Monday, September 27, 2010

Marvelous Monday - Autumn Day

Autumn Day:

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine. 

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.


Translated by Stephen Mitchell, 
"The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke" (Random House)


Ooooohhhhh ... doesn't that last stanza send shivers down your spine?   Just feels exactly like an autumn wind has curled itself around me and breathed down my neck!  And yet I love that poem, perhaps because it does get such a response out of me.  And perhaps, because I really do love autumn!

So on this Marvelous Monday, I am thankful for this glorious season of beautiful vistas ....



















of leaves turning colour....


of animals seeking hide-away spots for the winter ....



and bright orange pumpkins finding ways to escape the farm!


I hope you are having a glorious autumn!

Blessings,

Ro

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Standing Still

Yesterday I received the sweetest note in the mail from one of my aunts.  She heard that I had been having a difficult time with my cats -- first Tiger, our shop cat was attacked by a dog earlier in the summer (she is now almost fully recovered but it has been a stressful and expensive journey) and then Kroompli, one of our house cats suddenly developed cancer and had to be put to sleep last week.   My aunt sent me a kind note to encourage me and included this beautiful poem.  I thought I would share it today with all of you.  I hope it speaks to your hearts the way it speaks to mine.  There are so many of you who are going through trials of all different sorts.  I received an email yesterday from a dear follower whose mother has alzheimer's disease.  It broke my heart to read how she is now parenting her mother, because her mother has become a child.  And I know there are many of you who are facing other difficulties.  I hope you too will have someone come alongside of you to encourage you with a little note, a sweet poem, or perhaps an unexpected hug.

Blessings,

Ro

If You Stand Very Still

If you stand very still in the heart of a wood
You will hear many wonderful things
The snap of a twig, the wind in the trees
and the whirr of invisible wings.

If you stand very still in the turmoil of life
and you wait for the voice from within,
You'll be led down the quiet ways of wisdom and peace
in a mad world of chaos and din.

If you stand very still and you hold to your faith
you will get all the help that you ask.
You will draw from the silence the things that you need:
hope and courage and strength for your task.

Patience Strong

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday - Don't Hide in the China Cabinet!

It's Tea Time Tuesday again!  Last week, I was so sad after the sudden loss of my dear cat that I just didn't feel up to participating, but I've looked forward to getting back into the fun today as a little "pick me up" in the middle of the week.

Once again I am so thankful for the gracious ladies who host these wonderful tea-themed memes and I am participating in the following tea parties:

Martha's Favorites
Rose Chintz Cottage and Inspirations
The Plumed Pen
Lady Katherine Tea Parlor
Artful Affirmations

Today I am showcasing a special little tea cup that is brand new to my collection:


Isn't it a sweet little cup?  I think it must have been originally a child's toy as it is very tiny.  The little bird on the handle is just so cute and very delicately fashioned.  A truly whimsical little piece!

It was given to me by a very special friend as a birthday gift a few weeks ago.  I have no idea if it has any market value ... the mark on the bottom of the saucer is almost illegible and all that I can read is "hand-painted" and then what looks like half of a symbol of some sort.  But this cup and saucer have great value to me because they were given to me by a dear friend who is going through all kinds of difficult trials right now, yet in the midst of her struggles, she took time to think of me.  

When I look at old pieces of china, it sometimes occurs to me that they are a little bit like us as women!  We can be so delicate and fragile, and yet somehow, we endure the test of time.  Think of all the opportunities that a really old tea cup and saucer would have had to break!  How many times they may have been moved from one building to another!  How many hands have turned them over, some hands frail with arthritis, others full of the klutziness of adolescence.  And yet, these lovely china pieces have endured throughout the years, their exquisite fine details still intact, colours still vibrant, handles still in place.  

And there is a dilemma to be faced with lovely china, isn't there?  If we leave it safe in the china cabinet, surely it is less likely to be broken!  And yet then it will never be enjoyed, it's prettiness will never cheer up another soul who would delight in the pleasure of sipping tea from the delicate cup and admiring the lovely pattern.  And life is like that too ... we can hide ourselves away in the "china cabinet" of life, protecting ourselves from ever being hurt, but then we will never know the joy of sharing our heart with another soul, or reaching out in love to a needy friend.  

So I'm particularly thankful for this sweet little cup and saucer today, because they remind me of a dear friend who hasn't stopped reaching out beyond herself, in spite of the fact that there are days when she probably wishes she could hide away in a corner of a safe china cabinet somewhere.   My prayer for her is that she will make it through this trial without any "chips" or "cracks" and that she will know how very much she is appreciated by her friends.


"The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, 
but to reveal to him, his own." 
-Benjamin Disraeli

Monday, September 20, 2010

Marvelous Monday - The Simple Things

It's Marvelous Monday again, and today I am thankful for the simple things in life:


.... like the fact that I've been able to walk for half an hour every day with my Mum this week, enjoying the late summer farmland while getting back into a regular exercise routine.

Walking past the vineyards, we spot how the grapes are ripening so quickly this year.
Soon the air will be filled with their sweet fragrance that will surround us as we walk by.

.... like the beautiful birthday flowers from my husband that lasted and lasted, filling me with cheer whenever I saw their beautiful colours.

I still have 2 carnations left two weeks later!

.... like the colourful jars of relish and salsa I was able to can with our very own delicious garden produce.

I especially enjoy making this relish which is made to my late Grandmother's recipe.  Reminds me of cheddar cheese sandwiches on crusty bread, made with a skim of home-made relish - the food of my childhood.


....and like the simple pleasure of enjoying a relaxing meal beside the water, watching the sail boats go by.

Mr. Magnolia and I enjoyed a leisurely meal at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Course
on Sunday.  The clubhouse provided an amazing view of the Niagara River where it enters into Lake Ontario, immediately across the river from Old Fort Niagara, New York.

Sometimes, we just need the simple things in life to remind us of the important things in life .... like taking care of our health, spending time with our loved ones, and finding time for rest and restoration.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marvelous Monday - My Cat the Clown

Today is Marvelous Monday yet my heart is feeling a little broken.  This morning I took my little clown cat "Kroompli" in to the vet and had to make the difficult decision to say good-bye to him forever.

Kroompli stalks our Roomba
We have been growing increasingly worried about Kroompli for the last month.  At first we thought maybe he was upset that Tiger (our shop cat who was a stranger to our house cats) was living in our sunroom.  Perhaps this is why his stomach seemed to be upset.  Then we thought it was because the little beggar managed to sneak into the mudroom where we keep our dog food and had a huge feast of dog food.  Surely that would be the reason why he suddenly had severe diarrhea and an upset tummy.  We took him to the vet a month ago and they confirmed after thoroughly examining the 18 pound monster that the dog food was probably the problem.

Kroompli investigates my flowers.
But then Kroompli began to lose weight. This cat who would eat anything became a very finicky eater. I tried different types of food and he seemed to perk up. But this past weekend, he suddenly took a big turn for the worse ... became very lethargic and looked like he was in a lot of pain. My husband and I checked him closely all over and felt what seemed to be a hard lump on his side. I took him to the vet first thing this morning and was told he has a cancerous mass on his stomach. It has appeared so rapidly that the vet feels it is an aggressive form of cancer. It was very obvious that he was in terrible pain so I made the decision to take care of him one last time by ending his misery.

Kroompli comes for a snuggle.
So today, on Marvelous Monday, though I am in tears, I am celebrating the life of a very loving pet who gave us so much joy over the 8 and a half years of his life.  Kroompli was born to my mother's cat "Button" on March 22, 2002 - one of 5 of Button's first and only litter.  He was such a sweet little kitten when he was born - all black and white patches, with his little ears folded down and his eyes shut.  He was the runt of the litter and right away I knew I would take him.  When he was 7 weeks old, we took him home and he quickly made himself at home, not only in our house, but in our hearts.  I gave him a Hungarian name "Kroompli" (meaning potato) in the hopes of ensuring that my husband, who is of Hungarian descent, would be happy that I was bringing home yet another kitten.  We were newly weds at the time but if I had known my husband better, I would have realized that it was a completely unnecessary gesture.  My husband absolutely loves cats and he and Kroompli became the very best of friends.


Kroompli loved his basket.
The runt of the litter grew fast!  Kroompli became a ginormous cat - the biggest cat we've ever had.  And what a clown!  He was an extremely playful cat who loved to lie on his back with his paws waving around in the air, begging to have his tummy rubbed.  He loved food, especially people food, and delighted in pushing his big nose into our cereal bowls in the morning, hoping to slurp up some milk and possibly some cereal too.  Kroompli loved to be snuggled and if he felt it was time for his cuddle, he would climb up on top of my computer and look at me with his beautiful big green eyes as if to say "Hello!!!  I'm much cuter than that stupid machine!"  And of course, he was much cuter, so I would stop whatever I was doing and scoop him up off of the computer and into my arms for a cuddle.  And he would look up at me with those flirtatious green eyes even as I was cuddling him, as if he was smugly acknowledging that he had me wrapped around his paw, and I would always do his bidding.

Kroompli discovers our wide-screen TV

Kroompli, annoyed that I won't let him eat the gingerbread house.

Kroompli poses as a Christmas ornament.
It's hard to imagine all that personality and life can simply end in one moment of time.  I can't imagine that his life is over.  This morning when I said good-bye to him, I told him that I hoped he would being seeing his brother Czardas soon - the beautiful black kitten we also adopted from his litter who later was killed on the road outside of our house.   And I said a blessing over him too - because I believe God created my little cat, and that somehow, He will find a place for him in eternity.  I hope that place is a sunny spot, where Kroompli can lie on his back, waving his paws in the air, and that someone kind and loving is there to lean over and give him a gentle tummy rub and whisper in his ear as I have done so many times, to tell him what a beautiful cat he is, and assure him that he brings joy wherever his paws take him.
Classic Kroompli pose - begging for tummy rub.



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Follow Friday!

It's Friday!!!!  And this is a long weekend!  Yeah!  And it's my birthday on Saturday too so we shall have to see what Mr. Magnolia has in store (if he actually remembers that it is my birthday that is!)  I love my dear husband but alas, he does not always remember significant dates without a little nudging from myself.  So I just might have to give him a little hint later today!  :)



Once again it's Follow Friday 40 and Over at Java's wonderful blog Never Growing Old, where Java always looks about 18 years old yet has the wisdom of someone much more mature!  I love visiting her blog and encourage you to do so too as you will be enriched by her sense of humour, the great beauty tips she gives us, and the endearing way she has of sharing her life struggles with all of us.

And if you're visiting from Follow Friday, welcome to my blog!  I love having visitors and if you take a moment to comment, I will pop back over and visit your blog as well (although it sometimes takes me a couple of days to do so!).  

Today for my visitors, I am serving a lovely slice of "virtual" sponge cake, topped with fresh peach slices, raspberries, and whipped cream!  Hope you enjoy it!

Have a blessed weekend,

Ro

 


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