Saturday, July 26, 2014


Contemplating, this, that and the other thing.....

That seems to be the way it goes these days, although I am trying to discipline myself to finish July's big task by the end of the month so I can devote August to spinning and weaving.

I have a book entitled 'Contemplative Aging - a way of being in Later Life.  It is written by a man (more on that aspect later) - Edmund Sherman, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, State University of New York at Albany, where he was Professor of Social Welfare before his retirement.

Edmund is espousing  the meditative approach to old age.  He welcomes the 'interior' life, characterized by greater engagement in recollection and reverie, rather than in action; a 'turning away from competition and achievement toward the more elemental and sacred aspects of life'; to shift direction from the mode of doing to the mode of being.

I started to read this book a few months ago, but put it aside, being too involved in the anticipation of 'doing' and accomplishing many of the things that I seem to now have time for.  And yet it touches a chord with me -
I do have periods of great  memories;  thinking of those early formative years of my childhood, and then of the wonderful years of our marriage, and family times.  I try to cultivate a certain stillness, and  a mindfulness in all I do, but am not yet ready to sink into a Buddha like contemplation of life's meaning.

My big task this month (inspired by the approach of my 90th birthday) has been to finish working on my 'Departure Papers' - my will, my wishes, a service, all the details a family has to cope with after a 'departure' - but my reason for doing this is quite a common sense one, - I want it done and finished so I can put it aside with a feeling that it will be there when needed, and then GET ON WITH LIFE!!!!

Has anybody else got ancient enough that this way of contemplative life has occurred to them?  I think it is perhaps more prevelant in men (they don't have the care of a home to keep them busy no matter how old they are...) and probably in more scholarly men whose activity during their lifetime has been mostly in their mind and less in physical action.

But then, who knows what old men who sit on a bank and fish are thinking of during those long periods when they wait for a bite???

Anyway, I am looking forward to re-warping my loom and making some more silk rag rugs this fall, and planting some more tulip and daffodil bulbs, and getting back to fall activities - seeing friends, going out for lunch,  - but perhaps in the morning, over coffee, I will contemplate the day to come.  And in the evening, when I take my book to bed, I may drift off to thoughts of perspective and the eventual 'cosmic union with the spirit of the universe.

In the meantime my motto is Carpe Diem!!!!  In moderation, and with a faint salute to Edmund Sherman and his 'way of being in later life'.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

B is for Blueberries

ABC Wednesday
July 23, 2014

The letter is B which stands for Blueberry

That beautiful berry that grows so prolificly here in the Similkameen but most especially 
in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.

The stores and fruit stands of  the valley are awash with blue these days, and I have my own stash safely in the freezer, frozen on trays so that when I pour them into small bags they rattle around on their own, rather than making a great icy clump that presents me with problems when I go to add a few to my morning cereal.

I have a lovely recipe for you today.  I haven't tried it, but the thoughts of hot, hot days, company coming and the prospects of preparing a sweet for dessert immediately make me think 
this would be a perfect choice!!

It is called 'Berry Bliss Pudding'

and is made thusly.......

Combine three and one half cups of blueberries with a third of a cup of sugar, two teaspoons of lemon zest and two tablespoons of lemon juice.  Set over medium heat and bring to a boil, cooking until the berries begin to let off their juices but still retain their shape, - probably about THREE minutes.  Drain and reserve the juice.

Line a three cup capacity bowl with plastic wrap hanging over the sides.

Roll six slices of white sandwich bread (crust removed) with a rolling pin.  Dip each slice into the reserved juice and line the bowl with five pieces of bread, overlapping slightly.  Press the edges of the slices together so that THERE ARE NO GAPS.

Pour in the stewed fruit and cover the top with the remaining piece of bread.

Press down firmly.....

Wrap the top with the overhanging plastic wrap, then press down again.  Place a small plate on the top and weigh it down with a large can of beans or tomatoes.  Refrigerate until the pudding is firm, at least forty minutes. (If you are clever you can make this the day before and refrigerate until ready to serve)

Now you can remove the can and plate, turn the pudding upside down on to a serving dish.  Garnish with fresh berries, slice and serve with yogurt, or ice cream or whipped cream, - whatever your heart desires.

What could be easier on a warm summer's day - well, Jello maybe, but it does lack a bit of savoir faire.

For more great Bs visit here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Denise and Roger and all helpers.