Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The World of Rosamunde Pilcher

On a recent visit to the library, I was delighted to find this treasure of a book: The World of Rosamunde Pilcher.

For anyone who is a fan of Rosamunde Pilcher's novels, you are in for a treat. In this gorgeously-illustrated book, Mrs. Pilcher invites you to share with her 'the breathtaking views and tranquil places that have inspired her writings. Places like the coasts of Cornwall. The Highlands of Scotland. The society of London.

Included is a delightful introduction by the author, as well as snapshots from her family albums and recipes from her own kitchen.

If you have never read her books (Shell Seekers, Coming Home, September, Winter Solstice...), this book might have you heading right out the door to find copies. And, if you're already a 'forever' fan, you'll be reaching for your collection to read them all over again.

Happy Reading,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Evening in the Garden

The evening was so beautiful last night. It was warm, balmy, and with very few bugs. Rick and I went for a walk while a delicious Cherry Crunch baked in the oven. We looked forward to eating a dishful when we got back,  pairing it with a nice Italian (decaf) coffee.

We bumped into our neighbour, who was also out for his evening stroll, so we invited him to join us after our respective walks. His wife and daughters are away visiting family for several weeks, and I'm sure he finds his big house lonely. Because it was so pleasant out, we decided to sit in the garden. Rick set out candles and lanterns and put the cushions on the patio chairs while I dished out the dessert.

I wish I could share the fragrance from the evening scented stock. Not really an attractive floral specimen, especially in the day time, you can catch a glimpse of it in front of the pink flowers (above). As the evening deepened and began to cool it, the fragrance filled the whole garden. It was magical. And, rather than fireflies coming out to play (we don't have them in this part of the world), my little neighbour, Orange Kitten, came to visit. She happily frisked about in the garden, hiding in corners. Our Miss Kitty was not impressed, but we certainly enjoyed the antics.

Our visit was spontaneous, which is often the best kind. We'll remember this summer evening for a long time.

Happy thoughts to you all,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cherry Pickin' Season


As you can see, my Evans cherry tree is ripe unto harvest. It's a sour cherry that grows and survives here in Alberta.

These cherries make a wonderful sour cream cherry pie as well as a compote for pancakes or ice cream. You might want to check out my food blog recipe blog for the recipes of these two favourites.


Monday, August 17, 2009

First Blog Anniversary

More than 400 posts, 3 new blogs, over 10,000 visits, plus dozens of new blogging friends later, today I'm celebrating the first anniversary of my very first posting on It's A Beautiful Life.

It's interesting that as I celebrate this small achievement, Mr. Rick and I went to see the movie Julie and Julia, where we watched young Julie Powell cook her way through Julia Child's book on french cooking and then blog about her experiences.

Although my blog hasn't turned into a book or a movie (smile), I'm still really delighted with my blogging experience, having met so many wonderful people over the past year.

It's been wonderful -- thanks for the ride!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunrise Wonders

View to the west
Photos: Brenda C Leyland, Aug 13, 2009

"Pay attention to your dreams - God's angels often speak
directly to our hearts when we are asleep."

Have you ever had a dream where you felt that God was speaking to you through it? Well, I am of the opinion this is what happened to me early yesterday morning. Around 5:30 a.m., I woke up from a dream so vivid—someone kept calling my name over and over. The voice wasn't urgent but it was insistent. It took me a moment to realize the voice I heard was in my dream. Now fully awake, I looked out my bedroom window, which faces westerly, astonished to see the sky ablaze with such bold pink colours!

These are what my camera caught in real life....no touch ups!

I grabbed my camera and went outside. I took photos from my back deck and then went flying out into my front yard. In the midst of all this wildly pink sky, a smattering of rain was falling and then I saw a rainbow forming.

Although I couldn't get it all on my camera, a complete rainbow formed right over top my neighbourhood. Then a second one began to form alongside the first one. I watched in awe.

View to the east - definitely more gold and orange here

It was also interesting to note that about 20 minutes later there wasn't a trace of any of this glorious painting in the sky. It was as if the sun had gone back to bed and the curtain had fallen on the glory; all that remained were early dawn grey cloudy skies.

* * *

Now you may ask what God was saying to me in all this. I'm not sure, except to watch this wondrous work of nature unfold in front of my eyes, I felt so alive and so aware of Him in that moment. I shall never forget it.

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Treasury of Heart Quotes

People do say the most amazing and insightful things. Here are three that spoke to me, hope you enjoy too:

"Sometimes someone says something really small,
and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart."
~ My So-Called Life

* * * 

"Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children
of chance, and none can say why some fields will blossom while
others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those
around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no
less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made. And give.
Give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love.
To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared,
and your life will having meaning and your heart will have peace."
~ Kent Nerburn

* * *

"A part of you has grown in me. And so you see,
it's you and me together forever and never apart,
maybe in distance, but never in heart."
~ Brooke Zuroweste

 * * *

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Kitten and the Rest of the Story

The mystery has been solved about Orange Kitten that hooked up with us earlier in the week. Yes, the neighbour family did go away on holidays, and they had someone coming in to feed and look after the cats. And, yes, Kitten, as we were informed later, was well able to get into and out of the cat door so she hadn't been accidentally locked out.

So why did she follow us in such a desperate way on Monday evening? And yowl outside her front door for a couple of days? Well, she probably was lonely for starters. But, looking back, I remembered when she came to us she was limping on three legs, so perhaps she had scaled the high fence out of her yard, but then couldn't get back in. And now she was stranded... and hungry!

The fellow who had been looking after her didn't see my note on the front door till the end of the week, so I was thinking no one was coming by, but he said he'd been by, so he probably went to the back door. And later in the week, when Kitten's leg was better she seemed quite able to climb fences, and trees, without too much trouble.

So that's that! I can relax ... she's home, safe and happy. I saw her this afternoon, busy at play with her family.

* * * * *

By the way, I was reminded of a very important lesson in all this. Never assume anything until you learn both sides of the story. I was glad I had held my judgement. I kept reminding myself there had to be a reasonable explanation, and as it turned out, there was.

A purr-fect ending!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Little Orange Kitten

We've been tending a little orange kitten since yesterday evening when she followed us into the house sounding desperate. When I gave her a tin of kitty food, she gobbled it right up, so she hadn't eaten in a while. I've seen her before so I assumed she belonged somewhere nearby, but didn't know where.

After some inquiries it turns out she belongs to a family that recently moved into our neighbourhood. Apparently they went away on holidays and someone is supposed to be looking after their cats. And, from one neighbour, apparently these folks have a cat door and so that's probably how this little one got out of the house. There's no way to get in the backyard as they have a high fence, so we can't even show her the door, if that's how she got out.

So how long has Kitten been stranded outside? I've no idea, and it bothers me that I haven't seen anyone around. I left a note on the door and hopefully the babysitter will come by this evening!

I brought Kitten home with me, much to Miss Kitty's hissy disgust (she's now under the bed). You'll be interested to know where the 'intruder' settled for a nap ... on Miss Kitty's favourite spot ... my computer chair!

There, that's what's on my mind today --
I'll keep you posted as to developments!


Monday, August 03, 2009

Shadows on Canvas

Beauty shows up in the most interesting places sometimes. I went into the garden the other day to enjoy another hot, sunny afternoon. Not wanting to sit directly in the hot rays, I opened the patio umbrella for some shade.

Glancing upward towards the peak of the open umbrella, it was as if someone had dipped a paintbrush in shadowy hues, for splashed across the top was etched a pretty leafy 'painting' of my Hawthorne tree.

I would have totally missed it if I hadn't taken the time to look and see.

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,