Tuesday, July 31, 2012

While Sailing Home on the Ferry . . .

"God cannot give us happiness and peace 
apart from Himself, 
because it is not there.  
There is no such thing."
-CS Lewis

Wishing you all a lovely mid-week tomorrow.
God bless and be well.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thankfulness . . .

Thankfulness comes on for different reasons every day and today a somewhat self-absorbed version of gratitude is playing here.

We have been working for months towards the completion of the additions to our original house.  We are finished with adding walls and services...still have some painting to do in the main part of the house but that can wait.  We are done with drywall and wood dust inside the house and for that I am so grateful.

This past week Sherwin tackled the finishing of the closet for our bedroom and I painted and then painted again our bathroom (looking for the perfect colour).  But last night before the sun set we were moved into both rooms.

We didn't realize how much detail work there was to finishing this space.  The rods and shelves and flooring with baseboards, all took a lot of time.

And of course, there was yet another trap door to fit into the floor which Sherwin did very nicely, yet again.  Now we have 3 trap doors in 3 areas of the crawl spaces under the house, in case of plumbing or electrical needs in the future.

Here the closet is complete and ready for move-in...

and, we cannot forget the little closet over in the corner that got it's renew job too.  Great new linen closet...

So, here is the final product...all outfitted and delightful.  We both love the space.

Aren't those shoe shelves gorgeous?  Now that we have moved in we realize we don't have to do any clothing/shoe shopping.  The fact that there is no need to shop is at the top of Sherwin's thankful list this week!!

While Sherwin was finishing off the closets in the bedroom I tackled the master bath...the colour looks similar to the bedroom but bluer and softer...very nice.

And here is a shot of the bathroom all settled in.

Tomorrow I will do a test run in the front entry with a colour I am contemplating for the main living area of the original house plus the studio and loft.  Wish me well!!  I take this colour thing too seriously, I am sure, but once a room is painted I do not want to have to remove all the furniture, artwork and baseboards to do it again any time soon.

I do hope you all had a great week too, thankful for all the blessings and even thankful for all the 'otherwise' that comes to us now and then.

"If we thanked God for the good things, 
there wouldn't be time to weep over the bad."
- Yiddish Proverb

Maizy's Day

July 28, 2000

Happy Birthday, Maizy!!!

Twelve years ago today our Maizy was born.  As I sit in my office writing this I look out over the water and islands and mountains and imagine her having a lovely day with her family and friends. Because I am missing her sweet and gentle spirit I decided to take a little journey through my photo files to see what I could find.

I found some photos I have taken over the years that were sitting there waiting to be appreciated. Every photo reminds me of a time we were together.  

Sometimes I catch her unaware of my camera...

here she is taking over my desk...

at the zoo with cousin Seth...

building a fort at our house with pillows, blankets and chairs...

contributing to a little family amateur hour...

just thinking...

Grandpa giving Maizy an opportunity to steer the tractor...notice his hovering hand...

love her style...

and she does love a good picnic...

and a good Easter egg hunt...

she is a lucky girl.

"All the world is birthday cake, 
so take a piece, but not too much."
-George Harrison

Love to you, Maizy
from your Grandma

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

John Newton July 24,1725- December, 1807

Today marks the birth date of John Newton, remembered for the song 'Amazing Grace', that he wrote after his conversion.  And today would be a great day to watch the movie by the same name which pays honour to Newton.

It is a beautiful story depicting the fight to abolish slavery in England.  Newton, himself, did not lead the struggle to rid England of that scourge but he and his song, 'Amazing Grace', were a great inspiration to those who did.   Slavery was made illegal in March of 1807 and Newton died in December of that year.

When a song has retained it's appeal for two hundred and eighty seven years you know you have a classic.

Amazing Grace 
by John Newton

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound.
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace those fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will be shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

God bless and keep you all.  Be well.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Brief Update . . . Reasons to be Thankful

No end of reasons to be thankful . . .

This week I thought many times of the abundance of summer.  I do not have an abundant garden due to negligence but I came home with groceries this week loaded down with figs, plums, nectarines, raspberries, and blueberries.  Every meal is made delightful with this wonderful food.

At the beginning of the week I said I would have our bedroom, closets and bathroom painted and ready for occupancy.  Well, the closets are painted as is our bedroom but there is still too much finishing detail before we can take occupancy.

Sherwin took this photo of me up among the clerestory windows in our bedroom.  I am so happy to be done with that ladder.  When I paint upstairs I will have a proper scaffold so will feel much more comfortable with a solid, flat surface for my feet.

We have changed our plans for painting the bathroom the same as the bedroom . . . we like our bedroom dark and cave-like to help Sherwin with his sleep but could see that the Cushing Green by Ben Moore would be too dark for a bathroom.  Tune in again for an update next week with the bathroom complete!

Sherwin has been sawing, sanding, staining and finishing shelves all week.  For one reason or other I have not taken photos of each step of the process but will soon be able to show you a photo of our beautiful closet all ready for the flooring, baseboards and clothes!!

Needless to say, we still have our bed in the middle of the living room.  Notice the fireplace on the left and the dining room behind the bed.  Here Sherwin is resting his tail feathers before he heads off for a shower.  Every day is day full of activity around here so we both are sleeping pretty good.

More photos after the weekend...

We are most thankful for the progress that we are able to make each week.  And I am most grateful for all of you who read our ramblings.

God bless and be well.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

William Morris . . .

William Morris, designer, is particularly known for his wallpaper designs and back-in-the-day I looked through much of his work, probably still have books in my art library.  His designs have a strong Victorian flavour but for a period room application, it is lovely.

This design of leaves reminds me of the work of Emily Carr, a Canadian artist known for her forest paintings . . . the light and the dark play off each other with great effect.

" . . .the true secret of happiness lies in 
the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."
-William Morris

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Week . . . New Beginnings

(view from 12A on July 11)

Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!”
. . . you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. 
                                                    -Oswald Chambers

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another Classmate . . .

Les Bergstrom 
March 30, 1945 - July 9, 2012

Les was part of our high school class at CUC.  He passed away unexpectedly Monday morning at his home in Tennessee.  Sherwin remembers him as a serious student and I remember his smile and teasing ways.  

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

- A.E. Housman

A Simply Beautiful Sabbath

Last night as Sabbath began I snapped this sky. . .

Today I have had time to wander around and take photos of some fruits in the garden . . .

some tomatoes . . .

only two figs left on one tree . . .

and some baby apples that we hope will be ready in September.

There is a soft breeze blowing throughout the house and all is peace and quiet here.

What did you see today that reminded you that we have a Creator?

List to Make You Think . . .

In a class that Sherwin and I are taking one of the assignments was to list what we value most. So we both went to our offices, made our personal lists and then came together to make One to reflect both our ideas.

We ended up with a short list of 8 qualities.
Here is our list:

1. Generosity
2. Gratefulness
3. Courage/stand for right
4. Creativity
5. Perseverance
6. Humour
7. Kindness/caring
8. Respect

Even though we both have grey hair we realize that there are some words on that list that we have not made part of our lives as we should but at least we see that.  As young upstarts we both had a rather arrogant idea of the word respect and we did not realize the value of courage but experience and life has shown us that there is strength in both.

Have you made a list of what you value?  Would you share with me your list and why it is what it is?

God bless and be well.

Book Review . . . Candide by Voltaire

For years I have had this book on my shelves and as we were leaving for the airport last week I grabbed it quickly and thought I should give it a try.  I have just completed the book on Catherine the Great and read about her correspondence with Voltaire so thought I may get some enjoyment out of reading one of his books.

It was interesting to find the story of a young man, believing himself to be a philosopher, who traveled the world with friends and lovers. He had the idea that he was living in the best of all possible worlds only to return to Europe and settle down finally.

The last sentence of the book sums up what he found.  "All things are not so well with us here..., but yet they are pretty well."

My heart goes out to people who have no foundation for their lives, people who drift and yearn for something better all the time not realizing ever what that hollow spot in their hearts is all about.

And then I remembered a song . . .

I have long been a fan of Kris Kristoffersen and wondered about the lyrics in some of his songs.  He has one called "Best of All Possible Worlds", so I went to trusty You-Tube.  There you can find a record of him singing the song as a young man.  The song is fast paced and sung with vim and vigour but you can also hear it sung by Mr. Kristoffersen recently when he has many miles behind him.

I also realized that Mr. Kristoffersen was an English major and professor of English Literature before  he composed so many songs...he probably read 'Candide' and you can see how the two go together.

In Black and White . . .

Last week in Calgary we spent an afternoon at Heritage Park where they have gathered old buildings, cars and community effects to give you the impression you were walking the dusty old streets of your childhood...well, your childhood if you were born 50 years ago or more and lived in a small prairie town.

It brought back many memories . . .

from the reminders of old farm houses . . . ours (of course) was a large 2-storey log house, much more glamourous than this but I can appreciate more than one kind of farm-house architecture. . .

to vehicles of another era.  We never had a truck like this but I do admire these early ones. Imagine the men who designed and built these vehicles.  What a thrill it must have been for them.

Notice the name on this building.   This is the old pharmacy from one our former hometowns, Vulcan.  Now they have made it into an ice-cream shop.  Funny thing was, while we were on the train provided for movement throughout the park, Marilyn and I were talking about Vulcan and a lady leaned forward and said, 'Are you from Vulcan'?  Nice coincidence.

Have loved the romance of train travel since I was a young girl.  We left the Peace River country in a train.  Often on a summer evening we would all get in the car, get ice cream cones in town and sit by the train station watching the trains go by.  The hiss and the roar of the old engines were very fascinating to me as a kid.

And then there were the horses.  The photo above is probably my favourite of the day.  'Shredder' and 'Splinter' are great specimens and were the horses on our wagon ride later in the afternoon.

I was seriously struck with the difference between this park and our lives today with the technology and changes in just a few years.  It is difficult to imagine that this park will hold much interest for the next couple generations until enough years have gone by to make it a major curiosity piece.

But if you are looking for a quiet, peaceful look at the past it could be time well spent.

Thanks Marilyn for a great day.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thanks A Lot . . .

Tonight there seems to be a lot to be thankful for . . .

We were visited tonight by this trio with Mom Raccoon.  In just a few minutes I took over 50 photos but must have been too excited to pull off many winning snaps.

We were treated to this brilliant sky last night when we returned safely from a lovely week with sister Marilyn and Sherwin's brother and his wife, Garnet and Doreen.

But mostly I am thankful for my good husband who works hard to make our project lovely and who is truly my best friend.

He gives good attention to detail.

This is our new-to-us propane tank getting spiffed up.

And I am thankful for all seven of our children who, though they live far away, give us their love and respect.  We are most fortunate.

God bless and be well.

Boys Of The Beach . . .

Nothing like some experiences to make you feel your age!  On Tuesday, during our visit to Calgary, we went to Heritage Park and I realized that there were way too many elements there that I related to...wooden sidewalks, the old pharmacy from our once-upon-a-time hometown of Vulcan and the horses pulling wagons, etc etc. etc.  Wow!  I don't often think so thoroughly about the passage of time.

Then last night Marilyn took us to The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert at the Stampede.  It was so much fun and we hooted and hollered along with the best of them but it did remind us of an era gone by.  While the 'Boys' were at the height of their fame Sherwin and I were busy tending children and building a life.  We knew their music and recognized faces and names but we were not very familiar with the lyrics.  But as I listen to their music now I can hear the influence.  The following video is from a concert back in the day...

But there they were...we were in row 3 so we got to see them as they truly are today.  I was interested to see these California men of 'a certain age' come out on stage and present themselves as 65-72 year olds, grey or white hair, wrinkles and all.  There wasn't a lot of sham when it came to personal appearance. After the first medley which was a loud, delightful mix of oldies they suggested going now for a nap, maybe they would return the next day.

But no, these guys were the only entertainment, no opening act giving them any breather...they came onstage right after 7:30 and with a 20 minute intermission, kept us there until some time between 10:30 and 11. They didn't do a lot of dance moves but Mike Love in particular was up and down the stage  connecting with the audience.  All of them showed great endurance presenting music that meant so much to another time and place.

We had decided not to haul our big cameras into the Stampede grounds but we got a few photos on our iPhone, which early on said, 'low battery'.  So even though our results were not spectacular we do have a few mementos of our time there.

(a rather unclear photo of Mike Love in the middle 
with David Marks on your left and Al Jardin on your right)

Once in a while, for a slow song, they had all cell phone users get out the phones, put on a light and wave the phone ...it was very beautiful to see this large venue lit up by the phones moving to the music.  Interesting to see singers of another era using today's technology.  And once in a while one of the 5 would whip out their phone and take a photo of the band.

They showed the late Wilson brothers, Dennis (the only surfer of the group) and Carl,  on the screen including pre-recorded songs of theirs.  But brother Brian was at the piano and when he did any solo parts his voice was strong and clear even though it is very evident that he has suffered physically.

(on the far right is Brian Wilson...time moves on)

Bruce Johnston, particularly known for his music composition with "I Write The Songs" made famous by Barry Manilow, Al Jardine and David Marks made strong contributions throughout the evening.  Of the 5 'Boys', only Mike Love didn't handle a guitar...he just schmoozed the ladies in the front rows.

These 5 men have had very complex, stormy relationships with one another and a history fraught with split-ups and lawsuits. Their lives have been anything but exemplary with more pain and sadness than one would wish but during the concert they worked well together . They are great ambassadors for the USA and they made a huge crowd of seniors smile last night.

Take a look at this interview...it is very revealing and gives you a great inside view with even a moment or two of wisdom.

Thanks, Boys!

Thursday, July 5, 2012