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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Well Lit

bedroom decorFound this kinda cool lamp tonight, while I was out and about town hunting for a new canopy to shade us from the heat of the sun on our upper deck; as sadly our old one needs to be put to rest after having sheltered us for many years now.  But of course, I became sidetracked as I steered past Home Sense; drawn in by the heaviness of my wallet as a reminder that I had a gift card from Christmas still waiting to be spent!   After Big D finished building and detailing a stunning little custom table for under our bedroom window at the top of the stairs, and offering me up a private oasis to close the door and write – my very own ‘WO-man cave’,  I knew I needed a new lamp to adorn it.  And at last, I have found the perfect one!

So, in keeping with my utterly random, nonsensical, semi-frequent and relatively consistent ‘non-themed’ April Photo Challenge, number 16 is of my new desk lamp (above)!   I love its monochromatic tone, combined with its tiny pattern and nubby texture. It is a warm ambient light to illuminate the end of the path up the stairs to our room when the hall is dark.   And…. it works so well with the other decorative accents in our compact room.  I love being in this little space!

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

 

Spring Sprouts

I woke up late on this sunny spring morning; quickly primped and prepped, rushed out of the house, bounded into the office, and to my surprise I was greeted with this special offering…. a little purple pot with a cute mini ‘lime basil’ sprout, kindly prepared and gifted by my young office compadre.  What a delightful treat!

Photo Challenge # 12Lime Basil polaroid

I am an avid fan of Yummly for inspiring recipes and when my little baby bud has grown into a lovely bunch, I’m gonna give this meal a whirl: Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry and will report back with the verdict on it’s deliciousness!

Shadow of a Doubt

The past few weeks, we’ve been teased and taunted.  Ottawa winters can be a challenge as we balance the frigid wind, heavy snow and grey days with the moments of sunshine that grace us on any given day.  But even on the darkest of days, we know, without a shadow of a doubt that when the sun peaks out between the clouds, spring is near.

Photo Challenge # 10 was taken along the Rideau Canal foot/bike path on Queen Elizabeth Drive near Patterson Creek.  (And I actually think spring may have finally arrived!)

canal April 2016