July 21st – Sharing the Magic

My meditation was a bit distracted this morning due to all of the activity in my meditation corner.

I had a little visitor checking me out.
And getting a little closer
Maybe from this angle
Quick run to the nut basket
Peanut to go
Having a snack while keeping one eye on me
While the squirrel was busy watching me, this little guy got cocky and had a dip in the birdbath.
All the fascination must have been from Dan’s latest upgrade to my corner. ๐Ÿ’ž

Dan thought I should have a peanut in my hand to offer our little visitor. Since he was about three feet from me, I could see him leaping into my lap to grab the peanut . I couldn’t see that ending well for either of us. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Anyway, hope everyone is enjoying such an eventful day. Have a good one and I will see you tomorrow! ๐Ÿ’ž

July 20th – Kat Magic

It is another damp and cool day so we took the opportunity to spoil Kat with a fresh batch of dogfood. It’s a dog’s life!

Ready to supervise…
Pasta in chicken broth with gelatin and chicken giblets – photo is a bit steamy๐Ÿ˜Š
Carrots, turnip, cabbage, parsnips, rhutabega, cabbage and zucchini
Parsley, cilantro, lemon balm, and oregano
Add a dash of black pepper, Hungarian paprika, and cayenne. Cool before portioning and packaging.
And cleanup ๐Ÿ™„
That was exhausting ๐Ÿ˜ด

Thank you for joining us for the most exciting part of our day! Dan did all the chopping and cleaning, while I did the shredding and cooking. Kat took her supervisor position seriously – she sampled every vegetable as Dan cleaned them. They all passed her taste test. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope everyone had a nice day! See you tomorrow.

July 19th – Monday Magic

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  Dan went golfing yesterday, but while he was gone I had a couple of unexpected visitors.   Son Mark came by with his son Dom.   We were so busy visiting, and snacking, and splashing in the pool that I forgot to take any photos. 

Our day is beginning a bit cooler and overcast today.  I started my meditation outside in my special place under our big spruce tree, but it started to sprinkle a bit so decided to come inside.  I got comfortable and we had the wildest crash of thunder!  I thought the upgrader outside of town had exploded.  Then it rumbled on for a bit and there were no sirens, so it was obviously just thunder. ๐Ÿคท

I have a few new photos of our yard to share.  I hope you enjoy!

Between our cucumbers and our tomatoes, I almost need a machete to get around our garden.
Anything but portulaca fries in this planter on the east side of our garage, but, the portulaca thrives all summer.
We have two lemon trees that we started from seed about three summers. They spend the summer outside and winter inside. They are both going nuts this summer. At some point, wintering them in our house is going to become problematic. ๐Ÿ™„
First sunflower to bloom and it is twins!
I have no idea what these are but they are suddenly thriving. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Our money tree finally decided to come back to life. Yay! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿฅ‚
This begonia has been struggling but it is starting to come back, as well. ๐Ÿ’ž

That is all I have for today! I hope all is well with everyone. There’s a full moon this week, so if you are prone to moonly disasters you might want to lay low and hide your electronics. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Take care and see you tomorrow๐Ÿ’ž

July 18th –ย The History of Gravelbourg

The town of Gravelbourg was founded in 1906 by French settlers led by Father Louis-Joseph Pierre Gravel. 

Recently, there has been much negative press regarding the Catholic Church and native residential schools in Canada.   This news has somewhat, and I am sure inadvertently, been misleading for many.

There were 139 native residential schools in Canada where native children were placed against their will and against the will of their parents.ย  Of these schools, 44 were operated by the Catholic Church.ย  There was widespread abuse throughout the entire 138 school system – verbal, mental, emotional, physical and sexual. ย  Many children died from disease and other unknown (and frequently nefarious) causes.

I only mention this because, this horrendous part of our Canadian history, has no connection to Gravelbourg or the other French Catholic settlements inย  the southwest corner of Saskatchewan.ย  There were no such schools in that area and no means by which people in that area (or their particular Catholic clergy) would have been privy to any knowledge of these schools until relatively recent history.

Theย  basic truth is that the Catholic church was instrumental in founding several communities across Canada.ย  They built and maintained hospitals, schools, and churches and provided the opportunity for settlers to build ‘communities‘ by hosting religious services and social events.ย  The church provided safety and refuge to French settlers, especially in this area, as they were often targeted for attack by local member of the Ku Klux Klan. These French settlers were typically honest, industrious, caring people who took care of their own and supported others – all others – in their communities. Which is, to this day, typical of their descendants.

Louis-Joseph Pierre Gravel – the founder of Gravelbourg
The beautiful Gravelbourg Cathedral.ย  Built in the early 1900’s it would have taken the dedication of the entire congregation to make this building a reality (especially in rural Saskatchewan).ย ย  The inside is amazing.ย  The parish priest, Monseineur Charles Maillard devoted ten years of his life toย  painting the interior walls and ceilings.ย ย  Nowadays this Cathedral is frequently used for hosting ecumenical celebrations.
The bishop’s residence
The parish hall is not nearly as grand as other church buildings – but it holds many fond memories for the parish and for our family.ย  I remember taking my teenagers there for a humble soup and bread luncheon one Sunday morning (from Regina) as the proceeds went to charity.ย  However as always, with the amazing cooks in Gravelbourg, the meal was a feast by any standards ๐Ÿ˜‚ย  And as always, my Mother and her friends were there to welcome us with open arms. ๐Ÿ’ž
The elementary school is a part of the Catholic heritage buildings site.
Close up of the elementary school to show a sample of the detail on these buildings.
These last three photos are of the College Mathieu site (as you drive into Gravelbourg). This building is the pool and recreation centre which is college property but available to the public.
This building is the college residence. Many of the students are from outside the Gravelbourg area.
This would be the actual college building.

The Town of Gravelbourg has a rich and magical history, of which the Catholic Church played a major part. I hope you enjoyed this short tour of the buildings that continue to stand at the heart of this unique community. Did you notice how well the grounds of all these buildings are kept up? It is the same throughout Gravelbourg – their parks, their streets, their graveyard. Everything is so well maintained and I don’t think we saw a piece of litter anywhere. It is an amazingly neat and tidy community.๐Ÿ‘

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful day. See you tomorrow ๐Ÿ’•

July 17th – Loving, Living, Changing

Growing up, I came to believe that caring for others meant worrying about them. Loving others meant sharing their suffering and feeling their pain when they were struggling or going through a difficult situation. You did anything practical you could to help them, if there was anything you could do. But mostly, you shared their sorrows. I am not sure how this was supposed to help, but you did it. To make sure it worked, you told them how much you were suffering with and for them. Than they could be suffering and guilt ridden for making you suffer from their pain. It was all very complicated and strange but I believed it, without question, for decades.

Eventually, I decided that worrying about loved ones and sharing their pain was not particularly helpful – especially if they had to feel grateful and guilty to boot. I still loved people. I still wanted to be there for them through difficult times but I had no idea how. Sometimes there are no words to say, or ways to say them, nor is there anything practical for one to do.

I could not stay in my current bubble of peace and relative well-being andย  pretend I was not aware of what loved ones were going through. I did not know what to do – but I knew that I could no longer add more grief to such situations.

Last night, I received news of two such difficult situations affecting family members. My first reaction was worry and pain and grief for all concerned. I knew I had to find something better. When I went to bed, I found a meditation on You Tube and blocked out everything but the voice and the soft background music.

It was rather a long and difficult night but, when I woke up this morning, this hymn from my youth was playing in my mind. It was magical. ๐Ÿ’ž I always loved this hymn, and it was always meaningful, but today it means even more on a personal level.

I wasn’t sure about including the last verse, because it did not seem relevant to this situation but I decided to go with it. Dying isn’t always about dying – sometimes it is about changing, about letting go of old beliefs to accept new beliefs….

I have no idea if my sister and her husband or my daughter and her family can feel the love and peace and healing that I am sending them today. I can only trust and believe that they are feeling it on some level. But I do know, I absolutely know, that it is better than sending more pain and worry and guilt and grief their way. ๐Ÿ’ž

Sending love and peace and healing to any and all who are struggling today. ๐Ÿ’ž

Wishing all a good rest of today and a nice weekend. See you tomorrow. ๐Ÿ’ž

July 16 – More Magical Moments

Dan and his golf buddy decided to stay home and golf a couple of our local courses this weekend, instead of taking their annual golf trip.   I feel bad that they decided to forgo their little holiday, but it is nice having Dan here for the better part of the weekend. ๐Ÿค—

Dan made my meditation corner a little more magical by adding a convenient little table. ๐Ÿ™‚
Dan took me to my very favourite restaurant for lunch.ย  We were even able to eat inside for the first time in about sixteen months.ย ย  When I started dating Dan, he asked me what my favourite restaurant was and my kids said “don’t say Arby’s!” Apparently in the dating world in Regina, one is supposed to say Golf’s or the Diplomat.ย  (Which are both lovely high-end steak and seafood restaurants.)ย  We have been married for 22 years now.ย  I doubt that Dan will bail now because my favourite restaurant is Arby’s.
Then we went shopping to buy a new desktop computer to replace ours that died during the last full moon.ย ย  After three or four stops, we got one at Best Buy.ย  I guess they are the best. ๐Ÿคท Actually, they were the only store with technically knowledgeable sales clerks.
And we stopped to pick up a few groceries and some styrofoam bowls. I do not know what was with my hands but I was not getting four bags of styrofoam bowls off of the shelf and into our cart. ๐Ÿคฆ
Kat scored a few fresh strawberries when we got home.ย  She loves her strawberries and Tiny Tim tomatoes. Apparently, she has even figured out how to pick her own tomatoes.
Our Buddha statue in his little ground cedar grotto.

We had a nice dip in the pool after we got home.ย  The water is super warm and crystal clear this year. I am lucky that Dan stays on top of all the filter and chemical stuff even when he is on a set of shifts.

Hope you have a nice rest of the evening and have a good weekend planned! See you tomorrow! ๐Ÿ’ž

July 15th – Magical Trees

I don’t know how anyone could look at a tree and not believe in magic. I love trees. ๐Ÿ’ž. The beauty, the strength, the ability to produce the oxygen we need to survive. Trees are the epitome of magical.

Genie & Rory in a simpler time – hanging out in the trees of Wascana Park.
Where could you hide a giant elephant in downtown Regina? In a tree. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a magical rest of the day! See you tomorrow๐Ÿ’ž

July 14th – Magical Moose Jaw

On our way to Gravelbourg last week, we made a few quick stops in the small city of Moose Jaw. Like Gravelbourg, Moose Jaw is a unique community with a rich history that has been well preserved. This magical little city on the prairies also has a few newer landmarks that add to it’s charm.

Unfortunately, due to impending weather, we did not have much time in Moose Jaw. I hope you enjoy the photos we were able to get. We will be returning to Gravelbourg this summer, so we will get more to share with you at that time.

Mac the Moose welcomed us into Moose Jaw. While he is an imposing fellow, the city of Moose Jaw was not named for him or his ancestors. According the the Moose Jaw website “The name Moose Jaw comes from a Cree name for the place, moscรขstani-sรฎpiy, meaning โ€œa warm place by the riverโ€. The first two syllables, moscรข-, sound remarkably like โ€œmoose jawโ€”.
This is not a great photo of Mac, or the windblown old lady with the dog. It is simply to illustrate the formidable size of Mac the Moose.
This monument to the Moose Jaw (Canadian Airforce) Snowbirds aerobatics team sits a few meters from Mac the Moose.
Moose Jaw Main Street. One of these buildings leads to the Tunnels Of Moose Jaw. While these tunnels were built to house utilities for the city, they have a rich and fascinating history. Many Chinese immigrants who came to work on the railroad in this area used the tunnels to escape the head tax that they could not afford to pay on their meager wages. The tunnels also afforded them a warm and safe refuge from violent racist abuse from some of the locals. During prohibition, these tunnels were used for smuggling liquor that fueled illegal gambling. Rumour has it that Al Capone and his cohorts were involved in this activity.
More historic buildings on Moose Jaw Main Street.
Canadian Pacific Railway Station opened in 1922 and closed in the 1960’s. Now it operates as a strip mall.
This sign leads to the Sukanen Ship Museum on the Highway #2 south of Moose Jaw. I have a number of photos to share of the museum and will explain the origin of this site in an upcoming post.

I hope you enjoyed the bit of Moose Jaw I had to share today – proof positive that Saskatchewan is not just open skies and barren praire! Next time we go through, I will try to get photos of some of the residential areas and few other landmarks.

Have a great rest of the day! I hope that you have your own special place to contemplate the magic around you!๐Ÿ’ž

Dan upgraded my meditation space this morning. Our squirrel was so curious about the commotion around his tree that he sat on a branch, a foot away from me, to see who was encroaching on his territory. ๐Ÿ’ž

July 13th – Just a Magical Day

I spent a few hours this morning puttering around the yard. It is such a perfectly magical day here that I decided to do my morning meditation in the shade of our giant spruce tree.

I set up a little space for myself (with a little space for Kat)
The water splashing in the pond provided soothing background music.
Kat did not join me but she did wander close by.
Looking up into our tree, I could see little birds flitting from branch to branch.
I filled the bird feeder and the peanut basket this morning, so our little friends were well fed while I did my thing.
I cleaned the birdbath and filled it with fresh cool water.

With everything good to go, I sat back and enjoyed the most peaceful, relaxing Jess Shepherd meditation. She has such a calm and pleasant voice. I love her guided meditations. There are magical moments in our life that we live for. Right now, this is one of mine. ๐Ÿ’ž

Wishing all a perfect summer day๐Ÿ’ž

* To be perfectly honest, a bird pooped on me when I was writing this. It was a little bird and a fairly dry poop so it didn’t really spoil the moment. Just something you should be aware of, if you decide to meditate and write a blog under a tree full of birds.

Day 12 – In Good Company

Reading through today’s newsfeed, it would seem I am not the only one who has been looking for magic this month – and finding it. Lord Richard Branson made his first trip into space this week and apparently he found the experience magical, according to this report. ๐Ÿ’ž

I think that it is too cool that Lord Branson chose the word ‘magical‘ to describe his space experience. He is a wealthy, successful, powerful man. What he says matters because people around the globe listen to him. He is the type of person who inspires people to follow his lead – by his words and by the way he lives his life.

I totally believe that people find what they look for in life and that obviously Lord Branson is a great example of someone who looks for and finds the best.

It is rather funny (not in the haha way but in the peculiar type of way), but I did not come by my belief from observing the happy, hopeful, peaceful, optimistic, content people that I have known in my life. I came by this belief from taking note of the miserable people I have known or come across. I could write books about people who spend their entire lives searching for misery – and finding it! Anytime, anywhere – these people find misery! I must have been looking for these people because I found LOTS of them. For a while, a long while, I tried ‘fixing’ them when I found them. That didn’t work for them or me.

Ultimately, I decided to focus on fixing myself and my own life. This month, I decided to look for magic and to share the magic I find on my little blog. So here I am, doing what I set out to do. I hope you enjoy the moments I chose to share with you today. ๐Ÿ’ž

It is not a trip into space but I found magic in each and every moment. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great day! I hope to see you tomorrow!๐Ÿ’ž