Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Very Sad Day

Remembering Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.  
Thoughts and prayers with his family today during his funeral service in Hamilton.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ghost Stories

October's chill and darkening days bring to mind that the spookiest night of the year is close on our heels.  Plain Jane has invited everyone to share any ghost stories they may have.  She has a couple of stories herself that get the goosebumps rising on the arms, and makes you want to firmly close the cellar door!

My own ghost story involves a clock.

It also involves my dear grandmother, long dead and buried, and my mother (Violet), at the time of this story only recently passed away.

I've mentioned before that I helped my parents clear out all kinds of stuff from their country home in order to move into a house about a third of the size.

the country home
One thing that my mom was getting rid of was this little clock that was her mother's 
(my grandmother ... also named Violet).

Apparently, my grandmother was quite proud of her little clock.  She wasn't a wealthy woman, but the clock was something special.  I've never known the clock to be in working order, but at one time the clock had been sent to a clock maker for repairs. Inside is written our old address by the clock repair shop. 

My dad liked to fidget with all kinds of things, and quite frankly, he fidgeted with any special heirlooms of my mother's until they were ruined.  This clock was one such item. It used to have those nice sweeping curved wooden sides, but my dad chopped them off and put on these ugly straight sides.  I remember him in later years trying to get the clock working himself to no avail.  The convex glass of the door was missing, as were the hands. It was, as my mother often used to say "a source contention" between them. 

The clock sat on top of Mom's china cabinet all those years ... silent ... disfigured. The clock works were no longer even secured to the inside of the clock, 

but sat loose behind the little door in back.

I was rather sad when I saw the clock in a pile of things that Mom was throwing out. It showed she had given up on it ever being properly repaired. I decided to rescue it and bring it home with me.  I didn't tell Mom, and I just set it on my own bookshelf for a few more years as a little curio.

After Mom passed away and I started this blog, I decided to make something out of the clock, and brought it off the shelf and set it on the kitchen counter to have a better look at it and clean it up.

I took out the clock works and set them on the counter.  There's something old-world about clock works.  The cogs, the wheels, the springs and winders.  So complex yet all married together to mark the minutes in a carefully engineered way.  A bygone treasure.

As I was admiring the clock works, I suddenly had a strange sensation that there was a presence behind me.  I got a slightly shivery feeling across my shoulders that I was being watched ... I was not alone. Instantly I felt that behind me were Grandma and Mom, but I didn't put any more into it than that, and I didn't turn to look behind me.  And then, without warning, the clock works all started to move!  All the little cogs and wheels began to whir and spin, and I looked at it closer, quite fascinated.

It made barely a whisper as it came to life. It was beautiful with every little shiny golden wheel spinning all through the works. I watched as the springs gradually unwound on either side.  It was quite surreal as we three watched (for I'm sure two others watched with me ... perhaps with a shared smile).  It took a few minutes for the clock works to finally wind down and again be still and silent.

There was a small "key" that could be turned to wind up the clock, and although I wound the key gently, it wouldn't work again.  Once the clock wound down, I no longer had a feeling that anyone else was with me.  But I'm sure I had company moments before.  I've never felt that sensation again. It wasn't a scary thing, but a comforting thing, for I loved both of those women dearly.  Sadly, the cogs haven't spun since.

And if you were wondering what it was I wanted to do with the clock ...

I thought the clock looked very much like a little home with it's intriguing curved back door.  I had a tiny stuffed mouse that once belonged to my infant son.  I removed the clock works, and the clock has now become a secret house for a tiny mouse.

It still sits on my bookshelf, but only my son and I know what's actually inside it ;)

So there you go.  My one and only "ghost" story.  Jane has invited everyone to share and join in the fun.  If you want to read more, pop over to Plain Jane and see what other's have been saying.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Bit of Gardening Colour

These days filled with fall colour don't last long.  And with this weird autumn weather, some trees are still fully green, while others have turned colour and dropped all their leaves!  You really have to be watching to capture the changes as they whiz by in a flash.  This morning the rain has held off, but the clouds are still heavy.  I tip toed out with my camera in a bit of a misty morning with the neighbours watching from their kitchen, snug with hands wrapped round coffee mugs and enjoying watching the strange lonely lady next door on knees and hanging upside down taking photos ... what a nut.

But hopefully you'll all understand what you have to go through to get close up and personal with your garden. It's not so nice though when everything is damp and cold.

First off is my favourite burning bush in the front yard.  This is such a beautiful bush, and if you can grow it in your area, I highly recommend it.  It doesn't require trimming, loves full hot sun, and in the fall it comes into it's own with spectacular deep red.  Yesterday's non-stop rain is still clinging to the leaves.

I never did get to planting a border of bushes along the lot line with my neighbour this summer.  It's still something I want to do though.  I'm torn between adding more burning bushes, or some bridal wreath.  But being more of a fall person rather than spring, I think I'd prefer to see a nice row of crimson along the border in fall, rather than a row of white in spring.

I thought the soft autumn colours were nice from my front door ... 

There are still a few surprises in the garden this week.  Although most of my coneflowers are looking pretty worn, there were three dahlias looking bright and cheery, even after the deluge of rain yesterday and the cold temperatures.  Aren't they pretty for this time of year?

The lavender is just about finished too.  There wasn't too much to harvest this year, but I'm hoping to see a big change next year with all the plants I put in for my lavender hedge.

A small bed of begonias are going strong too.  I've noticed begonias are actually quite strong and last longer than most flowers in my garden.  You'd think they'd be quite tender with their fleshy stems.

My mossy stump looks fantastic in the dark wood chips and browning ferns.  I'm so happy with that little experiment and if I can find another stump, I might make another one ... there's lots of moss growing thick on the north side of my garden shed.

The ferns themselves look beautiful as they fade from green, to yellow, to brown.  I really like the dark brown pods(?) that come up in the centre of some of the ferns.  Not sure what they are exactly, but they look so striking against the other softer shades.

This last photo is for my friend Stacy.  You see my friend, not only did I take a few photos this morning, but I also dug up my pretty pink petunia (which I've kept going for two summers now), and it's ready to come indoors again ;)  Thank you for that last bit of encouragement you gave me recently Stacy, it was just the push I needed to get this simple task done!

Now all the plants that I wanted to save are indoors, and the rest can come to a graceful end outside because I don't have room for any more in here!  The patio furniture is packed away, the shed is organized once again, and the pond is was drained (but is now full of rain water again ... but that's my son's job), and my little gurgling fountain which the birds loved so much this summer is put away till next year. Time to get some birdseed for my winter birds.  The thistle seed eaters seem to have all flown south now.  I've seen herons and turkey vultures migrating away from us too.  It's coming.  Wish us luck!

Thanks for stopping by today!