Friday, October 02, 2009

A date to go driving

A couple of weeks ago while we were out for a picture taking drive Charles and I looked speculatively at the Cawston Basin, and the groves of deciduous trees that had not yet turned colour, but were on the verge.

We figured a couple of 85 year old could maneuver a trip up the old logging road in the 4x4! At the beginning of the week we eyed the calendar and the state of the aspens on the hillside, and made a date for Thursday morning, come what may....

Some of the children looked askance at this adventurous plan, but we poohpooed any objections.

We packed the necessities, including an axe and an axe sharpener in case a tree came down behind us (always thinking). And the other necessities, - coffee and cookies, - and off we went.

Charles is familiar with this road, - nay, Charles is intimate with this road....
Fifty year's ago he piloted a logging truck down its steep slopes, around its narrow corners, and over its rocky outcroppings.

As we traveled he offered comments, - 'this is where we started watering the brakes, to keep them from getting too hot' and 'this is where M.. turned over a load of logs down a steep slope'. 'We are coming to a narrow part of the road, through the trees, that was always icy in the winter' - he knew that road like the back of his hand, so to speak.

Charles was surprised at what good shape the 'road' was in, - to his way of thinking. We climbed through the trees, rumbled over the rocks and eventually came to a clearing where we could look down and see the valley below us.

Onward and upward, through shady groves with moss encrusted trees and old stumps full of doorways to the homes of squirrels and birds.

We left the trees behind and came out into the open hillside. Across the valley
the tops of the far off mountains of the Coast Range were visible, and down through the cut of the valley and up the Ashnola there were more brilliant colours.

Behind us the glowing grove of deciduous trees we watch for, miles away at home, loomed splendidly, right at our elbow!

We stopped for coffee and to get the glasses out to pick out familiar spots in the valley below.

Renewed and refreshed we carried on across the open hillside, the road gradually petering out into range land for the local ranchers.

We turned for home and passed a few cows, a dozen bluebirds, two chipmunks and some amazingly quick squirrels. We came to a rocky part of the road where the combination of water and the roots of a rambunctious fir tree had forced great blocks of stone to rise from the ground around the tree.

We went through a sheltered spot where once upon a time, a great many years ago. our flock of 30 sheep spent the winter after they were enticed up the mountain on a clear moonlit night by the rising warmth of the air (as explained to us by an old shepherd). It snowed in the night, and although Charles and the boys looked for days they seemed to have disappeared over the mountain.

The following spring I was washing breakfast dishes when the ram came trotting down the hillside with the remnants of the ewes and a few spring lambs, heading straight for the barn, - an epiphianic moment. (don't look up the word, - it is made up, mine alone...) Charles found wool in the grove where they sheltered, while out hunting.

Down the road we went, the 4x4 finding it a much more relaxing trip. Through colourful bushes, delicate aspens, gazing at the beautiful hillsides all around us.

It is such a dear and splendid valley, and I was spilling over with gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy its beauty, - and in such good company, too.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

Satin Ribbons in Similkameen Skies

For wonderful skies from all over the world visit Sky Watch Friday here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ABC Wednesday

K is for Kaleidoscope

"A kaleidoscope is a tube of mirrors containing loose colored beads, pebbles or other small colored objects. The viewer looks in one end and light enters the other end, reflecting off the mirrors. Typically there are two rectangular lengthwise mirrors. Setting of the mirrors at 45° creates eight duplicate images of the objects, six at 60°, and four at 90°. As the tube is rotated, the tumbling of the colored objects presents the viewer with varying colors and patterns. Any arbitrary pattern of objects shows up as a beautiful symmetric pattern because of the reflections in the mirrors. A two-mirror model yields a pattern or patterns isolated against a solid black background, while a three-mirror (closed triangle) model yields a pattern that fills the entire field".

extracted from a great article on Kaleidoscopes by Evad that can be accessed here.

If you would like to make your own 'hold-in-the-hand-and-up-to-the-eye' Kaleidoscope you can find instructions here.

Kids of all ages love them, - go ahead and make one or two, or a dozen!

And if you would like to have fun creating a virtual kaleidoscope, here is the place to go.

Visit ABC Wednesday to see what other intriguing things K stands for by clicking here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Early Morning Visitors


Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Note to Myself on Keeping Centered

I have a passion for notebooks, and while browsing through some of last year's pages I came across this note to myself..... (I do that often too, - another quirk)

Nov. 7, 2008

"Alas, the passage of the years eventually diminishes our powers in so many way;

Physically, we are dismayed by the things we can't do easily anymore. Squeeze the toothpaste, open jars, skip down steps - the list is never ending and worse, far worse, for those who have lost their mobility.

Mentally, how frustrating that we have forgotten things that once were filed away so neatly. What is it that makes the file drawer stick??? How sad that some memories are lost to us, - even those of us who are fortunate enough to retain pretty well all our faculties -

And control - tell me about control! When did the loop of influence become so tiny that it contains only the two of us, Charles and I - and sometimes I wonder about how much influence I have with C? (He probably wonders too, about his sphere of influence) Well, how do you deal with the stress this causes?

When you see a situation arising and you fear the outcome, but you can do nothing about it - how do you handle the anxiety and the feeling of powerlessness??

(note: how about one of the revived World War Two
poster quotes 'Keep Calm and Carry On')

Oh, when did my prayers change from "please Lord, make everything right" to "Thy way not mine, and bestow on me the grace of acceptance and the power to cope."

Spiritually, - ah, spiritually. I was late questioning the childhood beliefs. Faith was a fierce force in my childhood home.

For a while it was a bumpy road - belief lost and found, and now I am intrigued with the 'spiritual brain' and its relation to 'the mind'. Learning all I can about how the predominance of either side of the brain affects our personality, our character, the way we view life and how we cope with it.

Now the question is how to stay focused on the diminished possibilities of a life limited by these losses of power; how to embrace a feeling of contentment.

How to live quietly within the smaller circle, appreciating each moment, relinquishing the struggle, cultivating humour. If not accepting, at least tolerating with some effort at understanding the changing mores of new generations.

How to stay centered on the important and the possible, - the cherished loves, the gratitude for all the blessings we have received, the happy companionship that has been the result of long years together....."

And here my musings ended. Something must have distracted me... but down at the bottom of the page are the encircled words 'Nano scaffolding'

Nano scaffolding, - the newly discovered science of "using polymer-based biodegrable fibres, 100 times smaller than a human hair, and re-engineering them to create a unique 3-D scaffolding that could potentially allow stem cells to repair damaged nerves in the human body more quickly and effectively."

Perhaps that was what distracted me as I think of the possibilities this might hold for the post-polio deadened nerves in Charles' feet, as well as the immense hope it holds out to spine and brain damaged individuals.

So I say to myself - stay positive, don't get fragmented, centre your life on love and kindness and optimism and gratitude, and remember the importance of living in the present.

WOW - a little philosophy for old age!!