Saturday, April 30, 2011

One Sweet Kitty


 

It's been a weekend mixed with joy and sorrow.  In life that's often how things come. The joy of the Royal Wedding, as wonderful as it all was to watch, was tinted with a sorrow of the heart as I watched my dear, sweet Miss Kitty slowly dwindling away.  Unwell for a while, we kept hoping that she'd rally.  She was already tiny and with no desire to eat any more, there seemed little else the vet could do for her.

By yesterday evening we knew in our hearts that she couldn't carry on this way, and our very caring vet said it was the best for her too. This afternoon, as she lay with her head nestled on my hand,  and Rick stroking her as she used to enjoy, we bid her farewell and she gently slipped away.


In memory and celebration of

Miss Kitty
May 1995 - April 30, 2011




Thank you, dear Father, for giving us this sweet kitty
to love and be loved by her.

Thank you for the great pleasure and comfort

she gave us so freely.

Thank you for all the sweet and funny things she did
that made us laugh with joy and rejoice that she was in our lives.
 
Thank you for loving your little creatures
and for receiving what you love back to yourself.

We celebrate her life
and give You praise for your good gift to us!

  
 "Well loved"

We'll miss you so, so much, Missy!

Furry hugs and little purry kisses,
Brenda
xox



















Friday, April 29, 2011

Congratulations to the Royal Couple






We stayed up! We watched! We cheered!

We loved the dress --
She looked sooo beautiful and happy!

We enjoyed all the regal pomp and ceremony
and the wonderful music!

We admired the creative hats and fascinators!


Ahhhhh....
While they continue to celebrate,
I'm off for a wee nap!


Congratulations to
William and Catherine
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge


May joy and sweet friendship
be yours all the days of your lives!


Brenda
xox



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Simple Pleasures Thursday





"How to be happy when you are miserable.

Plant Japanese poppies with cornflowers and mignonette
and bed out the petunias among the sweet-peas
so that they shall scent each other.
See the sweet-peas coming up.

Drink very good tea out of a thin Worcester cup
of a colour between apricot and pink. . ."

~ Rumer Godden



Simple pleasures all of them!  Miss Godden had the right idea!

Happy Day,
Brenda
xox








Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making Spicy Oatmeal Crisps




These cookies have black pepper in them, which seems an odd ingredient for cookies.  But the unexpected twist hints at something just a little out of the ordinary.  Believe me, they are delicious! How can we tell ?  There's only spicy crumbs rattling around in the bottom of the cookie tin and we only baked them yesterday!

My nephew says they go great with milk... I found them tasty with a nice cup of coffee.  And I think they'd be awesome as an accompaniment with ice cream drizzled with strawberries.
 

Spicy Oatmeal Crisps

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp grated whole nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup packed brown sugar
5 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

1/2 cup regular rolled oats

* * * * *

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups; level with a knife.

2. In medium bowl, combine flour with the next 7 ingredients.

3. Beat sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer until fluffy.

4. Add egg; beat well.
5. Stir in the flour mix, as well as the oats.

6. Drop by level tablespoons 2' apart onto greased or sprayed baking sheets.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp.

8. Cool on pans 1-2 minutes or until mostly cool.

9. Don't leave longer - they'll break, so finish cooling on a wire rack.

10. Store in cookie tin (if there's any left, that is)

Yield: 2 dozen


Here's to the sweet -- and spicy -- things in life!
 Hugs,
Brenda
xox



Monday, April 25, 2011

Thinking About Hope







"Where flowers bloom so does hope."
~ Lady Bird Johnson


"Expect to have hope rekindled.
Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.
The dry seasons in life do not last.
The spring rains will come again."
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach


And now these three remain:
faith, hope, love.
 ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13












Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Every Leaf


Today, I went in search of Spring in my garden.
So much still looks dead and dormant -- some shadier spots are even under snow.




-- Happily --
I found some cheeky crocuses
daring to rise against the odds and declare that,
"Yes, Spring is here, you may take hope!"
 



Many around the world gather this weekend
to celebrate and remember the crucifixion,
death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm reminded of a thought attributed
to a Believer of another century:


"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection,
not in books alone,
but in every leaf in springtime."
~ Martin Luther


Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places!
Brenda
xox







Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wishing on Every Candle




"It's important," thought Pooh,
"to wish on every
birthday candle,
for you can't be sure which is the
wishiest one."

(from a Hallmark Disney Card)



So reads the Winnie the Pooh birthday card I'm sending
this week to a long-time friend.

We not only share April as our birthday month
but we both bounced into this world on the same year.

So the good news is that we each get to
make 54 wishes...

because, after all, you can't be sure which
candle is the wishiest one!


Mmmm.... making wishes is serious business
so I'll have to ponder them beforehand.

Happy Birthday to my friend!



And here's wishing you all a happy day!
Brenda
xox





Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bird By Bird

Last evening a friend and I were chatting on the phone a few minutes. It turns out a project she was facing was sending her 'over the edge' of feeling quite overwhelmed. Oh yes, I recognized that feeling, having experienced it numerous times over my lifetime.

But I was pleased when a little story I'd read a very long time ago from Anne Lamott's book, bird by bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life, fluttered to the surface of my mind.  It seemed the perfect advice for the occasion.

In the event you are facing your own insurmountable mountain this week, here is the excerpt from the book.  Trust its sane truth turns the mountain into a molehill and beauty settles back in its place.

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write.  (It) was due the next day.  We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.  Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.' "



Wishing you grace for the journey!





Monday, April 18, 2011

Don't Leave Home Without A Book!

Source

"We raked books off the shelves by the dozens and hauled them along on picnics, to haylofts, up oak trees, to bath and to bed. The one terrifying possibility was of finding oneself without a book." ~ Kathleen Norris, 1941

To find oneself without a book ... oh my, that would be terrible. I recognize the feeling completely. The one time I decide not to pop a book into my bag 'because I won't need it on this outing' is often the very time I find myself stuck, stalled, or otherwise in a waiting mode for something else to happen.

Which is why I decided to take the old American Express motto to heart and make it a non-negotiable rule: No matter where I go or how short a trip I think it'll be: Don't leave home without it.


So, to keep life beautiful even in the waiting moments ... don't leave home without it!

Wishing you a great day,
Brenda
xox




Sprightly Tote Bag Giveaway



As I mentioned a while ago,
I wanted to have three giveaways this spring.

We've had the journal giveaway, the  sweet treat giveaway...


THIS WEEK
we are giving away a handmade TOTE BAG!


With so many retail businesses trying to do their part to
go 'green' and get rid of the use of plastic bags,

it's definitely CHIC to have
among your possessions useful -- and pretty -- bags
in which to carry home your treasures.

Bright, cheerful, and easy to take with you --
This tote has been made by Kathy

just for this giveaway.





Giveaway Now Closed


Wishing you success!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Monet and Being Short-Sighted

Claude Monet --  Artist's Garden at Giverny, 1900

I never considered being short-sighted and having to wearing eyeglasses a positive thing, although I was grateful for my corrective lens. But when I came across a fellow named Daniel at Mr. London Street, I enjoyed and appreciated reading his own view on being near-sighted:

“It’s great being shortsighted. Because any time I like I can take my glasses off and the world looks just like an Impressionist painting.”

Now, that's a delightful way to look at it. Which reminds me of the fun I used to have as a girl at Christmas time, when I could take off my eyeglasses and watch the twinkly lights on our decorated evergreen tree turn into halo-circled fairy-tale sparkles. Loved it.
 
For those of us who wear glasses, maybe we should take them off more often and give ourselves a new perspective on what we're looking at around us. Just sayin' !

Happy Impressions,
Brenda
xox



Friday, April 15, 2011

And The Winner Is...

2011 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

 






 Congratulations !
Hope you enjoy your sweet treats !





THANKS to everyone for joining in the fun this week.




Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Delayed


Still snowing tonight....


AH ... the following explanation was found on the page of one of my Facebook friends. Which explains what what's going on up here in northerly Alberta!

INSTALLING SPRING...
███████████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ 44% DONE.
 
Installation failed. 404 error: Season "Spring" cannot be located. The season you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please wait a few weeks and try again.



Wishing you a warm and safe day,
Brenda







 

Simple Pleasures Thursday





O U T S I D E    MY    W I N D O W


At first I was dismayed that I did not wake up to a morning
'embroidered with birdsong'.

I will admit it felt a little dismal to see our world covered
-- once again --
in swirls of snowy frosting.


BUT...


I was gratified to remember my grocery shopping was done yesterday,
so I don't have to go out into the windy day.

There is no real reason not to enjoy the beauty
-- if not exactly welcome --
of what this day has to offer.


BESIDES...
Spring came to my house yesterday,
when a dear friend brought me the
lovely bouquet of blossoms you see at the top.


Wishing you a pleasant day,
Brenda






Friday, April 08, 2011

'Un Petit' Giveaway #2




This giveaway is about savoring the little pleasures...
the little moments in life...
because sometimes they just are the
SWEET-EST!


Over recent weeks I've been looking for ways to create mini-stops or 'un petit' holidays in the midst of otherwise busy days.

The other day I posted about the best gift is when we're present to the person we're with.  Sometimes that means being present to ourselves.  When we're alone, are we really 'present' to our own hearts whisperings?  Are we noticing the little gifts that come our way... those glimpses of heaven in unexpected places?

 


Through this little giveaway, I want to create one of those teeny stops for you by offering you a moment -- in fact 6 teeny moments -- to Stop. Taste. Savor. Enjoy. Relax. Notice.  Rejoice.

And what better way than to set one of these delectable chocolaty confections in front of you on this pretty little dessert plate.


Jacek Chocolate Couture
The Escape 2011 Quarter Collection
has the following chocolates (a total of 6 tiny pleasures):
  • Kiwi Kissed Cocktail - Fresh kiwi fruit with a drop of New Zealand’s 42 Below vodka.
  • Citron et Poire à Paris - Lemon and pear ganache laced with fresh ginger and clove.
  • Twisted Mayan - A twist on a Mayan classic; chilli ganache adorned with anise and vanilla.
  • Tiramisu Truffle - Tiramisu truffle dressed in shaved chocolate and cookie crumbs.
  • Thai Goddess - Lemongrass and coconut infused in silky white chocolate.
  • Home Sweet Home - Decadent caramel made with 100% pure Canadian Maple Syrup.


Giveaway Now Closed


Wishing you sweet success!
 Brenda




    Thursday, April 07, 2011

    Simple Pleasures Thursday


    We're joining with Dayle at A Collection of This and That on her Simple Pleasures Thursday.  Dayle says she set this time up in her week to help her 'slow down and pay closer attention to the simple things in life.'  I like that!  It fits with what I've been longing to do in my own life.

    To me there's nothing like the SIMPLE PLEASURE of eating hot buttered toast smothered in blackberry jam, and sipping a freshly brewed coffee with it.

    As the saying goes --

    "It is the sweet, simple things of life
    which are the real ones after all."
    ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


     So here's to enjoying your own simple pleasures this Thursday!
    Brenda
    xox





    Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    And The Winner Is...





    ...JOCELYN...

    Congratulations!!!




    THANKS to everyone for joining in the fun.
    I truly wish I would have
    had enough journals to give away
    to every person who entered the draw!

    I so enjoyed your comments about why you liked the journal
    and how you'd use if you won it.






    Watch for my Giveaway #2 coming up this Friday!
    You won't want to miss this sweet treasure!
















    Friday, April 01, 2011

    At Long Last, Spring Breaks Forth


      
    “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
    ~ William Shakespeare


    And that's exactly how I feel today -- with sunny, blue skies on this first day of April, I feel a little like Spring is breaking out of every pore of my being. My soul feels young today. Surely it's not just the weather patterns changing that makes that happen, does it? Or maybe, we feel in the air, like the birds and other wild creatures, knowing it's time for something new.





    Whatever it is, I'm enjoying it as equally as Miss Kitty. She found the sunbeams in the living room this morning and is nestled deep into her pillow on 'The Queen's Chair'.


    * * * * *

    Here's a wee list ... I found some of the ideas in the current Romantic Homes magazine:

    Last thing I worked on: A spring cleaning article for bloggers for publication our InScribe members' newsletter.

    First place I'll go tomorrow: My mom's in the afternoon for a family birthday party.

    Favorite new color: The blue and greens found on the front cover of my giveaway journal.

    Last thing I bought for the house: 4 small luncheon plates with birds on them (to spruce up my current set of dishes)





    Enjoy your weekend!
    Brenda