A Good Home, April Freeze, Birds, Garden, Snow

The Frozen North

Photos by Hamlin Grange

We’ve had all kinds of weather in the last four days: wind, rain, snow, freezin’ rain. Then more snow and freezin’ rain and wind again.

Hamlin froze his tush off to get these photos today!

Blog Photo - Cardinal in Snow

We hear the birds singing loudly — though methinks it sounds more like complaining today. Who can blame them?

Blog Photo - Dove in Freezing weather 3

This wall must be warm, because a dove has taken refuge on the climbing ivy branches just outside our window. We’re so sorry for him/her that we almost opened the window and said “Come on in!”

Blog Photo - Dove in Freezing weather

Our snowdrops are encased in ice.

Blog Photo - Frozen snowdrops1

The frog, we imagine, is playing a requiem for Spring, because it sure feels like Spring has died and Winter is resurrected.

Blog Photo - Frozen Frog

The poor daffodil buds, about to bloom, have frozen too.

Blog Photo - Frozen daffodils

Blog Photo - Frozen garden ornament

Blog Photo - Frozen Bench 2

In our eagerness for Spring, we put out the warm-weather table and chairs days ago.

Blog Photo - Frozen Deck

Blog Photo - Frozen chair2

The laugh’s on us for forgetting it’s April in Canada. They don’t call our country The Frozen North for nothin’.

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A Good Home, Garden Humour, Spring, Weather

Spring?

The biggest, fattest snowflakes (snow dollops?) of the season arrived yesterday, like cold water in the face of Spring.

I’m no poet, but these verses are meant to make you smile:

https://cynthiasreyes.com/2015/03/13/a-winters-tail/

https://cynthiasreyes.com/2014/03/29/our-lady-spring/

A Good Home, Author's Homes, Personality Profile

At Home With Sally Cronin

 

Sally Cronin  makes me want to stand up and salute.

An icon among independent authors and bloggers, Sally is host to more than 32-thousand blog followers, supporter of hundreds of authors around the world, author of eleven books,  gardener and wife.

Blog Photo - Sally CroninMCU

She and her husband David live in Ireland.

But let’s start at their beginning.

“I was assistant manager of a hotel and took David’s booking for 10 days starting on September 16th.  I commented to one of the receptionists that I loved his accent and that I thought I would marry him… joking!

Blog Photo - david and sally

“He arrived and I organised some business meetings for him. He was due to leave on the 26th but booked in for another two nights. He invited me for a drink after work and we chatted for about an hour.

“He asked if I would have lunch with him the next day.  We had lunch and walked along a windswept beach in the rain. That evening, he met me after work with a Chinese takeaway and the next day he came to say goodbye. He confessed that he had booked the two extra nights so he could ask me out, because he had fallen for me right away.

“We married six weeks later on November 15th, 1980.”

~~

Blog Photo - Sally flowers

Since that remarkable beginning, Sally and David have lived in 17 houses — some rented, some bought and restored — in countries as varied as Sri Lanka, South Africa and Spain.

Each one has had a different location or character but all were home because we were living there. For me, home is where the heart is and that means David and me.” 

They recently returned to Ireland after several years in Spain. The two share a large home office.

Blog Photo - Sally Workspace

“I also love the kitchen-diner where I create meals and we entertain our family and friends. However, I have to say that I love our little library. Every time I walk through, I can see my collection of books from Wilbur Smith and other favourite authors.”

Blog Photo - Sally Library

Sally’s own books range from novels to non-fiction, sometimes inspired by her own life.

“My first book, Size Matters, was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70 kilo. I have written another ten books since then. I am an Indie author and proud to be one.” 

Blog Photo - Sally Book-covers-10x

Sally took a break from writing books when her mother became ill and died in 2012. A qualified nutritional therapist, she started her blog (Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life) “as a place to write about health, humour and any other subject that interested me.”

Her blog also provides a platform for other authors — a place where they’re introduced and their books promoted.

“After twenty years as an Indie author, I understand how difficult it can be to keep your latest book in the spotlight… Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing an author that I have promoted receiving a comment stating that ‘I have bought your book’. Job done.”

~~

Blog Photo - Sally garden

At home, Sally and David always seem to have something on the go. They’ve been working on the garden. And Sally’s new book, inspired by the couple’s return to Ireland, launches this spring. It’s the sequel to Tales from the Garden. 

Blog Photo - Sally Tales From the Garden - Cover

“Tales from the Irish Garden continues the story of Queen Filigree and her court as they seek exile in Ireland in the garden of the Storyteller. The stories are linked and fall into the four seasons, peopled by new characters, resulting in some tears and I hope quite a bit of laughter.”

Her own life has included personal disasters, triumphs and suprises. 

“Around every corner there has been the unexpected. I have pushed open some fascinating doors which led to where I am today.

“Although we are now well into our 60s, we still believe there are a few more doors to push open and a few more places to visit. For example, we love our current house, but in a few years it will be time to move on. As long as we are together, wherever we end up will be home.”

~~

A Good Home, Changing the world, Types of People

Two Types of People

 

We were at a funeral. A speaker praised the departed effusively, as people do at funerals. Then he said:

“There are only two types of people in the world — the givers and the takers.  ——– was a giver.”

It was one of those times when — but for respect for the departed and the occasion itself — I would likely have stood up and said:

“No! She was a mixture of both! As are most of us human beings!”

~~

Blog Photo - Shadow

Then there’s that old belief that I myself once held sacred:

“Some people change the world, and others hold it together.”

That two-kinds-of-people-fallacy again.

In fact, many of us take turns changing the world and holding it together. Some even change the world and hold it together at the same time. 

I didn’t realize that, of course. I was a rebel who grew up to become a “change-leader” — respected and celebrated for it. Meanwhile, I saw my mother as one of those stable, always-there people who held the world together. 

Blog Photo - Lamp

It took me decades to realize that my mother, in her quiet, loving way, was both changing the world around her and holding it together at the same time. Ask any of the people in her community whose lives she helped to change, or the people who were strengthened by her stability, fortitude, faith. My mother was both a rock and a change-leader.

Of course, there are no awards for quietly holding the world together — it’s not a glamorous achievement. And not all change leaders receive prestigious awards or are lauded in the news. Many work quietly: one person, one action, one place at a time.

~~

 

Blog Photo - Lamp2

Easy answers can be such a comfort. But with age, I’ve also learned this: people are not always easily defined. 

So maybe there are two types of people in the world after all:

Those who think there are only two types of people in the world and those who know better.

Hah! Hoist with my own petard.