Friday, January 24, 2020

January 24th, 2020

Oh look, we're getting close to the end of January, 

and February looms invitingly,

(if you ignore the pictures of previous February storms and concentrate on SPRING,

 hiding in the hills, peering down at the valley,

 and making plans to visit)

This COULD be a picture of me.

It is very reminiscent of my early morning coffee, 

and the musings that accompany it.

Today I went out!

Probably for the first time since Christmas.

It has been snowy, and icy,

and dangerous for ancient ladies

who rely on a cane!

And it wasn't a great adventure, either.

My son-in-law drove me to the pharmacy

where I indulged myself

with a fresh supply of Tylenol for Arthritis,

some of that magic stuff you spray

on your neck, when you can't find a

comfortable way to arrange the pillows, in bed.

How our shopping lists change with age!!!

No lipstick, or eye shadow

or fancy soaps!!!

I did buy some shampoo

but only the old familiar Dove!

For Christmas I was given a beautiful bottle

of liquid soap,

daringly scented and in such a sweet container,

but I haven't yet run into the occasion

when I would be tempted to use it.

If the messy snow and water and ice

soon disappears

I plan to get my outdoor walker out of the garden shed

and make a little foray

around the garden

to see if by some miracle the daffodils

are poking through the tips of their lovely green shards.

In the morning I think I might go and inspect

the bucket of bulbs from last year

and see if there are some I can plant in the south window.

My amaryllis bloomed

(I think I posted a picture of it somewhere)

These blooms have withered and faded

but I see there is a small swelling and a tiny shoot

that maybe promises

another flower.

When February arrives I am going to hang

my Spring Sign on the fence,

and hope that it serves as a Welcome!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

A great cold has decidedto come and settle over us,
here in the Similkameen -and we have no reasonto complain,
having had, so far,a most fair and mild January.

However, it is alright to look for comfort
and I have found some in listening to
"Benedictus"the song of Zacharias,as it is rendered by Hauser

such beautiful music, to stir one's soul
and bring it peace on a wild and stormy night.

John O'Donahue has a way of doing that too......

"May you experience each day
as a sacred gift
woven around the heart
of wonder"

(John O'Donahue from "Benedictus")

Hopefully the morning will dawn peacefully
and the 'sacred gift' will not be too cold and blowy!!

Monday, January 06, 2020

An Essay on the Short Term Memory

As I age I pride myself that one of my first memories 

brings forth a picture of a small child in sagging sleepers,

 standing in her highchair, wailing for her mother

 (who is just on the other side of the screen door,

 hanging out diapers on a long clothes line).  

My pride stumbles a little now

as I pause in bewildernment 

outside the pantry door

 - now why am I here?

What did I come for?  

I shall go back to the kitchen, 

and when I remember what I was doing 

I will surely remember what it is

 I went to fetch from the pantry shelves!!!!

Alas, my short term memory leaves much to be desired.....

The contents of the vegetable crisper is there to attest to that fact!!!

I remember that a few days ago my youngest son

 retrieved a mouldering yellow object from amidst its depth

 (I use the word 'object' 

because it is taking me a while 

to recall the name of this round vegetable -

of yes, of course, it was a SQUASH!!!  

which I had bought on my last foray into the grocery store, 

imaging it with butter and brown sugar, 

broiling in the oven. 

The image was still with me when I placed it in the crisper

 amongst the apples and red peppers,

but once the door of the fridge was closed, 

and I turned around, probably to pour myself a cup of coffee,

 the yellow squash might as well have been orbiting the earth 

in some far off space....

Writing this has reminded me of what else might be hiding there,

 and I went to look and found a cauliflower, 

just starting to have little black spots 

(but luckily still retrievable. 

I shall have it for supper,.

- if I leave it out on the counter where it is quite visable!!!  

If I ever close the crisper  

it is liable to be a companion 

to the apples and pepper forevermore!

This morning my daughter and I had a conversation 

about a prescription the doctor had given me, 

and what it was for. 

As anyone who has ever had a prescription will know, it was quite unreadable! 

I was inclined to be a little defensive, 

as I had really forgotten

 if it was a medication for my stiff neck, 

or a prescription for blood pressure pills. 

When one finds oneself in that situation with a daughter 

who is supposed to have an all-wise and caring mother, 

it brings on a bit of a morbid recognition 

of who is most in touch with reality........

Well, I am sure there is some chemical reason

 for this total recall of sitting around on the sidewalk,

at the age of three,

 discussing which fruit is best

(the apple, the orange or the banana) 

with a couple of toddlers 

whose mother was having tea with my mum, 

and the utter and total  forgetfulness

 of what you had for breakast this morning!!!!!

If I were to research the subject 

I am sure I could tell you more, 

but I have grown quite bored with it all, 

and have forgotten why it would make an entertaining blog post, 

so I guess I will go and read a page or two

 of Alexander McCall Smith and his Peppermint Tea book, 

- pages that I will probably have to read over again

the next time I pick up the book...

And maybe I will pour myself

a thimbleful of apricot brandy

to comfort my memory.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

New Year's Day, 2020

Today I put away the lovely trappings of Christmas,

 - the angels and the Santa Claus my sister made so many years ago. 

 All the baubles, the garlands 

and so many of the candles...

I rehung the pictures that I had taken down,

 to make way for Christmas wreaths, 

the ones with red bows and pine and holly.

When I was finished, 

and everything was packed away

 lovingly for another year

 I looked around 

and was taken in by the stillness of the rooms,

and their readiness for the New Year

 that has come upon us this day....

I start off each year with a birthday, 

and this year the number of birthdays behind me

I find quite startling, 

but tomorrow I am ready for a celebration of the 95th.

   Gosh, just typing that number

 makes me extremely grateful 

for the years it represents, 

and for all the blessings of living -

 a wonderful childhood, 

a blessed marriage,

and now good health and a fairly active mind to accompany me

into the ancient years. 

 As I would say in Church, thanks be to God!

I spent a few hours today sleying the Glimakra

 with a lovely green linen warp -

all shades of green and different dents, 

so that the resulting cloth will be a nice springlike runner for a side table,

 - or maybe a summer scarf. 

 There is a gorgeous skein of olive green silk 

waiting to be a weft from heaven, 

and it seems to me that it has finally found its destiny.

It appears that January will be a great month, 

- nothing desultory about it but lots of challenges.

the amaryllis in full bloom

it brightens these misty January days...

A Happy New Year to all!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

Well here I am, settled for the evening

and it's not quite seven o'clock.

The kitchen is clean

the coffee set for morning

and  Callie the cat has assumed her familiar

spot by my elbow, as I type,

where she can lick my wrist, when she is so attracted,

or put a paw out onto the back of my hand...

I have my hot cocolate with me.

It is in the big mug that my oldest son bought for me

in a breakfast spot, when I was travelling with them.

It says on the mug....

  "Age is Nothing but a State of Mind"

and on the other side it elaborates a little, stating that the writer

has no idea how old she/he is , - that nothing changes, - the

the past thirty years or so he/she has been masquerading as 

an adult, when in reality life is nothing but a state of mind,

and in that case it is best to stay lost in your happy bewilderment.

Well, that may be so, but in a few days

I will have a birthday (mid-nineties)

and THAT being the case I must pay attention

to my state of mind and keep it happy, happy, happy..

and somewhat contented!

Not hard to do with my wool and my weaving,

a little cotton and lots of silk......and most importantly

the constant and loving attention of our children.

To add to my delight, the amaryllis is in bloom.......

There were grandchildren here Christmas Eve....

and the New Year is about to enfold us....

bringing with it the opportunity for lots of

resolutions, plans, dreams

and hopefully sun shine and blue skies!!!

They will make up for the sweet melancholy

of New Year's Eve

which was so special for us......

And the kisses at midnight so tender,

And the friends so dear.

Still so, in my memories!

ah, I am off to listen to Hauser

and his passionate and heart tugging cello.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

December 22nd, 2019

My eyes grow a little heavy

and I glance at the clock....

It is only six minutes after nine...

but then I have been up since 6.00 a.m.

and made some orange and cherry muffins to take to church

before I had my breakfast.

Callie is here beside me.

Every once in a while a paw reaches out,

touches my fingers enquiringly..

"when are we going to start the evening-go-to-bed routine???"

Soon, I say. It's been a long day!

We said goodbye to Advent.

Put all the violet paraphanalia away

until next year,  - at least until Lent,

and brought out the lovely white

hangings and parameters for Christmas.

A few battery candles on the window sills,

some garlands and ribbon to surround them.

the nativity figures at the altar

and two beautiful poinsettas at each side 

of the Communion rail.

We are ready for Christmas Eve!

Home for lunch and a little nap

before I ponder what there is still left to do

before the family comes for beef and oyster Stew

after the Christmas Eve Service.

The presents are all wrapped,

the towels and scarves woven

the baking done (will I need more shortbread??)

and letters and cards away in the mail.

The paper whites are starting to bloom,

the silver is polished,

and I have a little Christmas Tree in one corner,

along with the Christmas visitor

who sits in the corner all year long,  waiting.....

The ham, waiting to be baked...

and the stew, of course,which will simmer away in the oven

Christmas Eve day, while I am busy

with other things in other places.

I await Christmas. and the joys of family,

but suddenly I miss my Beloved, terribly,

and I am awash with memories of other Christmases,

when we were young, and the children were young.

And I am grateful to have had those wonderful, joyous days then

and the memory of them now!!

Whatever your time of life there is something

magical about the peace and stillness the days bring,

no matter what you must accomplish in the waking hours...

Is it the comfort of family, the satisfaction of giving and creation

that makes it such a glorious festival?

Love Christmas - every bit of it, - the memories and the NOW.

Merry, merry, merry merry merry - my Christmas wish to all!

And so to bed!

On second thought, as I rise in the morning....

If you are not in the mood for merriment

have a quiet and meditative Christmas.....

both good for the soul!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Awash in Christmas

December 10th, 2019

Ah yes, awash in Christmas, and loving it!!!

The shortbread, the lemon curd and the candied walnuts that all await our pleasure.

At one time Christmas would be augmented with fruit cake, plum pudding and mincemeat, but with 

the passage of time I have given up on these luxuries, at least the homemade ones, and if my heart 

truly desires some mince tarts or a wonderful rich fruit cake, I buy them at the Craft Faires that fill 

November's social calendar.

Time is getting short!!!

The tin of shortbread is bulging at the top and the lemon curd sits temptingly

in the fridge, - awaiting the making of the tarts.

My dear DIL brought me a Nanaimo Bar

(if you're not Canadian you probably are not familiar

with this wonderful chocolate/custard/shortbread concoction

but it is truly delicious and fills out the cookie tray nicely.

I turn from the task of baking

and tackle that-which-leaves-me-exhausted

The Wrapping of Parcels!!

Especially the ones that have to be mailed......

It is possible to stuff a pretty hand woven scarf

into a Christmas bag,or a pair of socks or some jewellry....

but the parcels that have to go through the postal system

must be sturdier,

and from an economic point of view have to be folded

and wrapped in a package, as small as possible.

I think that the Canadian Postal Department

are well versed in the art of

making money over Christmas parcels,

as often the postage far exceeds the value.of what is being sent!!!

Well, that's what I did this morning, and it put me in

a very unChristmasy mood, especially when I ran out of tape!!!

But it's done!  Parcels waiting beside the door,to be hauled off to the post office.!!!!!!

As an aside, two of these parcels are for the children (and

I use the word loosely) who live on the Meadow, up North.

One of them has just phoned and in passing let drop the information

that he was coming South for a dental appointment on the 17th.

Well, at least I hadn't mailed the parcels

and it will save me tons of money.

If I don't turn up here before the 25th

I wish you the happiest of Christmas Days..

and if you attend a Christmas Eve Service,

may it fill your spirit with joy and love

and wonder!!!!!