Monday, May 02, 2016

Q is for Quips and Quotes

ABC Wednesday
May 4th, 2016

The letter is Q for Quips and Quotes

Some years ago when we were raising money for a Parish Hall some of the good cooks in our congregation put together a book of recipes entitled 'Secrets of a Small Town".

To spice it up a little we added a few choice QUIPS AND QUOTES 
to the bottom of some of the pages....

for example.....

The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.

Whenever I have to choose between two evils I always like to try the one I haven't tried before.  

(Mae West)

A family should never attempt an auto trip if the kids outnumber the windows.

If God believed in permissiveness He would have given us the Ten Suggestions.

The world has too many cranks and not enough self starters

A diplomat is one who can tell a man he's open minded when he means he has a hole in his head.

More interesting Qs here at ABC Wednesday with thanks to Denise, Roger and
quotable helpers...

Monday, April 25, 2016

P is for Prunus mume

ABC Wednesday
April 27th, 2016

The letter is P, for Prunus mume or PLUM BLOSSOM

The Prunus Mume is an Asian tree species, but its common names include Chinese Plum and Japanese Apricot.

The flower is usually called Plum Blossom.

The tree is related to both the plum and apricot trees, and although it is generally referred to as a plum in English it is really more closely related to the apricot.

Its flowering in late winter and early spring is highly regarded as a sign
of a change in seasons, and most welcome.

I cannot say
which is which
the glowing
plum blossom is
the sping night's moon

Isumi Shikibo

For more interesting Ps click here at ABC Wednesday 
to see what Roger and Denise and their plentiful helpers
have to offer.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Well, with sprriinng one is inclined to get quite 'potty' and that is what I have been doing the last few mornings, while the air is fresh and the energy high.

Bruce and I go for a quick early walk, and then somehow I don't seem to get back into the house before my attention gets drawn to something or other that either needs my attention or appeals to my gardening instinct.  Strong these days, that instinct, but it passes the time so pleasurably and then in the afternoon I am ready to relax and take things easy....

So I have been potting all the purchases I made at the nursery the other day, and sowing seeds in short rows and small circles.  That would be for the peas that I envisage climbing up one of the obelisks that are dotted here and there in the garden.

The difference this year lies in WHAT I am potting up, - some flowers but lots and lots of veggies, - peas, carrots, pumpkin, onions  Swiss chard and spinach, tomatoes and peppers
 and all the salad greens
all mixed up with marigolds to keep away the nasty bugs.
I even planted zucchini as there doesn't seem to be the abundance of
my early gardening days when everyone was trying to pawn off 
their great, long, extra zukes....with all sorts of recipes to make them more appealing.

And potatoes, - I planted some in a special potato bag
but the leftovers got tucked into my soil container.

Why this renewed interest in growing veggies?
I understand the sale of seeds and gardening tools is up forty percent
over last year.  Probably because the Canadian dollar is down
forty percent compared to the U.S. coin, and much of the produce
that you find in big grocery stores comes from California
(or Mexico or Peru)

And the reason for that is that the wholesaler can provide
veggies from far away a great deal cheaper than local produce 
for much of the year....

I spend much of my shopping time looking for items grown in B.C.
and do a lot of buying at local markets.

I haven't run out of pots yet

but I have run out of soil, and any further planting
will have to await another trip to the nursery.

While I was searching the net for the above innovative container
I came across these flower pot men
who I thought quite intriguing,
although a little dense looking
but surely that could be remedied with a bit of sparkle in their eyes.

The one on the right rather reminds me of our new Prime Minister
with all that 'loverly' hair.....

They could sit out on the garden bench that I seem to be too busy
to relax on, - with a cool drink, a cosy cushion and a good book.

Maybe when Summertime arrives and all the pots are blooming!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

O is for Opal

ABC Wednesday
April 21st, 2016

The letter is O for the lovely Opal

The word evolved from the Roman "opalus' or the Greek 'opallios' meaning ' to see a change of colour'  The ancient Indian Sansksrit name was "upala", which meant precious stone.

The Greeks thought that opals gave their owners the powers of foresight and prophecy, and the Romans adored it as a token of hope and purity.  Eastern people regarded it as sacred, and Arabs believed it fell from heaven....   

In reality they came from volcanoes, the silica in meteoric waters and sediment hosted fields and in hot springs and geyser environments.

Some lovely examples of the opals found in Australia, Mexico and Honduras.

and some even closer to home, in the north Okanagan and the Cariboo region of British Columbia

A little love poem from Amy Lowell entitled OPAL

You are ice and fire
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flames.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
The silver of moon-touched magnolias.

When I am with you
My heart is a frozen pond
Gleaming with agitated torches.

For more interesting Os visit here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to 
Denise, Roger and opulent helpers...

Monday, April 11, 2016

N for Nonsense

ABC Wednesday
April 13, 2016
The letter is N for Nonsense

A little Jumblie nonsense from Edward Lear......

The Jumblies...

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did
In a Sieve they went to sea;
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And everyone cried, "You'll all be drowned!"
They called aloud, " our Sieve ain't big,
But we don't care a button.  We don't care a fig!
In a sieve we'll go to sea!"
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they sailed so fast;
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
And everyone said, who saw them go,
"O won't they be soon upset, you know!
For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long
And happen what may, it's extremely wrong
In a Sieve to sail so fast!
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

The water it soon came in, it did
The water it soon came in;
So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat,
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery jar
And each of them said, "How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong, 
While round in our Sieve we spin!"
Far and few, far and few
are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
"O Timbalio! How happy we are,
When we live in a Sieve and a crockery jar,
And all night long in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail,
In the shade of the mountains brown!"
Far and few, far and few
are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig and some green Jack-daws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And in twenty years they all came back,
In twenty years or more.
And everyone said, "How tall they've grown!

For they've been to the Lakes and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore!"
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And everyone said, "If we only live,
We too will go to sea in a Sieve -
To the hills of the Chankly Bore!
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

Edward Lear, (1812-1888)  who wrote this poem,
was the second youngest of twenty-one children
born to a middle class English family, and because of
financial problems he and his sister, 21 years older than Edward,
moved into a home of their own when he was four.

Although beset by melancholy, depression and poor health
Edward was an artist, an illustrator, a musician, author and poet.

Well known for "The Owl and the Pussy-cat"
 his many humorous limericks and
his irreverent view of the world

I'm not sure if there is a moral to this story of the Jumblies
but it has a certain carefree are about it
that seems to overcome all difficulties....

Lots more Ns here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise and and any nonsensical
helpers they might have.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016


ABC Wednesday
April 6th, 2016

The letter is M for Marigold

A favourite in the garden - an old standby that lingers even after the first frost of autumn.  By itself, or potted with tomatoes and vegetables to keep away the pesky insects.

Glorious in the sunshine, be it French, African or just the common Pot Calendula, it is always tops on the seed list in our house....

The pot at the end of the driveway
alive with colors, radiant in the sun
marigolds, tomatoes, and morning glories
goldfinch yellow, burnt orange, forest green,
kelly green, a special red, of the ripening vine
faint, pale canary yellow, lavender, sky blue
at the rim of the trumpet, all together
awash in the warming morning
bright colors dancing together
slight breeze,. hint of autumn
but summer still in their blooming,
their growing together.

Raymond A. Foss

Did you know that in Britain rubber gloves for washing up
are called Marigolds, especially the yellow ones.

Wouldn't that make dreaming away, with hands in the soapy
water, watching out the kitchen window,
even more delightful!!

For more interesting Ms click here at ABC Wednesday
thanks to Denise, Roger and
merry helpers...

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Out and about

April 3rd, 2016

After all the winter months when it was icy underfoot and the great danger of the aged loomed ferociously month by month;  when the children were worried and worrisome in case their own particular aged one should fall and break a hip, a leg, a shoulder (I have done the wrist thing) - anything that requires surgery and the sad circumstances that took their father away from them;  after all those winter months it is such a joy to get out into the sunshine and the fresh air, even if it is only in to the garden....

where the early peonies and the lilacs are in bud

and the leaves on the trees are that wonderful

tender green of early spring...

but wait,- that's not all my blessings!

Yesterday I heard a Meadowlark!

Not a common occurrence now I live in town, but  the first
meadowlark of the year is a tradition in our family.

We listened for them on the farm,where they were plentiful
among the sage brush, 
and the first one to carry the news of the newly arrived
meadowlark had something to crow about!

I heard the meadowlark as we, 
 son Sid and I, turned off the highway onto the dry meadow
 where you stop and put the four wheel drive in
gear for the road up the mountain.

I was working at the computer when he surprised me with an invitation
to accompany him on his drive to the internet station,
where he had business.

One must be very sure that they want Mother along before
they ask because  ten to one she is always going to look delighted
and then say "yes, yes, yes - just wait until I
find a sweater, or go to the loo, or lock the back door...."

The Nickel Plate road is notorious for being steep and winding,
but I figured that the miners who worked there in days gone by
must surely have visited the village pub and climbed
back up the mountain to safety, so what's to worry about!!!

I didn't get close enough to the edge to show you just how
steep and winding the road is, - I may be adventurous, but not foolhardy!!

It was a lovely afternoon...

About ten days ago our oldest son and his very dear wife
came and picked me up to take me to a performance of
The Lord of the Dance, in Penticton.

That was spectacular in a very different way
with marvelous lighting and magnificent stage effects
and I loved it.......

So these days I'm not feeling such a stay-at-home
and it's most refreshing