I just finished reading a novel that ma petite sœur told me about – The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynn Branard. The cover is beautiful and so is the story that unfolds – from start to finish.
The story is about florist Ruby Jewell who owns and runs the Flower Shoppe in the town of Creekside. She seems to know exactly which flowers to arrange to help every person who comes to her shop, but is unable to see a way to heal and help herself. The author has created a lovely cast to fill Ruby’s life, starting with a faithful dog companion – Clementine, a man who’s flown to the moon, a little boy and a charming veterinarian. I have to say, the first chapter had me wondering where the story was going to lead to. But then slowly I was moving through the story feeling every character’s emotions unable to put the book down. The characters and their lives are woven together and flow from one to the other really well. There is beauty, sorrow, loss, hope and love.
During a beautiful moment in the story two of the characters quote these words from a poem by Sir Walter Raleigh….
“When at heart you should be sad..
Pondering the joys we had, listen and keep very still. If the lowing from the hill or the tolling of a bell do not serve to break the spell, listen: you may be allowed to hear my laughter from a cloud.
I am not much of a poetry buff, but those words got me!! This book is a keeper for sure.
While looking for things to do this summer, I found a series of workshops called Cooking at the Farmers’ Market offered at the Evergreen Brickworks. The workshop was about cooking with wild blueberries! YUM! Food workshops are the BEST! The chef, Donna Dooher made the whole experience fun. Lots of tips about blueberries, buying and taking care of knives and cooking. With a few asides thrown in about the Italian love of food – she has Italian and Irish heritage. Neat! On the menu that day were these delicious pancakes made in a neat pan with small dimples to hold the batter and them delicious blueberries!
Did I mention the dish was delicious?
Then she made pan seared duck with wild blueberry chutney, served on polenta. Also delicious!
At the Farmers’ Market……
Walking around the site………
At the Brickworks……
I took a photography workshop this past weekend – a bootcamp they called it – and it was. The first order of business – turn off the Auto Focus feature of the digital camera. So much for that! Getting “manual” is the real deal. A very humbling experience! Lots of totally black images interspersed with some really good ones. Just as well I was not using film. Phew! No wonder photography was not for everyone till digital came along! You have to really, and I not kidding, really slow down, take your time and look at the subject….. You almost go into a different space. It’s hard to describe.
We got to “freeze” water!! Who knew. In one technique the water looks blurred and the other you see the water drops frozen in air. Needless to say it will take a lot more practice to get the water drops to show up perfectly….
Here is a sample of the pictures I took….
To make up for the cold, and some would say long winter, the Spring and Summer months in Canada are a riot of colour!! There is colour in the winter months as well, but nowthing like this. Starting with tiny Scylla flowers and Crocuses that are a sure sign Spring is here, to “Easter Lilies’ (we seem to get them all year round), to the famous Japanese Cherry Blossoms, Hibiscus flowers, Marigolds (who knew!), Jasmines to Lotus flowers!! We get bombarded with colour and beauty, like Nature wants to make sure we appreciate every minute while it lasts.. I do tend to go trigger happy with my camera trying to capture all this beauty. Can’t say I blame myself. I will be updating the missing names of the flowers shortly, after checking with my friend who waited patiently during our walks while I took some of these shots. Here is a look……