‘He leads me beside the still waters and restores my soul.’

be still and know

What a glorious day it has been this Sunday.  I was able to spend it doing so many of the things that make me happy, that remind me love can be all around us in so many forms.  It’s just like my favorite saying about ‘Feeling the rain…Don’t just get wet’.  You have to let yourself ‘feel’ the rain.  Otherwise, you won’t like your hair and you’ll only notice the water stains on your clothes, instead of how wonderful they smell.

Today, being a Sunday,  I chose to ‘feel’  love in my immediate world around me.  I went out looking for it in this beautiful prairie sky & lake setting.  The sky was amazingly blue and alive with lazy travelling clouds.  Trees, although almost bare, still handsomely grace driveways, roadsides & shore.  The evidence of their ‘coats of many colors’, still flutter around here and there before getting settled as ground cover for seedlings that must rest for the winter, or lining in nests for burrowing furry friends. Neighbors are out walking happy dogs.  Kids are still skateboarding down the road.

“What’s not to love!”

By the lake.

still of the morning

Seeing the true wonders in nature, how God is a Master Artist and the way every detail is taken care of,  always helps me tremendously to deal with my worry, anxiety,  my messy somewhere ‘half finished’ house,  grief,  disappointments, failures, and uncertainties of what is ahead.

If He can handle all of these things here on earth and in the sky then surely my problems aren’t too great for Him.  And His word does tell us that,  but for some reason, I still think I have to jump in first and help!

But just for today, I backed off!  I got dressed, left the dishes, clothes in the washer and my bed unmade.  However, I had a good excuse for that.  The cat was curled up in the middle of it.  I shouted: “Later, Dudes.”  Then shut the door & listened for a moment.  Nothing inside was upset or falling apart without me!

Easier than I thought.

This private view was all for me this morning:  Priceless!

shore in shadows

Further down, as I stumbled over this rugged assembly of downed trees, roots and branches many times over the season,  I almost turned back, looking for my easier trail, but I didn’t.  I chose to look over it and the path along the water’s edge ahead, was open, sunny and smooth.

That was a sign to me that although it looks bumpy now, don’t give up….There are smooth places also.  Keep moving forward.

The water was perfectly still.  (These few photos of this same place were taken earlier in the season, of course).  My camera is full at the moment.


rugged shore

Coffee, camera, and notepad, boots and windbreaker lead me to one of my favorite meditation places.  “Beside the still waters”.

I even have my own reserved natural bench.  Many times I have sat the rain out on this ‘bench’ and drank in the fragrance, the sounds, the peace that moments of ‘being still’ can bring.


park bench

I leisurely daydreamed.  Anywhere my thoughts decided to go…I let it happen.  Surprisingly enough I didn’t dwell on any topics that I cannot change right now.  Rather, I enjoyed my time of rest and the buffet table of the simple pleasures I have in front of me.  As Julie Andrew’s ageless song goes:

“These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!”

And some of my most relaxing times are spent:

Shopping for heart shaped stones to hide into my paintings:


nice shopping

five year search

A 5 year search:  A lucky stone (found with a hole bored through it) that is heart shaped.

I sort of hide the stones as a finishing touch.

all three waterfall (2)





This one below,  I titled “Broken Heart” Because I actually found the heart shaped stone that was in 2 pieces. (close to bottom, towards your left)

second stage


I can send  ‘Special Delivery’ messages of love and hope to Heaven anytime.  I get to write what’s in my heart,  into the sand in full view.  Heaven above me doesn’t require postage at all.  I can bring flowers and freely leave them at anytime, for any season.


we love you

winter gren


I spent time today….Just remembering loved ones …in happy ways…and no tears,  as I scanned through my camera.


fathers day tribute to jack


alice with alice

The Four of Us, laughing over the craziest stuff & all talking at once!

four mabbs

I will always remember the joy of seeing Louise after so many years.


I miss the way my sister Eve made sure there was always cake for any and every occasion.  There was always a gathering at their house.  My brother in law, Ron was usually outnumbered by all of us women and would leave us ‘cackling hens’ as he called us, and go downstairs to listen to his music!

easter Eva

She is still just as beautiful!

Sisters spending a sick day at home with Grammie. WOW!  Seems like only yesterday.

home day with grammie


Today I lifted my face towards the sun but realized I am already missing the touch of the warm summer rain…

clouds by pop

rose after rain

The fragrance of flowers afterwards…

And best of all…

my rainbow road


Miss the lovely colors of my flower gardens.  But happy to write:   I will have geraniums on my sills all winter!  I always do.

three in a row (2)

Although I do love winter out here and I am ready for the rest from yard work… I

first blossoms

Look forward to apple blossom time once more.

appl blossom time 2014


Last spring, a mother cat and her kittens visited.  I invited them to a barbeque.

two for a barbecue

They stayed around and the season changed.  I let them in to watch TV one frosty day…


two of us look in sunroom

The rest is history!  They watched the 1st snowfall from inside their permanent  home.



wait for me

After returning home to my comfy couch  today, I reviewed the efforts I’ve made at painting again.  It’s been a struggle since losing the 2 people who were my main encouragers:



Some got finished…

all three waterfall (2)

Others haven’t.  Several are half done.  Will see how it goes this winter.

three cougars (2)

This photo was taken during Simba’s last year… Going on 2 years.  Still miss him & walk around expecting to trip over him.  Automatically looked for him under his favorite tree a few times this summer.

simba in the sun

I could never put a price on the feeling that still comes over me while watching the geese until they’re out of sight.  Year after year, it takes me to my Dad and looking to the North for all the signs of a change of season.


I waited, but no other flock came after these.

geese over moonlight bay


I love how my favorite piece of Driftwood changes with the seasons and is never disappointing in it’s beauty and originality.  There was a time when I first saw this beautiful piece that I thought about loading it, bringing it to my front yard and putting all season lights on it.  True, it would have been lovely, but I would be robbing the spot it is in.  It’s MORE than beautiful right here.  I don’t need to ‘own’ it,  I have photos to share and through my writing, you know its a special landmark.  The colors behind it are gorgeous!

rustic art of driftwood

As I sat, warmed by the sun, I knew the direction I was going for this blog.  I began going through my photos.  I randomly picked out a bunch and clicked them onto these pages, just a whole scramble.  I think they speak for my thoughts today, the best.

It has been quoted that a picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Well, here’s a few thousand for my thoughts and memories of what I feel are just a bit extra special to me…this Sunday.  There are always memories, Always the surprise in finding an old photo, a card or letter.  These are todays pages of my mind:

Happiness to me means:

Not being afraid to write the word: Love’ anytime.

written in the sand

Take photos of anything you like:

These were Baby birds and Bunnies that have shared my yard.

on your own

baby alone

Thank goodness I never hurt these babies with my trimmers!

hidden treasures

This Mommy & her five babies lived under my deck and also had a nest in my flower bed.

Going back to a season of:

Finding yummy worms for baby chicks will always be one of my sweetest memories.

digging for worms


baby chicks

Sunshine and Dora  were very special.  They got to wear nice doll clothes and be taken for rides in the stroller.

Thinking about my Mom.

I laughed at my own complaints and whining about hanging out Monday’s Wash with my Mom…She never got upset with me…even when I used the clean sheets for making tents!  Thanks for the memories, Mama!

monday washh photo

Found this Photo:  My sweet, petite Grannie who shared the upstairs in our creaky old house & chased away my fears, or held my hand if I had a bad dream through a thunder storm.  My Dad.  I still can hear his laughter, the way he called me South Paw or Summer Wind.

Four generations here.  Grannie, Dad, my sister Alice & Robbie.

nice four generation mabbs


Wish my Sunflowers were still blooming.  Think it is about time to finish my painting.




And this one…

new shelf in wave

Having a plan is a good thing.  We all need that.  However, I have recently come to the conclusion that I cannot beat myself up when everything doesn’t get done.  The world won’t end because my bookcases & wicker furniture aren’t all painted the same color yet, or due to the fact that I’ve gained a few pounds and I don’t have my book finished by the date I promised to myself.  What does matter to me is making sure I have time for those who need company or an ear that will care and listen.  I  want to be responsible for treating others right, regardless of what comes back.  That is not up to me to try and change, which I often do.  That’s where I jump in to help God.  I need to have more faith that He will do what He said He will do!

I had so much free time today because I took the day off.  I gave it all to Him when I closed my front door and went out walking with great expectations…

No!  I am wrong!  I left without any expectations at all!  That’s why my mind was open, happy and clear.  I enjoyed the simplest day, my mind uncluttered.  I didn’t let go of that.

As I get ready to post this, I am hoping to keep this outlook about my situations, fix whatever I can and let the rest go.  If it’s out of my hands, I have to believe it is in much bigger, wiser and unconditional loving ones.  I am going to remind myself when the doubts threaten, of where I spent my Sunday:

Beside the still waters.


new pink peeper

Thank you for reading.  I hope there is something in this blog that you will find encouraging for yourself or someone you know.  You could be that one bright color in someone’s life today, tomorrow or the next time you meet.

Blessings. Have a great week.

Memory Lane




Wasn’t it just Springtime?  The signs were all around.


Trees and perennials burst into leaf and the fragrance of their blossoms filled the air.  We had the whole summer to look forward to…lots of time for everything…all those picnics, short road trips, family gatherings, weddings, showers, transplanting, building that new deck.  No need to rush, right?

morning glory on the line

Suddenly summer was full blown. The signs were everywhere.  The sky was the limit.

on your own

Days were long, gardens grew, baby birds learned to fly, everything was alive.  It seemed like there was still lots of time for completing all those ‘to do’ lists.

Pansies for Mom (2)


Even grain fields were amazing as I watched their growth and changes.

green hills

clearin land

Field of Gold (2013_10_24 22_16_48 UTC)

And there were the wonderful walks in the summer rain.


everything has a purpose

This year I loved it more than ever, especially the smell of it.  I called it a taste of heaven, probably because I miss my sister & my best bud so much and somehow letting the rain wash away my tears, became the important therapy I needed.  I walked in it as much as possible hoping the memory will carry me through the winter.

My yard was a hub of activity and I loved having several species of birds around.  Including my notorious crows, Cheech & Chong!  What a pair they were. Although they got on my nerves at times, and I believe they chased away some of my robins, I couldn’t help but like them.  They were extremely smart and they knew me.  Somehow we connected and I accepted having them around.  They were bullies at times and we had several disagreements about that.  I actually miss the pair of them.  It has become very quiet here now.  I wonder if they return to the same place in the spring.  Guess I’ll have to wait on that one.

I even gained a few Hummingbirds around my front deck this year.  They loved my bright Hollyhocks in the back but didn’t hang around there too much, and I think it was also because of Cheech & Chong.


summers promise fullfilled

These are my third generation Hollies I remember growing all around our yard and garden when I was a child.  They started at my Ukranian Grandmother’s (Baba’s) house.  My mother grew them and now I have them and have done transplanting , and saved seeds for generations to come.  As I have written in so many, or probably all of my stories: My parents are my Wind Spirits.  They are close to me always in so many different ways.

a sip or two

Summer gave me long days and evenings with lots of time to walk, reflect and be peaceful.  I enjoyed every minute, happy or sad.  Whatever my mood was, I found I was able to come home and ‘blog’ my heart out.  Thank you to my faithful encouraging readers.  You keep me going.  I am thrilled that through my writing, your comments have told me I’ve been able to make you feel that you are actually right there in my story with me.  How inspiring is that!  A writer couldn’t ask for better feedback.

indian summer

I loved walking beside the lake early in the morning or around sunset and watching the flock of geese that landed to feed and frolic in the shallow water.  They were quite playful and shocked me because I always thought of them as very focused and serious.  In this secluded inlet, they were relaxed and totally entertaining.  I sat perfectly still and observed, not even wanting to distract them with my camera, so I didn’t.


I took time to enjoy colors in the simple things around me.


Before long, however, the days became noticeably shorter.  A northern chill was in the air in the evenings.  Leaves changed colors.

pebbles and yellow leaves

Everything was ripening quickly, then winding down as its season was coming to an end.

driftwood on moonlight bay


Then the surest sign of all.  One my Dad taught me as a child.

“Look to the North, South Paw.  The geese are gathering in groups getting ready and soon they will be flying overhead towards the south.  It’s time for their great migration.  They know when it is their exact time to leave the cold and fly south.”  This is what he told me every year about this time.

FullSizeRender.jpg flight to south

That was a long time ago, but missing my Dad is still as fresh in my heart as always.  I loved the sound of his soft, yet strong voice.  I knew I could depend on him.  I thrived on his knowledge and experience about everything around us.  It was because of him I learned many things about our beautiful, intelligent Canada Geese.

Back to my comment on: “Wasn’t it just spring?”  One of Springtime’s most welcoming sign is the return of these geese.  We hear them long before they are visible in the sky above. The beginning of a new season.

blue sky for mondays wash

They never fail to appear.  No matter how many seasons we see them, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that each spring their sounds give us a good feeling.

‘Kanata’, is a Huron word for ‘village’ or settlement.  The Huron first named flocks of geese ‘Kanata’ because these birds nested and bred close to Aboriginal settlements.  Kanata was also the name given to what is now Quebec City, then conformed to the English name: Canada.

Today, Canada geese are established from Mexico to the Arctic.  They are loosed and thriving across the land from Canada’s east coast to the west.

Although they start out in large groups, these geese gradually form smaller ones.  It may be a family or pairs of several young geese known as yearlings.  The giant Canada goose is likely the most known populated water bird in North America.  Their wing span can spread over 6 feet & they can weigh anywhere from 20-27 pounds.  The only difference between the male & female is the male is slightly larger in size.  There are various ‘sub species’, all with the famous neck band but they only weigh in at about 7-10 pounds.

A Gander, the male, will hold the highest rank if he has the most goslings (babies).  The more goslings in one family, the bossier, the proud Gander!  Hmmnn…Typical isn’t it?  LOL!

Now this is where it becomes interesting:

Fights for rank only break out between Ganders if they both have the same number of goslings!  Sometimes, 2 year old geese will breed, but the normal breeding age is 3 years old.  When this happens, chances are the young 2 year old parents will lose their brood to the older, more aggressive pairs.  It may even be their own parents who take their grand-goslings in order to gain the higher rank!

WOW! There is no escaping competitiveness is there?

noisy departure

While in flight, they make a racket!  The average Canada Goose belts out about 10 or 12 different vocalizations.  This is their way of communication with one another.  Their cruising speed averages 30 miles per hour but will speed up to 40 mph during migration.  If they are really pressed to reach their destination, they can fly at an astonishing speed of 60 mph!

Geese have proven to be amazingly loyal.  If one goose gets sick or wounded and falls out of formation, its mate or one or two others will follow it down to the spot it has landed.  They will stay with the wounded goose, protect it, forage for food, often risking their own lives, for as long as it takes to recover or until it dies.

Canada geese that were once banded, have recorded ages that vary from 12 to 80 years!  One pair was actually recorded as having been together for 42 years!

I hope they put a diamond in that female gooses band!

Although it’s familiar that geese mate for life, research has discovered that the occasional divorce does occur.  Most geese will select another mate after a partner’s death, while a few will simply return to the same nest alone, for many seasons.

These remarkable birds do not change their route from year to year.  A mated pair will always return to their same nesting place.  The young learn the familiar route from their parents and once flying on their own, will still return to their birth locations, year after year.

Typically, the female chooses the nesting site.  A favorite is atop a muskrat house or beaver dam, close to,  or on the water.  She will accept man made nests, or reuse abandoned ones built by owls, crows or hawks.

Then she redecorates. (Of course she does!)

She is resourceful and uses whatever materials are close by…at the local waterside Walmart…twigs, grasses, moss & leaves.  Later, she will line the nursery with her own down from her chest.  She is planning ahead with good intention as she picks the spot for her nest.  While sitting on her eggs, she positions herself so she has a good view in case any predators try to approach the nest from any side.

It’s a simple request made by the female: A room with a view!  I totally get that.

Now, the proud Gander doesn’t sit on the eggs, but he stays close and fearlessly defends the nesting area.  He decides how much territory should be privately owned.  If he senses danger of intruders, he will spread his wings, hiss and create havoc until he drives that would be threat, away.

A typical Canadian Mother Goose lays her cream colored eggs anywhere from March to early June.  She will lay one egg every other day up to 12 eggs.  The normal count is 5 to 8 eggs.  Not necessarily: Cheaper by the Dozen!

The first eggs are pushed aside and left camouflaged until all the eggs have been laid.  It doesn’t matter if they are cold.  The female will begin lining the nest with her down for comfortable insulation when she is about half way through her laying.  Only when all of her eggs are laid, will she begin incubating so the eggs will hatch at the same time.

While I was doing the research on the Canada Goose, I was amazed at how every detail has been taken care of by both male & female and their intelligence, loyalty & commitment floored me!

Hatching of the eggs takes a further 25-30 days.  Mother will stay on the nest the entire time, except for brief food, water and bathroom breaks.  Raccoons will go after the unattended eggs if allowed an unguarded moment.  I could only imagine the wrath of Mama Goose, if that happened while she stepped out for her much needed break and Dad was on duty!

There would be no living with her!

I often took the children to Wascana Park while we lived in Regina, Saskatchewan,  to feed the geese.  One day, a little one got left behind and was frantically calling as it tried to climb up the bank of the lake.  I picked it up to see if I could find its family.  Out of nowhere an adult goose appeared in an outrage!  It hissed and bit at me & knocked me down with its wings & didn’t stop until it had knocked me into the water!  We learned never to mess with the little ones again!  They have many human-like traits.  They are loyal, protective of family & each other and are gifted with an impeccable memory.  That goose came after me every time it saw me that entire season!  I had no idea which baby I had picked up, but the adult goose remembered.

During this incubation time, the adults molt their flight feathers and are unable to fly.  However, the male’s sole purpose at this time is to stay right by the nest to defend it.  These feathers grow back just in time to teach their young to fly for their fall migration.

As I see it, God kind of took away his keys so he isn’t a flight risk ???

the geese family

The proud parents celebrate the goslings and lead them to the water to swim within the first 24 hours of birth!  They must gain a pound a week to reach a stable flying weight in the next 2 months. The geese feed on tender marsh grasses, pond weeds, cattails, berries & salt grasses.  They are observed by the thousands in fall, foraging fields for grain or corn kernels.

The parents are fiercely protective of their young as anyone who has ever tried to snatch one, or gets too close, will find out as I just shared.  If there are several geese families in the area, they congregate & share taking care of the goslings, adding strength and safety in numbers.  The large birds do not have many natural enemies besides hunters but the goslings can fall prey to owls, hawks or snapping turtles.

When the great migration is in progress, thousands upon thousands fill our sky, flying day and night.  This usually happens from the middle of September to early October. Before starting out they stop several times to feed themselves well before their long, difficult journey.  They migrate in family groups & the new goslings stay with their parents for one full year.


Their distinctive V shape formation is unique and for logical reasons.  They keep this shape while flying thousands of miles at a time as a way to assist one another.  As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the flyer behind it.  This allows them to cover greater distances than if flying on their own.  Usually a female is the lead point.

(Makes sense…a male would never ask for directions.)

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.

The males have the important part of guarding the rear.  They honk continuously to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.  When the lead point gets tired, it changes position & another flies to the front and takes over.  No slackers anywhere in this species.

Canada geese are a proud and magnificent bird.  We are blessed to have any opportunity to enjoy them.  From generation to generation, year after year, we watch the flight of the beautiful ‘Kanata’ Geese.  The sound of their honking is always a sign that summer is nearly over.  The formation of honking geese flying overhead always confirms that a season has passed and another will fill it’s place.

As we respectfully watch them leave, we automatically think of spring and what a welcoming sight it will be to see and hear them returning from the south,  Somehow they bring a message and create the feeling that all is right with the world again.

God really is the amazing artist and He created them with an amazing instinct, beautiful markings, strength, courage and has given them the seasons and their place and purpose under the sun.  Just as He has made people, there are no two ‘Kanata’ Geese exactly the same.  He knows every feather just as He knows the number of hairs on our heads.  We are all beautiful and were put here for a purpose.

Let’s enjoy our Canada Geese by respecting their natural habitats so that generations who follow us will be able to enjoy them too.

As I watched this small group feeding by the side of the road,  I knew any moment they would depart and it both thrilled me and saddened me.  They had a mission to complete.  Suddenly, it began.  Just like that. One began to lift off and the rest followed.

noisy departure

The noise was almost deafening.  Forget being sad!  These birds were celebrating! What’s wrong with me?FullSizeRender.jpgbegin flight

I hollered: “Bon Voyage, my friends!”

That was all they needed.


I watched them until the sky became silent and they vanished into the clouds.  I felt my Dad watching over my shoulder and telling me:
“Before you know it, Summer Wind,  they’ll be back again.”

I smiled and got into my car.  I know he’s right.


Thanks Dad.

And thank you for for reading.  Hope I was able to share some new facts about these beautiful birds and their amazing life styles.  Perhaps when you see them again, you’ll see them just a little bit more as family groups, as new parents & a species who are loyal to each other until the end.

I’ll be back soon with more Autumn memories.  Until next time,


This is Memory Lane @



A WALK IN THE WOODS by Summer Wind

shady lane

This was the path I went on a nature walk with my granddaughters  only a couple of weeks ago.  Just before the leaves began to change.  However, you could already see tinges of changes on the way.  As we walked, talked and stopped to listen to natures sounds all around us, for a brief moment I felt like a ‘time traveler’.

I was the wonderful age of 10 and my Dad was just around the bend because he thought he’d heard a prairie chicken scruffling in the brush.  Shep was at my side, waiting until Dad called him to come and spook it out into the open so that Dad would know that was in fact what he thought.  Although he carried his twenty two, he never shot them while I was there.  He would walk me back to the clearing and then return to that exact spot.  I ran to the house and changed for play.  I never really questioned the hunt.  I didn’t want to and I knew whatever happened was not for sport and my parents never ever were wasteful.  It was part of our normal prairie life on the farm.

busy livvie

More often than not, Dad & I went for our walk in the woods after a summer shower.  Dad loved that the most.  He always made up the excuse that we should check out the field in case the rain had affected the crop? My response was always the same.

“Um… Dad, isn’t this good for the crop?  You always say it needs a good rainfall.”  He’d grin and grab his cap and then say:

“You’re right, Smartie Pants.  So let’s go check out how fresh it looks and watch while it waves back at us.”

There went my imagination again as I animated in my head all the grains of wheat, waving at us with Smiley faces.

We had a routine down pat.


As soon as the sun is shining once more…

I grab my boots… And run out the door!

Dad yells:  “Hold on a minute!”  I stop and wait.

Old Shep barks.  Dad opens the gate.

After the rain… On a path through the forest…

Listening to the  birds… Rejoicing in chorus.

The earth is refreshed… Appearing spring green…

Colors more alive… Than I’ve ever seen!

Cattle are grazing… A plane’s soaring high…

I can hear the lambs… In their pen, near by.

Spider Web’s Lace has captured a few drops…

That sparkle and glisten… Through the tree tops.

Shimmering green, touched with gold are the trees…

While dropping warm rain… As it falls with the breeze.

Following our trail… I jump over the rocks…

Can’t wait till I take off…My boots and my socks!

We’re down at the creek… Hearing the frogs…

Dad laughs while I balance… On the slippery logs!

There’s always time… To have a light snack…

That Mom has lovingly put in my pack.

After we sit and talk for a spell…

Dad looks round and then he says… “Well…

Think we should head back… There are chores to be done.

It’s now after three… We started at one.”

Old Shep runs ahead… This trail he knows best…

Until we catch up… He takes a short rest.


heading home

I shake off the drops… That plopped down from the trees…

Good thing Mom doesn’t mind… I got mud to my knees.

Oh how I loved each walk that we’d take…

How each time was so special… All the memories that we’d make.

As we walked down this path… Just the other day

All of those years… Kind of slipped away.

Now I am like Dad… Making old memories new…

Perhaps one day… They will share them … Too!

***Summer Wind***

Thank you as always to my parents.. My Wind Spirits with me everywhere.

And thank you to my granddaughters who lovingly share their love & time with me whenever the opportunity arises.  Love you as big as our prairie sky.

Yours forever,  Gram.