Wednesday, September 03, 2014

What was whispered to the rose?

Last Night
What was whispered to the rose to break it open last night
 was whispered to my heart.
- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)

Blessings of the Unexpected that the Rose decides to share.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

O Hi there! (to borrow my fave phrase from Ms Mary Ann Moss)

Dear Perusers:
You are no doubt wondering if I am keeping up with this blog..well truth be told..sort of.
Actually I have been quite busy over HERE as that is where I have been putting all my DLPs and my current August photo Challenges. In other words, RIGHT NEXT DOOR.
Normal blogging should resume once August is finished but I am not taking any bets. <g>
But as a thank you for checking on me, here is a shot of my rain blessed geraniums.
It has been a Very Long Hot Dry Spell for us 'rain coasters' and though we will probably moan about the Nuvember monsoons, right now, the most joyous sound for us, is rain on our rooftops!
Blessings of Rain to those that need it! I know my Garden is certainly happy.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Knocked for six - and A Glorious Ladysmith Beach Day!

On June 21/14, we had a serious 'prang' with our beloved Honda and though Mr Bear was not seriously injured, I of course got whiplashed and dashboard knees and our Honda was a write off!
So I have been busy dealing with the paperwork that the Insurance companies demand, along with trying to get remedial treatment from the chiro, the massage guy and the TPI man.
Note: Never have a motor accident in the summer, all your friendly remedial people are on holidays or shortstaffed!

We now have new wheels: here she is, a 2014 Yaris LE Toyota at one of our very rare ' I just HAVE to get out of the house or I will go crazy' Beach Days.

Luckily for us, a beachy park is less than an hour away and we spent a glorious day.

Mr Bear read and I sketched away and once in a while we munched on fresh hot french fries from the concession stand, while the seagulls flew overhead, the boats sailed in the harbour and the kids chased each other around in the water park!

Blessings of a Beachy Day no matter where you be.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Celebrating the Summer Solstice with Wreaths and Strawberries!

Summer Solstice 2014
Once more in honour of my Scandinavian ancestry, I made a Midsommar wreath to hang on the front door to welcome Sommar in! The Quail Hill Tradition is that you use only those flowers and plants that you can find on the property on The Day.

This year it is a bittersweet tradition, as I have in the past few years made one for our front door as well as one for an amazing couple who live about two hours north of us. I made the square one with lavender and heather for Don whose wife Bette left us in March. I do hope he likes it and that it brings him a bit of joy to his rather lonely days.

Tonight Mr Bear, our friend Mr B and I sat on the back deck and after a 'it couldn't be beat, doing your own hamburgers on the grill' dinner, Mr Bear brought out his treat: fresh picked this morning strawberries, cleaned and lightly sprinkled with vanilla sugar. Mr B contributed the ice cream.
These strawberries are so sweet and fragrant it was like eating perfumed hearts. No white heart to be seen, these were left to bask in the sunshine and take their own very sweet time to ripen. None of the hurry up and wait California strawberry! no sirree bob, these were the real deal and brought back memories of picking them in our parent's gardens, still warm from the sun.
Midsummer and Summer Solstice Blessings to all who read this and to those of you down under, Happy Winter Solstice to you as well!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

As if the Documented Life Project wasn't enough ...

to keep La Musa happy, nope, I have gone and signed up for Ms MAM's Sketchbookery class as well. Considering that it starts on July 1, that should give me enough lead time to get my house in order and organize some sort of studio in which to put all my play stuff that I will no doubt be using.
I am also thrilled that my conversation with John (a good friend and WordPress genius) led to him helping  the Ms MAM get her new Sketchbookery site launched! Yay for networking!
So, now to make a sketchbook or find one...
I actually started sketching on our recent trip to the States, so I do have a sketchbook cobbled together but I think I will need a bigger one.
Here is one of my sketches from the trip: the blackberry brambles had almost entirely taken over the barn!

 Blessings to all those sketchwarriors out there, braving the bugs and the elements while you 'art'!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A little House Keeping..

Dear Perusers:
Goodness me, is it June Already?
Time to get ready for our annual MidSummer wreath making (with candid photos of Mr Bear struggling to make one again, lol), but before I do, I just wanted to let you know that I have decided to put my Documented Life Project into its own blog so I can keep this one clear for photos and poetry and whatever else strikes my fancy.
So please note on the top right hand side bar  - A Documented Life Project So Far.
Thank you ever so.
Since we have returned from our two weeks holiday away, our garden has become deliriously riotous with what only can be described as SuperGrowth with Don's peonies joining in the fray. Here is a bloom I picked yesterday, a delightful 'ball' of soft soft feathery petals and subtle scent.
Blessings to all lawn warriors out there battling the grass that threatens to choke the motor!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another 2shot Twosday: St Peter's Quamichan Churchyard

On the left, the rare and protected Chocolate lily.
On the right, White Fawn Lilies with Grape Hyacinths.
Blessings of an earth filled with laughing flowers.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mozart and Me - Gardening

Dear Perusers:
Who knew that Amadeus was such an ardent gardener?
His music perfectly suits whatever gardening tasks I have to do, plunk out goes the soil, plunkity plunk plonk, in goes the plant and tweetly tweet on the flutes just to keep the birds happy. (they join in, especially that red winged blackbird who has recently moved to one of our nearby trees.)
This post could also be called: Bluetooth Gardening. I am constantly amazed by the tech wizardry of my bluetooth pendant slung around my neck as it goes out and hunts for the channel I have selected on my Galaxy tablet. Ah ha! found it: and CalmRadio Mozart comes in loud and clear in my ear pieces.

Gardening to Mozart is one heck of a way to spend a pleasurable mild overcast but not rainy afternoon, 'doing up' my Provencal flower boxes. I missed doing these last year, so I am replacing the pansies with lobelia and geraniums in hopes I will attract the swallowtail butterflies and hummingbirds once more.

Blessings of Mozart or any other great composer on your Gardening endeavours!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sunbeam Chocolate Cake for Ms P's Birthday!

Since Ms P doesn't 'do' facebook or ever read my blog, I feel it's safe to share this with you: 
It's Ms P's Birthday this week and in her honour Mr Bear dusted off the only homemade chocolate cake recipe we will ever bake: his mother's Sunbeam Mix Master one. (A cookbook was included with the machine back in the '50's). The kitchen has been smelling of chocolate cake all afternoon and it is a Very Good Thing that she is coming over tomorrow for lunch and will take it away with her. (either inside or This is the first time Mr Bear has tried the silicone bundt pan and being a 'belt and suspenders' kind of cook, made sure it would not stick by spraying the be-heavens out of it before pouring the cake batter into its curvy recesses. As you can plainly see : TA DA! SUCCESS!!
Blessings of
chocolate cake
baking to all.
May your oven maintain the right temp!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Swamp Lantern Sunday

A Sure Sign of an Island Spring.

Blessings to all gumboot wearers out there.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Monkey's Gettin' Married - Saturday

Dear Karl:
If you are wondering about the header of this blog, it's a Trinidadian expression which I learned from my former co-worker Robin. He would crack open the blinds, look out on the rainbow making weather and say, 'monkey's gettin' married' today.'
I am also doing something a little different in that I am dedicating this post to you as a thank you for the recent support and kind words you have sent to me from which I quote an excerpt and thus the reason for this post... "and yes, by all means, keep sharing the little jems you find."
OK, Karl, for you, here are a few jems from the day :) (I like the spelling and will keep it).
I had received as part of my birthday largesse, a Dinters Nursery Gift Certificate from my cousins,Wayne, Dianne and Dawn (whom you met and did the diplomatic How well they know me! Nothing could have been a more perfect gift and today we toodled off to plant heaven.
I used the gift certificate towards various purchases, including a BlueBird lace cap Hydrangea and will plant it in the front as a tribute to my recently departed friend Bette who had a similar hydrangea growing at the back of their house.  On the way back, we took the 'old' road which winds its way through the Cowichan tribal lands and at this time of the year, what I like to call, 'Glorious Abandonment' is very much in evidence. 
Old fruit trees, cherry, apple, pear, plum, planted a hundred years or more ago by the first settlers, still manage to bloom and against the dark green of the cedars and fir trees, make a fine showing. It is not unusual to see a tree in full white bloom at the edge of a swamp and because of it's position, you know it is probably a crabapple planted by birds.  
Mr Bear and I both think that ornamental fruit trees are downright silly, if you are going to plant a 'Fruit Tree' then by all means, let it bear fruit! I can appreciate that school yards and busy sidewalks don't want messy fruit dropping on the walk, but in a front yard?  We have a neighbour who has an ornamental cherry that must be at least 40 years old and it is showy, very showy, but only for a very brief time and then, bam, that's it. No fruit after all that waiting. As Nero Wolfe would say, 'phooey'.
Here are some shots on the way home, with fruit trees (both ornamental and bearing) and the bridge homeward.
Blessings to all who read this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3shot Twosday: Victoria

It's The Day Before the Vernal Equinox and already we can sense the Turning.
Victoria Clinic Day for the Bears.
Though Victoria  is only 45 minutes to the south of us, it is about 3 weeks ahead as far as 'the blooming' is concerned. Already her cherry and plum blossoms were being blown off the trees and creating what the locals call; 'victoria snow'. (they can say that with pride as they really don't get much of the real stuff).

So on to my other 2shots:
The Irish Times pub which has a wonderful ambience (we were in the McArthy's snug- nice and quiet) and the food was GOOD! I rate it 5 forks out of 5!
Since Spring is nigh, of course that Other Chocolate Holiday is now rabbiting towards us at break- neck speed. I could not resist snapping this shot of Chocolate Stiletto heels. I know a certain friend of mine who love a pair!
Blessings of the Oncoming Spring or Fall (depending) to all on here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2 x 2 shot Twosday -The Greening Has Begun..

Dear Perusers:
Yes yes I know it's been a while since I have done 2shot Twosdays: so to make up a bit for my lack of posting, here are 2 x 2 shot Twosdays!
All were taken today as we went for a wonderful Springtide walk in nearby St Pete's Churchyard (circa 1887) The crocii you see blooming in such abundance spring from bulbs planted over a century ago!
Blessings to all those who have robins and crocii and daffs in your garden!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Spring all of a Sudden! and DLP Weeks 5-9

Dear Perusers:
Today was a wonderfully warm day - about 20C or more in the bright sunshine and above all -
The Snow is Melting! 
My Diane Witch Hazel withstood a good couple of feet of snow dumped on top of her and today showed me she still had life and a bit of colour, though her party dress is now fading.
When we went downtown for breakfast brunch at the Doghouse Restaurant this morning, people were wandering around in shirt sleeves and light jackets and I saw them pausing at corners and letting the sun soak into their bones.
We go here for my favourite: french toast with either blueberries or apple cinnamon slices.
This brunch was a specal treat as it was a 'thank you for helping me get a tax return' from our friend Mr B.  He said if he got money back he would treat us to breakfast and he did and he did.
The Documented Life Project  (you can find link on sidebar if interested in details)
I know I am also a bit behind in posting my DLP pictures, so to 'catch you up' here is -
DLP WK 5 - Doodle Border
DLP WK 6 - Pinterest Inspiration: (in this case - Brighid)
DLP WK 7 - Repeat Pattern:
DLP WK 8 - Add a flap to your  flap
DLP WK 9 - Collaged recycled items: envelope and earbud tube:
And now that we have thankfully come through an unusually heavy snowfall with no power outage and plenty of wood, we are truly grateful.
Blessings to all those who shared this Island Snowfall with us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Roses in the Snow

Dear Perusers,
In the midst of all this:

Mr Bear went out shopping and came home with these:
with the words: 'because you deserve them.'
I could not help but remember a similar incident some 30 years ago...
It has been said, ‘how do I love thee, let me count the ways.’
But I would respond, ‘let me count the ongoing years, not the days.’
This  poem is dedicated to the most amazing man I know
Who magically on our First Anniversary, gave me Roses in the Snow!
Regardless of what this or any other Winter-tide may bring-
Truly when I’m with you, in my heart, it’s always Spring.
As Immortal Rumi has written (and his wisdom I cannot disparage)
“I am out of words to describe how spirit mingles in this marriage”
For my Beloved from his Beloved.
Blessings to all those snowbound : May you have fuel for your inner fire and fuel for your hearth.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The February Fest continues...

Dear Perusers:
After my birthday break away at the Kingfisher Spa, I am now almost a week into the 2nd year of my (x) decade and on this rainy windy day here at Quail Hill I can feel it in my bones. What was it that Kathyrn Hepburn said, "Growing old is not for wimps!" - 
Agree. wholeheartedly.
We are now back to the grindstone (Mr Bear is mumbling about how much he hates computers and bills)...typical welcome home stuff. lol
But for those of you who want a catchup of my mini break: 
Here are some shots of  the Kingfisher Spa and etc.
WELL of course, wouldn't you know SNOWED on my birthday morning! but in the afternoon the sun shone and the snow melted. It was only slush by the time we had to pack up and leave for home.
Good thing too as we had invited my lifelong friend Linda M to have dinner with us at the Kingfisher’s Breakwater Restaurant and she was texting all day: is the snow gone?, how is the weather? etc. This may seem a funny thing to do as she is only an hour away, but we have micro climates here on the Island  and the weather can be like day and night depending on where you are.
So there I was all tucked up, nice and comfy with a hot beanjuice by my elbow (lovingly prepared by Mr Bear) and I got down to the Serious Business of Unwrapping my BD gifts! The most precious was Mr Bear’s – he gave me a BlueJohn ring, to replace the one that I had bought in Wales years ago and subsequently lost during our various moves. It is now quite comfortably encircling my 3rd finger on my right hand on top of my silver pandora ring.
Mr Bear calls this next shot my ‘dive and delve’ photo. My mean nasty evil tricksy cousins, knowing full well I hate to wait, gave the package to Mr Bear with Strict Instructions I was not to open it UNTIL THE DAY! NO peeking, no shaking, no poking, no prodding! So he did. and I waited somewhat impatiently for it to be plunked on my lap.
All in all, it was great break away and I even managed to get some‘arting’ in, on the first night there. I have joined in on an ‘art journal page’ swap and I have to make a dozen of the darn things. That night I was able to get two done! Only 10 more to go! Yay!
I have found that I am happiest when I can work with my hands other than typing! For me the best vacation will be someplace I can either take a workshop in mixed media or sketching. I have fallen in love with Derwent’s Inktense pencils as I like the fact they are permanent when dry. And o my heavens. o dear, somebodysaveme, WASHI TAPE! I think I may have to resort to doing my own to save $$$. Those things are addictive.

As for the Kingfisher Spa itself: if you book through booking dot com to save bucks be aware that you will be put in the ‘old’ section. No heated tile bathroom floors, no kitchenette, only a barely working bar fridge in need of defrosting, (good thing it was cold out, we used the balcony to keep our yogurt and beverages cool) no sink other than bathroom sink to wash up your cups and spoons and something surprising HARD HARD water (obviously this part of the hotel is on well water) I have no problem with that, but for pete’s sake get a water softener. There was NO way I was taking a shower in the room. If you stay there (and it is cheaper) you can use the showers at the pool I suppose. 
However The Breakwater Restaurant though pricey has good portions and the food is EXCELLENT..they even had a REAL crème brulee on the dessert menu, not your substituted scrambled eggs with a brown sugar topping (caramel flan) which I detest. 
I do recommend that when you go, you put a small flashlight in your pocket,  as it may be a bit hard to read the bill when it comes round - squinting at it by candlelight is a tad tricky! lol.

Well that’s all for now from me (who like the hobbit is celebrating her 111th birthday), Mr Bear with Sidney happily waving at you from Inside and of course Quentin and his Court of around 2 dozen quails here at Quail Hill.

Bright Stars and Blessings to all who read this.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Dear Perusers!
Bonne Sant Valentin!
This is one of my first digital artpieces that I did for the Queen of Heart's Challenge over at the Quietfiredesigns site.
Goodness, was it really back in 2010?
I dusted it off and put it on here so you could have something to look at while I get my collective scribblings over the past week or so together and mangle it into some sort of a later post.
I have just been informed by Mr Bear that the weather is just too dam glorious to be indoors at the 'puter and we are to take my new baby (a canon powershot a1400) for a walk.
How can I disagree with that?
So with that order, I wish all of my readers the Blessing of a Glorious Sunny Valentine Day to you where'er you may be. May you have a warm heart.