Hello 2017

I step gingerly into 2017—emerging from the remains of a brief flu and a tentative reorientation of my priorities. In the chaos of inner shifts and a deepening realization of the immediate rehab needs of one of our puppies (after kneecap realignment surgery)–and acceptance of the time involved—I have been contemplating changes in my posting habits. I may post less frequently.  I also may decrease my reliance on prompts…though they will definitely continue to be in the mix as I highly value the community and learning aspects of prompt challenges.

I put some words down recently in an attempt to extricate myself from Tomorrow, a song lodged in my mind after watching the 1982 version of the musical, Annie.  In this  movie clip Annie sings for Eleanor Roosevelt and President Franklin Roosevelt.


believe in a brighter tomorrow,


as if there is no tomorrow,


strive for a better tomorrow.


Spoonfuls of easy wisdom

downed with milk and sugar,

(helps the medicine go down,

in the most delightful way).


Whole grain toast

with a strong cup of coffee,

slowly savored as truth,

encounters emptiness.


Soupes du jour:

Clear consommé,

Rich jambalaya, and

Slow-cooked broth (in season).



As if there is no tomorrow.


Believe in a brighter tomorrow.


Strive for a better tomorrow.

©2017 Ontheland




Daisies celebrate Ontheland’s First Anniversary—June 11, 2016


On June 11 last year I posted ‘How does my garden grow?’, my first Ontheland post since May 2011. This last year of blogging has been an amazing journey. Without too much fanfare I would like to mark Ontheland’s first blog birthday with appreciation and thanks.  Thank you to everyone who has read, liked, followed and commented here over the past year.  I have also enjoyed reading and being inspired by other blogs.   Witnessing the thoughts, creativity, and talents of others has been invaluable.

Some history:  technically, Ontheland was born in September 2010–for 8 months I wrote and posted articles, but had no understanding of the interactive aspect of blogging. No wonder my energy petered out!   Last summer, four years later, with my mind protesting ‘I don’t have time’, I registered for Blogging 101.  That’s when the penny dropped…after interacting in a course community I emerged ready to read and be read.  That’s why June 11, 2015 will be Ontheland’s official ‘date of birth’.


The flowers I have chosen to mark this day are wild daisies. Why? Wildflowers come and go over the course of spring and summer.  Daisies are currently in bloom around my house–I took these photos yesterday.  Getting to know and appreciate the natural cycles of growth around me is one of my many interests.

Daisies are thought of as a simple, unsophisticated flower. According to a few internet sources they symbolize  values such as innocence, gentleness, purity and beauty.  Purity and simplicity are themes of this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.  I have met many compatible bloggers through this weekly challenge and other blogging community events–particularly Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge and Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge.


Eleven blogs I enjoy and recommend

liebster2ndToday I offer a selection of favourite writing and photography blogs—why now you ask? a belated Valentine? A valentine of sorts.  I was kindly extended a Liebster Award by Mamie en Cavale and so, in accordance with tradition, I am passing the Liebster torch on to eleven more nominees.

Mamie en Cavale is an excellent photo blog that more people should know about—the photography and presentation are superb.   I am grateful for this award, which has given me an opportunity to feature blogs that I follow.  I also answer eleven Liebster questions and provide eleven random facts about myself (see below).

The Liebster award celebrates new and less known blogs with a specified number of followers.   The number of followers can range from less than 200 to less than 3000.  I used ‘less than 400 followers’ as my guideline.  (As a side note, who knows how many followers we have…lately I’ve seen two numbers for my blog with a difference of 60–for another blog I noticed a difference of 190 between two sources…)

Without further ado, I recommend the following blogs to my readers and nominate them for the Liebster award. Nominees interested in passing on the award to others:  please visit the guidelines at the end of this post.



Rivrvlogr, Poet, writer, photographer: ‘Looking head, without looking back (too often)’.

annika perry.jpeg


Annika Perry’s Writing Blog: ‘Join me in my journey as I write my first novel’.



My Journey with Hijab, ‘A day dreamer’s diary’: Prose, poetry, and humour.

vlacroix.jpeg   Simply Snapshots: ‘Poems, pictures and poems from a life in L’Entre Deux, Mers, France’.

haikuhound.jpegHaikuHound: Poet, writer, and photographer based in Australia.

olga.jpegStuff and what if: ‘Exploring writing and the creative randomness of life. Snapshots of moments’.

mamieencavale.jpegMamie en cavale: ‘La pratique de la photographie m’aide `a mieux vivre.’

Fifephotos.jpegFife Photos and Art: ‘A photographic, historical and wildlife tour of Fife and beyond’.

spoongood.jpegSpoonGoodRecipes and tips from an experienced and practical home cook, including vegan and gluten-free adaptations;  Photography.

LardeauValley.jpegLardeau Valley Time: ‘Join me as I explore the wild side of the Lardeau Valley, British Columbia’–Nature photography.

Doodles&Scribbles.pngDoodles and Scribbles: ‘Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic poet’– Poetry and prose.


  1. Why blog? A good question—the answer for my first few months, in 2011, is not the same as for my second start last summer (2015).  The bare bones answer for right now is that I like to communicate in writing, to be creative, and to interact with others doing the same.
  2. What are your sports interests?  I don’t consider myself to be a sporty person, but there was a day that I would cycle all summer and loved water skiing. I like ping pong and badminton—that’s as sporty as I get.
  3. You would never leave without…?  I always take my phone with me, not only for it’s obvious use, but also because it’s my camera.
  4. Your favourite colour?  As a child I believed in red and green.  Now, if pushed, I will say red or purple.  Honestly, I love many colours,shades, and blends. It all depends on the situation…
  5. Favourite hobby:  These days, my favourite hobbies are vegetable gardening, reading, writing, and taking photos.
  6. Tea or coffee?  I love coffee—I seem to need it to get going.  I also enjoy black tea, green tea, and herb teas.
  7. The destination that makes you dream?  I can’t say I dream about destinations, but I would like to see the east coast of Canada and the Northern Lights.
  8. Something that makes you smile?  funny blog posts, my morning coffee, a cute puppy, sprouting seeds, music….
  9. A recommended book?  If I were to recommend a book it would depend on the person’s interest. If you are interested in vegetable gardening, I would recommend “The Vegetable Gardener’s BIBLE” by Edward C. Smith.  I refer to it regularly from spring to fall.  One key aspect of the book is Ed’s High Yield W-O-R-D system for all North American gardening regions: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, and Deep soil.
  10.  Your music at the moment:  That’s a difficult question. I love a wide range of music, from classical to current R&B.  If I put on a CD while I am writing, it has to be instrumental–words are distracting. Often I squeeze music into my life by turning on the radio–if we had a jazz station out here (rural Ontario) I would play that.  I frequently listen to CBC radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) which offers an eclectic selection of music.  For driving, my first choice is often Country.
  11. Your worst mess? Some of the rooms at home can get pretty messy. One disaster zone is my ‘office’ which has traditional office stuff plus my light shelf unit for seed starting (will be doing that in March) and growing supplies. I’m on the way to tidying it up so I can mess it up again over the growing season.


  1. I tend to be a private person.
  2. I find it difficult to type while holding a restless orange cat.
  3. I am a recycling fanatic–though far from perfect–who knows for sure what they will recycle?
  4. I inherited my mother’s interest in healthy eating but I am corruptible.
  5. I used to  play wind instruments–first oboe and then saxophone.
  6. I have three siblings: two sisters and a brother.
  7. Reading fiction is like chocolate for me. For years I avoided novels– getting into a book meant that I couldn’t put it down.
  8. One of my pet peeves: leaf blowers–why pollute the air with a gas-burning  machine that blows leaves from one place to another?
  9. Over the years I have practised yoga and meditation. I need to bring these peaceful practices back into my life.
  10. I love camping.
  11. My favourite herb is fresh  basil.


If you wish to participate further in the Liebster awards, here are the ‘Rules’.  Please do not feel obligated to proceed but it could be fun 🙂

1-Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. Nominate 11 other bloggers to Liebster Awards 2016.
3-Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you (see below)
4. Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Give your candidates 11 questions to answer on their blog when they publish their appointment.

Eleven questions for my nominees:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What are your favourite hobbies?
  3. What  is one of your pet peeves?
  4. What is a favourite food or meal?
  5. Do you prefer coffee or tea or neither?
  6. Name a favourite something  (eg. book, singer, band, author, poem).
  7. Are you a morning person?
  8. What sports do you enjoy, if any?
  9. What is a reference source that you use frequently?
  10. What quality do you value most in a friend?
  11.  What is a favourite journey, either travelled or planned for the future?


An armchair gathering–Weekly Photo Challenge

Blogging can be a community event at my house. We live with four furry friends and when I sit in the reclining armchair to read or blog, at least two, and sometimes three, will try to squeeze beside and on me. In these photos I am leaning back to photograph my armchair visitors.



This post is in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly  Photo Challenge: ‘Gathering’.

©2015, all rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: “Today was a Good Day”

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

Last year we travelled from southeastern Ontario to Thunder Bay on the shore of Lake Superior to see the Thunder Bay Blues Festival.  The trip took two days each way (about 19 hours)–well worth it to get a glimpse of northern landscapes and to hear great music at an outdoors summer festival. This Mesh slideshow gives a taste of the scenery and features my favourite performers.

Why do I blog and tweet as Ontheland?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All About Me.”

The most literal meaning of ‘Ontheland’ is where I am–out in the country–but taking it a bit further, it’s about enjoying and preserving our home, the natural world.

I named this blog in the Fall of 2010, after I had moved to a rural house on a dirt road, “in the middle of nowhere”.  Actually, we are only 20 minutes away from a small city, but having grown up in Canada’s capital, and  having lived for decades in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, this was a major change.  

For me a dirt or gravel road was a summer experience… the final stretch on a trip to a cottage or campground.  Now I was going to be living all year round on an acre of land with a well in front,  cows grazing in a pasture across the road, frogs chirping in a nearby marsh, and rabbits galore nibbling in an abundance of wild greenery.  I had arrived where I wanted to be.

Looking a little deeper, Ontheland tied into my interests and personality back then, and probably even more so, now, five years later.  I like eating and cooking and have been a vegetarian since I was twenty.  Having a patch of land for growing my own vegetables and herbs, free of pesticides, was an attractive opportunity.  A major source of inspiration came up roughly 10 years ago when a friend moved into a city house and turned her backyard into a vegetable and herb garden.  It was from her efforts that I first tasted fresh arugula and basil…introducing a new yearning. 

Blogging and tweeting as Ontheland  expresses my awareness of where we all stand, even if we have layers of concrete under our feet–we are all living on the land, on the earth.    

For more information about Ontheland, please take a look at the sidebar blurb under my picture and at the Page called “About” .

Why am I a Vegetarian?

I’ve called myself a vegetarian for over 30 years–and yes, I’m still alive and well. If I look back over the years, there were times that I folded to family pressures and had meat. More recently, I decided to eat fish occasionally,  because I feel I need some of the oils and protein fish has to offer–but I’m beginning to question this.

At this point I would say that not eating meat is as embedded into my habits as eating meat is for many other people. Before I answer the question: “Why are you a vegetarian?” or “Why don’t you eat meat?”, I would like to mention a pet peeve. It annoys me that at social events, I often can’t peacefully eat without being asked to justify why I don’t eat meat.

There is nothing sacred about eating meat—in fact, there are many cultures that are vegetarian. My decision to “convert” was not out of lofty morals or a detailed reasoned philosophy. I decided to eat vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, seeds and dairy products because I liked how I felt after a meal. Instead of feeling weighed down, I felt energized. The vegetarian food I encountered was delicious and on top of that, I was turned off by the process of preparing meat for cooking.  Aware that some people choose not to eat the flesh of animals I decided to choose that path myself.

Since my original decision many years ago, I have learned about and adopted other reasons to reduce or eliminate meat:

  • A vegetarian or almost vegetarian diet is healthier;
  • Animals are raised for slaughter in cramped, cruel conditions;
  • Disease and drugs are found in meat due to mass production methods;
  • Raising animals depletes more natural resources than crops;
  • Some fish species and marine animals are in danger of extinction due to overfishing; and
  • Some fish and seafood are contaminated by toxins.

So there it is, this is why I continue to be a vegetarian (who occasionally eats fish).   I  plan  to continue exploring the environmental impact of meat and fish consumption and researching nutritional questions.