Wednesday, June 29, 2016

INSIDE OR OUTSIDE!

I should be outside.  It is 10:22, the sun is out, but I am not.  I have plants to relocate, now that we are moving the shed again.

Oh - I didn't tell you about that!  The municipality has given us to the end of July to move our shed to 15 ft from the property line or our other option is 17 ft to where it was located originally.  According to their own by-laws it can legally be not less that 5 ft from the property line on a side yard.  Which it is - actually it is 6 ft on one side and 9 ft on the other because the shed is angled - but that doesn't work for the powers that be.

I believe it doesn't work for them because our shed is visible.  It borders our driveway instead of being set back in line with our garage.    It is different - instead of a plain old garden shed, I have turned our little barn shed into a garden feature.  Guess there are some who can't appreciate such a concept.  I have written letters, we have haggled with them, and still they want it moved.  I have no idea where the 15 ft comes in, we have read the by-laws a dozen times and there is no such measurement anywhere - perhaps they want it moved  to 15 ft so it will be smack dab in the middle of our sight line from the house to the garden... must be.

So we are moving it - and with it, I have to move all the plants I planted in the two new flower beds on either side of the shed.

I could do that today - I should do that today - but here I am sitting upstairs at my computer where there are no biting mosquitoes, and no pesky so-called-rules!

Hiding?  Not really - Licking my wounded pride?  Perhaps just a bit!

I have a lot of work I can do inside as well - no one can control me in my own studio - well they'd better not try!

Someone posted this last week on social media - it very much fits my thinking!


YES!

So maybe I will go outside and move plants, or maybe I will just stay up here in my studio all day and craft.

I have just about finished another Joyful Judy, and this morning I was paging through some of my craft magazines while drinking my morning coffee, and I came across a Santa ornament, that I could add legs to very much like Joyful Judy - so that will be my next evening stitching project while I watch TV.

There was a very good reason for me to save all these millions of patterns and ideas for someday when I retired!  I have enough supplies to craft well into my 80's I am sure, and now I have the time as well.

All I have to do now - is decide what to do first!








Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A NEW POEM!

I am a bit late posting today.  I was trying to finish something that I had started several months ago.

The story:

We sleep with our bedroom window open at night - winter, spring, summer, fall - makes no difference - the window has to be open at least a crack.

Several months ago - I think about late April, I was awakened about 4:30 am by a a variety of birds outside my window, all singing at once.

Some would have got out of bed and shut the window - I listened for about 15 minutes, and started composing a poem about the experience.  I have done this many times - started composing in the middle of a sleep - sometimes remembering nothing of my poem in the morning - other times, being able to sit down and write whatever I had written without a hitch.

In this case, when I woke up several hours later, I remembered much of what I had recited in my head, so I grabbed some paper and a pencil and jotted it down.

Two days ago I removed all the scraps of paper from my desk to give it a good dust, and when I was sorting through the scraps I came across my mid-night poem.

Yesterday I typed what I had written and then for the rest of the day mulled it over in my head.  This morning I went to the library, cleaned, came home, gave Gary a hair cut, washed the kitchen floor, and mulled some more.

Then I came upstairs and finished the poem.

I usually write several poems a year - this is the first for 2016.





THE CHOIR
  

A Robin, Canary, Dove and a Crow,
Roused themselves just before dawn.
They shook off their sleep, stretched just a bit,
Preparing to practice, “the song”.

Although it was dark, and they were missing the Lark,
They set themselves up for the drill.
The same time each day, they met here this way,
To practice and hone their great skill.

The Dove on the wire, the Crow on the hedge,
Canary, where no one could see.
And where was the Robin, you ask with a grin?
Well there he was perched in a tree.

The Dove made the rhythm and started the pace,
Co- cooing his baritone line.
Next entered the Robin, his melody pure,
Although just a bit out of time.

The crow was un-tuned, not really that good,
But he sang with all that he had.
Contralto line, most difficult yet,
If he made it he’d be very glad.

The crystal-clear sound that lofted above,
By far, the best song of all;
The descant Canary, pitch perfect in tune,
Bellowed forth from someone so small.

I turned in my sleep, or was I awake,
Most surely I was richly blessed.
To listen to birdsong at dawn every morn,
That choir – My gosh, they’re the best!


Dale Graumann

2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

SO MUCH FOR JUNE!

June seems like it has been a very long month to me.  I have the feeling like I have been waiting for something all month - what - I do not know!

I suppose there are many who have been waiting for something to happen in this month of June - it is traditionally a month were "things happen".

Things such as Graduations - many many high school and college students have been waiting for this month for years and years - I wish them all well in with their futures whatever path they have chosen in life.

June is "THE" month  to be a bride... I imagine there are many "June brides" who have been waiting for this month with excitement the likes of which they may never feel in their lives again.  I wish them all happy futures - may they have happy marriages and wonderful lives with the men they have chosen as their life partners.

While I can certainly be happy for these exciting June events, for me the waiting is a bit more basic.

When I start to think about what I might be waiting for - I believe my wait is for more elemental occurrences.  Like -  lettuce to be ready to eat - tomatoes on the vine, fruit to pick, beans to snap, potatoes to dig, and although I might get lucky with the lettuce, the rest will have to wait for another month.

I am however, enjoying the ever changing rotation of blossoms in my yard.  It seems just when I think I cannot possibly be more wowed by the loveliness of a particular flower, a new one unfolds, and wows me anew.

I cannot take credit for the placement nor the variety of much that is growing in my yard - someone long before me planted many of the species that grow here.  I don't know if they had a plan, or a favourite plant; I don't know where they got their plants from - but I do know that much of what is growing in my flower beds this year, is considered a wild flower by the experts.

That in itself is exciting to me - I was starting to introduce wild varieties into my garden in the city - but they were not responding with nearly the gusto that they show here.  Might be they feel at home in the country?

When we moved here last July, I had a visual quite different than the one I see now.  Last year I missed the months of May and June - with it the spring varieties that live in the soil on my property. This year I have seen it all -

Or have I?  Perhaps this is what I wait for after all...
                 
                                                                     . . .

                                           

Here are a couple of new shots from my yard, taken on the weekend

Remember the flocks and daisies of a few weeks ago?  Well the flocks are done now to be replaced with these beautiful Mullein Pinks...

Both the daisies and the pinks are a wildflower variety...


And one variety of Roses that are growing on the south side of my house... aren't they beautiful?


There are also very pale pink and a fuchsia pink varieties almost ready to bloom...

Friday, June 24, 2016

A VERY SPECIAL DAY!

Today is a very special day in our lives, it is my husband Gary's 60th Birthday!  I wanted to do something special for him today so I decided to do a photo journey of his life.  Gary is not one to stick around when a camera comes out - so I was worried that I would not have enough pictures to do this justice, but as it turned out I found many more images than I even imagined.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to the love of my life,  My Husband, My Best friend - My Love - Gary!






                                                               THE BEGINNING!




Gary was born June 24th, 1956 in Chicago Illinois to Barth and Olga Graumann, and big sister, Jane.  He was beloved by all his family, and was raised in a very close and loving family.


I can't believe how much he looks like our son, Jon at this age...

Below - Gary and his Dad.


He lost his Dad early in his life, but his memories and stories of his Father's love live strong in him even today!

Gary and I met in 1980, and after a few years of travelling back and forth between Canada and the USA, we were married in Chicago in 1984.

Gary is a wonderful husband and such a good father to our son, Jonathan.


Gary and Jon  - and some of my favourite moments.



In everything Gary does, family comes first...



Gary, his Mother and Jon at Lake Winnipeg!



Gary, his Mother and sister, Jane.



Gary's accomplishments are many... 

Organist, Computer Technician, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Pastoral Care worker, and still he studies towards a Deacon certificate.



And now ...

Big City boy - goes Country!






Congratulations on your 60th Year!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!





Thursday, June 23, 2016

1962 AND TODAY!

Were you a reader as a child?  Did you hop on your bicycle along with all the other children on your street and head to the nearest library to read and get books to read during summer vacation?  Only then it wasn't called summer vacation, it was summer holidays!

I remember doing just that every summer when I was about 7 or 8 yrs old.  I had a big old coaster bike with a wire basket on the handlebars and a bell.  Myself and several other neighbourhood kids would hop on our bikes and ride to the Brock Corydon Library - about a 15 minute ride from our homes - we did this many times during the summer holidays.  We stayed there for hours - down in the basement where the children's section of the library was.  We all picked different books, stacks and stacks of them, some to take home and read, others to read while we were there.

We didn't have cell phones, our mothers knew where we were, but most of them didn't drive - anyway those were the days when a family only had one car, so they wouldn't have had access to a car, even if they did drive!  We didn't wear helmets, carried no ID - except for the library card - which had no personal identification on it whatsoever, and most of us didn't even wear a watch!

How lucky we were to be children in those carefree (for my friends and I) times!

The very next day we would meet at someones house, or on someones front steps or yard.  We had books... if we were outside we even had blankets.  We would spread ourselves out wherever we were and read...We read through our own piles of books and then we exchanged books between us, so that we had endless reading material all summer long.

When I was a little older - maybe 13 or so, I spent a lot of my summer holidays on my uncle's farm.  My cousins and I had chores and work to do around the farm, but my cousin Jeannie and myself always found time to read.  They didn't have a library out there, but my aunt did have boxes of Harlequin Romance Novels under her bed - which we snuck out while she wasn't watching.  We couldn't read them in the house without getting caught - so we hopped on two really old coaster bikes, and headed down the country road about a half a mile.  We would lie in the ditch and read romance novels any chance we could...

How delightfully naughty!

I doubt very much children of today would be terribly excited to spend a day back in 1962,  but I wouldn't trade those days or the memories of those times, for anything!

This morning I went down to our town library to do my cleaning.  While I was on my hands and knees stripping some more floor tiles, it struck me why I so enjoy being in this little library.  It's because it is so very much like the basement children's section of the Brock Corydon Library was, when I was a child.  It is small, cozy, and just has that comforting feel of a place you could just go and sit and read for awhile.

I had my cell phone with me so I took some photos to share with you.

Here is the isle I have been stripping the past couple of days, you can see the difference a good scrubbing on hands and knees is doing to this floor.  And then the finished isle - so much better!

 

The Children's section and the computer stations where customers can use the Internet.

 

The research area...





A stage and play area, where children put on skits at library camp during the year - and a nice cozy chair for story-time!

 

Several times a year all the material in the library is rotated to and from other libraries in the district.  This has been in progress for the past few weeks, so there will be fresh reading material for the summer months!

You might have noticed the art work hanging on the walls throughout the space.  The library showcases Artisan's in the community and their works.  Currently being showcased is someones art work.  The work will hang on the walls for a few months and is available for purchase to anyone in the community.




Below - The library in it's entirety, front to back... pretty much just one large room - but so much to offer to this little community.



Hope you enjoyed the tour!




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PHOTOSHOP OR NOT?

I love good photography, and I wish I could stumble upon the opportunities that some lucky photographers seem to do when their cameras are in their hands.

As adorable as these photos are, I am beginning to wonder about them.  Photoshopped - or not?



I am not sure of the answer, but they are creative - no one can doubt that.

I don't photoshop - and I don't shoot in raw and then spend hours editing.  Maybe I should, it seems to be what everyone does, but I like to take the best picture I can the first time, or the second time - maybe even the third time.

I love to shoot flowers, and I think I am getting pretty good at it.  I love the colours and the contrasts in nature - not matter how many shots you take, it's just about perfect each and every time, because nature is perfect each and every time!

A couple of days ago I was opening the blinds in my spare room which looks out to my neighbours back yard.  I could see bright deep orange on the other side of the hedge, but I couldn't see what it was, so I grabbed my camera and went for a walk.

Oh - the sight that greeted me in my neighbours yard!  Lilies - masses of them, almost all out in bloom.  It took my breath away.  I wish these were in my yard!



Then I did go back into my own yard, and discovered I had some pretties there as well.



I should have lowered my settings to reflect the bright sunshine, but truthfully these roses are both pink and red  - aren't they heavenly?  And there are hundreds of buds on my bushes - these are the plants that I freed from quack and Campanula and boy are they rewarding me now!

You be the judge - photoshop - or not?




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FORGIVENESS FEELS GOOD!

I had a long chat with my Dad on Father's Day!  He is 95 yrs old and lives in Kamloops BC.


Growing up my Dad was the most important man in my life, we very were close, I was his only daughter so we had a special bond.

But then my Mother passed away, our family as we had known it began to disintegrate, my father remarried (twice) things got rough - things were done - things were said - I lost my relationship with my father, almost completely.

There were many years I didn't hear from him at all - and when I did hear, I was hurt by what I did hear.  My son grew up not knowing his Grandfather, and the few times he did see him, he also saw how upset my Dad made me.   It wasn't an easy time for any of us, but I think it was especially hard for my son.

I spent so many years of my life in turmoil over my relationship with my father, so much hurt, anger, guilt, and real despair, that I made the only decision I could that would give me peace - I stepped away from it all.

One never really steps away completely from a parent they once treasured above all.  You tell yourself that you have - but you don't.  You have good memories that get mixed up with hurtful words and actions, and try as you might  - it never completely settles in your mind - or in your heart.

When Gary and I made our life change last year -  moving out to the country and starting anew, my Dad surprised me with a phone call.   For the first time in years, he spoke to me as if I mattered to him.  I was shocked and cautious, and quite happy.  We started communicating slowly, and things began to improve between us.

We talked for almost an hour on Sunday -  Father's Day; and for the first time in over 30 years I felt like I was talking to my Dad - the Dad I grew up with, the Dad I treasured and loved so much.

Suddenly, I hear excitement in his voice when I say hello - I hear joy in his voice when I share my stories and news... the hurt is fading away, forgiveness is happening.

He is almost 96 yrs old - we wasted a lot of years that we could have had together, years we will never get back, but it is never too late - he's still here, and so am I.  For whatever time we still have left, I hope we can continue to share it together.

Forgiveness does feel good...


                                                     Dad doing what he loves the most!


Monday, June 20, 2016

THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!

Happy Summer Solstice!  We've made it to the longest day of the year, and where I live it seems the days are even longer than they should be.  We will also be able to enjoy a Strawberry Moon, which only happens once on a lifetime, according to expert opinions.  Strawberry moon?  All it is is a full moon which happens to coincide with the start of strawberry season - apparently is is quite rare!


This picture was taken last evening at 10:19 pm. As you can see the sky was still very bright.  It doesn't get dark here until almost 11:30 pm  - but after today that will begin to change.  It's not the best picture I have ever taken, I snapped it while looking out the window as I was closing the curtains.

I love these long days - they inspire me to get up and get moving.   I have energy, I have ambition, I have a spring in my step.  

This morning I went to the library to do my cleaning, and decided it was a wonderful morning to start stripping the floors.  I hate to say it but they are horrible dirty.  I chose the worst isle ( the paperbacks), took a bucket of soapy water, magic eraser and a scotch pad, got down on my knees and started to scrub.  Wow - what a difference.  It might take me most of the summer, but my intention is to get those floors white and shiny by fall.  

Then home to my studio, and I have been cutting fabric ever since... 

We had wicked storms here all weekend, and the winds yesterday were strong enough to rip limbs off huge trees and blow our BBQ on to it's back.  Although the wind it still blowing today, it is much better than yesterday, and the cooler temps are a real blessing.  It is going to be a great day to get things accomplished on the sewing machine!

Whatever you do today, I hope you enjoy this nice long day, starting tomorrow we will loose that precious light minute by minute!




Friday, June 17, 2016

REPURPOSE FRIDAY RETURNS!

I haven't done a REPURPOSE FRIDAY in a long while.  The other day I was looking through my boards on Pinterest, and one thing led to another, and all of a sudden I had a few things to share with you.  Who thinks of all this stuff anyway?  There truly are some amazing creative people out there.

Some of these are actually pretty useful!

Hope you like my picks this week!


This one is very useful - what a great space-saving idea!








 
                                                                  An old wine rack turned towel holder - love it!


I don't know many who use a silver ladle anymore - but used this way is awesome!



I am sure there are many horses who would gladly donate their mouth bits to this cause...  nice industrial country look...


Another kind of paper - another holder!



 Just plain cool - a great conversation piece.  This is man-cave material!  Easy to do too!




How is this for a bathroom sink?


And remember when we pinned baseball cards to the spokes of our bikes so they would make a noise?  Now that wheel is a picture frame....


I have seen rakes made into wine glass holders - here are two more uses for them..  although I don't know who would possibly have that many pearl necklaces!

       


This is a cement doily.  Have any of Grandma's old doilies around?  Not your thing?


Here is a link to make these cement pieces.
Interesting -

http://diyhandy.blogspot.com/2016/02/she-dips-doily-in-pan-of-cement-reason.html


Happy "stuff" hunting - talk to you next week!