Our Winter Wonderland


There really is something magical about winter. Snow and ice can be challenging, but oh my, to gaze in wonder at a snow covered tree does something to my soul. I cannot imagine living anywhere else on earth and even though I do my fair share of complaining (some would say more than my fair share haha) about the cold I am happy and so blessed to live in the “great white north”.

Winterscape

It is as if nature herself decorates my well-loved woods with paint of white lovingly applied. I am grateful to live in this place that honors nature and understands humankind’s need for “wild” places, even in the midst of an urban area.

Near the Birchwood Trail that crosses the city where I live

I consider myself so blessed, so fortunate to live in this city that makes sure its citizens can enjoy the great outdoors all year long with trails that well kept for skiing, snow-shoeing or hiking through the woods. Both these photos were taken at night and I love how the snow reflects the evening light.

I have nothing more to add. I simply wanted to share this winter beauty with you all. Cheers!

Star of Wonder, Star of Night


Aw, the Christmas season with all it’s blessings of hope and peace. And in this pandemic year we all need that more than ever! I have been looking forward to seeing the “Christmas star” all month long! But, true to form the skies were blanketed in clouds last evening so I did not get a glimpse. That has been the case all year! Every time there was a special celestial happening the skies would be inevitably cloud-laden. Yet, just knowing such a miraculous event is going on is enough. I get to see the beautiful photos that those who were more fortunate than me were able to capture. And it still gives me hope and a pleasant joy in the fact that it exists at all. Yes, I know it is the planets aligning and not a single star. Still the old Christmas song plays in my head: Star of wonder, star of night, star of royal beauty bright….westward leading still proceeding, guide us to that perfect light. The song is called We Three Kings, just in case you didn’t know.

I miss some of the old Christmas Carols that were a mainstay of my youth; The songs that sparked joy, peace, and love in my heart; the songs that spoke to my spirit. I don’t hear them on mainstream radio. Still, the internet has blessed us with choice and I can make my own playlists. But I digress, this is supposed to be about the Christmas star and the hope it has instilled in so many people. Where would we all be without hope? It is as necessary an ingredient as food, water, and shelter. I am so grateful for the beautiful images I have seen from different points on the globe of this wondrous and beautiful “star”. Wherever you are and whatever may be going on in your life, I wish you peace. I wish you great joy. I wish you hope to carry on. And, I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Little things mean a lot


Little things that make my heart sing: like stopping by the library to pick up books I had on hold and being greeted by members of my team like I’m some sort of rock star! Oh, it did my heart good to see a few dear faces today. We only had a short chat but it did my heart so much good. I have to say, I work with some truly wonderful and kind people. I’ve been off work for a couple of months now while my shoulder heals. I had physio therapy today, that helped a lot. It was after that session that I stopped by my work. The kind inquiries about my health and that of my hubby by my team mates touched me deeply. I have come to care very much for my team, my work friends and coworkers in other departments. My short visit today made me realize just how much I’ve missed them. This past weekend was thanksgiving weekend, but every day should be a day of thanks, shouldn’t it? I mean, we here in the western world have so much! At any rate, today I give thanks for my coworkers, people who serve the public with compassion, pride, respect and good-will. So, kudos to my library family. You make me proud. You make me happy. And, you make me so thankful to know you all.

A very different Thanksgiving


It’s been different, that’s true. But thanksgiving weekend has been nice and I have so much to be grateful for. It snowed yesterday, most of it is gone this morning. My son dropped by to deliver home-made bread his wife had made for us and to pick up the treats we had for them. And my daughter stopped by to pick up her treats as well. I left the door unlocked so they could just come in. They wore masks, as did we and chatted a bit while standing the proscribed distance apart. It was different, but I was just grateful to see them, even if we could not all partake of the thanksgiving feast together.  We have not had many visits since this pandemic began. So, it was a real pleasure to see them both and have a mini visit with each of them. (They came at different times.) We had our thanksgiving dinner, just hubby and I. It was nice. It was different, but so nice. It took me back to the early years, before the children came, when it was just him and I.

 Later I looked at photos my sister-in-law had posted of my brother, nephews, and nieces. They were taken at the side of the highway where the memorial cross stands for our brother who was killed by an impaired driver four years ago. Four years! It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Anyway, they were there to refresh the wood that had become weather-beaten. They re-stained the wood, added wreaths, and an owl. An owl because Chris, our brother, was a great lover of owls. I was grateful to them for doing that. Family. Family is what it’s all about, right? And though I live miles away, in another province, in fact, and could not be present, their thoughtfulness in posting the photos made me feel included and I am grateful.

I interacted with siblings, cousins, friends, and family of various relation on Facebook and was grateful for all the love and kindness shared there. Thanksgiving, wishes for good health and happiness were exchanged and I am grateful.

My Callie-cat was her usual loving and silly self, after a day of business it was nice to simply play with her, pet her, and appreciate her. And I am grateful.

Yes, it’s been a very different thanksgiving, but there is still so much to be thankful for. We have one another. We are still here, still alive, still celebrating life, still sharing our gifts, talents, selves and I am grateful.

Serenity Sunday: Beauty of Nature


One of my all-time favorite songs is It’s a Wonderful World by the great Louis Armstrong. Every morning waking up to the beauty of this good earth how can I not feel it is anything but wonderful world? There is so much beauty in every nook and corner of the planet. Yes, this pandemic weighs heavy at times, but when we go outside nature is always there to provide balm for the spirit. I hope you will find balm for your soul in this week’s offerings. We won’t be going anywhere today but I hope you enjoy the wonderful beauty right here at or near my home.

On Canada Day in 2018 we were treated to a double rainbow. The colors were especially vibrant that day on July 1st

“Mirth is like a flash of lightening, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison

The skies always amaze me, constantly changing with clouds that morph into various shapes in the blink of an eye

“You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.” – Black Elk

I don’t know which is more beautiful to witness, dawn or sunset, both are so beautiful

“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.” – Joy Harjo

This was just one of many beautiful sunrises

“Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.” – Susanna Moodie

Sacred night, when the clouds separate and the moon shines down on the city

“Never lose hope. The darkest clouds precede the loveliest rain!” – Avijeet Das

Summer, season of long days and beautiful flowers….life seems to expand in summer

“At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, here gusts of heat, at my back, white clouds. I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: to glorify things just because they are.” – Czeslaw Milosz

Summer beckons us to come to the water . . .

“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” – Regina Butt

Nature at it’s most dramatic …

 “Only he shakes the heavens and from its treasure takes out the winds. He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. Only he realizes miracles permanently.” – Michael Servetus

Blue skies, smiling at me …

“I think I will be able to, in the end, rise above the clouds and climb the stairs to Heaven, and I will look down on my beautiful life.” – Yayoi Kusama

A new day, a new dawn a sacred gift, always

 “Religion is among the most beautiful and most natural of all things – that religion that ‘sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind,’ which endows every object of sense with a living soul, which finds in the system of nature whatever is holy, mysterious, and venerable, and inspires the bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration.” – William Godwin

Over the hills and among the trees, what new mystery awaits?

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” – St. Augustine

No matter what storms may come, a new light will always break through

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

Light on the water, or Another fine day for fishing: in response to lynntuesdaypictureprompt week 8


In the breaking dawn he settles into the cabin of his little craft, hoping for a good day of fishing. These hours are precious to him. The citizens sleep on as he starts the motor and points his boat toward the horizon where light is beginning to filter through the darkness. These pre-dawn hours are like an elixir for his soul. He knows that when he stops to drop anchor and set about the business of the day it will feel as if he is all alone in the universe. He will take a few moments to enjoy the view and to listen to the morning’s song: the flap of a bird’s wings; the lap of water against his small craft. Perhaps he will be graced with the lonesome sound of a loon or the hoot of an owl as it returns to its nest after a night of hunting. He takes a deep breath, filling his lungs with the clean, fresh air and smiles. Yes, it will be a good day.

If you wish to participate in the prompt go to

https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com/2020/08/04/lynns-tuesday-picture-prompt-week-8/

You will find the rules and specifics there. Have fun, I know I did.

Serenity Sunday:West Coast of Newfoundland


Another trip back to the island of Newfoundland. These photos were taken at different locations along the coast, so many beautiful vistas, whether of sea or land, marshes or ponds… time spent in nature is never wasted. Summer is the perfect season to wander a little and drink in the wonders of nature. I hope you find a bit of serenity in these photographs.

This was taken on the Port au Port Peninsula near the community of Felix Cove. “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau
Red Island, off the coast of the community of Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula. “Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo
Overlooking Little Port Harmon in the town of Stephenville. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
There are also many species of birds to be seen on the many beautiful nature trails. This is the common American Robin, which can be seen just about anywhere. “Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” – Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Wild flowers are many and varied in the meadows and fields … “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
A bee busily gathering nectar. Despite having a lot of challenges everywhere around the world, bees are doing well in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador “Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard de Nerval
Summer brings birds, bees, and butterflies “Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
Overlooking the city of Corner Brook. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
Fog hanging over the water at Gull Pond near the Trans-Canada highway between the communities of Stephenville and Corner Brook. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – William Shakespeare
Sunrise, soon the sun will burn off the fog that hovers in the early morning hours. “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” – William Wordsworth
Incredible views as a new day begins taking my breath away. “The day of the sun is like the day of a king. It is a promenade in the morning, a sitting on the throne at noon, a pageant in the evening.” – Wallace Stevens

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

May we be so blessed as to spend time in nature and in it find the peace and the pieces of heaven.

Appreciating beauty of small blessings


“Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Callie-cat loves to smell the flowers photo credit: Anastacia Hopkins

I am giving thanks for these small blessings today: my sweet Callie-cat and the beauty of flowers. Callie loves to smell the flowers, she never chews them (thank goodness, as some may be harmful to her). During these difficult days may we all remember to stop and smell the flowers and let their beauty uplift our hearts and souls. Stay well my friends.

For my brother


As children you were an awful tease,
a tormentor and a fiend
But somehow as we grew, I came to realize
The protector and the friend you were
And remain so to this day
I know I can always count on you
No matter what life sends
Your humor can be depended on
To chase away the blues
Integrity? Oh yes, indeed
You have that and more in spades
Honest, kind, and thoughtful, too
Though you try to keep that hidden
Commitment to our whole vast brood
Is melded to your being
And proud am I to be a leaf
On our family tree
And grateful too
That God gifted me with you
So, thank you dear, dear brother of mine
I know you always have my back
And I, in turn, will have yours too
I’m so glad we are related
And on this day that you were born
I raise my glass to you
In love and gratitude
For all you do
For all you are
And all you will be, too
I wish you every joy and bliss
May your cup always run over
With all that makes your heart so glad
And makes your life worth living
For you mean so much to me
And always, always will.