Tuesday, December 21, 2021

December 21at, 2021 Ribbons and bows, - ribbons and bow.... I have been knee deep in ribbons and bows this morning, but it is time to leave them for a little lunch, Too early for a small glass of sherry but a little lunch time respite would be nice! I am gradually contributing to the 'filling of the bags' but there does seem to be an awful lot of them. Part of the pleasure of having a large family. There are all sorts of books stacked beside me, awaiting Christmas wrapping, and the scarves I wove this fall are disappearing into Christmas boxes to spend the rest of their lives around others' necks. It was great fun making them, and great to have family to give them to!! The sun is shining today, - lots of blue sky. A change from the mild but dreary days that mid-December has brought us. I was up in the night and lingered to look at the high moon of this winter solstice. We have had snow, and will welcome a white Christmas, but I know that underneath the snow the little scarlet stubs of the spring bulbs will soon be pushing their way through the frozen earth.... I think the cookie making is a done-for-job this year, and there is a lovely big tin of shortbread available for cookie snatchers who pass through the kitchen. No pudding this year, but it was never a favourite really, and just got made for tradition's sake - my grandmother's recipe, passed through to me from my mother..... I have fond memories of Christmas at Grandmas, but they don't include the pudding or the six year old's sulking when she didn't get the "dime" Grandma hid amongst the fruit and raisins..... I find myself confined to home, - not only because it is a recommended thing to do but also because the icy paths are not favourable once you get past ninety - or maybe even eighty. Oh dear, - time is always with us, and I watch the fancy ice skaters with great pleasure, but also with memories that make me sigh when I recall the community skating rink on Alberta Avenue (still there) and the many happy hours we spent twirling around on the ice.... Well, that stack of Christmas presents isn't going to get any smaller unless I move them from the unwrapped pile to their proper place in a Christmas bag, duly signed and recorded.... As the afternoon wears on the possibility of raiding the sherry cupboard grows sweeter, so I must get on with it!!! I hope you are all enjoying these days of activity that lead to a happy Christmas, - I guess that only a housewife and mother knows the joys of preparation!!!! When I open the fridge door it does my heart good to see the little jars of lemon curd waiting patiently to turn into tart filling. And the candied cherries, dancing to decorate the shortbread - unless you are really traditional and prefer your shortbread just nicely pricked with a fork..... I hear the sherry, calling from the cupboard. Plaintively. I just know it wants to be part of the preparation!!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Friday, December 17th, 2021 It has been a while since I posted here - have been busy with Christmas cards, Christmas presents, and dressing the house up to celebrate the season. Time to stop a minute and answer the phone (my daughter, who brings me news of the day each evening) It is very icy here - we had snow, a bit of melting, another bout with cold and the ice came back to hopefully make everyone careful how they walk, or shuffle. I don't venture out myself, - it is enough to keep upright and mobile in the house. Eenings, and I am attracted by good TV programs, or a lovely read. I have been reading Robert Macfarlane (still) but new books that I purchased to give away as Christmas gifts. The one I bought for a son (I do not mention which one of the four!)is called "The Wild Places" and I quote the front cover....."An eloquent and compulsively readable reminder that, though we're laying waste the world, nature still holds sway over much of the earth's surface" Macfarlane questions whether they are any truly wild places left, but he goes on to describe journeys through some of the remarkable and amazing landscapes he walks through. I have to hurry and finish this book before I wrap it, - I shall take it to bed with me tonight!!! I also purchased a little book to go with it, called "Holloway" by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards. He describes the holloway thusly, - "the holloway is absence; a wood-way worn away by buried feet......a hollow way. a sunken path. A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed deep down into bedrock" It reminds me of a path we used to take to get to school, through tall trees and bushes. Christmas comes closer and closer..... I still have a card table laden with books and scarves and mittens, awaiting either a careful and creative wrapping or a stuffing into a Christmas bag, if I don't get on with things while there is still time before the final countdown! I find mornings when I can be most creative and 'with it' - but I will lay out the wrapping paper, the tape and the holiday ribbon before I go to bed tonight, so it will catch my eye, my fancy and my will to get on with things! I looked contemplatively at the rest of the shortbread dough that I had wrapped up and saved for another session with the oven, and probably will squeeze that into the morning agenda, too! In the meantime, I shall take my tablet and a couple of soda crackers (my dear one would have viewed frightfully the idea of taking soca crackers to bed - and it is true that I would sooner have him grumbling than any cracker crumbs!!) However, one must praise what comes to make life bearable!!!

Friday, December 03, 2021

Friday - the end of the week..... I still have tidying to do in the kitchen, and it is only 7.43 p.m., but I hear my bed calling (only faintly to start with but it's bound to become more pursuasive!!! The house looks different this Friday night than it did last Friday night, as the Spirit of Christmas has descended upon me and caused me to haul out all the celebration's decorations. Which is lovely!!!! Today I rescued the Christmas Card List from the file where I had put it last January, and I opened the package of Cards youngest son had brought me from the pharmacy (which, like all pharmacies, sells many, many things besides drugs). All the sweet, old famliar names, but it tore at my heart to have to write deceased by far too many. And things keep happening to remind me that even though the spirit might be ready to celebrate Christmas chores the old body is all ears when it comes to the bed calling out!!!! For the last few years I have foregone the personal letter and written to one and all by computer, the same news of the year, adding to it my personal scrawl of love and remembrance. I think that is allowed when you hit ninety five, and if it is not allowed, well, I was always one for ignoring rules if they didn't make any sense. The drawer of Christmas ornaments also contains a whole pack of memories, and so when I open it I also let our all those remembrances. A mixture of sadness, gratitude, and some humour..... I notice that some of the ornaments seem to be showing their age, but it is a lovely maturing and in the candle light of Christmas Eve they look quite O.K. Youngest son brought home some mince meat from the store, - I may have mentioned before that I have given up "mincemeat from scratch" but I might add a few few apple slivers to add that final touch. And a raisin or two...... I am somewhat moved to make pastry, tomorrow, and tuck some tart shells away in the freezer until they are ready for mincemenat and lemon curd and maybe some strawberry jam. However, I say this in the evening, and who knows what the morning might bring that discourages me from baking again another day..... Which reminds me, - I still have dishes in the kitchen sink and I learned early in life that 'dishes in the sink' are not the thig to get up to in the morning.....so I am off to make order out of chaos!!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday,November 29th, 2021 We are coming to the end of November, - that gloomy month and that day which dawned this morning with low hanging clouds and a most Novemberish attitude. But somewhere, someone called the sun forth to remind the people of earth that December was almost upon us - that month of gladsome celebration!! I have started making mittens already to put under various family Christmas trees! It keeps me busy each day and evening as I watch curling and dream dreams of Christmases past....... Youngest son came upon a Christmas wreath and hung it by the door as a reminder to get out the tinsel and the decorations that foretell the coming celebration of the arrival of both the Son of God and Santa Claus Time for me to dig out the boxes of glittering balls and greenery and keep the knitting needles clicking. Son-in-law Frank has laden with twinkling lights the branches of the evergreen that is gradually taking over the eastern half of the front yard. Charles warnecd of this, but alas, nobody can prune trees like he used to! In years past I would have thought the date called for the mixing of the Christmas pudding, but I have given that up. Nevertheless it is past time when the Christmas cake should be shrouded in linen and set to absorb the brandy that was so generously added to it. Ah dear, at ninety six much of Christmas bustle lives in my memories where it reminds me what a wonderful life it has been. And how many glorious Christmases we celebrated when our last task Christmas Eve was to fill the children's stockings "hung by the chimney with care" .......and with Mum and Dad having a last sip of Christmas Brandy. More on Christmas and its preparations coming.....I think the next reminder will be the big red bow fastened to the front door.... In younger days, when we lived on the hill in Cawston, Charles had constructed a large star on the west side of our house. It was lit by strings of lights, and it shone each Christmas above the orchards all planted and occupied by veterans of the second world war.... They were lovely years with young children and dear friends all around.......good memories!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Monday, November 15th How did it get to be the middle of November, I ask myself..... The days fly by and somehow they all get crammed and filled with things I want to do, and things I should do, and there isn't much time left for writing and recording..... However, this morning my back is aching, and I gave up on the loom after a few inches, or so. The easy chair and the heater that lines the back, are beckoning me, and their call gets quite insistent after a while, so I will record a few thought and activities and then go and investigate the local news as it is presented by on T.V. - sometimes I take that with a grain of salt.... It is a warm but dreary sort of day, - no cold winds or chilly air - as a matter of fact it would be a good day to spend a little while putting the garden to bed. I do need to keep an eye on it, - the Hellebore got mistaken for a weed and suffered the end that all weeds are meant for much to my chagrin! Eveenings there is a lovely moon - not quite full yet but a bright lantern in the sky that is in just the right spot to shine into my bedroom window when I crawl in under the covers.... I have been spending time at the loom, with Christmas foremost in my mind. Creative while making and hopefully gratefully received..... I seem to wind a lot of red and green and white bobbins, with a dash of gold to make them celebratory when woven. It is getting close to lunch time, and a comfy spot to watch the news intriques me and makes the easy chair almost ipossible to ignore! A minature blog, but I will be back to tell you about Fall in the Similkameen and the looming of lovely Christmas celebrations..... I am wondering why all this text seems to want to crowd into one paragraph, and haven't discovered the reason yet, - but I will keep looking, and in the meantime...........

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Cookie Day

October 27th, 2021 I didn't intend to keep busy in the kitchen this morning, - not when I woke up. I had envisioned a day in the easy chair and the new-to-me book I am reading. However Burns had it right when he remarked on the plans of men going aft agle, and I ended up with a pound of butter, the rest of the sugar I had been hoarding, and anything else you might put into cookies (like nuts and raisins, etc...) to make them disappear faster. Old habits die hard!! Will I still be making cookies when I turn one hundred???????? I am quite at home with the old china mixing bowl, - not the same one I have been using for the last 75 years, but either a cousin, or an offspring, as it bears the same production motto - made in Medicine Hat! (that's in southern Alberta for those of you who are not familiar with the source of mixing bowls in Canada....) Before I tackled the cookies I planned to make for whoever might raid the cookie jar, I answered the appealing eyes of Bruce the Dog, looking up at me, and I made him happy when I made doggie biccies first!!!!! The recipe laid for a long time where it was easy to see in the kitchen, by the stove, but now I am able to line up the ingredients from memory, and I swear Bruce knows them by heart, too, and looks with anticipation at the mixing bowl, the flour, the eggs. the peanut butter and the can of pumpkin. Lucky dog, getting home made biscuits - I have always been suspicious of the ones you buy in the store, thinking that what goes into them might be swept up on the floor - I am sure this is not so, but the idea of fresh biccies has settled in my head and I don't suppose I am about to give it up at this stage of the game!!! This afternoon I plan to make a cup of hot chocolate and treat myself to whatever came out of the oven! And I'm going to read and rest my knees! I am re-reading Wallace Stegner (The Angle of Repose) and in my pile is a book I must return to the son from whom I filched it!! It is volume five of the Randy Papers - "Me Too" (by Donald Jack. Over the years I have been entertained by his previous stories, and I am anxious to devour this one, too, before I return it to Sid, who probably wonders where it has wandered to.....) Also in the pile is Greenery Street by Denis Macrail, and I treasure it as I believe he has not written anything since. I could be wrong about this and must do some research. The other book which appeals to me for a quick sit-down-and-read story is "The Best of Brevity" (twenty groundbreasking years of flash nonfiction). The many short, short, short stories are inspiring. And then there is Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. I quote - A Smart little book that one can happily welcome into the family and allow to start growing old........ The idea of "flash nonfiction" or "flash fiction" really appeals to me, and I wish I wasn't so ancient and would maybe try to "flash" myself!!!! Well, I am off with my pile of books to make myself comfortable in the easy chair......there are many wonderful pluses to growing old! PS - note when I published this that whoever is in charge of following my wishes doesn't believe in paragraphs, - oh well, - it is readable without being fancy and well ordered, I guess......

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

October 26th, 2021 Quick, quick quick, - we are coming to the end of October and I have been so lackadaisacal about leaving a little
October note to mark the passing of the days..... It has been a lovely month, and I have had a wonderful trip up the mountain, full of memories and beautiful Similkameen spots. Thanks to Vince, who made a fine companion and a most willing driver....
Now to enjoy life, sunshine and the muted fall colours in the lower Similkameen, here at home and in the back garden and the meadow between me and the forested creek....

Thursday, September 30, 2021

September 30th...... The last day of this glorious month, but it contains promises of sunshine and lovely fall days during October, which can be just as beautiful and heart warming.... The sun is shining, - there is a slight breeze, and I wonder why I am here, crouched over the keyboard, when I should be out in the garden snipping off summer blooms to make room for autumn colours...

Thursday, September 16, 2021

 Thursday, September 16th

A lovely sunny September day, - it is fresh and cool, the sky is blue and the August noontime heat has gone away until next year- it is the kind of a day that reminds me why I love this month so much.....

I am about to make a chicken sandwich,  and take it out into the back garden to lunch amidst this beautiful autumn air.  Maybe I'll have an ice cream cone, too.........

Bruce, the dog, is coming with me too - I wish I could trust Callie the cat, but she is somewhat inclined to climb trees and hop over fences, and being of an age where I am somewhat inclined not to hop after her..so I will leave her hanging around on the back porch, where she can watch out the window.

I see that the boys have some of their pots of greenery out to soak up the sunshine and I follow their example and nudge the pots of petunias out of the shade and into the light....  September is definitely time to enjoy these last flowers of summer as October will quite surely bring coloured leaves strewn in their place.

Already these blooms are turning papery and shades of orange among the dried out grasses. Youngest son brought in some of the fall crocus yesterday - a beautiful clump of pure white balloons.....

I look forward to an autumn outing in the hills and am sure I will find someone amongst the children who will share my anticipation......  The creek runs merrily along some of the back roads between here and Penticton - now THAT would be a nice place to have a chicken sandwich and a cup of cider! 

There is time yet, - it will be a couple of weeks before fall has truly made its presence felt - the nights are cooler but the autumn flowers are just contemplating their blooming and it will be a while before such glorious colours as those below will be part of the landscape..

I will wait patiently!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

 September 8th, 2021

A little break from winding warp....

 I have two naked looms, - one in particular crying out to be dressed.  It is squeezed in between my bed and the wall, and it is much more comfortable when it is dressed in a nice  warp (as I plan to do - maybe today!)  I would rather not hear any complaining at night when I am trying to sleep.........(just in case the loom feels its nakedness when the cool evening breeze blows in the open window)

Anyway, today I am in the middle of winding a lovely grey silk warp, 6 yards long so I will have length for two scarves for sure, and maybe three.  I count to twenty and then wrap the ends with a counting thread that follows along from start to finish,  I figure on twenty to the inch, which should give me a nice drapey fabric, so round and round we go until I have reached 15, or maybe 16 inches worth   - at least three hundred wraps.

It is a smokey day, with the clouds moving up from Washington where I believe the closest fires are burning, - I saw pictures of these fires last night  and was so very grateful that British Columbia is not so inflamed (as we have been in past years).

We are into September. - a month I love.... have always loved,  when it became 
time to go back to school.

School may not be everyone's cup of tea but I reveled in it, and still do take advantage of any opportunity that comes my way to learn something new.

Mind you, not all the things you learn these days are to the average persons' advantage
but this morning I got a very small cheque in the mail.

A Covid rebate, - the cheque was normal size, but the amount was small.

  I don't think that has anything to do with learning...I stay very close to home these days and don't expose myself to any of the strange germs that may be floating around.  Good days to turn my attention to the loom and awaken the creative juices.

Bruce and I spend a lot of time outdoors, - there are lots of blossoms that have seen better days and need to be snipped off.  Soon the asters will be in bloom and the garden will turn from the yellow of wall flowers and the golden blooms of the marigold to fall's beautiful purple colours.

Youngest son brings home peaches and apples - 

I have yet to make an apple pie but it is on my list of things to do...... 

 Peaches get eaten sliced, and smothered in ice cream.....

ah, it is lunch time

goodbye for now, 

wherever you are I hope September is being kind to you!


Sunday, August 29th, 2021

Sunday seems to be my day to Blog here, and I don't really know why as things of importance do happen on other days, - not often, I admit.  I seem to have reached the stage in life where nothing terribly important happens - we are between  generations and no new babies get born, or no one of the older generation dies, (although that deems possible on a distant horizon)  - but life goes on!!!! Quite ordinarily, I do admit, but less drama means more comfort! 

I get up at six and go to bed at ten, and in between I do the necessary things to make life comfortable, - take pleasure in the family who visits from across the lane or down the road, and wait out my time on this beautiful earth either in the garden or at the loom.

Youngest son has made the back bedroom his, and in the evening he comes about nine, - we discuss the day and any news he might bring that circulates around the village, or the family.  And then I go to bed.  I take a few crackers and my tablet that gives me access to Candy Crush, or news of the Day, and I circulate that around in my brain and wonder sometimes what the world is coming too!!!!  But then other times I go to sleep, content with what the day has brought, both locally and world-wide.  Is that because I am sleepy and less aware?  I hesitate to say that is so, but alas, it might be!!

It seems to me that the little world I live in is circling tight around me......the church I attended for so many years and where I played the organ at the service of deconsecration) is now to be a place where the indigenous can gather and the Anglican/United Church congregation which occupied it for a hundred years has fallen apart at the seams.......I may have mentioned this in a previous blog -it has been much on my mind.  I have memories of Charles, indicating from the congregation that I should play louder, or softer  - maybe I mentioned that, too!!!

Well, I have wonderful memories, and 96 doesn't behoove me to scurry around and get dressed for church of a Sunday morning (church online, in your jammies or nightgown can be almost as inspiring, though one does miss the rest of the friends and congregation..... one is also not inclined to nod off if the sermon gets dull, although I am not admitting to that, of course!!!   It is easy to change channels though.... 

It is a lovely day, - cool but sunny and the advent of September just around the corner is very welcome.  On the Second of September there are plans for me to go to Penticton to sign something or other in front of a Notary, and the thoughts of making that familiar trip give me much pleasure.  I might even get into a shop or two, depending upon which son is driving and what the rest of the day holds for him!!!  

Well, I shall post this, and the Dog (Bruce) and I will go out into the back garden and have a nice drink in the shade, while we admire how beautifully it has grown, - and private, as the fence is pretty well all covered with yellow blooms.....

My daughter brought me a lamb chop for supper - Something to think about while we have a before dinner glass..........

Here is a picture of Bruce - not sure of his lineage but he is a doggie's dog, - lovable, sweet and orderly.

He is friendly with Misty, the cat.... who delights in my loom and the time we spend weaving....

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

 Tuesday, August 17th

I shake my head and roll my eyes when I check both the calendar and the telephone to apprise myself of the date!!!  The smoke from various fires keeps me in the house, and the sky is hiding its beautiful August blueness behind clouds and haze - can this really be summertime, summertime, when the sun shines bright and the birds sing gaily.....  Ah well, often the last two weeks in August  are wet and miserable - portends of fall, but then we are blest with sunny September......and October can be very beautiful too, here in the Similkameen.   I go through the photos that Charles and I took over the years when we motored through the countryside, when the summer heat was gone and before November frowned upon us.  Lovely years and such wonderful comforting memories..... This is not a photo that we took, but one that speaks so beautifully of fall....

Today is reminiscent of stew and baked potatoes and homemade bread -- I contented myself with popping a potato in the oven to have with a bit of leftover chicken and a piece of apple pie brought by my loving daughter!  That would be after the ginger ale and orange brandy......

I have been busy today, hemming the towels that came off the loom and are earmarked as Christmas presents.  Also have half a warp wound in anticipation of a couple or three silk scarves.  I scrounge around bedroom shelves where I have stashed cones of cotton, and make plans and have dreams of lovely striped and checkered towels. - sometimes I feel it is time in my life to make good use of all the odds and ends of cotton and silk because I have failed in my attempts to inspire family weavers who would be glad of them when I might be gone (false anticipation, - I am sure at some point I will be gone, as are we all!)

The garden is beginning to show signs of late summer beauty.  There are a few peonies budding out nicely, and all the yellow daisies are suspect of wanting to take over the garden.

These peonies are from the garden on 10th, a few years ago.  Nothing as spectacular hereabouts.....

and so are these, - a collage of peonies and poppies with a few statice thrown in for good luck.....it seems my early morning gardening is a thing of the treasured past and I must content myself with poking and digging and a lot of yellow daisy like flowers that flourish (I kid you not) here, there and everywhere!!

In the evenings the house is awash with the scent of hostas (I think that is the name) and the dresser that flanks the entrance to the house reflects the beautiful bouquets I have been given lately by family who stopped by and whose presence was so very welcome.  

This last Sunday our oldest son came with his wife to attend the last service to be held in St. John's. the church that has been home for the last seventy years, but is now being deconsecrated and used by the Indigenous people of the valley.  I am not sure where the decision to do this came from - it has left me with very mixed feelings.

I played the organ at this last St. John's service, and was glad of the opportunity to do that - though saddened..... times and values change, one grows older and sometimes the act of adjustment is harder than at other times......   

The Bishop came, and one of our dearly loved and former priests was present. 

I was very conscious of how my dear husband would have responded - he was so stable and so adept at adjusting to life and the surprises it brings.  I missed him.

Monday, August 16, 2021

 Monday, August 16th

I must at least acknowledge August, and perhaps I will regain the habit of writing the months away, once again, if I persist!

Another smoky day - not as bad as it has been these last few weeks - at least one can see the mountain across the valley even if the sky is clouded and the smoke from surrounding fires makes the day dull and not nice to be out in......

I am up early, - , the cat and I.  Youngest son, who has taken to keeping me company in the house at night (much appreciated)  still sleeps on, - and Bruce, the dog, persists in burrowing his head in the pillows on the couch, - nature not having overtaken him yet!

I find this is my memory time, - I linger over breakfast and coffee, - sometimes I read a bit, or lose myself in long ago contributions to Daybyday.  Being ninety-six provides one with a lot of memories of years gone by, and of people who once inhabited my life but now have gone on to whatever awaits them in the future.  If there is a future????

I have been thinking this morning of the years of my youth when I lived with my family in Edmonton. 

 Across the road was a tennis court where my father used to play while he was still able, - and up the street the rectory where the Canon and Mrs. Clough lived, a place that was as familiar to me as the home we inhabited in those depression year 

My parents struggled to purchase this newly built house, but in the end I think those hard and difficult years overcame their desire to be home owners, although my father worked for T.H. Peacock all through the Thirties....  We moved to the West End, - not to one of the elegant houses that the West End was famous for, but to a smaller dwelling with a wonderful vegetable garden, out on the St. Albert Trail.  Good years!  My sister went to High School there, - I caught the street car every morning to go to work in the City Architect's office.  Time marched on.......and memories grew more poignant as the war years overtook us.

That was in the long ago years, - in the present I am growing more used to being confined to one street, one house and one back yard, and although I don't even get to go over town ( probably because I am too nervous to make the journey on the scooter) I welcome all who come through my door to visit!!!! Especially family, and they are so good about that.

                                         Old picture, taken while the Beloved was still with us.


Monday, July 12, 2021

July 7th, 2021

I write this on the anniversary of my sister's birth, ninety one years ago.  

She has been gone now, for a number of years, and I do miss her so, - always wonderful to see her, and spend time with her, over the years - and when that wasn't possible the phone was a dear substitute.....and the camera.....

                                                                sometime after I left home...
                                                                  Dot, in her Easter finery

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

June 2nd, 2021

Sundays come and Sundays go, - two of them have passed by since I last wrote here and we have left May behind as we say hello to June -  but they have encompassed busy weeks.  Or lazy ones, - or a combination of the two!!!

A warm day, and the shady spot in the back garden was enticing this afternoon...

I am an early riser and am out before breakfast to enjoy the coolness of the garden - pull a few weeds and relieve the plants of the blooms that have wrinkled up overnight after a hot afternoon.....  I am reminded of the mornings when I used to slip out of bed and sometimes spend an hour before Charles would rise and call from the window.  Lovely memories....

Now I take my coffee with me, and Bruce (The Dog) and neither of us are as energetic as we once were, but content to wander a bit and tidy up the beds.

The peonies are out,  the lovely floppy white ones and the sweet pink clusters, - the cabbage roses wander over the gate that leads to the garden and those beautiful purple clematis are just starting to bloom.  June is such a dear time in the flower beds that line the lawn.

                               Today was very hot, and I sat in the shade at the back of the house, 

                                                                        with a cold drink, 

                   and thought about how very lucky I am to be surrounded by such beautiful blooms

                             and how much my dear one would have enjoyed the afternoon......

Charles, the flag and the garden gate...

Sunday, May 16, 2021

May 16th  2021

Sunday again, and a beautiful blue sky day, as it was yesterday and as they say it is going to be tomorrow!!!

A slight breeze cools what would probably be a hot hot afternoon, and it draws me out into the back garden where the Peonies and the Iris promise a lovely display during the next week.  The ants are exploring the peony buds these days - why is that, I wonder?  Must look it up..... I peer across the meadow that borders, and slopes down into the creek running at the bottom of the bench hill, hoping I might see the family of deer who habitat the creek bed, but the meadow is green and solitary.

I haven't been to church yet today, (online church that is) - most pleasing when you can watch and take part at your leisure, and when it is convenient.  And you could also 'choose' your church, but being born an Anglican it is where I find most comfort and inspiration, and that is usually where I end up, with the old, traditional services......   Although I find the actual church of my youth leaning somewhat towards the native land upon which the church was built, which is o.k.because the old traditional prayers and order of worship are still there.  The ones I know by heart and love.....

Here we are in the middle of May, and the garden is responding nicely to the great growing weather we are having.  Sometimes I remember with affection and longing the years when we had large gardens and a great variety of veggies and flowers, but old bones and sore muscles tell me that affection belongs in my memories, and the little bag of potatoes that got planted are enough to satisfy my gardening instincts.

Here is the big garden I speak of, and below,  the willing and well loved gardener!

When we moved to smaller quarters on the hillside orchard we concentrated more on flowers and shrubs, but I don't think we were ever without a garden in all the sixty-seven years we were married, - well, maybe the first year - married in May and many things interfered with the gardening business.....

Some of the flowers that grace the garden these days...

Here, in town, the garden is much smaller, and the only nod I have given to vegetables is a big bag of soil in which I threw a few cut up seed potatoes.

Nevertheless, youngest son drove me to the local garden spot and I came home
and filled many, many pots with the plants I couldn't pass by or resist....

Once a gardener always a gardener, I guess - regardless 
of age and creaking bones.....


Sunday, May 02, 2021

 Saturday, the first of May

by Peter Burn

Queen of monrhs, supremely fair,

Clothe with garments rich and rare,

None in beauty can compare

With thee, sweet May

Lovely month, thou bringest mirth,

Spreadest sweetness o'er the earth,

Causest Nature to give birth

To fruits and flowers

Thou are love by young and old

Joys for each though dost enfold

Never shall our hearts grow cold

To thee, sweet May

I love May, - it has so many garden delights, and it has brought so many

other delights, that have made life eternally enjoyable, 

eternally meaningful!!

Friday, April 30, 2021

 April 29th, 2021

Our eldest daughter's seventy-second birthday, and wow, does that ever make me feel old!!!!

She is probably not feeling terribly young, either, but life goes on, day by day, and somehow one does not notice how quickly the years pass by.  How one no longer skips down the stairs, bends easily or, even when that is accomplished, straightens up - even more difficult is rising from a crouch.  Oh well, who crouches these days.  My dearest left behind him a thing-a-ma-jig that picks things up off the floor and has banished forever the long reaches and the dangerous knee bends......

Spring is settling in, - a rather overcast day, but warm and pleasant, and Bruce and I spent a little time in the back garden, searching for unfolding leaves and bursting buds.  The peonies show lovely signs of a May time selection on the stage, and along with the iris that are beginning to sending sweet swards skywards it should make for a pleasing show.

In the meantime the Alium are about to burst into a lovely purple globe, and there are a few tentative buds on the scarlet Poppies.

Youngest son arrived for evening visit - a hiatus.   - I will be back

.Later - there is a decision to be made.  Shall I continue writing or shall I answer the call of the bed, which is terribly beguiling, even though I sleep alone!

Sorry, - bed wins.  Watch for me in the morning......


Sunday, April 25, 2021

 April 25th, 2021

Seventy-eight years ago today that I met my darling husband!

Easter Sunday, and down by the riverside, where Norma and I had packed a frying pan, some potatoes to fry and a pork chop or two!

In my mind's eye I see my lovely airman, his jacket thrown across his shoulder, gazing down the river......

"Slow down" I say to my friend, - "he may catch up!"

And he did, -

We fed him fried spuds and pork chops and I spent the rest of his life as the one whose hand he held when we came to the end of the pathway along the North Saskachewan, and whose hand I held at the end of his life.

A day of memories, - lovely ones, sad ones,  grateful ones, happy ones - I am full to overflowing!!

About to graduate from the Initial Training School in Edmonton as a Pilot in training he went on to Calgary that wonderful summer of 1943, and spent his "48s" in Edmonton.  On leave, I accompanied him home to Penticton, where we became engaged and I wore his ring with prayers that he would survive with his crew the OPS that were ahead of him.

He did, - we were married, had a family of six,  -sixty seven years of marriage and so very many memories!!!

I came across this poem of Mary Oliver's that somehow seemed appropriate.....

"Sixty-seven years, oh Lord, to look at the clouds, the trees in deep, moist summer.

daisies and morning glories opening every morning

their small, ecstatic faces...or maybe I should just say

how I wish I had a voice like the meadowlark's

sweet, clear and reliably slurring all day long

from the fencepost, or the long grass where it lives

in a tiny but adequate grass hut beside the mullein and the everlasting

the faint pink roses that have never been improved,  but come to bud, 

then open like little soft sighs under the meadowlark's whistle, its breath-praise,

its thrill-song, its anthem, its thanks, its Alleluia, oh Lord."

Life is good.....pork chops and fried potatoes were always a favourite!

Friday, April 23, 2021

 April 15th, 2021

A sunny day, - the leaves are slowly unfolding on the tree outside my window, - through it's branches I see the blossoms on the neighbour's small apricot tree, and further along the beautiful blue sky that enchants me and invites me to take Bruce out with me whilst I enjoy a mid-morning cup of coffee.

Off we go!!

April 22nd, 2021

Well, one would wonder where we were 'off to' - certainly not to continue this bits and pieces of blog......

Perhaps I will try again.  Spring, and it is a wonderfully sunny day, - the leaves have probably quadrupled in size and the early fruit tree blossoms decorate the hillside orchards, - soon the apple blossoms will unfold, and I will be back in my memories to 'apple blossom time' and what the phrase meant to the romance that Charles and I fell into in May of 1943.....

I got lost in memories, and now it is April 23rd, but perhaps I will finish this post before I go out into the sunshine and inspect the growing peonies and yellow daisies....  Frank  (SIL) cut the lawns yesterday - a sure sign that Summer looms and will follow Spring in great haste....  I look forward to going for a drive through the valley, and perhaps will hear a meadowlark, or two.  Being 96 and bereft of a driver's license keeps me from enjoying a quick spring time trip  but I am thankful for sons who volunteer their chauffeuring time and skills.  And thankful for earlier times when Charles and I dawdled through the valley and the hills and 'made memories' that are so precious to me now.

I take the camera out into the garden and capture some of its early loveliness......

and in the house branches of forsythia brighten up every corner.....

|Maybe this afternoon we will go in search of apple blossoms, although it is a little early for them yet.....

Still, - hope springs eternal, and there might even be a bluebird, or two.

Friday, March 19, 2021

 March the 19th - the last day of winter......

There are small signs of spring!

The catkins are growing longer, fatter and more pregnant....the Daphne is in violet bloom - and speaking of violets, I saw two peeking out of the lawn that lines the driveway, - small and shy, but indicative of good things to come!!!

I have yet to see a Dandelion, but when I do I will know that Spring is with us, for sure.  In the meantime we all take advantage of sunny hours and delight in the fact that at times the wind is not sharp and chill, but speaks of balmy wafts.

I saw my youngest son raking dried leaves and bringing order to the lawns and flower beds.  Well, really there is only one lawn, and handkerchief size at that, but a small back yard is just what you need when you get elderly and aren't out at six in the morning, gardening!!!  As I used to do, when we had three acres, a large area of lawns and a forty by eighty vegetable and flower garden.  To say nothing of the beds that lined the log fence Charles built..... heavenly!  So lucky to have had those years of passionate gardening.

As I wrote these words a tune came into my mind, - one that I have been playing sentimentally on the piano - "Among my Souvenirs".  What would we do without memories!!!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

 March 13th, - Saturday morning

It is Nine a.m. and I am on my third cup of coffee.

Meditating on things that evolved at the church meeting yesterday.

Wondering when the Parish Hall will become a part of the Indigenous community, and if they really mean that eventually St. John's church will be de-sanctified.  My hearing is woefully inadequate, and sometimes I get the wrong impression of what is happening, or due to happen, and have to wait until it actually DOES happen to find out if I was right or wrong.

Waiting for youngest son to arrive so that I can go and retrieve some of the things which are precious to our family, - the plaque in memory of Charles' two brothers who fell in battle and the bell pull that my beloved wove - I can't reach the belfry that one of our sons fashioned at his metal shop, but hopefully it can be reinstated somewhere where it will be claimed dear to us.

Life does change, - the way people think changes, and I feel old and out of things.  Well, I am old, - 96 is not to be included with the young and active, but still..........

Time passes....although this is not relevant to what I have been thinking, the trees are starting to bud, - the Daphne is in bloom and it is time to turn the clocks ahead to enjoy the long spring evenings.

I have been reading up on "flash essays" and find that to fashion one or two is quite inviting, and maybe I will do that - it seems that I have many things that I could express an opinion about!!!!!

It is a sweet spring day, and perhaps Bruce and I will do things in the garden this morning.  Would love to take the cat out as well, but I don't feel nimble enough to chase after her if she should decide to scale the fence and run off down the lane!!  Perhaps I could take Charles' cart - maybe I could even venture up the street with it.  Over town is taboo, I think , but there are plenty of back streets that we could toodle along.  Well, I will see, - in the meantime there are things to do in the house, so I am off to wash the breakfast dishes and consider setting some bread to rise......

Happy Springtime!!!  Catkins are getting longer and fatter and the sky is blue......lovely!!!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2021


I know these guys have been here before,

but once again, as February fades

and March marches on stage.....

here they are again to emphasize

what's been floating around in February,

and what we can expect in the windy

blowsy month of March...


Well, I started this post some days ago

and never did get to tell you about what we can expect

in the blowsy month of March.

The one thing I can say here is that

it is the 3rd of the month

and there has not been even a hint of a breeze

to blow the March Hare in!!!

However, I can tell you a little about

the "Good Intentions" that I am browsing through.

A collection of Ogden Nash

that Charles and I bought soon after we were married

to start filling the bookcase.

Probably the 1942 edition.

The scarlet that encloses these well loved poems

was once a blazing red, but now fits in

beautifully with the rest of the books that have rested

on the bookshelf for the last fifty years - or so!

I take them from the shelves every now and then

and although Ogden Nash is probably a has-been now

to me he is a forever-humorous.....

His poems may be of a different time,

and not too current,

but to someone who came to maturity in the middle

of the last century, they are

quite precious.

There are long poems that take up a couple of pages,

and there are little short ones

that have told their tale in only

a few lines,

but they are concise and they stay with one....

for example


Sally Rand

Needs an extra hand.

Not everyone would be familiar with Sally Rand

but to those who know, her name brings

a picture of half naked ladies with VERY large fans.

.There are another few words about


The parsnip, children, I repeat

Is simply an anemic beet.

Some people call the parsnip edible;

Myself, I find this claim incredible.

There are other longer

and even more humorous poems

and I can only recommend to you that if you

happen upon a second-hand book store

you make a search of Ogden Nash -

or probably you can find him on your computer

and spend a happy hour ot two

being amused......

or bemused  if you are growing old

and reading this poem, ( that causes me to think!!!!!!)

"Senescence begins

and middle age ends

the day your descendants

outnumber your friends."

Thursday, February 11, 2021

 Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Well, really it is Wednesday, February 10th, and I am on the verge of bed and expect a quick good-night visit from youngest son, so it is quite likely that the main portion of this correspondence will probably be accomplished some time tomorrow!!!  This is not an unlikely situation, - I find that many times  the things I muse about doing over morning coffee,  end up being a "tomorrow fact'.

However, I find that at least making a start at 'something' gives it a boost up on the possibility of it seeing the light of day within the next twenty-four hours, or so......

I have to confess to being a procrastinator, - - 'twas ever thus, and Charles was too.  This meant that life went on at a slow and stead pace without anybody becoming too agitated!!

I hear the front door open, and see that there are boots on the mat ---so Thursday, February 11th, is going to be the date this gets posted, I think!!!!


February 11th, 2021

Yes, posting day.......

Five robins in the Mountain Ash tree this morning

and the sky is a springlike blue!!

I even see a slight swelling in the catkins

and the little knobs of leaf buds

as they absorb this lovely sunshine!!!

and all those things speak SPRING.

Oh lovely, lovely.....

It will be so nice to get outside again!

Right now I am going to sit in the sunshine

and read a book on Brevity....

A lovely little book, edited by Zoe Bosslere and Dinty Moore...

One that you can pick up - read a page or two

and go on to the next 'flash nonfiction" little essays

the next time you get a yen to sit down!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2021

February 4th, 2021

Well, that was yesterday!

Blue skies and sunshine...

Today we are back to gloom, doom and a depressing grey kettle hanging over the hills and valley.

Maybe tomorrow the weather will SPRING back to something more cheerful, hopeful and uplifting!! 

                              And perhaps I am a little eager in anticipating SPRING so early!!!

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021`

What an absolutely gorgeous day, today!!

Some kind angel felt it was time to send a reminder that Spring was busy packing her bags with green grass and crocus bulbs, and would soon be on her way...

In the meantime the sun shone, all day long.  The sky was that heavenly early spring blue and any clouds that wafted across the sky were light and white and fluffy.  Perfect!!!!!

I had the front door open all day long, - the verandah swept clean and the tray with the bird feed well filled.

Of course the sun, shining through the windows, picked up and enlarged each wee speck of dust, but I was able to ignore that, - looked past it.... and knowing that M was coming tomorrow to clean house eased my conscience considerably!

It lifted my heart to new heights, - I may have said before that when one reaches antiquity each spring is precious and every moment to be enjoyed. 

Here is a lovely old rendition of Blue skies

Ella Fitzgerald
March, 1958

Saturday, January 30, 2021

January 30th, 2021

Saturday again, to which I raise my glass!

It is nice that we have only one day left of what has been this very dreary month.

I am looking forward to the prospects of a February sun and blue skies, and I hope I'm not looking in vain.....

I shouldn't complain - it has been a good month for weaving, and I have done a number of pieces with a Krogbagd theme, - will they end up as cushion covers, or mats, - or will they just satisfy my creative juices that have been flowing with some encouragement these past few weeks... It has been so satisfying, not following a pattern but just weaving as the spirit moves me.  I will post pictures when they come off the loom.....

Most evenings I traipse through the internet, but it seems that eventually I stop at Vesey's and explore the seeding section, - especially the part that features 'sweetpeas'.  For many years now I have planted the hardy type of sweetpea that (if I am lucky) comes up again in the spring, but I have a yearning now for the prairie sweetpeas we always planted along the fence at home - the ones with the beautiful fragrance.  They can transport me in a twinkling into my father's backyard garden, and the scented bouquet that sat on the window sill above the sink.

Everybody grew sweetpeas!!!  They were a feature along each fence or trellis, just as a matter of course.

There was no question about it - they were as commonplace as the garden peas and beans that grew in the vegetable gardens.  As a consequence we must have spent our summers, at least, in a perfumed air, (and that's what makes 'prairie girls' so desirable, - perhaps).

Our Okanagan and Similkameen summers are too hot for sweetpeas - or they are not hardy enough for the heat.  This may be why the perennial type is popular here, where the summers can be hot, hot, hot, and not always relieved by evening coolness

But I am going to try the scented annuals again, anyway, - planted in between the houses where there is a certain coolness and the sun doesn't beat down on the garden.  Last year I had a little bed of climbers, and they survived, so perhaps if I shade the roots I will once again have these beautiful scented blooms.

The longer I look at this picture the more my desire grows, and perhaps a little homesickness for the gardens of my youth - so, I am off to dig around in whatever the seed companies have to offer, and the First of February will seem even more hopeful, gardenwise!!!

When I pull the covers up tonight, before I sleep, I knew that if my little early morning mind alarm clock wakens me that the full moon will be shining high above - if not in a clear sky at least through the lovely clouds.  And I will gaze at it, and then pull the covers up and go back to sleep.  Tomorrow is Sunday, - I will probably go to church (online) in my nightgown and robe, now that all the church's are closed.  At least the Anglican ones - my daughter told me that the Pentecostolites have not let this awful pandemic constrain them, - and I raise my glass to them, too!!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Saturday; January 16th, 2021 

I have been held captive in the kitchen, this afternoon.  A willing captive, - a sweet surrender to a roasted chicken and a crazy chocolate cake.

And while the baking was going on, perched on a stool, delighting in Mary Oliver.....

You may not have the recipe for Crazy Chocolate cake, and I will include it in this post in case NOT.  It is now my favourite - I gave up others ways of making chocolate cake long ago, when it became apparent that it was to become a staple in the kitchen drawer, available to all lovers of chocolate when they came home from school, or wherever they might have been dawdling, or working.

This chocolate cake manufacturing effort takes one large pan, a big silver vegetable spoon for stirring, and the following ----

Dump in the large pan, (- glass is nice.  I use the blue one....)

3 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 5/8 cup of cocoa, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of vanilla

stir well, then pour over 2 cups of cold water and 2/3 cup of vegetable oil (no veggie oil in my fridge so I used a cup of apple sauce instead) and 2 tsp of vinegar.  Keep on stirring! When everyone gets to know the neighbours well pop it into the oven (350 degreesF) for 30/40 minutes.  

Sit down and read a bit of Mary Oliver, or Jane Kenyon while waiting for the oven to perform its magic....

This chocolate cake never fails, - and only a spoon and maybe a cup to wash!

The oven is nice and warm, - just right for roasting a chicken for supper.  Stuff the chicken with an apple - easy peasy, and treat it to a buttery covering.  It comes out with lovely roasted skin and sweet slices of chicken - well, you know how nice roasted chicken is!!

If you want to you can ice the chocolate cake, but it is quite satisfying without getting all fancied up.

I have a potato baking in the oven, and soon it will be supper time.  What I need most is someone to share it with ❤❤❤

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

 Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

An update on 'joy in winter"...... and that lovely amaryllis that provides so much of it....

Blue skies and sunshine - and a fairly respectable temperature on the gauge!!!!

Lovely, - what more can you ask for in January...

Well, a beautiful blossom, soaking up the sun as it skims the mountain top and shines in the south window.

What a pleasure to gaze upon while I sip my morning coffee!  The second cup gets sipped - the first is what gets the engine going for the day, and is poured down liberally.....

Not all my bulbs are so generously gorgeous, but this one never seems to fail me.....

Lots to be thankful for....

p.s.  - after dinner (supper, really - whatever is eaten while watching the news must be a little bit of 'supper') I have settled myself in the computer room, but a little something keeps nagging at me to go and finish winding the warp that I started this morning (and interrupted to have a little after lunch nap!)

Perhaps I will do that, when I have said what I have to say, which isn't much!  The sun came out today,- the sky was blue, but the wind was cold, so I thought "spring" from indoors.  I have a feeling that there may be a stirring of green shoots in the side garden, and one of these days I will bundle up and go and see. In the meantime I let Bruce out to roam the garden, and watch from the little back sun porch!

I felt, for the first time since Christmas, a strong urge to get my looms dressed - well, the Glimakra is - just waiting for me to finish the little krogbagd thing-a-ma-jig I'm working on.  Too small for a rug - perhaps I will frame it and hang it in the loom room.

January seems to be lagging along, slowly - the days aren't swift, - but then, neither am I.  It seems a long time since I have been able to go outside and lounge around, reading and listening to birds and other garden sounds.....  Being 96 I have a little grudge about this - there aren't as many springs looming on the horizon as there was when I was 69 and I do want to take advantage of each lovely day....

Oh dear, - am I complaining, - or just stating facts.....