Sunday, October 31, 2010

Simply Sunday - Emily Dickinson on Love

Source: Unknown

Who has not found the heaven below
Will fail of it above.
God's residence is next to mine,
His furniture is love.

~ Emily Dickinson

Mmmm... pondering this.....
If I imagine God's love is like furniture in his heavenly realm,
then every time I sit or lay down,
I can sink into His perfect love for me.
I feel the comfort....the cozy....the protection...... the bliss!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunny Afternoon Nap

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. ~ Barbara Jordan

Sun beams stream into the living room -- the mellowness of the day makes it easy to succumb to the the warm seduction of a nap.

For me, there's nothing quite so luxurious as having the freedom to let yourself drift off for a few moments in the middle of the day.  The heaviness of drooping eyelids seem to outweigh the book wavering in one's hand as the head drops to one side in delightful snooze.  

Miss Kitty has been calling me.... seems she's been feeling the pull for a nap too and wants me to join her.   I can't say no, can I?

Wishing you a pleasant afternoon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Child In Me

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

For a few minutes yesterday, I felt almost eight years old again.

I was leafing through the bold and fun looking pages of the American Girl magazine; I had bought a copy  to include in my young niece's birthday gift.  The magazine, aimed towards girls ages 8 though 14, includes articles, fiction, arts and crafts, party plans and projects, quizzes and all manner of activity ideas.

Dare I admit it, I almost wanted to go back to the store and get my own copy!  For as I read, I felt  the stirring of my happy girlhood memories.  The joy of remembering those simple, innocent childhood pursuits.

What I've discovered (maybe you have too), we are never too old to rekindle those pleasures... even if only for a few minutes before we put on our grown up faces again.  Maybe that's why God gives us nieces and granddaughters, so we can enjoy them all over again.

I still get pleasure in........ 

Playing with paper dolls
-- and creating a make belief world for them;

Browsing through the children's section of a bookstore;

Borrowing children's picture books from the library
-- and letting my imagination go with the flow;

Sitting down with a new box of wax crayons
and a thick coloring book chock full of exciting choices --
(I mean, wasn't that half the fun, deciding what to color first?);

Where has your mind happily skipped off to in reading my list?



    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Something In The Air

    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    We knew something was up yesterday.... when my nephew had to don his large parka and gloves to do BBQ duty for supper last evening.  There was a decided bite in the air.

    Looks like it will be the last one for this season... BTW, the burgers and cedar planked salmon he BBQ'd were a hit as we celebrated a family birthday.

    Peering out my study window this morning, this is what arrived in our corner of the world.

    Mr. Magpie doesn't seem to mind.  He hops down on the feeder, picks up a seed and flies to a higher branch of a nearby tree.  Back and forth, back and forth, till he flies off.


    Mmmm..... do you think it's too early for the Christmas music?

    Enjoying the beauty of our first day of snow!

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Simply Sunday - A Dog and His Man

    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good...
    who gives food to every creature.
    Psalm 136

    I first saw this video on The French Elements, which by the way is a lovely new blog I found.  The video was so cute I went in search for it on YouTube so I I could share with you!

    Wishing you grace for the day!

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Favorite Snoozle Spots

    Cats truly have one of life's great pleasures figured out.  And Miss Kitty is ahead of the class on that one, for she knows all the wonderful places for naps in every corner of the house. There's that sunny spot that arrives at a certain time of day... nestled in the center of one of her favorite chairs, tucked in a quiet out-of-the way corner for a really serious snoozle... atop a willing lap where half-naps and gentle chin tickles occur at the same time.

    I have my own list of favourite snoozle spots.... 

    Under a palm tree on a sandy beach in Maui 

    In a sunny bedroom where gentle summer breezes
    billow lacy curtains

    Nestled beneath a downy comforter on a rainy day
    Beside the warmth of a fireplace on a wintry evening

    In a nice hotel room after a busy tourist-y day,
    just before you dress for dinner

    Stretching out on a blanket under the trees
    after an alfresco lunch in the park

    Ahhhh... it feels so luxurious and wonderful.  Just thinking about those places makes me feel mellow.  Do you have a favorite snooze-spot, a place where naps peacefully unfold?

    Hope there are some blissful moments tucked into your Saturday!

    Friday, October 22, 2010


    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    With the help of my nephew, I just transferred my beautiful life blogspot blog over to my new wordpress website.... turns out I lost my list of Friends in my sidebar during the transition.  Even in cyberspace moves, things go missing... funny thing!  Wonder if anything else.

    As far as I know, you should still be able to access my site with the old address... they promise that  people would still be able to find me. So I think what happens is if you key in the old URL ( it will connect to my new URL (

    Wishing you a pleasant evening!

    Friday In Between

    Have been busy getting some posts ready for the next few days, when I remembered I need something for today too. 

    As my day is filled with writing and errands, I thought I'd share a link to a posting by Jeanette over at Audience of One.  (when you pop over here, you'll see the cutest pictures to add smiles to your faces)

    As well, Jeanette guests posts elsewhere on the topic "Poop Happens".  You may be wondering how such a topic fits in my 'beautiful life' theme, but if you read it to the last sentence, I think you'll agree it works.

    Wishing you the best Friday!

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Peace Like A River

    It's been ages since I had an opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet of a morning. With sunbeams streaming into my living room today so beguiling I took my journal and settled into my wingback chair to enjoy a few minutes of it all. It wasn't that I gave a disdainful wave of the hand for the work on my desk, the chores, or the plans of what to make for supper... was more a sense that this moment on this particular morning was meant for peaceful reflection, not toil. 

    Miss Kitty had already settled in her chosen sunny spot on the floor and so while she semi-snoozed, my own thoughts meandered along like a river, no thoughts of guilt that I should be doing something else. It felt like heaven.

    It was just a few minutes but I felt peace settle about my shoulders.  And I felt a shift in my soul... a sense of things coming into balance. Ahhhhhhh. I didn't realize that my soul feathers had been so ruffled from the busyness of the past few weeks.  But in a twinkling all felt well again.

    I'm reminded of a phrase from an old hymn... when peace like a river attendeth my soul..... that's what happened this morning.  You think that fellow in the picture with his dog fishing along the river feels that peace too?

    I'm ready for the day...... ready to pick up the chores and vacuum hose.......... they don't seem burdensome now.... for it is well. My soul is well. I am well.

    Wishing you moments of peaceful 'heaven on earth'.


    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Freedom Without Guilt

    "People have to know what relaxes them,
    and not feel guilty about using a piece of time
    when it is necessary for them,
    or when they do not use it exactly as somebody else would."

    ~ Edith Schaeffer

    When my husband and I first married, we gave each other a gift. We both agreed that we'd not place a sense of obligation or guilt on the other when it came to activities or chores around the house and garden. If one of us wanted to take a nap on the couch or read on the deck, while the other was thoroughly engaged and eager to get the chores done, there was no pressure for the napper or reader to succumb to the wishes of the worker, and visa versa.

    Over the years, we've allowed the other the freedom to relax and enjoy the moment when their body or mood required a different rhythm than our own. It's worked beautifully in our home.

    Here's wishing you a beautiful day!



    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Simply Sunday: Enjoy Me

    Today I am pleased to share the beautiful words written by St. Teresa of Avila. It's amazing that the words penned by a woman who lived centuries ago can still resonate within the hearts of those who call the Lord Jesus their King and Savior in the 21st century. Words live a long time and I'm very grateful these survived for us to enjoy today.

    "Just these two words He spoke changed my life."
    ~ St. Teresa of Avila

    "Enjoy Me."
    What a burden I thought I was to carry -
    a crucifix, as did He.
    Love once said to me, "I know a song,
    Would you like to hear it?"
    And laughter came from every brick in the street.
    And from every pore in the sky.
    After a night of prayer, He
    changed my life when He sang,
    "Enjoy Me."

    I first saw this poem posted by Pam from On The Road and appreciate her allowing me to repost it here. This piece really touched my heart in a tender way. Just image, the Lord of the universe inviting us to enjoy Him.  How could we refuse such an entreaty?  

    Wishing you joy in this new day, 

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Saturday Happenings

    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    I'm away at a conference today.

    It's a beautiful day -- bright, sunny, crisp.

     No time to create a real posting this morning,
    but Sandy over at He shall direct my paths
    posted an excerpt I'd sent her yesterday in response to her earlier posting.

    So if you're looking for something to ponder today,
    I'm giving you the link to Sandy's.
    The excerpt is about taking time in this busy life.

    Sandy, thanks!  You're a kindred spirit.

    Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    The Simple Beauty of A Cupcake

    My sister makes the BEST carrot cake.

    Over the years she's perfected her recipe
    and we're always glad when she says she's making carrot cake
    for a family occasion.

    The most recent and enjoyable event was for her son's wedding.
    The bride asked for carrot cake disguised as wedding cupcakes.

    For the recipe and photos, stop for a sweet treat at 30yearsworth.

    I'm off to visit my mom!  Enjoy your day too!


    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    The Simple Beauty of A Glimpse

    HERE'S A GLIMPSE of what I found in my garden this morning.  Those of you who live further south on our continent may wonder why all the fuss, but here in northerly Alberta, it's common to have snow this time of year.  So to find these little primulas in bloom is a real treat!

    Perhaps these quiet bloomers are as surprised as I am..... for they usually do not have a foil of crunchy autumn leaves to frame their pretty heads.  I like this texture and color combination.

    "Here's wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places..."

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    The Simple Beauty of Tea


    Oh, to enjoy the restorative effects of a simple cup of tea. Especially during those really busy days. Whether you sip the steaming brew from a mug, a pretty china cup, or one of these exotic tea glasses, tea gives us a chance to sit and gather strength for the rest of the day's busy tasks.

    I don't add sugar to tea, but if you like to add sweetener, you might enjoy this simple suggestion I found in a book I recently read. Store sugar cubes for tea in a jar with whole cloves or cinnamon sticks; they absorb the spicy fragrance. I think I'd also include cardamon as a possible spice to try.

    As a young girl, I loved how my Auntie Ruth would serve black tea after a big family meal, in which she added fresh orange peel and cloves to her big Royal Albert teapot. It's still a favorite flavor for me. Constant Comment makes a tea like that nowadays.

    I'm so glad for the gift of tea.

    Wishing you a beautiful day,

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Losing Touch and Homesick

    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    For me this is a cozy time of year.  Evening shadows lengthen so early now that I've been putting on the little twinkle lights on my fig tree.  And, I long to draw closer to the fireplace and snuggle under the warmth of a fuzzy blanket.

    Funny thing is, I also get homesick for the cozy ambiance  of my office because I remember those early days of blogging -- it was this time of year -- when it was all so new and wondrous.

    Which now makes me want to snoop in my old postings to find links of former blogging friends, because suddenly I am homesick for these beautiful souls who impacted my life so richly at some season of my blogging journey.  How does one lose touch?

    One desire over the coming days is to find some of them again and reconnect (if they are still blogging).  Tonight I was delighted to find Rebekah at Beautiful Days. And Cindy at Rose Haven Cottage. Their sites are as lovely as ever.

    Here's to blogging friendships old and new!

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Simply Sunday - Canadian Thanks

    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    To all our Canadian friends ~
    Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

    Saturday, October 09, 2010

    Soul Projects

    With autumn drawing the curtains of evening earlier each day, it's the time of year when I like to gather what I call my 'cozy' books around me.  Books that create the ambiance of drawing near the fire, catching hands with loved ones, and thinking more about journeys of the hearth, heart and home. 

    Which is why I reach for a well-loved book by Ingrid Trobisch, Keeper of the Springs, Making Home the Place For Which You're Longing. The author offers 'time-tested inspiration for tending the spiritual center of house and home.'

    Included in this treasury, Ingrid's daughter, Katrine Stewart, shares some lovely thoughts on the joy and healing of soul projects.
    "Soul projects bring a smile to your face, light to your eyes, new energy to your heart, joy to all around you. Soul projects are like healing ointment on the sore places of your life.
    Beethoven went for walks in the countryside. Golda Meir polished her silver teapot.  Josephine, Napoleon's wife, tended to her roses. Claude Monet gardened. Katharine Hepburn wrote her journal in bed with breakfast. Winston Churchill liked to paint. Einstein took long baths. Mendelsohn listened to the music of Bach. Mother Teresa listens to the silence of her soul." ~ Katrine Stewart

    What soul projects bring me joy?  For me, this would include listening to Mozart, journalling in bed with my first cup of coffee, walks in the countryside, being completely quiet for a few minutes just waiting with Him.

    What soul projects bring you joy or healing?


    Friday, October 08, 2010

    Morning Has Broken

    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    It looked gray at first glance from my northerly kitchen window this morning.  Except if you peer closely, you'll catch the merest hint of crimson at the bottom....Mmmmm.... hints of something more promising? 

    So I picked up my ever-ready camera...

    turned my gaze eastward,

    and found these beauties....

    Turning my head back to my northerly gaze,
    My neighbor's house is now bathed in light...

    Morning has truly arrived... and we're ready for it!

    Here's wishing you a fabulous Friday!

    PS.  I linked to Skywatch Friday today....
    lots of amazing sky photos to enjoy!

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    I Never Tire Of....

    The idea for today's posting comes from Marcia over at Organising QueenIt seems that, in meeting Marcia, I've met a new 'kindred' spirit!  Her list and mine almost match, entry for entry! (You can read her list by clicking on More About Marcia on her site.)

    31 things I never tire -- in no particular order

    1. heart to heart visits over coffee
    2. rainy days
    3. children’s laughter
    4. reading in bed
    5. a glass of cold water
    6. chocolate
    7. my kitty cats
    8. inspiring people to see new possibilities
    9. the smell of bookshops
    10. buying notebooks
    11. sunny autumn days
    12. tiny sandwiches and tea in china cups
    13. the beach
    14. watching people
    15. winter days when the sky is bright and sunny
    16. the smell of coffee
    17. indigo blue and white
    18. walks in beautiful gardens or nature
    19. giving gifts for no occasion
    20. laughing
    21. hearing “I love you”
    22. walking into an uncluttered, organized room
    23. gorgeous color combinations
    24. re-reading my classic Victoria magazines
    25. journaling in pretty notebooks
    26. snuggling with my sweetie
    27. learning how to love like Jesus
    28.studying at the library
    29.  pencils and crayons
    30.  English country anything 
    31.  watching happy dogs out for their walks

    Wishing you beautiful moments to treasure today!

    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    'Do Something With This Later' Piles

    2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

    Now that the hubbub has 'mostly' died down, I took a look around my house and was amazed -- and aghast -- at how many corners were filled with little piles of I'll do something with this later.  I took a few photos as I wanted to make a quick mosaic (well, quick is certainly not the word to use when I've never done a photo mosaic before)....

    So no mosaic today, but since we all like visuals,
    here's a peek of what has ended up in corners waiting for its turn....

     File boxes of books (ran out of room on my shelves),
    folders and binders for an online course I'm taking...

     Tissue and wedding wrapping paper choices,
    not to mention a stray 'recycle' bag...

    More wrapping tissues and ribbons...

     Kitchen table topped with catalogs
    and  mailbox whatnot...

     Small antique table with more paper paraphernalia,
    not to mention the ever present birding book
    for sitings in the garden...

     Even the piano bench has stuff on the move ~
    movies borrowed from friends, 
    a little pouch of saffron that should be in the spice cupboard,
    and the wedding invitation...

    Atop bedside table....

    Beneath the spare desk....

    Is there no end to the piles??????
    And no, we haven't posted any photos of dust bunnies.
    It seems these little 'people' are quite camera shy!

    I get a certain kind of energy bubbling when I turn ikky little corners
    into something more beautiful ~ I think it's that sense of bringing 'order out of chaos'!

    Do you find that?

    In my blog travels today, I found a blogger called Organizing Queen.
    Thought it quite appropriate for the tasks of the day.
    If you need any inspiration, Marcia Francois, from South Africa,
    shares lots of informative and interesting posts.