Saturday, January 12, 2019

Journaling and Blogging

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

A few days ago I received a reminder from Blog2Print that it was getting time

 for me to push the necessary keys

 to allow them to print

 the diminished number of blogs I have written during the last year, 

and after a little consideration and review of the small offering 
I had for them I thought, 

what the heck - I have done it for the last ten years, 

(and I have enjoyed reading them, occasionally,

 stirring the ashes of my memory into a lovely warm spark) 
so why not continue!

The clouds rolled away and the sun shone in the window this afternoon. 

I had finished my "two bobbins a day" task on the Glimakra (loom) and threaded the LeClerc, 

and I was weary of bending over,

so I indulged myself, and Callie, 

who came to sit with me, and had a little nap!  

Well, that didn't last long, - the phone rang and nudged me from my indolence, 

and after I had attended to that 

I remembered my newly made resolution about reading

 and I looked askance at Chris Arthur's book of Essays that was lying on the table, 

and that I am re-reading (Irish Nocturnes - highly recommended).  

It seemed to require more earnest attention than I was prepared to give it

on this lazy Saturday afternoon, 

so I turned instead to one of the BlogtoPrint books on the shelf,

and prepared to lose myself  in sentimental reminiscence!!

The book I chose, randomly, covered the years 2009 and 2010, 

- that lovely time before I lived alone  

while Charles and I were still in the house on the hill 

and we could see up and down the valley as it stretched to the west and the southeast, 

- when I was still writing blogs for ABC Wednesday 

and Sky Watch Friday, 

and life was just so full of wonderful companionship.

As I read, those happy days swept me away into a lovely reverie,

 and I'm not sure if Gratitude at having lived them, 

or Regret that they were in the past, 

never to be experienced again, 

was the strongest emotion I felt. 

 But probably Gratitude!!!

This is a wonderful way to Journal.

Complete with pictures,

accounts of daily doings

and occasionally how you felt about things,

carefully expressed!!!

It behooves me to add another Resolution,

Blog more often in 2019....

even though life has changed

there is still so much to be aware of.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Epiphany, - the time of Light


As I wandered back from the bathroom last night I paused by the window.

The sky was clear, and the stars were brilliant.

I thought about Epiphany..
The Festival of Light, - filled with hope and promise.

I had taken a digital part in the service
early in the morning, - - -
the morning of the Feast of the Epiphany,
when the Magi came with the light
from the East
and the wonders of the Holy Birth
were spread beyond 
that small community lit by the Star.

The service came from
the Washington National Cathedral,
with which I have become quite familiar,
and which I so appreciate and enjoy.

Each day we gain a little light,
and the New Year brings with it clarity
of thought and determination
to make our lives lighter;
filled with more integrity,
thoughts filled with hope,
and as many actions as we are capable of
to spread the light
amongst those who share our days.

On the inside cover of my Day Book
is a little reminder....

"Grace to those who make the 
journey with you"

and in the Anglican Journal which arrived in the mail today

a small prayer at Epiphany

God of pilgrims, teach us to recognize
your dwelling place in the love, generosity
and support of those with whom we share our journey,
and help us to worship you in our response
to those who need our care, for all the world
is your temple and every human heart is a sign
of your presence,....

or this......

1 Matthew 2:  Magi
We have seen his star in the east......

At the far edge of our science
we aren't looking so much at stars anymore
as at the older light
that was what the stars were before they were stars,

looking back over our shoulders,
one might say, at our own footprints,
our own cosmic path
across the unimaginably distant past,

tracing subtle electro-magnetic fluctuations,
the first whisper in the still tissue of space,

an infant's piercing cry,

a sound older even than the light
the pulse of energy that was, then, the whole universe.

from Ethics Daily

Friday, January 04, 2019

January 4th, 2019

Well, Christmas is just a lovely memory.  Only a dozen or so shortbreads left, - three mince tarts and a  basket of pastry shells for holding a delicious spoonful from  the little jar of lemon curd residing in the fridge.

I went to bed early on New Year's Eve so the lack of a tender New Year's kiss at midnight would  only be a dream.

New Year's Day lots of family around, and the day after was THE birthday (94th) about which I have written before.  It was a sweet affair with visitors and phone calls and Facebook messages.

As I have said, I share this birthday with a four year old great grandson, but the first ten days of January are awash with celebrations.  A grandson celebrates his birthday New Year's Eve.  His sister's  special day is today, on the fourth.  Two days hence her husband's......

On the 6th a grandson's dear wife, and on the 7th there will be celebrations on the meadow where my daughter-in-law lives.  Our youngest son lives there, too, and his birthday is on the 10th of January...then a little respite until the 22nd and 24th when two more granddaughters gain another year.

Is this fair - to have so many birthdays the month after Christmas?  Well, probably not, but it is reality, and it carries the family along joyously.

I am eager to get back to the looms, and this morning I finished the man's scarf which didn't make it in time for Christmas.  Yesterday I put away some of the Christmas decorations,  and today I washed the floor of the little dog's footprints, along with the salt that had been tracked in, and dusted, so things are somewhere near to getting back to normal.

I love it when the wreaths go up and the very small tree gets decorated, and when the very large tree in the front yard is alit with Christmas lights, but after the first week in January I am glad to have the simplicity of the normal and make plans for the rest of the winter.

One of my New Year's Resolutions (I haven't many) is to remedy the habit I have fallen into of neglecting the hours I used to spend reading, in favour of hours I now spend at the loom.  In accordance, after I had been out in the sunshine this afternoon, feeding the birds and restoring the compost with left-over Christmas stuff, I took from the shelf a book of essays by Chris Arthur.  One of my favourite genres, - this was his Irish Nocturnes.

An hour with his essay on linen and his great grandmother, and all the hands that laboured to produce the linen that graced the past.  He winds his memories and the history of linen around his great grandmother's linen 'carver'  (a carver is a small square of linen designed to be put at the head of the table where the meat is to be carved so that any spillage will result in just the carver being washed, instead of the whole tablecloth)  I thought about that, and about dinner with the family when each and everyone was gathered around the table, and the stories of the day were related to one another.  This is how it was in our family, and how it is when I dine with some of the children (in their sixties!) these days, but I think too often the hustle and bustle of every day life results in much more casual eating habits, and something is lost that binds families together.

I am determined that I will make time each day for reading.....there are so many opportunities.  One's own book shelves, the library, the Kindle, the book club. 

  Pray for me, for I am also so excited about the weaving thread 
(cotton, silks, and a blend of silk and wool) 
that is due to arrive next Tuesday!!!

Mornings for weaving - afternoons for reading, 
and in between I guess the dusting will get done!!!

Thank goodness I am in the habit of making the bed before I ever
 leave the bedroom in the mornings!!!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Christmas Eve Altar flowers

at St. John the Divine........

in memory of Charles

and placed there this year

by his eldest son...

with love....

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The contemplative time - - -

Those days between Christmas and New Year's Eve when the world demands nothing from you, and you awaken deep in thought as to what the day will bring, - not knowing, just in anticipation.

I spent the whole of December preparing for Christmas.

Gifts, baking, decorating, letters to loved ones, peanut brittle and candied walnuts, and lemon curd, - always lemon curd.  Nothing gets left out, even though there is only me, the anticipated family visits and the voice of my loved one saying from the past "that's enough, enough - you are doing too much".

I know it, and the old familiar traditions are so ingrained in me I just go merrily along, with the result being a fridge full of goodies, boxes of shortbread, even after all I gave away, - and me, nibbling my way through the contemplative days, sifting through the book shelves, tidying up the wrapping papers and ribbons and boxes and bags, doing a little bit of weaving, reading old Journals and wondering what this next year will bring.
Christmas Eve began with a candle-light service and then Oyster Stew for all who could come.  I did a beef stew for those who could be here but couldn't abide Oysters (not properly brought up in the same tradition as my parents, and that of our children who learned to love them).

Here is a picture of great granddaughter Olivia, discussing with Kim the placement of the angel in the nativity scene.

The flowers on the altar in memory of Charles

And the little ones at their own small table for Christmas Dinner.

So I think about this coming year, which begins with my birthday, - mine and Jesse's, a dear  great grandchild.  He was born on my ninetieth birthday, and will be four on January 2nd.  Which means of course, that I will be ninety-four, and that continues to astound me.  I have been six years without my Beloved, and so the days go, on and on and on it seems.  I look back in my geneology and discover that there are others in bygone days who have lived well into this same decade, but it was beyond my expectations.  And I have to say I love every minute of it!!!

The one great hole is the loss of my dear one, but I have long conversations with him about various things, and I know what his answer would be to many of my questions or appeals for advice.....

Our dear children couldn't be more solicitous, helpful and loving so the hole is not as deep and dark as it could be!!!

And the little furry ones!

The days are not all contemplative, - some of them are full of plans.  Limited plans, - one's mobility does not approve of gallivanting around, but the looms are here, close by, and the making of cloth a great satisfaction and a wonderful way to fill my days.

So as I contemplate I also anticipate, and 2019 seems to offer many days of enjoyment and satisfaction.

I hope it is the same for you, and wish each and every one the happiest of New Years.

Friday, November 30, 2018

December 1, 2018

To welcome this beautiful month

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember

We are nearer to spring
Than we were in September
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
Oliver Herford

God gives us memory so we can have roses in December

Tomorrow I am going to make the Dundee Cake!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2018

November 19th, 2018

The month passes...

It has turned out to be not so melancholy after all, - we have had some lovely sunny days.

Today our youngest son, good fellow that he is, cleaned out all the gutters 
while I peered out the window, now and then, 
hoping that the ladder, (which appeared rather rickety) 
was still keeping him up at his task!!  

We have had a few chilly nights, 
and he said one section of the gutter was full of ice and frozen leaves, 
and he was able to lift great sections out in one piece.
  Which hurried the job along!!!

I stayed in the house, - ----
dusted and mopped and cleaned the windows, 
a need that the sunshine was rather pointedly making obvious.

Feeling quite virtuous after all that polishing and shining
 I retired to the loom room and threw the shuttle for a while, 
extending the nice shetland wool scarf on the LeClerc at least another half a foot.
Or half way round the neck....

 Having finished the Christmas towels I am being hesitant 
about winding another warp right away 
- a few days to contemplate what comes next are somewhat inviting!

Some of the Christmas kitchen towels were just as I had hoped they would be, ---- 

some of them look bright and merry hanging on the hall railing,
 but a closer look reveals skipped stitches and uneven selveges, 
and I wonder if I tuck them in with some delicious Christmas shortbread 
the recipients will lay it all down to Great Grandma
 getting along into her nineties
 and accept the love as well as the imperfections!

Lots of hemming to do here..

And here is Bruce!!

telling me that it is time

for him to go out and romp abit
(amongst other things)

before bedtime.

Sweet dreams!