Boil, Boil, Boil!

Great excitement this morning. A warm light bathed the maple trunks on the hillside below our house. I hadn’t seen sunshine in days and days and days. I grabbed the camera, took this quick snap of the trees and came back in the house.

Moments later, as the sun rose higher, the light changed and I had to go out on deck for another picture.

The brightness extended to the bay on the left and lit up the water.

Ignoring the ugly hydro line, do you see the colour difference right about where the line crosses the photo? We’ve had so much rain lately that the small silt-laden rivers that empty into the bay have turned the water brown near their mouth.

Flooding and excess run-off have necessitated yet another “Boil Water Advisory” for the town. I’m so thankful to be living outside of town and having our own well that is very, very, very deep, with clear, wonderful water.

The townspeople must be thinking of the lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” where he says, “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

Do you have boil water advisories in your area? Flooding? Any sunshine?

Pea Soup?

Canadians have had Thanksgiving in October, but our Americans friends are giving thanks for their good fortune and blessings this week, on November 23.

I had a thought about Thanksgiving. Why not have pea soup instead of turkey? It’s all around us with this fog as thick as pea soup.

November weather tests us hard

Makes us eat more, donning lard

On the thighs and round our ribs,

We wish the weight scale told us fibs,

Now we need to eat some more,

Friends and family at the door, 

Time for all to meet and greet,

Turkey dinner can’t be beat,

But with fog like thick pea soup,

Why not feed it to the group?

Not enough, I hear you say,

We want roast  turkey anyway.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I know we are all thankful for what we have. It’s not just about the food, but about giving and sharing, and loving our treasured family and friends everywhere.

*****

***If you are a writer, you might be interested in my post on my Anneli’s Place blog.***

https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/your-reputation-as-a-writer/

 

The Superpower of Attitude

For those of you who don’t know about my second blog site, dedicated to writers, writing, books, and reading, I invite you to visit annelisplace.wordpress.com and click to follow it if you like what you see.

Anneli's Place

I’d like to introduce my guest, Diana Wallace Peach, author of several novels and now author of her first children’s book. Diana has a wonderful attitude towards life, which I’m happy to let her share with you.

Welcome Diana.

My daughter wasn’t a morning person as a three-year-old. Instead of simply picking out her clothes for the next morning, she’d wear her outfit to bed. Anything to avoid the ordeal of dressing in the morning. Mornings were miserable and teary, and they set the tone for a miserable, teary day.

One morning we sat on her bed, and I suggested that we use her superpowers to change her day. Well, that intrigued her. So together we said the magic words. “I’m going to have a great day.” We said it over and over again, louder and louder, and guess what? She had a great day. Was her routine different than…

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Large Flakes?

Looking out the window this afternoon, I saw huge snowflakes. Or were they leaves? But they were floating so easily, like snow. More and more flakes came down, and yet, not enough to say, “It’s snowing,” and besides, it was just a tad too warm. Something didn’t feel right. I went to investigate.

I picked up some of the “snowflakes” and saw that they were feathers. They kept falling from the sky. I thought of the German folk tale about Frau Holle who shakes the featherbeds (goosedown duvets, in our modern western world) in the sky and makes it snow.

I traced the path of the feathers to their origin and strained my eyes to study the top reaches of a fir tree. For a few minutes I saw nothing, but at last I made the culprit nervous.

A huge eagle took off from the tree with its dinner in its talons.

I knew from the feathers that the eagle’s meal was a duck. The harsh reality of  life and death in the animal food chain always leaves me with mixed feelings. Both are beautiful birds, but why does one have to eat the other? Couldn’t they just eat pancakes instead?

 

 

The Suet Block is Always Tastier on the Other Side

“So glad I got here first. That pushy Steller’s jay would be hogging both suet blocks if he could.”

DSCN9210

“Darn it all. That flicker got the best suet block. If I’d only been a few seconds faster, it would have been all mine, for me, myself, and I.

I’ll have to take the left over one. I’m sure it’s not as good as the one  Mr. Polka-dot is nibbling at. If he were a tad smaller, I’d scare him off, like I do the little runts that come here looking for a free handout.”

“Good, he’s gone. I’ll give that other suet block a try. Hope it doesn’t stick to my beak like that other block does.”

“Let’s see…. One big leap and a quick turn in the air and I’ll be up there. Can’t wait to get my beak into that treat.”

“Now for a taste of the good stuff.

Blech! Yech. Blech. He sure didn’t let on it tasted that bad. Yuck! Where can I spit?”

“Oh well … I’ll do without. The missus says I’m getting a bit of a belly anyway.”

***Please don’t forget to check on my other blog. Right now I have an interesting guest author with a beautiful children’s book for you, just in time for Christmas. Why not click to follow https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/  

Vintage Books and Glasses

When I visited my sister recently, I had forgotten that she has been the guardian of some of the old family treasures from long ago. It was a pleasant surprise to see the items being kept safe behind the glass doors of a china cabinet.

The small blue liqueur glasses and decanter were perhaps bought in our first few years in Canada, more than half a century ago. The small wine or martini glass with the yellow swirls and the spiral stem is from a set that came to Canada with my parents back in 1953. This one is probably all that is left of the set.

When I saw it, I thought of my tongue. Odd, you might think, but memories that involve the senses can be very strong and long lasting.

My parents used to bring out these special yellow swirly glasses at Christmastime and pour a little egg liqueur from a bottle of Bols advocaat. We children were too young to be allowed alcohol, but once in a while, and because it was a festive season, we were allowed to lick out the last bit of advocaat from the yellow swirly glasses. Kind of gross, in hindsight, but as kids, we were thrilled.

So you can see that the yellow swirly glass holds special memories for me — not only the taste of the advocaat, but the smell of Christmas baking, the beautiful Christmas music, the coziness of the house and the love given to us by our parents.

Some might say these glasses are just inanimate objects, but they hold the key to a gold mine of memories.

Under the shelf with the glasses, two books leaned against the back of the cabinet. The old copy of Forever Amber, which I read when I was 16 (and that wasn’t yesterday), and another of my favourite stories, Little Black Sambo. The bigwigs now say that this book is racist, and have banned it, but I loved reading it and never once felt anything negative towards people of another race from that experience. My family and I simply loved that story.

Thanks to Luanne Castle https://writersite.org/2017/11/02/magical-bowls/

for the nudge to trot out old memories.

Retreat – Stepping Back

In mid-October I took a step back – a retreat from the usual day-to-day living – to a beautiful location on Quadra Island, a short ferry ride from Campbell River on Vancouver Island. The occasion was the semi-annual quilting retreat for the local quilting guild.

Four days of sewing and camaraderie, in which we had no cooking or cleaning to do. Just sew and go for a walk now and then between rain showers.

The buildings are old, but the natural scenery is older and for the most part, unchanged. It was a very quiet and beautiful spot.

The quilters each bring their sewing machines and fabrics, and all their tools and supplies needed to complete their planned projects. I had several unfinished projects, and by the end of the four days, I felt I had accomplished a lot.

One of the things I did was to take the ill-fitting squares I had made a couple of years ago and try to use them in some other way. The quilt I had intended them for was not working out but I had already done so much work on the tiny red and white squares, and on the appliqued birds and flowers.

I decided on place mats and pieced them together in whatever way the squares would fit, patching places that were odd sizes.

The result was four place mats and one table center, good enough for my own table for everyday meals.

It felt good to use up the unfinished project pieces and I was happy with the results. Now all they need is a meal to be served on them.