Thursday, September 04, 2014


"Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the
Stooks arise
Around; up above, what wind-walks!  what
lovely behavior
Of silk-sack clouds!  Has wilder, willful-waiver
Meal-drift molded ever and melted across skies?"
Gerard Manly Hopkins, Hurrahing in Harvest 1918

and here is Hopkins with his marvelous poetic language and rhythm
and  above, the 'silk-sack' clouds that September
has brought with her to the Similkameen.

Today yesterday's clouds have all been blown away
and that special magic of blue skies and cooler air lures us outdoors,
me and Callie, the cat.

In the early morning the dew glistened 
in the light from the rising sun, but now the fading pots of flowers
are tired and thirsty, and they make me wonder if a trip 
to Don and Anna's nursery for a few plants to perk them up
and see them through Indian Summer would not be a
lovely way to spend the afternoon!

What wonderful energy September brings with it!
When we have tired of the heat and lethargy of August
September bursts upon us and suddenly even its first day
is full of anticipation.

Yesterday I made beautiful golden apricot jam first thing in the morning,
and then  finished spinning all the rolags I had prepared,
made more, spun them, reeled them off the wheel on to the swift,
tied the skeins, washed them and hung them to dry,
and this morning I wound them into a lovely ball,  full of plans for
comfy green socks, or an emerald scarf????

I have gathered together all my Wallace Stegner books to re-read,
starting with 'The Angle of Repose'.  Such a fine writer and one who 
has been an inspiration, I think, to others, such as Ivan Doig, and
probably even Wendell Berry.

Looking at my blank September calendar pages I begin to fill in dates
for a Royal Purple Centennial Tea, regular Wednesday morning singing 
and Tuesday afternoon knitting afternoons; dates for prawn suppers at the Branding Iron
and lunches with friends, monthly meetings - oh, it really
is a sweet and fulfilling month and one that lifts my spirits right into October
and then through the somberness of sad November.

I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
nights by which we count time remember their own passing.
I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.

I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall's gathering or if the
bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.
I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers
the moon.

I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.

Perhaps that is the reason for our births - to be the memory for creation.

Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.

Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
"What can you tell me about September?"

"September Meditation"  Burton D. Carley

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Honey Dew and Horseradish

ABC Wednesday
September 3rd, 2014

The letter is H
and the subject is Honey Dew and Horseradish

Such a contrast in taste - the honey dew so smooth, so sweet, so delicious -
 and the horseradish (to me, anyway) so challenging, so sharp, 
so satisfying to those who love it as the perfect condiment to roast beef!

Tewkesbury mustard, - favoured in the United Kingdom; a mixture of grated horseradish root and mustard.

In the United States Horseradish is combined with mayonaise, or with sour cream
 and served au jus with roast beef.

Common as well in Bloody Mary cocktails!!!!

In Japan Wasabi is now often made with Horseradish due to the scarcity of the Wasabi plant.

I find that there are 'Horseradish People' who love it with a passion,
 and 'Non-Horseradish people' who would just as soon pass it by and enjoy their roast beef
without its accompanying sharpness.  
The passionate people, however,  have a medical advantage as the Horseradish root 
contains great quantities of Vitamin C.......

On the other hand - who could not love the Honey Dew!!
The sweetest of all melons, 
with a hint of the taste of honey.  
Perfect as a dessert, sliced, or diced in a fruit salad.

 Or even in a Smoothie

1 1/2 cups of Honeydew
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup of ice

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

For more takes on the letter H visit here at ABC Wednesday, 
with thanks to Roger, Denise and all helpers.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The last afternoon in August

I look askance at the sky.  There are clouds, but there is also blue sky and sunshine. 
 The air is cool and inviting.

I have brought the spinning wheel out of the corner it lives in, into a place of prominence.  It is draped with the icy green roving I bought from the Knotty Knitter,
 begging to be made into wispy nests of rolags to be spun.

The spirit moves me, - it even moves me with a yearning to be outside on this lovely last afternoon in August. So I gather lengths of roving in a basket, pick up the telephone and some music and put the 'out in garden' sign on the front door, - and I make myself comfortable on the rocking seat.  I tease out the first length of green fleece and roll it up into a pretty nest...

It starts to sprinkle, - only small drops and scattered.  I have faith, - surely the rain won't continue. 
Look at all that blue sky!!  Ah, but look at the dark cloud right above me.

It starts to rain more.  I gather up the roving and the phone, cover the pillows on the rocking seat with a small tarp, and retire to the garage to watch and wait. 

 I pull open drawers on Charles' work desk, where small things still remain, - I pick out a couple of tiny screwdrivers, a little hammer, a combination tape and level and a leather case with a pair of fold up steel pliers.  I place them in my basket to keep them/him closer and look again at the sky.  The shower has moved on, but will it be replaced by another??

Oh well, - perhaps I will spend the afternoon of the first day of September in the garden instead and continue with teasing my roving indoors.....

Two poems that today catch my eye and settle in my mind and heart.......

the first by Mary Chivers, entitled   'Late August'

It's as if we're always preparing
for something, the endless roll of the earth
ripening us.
Even on the most tranquil
late August afternoon when heavy heads
of phlox bow in the garden
and the hummingbird sits still for a moment
on a branch of an apple tree-
even on such a day
evening approaches sooner
than yesterday, and we cannot help
noticing whole families of birds
arrive together in the enclosure,
young blue birds molted a misty grey,
coloured through no will of their own
for a journey.
On such an evening
I ache for what I cannot keep - the birds,
the phlox, the late-flying bees -
though I would not forbid the frost,
even if I could.  There will be more to love
and lose in what's to come and this too: desire
to see it clear before it's gone.

And the second I find in the 2010 edition of 'The Best Spiritual Writing' ----

A Measuring Worm

by Richard Wilbur

This yellow striped green
Caterpillar, climbing up
The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack
of a full set of legs) keeps
humping up his back.

It's as if he sent
By a sort of semaphore
Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.
Although he doesn't know it,
He will soon have wings,

And I, too, don't know
Toward what undreamt condition
Inch by inch I go.

I have exhausted the stash of dinners put away in the freezer.  Too many lazy days, -
 but tonight I am going to cook!

Baked Salmon with celery, tomatoes, lemon and mushrooms
Potatoes Anna, and creamed cauliflower - well, maybe just cauliflower with a bit of cheese on it!

Depends upon how the spirit moves me - I
go a lot by 'spirit' these days!