Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Getting Rid of Paper... and Pens!

This winter has been a time of going through boxes and files, trying to get rid of things we no longer use or need.

I've been sorting through boxes and files of old letters, birthday cards and newspaper clippings...

It hasn't been easy separating from a lifetime of family souvenirs - but I've made some progress!

Another kind of souvenir I've found hard to part with are pens from special places - like this rocket pen from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

I don't know if I bought this University of Ottawa pen - or if it was given to me! But I have wonderful memories of working at the university, part-time, for many years.

It was an important part of my life, also because Terry and our daughter studied there.

Here is a pen from "Alpha Plus," a store that no longer exists. They used to sell teaching materials to teachers of immigrants - and they were the first to sell my spelling workbook...

They too were part of my life!

Souvenir pens that bring back memories are hard to throw away...

(Is everyone as sentimental as I am?!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What a Winter!

Winter started - in earnest - in late December this year... and what a winter it's been!

Seven weeks of extreme cold...

... or snow storms...

... or freezing rain...

... or strong winds!

It never seemed to let up!

Is it always this bad? - I wonder...

Maybe it is!

Maybe we just forget!

Once spring arrives, maybe we drive the memory of all this winter stress completely out of our minds!

Monday, February 18, 2019


I've slowly been trying to organize our cupboards...

Recently I started on the linen closet - where we keep our towels and bedding.

I pulled everything out and reorganized it - trying to avoid piling things up, but instead, lining them side by side, where possible... It's easier to choose the one you want that way...

In the process, I came across this old towel of my mother's - with a crocheted basket and edge. The basket, I think, was for meant to hold a facecloth.

I don't know if this towel was ever used. Perhaps it was simply a bathroom decoration - but it's still in perfect shape... and I'd guess it's 70 or 80 years old!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Love ENDURES... Patiently

I have been reading an interesting book, written by a 21st century Benedictine monk, who believes that "humility offers the antidote to the epidemic of stress and depression overwhelming modern young adults."

The book is full of paradoxes... like its title, Humility Rules...

Written for young adults, it reinforces the idea of paradox with fun illustrations - traditional religious art that has been modified and modernized - like the cover illustration, which is entitled: St. Benedict With Skateboard.

In one chapter, the author tells of preparing a sermon for the wedding of a friend. The theme of the sermon is love... a topic that pervades Valentine's Daywhich we celebrated recently. Again, paradoxically, he talks of love in terms of forgiveness:

When it comes to living with someone, everything boils down to forgiveness. "Love is patient and kind... Love bears all things, believes all things, and endures all things. (I Corinthians 13: 4,7) So true love is more about endurance than it is about chocolates and teddy bears. We prove our love at precisely those moments when the people we love test our patience, put a strain on our kindness, and tempt us to anger. Love is truly love - and not just infatuation - when it proves itself in the crucible of suffering. 

I don't know if I realized it on my wedding day, but all these  years later, my response would be: So true!!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Bringing Home My First Pottery of the Season

I like to spend the winter months making pottery, something I've done for quite a few years now.

I recently brought home my first hand-built objects of the season...

This glazed pot...

And a few animal paper weights - that were washed in oxide solutions to give them a little color...

Also a head that is actually a little vase or bowl.

Friday, February 15, 2019

In the Shelter

I recently finished reading my "new" book for the month of February.

A little background information: I have the bad habit of starting but not finishing books. So I'm trying to discipline myself to finish at least one book a month before allowing myself to start a new one...

But this one, on hold at the library, surprised me by being ready before I expected...

An interesting memoir by young Irishman, In The Shelter introduced me to some of the dynamics of life in Ireland.

One of the most interesting comments in the book was: We don't tell stories as they are; we tell them as we are.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Official Snow Day

We have had more snow this year than last. I'm pretty sure, in any case...

(I clicked on the link "winter" on the right to compare...)

Our most recent snowfall started with a bright pink sky - which made me think of the saying: "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning."

The following evening, it started to snow and continued to overnight. By morning we had 30 to 40 centimeters. (Or 12-18 inches.)

Terry kept busy moving snow.

Schools and colleges were shut down for an official Snow Day.

That doesn't happen very often!

It was nice knowing that I had no choice but to stay indoors... at least until the snowplow came to clear our street, which happened around noon.