The Return of the Trumpeter Swan

Crisp, white, and beautiful!

It was such an amazing feeling, standing on a dock, in the midst of the crisp, white beauty of 50 or more, Trumpeter Swans!

Spring fever!

A great sign that winter is almost over is the arrival, to our area, of the magnificent Trumpeter Swan. Last evening, a friend shared with us that a large flock of these beautiful creatures had landed on a small beach in the little town of Washago.

Just a little bit of strutting!

Today, we went on a road trip to this wonderful, little spot.

Sharing the waters….
A beautiful, elegant swan.
Crisp, white and beautiful!
Lunch time.

We met a lovely couple who shared that they have been stopping by, a couple of times a week, with a bucket of corn, for the swans, and for the ducks.

Centennial Beach, Washago, Ontario

Strange Sights and Sounds

Different shades of brown, and a stand-on-
guard lawn chair.

It was a rainy Sunday in February. The last day in February to be exact. February 28th, not February 29th, as this year is not a leap year.

Some of the sights that we seen, and the things that we witnessed, were just a little bit out of the ordinary.

The predator becomes the prey.

It might have had something to do with the gloominess of the day. The grayness of the sky. The old dirt on the snow.

Close up and far away.

Or the strange, frozen mist that covered the world this morning.

Inside out, and outside in.
Strange faces found along the side of the road.
Graveyards; for old barns, and old Christmas trees.
Icebergs, not as big as those in the Atlantic Ocean, but Icebergs none the less.

Daytripping during Covid19.

Chili Cheese Dogs and Crispy Chips

Phelpston Roadhouse chili cheese dog, and crispy chips.

Today, I joined Corner Gas’s Brent Butt and enjoyed a very messy, but delicious, chili cheese dog.

A well done hot dog on a white bun; smothered in hot chili and melty cheddar cheese. It was quite messy to manage, which added greatly to the fun of eating it.

This answered my question as to why, while watching Corner Gas, Brent was always so careful when handling his favourite treat. I don’t know that I’ve seen a single episode of Corner Gas where the chili cheese dog wasn’t visible, or at least mentioned.

As much as I enjoyed this delectable treat, I don’t see it becoming a regular item in my diet. I will leave this delicious food for the Brent Leroy’s of the world.

The chips, however, I will enjoy again. Light, crispy, crunchy, no salt, no grease.

Thank-you Phelpston Roadhouse for opening your doors, presently take-out only, in our little town. I can’t wait for Covid19 to remove it’s ugly face so that we can enjoy a sit down meal in this new establishment.

And just maybe, Brent Butt will stop by and claim that this little chili cheese dog rivals that of Dog River; As the ‘Best Chili Cheese Dog’ in all of Canada!

Crispy, Crunch Chips

Flowers in the Snow

Snow flower, Snow flower 
Where are your wings?
You sit up so delicate, and so regal.
Patiently, waiting for spring.
Tall and jagged,
Knot holes and fringe.
Sticks, and old trees
Old beauty you bring.
Fresh green whimsy, 
And raspberry twigs.
Covering the snow,
Sparkling with bling.
Tucked in a triangle 
So beautifully framed.
Old wood, and new blossoms,
Cover the earth again.
Snow flower, Snow flower
Where are your wings?
You sit up so delicate and so regal,
Patiently, waiting for spring.

Cedar Tea, for the Boost of Vitamin C

Cedar tea is packed with vitamin C. Perfect for cold and flu season; but like most good foods, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Recommendation is no more than 3 cups per week. So I will be sharing this batch.

The Bible describes the cedar tree as strong and durable; Isaiah 9:10 ‘we will replace them with cedar.’

Graceful and beautiful; Psalm 80:10 ‘the mighty cedar with it’s branches.’

High and tall; Ezekiel 17:22 ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from it’s topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain….. 17:23 it will bear fruit and become a splendid cedar.’

Indigenous tradition holds the cedar as a sacred tree, used to purify homes, sweat-lodge ceremonies, and for medicinal purposes.

This tea is simple to make, and quite delicious. I brought four cups of water to a boil, then added two cups of fresh cedar. I allowed this to boil for about ten minutes and then added some dried elderberries, just for fun. A golden cup of deliciousness!

Today, when I pruned back some of it’s branches, I thanked the cedar tree for it’s bounty.

Vitamin C from our cedar tree. Vitamin D from today’s bright sunshine. It’s been a perfect winter day.

My Comfy, Comfy, Couch.

The laughter, the tears, the joys, the fears
It's a comfy, comfy couch.
Not the couch from the Big Blue Couch.
But it's a comfy, comfy couch.
It has seen laughter, it has seen tears, it has seen joy, and it has seen fears.
It has heard many, many stories over the years.
Stories from small children, teenagers and young adult souls.
Old folks, young folks, grandparents and babies.

People have sat upon it, jumped upon it, played upon it, and slept upon it.

Oh the stories that are held by each broken thread.
The saggy old pillows that held so many a head.
Babies, children, adults and little puppy dogs.
Oh the stories in the springs that go pop, pop, and squeak.
If only they could think, share and speak.
The stories are too many, too precious, too great.
So instead of replacing it, it got a remake.
The pillows refluffed, the breaks restitched.
And now it's covered in colours so rich.
Colours as rich as each memory.
Each story, each step, that watched us all grow.
Are now covered with a colourful, delightful, comfy throw.
The pillows have been slipped into hues of gold, treasuring every memory that they hold.

The laughter, the tears, the joys, the fears.

So if you have shared this couch with me, know that you are cherished for the memory you did leave.

The laughter, the tears, the joys, the fears.

Mid Winter in our Little Piece of Eden

This sign is a little deceiving. It’s not always an icy welcome. Mostly we are quite friendly.
Unlike the Canadian snowbirds, our little wrens have flown south.
When the squirrels, black, grey and red, began to outnumber the birds, we stopped putting out birdseed. And now the birds are back.
Somewhere in my garden bed, cushioned beneath a foot of snow, garlic will soon begin to grow.
Tiny little Christmas trees grow along side our snowshoe trail.
I love the contrast between these two trees.
Gardens bloom forever. Winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Even our little fairy loves to make the most of winter.

Bent…

A walk in the forest.

Bent
I bent to far
To far, to far, to far.
To far to the right.
To far to the left.
I bent for reasons that would not rest.
I bent, and I bent, and I bent.
The weight.
The weight, the weight, the weight.
Became to heavy.
And I
SNAPPED.

Words related to Bent – dictionary. Com

Bowed, looped, rounded, arched, crooked, hooked, inclined, stooped, twisted, drooping, limb, round, arched, angled, wilted, contorted, warped, twined, slumped.

A walk in the forest.

New growth
Sway with the wind.
Reach for the sun.
Gain strength.
Grow tall.
Remain rooted.
LIKE A TREE.

Inspirational Words

Our deepest fear is not that we are weak. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world….. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

I read this quote, this morning in my chiropractor’s office, and was quite taken by it. These words of wisdom were attributed to Nelson Mandela.

Researching these words further when I got back home, I discovered that Nelson Mandela was not the author of this inspirational thought. In reality, it is a passage from Marianne Williamson’s best seller ‘A Return to Love’

Regardless of who the author, I have been pondering these words all afternoon.

And my hope is that you find cause to ponder them as well.

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

Nelson Mandela

2020 in Review

I think we are all wishing for a healthy society.

JANUARY

January, back when we were out shopping, wherever, whenever, and as often as we wanted.

In January, it was life as usual for most of us. We were contemplating the New Years resolutions we made, and deciding whether or not we would keep them. We were complaining about the weather, while, at the same time, being amazed by the beauty of winter in Canada.

For a select few, the word coronavirus had entered their vocabulary.

FEBRUARY

Times they are a changing. I’ve handed in my Date of Retirement letter.

We were able to spend two wonderful weeks with out little granddaughter as our children traveled. Life goes on as normal. The world as we know it, is a safe place.

MARCH

And we are in a global pandemic, lockdown happens and the parking lots are empty.

The World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus, which surfaced in China, a global pandemic.

Coronavirus quickly becomes a part of everyone’s vocabulary, our world as we know it basically stops. While some of us start working from home, others stop working.

Kids start experiencing school from home, and suddenly get to spend a lot more time with mom and dad.

Playgrounds are roped off, but the forest is not.

A new chapter in our lives is being written. And we are the author. How this chapter is written will be personal for each of us. A personal journey of solitude and isolation. It is a time for deep self-reflection. A time to discover our strengths, and our weaknesses, and our supports. MT

APRIL

On my bucket list. Read the Bible. The Book of John, perfect when spending Easter in isolation.

Not since the Spanish Flu, in 1918, has the world come to such a stop, parks are closed, the malls are closed, all but essential services are closed. Gas is cheap, but we have nowhere to go.

MAY

A smooth, robust bottle of red wine, fine chocolate, and a good book, with jazzy blues playing in the background perfectly describes my first day of retirement.

A Polar Vortex blasts through Ontario with cold winds and streamers of white, wintery snow.

Freshly retired, and with the world closed, I decided to explore the foods the earth provides us. Leek, dandelions, spruce tips, etc., etc. etc.

JUNE

The colours of Covid19.

June brought racial discrimination and white privilege to the fore front. With the unnecessary death of a black person in the United States, colour has brought out a lot of ugliness in today’s society. It has also stirred up a huge desire for positive change in the hearts of many people.

JULY

‘O Canada’

Our usual small town Canada Day celebrations included a BBQ, and fireworks. This year, instead of the normal events, our wonderful volunteer firemen drove through town playing ‘O Canada’. Love small towns.

July also came with a flattening of the Covid19 curve which allowed for a bit of freedom of movement.

One of my favourite outings, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit with my daughter.

AUGUST

The dragonfly and the butterfly symbolize the people we are and the work we have done.

In August the curve continues to flatten and social/physically distancing numbers allow for some social events. It was nice seeing old co-workers, some friends, and some family.

SEPTEMBER

Garlic cloves under a warm bed of straw.

With a lumber shortage, my intended 8X4 garden bed, became a 5X10 garden bed for the same price Spending so much time at home has kick started my desire to become more self sufficient. Next year, Chickens!

OCTOBER

We still took our annual Thanksgiving walk to the river. Only three of us though.

Thanksgiving was a little difficult this year. We usually host my husband’s family for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and walk to the river. Like everyone else’s, our gathering was much smaller this year, but we are still very grateful.

NOVEMBER

Remembrance Day at Springwater Park

The white crosses bear the names of ‘The Vespra Boy’s who gave their lives in World War 1. Before Covid19 restrictions, local high school students identified each of these brave, young men

DECEMBER

December, another difficult month for everyone.

Another difficult month for everyone, made easier for everyone with little events like vitual gingerbread house building.

And researching old Dutch traditions, like the history behind the infamous chocolate letter.

Another tradition, for 2020/2021 anyway, are ZOOM meetings. For Church Services, for Coffeehouses, and for staying in touch with family and friends.

Just nine months after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic, the first Canadian was injected with the Covid19 vaccine. Ontario is once again in lock-down.

I am very much looking forward to seeing what our new normal brings.