Friday, December 27, 2013

Snowshoeing

Snow on the branches by susanvg
Snow on the branches, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
We strapped on our snowshoes for the first time this winter. Tramping through Summit Park our eyes feasted on the snow festooned branches.

Woodpeckers

The loud tapping of the woodpeckers echoed through the woods.

Snow

Clumps of snow nestled in the crooks of branches. Nature creates its own holiday decorations.

On the Windy Side

The long afternoon shadows signal the early setting of the sun. Winter's short days are to be enjoyed before night falls.

Perfectly Cooked

Perfectly Cooked by susanvg
Perfectly Cooked, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Dinner at the home of friends - a perfectly cooked turkey, quinoa stuffed squash, stuffing, vegetables, wine, good company - all the ingredients for a fine winter evening!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Early Morning

Early Morning by susanvg
Early Morning, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Golden light. It paints the trees and the ribbon of river casting a warm glow on a cold morning.

Wishing all my friends a holiday season wrapped in the warmth of friendship and family.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My indoor garden

My indoor garden by susanvg
My indoor garden, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Flowers put a smile on my face. I love to watch them grow and flourish. I have many flowering plants in my home, delighting in the way they grow. Orchids lie dormant and then present me with their intricate blooms which last for months.

My indoor garden by susanvg

This white one has surprised me with a multitude of blossoms. It now has a partner, another white orchid which belonged to my late cousin. We used to talk about our orchids and how they gave us such pleasure. It's funny how things can be ties to other people. My aunt was the first to show me that having orchids was not a difficult thing. When hers stopped flowering, she would place them by a window behind her couch, watering them, but otherwise ignoring them. After a time they would surprise her with a new stalk with the promise of buds. My orchids now delight me with their beauty and their memories.

My indoor garden by susanvg

This cyclamen has continued to flower for three years. It really seems to love my new home. Its bright pink flowers are such a contrast to the white and grey scene outside the window.

My indoor garden by susanvg

Even my kalanchoe, which had lost all its blooms, started producing new flowers - a bit of sunshine to enjoy indoors!

An African violet sits in my bedroom, its deep purple flowers a reminder of the first plant my mother gave me as a child as she wanted to instil in me her love of plants and flowers. My Christmas cactus celebrates different holidays each year, one year blooming for Remembrance Day another for St. Nicolas Day. This year's blossoms are slowly fading. A begonia blooms in my dining area, its new blooms creeping up the stalk with the old ones dropping to the floor. Each day I travel around my home, stopping to appreciate the beauty. Water and light and look how much they give back!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Snowy Day

Snowy Day by susanvg
Snowy Day, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Winter is really here. Today it started out sunny and I will admit to loving the winter blue skies and the clean snow (that is until it turns city brown and grey). The biggest issues are foggy glasses and the need to turn your whole body to check traffic as hoods make it impossible to just turn your head. The temperatures have tempered somewhat and walking was pleasant. The sun didn't last long. More snow to come.

Frost

Frost by susanvg
Frost, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photo: December 14, 2013
We have been in a deep freeze with temperatures hovering around -18C. I dress in layers and venture out into the cold. I marvel at the young (and the not so young) who choose fashion over comfort - no hats, skirts and tights. I long ago abandoned that way of thinking. And along with that I enjoy my winter walk.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Quiet Dining

Quiet Dining by susanvg
Quiet Dining, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photo: November 23, 2013

Time to sit quietly, decompress and enjoy good food.

November has often been a difficult month for me. In my teens, one year after another, both my parents faced serious illnesses. Fortunately both went on to live long lives. Later my husband died in November. And others, too, have passed away in November. The calendar is filled with "land mines" - dates that trigger sad emotions. Two days after this picture was taken, I lost my very dear cousin. She was a wonderful woman - giving and loving and so positive about life. My son said, "her default was to give". And anyone who met her fell under her spell. She loved to listen to others, to ask questions and made everyone feel special. And she shared the stories from her past so we all got to know her and our families better. While her loss has left a huge hole in my heart, I know too, that is only so because our relationship was so special. November is always a time of remembrance and over time I will remember the joys of the times we spent together.