her most irresistible feature
is supreme confidence;
that she could wear practically anything
and start a whole new craze.
Sitting in her boudoir,
she delicately powders her nose—
a dusting of dawn’s first light,
blushes her cheeks with fresh dewdrop of rose,
and feathers a single stroke of sunlight
above each perfect cheek bone;
does up some killer smoky eyes–
indigo sky with silver flecks of stardust,
dabs her neck with dots of jasmine-scented rain,
dangles the stars and the moon
from her luscious earlobes,
sprays her hair with morning-mist
and gets out her special occasion party dress–
a dazzling cut of the Milky Way
hemmed with fireflies.
She drapes over her shoulders a shawl for evening,
gossamer, spun from the finest spider’s silk,
at the very last moment,
grabs the ocean,
strings it hastily around her neck,
leaving a wake of sun pearls and water crystals
as she runs out the door
for a very hot date.
Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth;
without rain, there would be no life.
~ John Updike
Rain, Glorious Rain
It’s the end of a gloriously rainy week and I’ve been out walking in the rain. I’ve been waiting for this—the lovely June rains have finally come, slowly seeping into the earth, splashing huge buckets of green all over my world. We’ve had a sublime week of on-and-off-again rain—what I call a perfect, nurturing rain—that beautiful, quenching, gentle kind of life-giving rain that soaks slowly and deeply into the receptive earth. At intervals, the sun came splashing through to highlight the beauty of it all.
“The trouble with eating Italian food
is that five or six days later, you’re hungry again.”
~ George Miller
A Marriage of Interests
I really enjoy photography. And my partner and I love cooking together. So it seems a perfect marriage of two of my favourite interests to photograph some of the food we enjoy making together. Continue reading →
In the heart of Calgary, flanked by the beautiful blue mountain waters of the Bow River, and only a 20 minute walk from our abode, sits our favorite park: Prince’s Island Park, a large island (about 20 hectares, or 40 acres, in size) accessible only by pedestrian bridges. When standing in the middle of the island, one is completely surrounded by grass, trees, sky and the clear blue mountain waters of the Bow River. A good part of the island has been intelligently developed to handle heavy use (among other things, it is the venue for the hugely popular Calgary Folk Festival), while the back part of the island remains intentionally undeveloped and wild, so as to attract wetland birds and other creatures.
I love this time of year, when the earliest of our locally grown produce becomes available at our farmers markets. If you aren’t lucky enough (like some people I know) to grow your own asparagus or to have access to them in your mother’s garden, the next best thing is to find some fresh locally grown asparagus at the farmers market.
The arrival of the asparagus contains the promise of summer and heralds the beginning of the outrageous bounty that will soon follow. These beautiful succulent green shoots turn up in the markets in mid-May, just as the last of the previous season’s local root vegetables disappear from the stands. Happily, for the next six weeks or so, the markets are chock-full of gorgeous, incredibly fresh (picked the night before), locally grown asparagus. There is always an air of excitement when we spot the first ones.
Many of us have heard the phrase “Random Acts of Kindness”. Well, this beautifully filmed, inspiring Thai commercial is about “Deliberate Acts of Kindness”.
I love it when a YouTube video with a great message goes viral (it currently has 14.5 million hits), so I thought I’d keep on spreading the joy. Unsung Hero is a beautiful short film with a beautiful message. It is exquisitely filmed, so I recommend watching it in full-screen mode in high definition (HD).
I truly believe that inside each of us lives a heart of goodness. Not that I think it is humanly possible to always stay completely connected to this wise, beautiful and good aspect of ourselves, but if we choose to, I believe that all of us can connect with it more frequently than we often allow ourselves to.
Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law for passing this video along.
Every spring, I can’t wait for the lilacs to blossom. We don’t have our own lilac bush, but our neighborhood is so full of lilac shrubs that the fragrance completely permeates the air. All I have to do is step out on our balcony and breathe in the sweet, heady, heavenly scent. At the height of the bloom, the air is so fragrant, the slightest breeze wafting in through open windows perfumes our whole place. I simply can’t get enough.
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes,
and the grass grows by itself.”
~ Zen Proverb
It May be Late in Coming…
But come, it always does. Spring in Calgary arrives later than it does in most other parts of the world. And this year, Spring overslept, waking up much later than usual. But one thing is certain: She always wakes up. No matter how long or how cold the winter, Spring always comes.
“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”
~ David Attenborough
Some years ago, we took a fabulous six-week trip to explore beautiful Northern and Central Italy, meandering by car off the beaten path. Part of that trip involved a stay in a charming villa in Umbria, near the border of Tuscany. It was the perfect home base from which to explore the surrounding territory. The villa was a quaint, traditional small stone building, converted from what was once a tobacco drying shed. Quietly tucked away in the hills, it was ideally situated in the countryside at the far end of a long, winding, dirt road running up the hills through the forest, past occasional meadows of bright yellow sunflowers, olive groves and towering cypress trees. The villa itself was idyllic: peacefully and privately perched high on a hilltop. Nestled into a forest, it had an expansive, open west exposure, which afforded a beautiful view of staggered rolling hilltops, softly receding and fading one into the other with perfect tonal gradation. Bees buzzed in the fragrant purple lavender bushes dotting the yard, sensuously scenting the hot, dry summer air. Huge, heavy heads of vibrant red geraniums poked out of terracotta pots hung picturesquely from all the window sills. A cozy hammock called from the dappled shade of two lovely trees. Several tables and chairs were set up throughout the yard for outdoor dining, strategically placed to take advantage of the spectacular views. The blazing Tuscan-like sunsets were glorious to watch. It was perfect, utterly perfect. We’d stepped right into our idea of paradise. Or did we?