Welcome to my blog, where you'll read about my family's progress in renovating our home - a custom-built board and batten (minus the battens) house built in 1975 on a rare 5-acre conservation-type piece of property in small town Ontario, boasting spectacular views of the village from the ridge at the back of the property (which I like to call, Ridgeview). When we moved here in the summer of 2010, the house had original carpets, flooring, cabinetry, windows, and decor. All it needed was a little TLC and a creative mind to remodel it, and so we got started...

You'll find links to some helpful home improvement sites and local contractors.

I also write inspirational poetry and quotes...so you'll catch glimpses of some of my work, and find links to my favorite sites and blogs, or you can follow my Poetical Soul blog (click here or the link at the top of the page).

Hope you enjoy your visit.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I am so excited about the most recent issue of Sibella Poetry Magazine (now available online - see attached link http://clck.com/jmmg/spoetry/SIBELLAPOETRYsummer2012a.pdf) for good reason:  my poem, "Metamorphosis" is on page 9, and it showcases the wonderful poems that were this year's contest winners. 

"Metamorphosis" is a culmination of lifelong learning from changes in my own life, but was also inspired by the experiences of various friends.  One such friend (whom I only met recently in the Spring) just happens to be one of this year's contest winners (see "It Doesn't Matter Much..." by Jaisa Sulit).  She and my husband experienced similar accident injuries, and I'm blessed to now have her in our lives.  Another inspired me from a late-night chat we had about a piece of writing she had shared with our writing class. 

It is partially in knowing that I have great and wonderful friends (new and old - it's quite a large social network) that I am able to adapt quite well to difficult changes - changing jobs, changing lifestyles, changing circumstances - such as my husband's injury and on-going recovery. But even with adaptability, I've learned that you should never lose sight of your true self (believe me, I have, but have been quite fortunate to have found myself again - thank goodness!). We all go through change in our lives, some more than others, and some change more difficult than others. But it is through change that we learn resilience, we grow, we prosper. Just remember to be true to yourself through it all.

Ridgeview-Glen is still going through its process of metamorphosis.  We're now in brain-storming and design phases of renovations - quite a long process, with ups and downs, and unexpected turns itself.  More on this to come over the next few months.  Until then, cheers to change :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Feeling (a Poem)

One of my favorite things to do is write poetry.  I've been writing for years, but life took over and I stopped for a while, and only rekindled my love of writing about 4 years ago.  I love to sit at my desk in our loft, listen to music (usually nature's own, from my open window) and get inspired.  "Imagine, Dream, Inspire" sit on the wall above my computer, along with framed art and the view from the loft out to the back yard and treed forest help to open the creative path that is sometimes cluttered in my head.  Often, I'm inspired by conversations with my friends.  Certain words that are said grab me, and work their magic into poetic verse. 

Last year, a casual friend introduced me to an online magazine that what having a poetry contest.  With the next issue of Sibella Poetry Magazine coming out on June 1, showcasing this year's poetry contest winners, I thought I would share the poem that led to the amazing opportunity of writing for Sibella Poetry Magazine this year.  Enjoy :)

(©Linda Spencer)
(Published in Sibella Poetry Magazine, inaugural issue Dec. 2011)

I see through the layers
That you fight so heavily
To keep wrapped up so tightly.
I feel the tears
That fall as you sleep at night
That you cry throughout daylight.
I sense your fears
And all of your sorrow
Of what will be for tomorrow.
I feel your doubt
In things you once believed
That now you can’t conceive.
But I see the light
That will brighten up your day
Trust that it’ll come your way.
I give you faith
To dream and to believe
In all good things that you’ll receive.
I sense your joys
That you’ll know your whole life through
Just believe them to be true.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Persistent Visitor

Ah, they joys of country living (in town) never cease...
Raccoons insist on making daily uninvited visits to our deck, where we keep the garbage and compost cans.  These visitors always persistent, noisy, and always leave a mess.  Garbage day is always a challenge.  Often I leave for work that day only to find compost all over the driveway (the compost bins are "supposed" to be critter-proof - obviously not so).  Last night they visited 3 times - once before we even went to bed, leaving a mess on the deck for me to clean when I let our dog out for her night time routine.  Again in the middle of the night, a visit which our dog alerted me to, leaving another mess (albeit a smaller one).  And again this morning when I got up, catching him in the act - that masked bandit!  I could have banged on the window or opened the door to chase him away.  However, he was actually being neat and discreet this time - entering into the compost bin to pull out his next handful; looking over his shoulder like a child on guard because he knows he's doing something he's not supposed to be doing.  Maybe I'd just let him do his thing, and finish off the whole compost...then I'd have nothing left to clean up (would this work on children too???). 

"maybe she doesn't see me"
"I'm being good...honest"
"Mmm, thanks for breakfast!"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Watching Birds...

Last Spring, I counted 14 different kinds of birds at Ridgeview-Glen.  We had the brightest red cardinals, biggest blue jays I've ever seen, juncos, wrens, lots of chicadees, a couple of goldfinch, four pairs of morning doves, a pair of orioles, some woodpeckers, and robins in the yard.  Starlings came around too (who have decided to take up residence in our roof this year - not cool).  I watched the turkey vultures and crows fly around at the top of the ridge, and spotted a hawk.  The Jays were particularly amusing to watch, especially when so many came to feed at once.  Almost as many birds have come back this Sping, including the largest crow I've ever seen, who just wandering around the yard yesterday.  Many mornings have been spent with the windows open, staring out the back yard and listening to all their songs.  I love this place.

Male cardinal that comes by every morning
Watching birds while having breakfast
(©Linda Spencer, 2011)

Through the kitchen window
I see them playing in the spring snow
flying back and forth,
first two then six or seven,
and even ten landing on the feeders,
just long enough to nibble,
then off they go up to a tree,
take a look around
and back they come again,
stop first on the top of the hanger,
then down to next feeder,
to nibble on some more,
As I take a sip of coffee
And nibble on my toast.