Saturday, April 11, 2015

guardians of the Grand

It's official. Spring is here. I know this because the Wee Quilts are on display at McDougall Cottage again.
A few weeks ago my entry for this year flew over the mountains and across the prairies, all the way to Ontario. It will hang in the cottage as spring gives way to summer, and then flutter back to me like a homing pigeon in early July. 
And then I'll know it's summer.
Every year, the entrants of The Wee Quilt Challenge create with a theme in mind.

This year the theme was The Garden And The Grand. (The Grand is a river in the Cambridge area of Ontario) It seemed such a local theme this year that I almost never entered. I didn't think I had anything to say about the Grand River.
But then I realized that gardens and rivers are known and loved everywhere, that I did have something to say, and so I named my piece, Guardians of the Grand and wrote this:

The theme for the Wee Quilt Challenge 2015 reminds me of the importance of preserving the tapestry of beauty around us, the importance of being guardians of river and garden, bird and blossom. In my quilted entry, frilled daffodil sway in the spring breeze and a clump of primrose glow like pennies on the river bank. Water and wave are the sky’s looking glass as a Canada goose and her goslings patrol the river, Guardians of the Grand.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I love white flowers. They seem to catch the light and glow like stars against the dark green distance.
These white tulips are my absolute favourite flower in my yard. i wait and watch for them every spring. They grow in a perfect bouquet. And they aren't just another pretty face. They're both a thermometer and a clock. The flowers close overnight into firm oval buds and stay closed if the day is cool and cloudy. But if the sky opens and the sun beams down, likewise, they open, grateful for the spring warmth. I imagine it has something to do with pollinators and sunshine but to me it is another example of the miraculous all around us every day.


Aw, aren't these cute?
Little tiny cowboy boot slippers.
I made them two minutes ago although the computer tells me very firmly that it was April 2013. Hah, what does it know.

frame it

Isn't it amazing how a month ago can feel like last week and a year ago like yesterday?
I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm getting older either, because my grandson commented on it and he's only eight.
One thing I've noticed though is how picture taking, which you'd think would lock a memory into place, does exactly the opposite.
As I was trolling online through April photos for all the years we've had a digital camera a growing sense of disbelief enveloped me.
"2013," I would exclaim to myself.
"How can that picture be two years old already?
And, "Hey, Wasn't that just a couple months ago?"
"2011!! No way!"
A lot of my photos are people-less and passing time is irrelevant, but the others are all portals to the past. Rabbit holes to fall down.
It's good to have them.
They remind me that I've had a life.
Am having a life.
That summer did come.
And go.
That I've done things and gone places and been with those I love.
In a strange way, they show passing time in stark relief against this moment in time.
They both erase time and frame it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I just can't help myself. 
I always did love show and tell as a child. 
Here is a slightly larger corner of this year's Wee Quilt.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

flat tale

Animals cross roads.
They do.
I sometimes wonder why though in a sort of 'why did the chicken cross the road' way.
If, for example, a beaver has a lovely pond and creek and plenty of trees to gnaw, why would it choose to cross a wide and worrisome road to get to the other side?
What about the risk factor?
I pondered all of these things last week as I hastened off to work on a cool, Spring morning.
Ahead, a movement at the side of the road caught my eye.
A big, brown beaver clambered out of the ditch and hesitated at the side of the road.
It was almost as if it was doing the math.
If a car is heading northbound at 70 km an hour and a beaver, 100 meters away begins to cross the road, how wide must the road be to allow for a satisfying conclusion for the beaver?
The beaver and I both did our quick calculations.
It launched itself onto the road and I launched myself onto the horn.
Bleat, blat, bleat!
Back it scurried.
On I sailed.
It's flat tail was the last thing I saw in my rear view mirror.
Flat tail as opposed to flat beaver.

no time at all

My favourite home reno show on TV is Fixer Upper. JoJo and Chip make it all seem so appealing and worthwhile to smash your house to bits with a hammer. It's not just the grand reveal at the end that's inspiring either, but all the decisions made along the way.
It has made me glance about my own living room with a jaundiced eye.
Our fireplace mantel has always struck me as a 'Before' sort of mantel, not an 'After.'
Not really a focal point.
Not really a reflection of our interests and passions.
Over the decade we've been in this house, we've cast about ideas for the fireplace.
We've pondered built-ins and built-ons and built-arounds.
We've considered paint and rock and weathered wood.
This spring, very suddenly, it seemed like the time was right.
Perhaps it was because I found at long last, a completely black fireplace screen. Or perhaps, it was because some projects just need to hang on the vine and sweeten in the sun.
Once a project is ripe and ready, the path seems to clear before your eyes.
Paint seemed called for.
And a more substantial presence.
After that, one thing led to another.
My husbands carved ducks seemed to be exactly the right thing to add to such an important spot.
A quilt will be next.
It is taking shape slowly on the vine right now but it'll ripen up just fine in no time at all.