Monday, May 18, 2020

Weekend Doings

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

" The earth laughs in flowers. "

It's Monday morning, the start of a new week. It's a holiday here in Canada. I always call this the Victoria Day weekend, but many call it the May Long Weekend. Victoria Day was established as a holiday in the Province of Canada in 1845 and as a national holiday in 1901 to honour Queen Victoria's birthday. It is now informally considered the beginning of summer, also known as  'let's go camping' for many families. Plus, it is high season for garden centers and anyone eager to finally get plants in the ground. I popped over to one of our favourite greenhouses just moments after opening hours, and the parking lot was already full to the brim, with lineups. I decided not to wait but I'll try again soon. I am looking for shrubs and trees, and they don't have online shopping for them.

We had a lovely weekend—great weather and a chance to parking lot and front yard visit with family and friends. It was so sweet to see faces in person. The weather was perfect. We sat outside and felt the warmth of the sun on our cheeks and the breeze in our hair. We each brought our own drinks and snacks. The no hugging policy made it feel more than a little odd, especially when we waved each other off without so much as a nod, only air kisses. Still, it was wonderful.

" Don't cry because it's over,
smile because it happened. "

" Life's a pudding full of plums."

After a recent dig through the freezer, I discovered a bag of frozen plums that needed using up. I made a Plum Cake for tea yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, we consumed our piece with great delight. It seems I bake a lot more these days. Maybe that's why flour and yeast are hard to come by in the stores—everyone else seems to be doing that as well. Here's the recipe:

Quick Plum Cake

8 x 8 inch greased pan
Preheat oven to 350 F

1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups pitted fresh plums, or if frozen, thawed

Beat sugar and eggs.
Add dry ingredients.
Add butter, vanilla, water.
Mix thoroughly.

Pour batter into prepared pan.
Layer plums over top.

 Crumb Topping:
1 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup finely chopped nuts (opt)

Blend flour, sugar, cinnamon in small bowl.
Cut in butter with fork until crumbly.
Add nuts.
Sprinkle over batter and fruit.
Bake 30 minutes or until done.  

Note: The recipe is easily doubled
for a 9 x 12" pan, baking for 45 to 60 minutes.

* * *

We had a sad moment in our garden this morning as Rick had to chop down one of our small spruces. One always waits as long as possible in the springtime to ensure something is truly dead before doing the chop-chop. In this particular case, the sad little tree was yellow-brown and getting browner by the day, with piles of needles at her feet in mourning. Thankfully, the two spruces next to her seem healthy and are busy setting their new buds.

Another truly sad moment came yesterday afternoon when the news broke that one of the Canadian Snowbird jets crashed shortly after takeoff in BC. They were on the #OperationInspiration mission to do flypasts over communities across the country. What was meant to cheer people up turned into tragedy. One pilot, Captain Jennifer Casey, died as a result. I felt sick at heart. Condolences to all involved.

As often happens in life, there's a mix of bitter and sweet—life and death—going on. Sometimes we find ourselves having to live with happy-sad in our hearts at the same time. I've learned to do that over the years, celebrating good things even as sad things are being mourned. If we let it, joy seems able to mingle with comfort.

" When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.
And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

Good news following sad, our orchid burst into bloom this weekend. We were so thrilled. We had repotted her about a year ago, and there had been no sign of growth over the months. It took this long to re-establish herself. Then, one day buds began to form, and now this. ↑

* * *

As I'm wrapping this up, I heard one of the song sparrows, they must be just arriving. Not sure which one, but it sounded as if he was out of practice—he was a bit wobbly in the warble. Made me chuckle. He'll have to do better if he wants to attract a nice female.

On that note, I'll be here on Wednesday with a book post. Wishing you a beautiful week ahead. Keep safe especially now as things open up more.

Heart Hugs,


  1. That Plum Cake looks delicious . It is sad to read and hear about the Snowbird crash and loss of life.

  2. Victoria Day is such an old Canadian tradition. I used to visit friends on Vancouver Island where they still held a parade. In our complex, it usually means that there is a barbecue to celebrate the opening of the outdoor pool (not happening). The Snowbird crash after the helicopter crash last week seems like a lot of sadness. But your orchid has revived and the birds are back. I like your Shauna Niequist quote.

  3. Happy Victoria Day, Brenda. I took Friday off from work so I had an extra-long weekend. I thought the days would drag since I was home all day, but here we are on Monday evening. After weeks of procrastination, I finally did some weeding before the rains came.

    The snowbird crash was so sad. RIP Captain Jennifer Casey.

  4. So sorry to learn of that accident. Such cruel irony. Such is life all too often.

    Also sorry to learn about the loss of the spruce. My corner is slowly and steadily losing all the evergreens as they are being attacked by some bug or other.

    Your family gathering sounds good. Hope all those flying kisses landed where they belonged.

    Happy Belated Victoria Day. Does this mean that Memorial Day is next weekend here? I need to check my calendar more often. I'm having a hard time with time these days.

  5. How sad to hear of such loss of life.
    But how lovely that you could spend some time seeing people, even without hugs. I saw my daughter this week for the first time in weeks, we sat at opposite ends of the garden and had a really nice chat.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about the plane crash. Your plum cake looks and sounds delicious.

  7. Hi Brenda. Thanks for the recipe it looks scrumptious. I will give it a try as I am always on the lookout for a good small cake. I was so sorry to hear about the plane crash. Having lived in a military town for 32 years, it is so sad for so many when these tragedies occur.

    Wishing you and your family a lovely weekend. Stay well, my friend.

  8. The plane crash was such a terrible event. My heart hurts for Capt Casey's family, and for the injured pilot, as well. We call it Victoria Day here, too. It's a time to get the tender plants in the garden, although I still have some zucchini and tomatoes in pots waiting to go out. Our weather turned rather chilly recently.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo