Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Break Time

I find myself over tired, over stressed or over extended. I’m not sure which (or if it matters) but however I look at it, I’m under the weather, which is very rare for me.

I’m going to take this week off to recharge my batteries. I will be back next week and if all goes well – and I’m really hoping it does, I will be back at my new blog address.

I’m leaving you with a little something though. I hope you’ll take the five or so minutes it takes to watch this video. It’s amazing; even with the subtitles.....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Another Week Done and I’m Not

I don’t know if other people have as much difficulty getting plans accomplished on a time frame as I do – I hope so. It would be nice to know I’m not alone in this. Another week didn’t go as planned so my blog hasn’t been moved yet and my other web site is not ready either.

Our work computer was in for service, and what I thought would take a day or two took a little more than a week, then I got new software that I’m having some trouble figuring out. It’s always something around here.

Seriously though; I have no idea how people get organized and stay that way. I always have great intentions and then something comes up that throws me for a loop (or two).

I’m hoping to have both things done sometime next week....fingers crossed!

Have a nice weekend! See you next week J

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fall Fantasies

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn;
While the Lily white shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn, nor a threat, stain her beauty bright.

~William Blake, ‘The Lily”

As most of you know I love gardening and especially flowers. This time of year I start to get a little sad without my garden to poke around in. My guys don’t buy me flowers quite as often as I might like so I have to take things into my own hands occasionally. The last time I was at the grocery store I picked myself up a small bouquet; and while they’re lovely they’re just not quite enough.

With fall here and winter just around the corner I know my flower fixes will be few and far between for the next several months. Each year right about now I have a little fantasy about becoming a florist; then all my days would be spent surrounded by flowers....aahhh, just thinking about it always makes me smile.

I love this poem by William Blake so much that I’ve often thought about making the first words the name of my floral business. ‘The Modest Rose’ would make a lovely name for a florist I think. This little fantasy, the odd bouquet here and there and my plans for next summer’s garden will just have to satisfy me through another winter I guess.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Snow Fall

Yesterday morning was bright and sunny with clear blue skies and this morning is grey and blah....just like November is ‘supposed’ to be. I jumped out of bed this morning when I saw the snow. I love the first snow fall of the year and this one’s a good one!

Technically this would be our second snow fall because we had a crazy 15 minute storm one day last week that left mini snowballs everywhere, but they only stayed a few hours so it doesn’t really count in my books.

I was curious how Astro would react to the snow because she’s so skittish about everything but she bounded out and played like she remembered it from last winter. It was so much fun to watch the dogs romp around in the snow. I haven’t been out yet but I’m looking forward to a walk through the field with all the girls. It will be our first trip this year to the creek and I know it will be a barrel of fun.

I love our changeable weather – to me it’s one of the wonders of this part of the world. I can’t imagine every day being the same. I’ll take sunny and bright one day and a storm the next any day over sunny and warm all the time. 

My front yard Nov. 22nd.

My front yard Nov. 23rd.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Beauty

I’ve heard November described as ugly, blah and grey. That’s not what I saw this morning on my tour around the yard. The beauty in my own yard moved me so much I have to share with you some of what I saw this morning....

Frost even makes the weeds beautiful.
I love milkweed.

My self portrait ;-)
I know you've seen it before but I
just love my falling down barn.

Astro is so cute somedays!
I think the ice crystals are beautiful.
This is why I live in the country!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Up Coming Events

Well here we are; it’s Friday again. Another week has come and gone. It’s been a busy week for me and this coming week is shaping up to be another busy one.

Jon and I (OK...mostly Jon J) are working hard to get the house ready for winter, and this year that means new windows, doors, insulation, siding, soffit and fascia. As if that’s not enough we’re also working on our back addition trying to get another bathroom, and redoing the roof on the garage. We (there I go with the we again) are hoping to have all of this done by Christmas – which is a little crazy really.

With all that in mind I’m changing blog addresses by the end of next week (if all goes well). It will be the same blog just at a different address. I will let you know as soon as I’m good to go and I hope very much you will join me there.

I’m also launching our work site late next week and I hope to see you all there too.

I’m going to be relaxing as much as possible this weekend in preparation for next week....so here’s to a great weekend. Cheers!!

My last plucky little guy!
P.S.  I couldn't resist snapping some pics of our first snow fall. It's staying longer than I thought it might. My flowers are doing their best to hang on as long as possible....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Myth of Authenticity

Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you.
Unfold your own myth.

This quote makes me think of authenticity and how difficult it can be to be true to ourselves. We all have labels and expectations that come with us and follow us through life. Our families label us the rebel, or the good girl, the athlete or the brainiac and it becomes something we don’t give any thought to until we discover a discomfort we weren’t really aware of.

We gather these labels starting in childhood and we continue with them through our school years and into our early adulthood without ever exploring if they’re what or who we really are. They become the myth of us, the myth of who we may or may not be.  We are a myth not only to others but to ourselves until we can stand outside the labels and expectations and decide if they are accurate and if we want to continue supporting them in our lives.

Once we begin to see ourselves as these labels or expectations then we have the option for a new myth. It is only a myth at this point because we’ve only just glimpsed a possibility of who we may really be or who we want to be. Until we begin to embody the myth is not the truth of who we are.

To fully feel our authenticity we need that distance between who we present ourselves to be and the who we long to be. We need to be able to see the differences and then we will find ourselves in a gentle spot from which we can choose the truth of who we are.  We choose authenticity just as we choose to believe a myth about ourselves and others.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesdays With Morrie

Bradley had to pick a book for his independent novel study for his grade 11 English class a couple of weeks ago and the list was pretty long. He’s not much of a reader so we decided that the shortest book he could read would probably be the best choice....it happened to be Tuesdays With Morrie; which is one of my very favourite books.

I’ve read it several times (and seen the movie a few times too). Bradley asked me to read it with him and I read it yesterday. No matter how many times I read it I never fail to learn something new or gain an insight that I missed the times before.

It’s such a wonderful book about the meaning of life and how important love and authenticity are to a fulfilling human experience. The title says it all really...Tuesdays with Morrie, an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.

What is life’s greatest lesson? Is it different for each of us? I don’t think it is – we all need the same things. We all need to love and be loved. We all need connections and to know that we matter to someone. Each one of us needs a community and belonging. Without these things life might go on but it is far less than it can be. Tuesdays with Morrie is a gentle reminder of how we can prioritize our lives for our greatest happiness; if you haven’t already read it, I recommend it whole heartedly!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank You

I’m sure you’ve heard about the law of attraction - whatever you focus on grows. With that in mind today I’m going to focus on saying thank you. It’s often also said that with gratitude love flows and I’m very grateful for so many things.

Today I want to thank you for reading. I’ve been trying to grow my audience a little and so far it’s not going quite as well as I’d hoped. Although I enjoy the writing and the photos I don’t necessarily enjoy self-promotion. I don’t even know how to answer the question “what do you write about?” without sounding (to me) ridiculous.

I know I have a small group of loyal readers and I want to say thank you to all of you for reading and for your encouragement through (the occasional) comment, facebook and emails. I really appreciate you taking the few minutes it takes to read my ramblings. I’m looking forward to the process of growing and I hope you’ll continue to be a part of it. Without you guys I’m just talking to myself, and I’m very grateful that’s not the case.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Do You Believe?

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. -Thomas Edison

Since I’ve been struggling a little these last few months this quote has come to my attention repeatedly and since I’m a big believer in signs I guess it means something. I’m not sure what honestly; but I’m open to knowing. I think that’s half the battle...being open to my life, and certainly to the possibilities of better days and better things.

As I re-read it I’m wondering what I could astound myself with today. I only want to focus on today because anything else seems like more to worry about. I think wondering what I can do to surprise myself is a better use of my brain power than worrying and stressing, so for today I’m going to be open to believing that I have something wonderful in me. I’m going to be open to believing that I can do something astounding – what a great thought that is!

I realize as I’m writing this, that I want to believe I’m capable of astounding things. I guess we all do. But how do we make amazing things happen when real life often gets in the way?

If you have a little time on your hands today maybe you could let me know your thoughts on this...do you believe we’re all capable of astounding things? And if you believe we are; how do we make them happen?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ebb and Flow

Everything moves in cycles – including life; I know this. What I don’t know right now, is when I’m going to be on an upswing.

Since early May it feels like it’s been one stressful thing after another. My father died and I thought that would be the bottom and yet things continue to pile on. Some days its small things like my car not starting and other days its bigger things, like the continued estrangement from my mother.

Between the stress, my anxiety and my ADD my brain is one constant swirling mess. It’s like being on a racetrack and trying to keep up with all the other cars. The only difference is that the race cars and their drivers get pit stops when needed.

I don’t feel like myself these days. I’m cranky and short tempered. I can’t even concentrate long enough to read a paragraph. I know things have gotten out of hand when I can’t read; reading has always been my favourite thing to do and when needed, my best escape from the stresses of life.

I find myself this week trying to deal with a minor family crisis and a lousy medical diagnosis. While I’m trying my best, anyone need only look around my house to see that I’m only spinning my wheels. The dishes aren’t done, the laundry is piling up. Things have gone from bad to worse around here and in all honesty I’d rather play solitaire or angry birds than do much else.

Albert Einstein has been famously quoted saying that you can’t solve your problems with the same thinking that caused them. Apparently I need to think differently, or maybe I need a pit stop. Either way - something’s got to give.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Day We’ve Been Waiting For!

Not only do I try to notice life’s small pleasures and record them here I also often anticipate them and today is a day I’ve been waiting for for months. The corn in the field surrounding us is being combined.

Summer Corn

Our house is in a 100 acre field, and this year it was planted with corn. I’ve never really given corn a lot of thought – until this year. I don’t like being surrounded on three sides by it. It’s like having a 10’ sentinel around the house and yard all the time.

The corn yesterday

Last  fall and winter we used the field as our own back yard. We’d romp around it with the dogs, the girls and I would snowshoe almost every day (well, I snowshoed and they ran around!). When it’s not planted it’s like our property goes on and on and with the corn there since mid-spring we’ve been feeling a little closed in. Not anymore!

The combine

It’s a small thing for sure; but a big thing too. I’m really excited about it and now I can’t wait for the snow. Listening to the combine do its thing right now reminds me how much I love living here and how grateful I am to be able to step out of my door and have all the space I enjoy so much. 

After...isn't that better?!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Movember!

It’s that time of year again. Men of all ages are sporting moustaches to raise money for, and bring attention to men’s health. Both of the men I live with are working on their ‘staches’ for the cause. Bradley joined the group at his high school and Jon was inspired to follow suit; which means I’ve got two Mo Bros in my house and that makes me a Mo Sista.

While I might not necessarily enjoy looking at their moustaches; I’m so proud of both of them. Prostate health hits close to home for me because my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and managed to live with it (and the treatments) until May of this year. 

For the month of November lets all be Mo Sistas and support the men around us by donating if we can, and living with facial hair if we can’t.

For more information please see http://ca.movember.com/?home

Here’s Jon’s before shot....

He's feeling a little shy these days :-)

At the end of Movember I will very proudly show off the moustaches of both my Mo Bros! Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It’s Test Time

I thought we’d have a little fun today.

I found these things this morning and I’m wondering if anyone knows what they are. If you have a guess put it in the comments, with your name, or on Facebook. If you’re right, you’ll win absolutely nothing except the knowledge that you know your stuff! J

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Misty Morning

It’s a misty morning here today and it makes me feel all cocooned and cozy sitting here in the kitchen beside the woodstove. I like days like today; days where I have nowhere to be and nothing pressing to do. I can putter around the house and the yard to my heart’s content.

I was supposed to be off this morning to my brother and sister in law’s place to have tea and talk shop but my car broke down yesterday so I’m stranded for a day or two until Jon can get it fixed. Although I was annoyed about it yesterday, today I’m going to take as a sign to relax a little and enjoy the solitude.

I’ve already had a few moments of joy this morning. I had a little walk around the yard with the dogs and my (newly repaired) camera, I hung out the laundry and pondered how much longer I’ll be able to do it this year and I watched the chick-a-dees at the bird feeder.

Right now I’m going to enjoy another cup of tea in my rocking chair by the fire....it’s going to be a good day J

The view out my front door this morning
and in the other direction....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Merry Christmas

Halloween is over for another year, which means of course that it’s now the Christmas season. Once all the Halloween candy has been bought it’s a mad retail rush to let us know it’s time to start shopping for Christmas.

Jon was at Lowes one day last week and on an end cap as soon as you walked into the store there was both Halloween decorations and dancing Santa’s. It used to always be Halloween and then Christmas; the two never shared a shelf. How times change.

We’ll see all the decorations in the stores now and Christmas flyers to entice us into the stores and to spend our hard earned dollars. It wouldn’t be Christmas without all the shopping and expense right?! At least that’s what retailers would have us believe.

I love the Christmas season; especially Christmas music (which starts in my house December 1st) so I’m glad it here for another year. I haven’t given it any thought yet – but I will soon. J

With all this in mind let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas this holiday season!