Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh What A Beautiful Morning...




Blue skies, gulls soaring on light breezes, birds whistling and busy with breakfast... although there are no corn stalks around here as high as an elephant's eye, the gorgeous day so far reminds me of that lovely old piece by Rogers and Hammerstein.

I always loved humming along with that song -- it was catchy and it gave me a sense of rightness and beauty in the world. If you need  a little something to hum, click below.

Enjoy your day!
Brenda











Sunday, June 26, 2011

Away...








Pencil chewing...
Typing fast....
Erasing deleting...
Pondering...
Sighing with relief...
Falling into place...
Moving into final round.


 Deadlines loom...


See you soon!
Brenda








Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gift of A Letter



I e-mailed a catch-up sort of letter to a friend today. The kind of writing I love to do ... where I can chat about what's going on in my life and thoughts. Where words tumble out easily, just as if you and I were visiting with a cup of tea.

Since you're here, I'm offering you this little glimpse into my day in all its ramble-y state too. Hope it finds you well in heart and home today!

Dear Beautiful Friend,

Just popping in to say hi on this gorgeous summer morning. So.... haven't chatted much of late... hope things are going alright for you. Still going to Mark's at South Common these days? Did you get to see your newest great-niece yet? What else is up?

At work this early morning, it was a training session on how to clean brass in the theatre.There's miles of it. First, you put some of the blue goop sparingly with a cloth. Then you put it on the brass. As you begin to wipe that all down, it comes off black. Next, you take a fresh cloth and rub, rub, rub till all the dirty finger marks disappear and it's bright and shiny instead.

After all this lovely rain, I need to get out in the garden. I can just see the weeds are thinking life is good. Hope to plant a few annuals in the bare spots now that the perennials are in full swing.

I'm behind in my writing projects. Alas and alack. But this morning I had an little aha moment. I would pat myself on the back, except my lightening quick mind has taken only 40 or so years to get a grip on this truth. Here's my moment of truth: I have been a procrastinator in some areas of my life. Not all areas (especially if it concerns eating - LOL), but often when it comes to my writing and getting some deadline stuff done, I tend to put it off and then suddenly it's urgent. Rats!

God, help me! Help me become an 'on time' girl, not a procrastinator; help me to be disciplined in my writing, my home projects, and my exercise times at the gym. 

Guess what bubbles up from my heart: Where I am weak, He is strong. I went to find those words in the New Testament: 'My grace is enough for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Well God, here I am. Please come and show me Your strength in this area where I'm really, really weak. I'm looking for Your strength to shine here. 

That now reminds me of something Mary Kay Ash once said about getting things done on time: 

"If you do the things you're supposed to do when you are supposed to do them, then one day you'll be able to do things you want when you want to."

And so, I'm off to get those writing projects done. Wishing you a pleasant day! Maybe we can do an A&W date soon -- my treat.

Brenda

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Summer!





After many days of much-needed rain,
the skies were bright with sunshine and blue skies this morning.
What a great way to begin summer!

No time to hang out here today...
So just popping by to say hi
and to leave you with summer ponderables
from other writers!




"What is one to say about June,
the time of perfect young summer,
the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months,
and with as yet no sign to remind one that
its fresh young beauty will ever fade.
~ Gertrude Jekyll


In June,
as many as a dozen species
may burst their buds on a single day.
No man can heed all of these anniversaries;
no man can ignore all of them.
~ Aldo Leopold

  
There shall be eternal summer
in the grateful heart.
~ Celia Thaxter


Enjoy your day!
Brenda


(c) Photos: Brenda C Leyland





Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Odd Couple



We were all dressed up to go out for the morning; I left the house with earrings bobbling from my earlobes as per usual, not realizing something was not as per usual.

During the morning, I met and talked to various people. I came home to meet with our garden designer (we're finally doing something to our benignly neglected front yard). We trotted together around the yard, chatted at the dining room table over plans and tea.....

All the while
Yours truly was wearing two different earrings!

The funny thing... NO ONE seemed to notice.  I talked to friends and strangers face to face -- and got no odd stares. And funnier yet, I glanced my own face in the powder room mirror a time or two over the day... and NOPE, I didn't notice either!

Mmm... what does that say about our observation skills? Do we just see what we think should be there? Perhaps people thought I was just being creative. Yes, that must be it.

Oh, for the beauty of laughter,
Brenda
xox

 





Simple Pleasures




"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning
 can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day...

like writing a poem or saying a prayer."
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Wishing you a beautiful day,
Brenda


(c) Photos: Brenda C Leyland





Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden Glimpses




The thyme loves to spread out amongst the flagstones



Our Toba Hawthorne...



...coming into its pink glory!



 An unusual sighting for my backyard ~
this pretty butterfly one really loved the lilac bush!




Nothing like a day at the water park!
(Hard to zoom in quick enough to catch them in action - hence the blurr)





"Never lose an opportunity of seeing
anything that is beautiful; 
for beauty is God's handwriting ~
a wayside sacrament.

Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, 
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Enjoy your day,
Brenda


(c) Photos: Brenda C Leyland



 


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Simply Sunday: New Mercies



So many of us have sought comfort from these words written by Jeremiah, the lamenting prophet.

How often have they kept our hearts steady and anchored on the Rock when dark days threatened to overwhelm. Today, I pray they will be as fresh with hope as the day we first heard them.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends.
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
From Lamentations 3

With a gentle kiss atop thy head, 
 Brenda
xox



Thursday, June 09, 2011

Simple Pleasures - Sky Artistry



Last night I enjoyed the simple pleasure of first looking out my window,
then racing out into the backyard to watch the Great Sky Artist
create yet another masterpiece for our pleasure.


I wonder how many people even noticed.
A few seconds later the scene  w-i-s-p-e-d  away.



* * * * *

Wishing you a beautiful day,
Brenda



Linking with Simple Pleasures

(c) Photos: Brenda C Leyland



Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Dust Abounds...




But where dust abounds, grace abounds much more!


I moved the bed out from the wall this morning to change the linens.  Thought I should just see what's behind there.  Bad idea... now I feel this great need to pull everything out from the walls. As you can guess from my title we found a few hibernating bunnies of the dust species along the baseboards.  

But then we experienced a sweet moment.  For nestled under there as well were two little balls Miss Kitty used to love to play with -- she was a master at goal tending when we batted them around for her.  I sure miss her purry presence, but it doesn't feel so sharp in the heart as it first did.
 
Back to the cleaning at hand, I went Googling to see if anyone had gathered a list of interesting quotes on cleaning -- found some at Household Management 101. Here are three I thought were fun:

The Law of Window Cleaning: It's on the other side
~ Unknown


Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing
is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.
~ Phyllis Diller


The only advantage of not being too good a housekeeper
is that your guests are so pleased
to feel how very much better they are.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt


* * * * *

On that note, I best get back to my dust bunny dilemma....

It's all about making our lives more beautiful,
even under the bed.  Enjoy your day.

Brenda
xox









Monday, June 06, 2011

Gardens of the World ... And Mine

This photo of my garden a few summers ago

"WE ALL HAVE WITHIN US A NEED TO CREATE BEAUTY.
And we all can in a garden, however small.
It is this need which has written the history of gardens.
By looking at our world through its gardens today,
we reaffirm the simple human capacity
to create beauty on this earth."
~ Audrey Hepburn



The film series Gardens of the World was first aired in 1993. It remains a timeless tribute to some of the most beautiful gardens of the world as well as to that lovely lady, Audrey Hepburn, who starred as narrator, along with Michael York. It's a series I love to watch again and again.




Wishing you glimpses of beauty in your world today!
Brenda
xox
 









Saturday, June 04, 2011

Oatmeal Muffins on a Rainy Day




It may be gloomy on the outside, what with cloudy, wet skies and cool temperatures, but that makes it a perfect morning to whip up a batch of Hubby's favourite Oatmeal Muffins.

Crispy on the outside with a hint of chewy spiced oatmeal on the inside, these are MARVELOUS with a fresh cup of coffee or tea.




Oatmeal Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease 12 medium muffin cups.

SIFT TOGETHER
1 cup flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt

STIR IN
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

BEAT TOGETHER
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
or melted shortening

Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir only until combined.  (Batter will be lumpy).  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for around 18 - 20 minutes.


* * * * *

Enjoy your day!
Brenda
xox








Friday, June 03, 2011

Summertime Pleasures: Two Favorites From My Library


 
 Illumination taken from An Island Garden


Anyone who knows anything about me knows that READING BOOKS is my all-time, all-year favorite pastime and pleasure.  No one ever has to 'force' me to pick up a book or go into a library or bookstore! As the seasons of the year unfold, I often find myself reaching for certain books, indulging the desire -- and simple pleasure -- to read old favorites which for me, seem to echo the season we're in.

Here are two of my summertime favorites:




One

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Ever since I was a little girl, there was something about the ocean that called to me.  Living inland, it's always a real treat to visit the west coast. I love the sound of seagulls and the crash of waves against stone walls. I love the smell of sand baking in the sun and air fragrant with water and earthy seaweed.

When I read Ms. Lindbergh's descriptions I feel I am there at the seaside with her. A wonderful read if you're sitting on a windswept sandy beach or if you wish you were!
 


Two

by Celia Thaxter
Childe Hassam, Illustrator


I first 'met' this author and book years ago when it was highlighted in a summer issue of Victoria magazine.  The book, originally published in 1894 and re-issued almost a hundred years later in 1988, is beautifully illustrated by Childe Hassam, American Impressionist artist. What a joy,  delight, a simple pleasure to savor on a summer's day. Here's how Ms. Thaxter opens her lovely book:
"Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising than the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.  Take a Poppy seed, for instance:  it lies in your palm, the merest atom of matter, hardly visible, a speck, a pin's point in bulk, but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable, which will break its bonds and emerge from the dark ground and blossom in a splendor so dazzling as to baffle all powers of description."

So I'm off to do a bit of reading amidst the burgeoning of garden blossoms and birdsong.  I'd love to hear about your own 'old favorites' for summertime reading!

Happy Day,
Brenda
xox
 







Thursday, June 02, 2011

Summertime Pleasures: Strawberries





 Strawberry Shortcake

Shortcake fresh from the oven swimming in gently sauteed strawberries--just until the juices release--and topped with dollops of real whipped cream. A summertime pleasure most sublime.
What simple pleasures are you enjoying today?
Brenda
xox

Linking with Simple Pleasures



Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Summertime Pleasures: Lemonade



 



  


"I don't really care
if my glass is half full or half empty --
I'm just happy to have a glass."
~ Joe Farrell


Half full or half empty,
I really enjoy a glass of sparkling homemade lemonade
this time of year!

I learned a trick from a friend who grew up in Trinidad, West Indies
-- add a drop or two of anise essence for an exotic twist.

Wishing you a a beautiful day,
Brenda
xox