Saturday, September 27, 2014

Celebrating the 27th

Today is my brother's birthday.  He would have been 58 today.

How I miss him, especially his laughter.  

Life is funny ... turns out this is also the birthday of one of the ladies I worked with at Mainstreet (happy day Janet!!).  And another co-workers had her second baby today, and it's also her older daughter's birthday (you're going to have so many happy co-birthdays Brittany!).

So many things have changed since we lost him - so much sorrow, and thankfully, new joys too.

Autumn Colour Tour

We have *finally* found a bit of a window where we have no commitments (or, feel not so horrible about not going to some we'd like to ...) and the weather is absolutely fabulous.  And away we went!

Day 1:  home to Huntsville.  Warm, sunshine, beautiful roads.  Leaf colour just starting at home, getting more intense as we go north.

Day 2: Huntsville thru Algonquin Park and back.  There's only one road, but it does look different each way ;).  Colours are magnificent.  Warm and sunshine.

Day 3: Huntsvulle to Lake Of Bays tour, to Gananoque.  Intense colour to what looks like an early, hard frost resulting in a bit faded colour, nearer Lake Ontario.  Warm, sunshiny.

Day 4: Gananoque to Sarasota Springs NY via Adirondacks.  Warm, sunshiny, lots of bright, intense colour.  Some fields of beans showing results of hard frost before leaves dropped, making the field look fuzzy!  Love the border crossing at the 1,000 Islands - calm, sedate, beautiful parkway, good bridges, lovely.

Still waters, stunning colour, rocks, sparkly sturdy rides, best husband ever.  What more could a gal ask for!  Am one lucky mamma :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Middlest birthday

A score and seven years ago, our Middlest burst into our world, bringing laughter and love. My heart bursts with pride for all my kids and I'm so thankful for the joy they bring us. On this day, we celebrate you and wish the happiest of birthdays, Middlest!

One of my favourite memories of when the kids were little, was reading Dennis Lee poems with them. Giggling and dancing and loving exploring words.

My all-time favourite:


An Ookpik is nothing but hair.
If you shave him, he isn't there.

He's never locked in the zoo.
He lives in a warm igloo.

He can whistle and dance on the walls.
He can dance on Niagara Falls.

He has nothing at all on his miind.
If you scratch him, he wags his behind.

He dances from morning to night.
Then he blinks.  That turns out the light.

Thank you, Dennis Lee, for all of the laughter and giggles that you gave us!

Proud moment!

Mile wide smile!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reads that changed me

There is a thread ongoing on FaceBook now asking people to list the top 10 books that have stayed with you.  I'd like to do more than just list the books, but also talk about why ... and one of my quirks is that when I find an author I enjoy, I often try to read all of their books.

  • Aleksander Solzenitsyn, who wrote 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich', 'The Gulag Archipelago', 'Cancer Ward'.  I encountered this author later in high school.  This was one of the first times I read of the horrors that people can inflict upon others.  Coming from an idyllic setting of rural small town area with little exposure to bigger world, these books were deeply unsettling.
  • JRR Tolkein.  The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion.  I delighted in the rich imagery and languages of middle earth, the bravery of the (not so) ordinary.
  • Frank Herbert.  The Dune saga.  Plots withing subplots, wheels within wheels.  New worlds, new ways to survive and navigate relationships.
  • The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.  My introduction to post-apocalypstic worlds.  I especially loved the ending of the book tying back so elegantly to the beginning.  This was one of the novels we studied early in high school English class, one of the first books I loved enough to re-read.
  • Room by Emma Donoghue.  Haunting.  Finding the will to carry on in an impossible situation, with resilience and love.
  • Alex Haley, Roots: The Saga of an American Family.  Bowling was never the same after reading this book.  Again, the small-town rural childhood, with basically a monoculture, starting to come to some sort of basic understanding of slavery and racism.
  • Diana Gabaldon.  The Outlander series ... now a TV series!  Superbly researched, fabulous details of the times, sassy Sassenach and loyal warrior James Fraser.  I have loved her worlds.
  • Douglas Adams.  Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Pounced upon 'Last Chance to See' when encountered at a yard sale.  Found and treasured 'The Deeper Meaning to Liff'.  I even collected his quotes. My favourite memory - shortly after my son broke his leg in an ATV accident, we were at the cottage.  Brought a mountain of books for him, including a few Adams books.  He is laughing out loud while reading this series.  42.
  • Kevin Hearne.  The Iron Druid Chronicles.  Wonderful turns of phrases, deep relationships (even with ones you can't trust or even like), lots of magic and alternative worlds.  Makes me laugh.  Intimately attuned to the elements.
  • Dean Koontz.  Odd Thomas.  "Tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human" - so wonderfully describes this author's writing.  

Secret Garden BOM 2016

Secret Garden Flimsy I participated in quite a few of Pat Sloan's challenges and quilt-alongs in 2016! This one, " Secret Garde...