Thursday 17 July 2014

Good Morning

Some days I need to be reminded of my good fortune. This is one of them so, instead of my usual post, I thought I'd start the day by counting some of my blessings.  

This morning I am grateful for:

  • Breathing in and out
  • My comfortable home
  • Food on my table
  • My fella, and the fact that our love has grown stronger over time
  • My family
  • My friends
  • Music
  • Quiet
  • Conversation
  • Books
  • This beautiful place
  • Cooler weather
  • Gentle breezes
  • Lush green forests
  • Golden fields
  • The smell of new-mown hay
  • Wildflowers growing along roadsides
  • Bullrushes in ponds
  • Water lilies growing wild at the lake
  • Tidal marshes
  • Ducks, and geese, and herons, and cormorants
  • Eagles, and hawks, and falcons, and osprey
  • Shy deer grazing in the shade
  • Fat brown rabbits darting in and out of tall grass
  • Piebald cattle grazing on dandelion-spangled grass
  • Still bay waters reflecting brightly coloured boats
  • The dusty blue moire water of the strait
  • Silver haze rising from the water in the morning sun
  • White seagulls playing on the breeze

Life is pretty wonderful, don't you think?

Have a joyful day.  

Wednesday 16 July 2014

News of the Day

Here are some of the links I've shared today on my Aunt B's Kitchen page on Facebook.  I share lots more on TwitterG+, and Pinterest.  Do join me there!  :)

On my blogs:

Fake It 'Til You Make It  


Instant Toasted Marshmallow Frosting from Simply_Create on Facebook

Creme Brulee Stout Ice Cream from Jenni Field's Pastry Chef Online


Cardboard Tube Coiled Snakes from Crafts by Amanda


from Monkeys & Mountains

Well Being:

from wburs Common Health


Crocheted Dusting Mitt from Capper's Farmer

Good Morning

Another clear sunny morning has strung its pale blue bead onto the necklace of summer days.  The bowl of the sky above me is as clear and transparent as glass, faded around the horizon to almost colourless. It's going to be very warm today.

The river waters are so low that in some places a person can walk all the way across without getting their knees wet.  The shallow water is musical, chuckling as it rushes over rounded rocks.  There is a swimming hole, created by means of a small stone berm built and maintained over the years by the the people who swim there.  Children are already playing in the water, watched by their parents from folding chairs set up in the shade along the shore.

California poppies brighten the edges of the park trails with bright orange and dandelions, thriving in the heat, spread a bright yellow blanket over the grassy space between the dike and river's edge.

Watering restrictions have been imposed and lawns around the neighbourhood are fading to gold.  Devoted gardeners venture out in the cool of early morning to hand water their flower beds. The contrast between lush garden and dry grass is striking.

The football field in the park down the street is now a garden of white clover, their pale pom-pom heads scattered like Swiss dot embroidery across the still-green grass.  Geese stop by on their way to the estuary to enjoy a morning salad.  

My own breakfast is waiting on the table: a bowl of fruit salad and a tall drink of water so cold that condensation is beading on the outside of the glass - a summer meal if ever there was one.  It's a joy to savour mall luxuries like these.

Whatever the weather where you are, and whatever the agenda for your day, I hope it's a happy one.  Pause a moment or two to draw a breath and admire the beauty all around you.  Enjoy the small luxuries that come your way.  Hold hope and joy close to your heart.  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

News of the Day

Here are some of the links I've shared today on my Aunt B's Kitchen page on Facebook.  I share lots more on TwitterG+, and Pinterest.  Do join me there!  :)

On my blogs:


Chocolate Fried Chicken is a Thing Now from the Independent

List of Edible Flowers from West Coast Seeds

The Best Tomato Recipes Ever from HuffPost Taste

Summer Produce Guide:  Eggplant, from SAVEUR Magazine

Oven Roasted Veggie Rice from ChinDeep

Home Keeping:

Raising Backyard Chickens from modern farmer


from The Globe and Mail

Well Being:

from becomingminimalist

Yoga for Sleep: 10 Poses from The Third Metric by HuffPost Healthy Living

Good Morning

Do you ever make up stories about people you see but don't know? Write stories in your head based upon nothing more than an image and your imagination? I do.  I often entertain myself by imagining stories for the people I see as I stroll along.

The hot weather has encouraged me to take my daily walks in the cool of the very early mornings.  I love the light at that time of day, bright and sharp with a silver edge, and I love that the streets are almost empty.  I can feel like an explorer of my own neighbourhood, discovering new things in the long-familiar scenery.

Because there are so few of them, I tend to take more notice of the people around me at that time of day, like the silver-haired lady who cycles by me most mornings, lunch box in her bicycle basket, on her way to work, or the couple in my photograph, who walk the same route daily, rain or shine.

I can look at this couple and imagine they've been together for more than half a century. They might have been school yard friends, and high school sweethearts who married in the heady years just after the second world war.  They might have built their little house down the road when their first child was a toddler and have lived there ever since.  They might have raised their family there, and had their grandchildren to stay for two weeks every summer, and now might travel to Vancouver every Christmas to see their great-grandchildren.

Nice to think of it but, of course, I may be entirely wrong.  

Perhaps they are new sweethearts who met just a few months ago. Perhaps this is a new romance between two people who, having lived long family lives with others, found themselves alone before finding one another. Perhaps this is the season of their honeymoon.

Perhaps they're not a couple at all, just old friends who find comfort in the familiar conversations born of long acquaintance, or a brother and sister who meet for a short time each morning before returning to the routines of their day, or companionable neighbours who have discovered that they both enjoy an early morning ramble.

Life, like imagination, is filled with endless possibilities.

Approach today with a hopeful heart and make the most of the many possiblities it offers.  They're like a pile of gifts at a birthday party. Enjoy their bright wrappers and their promises, then find joy in unwrapping each and every one of them.  Have a wonder-full day.

Friday 11 July 2014

News of the Day

Here are some of the links I've shared today on my Aunt B's Kitchen page on Facebook.  I share lots more on TwitterG+, and Pinterest.  Do join me there!  :)

On my blogs:


from Lifehack


from Rodale News


Good Morning

It's feeling very August on the estuary now.  We've had an usually dry year, with less rainfall during the winter than we usually have.  The snow pack on the mountains was much less considerable than we are accustomed to.  June, usually a cool and rainy month here, defied its custom and chose instead to bring hot, sunny days, and now July appears to have taken the year off and swept us straight into late summer.

The grasses in the fields are seer and dry and and the licorice ferns along the roadside are already turning yellow.  Red leaves have appeared among the green foliage of the cherry trees, and the broad green hands of the western maple leaves are crumbling into rust.  It's worrisome.

Yet, even as I note these changes, I see beauty and life all around me too.  When I brush against the dry grass along the edges of the trail, crowds of grasshoppers leap in unison, as if the very ground were springing to life and they, in their turn, bring hungry birds who hop along beside me as they forage for their breakfast.  

The dry landscape burgeons with flowers delicate in appearance but tough enough to brave poor soil and dry conditions.  Every roadside is lined with sudden hedges of blue chicory.  A lover of heat, it stands waist high in every patch of gravel, springs up in cracks between sidewalk and curb, decorates patches of broken pavement in busy parking lots.

Equally hardy Queen Anne's lace favours quieter spots.  It flourishes along the paths at the riverside and estuary, and decorates unmown fields with white lace embroidered over the heather-mauve gauze of the grass seed heads.  

Dandelions, who had their first bloom in early spring, have now matured a second generation of bright sunny flowers that cover entire hillside meadows with yellow polka dots spotted across the green.

Plumes of goldenrod are opening.  They stand in crowds, grouped at intervals along the edges of roadsides and trails, their yellow-gold flower heads looking from a distance more like feather than plant.

Bright yellow tansy is blooming now too, it's flowers dry-looking as soon as they open, its tough stems holding them tall above the surrounding grasses while its roots seek deep in the ground for moisture.

At the dappled edges between field and tree, stands of bright fireweed have shot up, some taller than a man, with strong stems, willow-shaped leaves and spear shaped raecemes of magenta blooms. 

Through all this colour rabbits and deer, pheasants and quail, sparrows and finches, move constantly and, overhead, eagles soar, sometimes pursued by noisy crows.  Constant herons fish the shallow waters of river and bay, and solitary ravens croak from nearby trees.

It's easy to worry about what "should be," and we are all inclined to compare what is now to what is "normal," but nature goes on about her business unconcerned by any standards or comparisons small humans may impose.  In her timeless rounds she is endlessly adaptive, and daily presents us with a thousand different answers to our questions and concerns.  She cares not one whit whether we are there or not and, while she changes in response to us, she stitches upon a larger canvas than we - with our narrow vision and small definitions - can begin to see the edges of.  

There is something soothing in that greatness.  As I watch the landscape, and absorb the million shades of light and colour, as I observe the endless variations of life around me, my worries and concerns fade to insignificance and I am absorbed into the tapestry. I am part of a greater picture and, although every stitch contributes to the fabric of the whole, the whole is greater than the sum of any of its parts.  The stitches may change colour or shape or form, and some may be unsewn and then made again as something new but, in nature as in life, nothing is wasted.  

All things go on forever. 

There is peace in that.

Have a joyful day today.  Stop for a moment to draw a breath and look around you.  Enjoy your view of the great tapestry, and know in your heart that your stitches contribute to it too.

Thursday 10 July 2014

News of the Day

Here are some of the links I've shared today on my Aunt B's Kitchen page on Facebook.  I share lots more on TwitterG+, and Pinterest.  Do join me there!  :)

On my blogs:

8 Steps to a Sane -  Even Productive - Summer 
from Positively Positive

shared by Premeditated Leftovers


10 Free Pillow Patterns shared by Premeditated Leftovers

Wednesday 9 July 2014

News of the Day

Here are some of the links I've shared today on my Aunt B's Kitchen page on Facebook.  I share lots more on TwitterG+, and Pinterest.  Do join me there!  :)

On my blogs:


Copycat Starbuck's Caramel Frappuccino Recipe from Cincy

Mocha Frappe from

Black Coffee Ice Cream from Leite's Culinaria

Informed Consuming:

from Canadian Budget Binder


How to Replant Your Avocado Pit from It's a Fabulous Life

Frugal Cooking:

Good and Cheap: a collection of recipes for people with limited incomes, particularly those on a $4/day food stamps budget, from Leanne Cooks



Map Artwork from