Friday, February 04, 2011

This and That

The skies continue gray and melancholy here in the Similkameen - time seems at a standstill and I have to keep busy to keep cheery!

In the mail this morning were a couple of uplifting bloggy type e-mails, - one from the Rev. Barbara Crafton in which she speaks delightfully of her cats and their sojourn in the house during the winter.  She ends by saying

"The weather this winter has been a bit harsh for this part of the country, and February always feels long, though it is the shortest month.  But consider this:  even now,  the days are lengthening.  Even now, the buried shoots of plants lie suspended in their preparation for the signal they await: More light!  It is time!  Head toward the light!  Even now, their tiny hearts foretell the green leaves, waiting to pierce the surface and unfurl, offering their green faces to the life-giving sun. 

All the snow is water.  So is all the ice. We've had a goodly amount. The flowers will be wonderful this year."

which made me feel quite happy. 

And another from Sheila Gregoire, - in reality her weekly column on family affairs, maintaining some morality in society and a fair number of common sense tips on how to cope with life as it is now.  In this particular column she praises the film "The King", but goes even further in praising the honourable man and his family who accepted duty as it was thrust upon them, never shirking.  She says.....

"Throughout the film, people did the noble thing, the hard thing, the courageous thing. The movie leaves you feeling as if you have not just touched history, but have touched something profoundly good". 

 Here is a link to her column.

On another note, the Guru Grandson came on an emergency visit last evening, bringing his stethoscope to examine the ailing Printer which has been very recalcitrant, refusing to rise to the occasion and carry out its duties - if it were going to be around for any length of time I would probably call it the Duke of Windsor, but alas even a re-install didn't perk it up, and so we are in the market.

He also came to say last words over Windows Installer, which has been corrupt from the get-go, and has now been replaced by a brand new cheery chappie who is behaving in a most exemplary manner.

While the grandson was here we fell into conversation about Holograms (which he understands and I have just the faintest inkling of what they are all about).  He also showed me his Iphone and all the fantastic things it is capable of doing, and I grew quite dizzy as I stood in the middle of the room and the phone panned everything around me.  We discussed whether this amazingly smart generation is gaining as much wisdom as knowledge, and I wondered if they are being gently robbed of self reliance with all these scientific things that make life such a breeze for them.

Did you know that if you are out golfing that Iphone can measure the distance of your shot, and how far you are from the hole.  He didn't say if it was instrumental in forcing you to 'keep your head down' when you swing.

The other day Charles and I were watching a DVD which we converted from movie camera film, first shot in the years we were on the farm and bringing up a family.  We shook our heads and rolled our eyes a lot, - were we ever so young, - look, look at the children when they were just toddlers and then growing up, eventually marrying and having children of their own.  We remembered incidents and things the children had done and taken part in, like May Day celebrations, - there were horses they had, birthday parties, Christmas mornings, and old and dear friends who visited,   Our parents were there, and I saw clothes I had made for the little ones,  and our youngest daughter performing as Dolly and Mame at school concerts and our oldest daughter looking quite beautiful, home for Christmas from Art School.  It was a lovely experience, lots of laughs and poignant remembrances,  but at the end of it I was left with a wistful and almost unbelieving feeling that we had ever been that young, and I am reminded of the thought Charles ended his recent blog with -  did we actually do all these thing - well, we checked the record at least on that DVD.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

ABC Wednesday
February 2nd, 2011

The letter this week is the Cheerful C

C is for Caballero, Cavalier and Cards

El Caballero de la mano al pecho
El Greco 1541-1614

This famous painting (1580) by Domenikos Theotokopoutes
born on the Island of Crete in 1541, moving from there to Italy
when he was 26, and thence to Toledo, in Spain
where this picture was painted in 1580 and where the artist
was known as The Greek - El Greco.

Translated the title of the picture is
the knight (man) with his hand on his chest
and there has been considerable discussion and controversy about
the position of his hand, and most especially the position of the fingers
with the thumb pointed upwards and the two middle fingers closed together.

It is speculated that the position indicates a request for forgiveness of a sin, or 
that it is an ancient Jewish tradition, although there is no record of this.

On a lighter note we have a picture of

Cavaliers playing Cards, painted by Maximo Caballero

Maximo Caballero was a Spanish  painter who was born in 1867 and died in 1951.

He seems to have painted a number of tavern pictures with these
dashing Cavaliers busy at various activities.

A good place to set up one's easel......

For more C's visit here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her kindly crew.

Monday, January 31, 2011


From the Archives, because I feel the need to comfort my spirit and set it on a different course than the one where it has been imprisoned by the rather desolate weather this January.

From October 11th, 2008

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

How very basic, and simple.

The dear ones on the Meadow sent this today, in celebration of Thanksgiving.

We had a discussion about things we are thankful for, and Charles, when asked,  said that he was
 thankful just for LIFE, and as he told me after all the rest of the blessings are wrapped up in this one gift granted to him, - especially precious to those who survived the sharp point of the Second World War.

For each new morning with its light!
This is the ultimate gift.

The rest is gravy....

Thanksgiving is somewhat like Christmas - it is the season to be 'thankful' as Christmas is the season of 'good cheer to men of good will'. They each carry their transitory messages which, if we could but hang on to them all through the year, would make this world a much more pleasant place.

They are, alas, but a nine day wonder in the media (well, Christmas maybe a 90 day wonder with its commercialism). However, in a couple of places I have read of a Gratitude Journal being presented as an antidote to depression and a way of lifting one's spirits. Sadness and thankfulness are just not compatible....

I think that keeping a Gratitude Journal is a great idea! So often we get mired down in misery because of things that go wrong, small hurts, sometimes large hurts, - the effects of aging, frustrations and failings, misunderstandings and sometimes just general gloom.

How can you maintain this misery if somewhere you are taking the time to write down the pleasant things. A smile from someone passing, the fragrance of a garden, a child's first wonder at the world around, unburnt toast and fresh coffee, a conversation with a friend, music that stirs memories, - the list of things to be thankful for is endless.

I have a little red leather covered book that will be just perfect for this - expect to see me smiling most all the time!

I have to tell you that the entries in the Gratitude Journal petered out after six months or so.  I would like to think I was too busy in the garden and too contented to feel the need to remind myself of blessings.  

However, now that I am gathering myself together to greet February with a big smile and great enthusiasm, perhaps I will resume recording all the small and wonderful things that make me happy, - or not!  Sometimes we need to be grateful for the things that make us sad, but also teach us something of value.

We have come to the end of January, and her is my 

River Stone #31

Aware, always
with the eyes of a child,
of the great potential
for wonder and awe
and curiosity.

(Kierkegaard said this much more elegantly across in my sidebar)!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A River of Stones
January 30th, 2011

River Stone #30

Weather report.

Bright blue skies,
and sunshine.
Bitter wind,
falling spirits...
In the dead of Winter.