Thursday, January 29, 2009

Delight Centered

How often do you make a choice based purely on what delights you as opposed to what you or someone else thinks you should do?

What about the possibilities of make more delight-centered choices in other areas of our lives? Now I'm not talking about a selfish, self-indulgent sort of living, but making choices that will allow us to more cheerfully engage in our daily activities.

When I listen to people, there are many who have a world view that life should be 'nose to the grindstone', and many even anticipate that life should be hard. So they begin to expect that their work, relationships, and life experiences will be harder, rather than easier. (I've also noticed that these people's lives tend to be harder.)

On the other hand, I have also met individuals, including myself, who believe that life, even with its many hardships, still has an undercurrent of beauty and sweetness to it. And it's these people who tend to go through life expecting that good things will come out to meet them. They're the ones who have a gift of making delightful lemonade on hot summer days. (And I've noticed that often these people's lives tend to be less burdensome and lighter.)

What if we could come to believe, and expect, that our choices could lead to more enjoyment of life? What if we could find ways in which to make our decisions more delight-centered and less grinding? I think we'd be living life more beautifully.
Something to ponder,


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eight Is Enough

Fellow blogger Lin tagged me today with the invitation to join the List Eight tag.
I immediately thought of that old 1970's TV show Eight is Enough, because this tag asks us to list eight things from each of the given categories. Thanks, Lin, and here goes:
Eight TV Shows/Movies I Watch Regularly
1. Sense and Sensibility (with Emma Thompson)
2. Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth)
3. Enchanted April
4. PBS Mystery (especially Joan Hickson as Miss Marple and David Suchet as Poirot)
5. Shell Seekers
6. Shall We Dance? (with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez)
7. 84 Charing Cross Road (with Ann Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins)
8. All Creatures Great and Small (old TV series)

Eight Things that Happened Yesterday (Monday)
1. Browsed through a bookstore -- bought a new journal, an organizing magazine, and a book called "Captivating" for a friend's birthday.
2. Started working on the February edition of my monthly newsletter.
3. Met my mom, sister and brother-in-law in the afternoon for coffee at Starbucks.
4. Visited over Chai Lattes with a dear friend at Cafe Haven in the evening.
5. Read a few chapters in my current book, Winter Solstice, by Rosamunde Pilcher.
6. The cold snap changed, so we saw temperatures getting close to above freezing.
7. Made BBQ chicken pizza for supper -- it was deeee-lish!
8. Changed all the bedding, put it in the washer, and folded it all away in the linen closet.

Eight Favourite Places to Eat
1. The King and I (thai)
2. Cafe Haven (great lattes and trendy food)
3. Olive Garden (salad and bread sticks)
4. Swiss Chalet (rotisserie chicken)
5. A&W teen burger with fries (and Heinz ketchup) once in a blue moon
6. The local Vietnamese place in town for spring rolls
7. Hotel MacDonald (for the most elegant Sunday brunches)
8. Honsho's (Japanese)

Eight Things On My Wish List
1. To stay on top of my housekeeping by doing a little every day so it stays simple
2. To take a grand tour of England and Europe
3. To visit some of the beautiful gardens of the world
4. To be able to get in shape without having to actually exercise (ha ha)
5. To get some articles published this year
6. To go on a reading holiday to the seaside with my suitcase of books
7. To get my paper files/piles organized again (sigh, it seems like for the zillionth time)
8. To make a kind difference to the people who cross my path

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To
1. Finding our 'new normal' now that my hubby's retired
2. Having more time to just be with him
3. Springtime when we can work together to plot out new ideas for our garden
4. Another trip to Victoria, BC (one of our favourite places to visit)
5. Completing my reading goals this year
6. Blogging and meeting even more new friends online
7. Time to hang out, visit with my mom and family more, and just being more relaxed
8. My next visit to my favourite bookstore

Eight People I Tag
1. Kathy
2. Melanie
3. Jessie
4. Flossy P.
5. Mystery History Mom
6. Sherri
7. Sassy Granny
8. Cindy

There they are... I hope you enjoy my Lists of Eight!
Happy Day,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Simply Sunday: Let's Be Silly


Zig Ziglar shares an interesting saying in Zig Ziglar's Little Book of Big Quotes. He tells us that the word 'silly' originally meant something quite different to the way we use it today. So I had to share:
"Most of us would be upset if we were accused of being 'silly.' But the word 'silly' comes from the old English word 'selig,' and its literal definition is 'to be blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous."

In light of that definition, may I take the liberty of wishing a wonderfully silly Sunday!

Peace and joy,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Look Who's Driving!

The following originally arrived in my e-mail box from my friend; thanks, Susan, the story made me LOL! Hope it makes you chuckle too.

* * * * *

Evangelist Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte, North Carolina, after a speaking engagement. When his plane arrived, there was a limousine waiting to transport him home. As he prepared to get into the car, he stopped and spoke to the driver. He said, "You know, I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine...would you mind if I drove it for a while?"

The driver replied, "No problem. Have at it."

Mr. Graham got into the driver's seat and they headed off down the highway. A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap. The long black limo sped by doing 70 in a 55 mph zone. The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo. He got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.

The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the window was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving.

He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.

He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law, but I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."

The supervisor asked, "Is it the Governor?"

The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."

The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the President."

The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."

The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?"

The young trooper said..............

~~~~~~~~~~ "I think it's JESUS, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!"

* * * * *

There's medicine in laughter, so I hope you just got a good dose for your day!

Still giggling,

NB. Not sure who to attribute the photo to,
so thanks to whoever first starting circulating the joke and the photo.

Magpies and Cat Crunchies

If you look at this picture, you wouldn't know that you're looking at a kitty cat, now would you?

Well, in truth, you're not. It's a magpie.  beautiful black and white feathered birds. Many people in our area are not fond of magpies because they often scare away the smaller birds and will in the springtime rustle nests for eggs (which, of course, we aren't happy about either, but if that's how they are made, I guess I can forgive it).

Don't tell anyone, but we leave out dry cat food for the magpies. We didn't plan that, but when we were left with a newly opened bag of cat crunchies which Miss Kitty did not take kindly to for some reason, what were we to do with it?

Rick suggested setting it out for the bigger birds. And sure enough, a couple of magpies started visiting our backyard more frequently. And then a flock of six or eight began to show up most mornings, regular as clockwork.

Guess what? Now they ring for service when the dish is empty! Rakrakrakrak... you look out and sure enough, they're wondering what happened to room service.

You may ask why such a tender spot in my heart for 'maggies'. As it happens, God used these little friends of His to encourage me during some dark times a number of years ago. Every day, when I'd come around the corner on my way to work, one or two would be sitting in the trees nearby, cheerily chattering away. I'd stop and listen and say good morning.

But one day I felt so disheartened, I didn't pay them any mind. And, honestly, it seemed as if one of them said to me, So, aren't you gonna say good morning? What could I do? I had to smile....and return the greeting.

So now, that's why on early frosty winter mornings, sometimes still clad in jammies, we don boots and overcoats to carry out Kitty's unwanted crunchies to them. I love magpies -- they always remind me of those cheeky messengers of cheer that unforgettable morning so long ago.

Still Smiling,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Skywatch: From My Deck at Sunset

Such glorious colours splashed this morning over this vast canvas called sky!

Photo taken from my back deck, January 2009

These sunset photos remind me today of that old song from Fiddler on the Roof -- I always find the lyrics from Sunrise, Sunset sweetly poignant.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

To hear the pieced played on a harp, click here.

For more great sky photos, please visit Friday Skywatch!

Enjoy your Friday,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Beautiful Giveaway

This morning I was excited to learn that Lori at Morning Glories and Moonflowers has posted one of my most favourite books Living a Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard.

I have been inspired by this book for many years, and it doesn't matter how often I read it, I always find enriching ways to add beauty, order and joy to every area of my life. For, what would this world be without the beauty in nature or in cheerful music, the sweetness of baby faces aor and warm kitty cats... the list is endless.

If you do not have a copy of this lovely book and you think you'd like to own a copy, why not pop over to Morning Glories to get your name in the draw.
Have a beautiful day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rumpole of the Bailey

 Actor Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole (L) and Author John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole (R)
Sad News! Yesterday I heard that Sir John Mortimer, creator of one of my favourite fictional characters, Horace Rumpole, died on Friday at age 85. John Mortimer, who was working on a new Rumpole of the Bailey story, has 'left his most famous literary creation, Horace Rumpole, stranded part-way through a final adventure'.

I always had a soft spot for grizzled old Rumpole... maybe it was the Wordsworth he'd quote as he pondered the world generally, and his life particularly, between defense cases at the Old Bailey and his nightly encounters with She Who Must Be Obeyed, aka Mrs. Hilda Rumpole, wife to Horace.

So, a glass of 'Pomeroy's Finest' in honour of dear old Rumpole and his wonderful creator, Sr. John Mortimer.

Bless you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Simply Sunday -- Passages to Something New

During December, I had the happy pleasure to read an Advent booklet gleaned from the writings of Henri Nouwen. I have been often uplifted by his reflections. So many times, his 'soul-search expressions of longing for God' have echoed in my own heart. Somehow he was able to put into words the thoughts and feelings for which I hadn't yet found words.

I really felt drawn to include this particular reflection today, and I send it out with the cherished hope it will encourage a heavy heart today.

"We don't like to dwell on our losses, but our whole lives are filled with losses, endless losses. And every time there are losses there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression, and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper. The question is not how to avoid loss and make it not happen, but how to choose it as a passage, as an exodus to greater life and freedom.
"O God, may your redemptive love showered upon us in Jesus lead us to live holy and happy lives despite our losses."
(Taken from Advent Meditations from the writings of Henri Nouwen: Living in Hope, (2) 2007 by Creative Communications for the Parish, Fenton, MO)

Wishing you peace,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Whimsical 50 Challenge

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I was chatting with my sister this afternoon and she got to telling me about an article
she'd read in the December 2008 issue of Canadian Living magazine.

Entitled "50 Good Deeds", this story was written by Lisa Bendall, a woman who set herself a 'whimsical challenge' to push at the boundaries of her comfort zone and to do something that would have a long-lasting impact on her seven-year-old daughter. So, what did she do? She
dared herself to do a good deed each day -- for 50 days straight.

I just love hearing about individuals who, in the course of their daily lives, discover wonderfully creative ways to make their world a more beautiful place for others. Click here to read the rest of this inspiring story, which is now posted on-line.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if more people took up a similar challenge...we could call it the "Whimsical 50 Challenge". I think I'm game! Anyone else? Leave a comment?

Savouring my Saturday!Brenda

Friday, January 16, 2009

How Kind You Were...

"How kind you were to open the Gate of Heaven
and give me that little glimpse of Paradise."
(from an 18th century letter)

That's seems to say it perfectly when I think about all my lovely blogging friends. And the neat part is that I keep meeting brand new friends every week! Each time I visit someone, old or new, I feel like I'm catching little glimpses of Paradise -- captured in a little world called a blog. The beauty, creativity and gracious hospitality, all as individually portrayed as the people behind them. So special happy thanks to you all for adding such fun and joy to my life.

A few short days ago, I was honoured, once again, to be the recipient of another blogging award. Talk about enjoying the blessing of overflowing grace from a very generous and kindly blogger!

For a second time, I am the happy receiver of the Lemonade Award, this time from Rebekah at Beautiful Days. Rebekah, you made my day! Thanks so much!

As you may know, this award is given for 'blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude'. It's an award that recipients get to share with other bloggers. Here are the rules: Put the logo on your blog or post. Nominate (up to) 10 blogs which show great attitude and /or gratitude! Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog. Share the love and link to this post, and to the person from whom you received your award.

I'm excited to pass along the Lemonade Award to the following bloggers:

1. Nancy at Nana's House - who can receive bad news, then turn around and make chicken and dumplings -- now that's a positive mindset!

2. Anna Maria at Anna Maria Horner - whose colourful and joyful blog always leaves me feeling grateful that I have eyes to see!

3. Nathalie at Avignon in Photos - who gives me glimpses, through her photos, of a place I want to visit someday.

4. Melanie at ME Melanie - who shares not only fun stuff, but thoughts that inspire and lift up.

5. Beverly at Dancing with the Daffodils - I ask, how can anyone who dances with the daffodils not exude a positive and grateful attitude!

Happy Friday... joy to you all!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lullaby, and Good Night!

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I really should be tucked away in my bed! And I will be shortly, but I had to stop and say night-night. I am happy to report that my project is done, completed, fini!

I was just going to shut everything down, when I noticed the Google Ad box I have in my sidebar. Tonight it's advertising snowblowers! How does it know it's been snowing here, mmmmm?

Now before my nose hits the keyboard with a clatter....


Stay Tuned...

As it turns out I can't blog today. Yesterday's project was a bigger chew than I thought. Will be leaving footprints in the snow, as I have to head out into a gray and wintry day.

See you later!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Cold Wintery Night


My friend, Rosalie, send me an e-mail today with the following winter poem in it.
With the winds huffing and puffing this evening, unfurling sackfuls of powdery petals into the night air, I thought the weather matched the sentiments of this unknown Canadian poet.

So here's to frosty nights and humorous poets!

* * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * *

It's winter here in Canada
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At thirty-five below.

Oh, how I love my Canada
When the snow's up to your 'butt'
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave my Canada
I'm frozen to the ground!

~ Author Unknown

I Can't Come Out And Play Today!

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Yes, it's true, and it isn't because I've been naughty. In fact, I've been very, very good, but I have a large project I need to finish today.

I'll still be around at my computer.... but I have to think of you all from afar.

This is kind of what my desk looks like when I'm in the middle of something. I really hope it's true that the signs of a messy desk are the signs of a creative mind....

BTW, I received two new awards yesterday that I'm just thrilled about. I'll post them and also acknowledge my kind benefactors tomorrow. Till later then!

Joyful thoughts winging your way,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Simply Sunday

In those times I can't seem to
find God, I rest in the assurance
He knows how to find me.
~ Neva Coyle

Ahhh, it's Sunday and the need for something more contemplative. My sister made this card for me. I love the quote she uses by Neva Coyle. I find it restful. I thought you might enjoy pondering it during your own more contemplative moments.

Wishing you peace today,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Alice Flossy Pumpernickel

I came across the most delightful blog yesterday. I wanted to introduce you to this particular blogger, because the story she shares how her blog name came to be. It made me Laugh Out Loud!

So, if you want a good read, a chuckle, and and a new place to visit, here's the first line to her story:

"At the tender age of 9, a wild Scottish woman (a friend of my parents), convinced me without a hint of a doubt that my name was Alice Flossy Pumpernickel."  Click for more here.

Ahhhhh.... the more I blog, the more I love it! So many amazing bloggers, so little time to get to know you all!

Happy Day!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Skywatch: Before and After


I'm sitting at my computer and the clock says it's close to 9:00 a.m. The above is what I see when I look out my study window -- the sunrise lighting up the neighbour's house and backyard.

...and After

Two minutes I look up again and that sunny moment has completely passed. I'm thinking Mr. Sun said, "Ah, it's Friday" and went back to bed

With my head bent over my desk, I could have completely missed that moment of glorious gold. So glad I did not.


Linking today with Friday Skywatch

Today It's the Butterfly Award!

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

WoW! Now this is a wonderful way to start a day...and end another week. Thanks to JonJon, who has a wonderful blog of her own, I am the happy recipient of the Butterfly Award, for being the 'coolest' blog. JonJon, thanks so much for such a delightful response to my blog!

This is a 'meme' award, so it gets passed on. The rules for passing it on are:
  1. Put the logo on your blog.
  2. Add a link to the person who awarded the blog to you.
  3. Award up to ten other blogs.
  4. Add links to the blogs you award onto your blog.
  5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blogs.
I'm happy to pass this award to the following bloggers because they have really cool blogs....

1. Gandalf and Grayson (not only are they Good Cats, they're Cool Bloggers too!)
2. All Good Cats (More really Cool KittyCats)
3. Life at Cafe Haven (To Michael, who knows how to make the absolute best lattes, and then turn the art into a blogging experience -- now that's Cool!)
4. Just Funny Things (To Don, a tired high school math teacher, who thought it would be Cool to share some of his funny school room stories)

Have a wonderful Friday!


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Lemonade Award

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Wow! Earlier today I received my first Blogger Award. I've been given the Lemonade Award by Bonnie from RedLady's Reading Room. This award is for blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. Thanks, Bonnie, you made my day!

I understand I'm supposed to pass along this award to other bloggers. Although it's hard to decide, today I would like to acknowledge the following bloggers.

I think they truly
demonstrate the gift of knowing how to turn lemons into lemonade, and exude a spirit of grace and gratitude that makes visiting their sites a very positive experience. Stop by their blogs and see for yourself!

1. Caryn at Hollow Thoughts
2. Sarah at Pink of Perfection
3. Rebekah at Rebekah's Beautiful Day
4. Lin at Letters from Lin
5. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Thanks again, Bonnie, for the delightful surprise!
With a happy heart,

PS. I did a Google after I posted this to see if I could find anyone with the actual 'rules' for this award. This is what I found. The blogger who had it listed said she couldn't do the "10 bloggers" to pass on the award, so she was absolving her recipients. That's ditto for me too!

So the rules for the Lemonade Award are:

Put the logo on your blog or post. Nominate at least (or up to) 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude! Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Same Frosty Morning...

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Taken the same frosty morning as the one in the banner

Woke up to skies burdened with snow this morning. These days the temperatures around here must be fastened to a musician's trombone -- sliding up and down all which-away. It can't seem to decide if it should be wildly frigid or mildly frosty. From the hoar frosted Russian olive tree in the neighbour's backyard, clues indicate we're on the upslide today.

While humming and hawing about what to write (maybe I'm attached to the same trombone), I've decided to take the easy road today and let someone else do the 'thin'ning around here'. The list below arrived in my e-mail box from a friend.... hope they add a touch of fun to your day.

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Stay warm and cozy!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Interesting Shot!

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I woke up to a really, really cold morning the other day. The sky was that beautiful pre-dawn midnight blue. So I grabbed my camera and gingerly opened the back door. Swirls of frost whisked past my ankles with a whoosh. I aimed into the sky, clicked, and dashed back into my warm kitchen, slamming the door with a bang. B-r-r-r-r!

I was amazed to find this photo on my camera. It almost looks like a double-exposure, but could it have been so cold that frost covered the lens that quickly? Or wouldn't it be wonderful to imagine that I'd caught angels unaware, guarding over our sleeping neighbourhood? Whatever it is, it's pretty cool (literally and figuratively), so I had to share.

As I'm still busy finishing up my newsletter, it's ta-ta for now!

Joy and more joy to you!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

How To Cut Clutter


Don't ask me how it happens, everything is fine for a long time, and then suddenly, there's a mound of paper growing on the side of my desk; unfinished projects are longing for me to get back to them; there are platters, books, and utensils out of place; and a-once-tidy pantry looks like wolverines have been in there looking for lunch.
After the holidays, when I take down all the Christmas decorations, there is something satisfying about following through with straightening and freshening up the place overall. The month of January, with its sense of bright, new beginnings, seems a good time to clear the clutter that's accumulated over the past few weeks or months. It's like starting again with a clean slate: you toss out the old, make room for the new, put everything back in its right place, all the while sorting what you still want or need for the new year ahead.
January is the traditional time of year for hardware stores to focus on selling storage and organizing tools: shelving units, plastic tubs, totes and baskets are now front and center where singing Santa's and lit up Christmas trees once stood. How often have I joined the masses, also filled with resolution and optimism, to go and stock up on these 'saviors' for we are all determined that this is the year we will get and stay organized!
But I have learned something over the years -- we don't always need to get more organizing tools and shelf space and build more cupboards in the basement. It's about knowing what it is that's actually filling up our spaces. And determining if we really need it all. Asking the question, Does it enhance our lifestyle or just get in the way of what we want from our lives?
Four Main Areas of Clutter 
A long time ago I came across an article where the author identified four areas that created clutter in her life. It resonated with me and I adopted her short list as a guide to help me identify what's causing the clutter around me and make some headway in clearing it up.

1. Unfinished projects. These not only clutter our desk tops, drawers, and closets, but our minds and emotions for they seem to cling to those thoughts just on the edge of our consciousness. We feel something bugging us and we know something is undone. It saps valuable energy.
TIP: Make a list of every project, large or small, and think about what you can do to complete it. Until you do finish it, find a suitable 'home' in your house where it can be stored -- maybe a drawer or a file box. Somewhere out of sight, but not out of mind. Somewhere away from your current project, so your mind can relax that you will take care of it.

2. Stuff out of place. Example in hand. My husband and I recently came home from a family birthday weekend celebration and a holiday trek away in the mountains. Our clothes and foodstuffs got unpacked right away, but a few other items were piled into the spare room to be dealt with later. My guest room looked like warehouse. And then we had some minor repairs done to the ceiling of our family room, so ornaments, paintings, tables were added to that room. It was quite a pile in there.
TIP: Take time to put it all back where it belongs. Put the ribbons and scissors back in the drawer. Take that turkey platter and put in where it goes till the next time you need it. It's amazing how little time is sometimes takes to just put it back. And, of course the trick is to aim for putting it all away as soon as you finished with it.
3. To much stuff in too small a space. Oh boy, oh boy... there you are on your hands and knees trying to dig out that large lasagna pan from the back of the cupboard, but there's so much sitting in front of it that you have to take everything out to retrieve it. Then you're in a hurry to get back to your cooking, and now everything's in a mess.
TIP: Keep what you use every day close at hand and put occasional-use things elsewhere so it doesn't cause a 'traffic jam'. If you don't make lasagna often, then put that pan in a seldom use cupboard and remember that's where it lives. Also, learn to recognize just how many of one thing you actually use, eg. do you truly need a dozen pie plates? And, a key thing for me has been to recognize is that I don't need -- and I'll never use -- all the cool gadgets out there, no matter which well-known kitchen diva says they can't live without it.
4. Stuff that you've out-lived, out-grown and out-loved. This is the hard part of things in my estimation. Just because I've out-lived something doesn't mean I've out-loved it too. Sometimes I'm emotionally attached to things that I no longer use, but I hate to give it away or throw it out. My sister calls that the weight of sentimentality.
TIP: Think of it as making room for the new. If you keep holding on to things that are no longer beautiful or useful, it will lock you in the past. Any items you do want to keep for posterity or for sentimental reasons, then make a home for them in a proper box somewhere where they can live peacefully until you want to look at them again. They don't need to live in your every day space.
I bless my old things that are going out the door. I say thank you and 'goodbye' from my heart as it goes out the door. I have done that with previous cars, my frig, stove, with books, clothes or ornaments I'm passing along. It sets me free in my mind and heart. I think that's what Joshua Becker Clutterfree with Kids means when he says, "Don't just declutter, de-own."

I hope these tips help cut the clutter, bring order out of chaos, and make your corner of the world more beautiful!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Perfectly Pink!

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I'll always remember the day last August, when I finally decided to 'just jump in' and create a blog for the very first time. I didn't have a clue how to begin -- it was such a learning curve, but, my, what a joyful climb it's been!

As the New Year started unfolding a few days ago, I had another one of those 'just jump in' moments. This time for a venture called Perfectly Pink! and if you link on it, you'll notice it's a brand new blog.

When a friend, who is a Director with Mary Kay Inc, first asked me to write her newsletter in 2004, I didn't realize the joy ride I would begin. For I found a niche, a spot, that seemed to fit perfectly with my interests in creativity and writing, and my love for beauty.

With the added sparkle and fun of blogging these past months, I began to dream of embroidering the two joys into something that will motivate, inspire and equip women to live their lives, not only more successfully, but more beautifully (whether they are in Mary Kay or not).

So, that's what I've been working on these past few days. It's in earliest bud stages, but I like to think we're onto something perfectly pink!

I'm off to work on my newsletter. Enjoy your day!

Pinkly perfect,

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Simpy Sunday...

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

I was out earlier in the day.
It's a perfect wintry afternoon.... cheerfully sunny and a whole lot warmer than yesterday... we're around -10C, instead of -30C!
Now I sit at my computer musing about what I should post today. Well, what about a good quote? Well, why not! There's nothing like an new good quote to inspire a person. In a way, they're like booster shots, those in between vaccines that boost your immune system. You don't need a whole dose of sermon or lecture, just a little something to lift a sagging morale or wearied soul.

No lengthy lessons or articles, just three little quotes from one of those 'old' guys, Martin Luther, a German priest who lived from 1483 - 1546.

So without further ado, have a restfully wonder day.

Meditatively yours,

On Reading the Word...
"God writes the Good News not in the Bible alone,
but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars."

On Faith...
"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace,
so sure and certain that a man can stake his life
on it a thousand times."

On Hope...
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces,
I would still plant my apple trees."

(this one's for you, Leila Dear!)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sunny Saturday...

2009 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

On such a bright and sunny Saturday, and temperatures hovering at -30C, this is a very good day to stay close to home and computer. I have a real hankering to blog today; however, as I do feel the clock ticking and my January Mary Kay newsletter must get out, I really do have to set aside my blogging longings and wrestle with pink thoughts today.

Since the day is so cheerful out, Rick and I plan to brave the frost and head to the library later in the day for a wee
snoop around. Of course, as we all know, it's not that I don't have any books at home, but you never know what will entice and allure. And.. I do have the 'support my local library' challenge to begin. (smile)

Oh... if you're looking for something new and interesting, you might
want to check out a book I came across recently, A Year of Mornings.

Although the blog site with the same name is no longer available, A Year of Mornings, which began as 'an almost daily photo conversation, in blog form, between two friends that live 3191 miles apart', is now available in book form. An amazing journey!

I best be off..... enjoy your day...... enjoy your blogging. I'll join you soon!

Pinkly yours,

Friday, January 02, 2009

Heaven In A Bowl: Moroccan Chicken-Vegetable Soup


God is great, God is good...
Let us thank Him for our food soup.

That was the simple grace we would chant over our food when we were kids. As a girl I was always grateful for the brevity of this little prayer, since it meant starting lunch almost as soon as we gathered at the table.

Today we are grateful for this soup that enchants us with its exotic fragrance as it bubbles away. The stock, rich and flavourful, is full of good things to eat. Grated carrots, onions, chicken pieces, spices, and couscous simmer in a savoury chicken stock, and is later garnished with green onion tops. 

It goes nicely with tea biscuits or fresh crusty country bread. Doesn't your mouth water at the idea?

Now here's wishing you a beautiful day,

Friday Skywatch...

A wintry sky in Alberta, Canada

On this second day of the New Year, we're experiencing a typical wintry one -- bright, sunny, and really, really cold.

Today I'm linking to Friday Skywatch, a blog tour where fellow bloggers post some of the most amazing sky shots.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Even Kitties Blog

Sullivan in the clover patch

Once upon a time I followed a blog called Gandalf and Grayson. First, because I love kitties--both Gandalf and Grayson were two handsome cats--they both knew how to blog (such clever lads). Second, because Grayson was the spitting image of my own kitty, Sullivan (above).

Though he lives bright and beautifully in my heart, he is waiting by the Rainbow Bridge, and because I miss him so, I find great delight in seeing daily snaps of Grayson on his blog ... as it's a happy reminder of my own dear, sweet Sullivan!

I posted this when their blog was still active; however, I now learn it is no longer available, otherwise I would share the link. The funny thing is that Grayson had a similar photo sitting in the clover in the same pose.  Deja vu ... uncanny too, seeing as they live worlds and miles apart!

So, here's to two special kitties...this one's for you, Grayson and Sullivan!

It's all purr-fectly a-mews-ing!

Post updated in January 2014


Happy 2009...

"In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want." ~ Irish Toast

"And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown. And he replied: Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way." ~Minnie L. Haskins

"One thing I am certain, whatever unfolds, I continue to have the confidence that the same God who brought me through the ups and downs of 2008 has not gone into retirement, so I choose to place my trust in His Faithful Ability to help me walk joyfully and with peace of heart into this brand New Year." ~ Brenda Leyland

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