Monday, September 1, 2014

macro monday

I woke early on that warm summer morning. I grabbed my camera and headed outside to enjoy some quiet time before everyone else woke up. The flowers in my sister-in-law's garden seem to be calling out to me. They stood tall and beautiful in the morning sun. As I snapped away, I thought about how short their time in her garden would be, but now captured by my camera they would live a much longer life. That's one of the things I love most about photography. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

zoo day {simple things sunday}

This year we went to the zoo without Miss I. She had other plans. Plans to hang out with her friends. They went on a picnic and then to a movie. I missed having her with us, and I know she would have enjoyed it, but I was happy knowing she was off having a great time with her friends.

So without her .... my best friend, Jacquie, Miss C and I packed a picnic lunch and headed for the zoo. It was a gorgeous summer day, not too hot, not too cold. The zoo was quiet, and the animals were very interactive. 

Miss C. spent quite a while letting the sweet bunnies feed from her hand.

The spunky horses were also very eager to enjoy a healthy snack.

I loved the camel. His face was filled with character and he almost danced with excitement when he knew we had carrots.

Miss C adored these gentle Capybaras. Truth is we didn't know what a Capybara was until today. :-)

Sweet face ... I just loved her orange beak!

Look at the Lemur's little hand reaching for a banana. Loved him, too!

The goats are always funny. They couldnt contain their excitement over their popcorn treats. 

We had a great day, and I can't think of a better way to spend one of our last days of summer because next week it's back to the classroom for this gang.

Monday, August 25, 2014

macro monday

I am working on improving my ability to take pictures up close and personal, so today I am joining the Macro Monday challenge. 

I found this little guy hanging on the deck of the chalet we rented in Newfoundland. I loved his colours, his furry little head and his big black eyes. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

ties that bind

“Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love."

Craig Claiborne

When I was growing up one of my favorite memories was coming home after school to the smell of fresh baked bread. My Mom would usually make sure there was a warm loaf ready for slicing into the moment I arrived. I would slather it with butter which would quickly melt into the warm, soft bread. I felt deeply loved and nourished after a long day at school. 
My mother baked thousands of loaves of bread over her lifetime, and they nourished both our bodies and our souls. Her love was overflowing with each bite we took. 

As I watched her making bread with my girls this summer, I couldn't stop looking at her hands. I thought about how much those hands had accomplished in her almost 87 years on this Earth. I thought about how much love and nourishment they deliver. I thought about the babies she loved, all the food she prepared and the comfort I found with each touch she delivered. Love resides inside of her hands. Love overflows from them in everything that she does. 

I watched as her hands now gently guided the hands of my children to create delicious loaves of  bread. How laughter and joy filled the room as they worked together to create rich memories that were also deeply rooted in love. I quietly smiled as I watched them together. I knew my children were experiencing the love that I felt throughout my whole life. 

I smiled because I know that these moments are the ties that bind.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

a hike

One of the things I love most about being in Newfoundland, besides hanging out with my family, is the rugged natural beauty that resides there. I have visited many beautiful places in my life, but for us nothing compares to Newfoundland's beauty, probably because it is more than just a place, it's "home."

We were lucky enough to spend an afternoon hiking across beautiful Great Burin Island. The hike definitely got us up close and personal with the rugged beauty of Newfoundland. In order to get to Great Burin, we had to go by boat. One of my father-in-law's friends kindly gave us a lift there in his fishing boat. He dropped us off on one side of the island and picked us up on the other side. 

Great Burin has a special charm because many years ago it was a small, bustling fishing village, but it is my understanding that the government relocated all the families to the Burin area. Today the island is peppered with a few summer cabins, but most of the year it lies silent. The day we visited we were alone, and I loved that. It was kind of fun to know we had the place all to ourselves. 

When I was a little girl, I remember spending a warm Sunday afternoon exploring a small part of this island. My uncle Sam took us there in his fishing boat. I didn't remember a lot about my visit there, but I did remember some of the cement structures that remained from the homes of the families who once lived there.

As a little girl, it felt like a magical place. At the time, I surely didn't appreciate the natural beauty that surrounded me, probably because it was part of my normal. As an adult who rarely gets to see the ocean or the rugged shores of my childhood I soaked up every single moment, both with my heart and my camera.

Our hike across the island took us about 45 minutes. 

One of the things that struck me as we hiked was the silence that seemed to rest there. The only sounds were those of nature and our voices. When our voices fell quiet, and the breeze stirred only the faintest of sounds floated through the air.  The quiet seeped through my body, and it felt very nurturing to my soul.

The entire was walk was beautiful. We saw the ocean from many different angles. We jumped over puddles, balanced on rocks and paused and took in many of the breathtaking sites. When we popped out of the forest, a beautiful meadow stretched before us, and it appeared as if it was reaching into the heavens. 

We climbed the meadow and discovered we had reached the end of our hike. The end brought with it gorgeous views of the ocean and I recognized it as the place my uncle had brought me to many years before. The structures were still standing exactly as I remembered and they seemed to whisper part of the story of the people that once called this place home. 

Our hike across the beautiful island ended with many visual surprises, and we were grateful we could now spend time exploring the shoreline.

We explored, searched for shells and sat on the beach and let the ocean breeze kiss our faces. 

That sunny afternoon had been a feast for our senses, and it was with a deep gratitude for our short visit there that we stepped aboard our boat and headed back to Burin.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

embracing change

When we decided, we would spend our summer holidays in Newfoundland this year I knew it would be very different from all the summers we had returned there in the past. Since this was my first trip back home after we had sold our childhood home. In order to embrace change in a  positive way, we decided to rent a Heritage Home in Burin for a few days.  Our instincts proved us right, and we had a magical three days.

The home we rented was a 150-year-old refurbished home that had breathtaking views of the ocean. It is extremely quiet and peaceful. Whatever window we looked through we were met with the most outstanding beauty. I refused to close the blinds until it was dark, because I couldn't bear to miss a single moment of the scenery. 

The second night we were there the fog rolled in after dinner and that brought with it another form of beauty. We literally watched the fog creep over the ocean and then climb the hills until we were surrounded by a complete blanket of white haze. 

The scenic views, the clean cozy cottage, the ocean and being together as a family was good for our souls. It also allowed us to transition into a new way of spending time home in Newfoundland. I also think it was therapeutic for my mom to join us here. I know it was hard for her to have us arrive and not be in her home to welcome us with good food and a cozy place to stay. When we settled into the cottage, I could feel us all relaxing into a new way of visiting together. We laughed, cooked meals and enjoyed each others company exactly as we had done on every other visit we had made to Newfoundland, except we did inside different walls. It felt right. 

I smile when I think that inside a 150-year-old home we were sprouting new traditions and beginnings as a family. I can't help but wonder about the family who moved into their new home 150 years prior to our visit and how they were probably embracing change, too. I believe embracing change makes life's path so much easier, for we all know change is inevitable and helps us grow stronger. 

Here's to the blessings of change and the lessons we learn because of it. 

Friday, August 8, 2014


We spent the evening by the sea savouring some delicious fish and chips. It's not something we indulge in very often, but we can't visit Newfoundland without treating ourselves. It was worth every bite.

Miss C is not a fan of eating fish, but hanging out by the ocean searching for rocks and shells is where it's at for her. I love just sitting back and watching her scour the shore. She takes her search very seriously.

She pops by periodically to share her treasures with me, but she doesn't stop long for fear she might miss the perfect shell. I adore these moments, perhaps because I know someday soon she will lose her interest in the rock and shell hunt, at least for a while. So as I watch her happily lost in her search I savour every single moment.