an old dog a new trick or two!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mid-week Memory


To give you all a smile on this wintery, blustery, cold day...when looking through some photos for a memory I saw this and thought of sunshine.  Instant summertime!  This is me and sister Roberta.




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Tuesday

Snowflake
by William Baer

Timing's everything.  The vapour rises
high in the sky, tossing to and fro,
then freezes, suddenly and crystalizes
into a perfect flake of miraculous snow.
For countless miles, drifting east above
the world, whirling about in a swirling free-
for-all, appearing aimless, just like love,
but sensing, seeking out, its destiny.
Falling to where the two young skaters stand,
hand in hand, then flips and dips and whips
itself about to ever-so-gently land,
a miracle, across her unkissed lips;
as he blocks the wind raging from the south,
leaning forward to kiss her lovely mouth.


Further to Mono Monday...

a small improvement, I think...

Monochromatic Monday...

Black and White photography has always intrigued me so in this new year I will be taking some of my old photos and playing with them, turning them into b&w.

Some subjects work better than others and this is a learning process.

Once a week I will put out another photo as I work towards a b&w portfolio.  Hang in there with me, folks, for you are my first critics.


This photo was taken in Alamos, Mexico on December 12, 2004.

So far I am only using what is available for photo processing on my computer.  It is good to enlarge it here as I can already see changes I should make to it.

Please feel free to add your comments and criticisms.

Wishing you just the right amount of colour to your week that you require.
Be well.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quotes from Mr. King

Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 83 years old today, had he lived.  He had a vigorous, highly controversial life and died young.

Dr. King left behind some words of wisdom:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"The true neighbour will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others."

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

"Are you able to accept blows without retaliation?"

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

Many people followed him in his mission of civil rights and today I have been remembering the work he did for all of us.  When I read some of his writings I am embarrassed and ashamed to see inside my own heart and find it wanting.

This last quote says it best:

"If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive."




Saturday, January 14, 2012

Simply Sabbath . . .


"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord,
and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation,
and uphold me."  
Psalm 51


"Anybody can observe the Sabbath, 
but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week."
- Alice Walker

Hope you have had a restful day.
Be well.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Gratefulness...

There is no end to gratefulness. . . it runs through my life like a constant stream, some days maybe a trickle but most days a steady stream with even a surge once in a while!  It seems I am surrounded with little things that mean a lot to me.

You may think this just another photo of another ferry. . .


If you look closely at the front of the ferry you will see a large white truck . . . those are our windows in that truck.  The window boys had to take a ferry that took them to Saturna first but I caught them just as they are about to turn the corner towards Village Bay.  We are so grateful for our lovely new windows for the reno/addition.

While I was out there getting that snap I looked at the lilac tree by Sherwin's office and there were buds!  I am so grateful for the promise of spring.


And of course I am very grateful for my new pantry.  The shelves are mostly up and the very first box that found a home there was the goodie box.  So now you all know where to find the candy when you come.


"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude."
- D. Waitley

I wish for you a grateful heart.
Be well.




Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oops!

E very day that I learn something new re: my computer is a great day.

Today I figured out 2 new things.  Now, please do not think me too ignorant, but I am still learning things that those of you born 10 years later than me seem to know by instinct.  I think it is just because you are fearless and I am too timid.

No. 1. . . last night Sherwin told me that the comments that show up for each blog are not a good font size and maybe I could do something about that.  So first thing this morning I worked on that and before I went off to attack the day I had that puzzle solved.

Now when you wish to comment on my blog just click on the 'comment' word at the end of that posting and it will open up to a clean white page where you can add your comment and be able to read it easily once posted.  Very simple.

I do love to hear from my friends and followers and am happy to provide this spot for you to give me your feedback.

That was easy . . .

No. 2 . . . When possible I like to fit in a few minutes once in a while transferring information from my old Toshiba to my new Mac.  That is not as easy as it sounds and requires focus and attention to detail. Tonight I wanted to start adding contacts to my new computer but I don't want to just transfer my whole address book from the old to the new.

So I opened the address book and figured that out.  If your name is either Albrecht or Appudoray you are in my new address book, all clean and tidy and up-to-date.

Now I can go to bed and rest easy.

Remember, I love to hear from you whenever you have a question, a comment, a quote or a piece of advice for me.

Be well.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making Memories in the Middle of the Week...

In 2012 I am making a journal out of my blog.  You get to travel through my year with me hearing the thoughts I am thinking (well, at least the printable ones), the photos I am taking that may add some interest to the story and sometimes a rundown of the day's activities.

'The Pantry' is the big subject of this week.  We are both determined to get moved into that room soon.  And it is coming along very nicely.  We have done our best to get on the right side of the wood finishing lessons and Sherwin is also working on the tile for the floor.


Please don't let Sherwin tell you I never make him cookies...


Today we were both excited to see the first hook placed on the end gable of the new shelves...just for my aprons.


This afternoon we hauled out more 16'+ boards from the cabin to make room for the windows that will be delivered tomorrow.  We will have to put a sealer on the stained window linings before installation.   And a plumber came by to take a look and make up a quote for us too.

So, you can see we are making memories as we plow ahead on this project.

Have a lovely week in your part of the world.
Be well.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Whatever the Weather, Whether We Like it or Not...

"Bad weather always looks worse through a window."  - Tom Lehrer

When I know I should be outdoors doing something noble on the land and the weather looks particularly dull and dreary, I remind myself of this thought.  It helps to get me out the door.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Just a Moment on Monday...


"I'd like to be a lighthouse
All scrubbed and painted white.
I'd like to be a lighthouse
And stay awake all night.
To keep my eye on everything
That sails my patch of sea;
I'd like to be a lighthouse
With the ships all watching me."

-Rachel Lyman Field


Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Good Day For Music...

Elvis Aaron Presley
January 8, 1935

In honour of Elvis and mostly teenage memories...



Happy Birthday, Elvis...and Good Night.

(If the video does not play directly, please click Watch on YouTube.)




Saturday, January 7, 2012

Simply Sabbath...



There is a story in the book of Mark (5:25-35) of a woman who was looking to Jesus for healing.  She had it in her mind that all she had to do was touch Him, His coat, any part of Him and she would be well.

This may sound somewhat superstitious but her heart was in it and she made her way through the crowd surrounding Jesus, touched His coat and immediately she knew she was healed.  Quietly and quickly she tried to get away.  She didn't want any fuss made over her and she knew Jesus was a busy man but no, He turned and found her.  And then she falls on her knees before Him at His feet and confesses her need of His power.

Beautiful story . . . possibly more beautiful to women than men.  And yet, whomever you are, the story has something for all of us.  I found that until I was ready to fall on my face at the feet of Jesus and cry out my need to Him it was all hard work.  Something changes in your heart when you can humble yourself at His feet and admit you don't have what it takes to make yourself whole.

There is a very old song that I heard a lot when I was a young girl that I thought of immediately when I was reminded of this story this week.

"She only touched the hem of His garment
As to His side she stole
Amid the crowd that gathered around Him;
And straightway she was whole.

Oh, touch the hem of His garment!
And, thou too shalt be free!
His saving power, this very hour
Shall give new life to thee!"  
-  George F. Root

Wishing you all a beautiful Sabbath.
Be well.



Friday, January 6, 2012

Thankful for Pleasant Surprises...



Imagine my delight and surprise when I was cleaning my office this week and found this picture in one of the newsprint pads I keep on my art table.

Granddaughter Maizy left this for me and I had to share it with you all.

Wishing you only pleasant surprises in your life.

Be well.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Further To The Word of The Year...

"Patience is a hard discipline.  It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control; the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict.  Patience is not waiting passively until someone else does something.
Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are.
When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are.  We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else.  Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand." - Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Something You May Not Know About Me...

The Goose
by Muriel Spark

Do you want to know why I am alive today?
I will tell you.
Early on, during the food-shortage,
Some of us were miraculously presented 
Each with a goose that laid a golden egg.
Myself, I killed the cackling thing and ate it.
Alas, many and many of the other recipients
Died of gold-dust poisoning.




Monday, January 2, 2012

Further to New Year's Day . . .

Something to make you smile . . .

"Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house.  At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing.  He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that these jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense.  What on earth is He up to?

The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.  You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace.

He intends to come and live in it Himself."  - C. S. Lewis

Wishing you a lovely beginning to a great new week.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!

Bucket Lists...have you looked at yours lately?  Do you have a list of things you want to see accomplished in your lifetime?  What does your list look like?  Long or short?  Grand or simple?

In times past I wrote lists that were very grand with lots of ideas and great expectations but this past year and during this new one, Sherwin and I will see one thing taken off my list through sheer persistence.  It has surprised me how consuming this job has become and made me think twice about adding such ambitious ideas to my list another time.

I have always thought it would be so cool to renovate a house, take an older home and make it mine!  Ha, ha, ha...when I awoke this morning and wandered over to my office I had to pass piles of goods that have been removed from rooms that are affected by our current renovation.  Then after breakfast my darling husband started sanding boards in my kitchen.  I became somewhat hysterical and just giggled because it was so amazing to see the dust float around.

Now maybe you don't know this about me but I do like an orderly home.  I can stand debris, chaos and clutter only so long and then I flip.

Not a good way to start the year, I can assure you.  But out of all this chaos will rise beauty...I do know it will get better, maybe not right away, but it will get better and then it will be absolutely smashing!

My word for 2012 has to be Patience!

"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world."  
                                                                                    - Helen Keller
"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears."  
                                                                                     - B. Johnson

Anyway, I do want to wish the whole world a wonderful year.  I wish for you peace and harmony and above all, Patience!

Do remember...
"Everything will turn out all right in the end.  If it isn't all right then it isn't the end."

Happy, happy New Year.