Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Chatting...

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland


I JUST FINISHED reading postings by Brenda over at Coffee Tea Books and Me and Matty at Lazy Bee Farms..... both share about taking things a little slower and enjoying whatever it is you're doing, even dishes after supper. As this resonated with me, I wanted to point the way to their posts, just in case you are feeling a little overwhelmed or in need of a refreshing stop along the way.

I've been busy with things like my monthly newsletter and homemaking chores today, but my real joy came in seeing the progress I'm making from my regular trips to the gym these past four months. Not only have I been feeling more energetic and flexible, but the unexpected bonus is that some of those 'funny little sore spots' in various places in my body are gradually disappearing. (If I'd a known that exercise would make me feel so good, I would have started years ago - LOL!)

This week I was excited to realized my body was suddenly ready to take it to a new level. So I upp
ed the size of the weights I use, and I actually jostled myself out of my usual walking routine by adding a zip of jogging around the track. Nothing serious, but I feel I've entered a new level. And I'm loving it! Truly! So I had to share!

Which reminds me, another fun project I've been doing is researching and material gathering for the blogging/web presence workshop I'm presenting at the InScribe writers' conference this fall.
When I first started blogging a couple of years ago, everything seemed like 'greek' to me, but in re-reading a couple of the same books I took out of the library back then, I see how much I've grown and developed in this genre. It doesn't feel like Greek anymore! Of course that just means I can take blogging to a whole new level too. by experimenting with more blogging tools that are available.

You know, that growth has been in part to many of you, who so generously share your ideas when you've discovered something new. That's definitely one thing I want to pass along to people who will be in my workshop -- to let them know there's a wonderful kindred connection waiting for them too when they join the world of blogging.

Mmmmmm.... when I think of it, I think I've been experiencing some of those glimpses of heave
n in unexpected places. Beautiful!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Backpacker Cat

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I knew it! I can't stay away for long. But this is going to be short and sweet, as I'm heading out the door to my favourite Cafe Haven to plan and research for May's newsletter.

My sister sent me the link to this adorable youtube video. For any cat lovers, and I know there's quite a few of us out there, Backpacker Cat will have you going ahhhhhh for sure. I'd say this little one is living the life of Ryley.... or perhaps that's the Queen of Sheba.

Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dear Friends

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Dear Friends,

A wise sage once said, "To everything there is a season".

And it's true.

I haven't been doing as much blogging these days;
it's not that I don't still love it, I do!
But, it seems that I am in the midst of 'clearing the deck'
of various activities
that have had their right and good place in my life,
in order to make room for the new.

Part of finding that new place is to bring my writing into another dimension.
A quote that Henry Nouwen said in his book "The Inner Voice of Love"
really resonated with me when I first read it:

"Your vocation is to speak from the place in you where God dwells."

At this point, I don't think I've been doing that to the fullest potential.

My blogging experience has been wonderful!
I started blogging so that I could practice the craft of writing,
and learn the discipline of writing and posting regularly,
as well as share my love of living a beautiful life.

The reward of this experience has been the privilege
of meeting so many beautiful people like YOU!

I'm NOT saying goodbye -- I'll still be around.
I will come and visit, otherwise we'll get too homesick.

And, I'll still post but not as often --
until I know what this new season brings forth.

Maybe it's about letting new fruit develop and grow
into something worth sharing.

So until next time,
here's wishing you glimpses of heaven
in unexpected places!

Hugs and blisses,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Who's On First -- 2010 Style

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I've always loved that old Abbot and Costello routine Who's On First. My mom just e-mailed me a 21st century version of the sketch that made me giggle. Of course, I had to share the fun!

Here's wishing you the pleasantest of weekend. Till next time,


You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on...

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, 'Who's on First?' might have turned out something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

Thanks I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


No, the name's Lou.

Your computer?

: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


I told you, my name's Lou.

What about Windows?

Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

Do you want a computer with Windows?

I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?


Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

Software for Windows?

No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?


Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

I just did.

You just did what?

Recommend something.

You recommended something?


For my office?


OK, what did you recommend for my office?


Yes, for my office!

I recommend Office with Windows.

I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


What word?

Word in Office.

The only word in office is office.....

The Word in Office for Windows.

Which word in office for windows?

The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.

I'm going to click your blue 'w' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?


That's right. What do you have?


I need money to track my money?

It comes bundled with your computer.

What's bundled with my computer?


Money comes with my computer?

Yes. No extra charge.

I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

One copy.

Isn't it illegal to copy money?

Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

They can give you a license to copy money?

Why not? THEY OWN IT!

(A few days later)

Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

How do I turn my computer off?

Click on 'START'..............

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Until We're Set Free

Recently I was thinking about Michelangelo, that great Renaissance painter and sculptor. You know the fellow... the one who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and sculpted such well-known masterpieces as the David statute.

Apparently the artist was once asked how he knew what to carve away when he started a new block of marble and the subject was to be an angel. His reply? "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

Michelangelo's response got me pondering, and as it was my turn to post on my writers' group blog today, I've posted a short meditation which I hope you will check out over there.  It's called Until We're Set Free.

Here's wishing you a happy day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Scope For The Imagination

When I saw this photo from glittergraphics I could well imagine how Anne Shirley felt when she caught her first glimpse of the lane of apple trees in full bloom. Do you remember the part when Matthew Cuthbert drives Anne home from the train station to Green Gables?

"They had simply rounded a curve in the road and found themselves in the 'Avenue'. The Avenue, so called by the Newbridge people, was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple-trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer. Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.

It's beauty seemed to strike the child dumb. She leaned back in the buggy, her thin hands clasped before her, her face lifted rapturously to the white splendour above.

....It's the first thing I ever saw that couldn't be improved upon by imagination. It just satisfies me here -- she put one hand on her breast -- it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant ache." ~ Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

I've never had the pleasure passing under such a bower of beauty, but this lovely photo gives, as Anne herself would say, 'scope for the imagination'. Aren't you glad for the gift of imagination?

Wishing you glimpses of beauty in unexpected places,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Simply Sunday - Father's Love Letter

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

From the first time I watched this 6-minute video entitled Father's Love Letter, I have been drawn into its stirring message. No matter how many times I hear it, the words affirm something deep on the inside of me.

It's my hope that, if you decide to watch it, you will experience that something that confirms how special you are too!

If you are interested in reading Meditations based on this video, click here --- it links you to the website.

And now, I wish you peace -- nothing missing, nothing broken -- on this April morning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Out Celebrating...

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Some of us are celebrating birthdays this month...... including yours truly. So we're out enjoying time with family and friends, not to mention eating cake and other fun comestibles.

To everyone also celebrating their special day this April, I wish you joy and adventure, peace and abundance.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bright and Beautiful

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Woke up to find the sun shining bright this morning. What a treat after so many gloomy days. I don't usually let the weather dictate my mood, but I must admit there was a surge of extra joy as I rubbed sleepy eyes awake.

Thought I'd share a little of this and a little of that today.....

Click on the graphic above to link to the Graphics Fairy
~ she has lots of beautiful and FREE stuff!

One Photo
Miss Kitty i
n the Queen's Chair


Two quotes

I'm pondering this week

"...your vocation is to speak from the place
in you where God dwells."

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen
The Inner Voice of Lo
ve, p. 99

"It's important to empower people to say
that you don't have to be an expert;
you can begin with what you know
and build on that."

~ Margaret Hensel
(from a gardening magazine)


Three beautiful sites

I just visited these for the first time today.

Conversational Carmelina

Creative Carmelina

Shabby Cats and Roses


Four Spring Favorites

1--Finding a cozy spot in the sun and
feeling its warmth on my face.

2--Watching for the first siting
of our family of tree swallows.

3--Breathing in that earthy smell as
grass greens and tree buds swell.

4--Flinging open the windows and
letting in the first breezes of Spring.


Five Books/Magazines I'm Reading

1--The Inner Voice of Love
A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom
Henri J.M. Nouwen

2--Days Off
by Henry Van Dyke, 1907

"I MEAN THAT every man owes it to himself to have some days in his life when he escapes from bondage, gets away from routine, and does something which seems to have no purpose in the world, just because he wants to do it.....

There is a benefit as well as a joy in finding out that you can lay down your task for a proper while without being disloyal to your duty. Play-time is a part of school-time, not a break in it."

3--The Sunday Philosophy Club
An Isabel Dalhousie Mystery
by Alexander McCall Smith

4--French Women Don't Get Fat
The Secret of Eating For Pleasure
by Mireille Guiliano

5--Life: Beautiful Magazine
Faith For Your Journey
( )

Opportunities abound this day to catch glimpses of heaven in unexpected places. So I'm off to explore. May your day be bright and beautiful, and may His grace lend strength and wisdom for every moment.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In Season

To everything there is a season...
He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Simply Sunday: Harmony

Brenda Leyland, 2010

 "Help us to achieve in living,
O God, the same harmony
and loveliness that we
strive for in gardening."


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dare I ? ? ?


I went looking for a graphic yesterday to include in my upcoming newsletter. Happened upon one from glitter-graphics... which, I'll have you know, I did not use for my newsletter (heehee).

However, after having debated just a moment about whether it was unladylike and improper to post here, we decided surprises are sometimes the order of the day -- after all, who doesn't need a little comic 'relief' now and again to lighten our days.

So.... if you're curious..........

scroll down...........

further down...........


And, here we used to think they just didn't want their skirts dragging in the muddy streets!

Oh what a relief!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Oi Vey! Some Things Never Change?

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

You may recall that I've been tackling paper piles and other neglected corners of my home these past weeks.

The funny thing in all this sorting, often I'll find sundry of old lists -- goals and wishes, ideas of activities I'd like to try or do, books I want to read, places I'm hoping to visit -- whatever. For instance, I recently found one such list I'd scribbled back in November 2008. It was a list of things we needed to 'do around the house'. A quick glance revealed that I wouldn't have had to bother to write a new one this spring, for the old one still had numerous tasks that either never got done in the first time, or it's time to do it all over again. As they say, some things never change.

And, get this, tucked underneath that old list was a magazine, purchased last spring that promised how I could "Stay Organized All Year". Mmmm....maybe I was hoping that if I tucked the list next to the magazine, something in the realm of the miraculous would occur and my chores would poof! be done.

On a side trail, does anyone out there have a tug-a-war with lists? I have a love/hate relationship with lists. I like being organized and so I'll often write things down. But as soon as that list is made, another little voice on the inside of me begins to tug from the other way. Instead of continuing to happily organized and 'in control', suddenly I get to feeling 'overwhelmed'. And, so rather than tackling the list with gusto, I now tend drag my feet because it doesn't feel like fun anymore. The list no longer feels like a friend.

Funny what comes out when one's typing something to post on one's blog.

It's been blustering and blowing all day around here. And, in spite of the decidedly frosty nip in the air, the robins were singing early this morning. Brave souls!

On that note, I'm off.......... catch my wishes for glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It May Be Snowing Outside...

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

The day started out mild and spring-like. So much so that I had thrown open my study window to catch the cheery notes of my feathered friends. Then, suddenly out of nowhere, snow was being hurled from the darkening skies and we were looking out into a winter storm.

Which made me very glad that I'd popped over to Holly's a while ago. She recently posted the pretty cottage picture below, which is a lovely reminder that we can still dream of warmer, sunnier days, in spite of whist
ling winds that rattle past my windows tonight.

It may be snowing outside,
but it's Spring in my heart.

I've had to longingly think of my blog from afar, as I've been busy with my newsletter this week, but now that we're almost finished it, I'm anticipating a lovely visit with everyone again.

Until later then,

Monday, April 05, 2010

Spring Party

I don't ask for the meaning of the song of a bird
or the rising of the sun on a misty morning.
There they are, and they are beautiful.
~ Pete Hamill

I heard a robin whistling from some roof top as rays of sunshine tickled corners early this morning. What a delight! That means the robins back, and for me, that means spring is truly here...  even here in northerly Alberta! Hubby's been out in the yard cleaning up and already little spring sprigs are poking green noses through warming earth.

Robin Williams says it best when he once said, "Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'" I'm ready -- you too?

Happy Day!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

He's Alive!

Spring bursts to-day,
For Christ is risen and all the earth's at play.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti
Easter Carol

He is risen...
He is risen indeed!


Thursday, April 01, 2010

More Favourites

Bouquets of Pink Peonies

Brand new journals

Boxes of beautiful note cards

Steaming latte coffee

Kitty cats

Mediterranean blue

Velvety rose petals

Packages wrapped in tissue and tied with pretty ribbons

Magpies hiding peanuts in the fallen leaves

Rainy days, sunny days, cloudy days

Smoky autumn evenings, twilight shadows

Bird songs in spring

Pondering the life-giving words of Jesus

Chocolate truffles, fountain pens, old bookshops name a few

Happy Day,