Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Thinking about the new year, and about New Year's Eves, past and present
 and remembering; the dancing, the parties,
 the bridge games and lobster sandwiches,
 the old friends, the crossing of arms in a precious circle as we sang Auld Lang Syne, 
and the incredible sweetness of the New Year's kiss -
 and I think idly of how the significance of this day has changed without the beloved beside me,
 and then more seriously about where in life I am situated now, 
as the new year looms 
and as I jump almost immediately into my ninth decade

And I acknowledge that the living I have left to do is mainly
 an awareness of the beauty of the gift.

Which in turn reminds me of Mary Oliver and her poem about 

"This World".

I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it nothing fancy

But it seems impossible.
Whatever the subject, the morning sun
glimmers it.
The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open
and becomes a star.
The ants bore into the peony bud and there is the dark
pinprick well of sweetness.
As for the stones on the beach, forget it.
Each one could be set in gold.
So I tried with my eyes shut, but of course the birds
were singing,
And the aspen trees were shaking the sweetest music 
out of their leaves,
And that was followed by, guess what, a momentous and beautiful silence
as comes to all of us, in little earfulsl, if we're not too
hurried to hear it.
As for spiders, how the dew hangs in their webs
even if they say nothing, or seem to say nothing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe they sing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe the stars sing too,
and the ants, and the peonies, and the warm stones,
so happy to be where they are, on the beach, instead of being
locked up in gold.

And I wish you all the happiest of new years, 
filled with this lovely awareness of the most mystifying and magical things
 that surround us - so commonplace at times, but so priceless,
and sometimes so ignored in the busyness of life.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Y is for Yams

ABC Wednesday
December 31st, 2014

The letter is Y and the veggie is the mighty yellow YAM

You may not have noticed that X got Xed out by Xmas last week, but here is my offering of yams......

Definitely a holiday vegetable, whether candied or mashed with brown sugar, a wee bit of orange juice and perhaps a dash of nutmeg.

Although I have to say I prefer Sweet Potatoes nestled up against my turkey and cranberry sauce.

The Yam is the common name for some plant species in the genus Dioscorea that form edible tubers
(whereas the Sweet Potato is part of the Morning Glory family)

There is also the 'New Zealand Yam'!!!

Its Latin Name Oxalis Tuberosa

Prepared for the table in much the same way the common Yam is,

boiled, baked or fried,  or served as a sweet.

In Mexico the New Zealand Yam is called Oca and it is
eaten raw with salt, lemon and hot pepper!!!

And that probably reaches the boundaries of my knowledge about Yams, 
but perhaps it has added a little to your trivia about the Alphabet.

For more about the letter Y visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise and ABC helpers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Catch Up

For the last ten days I have been immersed in ribbons and bows, wrapping paper, Christmas cards and letters, lists (oh, so many lists) and Christmas balls and ornaments.

But the house is all decorated now, the lights are twinkling on the porch and in the outside trees, I have all the 'away' parcels posted and the Christmas letters all written.......

In between this flurry of activity, which Charles would say was TOO MUCH, I have had a lovely shopping trip in Penticton with my dear DIL, where I spent too much money and was exhausted by crowds, but had a lovely lunch and enjoyed the scenery there and back.

And I have been out to lunch with various organizations, - the Museum Dinner,  held at the Wrong Turn Tavern (which I was wary about but which turned out to be a most pleasant and surprisingly enjoyable evening)

And the Purple Ladies held their Christmas luncheon at the historic Grist Mill in Keremeos, where I had hoped to buy a few Christmas gifts, but found them very much tourist-priced!

The day we shopped I went to bed fairly early, and then got up at 2.00 a.m. to listen to the Christmas Concert, Tannenbrass, from Berlin (the Philharmonic, for which I have a season's ticket that gives 
me much pleasure.  I wasn't sure if my 'inner alarm' still worked, but I thought deeply
and diligently about waking at 2.00 a.m before I went to sleep
and sure enough my eyes sprang open right on the dot.

A beautiful concert and I was entranced with the children's response, - one little
girl dancing in the aisle!

and others quite absorbed and delighted

I took pictures from the computer as I listened.

Here is Sarah (?) who hosted the party, playing her French Horn through a long green tube!

and the children's choir, who also performed with instruments and dance

It was so perfect, - I sighed and went back to bed at three o'clock, while visions of sugar plums 
and wonderful Tannenbrass music danced in my head.

Monday I mailed all my parcels.
Tuesday I rested!

Today I am going to the Cawston School, where I attended Christmas Concerts
that our own children played in, and where now my great-grandson, in grade one,
will be excited and in awe to be on-stage.

I play Christmas music and look around at the decorations in the house,
and it is as it always was, it seems, -
but those of us who have lost dear ones know better.......

and Callie keeps an eye out for feline visitors, accepting it all in true cat fashion.

I am sure I will be back before Christmas, but I must go now and put my 
Christmas Bell earrings on and get ready for
all the excitement of the School Concert!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wonderful Watermelon

ABC Wednesday
December 17th, 2014
The letter W stands for Watermelon!

Do you remember Summmer???

Then you remember Watermelon!!!

Wasn't it delicious!

For more Ws check here at ABC Wednesday with thanks to Roger, Denise and Willing helpers.

Monday, December 08, 2014


ABC Wednesday
The letter is V
For Valencia

In this little run through the alphabet where my theme has been fruit and vegetables we have talked about the Clementine, and the Mandarin, and now we talk about the sweetest orange of all - the Valencia.

It is the 'summer' orange, - the only orange that bears new fruit and mature fruit at the same time.  Thus we find it in the marketplace from March  until the end of summer.

The orange bears seeds - six or seven - in contrast to the Navel and other seedless oranges, and it has the brightest of juices,   The deep orange and the sweetness makes it most attractive on the breakfast table, - or whenever you drink your orange juice -  and you will find that most juices are made from Valencia oranges.

Wikipedia tells me that William Wolfskill, an American who became a Mexican citizen, hybridized the Valencia orange and named it after the Spanish city known for the sweetness of its fruit.

For more interesting facts about the letter V visit here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to the Veritable Roger and the Vivid Denise and all their Vivacious helpers....

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Update on Christmas

It comes upon me that the time is upon us, - the very merry cheery time of getting ready for Christmas, while holding Advent close in a little still place amidst all the hustle and bustle.

Today I tended to the printer as it turned out three complete albums to distribute to the 'children' in memory of their sweet, sweet father (the other three are already done....)

And then I went in and opened the Christmas trunk, wherein is stashed all the little gifts I have picked up during the year, and inspected the shelves that serve the same purpose. and almost came completely undone.  Of course I think of who these gifts would delight when I buy or make them, but somehow the enormity of it all escapes me when I look at them now, and then at my list...........

And I think about the other ninety year old lady who I had coffee with at our Christmas Bake Sale yesterday, and what she said about putting money in an envelope and handing it around and then blithely enjoying a relaxing run up to Christmas.  But somehow that seems to take the magic away, even if it is more practical.  I don't even feel comfortable with stashing unwrapped Christmas gifts into bags with a bow and a To .... with love.......!  Somehow a prettily wrapped present with a nice ribbon around it extends the pleasure  - but then I won't be ninety until the day after Father Time declares it to be 2015!

So, I got the big red bag of Christmas wrappings and seals and ribbons and bows out of the closet
(where I had put them when F brought them up from their summer sojourn in the basement) - and I cleared off a card table, which doesn't seem anywere near big enough for the job - but tomorrow I will get at it and by the 15th of the month hopefully I will be standing in line at the Post Office with all the parcels that have to brave the Postal System.

Yesterday, the day of our bake sale, started off with streets and sidewalks coated with frozen rain, which then turned to enormous wet flakes of snow.  This somewhat affected attendance, but not the pleasant time enjoyed by bakers and bakee buyers alike!  Some people arrived before opening time and stayed until the very end!!!

 There was a lot going on in town, it being Light Up Weekend, - parades and craft fairs and Santa's breakfast...... the little ones were over the moon, - all except the littlest one of all and he viewed Santa with some trepidition!!

But the bigger kids loved making snowmen out of cupcakes and big marshmallows!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

U is for Ugli Fruit

ABC Wednesday
December 3rd, 2014
The Letter is U

If you are looking for a fruit or veggie whose name starts with the letter U the pickings are pretty scarce on the ground.

However, in keeping with my theme this round I give you the Ugli Fruit

A cross between the grapefruit, the tangerine and the pulamo, looking rather like a grapefruit with an ill fitting overcoat, as I read in my ramblings.

More delicious than its name would lead you to believe!

For more interesting Us visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger. Denise, and all Unusual helpers.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cold Winter Blessings

Wednesday's Snowfall

The last day of November, - that sad and gloomy month, and here is the sun, just slipping up over K mountain to shine for a brief period  - a perfect invitation to have lunch with a book, in the sunshine, on the sofa!

I am reading Rupert Sheldrake's 'Science Set Free' - finally a notable scientist who is not a rabid atheist or complete materialist.  It says on the back of the book "In the skeptical spirit of true science, Sheldrake turns the ten fundamental dogmas of materialism into exciting questions and shows how all of them open up startling new possibilities for discover".

Yesterday I sat in the lovely sunshine that accompanied the bitter cold wind and freezing temperatures working eagerly on the last sleeve of the sweater I am knitting.  Done!!!!   It has now been blocked, and is spread out on a table in the bathroom, with a fan blowing over it to assist in the drying process.

The shawl bit that fits into the neckline is stretched out on my bed, with picture frames under it to keep the dampness from  making my sheets swampy when I slide into sleep tonight!!!

When I finish lunch I am going to pop out, while the sun still makes lovely shadows on the snow and fill up the bird feeders, - the little birds and the quail and the odd blue jay reward me with their presence, hopping about, pecking at the ground where they have spilled seeds from the feeders, filling their little bellies with grain and black sunflower seeds

And when the sun has crossed the little gap between mountain peaks they retire to the remants of the cedar tree that was so badly damaged in last week's heavy snowfall, and awaits warmer weather for TLC and Frank's attention - (SIL who prunes and keeps things in order).

I must hurry to be finished by one o'clock when I will tune my PC into the National Washington Episcopal Cathedral to watch and listen to a beautiful service of Lessons and Carols.....

Yesterday I potted the paper whites and the amaryllis bulbs from last year and they sit in the laundry room on top of the drier, where there is light.  I guess when the drier is working it gives them a little nudge towards sending up slender stalks and gorgeous Christmas blooms.

The amaryllis I bought from the grocery store a few weeks ago had eight beautiful blooms, and another still to come!!

  1. Lots of blessings ......