Autumn leaves & pumpkins please🎃

  Autumn

leaves us

floating on winds

drifting around and down

golden

Vcl©️

Don’t worry, we aren’t decorating for autumn in our home quite yet, but it was fun pulling a few things out the other day when I was rearranging the storage room. I was excited to find my box of pumpkin carvers. It is an art in our family and we look forward to the pre-planning …picking the design, finding the right pumpkin, exploring new ideas and dream of spice and everything nice.

Wait for more fun pics 🎃 friends.

But first I’m packing those suitcases I dragged from the storage room with summer clothing and flip flops.

Yeah Cuba….see you soon!❤️

 

Posted in 2018

That tinge of bright 🌤

“Light is prettiest in the dark.”
Joyce Rachelle

A number of years ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Europe. One highlight was a visit to the Rikkmuseum in Amsterdam. There I absorbed the old art by famous painters such as Van Gogh, Vermeer, Marten, Asselijn and Rembrandt. It was a truly delightful experience.

One of the portraits that intrigued me most was the famous piece by Rembrandt named The Night Watch, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642

Undoubtedly his best-known masterpiece, which is said to have marked a turning point in the artist’s career, takes pride of place in its own gallery. The large-scale painting depicts guardsmen getting into formation, with a young girl in the foreground rumoured to be modelled on Rembrandt’s late wife. The grand space is dedicated to Rembrandt’s vision .

There was seating all around the centre of the room where one can gaze at the painting from various angles. I was struck by the darkness of the room and the picture itself , which was huge along the wall. My gaze centred on the people depicted in front. This was my first introduction to what is called Rembrandt lighting.

Rembrandt lighting was named after of the great master, who often used it in his own portraits. The idea is to create a small inverted triangle of light on the subject’s cheek that is opposite the light source. This is very flattering (especially for people with prominent cheekbone structure) and was often used in old Hollywood portraits. Teachers say that it is important to ensure that you get catch lights in both eyes.

Since then I’ve been mindful of this thought. There’s no wrong in darkness, only a brief departure from the light. To understand the darkness in others, it serves us to know our own darkness. Rembrandt knew his subjects well.

Let’s show ourselves some light.  Allow yourself to be inspired to let go of the need to stay in darkness—your entire life isn’t meant to be a struggle, but if you think it is, that’s what it’ll be for you.

The trick isn’t to drown the darkness with light, or to replace the negativity with positivity, but to bring the darkness to the light, like an offering.

This is my offering today to you.❤️

Posted in 2018

I am not a Writer ~ just stones that talk

    If you wish to be a writer,  write.

Epictetus *

I am not a writer~
Oh, I have stones crammed inside my head, collected

stuffed into an abandoned trunk of old forgotten valuables

left to expire in the dusty attic~ but I am not a writer.

I am a holder~

holding the talking stones of childhood memories, sibling quests

love gained and lost, birth pangs and the fool’s gold of age.

I hold the stones, smooth to my caress ~I feel the words speak.

 

vcl poem /photo ~ Lake Athabasca

Posted in 2018

Taste the Mystery

We really are very lucky. You know…US… the gardening people. We have had our annual joy…..and a busy time recently gathering in all the fruits and vegetables of our labors. Abruptly…just as every year feels that way,  cooler weather has descended…I find myself contemplating socks….saints preserve us!

This is the time of year when we can’t go around with a new plant (family member) as in warmer climes, chanting under our breath “Where are we going to put you?” Here in northern Alberta….the land of the blue line on seed packets I call it, we are now asking ourselves “How are we going to protect you?”

My husband states he saw frost on my car in the early morning…which I’ll have to take his word for as early is a dirty word in my vocabulary. 🤩 Hearing that though, I am instantly thrown into a protective stance. Do I grab the peppers and tomatoes (still quite green due to poor sunlight caused largely by the forest fires that hid the sun and the rest of the skyline most of the summer) ? Or do I leave them be, alert for just a little precious Indian Summer?

That’s the dichotomy of gardening friends.  The cycle of birth and death. It gets played out on the gardening stage every year. It’s been a great run, but now we look for ways to cheat the calendar.  It could mean the difference between a bountiful harvest or no harvest at all.

As for me, I went down to my garden today. I picked some tomatoes, cukes and onions. I grabbed a couple of peppers and a lone zucchini too and made a delicious salad for our supper.

I pronounced it good.

I picked more sage to dry, anticipating Thanksgiving in the pungent autumnal odor lingering on my fingers. I contemplated covering the Tom Thumbs. Maybe tomorrow.

Mother Nature winks at us all. I Winked back!😍😉

Photo vcl©️

Posted in 2018

You did not die ❤️

Upon reflection

Sometimes things

Get broken

And you just can’t

Fix it

You just can’t

Kiss it

Make it better

It just won’t move

Or improve.

It gets caught

In a groove

And you’ve wiggled

And waggled

Without success

But stepping back

You’ve learned to live

Without something

Important

And You did not die.

vcl©️ Photo & poem

Posted in 2018

If feeling isn’t in it~ celebrate dog days.

You can take it away, as far as I’m concerned—I’d rather spend the afternoon with a nice dog. I’m not kidding. Dogs have what a lot of poems lack: excitements and responses, a sense of play the ability to impart warmth, elation . . . .  

                                                                               Howard Moss

Tomorrow is National Dog Day. We humans like special days, don’t we?  I guess it’s about the warm fuzzy feelings they evoke in the memories of  happy times. This one occurred when I was eleven.

My Father spent some years as a salesman. He had a sales area which because of its size meant that he was gone for days at a time. Returning home from one of these trips he arrived at the back door carrying a large cardboard box. Setting it on the threshold he hunkered down, unmindful of his good suit and as we children gathered around he proceeded to open the box. What to our wondering eyes did appear but the cutest, most adorable little black, red tongued  puppy we thought we had ever seen.

He was so energetic, trying to kiss everybody’s faces as we passed him around. Then he peed on Mom. I remember Dad setting him on the stoop and as we all entered the house Rex (that was his new name) had to be helped over the threshold as he was too fat to wiggle over it. We all laughed.

Rex , Dad explained was a Black Labrador Retriever. He grew and grew in physical size and love, big sloppy love was his specialty. He mostly stayed outdoors as he was added to the family because Dad was away a lot. Guard dog was his primary role,but occasionally  on cold winter days he was ushered into the back pantry with a special blanket and snacks. Oh the love then lol.

He turned out to be a kind, patient companion alert to rabbits and squirrels along the path to the gardens. He was the first to flush out the porcupine with her babies, much to his chagrin. He never missed an opportunity to chase a stick. He seemed to sense when we were feeling blue and would sit close letting us pat his head, almost like he was offering a prescription for what ailed us.

If he had any flaw we never found it. That is until some years later we moved to a new home near a rural highway . It seemed that he had found the one thing that caused him some excitement in his quiet country life. Added a little spice he may have said in human words. He liked to chase the pea truck.

In the early autumn the peas are harvested in the Annapolis Valley. With it begins the steady procession of overloaded trucks taking the peas (with vines still attached) to the canning factory close by.

Rex just couldn’t seem to help himself. No amount of reproof made him change his ways.  Every time he heard a pea truck rumble down that road he was sprinting along beside it barking, snarling, grabbing the occasional pea vine that fell off in the breeze in his teeth, shaking it back and forth as if he had captured the flag of sorts. The truck would soon disappear out of sight, then Rex’s demeanour would relax and he would saunter back to the step as if nothing had happened. Yawn.

Sadly, that is how Rex met his demise. I wasn’t there when it happened thankfully but that darn old pea truck obscured the view of another driver passing and  didn’t see Rex as he crested the hill. One thump and he lay mortally wounded in a heap on the road. The commotion that followed , children crying, strangers apologizing, and the horror of the suffering friend I could only imagine as the story was relayed to me later. Gathering around,  my siblings recounted those precious minutes where hope died. It was quickly apparent that the vet wasn’t an option. Fortunately  a neighbor pulled up with a hunting rifle just then and Dad put our friend to rest.

it is said that “One bad trait can ruin a whole person”. I guess that can apply to dogs too.

Rex was buried deep in the woods among the old Apple trees the area is famous for. I have never visited. My brother mourned there. Boys and their dogs are another story.

RIP Rex. I’m glad we have a day to celebrate you.❤️

Photo credit: Dirk Vonderstrabe