Wednesday, February 29, 2012

At The End of a Lovely Day. . .

Before my head hits the desk with a mighty thud I want to share the day with you all.  The last of the windows are in . . .

Here is Sherwin putting the last nails in the last window.  

We have left bracing up so we can install siding when we return.  This is looking from the greenhouse beside the garage.

This is what you will see as you approach. . .

And the view behind you as you leave.  We are so pleased to be at this stage.

Down on deck 3 I turned and snapped this one again . . .

And some winter flowers to cheer us as we hurry past!

Just wanted you all to know we are making progress.  It seems slow some days but it is a marvel and a wonder other days!!

Have a great week.
God bless and be well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Further To That Gorgeous Beginning . . .

Yesterday you saw my gorgeous photo and truly that is the way the day started at 7'ish in the morning. Before Dan, our helper, showed up at 9:30 it had started to snow.  But with great determination and perseverance those windows went in.

How's that for dedication?  We only had one day with Dan, our helper, to help lift those heavy windows.  The two to the right of Sherwin took all three of us to manage but they are in and do they ever look good.  There are no photos of that operation because the photographer had to help heave and hoist those bruisers into place.

When Sherwin and I had finished installing the windows on the north-west side of the house today he was so happy he did the chicken dance for me!!

And then he stood back and surveyed the day's work.  Oh yes, the black hole on the right hand side there isn't finished...that is the bathroom window and that stretch of roof is mighty slippery when there is even moisture in the air, let alone moisture on the roof.

So you see that we are making some progress.  Now the scaffold on the left is moved to the other side of the portico and we are working on those windows. Before we leave on Friday all windows will be installed, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise!

To close I will throw in one more photo of the beginnings of the railing going in from the front entry up to our new studio.  We are as excited as kids at the fair every time we make a step forward in this project.

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Little Heaven on Earth. . .

Outside my window today, I see a little bit of heaven . . .

This music reminded me how fortunate I am to have my spot on earth.

Go have a lovely week.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Simply Sabbath

Sometimes a person has to make a few sacrifices to get a new desired look.  To make use of these pretty capital letters I had to get rid of the dark background which I do/did like.  I found this really not a sacrifice because I love the crisp, clean look of this white background.  So welcome to the new and improved version of my life.

It seems that all my reading, lately, points me to the need for making definite plans if I want to achieve what I think important.

So, today I decided I have to take the bull by the teeth and manage my health/body more adequately. Hence a lovely walk with husband.  It helped that the rain seems to have let up some.

As you can see the skies are finally breaking up enough to let some blue show through.

Don't you love the cheerful trim on this house?

And of course we had to stop and chat with our sweet little friends.  Must remember to take carrots and/or apples along when I walk down Merryman Road.  These two come ambling up to the fence right away, sniffing and so disappointed when they only smell 'us'.

Love the colour of his harness with the green of the field behind...makes me think that colour would be a great accent in my office and bedroom.  Speaking of colour, we have picked a new colour for the studio which will spill down the stairs into the main part of the house.  Stay tuned for updates on that.  'New Colour' goes beautifully with the greens we have already here that we love.

These two were only interested in complaining to us about the rain so we moved on and left them to their noise.

And then we came home on time for a beautiful end to the day.

"Softly the evening came
with the sunset."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I do hope you had a lovely day and are ready to take on a whole new week full of possibilities.
God bless and be well.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Books and Blogs and Bagpipes. . .

 "How To Live" by Sarah Bakewell 
"A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer"

This past week I picked up another book I found on my shelves after the past two weeks of cleaning.
Over the years of quote collecting I have added a number of Montaigne quips to my file but did not realize the story behind the name.  Only a couple hours have gone into reading this book so far but it is fascinating.  M. Montaigne was a Frenchman who lived in the late 1500's.

Please stay with me. . . this is not boring history.  This is very 'today'.

He is not telling us how we should live but how to live and there is a difference.  When you tell others how we should do something it does not necessarily mean you do it that way; we just should or could. Montaigne wrote simply about how he lived.

Ms. Bakewell points out the similarities of Montaigne's writing and the modern blog.

Many bloggers deal with the day to day business of life.  And we read and enjoy and say to ourselves, why, that is just how I see it too...that writer is a genius.

There are 20 subjects in the form of questions covered in this book all answered by Montaigne. Even today when you read his "Essays" you will find yourself saying, hmmm...that is the way it happens to me too, or, that's the way I see life too.

The one question asked twenty times is of course, how to live?  And answer number one is, don't worry about death.  Looking ahead at the second, how to live, I find the answer, pay attention.

So as you read your favourite blogs over the weekend remember M. Montaigne, knowing that this style of writing began over 400 years ago.

And now I suppose you are wondering what bagpipes have to do with the other two subjects in the Post Title.  Well, I just happened upon this tonight.

The Kintyre is a new subject of interest around here because it is a peninsula in Scotland where we hope to do some hiking next year.  When I saw this video and heard this beautiful music I just knew you all wanted to hear it too.  Consider it my gift to you.

And now I wish you peaceful rest for the weekend ahead.  God bless and be well.

Ragamuffins . . . Mayne Island Style

Friday night is the usual evening for grateful hearts around here.  We like to talk about what we are thankful for and tonight I have to say I am so thankful that Sherwin and I are in our house, snug as bugs and all in one piece.

Windows were on our minds this week whenever it was clear and sunny.  The windows below were installed on a sunny day that was very windy and so very cool.

But is it ever nice to look out these windows at Navy Channel below. . .

Then we had to install the  six clerestory windows on the opposite wall.  Sherwin built me two scaffolds.  One is in the loft where you can see I have three windows ready to go up and then if you look at the top of the above photo you will see a double decker scaffold where I will take the next three windows, pass them through to outdoors onto the roof where Sherwin waited for me.  

The clerestory windows are those little window you see way at the top of the photo.  So you can see where I had to stand to do the indoor part of the job.

Later when Sherwin went over onto that scaffold to stuff insulation in and around those three windows he said, it is a little wiggly up here!  My knees were knocking when I was there.  I was at least inside but Sherwin was on the roof only about 28 feet above the ground!!!! 

We were thoroughly whipped when the day came to end but I had Sherwin come into my 'photo booth' to mark the day.

As I said, we came in looking like wind blown ragamuffins but thankful for angels who care for us.

Tell me, what are you particularly thankful for tonight?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Transparency and/or Translucency???

This past weekend I received, and have been quite taken with a blog post by one of my new favourites:  Seth Godin.  If you click here you will read his post on Transparency and Translucency and what is the difference and what difference they make in my life.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the concept of Transparency.  I like it straight-forward, up-front and what I would consider honest.  But having read Mr. Godin's comments on these two attributes I can see that life would be smoother, easier, lovelier if I would learn a little more about Translucency.

And then our friend Ivan put us onto the following You Tube video which I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Ok, so that describes Transparency very well.  You see what you get and you get what you see.

Now the Translucency part of life is not as easy for me to define.  But then I remember the motto I wrote for myself for the new year.

"Say what you mean and mean what you say, Kindly."

Aha, is the Kindly part of that my attempt at Translucency?  What do you Mr. Godin's blog and tell me how you see these two attributes working together for the betterment of your life. Any ideas you may have on ways to incorporate Translucency into my life would be well received.

Have a great week and Be Well!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Through the Years . . . Post Valentine

During the 1962-63 school year Sherwin made a book cover for his Chemistry 20 class. He wrote popular song names around and around, ending in the middle with a song named "Shirley". . .

which I have hanging in my office.  And then a close-up. . .

So, on Tuesday it was a delightful surprise to receive this lovely Valentine card.

Good lyrics for us.

Have a great weekend and be well.

Springtime on Mayne

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."
-Doug Larson

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring."
-George Santyana

"Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment!"
-Ellis Peters

Grateful today for the first tangible signs of spring in my backyard.  How is it in your country?

One More Time . . . Through Paris. . . With Feeling

On April 9 of 2011 my sister Marilyn and I boarded a plane in Calgary and within hours we landed in Paris, France.  To get into the spirit of this posting play this music while you look at the photos below.

Now with the mood set, come along for a sneak peek of 17 glorious days...

Room with a bit of a view...

Above you see Marilyn getting ready to enter the compound around the Louvre.  Love the Louvre.

An open-air-double-decker bus gave us a grand view of grand subjects.

Next time I go back I will make sure I take a river cruise.

The Opera House...we went back 3 times before we could get inside to see the ceiling. Opéra National de Paris Garnier.  There is another Opera House on the east side of the city but this is the one with The Ceiling!

Since Marc Chagall is an art hero for us it was so awesome to see the ceiling.

Bicycle rentals are available all over town if you are into mob cycling.

Back end view of Notre-Dame Cathedral.  We were there a few days before Easter so the line-ups to get into some attractions were too overwhelming and we just kept walking. Another next-time view.

Loved the art deco signs for the metro...

At the end of the day it was hard for me to say good-night and put my camera away.

And, of course, The Tower!  I probably have a hundred photos of just this tower but we never did go up.  The line-ups were very long and we just didn't feel we had enough time or patience for that.

Before I left for Paris I had read about this bridge with padlocks.  We walked across it often to go between the north and south sides of the Seine where we lived.  Notice all the padlocks attached to the fence along the sides of the bridge?

Well, you come to the bridge with your lover and a padlock.  You put your padlock onto the fence, lock it and then throw your key into the Seine. That seals your love forever!

Versailles in all her glory!  My friend, Lorne, said, ...'and that wasn't over the top?'

Looking out the back side of the Chateau the gardens were so awesome.

We rented a golf cart for the tour of the gardens and the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon.  Marie Antoinette and her husband each had a little Chateau out on the back 40 to get away from it all.

This is the courtyard at Marie Antoinette's Petit home.

Don't you just love those darling little cherubs?  When we drove out through the gardens the fountains were not working, coming back they showed off for us very nicely.

As the day ended we turned to look out behind us and said goodbye to the Grand Canal which is the view from the back side of Versailles.

So Marilyn left exactly one week after we had arrived and Gail came from Spain where she had been touring and joined me for the last 9 days.

A trip to Paris is not complete without a little shopping...Au Printemps was my favourite department store with spectacular merchandising.

And because I am a sucker for open-air-double-decker bus rides, Gail and I did the same tour that I had just done the week before with Marilyn.  That tower has a charm that pulls you back again and again.

The artists at work along the way up to Sacré Coeur.

Sacré Coeur was the only place we toured where they asked me to shut off my camera and put it away.   Lovely cathedral.

Viewed the movie "Moulin Rouge" before I left home...this was somewhat disappointing in size.

St. Eustache is a great church we found where the lines of people were non-existant but it was still a very beautiful place of worship.

The windows are magnificent.

Outside in the courtyard in front of the church is a large sculpture done by Henri Miller.

You can see by the wear and colour that people crawl all over it and perch there for photos or fun.

We took the Metro out to Père Lachaise to see the graves of famous people.  Chopin is buried there; Marcel Proust, Edith Piaf and of course, Jim Morrison have all come to rest in this spot.  My favourite graves were for Heloise and Abelard, the greatest lovers of all time.  If you do not know about these two, Google it up!

Napoleon is buried under that golden dome.  That man definitely left his mark on Paris.

This small church was just footsteps from our hotel so every night Gail and I would buy our supper in a bag and bring it here to eat outside to people-watch and enjoy the evening.

Our last day there we enjoyed the Luxembourg Gardens better known as The Shelby Gardens.  When he and I talked on Skype he asked, have you been to my gardens yet?

Aha, so this is why Shelby owns the gardens!  There is a section set aside for tables of chess players.

Gail tried to get some reading done while I wandered and snapped photos.

But then it was time to say goodbye to Paris.  It truly is a magical town that pulls at your heart.

Oh yes, before I leave you I must tell you about the Sheraton hotel we stayed in the last night right at the airport. This hotel is part of the airport.  It is so sound proof that you hear nothing once you are in the bedroom area of the hotel.  It is so cool!  We had early morning flights so appreciated the closeness to our airlines.

Hope I have either reminded you of your trips there or whetted your appetite to go.  It was pure joy; just going through these photos again makes me want to make reservations.  And a very special thank you to Marilyn and Gail.

Tell me your favourite memory of Paris or any other trip that brings back fond memories.

(just want you all to know I only showed you 100th of the photos I actually you have something more to be grateful about... )