Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

Well here I am, settled for the evening

and it's not quite seven o'clock.

The kitchen is clean

the coffee set for morning

and  Callie the cat has assumed her familiar

spot by my elbow, as I type,

where she can lick my wrist, when she is so attracted,

or put a paw out onto the back of my hand...

I have my hot cocolate with me.

It is in the big mug that my oldest son bought for me

in a breakfast spot, when I was travelling with them.

It says on the mug....

  "Age is Nothing but a State of Mind"

and on the other side it elaborates a little, stating that the writer

has no idea how old she/he is , - that nothing changes, - the

the past thirty years or so he/she has been masquerading as 

an adult, when in reality life is nothing but a state of mind,

and in that case it is best to stay lost in your happy bewilderment.

Well, that may be so, but in a few days

I will have a birthday (mid-nineties)

and THAT being the case I must pay attention

to my state of mind and keep it happy, happy, happy..

and somewhat contented!

Not hard to do with my wool and my weaving,

a little cotton and lots of silk......and most importantly

the constant and loving attention of our children.

To add to my delight, the amaryllis is in bloom.......

There were grandchildren here Christmas Eve....

and the New Year is about to enfold us....

bringing with it the opportunity for lots of

resolutions, plans, dreams

and hopefully sun shine and blue skies!!!

They will make up for the sweet melancholy

of New Year's Eve

which was so special for us......

And the kisses at midnight so tender,

And the friends so dear.

Still so, in my memories!

ah, I am off to listen to Hauser

and his passionate and heart tugging cello.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

December 22nd, 2019

My eyes grow a little heavy

and I glance at the clock....

It is only six minutes after nine...

but then I have been up since 6.00 a.m.

and made some orange and cherry muffins to take to church

before I had my breakfast.

Callie is here beside me.

Every once in a while a paw reaches out,

touches my fingers enquiringly..

"when are we going to start the evening-go-to-bed routine???"

Soon, I say. It's been a long day!

We said goodbye to Advent.

Put all the violet paraphanalia away

until next year,  - at least until Lent,

and brought out the lovely white

hangings and parameters for Christmas.

A few battery candles on the window sills,

some garlands and ribbon to surround them.

the nativity figures at the altar

and two beautiful poinsettas at each side 

of the Communion rail.

We are ready for Christmas Eve!

Home for lunch and a little nap

before I ponder what there is still left to do

before the family comes for beef and oyster Stew

after the Christmas Eve Service.

The presents are all wrapped,

the towels and scarves woven

the baking done (will I need more shortbread??)

and letters and cards away in the mail.

The paper whites are starting to bloom,

the silver is polished,

and I have a little Christmas Tree in one corner,

along with the Christmas visitor

who sits in the corner all year long,  waiting.....

The ham, waiting to be baked...

and the stew, of course,which will simmer away in the oven

Christmas Eve day, while I am busy

with other things in other places.

I await Christmas. and the joys of family,

but suddenly I miss my Beloved, terribly,

and I am awash with memories of other Christmases,

when we were young, and the children were young.

And I am grateful to have had those wonderful, joyous days then

and the memory of them now!!

Whatever your time of life there is something

magical about the peace and stillness the days bring,

no matter what you must accomplish in the waking hours...

Is it the comfort of family, the satisfaction of giving and creation

that makes it such a glorious festival?

Love Christmas - every bit of it, - the memories and the NOW.

Merry, merry, merry merry merry - my Christmas wish to all!

And so to bed!

On second thought, as I rise in the morning....

If you are not in the mood for merriment

have a quiet and meditative Christmas.....

both good for the soul!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Awash in Christmas

December 10th, 2019

Ah yes, awash in Christmas, and loving it!!!

The shortbread, the lemon curd and the candied walnuts that all await our pleasure.

At one time Christmas would be augmented with fruit cake, plum pudding and mincemeat, but with 

the passage of time I have given up on these luxuries, at least the homemade ones, and if my heart 

truly desires some mince tarts or a wonderful rich fruit cake, I buy them at the Craft Faires that fill 

November's social calendar.

Time is getting short!!!

The tin of shortbread is bulging at the top and the lemon curd sits temptingly

in the fridge, - awaiting the making of the tarts.

My dear DIL brought me a Nanaimo Bar

(if you're not Canadian you probably are not familiar

with this wonderful chocolate/custard/shortbread concoction

but it is truly delicious and fills out the cookie tray nicely.

I turn from the task of baking

and tackle that-which-leaves-me-exhausted

The Wrapping of Parcels!!

Especially the ones that have to be mailed......

It is possible to stuff a pretty hand woven scarf

into a Christmas bag,or a pair of socks or some jewellry....

but the parcels that have to go through the postal system

must be sturdier,

and from an economic point of view have to be folded

and wrapped in a package, as small as possible.

I think that the Canadian Postal Department

are well versed in the art of

making money over Christmas parcels,

as often the postage far exceeds the value.of what is being sent!!!

Well, that's what I did this morning, and it put me in

a very unChristmasy mood, especially when I ran out of tape!!!

But it's done!  Parcels waiting beside the door,to be hauled off to the post office.!!!!!!

As an aside, two of these parcels are for the children (and

I use the word loosely) who live on the Meadow, up North.

One of them has just phoned and in passing let drop the information

that he was coming South for a dental appointment on the 17th.

Well, at least I hadn't mailed the parcels

and it will save me tons of money.

If I don't turn up here before the 25th

I wish you the happiest of Christmas Days..

and if you attend a Christmas Eve Service,

may it fill your spirit with joy and love

and wonder!!!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Blue skies and sunshine

2019 - the 31st of October

One day this week

when the sun was shining and the sky was blue

and the trees still held a small vestige

of autumn colour,

the phone rang, and it was

Number Three Son calling to ask

if I was up to an afteroon drive down the valley!!

Of course, -

a most pleasant way to spend

an afternoon,

and in most welcome company...

I took the camera...

and include herewith

a couple of the pictures we took.

a scooped out stone amongst the sage brush and meadow grass

Autumn leaves, down by the border where we stopped to visit with a friend

mountain slopes

A cup of tea at the end of the drive

and another day of pleasure and satisfaction...

so glad that Charles and I decided

to have six lovely children

all of whom are so kind to me, 

and so great to be with!!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2019


October 20th, 2019

Turnips for supper
(or Rutabaga if you must...)

I love their sweetness!

One year, when we were still farming 

and into planting vegetables,

as well as harvesting fruit,

we planted seven miles of rutabagas...

up one row and down another,

up another, and down the next

until we had completed seven miles of turnips.

We got a good price for them, too!

It was late in the season when we planted them,

probably  the end of July,

and we harvested them with the first frost.

Some in the family don't like turnips,

but I love them.

Somewhere I have a picture of Charles

cutting and tailoring the Rutabaga for market

to lend a bit of elegance to this homey vegetable

(I think perhaps it was on the movie camera  -

I seem to remember his movements, his grin,

and Candy, our favourite dog, coming to see

what he might be doing)

I ran across this little poem tonight,. by Laura Grace Weldon

who I think might have had the same fondness for 

rutabagas as I had, and that I encouraged amongst the children

although there are still some whose face goes

all funny when you mention 'turnips'


 "you darken as my knife slices
blushing at what you become
I save your thick leaves,
your purple skin
to feed the cows.

A peasant guest at any meal
you agree to hide in fragrant stew
or gleam nakedly
in butter and chives

Though your seeds are tiny
you grow with fierce will
grateful for poor soil and dry days,
heave up from the ground
under sheltering stalks
and wait to sweeten with the frost.

Tonight we take you into our bodies
as if we do you a favor,
letting your molecules
become as higher being,
one that knows music and art.

But you share with us
what makes you a rutabaga.
Through you we eat sunlight,
taste the soil's clamoring mysteries,
gain your seed's perfect might."

There is enough left for supper tomorrow night..

mashed, and maybe heated with a

little butter and brown sugar.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Another beautiful October day

Autumn is stealing into the trees and shrubs

that line the little creek bed

at the back of the meadow across the lane!

I watch for the deer family

that have taken up residence there

but only occasionally see

the hind end of Mama,

and a peek at the little one.

If I were to spend more time in the garden,

putting it to bed;

gathering leaves and stalks to put

in the yard waste barrels;

and cutting back the herbs to bring in and dry,

well then I might see more of the deer family.....

If I should be weaving at the Le Clerc

I would be looking out the window

that faces on the meadow,

but right now I am doing Christmas Runners

and towels on the Glimakra,

and all I see out the window in that room

is the roof top of the neighbour's shed

and the walnut trees that tower over it.

Nobody picks the walnuts

but when the wind blows they end up in the lane

and my son-in-law rescues them,

shells them and puts the walnut meat in quart jars,

and one of these days I am going to 

sugar some, and put them away for Christmas!!

In the meantime I am making soup....

this morning's menu

Leek and Potato!!


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Saturday, Ocober 12th, 2019

Well, this has really been quite a delightful day.

A quiet, serene daybreak
Blue skies and sunshine to follow....

The neighbour's trees are turning that lovely autumn yellow, - 
their leaves falling
whenever a little gust of wind arises
so that the garden spot I look out upon
is jeweled with ripe Golden Delicious apples
and crisp fall bits of scarlet from the Sumac.

This is not part of her garden, per se
but the small fenced yard has a randomness
that is quite lovely amongst all the ordered gardens
in the neighbourhood.
Some pine trees, a pretty climber against 
the garden shed, a bed of tomatoes, a picket fence
and a hiding spot for numerous street cats
that I am forevcer shooing away from my
numerous bird feeders.

I went shopping in the morning,
with my daughter-in-law, - and that was a pleasure.
We had time to talk and discuss plans for Thanksgiving dinner
and before we came home we put flowers in the Church
and we went and did our civic duty, and voted
for a federal representative. 
I was reminded of the days when I was younger
and quite often the Supervisor of the Vote
in the village.,
and it was diffetrent being 'just' a voter
and not part of the 'crew'....but fitting!

In the afternoon Charles' neice (my neice in law)
came to visit on her way home to the Fraser Valley 
after a short stay in the south Okanagan...
and that was a great pleasure too!
I always enjoy her visits,  and..
she brought Tim Bits with her (as well as a friend).....
 the remainder of the Tim Bits is still in the fridge,
and will be a delicious bite before bedtime!

Beautiful full moon tonight..
A gorgeous end to the day
as it sails over the mountain tops

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend here in Canada
I find much to be thankful for!!!!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Thoughts and meditations.....

'"He who has gone,
so we but cherish his memory,
abides with us, more potent, nay more present
than the living man.'"

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living."

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

I have been thinking a lot lately, - about life,
about the glorious living of it,
about life after,
and about how long this life is perpetuated by those of us 
who remember, and those of us
who care enough to preserve....'

A small excerpt from a long ago post inspired 
by what would have been my father's 110th birthday,
and the thoughts of preserving and passing on
the memories I have of him, --
and of all those dear ones who have 
gone on ahead of us....

And yet again I have been inspired to write of these
cherished ones by passing on some of my memories
of my father in conversation
with my youngest son who is visiting
from the Chilcotin.

As I grow more ancient I am sometimes anxiously aware
of this need to "pass along"
and I make a conscious effort to
tell stories, bring memories alive,
and label the great treasure of snapshots
we have accumulated over the years.

(Sometimes I wonder if I am a terrible bore - more of Grandma's
stories.  I'm sure I have heard that one before about lassoing
the gophers on the prairies....
sigh.....but I  persist and know that
someday they will be appreciated!!  I do
try to remember just who I have told this
story to before -- it helps when I see their
eyes glaze over!!!!!!)

I suppose that as long as I live here with
the cat and the dog for company
I will continue to talk to them
and sometimes to the dear one I
shared wedded bliss with....

He doesn't answer, but I know what
he would be thinking after
such a long and wonderful association.

Another October
and so far the sun has been shining
and the leaves have been donning
their autumn finery

I am looking forward to a drive in the hills!

Life is good...

Friday, October 04, 2019

Dorothy Emily Grace

Sixty-two years since my mother died

Time passes
Memories fade
but Love is sustained forever

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Still Raining!

September 29th, 2019

Yes, still raining....

I should not complain - lawns love it, flowers love it, wonderful way to go into the winter.....

but September has certainly not been as my memories cherish it!!!

The leaves on the trees are so nourished with rain

they are stillgreen and flourishing

Just one lone tree in front of the City Hall is slowly turning golden,

and that may be because it is absorbing all the tax money

that citizens are turning in!!

However, - the weatherman forecasts sunshine for the coming week

so perhaps October will be dry, and sunny, and satisfy us with autumn colours!!

A visit from our youngest son, today

and while here he so kindlyand graciously

tucked himself under the Glimakra and for a number of hours

moved pegs from one treadle to another, - I think all eighty of them

so when I dress the loom in my brand new warp

I will have a brand new pattern to follow.

When I first met my husband, we talked about marriage, and family,

and decided we would have six children - 

(three and three with a little hiatus in between)

it was all a lovely dream..

He went overseas during the war, and did his thing with 

the wonderful Lancaster, - came home safely; 

we got married, and all our dreams started to come true!!

Even the six children - and we never regretted it!!!

(well, maybe there were a few moments of worry and frustration

over the years......part  of being a parent)

As I grow more ancient, 

I also grow more and more appreciative of the company of those

six wonderful children and their families.....

the things they do for me, 

and the care they give me.

And I bless them all......

Today I am most particularly grateful for the time spent under the loom

and even the raindrops that keep falling.

falling, falling........

and the snow that is half way down the mountain

so early in the year!

October is bound to be bright and colourful

as we enjoy an "Indian Summer"

Saturday, September 14, 2019

September 14th, 2019

Ah yes, - tomorrow we will be half way through September!

It's been a lovely month

and the garden has responded nicely;;;

the asters blooming

and the last of the barn flowers reaching heavenward

oh dear, it is such a jungle!

The lawn just loves the mild autumn weather

and of course, I should be outside while September is so kind

(next week the forecast is for rain, at least until Friday)

But no, - I have been inside at the loom

and now the four shaft Le Clerc is sitting naked

in the loom room, - the towels that clothed her

unrolled from the beam, washed, pressed and looking

forward to being hemmed as they hang on the

hallway railing....lovely fall collours to brighten

the house.

I am spending my weaving time in my bedroom,

where the big Glimakra lives.

finishing off a lovely black runner with a little

white overshot and a fantastic fringe  (which is

what attracted me to the draft in the first place).

I will post a picture when it is finished.

Sunday tomorrow, and I plan to get up and make scones

to feed any and all family who might come to visit!!!

And any that  are left

I will enjoy next week,

with tea, - while the rain comes down!!

My bones and the weatherman

are quite adamant

that this is going to happen.

I missed seeing the Harvest Moon last night

despite waking up numerous times

during the night,  but

the clouds had rolled in.

But here is Leon Redbone

and his wonderful Harvest Moon,

and that will bring me pleasure..

You too, I hope...

Monday, September 09, 2019

September 9th, 2019
Monday again!!!

The days are getting shorter --
8.00 p.m. and already the shadows have drawn in
and the evening begins to darken.

(Bruce can no longer see the cat who has been saucily sitting
on the shed roof, across the street,
challenging him to wear himself out barking....
and so the night is quieter, too!)

I have finished in the kitchen...
coffee on for early morning,
and in the hour or so before my youngest son
pops in to discuss our days
and say goodnight
I am planning to refamiliarize myself with the ukulele music
that the ladies are playing Tuesday mornings.

I have not been going to practice
over the summer.......
just strumming a bit over breakfast, here at home
and so I must remind myself how to pick, and strum the chords
and make sure everything is in tune.

 Here is my audience!!!

Out in the garden yesterday, and I picked a few of the last barn flowers and
some of the autumn crocus 

There won't be many more garden flowers to put on
the shelf that holds reminders
of the beloved,
although the sedum has not bloomed yet
and there are also the gloriously coloured
fall leaves

I found a few raspberries
and they perked up the breakfast cereal

When I am not in the garden, clearing away the wonderful remains of summer,
I am most often in the loom room...

Here are the towels I am making - I am on my fourth
and anxious to finish
so I can do another warp of these
amazingly beautiful fall colours....

Here is another rendition of September Song

by dear old Willie Nelson

Sunday, September 01, 2019


September 1st 2019

and a warm welcome to September.

my most favourite month!!!

This is the month that seems to me most like New Years

It is, as a matter of fact, the beginning of the year for me

and always has been!!

The excitement of September is only exceeded by the relief I feel

at having shut the door on August!!

This is the month the children, and mother, went back to school!

The month when all community activities started again, after a summer hiatus...

and with enthusiasm and great plans for the coming year.

This is the month when the sun was kind to us

and ceased shining upon us with broiling heat

while we struggled with fuzzy peaches

and pears whose state of maturity was always a mystery to me.

I am a glutton for knowledge, and learning

and after the children all finished grade school

I went back to college courses,

and to my weaving and spinning,

and the library

and bridge,

and music,

and all sorts of things to stir my enthusiasm.

In later years it was a time when Charles and I would indulge

in back road drives, and photography...

"Would you like to take a drive this afternoon?"  I would ask

and he was always willing and a great

participant with his fine eye as to what would make a great picture.

Here are some snaps we took on one of the last

of these afternoon adventures....

and another picture by Brian Lasaga 

Beautiful Autumn - painting by Alfred East 

And below is one that somewhat illustrates a book I am now reading, by 

Robert McFarlane, Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards

entitled "Holloway" (a sunken path)

"a route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit

wheel- roll and rain-run have harrowed

deep into bedrock"

It is only a little mini book

but it contains a wealth of interesting

information, and the writing is intriguing.

I ran across this mindful poem, Burton D. Carley

September Meditation

 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
renenbers 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 evergreeen 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 expected.

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

Well, if this is so, I will have nothing but good to say about

September - this lovely month.

When one gets to be as old as dirt the Septembers
remaining for one to enjoy are perhaps a little limited,
so I expect to put my heart and soul
into this one!!!

Here is a little warp I am in the midst of putting
on the loom
for a run of hand towels for various family kitchens...

September colours of red and rust and yellow

and a woollen shawl I just finished

to ward off the winter weather.

Happy September!!!!