Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

1. I'm back from a writer's conference and my head is a-swirl with all manner of new ideas. What fun to meet with other writers. What fun to be inspired and motivated anew by experienced authors as they share their own writing journeys.

Sande @ A Gift Wrapped Life
2. Sande over at A Gift Wrapped Life is celebrating her 100th posting this week by presenting a 'gorgeous giveaway' from her on-line store. To find out how you can participate, click here for details.

My garden in the backyard, 2009
3. The birdy flurry of the past few weeks has died down. Our backyard is quiet. I miss not only my family of tree swallows, but the flocks of birds who came to visit every day. I feel a little forlorn, as feeders and birdbaths sit mostly empty. Yet, the odd chickadee still whistles his cheeky songs, so who can stay forlorn for long?

4. It's hard to believe we've used up the whole month of July already! As the days persistently march their steady 24-hour rhythm, I'm reminded of something Mary Oliver once asked:

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

To make the days count for what is important to you, what is it you plan to do with your own wild and precious life in August? I have to think about it. For the rest of Ms. Oliver's poem "Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith" please click here.

Practicing to load my first photo on my new Facebook page

5. I finally took the plunge and signed up for Facebook. In fact, this was one tip our writing conference speaker suggested we do when we got home because it's a great place to hook up with people all over the place to make your name and work familiar 'out there'.  If you are on FB and you want to 'friend' me, click here.

On that note, I'm off. Have a wonderful weekend.
May your days be pleasant and your hearts alive with love and joy!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On Writing

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

"If writers stopped writing about what happened to them,
then there would be a lot of empty pages."
~ Elaine Liner

Here's wishing you a happy day!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Writer's Conference

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I'M AWAY AT A WRITER'S CONFERENCE for a couple of days, so I decided to leave you with a quote about writing.

I thought of all my blogging friends when I read this one by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey......

"Please write again soon. Though my own life is filled with activity, letters (postings) encourage momentary escape into others' lives, and I come back to my own with greater contentment."

That's how I feel when I visit your beautiful blogs. So often, I come away refreshed, encouraged, not to mention inspired, which certainly adds a greater contentment to my life overall! So I hope you won't stop writing.....

You have special places in my thoughts and heart, and I thank you for sharing so many beautiful glimpses of your world with us!

On that note, I'm off to learn something new!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Evening -- Tree Swallows Leave Nest

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

You may recall from previous postings, we've been watching the comings and goings of a pair of tree swallows this spring and summer.

First, there was the courting and choosing of a suitable apartment, then came the nest-building and egg laying. Later came the rebuilding and starting over after another bird got in and destroyed the first clutch of eggs.

Time passed. We started hearing baby cheep-cheeps and as the young ones got older, they began poking their little heads out for a look at their new world, always waiting with open beaks for the next tasty insect.

Today.....Rick was in the right place at the right time to actually see the inaugural flight of the two fledglings as first one, then the other launched from the box, taking to the air like pros as they followed their parents up into the blue yonder.

We didn't catch it on film, but I just had to tell you! What a special day!


Simply Sunday

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

"Grace is the face that love wears
when it meets imperfection."
~ Joseph R. Cooke

Friday, July 24, 2009

Guest Blogger At Kimberley's

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I enjoy visiting Kimberley over at Fit For Faith. She loves to share her love for living a healthy and fit lifestyle. I often come away from her postings with ideas to try and a renewed sense of enthusiasm.

Over the summer months, Kimberley has invite
d several guest bloggers to share their own insights and thoughts on the topic. If you decide to pop over there today, you will find a posting from yours truly.

Which reminds me, I have another writing assignmen
t I need to get done today. My garden will have to grow without me this morning. But there's the sweet promise of later.....

On that note, I wish you all a beautiful day and a ple
asant weekend!

"Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth.
You're closer to God's heart in a garden than any place else on earth."
-- Dorothy Frances Gurney

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Here Somewhere

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth or get lost in the jungle, but as my toes do point me out to the garden quite often on these warm summery days my computer sits more often in silent solitude.

I just came in from doing some much needed pruning. It's been a lovely morning and I'm glad to now find the shade of cooler corners. Miss Kitty kept me company for a while, but she seemed more content to take 'er easy!

Miss Kitty in the Garden

I think I'll take a page from her diary and do the same on this hot sunny afternoon.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Colour My World

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

"You can't think what a delight colours are to me."
~ Penny Plain

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Simply Sunday

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

"Thank God for the smilers in the world!"
~ Unknown

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday SkyWatch...Two Birds in a Bush

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I believe these are young redwinged blackbirds.

The neighbourhood Redwing Blackbirds have trained their young families well. Everyday we have a little flock arriving for snacks at the seed feeders. The adult males always announce their arrival when they land in our yard, while the females come more shyly... and much quieter. Mmmmm?

We sighted a pair of young ones resting in the mountain ash as we were sipping our morning coffee earlier today. As soon as I caught them on camera, they flew off. Just like babies, they know when to pose!

It's a beautiful summery day here in northerly Alberta. The morning calmness has worn off as lawn mow
ers roar off in the distance, while my vacuum has a small workout closer to home.

Then, it's off to sip something cool on my lounge chair in the garden with a stack of books. At present I'm working on These Three Remain, A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, by Pamnela Aldan. It's the third novel in a trilogy about none other than Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy. I'm enjoying so far!

I'm off for now... have a wonderful weekend. Find something beautiful you can enjoy and share.

PS. Click here for other Skywatch links.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Busy As A Bee...

Bees work for man,
and yet they never bruise their master's flower,
but leave it having done, As fair as ever as fit to use;
So both the flower doth stay and honey run.

~ George Herbert

It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy.
The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.

~ Mary O'Connor

* * * * *

Steady as a clock, busy as a bee,
and cheerful as a cricket.

~ Martha Washington

Here's wishing you a day that's productive and beautiful!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Gift Wrapped Life

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I JUST FOUND a beautiful blog that I have to share with you. Caryn, I especially thought of you, as I remember you are a wonderful gift wrapper in your own right.

If you love giving gifts and need some creative inspiration for wrapping, you'll want to visit Sande at A Gift Wrapped Life.

Her business advertisement in the latest issue of Victoria magazine, which is where I first found Sande's website, boldly says that her on-line shop sells "gifts so beautiful, women wait days to open them." Now that's tantalizing, don't you think?

Veronique Vienne, in her book The Art of Being A Woman, talks about acquiring pretty things, not only for our own enjoyment but to share with others as well. For, as she goes on to say, 'not all your pretty belongings belong to you. Some of them are destined to be gift wrapped.'

So, here's to the art of living a gift wrapped life........

Photo source: A Gift Wrapped Life

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Simply Sunday...Classic Reading

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I've been reading an old classic about a 16th cen
tury Carmelite monk, Brother Lawrence. The book, entitled The Practice of the Presence of God, gives readers a glimpse into this humble man's life as he dedicated his whole life and being to loving God and being aware of His presence.

In the midst of his kitchen duties at the monastery where he lived, Bro. Lawrence learned the secret of a daily, moment by moment relationship with God. The information left to us by other people who knew Bro. Lawrence describe a man that was so filled with love for his God that this love overflowed and spilled onto everything and everyone he encountered. (Even amongst his kitchen pots and pans... and probably any stray kitty cats too!)

If this theme stirs in your own heart, you might enjoy a beautiful 6-minute video I found on youtube the o
ther day. Entitled How to love & worship God, it showcases excerpts from Bro. Lawrence's writings. I found the beautiful music and photography very moving.

"When a monk asked him what he was doing and what was occupying his mind, he replied, "I am doing what I will do throughout all eternity. I am blessing God, I am praising God, and I am adoring and loving Him with all my heart. This sums up our entire call and duty, brothers: to adore God and to love Him, without worrying about the rest."

To adore God and to love Him, without worrying about the rest. That's keeping things at their simple best, which says it all for me!

On that note, I wish you the pleasantest of Sundays!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring....

I like people who smile when it rains.
~ Unknown

Not sure if you can see the raindrops on my window in this photo. Believe me, it's a most welcome sight, as we've hardly had rain all spring. We were starting to look desert-y along our highways and ditches as fields and grassy areas were quite brown. But, this week we are wet... and if I were a duck, I'd be happily puddling in it today.

With umbrella in hand, I'm off to visit family today. My brother and his kids are in town. It will be lovely to see my young nieces and nephew, and see how tall everyone is this year. I have a feeling that when I stand next to my nephew of 13, I'll now be shorter than him! Oh well, us five-feet-ers have our place too... ha ha.

Wishing you a wonderful day,

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Guess what my sweet hubby just brought to me as I'm sitting here glued to my computer chair! A dessert bowl filled with freshly baked rhubard crisp with a generous dollop of vanilla yogurt ice cream. YUM!

.... the timing couldn't have been more perfect. For I just finished the newsletter!!!!!

But, I can't stay and blog now, I have dessert to savour! And as the ice cream is melting, there's no time for photos either. But I know you all have wonderful imaginations.

So I wish you sweet evening pleasures...... thinking of you all even if I haven't been to visit.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Newsletter Week

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

We're in the midst of our monthly newsletter this week, so we couldn't come out and play today!

I am happy to report that things are falling into place. It always pays to do my research ahead of time, so today I could concentrate on making all the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
It's always fun to see bits and pieces turn into a document that people tell me they enjoy reading.

And now I see that supper time beckons.... as do grumbling tummies. When I googled something about supper quotes, here's one I liked by Charles Dickens.....

"Opening her eyes again, and seeing her husband's face across the table, she leaned forward to give it a pat on the cheek, and sat down to supper, declaring it to be the best face in the world."

Have a wonderful evening!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Simply Sunday

"We desire many things, and He offers us only one thing.
He can offer us only one thing -- Himself.
He has nothing else to give.
There is nothing else to give."

~ Peter Kreeft
Heaven the Heart's Deepest Longing

Friday, July 03, 2009

Something to Ponder

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

"If being peaceful and loving are
among your primary goals,
then why not re
define your most
meaningful accomplishments as
being those that support and measure
qualities such as kindness and happiness?"
~ Richard Carlson
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Thursday, July 02, 2009

In the Garden

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Come and sit a while....

Woolly Thyme in Bloom

"Three Men in a Boat"

'Minnesota Snowflake' Mock Orange

Serene Oasis

Oriental Poppy

Happy Day!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

by Brenda Colleen Leyland, 2009

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command
With glowi
ng hearts we see thee rise,
The True North st
rong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on
guard for thee.
God keep our land
glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.