Author Archives: wordsfromanneli

About wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

Exotics, Large and Small

Every January the orchids in our local stores come on sale. Every January I HAVE TO buy a new one. When they finish blooming, I keep them and hope they’ll bloom again, and although it sometimes takes months, they do reward me eventually.

Last week, my friends were going on a holiday and very kindly left their amaryllis plants with me to enjoy while they were away.

I was amazed at the size of the flowers. I’ve learned that they originated in South Africa, and some types came from South America.

My little orchids did their best to keep up with the blooming show, and it took a whole army of blossoms to compete with the huge visitors. But each did their best and I’ve had the benefit of all their efforts.

I’m happy to see a bit of colour in the middle of winter.

By the way, I’m not the only one to have an orchid obsession. One of my characters in The Wind Weeps is fascinated by them, but in a sick way. He thinks he can win the girl by bringing her orchids, but after a while, the orchid becomes a terrifying symbol of his stalking and abuse.

Set on the west coast of British Columbia, you’ll get a sense of the remote and beautiful, yet raw place my characters live in.

You can download The Wind Weeps for free on amazon.com and on smashwords.com (for e-readers other than Kindle). Just don’t forget that if you want to know what happens, you need to spend about $3 to buy the sequel, Reckoning Tide, also on amazon.com. Best $3 you’ll ever spend. Just click on the book cover images at the side of this blog page, or on the amazon links in this paragraph.

More Placemats

About a year ago I was going to make a big cushion. I had strips sewn together. The pattern called for a paper-pieced design on top of those strips, but somehow I could never find the enthusiasm to get going on it.

One day I got brazen and cut the cushion square into four pieces. These would be the center of my replacement project, a set of placemats. I wanted a minimum of six placemats though, so I sewed a few more strips together and cut them in half to make two more center parts.

I added some filler strips on the sides to make a longer rectangle, and then decided on a border. Triangles in two bands, top and bottom, should add some interest. I hadn’t made triangles in squares for a while, and had to think about it.

Here they are below, right sides together. I drew a line from corner to corner and sewed  a quarter inch from each side of the line, then cut along the line.

Open up and press. That gives you the squares with two triangles shown above.

I sewed the squares together in rows of eight and then sewed the triangle strips to the top and bottom of each placemat.

After putting batting and a backing on the flimsy (top), I did a bit of quilting in the center parts. Then I put binding around it, and voilà, a placemat made of a recycled cushion.

Don’t look too closely. It’s not perfect, but I feel good about having salvaged the remnants of one project, and used up many scraps at the same time.

The Eclipse Lesson

Last night, when I took the dogs out, I was surprised that it was so dark. The moon should have been lighting up the yard as brightly as a cool sun.

I didn’t know until that moment that I was seeing a lunar eclipse. The moon was partly blocked and yet the sky was completely clear of clouds. The shape that darkened out the moon resembled the rounded top of the earth blocking out the sun that had just set behind me a few hours earlier.

I hurried back into the house to get the camera and clumsily took a few photos.

Much later in the evening, the moon was back to normal, shining reflected sunlight from its full, beaming face.

“Hey Sunshine!” called the moon one day,

“It’s time for you to leave.

Romantic lovers always say,

In moonlight they believe.

They do not need your heat, Old Man,

They’re hot enough alone.

My light is better, and it can

Inspire a kiss and moan.”

“Ah, you know nothing, Loony One,

My rays bring winter thaws,

The people crave my  warmth and fun,

They love me without pause.

I bring them light the whole day long,

It’s easier to see,

I brighten spirits into song,

And I know they love ME.”

“That’s nonsense, my dear Sunnyboy,

What garbage you can spew,

I light the night, I won’t be coy,

I’m simply better than you.”

“But, Loony, don’t you understand,

You’re nothing, can’t you see?

By day or night, it’s my command,

The light all comes from me.”

“So prove it,” Loony smugly cried,

“You’ll never shine at night.”

“That’s fine,” the sun said, “I’ll abide,

I have no need to fight.”

The sun then hid behind the earth,

And waited out of sight.

The moon, eclipsed, had lost his worth,

When he was without light.

The moon no longer talks so big,

He wanly glides afar,

The sun just smiles and does a jig,

He’s, after all, a star.

Three Cheers for the Weather – “Raw! Raw! Raw!”

I thought it was pretty at first, the way the fog rolled in over the bay and completely hid the water from view.

Foolish girl!

It rolled onto the lower beach areas and the land close to the water.

Smugly, I thought, “How pretty it looks, and how lucky am I to be living on higher ground in the clear blue sky.”

But pride comes before the fall. You might be able to see the mist lifting ever so slightly, rising up, looking for me.

Here it comes…

and here it stays, full of tiny droplets of ice water that almost freeze the air.

Carl Sandburg’s Chicago poem, “Fog,” made an impression on me the first time I heard it. He says it so simply, so “on the mark,” and with beautiful imagery.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

But …

I’m sorry, Carl. I find that very often, the last line of your poem doesn’t work for me, so I’ve had to change it.

 

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and stays and stays and stays and stays and stays… .

Anneli Purchase

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

After the skiff of snow we had in the last post, it kept snowing … and snowing … and snowing. The predicted 2 inches of snow looked more like 6 inches on our deck railing.

Partway through the snowfall I took a picture of my veggie garden and thought about the strawberry plants shivering under the blanket of snow. Hah! There’s an oxymoron – a blanket of snow. Blankets are supposed to be warm, aren’t they?

Then that night, it rained and blew

Just as it was supposed to do.

Soon the snow had disappeared,

But the damage was as feared.

See the fir branch dangling down?

It’s so long it reached the ground.

See it hanging by a thread

There beside the garden shed?

Now I’m worried it might drop

On my doggies with a plop.

More like dropping with a crash

Turning puppies into mash.

So the Captain has to tie

Rope onto the branch up high,

Tie it on the pickup truck

Yank it down into the muck.

We don’t grumble, we don’t cuss.

Oh what fun for all of us.

 

 

Cool, Flaky Rain

Too late for Christmas, but here it is. Our wind and rain has turned into flaky rain blowing sideways.

The video clip I’ve attached doesn’t really show anything, but just the fact that I’ve posted it must show how incredulous I am about the white stuff coming down after weeks and weeks of wind and rain.

 

The wet stuff has changed

The drops rearranged,

Snowflakes come down,

They’re blowing around,

Gray sky and breeze,

I’m down on my knees,

I pray it won’t last

And it melts away fast.

 

 

New Year’s Outing

A trip to the beach? There’s no better way to start the New Year.

Emma and Ruby were happy to get out of the house.

“Yahooooooo! It’s so much fun,  so much to see.”

Ladies and Gentlemen  we have “Liftoff” (with all four feet).

Emma thinks she’s Superdog. She’ll just swim out to the ducks and bring them home to “Dad.”

But she has forgotten that ducks can not only swim, but also fly. The ducks on the other hand, seem to know that dogs can’t fly.

“Any second I’ll have them, ” Emma bleats.

And any second, the ducks will take wing, after which, Emma does the sensible thing and turns back to shore.

Refreshed and well exercised, she comes ashore, looking for someone to shake by.

Not one to give up easily, she’s already scouting around for more targets.

No ducks were harmed in the making of this blog post. Fa-a-a-a-ar from it!