A Beautiful Blur of Yellow, Green and Blue: The Long Drive Home


“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.”

~ Eleonora Duce

Cruising the Backroads

This past week, my partner and I took a whirlwind road trip to my hometown in central Saskatchewan to visit my mother. It’s an eight-hour journey northeast of Calgary, traversing nearly 700 km of Canadian prairies through the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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A Poem: The Ant and the Pebble

photo-(14)-2The Ant and the Pebble


One day, a young ant sat upon a pebble
taking a short rest from his very busy day,
and the ant and the pebble began to chat:

“I am superior”, said the ant.

“I think not”, said the pebble,
“We are each of us valuable; without me,
you’d have nothing to rest upon.”

“That may be”, replied the ant,
“but I have many legs,
and I can move about freely and build empires,
whereas you, my friend,
are quite stuck here upon the forest floor.”

“Sweet ant,
while you have eyes to see,
you see so little.

Do you not recognize me
in the splendor of pyramids?
Or see me kiss the sky
with the grand towers of great cities?

Do I not clasp my brilliance
around the necks of beautiful women?
Have not thousands climbed my back
to touch the fringed hems of heaven?

Do I not frame every river and ocean
with such breathtaking beauty it causes one to fly?”

“Don’t be silly”, quipped the ant,
“None of that is you!
You are just a pebble on the forest floor,
and, I might add, one
with such delusions of grandeur
as I have never before seen.”

And the little ant took his leave, laughing.

“It’s all a matter of perspective”, said the pebble.

But the little ant could not hear.


~ madlyinlovewithlife
From my collection of poetry, Blowing Rings Around the Moon
© madlyinlovewithlife 2010


Image Credit:

Beach Pebbles, by madlyinlovewithlife; © 2012 madlyinlovewithlife

The Joy of Summer Wildflowers


“I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined…”

~ William Wordsworth

Wildflower Meadows

One of my favourite summertime things to do is to wander about the wildflower meadows of the foothills and mountains near Calgary. It is such a rich sensory experience. My ears delight in the beautiful symphony of sounds: the pleasant, steady drone of bees and hoverflies; the harmonies from the shimmering song of aspen leaves whispering on the breeze; and, above all that, birds sweetly singing and chirping from the meadow’s edge. A feast of bright, sunlit dabs of colour delights my eyes—wildflowers gently bobbing to and fro with the rhythm of the warm summer winds. Butterflies flit and flutter about, like delicate petals suspended in the air. Sweet, grassy, piney mountain air engulfs me, and I am utterly absorbed by the meadow. Time disappears. It’s pure bliss.

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Fresh Cherries and Homemade Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream


Summertime is Here!

Ah… it’s summer! The skies have been sunny and blue, blue, blue for-seemingly-ever, and the weather is perfectly and deliciously hot—like it should be in the summer; like you want to find some shade and sip on a cool drink; like you want to purposely walk right through that spray of sprinkler water arching across the sidewalk; like summer is finally here!

Feasting on Fresh B.C. Cherries

It’s hot, but not blistering hot; it’s a perfect kind of hot—just on the edge of being too hot—but not. The kind of hot that’s perfect for enjoying all the fresh cherries pouring in from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Western Canada’s fruit-growing region (happily only seven hours west of Calgary, so we have a direct supply line).

Thousands of pounds of plump, sweet, fresh cherries arrive daily at our farmers markets and we are buying huge bags of them. My favourite way to enjoy cherries is simply as they are: cool, refreshing fleshy orbs filled with sweet cherry goodness.

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Our Beautiful Backyard Treasure: Kananaskis Country


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you…
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

~ John Muir

Kananaskis Country

Less than an hour from Calgary is a beautiful natural treasure called Kananaskis Country—a 4,000 square kilometer area of foothills and mountains in the Canadian Rockies. Kananaskis is an easy get-away for us. All summer long, every chance we get, we like to visit one of our many favourite places in Kananaskis Country to hike, picnic, dangle our feet in a cold mountain stream, read in a comfy chair in the dappled shade of a spruce grove at our favourite mountain pond or chase butterflies in a wildflower meadow. We feel blessed to live so close to this incredibly beautiful place.

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Summertime Fresh Basil: Homemade Pesto

112233464-2Basil: Heavenly Scent

I’m in heaven. Huge aromatic bouquets of fresh, locally grown basil are now available at our farmers market. I am certain that basil was heavenly sent (ha, ha… pun intended) for our pure pleasure. I’m under its magic spell the moment I lay it in my shopping bag at the farmers market, where it instantly releases its intoxicating, sweet, herbaceous aroma. I would follow it anywhere.

Happily, it follows me into our kitchen, where I use it in everything I can think of: tomato and basil bruschetta, Caprese salad, basil butter on freshly baked bread, pasta sauces, pizza, Thai basil chicken, and my favourite way to enjoy it: basil pesto on fresh homemade spinach fettuccine.

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Sharing Our Culture Powwow: Heritage Park


“The American Indian is of the soil,
whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas.
He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned
the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings.
He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers,
he belongs just as the buffalo belonged…”

~ Luther Standing Bear Oglala, Sioux (1868-1937)

Celebrating Our Rich Cultural History

Today is July 1st, Canada Day, and festivities are going on all over Calgary, celebrating our country’s diverse multicultural roots. An important part of our country’s heritage is inextricably linked to the deep and valuable contributions of the First Nations peoples. To honour and celebrate this rich part of our Canadian culture, I present to you a taste of my first powwow experience.

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