View From The Glen

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kick Start and Kick Off

I'm committed.

It was a chance remark on twitter by Finola that got me going. She was participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Post Month for those of not familiar with this rather wordy abbreviation, and sort of a sister to the more ambitious NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month), and was inviting our support. The goal is to write a blog post every single day during the month of November, and is a terrific forum for new bloggers who want to establish themselves, and seasoned bloggers who may need a little push.

What better way to show my support, I thought, than to join her! (Her idea of celebrating with wine at the end of the month had nothing to do with influencing me, nothing!)

So I cajoled my friend, Leanne, and got her on board, and I let the Twitterverse know my plans and politely requested begged them to cheer me on.

To be honest, it's kind of a kick start. I have neglected my blog lately and though I'm starting to pay more attention, I really needed something to motivate me to pick up the momentum. I also want to discover some new blogs. It's been a while since I was out there reading and searching and commenting and blogging, and there's a real thrill in that - in finding someone who says just the right thing at the right time to make you smile or laugh or cry or think about the world just a little differently.
I'm excited and motivated and ready to go. Get ready, get set...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Music to cook by

I have a house musician. She serenades me while I cook. Provides homework ambiance. An evening musical interlude.

Okay, okay, it might be better if she knew more than two notes.

But one day she'll be playing In The Mood.

Only 8 more notes to go.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Broken Record

We were blessed with a gorgous Saturday in Eastern Ontario. Oh, it was cold when we got up at 6, and the kids had to dress in their winter gear to go fishing with the cubs, but by the time they returned at noon, the day had shaken off the chill and the sun had burned the frost away.

I feel sometimes that I say the same things year after year. That I do the same things year after year. I suppose we all do to some extent. And so Saturday afternoon was spent in the garden. We dug up the rest of the potatoes and put them away into storage to get us through the next few months. We roto-tilled the gardens, and added rich compost to the soil, and then planted and mulched 150 bulbs of garlic that I had saved from our August harvest. The kids raked leaves into a huge pile and we spent a good hour leaping into them in the late afternoon sun.

All these things we do every year. And every year they seem important enough to write about.

As the sun started to get low, you could feel the day's warmth start to evaporate and I went inside to make pasta and stoke the fire. Andrew came in behind me and being the wise man he is, stopped me from making dinner.

Come and watch the kids in the sunset, he said, pouring me a glass of wine. We won't get many more days like today for a while.

And so wrapped in my plaid, I sat beside him on the deck and we watched the kids play together and laugh and race and run until the sun slowly sank behind the trees and the chill drove them, hungry and happy, into the kitchen.

Friday, October 22, 2010

History Mystery: Canadian Women

October is National Women's History Month, so I thought we'd take a look at some of our Canadian ladies - not all of whom are as well known as perhaps they should be.
  1. Born in the UK in 1838, this woman married a Hudson's Bay official, and spent years living in Canada and travelling by canoe. She sketched her adventures, and later turned them into paintings. Her work shows voyageurs in their canoes, and she is probably our best known artist of this kind of work. In 1988, one of her paintings was featured on a Canadian stamp.
  2. A suffragette, a teacher, one of the founders of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design were just some of the qualities describing this lady. But this world traveller, born in India in 1931, and buried in Montreal after her death at age 83, is mostly know for her role as a royal governess.
  3. Canada's first female Member of Parliament was elected in 1921. "I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality," she said. Equally famous is her quote, "If the preservation of the home means the enslavement of women, economically or morally, then we had better break it." This early feminist was an advocate for prison reform, disarmament, and old age pensions.
  4. Born in 1901, this Nova Scotia woman was a nurse, an actress, and a resistence fighter who lived in Holland rescuing downed allied airmen from the Nazis. Betrayed to the Gestapo, she is the only Canadian woman to have been imprisoned and condemned to death by the Germans. She escaped, and returned to Nova Scotia where she died in 1976.

Monday Answers:
This must have been tougher than usual. I intentionally made it that way because friends who know me said I usually make them too easy:( Still got to find that balance.  The answers are....(drum roll):
  1. Artist Frances Anne Hopkins
  2. Anna Leonowens (of The King and I fame)
  3. Agnes MacPhail
  4. Mona Parsons
Way to go Julie with a score of 2/4. (kinda reminds me of our marks in 1st year philosophy! Bwa-ha-ha!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Should be required reading for all high school kids. Hope I remember where to find it when my own kids get to that age. Do your self a favour and check it out.

Libby Bray: Your Mileage May Vary

Love the part about sitting in the playground with your friends, on the merry-go-round, talking about life, liberty and love ...yeah, been there.

And if you're a school guidance counsellor, there's a take away message here that you really don't want to miss.

It almost makes me want to be 17 again....and that's not something I expected to hear myself say.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn Walks

All the leaves are brown
And the skies are grey
I went for a walk
On a winter's day

Not winter...yet. But late fall in Canada always makes me hum that song. Today I have the day to myself, and after waving farewell to my family as they set off for cub camp ("so long, cheerio, pip pip, farewell, but be back soon..." just not too soon), the dog and I tromp off for a long autumn walk.

Many of the trees - including the maples, elms, oaks and ashes on my property - still have leaves, and a wave of gorgeous colour paints itself across the countryside. But there is a strong wind today, and yellowed leaves swirl at our feet as we follow the road over hills and through the glen. 

The ground is damp and the air filled with that rich earthy scent that reminds me of Flambards (that's a post for another day). Lady disturbs a couple of massive puffball mushrooms that dissolve into fungal dust, and I am taken back years to my first puffball feast and how disappointed I was (not to mention how much butter I put on to make them edible and not hurt our hosts' feelings).

Down the lane, through the woods, across the pebbled river and back across the fields. Every year it seems I take the same pictures, say the same things.

The golden canopy, the crunchy path of dead leaves, the pungent aroma of the forest, the inspiring awesomeness of nature.

I could have taken this picture today or a year ago, or five years ago. In fact I probably did.

The only thing that changes is the height of the children.

But today it was just me and the dog, a mad squirrel and a flock of arguing birds.

And a beautiful Autumn walk.

At the end of it all, on this blustery Winne-the-Pooh day, we came home to a quiet house, lit a fire, made a hot cup of tea, and am spending the next couple of hours with a book. Or two.

I might even make soup. A nice bowl of potato-cheddar chowder accompanied with crusty rolls always goes down well on a day like this.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


For good health...

For family...

 For fresh air and room to run...

For plentiful food...

For a happy home...

It was a spectacular Fall weekend in the Glen. All across southern Ontario the sun was bright and the air crisp and we enjoyed having Andrew's family here for the day. Nothing says Thanksgiving like a houseful of family, the laughter of children playing with their cousins, and the smell of turkey roasting in the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I apologize....

to Finola, to the Mindful Merchant, to Leanne, Lindsay, Cyndi, Christine.

And to a bunch of other wonderful bloggers out there.

I've been reading your blogs regularly. I love them. It makes me happy to see a new post up. But I've been too busy to sign in, to leave comments, to engage with you. It's not a good excuse, but it's the one I have.

I know that you have all left comments on my blog, and I appreciate it I really do. And it reminds me that I need to find the time to write back because this blogging thing is not a one way relationship.

I apologize also...

to my readers....those of you who I know are out there who don't leave comments, as well as those of you who do sometimes (hello, Julie, Keitha).

My blog posts have beer erratic lately. I know this. I have good intentions. I have lots of things to say, pictures I can use, stories to tell.

Recently, there have been many new things taking up my time. I'm not quite ready to divulge, but it's an exciting, whirlwind, chaotic time for me. And it has meant that something had to give...this time around it is this blog.

But if you can bear with me another month or two; if you can tolerate the sketchy posting and forgive me for the lack of meaningful interaction, I promise it will get better.