Up is Not the Only Way


DSC_0736 DSC_0738I love the way trees look, their textured trunks, canopies of leaves, and the tenacious hold they have on the earth.  These are Manitoba Maples, aptly named.  I think the first one would be an ideal place to stage a family portrait.

I often wonder what they have seen, the history that has been absorbed through their roots, the stories they might tell if they could.

Leviticus 23:40  On the first day you shall take the fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.

Glory of the Moon


DSC_07321 Corinthians 15:40-42

40 There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory.  42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.

Hostas la Vista


DSC_0692 DSC_0693 DSC_0710The hostas are spectacular this year.  The holes in the leaves of the first two photos are the result of a recent heavy hailstorm.  I adore the purple flowers.

Exodus 9:25
The hail struck down everything that was in the open field throughout all the land of Egypt, both human and animal; the hail also struck down all the plants of the field, and shattered every tree in the field.

Baby, It’s HOT outside!


It feels like it has been an above normal temperature summer.  The last three or four days have been above 30C with extremely high humidity.  As hot days typically do, they bring severe thunderstorms at the close of day.

Yesterday we were at a family member’s cottage on Lake Winnipeg near Gimli.  There was enough of a breeze to make being outside tolerable, and it always seems cooler to be near the water.  On the return trip a cold air ridge came in and provided some glorious opportunities for pictures.

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Job 37:4  After it his voice roars; he thunders with his majestic voice and he does not restrain the lightnings when his voice is heard.

First of Three, So Far


DSC_0672 DSC_0674 Previously I mentioned we have received hail three times already this summer.  As a result the hostas are a mess, the basement and the roof have leaked.  The leaking stuff has been repaired, the drain in the driveway was unclogged and the roof has been reshingled.  The hostas, sorry to report, have not managed to repair themselves.DSC_0675 DSC_0670

Psalm 105:32   He gave them hail for rain, and lightning that flashed through their land.

It’s Growing Well


DSC_0710December we took possession of our new house in our new community.  Winter seemed to take a long time to break as I waited in anticipation of what would spring up in the flower beds.  I knew there would be purple cone flowers, other than that, it was all a mystery.  Spring arrived and I gave all the beds some housekeeping.  There appeared to be some hostas, irises, day lilies.  Daily I watched to see what was to be.

The beds were quite the mess.  I wasn’t holding out too much hope, they appeared to have been neglected for a few years.  I told myself not to be too surprised if the plants took a year to re-establish themselves.  The bearded and flag irises did poorly.  Less than a half dozen blossoms on four bunches.  The one nearest the house was mush.  I had to removed a number of rotted tubers.  I expect to transplant it later in the season.

There was an abundance of hostas, they were late in the southern most bed which is quite shaded.  I’m going to have to thin them out.  All of them bloomed, beautifully.

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The cone flowers began blooming this week.  They are fabulous!  One of my favourites, mainly because of the colour, of course!  There should be more than enough for some bouquets soon.
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I didn’t plant too many annuals this year.  We got a couple of hanging  baskets for the veranda.  There were pair of tall pillar planters on either side of the bench that I filled with cala lilies, pansies and petunias in shades of purple.  The pansies are struggling a little, DSC_0706but those in the front flower bed are doing well.
The day lilies posed the greatest concern for me.  They, like the hostas, dominate the beds.  My fear was the colour they would eventually display.  The fear was realized when they bloomed orange last week.  I know orange is a good contrast for purple, but it is not part of my preferred palate.  They have redeemed themselves, the blossoms are glorious.  DSC_0704
I will be thinning them out, quite a lot.  There are a number of people volunteering to take the discards.  I have a fabulous white one as a replacement and some more bearded irises.  Plus I want room for spring bulbs, tulips, alliums, grape hyacinths, and narcissus.
The flowers have done very well, inspite of at least three heavy hail storms that punched holes in the hostas and beat down the pansies and impatients.  Still, the weather has been warm and there has been lots of rain. Perfect for a riotous display of colour. So grateful for the glory of flowers.  Praise God for the beauty of the earth.
Deuteronomy 32:2   May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew; like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth.

Those Were the Days


There are previous manifestations of my life recalled with fondness and a sad wishfulness to return.  I miss being a homemaker.  It was a good moment in time.  This photo of chokecherries amidst frost transformed leaves reminded me of then.

DSC_0437‘Then’ were days of harvest, late summer gathering of berries and fruit destined to fill mason jars with jewel bright jellies and jams.

‘Then’ was stewing tomatos, skins split with heat, acid scented steam rising, clinging to window panes as droplets swelling pregnant to burst in transparent rivulets coursing down to pool on dusty sills.  The tomatos became the the starting point for pasta sauces, chili con carne, soups and stews.  Harvest preserving gave way to Christmas baking, concoctions with butter, sugar, cherries and almonds.  Potatos emerged from the root cellar, moisture content reduced in the cool darkess, perfect for perogies and potato pancakes.

Evenings were spent knitting, stitching, creating, reading and dreaming.  Learning math and geography and history all over again at the diningroom table with boys yearning to be young men.

‘Then’ were days of planning and planting, growing and gathering, sewing and simmering.  The day’s effort could be measured in a glance, rows of jars on the counter, the glass clear cookie jar filled to the brim, cross-stitch framed on the walls.  Those were the days.

Ezekiel 16:19  Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with choice flour and oil and honey—you set it before them as a pleasing odor; and so it was, says the Lord God.

A Fist Full of Flowers


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Wild Chickweed and Violets

I’ve always loved flowers.  Always.  Earlier this summer I was reminded of some of my first childhood memories of flowers.  As a very young child I soon learned as my father’s shadow, what flowers were in season.  We would go to the poplar forest as the leaves were just emerging from winter rest, the sun having warmed last autumn’s carpet, coaxing hepaticas to speckle the brown and gray with white, blue and mauve.  Usually that was consistently around Mother’s Day so we would return, fists full of tiny flowers, stems barely crossing the width of a palm.  Mom would find a shot glass to hold the crushed bouquets.  We never picked enough to fill it, our efforts always seemed so diminished by the empty spaces. I learned early that for flowers were best displayed and stayed fresh longer the longer the stems were.

The next offering of spring would be the marsh marigolds, then violets blue and white, followed by lilacs, buttercups, bluebells, wild anemone, something Dad labeled Kentucky Bluegrass, red clover, brown eyed susans, asters and goldenrods.  A bouquet would be barely wilted and I would be bringing Mom another from the fields and the woods.  Before I was taught to know better, I would bring bunches of daisies.  Dad held them in low regard because they were a weed, spoiling the hay harvest.  Plus they stunk, and brought tiny crawly bugs with them into the house that fell and littered any surface the vase holding those sunny faces set off with pure white petals sat on.  He loves me, he loves me not.  I spent hours trying to teach myself the art of daisy chains and consistently unsatisfying attempts at flower crowns to set on my white blond head.

Dad would take us to the spruce forests to search for Calypso Ladyslippers and the blueberry hills for Pink Moccasins and Indian Pipe.  There were excursions into the bog to seek out swamp laurel and pitcher plants.  We observed trout lilies, mayflowers, and never picked wood lilies, or irises.  Dad recalls seeing trilliums blooming just over the crest of the hill, on the east side of the field where we entered the bush to look for hepaticas weeks earlier, but I never managed to locate any on our place.  I enjoyed watching the bees visit the blueberry and raspberry and strawberry and chokecherry blossoms, leaving them alone in anticipation of sweet fruit and berries.  We would beg Dad to guide the boat into the lily pads to collect brilliant white water lilies and butter yellow spatterdock.

I was intoxicated by the scents of twin lilies and lilacs and goldenrods.  I’d search out Canada Thistle and whittle it down with my pocket knife because I had heard once that if you were ever lost in the woods you could survive on its pithy stems.

Flowers are perfect.

Luke 12:27  “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Missing in Action


It’s been some time since I have felt up to giving some attention to this blog.  Sorry about that.  I’ve missed reading those blogs I follow, and those who follow me.  Things were quite dreary for some time.  I was diagnosed with hypothyroid and located a cyst in my breast all at the same time of dealing with the grief of my dad’s death.  I am now on thyroid medication, it has helped with the depression symptoms, but I am still quite tired.  Another round of blood work at the end of January will determine whether there is actually any stabilization of hormone levels.

ImageOn top of everything, we have had snow.  LOTS of snow.  It’s beautiful, serene, pristene, glorious.  It brings extra time in getting ready to go anywhere.  It involves brushing all of it off the vehicle, shovelling out the driveway, the sidewalk (otherwise they won’t deliver your mail), the steps into the house.  December broke the record for snowfall for that month, over 100 cms.  Compound those challenges with only seven hours of daylight and it is not surprising so many people suffer from S.A.D.D.

I didn’t sew much from September to December either.  The interest just wasn’t there.  I did manage to get a small banner completed for the lower hall at the church and two banners and two banner tops in yellow and white for the times in the liturgical year that call for those colours.  I will get pictures up in a future blog.  Promise. Image

This little project was originally a panel that had a variety of Christmas/winter images.  I fussy cut all the images and reassembled the Christmas ones with some filler colours.

Merry Ukrainian Christmas, btw.

Luke 2:10-1110 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.