A Treasured Hand-made Gift

My Grandfather’s Passion

I wonder what he envisioned when he held the untouched block of wood in his hands.

I wonder if his creation came to him in one moment or did it develop over time as he prepared and carved the wood.

I wonder how his eyes would have appraised the progress and noticed anything that needed some extra care.

I wonder at how his hands would have held the wood and turned it and applied the tools and correct pressure and motions to reveal the figure bit by bit.

I wonder at how he felt as he anticipated the joy it would bring me to behold his gift.

I wonder at the hours he spent carving and shaping and smoothing and painting.

And I wonder and feel thankful for the love he put into all of it.

 

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I pulled this wood-carved figure down from the shelf that it stands on to have a good look at it again.

My husband’s and my wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and this carved figure was a present in honour of our wedding day over 30 years ago, presented to us by my grandmother and grandfather on our honeymoon visit to see them in Germany.

My grandfather was self-taught at wood carving, and I know he had such a passion for it, as he carved many beautiful pieces over the years.  His skills may appear rough compared to more highly trained wood carvers, but in our family we appreciated all the work and joy he put into each piece.

Whenever I would go for visits to their place, in every room I would see a diverse array of his artwork, including a big and detailed head board for my grandparents bed.  He also lovingly carved an appropriate sized “stone” that rests at the head of their gravesite, which he made when my grandmother died before him.

 

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Do you wonder why this long-robed man carries a key?

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The answer lies with the good wish that came inscribed at the bottom of this wooden figure.

 

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My grandfather initialed and dated this wooden figure, along with the message, which translated means, “Our dear Ela, for her wedding and for the future the key to happiness.”

And he signed it “Vati,” my endearment for him.

❤ ❤

 

 

Summer Evening Paddling Trip

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A call of a loon;

Quiet splashing, rhythmic sounds,

Kayak glides along.

 

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Yesterday’s warm temperatures and sunshine beckoned.

So, following the family supper, some of us embarked on an evening’s paddle.  Well, as many as could fit into two canoes and a single-person kayak.  😀

We launched our craft onto Taylor Lake and eventually made it to the channel leading to adjacent Clayton Lake….and ultimately the village of Clayton where we finished just as it was getting dark.

It’s a lovely paddling excursion….usually taking about two hours.

There are quite a few cottages along the shores of Taylor Lake, with avid boaters and fishing enthusiasts sharing the water….and everyone respecting the speeds near other boaters.  By contrast, Clayton Lake is quieter.

We were lucky and were treated to multiple loon calls, the sighting of a loon family of three, and a pretty sunset.

Here are some more photos…

 

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A juvenile loon…

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Sunset on Taylor Lake

From the time the sun was just touching the top of the trees to my extracting my iPhone from the protective plastic box tucked inside my life vest and then going for a photo, as you can see the sun went into hiding – moved so fast! Anyway….still looks pretty over the water like that.

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Kayaking is a lot of fun!

(Good time to add in a selfie….)  😀

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On Clayton Lake

I took a photo of the view behind me with the pretty clouds and the pinks and purples…..getting darker fast.

 

 

 

 

 

Last night’s little visitors

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Lightly effortless,

Suspended in calm stillness,

Nocturnal visit.

 

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There were a few tiny cute visitors congregated outside the front door and along the window yesterday evening.

What a wonderful surprise greeting us!

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These three were gathered higher up at the entrance, while one frog remained independently alone near the bottom….also attached to the window glass.

 

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About 2 centimetres in length….and I enjoy marveling at their amazingly strong legs and their well-adapted tiny fingers and toes.

 

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Upside-down…..and

 

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…..right side up.

 

 

Auto Mechanics Recreate Renaissance Paintings

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery….” as it’s been said, and I agree, particularly if it’s well done and with a fresh, new twist to it –  as these ones are, using photography and some good-natured models.  😀

Like this one, for example….

 

Mechanics Classics.1 from article, Aug. 12, 2017

 

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Check out the link below to see more of these creatively inspired paintings-photos.

via Auto Mechanics Recreate Renaissance Paintings

Funny quirks of spatial perception

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I was amused yesterday when I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  I found a spot in the area I usually like to park, and as I pulled alongside the grey car I was going to park beside, my mind quickly registered that that car was parked a bit crooked.  No biggie, as I figured I knew where the lines were and would park aligned with them.

At first glance it looks as if I managed to park straighter.  (see photo above)

However, I soon realized that the habit of reversing into a spot has me always looking to my sides and gauging the distance from any car at my side.  Even though I had made that mental note about the crookedness of the grey car, it seems that the habit of aligning myself with the neighbouring car was MUCH stronger than my sense of fitting into the rectangular lines.  Haha!

In the second photo you can see how crooked I was with the view to the line on my passenger side. 😊

 

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A Lily a Day….or Daylily

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Tiny dancing girls

Swaying, with long golden hair

In petal curtains.

 

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Ever since that day when I first noticed a massive clutch of orange daylilies growing by the side of a country road – with their vibrant colour and abundance of blooms – I’ve had a soft spot for daylilies, or Hemerocallis as they are also called.

So naturally, when it came time to add some new perennials to my starting-anew-garden over 20 years ago, I had daylilies on my wishlist.  First though, I managed to find some of those orange ones that were growing “wild” along a little used road and not belonging to anyone…..and dug up a clump of them, just a small portion, for transplanting into my garden.  After all, I wanted them to feel included with the daylilies I was planning on getting from a nearby garden nursery.

When I went to the nursery, I ended up getting a more reddish coloured kind, an apricot-coloured one, as well as a pale peachy kind.  In that way all four look distinctly different even though similar in flower style.  I used to know their cultivar names, but over the years I have forgotten them.

The close-up photo above is of the peach-coloured daylily.  And below shows how it looks before the flower buds open up….with two more smaller ones growing in size to have their one day of blooming.

 

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The buds on this next one are from the apricot-coloured one.  Notice how the buds are more elongated and “pointy,” compared to the peach one.

 

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The six stamens on this one look like six graceful long feet wearing black ballet slippers, and the white pistil seemingly doing its own thing is ever so long!

 

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Here is the peach daylily again….with a second flower to the right on the verge of opening up….and another smaller bud in behind.

 

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And finally, the one that started it all in my garden, the Tawny Daylily….collected from a “wild” clutch down a gravelly country road.

 

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For this post, I did some research and found out that those orange ones, that have a tendency to naturalize over time, are called Tawny Daylily or Hemerocallis Fulva.

And in case you’re wondering, as their name implies, each flower blooms for only a day.

 

 

Overcoming Tremendous Challenges As They Pursue Their Dreams

I enjoy stories

Reading them, hearing them read out loud, listening to a storyteller.

Among my favourites are those featuring people who were faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges and with their inner strength along with the love of others at their side, they managed to climb those mountains and reach the summit.  And what a joy it is to witness them in those sweet moments of their achievement.

I give you two such stories that were shared with me a couple of weeks ago.  They feature two different young people whose big dreams – at their particular summit – were to share their love of singing.

Here are youtube links to watch, and I hope they bring you inspiration, as they did for me.

The first one features a young lady, Kechi Okwuchi…

 

 

 

And for the story featuring Christian Guardino, I couldn’t find a link that had everything combined, so the first link gives you his performance, and the second one gives you his background story.

 

 

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Snowballs in Summer

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Dotted among greens

Perched on many sturdy stalks;

Bountiful white balls.

 

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When I walked out the front door yesterday, my attention was immediately drawn to this one particular snowball head that stood up….quite high above the others.  And I smiled admiringly and said to it, “You want your picture taken, don’t you?”  😊  That’s the one in the first photo.

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The Snowball Viburnum in the front garden bed has been steadily growing and thriving over the past several years, producing more and more beautiful spheres of white flower clusters.

I’ve been letting it have its way for some time; however, I’m thinking about doing some pruning after this season’s flowering is done.

Just a little.

To give the hostas some of the space they’ve lost. 😊

 

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Up close the white flowers look pretty with their particular petal shape and lines.

 

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A Young Robin Says Hello

 

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Flurry of feathers;

Then a hip…hippity-hop.

Why, hello, new friend!

 

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On the way to the cherry farm, we parked near one of those farmer booths along a smaller country road….and ended up buying some fresh-picked peaches and apricots for snacking.

Within seconds of our arrival, I caught the landing of this fine young robin out of the corner of my eye and decided to watch.

Robins are such cheerful birds to see going about their business. 😊

 

 

 

 

The Flip Side

 

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A storm ravages,

With dime-sized hail stones laying

Waste to this year’s crop.

 

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A couple of days ago I was invited over to a friend’s place for a visit, mostly for sharing some food and lots of catching up and fun conversation.

Since it was my first time there, all of us who had gathered went for a walk in the adjacent fields for some exercise and to see for ourselves what devastation had occurred after a recent severe thunderstorm in the area.

My friend’s family have a huge cherry orchard that they have been tending for a couple of generations.  Such a weird fluke of a storm luckily happens infrequently; however, when it does, the effects are essentially a year’s fruit production completely gone to waste.

I was told that the cherries on all the orchard trees were only days away from being fully ripe to be picked and processed.

And then nature stepped in….

In the next photos you will get to see the flip side…..no beautifully formed cherries hanging from the branches, which would usually tempt us to pick them for a treat.

 

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The last two photos show the specialized machinery that is used to shake the cherries from the trees – as the fruit has to be collected regardless – to clear the trees for the remaining growth and recovering phases.

 

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