Tag Archive | sunshine

Spring Fever

spring-desktop-wallpaper

SPRING FEVER: For many, those two words conjure up the feeling of falling in love but I see these two words as a reignited passion for life! I feel the urge for longer walks, and more moments bird-watching to witness the returning or ‘passing through’ winged residents. I find myself cleaning out disorganized closets and emptying sheds. Leftover Easter ham is being cherished down to every last morsel into pasta casseroles and various soups. Curtains and blinds are fully opened and windows have been cleaned of their winter dust.

I am feeling fresh and sprite too as I’m drawn to wearing my brightest colours. My usual choices of blues, greens or browns have been replaced by tops and scarves in purple, pink, yellow and orange. Buying cut-flowers at the store feels like more of a necessity than an extravagance as my spirit longs for growing things. As if to oblige all three of my indoor Christmas Cactus are quickly becoming covered with their spectacular orchid-like blooms, and an African Violet in the front window has more purple than green as it keeps sending up more and more blooms.

Just this past weekend my heart soared with the temperatures when my hubby was able to at last remove the last of the ice-hardened snowpack heaped on a corner of our concrete patio that I’ve been looking at out the kitchen window since October! Five months of only being able to imagine exactly where the edge of the patio meets the garden area. Five months of being reminded of the long snowy winters and short, fast summers where I live. Well, that short fast summer is approaching at break-neck speed and I’m filled with energy to ‘hit the ground running’.

Colorful_spring_gardenGarden Floor Plans have been drawn and lists compiled. There are certain perennials that need to be moved, primarily away from the hot sun at the front of the yard facing south, and into the cooler, more shaded area at the back of the yard. Now mind you, the ground is still frozen and only the very toughest plants are starting to show hints of green, so pre-planning is all I can do. Well that and neatening the garden: pulling off the covering mulch and cutting back last year’s dead plant matter. The lovely ladybugs scramble as they are shaken awake. I say Hello and carefully work around them as they hurry away. I send them love and hope they won’t go too far.

When it’s time to take a break and come indoors, the delicious aroma of Lentil-Pea-Ham soup greets me from the crockpot. Yesterday’s hearty Ham & Corn Chowder is nearly already devoured by the family. Hopefully today’s soup will be as well received.

I wanted to share a glimpse into my bustling ‘spring fever’ days here in early April, when the mild winds are pushing small white clouds across a bright blue sky. The temperatures are warming through the day and even staying above freezing at night (barely but 2 Celsius is good for me!). So I say Thank You God for another spring day, and thank you to all of you cherished readers for encouraging me to pause a moment and share about my day. May your day be filled with energizing spring breezes and a deep sense of gratitude that wells up and fills your heart to overflowing. Life is Good! Namaste.

I wish these photos were from my garden! These are wallpaper images off Google.

Gardening smiles

I have spent the entire day outdoors working in the garden and I have loved every moment. Rebuilding our front yard fence, pruning out the dead limbs in the old overgrown lilac, breaking the branches down to a neat kindling pile, setting up our summer fountain, repairing a bird feeder, and proving a push-mower really can cut thick long grass if you’re willing to go over it a few times. Loving the tasks, and remaining in the present moment. Being thankful for bumblebees, butterflies and songbirds swooping all around me. I am happily tired and truly satisfied with a good day’s work. I will sleep well tonight. Physical exertion plus the outdoors is a perfect prescription for sleeping through the night.

“There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.” ~ Mirabel Osler 

In praise of old trucks

Several years ago I made up my mind: I was finished with tenting. As much as I adore camping and being out there immersed in wind, sun, rain, trees, and fresh air… the lumpy mattress woes and worries of elk tripping and spooking on the tent cords had done me in. It was time to move on up! It was time for a truck and camper.

I knew I was looking at older trucks because I had a very limited budget. I’ve always had a fondness for rugged tough-as-nails trucks anyways. The first standard I learned on at the tender age of 12 was a big ol’ green truck with a stick-shift on the floor. I asked if I could, so my dad got me started and I was more than eager to drive around that harmless pasture. He knew that tough truck could easily handle my occasional stalls and mis-gears. So when it came to searching out a treasure with my twenty-five hundred dollars, I was completely ready to find a tough old truck.

After scouring ads in the papers for weeks, I noticed a phone number being repeated in many ads. After calling I learned they were a small business purchasing old fleets when businesses were upgrading. I headed their way and drove my car into the rough and bumpy lot. Poor car. This lot was much better suited to a truck. There were dump trucks and flatbeds and pick-up trucks everywhere, scattered about in a rough semblance of a parking lot. As I pulled in I wondered how or where I’d find ‘Jim’ the friendly fellow I’d spoken with on the phone. But as I parked next to a hap-hazard row of trucks, a large kindly man approached my car, wiping his hands on a rag. Reminded me of my dad, except subtract many years.

With my tight budget there were only three trucks that day and I still remember them all. A black and red automatic Ford, with a topper and a few ‘bells & whistles’ like power windows and “Tasmanian Devil” accessories and mats. Not feelin’ it. Next truck: a green Chevrolet bench seat automatic. Long box. Very plain, no personality. How else to say it? This wasn’t the one. Finally, the last one, a bit over budget since they were hoping to get $3K for it, but maybe if I could do $2600, was a white giant that drew my eye the moment I drove onto the lot. As we walked closer to this Chevrolet Cheyenne 2500, I saw it had a bumper sticker with a photo of a coyote and a speed limit sign, with the words: “Slow down. Their lives depend on it.” I loved it already. As I walked around the side to open the driver’s door, I could see the glue remnants of the PARKS CANADA letters wearing off the rear side window. This was feeling more like my truck.

I pulled the door open and it groaned and squeaked and asserted its weight as it clunked open. The terribly torn seat on the front corner of the driver’s side didn’t faze me one bit, even though I was in shorts on that hot August day. I ignored the torn corner and eagerly slid behind the huge steering wheel. It was a standard, with 4-on-the-floor… and a 4×4. What joy! I felt an impulse I can hardly describe, that I somehow knew this truck was perfect for me… just what I’d been looking for to haul landscaping supplies and later, to haul my camper once I found one. Jim handed me the keys, unable to hide his surprise at my enjoyment of this big beauty. A ¾ ton crew-cab with the back seat and stereo ripped out. A huge spare tire with change-kit filled the space behind the split-bench front seat. I didn’t care about anything except that I loved it. Having been a government fleet vehicle, it had been very well cared for. I took it for a test-drive, and my teen son who’d accompanied me on this adventure of truck shopping, enjoyed how it beeped when in reverse as if it was a REALLY big truck.

I bought that big beauty that day. While I strive to live ‘green’ and do what I can to conserve and reduce consumption… I adore my big truck. The small, energy efficient car is used for the travels around the city we have to make. The truck sits and waits for special occasions. Summertime projects such as moving rocks for the garden, moving things for loved ones, and camping. Ah camping, that glorious time to enjoy our own little spot of wilderness. Which I enjoy immensely with my reliable truck and the nice second-hand camper I bought after the truck. I am truly blessed. Thank you God. I give thanks for living near the Rocky Mountains and for the gorgeous campgrounds only an hour from my home. I give thanks for the cozy bed and snug security in my little ‘portable’ home. And I especially give thanks for that wonderful old truck of mine.

Image source: Seth Duffey photos www.leavethatthingalone.com

Shining From The Inside Out

Today the weather is cool and grey. Spring is pressing a heavy white sky down with imminent rain that just keeps waiting. I wish it would fall. My mood always perks up when the spring showers start. Maybe I’m like a plant that way. When the rain starts I shall take my dog for a walk. Let us both feel the rain in our hair.

Today my heart is brimming with hope. The weather outside is cool and grey and I am filled with ideas. And hope. This is a great day to work from home with design and writing, and to take a wee sidetrack seeking out other positive thinkers. I am finding them everywhere I look! Wonderfully amazing websites and blogs filled with inspirational ideas and beautiful images. I want to fill my site with links to these wonderful people sharing their hearts and their souls. This is a great year. I can feel it. Things are improving everywhere I look.

I know I am an optimist. I do see the glass half full. I know the sun is always shining, even when I cannot see it behind the clouds.

I choose to live this way because without hope, without looking for the bright and the good, well I’d hardly be able to get out of bed. And while I still have tough times, my morning gratitude ritual has helped immensely. Even if I can hardly say more, I can always say: Thank you God, for this day. As Dr. Wayne Dyer writes of, I do not want to merely cope. I want to thrive. I choose to shine!

SHINE 

Life is a wondrous miraculous gift,

Remembering this gives my spirits a lift;

Raising me out of my worldly mind,

Helping me feel peaceful and kind;

I let go of what is cruel and untrue,

So my inner beauty may now shine through;

Claiming my birthright to be truly free,

Ignites within me a divine energy;

I now receive all the gifts that are mine,

The reason I’m here is to let myself shine!

As I let my love for life be unfurled,

I’m taking action towards healing the world.

Gina and Professions for PEACE © 2000-2012

Spring Showers

Spring here in the prairies can be a dicey time for gardening. Some years there is drought. Some years the skies open and there’s a deluge. Rarely is there a happy medium. At least that’s what I’ve witnessed in my thirty-plus years of living in southern Alberta. During my formative years in BC’s Fraser Valley I was spoiled for the green lushness that happens from a constant drizzle. However I’d still rather live with occasional gardening dryness and have these bright blue skies!

So I gather water. Just knowing that there are people in other countries who have to walk for miles for water makes me give thanks for my supply everyday. I cannot bear to see water wasted. For me it’s second-nature to turn off the water while brushing teeth or soaping off these gardener’s hands of mine. When I want cold water for cooking or to boil for tea, I catch that pipe-rested water in jugs. When I run hot water for softening the senior cat’s kibble at mealtime, I always use a jug to capture that not-yet-hot-enough water. I can easily fill two 2L jugs a day, that’s a gallon of water that would’ve gone down the drain! As an avid gardener, there is always room to set aside a few watering jugs to await the watering time for plants.

I’ve heard of diligent water-conserving people that bring a clean bucket into the shower to catch excess water as it falls. I’m not there yet but I can see myself doing that soon. Rain barrels in my yard number two so I’m still conservative on that front as well, considering the combined downspouts of my house and garage equal five. Two down, three to go. I do have the beginnings of a significant rain garden underway to help prevent rainwater from running off the slope of my front yard and into the street. If left alone, a dry dead lawn with a slope to the street (like was here when we moved in) is a recipe for water-wasting disaster.

Municipal waterworks departments can become quickly inundated after heavy rains when water rushes off yards into gutters and drains. Then their systems can become so pressured that a portion of overflow water is released into rivers without proper treatment. Caused by too much water all at once. Rain water that is much better served being harnessed to hydrate a garden than splashing down the street. Even a small garden of tidy perennials positioned between house and street can help slow that potential runoff. My own garden is rather ‘natural’. Which is a nice way of admitting that it’s rather wild, and that’s the way I like it. Filled with tough plants that resist rabbit grazing, can handle the wild weather we get here, and generally thrive on neglect. They’re my favorites, my carefully selected zone-hardy drought-tolerant rabbit-resistant plants. They make me feel like a better gardener because they just grow and grow and grow. Bless their happy little leaves!

More to come on my gardening exploits here in future posts. But for now, here’s a wee ditty of a poem I wrote years ago to celebrate my enjoyment of rain. I hope you enjoy!

.

RAINY REMEMBRANCE

There is something special about spring showers,

When the rain goes on and on for hours,

Releasing with it Earth’s growing powers,

Soon to be shown in abundant flowers!

When, with joy, I feel rain on my face,

And, if hatless, through my hair it will trace,

Refreshing my spirit so I pick up my pace,

And remember with gratitude my love for this place!

Gina and Professions for P.E.A.C.E. © 2000-2012