Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Keep Eating The Apple

"I taught my children to treat life like a big apple. Bite it, chew it, suck it, let the juice dribble down your chin. If you bite a worm, spit it out. But don't stop eating that apple." ~ Arabella Ark, Ceramics Artist, Maui

I like Arabella Ark's take on how we should view life. Sometimes life isn't fair; sometimes it has worms in it. Yet, think about all the moments when it's just wonderful -- juicy, sweet, and delicious.

If we were to stop eating apples just because we found a wormy one, we'd also miss out on those experiences that were beautiful and joyful and fun. Not to mention, miss out on such mouthwatering dishes like apple pie, apple sauce, apple butter, apple crisp, apple strudel, apple cider, toffee apples, to name a few.

So, here's to the apples of life...let's keep eating!


Monday, March 30, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients

Now I know why I fell in love with Erica Bauermeister's first novel, The School of Essential Ingredients. Ms. Bauermeister, in her own biographical sketch, said that she always wanted to write and when she read Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing, she finally knew she wanted to...

"write books that took what many considered to be unimportant bits of life and gave them beauty, shone light upon their meaning."

That phrase really grabbed my imagination. Here was kindred spirit -- someone who loves to find the beauty in life, even in ordinary rituals, like cooking.

The first time I read it, I savoured it over several sittings. I didn't want to finish too quickly, kind of like slowly nibbling on the last chocolate in the box. And, when I finally read the last page, I went back to page one and started it all over again ... this time I read it aloud to my hubby. It was so evocative and sensual to read it out loud -- to hear the words seemed to create a deeper, richer flavour. Somehow you could feel and taste and smell, almost even touch.

If you are interested in finding out more about the book or reading any reviews, check out these two: Staci at Life in the Thumb, who first got me intrigued, and Bonnie at Redlady's Reading Room, who just posted a guest posting by Erica herself.

As well, if you'd like to learn more about the author, Erica Bauermeister, click here for her website.

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Advice for a Happy and Contented Life

 As overheard from a mother cat instructing her kittens...
  • Learn the difference between idleness and repose--one wastes time, the other one luxuriates in it.
  • Never, ever let anyone floss your teeth--unless you're unconscious or dead.
  • No matter what you've done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it.
  • Never go to bed with a resentful heart or a dirty face.
  • Inspire whimsy in everyone you meet.
  • Help with making the bed.
  • Help with redecorating, even when no one asks you.
  • Don't be fooled by cat furniture -- tiny beds, cramped baskets, etc -- sold in pet stores. Human furniture is always more plush and comfortable.
  • Treat yourself to a nap in the sock drawer once in awhile.
  • Help with jigsaw puzzles.

The above quotes are found in a wonderful little book written by Leigh W. Rutledge A Cat's Little Instruction Book. Seems to be good advice for anyone -- feline or otherwise.

Here's wishing you all a purr-fectly lovely weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2009

One Thing At A Time

Aranxa Esteve / unsplash.com

Sometimes my task seems so overwhelming that I'm tempted to give up before I even begin. It can happen with housework, studying, planting and gardening, writing, praying, paper piling on the desk, spending time with people.

It also happens when I look at the world around me... the overwhelming needs of people in dire straits. Millions starving... it all seems too big to comprehend, never mind find a way to make a difference.

But Mother Teresa, bless her soul, found a way. As an ardent admirer of this beautiful woman, I often wondered how she could deal with what must have looked like an overwhelming, never-ending sea of people in need. How did she cope? How did she keep from laying down one day and saying, this is too big, there's too many, I can't do this anymore?

Then one day many years ago, I learned her secret. It was revealed in such a simple thought: "Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."

WOW! When you think about it, how perfect these wise words fit for every circumstance of life. No matter how great or small, that is the secret to accomplishing anything.

Mother Teresa's words have become a guiding star for me. How many times have I reminded myself to stop worrying about numbers, just do one thing, and start with the one nearest me. And, it works wonders every time. My world rights itself; I can see the trees for the forest, and all is in focus again.

One little woman, one little phrase, one awesome impact! It's beautiful!

Gratefully re-focused,

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Little List Of Favourites

Why do we love creating lists of our favourite things? 

Perhaps it was Maria von Trapp cum Julie Andrews who got us started when she first sang that catchy little melody about loving brown paper packages wrapped up with string. And how remembering favourite things can help take little minds off bee stings and dog bites. We certainly know the pleasure in remembering favoured objects and experiences. And, we now know just how beneficial good thoughts are towards creating an overall sense of well being.

I could do with a little sense of well being on this blustery morning, so I'm offering this latest list in the order in which it came to mind....

1. The delight of reading in bed before I get up to face the day

2. Laughing and being around people who make me laugh

3. Miss Kitty, especially when she's curled up on my lap, loudly purring

4. Collecting quotes and sayings in notebooks

5. The beautiful Victoria Magazine

6. Bold, colourful flowers

7. Getting an aha moment out of the blue

8. Receiving compliments from people who read the newsletter I love to write

9. Blogging

10. Jesus, Rick, my mom, my family, you....

Blow, Wind, blow -- we're happy now.


Friday, March 06, 2009

Gloves and Shirt Tales

Brooke Cagle / unsplash.com

It's Friday and it's a good day for a a little fun and frivolity. I'm reminded me of a little story which a former co-worker told us happened to her aunt.

Years ago when women still donned hats and gloves while going out in public, Rhonda's aunt was riding the trolley on her way to work one morning. No seats were available, so she held onto the strap above, swaying in the aisle as the trolley lumped and lurched.
Suddenly one of her gloves (apparently she'd taken them off) fell into the lap of a seated, slightly derelict old fellow, who was snoozing at the time. Horrified, she could seeing her glove sitting primly on this old guy's lap. How would she retrieve it -- to just pluck it up off his lap was not an option, what with the trolley swaying at any moment.
As she's pondering, the old fellow wakes up and reaches for the bell pull. He glances down at his lap, looks at the glove sitting there, and with nary a thought grabs the glove and tucks it safely into his trousers. Probably thought it was his shirt tail sticking out.
We often wondered what the fellow thought when he got home that night. Something interesting had happened during the day, and he'd missed it! We often wondered what his wife thought too!

Still chuckling,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

Mellow Yellow Poppies

One cold wintry day not so long ago, I happened upon these bright silk poppies in a local shop. Even if I had to go without bread that day (which I didn't) I knew I had to take this cheery bunch home with me.

Then, I stumbled upon a blogger who designed a meme called Mellow Yellow Mondays. The author says she chose yellow because "it's my favourite colour and I think the world is always better with a splash of yellow....whether it's in your home or in nature."

How's that for perfect timing? I couldn't agree more! So on this beautifully sunny -- but very wintry -- Monday, I'm happy to share my yellow contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday #8.

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