Thursday, January 08, 2015

Sunshine, blue skies, whispy clouds

Blue skies and sunshine
Lift my spirits
and delight my heart
and send me scurrying
for dustmop and broom

Beautiful day.  I am banishing dust, but as I work my eye is drawn
to shadows on the snow, whispy white clouds
and water dripping from the evergreens
as those great drifts of snow disappear.

As I tidy and dust I also listen to a new David Garrett CD
"Timeless" - the music of Brahms and Bruch
played with the Israel Philharmonic and conducted by
Zubin Mehta !!!!

Beside my chair lies the latest Alan Bradley novel
following the adventures of Flavia de Luce .

When Alan Bradley first started this series he lived just miles away,
in Kelowna, B.C.  It tells the tales
of eleven year old Flavia's detective skills as she lives
with a most eccentric family residing at Buckshaw, the old and fast
deteriorating family estate.

Well, I find it charming and I can hardly wait to open the book,
forsaking Wallace Stegner and Loren Eisely for a romp
through a thoroughly relaxing read.

These delights, along with a desk diary that provides an awesome fact
for each day of the year
are the result of a lovely Amazon Gift Certificate birthday present
and I have to say, my son-in-law Frank's kindness
in going to get my mail on the icy roads.

Here are a few more pictures of a nice winter's day in the Similkameen!
If you look closely you can see that the pussy willows are starting to swell,
but alas, no small bits of greenery where the bulbs were planted, and the Lenten roses 
are under a foot of snow...

Off to catch the last rays of the sun before it falls behind the mountain.

Have we advanced more than three seconds a day 
as daylight increases, nearing spring?


P..S.    I forgot to mention the name of Alan Bradley's new Book

'As Chimney Sweepers come to Dust'

quote from Shakespeare....

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A rather indolent day.

I woke, enclosed in mist and fog and darkness

and more or less confined to barracks because of snow and ice

These great drifts of snow that engulfed us on the week-end are piled high beside driveways and sidewalks, as folk try to clear a way through.

The temperature rises, and occasionally it rains, and then freezes.

My son, on the Chilcotin Plateau, told me last night that there were at least five levels of ice buried in the snow drifts there, which makes snow removal by hand treacherous on the heart and muscles, but not too bad if you have some heavy equipment handy (which they have).

  I have a video to show you just how easy it is up there in the Caribou!!  A piece of cake.....

I spent the first part of the morning devising a makeshift bird feeder that I could hang from the railing on the porch, there being too much snow for me to reach the regular feeders which now look like a cross between a ski chalet and an asian pagoda.

A long length of linen from my weaving stash and a deep aluminium pie plate that I could use the hole punch on, and the little birds were once again frequenting the food bar.

That finished, the fog began to lift a little, and as I had mid-morning coffee
I could see trees on the mountain, outlined faintly.  The air a quarter of a way up the mountains 
is a pretty blue, but beyond that all is overcast in grey.

The rest of the day I have been spinning. disciplining myself to finish the 
brilliant green roving before I start on the last indulgence
at the Naughty  (Knotty)  Knitter, - 
a plait of varigated mauves and greens and rose merino that I hope
someday will be a lovely lacy pair of socks.

Wallace Stegner's early book, Remember Laughter,
sits on the table beside my chair along with my knitting,
and so January will idle its way into a February thaw
and eventually Snowdrops and Lenten Roses,

and I will give up indolence and begin to poke around for first green shoots....

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

ABC Wednesday
January 7th, 2015

The letter is Z
for Zucchini

When I gardened in earnest - long rows of peas, corn and carrots,

I tried to be sensible about the number of zucchini I planted,

but invariably I was left in the fall

trying desperately to give away zucchini 

to other earnest gardeners (who had their own ZZZZs to dispose of.

I ended up putting lots of grated zucchini 

in the freezer

and making loaves and muffins and cupcakes

and the most scrumptious chocolate zucchini cakes

(recipes were as numerous as the veggie itself)

If you have grated zucchini languishing in your freezer

here's a recipe....

Grease a tube pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together 2 cups flour, 2 tsps cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsps baking powder
and a tsp of baking soda.

Beat 4 eggs with 2 cups of sugar in a bowl and mix in 1 cup of vegetable oil.

Add to the dry ingredients and beat vigorously.

Stir in an 8 oz can of crushed pineapple (drained),  2 cups of grated zucchini,

2 tsps of vanilla and some chopped nuts, if you like them.

Pour into pan and bake for 80 minutes.

Cool for 30 minutes before dislodging from the pan.

Make a nice glaze from a cup of icing sugar and a couple of tbsps of milk

and dribble randomly over the top of the cake.

And this all reminds me that I do have grated zucchini in the freezer,
given to me by a desperate friend!

When all the Christmas goodies are eaten..............

For more interesting Zs visit here at ABC Wednesday with
thanks to Denise and Roger and ZEALOUS helpers.....

Sunday, January 04, 2015

I take the Christmas decorations down, randomly, - 
just a few at a time so that Christmas can withdraw its outward trappings
 but hopefully the spirit will live on all through the year.

January is a birthday month for our family, - and probably for many other families too.

A lovely family celebration for my 90th 
(I still wince a little when I say that, but then get overcome by gratefulness
 for wonderful years and good health)

To make the day even more exciting and memorable and delightfully precious, 
the arrival of a beautiful new great-grandson.

A heart full of thankfulness!!!