I live in a Winter Wonderland

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a lover of snow and ice. (my car has a remote starter and seat warmers because I hate the cold)

I will admit I am really enjoying the mild winter so far here in Ontario.  I can be heard singing ” I’m dreaming of a GREEN Christmas, Just like the ones I used to know….” (I grew up in southern British Columbia)

This morning we awoke to find a dusting of white. Normally I would cringe and bury myself under the covers, longing for spring but this morning, along with the snow, we were delighted to see four deer grazing in the field. We often see a pair, so having four at a time is a rare treat.

I am delighted to report that since these photos were taken, the temperature has risen above freezing and the snow is rapidly melting. I can safely venture forth into this day… first the Gym for a much needed workout, then, after lunch, I will tackle the MALL…

wish me luck…




Weekly Photo Challenge: OOPS

Yesterday, we went walking in the Thornton Bales Conservation area, known locally as “the 99 Steps”. There are a lot of hills and one very steep section that has steps to make the climb easier (read harder) especially in damp weather.  P1060524

I love this area in every season. This year our weather has been particularly warm making a walk in the woods a wonderful joy. I was surprised to find colour on the dry and decaying logs. Mushrooms and fungus are something I have always appreciated in the spring and summer so I was pleased I had my camera handy.

Moss added life
to the decay.


I photographed these interesting fungus, clicking away as I often do, taking way more photos than I could ever use.  (aren’t they lovely?)P1060551






I simply had to get a photo from another angle and just as I hoped over the log… OOPS… I clicked the shutter..    So there you have it… my blurry knee. Perfectly captured for this prompt.P1060544

Check other bloggers as they show us there “OOPS” photos

Do I Have a Colour Personality?

If I had to name my colour, “the hue of me” I can only answer with orange. Sun glowThis was not always the case. Most of my life I was controlled by fear. A blue person. Deep inside, that wounded little girl within me desperately wanted freedom from her pain. I could not let that little girl surface because I was afraid. I was controlled by fear. Fear of disappointing others, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of physical abuse. Fear of being alone.

God has healed me. I am set free from fear. I am free to be the person I was born to be. I am free to embrace my orange personality.

Are bees innocent? Have they got a bad name for no reason?

I love socializing and being with people. This is new for me. There was a time, not too long ago, that I could not speak in the smallest group. I was controlled by fear. Phrases like “they will laugh at you” “That’s stupid” and “no one cares what you think”, bounced around in my thoughts.

I enjoy being physically active, particularly in the outdoors, whether it’s simply going for a walk or paddling a canoe.a look back

I went to the web site   http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/

Colour psychology is the explanation of how colors affect our emotions, our moods, our health, our well-being, our energy, our mind and our spiritual awareness at both a conscious and subconscious level.

I believe more in the power of God than the power of colour, but I found it fun to read. Especially when they say:

“The color psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit. In fact orange is so optimistic and uplifting that we should all find ways to use it in our everyday life, even if it is just an orange-colored pen that we use.  Orange brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life and is a great color to use during tough economic times, keeping us motivated and helping us to look on the bright side of life.  

With its enthusiasm for life, the color orange relates to adventure and risk-taking, inspiring physical confidence, competition and independence. Those inspired by orange are always on the go!”

It goes on to say another truth about me: You may be lousy at housekeeping as it is not that important to you – you love having fun too much and don’t like the mundane – a little dust on the mantelpiece is not that important to you.”

oh yeah, that’s me alright.

Undone by the Infinite

What does infinite mean to me? When have I experienced the power of the word infinity?

I can remember standing on the edge of the Pacific Ocean watching the endless waves crashing against the sand. The water went on forever, the horizon seemed a million miles away.ocean

The waves kept coming and coming as they have done since the beginning of time. It is thrilling to feel that sense of wonder and amazement that overwhelms the soul at these times. I felt like I was part of something endless.

Have you stood on the Prairies and felt that expansive feeling of infinite distance?tracks

I travelled on the “Top of the World” Highway a few years ago. I stood on the highest peak and could look down in every direction. The world stretched out before me and I was overwhelmed by the splendour and I was filled with joy.endless

While on a canoe trip one August, I was witness to the Perseid meteor showerIt was a very black night, the only light came from the billions of stars that are visible in the wilderness of northern Ontario.

The 2010 Perseids over the VLT

The 2010 Perseids over the VLT (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The infinite number of stars was overwhelming. We saw so many meteors it was impossible to count. A truly thrilling experience of the infinite wonder and unfathomable reach of space.

The most memorable moment when I was overwhelmed by the infinite was years ago, yet I remember the feeling as if it was yesterday. Standing in a jeep on the Masai Mara and seeing the huge expanse of endless savannah. Tree in Kenya


zebras (Photo credit: eggshapedkath)

Suddenly the world seemed much bigger to me. I felt very insignificant. This was God’s handiwork on a grand scale. There were herds of animals in every direction… wildebeest, zebra, antelope, elephants and giraffe.. so many, so many..

I was totally undone.

I knew, in that moment, this world could not be an accident. I knew, without a doubt, that there is a Creator. I knew He is infinite.

A Non-cook makes Curried Beans and Broccoli

I am not a cook. I am allergic to pots and pans. The sight of an oven gives me hives. I have never managed to avoid the torment of cooking, but I like to keep it simple. I like to open a package and throw it in the microwave.

Tonight I had a rare urge to create in the kitchen.

sauteMaybe it was walking in the rain this afternoon or perhaps a craving for getting back to my roots. I grew up eating curried everything. Curried lamb, curried chicken, curried eggs.. my mom’s motto was “if it’s for dinner, it must be curried”.

My problem? I wanted to use the broccoli I bought a few days ago and I am feeling the vegetarian phase rising to the surface.

Mushrooms, onions, peppers fried up, I steamed the broccoli in the same pot. (minimizing the dishes is important)

add tomatoes and beans

Throw in a can of mixed beans, a can of stewed tomatoes and a ton of curry powder. I let the flavours in my concoction blend for a little while.

Time to try it. Very tasty and nice and HOT!       Wow.. I am impressed. A Curry Dinner with no recipe. Mom would be proud. 

dinner is served

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

What a fabulous day! Warm, sunny.. I love this time of year. I took the dog and went to the woods, the perfect place to photograph the early saturation of colour.  The trail was golden, the kind of rich yellow that makes me smile. It was late in the day, so the sun had that perfect glow and set the world on fire.trailyellow

Some vines are already parading their finest red as they climb the tree trunks, reaching for the sun.glowing

redJust as I was heading back,I saw a fox on the trail, unfortunately, the dog saw it too and chased it away before I could capture its beauty, but then I heard the tapping of a woodpecker and managed to capture him.woody

Go ahead, laugh… the jokes on me today.

Last evening was a quiet evening. I enjoy times when I can simply get myself cozy on the loveseat, all alone with a book and a chai tea as company. All the lights were out save for a lamp to read by. I really do enjoy living alone, I felt so content, my feet propped up on the one arm of the seat, my head against the other. After a while, I felt a quiet rumble in my tummy and remembered I had not eaten since lunch.  There was left over pasta in the fridge, so without turning on the kitchen light, I grabbed it and went to get a bowl. Being a procrastinator, the dishes were still in the dishwasher. I knew I should unload it, I had filled it earlier in the day, but this was not the rime. I would leave it till later or tomorrow. I heated the pasta in the microwave, threw on some parmesan cheese and dug in. Simply delicious.

I was nearly finished when I noticed dog hair sticking out from under the bottom of the bowl. “That’s weird” I said to myself “how did that get there?” (I have a dog that drops hair everywhere but still, I was puzzled.)

I am sorry, but It's not my fault.

I am sorry, but it’s not my fault.

Slowly a light flickered in the recesses of my blonde brain. I jumped up and checked the dishwasher. Sure enough… the soap lay undisturbed in the bottom. I had not pushed the button to actually wash the dishes. I realized I had used a dirty dish to eat from. Horror of all horrors… It must have been the dish I had placed on the floor the night before for the dog to lick clean. EWWWW… dog germs all in the bottom and now it was too late; I had already eaten my dinner… from the dogs bowl…

I will pray I don’t get sick and let this be a lesson about procrastination.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

I enjoy the patterns of nature. The lines on a shell, the stripes on a rock, the patterns made by the composition of each rock is unique. I have walked many beaches with my head down looking at the rocks. They seem to invite me to reach down and pick them up. I love the textures and shapes, the colours and patterns.collection

I have a collection that I have gathered from far and wide. I cannot tell you the place I found each one, but I keep my collection in a bird bath in the garden. It is a constant reminder of the blessings of travel. I will go on a road trip at the drop of a hat. Travelling to distant countries happens less often but everywhere I have been, I have loved and I have collected a rock or a shell to add to the bird bath. From the Yukon to Panama, from B.C. Canada to Kenya the lines and patterns mix together in a pleasing array of memories.

Inside the Mirror

The weekly photo challenge this week is “inside”. I share these photos of the view inside the mirror. The reflections of what we have already passed by as we travel along the highway, speaks to me of my life’s path. At this time in my life, I can’t help but look back at what was. It is difficult to look inside memories without the events of last year distorting what I see.

For some months after my ex’s arrest, I had to will myself to focus on the now. DIRTYReflecting on our marriage just made me feel angry and hurt.  I cried because I felt all my memories had become tainted and dirty like a dusty road. I felt robbed of all that was good in my life. I could not help but wonder if perhaps it was at this event or that party that something abusive was going on behind my back. I started looking for the signs I had missed that would have revealed the truth.

REFLECTEDAt other times, especially when I was alone and discouraged, I would look inside the mirror of our past and it seemed brighter than the road ahead. The road I am on seemed blurred and uncertain.

Other times the reflection in the mirror is beautiful while the road ahead seems too dark and lonely.Looking Back

These thoughts inside my head were leading me into a pit but God is good. He instructs us to take our eyes off the negative things in our life and focus on the positive. We are instructed to consider the loveliness of life.

 Philippians 4:8 ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.’

If we look inside our memories, we can become bitter and filled with regret. As for me, I strive to focus on the lovely things in my life.  I choose to keep my eyes looking ahead to the path I am on, with wonderful family and friends, great opportunities and perhaps an adventure or two. There are times when I fail, but there is always a hand ready to pick me up and I am so grateful.

I choose to stop looking inside the mirror to see the reflection of what was, rather I am looking through the window into my future.

I am Shattered Pottery

He took the broken pieces of my life and put me back together.

Let me tell you the story from the beginning. It was the Sunday after my husband’s arrest.  I was clinging to my sanity by a single thread. I slipped into church and sat alone. I wished I was invisible.Mended with Gold I did not dare talk to anyone, the tears were balanced on the edge of my eyes, threatening to fall.

The Pastor spoke about the verse from – 2 Corinthians 4:7   “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

As I listened, I had a vision. I saw myself as a clay jar, sitting quietly on the edge of a cliff similar to the Grand Canyon. Suddenly, a very large boot kicked me hard. I flew off the cliff and fell down, down, down into the deep dark canyon. I landed hard and broke into a hundred pieces. brokenThe darkness overwhelmed me, and, as my tears fell, I sensed a light beside me. I turned toward the light and I saw Jesus pick up a broken piece of pottery and he began to wipe it clean. As he worked, he gently told me that he would put me back together one piece at a time. He told me it would take time. He asked me to be patient. He explained that he would be using gold to hold the pieces together.

In the weeks after the vision, I came to learn about Kintsugi. It is the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold. The act of repairing beautiful and precious ceramics with pure gold demonstrates that something broken and skillfully fixed can become more beautiful and stronger than the original.

I am holding on to this vision. When darkness threatens to flood my soul once more, I close my eyes and I can see Jesus sitting beside me, healing yet another broken part of my life.

It has been over a year since I had that wonderful encounter and I feel that many of my broken places are back in place and are more beautiful than ever before. My life is richer and I have loving friends who lift me up when I fall down. My heart continues to heal and each day is a new opportunity. I am no longer afraid of my tomorrows. I take the gift of each new day and walk the road I am on. It is not the road I chose to follow, but I do believe it is the only road that will lead me to wholeness.

Post written as part of the weekly writing challenge: Backward.