Saturday, December 29, 2012


Happy New Year

I am planning to slide very quietly into the new year

in hopes that I will be able to find a peaceful corner to recover my equilibrium

after the disquiet of our own personal

Annus Horribilis

Such a sad year with all the divisions in our ecumenical church,

 which for 42 years had enjoyed the friendly worship

of two denominations and which now lies in tatters.

And it ended in sorrow as we lost our darling

husband and father.

And so I greet the New Year with new aspirations,

 still grieving, but with hope and love and mindfulness,

and with grateful thanks and memories

For last year's words belong to last year's language

and next year's words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T.S. Eliot


Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22nd, 2012
A snowy day in the Similkameen

the evergreens at the front reach chilly fingers towards the window
where Callie crouches, watching passers-by

and towards the west that strange bamboo like tree that grows in the neighbour's
yard and shields my kitchen from the setting sun is home to a
blue jay who flits among the tangled branches
but never stops long enough for a picture.

here is the home of the little birds who shelter amongst the
cedar branches and beneath a snowy roof
I ventured forth to feed the birds, and within five minutes of setting out the sunflower seeds and
the small seed for the smaller birds, the ground was awash with quail

The men of the sidewalk cleaners brigade are having a busy day of it, -
 the snow is coming so fast and heavy that there is hardly time for a decent coffee break
before they are out with the shovels again.
They have sidewalks on the other side of the street.
If you don't keep them cleared of snow you are fined by the village.
There are compensations for not having a sidewalk
but I do sometimes feel a little guilty when I cross the street
and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

The white hats on the clusters of bright mountain ash berries
grow larger and more peaked by the hour

but inside all is warm and cosy and the stocky amaryllis that decided to sprout early
have nice Christmas blooms

some of the paper whites will be in bloom by Christmas Day, but they have been most
irregular this year - I look forward to them stretching the season out somewhat
as the slow pokes bloom later in January.

I have found it difficult to find room for all the decorations this year
but here is the Christmas Angel our elder daughter brought to us
over forty years ago, when she came home from Art School at Christmas break.
It never fails to greet friends and family with the sweetness
and loving innocence of Christmas.
A Merry Christmas to all dear friends....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ABC Wednesday for December 19th, 2012

W is the letter of the Week

There is really nothing extraordinary about choosing A Wild and Wonderful Winter Wonderland to picture W, - but that's the way it is here these days!

There was a time when winter was my favourite season, - I skated and skiied a little and I loved the sound of the snow crunching as I walked the trails behind our suburban home.

The Band played at the local skating rink and we crowded the changing room and the central fire that warmed us after an hour of whirling and twirling and yearning to be figure skaters.

Here is the very rink I skated on, with the band stand out in the centre of the ice where the musicians huddled around a pot-bellied stove  on Sundays and Wednesdays and played marches and waltzes  in the crisp wintery air. You notice that the girls are wearing skirts, - it was a time before trousers were accepted as Women's Wear.

Oh dear, now I grumble at having to take the SUV out of the garage on to the snowy streets, and if I should go walking I hear Charles in my mind, - 'Do you have your cane?  Have you got the spiked end on it!!!" Still, the memories of gliding and music and sweet cold air are Wonderful!!

More W's over here at ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her be-Witching helpers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vintage Vehicles

ABC Wednesday
December 12th, 2012

Here is the letter V which stands for Vintage Vehicles

Strictly the term 'Vintage' only applies to a Vehicle manufactured between the beginning of the
year 1919 and the end of 1930
I think some of these lovely machines are pre-vintage
but anybody creative can put together some wonderfully romantic stories
to go with them.

This is a pretty spiffy looking machine with a handsome chauffeur and a couple of pretty ladies to show off the brass horn and headlights, and the fancy wheels
Oh,look at the wonderful rumble seat and more spoked tires!
Are those side lanterns ?  Love the lines......
And here below is a Vintage Edwardian - an American car
and what I would call a 'touring' model
A couple of beautiful old-timers
and a gorgeous model for taking the family on a picnic.  I like the arrangement
for holding the roof down!!
This song was written in 1909 so I think the Oldsmobile hit the road
quite early in the last century,
but I'm sure you would like to sing along
Just follow the bouncing ball......
For more takes on the letter V  click here to visit ABC Wednesday,
Mrs. Nesbitt and her Vivacious helpers

Monday, December 03, 2012


ABC Wednesday
December 5th, 2012

U is for Ukelele
and here is a splendid sample of Ukelele music

by the U.K. Ukelele Orchestra
For more interesting U's pop over here to ABC Wednesday

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Beloved

The Widow
Charles Goldie
I am stepping lightly into the world again,
 testing the waters of Widowhood with tentative toes.
I have been wandering slowly and hesitantly in Blogland
appreciating the kind words of condolence
and trying to find my way back to posting.
I see the birds come to feed, and the year prepare for winter.
The stark beauty of bare branches touches my heart
but my life seems circumscribed
by one reality
and my mind at rest is the dwelling place of only one lonely thought. 
Since early in our marriage I have cherished this poem by Sara Teasdale
The Beloved
It is enough of honour for one lifetime
To have known you better than the rest have known,
The shadows and the colours of your voice,
Your will, immutable and still as stone.
The shy heart, so lonely and so gay,
The sad laughter and the pride of pride,
The tenderness, the depth of tenderness,
Rich as the earth and wide as heaven is wide.
Time is the great healer, and December is here,
the month of love and new beginnings.

Tomorrow I will plant the paper whites! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A bleak day....

The flag above the Cenotaph descends to half mast
and we grieve for another cherished Veteran.
My darling husband died yesterday,
but I will be back anon.......

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ABC Wednesday
November 14th, 2012

The letter is R

The object is Roller Coaster

What a merry ride as they slide over the top, into a gentle incline, but wait!  Soon they will not be throwing their arms in the air and displaying their bravery with such happy aplomb.  Soon they will enter into a 'mindbending',  breath stealing, heart stopping plunge...and then what of all that bravado!!!!

Here is a rather noisy video of the MindBender at West Edmonton Mall, - the largest
indoor roller coaster in the world, I believe.
This is not the Roller Coaster I cut my teeth on, so to speak.
In the '30's when Sunday Schools were the vogue
and Sunday School Picnics were big social affairs,
the Parish of St. Faith's (Anglican) held their annual Sunday School Picnic
at Borden Park, in Edmonton, where there was a Tunnel of Love
and The Green Rattler roller coaster!
In those days of my childhood I was fairly brave.
Each child got a ticket to ride the Green Rattler, but there were some among us
who were not as brave (or foolhardy) and it was quite easy
to collect extra tickets and have a half a dozen rides on
The Green Rattler at just one Sunday School Picnic.
My next encounter with a Roller Coaster was in the late 1960's, or maybe the early 1970's.
I took the two youngest children to the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver
and while there, remembering my delight with The Green Rattler
in days of yore, I suggested a ride on the fairly new (1958) wooden
roller coaster at Playland (or Happyland, depending upon your vintage.)
photo credit tiffa130 Flickr
photo credit Dennis Sylvester Hurd Flickr 

It is still a great thrilll to thousands of folk, but alas, I found that I had lost my zeal for roller coasters at that stage of the game, and though I love to read about the rickety enjoyment
other people get from it I will just watch and admire.

Charles and I are on our own personal roller coaster at the minute, both physically
and emotionally as his health swings from the heights to the depths.
At the moment he is on an upward swing, but I have
been there before ........I pray that we will reach a nice even run.....

For more great R's visit here, at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and all the rollicking ABCers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Wednesday, November 7th

As we made our daily trip to Penticton today, up through the valley bottom where the trees are still brilliant with autumn shades, we climbed to higher altitudes where a strong wind has thinned the leaves on the deciduous tree and in some cases scattered all the ground beneath them with gold.

At the highest point of the pass the beautiful bones of the alder and aspen are filagree lace, silhouetted against the darkness of the evergreen hills.

I was reminded of Mary Oliver and her beautiful "Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness".

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends
into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out
to the petals on the ground
to stay
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married
to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say it's easy, but
what else will do
if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day.
though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

And I thought about how these words are so relevant to the November of our lifetime

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

ABC Wednesday

The letter is Q

Q is for Quoits

Here is a fun video of a game of Quoits at a local pub.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg, Horseshoes or Quoits??? 

It seems some people are Quibbling about this, but no matter which the game of Quoits appears to have had its origin in ancient Greece  where poorer citizens, who could not afford a discus, made their own by bending horseshoes into a circle.  They were used in their open form only after it became customary to practice pitching at a spike embedded in the ground.

In England Quoits became so popular that Edward 111 and Eichard 11 prohibited the game in order to encourage archery.  However, it became quite a well organized sport by the 15th century probably because of the numerous attempts to eradicate it from the pubs and taverns of England.

The pub variety of Quoits has many offshoots, - games such as ringtoss or hoopla becoming popular as parlour games, and deck quoits which became popular as a means of entertaining blase passengers on long cruises.

For more interesting aspects of the letter Q click here to visit ABC Wednesday, sponsored by Mrs. Nesbitt and her quirky helpers.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The subtle shades of Autumn

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

There is an expression used in dyeing yarn with an Iron Mordent, - it saddens the colours,
 and this is what the misty, rainy weather has done to the surrounding hills
as we travel back and forth  over the Yellow Lake Pass to Penticton,
 to sit with Charles in the hospital. 
His hip is healing nicely, but because of his age
he is having a rocky time with
post-op delirium
and yesterday we found him quite lucid first thing in the morning
but by noon we were all on board ship around his bed, and he was cautioning us
not to go too near the railing.
I hope tomorrow will be better.
They say the sun will shine.
But what could be more lovely than these
rich rusts and golds that change each day,
depending upon where the mist swirls.

Here at home the garden takes on the subtle shades of fall.

and across the little undeveloped parkland the shrubs and trees shimmer in the rain
These daily trips through gorgeous autumn colours are lovely and quiet,
but not quite adequate compensation for a healthy husband.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ABC Wednesday

The Letter is P

For Pippi Longstocking

Here is Pippi
- an 'unconventional, assertive' fictional character from books
by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.
Pippi has superhuman strength.
She frequently mocks and dupes adults
and reserves her worst behavior for the most
pompous and condescending.
Pippi does not want to grow up,
just like that other PP - |Peter Pan
She is the daughter of a Buccaneer Captain
and has many adventurous stories to tell
concerning him
She has four best friends.
Her horse and her monkey,
and the neighbour's children, Tommy and Anika.
Pippi's full name is
Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking
Pippi saw the light of day when she was so named
by Astrid Lindgren's daughter, Karin,
who requested a get well story from her mother
one day when she was home sick from school.
You may read more about Pippi and her world in a small Swedish village
by visiting Wikipedia, from whence
came all that I have told you so far.
This is a bit of a short cut but I only have hours home from the hospital
where Charles is recovering from his hip surgery last Friday!!!
For more great P's visit here at ABC Wednesday.
Many thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her Peppy Helpers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A little respite.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Taking a little respite from posting while we tend to Charles, who fell yesterday  and broke his hip.  Surgery tomorrow.  In the meantime he is high on morphine, sweet to all the nurses, and I am spending all my time at the hospital, keeping watch, along with so many of the family who come to express their concern.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ABC Wednesday

O is the letter of the week, and stands for Oom-Pah-Pah

Oom pah pah is the rythmical sound of a deep brass instrument in a band, - usually a tuba alternating between the root of a chord and the fifth.  This is the Oom - higher instruments, such as the clarinet or trombone, play the Pah on off beats.  Oompah is popular in Germany where it is applied to polkas and waltzes and is referred to as Volkestumliche Musik

The Movie  'Oliver'  contains a rollicking version of the Oompah  in the following video.  Blogger doesn't seem to want to publish videos any more, except through Google + and I haven't figured that out, yet.  But if you click on the highlighted bits of the code it will take you to the video - at least it worked for me!!!  Fun to watch, give it a try.

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A more modern take is the playing of pop and rock songs in the Oompah style.  Two outstanding bands are Global Kryner and Oompah Brass (U.K.) who dubbed the style Oompop.

Here is a link .

Wonderful music, - hope you enjoy it!  Great for Octoberfest!

For more great O's visit here at Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday and see what's on offer.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday evening...

and Blogger seems very obstinate and slow tonight.  Shall I try to put together aposting, or shall I go visiting?

I have some pretty fall pictures from our rainy day trip to Penticton yesterday  - all this time I had thought autumn had forgotten us this year, and there she was, hiding in the hills and along the byways and ranches that line the highway to Penticton.  Now I find when I go to download them that all the  pretty but flawed ones that I cropped in Picasa turn up uncropped in the source that allows me to download to Blogger.  :-(

So here they are as they came from the camera.

A lovely fishing spot at the far end of Yellow Lake.

One of the ranches along the way, - the creek runs in behind the row of trees which would be more flambouyant if the sun had been shining.  Still on these more sombre days of October when there is a little dampness and the hills are misty, there is more a feeling of the quiet beauty of autumn gathering all around her in preparation for the winter.

The Sumac at the doctors' offices were by far the most spectacular colours that we saw, except for one small intensely coloured Scarlet Maple which the camera didn't catch but which certainly lives in my mind's eye.  This was probably its first year of being planted out at the entrance to a new mobile home park, and it was celebrating magnificently with the most glorious  richness and beauty.

Lowering clouds over the hills in Penticton reminded me of the November days when Charles had just received his wings and I was allowed to come home with him on his embarkation leave  (I had to get permission from my Grandmother!!!. )  We went hunting in the hills above Tumble Moon, which is just across the lake, and on the top of the little nobby mountain over to the far left we got engaged!!!

Some more of the doctor's beautiful Sumac

and the rock walls around Yellow Lake, newly exposed to the sunshine and weather after the road work done there last year.  Most interesting composition....

When I get the rest of the pictures re-cropped I may put some up, - it is hard to get them perfect first time, snapping them at random at about 100 miles an hour!!!!!!

In the meantime I will go and watch Heartbeat, with Charles.....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Music and Bread - staples of Life

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

I am riffling through the magazines at the local pharmacy when both my eye and my imagination are caught by an appealing book of Bread Recipes!

I have been thinking about home made bread quite seriously in the last few weeks, after paying $4.50 for a loaf of Orowheat 100% whole wheat bread, that toasts ups like leather, and is still as fresh as the day I bought it two weeks ago, - what DO they put in bread these days that cause it never to mold?

I learned early in my married life the art of making bread, and it was a great part of our lives all the time the children were home, and even after we were retired and left the farm it was greast fun to knead with the grandchildren.  Somewhere I have a sweet picture of Ashley and Eve making loaves from their own small silver bread bowls, ready to pop into the oven, but if I stop to look for it now I will never get this posted before lunchtime.

After a time I fell into fascination with The Bread Making Machine, - one loaf at a time while I read or attended to the loom.  But then, after The Bread Machine kept quitting on me half way through the kneading process I fell into despair and disillusion, and started looking for something that would approximate home made bread that I could buy off the shelves of the Super Store (the two bakeries in town having both closed down).  Charles was patient but neither of us were enamoured of what the shelves have to offer, and so I have been thinking of the tactile pleasure of the dough beneath my hands, and the wonderful aroma of crusty loaves, warm from the oven and slathered in butter!!!

I think I am a goner, and we will soon be enjoying the sweetness of toasted buns or homemade breads in the morning....

As to the Music - last night I listened to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in a Gala festival at Schonbrunn Palace with Zubin Metha directing and Lang Lang as the most exuberant and athletic soloist I have seen  and heard in a long time!  Marvelous performances of Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt, with Lang Lang being particularly enthusiastic with the Polonaise and Fantasias.  I have heard his music described as 'blazing speed and thunderous power' and I know there is some criticism of him not being refined enough with his interpretations, but he is truly an amazing pianist and I quite enjoyed the concert. 

The other night, while downloading some emusic from the library I came across a recording of The Entertainer which Lang Lang made for the soundtrack of the video game, Gran Turismo5.  I found his interpretation quite different from what Scott |Joplin intended, but novel and entertaining.

Now, I must go and get lunch, and later I will look for the picture of the two sweet grandchildren making bread.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ABC Wednesday
October 17th, 2012

Here's to the letter N - Noble, or Nonsensical.

This week we will choose Nonsensical and give you a few Nonsense Verses to tickle your fancy.


Among your many playmates here
How is it that you all prefer
Your little friend, my dear?
"Because, Mama, though hard we try,
Not one of us can spit so high,
And catch it in his ear."
John Bannister Tabb

The Ingenious Little Old Man

A little old man of the sea
Went out in a boat for a sail,
The water came in
Almost up to his chin
And he had nothing with which to bail.

But this little old man of the sea
Just drew out his jackknife so stout,
And a hole with its blade
In the bottom he made,
So that all of the water ran out.
John Bennett

There was a young lady of Twickenham
Whose boots were too tight to walk quickenham.
She bore them awhile,
But at last at a stile,
She pulled them both off and was sickenham.


George, who played with a dangerous toy, and suffered a catastrophe of Considerable dimensions
When George's Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as gold,
She promised in the Afternoon
To buy him an Immense BALLOON.
And so she did; but when it came,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded with a loud report!
The Lights went out!  The Windows Broke!
The Room was filled with Reeking Smoke,
And in the darkness shrieks and yells
Were mingled with Electric Bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
The House itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below -
Which happened to be Saville Row.
When Help arrived, among the Dead
Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,
The Footmen (both of them), the Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and the Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
The Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be permanently deaf -
And both his Aides are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump behind the ear.
The moral is that little Boys
Should not be given dangerous Toys.
Hilaire Belloc

For more illustrious N's visit here, at ABC Wednesday. 
 With thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her Natty helpers.