Monday, September 28, 2009

Asleep In The Sun



Some books need to be savoured while you read them ... as if you have all the time in the world.

Asleep in the Sun by Hans Silvester (1997) is such a book. It's mostly a study of kitty cats in their favourite positions -- the nap. Hans Silvester says,
"Through the companionship of a cat or dog, we humans have a window on a different sort of awareness. Anyone who lives with an animal knows that his or her companion has another notion of time ... time is like the air -- without limit. Cats and dogs are never preoccupied with passing time. ... For those who would learn to siesta well, I advise taking a cat as a teacher. For cats, the siesta is a sacred time which, under no circumstances, should be disturbed. ... Let us admire our friends the cats, yes, but above all, let us learn some of their wisdom: for them, to live and to have time are the same thing." 

This picture book from my bookshelf is one I've included in my 2009 Reading Challenge. I'm so glad I did -- reading  made me feel a 'warm fuzzy' all over.

Brenda 🐱








Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Source

What a beautiful autumn it's been so far. The warmth of these past few days has been the cat's meow, as it has provided a much needed extra few days of summer to our season. With the blustery and crisper wind today, however, it now feels like fall. Guess we're turning the corner!

Went looking for the music for the old classic Autumn Leaves. Found this rendition by Edith Piaf -- I hope you enjoy it.
 
The falling leaves ... Drift by the window ... The autumn leaves ...





Wishing you a happy Saturday,
Brenda







Friday, September 25, 2009

Time Flies






They used to say time flies when you're having fun. But it seems these days time flies whether you're having fun or not!

Remember when you were a youngster standing at the end of another school term, how long the summer holidays stretched in front of you? They were like a never-ending skipping rope of fun and freedom. That was how it felt at the beginning, but we all know, with each passing year it seemed like someone fooled with the holidays and they got shorter and zoomed by faster.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with my cousin about how quickly life happens. She mused that someone, somewhere must be taking away a few weeks from each year. Instead of four in a month, now there's only two. You start the month, you blink, and it's gone.

I used to feel cheated because the days passed so quickly. It always felt like I was trying to hold the reins of a runaway team of horses. I wanted to savor my life more slowly. I wanted to find a way to capture that childhood sense of timelessness.

Then one day something dawned on me. Why was I trying to hold it back? There was nothing to be done about it. Let the days fly if they must.

Instead of trying to 'slow' time down, it's more important to learn how to be more selective in my choices and to learn how to make the most of the days I do have, to make a difference to others, to create a little 'heaven on earth' in my corner of the world.

So let the days fly... maybe we'll learn how to ride the winds of time with the grace and ease that eagles do as they soar far above us.

Happy day,
Brenda









Thursday, September 24, 2009

We Got Mail!


Yesterday the cutest artwork arrived in my mailbox. A few weeks ago Queenmother had a blog giveaway and it was my name that was drawn. We are a happy recipient!

Now.... don't you think that is the cutest chicken you ever did see?

Tucked also inside the envelope was a very pretty hand painted book mark. As I like to say, you just can't have too many bookmarks! It'll be a lovely addition to my collection.

Thanks so much, Queenmother ... what a delightful treat!


Wishing you all a beautiful day
with a little bit of fun tucked in there somewhere,
Brenda
 
 



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An Autumn Morning

Source
Went for an early morning walk. The air was warm, balmy, still. The skies were that deep clear blue and everything felt so fresh. Met various residents of the neighbourhood --- the woman out walking her cute dog, a beautiful calico cat watching her world from the safety of her front garden, a brilliant blue jay who plopped on the ground intent on finding breakfast, not to mention the two black crows chattering from their respective perches and treetops.

I sigh with a contentedness.

Why don't I do this every morning, I often ask myself, because I don't. Yet, being out in nature's beauty gives me not only that sense of well-being in my soul, it often inspires me to eagerly tackle some project when I walk back through my front door.

For Beauty on the outside usually motivates me to create something pleasant and lovely on the inside. Whether it's housework or a bit of cookery, writing or sorting through a paper pile, chatting with my mom on the phone, or picking up something to read, my day feels 'on track'. And when I feel that way, I know I'm living my ideal of a beautiful life.

On that note, I'm off to complete some errands, meet a friend for an afternoon ramble, and think about what we'll BBQ for supper on such a gorgeous autumn day!

Wishing you a lovely day,
Brenda
xox








Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Orange Kitten Found



Orange Kitten nestled on the deck chair


Remember, last week I mentioned that Orange Kitten (neighbour's kitty) went missing. Although she's not of our household, she's as entrenched in my heart as if she did belong here, so I was sure praying for her safe return.

Oh joy! Oh bliss! when Rick saw her scampering across our front lawn yesterday. And, today I got to see her with my own eyes. I went out for the mail and she followed me home from her house. 

Apparently she'd wandered awaaaaaaaaay off into another neighbourhood. Someone found her and took her to the SPCA, which is where the owners retrieved her. You can tell she must have been lost and hungry a few days because she's very protective of her food now. (Of course Aunty had give her special treats when she came -- don't aunties always do that??)


On that note, I'm calling it a day.... 
hope yours has happy endings too.

Brenda





Monday, September 21, 2009

When Do You Like To Clean?

thegraphicsfairy.com


When are you motivated to clean your house? Those times you actually get into it and enjoy bringing order from chaos and making your home pretty and inviting?






A. When you can see the dust

B. When you are having friends or family over

C. When you are getting ready for a trip or holiday

D. When you return from your trip or holiday




E. On sunny mornings

F. On indoor rainy kinda days

G. The first cheerful day that promises spring has arrived

H. When the leaves start falling and the days grow cooler




I. When you browse a magazine on organizing or decorating

J. When you get something new and pretty for your home


K. Monday mornings, when everyone gets back on schedule

L. When there's that companionable ambience about the day
ie. you're creating in the kitchen and he's puttering in the garden or garage

M. Decorating for a certain season or holiday

N. All the the above

O. None of the above

P. Other

For me, it's "N" -- all the the above have been known to stir enthusiasm at one time or another. This Monday morning, it's specifically A, B, D, and I.

So, how about you? Leave me a note?

Brenda





Miss Kitty Helps Too



 

"Hey Purrzy Mom --
I'll help listen for dust bunnies for you!"



Miss Kitty and I wish you a furry-purry day,
Brenda
xox



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh My, Has The Day Flown Already?


So where have we been all day?


1. Fighting alligators with my computer, for one thing. Everything started getting soooo s-l-o-w. Wasn't sure if it was my computer or the service provider, so that took up some of my day to sort it out. Seems it was a bit of both.

2. Spent time peeling a box of ripe apples from my brother-in-law's tree. Bagged and froze them so we're ready for pies and crisps this winter.

3. On hands and knees, there I was with bucket and hot sudsy water, scrubbing down a somewhat icky kitchen floor. What was that mess, anyway? Best not to inquire too closely!

4. I've been saying prayers for Orange Kitten -- my sweet furry neighbour has gone missing since the weekend. It bears not thinking lest heart begins weeping. This tests that place of 'being anxious for nothing but in everything give thanks and let your requests be made known to God'. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will garrison and mount guard over your heart and mind. I have to keep casting my cares for Kitten on Someone bigger than me. And the peace does come every time.

5. Spent time designing a couple of small posters for a wee bookstore in my local church community. I've worked on it for a couple of hours and yet it zipped by as if a few minutes. Creating is such fun! If it wasn't so late, I'd have 'show and tell'. 

6. Wrote down three writing ideas today. Now if I could just sit down and work on them tomorrow. (Lin, could you come and keep an eye on me.... you always seem to stay the course so well.....)

7. Enjoying the lovely autumn days. It's been beautiful, although it got a bit blustery this afternoon. Which of course reminded me of Winnie the Pooh, because ole Pooh always enjoys a blustery day if his balloon ride get him closer to the beehive in that tree.

8. Zzzzz ... think my brain went to bed already. Best go!

Blessings and wishes for a sweet and restful sleep!
Brenda




Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitty's Really Busy






 
 
Must you make the bed already?
 
 
Kitty and I wish you a purr-fectly Happy Tuesday,
Brenda
xox
 






Monday, September 14, 2009

And Our Winners Are...


Book Giveaway Winners!
Monday, September 14, 2009





Our Winners Are......


Staci at Life in the Thumb

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher



Dimple at Meditations of My Heart

Gift F
rom The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T
-I-O-N-S-!


Staci and Dimple, please e-mail yo
ur mailing address to me.
(My address is in my profile)

Thanks to everyone who participated -- it was fun!


Brenda






The Last Rose of Summer


There is something slightly haunting about watching a rosebush carry on even though she feels the frost creeping in on summer's last breaths. Though the days grow cooler it pours all her energy into forming yet another bud with no guarantee that it will have a chance to bloom open.



It's a good reminder to keep pouring our lives out for the pleasure and goodness of others, even when frosty days threaten to 'nip' us in the bud.

The Irish have the piercingly beautiful melody to their credit, also named "The Last Rose of Summer".  Maybe the composer felt that same sweet pang... listen here if you will.


Wishing you a beautiful day,
Brenda
xox








Sunday, September 13, 2009

Simply Sunday - The Wild Rose

Photo: Brenda C Leyland


The Wild Rose

The rose blooms in the wilderness
Its only gardener the Creator
The petals send forth their fragrance
Till the air is filled with their sweetness


The rose blooms in wildness
Its beauty fringed with rainbow light
Each blossom exuberantly praises the Designer
As it sways on the evening breeze


One Rose bloomed in the wilderness
Its beauty was crushed underfoot
But though the Rose was cast aside and forgotten
Its Fragrant Blossoms changed forever
The world in which it grew.

(penned July 1988)

Brenda
xox

















Saturday, September 12, 2009

Still Blooming


The season is changing -- you can tell. The air is crisper, the blue skies are more intense, and the garden which was filled with so much birdsong not that long ago seems deserted in comparison.

Things are still blooming in our garden. No frost yet -- we always feel grand to think we've cheated Mr. Frost just a few more days.




Took these photos the other evening as the sun was setting. Orange Kitten hasn't been around to visit us lately, but Miss Kitty still loves to prowl about and snoop under bushes for friendly mice. Thankfully, I've never seen her with one...




I'm meeting friends for breakfast. It's a perfect day for it. And, having caught a glimpse of the state of my hair in the mirror, I best be off....


Here's wishing you all a wonderful day!
Brenda




Thursday, September 10, 2009

Work First, Then Cake



I've been busy with my newsletter most of the day. But my sweet Rick just interrupted me! How fortuitous! There on my desk he just placed a tray with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate zucchini cake. Recipe is here.

A new blogger found my recipe for the chocolate zucchini cake and left a comment which made me chuckle: "Why y'all gotta mess up that cake by putting vegetables in it?"

So, before the coffee gets cold and the cake dries out...

Happy Day!
Brenda










Monday, September 07, 2009

I've Been Reading


We're enjoying our days, but my goodness, they've been filled to the brim! But we always have make time for what we loved best, so reading time has been squeezed out. I thought I'd share a few snippets from what I've been enjoying of late.
 
I hope you'll enjoy these excerpts and maybe there will be something that you now want to read too.
 
 

September/October issue, p. 19
"Perhaps nothing else symbolizes the fall season more complete than pumpkins...

The pure, deep orange color the pumpkin lends to recipes adds to its appeal, and its earthy flavor is a natural partner for warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as for the floral essence of fresh herbs like thyme.

Here, we showcase six uses for the classic fall squash---crisp, cheesy risotto bites, savory tarts filled with leeks and herbs, creamy cranberry and nutty pumpkin bread tea sandwiches, a crumbly scone, chocolately turnovers made with flaky puff pastry... consider it our salute to fall's favorite icon."

 
 
Transforming a Woman's Soul, by Heidi McLaughlin, p. 10
"What has happened to the innocent laughter and beauty that came from within us as little children? Girls giggle and laugh when we make faces at them, their eyes sparkling with glee. They adorn themselves in princess dresses, twirl, and dance uninhibited in their bare feet. Because everything delights and fascinates them, they engage their world with creativity, joy, and the giddy anticipation of a great adventure...

Now that we are women, I fear that we have become too smart and busy for this uninhibited kind of joy. Who will rescue us and make us feel beautiful once again?"

 
A Story About True Love, by Don Nori, p. 14
"His heart was full of dreams. Dreams for me, dreams for each person who had ever been conceived. They were wonderful dreams, astonishing possibilities. Such mighty dreams they were, too! Dreams to win, to succeed, to flourish. Dreams to invent, to discover, to write! Dreams to change the thoughts of man, to lead nations, to raise children who would carry the torch of His Life to generations yet unborn..."

Excerpt from CBN on-line: "Romancing the Divine begins where Pilgrim’s Progress ends. A fictional allegory, it is the story of one person’s struggle with his inadequacies and sense of failure on one side, and his longing to know the reason for his existence on the other. He grapples with divine destiny while attempting to gain the favor of the One who has orchestrated his reason for living."

 
 Under Gemini 
by Rosamunde Pilcher, p. 40
"In spite of all that he was brought to a standstill by the unexpectedness of the sunshine reflected in still-damp pavements, by the glittering, coppery leaves of the trees in the square, and by the smell. It was a country smell, of autumn---a suggestion of peat and heather and wild uplands. It blew in with a freshening breeze from hills not after all so very far away. Antony, standing on the pavement with his raincoat slung over his shoulder and an overnight bag in his hand, took a few deep sniffs and was reminded of Fernrigg and of Tuppy. That he found comforting. It helped him to unwind and stop feeling so anxious."
 
 Master of the Music 
Geneva Hiebert, excerpt from back cover
"They've traveled far as they've followed the music to the Master's castle. They way has been difficult and they've arrived as a bedraggled lot of castaways only to find that they've been welcomed with open arms and immersed in luxury beyond their wildest dreams....

When a group of them gathers by the warm fire cracking in the Master's library one stormy night, they naturally fall to telling stories. Each story contains a secret, a lesson, and a perfect picture of the Master's perfect love. Through the telling, they grow to understand each other better and to love him even more."

Wishing you some happy reading time this week!




Saturday, September 05, 2009

Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps With Doris Day






I love this song and of course Doris Day sings it beautifully.

Here's my invitation to watch it with me and see if this melody doesn't sing inside your head all day ... I've been humming it for days now!


Wishing you a beautiful day,
Brenda
 ♥ ♥ ♥







Friday, September 04, 2009

Birthday Club Outing!



My birthday club met for lunch the other afternoon. It was a very warm day, so we enjoyed being on the patio in the cool of large old shade trees.

Our group of four is not a club in the usual sense. It's just that the four of us used to work together years ago and so our roots go down a long way. We would get together for our birthdays and Christmas we coined the phrase "The Birthday Club".

We're all so different in our personalities and talents, but that's the joy of our being together. Each brings her special blend of beauty and grace and great humour to the mix. We all share a love of good food, family, cats and pets, beautiful things, gardens, did I mention eating........to name just a few things.



We loved giving each other lavish gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and then one year we thought it was getting too much to do (with life seeming more hectic), so we thought we'd just meet for lunch and not do gifts.

Well, that turned out to be an impossibility. We tried, sort of, but after all, how can you celebrate a birthday without prezzies wrapped in crinkly tissue? Everyone still arrived with bags of goodies (smaller bags, true), so now we just laugh about not doing gifts as we hand round our little treasures to each other.

And I guess that's the fun of it all... we've known each other long enough to love without censure, laugh without fear, and eat without embarrassment if we choose dessert on top of that huge lunch.

So here's to my Birthday Club... Sharon, Heather, Susan...
and to the good ole days in 502!

Brenda
xox






Thursday, September 03, 2009

A New Venture


Little Orange Kitten is a regular visitor to our yard. Her real name is Squirt and she lives three doors down at our neighbour's house. She uses her cat door to escape when her pet-mom goes away. She's probably lonely and is certainly a bold explorer. Talk about being too cute for words and ever so friendly. We love it when she comes to visit.
 
Today I found her jumping around in my liatris plants. Quick, get the camera and take a video of this!  Now we're figuring out how to load it here on my blog. It's much like loading a picture -- just click on the film clapperboard graphic (video icon) on the tool bar (in Blogger).

Without further ado, here she is........ Orange Kitten.

video


Wishing you a purr-fectly lovely day,
Brenda
xox

PS. Apologies for the poor quality of my pic/video
(practicing, practicing)





Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

 
Mountain Ash laden with red berries


Today I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer as she hosts Outdoor Wednesday. Here is a little peek into my backyard on this lovely summer afternoon.

Our little neighbour kitty loves to climb, so up the trunk she goes. As innocent as she looks as she peers through the branches, she is probably in chase of a bird or two. Who can be mad with such a face staring at you?

 
Mountain Ash laden with Orange Kitten


"Time spent amongst trees
is never wasted time."
Katrina Mayer


Happy Wednesday!
Brenda