Saturday 18 May 2024

All Things Nice . . .

Behold the almond blossom and the spring
The stir of sap within an ancient oak,
A frail blue hyacinth . . . a tangled vine
A spiral of blue smoke.

The tall white candles of a chestnut tree,
Making my yard an altar pure and still,
A small field steaming in the noonday sun,
A cottage on a hill.

The shadows of new leaves upon the walk
Make checkered blocks of grey and white mosaic,
Where penitents might kneel and say their beads,
For Christ's dear sake.

Behold the almond blossoms and the spring
And all the radiant earth is lifted up
To drink the blessed cup of faith and hope
From Spring's blue cup.
~Edna Jacques, Spring
Aunt Hattie's Place, 1949

The apple blossoms are coming out now. The Annapolis Valley is filled with lots of apple orchards and they are about to become a sea of flower and scent.  A drive along the back roads of this valley, set amidst the shadow of two mountains, brings delight to the eye with every turn of the winding roads. 

This past week we have seen temperatures rising to well in the double digits and the leaves are really unfurling now.  That tender green is everywhere  as they roll out the promise of the weeks to come. Hanging baskets of flowers are appearing on people's porches. I am so tempted to get a couple, but they are so expensive and then I have to find a way to hang them up. I think perhaps this year I will just enjoy everyone else's.  👍 I get the pleasure without the expense or trouble.



I went out to check my mail box yesterday afternoon and Glenna was out working with a couple of planters on her deck. I stopped and we sat for a spell and had a wee visit with each other.  It was quite pleasant sitting on her porch passing the time of day.  Generally we really only see and speak on Sundays as I usually get a drive to church with her.  Or she with me.  It was nice to have a wee catch up other than that. Funny, we live so close to each other and hardly ever speak. Not that we don't want to, but we both lead such busy lives   Despite having had that stroke last year, Glenna is always on the go.  I see her car going back and forth most days as she travels here and there.  She often takes Sheila out shopping or for lunch, or just for a drive so that Sheila has a change of scenery.  

Good neighbors.  I am blessed to have good neighbors.

Another few weeks and we will start to see the early offerings of the upcoming strawberry season, probably about mid June I would think.  Fresh local berries are the best.  We live in an age now where we have fresh berries available pretty much all year round. The fresh local ones taste better however and so when strawberry season is upon us, I try to indulge myself as much as possible.

When we were children, wild strawberries used to grow along the railway tracks which ran along the end of our yard in Gimli.  A tall wire fence separated our yard from the tracks, but there was an opening down the way where you could access the tracks.  In the early summer we would pick them in small plastic tubs and mom would wash and clean them and we would enjoy them in a small bowl with some milk and sugar on them.  They tasted so good.  Intense.

I can still smell the tar from the railroad ties, and hear the hum of cicadas in the ears and nose of my memory as we crouched along the tracks in the heat of the summer sunshine, picking those berries. Oh, isn't memory such a wonderful, wonderful thing  . . . roses in December.


It felt good this week to be able to get rid of some of the clutter and organize my bedroom closet a bit better, or at least one side of it at any rate.  I have an enormous walk in closet in my bedroom.  It runs the entire length of the wall.  There are shelves in it and railings to hang things.  I have it pretty full up. When you live in a small space such as this wee home of mine, storage is at a premium.  

Although I have only been here for 3 years, I have managed to fill it quite nicely.  I have bought things and used them for a time and then decided that they are not for me, and so they end up stored. 

I have been doing a study called Mindful Living, practicing stillness through the lens of the Gospel.


"Mindfulness is the practice of becoming conscious, aware, and awake. In this book, you will be invited to become conscious of your mind, body, and spirit. As you marry the gospel of Jesus Christ with the practice of mindfulness, a beautiful sense of peace will permeate the deepest parts of your soul."

I am still in section one: Body   Practicing Simplicity.  

Creating space in my mind and my environment.  I am trying to simplify my schedule and clear away any clutter.  Clutter is a big thing. I am a collector . . .  books, fabric, yarn, art supplies.  Those are the four things I love most, and which bring me the most joy.  For me the most difficult thing is balancing work and play so that I have time each day to enjoy both.  I think paring down some of what I have managed to unconsciously collect will bring about much more balance in my life.  I took a huge bag of stuff up to Value Village, along with dad's things the other day. That was a great start.


The man across the road has now moved out.  A lady from the next street over will be moving in.  The old railway path runs along the back of those houses on the next street over.  They are lovely units, much fancier than the one I am in.  Although there is a large wooden fence that separates them from the railway path, it can be a bit noisy at times I have heard.  A lot of people do their ATV'ing on that trail, so in the warmer  months you get that, and in the colder months, if there is snow, you get the snow-mobiles.  This lady, so I am told, doesn't feel safe with the trail running behind her place. I can totally understand and sympathize with those feelings.

I think because we live in such simple structures which have no basements beneath us, we are low to the ground. Our windows are at ground level and if that is a window in your bedroom, it can make you feel a bit nervous.  My window doesn't seem to lock. I need to call them and have someone come and look at it.  I am going to buy some wooden doweling to put in it to wedge between the top of the window itself and the top of the window that pulls up.  Just enough so that I can open it for a bit in the summer months when it is so warm and let air in, but not enough that anyone could get in. 

I have found that it is too warm in there on summer nights without being able to open a window and let in the cooler nighttime air.  But I have not felt safe in opening the window at night. If I knew that nobody could open it any further than what the dowel would allow, then I would feel a lot better about it.

The Farmer's Market is behind my place with a large empty parking lot.  Sometimes late at night cars pull in there. I am not sure what for, but their lights light up my bedroom window and wake me up.  It doesn't happen really often, but it does happen from time to time.  It does make me a bit nervous.

And now for gratuitous amounts of Cat Spam!   Oh how I love these two creatures.  Nutmeg was laying next to me on the sofa the other evening,  (where he is to be found most evenings), and Cinnamon jumped up to give him a bath.  He was enjoying every minute of it.

He can get aggressive with her from time to time, chasing her and jumping on her. There is hissing and spitting involved and some meowing as she doesn't really like it. I usually chase him off.  It sometimes makes me wonder if I made a mistake getting two of them, but then in moments like this I think not. They do love each other, even if he can be a bit of a bully at times, and I think they would really miss each other if they were not together.


He likes to watch me work.  He perches on the back of the chair next to the window and watches as I lay things out.  I am not sure what the attraction is. Perhaps because, like me, he is a foodie too? 


Mom's cat Pumpkin always loved to sit in boxes.  They had a box kept in the living room just for her.  She was much larger than the box, but for some reason she liked squeezing into it and just sitting.  Cats and children.  The box is often the best part of anything new coming into the house.


Sometimes, if she gets there first, Cinnamon will sit next to me on the sofa.  Nutmeg has freckles on his nose. I often say to him, "Have you had your nose in the freckle jar again?"  "Of course!" is his response.  Cinnamon does not have freckles on her noise per se, but the center part of it is a soft brown rather than a pink and she has some black whiskers, which do not show up here.  She has a few freckles in her mouth and inside her ear.  

Freckles are quite common in ginger cats, just as they are in ginger humans.


Most of the time in the evening however, she likes to lay in front of the television on top of the electric fire.  Usually in such a position so that I am unable to change the channel. I don't mind overly much. She is content and usually doesn't stay for too long.

My fish and chips that I had at Jonny's on Thursday.  Cindy and I stopped there on our way home from dropping off dad's stuff.  The fish was some good. So were the fries. Naughty, naughty, naughty.  But naughty likes company and I was really happy to be there enjoying them with Cindy.

Everything is better with Cindy.  I so love this sister of mine. I think of all the silver linings of these past few years, she shines the most.  So blessed. I am so very blessed.

I will leave you now with a thought for the day  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~
\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
 *.˛.Quiet the mind
and the soul will speak.
~Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

In The English Kitchen today, Strawberry Iced Fairy Cakes. I made fairy cakes and glazed them with a sweet glace icing that I used powdered freeze dried strawberries in.  Quite red, but sooooooooo delicious!  It had a beautiful strawberry flavor!  I also added a drop of strawberry extract.  So yummy!  Very nice!

I hope that you have a beautiful weekend.  May it be filled with loads of nice things and love. Don't forget along the way . . . 

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And I do too!    



  1. My friend, originally from Nova Scotia, gave me a print of apple blossoms in the Annapolis Valley for my birthday ... gorgeous. Love all the cat photos. There is something about big cats and small boxes. Enjoy the lovely weekend ahead.

    1. Thanks Linda! Cats and small boxes, the ultimate combination! Hope you are having a lovely weekend also! xoxo

  2. Good neighbors are a gift!! One we have not had often in our lives. The other day I was rethinking all the places we have lived and the neighbors...and in all but 1 there was at least 1 troublesome household...sometimes it was dangerous scary. Usually tho, just these people were irritants. Our good neighbors here will be moving by Sept if not before and some other ok ones have already left in the last couple months (due to rent increase and the one they plan for next year). Worried about the type of new renters that will come. Sounds like your landlord sees to it that nice folks come!! Good for you paring down...not a simple task!! I need to do a lot more of that too!!
    Elizabeth xo

    1. Good neighbors make all the difference in the world. Living next to bad ones is a nightmare! I am lucky that I have always been blessed with good one! Hugs. xoxo

  3. Our peach trees are bent over with oodles of fruit, but a lot are falling or squirrel food too early for them to eat. Maybe we'll get enough for stewing or freezing. Figs are coming along as well. Love enlarging the pictures of Cinnamon and Nutmeg to let Binkie look at. She isn't too happy sometimes seeing their faces that close and in HER house. Have a great Sunday, as I am just now reading Saturday and replying. GA Mary

    1. How wonderful that must be having fresh peaches to enjoy, right in your yard! I can't imagine. I hope you get enough to stew or freeze. I smiled at the thought of Binkie looking at Cinnamon and Nutmeg! What a sweet thought!
      PS - For some reason google won't let me comment as myself, Grrr.


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