Thursday, February 16, 2017

Snowy Days

We had about 25 cm of snow a few days ago and a bit of fresh snow yesterday.  The landscape is molded in white.  This picture makes the snowbanks look smaller than they are . They are higher than my waist.  The photo was taken at my mom's house in the Laurentians, and, at this time of year, the abundant snow is very reminiscent of Peter and the Wolf.  The air is really refreshing up in the mountains and the snow is just so clean.  Although winter can seem long, I would miss the beautiful days of fresh snow if I didn't have them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Alstreomeria - Peruvian Lily

Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily) is a really pretty flower that grows wild in South America.  The native flowers are usually yellow or orange, but the hybrids come in a whole assortment of colours.  They grow from a bulb, and a small yellow variety is hardy to zone 5.  Florists like them because they can be picked in bud and they open out nicely after they have been cut.  They last well in a vase and have good sturdy stems. In February, they are especially lovely.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Old Newspaper

Our local paper, The Glengarry News, is celebrating 125 years of publication this year. In honour of this occasion, they have reprinted the first published paper (a 4- page spread) dated February 4, 1892.
The first thing that strikes you is the small size of the print.  I put a current paper next to the old reprint so that the difference would be apparent. I guess paper was expensive so they crammed as much on to one page as possible.  Imagine doing the typesetting for that!
It's quite fun to read the old articles.  One is an action packed account of two trappers who were chased by mountain lions.  It reads like a novel.  And then there is a genuine piece of fiction which would have run over a period of time keeping the reader in suspense from one week to the next. This story takes place in the exotic West Indies.
I'm still working my way through the pages but I came across some interesting tidbits:
a story about little Prince George being in a huff and taking his clothes off under a dining table and emerging in the buff, an article speculating on why some people live longer than others- some things never change-, an item encouraging parents to not overstimulate their children, a cautionary tale about a woman who killed her two children probably because she became overly depressed from drinking excessive amounts of TEA. The range of topics is extensive from politics all the way to how to get married in Paris. 
In the classified section, ads promote a variety of lawyers. Just the same as today, enticing ads for potions to cure whatever ails a body proliferate and offer false hope. I like this ad:  Gentlemen requiring artistic Overcoats, Suits or Trousers should call at J. O. Simpsons. I was surprised at how competitive the local stores were with their sales: "We will sell for next to nothing", "The greatest clearing sale ever",  "We sell Leather Belting cheap"," If you are looking for a bargain".
I'm giving my eyes a rest, but eventually I will read the whole paper and enjoy all it's variety and liveliness.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Solid Rock

Lots of things are happening in the world these days.  Some things don't change, though.


"Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."
Matthew 7:24-25 NIV

Saturday, February 4, 2017

First Bloom of the Year

 My spider plant gave me a surprise flower this morning.  It's probably blooming because it is stressed.  I keep it in a pretty small pot because I don't want a huge plant, and I often neglect to water it when it's dry.  The flower is only about 3/4" across but a new flower is always welcome in the winter.
They say spider plants are good at cleaning the air of pollutants but I'm guessing you would need quite a few to have any significant effect. They're cheerful plants, though, so I guess they help to clean out the mental pollutants as well.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pomegranate

Winter is the season for pomegranates.  The juicy, ruby arils have a rich satisfying flavour, but they do take a bit of work to get them out of the skin.  Some people like to wack them out with a spoon, but I like a quieter technique.  I slice the ends off the fruit, then cut the fruit into one inch slices. I break the outer edge of a circle piece and open out the slice.  Then, it's easy to gently pick off the arils. Five minutes later, all the arils are in a glass or bowl ready for eating.

It's easier to be shocked and horrified by the darkness of others , than to do the scary, uncomfortable work of checking for darkness in our own hearts.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Colour in Our Hearts

Colour in Our Hearts

Dust storms cloud the news
But colour can remind our hearts
Of hope and joy
Of new beginnings.
Beauty growing out of rotted leaves,
Change is always happening.
Soak in the colour,
Breathe in the fragrance of life.