Sunday, February 24, 2013

Family visits, heirlooms and dust collectors

I enjoy cooking meals and maintaining a clutter-free living spaceHouse cleaning though is not one of my favourite  activities.  When the humble abode looks like it could use a once-over and I need incentive to clean, I invite people to dinner. 

I recently hosted a small gathering of family and friends at le petit apartement.  Most of the pre-visit housecleaning was done in a rushed manner.  My helpers had vanished into different rooms, the cats were not helpful at all and I was still recovering my energy level due to a social and networking event the night before.

Regardless, all went well as I quickly rounded up tumbleweeds of cat fur then discretely plowed piles of winter gravel under furniture in the front hall. 

House cleaning is much easier when horizontal surfaces are clutter-free.  Snoozing cats are exempt.  

The ensuing visit from family and friends was enjoyable and boisterous.  In addition to consuming a pot of hearty chili, warm bread, salad and exotic fruit, we imbibed a variety of red and white wines.  The dessert container of profiteroles disappeared in record time, washed down with coffee or tea.

One relative had transported some family heirlooms that had been in safe keeping long since our dear parents had passed away. The "Mother" tea cup and saucer appeal to my sentimentality.  I look forward to using it.  

The swan vases may go to another relative. Otherwise, they'll likely collect dust or may suffer a fracturing fate from a frollicking feline.

My talented sibling gifted me one of her recent wine bottle lantern creations.  If you read this blog back in May 2012, you will recall my visit to her home, sipping wine while exploring a new artistic activity.

I admired this recent lantern creation with the image of the mother pelican and her three offspring. I was delighted when my sister showed me the little battery-powered tea light candle in addition to the traditional kind

What intrigued me was the symbolism, the story of the mother pelican feeding and reviving her young with her own blood. Makes one think about the sacrifice made to ensure children get a new chance at life.  I was deeply touched by this gift.

 Pelican symbolism links:

If you want to see more of these unique and practical  lanterns, visit Vitre-Verte at  

Most of the family potluck contributions were consumed but surprisingly, there was still some wine left-over!  I recorked the white for cooking or a relaxing accompaniment with weekday dinners.  I used the red to marinate a sirloin roast for tonight's dinner.  It was very tasty, served with rice and Bearnaise sauce.  

Thanks for dropping by.  Apologies if I made your mouth water.  Although I do not have edible treats to offer, may I tempt you with some excerpts from The Year of the Rabbit - a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness?  See what others have said after reading the book.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oh! The irony! Technology and Writing

Am I creating, consuming or just wasting time?

The following was a test of composing and publishing a blog post using an iPad Mini, Safari and Chrome.  It proved to be a royal pain in the ASCII. 


I would like to get in more creative writing these days.  Seems that most of what I have been writing lately is about electronic distractions and how they are keeping me away from writing.

I have managed to conquer the clutter and placement of objects in my living space.  I need to prioritize the things that are taking over my precious time.  I'm sure other writers and hopeful authors will agree.

See this social media bashing post in another blog:  
To balance out the space and time theme, I am typing  on my nifty, trendy iPad Mini.  It is small compared to a MacBook or desktop computer.  it is handy for reading news, blog posts,Tweets and books.  Unfortunately, its features hinder my content creation activities!   I am keeping this blog entry short because I am struggling with the on-screen keyboard.  Where in sanity's name are the arrow keys on this thing?  Give me a qwerty keyboard any day! 

Thanks for visiting and reading this wee post - if it ever gets published.  Safari kept choking on the preview.  I had to download Chrome from the App Store to continue.  Ack.  Technology. 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Warming up to Spiritual Traditions

Sunday morning reading

I have been up for hours due to the whining of one hungry feline, a full bladder and the joyous noises of the young family living below.  

I sat in my morning fogginess, sipping my first cup of instant coffee, and read a few blog entries by womanly writing acquaintances. One is sharing tidbits about pancakes, mardi gras and the preparation for Lent.  Another is lamenting the approach of Valentine's day and weighing the benefits of being an older, single woman.  

As a recovering Catholic, I read the former while recalling distant memories of long, boring church services.  One could say that since publishing the novel, I am leaning towards the irreverent.  I don't wait until the start of Lent to share in a pancake feast.  That's almost a bi-weekly tradition in our home.  

Enjoying my singledom, I chuckled at the latter's musings.  Except for the vague "be my valentine" invitation from an eccentric male acquaintance, I don't expect much these days.  It's not that I've given up... it's more like I have become wary of consumerized expectations.  I also have some apprehensions due to how some people interpret love and distort a relationship into one of abusive entitlement rather than gentleness and mutual respect.     

As the jaded fog clears, I acknowledge the new moon, the worldwide and beyond celebrations of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake.  I have a list of things to acquire at the store. I just need a few more tasty treats to enhance the meal and gathering of family and friends in le petit apartement.  

As I leaf through Spiritual Traditions: Essential Teachings to Transform Your Life, I appreciate and respect the similarities of world religions and belief systems.  

I value my journey, exploration and opportunities to share common goals or beliefs with others while respecting those who differ.   

What it comes down to is that anyone can choose to begin the day feeling gratitude, joy and compassion.  

Sometimes, one needs a little boost from a cup of hot coffee.