That Corner Chair

Ever paused to check out what folks are doing at bus stops, or observed  parents with kids in restaurants, in the park?

IMG_20161228_193837
Eyes on phone.  Caregiver of disabled children. In local mall.
IMG_20161228_193621
In the mall at Christmastime.  Not interested in atmosphere, decorations,  festive music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The forty-something-and-under phenomenon.  Hunched over phones …

Shook my head head in disbelief as I took this one –

IMG_20161228_194007
Youngster manning Salvation Army Christmas Kettle – crouched over phone and halfheartedly ringing bell with free hand.  Guess why kettle’s almost empty.
IMG_20161223_152111873
As it should be.  Smiling Kettle Person happy to pose at WalMart.  Couldn’t help emptying  my purse of all its spare change.

Times have changed. Sad.

Life’s blazing flicker moments come and go.  In plain sight.

So easy to miss …

IMG_20170315_184516

IMG_20160929_170224

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Happened to look out of window as sun rose last week.    Picked up phone and clicked.   

IMG_20170315_194042
Sunrise over neighbour’s home

Minutes later –                                                     

IMG_20170315_194029
Brighter, more gold

Stark contrast in brightness of light and sharpness of shadow.  Parable for the day –

Only a matter of time before things get brighter …      

Might have missed the golden moments in morning haste, if I hadn’t happened to look.  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….     Objects have such power to transport me back to associated moments.

 When I look at these – 

IMG_8958
The moment I stand at this bay window, I’m back in assorted paradise climes where I found the shells and starfish
IMG_20160730_145527374
Enormous bathroom collage of shells from  shores around the world.  Daily I re-live the joy of beach-combing.  The sense of remembered joy never fades.

                                                                                                        

IMG_8961
Ah, to be a dewdrop in lush, humid rain forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there’s Chair-In-The-Corner .

IMG_8708
Husband’s maternal grandpa’s chair.  Over a century old, from Kopay, Jaffna.  

Hansi putuwa in the vernacular.  Translated: resting chair

IMG_9001
Infant Husband with grandfather on said Corner Chair .

Miracle child, my husband.  Survived despite all odds.

IMG_9006
Cutie Pie- now mine!

Parents who dared to believe.  Mother with dogged faith –

He’s going to be okay …

IMG_20170321_084110
Husband with parents after christening at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Borella.  (Left) Maternal grandparents, (right) Paternal grandparents
IMG_9002
“Hi there!”.  Dad, Mom and precious first born (two brothers to follow)

– and Maternal Granny who pretty much slept with head in his crib at night that first year.

Just in case …            

Grew to be strong as an ox, that babe, healthy as a horse.                     

IMG_20170321_083859
A deep, strong bond to the very end of her life. Husband and Ammamma (His mom’s mom). 

And married me …  

Testimony to power of prayer, faith,  love, positive thinking.

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………….

Visually struck by the obvious.  See how reflection in mirror changes.

Depending on where I stand,  angle I look from …

Another parable?  Sort of.

How do I perceive situations that arise?

IMG_20170127_111612
It will, but can it hold you?
IMG_20161228_185903
Need more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider, ponder on definition of joy.  An inner grace, un-dependent on circumstances.  Ability to be thankful.  To see the glass  half full, not half empty.  To look back with gratitude.    

And embrace even the unbearable uglies …

To be able to evoke music from within –     

IMG_20170116_183038
Music from within??

IMG_20161228_195908

Determined to believe the best is yet to come.      

IMG_8971
“The best is yet to come”.  Caption on van zipping past on Saturday morning.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Thankful husband’s life was spared to marry me.  Thankful for our daughters.

IMG_9008
He and Me.  Post-cancer treatment cruise.  Sketched Antigua, West Indies. (Bears passing resemblance to Husband, None at all to me.)
IMG_9010
New York City artist.  Striking reproduction of the twins’ ‘inner essence’ 

    

 

 

 

Thankful for nine cancer-free years.       

IMG_9011
Pink ribbons for breast cancer.  Holy Spirit Dove.  Mother-in-law’s handiwork.  A gift to celebrate the end of chemo.  Always grateful for in-laws’ loving care and support.

 

 

 

 

Wordless gratitude …  

Wishing you thankful joy today.   May it sidle sweetly in and entice you to come out and play –

In spite of yourself …

IMG_20170107_150629524_HDR

IMG_20161228_183809

Until next time,   

sincerely

Her Old Piano

We’ve just driven into town, there’s a piano on the kerb outside our hotel.  A note scrawled on yellow paper, propped against the open lid –

_20150710_142150
Unusual sight.  Unprotected piano outside Europa Inn, St. Andrews-by-the-sea, New Brunswick
Signed: Simone Ritter .  Work in progress, she says,  stay tuned …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piano  won’t stay tuned for long, squatting outside in the elements 

Intrigued, curious.

Who’s the lady?  What’s her plan?

We check into Europa Inn, Husband and I.  Two nights.  Delightful auberge in sleepy, small town seaside setting, old fashioned European charm.

_20150708_215824
Serenity by the sea.  Yep. That’s what I’d call it.
17097711_646203905588390_453118351749517277_o
Europa Inn: flights of backstairs and balconies full of pink petunias

       

 

 

 

 

Old-world nostalgia and a plethora of      prewar/war-time memorabilia …

IMG_3569
Old iron safe (from town’s namesake church) in quiet backroom of Inn
_20150710_144515
Europa Inn.  Famous for signature  eight-course dinner banquet by Chef Markus Ritter. Must-do tourist experience in New Brunswick,  as per travel guide 

 

IMG_20161024_223613
Did the road trip instead!

On summer road trip with husband.

Spectacular paintings jostle for elbow room on walls.  Struck by joie de vivre, bright light and vibrant energy in them.

Signed:  Simone Ritter.

Breakfast- a mouthwatering masterpiece.  Friendly host, proud hubby, Chef Markus Ritter, gives glowing account of talented wife’s hobby-turned-profession.  

Simone Ritter Art …   

15626117_10154852403553829_8386371590878579137_o
Simone Ritter’s  artwork (on display for sale) lines the walls of Europa’s dining room

Leave two days later.  Weather’s changed, sporadic showers.  Piano clothed in plastic protection.

_20150710_142528
A raincoat for poor piano on the morning of our departure .

 

 

 

 

 

Never encountered Simone in person. Forgot to ask about the piano. Wish I had.  Kept wondering …

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

My mind is an interesting place I’ve been told.  

_20150702_200326
This is my mind, where nothing is impossible!

“It’s about perspective,” I reply,

IMG_3549
She’s too small or the chair’s too big? (Moncton, New Brunswick, 2015)
_20150707_230003
It’s how one views things …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– “being able to see where there’s nothing to see.”

When waters swirl sixty feet deep, who’d imagine the possibility of a stroll on the ocean floor?

IMG_3324
Chocolate waters around Flower Pot rocks. (High tide, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick)
_20150706_220112
Hard to believe … a walk on the ocean floor?
IMG_3389
Husand (left) standing where waters stood sixty feet high
IMG_3335
Walking the ocean floor. Sixty-foot high waters have receded. 
IMG_3358
Husband standing under centre of arch.  (Check first photo.  This archway was completely submerged)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A parable?  Sort of.

Waters did recede, in spite of what we saw when we first arrived …

Which is the definition of faith.  Sort of.

Hebrews 11: 11  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see … 

………………………………………………………………….

_20150707_230003
Seeing beyond the physical reality –

Which brings me back to when eye sees what doesn’t yet exist –

Like knowing when garbage is more than garbage …

IMG_20170116_183830

 

 

 

 

 

For example –

(1) Old washbasin – just  an unusual lily pond-in-waiting –

IMG_20161114_123524995_HDR
Didn’t throw out the sink. (After fall bathroom renovations)  Hurry up, summer!
IMG_6769
Won’t look like this one, tho’!

 

_20150702_201650
For sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2)  An ordinary bottle  … a prospective tree ornament, of course!

IMG_7205
Colourful chopstick, shiny marbles and sea shells and … voila! (In my summer garden)

(3)  The old kitchen sink – a perfect container for growing swamp plants 

IMG_3770
After kitchen renovations (In my summer garden)

IMG_20170116_183744

 

 

(4)  That tired saucepan – an eccentric hanging container for a flowering summer plant

IMG_8641
Rope to hang  it with and hurrah for blooming beauty-to-be!

_20150702_205228

IMG_3499
Mr. Pot Man (Clay pots are not just for planting in)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(5)  Ancient pots and pans make whimsical garden ornaments

IMG_7178
Kitchen Corner (In my summer garden)
IMG_20160929_171535
Not just a bundle of old twigs (neighbour’s garden)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daughters issue dire edict when ensuite toilet is replaced: “No planting flowers in it, Mom. Not going in our garden.”

I give my word!

See a bath tub tossed out on sidewalk recently, imagination bubbles over.  So tempted. Wish I could carry it home.  

IMG_7014
Threw the old one out!  (There’s a limit to creative art …  even I have my standards!)
IMG_3140
Kerb-side tub.  It looked like this .. would have made a gorgeous garden planter – sigh! (Bed and Breakfast, Annapolis Royale, Nova Scotia)

Which brings me all the way back to Simone’s piano.

A year and a half’s gone by.  Often wondered about it.  Have to know …

Find Simone Ritter on Facebook and shoot off private message. She sends picture of finished work with a note –

Simone writes: It was popular with the passers by during the summer months, even in the unfinished stages.  Unfortunately a storm came through and ripped the plastic off the piano.  The heavy rains made the wood swell and then it could not be played anymore …

_20150708_010149
…  her handiwork
IMG_8614
Ta da!

 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely breathtaking …

15493231_10154423958107758_6151992002115614159_o
Gorgeous explosion of creativity.  Well done, Simone!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It’s  all about  knowing how to look –

IMG_8617
… in the most unexpected places
IMG_2961
Husband with tour map 

 

Living in the possibility of the moment –

IMG_6388
Picture of a woman taking a picture of her shadow.  (Happened to look out of high-rise window and captured the moment)

IMG_8613

And honing the inner vision –                                       

IMG_8425
Me reflected in neighbour’s glass door, seen through glass pane of laundry room door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how do you see what you see?

IMG_20161102_133049716
A hug or a serpent? (Neighbour’s front yard)
IMG_3560
Dead wood or sculpture?
IMG_8433
Just a car or dawn-in-the-windows? (On the driveway)
IMG_8507
Stars in my eyes. (Reflection in family room mirror)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………….

And that’s Life According To Me, a deliriously expectant resident of  La La Land!

Love living there …

IMG_20161229_201825142
More than content to be one of the Fools Who Dream 

Because, ultimately, it’s about the final, impossibly possible picture –

IMG_8577

Life’s glorious gifts, hidden in plain sight –

IMG_8459

IMG_8628

IMG_20170226_213742
… just waiting to be unwrapped

IMG_8612

IMG_20160921_181352
Of course I do !

Unimagined sweetness –

IMG_20170202_130423642
… and eaten up in a single go!  (Guilty. When Rosalyn brought dessert)
IMG_20161226_185256
… just begging to be tasted

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Finally a thaw in the air.  Milder days ahead. 

IMG_8603

So thankful.        IMG_20170226_214313

Until next time,

sincerely

 

PS:  Meet the Ritters of Europa Inn –

10551623_10152615988189029_7904193744781217446_o
Ritter family. Chef Markus, artist Simone and kids, Saint Andrews-by-the-sea, New Brunswick

And Puppy has the last word –

I do!

Gimme, Gimmee, Gimmeee!

Puppy adores presents.  Assumes every gift-wrapped package is for him –

img_7997
“Gimme, gimmee, gimeee ….” (Puppy and Ruwan)
img_7996
“Hey … gimme!”  (Puppy and Reshma)


img_20161205_210701
Nope!  

                 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got  caught red-handed on Christmas Eve, snooping  around tree.

img_8312
“To Pup” … gift tag and tissue flung aside.  Hole in the bag.  He found his present.
img_20161130_192224
Looks like it
img_8321
“Finally, all mine.” (Had to hide the bag till Christmas morning).
img_20161103_201626
“Don’t remember.  Never graduated !”
img_8327
 “Oh, hello Santa, it was you all the time!”
img_20170116_184628
So who killed Santa?
img_8329
Didn’t do it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guilty …

img_20161129_074829861
Not me!
img_8015
    Fine, call the cops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy lives in state of constant joyous expectation.

Fabulous way to live …

img_8634
“Something yummy, for sure!” (Puppy and Friend Jim)
img_20150724_211926377_hdr2
Every moment, no matter what comes along

Living life in Puppy Mode …

Sunshine and shadow – embrace it all.

img_20170129_172923

img_7888
Me in splash of sunlight
img_8278
Christmas decorations on kitchen wall
img_8626
Ivy topiary in foyer
img_5140
Orchid on kitchen table

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life’s treasures – darkness, light; good, the bad, lovely and ugly.

Rich fodder for this writer’s pen, if nothing else …

img_20170123_071824
Driving home at dusk.  Lamplight over court.

img_8646

 

Life often presents real live parables.  Puppy is mine.

_20150709_210433

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I have dreams.

img_20150727_191324
More than one, actually
img_8610
BIG DREAMS
img_20161210_103148
Just did. 

A secret path leads to dreams.  Winds through dusty roads, up dim stairways and rugged steps, along endless corridors.  

Along the way –

  • Jeers, sceptics, wet blankets –
img_20160702_230849
Mean comments
  • Dead ends, slammed doors –
  • Grim warnings –
  • Unforseen restrictions –
  • Disappointments, endless waits –

And yet –

Impelling urges on, blazing inferno that won’t be quenched.  Lurks just beneath surface of immediate consciousness, hangs like  mist, a veil through which real world is viewed.

img_20160730_103337893
Endless
img_20160429_132341
Clinic for  weary dreamers?
img_20150726_145431
As fast or as slow as it takes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still …    

img_20160701_101556666
Yes! (Tiana’s T-shirt)
img_20160724_105803831
That’s me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see … 

Fueled by burning urge to write –

img_20161205_211719
Really do  
img_20160802_175733
At my desk
img_7183
Out on the deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, no matter how I feel –

Must keep going –

img_8221
You want me to … what?
img_8222
Hey, it’s freezin’ out here!

                   Okay, all done, and good luck with shoveling up that poop when the snow thaws …

Never mind what they say.

One piggy, second pig, third pig …

and …

Ha! 

Nope!  Long before that …

img_20161228_192416
Okay.
img_20160519_082628
A swine state of affairs!

And now –

Don’t know.  

Won’t find out till I try … 

Finally, one sweet day –

img_8136
And it was all worth it after all …
img_20160822_114132372_hdr
Light at the end of the tunnel 

                                                            Aren’t you glad you made the climb?

Every day is Christmas for Puppy, any moment might bring gifts.

img_20160404_173338
Every day is NOT Christmas (back of scooter taxi, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
img_8303
                                                        Christmas Eve. Bone-shaped stocking – guess whose?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for Puppy, a parable of joy and daily expectation.

Gimme, gimmee … gimmeee!

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: The pictures in this post are all random clicks on Ipad and phone.

Aloha Sweet Things!

Meet  Sharyn Stone, my friend.  She and husband, Jeff, live the enviably idyllic barefoot life at Huelo Point Lookout Bed And Breakfast (www.maui-vacationrentals.com), in Maui. 

The English Duke/Earl of Somewhere-Or-Other had just honeymooned at Huelo Point with his fourth (fifth?) bride when Husband and I visited just before Christmas 2013.

Picture breathtaking, heart-stopping paradise.

sharyn-alone
Sharyn at Huelo Point Lookout, Maui, Hawaii. (Bed and breakfast owned and operated by Dr. Jeff and Sharyn Stone)

First met Sharyn on the internet (gasp!) on a writer’s website, Fanstory.com

We each discovered our Writing Twin.  (Never thought to meet one in this lifetime.)

img_20160705_164041
Not really!  Uncannily related in many ways, tho’ ..
img_20160702_230243
Same fave novels as girls, same fave plays, poems, same passion for theatre.  Incredible serendipity.
sharyn-with-dr-and-jeff
Husband with Jeff and Sharyn, Huelo Point Lookout, Maui

Sharyn is everything I’m not, the very opposite, possibly, as regards general outlook and life philosophy and yet …

We call each other Twinnie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bio in her blog says it all –

ABOUT: SHARYN STONE

Getting older and, for the most part, having a blast!

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LIVE YOUR DREAMS. YOU KNOW THE OLD SAYING … ‘IF NOT NOW … WHEN?’

I guess I’m all about following one’s dreams—even though, sometimes, those dreams change into others and we have to make that adaptation—but I have no intention of dying with my “music unsung”!

See what I mean?

 I’m half her height (mildly exaggerating), and  NOT a blonde bombshell– but I’ve no intention of dying with my “music unsung” either!

Sharyn posted on her Facebook page shortly after the dawn of 2017

img_8442

Old Girls Looking … What??  

That’s Sharyn all right!

Her dream’s coming true.

Tickets, anyone (click here)?

One-woman musical. A bittersweet, poignant, sometimes irreverent look into life as she’s lived it. Script, lyrics and acting by Sharyn Stone, storyteller par excellence, poet, playwright.

She sang and played for me from the show’s musical score, over the phone last month, just before Christmas.  

Almost picked up my feet and danced.

img_20150801_201651

img_20160611_203826

Had the privilege of reading an early draft.

img_8448
Reading material on endless flight en route to  Sri Lanka

_20150710_215549

_20150602_094400

 

Sparks of brilliance.  Definitely going places.

Felt it in my bones …

 

 

This is Sharyn with her adorable sidekick, Joyce Romero (82 years young) and the comment accompanying the email she sent along with the picture –

and you thought leaf blowers were for the GARDEN??? Think AGAIN TWINNIE!

_mg_4359
The wind-blown look.  Sharyn with Joyce, posing for OGLH poster (on her neighbour’s Harley).

_20150601_150607

img_20150801_191622

img_20150801_185344
That’s for sure!
IMG_20150727_185455.jpg
No way.  Not those two!
sharyn-on-bike
Old Girls, the demure version
img_20150727_191118
She most certainly is!

_20150711_170822
img_20160505_095939         Aloha, Sweet Things!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

A peep into the final scene of Old Girls (with permission, copyright Sharyn Stone):

STORYTELLER/SHARYN: What’s that old guy looking at? (Speaking to “old guy”) Yes? Do you need the machine

MIME/MALE GYM MEMBER, OLD:  No, no thank you. It’s just that … well … I’ve been watching you for months now. You’re beautiful.  And I just want to say how great it is to see Old Girls like you …     Oops – that didn’t come out right

STORYTELLER/ SHARYN: Oh, ya think?

MIME/MALE GYM MEMBER, OLD:  Old girls … like you … looking … Hot! And I don’t mean … sweaty. You are seriously … HOT. On the INSIDE.  I mean …

The message?                                                    

_20150423_183604
I’m not.

YOUTH IS A STATE OF MIND.

I agree.  One hundred percent.

img_20160617_124356505
I’d rather not know.
_20150712_161434
Go on!

_20150710_101443

Congratulations, Twinnie!  

Thrilled for you.   

Your name in lights …

_20150515_194927

                                
So here’s to all the dreamers who DARE to dream –
img_20161228_201338
img_20161029_201428
Buying coffee at  Tim Horton’s.  She let me take a picture of the caption.
img_20161017_111748
Clipping from Toronto Star
_20150601_190952
Thankful for the ability to keep dreaming in spite of naysayers, sneering sceptics.  Despite what life’s flung my way –
img_7945
Tune out the dreamkillers … and run.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
 My friend Joan Adams wrote on New Year’s day –
Dream Again
… To each one who’s forgotten to dream.
Do you remember that old suitcase
Where  dreams were hidden and no longer seen?
img_8436
Used with permission, copyright Joan Adams, another internet friend from Fanstory (who lives within visiting distance.)

img_20161228_190721

I believe.

Happy New Year!
Until next time,
sincerely
 PS: All the pictures in this post are clicks on Ipad and phone. 

They Called Her Mrs B

So Mrs Clinton doesn’t make it.

img_20161116_113127
All trumped up.  (A photo-shopped Donald?)
img_20161121_125420
          Hilary Clinton (Pants Suit Lady)                    
img_20161116_112805
A woman in the White House – ah when, oh, when?

American dreams of woman shattering glass ceiling are … shattered.  

 

 

 

 

 

Glass ceiling on international stage is shattered in 1960 when simple housewife steps into defunct husband’s shoes, becomes world’s first woman premier –

Old enough to remember?

Sirimavo Bandaranaike,  Madam Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), island home of world’s best tea  …

They called her Mrs B.

img_20161121_130413

                         Sirimavo Bandaranaike with Soviet Union Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin

img_7800
Way to go,  little Boy Scout! (Husband receives award from Mrs B at school prize giving)

Perplexing time in history of the  US of A. 

Glad to be Canadian  

img_20161117_185308
Begins with you and me … little drops of water, little grains of sand.
img_20161116_113149
The new reality.  Must it be this way?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

House renovations are finally done.  Just in time for house guests –

smokin-jojo
My snoozing spots are gone, Mama! 
img_7831
   Relieved Puppy.  Hip hip hurrah!

img_20161013_195055

img_7780
“If you love me, let me be … ” (Puppy and weekend Guest-let)
img_7820
Three hearty cheers. No place like home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arduous weeks prior –

Never again …

img_20160921_181933
Scrubber, that’s me!  Couldn’t wait to get mop and pail out … 
img_20160927_214517501
Scary without railings, Mama!
img_7666
Much better, but slippery now. Carry me up, please …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next job: Duct cleaning –

img_7719
Quick phone call 
img_7720
 Connected up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuff comes rumbling through vents into humongous tube.

Me to Duct Guy:  “Unearthed anything interesting over the years?”

Duct Guy:  “A Penthouse magazine once, dead ferret,  mouldy submarine sandwich.” 

Macabre Me: “Never any human body parts?”

Duct Guy (chuckling): “No!”

Boring …

Unseen toxic stuff all gone.   Household breathes so much easier.  

Literally …

Almost as wide as me. Gigantic tubing.

Feels like a parable –

Just because I can’t see what’s inside, doesn’t mean it’s not there and affecting who I am, how I function … 

img_20161107_135651
Sobering food for thought

 Do I need emotional housecleaning? Any residual gunk and uglies clogging me up?

Hmm …  

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Supermoon last week.  Crazy camera lady checks out rise/set times,  goes moon chasing.  Runs, walks.  Chilly, hungry, determined. 

Won’t to go home without pictures.  Thankful for unseasonably mild weather …

 Sun sets.  Ginormous blood-red orange slips into view above trees.  Bright as sun. 

Gasp!

Ipad and phone won’t do justice to immensity, colour and breathtaking grandeur. 

Pictures don’t record as eye sees. So disappointed.

img_7809
Reddish setting moon.  (In the park just before dawn)

 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 Summer-like weather most of last week.   Snap pictures of burning, brilliant gardens.

img_20161117_145824381
Ankle-deep 

Neighbours’ leaves all raked, ready for pick up –

Mostly naked trees –

Some still stubbornly clothed –

img_20161117_160410293

Squirrel-y busy-ness –

img_20161117_182813
In Wai Ling’s front yard

Half chewed apples all over Garden, stalwart summer blooms clinging on for dear life –

Delighted to find last, late (scrawny) strawberry –

img_7761

                                                    “Goodbye, my darling.  See you next spring!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Seen him a couple of times –

img_20161114_121702347_hdr
View from rear.  Glazed eyes.  Unshaven, unwashed.

Looks scruffy and lost. 

Homeless man?                   img_20161121_141352

Wish I could pluck up courage to say hello. 

Fear of rejection …

On my to do list: Talk to him.

 ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Found this on fly leaf of an old book of Mum’s  –

img_20161120_130121
Mum’s handwriting.  Miss her gentle wisdom.

Material things were never a big deal with her –

img_7686
She said this a lot

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

This week’s assignment –

Deal with useless emotional junk.

May take some work …

img_20161013_201743
Open the doors.  Let it go.
img_20161103_193550
Mum once told me, “To have hurt feelings is pride.”

 

img_20160927_103324
… just a willing heart

img_20160901_131948700_hdr

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Weather’s changed dramatically.

Trying ignore perpetually chilly toes.

At least I have toes  …

Thankful for toes!

Until next time,

sincerely

PS:  The photos in this post are moments captured on my Ipad and phone.  

Please support a local author – like this page on Facebook and follow.  Thanks for dropping in.

Meet Maria

 House is undergoing renovations. 

img_7518
Puppy, a nervous wreck. (“Help! Where’s my spot?”)
img_7493
Sleep tight, Claire! Overnight guest beds down with paint pots by front door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clouds of dust, pails of paint –

img_7479
Inside the coat closet

I gasp, run for IPad.  Just remembered something …

Tap. Click.  Got it!

img_7476
Take a look at this …

… something Daughter said eight years ago.

Flashback to …

Several dark months when light in home is dimmed while Mother (me) undergoes treatment for late-detected breast cancer. Pretty much confined to bed.  A simple journey to the bathroom and back is long, exhausting.  Endless pilgrimages to hospital and clinics.  Can’t do much else besides.   Completely sapped of strength.

One day Daughter says –

“I guess God allows the pit to get so deep, so we can see how high his ladder can go …”

Bingo!

img_7475
How high can it go?
img_7639
Not high enough.  

img_7415

_20150606_221832
Grammatically incorrect t-shirt!

Words to heal or kill- power of tongue to build up or destroy …

 

 

Perspective alters instantly.  Pit is deep, very deep – yes – but ladder goes high, so high.  Begin to count blessings.  Endless list.  

People who love and care –  

  • Husband, Daughters, Family, Friends, Church (Kitchen lies idle. Meals come in unsolicited for seven months straight.
img_20161019_182842697
Puppy, constant companion.  If eyes could heal ..
  • Maureen, who accompanies me to chemo sessions, sees me safely into house, remains awhile in driveway crying for me before driving away. 
  • Brother-In-Law, Jonathan, who spends 4 hours a day for a week, driving me to radiation through freezing rain and snow storms, so exhausted husband can have a break..
  • Puppy’s unwavering eyes on me. Doesn’t move from my bedside. (Never wanted a dog.  Can’t do without him now)   
  • Top notch medical care. Stellar surgeon and oncologist.
  • Knowing that everything happens for a reason.
  • Prayer.  Someone IS listening.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

img_20150927_010612

Husband wakes up each morning and says, “Good morning gorgeous!”

I cry the first time I hear him.  I’m grey,   bloated,  bald as an egg.  

He isn’t joking.

img_20161019_144857356
He’s my man

_20150621_121156                                       

   

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Maria –

img_4075

I see Maria one morning at the chemo ward.   A pretty woman.  She begins to cry when the needle is inserted into her vein.  My heart aches.  In two weeks she’ll be as bald and as I am, with black nails and all the awful trimmings.  I don’t want her to suffer as I have. 

I place a hand on Maria’s and murmur, “You’ll be all right.”

She says, “How do you do it?”    img_20150801_202032

“You wake up each morning and ask for strength for the day.  At night say ‘thank you’ for the grace that took you through. Live one day at a time.  Don’t think about tomorrow.  It’s too frightening.”

We meet every three weeks at the hospital, talk on the phone.  Dark moments.  Shared strength.

Maria makes it.  So do I.  Sisters. There’s something about shared suffering.  Eight cancer-free years for us both this year.  Oncologist tells me I’m one of her success stories.

How high the ladder goes …

img_20161016_210119

img_4066
Celebration time.  Hyrrah for Maria!         

_20150706_220140

_20150710_103346                                                   Pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness

 Detest the wig.  Makes me itch, gets into eyes –

img_20161019_203532
Unloved.  Hardly used the wig.

Husband wears it to sixties hippy-themed costume birthday party some weeks back!

img_7168
Happy Hippy Husband.  Despised wig finally comes in useful!

img_20161013_203008
That’s my man!

 

 

 

 

Won’t ever forget that moment when head feels scratchy. Realize hair’s growing back.

What a feeling …

………………………………………………………………………………

Gorgeous full moon last week.  

Playing hide-and-seek over neighbour’s roof …

Roses still blooming in Garden –

_20150702_204253

img_20161013_194628

img_20161015_200545

img_20161013_182402536_hdr
                                                                                              Standing tall.  Me in a puddle of sunshine.

img_20150801_211446

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope is a precious thing.  Joy is priceless.  

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: The pictures in this post are all clicks from my IPad and phone.  Please share your thoughts and leave a comment.  Thank you for dropping in. 

img_7585
A dog’s life. Puppy sleeps in. 

img_20160502_213406

Real Life Sucks

The shadows catch my eye.  Long stooped frame with  cane, smaller figure keeping step.

img_7444
Walk with me

His steps falter, hers are spry.  She must have been a pretty woman in her youth.

Pause at traffic lights.  His shadow falls over hers, covers it.  Now they are one.

img_7447
Rosalyne and me standing behind them

Symbolic.  

img_7443
Young love –  Viking lass and her beau! 
img_20160919_202808
Can it last?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my perfect world –

Daughters: “What planet are you living on, Mom?” (Eye roll!)

Planet Naive?  

img_20160904_101720313
He and me 

img_20160702_231348

img_6646

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still grappling with a sense of let-down over the Brangelina breakup.  Can’t think why.

Real life sucks. (Borrowing Daughters’ phraseology.) 

img_20160811_211311

What happened to  till death do us part ?

img_4526
All by myself

Aunty Joyce and Uncle Rajan celebrated fifty years this past summer, Husband’s parents mark sixty next year.   

There has to be hope.

img_6696
The royal wave. (Rajan and Joyce, 50 years)  
img_7526
The In-Laws: Merlin the Magician and Vampire Girl ( Wimsy and Devi, coming on 60 years)
img_7124
Always hopeful Puppy.  The crumb will fall. .

img_20160921_182006

img_20151125_212957

img_20160702_154834776_hdr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Change of subject.  A well placed seat on a porch/ in a garden corner, is a beckoning invitation.

img_6873
Gunther-and-Mary’s backyard
img_20160704_010050
Patriotic front porch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slideshow – more leafy corners and slivers of heaven –

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

An old chair in a green nook makes a marvelous stage for a potted plant. These dilapidated abandoned treasures found a home in my Eden –

Love how chairs add charm and character to a space (indoors or out).  Couldn’t love this one, though –

img_20160929_165405-1
See through pink plastic – yikes!

When I can’t sleep  I re-live  lovely moments.

img_20160702_155212905

img_20160929_165422

img_7019

img_20160927_103413

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like these –

  • Time spent with kindred spirits –                                                     
img_7438
Rosalyne and me at Word On The Street, downtown Toronto

img_7430

img_7427

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Rainbows in hosepipe mist and around the house –
  •  Puppy discovers playground –
  • Swathes of morning sunlight –
  •  Dreamin’ ‘n’ dancin’ to the crooning of Six Feet Up

  • img_6744
    Six Feet Up at Fairmount MacDonald.  Music from five decades ago for Golden Wedding Anniversary
img_6750
Six Feet Up.  Baby Boomers  – Kevin, Gail and Bruce.  Vocals and wind instruments.  Irresistible toe-tapping nostalgia
img_6724
Fifty years.  Rajan and Joyce.  “May I have this dance for the rest of my life?”
IMG_20161011_132810.jpg
That’s Husband and me!
img_20160628_145026
Just you and me
img_20160510_162253
Mine!

 

 

 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Saw this van parked on Next Door’s driveway. 

img_20160929_172021
Bringing dreams home.  A sign for things to come?

Yes, please!  

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Thankful for –

(1) Dental care and the fresh feel of just-cleaned teeth –

img_7012
Thank you, Susanne Klimitz, dental hygienist since Daughters were tots

(2) Good neighbours

img_6585
Glen and Dianne – court garage sale organizers
img_6584
Court BFFs. Sepideh (left), with Jinoos and young Sahand setting up shop in Jinoos’ driveway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Ever wondered about the faces behind the names defacing public property?

Romance, art or vandalism ?

img_7329
So who is Leyla?
img_20160929_140752
Who?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

img_20160704_005026
Bottoms up! (Thank goodness those weeding days are done)

img_20160117_145846 

img_6814

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 Memo to self for this week-

 Hold that tongue, watch what you say. 

    Easier said than done.

img_20161007_210550044
Wise monkeys.  Tisha (left) and daughters

img_20161011_133129

img_20160803_220937144
Shh! In a neighbour’s garden
img_20160929_142656
I am?

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: Dad and Mum made it to fifty years too.

146
Prins and Beatrice – RIP Mum.  Miss you still.

Sharing is great, please do.  Like this page and follow to receive future posts.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The pictures are all moments captured on my phone and Ipad.

img_20160827_173141839
Shopping with Mom
img_7341
Husband and Puppy.  A quiet ramble.

This is Susan

She makes a tedious trip to Walmart special.   

img_20160519_082614
This is Susan

Susan poses for the picture on a rare occasion when no one is in line behind me.  I offer to send it to her.

“No,” Her fingers play across an imaginary keyboard. “No email.  My husband does.  And son.”

She doesn’t know their addresses.

Our first conversation is about the dainty silver-dust-sprinkled fabric flower tucked behind her ear.  She wears it with elegance and panache.

 “I like your flower, Susan.”

“Thank you! I bought it in South Korea.”

“You’re nice,” she says one day.

“No, Susan, YOU are nice!”

I give her a hug.  I have to. 

Co-worker walks by at that moment.  “Everyone likes Susan,” she chuckles … and waits.

Yikes! Sorry lady, show’s over.   Ain’t huggin’ you!

 Her smile is a magnet. It makes my day. I find myself disappointed when Susan (with the pale sparkly eye shadow and fetching lipstick) is not at her station.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Mum (who had umpteen quotes in her hat, bless her!) would say :

“Smile and the whole world smiles with you, weep and you weep alone.” 

In layman’s language:  No one seeks the company of a gloomy Gus.

Happiness is conditional upon circumstances.   Joy is a deliberate state of mind

img_20160829_142915
Just kidding

Next week’s assignment:  Look for joy moments.

 

 

_20150713_200504
The little moments are the real biggies

_20150710_103231

img_20160720_165923609_hdr

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Some joy moments from this week  –

(1) Sun thumbing its nose at pregnant rain clouds 

  • img_20160914_182428870_hdr
  • (2) Chipmunk pausing to scratch

img_7348

…. before darting away

 (3) Neighbour’s cat (a second before Puppy pounces)

  • img_20160914_183211
  • (4) My shadow family
img_20160903_115740013_hdr
Eye-rolling patience with snap-happy Mom

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Summer’s all but done.  

Too cool to sit outside till the stars come out.

img_7251
Wonderful while it lasted

These leaves will soon change colour. 

img_7208

Flowers will fade and die.  Garden will begin to look like a bitter, unloved woman.

Thankful for –

(1) Cooler afternoons to walk with Puppy 

  • (2) One last summer snooze-‘n’-dream in the Secret Spot under Apple Tree last Saturday afternoon
  •  

    img_20160806_152326416_hdr
    Popsicle, Puppy and me – unexpected warm  temperatures 
  • (3) The Susans of the world who make the mundane bright

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

img_20160831_223847

 

Here’s to what’s to come …

 

Until next time,

sincerely

PS:  Lawn sign seen near home.  Really, who shops here?   

img_20160831_223649
Huh??

 

All the pictures in this post are random clicks on my IPad or phone.  Share the love, like the page and follow.  

 

 

Mama Mia!

Love how morning light spills all over Garden.   Continue reading “Mama Mia!”

In The Nut Aisle

IMG_20150403_075214403

There is the occasional time when discouragement slithers in under the guise of common sense, and hisses, “Sorry babe, it ain’t ever gonna happen!”

Such a weight of deflated dreams descended on me for no particular reason last week, right in the middle of  grocery day.  Feeling grim and bereft, I tossed items into a supermarket cart, and wandered around until I found myself looking at this enormous fabric creature perched on a stack of plastic storage bins –

IMG_20160317_084538091
Smile …

 It  didn’t belong where I found it.  Someone had set it down there,  just in time for me and my mood.  The red heart and goofy smile felt like a love letter of reassurance. My spirits rose.  Cart and I continued on and rounded a corner.  The caption on an outsize shirt shouted  –

IMG_20160317_090836736

The load of doubt dissolved and I smiled in spite of myself. How could I help it when the very space around me seemed to conspire in my favour?  [My friend, Rosalyne, calls this phenomenon Universal Synchronicity.)

It’s amazing how a single special moment can

IMG_20150827_164507

My mum used to say, 

IMG_20160306_194055

Look at this –

IMG_20160228_223222

Never too old …

Radical, thrilling!

IMG_20151217_095934that


FullSizeRender (12)

I wouldn’t be able to bear it.


I took this picture last week – 

IMG_20160319_103107

, chuckling at memories of a friend who once told me her family tree was composed entirely of fruits and nuts!  I grinned and remembered a recent moment at the bulk food store, when I unintentionally eavesdropped on a brief conversation.

“Could you tell me where the hazelnuts are?” a man asked.

IMG_20160317_130606

, sir. In the nut aisle,” the assistant replied. 

My mind boggled as I began to visualize the faces I’d find on the shelves of the nut aisle.