Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Pleasant Little Book Review . . .

"this is a book about something"
-C S Lewis, The Magician's Nephew

What a treat!  The Magician's Nephew by C S Lewis was first read in our home when we lived on Robin Way in Kelowna.  Shelby and Sherilee were in grade school and I can still see them listening to that first reading.

Since then I have read some of the other books in the Narnia series a number of times and of course watched the BBC series and the movies more recently made, but probably not this particular volume.

The Magicians Nephew is the beginning of it all, the founding of Narnia by Aslan, the lion, and I felt that if I were to read the entire series again, since I installed them all on my Kindle, I should start at the beginning of the story.  And I did.

The story grabs you and within hours sitting at or on the ferry, I had read the entire little book.  It was great to be reintroduced to Digory and Polly and the horse named Strawberry along with an array of very interesting people.  This is the story of two children looking for an adventure which they sure enough find.  But, I promise you, you do not have to be a child to see the wisdom in these pages.

This is not just another fantastical story of another world.  Warnings, examples and wishes all show up here.

"What you see and what you hear 
depends a great deal on where you are standing.  
It also depends on what sort of person you are." 

And one of my favourite...

"Look for the valley, the green places, 
and fly through them.  There will 
always be a way through."

Please remember...

"Awake  Love  Think  Speak"

This book is an easy, pleasant read that will warm your heart.  And tell me, who doesn't need a little heart warming these days?

Be well and stay in touch.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Progress, Part 2

Yesterday evening after a long day outdoors battling the weed syndicate around here, I decided it would be good to snap some photos before the lighting was gone.  I grabbed my camera, turned my head towards the ocean and couldn't believe what I was seeing...

it appeared that the tide was coming in, with style?  Why the dramatic difference in the colour of the water?  Spring?  I called Sherwin and we watched the phenomenon with interest. In just a few minutes...

it travelled quite a distance.  But since I was there to capture some of my garden before dark I turned away to other sites.

Two of my raised beds required tilling so I took out my little baby rototiller in the morning and gave my shoulders more of a workout than they had for a few weeks.  Phew!  But am happy to have peppers, tomatoes, beets, dill, zinnias, marigolds, nasturtium, and my canna lilies planted.  There are some permanent plants out there that are flourishing...

like the fennel which looks so lush.  Rhubarb has just not worked here so I ripped out my pathetic little plants, never to try that here again.

As we work at spring clean-up on this hilltop it is rewarding to wander around at the end of the day and see what is working, though.

The clematis has never looked better, probably because I gave it a royal whacking last fall before we left.  But, on the other hand, it maybe gave it's all this year because there has been a mother robin nesting within it's branches.  

Love the flowers on this Brunnera...wish they would last all summer.  You can see the light is fading on the north side of the house so it was time to call it a day but I heard the noisy clatter/buzz of the rock saw and had to capture Sherwin preparing to lay the heavy wires for the generator.  

He spent the morning ridding my garden walkway of weeds...very encouraging to have him help me.  

You all have a great new well.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Progress in the Garden

On Friday I was able to get my overhead garden in before it started to rain again and today has produced more labours of love in the veggie garden.  Just wishing you all a great new week...

"If you look the right way, 
you can see that the whole world is a garden."
-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Enjoy your world around you and be well.

Absolutely Amazing . . .

You cannot imagine my surprise when I read a comment, on my most recent blog,  from Lisa over at Diary of a Square Toothed Girl.   (Pop over to her blog and read.  Very inspiring.)  She has listed me as a recipient of the Sunshine Award for my blog!

Thank you so much, are most encouraging.

The rules of this award were as follows:
You have to post the picture of the Sunshine Award on your blog.  Done!
You have to answer 10 random things about yourself.  Harder than you think...
You have to nominate 10 other bloggers to receive this award and then you have to link to their blogs to let them know they have received it.  My privilege...

Here are 10 random facts about me that you may not know...

*  I think I have the most interesting dreams.  My dreams are in colour, the stories are vivid and sometimes quite scary.  I have been known to have laughed in my dreams so hard that I wake myself up and I have to wake fully before I can quit laughing...

*  Speaking of dreams...I have had the delight of having a recurring dream of a is the most wonderful house full of twists and turns inside and out and secret passages with lots of is always very sad for the dream to end because I love this house.  I have dreamt this maybe half a dozen times in my life.

*  My favourite current ad on TV is the new Omega cool.

*  This year my favourite colours are a sharp green and a dusky purple.  I am known to change my mind on colours on a whim.

*  The country I would most like to visit is India.

*  Opera is the music of choice for cleaning house.

*  Christmas is my favourite holiday but Easter gives meaning to the significance of both.

*  When I cannot sleep at night I used to plan flower gardens in my I imagine weeding flower beds and that puts me right back to sleep.

*  My favourite flowers are all the big, full-blown blooms.  Peonies, roses, double blossoms on most any flower really.  Actually I have a great weakness for flowers.

*  I tend to freak out when I find myself working around a messy project area.  I simply cannot move forward until I have the mess cleaned up enough to be able to function.

And now for 10 blogs...

Rachel at A Year in the Life of an Art Journal
Junelle at Yes and Amen
Sherwin at Shower Wisdom
Sherilee at Sweet Tea and Sunshine
Shelby at S1GN
Brent at Blogan
Terrill at Creativepotager
Julie at Balzer Designs
Rachel at All I Did Was Listen
The Painting Gardener

These are all blogs I have enjoyed over time...they all inspire me and bring me joy!  Looking forward to see what you all have in the future.

Enjoy the read and be well!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Today in The Chronicle of Life!

We both woke up around 3 this morning, turned on the light and something happened to our electrics.  I cannot imagine that one little bathroom light would blow the transformer but we heard a rather loud 'boom' and our lights started to go in and out...another 'boom' and the lights were gone!

Six and a half hours later we were back running along smoothly.  Two happy people around here now, counting the blessing of electricity pretty high on the grateful list.  As a wee child, 'The House' where I spent my first six years, was sans-electrics for at least my first 3 years, I believe.

But we do take it for granted now and our lives revolve around this 'necessity'.

"That's the way prayer do.  
It's like electricity, it keeps things going."
- Kathryn Stockett, The Help

And we were not only without lights, the skies were grey too.  Those two things are major ingredients for making things feel somewhat grey all over unless you happen to know a very cheery little song.  I recently discovered this song and am sharing it.  You will see why...

It is very dated and you may want to skip this but please, please listen to the lyrics and enjoy.  I guarantee a smile...

Now go about the rest of your day with a smile!

Be well.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


If anyone would ask me what I feel is my greatest accomplishment in my life I would immediately, without hesitation, say, "my beautiful, handsome children".

Every day I am thankful for Shelby and Sherilee who give me their love and care.  You cannot spend any time at all with either of them without coming away a better person.  

I love to watch them now with their own families.  I am a most fortunate mother.

Thank you for that Shelby and Sherilee.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

An Open Letter to Mother

Dear Mother;

Tomorrow is yet another Mother's Day and here we have been a mother for 71 years which sounds like an amazing number of years though I imagine to you it seems likes yesterday.

You have worked hard all your life and that is probably why you find it very tedious to just sit and watch the days go by.  But you have earned your restful days more than most.

Some years ago we had, in Westbank Church, a lady by the name of Mildred Dean who had a husband of many, many years who passed away.  One Sabbath she got up and gave a testimony of how she was making it through without him by her side.  She said that she had read that there was only one duty of older folks, according to Ellen White. And she let us know that is how she was going to spend her remaining years.

She said that her job now was to 'ripen up for heaven'.  What does that mean?

Mother, I believe that means you can get away with having one thing on your mind.  You can think, imagine, and dream day and night of living in heaven with the Lord.  Think of what He has done for you and the fact that He is preparing a home for you.  Be assured that He cares for you.

Be not anxious about the past but just rest in the fact that the Lord loves you and has you in the palm of His hand.  He has the past in His hands.

This is my theme song:

This world is not my home 
I'm just passing through
My treasures are laid up 
somewhere beyond the blue
The Angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

O Lord, you know I have no friend like You
If Heaven's not my home 
then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

They're all expecting me 
and that's one thing I know
My Saviour pardoned me and now I onward go
I know He'll take me through 
though I am weak and poor
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Just up in Glory Land we'll live eternally
The Saints on every hand are shouting victory
Their song of sweetest praise 
drifts back from Heaven's shore
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Happy Mother's Day, Mother!

Love and hugs to you.

Shirley Ann and Sherwin

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Came Before . . .

John and Rosie Kandt - parents of Father

"To remain ignorant 
of what occurred before you were born 
is to remain always a child.  
For what is the worth of human life, 
unless it is woven 
into the life of our ancestors 
by the records of history."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Reinhold and Ida Bechthold- parents of Mother

I have been known to purchase photos of this era that I find in antique/junk stores.  It bothers me something fierce that people would put photos of their forebears up for sale.  

But no, these are my really truly grandparents.  Why did I not take the time to know them before they were all gone?  What were their stories?  I know some facts about them but I never really knew them, how they saw the world around them or their dreams and ambitions. 

Do you have people in your life that come from another era that you could still talk to before it is too late?  It is a gentle task to extract stories from folks who are not accustomed to divulge their hearts to others...

Be well.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Simpletons talk of the past, 
wise men of the present and 
fools of the future."
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Maybe this quote is appropriate for anyone (like me) chronicling their lives, especially when they mess around in the past.  But then, on the other hand, Napoleon could possibly have benefited by learning from his mistakes in the past.  How many world leaders have been sent into exile twice?

So I continue...

There are no photos of the inside of The House but it seems to me I could, with the help of my sisters, draw a floor plan.  It is necessary, if I am going to wander around in the past, to be as accurate as possible.

It seems, lately, that Father has been on my mind a lot so the memories of this spot of my beginnings are especially poignant.  

Yesterday Shelby, my son, asked when Grandpa K switched from being a Ford man to a GM man...not really sure.  He just loved cars, he loved horses and dogs, he loved his girls (as in daughters!), and Father loved Mother.

We took a lot for granted as children.  I still find it amazing when two people come together from dissimilar backgrounds and bind their lives together in such a way that makes any kind of a family unit.  What a miracle, true miracle, when it works.  

(on the streets of Calgary, 1940-41?)

"I always knew looking back on my tears
would bring me laughter, but I never knew
looking back on my laughter 
would make me cry."
-Cat Stevens

Tell me, what is there that you can look back on that makes you laugh or cry?  Are you at peace with that?  

Above all, be well.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Looking Back . . .

Any of you, who know me well, know that I have a absurd attraction to ancestor photos.  I am very curious to know who is who and what is what when I see these old black and whites of yesteryear.

Mother and I had a great time looking through old photos when I was last with her.  But I did not have the idea then that I want to chronicle my life on my blog.  So my eyes were not completely open to what I am looking for now.  I would love to find a photo the 'The House'.

My sisters know that when I talk of 'The House' I am referring to the big log house where life began for three of us.  I have bits and pieces of said house but no one seems to have stood back by the workshop or over by the barn and snapped a photo of the entire house.

But there I am, with our Ford, Father's pride and joy (the car).  My first memories come from that house and surrounding out buildings.  

'The House' has left such an indelible mark on my brain that I think much of my life stems from that structure.  My fascination with houses and nesting, my desire for making things comfortable and my recurring dream that centres around a house all can probably be traced back to this house.

We moved out of this place when I was going into second grade and moved on down the road closer to the school for Mother's sake, I guess.  And then the next year we moved to southern Alberta to greener pastures.

There are countless stories in this place...The John J. Kandt family came here first, then the Bert Kandt family (me and mine), next the Robert Kandt family and finally the Marvin Kandt family.  At least I think that is how it was.

This view of the house on the far, far left shows the relationship of house to barn.  Now, Mother's garden was between these two buildings so this must have been early, early spring as I don't see any garden growing yet. 

So, this is the beginning of my chronicle...I would love any input from sisters, cousins or Uncle Ben to tell me if I have things remembered correctly or not.  

There were good times and there were hard times in this house.  I choose to remember most clearly, the good times.

Treasure your memories and share one very fond thing you remember from your childhood.

Be well.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

For This I Am Thankful . . .

"I would maintain that thanks 
are the highest form of thought; 
and that gratitude 
is happiness doubled by wonder."
- G. K. Chesterton

Today I find reasons of thankfulness all around me, listed in no particular order of importance.  

1.  for Sabbath, a day of rest and refreshing
2.  for this quiet spot where we can see forever
3.  for our seven children who give their love so generously
4.  for the flowers already blooming in our yard and the promise of more to come
5.  for the promise of a future 
6.  for my camera which is on my list of very best friends
7.  for my living, breathing friends
8.  for my dear husband who "nudges" me along in my desire to be creative

For all these and more, I am so thankful!

What are you grateful for today?  Look around you and put on new eyes and see what you can see that will enlarge your heart and vision.

And above all, be well.