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,
Brenda





Saturday, August 22, 2009

Evening in the Garden



It was such a beautiful last evening. Warm. Balmy. Very few bugs. So Rick and I were out walking, with the delightful anticipation of enjoying a really nice Italian coffee (decaf) along with our 'in-the-oven' Cherry Crunch when we got back.

We met our neighbour out for his evening stroll, so we invited him to join us for coffee after our respective walks. His wife and daughters are away visiting family for several weeks, and I'm sure he finds his big house a little empty and lonely.



As I say, it was such a pleasant evening that 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 post the fragrance we enjoyed from the evening scented stock (below). Not really an attractive floral specimen, but its heady perfume is worth it. As the evening deepened and began to cool it, the fragrance filled the whole garden. It was magical.




As the evening shadows lengthened, rather than fireflys coming out to play (we don't have those in this part of the world), my little neighbour, Orange Kitten, stopped by for a visit. She was happily frisking about in the garden and hiding in corners. Al though Miss Kitty was not impressed, we certainly enjoyed her cute antics.

Such a lovely evening. And all done on a spontaneous whim. Often the best kind.

Pleasant happy thoughts to you all,
Brenda
xox





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.

Cherry-o!
Brenda
xox





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!
Brenda
xox







Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunrise Wonders

Photos: Brenda C Leyland, Aug 13, 2009

Have you ever had a dream where you felt that God was speaking to you through it?

Well, I'm 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 of someone calling my name over and over. Although the voice wasn't urgent, it was insistent that I heed it.

It took me a moment to realize that the voice I heard was in my dream. Now fully awake, I happened to look out my bedroom window, which faces westerly, and I was astonished to see the sky ablaze with bold pink colours!



I grabbed my little digital camera and started clicking. I took some 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 the rainbow beginning to form.



Although I couldn't get it all on my camera, a complete rainbow formed just over my neighbourhood. And then a second one began to form on the outside of the first one. I watched in awe. This is what my camera caught in real life... no touch ups.







This view was in the east -- definitely more orange here

It was also interesting to note that about 20 minutes later when I looked again 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 and all that remained were the pre-dawn grey cloudy skies.

So, now you may ask what God was saying in this... I'm not totally sure, except it felt like a gift to watch this wonderful work of nature unfold before my very eyes. Am I ever glad I woke up when I heard the voice!
Wishing you glimpses of heaven,
Brenda

Linking with Friday Skywatch



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,
Brenda








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!
Brenda
xox








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!

Brenda







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,
Brenda