Here’s to the bride and groom!

41.tent on propertyWe attended a beautiful wedding last weekend, with the reception held outdoors on the bride and groom’s gorgeous country property—a couple of acres of rolling lawns bordered by a meandering stream and surrounded by forest. It was so magical.

Participating in the joy of a wedding celebration amidst so much glorious nature brought to mind how similar marriage is to the quiet strength of the trees that towered all around us.55.property

I wrote this poem a couple of years ago while thinking about my own marriage, but I’d also like to dedicate it to our newlywed friends, as well as all the brides and grooms out there who are about to begin their journey together.

The best of wishes to you all.

Tree Of Promise

Look to this tree as a symbol
of the strength of our past
and the promise of our future

with roots firmly planted
around our goals
and growth nourished
by our devotion.

Its trunk inches upward
to meet our hopes and dreams.tree pic
Though the path, at times, is rough
it perseveres in its growth
as it stretches toward the promise
of sunshine and blue skies.

Its branches may curve
in different directions,
each one unique in its design—
yet together
the single purpose they share
keeps them connected
always to the core.

See this tree
as all that we have built together
and all that is yet to come.

The beach is never far away when you have the Beach in a Bottle

Coastal-Living_DecJan-2012-CoverAs you will already know if you’ve read some of my past posts, I LOVE THE SEA. My lottery-win fantasies revolve around one central vision of my family living in any one of those gorgeous beach houses featured in my favourite magazine, Coastal Living. I can see myself gazing out at the sea every day through floor-to-ceiling glass walls or going for long walks in sand that’s damp from lapping waves.

Living in Toronto, the only time I’m around salt water is when a pot is boiling on the stove.

The other day, while daydreaming about past beach vacations (instead of writing the advertising copy that I was supposed to be writing) I had a great idea for a beachy craft.

I had recently bought a pack of those tiny corked bottles from the craft section of the IMG_6376dollar store, with a plan to fill each one with the beach sand that I’d collected each time we’d visited a different area over the years. Once the bottles were filled, I would use fancy script to label each one. So far, I’ve collected sand from Aruba, Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Martin, different parts of Mexico and Florida. I hope to visit many more places in the years to come (especially the Hawaiian islands!!), and what better way to keep a little piece of each place close by.

My beachy craft idea goes a step further, incorporating some tiny shells and a flip flop charm to turn it into a miniature beach scene. I attached the eye pin and chain to make it into a memento necklace, but I think I’d rather just keep my little bottled beach vignette on my desk to keep the beach within sight all year round.

If you would like to make one, here’s how:
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Beach in a Bottle

✓ One tiny buck store corked bottlebeach in a bottle3
✓ A couple teaspoons of collected beach sand
✓ Some tiny shells
✓ A small flip flop charm
✓ One small eye pin and a chain (optional)

Fill the bottle halfway with sand, use tweezers to drop the flip flop charm into place, then place your shells in the sand and just use a long needle to nudge them into however you’d like them to be positioned.

Voila! The beach in a bottle.

Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 50)

My boy Otis is a celebrity today across the pond! Just scroll down to see him as he relaxes out in the porch.

Katzenworld

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another week of Tummy Rub Tuesday! Oh, and if you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, why not sign up by clicking here to never miss a TRT again. 😀

The easiest way to join TRT is by sending us photos to info@katzenworld.co.uk.

Please find below the photos for this week:

Sookie from Possumscatsthingsgnawingatme is back for an incredible Tummy Rub performance! 😀

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Florka has been submitted to us through a work colleague of my partner! She sure is a cute one and perfect pose for our Tummy Rub Tuesday! 🙂

Someone over at Curious Red Panda is demanding a tummy rub NOW. 😀

Little Binky is back for yet another TRT 🙂

Rosie…

… and Wizard from The Foster Failures are joining us today! 😀

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Cosmo joins us from Colour Cloth and Catnaps.

Otis from Canada

And Otis from Create-A-Holic Writer.

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And last but not least…

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Cutie patootie baby booties

When I’m in the middle of a large crochet project that I’m getting bored baby_booties kimono1with but do want to finish eventually, I’ll take a break away to play with an easy side project that I know will give me quick results.

Baby booties are that kind of project.

These were beyond easy, and I’ve provided the free pattern link below, compliments of Eftychia and her Happiness Crafty blog:
http://happinesscrafty.blogspot.ca/2014/11/simple-baby-booties-free-crochet-pattern.html

baby_booties kimono2Make some to donate to a children’s charity or to have on hand for shower gifts.

Or just because they’re so damn cute. 🙂

There’s that sunny with blue-skies-ahead, picture-perfect wedding day … and then there’s marriage.

wedding

 

 

 

Paul and Donna on their wedding day in 1980.

 

 

 

My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary last Sunday. That’s right. Thirty-five years under the same roof. If you also count the three years we roomed together before the wedding, it’s actually been thirty-eight years. We started dating when I was sixteen.

When you’ve lived with someone for thirty-eight years, you’ve earned the right to refer to yourself as the Queen/King of compromise, patience and acceptance. I don’t think it’s possible to be in it for the long haul without both parties making a conscious effort to cultivate these essential virtues. Being able to laugh at yourselves is also a necessity.

It’s not even remotely easy. I could have packed my bags any number of times through the years and left over issues that I would today consider to be moot. I’m glad I didn’t. Every human being on this earth is flawed—you included. When you live with another human being, you live with their flaws too. That’s where a combination of compromise, patience and acceptance comes into play. Without it, your partner’s flaws become magnified until they are unbearable.

My husband and I both have our flaws (he has a lot more than I do, of course) but we are and will always be each other’s best friend forever. That makes the choice we both made to live our lives with compromise, patience and acceptance worth it.

Speaking of flaws, the subject brings to mind a story I wrote that illustrates a good example of choosing patience over murder. 🙂

Unfashionably Late, Thanks To My Mate

My husband’s pet name is Pokey. Shortened from its full spelling: Slowpoke.

There’s a generations-old myth that implies that women are guilty of taking forever to get ready to go out while the men wait impatiently for them. At our house it’s Pokey who takes forever to get moving. We are fashionably late for absolutely everything and it’s never intentional.

Here’s a typical scenario. We were invited to a friend’s wedding. On the same day that we received the invitation, I recorded the date and time on the kitchen wall calendar, updated the daily diary in my purse and set my email appointment calendar to send me an electronic reminder. Before the day was over I had map-quested the location, printed out detailed directions plus a street map, calculated the time it would take to drive from A to B with or without heavy traffic, and confirmed in my mind the dress and shoes I would wear. Only then was I able to relax and simply look forward to a fun evening out.

Pokey’s response to the news: “Just remind me the day before we have to go.”

I reminded him a full week before—and every day leading up to the event. You’d think he would have been prepared, right?

With the wedding procession set to begin at precisely three in the afternoon, I knew that we had to leave the house no later than two-ten in order to arrive in plenty of time to find prime aisle seating. Naturally, on the day of, Pokey decided mid-morning that the eavestrough, which had been overflowing with debris and on the verge of crashing down at any moment for the past several months, was in dire need of a cleaning… immediately. By one o’clock I had thoroughly aerated the lawn from stomping back and forth in my high heels, and our neighbours learned curse words they’d never heard before. Pokey finally climbed down after I threatened to pick him off the roof with his old pellet gun.

Sending clumps of mud, pine needles and bird poop flying in all directions as he slapped off a sopping wet pair of work gloves, he had the gall to smile. “Why are you in such a knot? I’m hopping into the shower right now and I’ll be ready in five.”

Pokey was, in fact, out of the shower in five minutes; I stormed upstairs to find him wandering around naked, trying to choose between two ties that looked identical. “Do you realize that we have to leave in less than an hour?” I shrieked, my blood pressure staining my cheeks more effectively than my blusher. “Don’t sweat it,” was Pokey’s reply. “Oh. By the way. Have you seen my white shirt anywhere?”

At two-oh-five while I stood near the front door giving myself a quick once-over in the hall mirror, Pokey was still upstairs ironing the white shirt that, though dry-cleaned since it’s last wearing, had been discovered in a crumpled heap at the back of his closet.

Leaning against the front door, trying my best not to look at my watch, I waited. Although my foot was tapping a hole through the ceramic tile, I’d made a pact with myself not to have a meltdown. I loudly whistled the Guns N’ Roses tune Patience in an attempt to drown out the creaking of the floorboards upstairs as Pokey loped about, searching for his wallet and car keys while trying to knot his tie.

At two-fifteen I was practicing the breathing techniques I’d learned years ago in Lamaze classes, while focusing on a hairline crack in a ceramic floor tile that Pokey was supposed to have replaced last year.

At two-seventeen my fists were flexing as my Lamaze breathing converted to hyperventilating. It was at that precise moment that Pokey appeared, literally leaping into his shoes and yanking his trench coat from the closet in tandem while ushering me out the door with a, “Why are you just standing here? We have to get going if you don’t want to be late.”

Believe it or not, we arrived at the church with exactly sixty seconds to spare. Of course I never did get my aisle seat, which explains why, in my one shot of the bride making her entrance, her face is obscured by the beehive ‘do of the lady beside me.

Whenever anybody says that marriage is all about compromise, my thoughts flash back to all the years I’ve spent tapping my feet at the front door. Compromise—hell, yeah! And a good supply of blood pressure meds too.
today

Paul and Donna today with our Jennifer.

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