Monday, November 30, 2020

Monday Notes and Giveaway Winners

" I love how the unexpected things come to us,
such 'insignificant' things in the grande scheme,
yet such a pure-in-spirit gift. "

Today, on this last day of November, we have the happy pleasure of announcing the winners of our Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar Giveaway. I also want to share with you a post, brought to you by the letter "P", about how my quiet, ordinary week turned into something special. Read further to hear how a puppy, a painting, a perfumed bouquet of pink lilies, and an unexpected performance of Beethoven's Pathétique were like gifts from heaven for me. 

But first, our winners...


(The Marie who enjoys eating finger foods on Christmas Eve.
Please contact me today with your email as I don't have a way
to contact you. Here is my email link.)

I'll touch base with you on FB

The Advent Calendar of your choice (Nordic or Cotswold)
will be emailed to you. 
A big thank you to everyone who entered the draw. 

"P" is for one sweet puppy

" Happiness is a warm puppy. "

A phone call from Rick's niece in the province west of us came out of the blue a week ago Sunday evening. Could we pick up her new puppy from a local breeder and then connect with the individual who will transport the wee one on its way to BC? Of course! Times and places were arranged. And, the next morning for about an hour and a half, we had the happy delight to enjoy this sweet female poodle pup as we drove to the next leg of her journey to her forever family. She shook like a leaf as the cheerful, masked young man handed her into my arms. I think he was a little sad to see her go; he said he always saved his favourites in a litter until the last. As my husband drove off, she snuggled in and even snored a few seconds, obviously feeling safe enough to doze off. I just wanted to hug her.

I ask you, is it possible to fall in love in such a short space of time with a soft fur ball? For a half a second, I wanted to dog nap her and just take her home with us. She's now with her new family, and I'm sure she's settling into her new home and life. We were with her for such a short time and for a few days I couldn't stop thinking of her. Do you think maybe God is preparing my heart for such possibility? I would never have thought such a thing—I've always been a kitty person, but one never knows, that puppy could have come straight home with us and we'd have been filled with glee.  

"P" is for our new painting giving us joy in the pandemic

"Ten Hydrangeas"
by Canadian Artist Robert Lemay

One quiet morning, Rick mentioned he'd been thinking about us acquiring a piece of art to celebrate our upcoming wedding anniversary. He'd been looking online at one gallery with paintings by a favourite Canadian artist, Robert Lemay, whose work we've been admiring ever since we first came upon him.

Rick brought the gallery site up on his iPad for me to go through the paintings. I was to pick my favourite(s). It came as a surprise to me -- buying art in the midst of a pandemic certainly wasn't on my mind. As it turns out, unbeknownst to me at the time, I picked the very painting that Rick had already selected as his favourite. So we figured it was 'meant to be', and he contacted the gallery to arrange purchase and shipping. It was delivered last week, just days before our anniversary.

Although we haven't met the artist, I met his partner, Shawna Lemay, at a couple of book events a few years ago—she is a lovely author and photographer. I had to email and tell her our exciting news and that we couldn't wait to see the painting in person, that it would certainly be a thing of glorious beauty in this strangely weird year of 2020.


" In this dark period, it is as if the works of art and its
protagonists remind us not to forget about beauty. "
FRANCISCO RIBEIRO, as seen on Twitter

"P" is for perfumed petals of a pink lily bouquet

" The only Commandment I ever
obeyed — 'Consider the Lilies'. "

I went out early one afternoon during the week. With our anniversary and hubby's birthday around the corner, I still needed to get cards for the occasions. Distracted, I left the house without my floral fabric mask. No worries, I'll use a disposal one in the car. Arriving at the store, I went to put on the mask and the elastic fell off. How unusual. Rats. I had to turn around and go back home—I couldn't go in without a mask. With a fresh one safely on my face, I headed back to the store, picked up the few items I had on my list including the greetings cards, got in the very long line up of socially distanced customers, when I suddenly realized I didn't have my wallet in my bag. You've got to be kidding me. I'd been shopping online at my desk earlier and guess where I'd left my wallet...on my desk. Thankfully I hadn't rung my purchases through yet. Quickly dropping off my basket at customer service explaining I'd be back, I tootled home...again.

Now masked and wallet safely in my bag, back at the store I picked up my basket and zoomed towards the checkout. Except the fragrance and deep colour of the gorgeous pink lilies at the floral display called out to me, I had to bring them home with me. Fortunately the long lineup was gone, there was a lull, and so I was in and out with my purchases and home again for the third time. It all turned out in the end, and instead of getting agitated, I just decided to giggle about the back and forth (and replenish the mask supply in the car). All week I have considered the gift of the lilies—every time I pass them on the dining table, I stop to inhale and admire.

"P" is for Beethoven's Pathétique
Op. 13 - Adagio cantabile
As played by Igor Levit

We had just watched an online concert from Wigmore Hall in the UK. That is one gift that comes out of this pandemic, so many concerts and other events are made available online now. I was about to turn off the television when another concert began to play. I was stopped in my tracks; although I've heard and enjoyed this piece by Beethoven in the past, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. With the remote still in my hand, my soul soared as I listened to and watched as this wonderful pianist "performed it like he was giving his best gift". If you watch the five minute video, you'll notice that he is Schroeder in living colour—and one can tell he loves Beethoven. 

The music still going through my mind, I sat down in the living room a moment before turning out the tall pencil evergreen with its white lights, letting the melody play in my mind while gazing at our new painting. In the quiet peacefulness, my heart grew still and in that moment of joy, peace, and contentment, I felt as if my Covid-riven soul had been knit together in wholeness. I went to bed grateful to the core.

* * *

" A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry,
and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that
worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful
which God has implanted in the human soul. "

* * *

Tomorrow, the first of December, we earnestly turn our thoughts towards Christmas.

Congratulations again to Marie and Linda!

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead. Stay safe.

Heart Hugs,

(Top) Photo credit: Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay


  1. That puppy is adorable and your painting is stunning!

  2. I felt as though I lived every moment with you. What an entrancing post....and the painting also.

  3. Brenda, I know exactly how you felt holding that wee puppy! Yes, I concur, one is very capable of falling in love with a furry pup in a matter of seconds, because I did just that the first time my son and his family came home with their baby cross-bred Shinese; a mix of Pekinese and Shi Tzu. He won my heart right away, and my son knew he would! Once they get moved to NB, we will be able to visit more often. Can't wait! Lately, I have been longing for a fur baby of my own. My other son has two cats. I like both kitties and pups but my son's girlfriend is allergic to cats so, no kitties in our home. Your artwork is gorgeous and a much welcomed piece, I'm sure, during this dark period which we pray will not last much longer. Loved listening to Beethoven's piece; so soothing! I am glad you finally got your purchases made. It is very easy to get distracted these days. I have so many things going on right now {since Hubby had his stroke} that it's a wonder I get anything done right. I thank the Lord that He is with me and oversees it all. Thank you for sharing this lovely post with my party this week. Hugs

  4. What a wonderful blog post! I love reading your blog! Happy Anniversary to you! The artwork is stunning! Congratulations to the winners!

  5. Congrats to your lucky winners! You are always so sweet and giving! Well, hydrangeas are my favorite flower so I am very in love with your new painting. I look online for this artist! Enjoy your week my friend!

  6. So interesting that you talk about a puppy ... my hubby was just wondering out loud if we should consider getting a puppy now instead of later when we plan to live in the country. Loved your "P" inspired post. Sounds like you had a lovely week. And, oh yes, so amazing how your lilies match the painting. Quite extraordinary.

  7. Congratulations to the giveaway winners!

    You and your hubby have excellent taste in artwork. The new painting is gorgeous!

    Because I'm super paranoid, I carry 2 cloth masks in my purse and a few disposable masks in my car. LOL.

  8. So many wonderful things in such a short time--your heart will be full for days and weeks to come! That puppy, oh my, just too sweet for words--that happy tail and jaunty step, who wouldn't fall in love:) Your painting is gorgeous, a real treasure and the gift that keeps on giving! I love the serendipitous way the pink lilies appeared in your pathway, so satisfying. Happy Anniversary! (You quoted me! (blush) )

  9. Lovely, lovely, lovely . . . the puppy, the painting, the pink lilies! But that piano performance . . . . . . simply gorgeous! And Mr. Levit is a delight to watch. He loves what he is doing and feels it intensely. I can certainly see how this stopped you in your tracks!

    Congrats to your winners! I hope that they enjoy their calendars as much as I enjoyed mine last year!

  10. That is a beautiful piece of art that the two of you chose. A lot of our stores have masks available if you happen to forget yours. I'm glad you chose to chuckle about your mask and wallet demise. :) It's a good thing to choose joy instead of angst. Happy Anniversary to you! I'm visiting from No Place Like Home.

  11. Happy Anniversary! It is a wonder that the lilies match your painting. I have done the wallet-left-at-home lately. I drove 30 miles from home before figuring it out. I had to turn around, go back and get it because I had another 30+ miles to drive and needed gas. I won't make that mistake again anytime soon. This Beethoven performance is such a relaxing moment in the day. Cheers...

  12. Congrats to your give-away winners. This was such a lovely 'positive post'. The musical piece was beautiful, that piece of music always makes me feel like crying for some reason. Happy Birthday to your husband and Happy Anniversary to you both. That painting is beautiful!!! Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

  13. what a lovely home you've created here! the snapshots you've shared, Jacquie Lawson, and the warmth of your conversation is delightful. i'm glad to have run into you today, Brenda ...


  14. Brenda, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. And, the puppy is precious. They can add so much to our lives. I do love your painting, it is beautiful. You will enjoy it for years to come. Happy Anniversary to you both.

    Congratulations to your winners! Wishing you a beautiful month of December.

  15. Precious and perfect! Now I want to see Mr. Popper's Penguins again. Pronto.

  16. Dear Brenda. I include your post as another joy in the midst of this dreadful pandemic. The painting is soooo beautiful. Congratulations to you and Rick on your anniversary. The lilies are gorgeous, too. My own bouquet is still fragrant and has presented me with many, many days of incredible beauty. I am so thankful, too. We must look for the little things that make us smile during these perilous times. I can just imagine your peace and feelings of contentment, listening to the music and seeing such loveliness. Brenda, thanks for all the visits and comments to Writing Straight from the Heart, too. They mean a great deal to me. Hugs. Susan

  17. What a lovely post, Brenda. Congratulations to the winners. I am enjoying my Advent Calendar very much. That's a gorgeous painting. How great that it appealed to both of you. I giggled about your back and forth to the store adventure.

  18. Oh my you are so fortunate to have a painting by Robert Lemay. I too know Shawna and have lusted after her husband's artwork for years. Your hydrangeas look stunning! It's wonderful you are so appreciative of his talent. May that painting give you a lifetime of joy.

  19. I wouldn't normally listen to Beethoven right before bed, but that was just right :-)


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