This is supposedly the last day of our cold, cold weather and I saw an opportunity to do something that would go away with the cold. I walked on water. Yes, I did. Mooney’s Bay in Ottawa is still solidly frozen over and provides a different perspective for those willing to do the trek. I spend most of my time on land looking out on the water. Today I enjoyed seeing the land from the middle of the bay. What a beautiful view.
It’s gratifying when, after years of working on instilling empathy and thoughtfulness in your children, they start displaying these qualities without prompting and without the promise of reward.
My son went to the library with a friend tonight and while picking out books for himself, he found one he knew I wanted to read and signed it out for me. It’s a much appreciated gesture on many levels. I love my kids.
Normally I don’t do much with my photos when I post here. I might lighten them a bit, but that’s all. Tonight I took a walk just at dusk. It was snowing… A lot… And just on the edge of being too dark to take a photo without a flash (I hate using the flash). I took a few of the winter wonderland around me but the most captivating (and I knew it would be) was of this tangle of snow laden grape vines. The original photo was very dark so I lightened it but it didn’t look like the vines as I saw them on my walk. Using a “stylize” feature on the photo editor, I came up with what you see below and this is very much how they looked this evening. Beautiful nature.
March 1st has roared in with a dumping of another 10 cm or so of snow. After one of the colder winters in memory, this was not exactly a welcome site to many. To be honest, though, if there’s got to be snow (which clearly this year, while we’re stuck in this “Polar Vortex”, there has to be) I don’t mind a sprinkling of nice white fluffy flakes. There’s something very peaceful about it. So, since there’s nothing I can do to change the weather, I might as well enjoy it. Happy March all.
This photo was taken at Carleton University.
I told myself that once I started working again, I would hire a cleaner. Nothing expensive, just a reprieve and peace of mind. She comes once every two weeks for 2 hours. Best. Money. Ever. Spent. When she leaves my house sparkles and smells so nice and I can feel a weight off my shoulders. Today was one of those days. Yay for pretty sparkles!
It’s been one of those days. Not terrible by any stretch, but just blah. Quite early in the day, I became intrigued by the rings on my fingers. On days when my hands are particularly cold (which is most days in the winter) my rings will spin on them and if it weren’t for my knuckles, the rings would fall right off. I will then, absentmindedly, fiddle with rings, placing them back straight and watching them twist out of place again. On my left hand, I have a simple gold ring on my middle finger that was my grandmother’s. On my right hand, I have a gold Claddagh ring on my ring finger. It was the Claddagh ring that gave me food for thought for the day.
I wear my Claddagh ring because I love it and I have always admired them. Although I have no Irish roots (that I know of) the idea of the ring – love, friendship, and loyalty – and its Celtic origins appeal to me. But beyond the fact that it was Irish, I really had no idea of its exact origins. Apparently it was first produced in a small fishing village in Ireland named Claddagh which is just outside the city of Galway. Interestingly the name Claddagh is from the Gaelic word An Cladach, meaning “the shore” or “the beach”, which can be found in both Ireland and Scotland (there’s a small village on the Isle of Arran named Cladach as well – but has no relation to the ring).
The Claddagh ring, first appearing as we know it today in the 17th century, developed out of the Fede and Gimmel rings of Europe. The Fede ring originated during Roman times and became engagement rings during the Middle Ages. This ring has two hands, a male and a female hand, clasped in Fede (in faith). The Gimmel ring is French in origin and is much more ornate and made of two or more separating hoops. It can be worn by both betrothed and then reconnected on the woman’s finger upon marriage.
It’s a neat history, the one of rings, and I wish I had more time to look into it. Although you see the Claddagh symbol everywhere nowadays – not just on rings – it’s nice to be wearing one based on an original. One remarkable thing about the Claddagh ring is that it often strikes up conversations between strangers. “Oh!” they’ll say, “You’re wearing a Claddagh ring. So am I.” and it goes from there. Sometimes, the smallest things can give us the greatest pleasure.
I’ve spent many a winter day outside in the mid-afternoon waiting for the arrival of the school buses bringing my children and some of the daycare children. On the really cold days, I usually wait in a nearby bus shelter. From there I’ve watched the sun sink lower (in December) and now grow higher again in the sky. It wasn’t until today, though, that I felt a real warmth from it. What a great feeling! Even though the days are still hovering around – 10 C (14 F) I finally have some evidence that they can’t be around for too much longer!
I’ve just sat down at my keyboard to write after a day of work. It wasn’t a hard day, by any stretch, but a day of kids is always tiring in the end no matter how good they are. My own kids are in bed and the house is quiet. I didn’t finish my wine at dinner so I had a little treat waiting here for me. I looked down into it and became intrigued by the reflections of the light above and the various tones of red within the wine itself. A rather beautiful sight that could be easily missed when one is in a hurry. Have a wonderful night all.
I decided to venture out today for a walk in the fresh air and sunshine. Even though I’m still not feeling great, I thought it might do me some good. Little did I know I’d be in for a delightful treat that will last me a lifetime. I went with the kids and my friend, Colleen, and her son to Hogs Back Falls here in Ottawa. Colleen’s father is quite an afficionado with birds and animals and taught Colleen about feeding birds by hand. Colleen came prepared with a bag of crushed peanuts and some other nuts. She taught all of us to put the feed in our hands held flat and still. Sure enough, the little Chickadees were soon flying down from the trees for their own treats. I, and the kids, we’re thrilled to feel the nearly weightless little bodies resting on our fingers. What a beautiful moment in nature that I hope to do again soon and many times thereafter.
(the little bugger had his head turned in the only clear shot I got but look at his lovely feathers!)