Sunday, July 05, 2020

July 5th, 2020

I have just said good-night to the garden, - turned the water off here, and put it on there for the evening

Admired the flowers that are greeting July with lots of bloom and enthusiasm.....and noticed that the garlic scapes are curly nicely and making a lovely structural picture where they are growing amongst the raspberries - don't asked me how they got there, but they are welcome, and making themselves right at home.

It has been a warm day, and this afternoon I was glad of the shaded patio out in the back garden
 - perfect place for cold drinks and cool books. I am reading (re-reading) The Language of God (a scientist presents evidence for belief) by Francis Collins, who seems to know what he's talking about. He seems quite satisfied with the theory of "theistic evolution" - many thoughts which I am entirely  in agreement with.  Well, as much as you can be in agreement when you are pondering "life, and where it arose from".

Sometimes the best you can do is just lay it down to a MYSTERY.

I have some nice McCall Smith books to lighten the reading load a little, and give my mind a rest, and some entertainment.

In the morning, when I still have more than just a shade of energy, I have been winding warps with firstly a set of lace and spotted towels and secondly a mohair blanket, the thoughts of which make me wonder if I am over-reaching my capabilities at this advanced age!  However I am game to give it a try, and am quite excited by the cones of mohair that arrived in the mail.

Before I started counting warp threads I went to online church - lovely to be able to arrive and listen to the old familiar words of the Anglican service - although I don't hear the words of my youth 

"Dearly beloved brethren, the scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness" 

 (I remember in my younger days exchanging these words for "Dearly beloved brethren, the scripture moveth us in sundry places to go and watch the donkey races, and when we've seen which donkey won etc. etc.- I have forgotten the last part about what we would do upon seeing which donkey won.  It will probably come to me in the night, when my mind rescues those little bits and pieces that get stuck along the way from my memory to my mind!!!

Anyway, without getting all dressed up for church I was able to take part in that hour that has meant so much in my life....I have to say that I did miss Charles, beside me 😐😐 or signaling to me to crank the organ either up or down, depending upon how loud it was coming through...

Life goes on, day by day and one must somehow cope with the losses and appreciate the pluses - which are pretty well made up with our children and their loving attention and care!  

And this makes me think of the other day when Bruce and I went out to sit on the bench in the back garden while my youngest son, and my oldest son, together dealt with a rat that had somehow got into the house and was causing much confusion while I slept.....well, not much, but enough to be noticeable.

Fine men and hunters, those boys!!!!  Home is now rodent free.....

I would like to leave a picture here, but this new way of putting a blog together is one I find quite stressing, so I guess I will leave things as they are, and say Good Night, - God bless,  etc.....

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Farewell to June

  • What is so rare as a day in June?
James Russell Lowell asks the question, and one can only say, June is the rarest month of all, and never, in all the other months, will you find a "perfect day".   as you will in June ----- if you are aware and alert to the beauty that surrounds you, as nature awakens and the earth stirs and all the greenery and the summer flowers take over that bare brown earth that was the sleeping garden.

Oh gosh, I am getting carried away, but the garden has been so lovely this past month and I have found such pleasure in all the flowers that bloomed, - one after the other as the month moved on.  I have to admit it is a bit of a jungle in spots where the plants are revved up, and I have not be diligent enough to go about thinning the extra stalks and greenery.

Right now the Bee Balm is raising it's lovely scruffy red head above the creamy yellow lilies that are just starting to bloom, and they wave around in the summer breeze amongst the golden daisy-like flowers (that I don't know the name of),  There are other beautiful pink lilies across the way in the eastern bed, and beside them the Shasta daisies are in their glory - they are such nice, dependable daisies, and last so long in the garden, - and in the house when I bring in a bouquet.

I am hoping to post a few photos but I find myself at odds with this new way of posting a blog - the icons are all so unfamiliar and they don't seem to respond to my urgent clicks, so at this point I have not been able to access any pretty pictures!!!

I will keep trying but I find it very frustrating as bedtime looms, and I have been up since six a.m. (which is my usual time of rising because the morning hours have always been so precious to me, and a great time to ponder and plan).

I digress!!  I will go and click on those two peaks and see if any photos come up, - and if so I am able to manipulate them on to this page!!

Yes, yes!!!  I am beginning to be hopeful!

Seven a.m. in the morning.  Everything froze up last night, - I think it was the White Rabbit pretending to be The Trickster.

I have decided to post this as it is, and get on with the day.  (Which is cool and promising to be a good day at the loom).....

Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Youngest son arrived early this morning with a virtual chauffeur's hat and a delightful invitation to go for a drive....which I so readily accepted!!!

Since reaching this venerable age, and since my driver's licence expired I am not so inclined to make these  drives down through the Valley, - the ones that Charles and I used to take on the spur of the moment, and found so enjoyable.

Without even checking my hair or my lipstick I was out through the door, down the steps and into the car, ready and raring to go!

This is a drive that we used to take fairly often, poking around in all the nooks and crannies of Cawston where we lived for so long, with apple trees and sheep and a wonderful family of children. 

found that things have not changed drastically, - many things still the same to stir my memories of the thirty-six years we lived on the Cawston Bench with our children, Charles' father, and a flock of sheep.

Different occupants of the houses and orchards from those who planted the Benchland;  all veterans of the Second World War, as it was a "Soldier Settlement" project, as they called such entities after the First World War.

So probably the community is somewhat different, and perhaps the farmers are not all so young, and peers of the military, and there may not be so many children, but the orchards are all looking green and vital and cared for, and here and there are the remnants of some of the veteran families whose children have stayed with the farm.

 All sorts of memories came flooding back, - the year we had all black lambs from the beautiful silver/black ram we had, and the field above the fruit orchard was ebony dotted with his offspring.  The children of various ages, all catching the school bus, and the involvement of the ladies of the Bench in the Parent and Teacher's Association - the festivities in the Cawston Hall, and the Father and Daughter dance that opened the evening - the wonderful feeling of comradeship among these young veterans and their families, -  stirring up Memories' Well can result in great nostalgia, and it is enough to say it was such a pleasure to be in this small community again.

And there were the other memories of the fields of tomatoes we planted for the cannery, while we waited for the orchards to produce fruit and provide us with a living.  I remember playing bridge with friends in their unfinished house (as most all Veteran's houses  were - unfinished the money had all gone for trees and irrigation equipment and tractors) and one of the rooms was stacked with tomatoes for the market in Vancouver.  The smell of tomatoes in great quantities always reminds me of that bridge game.

.We went a little way down the Valley, saw a raptor flying overhead - my son tells me it is safe to call this lovely soaring bird a "raptor" as it wasn't an eagle, or a raven - although I have seen eagles in the Similkameen, and I have heard that old timers have called it the valley of Eagles.  Probably my most memorable sight of them was a lone eagle,flying in circles above a funeral cortage of an indigenous pioneer of the valley.

Ah, to be young again.  

 And how much pleasure these memories give me, 

- and how much I appreciated this unexpected little drive!!!   

On the whole, life is very good!!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Ten o'clock, and it is time to close up the house.  The thermometer indoors is 23C. and outdoors on the porch, where the sun shines relentlessly from the time it gets up until about noon - there it is 30C - and climbing!!!!

I have  come in from moving sprinklers around, and picking a few flowers to replace the ones who recently brought pleasure to the house, but have now just faded away!!!  The Shastas are starting to bloom and the yellow daisy types threaten to give me total privacy as they tower above the back fence that runs along the lane.  I should know the name of these plants, but it has escaped me, as so many names seem to do now.  When people inquire about the blooms I should not sputter and fluster but just name them confidently, - any old name!!!!  Evidently the enquirer doesn't know, and would probably forget immediately whatever I tell them!!!! Or better that I should admit to being forgetful, and don't know....😞😞

My memory these days works best in the middle of the night, when the name of some old acquaintance suddenly comes to me!  It's a good thing I am at home almost always, - it saves me from that embarrassing flounder for the right name to call someone, - I use "Love" a lot.  It covers up my forgetfulness and gives the recipient a feeling of affection!!!

It is time to retreat to the loom room, where the warp lies waiting to be threaded.  I still have not decided if I should stick with a plain weave or search for some exotic pattern that requires me to concentrate on a more difficult order of threads.  To be truthful I am very inclined to go with the plain weave - I like to tell myself it is more absorbent in a towel, although I know this is really not so.....  1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4,....allows me to wander in my thoughts, which is sometimes a good thing for the ancient!!    

 Before I go, here are a few pictures of the garden.  I say this confidently, not knowing where I should go next on this new and confusing blog order (confusing to me, anyway, but that may be because I am NINETY-FIVE and in love with THE WAY THINGS WERE!)

Well, there are three pictures, - eventually I will get used to this new way to Blog, and then, of course, it is quite possible someone will change the whole order of things!!!!!  And where will I be then??????

out in the garden eating worms, poor thing -

this is a little rhyme I used to tell the children, when they pouted or were down in the mouth.......

"You'll be out in the garden eating worms,
poor thing!

Long, slim, slimy ones,
short, fat, furry ones!!!

Oh how they tickle
when they squirm, yum, yum!!!"

............Accompanied by a fond tickle to the tummy, and soon they were smiling again!!!

I found a few worms the other day when I was digging around, and it reminded me of the days we used to collect worms to go fishing, and I did miss Charles!!! And the fishing trips with grandchildren, - all grown up now......but still sweet in my memory....

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

This and That and new ways to confuse old ladies!

Another day "confined to barracks" as was the wartime phrase. I don't complain - there is so much here to keep my hands and mind busy and creative, and out in the garden the greatest pleasure is to sit with a book, a cold drink and a hammock to rest my feet upon!!

I have just finished reading Chris Arthur, - his latest book of essays "Hummingbirds Between the Pages". I am very taken with books of essays - they give you something fairly short to read, and then to ponder. The last chapter of his Hummingbird book is entitled "Thirty-six Ways of Looking at an Essay" and he presents this list as a defense of the Essay which he feels is a victim of the misconceptions that "too many people dismiss the essay as "something of little interest, a relic occupying a literary dead-end or a chore that belongs in the academic backwaters of student assessment,"

 This is surely not the case in the group of essays that Arthur has put together. which covers a wide range of subjects including (from the back of the book) "Charles Darwin's killing of a South American fox to the carnal music sounding in the statue of the Buddha" - whether he's looking at sea shell, skipping stones, old photographs or butterflies, the book is just pure pleasure!!!

 I was taken back to holidays at the lake, when I was a child, and the underhanded skill of skipping stones into the water to the point where I would really like to go out and determine if I still have that movement that comes so naturally when I think of "skipping" stones, and how many times you can make the stone graze the water, and what shape the very best stones are, for doing this!! Ah well, all this is probably many years behind me and I don't envision the opportunity to see if I can still make stones skip - not any time soon!!!!

 If nothing else keeps any elderly lady home this current pandemic surely does!! Luckily there is lots to do here.... I am in the midst of threading the LeClerc with a cheery towel warp - orange and apricot with a few brown stripes to make the colours glow. And besides that I still have boucle towels to hem, and a new Cello DVD to watch and listen to. Nevertheless, it has been a long time since I've even toodled down the street, or around the block, and each night, as darkness falls, I think about the 'morrow and the plans I keep making to run over town on the Scooter that sits in the garage, ready for adventure.

 The day is bright and the sun is shining, after a little bout with thunder that really put the wind up poor Bruce, who came looking for reassurance. Blogger has introduced a new and unfamiliar way to draft a post, and I am not much into new ways, but appreciate the familiar that doesn't tax my brain too much. However, I will see if I can publish this, and maybe I might even be able to add a snapshot or two!!!  If I can find where you click to add photos!!   Or even where you click to "post"!!!!!

Oh dear oh dear, - change is inevitable, but often not welcome as the years go by and you cherish the old and familiar!!!

If I find the POST icon hopefully you can read this!

And more good reading!!!!!   


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

June 17th, 2020

I woke to blue skies, white clouds and the faintest summer breeze, blowing through my open window.

For a week it has rained, been dreary and wet and the flowers and plants bent over, peering at the damp grass!

But this morning put joy in my heart when I opened my eyes to sunshine, and I quickly slipped out to put on the coffee while I dressed and let Bruce out to gambol on the nice fresh lawn.

When the morning coffee visitors had gone about their business I gathered up cups, had a hasty piece of toast, and we were out like a flash to welcome the sun (after all the dreary rain...)

Took a few pictures....

The small clematis is clinging to the back fence in great bundles, while what remains of the honeysuckle  intermingles around the edges

Towering over the garden shed the red rose blazes, as it is supposed to do in compliance with its name.  We have had Blaze Roses in all our gardens (as I have probably said before).  I would say they have a sentimental place, but somehow it is more than sentiment, but a continuation of a love and relationship we have had for this handsome and loyal flower.  There were Blaze Roses growing against Charles' parents' screened in porch and it just seemed natural to plant them in our first garden

There are lots of things in bud - not so many in bloom - but here are a few delphinium,  the remnants of the peonies in the back garden, and the last of the roses.

some pink roses and a few tubs of herbs and flowers....

and a shaggy peony!!

In a week or so the garden will be a glorious mass of yellow and gold

as the barn flowers and the yellow petaled daisies 

start to bloom,

with the shastas as a lovely complement to them.

When the clouds gather I go in and weave

and have this great long warp

to show for it!!!

It's all cut up now. into individual bits

with ten towels to hem

and two placemats which are nicely fringed!!!

busy days for busy fingers!!!

It fills the hours when we are so confined

to home these pandemic days.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

June 10th 2020

A slightly despairing June day.  The clouds are grey and lowering, and the dampness echos in my bones.

I go from one thing to another, - a bobbin of boucle woven into the towels I am making on the loom  - a page or two read out of the Chris Arthur essays I am reading (Hummingbirds Between the Pages) a second cup of coffee and I turn on the '40's music I am listening to on Serius Radio.  The memories it arouses are tender and poignant.

Days like this urge one to follow the call from the kitchen to busy oneself with making  pies, or cookies, or cake - filling the kitchen with appealing odours and the cookie jar with chocolate chips!!  However, days like this also discourage one from standing at the kitchen counter measuring out the ingredients, and my back aches at the thought!

Things are o.k. in the garden - rather at a standstill until the sun starts shining again.  A few golden petals are starting to come out, and the Monada is about to scatter it's lovely shaggy blooms throughout the garden.  What is really looking quite beautiful, even in this damp and shadowy weather, is the white rose we planted over Callie's grave - and the Honeysuckle, smelling divine.

I see that the sun has deigned to appear and I shall pull up the blind and let its rays encourage the day!  Is it here to stay or is this just a teasing glimpse????

In any case I shall continue with the day, - maybe go and pour a cup of coffee and read a bit - and if the sun doesn't suddenly disappear Bruce and I will go and pull a few weeds and try to make our way through the jungle that the garden is becoming, out the back to the rhubarb.

I have a few strawberries left and a ball of pastry in the freezer that is just enough to make a rhubarb and strawberry pie!!!