Monday, August 22, 2011

33 / 52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures:
trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane --

whatever is unique to the week.


Join me if you like.



Our many scenes of summer will again be most of the focus of this week's 52 weeks blog post.

We're taking advantage of this great season upon us as best we can; exploring, hanging around the canoe club dock, taking courses, road tripping for business and pleasure, meeting up with old friends, learning new games to play around the kitchen table, and so much more. 

Onward to the photo blitz below...


** It was their turn to take their basic canoe safety course, a three hour morning with theory and practical application. 


With original course postponed to this date for uncertainty of ability, all went well with myself standing by and our son volunteering to be on deck with the instructor. 


** Hanging around at the canoe club dock, there is always so much to see! Between the kayak course in progress, the dragonboat and rowing clubs were also on the water during the early morning of this day. 

 

Lapping it all up of course, yep, that would be me! But then, so were these two while watching our son in progress below;


The instructor was most pleased with our son, for he not only volunteered to be a canoe partner with a student without one, he was also beaming at the fact he would be able to perform the water rescue display of the day. 


 

** After happily tipping over his canoe, followed by the demonstration of a wet water rescue by two others, he was in his element soaking wet back inside his vessel. 


** Visiting with friends, we enjoyed a lovely dinner and good old fashioned round of table games.


** New to us was a wild and competitive game of dominoes, and wow was that ever fun! There are many versions out there, and we had a simple one we've played at home before. This version however took the cake! I lost badly with the most points overall, a rematch is on for another time.


** Great friends from our former area were extremely happy to gather with our younger ones when we visited with them again. The boys shown above had great fun together, such a wonderful time was had by all.


** The girls were all about the animals; the sheep, the new kittens, the chickens, the dogs, the budgie that escaped and flew all over, the hamster and all around good old fashioned barnyard play.


**These older gals gathered with even more friends over the course of several days visiting, (I don't have photos of them all though), and I have no doubt in my mind that they will always be BFFs from now until forever. Love this girl! She's like a daughter to me.


** What better thing to celebrate the day than to purchase a new coffee blend made specially for the area. I miss this coffee shop, with its classical music in the early morning and my latte and laptop before me. 

With a name not so common such as my own, it is always the sweetest of pleasures to visit with my dear friend. Between her and I was share private little funnies, especially when chatting on the telephone and having to say; Hello Renee, this is Renee....I so look forward to visiting when able, sharing stolen moments together with my itty bitty friend, always finding ways to bring joy and laughter to our visits. Hugs friend!


** Road tripping about we found the quaintest French Canadian towns
where all signage was labeled in French, and no English was to be found.



I was smitten having grown up myself in a small French Canadian community, and stumbling upon the unexpected little credit union find above.

It sure did bring back memories aplenty as I had once belonged to one of the same branches in western Canada, in a small French Canadian town where the language is still respected today just as we could tell it is in this one.

All this and its in Ontario, not Quebec! 


** A historical outing to learn more about the War of 1812. Visiting this fort at "Discovery Harbor" in Penetanguishene, Ontario , we learned much at this historic site, how it once used to serve as both a navy and military base.

Spending the better part of an entire day here learning about the original vessels, the buildings, and the effects of the war up in Georgian Bay. 



Of course there were interactive activities for all, this large checkerboard serving well for those who wished to take the time for having a game.


And learning penmanship using a quill pen after having to carefully dip it in ink. 

** History abounds in the east, and I am certain we will continue to find new golden nuggets for our history lessons both near and far. None of these outings we've been so priveleged to have will ever be taken for granted.

I can hardly wait until our next trip to Kingston and Ottawa where we will visit our nation's capital and parliamentary systems, plus the Fort in Kingston.

See you next week....




Head on over to Barbara's to check out the invitation to join the

32 / 52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures:
trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane --

whatever is unique to the week.


Join me if you like.

Summer!

Oh the glorious splashes of color in our sunsets of summer....by the water's edge.

There's nothing like spending a perfect evening on the sandy white shores of the beach. As I've shared before, when the air cools just a tad, and the sun beckons us to its setting, we are there a few times each week bidding the day goodnight. 

Here are a few of our beach evenings, where a cool dip in the water is most welcomed after a humid and hot day, where boy brings shovel and buries self to make the most hilarious poses for mom's camera, and where even sandy architecture awaits a new blank canvas for another time.
Hello summer, we love you!










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Thursday, August 11, 2011

30+31 / 52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures:
trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane --

whatever is unique to the week.


Join me if you like.

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew."

~ St. Francis de Sales


** The summer dwelling place for the girls is most definitely an old smelly barn! 

As antiquated as it may appear, I have to admit it is a most quaint and delightfully historical place to dream, to dwell on all things equestrian, and to appreciate all it takes in summer to keep a place like this up and properly running.

Between three riding rings (grass, sand and indoor), along with over 100 acres to perform horse riding hacks out yonder, life is good for the horse loving girls of summer when it comes to a growing community of common folk, mostly all the very special young ladies who share their love of such a place.


** Farmers across the nation are working their fields by day, even in the thick of our month-long heat wave.

Our riding barn owners estimate they save upward of twenty thousand dollars each year to hay their own fields, remarkably thrifty to do it themselves if you ask me. Here's the unexpected blessing to them though; a few of the girls' fathers make themselves available when it comes time to bring in the bales and round hay harvest mounds for winter's gleaning.

It's good deeded work in action, especially at the sacrifice of comfort when the temperature soared a few days upwards to 43C/116F + humidity!


** This card has resonated with me for its simple message, lovely little graphics and striking colors.

When one word is so appreciated in the thick of summer's humidity, this one would take priority for those who depend on it for their health.

BREATHE!


** Very large and bold signs of red and white are still visible everywhere, even though "Canada Day" per se is long gone. 

Stark reminders of patriotism sure don't hurt anybody, no sir! We need these reminders, to keep our hearts and prayers on those fighting for our freedoms worldwide.


** Caught in a kitchen moment, please smile for the camera dear...


** Our little nesting birdies who usually take up residence in our children's bird houses on our back deck have discovered our newly planted row of cedar trees on the edge of the driveway. 

Following to where the hungry chirping trio noises are coming from, it was discovered they were begging their mama to return with munchies this day. Careful not to disturb the nest too much, I'm pleased with the photo I was able to snap on my iphone,.

As can usually happen in the natural environment of life in the midst of our boreal forest however, a few days later we found one of these tiny birds quite deceased in a heap on our driveway, likely the result of an easy reach, perhaps from a predator stalking the noisy nest at some point in time. boohoo...


** When the summer festivals resume every weekend around the water's edge, upon occasion there is an opportunity for a lazy moment to unwind upon a rooftop eatery, sporting a watery summertime view that can only bring a smile on one's face, when the humidity is lower and sun shading ability available.


A snack for two (x2) to consume, this was a mighty fine spontaneous delight enjoyed by all.

Summer time week long - "Horse Camp"

The nine girls named their own camp this year, a title usually followed by sign and tshirt painting to remember their special week was this year titled; Camp - Just Do It!


When even the older senior riders beg to attend summer camp, the parents know how loved their coach really is. With 2.5 hour + daily rides, hacking throughout the fields and forest trails, working around the horses and barns, cleaning and polishing tack, crafting and eating on the shady porch, participating in a hay ride with a large cake to celebrate the week in the back field after the haying was complete on their farm, and the unanticipated extraordinary bonding and camaraderie, all these things most definitely made this week worth every penny.

Wonderful!

You'll get a glimpse in the short video below on how the girls cheer one another on from the sidelines, especially when our daughter was successful at jumping a taller measured amount for the first time, before them this day.

video
Gives me goosebumps to find that there are others who share our own philosophy over "how" a community who may differ outside the venue may live and learn, but how they pull together on site in an honorable and courteous way, uniting under the umbrella of a motivated and beloved coach. She has held the key for pulling everyone into the barn-fold so much more than we ever imagined. It only confirms even more that changing barns in the new year was so very perfectly the right thing for our family.

 

There is another vehicle now parked in our driveway, a grand necessity when this gal was summoned and hired three months early for a job she had interviewed and performed all necessary aptitude testing a month earlier.

Talk about scrambling, we did! Her upcoming work/college plans has very suddenly been rerouted, especially when opportunity has (excitedly!) knocked on her door. 

With the completion of her training/schooling period now over, she is currently in the process of three weeks of job shadowing within the confines of the corporate world. Admittedly both she and her brother have been incredibly fortunate in landing into job positions any adult would drool over, benefits galore included, but I have to say, it's also been so special to see how she presents herself before leaving for work, all business (and oh so very prettily) dressed, something different for her after working the past two years wearing scrubs and a hair net in a bakery. 


** On sale and new to us; two navy blue and white striped nautical blankets. Just perfect for hammock, adirondack chairs during deck evenings, or after sunset at the beach. I bought two and we have really been loving them when the night air offers a bit of a chill.

 

** This was the scene after a very precious mommy/daughter day when our younger daughter and I very much enjoyed a pedicure together, her first outside of the confines of our own woman folk pedi times within the family. 

Mark my word from having a bit of experience as a mother raising eight children over the past 34 years; there will indeed come a day when only "intentional and even those unintended" memories will remain, therefore I would highly implore you on the importance of taking time to "DATE" your children, on purpose!

These intentional priority moments stolen in our general every day of days when the children are yet young (and of course when they are also all grown up! - NEVER STOP!) will all some day present indelible timeless forever memories.

We had a great date, my girl and I, enjoying a very relaxed and entire fun day out alone together.

Plenty of hugging and spontaneous holding of hands, lots of thank yous, and huggy lovin...what more can a mommy smile about? (heart swelling for sure....)


** You know it's going to be some serious working evening at the water's edge when a garden spade comes along to the beach! 

And ever since this evening, it accompanies us still. 

 

The beginning of something great!

The question though remains; Can he complete it before dark? No he did not because very suddenly a swarm of mosquitoes began attacking us and it was time to scramble home.


** Trauma struck our home when our daughter was bit in the face by her friend's dog, a black lab who she has played with several times and who has never shown an aggressive behavior in the past. 

Off to emergency we went, and she is sporting three stitches here, yet all the bruising and swelling has come way down in appearance. She was feeling mighty vulnerable and didn't wish to swim, at all. I'm just feeling mighty blessed he never took her eye out as his top teeth were also lightly perched over her eyebrow. Thank you God!



** Queen Anne's lace can continue blooming around the edges of my driveway, a very exquisite reminder during forest fire warnings, when the grass cannot be mowed and no one dare allow a spark to appear anywhere for fear of one amazing blaze over the countryside.

Instead of worrying about the grass becoming all crunchy and yellowing, speckled clusters of weeds appeared in the form of lacey flowers. What a lovely road side reminder for becoming more mindful and thankful when noticing something so simple and beautiful to bless our days.

** It is my personal belief that everyone should experience water play, via a kayak vessel and a large double handed paddle.

A perfect sunny evening with color so vivid, it fast became breathtaking just to slow down a pace and drift about when becoming aware of its beauty. I swear nothing was edited in the photos above.

The color was what it was this evening - amazing!

I brought others out to teach them my love of all things "paddle", and invited them to come out and play with me on the lightly rippled water's surface. All loved it and had a great sunset paddle experience. 



** This young gal will complete her canoe safety course this weekend with her daddy, benefits once more when belonging to a local canoe/kayak club and the vessels are available at no charge with a membership. (Note to self; she must have a different type of life jacket)

I can't say enough about this family membership we purchased this year, such a nominal fee for such wonderful times out on the water.


** The caption on this cardboard drink coaster caught my eye, its message very clear to anyone taking the time to grasp and be able to appreciate it. 

Simple sayings found in mystery places have a way of jerking us into reality. It is fittingly noted that when life gets tough and for those who begin the process of drifting into the state of "survival mode", surviving may sound unpleasant when life has so much to offer. 

If you find yourself nodding your head, and if you're in need of a bit of a pep talk; 

Instead of feeling the pangs of restlessness and uncertainty, please pray on it, then try to take a second and flip it around for a better view of what could be. And, although your own personal circumstances may seem oh, so incredibly tough today, if you are realizing the status of life in a type of survival mode anxiety, be thankful for you are still alive, give yourself a gentle kick start to forward onward with the process of living. 

How then will you "choose" to life this day?






Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting–a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



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