Monday, November 20, 2017

Mr. Toad

ABC Wednesday
November 23rd, 2017

The letter is T for Mr. TOAD




Lots more Ts here at ABC Wednesday

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Akond of Swat

ABC Wednesday
November 15th, 3017

The letter is S for the Akhond of Swat

A truly living person who reigned for many peaceful
years in the Country of Swatz..

and upon whose death Edward Lear wrote the following!

Is he wise or foolish, young or old?
Does he drink his soup and his coffee cold,
                                                or HOT?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

Does he sing or whistle, jabber or talk,
And when riding abroad does he gallop or walk,
                                                or TROT?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a turban, a fez, or a hat?
Does he sleep on a mattress, a bed, or a mat,
                                                or a COT?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

When he writes a copy in round-hand size,
Does he cross his T's and finish his I's
                                                with a DOT?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

Can he write a letter concisely clear
Without a speck or a smudge or smear
                                                or BLOT?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

Do his people like him extremely well?
Or do they, whenever they can, rebel,
                                                or PLOT?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

If he catches them then, either old or young,
Does he have them chopped in pieces or hung,
                                                or shot?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

Do his people prig in the lanes or park?
Or even at times, when days are dark,
                                           O the Akond of Swat?

Does he study the wants of his own dominion?
Or doesn't he care for public opinion
                                                a JOT?
                                           The Akond of Swat?

To amuse his mind do his people show him
Pictures, or any one's last new poem,
                                               or WHAT?
                                           For the Akond of Swat?

At night if he suddenly screams and wakes,
Do they bring him only a few small cakes,
                                               or a LOT?
                                           For the Akond of Swat?

Does he live on turnips, tea, or tripe?
Does he like his shawl to be marked with a stripe,
                                               or a DOT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Does he like to lie on his back in a boat
Like the lady who lived in that isle remote,
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Is he quiet, or always making a fuss?
Is his steward a Swiss or a Swede or a Russ,
                                              or a SCOT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Does he like to sit by the calm blue wave?
Or to sleep and snore in a dark green cave,
                                              or a GROTT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Does he drink small beer from a silver jug?
Or a bowl? or a glass? or a cup? or a mug?
                                              or a POT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Does he beat his wife with a gold-topped pipe,
When she lets the gooseberries grow too ripe,
                                              or ROT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a white tie when he dines with friends,
And tie it neat in a bow with ends,
                                              or a KNOT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Does he like new cream, and hate mince-pies?
When he looks at the sun does he wink his eyes,
                                              or NOT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Does he teach his subjects to roast and bake?
Does he sail about on an inland lake,
                                              in a YACHT?
                                         The Akond of Swat?

Some one, or nobody, knows I wot
Who or which or why or what
                                         Is the Akond of Swat!

More interesting Ss here at ABC Wednesday!!

Monday, November 06, 2017


ABC Wednesday
November 8th, 2017

The letter is R for Remembrance

When you go home

tell them of us, and say,

for their tomorrow 

we gave our today

John Maxwell Edmonds

more Rs here at abc wednesday

Monday, October 30, 2017

A quote by Anna Quindlen

ABC Wednesday
November 1st, 2017

The Letter is Q for Quote and Quindlen

I have just finished reading Miller's Valley

by Anna Quindlen

I have a feeling that I have used Quindlen before

in my search for ABC Wednesday's quirkiest letter

but Miller's Valley did not exist then,

although many of Anna Quindlen's other books

had delighted me.

An American author, journalist and opinion columnist

I first discovered her when I read

"A Short Guide to a Happy Life"

and she says of her writing that it is always about families,

they being the metaphor of all of living.

And it is so with Miller's Valley.

Read it if you can, - you will love it!!

As to one of her quotes...

"Think of Life as a terminal illness,
because if you do you will live
it with joy and passion, 
as it ought to be lived".

More interesting Qs here at ABC Wednesday...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

This and that....

October 28th,  2017

Saturday evening, and I wore myself out in the garden today, snipping back spent flowers and plants and preparing the beds for winter.  I am about half way finished, and the wheelbarrow is piled high!!!

A cup of tea, a cookies, and a little nap revived me enough that I was able to start winding the warp  for my new planned project on the loom, having finished the last batch of tea towels. 

as they came from the loom

washed, pressed and awaiting hemming

This warp is delightful, - not as long, nor as wide - prospects of beaming and threading and sleying just eight inches of ends instead of twenty-four.  
The warp is a lovely wheat coloured Bambu and the weft a delicious yellow.....

I can hardly wait, but there are only a few days left to enjoy lovely October sunshine
and brilliant blue October skies
while I fill the wheelbarrow and feed the compost bin.

And then the Melancholy Month of November....

ah well - Christmas comes after and I have lots of weaving plans
for November.

Monday, October 23, 2017

ABC Wednesday
October 25th, 2017
The letter is P for Polliwog

Do you remember,
or did you ever
bring a bucket of frog spawn home with you
from the lake, or the pond???

And then watch it,
day by day, as the eggs developed into tadpoles
and then the tadpoles into

The word "polliwog" comes from the old English
Pol meaning head
and Wygle - to wiggle.

And how they do wiggle!!

Here is a nice poem by Albert Garcia
entitled "Frog Eggs'

They started as a small slime
of black dots.  After
wading through the pond
you and the boys,
sloshing a plastic bucket,
poured brackish water
into a clear bowl, and there
they were, a little jelly packet
of lives that grew daily
under our magnifying glass.
They're turning flat,
you tell me as you peer in
this afternoon, and I admit
I'm as caught up in this
as the boys who announce
any wiggle, any sign
of the tail, legs, gills.
But I'm content
to watch you watch the eggs, you
hovering over the bowl,
hair encircling your face
like dark ferns surrounding a pool
before a waterfall,
holding, accentuating the light.

and a light video on the life of a frog
hosted by Kermit!!!

There must be something to be said
for those lazy, hazy
polliwog days!!!

For more Ps visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to those who maintain this meme.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

O is for Owl

ABC Wednesday
October 18th, 2017

O is for Owl, and for Mary Oliver

Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard

by Mary Oliver

His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes - when he lifts their soft lids -
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder -
Blake maybe,
or the Book of Revelation.

Never mind that he eats only
the black-smocked crickets,
and dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo 
from the offices of fear -

it's not size but surge that tells us
when we're in touch with something real,
and when I hear him in the orchard
down the little aluminum
ladder of his scream -
when I see his wings open, like two black ferns,

a flurry of palpitations
as cold as sleet
rackets across the marshlands
of my heart,
like a wild spring day

Somewhere in the universe,
in the gallery of important things,
the babyish owl, ruffled and rakish,
sits on its pedestal.
Dear, dark dapple of plush!
A message reads the label,
from that mysterious conglomerate:
Oblivion and Co.
The hooked head stares
from its blouse of dark, feathery lace.
It could be a valentine.

Lots more interesting Os here, at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to those who maintain this meme.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Swan Lake (Part 7)

Sunday Evening
October 15th, 2017

This afternoon I watched 
Anthony Dowell's legendary production of Swan Lake, 
which includes designs inspired by Imperial Russia of 1895, 
when the ballet was first performed.

A few weeks ago I watched Swan Lake
 as performed by a
 less dramaticaly costumed company.

Very beautiful
 but lacking the verve 
which you will see if you watch the video above!

Sorry for the poor quality of the video, 
but even with the little flashing interruptions
 I found this fun to watch....

This is part 7 of the production..
Youtube has videos of the rest of this production
of Swan Lake
(in small portions)
which you might be enticed to watch
if you are a ballet fan.....

If not, perhaps you love children dancing???

Along with Tchaikovsky's beautiful music


Friday, October 13, 2017

The garden in October

October 13th, 2017

I had meant to post this earlier.

The title of this poem is

October 10th

and it describes so beautifully

the little jungle out the back,

we call the garden.

Now constantly there is the sound,
quieter than rain,
of the leaves falling.

Under their loosening bright
gold, the sycamore limbs
bleach whiter.

Now the only flowers
are beeweed and aster, spray
of their white and lavender
over the brown leaves.

The calling of a crow sounds
loud - a landmark - now
that the life of summer falls
silent, and the nights grow.
Wendell Berry

I have just come in from walking with Bruce 
in the quickening dusk of autumn.

Reading Wendell Berry I am reminded
of our early days farming,
and the part Louis Bromfield played
in our philosophy of farming,
and his influence on us
in establishing a flock of sheep
in the orchard.

An early Wendell Berry.

I search the shelves for his 'Malibar Farms"
but it seems to have disappeared
(probably on the shelves of one of the children)
and I have to be content with his novel
'Early Autumn'

It takes me back.
and the memories are so good....

Monday, October 09, 2017

Ogden Nash and his search for his Noumenon

ABC Wednesday
October 11th, 2017

The letter is N for Nash and Noumenon

Ogden Nash, 1902-1971

  1. A writer of droll and humourous verse
with unconventional rhyming

and spelling.

Regarded with great respect by the Literary Establishment!

A collection of his books have been on my shelves

since the mid forties...

and in the one entitled "Good Intentions"

is this verse.

"Has anybody seen my Noumenon"

There is one point which I am more than human on,
And that's a noumenon.

On due reflection we are apt to find
That it is noumenons which lead us to believe that just this once
two pairs will beat three of a kind.

It is noumenons which whisper to our heart
that our futures will be better than our yores

And noumenons which encourage us to laugh off
the black clouds in the west and go ahead
and move the supper table out of doors.

It is noumenons which convince you that you can meet
the next tax installment without have set aside
the sum that is requisite,

And noumenons which stir the fancy that M. Lavel
may someday reject an order from Berlin with a cry
of "Ze hequisite."

It is noumenons which, if you have no excuse
for flouting natural laws, they supply it,
Such as kindlng the hope that you can remain trim
and lissome at forty without the nuisance
of exercise or diet,

So now I shall go out and consume a hearty lunch,
but I know I shall remain trim and lissome in spite of it,
because I have a strong noumenon,
or overwhelming hunch."

Which brings us to the point where we must define a noumenon

Ogden Nash interpretation

* an object known only by intuition,
apart from any evidence of the senses.

In other words,  existence without sense or perception

can't see, can't touch

KANT explains all this in his philosophy
but I think I go with Nash

"an overwhelming hunch"

easier than trying to interpret Kant

More Ns here at ABC Wednesday
enjoy, with thanks to those who maintain ABC

Friday, October 06, 2017

October 6th, 2017

Early in the Garden

I do rise early
partly because by six o'clock my knees are whining and whingeing 
and begging to be up and moving, 
and partly because I know Bruce has one ear cocked
 and is about to clatter down the hallway, 
waiting to go out and greet the morning.

This morning was no exception.
It was dusky when we first arose
but by the time
I had pressed the button on the coffee maker
daylight was brightening
and soon the air was suffused
with a most beautiful rosy glow.

Bruce bounded out to greet the day...
I went more sedately with my ipad....
both of us glad to be out and about!

The garden was quiet 
with the lovely early morning stillness
autumn brings.

I took some pictures,
and some of them so delighted me I have them
in my header, up above.

Here are a few more...

and in the house a whole day of weaving awaited me....

Life is good!!

Monday, October 02, 2017

ABC Wednesday
October 4th, 2017

The letter is M for Mother

Dorothy Emily Grace

February 16th, 1902 - October 4th, 1957

A beloved and endearing inspiration
for whom I have an enduring love

Her favourite song

Her cross was the illness and pain
that she bore to the end of her life
with the utmost grace and patience.
She was renowned for her cheerfulness and understanding!
Best Mum ever......

I remember her with deepest love on the 60th anniversary of her death.

More Ms here at ABC Wednesday.....

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Embracing Autumn

September 30th, 2017

I waken to a cool, quiet morning.  Dawn is just breaking and as I open the door to the garden, and Bruce rushes by me, I look to the East and see faint wisps of clouds.

The last day of September, - how could this beautiful month possibly have sped by so quickly, - I just see the last of the White Rabbit's tail disappearing over the hills to the West, and here he is again,  advancing from the East with his gift of luck for October to those who acknowledge him....

September days fade into memory, but autumn is still with us....poignant October is really the month when the Similkameen becomes glorious with fall colours

but up in the Chilcotin the days are getting frosty
and the leaves and grasses are incredibly beautiful.

Number Two Son captures these magnificent photos
of the meadow and the country side,
 ablaze with brilliant blue skies and shimmering golden shrubs and grasses.

Besides the beauty they are eternally grateful
that the Meadow was bypassed by the ferocious fires
that left so many bereft.....of homes, and trees, and forests....


Two lovely poems by Sarah Teasdale

"Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing.
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.
The grasshopper's horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer."

and also

"The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves,
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves.

Tomorrow we will greet sweet October who carries us through 
to the sorrows of November.....

Bittersweet October

The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause 
between the opposing miseries of
Summer and Winter

Carol Bishop Hipps

Out in the garden the Chrysanthemums are still budding,
but the Asters are glorious in the sunshine,
full of bees.

and the Sedums...

William Cowper says "Gardening imparts an organic perspective
on the passage of Time."

True - but today I am looking ahead and threading the loom....

and preparing to welcome the White Rabbit after midnight....

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lang Lang

ABC Wednesday
September 27th, 2017

The letter is

for Lang Lang 

playing Liebestraum by Liszt

at a Nobel Prize Concert in 2010

thanks to all who maintain
this meme.....

more Ls here for your enjoyment.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday afternoon
September 24th, 2017

Today a sweet great granddaughter celebrates her second birthday, but I am home nursing an arthritic knee which was not in a party mode and got that way after a water skiing injury, some forty years ago.  Nevertheless, it causes raised eyebrows when I answer inquiries about the source of lameness in my knee with a casual "a water skiing accident".  At 92......seriously!!!!!

Nevertheless I am sorry to miss sweet Olivia's birthday party.....  I know it will be a fun affair

with all sorts of little ones, their Moms and Dads and probably

grandparents. balloons, party snacks and birthday cake.  Ah well...

It behooves me to think that little ones birthdays parties are made

for great grandparents to just pop in with hugs and kisses and presents,

and then to quietly disappear!!!

I was up early this morning (as I am most mornings so Bruce can run out to the garden for his usual morning visit). It gives me time for a leisurely breakfast, and while I enjoyed my second cup of coffee I took down from the bookshelf one of the volumes of my Blog, circa 2008.

Shortly after I began to write I realized this blog was really a journal, and considering future years when memories would likely be important, and at family urging, I started to have it published by Blog2U,

Well, leafing through this particular book, recording this particular year, I realized that life, and my writings about it, have become sparse and scanty in comparison to the rich happiness within the pages written while my dearest one was still alive and sharing...

Sometimes I am so desperately lonely for him, despite all the kindnesses of children and family.

I am so desperately lonely for him, and yet at the same time, as I read about the days we lived together, I am so very grateful for those times, and the opportunity to remember them, smiling and full of gratitude.  They become alive again, - our conversations, our photo drives in the country side, someone dear to have breakfast with, and I think how lucky we were!!

To add to the poignancy, while arranging my hair as I prepared for church, I caught the faintest glimpse of my mother in the is one of those days when the veil between time and eternity thins to gossamer,  that veil between the present and the past.  A day to be treasured....

Monday, September 18, 2017

Ted Kooster Poet Laureate

ABC Wednesday
September 20th, 2017

The letter is K for Ted Kooster

Ted Kooster was born on April 25th, 1939

in Ames, Iowa

He worked for many years as Vice President
of an Insurance Firm,
writing his poetry in the mornings,
in the evenings,
and during his spare moments.

For two terms Poet Laureate in the United States,
a Pulitzer Prize Winner,
now he writes children's books,
is a Professor at the University of Nebraska,
and is Editor of a newspaper column

"American Life in Poetry"

which is carried in 150 newspapers
 throughout the country
as well as being distributed
by email,
and used in classrooms.
(From Wikipedia)

I have his book
"The Wheeling Year -
A Poet's Field Book"

in which he says about September

"One of our old neglected apple trees is so burdened with fruit this year that a limb has cracked, turned brown, and drapes, limp-wristed, bejewelled with apples that ripen, day after day, on those lifeless fingers.  This morning I noticed that hornets have come to set each garnet in golden filigree"

and he goes on to say, about September...

"Labor Day weekend, rainy and cool, and the second hatch of barn swallows are still in their nest under the eaves, three of them, downy and mewing, their beaks like buds just opening, while the rest of the swallows, an extended family of a dozen or more, including the year's first hatch, wheel round and round this axis, crying,  as if to unwind the invisible thread that holds them here, 
with winter coming".

A beautiful expression of a poet's awareness
it is well named

"A Poet's Field Guide"

Open it to any page and there is a vignette of life;
creative, imaginative, heart touching, sometimes poignant
and very beautiful.

For more expressions of the letter K visit
here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who maintain this meme.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday morning Scones

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Cool and smokey this morning, and with the weather report over
 let me tell you about making scones!

I have this fabulous recipe in our church cookbook "Secrets of a Small Town",
 inserted by a dear friend who is, unfortunately,
long gone from our midst.

She suggests doubling the recipe, and each time I make it, that's what I do!

It was a great hit at after-service refreshments last week at church,
 and I'm always in for things that make an good impression.

Being a 'bake right after breakfast' type of woman, (as I age), 
I got busy right after the second cup of coffee
 and threw together these marvelous biscuits.  

All went well, and I slipped them into the 425 degree oven,
forgetting that the last time the oven performed at that degree of heat
the super-sensitive smoke alarm led me a merry chase 
up and down the hallway, with a towel to quieten it.....
until at last I had to plug in a fan to make a breeze and calm it down.

Sure enough, - as the timer was about to go off at 12 minutes
 the alarm started to wail, 
and only increased its cries 
when I took those lovely scones from the oven!

What do the neighbours think??

Living alone,
and with diminished hearing,
I know it is a comforting 'thing'
to have outside my bedroom door..

but seriously??

Well, it's no wonder it kicked up such a rumpus...
Look at the bottoms!

I shall serve them with butter and jam 
and a sharp knife to cut off the burnt part, and they will be delicious.

One can get away with that kind of thing when one is ancient,
and family will be happy that I still have the
ways and means and the wit to make scones.

Even burnt scones....

Here is the recipe...

Jean's English Scones

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs (save one white)
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of margarine
1/4 cup of mixed fruit

Mix flour, sugar salt and baking powder.  Cut in margarine.  Add fruit and mix.  
Add milk, one whole egg and one egg yolk.
Stir until moistened.

Turn out and knead well.  
Roll out about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into shapes, put on cookie sheet and brush with egg yolk.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 425 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes

Watch carefully, - if your oven is sensitive take a peak at 11 minutes.

I doubled the recipe and used cheese instead of fruit. 
so I ended up with nice cheesy scones 
with black bottoms!!!

I plan to spend the rest of the day winding a warp 
to put on the loom...
and hoping all goes well!