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I Blamed It On The Dragon Flies

To hold an old book
soft lettering of a title almost obliterated by age
to feel its cover
to smell its smell
to turn the pages, dry and stiff
so lovely - faded and worn
                                            ~ Beulah Peyton Bouzane

By now you may have gathered that I am a bit of a book collector and my shelves are overflowing.

If you recall, in my last blog I went in quest of that book "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass. I made a special trip to Chapters to search it out. Found it! 

This particular book is definitely different.  Perhaps not quite a gem but it took me by surprise.  Next time you are in a book store, take a look. You'll understand what I mean. Perhaps someday it will be part of my collection - just because it is different. Perhaps!

 

I Blamed It On Dragon Flies

Oh the fun you can have when you open your mind to new things!  It can be just an idea, or a new book, a spice you've never used before, a new design, a different hobby or or or ... And when that happens, you're likely to become just a little distracted - right?

Well that day it was about dragon flies. I was painting wine glasses and got stuck on rocking chairs and anchors when two of my sisters suggested I do dragon flies because people love dragon flies.  Really?  I was totally surprised as I am 'people' and I honestly can't recall ever being in love with a dragon fly.  Actually, I had never really given them much thought at all.  Truth be told, I could not really remember what a dragon fly looked liked so I did exactly what came to mind. I decided to paint a butterfly.

There were a number of things going on that day.  There were the wood plaques that needed some work, sketches half finished and, boring as it seemed at the time, it was laundry day. I was also intent on getting in some real exercise as the winter weather had rounded out the waistline and stiffened up the joints. The plan was to 'run the stairs'. My painting room, being in the basement, was the perfect location as it meant trips up and down during the course of events - coffee breaks, meal times, answering the phone, working in the office, painting, doing laundry.

The plaques were painted and I was ready to get started on the butterfly. The original would be a painting Kaitlyn, my granddaughter, had done the year before. I love her art work so it would serve as the perfect model. It was up the stairs to my office to print a copy.  It seemed like forever since I had a coffee so I stopped to make one - Hazelnut flavour - steaming hot and delicious. Then I fired up the computer, turned on the printer, found the picture I needed and set the print command. I stopped to google 'dragon flies'. Gosh, but they were kind of pretty.

I blame it all on dragon fliesIt was then that I remembered the laundry. Coffee in hand, I darted in the laundry room to get the first load of clothes underway.  It was the whites, of course.  Don't you always start with the whites?  There was a beautiful white linen tablecloth, a set of white bed sheets, white towels and face clothes.  I heard the ding and beep of the printer - out of paper. In went the detergent and off I went to load the paper. Another run downstairs, the glass prepared and brush in hand, I was armed and ready.  It was then I remembered the coffee!

Up to the laundry room I went, running the stairs (again) and in the doorway, I stopped in mid stride. Oh NO! The detergent cup was full.  The coffee cup was empty.

An hour and a half later the stains were gone and the washer was set to wash.

Naturally, I blamed it all on the dragon flies but seriously ... do you remember my story "Somebody Shouts Squirrel".

 

I Was Even Rather Snooty About It

Okay so I've been reading old children's books over the past month. I love reading and I love studying. I thought I had read or, at the very least knew, all the classics. Actually, I was even rather snooty about it. But I was rong.

Remember Winnie the Pooh? In one part, Rabbit describes the situation with Owl who liked to study knowledge for the sake of knowledge:

... you can't help respecting anybody who can spell Tuesday, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.

Don't ever underestimate the wisdom in some of those writings. Perhaps there are days when you are just like Owl and spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.

The Phantom Tollbooth

Over the Easter weekend my grandson introduced me to this wonderful book, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961). It proved to be a classic I had never read.

Nicholas had read it last Fall sometime and had thought right away that it would be a book that I would enjoy. It was the best book he'd ever read he told me. He borrowed it from the school library during the Easter break and I found it on my pillow on Saturday morning.

It may be a children's book but I think everybody should read it. What a brilliant piece of writing! I laughed my way through from cover to cover and could not put it down until it was finished. The imagination and play on words is absolutely amazing.

If you haven't read it, you really should.  And, being a bit of a collector, I won't be satisfied until I have a copy in my library.

 

Oh and I Almost Forgot

Have you read Max Eisen's book, By Chance Alone? It is heavy duty reading - not quite Pooh or The Phantom Tollbooth - but a MUST read.  I was sitting in my vehicle outside Walmart listening to CBC (holding my breath). Waiting for that final selection for Canada Reads  2019 Award seemed like forever.  Then the announcement was made. I squealed. I laughed. I cried.  Perfect selection! The right choice!

© 2019 Beulah Peyton Bouzane. All Rights Reserved.



Two Eggs and A Fry Pan

Two Eggs and A Fry Pan

For those of you on Facebook, you may have read my post earlier in the week.  If not, here's what I said:

"Hello Everybody! It has been almost 8 months since I stepped away from Facebook. It was an experiment to see if I could actually stop. I found it was consuming so much of my time that I was losing precious hours. And, I was! It was taking at least 2 to 3 hours every single day. But the downside is that without Facebook I was missing out on some of my connections with family and friends.

So, I've decided to start up again. This time, I have set a firm commitment to limit my browsing to a maximum of 1/2 an hour a day. Hmmmm! Let's just see how that works out"

Eggs and fry panSounds pretty simple, right? Of course, there were some who welcomed me back. Some who hadn't noticed I was gone in the first place. And then there were a few who were skeptical that the 1/2 hour plan would work.

It was lunch time when I wrote that little message. I was so excited.  I scanned through 'a few' posts, catching up on what people had been doing over the past few months, enjoyed looking at some photos and THEN! I must have pitched two feet from the chair, tipped over my cup of coffee (yes, another one) and bolted up the stairs. Oh my goodness - two eggs and a fry pan later!


The rest of the week went slightly better though. The TV slipped from my grasp and went flying over the stairs. Later in the day, my phone quit. Well that's not quite accurate. The touch screen stopped working. Naturally, I did what any sane person would do, I stuck a pin in the little hole on the side, thinking it just might be a reset button. Out popped the teeny wee SIM card and disappeared. Did I mention it was in the kitchen where there was a beautiful beige, slightly patterned, ceramic floor. An hour later, I was standing at Bell kiosk.

Good books are like good friends

For me, reading and writing are passions - as necessary as breathing. There's something about the written word that is fascinating. It has the power to take us on travels to far off lands, to bring strangers into our lives and get to know them better, to evoke emotions, transform thoughts, challenge us to think differently, to quiet a troubled mind.  And then, there is the pure pleasure of reading a novel at bedtime or curled up in a chair with a cozy blanket and, perhaps, a glass of wine.

I also love listening to CBC radio in the morning. It is there that I hear about what's happening, about new research, the latest issues and who is agreeing with whom and who's not. I also hear about new books, old books, what's hot and what's not books.  This, of course, sends me off on a quest to find out more. And as often as not, I end up with yet another book.

Walking each other homeEarlier this week, I was in the middle of making a new card and listening to the radio with my thoughts tuning in and out when I heard a young woman reference a quote:

"In the end, we are just walking each other home."

I have no idea what topic was being discussed at that moment as my mind was blissfully coming up with a poem for the greeting card.  But that quote brought me to a standstill.  Only a few words, but powerful. Who first said it I wonder? Thankfully, Google (another good friend of mine) provided the answer. It was Ram Dass!

Now who in the blue blazes is Ram Dass? The name sounded vaguely familiar but I could not for the life of me remember any details. So I dug further.

What an interesting chap! Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert; April 6, 1931) is an American spiritual teacher, former academic and clinical psychologist, and author of many books, including Be Here Now. (source: Wikipedia) He is known for work with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s. They explored the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs under controlled conditions. He was kicked out of Harvard apparently and from there continued to explore. Ram Dass is also known for his travels to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru, Neem Karoli Baba. He has established a couple of charitable foundations and now, at the age of 88, continues to teach through his website, www.ramdass.org. Being curious, I zipped right on over there and listened to a couple of his podcasts. Yes, interesting.

And now to find that book!

 

 

Update

The rocking chair template is almost done. The envelopes and paper have been ordered and I finished the display board and sketches for the matching cards. What beautiful little gifts they will make! My latest 'painting on glass' project is also nearing completion.

Oh right - I almost forgot!  The TV which sat at the bottom of the stairs for most of the week is now gone for recycling thanks to the helping hands of a neighbour. My phone is working again and I have a wonderfully clean kitchen floor.

Such a fun week overall!

display board

Painting on Glass

TV Mishap



And Just When I Thought Nobody Cared

If there were two sides to the bed, I would have definitely said I got out on the wrong side that morning. But in my case, one side brings up against a wall so it's literally impossible to make a mistake. I decided it was just a 'Blah' moment, or two, or three.  You know the kind.

Some of my friends and family talk about "Fly Day" and are so excited as it means "I'm going home today". Well for me it had nothing to do with flying, it was "Drive Day". Normally this would be exciting - another adventure - or at the very least, a change, which is as good as a rest they say. But on this particular day, things were totally out of sync for the first couple of hours. First off, I knocked over my cup of coffee spoiling some new woodcarving templates I had painstaking cut out the night before.  Then I kicked the scrubbing bucket sending grubby, soapy, water all over the floor. It had no business being where it was. Who was the culprit that put the darned thing in my path anyway?

Well through the jigs and reels, I got everything organized and packed up ready for the drive and off I went. I was about 3 kilometers out when I remembered the garbage on the back step. I wasn't at all interested in leaving an open dining invitation for any miserable varmints. You see I wasn't the best of friends with those critters having discovered that one had taken up residence under the house the day before.  So back I went.  Got that sorted out and struck out again.

Second  round!  I got about 10 kilometers under my belt when I realized I'd left a full bag of apples on the kitchen counter. Now that was my supply of fresh fruit for the next week and I wasn't about to leave it behind. So I whipped around (again) and went back.  By this time, I was getting used to going in circles and my sense of humour was back to its usual state. Then I started wondering ... perhaps the universe is trying to tell me not to travel today. Ah! But I wasn't about to let the universe change my plans and, with apples by my side, I was on my way.

What an absolutely beautiful drive! I spent the time planning my week, enjoying the scenery, and enjoying the world inside my head. Remember I told you about that world before, so you know it can be interesting. Well I was about 3 1/2 hours into the trip with no stops or breaks because I was just having fun and there was no need. And then it happened!

I got this message

My Vehicle Cares

Oh my, but I had to pull over. I was laughing so hard, I couldn't see properly.  All of a sudden that old song came to mind and I started singing. "Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I'm going to the garden to eat worms."  And just when I thought nobody really cared.  How silly was I!

You see I traded my old vehicle last month and this new one has all kinds of features - heated seats, for instance.  Have you ever sat on heated seats?  Oh, but I just love it!  Mind you, I would never in my wildest dreams have paid for that feature but apparently it's part of the 'base' model these days. Also, apparently there are other features that I didn't have a clue existed.

Just when I thought nobody cared, I realized ... my vehicle cares so much.

Every now and then over the past few days that scene and message has come to mind and every time it sends me off in peels of laughter. It was so funny!


Be sure to visit my website frequently to see what's new - www.beulahbouzane.com.
While I'm falling short of a 'recipe each day', my recipe collection is slowly growing and taking shape. And, of course I write a blog each month.  You find quick links to the Recipe Collection and the Blog in the main menu.

Website header and menu


I am truly blessed! My circle includes some fantastic people:  leaders, writers, teachers, ministers, artists, jewellry makers, photographers, wood carvers, nurses, and, and ...   Each person is so talented. Some are masters in their trade. Last week I had the pleasure of participating on a project being undertaken by a very special woman who is a Master Beader. The week before I was able to get some much needed advice from an expert who specializes in wood artistry. Then there's the wonderful young woman who is a certified rolfer.  Another of my clients is a world-class photographer while another is an activist.  How can one help but be inspired when surrounded by such wonderful people. And, what makes them extra special is the fact that they really care.

Update on the wood products

On that road trip, I came up with two new ideas - a rocking chair to match one of my earlier sketches.  Now I can't wait to get started on  that.  I'll do a template first but this time I'll be sure to keep coffee cups away from the cut out.  I've also decided to make some gift cards to match each of the wood products. So many ideas! But, I am making progress ... which reminds me, I must order more paper and envelopes.

Ready for Finish work

wood products 1

painting projects



Learning How to Meditate

I just received the electricity bill from Newfoundland Power. It's nearing the end of February and we've just come through some awfully cold nights. I guess I should be thankful that there were no flies, but - holy crow!

Learning How to MeditateMaybe I will just sit here and try to meditate awhile.  I mean truly turn off all thoughts and sit in blissful silence at one with body, mind, and spirit.  Is this something you are able to do I wonder? Learning how to quiet my mind has always been a quest. I've tried. I've watched the videos, I've listened to the lectures! I've done some training. I've travelled to the mountains in Tibet - in my head. But it hasn't worked or, at least, not yet.

I was sitting in my little office and wondering about - well bits and pieces of everything, actually. The morning was quiet and still. It wasn't raining or snowing. The wind wasn't blowing. The crows were silent. I think they may have frozen to death overnight actually.  They obviously hadn't been in touch with Newfoundland Power.  There wasn't a sound except the faint hum of my computer. Absolutely peaceful! UNTIL I listened. There was a busy, chaotic, and exciting world inside my head.  So many projects and so much fun going on, I could barely sit still.

fly sprayNow don't get me wrong. It wasn't all fun and games in there. There was one room that was kind of dark - filled with worries of family and friends ... and did I mention the electricity bill. Another room was filled with sadness and pining for a beautiful lost love. But I was able to close the doors on those rooms for a time and just look at the rest of the house. It was quite a mess! There were half finished projects, ideas for new designs, my 'to do' list which served as wall paper for the entire complex and dreams still waiting to happen! So seriously - why in the world would I ever want to clean up that mess. No, what I'm really looking for is a place not connected to the grid, a place where thoughts are organized so I can enjoy short bursts of absolute quietness - perhaps, later today.

But, for now, I'll just put away the fly spray.


Sure hope you enjoy my blogs.  If you do, please share with your friends and family.

Be sure to visit my website frequently to see what's new - www.beulahbouzane.com.
While I'm falling short of a 'recipe each day', my recipe collection is slowly growing and taking shape. And, of course I write a blog each month.  You find quick links to the Recipe Collection and the Blog in the main menu.

Website header and menu

ornamentsPreparing for a Craft Fair

Did I tell you I've been up to this winter?  Besides the recipe collection, I've been making some new products - decorations mostly. It has been such fun. I've used some of the designs for my cards (along with a few additions to my repertoire) to make wooden ornaments. I'm planning to enter a craft fair later this year.  I haven't prepared for that sort of thing in a long, long, time so I am quite rusty as you can imagine. Thankfully, I have sisters and friends who will help guide me through it and make sure the rust disappears.

We'll see how that goes! In the meantime, I will be adding some of the products to my website over the next few weeks so check back later to have a look.

© 2019 Beulah Peyton Bouzane. All rights reserved.



Enjoy Every Moment

If you love winter, the next two months are just perfect for your world. If you are longing for warm, sunny, days, take heart. It's only two to three months away!  Until then, enjoy every moment.

A wonderful day to be alive!

January 31, 2019


 

The Present - It is a Gift

Dave, who was my biggest inspiration in life, spoke little and yet said a lot. This was one of his favourite quotes and he literally lived it, every day:

Yesterday is gone. It is past. It is history.
Tomorrow is the future. It is a mystery.
Today is here. It is present! Treat it as a gift!

To wake to a beautiful sunrise! Is there anything better than that? But then again to wake to a delightful snow storm knowing you are cozy and warm inside is also wonderful. When you open your eyes and you know you can get out of bed on your own steam and breathe unassisted, it is definitely a gift. Today is a new day and a fresh start. Whatever happened yesterday can be set aside. It's gone and no longer matters in the scheme of things. This moment is now yours to do with as you want - to enjoy, to relax, to be the best you can be, to give back wherever you can, to learn, play and do, and to make things right if things need to be righted.

So what are my sisters up to this morning I wonder?

  • One is on her way to Fiji - Smack!
  • Another is getting ready to participate in a walk for the homeless.
  • Another just finished making a beautiful quilt for her grandchild.
  • And, the other is digging a tunnel to the road (she has 15 to 20 feet of snow in the driveway). Now that is a gift of another sort!

Enjoy Every Moment

"IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER" - by Erma Bombeck
(written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)

"Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind."

There were many wonderful quotes in that book. Here are just a few that resonated with me this morning.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it. look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”

Now don't those quotes really make you think!

Decorations and scrubing bucketMy Christmas decorations are still up. There's a vacuum in the middle of the living room still waiting to capture the dog hairs and a scrubbing bucket full of cold soapy water that didn't quite make it to those spots on the floor.  Yesterday I dropped by for a quick stop to see a friend and left the car running - 50 minutes later I remembered. Oops! Must pay more attention! (Squirrel!)

I started writing this blog last week and am just finishing it this morning. So slow on the uptake it would seem, but really I was just too busy. Mind you, there were so many distractions and I was having such a lot of fun in that busyness.  There was a day at the Twillingate stadium with my little granddaughter (it was COLD); a night out with her to celebrate her 8th birthday; breakfast with our son and his family; a visit with my Mother-in-Law who will soon be 91 years old; designing a new ornament; helping a friend with her website ... so many things in the run of those seven days.

And when I stopped to finish writing this piece this morning, I realized I really have been enjoying every moment. How about you?

© 2019 Beulah Peyton Bouzane. All rights reserved.



A Laugh is the BEST Way to Start Your Day

Do you ever receive a text or email message that sends you off in peels of laughter and sets the tone for the rest of the day. I can always rely on my friends and sisters to do just that.  Here is one such message received earlier this week.

Some days I amaze myself.  Other days I put my keys in the fridge!

I think senility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me...

To become old and wise, you must first be young and stupid!

The diet I followed didn't follow back, so I unfollowed it.

It sounded so fitting for her that I automatically assumed she was talking about herself.  Then she clarified that she had found the quotes on fridge magnets somewhere in the gift section of the store. She said,

"Stood in the shop, all alone, laughing my fool head off!"

bottle shelfA Bit of a Hoarder - Perhaps

If you took a peek in my pantry, you would find I stock up on a few things. In fact I'm fairly confident that in the event of a major storm or natural disaster, I would be able to feed the neighbourhood and not go hungry for at least 3 months or more.

For some reason, I've always bought food in bulk. Well really, dried foods don't go bad quickly and home preserves have a 2 year shelf life for sure. So it just makes sense to be prepared. Two of my sisters do the same. I think it has something to do with our mother and our early childhood.  We did not live near a grocery store so there were lots of things that Mom would buy in larger quantities and store. There was always a cellar for storing vegetables, and meats and fruits were preserved in bottles. By the time my two younger sisters came along, things may have changed slightly as they don't follow quite the same path - sensible people.

So at my house there's always a sack of flour (yes, a sack), a large supply of brown and white sugar, rolled oats, cream of wheat, icing sugar, powdered milk (I NEVER have anything but), tea bags, coffee, butter (well margarine really), nuts of various sorts, baking soda and powder, vanilla, spices of every imaginable form and I could keep on going.  It's wonderful really!

By the way, my neighbour just introduced me to using cardamom pods in tea and hot water.  It is really good.  What a nice flavour. And, though I'd never ever used that spice before, I found some in the pantry. Now I wonder what is the 'best before' date on that.

A friend comes to visit!

Friend comes to visit

Now you just have to love the vamps! Come to think of it, another of my friends knit these for the Nonia. They go so well with a skirt and jacket, don't you think?

Sure hope you enjoy my blogs!  If you do, please share as much as you want.

Bad Habits!

Do you ever notice the little, bad, habits you fall into sometimes.  Well I have two that are totally awful but I find so funny - sometimes.

One bad habit is my son's fault. One day I walked in front of him disrupting something he was doing.  Naturally, I said "Excuse me!"  To which he promptly replied without missing a beat, "There's no excuse for you, Mom."   At the time, I buckled over in laughter.  But, sadly, I never forgot that line.  Now, unfortunately, no matter where I am or what the circumstance when somebody politely says "Excuse me."  I respond

"There's no excuse for you."

Not nice and really embarrassing if I happen to be in a meeting or some really serious situation.  I spend a lot of time apologizing.

Quarter on the FlushThe other bad habit is from origins unknown.  You know how it is when you have company come to visit and at some point they ask to use your washroom.  A normal person would say 'of course" and just show them where it is located.  Hmmmm! Nope, not me! I have this terrible habit of saying

"Absolutely. Just leave your quarter on the flush box."

Now I didn't intentionally start out trying to collect quarters, but you should see my piggy bank.

 

My Recipe Collection

One of my friends suggested I do a recipe book this year celebrating 30 years since I started including recipes with my Christmas cards.  Hmmmm! I could do that.  Perhaps I will. In the meantime, last year I decided I'd start putting my favourites on the website. Then I got sidetracked and it didn't get done.  So after listening to my friend's suggestion, I put my foot down and had a serious chat with myself.  With commitment and New Years Resolutions made, I started in.  The intention is to try to add one recipe a day so it will take a while.

I would wager a guess that I am breaking every bit of advice and the recommendations put forward in the new Canada Food Guide and my recipes are not really about healthy eating.  But honestly, it isn't deliberate!  All I decided to do was share some of my favourite recipes that I've gathered over the years. It has nothing to do with nutrition, heaven forbid.  More to the point it has to do with a bit of fun and a love for collecting and experimenting with recipes although I'm pretty sure I use common sense and good taste ... for the most part. Sometimes. I think.  And, of course, I leave it to your good judgement and your discretion to determine whether you use any of the recipes. You'll find them on the Recipes page in the main menu of this website.

 

Recipe box

Little Darlings
What a fantastic business I found in Mount Pearl the other day. They sell gently used children's clothing - fabulous selection.

Children grow so fast that before they have a chance to wear out their clothes, they've outgrown them.  Bring those clothes in to Little Darlings and then purchase a size that fits.  It makes so much sense - economically as well as environmentally.

They also take book donations which they then sell at $1.00 each or, for smaller children's books, $0.50. All proceeds from book sales are donated to First United Church Mount Pearl where it is used for the ongoing programs and social outreach of the Church. Now that's what I call a socially conscious, great business.

Little Darlings

Gently Used Children’s Clothing

2 Edinburgh Drive
Mount Pearl, NL
709-747-2888



False Teeth and The Family Tree

Rearrange the decorations on the shelf. Go for a run with the dog. Bottle the leftover turkey. Clean the hamster cage. Update the website. Create new templates for wood carving. Make a birthday card for a friend. Write a blog. Watch another movie,  … SQUIRREL!

How Did This Happen?

A need to focus!  Really?  Now why I would ever think there should be changes made for the coming year is beyond me.  It’s such fun going madly off in all directions and, believe or not, all this stuff does get done.  Mind you, by the time I’m finished it’s running into midday (for all but the movie) and I am running out of energy quickly.  It has nothing to do with the squirrel. It has to do with the weight.  Over the past month (well maybe two) I’ve gained sufficient to now be equivalent to 1 1/2 persons.  How did this happen?

It was the Christmas movies, of course. I’ve effectively eaten my way through 240 hours of snacks while watching and re-watching those gal darned movies. An addictive personality … do you think?  Now do not misunderstand. I have willpower and I use restraint. I do not, and will not, watch a movie before sundown.  At which time, I convince myself I’ve worked quite hard and I’ve earned the right to relax in my cozy chair. Oh, but each one was so good (the snack and the movie).  Naturally, there were moments of laughter and moments of tears and from the lips to the hips it was off to bed with dreams of ‘my family, false teeth, and happily ever after’.

Reference to Squirrel is based on an earlier blog: Somebody Shouts Squirrel

False Teeth and The Family Tree

Ever accidentally throw something valuable in the stove or the fire pit.  My sister did once. It was all completely innocent and it wasn’t her fault, not really.  It was my mother’s.  She had a habit of removing her false teeth when she ate – go figure.  She would discretely and carefully wrap them in a paper towel and place them close to her plate at the table.  (And, oh if she could read this story now, she would not be pleased with it’s telling.)

On one particular evening, one of my sisters, who shall remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, was clearing the table and preparing to wash the dishes. Now if you live in a home where the wood stove is the main source of heat, you will understand perfectly that everything burnable gets burned.  Naturally, that means paper wrappings, napkins and paper towels.  And that was the day Mom’s false teeth helped heat the house.

All this came to mind in fits of laughter one day this summer when our son brought me a wonderful gift on return from a family vacation on Prince Edward Island. As with everything in our home, it came with its own story.

The Bottle HousesYears ago, Dave and I, along with our family friends Donna and Gerry, visited PEI. What a fantastic trip!  We laughed our way across the entire island.  One of the highlights that had us in stitches was the stop at Anne of Green Gables with Dave and Gerry posing in Anne costumes.  But, I digress as that wasn’t the memory that was forefront this summer.  It was our visit to The Bottle Houses along the North Cape Coastal Drive, Cape Egmont, Wellington. We were fascinated.

Anyway, this summer our son and his family visited the same spot. It was there that he decided to buy a beautiful ornament for me – a family tree in a glass bulb. With it carefully wrapped, it was placed gently in the cab of the truck.

brown bag and boomburgersNow PEI is an environmentally friendly province.  They do not use plastic shopping bags. Instead things are packaged in paper. And here’s where it started to get complicated. After leaving The Bottle Houses, they headed back to their rental cabin near Charlottetown and decided to go to BOOMburgers for supper. Naturally, later that evening they had a campfire and burned all the leftover garbage and brown bags.

fire pitAnd, now you’re ahead me!  Yes, the carefully wrapped, gently handled, ornament was not so gently tossed in the fire pit. But it did not go the way of the false teeth.  I understand that the language used that night and my son’s dance around the fire may have well blessed the Peyton Bouzane Family tree.

When they got back to Newfoundland, I was presented with a brown bag that contained a not-so-slightly charred glass bulb that was mercifully still together with little shards of glass sticking out all over. I picked it up and, oh my, it fell apart in little pieces.

But of course, it couldn’t stop there. We’re a strong family and we stick together through thick and thin.  Determined and through tears of laughter, the glass bulb was painstaking glued back together where it now sits in its rightful place on the shelf.

Family Tree


Quote for Today

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”  – Dale Carnegie


Happy New Year 2019

 

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© 2018 Beulah Peyton Bouzane. All rights reserved.



I remember it well way back in my mind

LampA quick glance at the kerosene lamp on the table. Oh yes! I remember it well way back in my mind - our evening meals. It made me smile.

After the clocks were turned back in the Fall of the year, we made it a point of eating supper by lamplight. Well actually, in the first year or so we used candles but it became way too expensive. We'd linger at each meal chatting about the day and just enjoying each other's company. Our supply of candles was soon depleted so out came the old lamps and that's what we've used ever since.

How we looked forward to those times - so peaceful; so special. We never tired of it even though it was an every day occurrence from November to March each year for more than 40 years. Such wonderful memories!

And I've been thinking ... why stop?  There is absolutely no reason not to continue, so I do and I will.

Reflections

Next to reading, writing has to be the very best hobby one could have, don't you think? Somebody asked me how I get started and how I know what to write about. Gosh! When it was put like that, it really got me thinking.

"How do I come up with the things I write?"

So for the next few days I paid attention. When I heard a particular phrase or somebody talking about something interesting, I noticed I'd reach for pen and paper.  When I saw an object that triggered a thought or took me back in time, I'd file it away in my mind with the hopes of remembering it. Then later, I'd jot it down.  When I heard a piece of music or the lyrics to an old song, it would take me back or cause me to reflect on something currently happening - in the world, in my life, in whatever - and, I'd jot it down.

Before long all these little bits and pieces would come tumbling to the forefront and I'd get the urge to write. Now find the notes will you! Scraps all over the place. And then, the squirrel comes into play and my head goes madly off in another direction.

The Flummies

The Flummies (photo credit: Geoff Goodyear)

Yesterday, I was driving and listening to an old CD by The Flummies.  Tunker Campbell, my brother-in-law, is a part of that band - has been since its beginning.  One of their songs, The River, had been recorded and it was what got me started on this blog.

As with most of their work, the song tells a story and as I listened I could picture the man as a young boy, down by the river with his buddies.

When I was a boy there's a place we would be
It was down by the river, my buddies and me
It's a place we would go just to pass the time
and I remember it well way back in my mind.
by the Flummies

Apple Cores and the Labrador Retriever

As I was writing this, I found a random piece of paper with the words 'apple cores' scrawled across.  It related to memories so I just had to include it here.

I was baking an apple the other day and it made me think of old friends, Vanessa, Leslie and Sandra.  It was Christmas or early January a lifetime ago and we were getting together for a meal and to celebrate.  Once a year, four of us would make it a point to do that, each one taking a turn as host. That particular year it was up to Vanessa.

I remember she had made macaroni and cheese for the occasion and was preparing an apple dessert when I arrived on the scene.  There was a mound of apple wedges on the counter. But it was the apple cores that grabbed my attention.  First of all, I had never seen an apple corer before. It was such a neat idea ($2.00 at the Dollarama, by the way). Her beautiful black Labrador Retriever was sitting patiently nearby, waiting for this special treat.  Imagine - a dog loving apple cores!

It was a delicious meal, for us as well as the dog, and such fun to get together.  Each one of them are storytellers in their own right.  Vanessa would have us in stitches as she recounted tales of what happened on a particular 'day in the life of' - things about Gerry the cat, exploding milk cans, garbage day, John, the toilet seat and the Javex story. Leslie, likewise, would keep us entertained for hours, while Sandra would start a story and laugh most of the way through with us trying desperately to pick out the words in between her laughter.

I wonder if my friends remember?  By the way, since that day an apple corer has been a standard gadget in my kitchen.

Apple cores

Well really - isn't it all about memories. Reflecting on the past or being in the present, making new memories for the future. Now there can be bad memories as well as good ones.  For me, I like to focus only on the good ones and just ignore the rest.  So when I am remembering you this morning, you can be sure it will bring a smile.

Smile

 

How I love putting images to the words! It brings a story to life.

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Somebody Shouts Squirrel!

So I headed to the kitchen to make my morning coffee.  I stopped to pick up a book on the coffee table. Got caught up in reading and then saw crumbs on the floor, grabbed a broom; noticed the garbage bin was full so changed out the bag and brought it to the outside bin; realized I'd left a flower pot on the porch that needed to be emptied and put away.  Ouch! I forgot to send an email to my client. Off I went to fire up the computer; checked emails that had come in overnight; noticed an interesting article and started to read; it triggered an idea for my next story so jotted it down; there was a recipe that sounded delicious so bookmarked it, which reminded me I needed brown sugar so scribbled it on my list.  Now that's an idea for my next project - I can make a notepad holder. Jotted it on my 'to do' list and saw that I meant to clean up the workshop today. Headed across the garden to open up the building and turn on the heat...

 Squirrel!

Notebooks, planners, little scraps of paper, a tin of pencils and markers, half done sketches, a pile of magazines, half written poems, cluttered workshop, lists of different sorts - groceries, to dos, important dates ... Can you picture it?

Going madly off in all directions, barely able to finish a sentence before your head is into another and in the middle of one those directions, somebody shouts "Squirrel". You stop everything. Your head spins to follow the squirrel.

Oh my, but it is so funny!  I didn't stop to realize just how typical it is in the run of my day until our cousin, Derrick, put it in precisely those words and it's been sending me off in peels of laughter ever since. A wonderful way to start my day.

Oh my, but I need a coffee!


Quote for Today

A day is wisely spent when we can offer a helping hand
or just be present, to care and understand

 


Visit my website for blogs and favourite quotes, www.beulahbouzane.com



Tomorrow

Remember that old song, "Some days are diamonds. Some days are stone"?  Ever have one of those days?

I suspect everybody does sometimes.  In the mix of things there comes a day that is so very long - a time when it seems that everything you touched, everything you did, went wrong from start to finish.  You feel miserable, lonely and sad and the clouds are gray.  Thank goodness night time comes and you can be done with it. Finally tiredness overtakes you and you sleep. The day is over and hope turns to the promise of a new day - tomorrow.

Some years ago, our grandson started his own little tradition of singing me two songs each night before he went to sleep. Nobody else was allowed to hear, except his grandfather who would stand at the bottom of the stairs and listen.

"Close the door, please."

"Now which one do you want to hear first Nanny?" he would ask.  "The long one or the short one?"

"The long one, of course", I reply.

And, with a deep breath he would begin.  A quiet, angelic little voice would carry the tune and sing each word carefully.

The sun'll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There'll be sun!

Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow
'Til there's none!

When I'm stuck with a day
That's grey and lonely
I just stick out my chin
And grin and say
Oh!

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on 'til tomorrow
Come what may

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya tomorrow!
You're only a day away

So what to do but to pull oneself out of the doldrums for life slips by all too quickly and tomorrow is only a day away.

 

TomorrowA lifetime and yet like only yesterday
So many roads. So little time.
Making the most out of this day
only then can I turn to face tomorrow



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