Wednesday, February 20, 2019

This and That

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

It's weaving day today!

In between working on the current shawl

(which requires me to be very diligent and concentrated

because of its intricate pattern)

I am watching a bit of Scottie's Curling

when I break for a little rest,

and marveling at the ability these girls have

(it's a Woman's competition)

of tossing a rock down the ice and being able

to aim it so aptly that it

sends another rock flying, or skidding, or sliding.

however their eye and their hand

have determined.

The first thing I had to do this morning, though,

was to go outside and rescue the flag which flies over our

garden gate.

I noticed when my DIL came to pick me up for dinner

last night

(wonderful dinner, - ribs in BBQ sauce)

anyway, I noticed that the wind had been playing havoc

with the flag, and it was entangled in the

climbing rose, beneath it.

The Beloved, from on high, would have been very upset

to see the flag so disabled, and I was prone to do something about

this immediately!!!!

Luckily there was a long pruned limb leaning against

the house (and I know not how it arrived there, but was happy

to see it!)

Between the limb and my cane, which accompanies me most places,

I was able to disentangle the flag from the rose spurs

and gradually bring it within reaching distance, free

of all encumbrances.

I folded it up reverently, and took it into the house,

to be replaced by a new emblem

that indicates this is the house of a patriot,

and I hoped my dear one would be happy with the effort!!

The sun is shining this morning, - there is blue sky

and there are white clouds.

The catkins have not yet acknowledged that spring is

around the corner, and if the spring bulbs

have started to poke through the ground

they will have discovered a half a foot of snow impeding their progress!!

However, we had a mild January, and I guess winter

had to put in an appearance sometime before the March winds do blow!!

The Christmas Hellebores were lovely,

and I'm sure the Lenten Hellebores will be just as beautiful

even though Lent is late this year......

Easter is April 23rd.

In 1943 on the day I met my sweetheart, Easter fell on the 25th of April.

A day of happy destiny!!

Lunch time now, - weaving time later!!!

I'm off to deal with this precious day.

Post Script

While having lunch I was leafing through a book

entitled "Poetry of Presence"

(an anthology)

and came across this poem by Lynn Ungar, 

The Way it Is

"One morning you might wake up
to realize that the knot in your stomach
has loosened itself and slipped away
and that the pit of unfulfilled longing in your heart
has gradually, and without you really noticing it,
been filled in - patched like a pothole, not quite
the same as it was, but good enough.

And in that moment it might occur to you
that your life, though not the way
you planned it, and maybe not even entirely
 the way you want it, is, nevertheless -
persistently, abundantly, miraculously -
exactly what it is.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

In Loving Memory

February 16th, 1902 - October 4th, 1957

Dolly (Clark) Thompson

Thursday, February 07, 2019

End of the day....

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

First of all Bruce goes out for some night-time air, 

and to attend to other business.

A few minutes later

The door explodes, 

 - the little dog comes rushing through,

his nails clitter clattering down the hallway.....

  -  and it is time for evening treats.

Callie gets in on the feast as well, 

but in a much more ladylike fashion.

 I gather up my mints,

 my Ipad for watching Netflix 

(until my eyes waver and close,)

 and as I go to lock the doors

 and check that the pilot light

in the little gas fireplace is on and burning brightly

 I am awash in the lovely fragrance of the Hoya

as I brush past it..... 

What a perfectly lovely way

to end the day!

And how generous the Hoya is

to scent this wintry evening!

Post Script...

many thanks to Ruth for helping me

give this plant the right name!!!!

Friday, February 01, 2019

The Shawl

February 1st, 2019

I have these gorgeous cones of

silk and wool, (combined)

sitting on my kitchen counter

where I can gaze upon them

with lovely anticipation!

I am going to make a shawl......

Doesn't it look as if it's going to be delicious?

If you say it very quickly the adventure

of making a shawl out of those skinny threads

doesn't seem to be too dauting.


First you have to wind the warp.

Four hundred and fifty threads,

back and forth, back and forth

and with a cross at one end so that when you remove

the threads from the warping board

they will all be safe and secure and in order

to be beamed on to the back beam.

Once I took the warp off the board

without tying the cross securely

and there was all hell to pay when I tried to beam it on,

so I don't do that any more.

The warp is made up of even skinnier black cotton thread.......

It is safely on the loom

and I am on to the next stage, which involves

threading each of these four hundred and fifty ends.

through the proper heddles in accordance

with the pattern you desire.

Carefully, with the greatest concentration.

I thread for approximately 33 minutes, 

and then my back and neck whisper...

"hey, hey, remember your age!!  How

about a cup of tea, - or we could go and sit in

the easy chair and read a bit

(Kate Atkison - Transcription)

I have threaded two hundred and twenty-five ends,

so far.

Tomorrow morning I will tackle the rest,

and Sunday I will sley the threads through the reed

two at a time.

I figure Monday morning will see me up early,

winding bobbins with this gorgeous wool/silk

and throwing the shuttle back and forth, back and forth

with great enthusiasm and satisfaction!

It fills the days with a good feeling

of accomplishment

and weaves up all the tattered hours

and minutes.

In case you let February arrive without the proper obeisance to the White Rabbit

here he is, and you can bow three times and turn around, 

or are you supposed to turn around three times

and then bow???

In any event

have a great month - a short one

and soon it will be spring!

But hopefully, long before that

I will post a picture of the Shawl....

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tuesday, January 29th, 219

An invitation to dine tomorrow evening, - and entertainment after!

No. 3 son and I will be delving into old, old pictures, 
that don't bring back memories, because they were taken before our time,
 but do open the gates into another century, 
and other generations.....

I peer into the box of pictures
and what do I find, randomly!!!

Here is a picture of Mary Anne, my great grandmother, 

with my grandmother on her knee!

And four generations of my father's family..

My aunt, standing, was soon to die in the 1919 flu...

her son, my favourite cousin

A merry collection of my mother's family....

her sisters, her mother, probably her aunt
and cousins

Dear Aunt Hildred, - for whom I am named -

and the name goes on and on

in the family, remembering her

Ah, one of Charles' intrepid ancestors

and his mother, as a young girl visiting New York

Here is the grandmother who started off sitting on my great grandmother's knee

and now is cutting a special anniversary cake

with her husband, Leonard

(25th, I believe)

and Charles, playing cards with his sister

and a boyhood friend, who became a lifelong friend....

Just a little handful of the snaps

that lie in the box of old photos,

waiting to be passed on!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


January 23rd, 2019

Variations on a warp

and other interesting tidbits...

I had just finished hemstitching the end of this scarf

(I have still to twirl the fringe)

when one of my dear Daughters in Law

(I have a few - all dear to me)

came to pick me up for dinner.

It is lovely to eat out, and to have conversation

with your meal!

We had a nice evening planned....

The weather was warm

and though snow was forecast 

there was no sign of it yet.

After dinner my son and I were going to

inspect some old, old, old, family pictures

on his humungous screen

with his "do-anything" program.

I had rescued these pictures from an uncaring cousin

who was about to throw them all out,

after my Auntie Hildred died...

They are a treasure

and we had a wonderful time 

inspecting noses, and hair-dos, hats,

gravestones and eyebrows.

Time just flew by until I looked at my watch,

and at the same time my DIL came to say

it was snowing heavily,

So on with the shoes, and out with the cane,

and we went carefully down the hill and out

on to the highway,

with the snow swirling, really quite wildly.

We all got home safely.

Bruce went out into the backyard before we went to bed

and everything was looking festive and sparkling.

 I woke in the night to see the

branches on the neighbour's evergreens

laden with a foot of snow and

bent towards my window.

And in the morning......

It is the first real snowfall we have had this winter..

who's complaining!!

The  morning was glorious

all fresh and pure and white

in the sunshine

and the sky was almost as blue as May.

From my window in the loom room

I can see the far off hills, 

where the sky and the mountains

blemd their blues together.

I finished another scarf.....

A scarf with holes in it......

An exercise in "denting" in the reed

Surely not for warmth,

strictly for decoration.

It is always a surprise when you wash

the weaving - magic in the water

and something you feel rather disappointed in

captures your heart.

More sun tomorrow - how lovely!

Probably icicles, as the temperature is going to drop,

Bruce tells me it is time to go outside,

have evening treats,

and settle down in bed for the night.

Sweet dreams.

Monday, January 21, 2019

and what shall I do today?

January 21, 2019

I am musing over breakfast about what I should do today, and where....It is wonderful to have options, even one-sided ones.

I could clean, or I could weave!

I scan the sky and note a few pink clouds clustered at the top of the Cawston Hills, 
which bodes well for the day (and for gardening if it wasn't January).  

Should I ignore this lovely weather and favour a creative day weaving,
or should I go out and feed the birds,
 poke around to see if any of the bulbs have heard the call to arms. 
 I am lost in the thoughts of spring...

Suddenly the pink clouds part, and the sun rises to lighten up the day!!!

Not all it lightens up, - my gaze is drawn to the coffee table, the piano and the buffet, 
where the sun has exposed the dust which lies, just an unseen part of the gloomy days,
 but complacent and resting comfortable on each and every surface!!

If I hesitated before, now my mind is made up for me!!!

I think of a couple of familiar housekeeping poems that might haunt me 
if I was so inclined to give them haunting room.....

This one you must know.  

 Dust if you Must
Rose Milligan

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind,
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Well, I did dust, and did  things to make the kitchen counter happy, 
and the hallway floors, 
but now I have had a bit of lunch and the sky is still blue, 
and the sun is still shining, - so I am off to check on the bulbs, 
and perhaps when I come back I will quote you the poem of 
"A Psalm of Life", by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow!!!


I found a few Hellebores

the scarlet nubs of a peony 

and a few early crocus stalks

and I look for the catkins to start filling out,

growing long and golden,

but not yet.......

A little stroll around the garden and the luck of being
able to see last night's amazing and beautiful
red moon eclipse,
and the moon, this morning
just setting, - golden and glorious

all this speaks of 
A Psalm to Life!!

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumnbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Finds us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time;

Footprints that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

My thanks to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for inspiring me to get the cleaning done
. - the dusting and the scrubbing, 
so that perhaps some 
"forlorn and shipwrecked brother (sister),
seeing, shall take heart again!!!

I will be glad if my dusting is of some service!!!
Besides alleviating my housewifely guilt.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

so I am off to do some weaving

for a while.