A Good Home, Canadian Families, Life Challenges, Lifestyle, Living sustainably

Life Changes

Blog Photo - WendyLavigne Design

My friend Wendy Lavigne has been through a remarkable journey, as I know you will agree when you have visited her lovely blog. Wendy is an interior designer, with a focus on healthy environments.

I know – I’m not giving you any real clues. You’ll have to visit her new blog and find out. 

Blog Photo - Wendy Ennis Lavigne

https://wendyennislavigne.wordpress.com/about/

My best wishes,

Cynthia.

A Good Home, Canadian life, Canadiana, Gratitude, Heritage Homes, Home, Home Decor, Homes, Inspiration, Joy, Joyful Moments, Life in canada, Living sustainably, Love, Wood, Wool Blankets

EVERYDAY GLORY – Part 2

*PHOTOS BY HAMLIN GRANGE*

Before the car accident, I was busy leading the big projects, travelling here and there.  Running around trying to change the world can make a person miss the beauty of “ordinary” things.

Injuries and pain are indescribably worse.   You finally have time to see, but barely have the energy to look.

But – oh – it’s worth the effort!

Blog Photo - Verandah Path

To  see one’s surroundings with new and grateful eyes.  

To take joy in the small moments.

To be open to small patches of everyday glory. 

"Snow Cones" on Spruce Branch - Photo by Hamlin Grange
“Snow Cones” on Spruce Branch

Snow on evergreens. The first snow makes the garden beautiful, day and night.

The late sun. Late afternoon sunlight shining on wood floors is magical. And when the late sun hits the wavy glass sidelights in the front door of our old farmhouse, it’s wondrous.

Sunshine on Hardwood

My husband’s truant socks. He has tons of single socks and we spend time searching for their matches.I used to get irritated by this.  Or by newspapers strewn across the breakfast table. (Or his overlooking my small attempts to ‘cheer up’ our house.)

Now, I call them “signs of life”.  And I give thanks for having someone kind, funny and loving to share my everyday life with. (And I try to assemble the newspapers without muttering.)

Freshly washed sheets.  There’s luxury in the smell and feel of freshly washed cotton sheets although they’ve been used and washed many times.

Canadian Wool Blanket

The old wool blanket. “Canadiana”, for sure, it would be worth something, unstained. Do I care about the stain? No.  I love this blanket for its brilliant stripes – and for having survived decades of use.

Blooming Amaryllis. Bought for 6 bucks,  it re-blooms (big red blooms) on long stalks each winter. ‘Nuff said.

Our family’s big mixing bowl.  Many apple pies have been mixed up in that beautiful old bowl.

Blog Photo - Kitchen Pies on Table

My daughter’s dogs.  Sometimes, just the sight of them gladdens my heart. One brownish-black, one white, they’re both tiny dogs with personalities of their own. As I write, they’re stretched out beside me,  fast asleep.

Julius and Dawson Fast Asleep
The Pooches

Slowing down  by choice is great. Being forced to do so is awful.

But in the spirit of lighting a candle and finding my way out of darkness, I’ve been focusing on positives.

And keeping both eyes open for the everyday kind of glory.

**

This post is dedicated to the caring staff at the pain management centre of Toronto Rehabilitation Hospital. One of the techniques they teach their patients is mindfulness.

A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, Earwigs, Garden Humour, Garden Pests, Gardening, Japanese Beetles, Life in canada, Living sustainably, Mosquitoes, Nature

A Gardener’s Question to God

When you said we should love all your creatures

And I try – you know that I do

When you told us that we should love them

Did you mean mosquitoes too?

 

mypestprevention.com
mypestprevention.com

**

Yes, I know that some humans are awful

And I know we’ve not done very well

And it’s true that I felt some relief, God

When the Vatican redefined hell

**

Cause I have to confess that when bitten

My thoughts would make even you blush

And I really can wait for your answer

There is truly no need for a rush

Blog Photo - Garden bugs 2

You know how it hurts me to kill them

How I wince and regret such bad things

But please tell me why you made some creatures

Why on earth did you give them their wings?

wikipedia.org
wikipedia.org

Take that Japanese beetle for instance

In fact, I implore you, please do

Cause that Japanese beetle’s created

Leafy holes big enough to see through

Blog Photo - Garden bugs1

God, those beetles will be my undoing

As they munch on our healthy green leaves

Did you see what they did to our garden

Do you not think them terrible thieves?

Blog Photo -Garden bugs Greens

And another thing, God, that I wonder

For those earwigs are such awful pests

Who have set up their homes in our veggies

Did you mean them or just all the rest?

**

So dear God, I must ask you this question

Cause I know you like people with spunk

When you made such troublesome creatures

Were you maybe a little bit drunk?

Blog Photo - Veggie Garden Lettuce

There are people in my blogging network

Who’ll be horrified that I’m so bold

But I really do need to be honest

Cause I like being part of your fold

**

So again I must ask you this question

And I know you will tell me the truth

Do you not think that some of your creatures

Are a tiny bit mean and uncouth?

Blog Photo -Garden bugs Clematis 1

Blog Photo -Garden bugs Eggplant leaves

I am sorry to bug you with nonsense

And I know that I should never fuss

For some people are dealing with big things

And they never complain, swear or cuss

Blog Photo -Garden bugs Half-eaten Clematis

But dear God could you give me an answer

One day when you’ve got some free time

As to what I should think of these insects

‘Stead of writing ridiculous rhyme

**

When you said we should love all your creatures

And I try – you know how I do

When you said that we really should love them

Did you mean all the awful ones too?

 **

Somewhat Inspired by Theologian C. H. Spurgeon, via Levi Thetford’s blog. 

© CSReyes

A Good Home, Aggie and Lou, Environment-friendly, Farming, Farms, Flowers, Gardens, Living sustainably, Organic Farming, Organic Food, Peonies, Spring garden, Stewards of the land, Texas, The environment, Vegetables

Blooms for Aggie (and Lou)

Aggie asked me to publish blooms of peonies from my garden.

Blog Photo - Peonies almost open Light pink

I promised I would.

Blog Photo - Peony and bee

Who is Aggie, you may ask?

Blog Photo - Peony Rust

Aggie and husband Lou run Isis Farms near Avery, Texas. They call what they do “beyond organic”.

“We want to grow and supply ‘real’ food, for ourselves, and as many people as possible. We think that good, whole food is a key to health.”

They describe themselves as stewards of their 30-acre land.

“As stewards of this land, we want to nurture a healthy ecosystem, maintaining the forest, reintroducing native grasses, and keeping the chemicals out.”

Blog Photo - Peonies in Bloom

Aggie and Lou believe the planet cannot possibly sustain the average American’s lifestyle. So they are doing their part to reduce their impact on the earth.

“For example, we are planning for solar power, and rainwater collection and drip irrigation to minimize water usage. Our home is small, and we heat with wood, which creates no additional greenhouse gases, and is freely available in our forest. We purchase used items when practical.”

Aggie and Lou have been working very hard to realize their ideals. And they continue to do so, through what seems to be every single day. This kind of work and vision take commitment, but they seem to have it in spades.

Blog Photo - Peony and weigela

So these blooms are a tribute to Aggie and Lou and Isis Farms.

And because Aggie asked to see them.

Blog Photo - Peony deep pink single

This post is dedicated to Aggie, Lou, and all who are doing something to “reduce their impact” on the earth.

*The second and third images above are by my wonderful photographer Hamlin Grange. (The rest are by that awful photo-taker who shall not be named.)