Nourished by Nature

I think I am a bit nature obsessed sometimes.  Which actually puts me in my ‘happy place’.  I would definitely consider myself an extrovert, although I didn’t always feel that way.  My memories of my ‘youngen years’ is that when my parents took us to visit friends, I always preferred to hang out with the adults.  I don’t know if I was dreaming about what it would be like to one day be one… or if I was just unimpressed uncomfortable getting to know their friend’s kids.  I preferred sometimes to just observe; and sometimes I was just bored out of my mind, but none-the-less, when I think back to those moments in time I remember feeling like the ‘odd man out’ many times.  So, it could be that I ‘matured’ into an extrovert or became conditioned into one, or innately maybe I always was one.  I look back on all of the networking events I have gone to throughout my career, and I am usually quite ecstatic to just delve in there head on, make some connections, chat with people and find a common ground, but mostly, I just plain –  find people fascinating.   I love hearing their tales.  I love learning about their lives; where they come from, where they’re going and what makes them tick.  Typically an extrovert will become energized being around people… which makes perfect sense, because I do have difficulty winding down after a social event.  But I have always craved the quiet contemplation that nature offers me.  I love being surrounded by trees, the rhythmic rustling of their leaves, and listening to the water rush over the rocks; what an interesting dance it does over time as its gentle strength smooths away the rock’s hard rough edges.  I love the peaceful tranquility my soul feels when the sun warms my face, and how the moon embraces me in the dark of night.  That is powerful.  I think what I have realized about myself is that a group dynamic gives me a temporary rush of adrenaline, which can be exhilarating (kind of like being on stage, which I enjoyed immensely before adulthood kicked in), but my mind and soul can only feel truly nourished and rejuvenated by nature. IMG_2168
Photo Challenge Number 17, taken along the bike path on the Ottawa Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
April 2016

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Pretty Parcels

Photo Challenge Number 15bd collage resized

I received so many lovely tokens of affection today as I celebrated another year… Beautiful and funny cards, sweet and overly generous gifts from special friends and family, and kind and genuine wishes sent my way.  Every day I count my blessings, and today was no exception; and I made sure to call my ‘ma to thank her for ‘having me’, as I do annually.

When I returned home from work today, there was another special package waiting for me; this time from my dear cousin Boomdee, who is an incredible inspiration and was full of encouragement for me to start this blog a few years back.  ♥  Birthday card resized

Her kindness shines through in everything she says and does with her positive and genuine spirit that she shares with the world; and how special she makes those in her world feel. 

And as you can see, there are even uplifting words of hope and optimism  incorporated into the tiniest of details in her custom creations.

Our dads were brothers, charming, handsome, kindhearted… close in age and the best of friends.  And although neither of them are with us any longer, I like to think that they are secretly smiling down on us.  Happy; knowing that as adults, Boomdee and I are not only connected as cousins, but also in friendship.

 

Market Munchies

It was a gorgeous +21°c in Ottawa today, so I ventured out with my ‘pack’ to do our favourite Sunday morning activity and walked over to Landsdowne Park where we poked our heads into the Winter Market at the Aberdeen Pavilion.  Mouks got his favourite cookie from Art Is In Bakery, which has a delectable assortment of squishy wholesome breads and flavourful goodies, and I opted for the addition of a healthy loaf of their ‘Crazy Grain’ bread, which does not disappoint! 

As we were running low on roughage, we nipped over to the Roots and Shoots kiosk and picked up a few bags of spinach, enough to make even Popeye proud!  Big D knows one of the Roots and Shoots crew through Phat Moose; Ottawa is a city with an abundance of cyclists and his shop is a hub for meeting some really interesting peeps.  For a number of years now we’ve been getting a 1/2 share  order throughout the summer and fall to bulk up on local farm fresh produce.  It’s amazing.  Plus… they also send out an email letting us know what’s in our biweekly drop, and even offer up some seasonal recipes.  And this year Big D has included some floral blooms in the bunch!  ❤

Photo challenge number 14, highlights a small section of the interesting architecture of the Aberdeen Pavilion where the winter market is currently housed; though I suspect it will soon move into the square outside the doors, for those scorching summer Sundays that Ottawa is renowned for.  aberdeen pavillion collage 3.png

Lucky 13

Today’s photo challenge is number 13… which coincidentally is Mouks’ present age, but thankfully not yet his foot size!  I am not quite sure where the time has gone, but Big D and I try to savour the family time we still get to spend with our young man.  Today we toted around town on our bicycles and made our way to the bowling alley where Mouks plays in a league.  The season is over, but he’s got one final tournament, so we thought we’d get some practice games in.  It’s our usual haunt, and offers up some good old fashioned fun!

Bowling polaroid

 

Behind Closed Doors

There is so much beautiful scenery in Ottawa, and many stunning homes along the Rideau Canal.  On any given day, there is something to appreciate and admire.  When I was a young gal my imagination circled around fashion, house design and decorating, which I guess is where my passion for all things ‘designery’ really began.

My dad was a very talented finishing carpenter, and I remember going to the job site with him on a number of occasions, where he showed me how to install spindles, baseboards, towel racks and toilet paper holders, and it is where I practiced the ‘art of sweeping’, though I will admit, I far prefer the vacuum.  I think he showed me these things for a number of reasons; to encourage my independence, build my self-confidence and to have someone who could do the mundane tasks so he could focus on his custom creations.  I cherish those memories. They nourished my appreciation for design and for the time I was able to spend with him.  Still to this day, when I walk by a house, my imagination wanders… and I wistfully dream of what is behind that closed door.

Fittingly, with these special memories etched in my mind, today’s photo challenge #11 is of a stately front door along the canal, which I was drawn to because of it’s lovely architectural elements melding so cohesively with its surround. Sometimes, it is the smallest details that can make something special, and what we may dismiss as the insignificant moments that can create such warm memories.

Front Door

A Moment to Paws…

It’s ‘National Pet Day’…. and for my photo challenge #9, there is no finer subject that our dear sweet dog, Friday.  She is the subject of many photos, an abundance of cuddles, and is the ‘Smackiland therapy dog’, offering warm hellos, sad good-byes, many laughs and much love to her pack.

She is part ‘Catahoula’ (which is the official state dog of Louisiana) and all love; she is mischievous yet well-behaved, unless she comes across a squirrel, rabbit or other such furry creature, and then, well, all bets are off.   I wrote a blog post about her many moons ago, which you can read here, which also includes our incredible gratitude to the many amazing, kind and generous people who rescued and loved her on the long journey to our door.

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A is for Alphabet

I have an affinity for all things pretty… including fabrics with textures, patterns and intermingling colours.  I have always loved fashion, and I have a great many memory of Saturday shopping trips with the Bobs (a.k.a. my ma) and my Sistah.  We’d scour for great deals and load up on fab finds.  Both my ma and pa had a great sense of style, with a multitude of clothes and shoes to choose from on any given day.  I remember the vast array of my dad’s wardrobe with his Harry Rosen suits, me stuck polishing his alligator shoes, and he demonstrating the art of the double windsor knot.  My mom, who detests wearing the colour green, for some reason had this hat that I vividly remember, that looked like a pale green sheer skull-cap with the lightest white and chartreuse organza petals.  I distinctly recall a flashback of the back of her head (hair tucked in), while she wore it on a car ride to church on the dusty dirt road in the old cream coloured Ford Mustang.  I desperately wish I had a photo of it for today’s photo challenge #7, but I only have my memory for this blast from the past.

My photo today instead, is of my ‘alphabet scarf’… a cute little fun find I picked up on a road trip to Hamilton on our way to visit the eastern branch of the perogy clan; when mom was up for a visit from Edmonchuk a few years ago.  As you can imagine, shopping is still one of our greatest past times and to this day, we continue to bond over a great deal on cute gear.

letter scarf re-sized