Little Danbo: A Sled Named Rosebud

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Knock, Knock, Knock…

I awoke today to a thick, soupy morning fog. We don’t often get fog here in Calgary and there is something wonderfully mysterious and beautiful about it. I happily finished my morning ablutions and comfortably settled into my home office with a mug of hot tea to begin my day. Deeply engrossed in my work, it took a while for my brain to register that there was a knock at the door.

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The Danbo Brothers: Sunny Side Up

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Waking Up Happy

The Danbo Brothers lead a busy and adventurous life and it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen them. I know they love the woods in fall and, as we’ve had an unusually long, warm autumn here, I believe their prolonged absence probably had to do with them taking many a long stroll in the woods to enjoy the splendour of the autumn foliage.

More often than not, if I run into them at all, it seems we most often rendezvous in the kitchen first thing in the morning—so I’m never quite sure what might await me there (which is always rather fun). And no matter how early in the morning it is, I can always count on these guys to be in a happy mood.

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Torna a Scuola! Back to School and Lifelong Learning

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“Non puoi insegnare niente a un uomo.
Puoi solo aiutarlo a scoprire ciò che ha dentro di sé.”

(“You cannot teach a man anything,
you can only help him to discover it within himself.”)

~ Galileo Galilei

September: Back to School

Ah… I love September. Remember the excitement of getting ready to go back to school? New school clothes, new crayons, a new school bag, new books, a new supply of your favourite pens and the fun of sharpening that whole box of brand new pencils? I loved returning to school every autumn, so much so that, even though it’s been many years since I finished my formal schooling, I still get a strong desire every September to join the throngs of young and eager minds heading off to a campus somewhere. The smell of cracking open a brand new book is my favourite September scent and setting the point of a newly sharpened pencil to the first clean page of a new notebook still gives me a secret thrill. While today’s students are much more likely to be excited about a new iPad or laptop than they are about their new pens and pencils, just the same, I feel their anticipation and I enjoy tapping into the heightened energy that fills the air this time of year.

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Little Danbo: How to Beat the Summer Heat

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“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees
on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

~ John Lubbock

Summer Heat Wave

I have always loved a good summer heat wave, but its been so hot here lately, that even I’ve been dreaming about cooler weather. Leave it to Little Danbo, though, to figure out how best to enjoy this heat wave—he spent the whole of the afternoon cloud-watching as he dreamily floated about in his new makeshift swimming pool.

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The Danbo Brothers: Flapper Pie Day

 

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The Danbo Brothers, ever-willing helpers.


 

The secret to a happy life:
love wherever you are,
do only what you love
and love everything you do.

~ BJC (my partner)

Making Flapper Pie

The Danbo Brothers caught wind of my plans to make a Flapper Pie today and hung around the kitchen all morning waiting for me to start. They just love doing anything in the kitchen. In fact, as far as I can tell, the Danbo Brothers seem to enjoy everything they do. For them, there is no such thing as work—it’s all simply just play. No matter how hard they work, it’s all fun and games to them.

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The Danbo Brothers’ Zest for Life

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True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done,
the zest of creating things new.

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If life gives you lemons…

I’ve been enjoying the company of the Danbo Brothers immensely since they returned from their last (rather unexpected) lengthy winter sojourn. They never fail to surprise and delight me. Last night, just before I went to bed, I found them sitting together on the couch, happily watching their favourite movie, Ratatouille, on my iPad.

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The Return of the Danbo Brothers

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 Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

~ Marcel Proust

The Wayward Brothers Come Home

During an extreme cold weather snap in the midst of winter, the Danbo Brothers mysteriously vanished after I sent them off on an emergency mission to replenish my chocolate supply (see my previous post: The Wayward Brothers). Many weeks have passed since they set out on their assignment and some believed I would never see them again. But, just as I always knew they would, the Danbo Brothers have returned!

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The Wayward Brothers

IMG_6794Life with the Danbos

My relationship with the Danbo Brothers has never been paternalistic. It was clear from the moment these two little guys came to live with us that, although we all enjoy each others’ company immensely, the Danbo Brothers neither wanted nor needed a caretaker. They immediately established their keen requirement for total freedom and complete independence. The Danbo Brothers have always come and gone of their own accord and, right from the get-go, they demonstrated that their diminutive size did not in any way limit them. I fully understood their need for independence and we have lived together in perfect harmony ever since.

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Cold Snap Dwindles Essential Fuel Supplies

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Another Arctic cold front has settled in here—there’s a ton of fresh snow and it’s colder out there than a tin toilet top. But, truth be told, I’m rather enjoying it! It’s so pretty outside and inside it’s so wonderfully warm and snug and cozy—perfect weather for snuggling up in front of a fire with a good book and nibbling on a little something. I must say, however, that I do have a minor crisis on my hands: for some of us, fine chocolate is the fuel of choice in extremely cold weather and my chocolate supply is evaporating rather quickly—diminishing to dangerously low levels, ebbing just below my psychological comfort zone. And that will certainly never do, especially not in the face of this chilly winter cold front.

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The Danbo Brothers Go Caroling

The Danbo Brothers caroling in the neighbourhood.

The Danbo Brothers caroling in the neighbourhood.

“Carols of gladness ring from every tree.”
~ Frances Anne Kemble

Here We Come A-Wassailing…

Who knew the Danbo Brothers could sing? Tonight, they joined forces with a couple of choir mice who come around here every year to carol and they spent a glorious evening singing their little hearts out around the neighborhood. All those small voices blended together perfectly and, I have to say, they sounded very sweet, even if a bit squeaky.

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Rekindling the Magic of Winter

 

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Scene from a magical winter walk in our neighbourhood.

 

“Warm fire—books–comfort—safety from storm—
our cats on the rug. Moonlight,” said Barney,
“would you be any happier now if you had a million dollars?”

~ Barney Snaith, talking about winter,
from L. M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle

Taking a Cold, Hard Look at Winter

My partner and I genuinely love winter. But we usually keep that sentiment to ourselves because it seems that most others around us do not share our enthusiasm for winter. Truth be told, this appreciation for winter is a relatively new thing. Five years ago, I discovered that I had become, like most others around me, a chronic grumbler about winter and, in all honesty, about the weather in general. It seemed that the more years that passed, the narrower became the range of weather I didn’t complain about.

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