I awoke today to a thick, soupy morning fog. We don’t often get fog here in Calgary and there is something wonderfully mysterious and beautiful about it. I happily finished my morning ablutions and comfortably settled into my home office with a mug of hot tea to begin my day. Deeply engrossed in my work, it took a while for my brain to register that there was a knock at the door.
The Danbo Brothers lead a busy and adventurous life and it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen them. I know they love the woods in fall and, as we’ve had an unusually long, warm autumn here, I believe their prolonged absence probably had to do with them taking many a long stroll in the woods to enjoy the splendour of the autumn foliage.
More often than not, if I run into them at all, it seems we most often rendezvous in the kitchen first thing in the morning—so I’m never quite sure what might await me there (which is always rather fun). And no matter how early in the morning it is, I can always count on these guys to be in a happy mood.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees
on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
~ John Lubbock
Summer Heat Wave
I have always loved a good summer heat wave, but its been so hot here lately, that even I’ve been dreaming about cooler weather. Leave it to Little Danbo, though, to figure out how best to enjoy this heat wave—he spent the whole of the afternoon cloud-watching as he dreamily floated about in his new makeshift swimming pool.
The secret to a happy life:
love wherever you are,
do only what you love
and love everything you do.
~ BJC (my partner)
Making Flapper Pie
The Danbo Brothers caught wind of my plans to make a Flapper Pie today and hung around the kitchen all morning waiting for me to start. They just love doing anything in the kitchen. In fact, as far as I can tell, the Danbo Brothers seem to enjoy everything they do. For them, there is no such thing as work—it’s all simply just play. No matter how hard they work, it’s all fun and games to them.
“One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A Time to Gather Strawberries
Strawberry Moon is the name the Algonquin North American Native tribes so aptly gave to June’s full moon because they knew it as the time to gather ripening strawberries. Although neither the wild mountain strawberries nor the plump green berries growing in my strawberry pot have yet ripened, our locally grown field-ripened strawberries are starting to flood the farmers markets. Each year, with my very first bite of that first red strawberry of the season, I am instantly transported back in space and time to a visit to my grandmother’s house as a little girl.
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly,
“one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
~Hans Christian Anderson
Bumping into a Good Friend
Several summers ago, as I stepped out onto my balcony garden, I literally bumped into my good friend, the Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. It was a beautiful, hot summer’s day and the vertical blinds of our sliding glass doors leading out to the balcony garden were closed to keep out the heat of the late summer sun. I was working in the kitchen when I heard some commotion on the street below. Curious as to the cause of the sound, I decided to step out onto the balcony to have a look-see. But, rather than open the vertical blinds so I could step out unimpeded, I lazily threaded one arm between two of the vertical panels, parted them, and gingerly placed one foot out onto the balcony. Half out, with one foot and one arm through to the other side and my other arm and leg still inside, laced between the vertical panels of the blinds, I bumped smack into a little Clouded Sulphur Butterfly.
True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done,
the zest of creating things new.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
If life gives you lemons…
I’ve been enjoying the company of the Danbo Brothers immensely since they returned from their last (rather unexpected) lengthy winter sojourn. They never fail to surprise and delight me. Last night, just before I went to bed, I found them sitting together on the couch, happily watching their favourite movie, Ratatouille, on my iPad.
I love many types of film, including feature films, short films, animations and documentaries, especially feel-good documentaries. Here are my all time favourite, good-feeling documentaries—I love them because they always leave me feeling good about life and humanity. Continue reading →
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Marcel Proust
The Wayward Brothers Come Home
During an extreme cold weather snap in the midst of winter, the Danbo Brothers mysteriously vanished after I sent them off on an emergency mission to replenish my chocolate supply (see my previous post: The Wayward Brothers). Many weeks have passed since they set out on their assignment and some believed I would never see them again. But, just as I always knew they would, the Danbo Brothers have returned!
My relationship with the Danbo Brothers has never been paternalistic. It was clear from the moment these two little guys came to live with us that, although we all enjoy each others’ company immensely, the Danbo Brothers neither wanted nor needed a caretaker. They immediately established their keen requirement for total freedom and complete independence. The Danbo Brothers have always come and gone of their own accord and, right from the get-go, they demonstrated that their diminutive size did not in any way limit them. I fully understood their need for independence and we have lived together in perfect harmony ever since.
Another Arctic cold front has settled in here—there’s a ton of fresh snow and it’s colder out there than a tin toilet top. But, truth be told, I’m rather enjoying it! It’s so pretty outside and inside it’s so wonderfully warm and snug and cozy—perfect weather for snuggling up in front of a fire with a good book and nibbling on a little something. I must say, however, that I do have a minor crisis on my hands: for some of us, fine chocolate is the fuel of choice in extremely cold weather and my chocolate supply is evaporating rather quickly—diminishing to dangerously low levels, ebbing just below my psychological comfort zone. And that will certainly never do, especially not in the face of this chilly winter cold front.