Thursday, June 14, 2018

Breakfast menu

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

I come from a family familiar with English Cookery - roast beef and yorkshire pudding,, steak and kidney pie, Eccles cakes and bread and butter pudding, treacle pudding (grandmother style) and Toad in the Hole and Beef of my earliest memories is sitting in bed between my grandparents, sipping morning tea in bed, from the saucer!!

My mother, she was ENGLISH. and quite often in the mornings she fed us soft boiled eggs with "soldiers"!!

My beloved's mother, -  she was IRISH, and so he had never become familiar with that delightful practice of dipping the toasted soldier into the lovely yellow yolk, and spooning out the white of the egg from the shell.

As a matter of fact he thought it was a rather degrading and ungenteel way to enjoy breakfast, and so our children never got to cherish this lovely English custom.

Unfortunately, -  I am free now to have whatever I please to break the night's fast, and a couple of times in the last two weeks I have fore sworn the coddled egg, or the fruit and cereal bowl, and made myself a nice, warm piece of toast, all cut up into straight and stalwart soldiers, ready for dipping!

My son-in-law fell into someone's favour and came across a couple of dozen beautiful big, fresh, brown farm eggs, which he kindly shared with me.

It has been heaven, first thing in the morning!!!!

Thank you to Christina for the picture, - 
she also wrote about the delights of eggs and soldiers!!!!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Out in the Garden.......

feeding the birds, watering, and, as I look for flowers to honour the altar on Sunday I realize that spring is quietly saying goodbye!

All the rosy peonies have abandoned their flouncy petticoats around their grassy feet, - the iris and the wind anemones have faded away, to recharge for next year.  And the poppies....  The only flowers in bloom are the clematis, the shasta daisies, the remains of the cabbage roses (although the Blaze, which we have ALWAYS had in our gardens) is dimished, but its usual glorious self.....
 And here and there a yellow daisy or two, hinting at the gold and red and purple glories to come when the beds take on their summer attire.

The altar will have to be content with some small white and gold flowers (whose name I have forgotten although I know it so well!!) the purple clematis and the silvery shards that complement them.  God won't mind!!!!

Soon the lilies will be in full bloom and the bee balm will be doing what bee balm does for those little buzzing gold and brown creatures.  I have red and purple bee balm, royal colours to complement the gold of the barn flowers that create a hedge of privacy along the back fence, the invasive yellow daisies who would gladly take over the whole garden if they were allowed (sigh), and those lilies, that are so gorgeous and fragrant.

Someday I will post pictures of the gardens I have left behind, that were so precious to Charles and to myself, but I am content in these later years with the comfort of the old and not so spectacular plants, and my little handkerchief lawn is sufficient.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May in the Garden

May 30th, 2018

Nothing is so beautiful as spring

When weeds, in wheel, shoot

long and lovely and lush...

Gerald Manly Hopkins.

May, 2018

A record of Spring's beautiful gifts of vitality and loveliness.

Friday, May 04, 2018

This and that - Inside and Out

May 4th, 2018

Well, Inside I have been lured by the loom, - doing all the winding and beaming and threading and sleying and finally to the process of throwing the shuttle back and forth, in rhythmic mode.

I have been taking an online course in Colour and Design, and it's kept me rapt and head down over the four harness LeClerc.  This has been such a fun warp to weave, - marvelous colours, great symmetry and little blocks all over that have a chameleon effect as you change shuttles.

Having finished the assigned sample and a few variations I decided to resley the warp and use my imagination to make a nice drapey scarf...

Anyway, I hope it will be a nice drapey scarf!!!

For the weft I am using a lovely combination of silk and wool, but I am still a little ambivalent about the effect, and how the design will evolve....

So I decided to take my book and a cup of tea Outside into the garden,  and relax and think a bit!!!!

While my tea cooled I ventured into the garden - that great explosion of greenery and the dratted ground cover of wild and viral violets (the kind that don't bloom).  They do have a flower of sorts..
Mr. Google says "weird, pale flowers resembling mung bean sprouts that hide at the soil line" and they sow their blasted seed all summer without the need for pollination.  These are called Cleistoganious flowers, from the Greek, which means "hidden".   Alas, the only recommended method of removal is on your hands and knees with a knife, to dig out the roots!!!!

It has been a late spring.  The tulips are still blooming, and the beautiful coral blossom is just beginning to cover the Quince bush.

I found the rhubarb had grown to monstrous size, - great fan-like leaves that would have been entirely adequate for Sally Rand.  Hiding under the leaves were the sweetest lilies of the valley, which I saved, and also divested the plants of the baleful violet!

Eventually we returned to the cold tea, and the book I had brought with me - Callie and I.  Bruce had given up and gone back into the house to keep a look-out from the front window, in case someone should come to call!! And he could sound the alarm!!!!

 I read a few pages (Brene Brown's 'Gifts of Imperfection')  before I nodded off (which I am inclined to do these days). And besides, I know all about imperfection and how I have learned to appreciate it...

I am so grateful for the garden and for the ways and means that allow me to weave.  I have reached the point in my life where my mobility is not quite what it was, - nor my hearing.  And I have lost all of my dearest friends, including my darling husband!  So my social life is not what it once was......

However, the garden and the looms provide me with great inspiration, and the weaving especially keeps my brain active as I make lists of all the things I want to make and the math associated with planning these projects.

And then there is the Ukulele ........

My favourite piece to play before breakfast!

If I have posted this before I know you will enjoy it again!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April 25th, 2018

This morning, when I got up, I closed the door to the loom room and determined that I would get down to business, and finally go to town to replenish the larder after three days of procrastination.

Well, I have this lovely and colourful warp on the LeClerc, which I finally beamed on, and where it lies awaiting threading and sleying on the weekend.

Today is such a precious spring day.  Warm winds, blue skies and it is the 75th anniversary of the day that Charles and I met, - he taking a short break from studying for exams at that point in his training to be a pilot, and me, out on this lovely spring day with my dear friend, Norma, - laden down with cold potatoes for frying, pork chops, a tin of niblets, a frying pan and a quart of milk!

I am sure I have told this tale before - how I murmured when we saw this handsome, fair airman gazing down the river, jacket thrown over his shoulders. -  "Slow down, - he might catch up!"  He did, we continued down the river bank, heard a pheasant call and stopped at our usual picnic spot, where we fed this wonderful specimen of a prospective relationship.

He asked us to see a movie, - I told Norma what a shame it was she was going to be busy that evening, and he and I set a date!!  The chemistry was overwhelming!!!

What a full, rich life that chance encounter led to, trailing in its wake so many wonderful memories of the life we made and the family who were so dear to us.  Hard times, endearing moments, wonderful years of working together, and now I keep busy weaving, and treasuring days gone by and the friendship of our children.

Today I went to Choir before I shopped, and amongst the songs we sang was one friends knew was dear to me......"Among My Souvenirs".   It was a favourite of my father's as well.  A little melancholy but I love the tune and the words touch my heart, somehow.

Late in the afternoon, out in the garden
with Bruce and Callie.......

A little skirmish with the cutch grass, and a small cutting of ruby red rhubarb,
to stew for supper.  
The tulips are starting
to bloom, as is the silver dollar which spreads itself
 through the garden.

A long and so welcome telephone conversation
with our oldest son, who was on
the ferry, on his way to Nanaimo......
and it was time for supper.

And now it's time to go and tidy up the kitchen and make
a cup of hot chocolate.

When I wake in the night will I see
the twinkling stars and the bright moon,
through the trees, and remember how it was
on the farm, away from town lights
where the night sky was so glorious!!

I would love to see the Lyrid Meteor Shower
but it would require me to turn off all the town lights
and go out into the middle of the road
(in my nightgown?)
and I'm not sure of the proper procedure,
although the Mayor was at one time a neighbour.....

Ah well...Praise what comes!


Friday, April 20, 2018

Ode to Spring, and all that

er- Spring
you perfectly priceless old thing
I'm frightfully bucked at 
the signs that one sees,
The jolly old sap
in the topping old trees. 

The priceless old lilac, and that sort of rot...
It jolly well cheers a chap up.
does it not?

It's so fearfully bright, so amazingly right
and one feels as one feels
when one gets rather tight....

er- Spring

I write from memory, a poem from long ago, 
before I was married...

When I still did secretarial duty
and spent lunch hours
in linen shops
and greeting card establishments,
with a kindred soul.

In the early 1940's - war time
before I had even met the Beloved!

In the midst of another late spring.....

Somewhere in all my 'stuff'
I have this poem
but I moved it from the drawer beside my bed
with other poetry from that era
and I don't know where I put it!!! (she wailed)

Mr. Google has evidently never heard
of this particular
Ode to Spring, and all that....

He quotes Gray and many
others who waxed deliriously about Spring
but this particular poem
which has happy memories for me
if nowhere to be found?

Not even the poet ..
I'm sure it wasn't Ogden Nash,
but someone of his ilk..

It is said
Nash wrote about spring,
although it is expected he copied  "Anonymous"

"Spring is sprung, the grass is riz
I wonder where the boidies is..?
The boid is on the wing,
I always thought the wing was on the bird."

Also written from old days!

Well, if anyone knows

"Ode to Spring and all that"
and can correct my memory,.
I would be much obliged!!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tidying and its consequences

April 16th, 2018

Monday morning, - and I should be weaving.

However, I have spent part of the morning tidying, and the other part brooding over a couple of cups of coffee.

I am haunted by great hordes of descendants, rolling their eyes, raising their eyebrows, and asking each other in plaintive query, 'why did Grandma save THIS, do you suppose' - while I rest quietly under a blanket of green!

Of course the consequences of all this tidying is that I will not know where anything is, anymore.  I did have some little brain patterns that would lead me eventually to the object of my quest, - but now????

I can tell you where things were on the farm, - ' that book is on the shelf going downstairs, - third from the top step!'.  Now I have no idea which shelf it's on, or whose!!!  The daily chocolate cake is in the middle drawer next to the stove.....  Daily chocolate cake???  Did I really make a chocolate cake daily for that ravenous horde of precious children (and husband)????

It all started when I decided to put various loom instructions away.  The ones that my youngest son had been using to guide him with the tie up.  That led to a general clean-up of all weaving books, - recent and drafts from napkin and towels exchanges from long ago, - all tucked carefully away in colorful bankers boxes, duly marked.

While I was doing this I came across a little collection of poetry.  At one time in my life I was very much into books by May Sarton.  "At Seventy" (probably when I was seventy) and "House by the Seas"  They lived on the table on my side of the bed on tenth avenue.  Where are they now????

This little poem of May Sarton's expresses quite exactly how I would like my house to be, in all simplicity and peace.  It is called  "The Work of Happiness"

I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted  by this inward work
And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.

So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room.
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall -
These are the dear familiar gods of home
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.

For what is happiness but growth in peace,
The timeless sense of time when furniture
Has stood a life's span in a single place,
And as the air moves, so the old dreams stir
The shining leaves of present happiness?
No one has heard thought or listened to a mind, 
But where people have lived in inwardness
The air is charged with blessing and does bless;
Windows look out on mountains and the walls are kind.

Well, we all know that what with music, the piano, the ukulele, the looms, the STASH, the books, the memoirs, the old report cards and Christmas greetings (saved), the drawers of music books, all the linens and the ornaments, the twelve boxes of hard print photos and snaps, and the albums, and a box of old essays, and all the letters Charles and I wrote to and fro while he was training and flying Lancasters, my journals and the shelves of genealogy info  - oh, I must stop........!!!

Perhaps somebody will be delighted and say, "Oh look, - Grandma's old Cookie Jar"

.I would show you the actual cookie jar, but it is on the top shelf and I am not allowed to take a camera up the step ladder to snap a picture!!!  I keep my meagre supply of cookies for Great Grandma in the middle drawer by the stove!!