Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Snaps

It's a concert day, from Berlin, but a morning concert here, starting at 10:00 am. with live streaming half an hour before the baton first marks the beginning notes.

I settle myself with my knitting and await the arrival of the orchestra.  The cello's are already in place, and soon the audience is clapping the orchestra on to the stage.

More clapping and the first violinist arrives, -  and the orchestra starts tuning up

The guest pianist, Helene Grimaud arrives, and the Russian conductor, Valery Gergiev.

The concert opens with the first few bars of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto in G Major, - a small piano solo, and then the bassoons, the clarinets, the french horns and cellos and the flutist join in.

My knitting falls to my lap, and I am mesmerized by the piano, and the expressive, quiet intensity of the andante movement.  I think 'what marvelous things mankind has learned to do with fingers and an apposite thumb'!

The Rondo is more vivacious and I find my foot tapping to the rhythm - so beautiful.

I take up my knitting again during intermission, and I must confess also during the Prokofiev symphony that follows, -

I am so impressed with Helene Grimaud, who is not only a young French pianist of considerable note, but also a writer and an animal activist.  So talented, and so serene at the piano in contrast to some who play beautifully but are painful to watch.....

The concert is over   It is lunch time and a I rustle up some yogurt and an apple and take them down to the loom room, where I spent yesterday and finished a blue tea towel and started a pink one, and now I must wind pink bobbins and see how much of my stash I am going to be able to use on this last bit of this warp, - and before I start another!!!

The sun is shining brightly, - no clouds in the blue, blue sky, but the wind that has blown them all away is a trifle chilly, so after a bit I find my garden gloves, put on a coat and gather some bulbs that I want to plant......

Here is a picture of the lovely blue crocus I bought at the grocery store a few days ago. (well, it was more purple, but my phone camera sees blue!)

They were beautiful for a few days, but then  the blooms faded and died, and I thought if I dug a couple of small holes I could just ternderly empty the pots into the garden and hopefully next spring they will poke through again I did!

I couldn't resist a beautiful Hellebore in full bloom as I passed the flower corner (in the store) and came home with a gorgeous plant, which I also plan to put into the garden as soon as the weather says O.K., - now!!  Callie is finding it difficult to find space on the table that flanks the front window, where she sits and says menacing things to visiting cats, what with pots of bulbs and flowering narcissis and the amaryllis that is slow to grow.

My son-in-law has been busy in the garden, doing things that I find difficult now - and in the case of the great repair job he has done on the garden shed, things that I never could have managed.  However, he brought an extra wheel barrow to the garden, and how could I resist filling it with bits of prunings and dry leaves and the ever ubiguitous  cutch grass that I am trying to remove from amongst the flower beds.

I had a little nip of sherry, - warmed up a beef pot pie that has been awaiting me in the freezer, and now I shall say good-night and after my nightly session with gmail, and facebook and Skype, I will go to bed and sleep contented with the day......

A little poem that makes me feel that way, - contented!

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 kinds of weather.  Praise

talk with just about anyone,  And quiet intervals, books
that are your food 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?

Jeanne Lohmann

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

G is for Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Graduation

ABC Wednesday
The letter is G
and it's all about Ted  (Theodor)  Geisel and Graduation

Starting with Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss as he is known to millions of readers of all ages) and the wonderful poems he wrote to delight his readers,  I am thinking in particular about the last poem he wrote at the end of his life, when he was battling cancer.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go"

It is well known and most appropriate to those starting out in life, at birth, or about the beginning of a new venture, - say after Graduation, and his little book containing the poem is a popular gift for new babies and those preparing to leave school behind and face the Great Unknown.....

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know
And YOU are the guy who'll decided where to go

You'll look up and down streets.  Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.


Dr. Seuss is not all roses and honey.  He acknowledges the challenges
and the loneliness we might encounter...

I'm afraid that some times
you'll pllay lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not.
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go......


Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of guy!


And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)


A great and encouraging overview of what lies ahead and how to deal with it, told in the kind of verse that keeps you reading and amused and challenged.

Sometimes when I stir in my sleep at night and reach for the hand that is no longer there I waken and think of Dr. Seuss and his poem (poignantly) and the possibilities it opens 
no matter where you are on time's schedule..

Oh, the Places you'll Go

I suppose the die-hard materialist would have little choice - you go up in flame or decompose.  But for those whose mind is open to other options - 

Who knows?  Who knows?

You just never know Where You Will Go, or what adventures await.

If you would like to hear the whole poem read here is a nice Youtube rendition....

More Gs here at ABC Wednesday

with thanks to  Denise and Roger and Gallant helpers.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Weekend

  1. A sunny day.  A walk to church, and then a lovely, lazy Sunday afternoon after such a pleasant day on the town yesterday.

We were off early Saturday morning, ( my daughter-in-law and I)

A beautiful spring-promise day - the trees had a faint aura of green, so early in the year, and the sun shone down through the morning sun, on to the lake.

and all the necessary purchases made by noon, so time for a leisurely lunch at Salty's on the lakeshore in Penticton. I had a most delicious sea food chowder, - mussels, clams, shrimp in a lovely red tomato soupy-sauce, and Terry enjoyed fish tacos and a nice spring salad.  Topped off with a Gingerbread Cheese Cake. - a specialty of the house.

There was a stiff wind blowing as we parked on the lakeshore, - not cold, but pretty brisk.  Enough to put white caps on the dark blue waters.

We stopped at the Flower Shop (which contains an enormous variety of flowers and garden accessories and jewellrey and bangles, and various other things to tempt the unwary shopper.  Over the years I have become more 'wary' and don side blinders (mentally) before I open the doors to treaure land.  For the first time in history I left the shop without purchasing anything, - although I greatly admired the pure white orchards and the glossy green orange tree with tiny oranges here and there.  I think the flower shop is a morning adventure, before the budget has felt the pressure of other purchases!!

The day continued bright and sunny as we returned to the Similkameen.  We passed the pretty lake community where all the willows are raising their golden limbs in welcome to spring

and the new calves are out in the meadow with their mothers

We had bought a new doorbell, and an added sound box that I planned to put in the loom room at the back of the house.  We had this nice drive home, little knowing that installing the new doorbell was going to be such a problem.

In the beginning, the batteries in the main doorbell button affair had laid down and died during their months on the shelves of the Hardware Store,  and they required us to go and get new batteries in the village.  Then, although the appendage was supposed to be audible at 150 feet, it was silent when we installed it in the loom room, just 40 feet away.  No Westminster Chimes to alert me when I am at the loom.......I was thankful for a daughter-in-law who was so patient and capable and cheerful, even when it didn't work!!

Well, life is made up of pleasant surprises and disappointments,  and ever the twain shall meet!!!

I visited this afternoon at No. 44 Scotland Street, with Alexander McCall Smith, whose new adventures there arrived in the mail just the other day.  Callie and I dozed a bit, read a bit more about the residents on Scotland Street and enjoyed the sun shining through the prism 
that hangs in the front window.

We warmed up some chili for supper and watched the finals
of the Canada Women's Curling -
great excitement, lots of frantic sweeping instructions
making the air ring above the rink;
a very close competition, and in the end,
the very last rock,
Jennifer Jones led her team to a fifth championship.

It's back to the loom and out in the garden tomorrow!