Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Red Sunset

I had eaten too much supper. My stomach was full. So I hopped on my bicycle to try and burn off some of those calories - and hopefully get rid of that yukky full feeling you get when you know you've overindulged.

Pedaling down the street, I realized that the daylight was beginning to fade. Oh well, that's o.k. I can still ride in the dark. Anyway, it was another warm summer evening and I was enjoying the smell of freshly cut grass, spicy end-of-summer flowers (don't ask me what kind), and maybe a skunk or two (just kidding).

Swivelling my head from side to side, I watched the road for small animals, who often come out at dusk. I didn't want to run over any poor little critters out for their evening stroll.

Before I knew it, I had reached the end of my street.
Suddenly, I sucked in a deep breath and screeched to a stop!
There spread out before me was the most beautiful sunset I'd seen in ages! I felt totally enveloped in it's fiery orange glow and rosy clouds.

It was absolutely stunning!
And the sun looked just like a red rubber ball. In fact, it reminded me of that song:
"I think it's gonna be alright, yeah, the worst is over now the morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball..."

Well, this was an evening sun - not a morning sun, but it still looked like a red rubber ball in the sky.
Did that mean a nice day tomorrow? Or a really hot one? I couldn't remember the significance of a red sun.... something about "sailor's warning......"

Never mind, I was enjoying the delicious pink and orange glow of the sun as it settled into the trees.

Turning around to go back home, I saw a woman standing in her garden, watering her flowers. Gosh, she looked so placid... so laid-back... like a cow chewing on her cud, not caring what the rest of the world was doing. Couldn't she see the drama of a glorious sunset unfolding right in front of her eyes? Right from her own front lawn?

"What a beautiful sunset!" I called out excitedly.
"Thank you," she replied smiling, turning back to her flowers.

Thank you? Excuse me? So you are responsible for this sunset?

Ah.... then it hit me. She must have heard:
"What a beautiful garden".
A perfect example of a person hearing what they want to!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Night has come....

.....gone the sun...

I open the back door and step out into the velvet night. My flowers , snug in their pots, are waiting for me to wish them "good-night".

Moonlight washes over them, lending an eerie glow.

Scurrying noises from under the deck tell me that chipmunks are getting ready for bed. Or, I've scared them off as I walk around in my socks.

I breathe in the warm, fragrant night air..... and listen to the night creatures..... as they sing.

With arms raised up overhead, I embrace the universe, silently whispering a good-night prayer......

And step on something soft..
And squishy...
I stepped on a slug!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Book Review

I’ve just finished reading a good book.
It’s called Voices of CaregivingThe Healing Companion, put out by LaChance Publishing (

It is one in a series of books called "The Healing Project" ( the brainchild of Debra LaChance, who through her own struggles with breast cancer, created this “community” . A community where people facing similar life-threatening illnesses could reach out to one another through the written word, sharing stories and experiences.

Stories of love, courage, compassion, patience, forgiveness and even humor are told in the pages of this simple, yet profound book.

Mothers patiently looking after “challenging” children. Husbands courageously looking after terminally ill wives.
Children compassionately looking after elderly parents.
Tough road. Why me? Who chose this path?

Questions with no answers. Answers nobody really wanted to know anyway.
Throughout each and every story, however, we find Love is the motivating force.

Love for the incapacitated spouse, the aging parent, the demanding, infantile, yet adult child. Where do we find our inner well of strength to carry on?

By sharing stories. By reaching out to each other in comfort and love, understanding and support. Voices of Caregiving is written as an anthology. Some sample tidbits are:

These Days I Will Remember by Laurie McConnachie starts like this:
"Heartache is watching your father lose his mind in front of you…"
And goes on….."Every night, I take his hand and lead him down the narrow hallway to his bedroom. He insists he is a visitor in this house in which he has lived for more than thirty years….."

"Despite my efforts to ease the way, I feel helpless as I witness my father’s constant struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of an illness that is determined to rob him of it……My father is with me, yet I miss him terribly…."

Speaking the Unspoken by Mary Graham (who gives voice to my own feelings as a caregiver).
"When the one you are caring for is terminally ill, and his needs spill out around him and crowd into any space you are reserving for yourself, it's difficult to remain constantly obliging."

And lastly, an excerpt from Part IV - Humor. This is a story about a husband who had no idea how to handle his wife’s diagnosis of cancer.

A Crash Course: How To Be A Do-Right Husband by Marc Silver:
"….When my wife was diagnosed with the disease in 2001, I didn’t know what to say or what to do…….
…… reaction to Marsha’s desperate phone call, sharing the news that the results of a callback mammogram had prompted the radiologist to tell her, 'Sure looks like cancer to me.' As she likes to remind me, I said, 'Ew, that doesn’t sound good.' Not the kind of husbandly comfort she was expecting…….."

……then I said: 'See you tonight, honey.' I hung up the phone. I stayed at work all day.
My wife thought she had called the wrong husband."

Caregiving. Rarely are we prepared for this role. But we do it for our loved ones.

I highly recommend this book; particularly if you are a Caregiver. October 2008 is the date it will be released.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy August Moon (a little late)

Full August Moon was on the 16th. And a beautiful moon it was in this part of the world. Sherry at Q's corner celebrated Full Sturgeon Moon; according to Native American culture.

Other cultures know this month's full moon as Grain, Corn, (celebrating the harvest) or Red Moon, because of it's slightly reddish tinge.

According to the Celtic Tree calendar, the full moon in August is known as the Hazel Moon. At this time of year, hazelnuts appear on trees; signaling the early part of the harvest. It is believed that hazelnuts are associated with wisdom and protection.

In China, the August Moon Festival is a time for celebrating the end of the harvest. Chinese legends say that the moon is at its brightest and roundest at this time. People make special "moon cakes" to share with family and friends, as a way of giving thanks.

In my corner of the world - Summer's back! I open my door and breathe in the scents of a warm summer's evening. Fragrant flowers, a touch of freshly cut grass, and a slightly smoky smell conspire to lure me outside for a walk.

Ohhhhhh this is nice! Wrapping myself in the warm, slightly moist air, I step outside into the quiet night.

My mission was to see the moon. Since it was a clear night, I knew there would be no problem. Strolling leisurely around the dark streets of our neighbourhood, I looked around for fireflies. I saw none. Nor were any people about; walking their dogs, or walking themselves.

Rounding the next corner - there she was - in all her shining glory. As round and bright as well..... a full moon!

I basked in her light for a while, then turned to walk back home.
A blinking star swept across the sky.
Then another.

Are these the "falling stars" I'd read about in the paper? According to the article, there was to be a few nights of "falling stars" sometime around the full moon (I think).

Closing my eyes, I made a wish..

"I wish for World Peace - for ever and ever!" I whispered reverently to myself.

Opening my eyes, I looked up.
That wasn't a falling star. It was an airplane.
And..... it was moving rather slowly..... I should have known... falling stars streak across the sky - and I don't think they blink.
I'd wished upon an airplane!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer'ssssss Back!!!!

Yippeeeeeee!! My marigolds are singing in the sun.
Yellow hibiscus showing off their sunny faces!

Impatiens are soaking up the sun - oops! they're shade flowers - o.k. then, soaking up the warmth.

I was really getting discouraged with all the rain we've been having the past few weeks. The mornings and evenings too were cool, making our summer so much shorter than it should be.

Here are pink hibs crying in last week's rain. I tried to make this pic look sad, but it doesn't really, they actually look pretty good with droplets of water on them.

But never mind - the sun and warmth are back! And so I'm spending the day in my garden, cleaning up, tidying up, and just loving it.
Hubby is fine now. At least today. We do take things one day at a time around here. He's had a rough time these last two weeks, but seems to be a little stronger today. That's the nature of this illness - we enjoy the good days while we can.

Happy gardening everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Delightful Dahlia

Giant dahlia bud closed up tight. What is that drop? We hadn't had rain that night. There was no dew on the grass. Could it be bug juice? Magical faerie drops?

These giant dahlias are Hubby's favourite flower. This one is so sunny, it brightens up our day.
Have a good week everyone.....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Lughnasadh's Day

This post was supposed to appear on August 1st - the festival of Lugh.

In ancient times, people celebrated the harvest in early August. It was a time to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Lugh was the sun god, symbolizing the beginning of the waning sun.
From now on the sun would lose a bit of its strength each day, as nights became longer.
I hope we can all enjoy our Harvest, if not from our own gardens then from a Farmer's market or the local grocery store.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bugs and gremlins

Not the type I like. Bugs in Bloggerville.
Friday, I was sent a message that my blog (and others) were being investigated for Spam.
Hmmm - what naughty bug entered Google Blogger and mischieviously changed some internal codes?

By Saturday, I was sent another message to say Blogger was sorry and the "bugs" were all straightened out.
Good - let's post! Well, it's too late tonight, I'll post tomorrow.

Sunday - spent the day outdoors. It was beautiful and sunny, so I took the afternoon and drove along Lakeshore Road, car windows open, fresh summer air blowing through my hair. Hubby sleeps in the afternoons, so rather than sit at home, I chose to be part of "real life" once again. I watched as families picnic-ed by the waterfront; small children running about, laughing with delight. Some people were wind surfing, their "sails?" bright colours thrashing about like kites.

After I while, I pulled into a Tim Horton's and ordered an iced cappuccino to go. Walked over to the nearest park and watched more children play. Feeling a little sad, but enjoying the children.
A little boy came up to me and held out his shovel. I looked up to see his parents sitting on a bench not far away.
I held up the shovel: "is it o.k.?" I asked.
They nodded.
So Liam and I played with sand and shovels.

Today, Monday, I babysat my granddaughter. Had a wonderful day and tonight sat down at my computer to post.
Darn! The pictures I tried to upload refused to upload.
"There were internal errors" the message read.
What internal errors? Those were my pics, from my own camera!
Ah well - "bugs" or maybe it's "gremlins" this time.
Stay tuned......