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August 22, 2015

Indisputably Married

Two Weddings For Two Hearts

By Maryanna Gabriel

Well I stress creeped my way home a little ragged around the edges. A three sailing wait in the boiling sun contributed. The ferries in August are cause for stress creep. It turns out that the lightening bolt thing that I was referring to managed to remain a distant focal point on the horizon exactly where such phenomenon should be on the eve of a wedding. The result? All was well. It did not rain. The bucket of umbrellas on the deck seemed to do the trick. Who needs glaring sun anyways? My friend wrote to me this week, "I am currently having stress creep. I created the problem all by myself. I am going to FIX it myself. I don't like stress creep." I laughed. Self inflicted stress creep is a familiar mind state I whisper to myself as I stare into the night. Ha! Begone! The wedding was beautiful. With the bride indisputably married I am travelling in a different sort of way to Hoodoo in Yoho (yes, these are actual place names).  All will be revealed. 

August 13, 2015

Stress Creep

By Maryanna Gabriel

"You are giving me stress creep," my daughter says to me. Stress creep? Excuse me? I made my daughter repeat the comment. I was not sure I had heard her correctly. It turns out I had. I wondered if this was some upwardly mobile Torontonian, hip way to express oneself, for that is where she is based. It is a vivid way of putting things. I clearly understood the sentiment. I was merely pointing out that there was a cloud icon with a lightening bolt coming out of it placed on the weather report that happened to be the day she is marrying. It is a garden party after all. "Do you have an awning?" I asked rather sensibly under the circumstance. She replied, "That was Dad's job and he has not gotten around to it. Bring an umbrella." Hmmm. We hung up after other wedding chit chat. (I know you think I already wrote about her marrying. I did. She is marrying twice. This is the legal + relative/aunt/uncle type wedding.) I pondered the term. It occurred to me to look it up. Guess what? It's a completely legitimate scientific term that engineers use (my daughter is an engineer among other things). Define stress creep. "Stress Creep may be defined as a time-dependent deformation at elevated temperature and constant stress." Sounds like my week trying to save the garden in this heat wave... or rather my rather furtive looks in the mirror as time goes by... or perhaps how one feels with the visa bill...you get my gist. Love it. Lets wish the bride a wedding free of stress creep. Her mother too! And hey. One could always throw the term casually around  just for the mere pleasure of it.

August 8, 2015

Settling Into My Feathers

By Maryanna Gabriel


                        “Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff.
                          If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest--and when I say thinking
                          I mean thinking--you and I must do it.” 

                                                                                       ― A.A. MilneThe House at Pooh Corner

Big Old Owl
Not Fluff For Brains
Once in a while I do something really intelligent and lie in the hammock. It's not as easy as it sounds. Time out is not one of my strong suits. I do this feeling remarkably proud of myself when all of a sudden I feel a "whooosh" of wings. Amazingly, a big old owl flew up and perched on a tree branch above me. He was lovely. He didn't notice me, I was as still as could be watching him, when all of a sudden, he swiveled his head the way owls do. His look went right through me and my gizzards lurched as his piercing round eyes took me in. He seemed unperturbed. I marveled at his calm. I admired how his mottled feathers resembled the bark, how perfectly camouflaged he was. I became aware of a lot of bird sounds around me, a real racket, as I listened. One robin, in particular was quite irate. I watched as this robin swooped aggressively and dive-bombed the owl several times. The owl just closed his eyes. In fact it seemed to me he was having a nap. I too closed my eyes and thought how honoured I was by the presence of my visitor as the forest twittered and tweeted around me. Any movement on my part seemed like a tremendous effort. It occurred to me that I could be more like this owl and ignore the twittering of the world around me, the unwelcome behaviours of the fluff-for-brains type, knowing I am a bit of alright. I capitulated to the heat, felt a deep peace, and deeply relax. I too, can settle into my feathers. 

August 1, 2015

When They Leave Us

My Dear Lexie-Loo 
By Maryanna Gabriel

I have had to gird my loins to write this. Last time this year, I was travelling with my most wonderful doggie through Canada revisiting my past as I explored the east coast. Now I am about to launch a new children’s book that also features Lexie. I have been so privileged to have been companioned by this very special furry friend through difficult transitions in my life. She was loyal, loving, and true. We saved each other  - she needed a stable home after being uprooted three times by varying owners and unbeknownst to me she was the perfect antidote to grief. She helped to heal my heart and I feel I helped hers. We have done a lot of amazing walks together and had some fantastic times. You can tell I am speaking in the past tense for a reason. My friend wrote to me when I told her the news, “She was one of the most beautiful dogs physically and mentally that I have ever met.... Lexie was an old soul.” She was. My friend continues... “By far the hardest thing about having a pet is when they leave us.” It is. I miss her every day.