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.

❤ ❤

 

 

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Hello, Deer!

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I was being watched

With curious interest;

I returned the gaze.

 

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On my drive home after finishing work this past Sunday afternoon, I drove with the windows opened a smidge to let the relatively  warmer  outside air blow into the car.

Also savouring the sunshine-bathed view as I looked around, at one point I noticed there was a brownish shape standing among the dried up corn stalks in one of the fields.

Realizing what it was as I drove by, I continued a bit further and then pulled around to go back.  I wanted to have a better look at these four-legged beauties.  There were three of them – two of which you can see in the above photo.

So, I stopped the car, put it into idle, and took my time watching the deer.

Until they moved further into the field.

That was my gift from nature, and I felt grateful.  😀

 

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A few more photos….

 

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Baked Goodies and Chocolates

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Round ones and square ones,

Chocolate or nuts inside;

Home-baked Christmas treats!

 

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A wonderful Christmas time with our kids at home again this year!

Decorating the tree…presents are wrapped…sharing meals together…lots of fun conversations…opening gifts…smiles and plenty of laughter…playing games…hugs and love.

As part of my gift packages to everyone, I added in some baked goodies – some cookies and squares – and some colourful and delicious store-bought chocolate truffles and chocolate Christmas bears.  Yummy!

 

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My Shimmery Rose

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Sparkling bright silver,

Folds, whorls….it looks familiar.

The shape of a rose

 

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A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend gave me a lovely little present…..self-made. I thought it was so sweet, and this gesture touched my heart. At that time I promptly put it in a safe place, to keep it protected, but then when I was heading for home, I completely forgot to take it with me!
Thinking that most likely it would get tossed out by someone else – coming across it by chance – who wouldn’t know what it was, initially, I fretted some.
When I returned there today, I immediately went to the hiding place to see if the gift was still there.
AND it WAS!


My friend had noticed that I had forgotten it and made sure that it stayed safe until I came by again. 

It’s a folded and rolled up Foil Rose.

Yep….I was given a flower.

 

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For A Daily Inspiration

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Positive thinking;

Reinforced if seen daily

To view life’s beauty.

 

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I noticed this plaque of positive thoughts mounted on a school wall with perfect lighting, at the best height for all to view it with no other distractions nearby, thereby being highly visible to students and teachers – and visitors, like me – walking past this spot, for however many times, during the busy school days.

As soon as I noticed it, I took a picture, because I wanted to add this to those other inspiring quotes and ideas I have collected over the years.  And I’m sure this plaque has an equally powerful effect on many other viewers.

We humans tend to get busy with our individual lives and get so wrapped up in things, which can sometimes cloud our thinking.  It may not take much to slide toward seeing our glasses half empty instead of half full.  Reminders such as this plaque help us keep focus also on the big picture of enjoying our lives in all of its simpler activities as well as the bigger ones.  That life truly is beautiful…..and meant to be fun and joyful.

 

 

Surprise in my Compost Bin!

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Solitary plant —

A stray seed took root this spring

In my compost bin.

 

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As I’d go visiting my compost bin over the summer, I noticed at one point that a plant had taken root and was seemingly doing quite well.  It had its share of sun, and I checked that it had enough moisture ie. water.

The leaves and look of the plant puzzled me, so I didn’t know for a while what it would turn into, although I suspected perhaps a flowering plant?

A few days ago, when I went to look again and saw that leaves were starting to wilt with the cooler autumn temperatures, I looked more closely and realized that what I had thought might be that Chinese lantern plant with its papery “flowers” was actually….a ground cherry plant!!

I am relatively new to ground cherries, although ever since I first bought them via a farmer’s market a couple of years ago, I have become an avid eater of them!   Whenever I find some, I will get a pint.  They are usually sold with their delicately light, “papery” covers enveloping them (you can see some in the photo above).  And the ground cherries quickly disappear on my drive back home.  Yes, they are just SO good!!  For nibbling!  Tart and bursting with juice.

I suppose that a stray seed from one ground cherry last year found its way into my compost bin and germinated this season…..?

What a lovely surprise!

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This modest-looking plant produced a good two dozen yummy ground cherries – that clearly was a gift from Mother Nature!

Note:  I just did some quick research.  Ground cherries are classified under the name Physalis plant (in the nightshade family).  And I have learned that there are some connections to the Chinese Lantern (aha!), the tomatillo, and the native gooseberry.  That explains a lot!  I have bought tomatillos from a local organic farmer as well, and just recently I came across another farmstand selling the gooseberries.  Gooseberries share a tartness to the ground cherry but have a little bit more sweetness in them.

 

An Artistic Centrepiece

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Soft, white cushion base;

Random bursts of purple “stars,”

Elegance in glass.

 

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Sometimes after wedding reception parties are done, the bride or the bride’s mother will ask to have the floral centrepieces given to them, or else they are given to guests to take home. And sometimes there are a handful of centrepieces that are simply left behind.

On such occasions, we are given the opportunity to take home a centrepiece to extend the enjoyment of these beautifully arranged pieces.

See the pretty one that was given to me from yesterday’s wedding?

Wonderful white hydrangea blooms with those lovely blue/purple flowers popped in here and there.  And I just found out that these lovely purple flowers are orchids!

I admire the simplicity and elegance in this design – kudos to the florist who made them!

The glass vase I will eventually return to my workplace; however, in the meantime I have something lovely to look at for a few days.

 

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A Chocolate Treat

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Just two inches high,

A cute and tasty chocolate!

Little Dutch windmill.

 

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My sons and I picked up my husband from the airport yesterday.  He’d gone to Holland for a fun, week-long trip with one of his cousins and returned with a nice collection of photos as well as some souvenirs and treats for the family.

There’s some Dutch ancestry on his side of the family, and we are all big fans of windmills and the beauty of tulips and the fine art of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

He gave us all our individual little milk chocolate windmills yesterday, and so I quickly took some pictures of mine to show you – as they are quite distinct in design – before I gobbled mine up.  Haha!

 

 

Ohhh…..nummy num num!

 

Cartoon Mom

Sonja's manga drawing of me; April 15, 2016

Wavy lines in blue,

From photo – add manga touch;

I have become….art!

 

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You may have noticed the change in my gravatar image.  I wanted something more recent, as the other photo was taken during the winter.  It is spring here now.

I was inspired to pick this particular portrait of me.  As it’s a cartoon drawing, it isn’t quite as noticeable as my other one (especially in the midst of other blogger gravatars), but I wanted to have some fun with it for a while!  It’s something new and different.

This drawing is a birthday present to me from my daughter, Sonja.  A manga-style drawing of me! So cool!  She’s been drawing since she was very young, and it was in her teen years that she developed an added interest and passion for animé and manga art.

She had done some similarly styled cartoon portraits of her brothers for their birthdays recently –  and so I asked her a while back if she’d do one of me.

I am thrilled with this drawing!

I love the swish of the hair and the smiling eyes!!

 

The Cowboy

This audio link is a short musical composition gift that my youngest son gave to my oldest son for Christmas.
My youngest has been self-teaching himself music composition and having fun with it. Short pieces at the moment, but who knows….?? 🙂

sittinginyourlittleroom | a writing and music blog

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