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!!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday night - the 14th of April, 2018

My New Mantra........

I have a new mantra, and I have included it in a Thankfulness Post about a year ago,
 but these days I have added, as well as Thankfulness........ Acceptance!!! 

Praise What Comes!!!

Not only because it is a gift of grace, but also because it is a lesson learned!

I am so grateful for a long life, good health, wonderful children, 
a place to be independent, the looms, my stash!, 
the piano and the ukulele and the garden...a chance meeting with old friends,
(so few and far between and I usually see them at funerals!!)
 or a phone call.....oh my, I am besieged with things to praise...

But what I have learned is that I must praise what comes with all its imperfections, 
and lean into the years I have been granted gently and without any bitterness 
that the cutch grass grows 
along with the peonies, 
- that  I make mistakes in threading, or the shuttle skips over threads and I don't notice it until the weaving is off the loom.  
The bread pudding doesn't turn out quite as delicious as bread pudding used to, 
or the pork chop is not as tender and juicy as I remember they once were
when they came from the oven.

  The home-made bread is a little heavy.....and so is the loom beater 
that I used to be able to move around quite easily, as needed!!

One paragraph, and already I am whining!!!!!

Praise what comes!!  Never mind if it is not quite up to par!!!
 It is here, I am here, and life is good.

The neighbour's apricot tree is about to burst into bloom
and all up and down the valley the green leaves grow
and the scent of the orchards is heaven.

Here is the poem which inspires me into acceptance of life with its endearing imperfections!!
(In case you missed it first time around)

Praise What Comes

surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven't deserved
of days and solitude, your body's immoderate good health
that lets you work in many kind of weather.  Praise

talk with just about anyone.  And quiet intervals, books
that are your good and your hunger, nightfall and walks
before sleep.  Praising these for practice, perhaps.

You will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
you never intended.  At the end there may be no answers
and only a few very simple questions;  did I love,

finish my task in the world?  Learn at least one
of the many names of God?  At the intersections,
the boundaries where one life began and another

ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?

This poem was written by Jeanne Lohmann

It is pinned on the cupboard to my left
along with a casual snap of me and my beloved...
Happy days- Happy memories....
Praise what comes!!!

Friday, March 30, 2018

March 30th, 2018


I welcomed March at the beginning of the month, and gave a nod of the head to this wild rapscallion of a month, - wind and rain, - a touch of irascibility, and the only sweetness to be found here in the Similkameen was in the scent of the violets that began to carpet the greening lawns....

I say goodbye to Him (March - I'm sure he's male) and prepare myself to welcome April, who I know can be frivolous and sometimes "cruel", - but the month ahead will see the daffodils, the tulips and the windflowers, and the lovely scarlet stubs of the peony parting the rich earth.

The days are milder now, - gentler, and sometimes even tender.  But still the west wind stirs up the mountain snows and brings the colder air down into the village.

Christina Rossetti says  - " I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
                                          If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,

                                          If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
                                          And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
                                          Sing robin, sing:
                                          I still an sore in doubt concerning Spring"

Well, we do have robins, and I have heard them sing. 
And the tulips and the daffodils reach higher each day 
with their sword like leaves.

The Daphne is in bloom in the corner of the garden...
the forsythia in a bucket in the bathtub!

The altar flowers are waiting in my kitchen 
and a couple of lovely lilies
hoard their many buds until they bloom 
for Easter.

"Spring is made of solid, fourteen-karat gratitude, the reward
for the long wait.
Every religious tradition from the northern hemisphere
honors some form of April hallelujah,
for this is the season of exquisite redemption, a slam-bank 
return to joy after a season of cold second thoughts."
Barbara Kingsolver

Tomorrow we will go and change the hangings to White. 
put Easter flowers in the brass vases
and crowd lilies around the Altar. and all rejoice in
this "exquisite redemption"...

although, alas, Easter is not what it once was
in this secular society we live in.

Oh tell me, are White Gloves and Easter Bonnets
part of the Easter Tradition any more?

even a frivolous part?????

Here is Bing Crosby singing "Easter Parade"

Charles and I met on Easter Sunday, April 25th, 1943
Perhaps that is why I am so sentimental
about Bing's version....

This was 'our' song....

Such a mish mash of a posting, but it's been a while
since I have settled down and gathered my thoughts!!!!!

Spent March weaving....more on that later....

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday, March 12th, 2018

My Blog time has been cut off at the knees by the Briar,  a week-long Men's Curling Event!!

Such a noisy and breathtaking week....

A pleasure to see young  men spending their time being enthusiastic about sports 
instead of finding their danger and excitement 
in the skies and the battlefields of Europe, 
as it was in my generation.

Charles spent time as a young man in Scotland training on heavy bombers.

Today young curling enthusiasts go to Scotland to indulge in that wonderful ancient game of chasing rocks around the ice.

Today, as it was then, the conflict is  about skill and dedication and comradeship
 but the activities that bond these young people is healthier
 and doesn't bear with it the terrible danger and loss of life.

The bonds between participants are probably not as intense 
as those between the bands of brothers
 who have faced flak and searchlights and missiles -
and ten or twelve hours flying,cramped and cold
over enemy territory,
never assured of their safe return.

but there must be a fondness, or maybe a passion
 for the game,
 and those who you share it with ,
that follows you into your more mature years. 

 At least judging by the old fellows who cheered and hooted and hollered in the stands.

and its long and ancient history

Towards the end of March the Scotties Tournament of Hearts,
a women's curling event
 will dominates the sports channels
for a whole week!!!

I am weaving these days so I will have a
stock of tea towels to hem
while I watch.