Dealing With Loss

I’ve lost my best friend, my soulmate. My husband passed away on Tuesday, March 7th at 4 am. He quietly slipped away in his sleep at the hospital.  After a long illness, he is finally at peace. I’m devastated, and feeling guilty for wanting him back. Breakfast is the worst. That empty chair stares back at me. The silence – like a knife.

I shall be absent for a while. If  you have someone who is failing in health, touch them, hold their hand, look into their eyes and convey how much they are loved and valued.


Judy Weir / Feather Stone / F. Stone

Madness – Too Horrific to Understand

Muslims Murdered

I’m so sad. How can anyone kill another person, let alone people you do not know? Is the attack on Muslims in Quebec a result of mental illness or a condition of a personality disorder? If it’s a result of terrorist influence, it would appear he was a troubled person with little strength of character or integrity. Whatever the motivation, whatever his issue, Muslim and non-Muslims need to guard against being drawn into hysteria. There will always be persons who turn to violence in spite of the influence of law-abiding communities.

I was so filled with awe in seeing the thousands of people drawn to support the Muslim community. This is Canada. We care. No matter your ethnic background or religious beliefs, we stand with you. Not just because you are Canadian, but because you are an individual in our community that has promised to protect you and your rights. Free to practice your faith. Free to express the diversity of your skills, ideas, talents. Weave your own music, culture, and language in with that of those who came from Europe, Asia, Africa, India – everywhere.

There are no walls here.

O Canada OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM (English version) O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free! From far and wide O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

En francais:

O Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux.

Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix.

Ton histoire est une épopée,
Des plus brillants exploits.

Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.


WEP: Gardens – A Flower Bed of Characters




Denise and Yolanda:  Welcome to Write…Edit…Publish (WEP), the home of the permanent bloghop. You are welcome to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a designated word count– artwork and photographs welcome. Open to all genres! Fiction – Adult, YA, MG.

The Gardens prompt is all about creativity. What picture comes to mind when you hear the word ‘garden’ – the spectacular beauty of carefully landscaped tiers – the fresh delights of a new snowfall on frozen branches – or the haunting beauty of shadows and wilted plants at dusk on a fall night.

gardens olga


 Feather Stone:  “Welcome to my garden characters.”

Gardens invite more than simply quiet contemplation. Being a writer, I have discovered that I’m very conscious of the ‘character’ of each plant, where it should be placed, ensuring its special qualities add beauty to its companions – and vice versa.

I’ve noted that any plant, even small non-blooming shrubs look spectacular when accompanied by contrasting foliage, bird bath, or interesting rockery – the key is contrast in color, texture, shape, and/or ‘mood.’ The secondary characters in my writing play a vital role in making the main characters glow with unforgettable brilliance. It stands to reason that even ‘also ran’ characters in a scene require special attention to shaping their personality, stature, reputation, etc.

Thank you for visiting my garden. It would be so special if we could physically pop into everyone’s garden for a chat today, and share each other’s wisdom and experiences. Even so, these virtual friendship are wonderful, meeting so many amazing people from places I could never visit. Blessings to all.



 Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.
–  Alfred Austin


Gardening is medicine that does not need
a prescription … And with no limit on dosage.
–  Author unknown


A garden always gives back more than it receives.
–   Mara Beamish


The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic,
always enterprising, and never satisfied.  They always look forward to doing
something better than they have ever done before.
– Vita Sackville-West, 1892 – 1962


He who cultivates a garden, and brings to perfection flowers and fruits
cultivates and advances at the same time his own nature.
–  Ezra Weston, 1845


Gardens are not created or made, they unfold, spiraling open
like the silk petals of an evening primrose flower to reveal the
ground plot of the mind and heart of the gardener
and the good earth.
–  Wendy Johnson, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, 2000


A garden is the mirror of a mind.  It is a place of life, a mystery of green
moving to the pulse of the year, and pressing on and pausing the whole
to its own inherent rhythms.
–   Henry Beston, 1935, Herbs and the Earth


One of the most delightful things about a garden
is the anticipation it provides.
–   W. E. Johns



When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow,
but the gardeners themselves.
–   Ken Druse





You’ll enjoy meeting the many other great gardeners participating in this WEP blog hop.

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Do You Believe in Miracles?

Over the past three weeks, I believed my husband’s health had reached a critical point, that his heart and kidneys had hit bottom. Being a diabetic since the age of ten, his body has been exposed to a series of failures. On April 18th, the doctors in the hospital cardiac ward declared the diagnosis of congestive heart failure and kidney dysfunction. They advised he had two options. Risk the angioplasty procedure (which would impact his kidneys due to the dyes toxic effect). The risk of death during the procedure was significant. The other option was to settle for treatment through pharmaceutical intervention and prepare for a steady decline. Both gave little hope.

Ralph agonized over the choices but then bravely chose to risk the procedure.

Following the procedure it appeared that his condition worsened to the point that he could do nothing without causing extreme shortness of breath, chest pain, and a myriad of other side effects, including kidney shutdown. From April 29th to yesterday, we feared the worst. Ralph wanted to die. His symptoms seemed to be immune to the medication to counteract them.

Then, during the last few days, I reached out to friends and acquaintances for prayers and comforting thoughts. Something dramatic took place. A miracle.

Yesterday, he managed to walk to our table under his own power. His face had color, his eyes were clear and focused, his voice strong. I remarked to him that he looked so good. That he, pdownloaderhaps, had turned the corner away from failing health. He confirmed that he had slept very well and his symptoms seemed to be easing up. I dared to hope. This morning, he looks even better. He’s even getting feisty again.

Thank you to everyone who sent prayers and healing thoughts. Well done! Just wanted to let you know that each of you helped perform a miracle. Thank you so very much.

Fighting the Snow Gods

NoJan 2011b, it’s not winter yet in my backyard, which is a good thing because I’m not ready. Last year my snow boots finally ‘kicked’ the bucket. After ten years of great service and two zipper repairs, I had to say goodbye. When the snow found cracks in the leather and the stitching gave way, there was no saving them. One shouldn’t be sad about tossing an old pair of boots to the g-bin. However, if those boots could talk, they’d tell beautiful tales of trekking and sliding and magical Jan 2011awanderings.

I’m reluctant to get another pair. Partly because it’s hard to find a really great snowboot that’s both practical and pretty. Well, not Holt Renfrew pretty, but you know what I mean. And, of course, if I make the purchase now, there’s the risk of giving the nod to the snow gods. No, I’m not ready.

My geraniums are still brightly blooming their fire engine red and the crystal blue lobelias wink between the green spikes. I should be yanking my annuals out and cleaning up, making space for shoveling snow. But that would also give the nod to the snow gods.

No, I’m not ready for winter. Are you?