Thursday, January 24, 2013

This and That

I am trying really hard to get back into posting, but am finding my inspiration and enthusiasm at a very low ebb,  so I will begin in a very small way by talking about what I am reading, what I am doing and what I am thinking.  Well, you might not be too interested in what I am thinking as I seem to spend a fair amount of time sitting quietly, reminiscing, sometimes with a small smile and sometimes with a tear or two.

I keep two journals, – one for memories and for the moments when a bit of fragrance or a snatch of music broadside me, suddenly, without warning.   And the other for the plans I have to carry on with life;  indulge myself with gardening dreams and a trip to see the Meadow folk in the Cariboo country, attend a concert, go for lunch, immerse myself in what is going on in the village…..

What am I reading?  Oh, a variety of things, – on my Kobo a light book on a quilting adventure, – one of a series.  Together with a little piano music it puts me into a dreamless sleep at night. 

During the daytime  I am reading Wendell Berry essays, and some of his wonderful poetry.


I cannot choose between the essays and the poetry, they are equally absorbing.  The Essays make me think,  - the poetry, sometimes, makes me cry,  So very sensitive and compassionate.  I open the poems randomly….

The woods is shining this morning
Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground, or fall,
or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
the place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
its route passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
all that it is, and how flawless
its grace is.  Running or walking, the way
is the same.   Be still.  Be still
“He moves your bones, and the way is clear.”
The Bloomsbury Review says of Wendell Berry –“(he) is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life, be they those of composing a ;poem, preparing a hill for planting, raising a family, working for the good of oneself and one’s neighbors, loving.”
He is not a careless man, but one who is mindful of all aspects of life, – wise and philosophical , caring of the earth – in my mind I compare him to Wallace Stegner and have the same regard for his works.  I am surely enjoying “Imagination in Place” – a small book of essays.  It appeals to me especially as one who has spent most of her life in the same valley, amongst the same people, surrounded by the same hills, the same farms and orchards and vineyards all breathing and surviving in the same beautiful country.
When I am not reading, I sometimes go through drawers and cupboards, cleaning out the accumulation of years – who needs seven wooden spoons and five potato peelers, I ask you!!  Or close to fifty white handkerchiefs, some of them still in their original packaging!!!
Or I knit.  Early in October I bought some beautiful silk twist yarn in many brilliant colours to make an afghan but when it came time in December to start it was too large a project for me to cope with, and so I found a pattern for a plain knit hat, done in the round.  After the first one I made it even simpler and just cast on 48 stitches, knit for nine inches, began to form the crown and drew it all together, and sewed the piece into a hat.  There was enough of each colour left to make a moebus scarf – mindless work, but it kept my fingers happy and gave me a little start on Christmas next year.
And Vincent, our youngest son, ploughed his way through the snow in the Garden on the Hill and brought me great branches of forsythia which now reside in the bathtub – perhaps too early to force, but it makes me feel good to try.


And I made some homemade bread, loving the feel of the dough beneath my hands.

Life is good...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ABC Wednesday

The letter this week is B

and following the flower theme I have chosen  Borage to represent the letter B.


An ‘umble ‘erb, but one of my favourites because of its gorgeous colour, its cool and refreshing taste of cucumber when made into a summer tea, and its great attraction for Bees, who buzz around the bountiful plants in great delight.  And they are bountiful, – if you have one Borage plant you will soon have a dozen.  They are an annual plant, but they self seed easily and prolifically.  In our garden on 10th Avenue the number of star-like blooms  challenged the numbers of stars in the heavens, I’m sure!!

I offer you an excerpt from Sir Google that sings the praises of this friendly herb.
“Borage Flower Essence aligns strongly with the Heart chakra.  It works directly and powerfully to clear the debris we no longer require.   This clearing results in increased Space in the Heart, particularly to let in new Awareness around Close, Loving relationships, enabling stronger connections and feels of Confident Love.  Borage offers a strong sense of hope and confidence for those times when we feel discouraged and want to shrink away from situations and people.  This essence also offers Calm and allows tensions to soften.  Borage acts as a Heart Tonic, re-awakening feelings and capacities to make loving connections, especially when they have felt risky”
In the garden they are a good companion for tomatoes, squash and strawberries.

They are even supposed to deter tomato hornworms, which would not have pleased some of our boys when they were youngas they were great gatherers of the Mighty Hornworm, and I once even found a bucketful in the same bed as our youngest son!.

If you are going to use the leaves of Borage for tea or salads or sandwiches pick them when the plant is young as the older leaves and stems get quite prickly.  Plants can be pinched or pruned to encourage branching and more tender foliage.
When frozen in ice cubes the starry blooms make most attractive additions to iced tea or you could even try a Borage Julep.
As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you.  Borage is said to have a mild laxative effect.
For more interesting interpretations of the letter B click here to visit ABC Wednesday, and thanks to all those associated with this great meme.