Saturday, July 26, 2014

KISS... Keep It Simple Sweetheart!

"A man is rich 
in proportion to the number of things 
which he can afford to let alone."
- Henry David Thoreau

If I could point you to just one very helpful blog I would tell you to read Leo Babauta who publishes a couple times a week at ZenHabits:Living the Simple Life.

Click here to see his post for yesterday. Truly, a man after my own heart.

His gospel of simplicity in life is one I have been trying to live for some time. Leaving the busyness we had in our last life has helped some but just now, after 12 years we are getting around to discarding the riffraff 'stuff' that we brought with us and cleaning house in our two storage spots here at our island home.

We have this little tin shack tucked in the trees off our driveway that we call The Tin Shack.


No, not the dirty little old trailer... the shack to the right of it. The trailer gets the treatment next!

The Tin Shack is 10x20x8 feet tall and it has been so full of unnecessary items and papers that you could barely walk into the little house. Sherwin helped me start so we could move out one piece of furniture we wanted up in our new studio.

Well, that took some doing, but that one item did not clean out the place. Not sure exactly how many hours I spent there but this past Sunday I gave it a final sweeping and announced I was done. What is left there can be gone through at his leisure, whenever!




Also, if any of you are looking for large white envelopes for a project... Here are at least 3000 for the asking. Only one hitch, they all have Acorn Developments return addresses from Westbank days!

The folks down at the local recycle depot know we are cleaning house. They were a little horrified two Wednesdays (they are only open on Wednesday and Sabbath) in a row as we emptied out two very large truck loads of paper, two different kinds of plastic and glass.

What a relief!

But, alas and alack... that was only the beginning. This week we started on the garage, another case of riffraff up to the ceiling. Sherwin wondered why I didn't do a before photo as I was starting this job. I said, "I think we should be too embarrassed to show anyone what it looked like before!"

So your fine sensibilities are being protected. By yesterday noon we were about 1/3-1/2 done. Like the Tin Shack it is another 12 year drop and run disaster. Don't know what to do with it so just drop it anywhere and run for you life before it all fell on top of you.

One complication in this building was MICE! Now my granddaughters know my love for MICE. Maizy and Lucy, I truly tried not to screech when I came upon them but I did hate every evidence of their busy little lives intertwined around our worthless goods.

Anyway, we are well on our way to having a great garage that will never see a vehicle parked inside it but it will be a giant workshop and storage place for tools and our crafty machines!!


On the left table you can see two machines for rock cutting and polishing... and at the far end of the room is a laser machine to write words/quotes/whatever on rocks or wood.


And many shelves with bins of rocks ready for action!


Facing the other end of that room I found a closet jammed with totally unnecessary bags and boxes, cleaned out the debris and made this into a safe place for household 'can't-get-rid-of-yet' stuff. At least wood and rock dust won't have such easy access to these things.


Wish us well as we wind up that job this coming week. Oh, and do read the blog post I recommended at the beginning. Leo is a great inspiration.

This morning as we went for our first walk of the day I said to Sherwin, "I didn't think to ask 48 years ago, before our wedding, if you were a hoarder... Big Smile." He said it never crossed his mind either.

We are receiving The Cure for Hoarding!!

You all have a great new week.
God be with you and above all, be well.






Art Lesson, No. 1

For the past few years I have been dabbling and doodling and not making progress in the world of art. It is fun to dabble and doodle but I want to make my art something more.

Last Sabbath I put this "Crown Imperial (fritillaria imperialis)" on paper... fond remembrances of Paris and particularly Versailles where I saw this flower up close.


It has since gone into the BORING file and I announced that I need lessons. Help!

Hence, Lesson no.1...

Sherwin is not an art teacher but he has taken lessons and so even though it may be a little like one hungry beggar telling another hungry beggar where to find the food, he has sat in a lot of art classes and something must have rubbed off.

I love his work so I went to his book where he took some classes a few years ago and started at the beginning.


There is my beginning, just following in the footsteps of my 'teacher'. When I looked at lesson 1 I thought, "I know that..." but after I worked with those colours for a while and studied his page I saw a lot that I had not previously noticed.

Wish me well and since this blog is the journal of My Life you will probably be subjected to my 'progress'.

I am very thankful today that I have this opportunity to spend time with my art.

Wishing you all a lovely Sabbath day.
Be well.







Come Into My Garden, Said the Spider to the Fly . . .

Warm summer days...


dusty roads where I can wander to and fro...


only flowers this year, no vegetables in my garden...


the succulents are doing better than ever...


and only blue/purple on my hydrangea, last year pink..,


and lilies, lots of lilies... you can always count on lilies in my garden.


For my garden and for the garden God did all by Himself, I am truly thankful.

"If you look the right way, 
you can see that the whole world is a garden."
- Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden






Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sweet Little Fellow...


or maybe you should ask Sherwin how sweet they are. He had just walked through the decks with the leaf blower cleaning off A LOT of remains of pine cones like this little one is working over.

But I happened to catch this near perfect little fellow at the end of the day within inches. He sat there like a model, not knowing he was going to hit The Blog today!!

"You know, sometimes the world 
seems like a pretty mean place."

"That's why animals are so soft and huggy."

- Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbs

Hope your Sabbath has been as lovely as ours.

Be well.



Friday, July 11, 2014

Happiness?

"I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made a difference that you lived at all."
- Leo Rosten


Be well.





Come With Me to the Sea... the Beautiful Sea

Last year this time we had just arrived home from a wonderful month in Europe with big smiles, tons of photos but very empty pockets so we have decided this year to look about in our own back yard...

On Tuesday this week we left home crack of dawn and were at the Fish Market in Sidney on time to get the 10 am "Alpine II" over to Sidney Island and Sidney Spit.


What a marvellously wonderful day... the sun shone, we took our own lunch and hiked all over the north end of that little island. 


So come with me for a little walk and I will show you my sea-treasures...

"I must go down to the seas again, 
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship 
and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song 
and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, 
and a grey dawn breaking...


I loved the reflections and colour...


I must go down to the seas again, 
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call 
that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day 
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and blown spume, 
and sea gulls crying...


I must go down to the seas again,
to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, 
where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn 
from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trick's over."
-John Masefield






For those who love the mountains there was always Mt. Baker, lurking on the eastern horizon, wanting to be captured in a photo...


 My 'laughing fellow-rover.'..


We were told on the boat over, that since this was a National Park that we were entering, there would be NO removal of shells, wood, rocks or any other perceived treasure...







There is more than one way to remove 'treasures' from a National Park... 

For those familiar with Sidney Island and it's lovely Spit you will know that when the tide's out there is lots of sand to enjoy. We took the morning to walk around the end of the Spit and had our lunch at the far north end but in the afternoon we chose to walk in the woods, south of the jetty where we arrived.


I have often tried to get a decent 'snap' of Sherwin on one shady walk or another here on our own island, with no success, but I am happy to have this one...



This trail reminded us of Mayne Island where we live but though we loved the added bonus of lots of white sand beach here, we were grateful for the trees and the shade of the woods for our afternoon walk.

As we ended our afternoon Sherwin led me to a spot he had seen on the map that he thought I would like to capture as my last picture.


That is the Spit we walked on earlier... but now the tide is up and there is not so much sand for walking to reach the end. But this was a lovely place to say goodbye to a beautiful day with my 'fellow-rover'.

Click here (in a few days) to Sherwin's blog where he will give you much more detail.

In the meantime, be well.


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Life of Ryley . . .

June 8, a balmy Sunday afternoon, while Sherwin and Lorne Booth went golfing at CUC, Gail and I travelled northeast to their farm in Ryley, Alberta. 

Now, I have only seen Ryley in the summer months, actually, only in the month of June, so I have a rather bucolic view of the place. At this time of the year it is green, they have red barns, it is peaceful and quiet... sounds quite inviting.


They even have grain elevators... actually this one is in a farmer's yard!

Gail guided me down a hard-top road to their house, taking me past the farm where she grew up and her brother still lives.


This barn is no longer used for cattle but continues to stand as a reminder of yesteryear.


Love the old windows... and the reflections.


It was great fun to capture as much as possible the feeling of the building.


Gail can tell wonderful stories of her childhood here on this land. It reminds me somewhat of our barn in Peoria. This one seems bigger than the one we had but very similar in appearance.


It was quite dark inside but I was able to get some shots indoors too.


Lots of old treasures...




Imagine the memories held within these walls.

Oh yes, before I say good night I must show you one more photo I took down the road... Gail said, 'you have to see this fellow's artwork'.


The farmer who lives here is making a statement re: some issue in the community I believe. He expresses himself a lot like Salvador Dali.

No dull moments...

Be well.