Promises

The snow softly falls from a grey sky this morning. It is grey and white outside, the only color being that of the evergreens lining my street. The house is quiet as I sit in my rocking chair in front of the window, facing East.

Birds soar above the trees, doing their morning thing, as I do mine. And then they are gone.

It is a quiet and reflective sort of morning. My husband has gone to substitute teach at the school he retired from last June, and I am enjoying a meditative moment of solitude.

Someone down the street comes out, bundled up in winter attire, just to get the newspaper from the box at the end of his driveway.

A woman passes by walking her beautiful golden retriever;  I hear another dog barking in the distance.

All is quiet.

Pots of orchids and African violets line my windowsill. The violets are in full bloom but the orchids are just starting to bud. I look past them to the great white expanse that is my front  yard and I see my lavender plants peeking through the snow. They are quite resilient. I often think of how their life and their journey here in Nova Scotia mirrors my own life and journey. I will share that with you another time.

I have a Spanish lavender plant that is not able to survive our frigid winters, so last fall I potted it  up and brought it inside. Now, at the end of February, after much coaxing and coddling, it is hanging on for dear life, but still alive. I hope to be able to plant it outside again in the Spring.

It’s been a long, cold and tiring winter this year on many levels, but God’s promise of Spring always gives me hope and joy. I love this verse from Scripture that speaks of that hopefulness:

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

             Isaiah 55:10-11

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A Lavender Kind of Show

If you know me, you know that I love lavender! My Pinterest board is full of Lavenderish ideas and des belles photos of la lavande. Not only that, when I arrived here in Nova Scotia, I immediately bought 60 lavender plants.

Yes, 60. And this year I plan to put 30 more!

They are in four rows of 15 in my front yard. This year will be their (as well as my) third year here in Coldbrook, Nova Scotia. Lavender takes about three years to mature, so this year should be great!

Funny, even though I love it here in the Annapolis Valley, it has also taken me three years to get my roots firmly planted. I now have a few circles of friends and more activities than I have time to do.

My love of lavender started in 2009 when I worked at La Maison Lavande , a beautiful lavender farm in St. Eustache, Quebec. There I learned all about the cultivation of lavender as well as its many benefits. During the short seven months I worked there, before moving to Nova Scotia, I became hooked.

And that’s why, in my craft shows this year, I will showcase ‘la lavande’. I have always made my crafts according to what is popular in the area and what I think will sell well.  I often found myself working on projects that were not a lot of fun- but they sold well.

They say that you should ‘follow your passion’, and the success will follow. Well, this year I intend to do just that.

So my table will be predominantly lavender purple, and off-white; here are a few things I have been working on up to now.

These have been made from vintage scrabble games…in both French and English.

Scrabble anyone?

Scrabble anyone?

Beautiful cotton dishcloths crocheted in purple and off white.

Beautiful cotton dishcloths knitted in purple and off white.

The lavender came from my front yard; don’t ask me where the wheat came from. I’ll never tell!

Lavender and wheat wreath

Lavender and wheat wreath

The gorgeous jug in this pic came from, where else? Provence, France. A little something I picked up in a second hand shop where the owner was this older man, so anxious to please and so happy to have made a sale.

I couldn't resist this one...does anyone recognize the picture in the background?

I couldn’t resist this one…does anyone recognize the picture in the background?

I have many more things to follow; some of them will require fresh lavender which I will have at the end of July, and others I will show you as I get to them.

I am excited!

 

On the Beach at Lourdes, Newfoundland

I used to work in a little shop not far from where I live. The high points of my days were when customers would come in and we would engage in conversations about everything and anything. It doesn’t usually take anyone long to figure out that I am from Newfoundland. So one day a woman came in and we started talking.

My accent was almost as strong as hers. If you know a Newfoundland accent, then you know what I mean. We got talking about life on the “Rock”, and exchanged a couple of anecdotes.

So she told me a true story that happened one time when she was visiting back home, Lourdes to be precise. There is a lovely beach there, just right for taking a long walk.

She decided that it had been a long time since she had a good ole walk, and one on the lovely beach at Lourdes was not to be missed.  She dragged  her reluctant friend along to savour the salty air. They were strolling down the beach when they ran in to a couple of nuns, Presentation sisters, in their long black habits.

Since it is a small community and everyone knows everyone else, they greeted the nuns by name, Mary and Catherine.

And among the rotting fish heads swarming with flies and maggots they started to have a conversation that you could never imagine.

The four of them were talking about getting older, being menopausal, and about how the nighttime hot flashes were intolerable; and how sometimes they had to stick their faces in the freezer just to get some relief.

Now I ask you,

“Where else on earth but Newfoundland can you go for a walk on the beach and run into a couple of nuns and have a spirited conversation about menopause?”