Thursday, December 15, 2016

Madness, yes; Merry, not so much

It is Advent. Advent, people! And yet our retailers are now done with Christmas, and have moved on to Boxing Day (which has become Boxing Week, which--hello!--is still Christmas, as in the Octave thereof, but don't try arguing that with most folk). Christmas is still ten days away, but we are exhorted by Canadian Tire to take part in "Pre-Boxing Week" sales! Oy vay. God rest ye merry, gentlemen. And do try to get some rest in the next ten days.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Compact, functional, and PINK

If I had the cash to do a complete bathroom overhaul, I would do something like this. So cute, so retro, so PINK!!

Of course, this would work best as a Master ensuite, not a family bathroom where five kids were trying to brush their teeth at the same time. I like the amount of storage--cabinets galore! Check out the pop-up vanity mirror (which appears to be lighted) and which would hide all your clutter when not in use. And the germaphobe in me appreciates the easy-clean corners where the floor meets the walls. I'm also loving the corner seat in the bathtub. Leg-shaving is so not fun when you have to sit on the narrow ledge of a tub. 

Picture found at this thoroughly delightful site: Mid Century Home Style.  (If you are a MidMod geek, prepare to waste time  be entertained.)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Whenever I get the urge to correct bad grammar

I give in. The feeling never passes. 

Poster seen at a local bargain store. Some bargain.

1) The first line should read "work [space] out," not "workout."  "Workout" is a noun, not a verb/infinitive.

2) "Lie" not "lay". Lay is a transitive verb, requiring a direct object. You can lay bricks, or a wreath, or floor tile or an egg. You cannot "lay down."

Yes, I am a grammar geek. It's not about shaming people; it's about defending Western Civ. The way we speak (and write and spell) does matter. Just ask Professor Higgins. Or Dr. Jordan Peterson.

Friday, December 9, 2016

"If You Have Cake Troubles"

And by golly, who doesn't?! My main Cake Trouble is that I eat too much of it, but that is a story for another day. This post is about cookbooks. Or rather, one cookbook in my collection. 

If there is anything more wonderful than a vintage cookbook, it's a vintage Church-Lady cookbook. This one is from the 70s, from the Bethel Christian (Dutch) Reformed Church in Saskatoon.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I'm not sure what to make of this

When we renovated the kitchen/dining area, Mr. P turned down my request for a fireplace or wood-burning stove to be included. I can't really blame him, since we didn't need it. The area is small, and it stays quite warm enough with the heat from the large windows (southern exposure) and cooking/baking. Plus, there is no seating/lounging area to speak of: I basically eliminated my living room in order to have a large kitchen and adequate dining space. (There goes the resale value...)  And YES, someday I will post Before-During-After pics of the reno, for which DOH fans have been clamouring! (Well, OK, one reader requested photos, on one occasion...but I digress.)

I love the ambience of a fire. And my hubby apparently agrees. I came downstairs the other morning to join him for coffee (he had been up for a while). This was on his tablet, and I thought it was funny. If not strange.  


He is my hero.

One of many, but I feel a special devotion to him. I watched a documentary, Messenger of Truth, about Blessed Jerzy (Yair-zhee, not "Jersey") last night on EWTN. It was stirring and sad, but also very hopeful. He was instrumental in bringing down Communism in the 80s, in Poland and beyond. As a beatified martyr, Bl. Jerzy provides not just inspiration, but saintly intercession in our own battles with lies and oppression.  I feel blessed to have lived during his lifetime, and to remember the events surrounding his death. 

We need his intercession more than ever before. 

Photo found here. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Welcome, birdies!


Yikes, is that scary-looking frost or what? I've never seen it so spiky. But that's what you get when there is fog day after day, with no wind. These photos are from last week.

One of our regular visitors, a White-breasted Nuthatch:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Winter, take II

I think it's here to stay this time, after our freak early October dump of snow melted away. These pics are from my backyard two days ago:

And now this morning (complete with freezing rain stuck to the window):

It's a good thing my lovely niece Tessie reminded me of the Danish art of 'hygge' yesterday on Facebook. It will help ease the transition.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I ask you, what chance does a girl have?

Especially an old girl like me, who scarcely ever has the willpower to exercise. I'm trying to lose weight, because a cardiologist told me to, and with good reason, because I am shaped like an apple, not an hourglass. But really, one of my daughters is an aspiring pastry chef, and she gets it into her head any old day of the week to make things like eclairs, cream puffs and (above) chocolate trifle. Not for any special occasion, but just because she feels like it. Which is really lovely, and really delicious, but also really calorific. And there are only five of us at home now (where once there were nine), so the temptation lasts for days and days. Self-control was never so difficult! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Lord fills the earth with His love

I was going to title this post: "There's so much ugliness in the world," but that's not very positive, is it? (Even if it's true.) But I started writing the post Wednesday night, and then I became too tired to finish it. It was a depressing week (and I started saying that as early as Tuesday, which is never a good sign): sick kids, annoying financial stuff, gloomy weather, the Blue Jays lost, crimes, war...  And then there's the American election (which I won't discuss), but oy-- there is no possible happy outcome on that score, unless the world ends with Christ's Second Coming before Election Day.

And then I went to Mass Thursday morning, after which in our parish we have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Response to the Psalm was: "The Lord fills the earth with His love," which I thought would make a much better title for a post. Because it's also true, and much of how we live our lives depends on which aspect of truth we choose to focus on. The Lord fills the earth with His love, and some of it comes in the form of Beauty. These are all from my garden.

Prairie storm: the light is always so spectacular.

I can't remember how many years ago I planted this bulb, but this was the first year it bloomed! It only gave me one flower, but hey, who's complaining? Too bad she was splashed by mud, for it had just rained.

My Hollyhocks must have been eight or nine feet tall this year. I wish I'd measured.

If by now, you have concluded lilies are my favourite flower, you are correct. 

But I love Hollyhocks too. The candy-pink ones were lovely this year.

And these! Just gorgeous. I don't know where this strain came from; this is the first year they showed up in my garden, and I couldn't be more delighted. 

A long-shot of my rather messy, un-culled perennial bed.
I call it the "St. Francis bed," because he watches over it, and sometimes gives the birds a snack. 

I love my potted plants too. 

The whole Hollyhock gang, at sunrise. 

When you have insomnia at 5:00 a.m. in July, this is what you do:
 come outside and take pictures of your flowers and the sunrise. 

My pride and joy (actually, one of many): Montenegro Asiatic Lily

Back to Hollyhocks.

A bouquet I made for my Mom and Dad. Everything came from our backyard.

From my rose bush. One of my daughters made this bouquet for me.
Relaxing on the patio at sunset.
"Pace" salsa jars make great tealight holders! (And Pace means "peace" in Latin.)
Good night, sleep tight. The Lord fills the earth with His love.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just how desperately do I miss Nordic Thoughts?

This desperately. I've taken to visiting Danish blogs. And Swedish blogs, and any blog that can give me the same feeling of sublime beauty that Nordic Thoughts and A Polar Bear's Tale once did. Don't bother searching those names: the blogs have been removed and the names have been taken over by other bloggers. (Cue soft and pathetic weeping.)

One such blog is NORDINGÅRDEN

One of the lovely photos at

Which roughly means: "Country life in... decorations, garden, food & wine" (Well, I had figured out the "Vin" part without Google Translate. Thanks, Latin!)

Country life, Decor, Garden, Food and Wine--check, check, check, check and check. I can't speak Danish, but I can look at the pictures.

I also like this Nordic Design blog. And I occasionally watch travel videos from Nordic countries. I hear they are very expensive to visit, but I think it would be tremendously cool (metaphorically) to spend a holiday in one or more of these places. You can keep your Las Vegas. I want to go to Iceland. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Autumn prairie sunrise

I took this pic last Friday. The sky was much more pink in real life. Somehow a smartphone camera doesn't seem to capture the depth of all the hues. About an hour or so earlier, I had prayed Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Below is the hymn that accompanied the hour. (It must be fairly obscure, since I couldn't find any nice choral renditions of it online.) Have a Happy Monday. 

O God the lamp of heaven high
And source of light: Your shining Hand
Unrolls the banner of the sky,
Upholding it above the land.

Dawn, casting up a crimson tide,
Has veiled the stars that saw its rise;
The morning breezes, far and wide,
With dewy breath the earth baptize.

The darkness from the sky has gone
As nightly shadows pass away;
The morning star, sign of the Son,
Arising, wakes the sleepy day.

O God, O radiance wonderful,
Most glorious day and fairest light:
One God, in all things powerful,
Three Persons, matchless in one might!

To you, our Savior, brightest, best,
On bended knee our prayer we raise;
To Father and to Spirit blest,
With all our pow'r, we offer praise. Amen

Text: Deus qui caeli lumen es
5th-6th century
Translation copyright Thomas Buffer

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I'm not the only one who likes my garden

A reader also messaged to say how much she enjoyed my pictures from the last post. (Okay, okay, so she was my sister!! She still qualifies as a reader!) We were also visited this morning by some Artiodactyl ungulates (I love homeschooling, haha) who availed themselves of the unpicked kohlrabi, the Flowering Almond hedge, the rose bushes, and the cherry tree (though we shooed them away from the last one, because it belongs to Miss P #5 and she is rather protective of her "Romeo" sour cherry. She had a Juliet as well, but --rather true to Shakespearean form-- Juliet shuffled off her mortal coil just months after we brought her home from the greenhouse). 

I kid you not, I've seen far more wildlife in my own backyard on the prairies than I did on our recent trips to the mountains and forests of Banff, AB, and British Columbia.