Thursday, September 19, 2013

This and that and a creaking back

I am having an indoor day today in deference to my back, which is creaking and complaining after a two day stint in the garden.  Well, not really days, - only mornings, but that's all that I seem to be able to cope with, and Frank-the-Digger feels much the same way, I'm sure.
We have brought down just one large peony root, but two great boxes of iris corms.  I am faced with the realization that I am going to have to find loving homes for the overflow from what can  be accommodated in the garden.   AND there are still six peonies, four large Oriental Poppy plants, two enormous white phlox, some sedum, some chrysanthemums, a wonderful yellow daisy, whose name I don't know but it blooms from July until frost, and miles and miles and miles of straight white Chinese Lantern railway tracks, (which I plan to eradicate).  Also some asters, an enormous michaelmas daisy, a few moveable roses,  - oh, and the daylilies!!!!
This is how the garden looked in its hey-day, but now, alas, overrun with brilliant Chinese Lanterns.

On the brighter side, when I mention the availability of all these treasures when in the Senior's Centre or the Thrift Shop, gardener's eyes glaze over as they hurriedly try to reckon where they might put another peony, or some more iris, or a poppy - if I could just organize a day in the garden and tell them all to come with their spades and take what they want!!!
While looking around and contemplating whether I should poach an egg for breakfast I find I can no longer ignore the pail of Italian Prunes left on the kitchen counter by some kind person!  Probably because I have been successfully passing my eyes over them for the last four days, and they are  beginning to get soft and mature and quietly crying for attention!!!  I make a quick coffee cake, which I see is too large for the pan I put it in, and is spilling over in the oven, but looking delicious nonetheless...

Lingering over my second cup of coffee, I read a bit of Mary Oliver and a dozen pages of Jonathan Lear's Radical Hope (ethics in the face of cultural devastation).  In this he traces the cultural decline and eventual collapse of the Crow Nation, and the inspiration which the great Crow Chief, Plenty Coups finds by going into the wilderness in the old traditional way and emerging with a dream which leads his people to continue their way of life in a " yet to be defined new form" - to find the courage to "'listen like the Chickadee" by observing others; going on in new ways, rather than defining the courage of the Crow Nation as Warriors.
How to condense the sophisticated philosophy of this book into a simple paragraph!?  I turn to The New York Review of Books and Charles Taylor's article on Radical Hope to help me understand and put into words my understanding of the importance of this book in facing the vulnerability of all civilizations, including that of Western culture.
I think I need to finish  the book before I can say more, - and it is due at the library tomorrow!!!
Which, of course, defines what I will do for the rest of today!!!
If the sun shines I will go out and read in the back garden, with a couple of cushions for my back!

Monday, September 16, 2013

ABC Wednesday

And the letter this week is J

for James Joyce 1882-1941


Irish poet and novelist, born in Dublin but lived most of his adult life in Europe, - Paris, Trieste, Zurich.

Nevertheless at the back of all his novels is Dublin.

The Odyssey traces the back streets of that city, and in Finnegan's Wake and The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man Joyce is writing from afar about the city he called home.

He said, "For myself, I always will write about Dublin because if I can get to the heart of Dublin then I can get to the heart of all the cities in the world.

In the particular is contained the universal"

Joyce was famous for his various literary styles, the stream of consciousness being amongst his most noted.

Besides his novels James wrote three books of poetry
The twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.
The old piano plays an air,
Sedate and slow and gay;
She bends upon the yellow keys,
Her head inclines this way.
Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands
That wander as they list,
The twilight turns to darker blue
With lights of amethyst.
James Joyce

For  some jolly, jaunty J's journey over to
ABC Wednesday, here, with thanks to Denise, Roger and their joyful help!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In and out of the garden, all day long

I start early in the garden, - in fact when I first open my eyes and realize that rosy glow outside is fair advertising for a glorious sunrise.!

Up and at  it in my pink night gown that I knew could be taken for a dress, even though I could hear Charles objecting to me being in the back garden at six a.m., not fully clothed.
Well really, - who is up at that time!!!  Not the neighbours who had company well into the late evening hours last night....
Gorgeous sunrise, and I get so few of them here in town.  I open the back garden gate and go out into the parkland to get these lovely pictures..

A quick breakfast, a second cup of coffee with Dot and Frank, and I am out with Callie to inspect the new flower bed, trying to retrieve a bit of compost to dress it with, and then putting a gentle sprinkler on to wet it down, ready for planting.

That done I turn my attention to the lawn mower, the side lawn and the front bit of grass that struggles to be respectable in the shade of the willow that is now trying to climb on to the porch in rainy weather, and taps at the front window, teasing Miss Callie.
After morning coffee I have a search and destroy mission in the raised bed, with a focus on the Chinese Lantern Railway and its many new stopping stations. as well as the
creeping buttercup, which is lovely in the spring as it blooms with the Oriental Peony
but terribly invasive.
I clear the Chinese Lantern Railway stations of their bright orange lanterns
and hang them in the garage to dry,
for future bouquets.
In the spring I will raid the straight white trackage that runs for miles
and miles, up and down the garden....
How much do you want to bet a small bit of trackage will accompany the plants
I bring from the old garden
and I will have the whole thing to do over again next year.
I console myself with the lovely fall bouquet they will make with Sweet Honesty
and its silvery coins.
I begin to feel tired, and hot, and sticky,
and the thoughts of warm water, scented soap and a cup of tea
lure me into the house.
Tomorrow is the first of the big moving days, and I think we will start with the Iris....
I have help!  Sons and sons-in-law are a wonderful
addition to the family......