Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ritual? Or Habit?

I have been reading about ancient Celtic rituals that marked the passing of seasons and other significant events, some as simple as the transition from night to day. So as I read about a Celtic prayer recited when the morning fire is lit, I think about my own "ritual of bringing warmth into the start of [my] day":

My morning cup of coffee!

No wonder it has an air of coziness about it! It's more than a drink. It's a ritual of morning warmth to me!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Quilting

I don't usually quilt in summer...

But a few rainy days kept me indoors. Going through some books, I discovered this pattern... I've meant to make it for a long time...

So I began to dig through my fabric stash and came up with enough fabric..

It had to be blue! (You love that denim color, my daughter commented...)

Bit by bit I worked on it... every rainy day doing a bit more...

Soon the piecing was done! But the quilting will have to wait till winter!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Late June Flowers

My front flower bed is at its prime.

The white daisies are all in bloom...

... as are the tiger lilies...

 ... and day lilies.

This red tea rose has a mass of flowers.

These star-shaped flowers (Coreopsis?) are beginning to bloom too!

Surveying the garden bed, I wonder: Will there be any flowers left to bloom in August?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Last Art Class of the Summer

Our final botanical drawing class of the summer saw us back at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden.

It's a place I've come to know well, thanks to the visits we have made this spring.

This time I decided to draw their Canada anemone.

It looks a little different from the one I have a home. (Which makes me wonder - perhaps mine isn't an anemone at all!)

The one at the Wildlife Garden didn't have the fuzzy seed pods my anemones currently have.

From a sketching point of view, the big question for me was: How many leaves should I draw? How much should I include?

Ask yourself what attracts you to the plant? Kerri replied. What story do you want to tell?

With those questions on my mind, I proceeded over to a plant with fascinating leaf veins...

(I found the flower less compelling.)

As we left, Kerri's parting advice to us was: Draw every day!

I have tried to follow it...But a week later only have two sketches to show!

 (My goal is to draw every interesting plant in the house!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Decluttering the Study

I have been trying (yet again!) to de-clutter my little study.

In my teaching days, this was where I most often marked papers and prepared for classes the next day. But nowadays it easily becomes a catch-all where I dump things I don't have time to deal with. So my desk regularly gets piled high with papers - articles I tear from the newspaper, bills to be paid and any number of things that I "hide" when visitors are expected and I want to quickly make the house look presentable.

Inspired by Joyce Meyer's book, 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life, especially her chapter entitled "Clear Out the Clutter," I have decided to tackle the study again.

One day, after working on my desk for several hours, I "showed" my daughter my progress via the camera on my ipod.

It doesn't look all that great yet, but I have been working on it, I told her.

Oh, I can see a difference, my daughter replied. I can see the floor!

(Sometimes progress is measured in small steps...!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Planting Anemone Seeds

I'm not sure where my first Canadian Anemone plant came from. I think I found it a church garage sale where I picked up a few small plants.

It has spread over the years, perhaps by dropping its seed nearby. This year I have become more attentive to the plant cycle (thanks, in part to my botanical drawing class).

As I watch round little pods replace the flowers...

 ... and these, in turn, become fuzzy growth, I have decided to "plant" this fluff by laying it on the ground in other parts of my flower bed.

Hopefully next year (or the following) I will be surprised by new bunches of anemones in early spring. (Just when I appreciate flowers the most!)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

To a Quick Change Artist (A Prayer)

O Lord Jesus Christ
Deliver me from my schemes
To outwit what you want.
Forbid my life should go by and all I ever did
Was try to get the biggest piece of cake.
Teach me quickly how, "He who will save his life
Will lose it."
Lest I be embarrassed in that final hour.
Give me something better to do,
Something that is more fun and more important,
Than self-service.
Help me see the folly of my
Racing up the ladder faster than the other fellow
By remembering the One who took up His Cross and went straight to the foot.
O God, this trying forever to get something
Is what gets me;
He gave Himself away.
That gets me right where He wants me.

Keep me Father from twisting your church to my own advantage.
I arrange the hour to suit myself;
I make my gifts tax deductible.
Before you know it I'll have Christianity rigged
Until I have everything to gain
When you had everything to lose.
Take my hands out of my pockets
Until I can stretch them out before me
To heal and bless all I meet.
My time is running out
I need a quick change artist.
If I were the wind, I would obey You instantly.
Why not just as I am.

A prayer from: Before You Call I Will Answer by David A. Redding, p. 47

Saturday, June 23, 2012

First Farmers Market in 2012

Last Saturday saw us head to Carp for our first farmers' market of the year. I wanted to get some meat pies and eccles cakes made by the British pie lady!

Didn't see much local fresh produce for sale. Instead many farmers were selling garden plants. 

There is always something new... like this outdoor portable wood-burning pizza oven...

They were doing a brisk business...

There was still a lot to be had... Vendors were selling home-made dog food...

Home-made soap...

Garden rocks...

Honey, quilts, pottery, baked goods and more!

A motorcycle club was also part of the action - raising money for a Father's Day cause. One quick look around - then indoors to buy my frozen pies - and head home again.

I noticed a sign saying that the average distance vendors travel to sell at the Carp Farmers Market is 23 kilometers (or about 14 miles)! That's probably the distance many shoppers (like us) travel to get there as well!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mid-June Flowers

In mid-June, my front flower bed has a new array of flowers blooming...

Day lilies are in full force. 

I'm not sure what these tall yellow flowers are called...

Or these blue ones (and the purple ones) nearby...

The tiny red tea roses are blooming...

The daisies are starting: They have lots of buds.

These geraniums are still blooming - I don't remember how long they last.

The white Canada anemone have gone to seed - I'm tempted to try planting a few fluffy seed-heads in another spot to see if they take.

 The lamium flowers are still blooming. I divided them in early spring.

My back garden bed had a profusion of peonies and Persian corn flowers not long ago, but they are dying, as is this unknown blue flower on its slender stalk above.

I'm enjoying these two tiny yellow rose bushes I planted there last summer... while I wait for the next mass of flowers - the tiger lilies - to bloom.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A New Roof

We have to replace our shingles more often than some neighbors, as we live on a windy corner at the end of an open field. The west wind ruffles our shingles all year long.

 A roofing project is always interesting to watch... 

... as the roofers tear off the old shingles and re-do the roof.

Equally (if not more) fascinating is the delivery of the materials. Technology has changed this job so much! Not that long ago, the robotic arm on the truck was an innovation...

 An individual used to control it using 7 or 8 levers. But not now!

This time the levers swung back and forth, untouched by human hands. They were being controlled by this electronic device in the driver's pouch. He was controlling the robotic arm like in a video game!

I wondered how many little kids (and even grown-up ones) would love this job, making deliveries using the robotic arm!

 Before long, the supplies had all been delivered up onto the roof, where they were piled neatly up - and the driver was off to make more deliveries! 

The other thing that amazed me? I was shocked to see that among the crew of eight roofers working in the hot sun all day long, only one was wearing a hat!