Saturday, January 13, 2007

Inside Outside

Inside all is warm and cosy. The winter flowers bloom extravagantly - note the new amaryllis.

And the geraniums are happy in their winter abode, flourishing in the big bathroom.

The dog and the cat are learning to be comfortable with each other, and sometimes even show signs of enjoying each other's company.

The only time the dog gets upset is if Husband and I should discuss too loudly, when he trots off down the hallway and pees on the bedroom door jamb. Not good for the carpet, but he is old and precious and we indulge him without too much scolding. I am grateful for the Barefoot Lass's carpet tips on cleaning up after pets, though.

Outside it is a different story. The hills glisten with icy snow and it is cold and frosty. The yard is a skating rink, - Husband has furnished old boots with pointed screws that dig into the ice and make walking less of a hazard.

When the sun shines and the sky is blue I am caught up with the memories of prairie winters, but alas, it is more often overcast and cloudy here. And besides, sixty years has passed since those winters when I had a passion for skating and never noticed how cold it was.

The blood runs thinner now, - the legs are not as limber, and the joints complain about the frosty weather. The imaginations runs to spring days; melting snow and thawing ice; bulbs breaking through the ground and the Lenten roses pushing up their little stubs of bloom.

I am incredulous when I hear the fear mongers declare this the warmest winter ever in southern Canada, - we are ten miles from the USA border, and cannot get too much further south. We cannot get too many degrees colder, either, without it being a grave danger to the fruit buds and the vinyards in this valley.

Off on a little tangent --- I have heard it said that Climate Control and Global Warming is the new religion, - one never knows what is going to come along to fill a vacuum!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments -- there are
-- "
Robert G. Ingersoll

Does this apply only to Nature?

It seems to me that this is one of the basic tenets of life, and that many of the problems that face us today are because people refuse to face up to the consequences of their actions.

I remember when one of our granddaughters was very young, but neverthel
ess very observant about life's rules, the results of one of her childish choices was not to her liking. She sighed and complained to her Grandfather that "she had made the wrong decision!" I can only hope that her realization of the consequences of making the wrong decision will accompany her throughout her lifetime..... If she still recognizes that the "wrong decision" results in unhappy consequences it will not be because the mores of present day society teach her that truth.

We seem to be sliding down the slippery slope that lea
ds to a denial of personal responsibility for our actions. A google on "suing" will bring up a baffling array of petty law suits, all of them launched in an effort to lay the blame elsewhere, and profit from it. Does anybody "suck it up" when they trip and skin their knee, or spill a cup of hot coffee on themselves, or choose to do something that puts their life in danger and suffer an injury? How many organizations have had to curtail good events because the cost of liability insurance has risen so dramatically that they cannot afford to protect themselves against being sued? How many community buildings have had to raise their rents to accommodate outrageous liability insurance premiums, and thus made it impossible for non profit organizations to use their facilities? This year our Diocese requires that anybody who volunteers in any way to assist in the maintenance or operation of a church must be insured, - except those volunteers between 75 and 80, for whom they must pay extra to obtain insurance. Even the Altar Guild ladies!!! And for those volunteers over 80 there is no insurance.

Never mind, - that is the generation who early on learned to "suck it up" during a depression and a world war!!

Where did we turn the corner into never-never land where the Nanny State assumed they could do a better job of educating and caring for our toddlers than their parents?
When did we abdicate responsibilities for what happens on our own personal road through life and start leaning on the State for cradle to grave support? What have we lost in integrity and strength of character by letting res
ponsibility for our own actions slip from us? How have we been robbed of these virtues by a State that assumes itself to be all powerful in controlling the lives of its citizens?

When I discuss this situation with Husband he grows somewhat irate and blames it on the liberal coutenance of our society - and of course I believe he is right. We have the Great Charter of Rights, not the Charter of Rights and RESPONSIBILITIES. How does civilization survive without those twin requirements of a sane and practical world. The Charter has hoodwinked us into a perpetual state of childish dependency, and a petulant attitude that the world owes us a living, resulting in a tragic loss of pride and initiative.

It has stolen the virtues of personal charity and stewardship from us - organized it and put it in the hands of Government and Unions. Who can volunteer now if it offends a Union? Who can go and read to an aged person in a Care Facility without having a police check?

Oh, heavy, heavy stuff - and inclined to make one morose so close to bedtime.

Here is a picture of Missy, who leads an independent life, and enchants us all.....

And here is a picture from the deck of a beautiful sky, which is the consequence of the sun rising over God's world! Each and every morning....

Monday, January 08, 2007

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments,
embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.
- John Boswell

Today I was able to capture a picture of the birds that gather for warmth and sustenance in snow covered yards, fields and orchards.

We have a brave troop of quail that delight in the bounty of summer, and follow the trail of seeds in the winter with diligence, hope and an almost military orderliness.. Here they are, scavenging beneath the bird feeder where the small wild birds have spilled seed on to the icy snow the surrounds the apple trees in the back yard.

One of their favourite route marches is a single file encirclement of the fence that surrounds the garden and upon which we grew scarlet runners this year, in a dense mass. I watch them through the lacy vines as they pass, one by one, - and above them the look-out on the fence keeps a sharp eye out for stealthy neighbouring cats, or circling hawks.

Out here in the country there are tangled vines and piles of prunings which provide shelter. Along our driveway, and around the house the quail pick at the gravel and small stones, so this is where we scatter seed to make their foraging extra rewarding.

The amaryllis today, - four beautiful blooms and a companion stem reaching the blossoming stage.