Sunday, May 31, 2009

Simply Sunday

"Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf." ~ Albert Schweitzer

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Saunters

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

We're out for the day. A nature walk in the woods. A BBQ with friends. And snoozes in sunny vistas in the garden. Sounds like a holiday. Wow, being retired is a lot of fun! Rick and I find our days so much slower. Still busy with things, but not pressed down in every direction, which makes life so much sweeter.

I posted something yesterday on InScribe Writer's Blog, if you care to take a peek. The posting is entitled "Whadda We Gonna Do Now, Lippy?"

And so for now, I'm sending happy wishes for a peaceful and enjoyable weekend for you.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just Checking In

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Just checking in ... seems blogging gets pushed down the list as warmer weather beckons me to come hither. But, I don't want to lose touch, so here's a glimpse into what my day included....

1. Rick and I met our good friends, Stan and Carol, for coffee early this morning. The place hummed with happy patrons. to which we
added our own happy buzz as we caught up on life.

2. During my rest times (I'm doing more of that recently) I've been re-reading Jan Karon's books for the umpteenth time. Today I had my nose in "Light in the Window".

3. I picked a friend up and drove her home after she had some dental surgery. We sat in the car for a few minutes chatting, as warm breezes blew through our open windows. It created a simple moment of shared camaraderie.

4. Baked homemade meatloaf with garlic poppy seed pasta was on the menu for supper.

5. Took a wee nap on the kitchen couch while the meatloaf baked.

6. Enjoyed seeing more trees coming out in their spring green wardrobe as I drove around town. With all the cold weather we had so late, I'm noticing that the flowering trees have few blossoms this year.

6. I made sure I told Rick he's the best husband in the world tonight. That was because he told me to continue my nap after supper, while he did up the dishes! (Isn't he sweet!)

7. Assumed the role of doorman when Miss Kitty wanted to go out into the garden and then come back in and then go back out. I don't mind, she's so happy for the warmer days too.

8. Had so much fun listening to the birds as they chattered and whistled and regaled us with tuneful song.

another pleasantly ordinary day ... a little heaven on earth! Thanks, dear Heavenly Dad, for all your wonderful blessings ...I bless You back!

Hugs to you all!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Spring Day

We've been out doing some clean up in the garden the last couple of days. Yes, yes, it would appear that we are seeing the backside of winter ... finally! Spring cometh.

What a treat to sit awhile in the warm sunshine. We revel in how comforting its warmth is not only to face and back, but to one's soul too. Add the happy whistles and mating calls of a myriad of birds finding shelter in our small garden and we're basking in the bounty of God's beautiful creation with overflowing hearts.

The so-long wait for Spring this year has sharpened my senses to see these simple pleasures around me. And I'm grateful for them.

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,

Friday, May 22, 2009

We Had Spring Today....

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

It was a glorious day. Warm, sunny, blue skies and not even a hint of snow! Spring, are you really here? And, what a joyous ruckus in the neighbourhood with all our feathere
d birds glorying in the sunny warmth too.

Puttered about the house in the morning and got some chores done, went for a walk, helped a friend who needed a hand with grocery shopping (she's recovering from a broken ankle), enjoyed a much needed nap in the afternoon, and now I see the sun has set and evening shadows wrap themselves around us.

So, as the robins twitter their sleepy songs, I'm nodding my own goodnights! May your dreams be sweet and your sleep restful.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quotables: Live a Balanced Life

"Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life -- learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some." ~ Robert Fulghum

Monday, May 18, 2009

String of Pearls

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

One of my goals this year is to read at least 53 books from my own personal library. It's been a lot of fun finding old favourites, as well as re-discovering books I'd once cherished, but forgotten I owned.

For instance, I just came across a motivational book entitled String of Pearls, R
ecipes for Living in the Real World, by JoAnna M. Lund. When I opened the front cover, I realized I hadn't read it since 2002. Oh my, that is while! And, I must tell you, it is a book I had really enjoyed the first time I read it. (BTW, I usually make a note of the date when I read a book -- it helps track my journey and growth through the various stage of my life.

So, as I'm enjoying this lost treasure of pearls, I'm pleased to share a quote from the book, which will hopefully whet your appetite for more as well!

A Pearl to Polish
Why have faith in what we cannot see, cannot measure, cannot touch or lock away? Why believe in the promises made by our parents, our teachers, our clergy, when the world seems such an uncertain place?

Why, indeed? So much of what is most meaningful in our lives is invisible, and yet we would not choose to live without it. Love ... happiness ... courage ... kindness ... hope ... these are the touchstones of a good life, and we take them on faith. So, too, must we take on faith our belief that we have the strength and power to shape our own future. With each change we make, each choice and each commitment, we change what seemed inevitable into what is possible. We grow, just as seeds in the garden do, with a lot of water, a lot of love, and a lot of faith. ~ from String of Pearls

Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tree Swallows and Kitty Cats

A progress report on our pair of tree swallows. From the three suitable nest boxes Rick mounted in various spots in our backyard garden, Mr. and Mrs. T. Swallow have selected one that works for them. With the tweeting and cooing going on, I could well imagine their excitement. And, this morning we caught sight of the pair of them beginning to gather materials on the ground for their tiny nest.

Which means, Miss Kitty, sweet kitty that she is, has had to be brought back into the house. No more snooping and exploring in the garden for the time being. And, she was having so much fun out there since warmer days descended, that it really breaks my heart to hear her sad, pathetic meows as she sits by the back door!

As with many things in life, there seems to be a mix of bittersweet in all this. We get to enjoy the wonder of birds in the spring time, and Miss Kitty has to wonder why she's been relegated to the house when she was having so much fun.

But there it is... soon, dear Miss Kitty, soon, you'll be free to roam again.

Now I must be off...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Happiest People

I once received this small devotional book as a gift. Filled with lovely artwork, there are thoughtful quotes and anecdotes. One such anecdote tells the story that a newspaper in England once asked a question of its readers: "Who are the happiest people on the earth?"

According to the article, these were the four prize-winning answers:
1. A little child building sand castles;
2. A craftsman or artist whistling over a job well done;
3. A mother bathing her baby after a busy day;
4. A doctor who has finished a difficult and dangerous operation that saved a human life.
W. Beran Wolfe once said, "If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden... He will not be striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours at a time."

So, here's to those every day experiences that bring true happiness to your own life!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's Sunny Again

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

What a wondrous treat to wake and find a sunny, clear blue sky this morning, especially after yesterday's most unwelcome blast of wintry winds and hints of snow yet again. What funny weather we're having!

But it was m
y little pair of tree swallows and the rose finches I was concerned about. Sparrows and chickadees are quite used to our frosty weather, but I wondered how much our feathered friends from warmer climes can handle when they arrive and find temperatures still dipping below freezing.

Ahhhh.... I just heard the finches arrive in the garden for breakfast. I peek out my study window and there they are at the feeders. So all seems well.

I have a 'free' day today. No chores or errands or jobs pressing at my heels this morning. That feels like being on an unexpected holiday. So Hubby and I are heading off to our favourite coffee spot, where we shall relax in a sunny window, sip our favourite lattes, and enjoy the fragrant cheerful ambiance along with other patrons.

So I wish
you a pleasant day! May your day hold many unexpected pockets of joy-filled moments for you, no matter what else is going on in your life.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #18

It's a bright and beautiful Monday morning. The birds are out in full force and the leaves are finally loosening their grip on their tightly furled buds. It's a great day to enjoy the warmth and fun of Mellow Yellow Monday.

The author at Mellow Yellow Monday says yellow is her favourite colour. She thinks the world is always better with a splash of yellow. I agree, so here's my splash for today!

 Yellow crocuses peeking out in my garden

There are painters that can change
the sun into a yellow blot,
but there are others, that due to
their talent and intelligence
can change a yellow blot into the sun."
~ Pablo Picasso

Here's wishing you a happy and cheery Monday!


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Good Morning, Merry Sunshine

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Happy Mother's Day! A few years ago I wrote a little essay for my mom on Mother's Day. I want to share it with you as we celebrate our moms this weekend.

I love my mom a whole bunch. She's been a precious gift from God for me, and as I get older I treasure her more and more for being that steadfast pillar of love throughout my lifetime.


"Good morning, Merry Sunshine!" That phrase echoes down through the decades of my life and still spills warmth and light into my soul. It's a phrase I haven't thought of in years, but when it recently wiggled its way out from some dusty memory bank, I was stopped in my tracks. For wrapped in its melody, there came such a sweet flood of happy and loving feelings.

For a fleeting moment I was back in the old farm kitchen where I grew up. I must have only been about five or six at the time. I have a recollection of padding my sleepy-eyed self down the little hallway into the sun flooded kitchen, where Mom was probably making breakfast. She stoppe
d whatever she was doing to welcome me into the day by her cheery, "Good morning, Merry Sunshine."

I don't recall if Mom used that little nickname on a regular basis, or just that one time, but even after all these years, just remembering it, I got all warm and cozy. It made my heart sing to think of my mom using that little name for me.

It was as if her words, spoken so long ago, spilled something precious over me -- a reminder that Mom's love for me over my lifetime has been like sunshine -- always warming, always cheering, always there. Remembering those words at this time in my life is a little like an awaken
ing call. For with the feelings that wash over me as I remember, I now have a little hankering to live up to that name, to be a merry bit of sunshine wherever I go.

Which makes me realize that good or bad, the words a mother speaks over her child echoes over the decades. The use of nicknames, whether they are pretty, cute, funny, or gently teasing of a special personality trait, when spoken with love and kindness, can give a child a sense of belonging, of feeling included in the circle of love, and of being identified as someone worthy and special.

I bless
my mother for speaking such a loving nickname over me all those years ago, for it still rings a happy melody in my heart today. May we as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunties speak many loving words over our loved ones today, for the words we speak will echo for a lifetime!

And a merry, sunny day to you all!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Pretty Tree Swallows

by Brenda Colleen Leyland, 2009

Such a to-doing this morning in our backyard. The little tree swallows are still discussing who gets to lay claim to the nest boxes this season. Located right outside my study window, it's a joy to watch and listen to their pretty chatter. As I'm taking the snaps through the window, they
aren't as clear as they could be.

Hope your day is filled with songs of Spring today.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It's On The Back Burner

Have you ever worked on a project and then put it on what's often referred to as 'the back burner', because you either got busy with something else or you had to work through some ideas before you could do more?

For anyone who has any projects on the back burner these days, I want to share this humorous warning I understand originates with Lorrie Moore, American fiction writer:

"She had put (her poems) on the back burner,
and they had fallen behind the stove."

On different note, I'm so excited that our little tree swallows arrived in the neighbourhood this Spring morning, flying round and round wondering where their nesting boxes were.

Even as hubby was still in the middle of attaching the boxes to the fence railing, an eager pair landed atop one, laying claim even before the nest were solidly in place.

Although I'm delighted with the arrival of all our summer birds, I must admit the tree swallows are a favourite ...  they are so much fun to watch in the Springtime.

On that note, I'm wishing you a beautiful day.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday Musings

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

The wind is blowing hard today. We had such a fine spring day yesterday that everything and everyone went to popping out all over with glee and exuberance. Trees were bu
dding out, grassing was greening, people seemed to be out in throngs as if, like bees from a hive where the lids have been removed, out they flew.

Today we're huddled back behind tightly closed windows and turned up collars, but as I have to work at my computer, I guess that's not so bad.
I spent my morning writing a post for InScribe Writers Online. It's entitled "How Spring Cleaning Prepares the Way for God Opportunities". If you're interested in taking a peek, click here.

And now, m'dears, I have to go and work on my Mary Kay newsletter! So until next time, be happy and beautiful!

In the pink,