Friday, June 28, 2013

Giddy With Anticipation...


 "The Heart wants what it wants - or else it does not care”
 ~ attributed to Emily Dickinson

A number of years ago I came across a magazine that would have become my new favourite (when Victoria stop publishing), except it was hard to find here in Canada. The first time I spied a copy on the magazine stand, I knew I'd found a new treasure...and pleasure.

La Vie Claire--a magazine created by Claire Murray was all about the art of living a creative life. Just my cup of tea, I thought, and looked forward to more. The pages were filled with stories of women who were following their dreams and bringing beauty to their lives, as well as dozens of the most delightful full-page photographs of scenes and displays that would make any woman's heart sigh and set to dreaming.

Then the sad day came when I heard that they were no long publishing. Waaaaa.  Consolation was that they were offering back issues. I tucked that bit of info at the back of my mind -- because I had an immediate desire to add those issues to my teeny 'collection of three' as these were just too beautiful to disappear from my life forever.

* * * * *

That was a while ago. Then other day I brought out my collection of three -- all spring/summer issues, but I wanted to catch their summery glimpses too. Ah, let's go online and see if they still offer back issues. They did! To my great delight, they were offering the complete set for half price. Why bother with just a few copies when you can get them all for such a deal, said I.

Without thinking about it -- just followed the longing of my heart -- I clicked on the link, typed in my credit card number and hit Submit. No looking back, no second thoughts (although my mind did wonder about this too-flighty creature). Yesterday I popped back to the site to get a cover sample to display in this post, and I noted that the sale price was gone. Back to regular price.  Oh heart lurched... talk about perfect timing. A couple of days later and I would have missed the opportunity.


Kate Tandy /

With that in mind, wouldn't it be just too lovely to invite you to come and spend an afternoon with me? For that box of magazines has arrived. We'd sit in the garden, set that box of magazines between our comfy lounge chairs, arrange our tea things around us, and then spend a peaceful afternoon. Heads bent over colourful photos and interesting displays, each content in her own little retreat and musings, sipping tea, and commenting only when something needed saying. There might be some genteel squealing as we exclaim, Would you look at this beauty!

Why does that make me sigh? Because, in truth, I'd love to share an afternoon like that with you. Sometimes our hearts long for things our rational minds cannot fathom. Our hearts are not nourished the way our minds are. We need beauty and creativity and times to spend with kindred hearts -- to retreat and just be -- and I found that when I read Miss Claire's beautiful magazine.

NOW you can imagine my glee...and my anticipation.  Somewhere in the postal system there's a box of  beautiful magazines heading towards my mailbox, coming all the way from Maine, USA. I'll let you know when they arrive...

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Morning After The Storm...

Good Morning Dear Ones,

It's such a beautiful morning. Clear blue skies, sunshine and breezes blowing songs through the leaves.  The birds are beside themselves with great joy today...such singing going on.  Perhaps they are grateful for another day to be about their birdie business.  Especially as we had a wild storm around midnight last night--thankfully it lasted a few minutes and moved on.

A tour through the garden this morning ... all is well ... but we found mounds of pea-size hail parked in front of the downspouts. No sign of hail anywhere else.  Mmmm... I had figured it banged too noisily to be just water.  But at midnight the only energy I had was to say no hail in Jesus' name.

I'll tell you a secret... I believe there was no damage in my garden, in spite of the evidence of hail, because years ago I began to learn how to speak to hail and to tell it that it is not allowed to destroy anything in my yard or neighbourhood. 

There was one time when I saw hail turn to water in the air seconds after I told the hail to warm up and turn to water. I was amazed at how quickly the change came. Because sometimes I wonder, God, am I nuts to command hail to obey me?  Yet I'm taking my model from Jesus when he spoke to that awful storm that night once long ago on the sea of Galilee... he rebuked the wind and sea...both must have recognized his authority because they stopped doing what they were doing  And there was peace. So no, I don't think I'm being foolish.

Back to this morning, I do find it interesting...and it makes me wonder if those little mounds were actually 'gathered up' and not allowed to fall anywhere else on my yard? They spewed harmlessly in a heap through the downspouts. I'm just saying.... could it be my little glimpse of heaven coming to earth today?

Which reminds me, I've been thinking awhile and have had the urge to set up a website and/or a Facebook page called StormChangers.calm. Because with all the strange weather and intense storms people everywhere have been experiencing, I believe God is putting it on my heart to take what I've been learning about the hail and to start praying for changes in other storms in our region, country and borders beyond. And then to invite others of like-mind and heart to join. My sister got the tagline:  Stop a a life.  Don't you just love it?

Although there isn't much there yet, you are welcome to take a peek over at StormChangers.calm. And yes, as soon as we heard the news, we started praying about those Flash Floods in our sister city, Calgary, here in Alberta. (Some of you have been asking, I live a few hours north of this region and I personally was not affected.) Although there was much devastation, few lives were lost (I was hoping for none, but we are thankful for the thousands of lives that were spared.)

I see my hour is up... I'm heading off to my Writing Friends group at the library. Best be off.  I'll come back and write more later.

Wishing you a beautiful day.


Graphic Source:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Couldn't Write Today

It's true, I couldn't write today. It was raining sooo hard the words kept smudging as I typed. I thought what's the point of that, no one will be able to read the posting if it's all a messy blur.

So that's why I didn't post today.  I know that's a terrible excuse, but at least I didn't tell you the dog ate my article.

In truth, while it poured outside, I made yummy homemade chicken soup with cilantro and orzo pasta, and dear hubby set himself to making a couple of loaves of fresh rye bread. Then I had a snuggly nap with the window open a crack so I could hear the rain. I love listening to the rain as it falls on a summer day. I love watching it plunk into already-brimming bird baths and drip teardrops off petals and leaves and branches.  And don't you just love that fresh earthy smell?

It all seems so cozy when I'm inside enjoying the wafts of homemade chicken soup and bread baking in the oven.  I've seem more umbrellas out in our city than ever I can remember. Even used one myself when I went on a couple of errands.  Later in the afternoon I finished working on an article due in the editor's inbox of our writers fellowship magazine. 

Since it's been raining so much here in Alberta, I started thinking we must be living on the plains in Spain, which of course reminds me of that wonderful classic movie My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, where she learns to speak so eloquently and sings that delightful song 'The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain."

It was a long time before I paid attention to the fact that most of my personal journal entries open with a glimpse at the weather. It's as if I'm setting the scene for the new day. Although I do not take my mood from the weather, perhaps the weather partly 'dictates' what I shall be about for the day.  Some activities require rain and cloud, other must have bright blue skies and sunbeams streaming through lacy curtains for them to be enjoyed properly.

As I say, I don't pay attention to the weather so as to adjust my mood to it. Although I know we are all affected by the weather systems, some more than others, I really do try not to get under it.  For I'll always recall one fellow who kidded his wife, what are you doing under there, when she mentioned she'd been feeling a little under the weather.

So there it is, a little of why I couldn't write today.  I'll see you tomorrow. In the meantime, I wish you sweet rest and safety.  "He gives his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways" (I love saying it the olde English way best.)


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Simply Sunday: Hopeful Musings

I was thinking it's time to jot a little something on this blog, get the 'stalled car' back on the road.

Of course I want to write something beautiful -- after all that's my theme -- but more to the point, I want to share something that will keep our hearts hopeful when we find ourselves in the midst of our storms and downpours... there seem to be more than usual, or are they just nearer my own corner of the world?

Life has so much pressure. Every age and era has had its own, but here we are in the 21st century, with experiences and situations that are unique to this generation. We do need to find God-inspired ways to tread in such ways as to not blow ourselves up--personally and globally.

Which always comes back to the fact I can't run from...I need to write. I'm always reminded of that when I read books like Sarah Young's Jesus Calling... bedside reading companions for the dreary days, the weary days, the spooky days, the totally out-from-left-field kind of days.

This little book was a godsend (or God sent) this past year for me. Many mornings I'd wake up at 3:00 am to find myself, not only weary beyond words, but in pain, because my little cleaning job was starting to have not-so-little effect on my body, yes, and my soul too. Not having my usual time to wake up quietly and gently, I'd oft reach for Sarah's book and ask the Lord for a right now word to help me get up with some measure of joy in my heart instead of the cranky that wanted to well up instead.  Thankfully, I'd read a few lines to find just what my heart needed many mornings.

So... I shall be writing more to that end of helping us focus on the good, the beautiful and the hopeful in the midst of our days that are less than perfect.  I need that for me, I assume someone else needs it too.  I shall write.

In the meantime, may I also introduce you to someone I just met (aren't search engines wonderful). A blogger, Dawn-Marie, who daily shares quotes from the Jesus Calling book on her blog of the same name.  Along with her selected excerpts, she shares her thoughts that arise from her readings. If you like Sarah Young, I think you'll enjoy Dawn-Marie over at her blog Jesus Calling.

There... you never know what comes up when you sit down and wait. Listen. And just write. I should do it more. Yes, I will do it more. It's time. He's says it's time.

With a gentle kiss atop thy head, I wish you grace for the journey.


Graphic Source:

Friday, June 21, 2013

And The Giveaway Winner Is...

It's Friday, and without further ado, I am delighted to announce that the sweet little book Remembering Dear Friends by artist Aude Kamlet goes to:

Lisa from These Prairie Dreams

Congratulations, Lisa!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my giveaway. It was lovely connecting with you -- so many who are also friends of Victoria magazine.

Wishing you all a beautiful day...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Giveaway Draw...


It's Tomorrow

Contest now closed.

We're celebrating the first day of summer
with this beautiful book giveaway!

If you haven't left a comment, it's not too late.
The draw will be tomorrow at 9: 03 am MDT.

Here's wishing you all the best...


Friday, June 07, 2013

Remembering Dear Friends by Aude Kamlet

Click to preview pages inside

I'm very excited about something I just ordered online.  And I'm delighted to share it with you, my dear friends!

In less than two weeks the mailman will be delivering a parcel that contains not just one, but two copies of a book I never knew existed until I did a very modern 'Google' search looking for info about its author.

Now, if you have been, or still are a faithful fan of the original Victoria magazine with founding editor Nancy Lindemeyer, you must remember the wonderful artist, Aude Kamlet, whose lovely mini watercolours often adorned the 'Dear Friends' pages.

Ms. Kamlet made comment that of the many illustrations signed by herself, those done for the "Dear Friends" column of Victoria Magazine from 1992 to 1998 were among her favorites.  I have to admit I loved those little touches of beauty too.

Which is why I. AM. SO. EXCITED.  Because 'Remembering Dear Friends' is a little book that Ms. Kamlet created commemorating that very season of her life, and--joy, joy--it's still available to purchase!

I'm looking forward, therefore, not only to enjoying this book for myself, but I have the greatest delight in offering the second copy as a Giveaway gift.  (This is where I wish I could give a copy to each of you.)
The Giveaway is now closed.


Photo source:

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Can You Live A Beautiful Life...

When the dust bunnies have taken refuge under the antique Duncan Phyfe sofa in our bedroom? Not only that, but they have now taken liberties of hopping out and showing off their dusty powder puff tails so that I can see them! Not in the crystalline rays of sunshine (where all hidden things are revealed) but when the room is shadowy and dim because it's overcast outside. A couple of days ago we started to feel suspicious that those grey shadows along the couch's ornate feet weren't shadows.

'Tis not a good sign. Especially since we, my dear Beloved and I, are the cleaners/polishers at our local performing arts center. Methinks it's a clear example of that old tale that shoemakers' children go without shoes... and cleaners of other people's events will find dust bunny conferences in many corners of their own abodes.

Ah... but the amazing thing is that in the midst of this alarming discovery, with the furniture all awry in the center of the room and the vacuum hose unfurled across the carpet, I've had to stop everything.

Because, you see, in the middle of my dust bunny tango, I've had a burst of creative energy in another direction. I'm suddenly inspired to write about something I've been eager to share with you for a while now.

It's a Giveaway. And it's all connected to an artist whose lovely illustrations any loyal fan of the old Victoria magazines will recognize and appreciate.  Are you familiar with the name Aude Kamlet?

If you've got your vintages magazines handy, go and get your copy of the April 1995 issue and turn to page 98. And if you don't have a copy, not to worry, all shall be revealed. I'll be posting the Giveaway Friday!

So then, I guess it is possible to imagine nice things and live in a state of beauty even when it's dusty in here. Ca-choo!

Now, where's my feather duster?


Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Transformation Begins

Watch it unfold as Spring around us has been unfurling.  Leaf by leaf.  Bud by bud.  Bird nest by bird nest.

So begins the slow unveiling of the new season of my blog.  Oh my, when I started pondering the new direction, message and, of course, deciding on a new look to signify something old has passed away, something new is about to be given, little did I realize how much mulling, pondering, dreaming and yes, agonizing,  it would actually take.

Friends have been gracious to share encouragement when I asked for it, and I'm ever grateful for their loving thoughts and nudges.  But as we all realize in the end, it was me that had to become still... to tune out monkey chattering and take time in the midst of the usual business of living so I could hear the little nightingale whisperings of my own heart.

So, just as I did nearly five years ago when I wrote my very first post, today my heart said 'just jump in', and before my mind could fathom yet another reason to delay, here we are. Trusting. That the way will unfold. The journey cannot begin if the first step is not taken.

No more pencil chewing ... we begin and we start by dismantling and redecorating. And what fun, in truth, it has been.


PS.  The new header is from a photo I took this morning from my study window. A glimpse of heaven right in my own backyard.