Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Last Post of August Sweetly Lemon'd

Tonight while sliding into the golden arms of September, the decision to dine at Romeo's Restaurante was a foregone conclusion. What better ambience could Ms P, Mr. Bear and I have, (while munching bruschetta and home made pizza) for the serious joyful discussion of Villa rentals and type of carryon luggage to buy?
We are setting our Calendar watches to wind ahead a year from now to next September when we should be landing in either Florence or Sienna!
Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun) author and cook, has a lot to answer for; it was she who started me on this Tuscan kick and I have yet to tire of it. It was her rapturous descriptions of The Lemon's Virtues, that encouraged me to persist in trying to grow one of my own, so I too could have sunshine in winter. 
And tonight, O tonight, my Michele Meyer Lemon shyly showed me her burgeoning baby, no bigger than my baby fingernail half hidden by the other lemon flowers in the pot.
To celebrate this Event: I am posting one of Frances' Recipe's for Lemon Cake which I am hoping to make with Michele's juice.(see yesterday's blogpost, there is a photo of Mr Bear holding her in his palm)

This cake is wonderful served with fresh berries or ice cream. And it is equally good for breakfast or dessert.

Tuscan Lemon Cake

3 Cups White Flour + additional amount to flour the pan
1 TSP Baking Powder
1/4 TSP Salt
1 Stick Unsalted Butter + additional butter to grease the pan
2 Cups Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk
Juice (about 4 TBSP) and Zest of One Large Lemon

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter
Juice of one Lemon (about 4 TBS)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
Zest and juice the lemon.
Butter and flour a standard bundt pan – I brush about 3 TBS soft butter
onto the pan using a pastry brush and then lightly sprinkle a small amount
of flour all over the pan – shifting the pan back and forth to evenly coat the butter.
Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until well combined –
about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
with the mixer on a low speed alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk,
beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and
continue to mix until well combined.  Do not over-mix.
Spread the mixture into the pan – using a rubber spatula to evenly distribute
the batter and flatten out the top.

Bake for one hour.

Remove cake from oven, let it rest five minutes,
and then remove it from the pan.
Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

To Glaze:
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the powdered sugar,
flour and butter – stirring constantly until there are no lumps.
Glaze the cake – starting along the top ridge of the cake – allowing the icing
to drip down and cover the sides.
Blessings to all Lovers of Lemon out there!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Michele our Quail Hill Meyer Lemon!

We have watched over this small lemon tree since November 2012, coddled her, babied her, watered and fed her and now at last she has rewarded us with our 2nd (but truly first 'home grown' as opposed to nursery started) lemon!
And miracles of miracles: Michele has even produced flowers this year and we see what could be the start of another lemon burgeoning from a neighbouring branch! Fingers x'd.
Blessings to all citrus growers out there who understand our joy!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Blessed by rain.

Blessings of being watered after a long dry spell to those gardens, people and homes that need it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


(before) The rain came
The earth held out its beseeching forest hands
We went for a walk enfolded
In its breathless

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

She was told (that at Her Age) she shouldn't go to Paris

A group of my online artlie friends are challenging each other to create different style cards each week.
I  heard about it last night and decided to try my hand.
The Theme this week is Shabby Chic and after consulting Ms.Jennings644 who has a helpful youtube video doing the ultimate defining as to exactly what 'shabby chic' is, here is my version:
The title is: 'She was told (that at Her Age) she should'nt go to Paris, so she did.'
This type of feisti-ness is right down my alley as I want to be an Outrageous Crone when I grow up!
Blessing to all those women who are catching an early flight to Paris, just because they can. 
Ingredients: Napkin collage using the amazing PPA glue (can't live without it, seriously NO wrinkles!) on a base of Opus's own 140 lb Italian made watercolour paper. 
The quote is mine (g). Wonder who I was thinking of?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Surprise Early BD Luncheon For Teacher Jen

I had to be specific as there are now THREE Jennifers in our immediate family; new mother Jennifer S, (Jen), Jennifer the teacher (Jen) and another new mother Jennifer C (Jenn)!
It does get confusing so hence the title of this post.
Cousin Bonnie and husband Bill co hosted this shindig for teacher Jen as a Grand Send Off to her as she will be starting her school year 'wayyy up north' in Prince Rupert, next week.
So a hurried late night phone call to us and there we were, all gathered in the living room, singing Happy Birthday as this Glorious Art Work appeared like magic from Bonnie's kitchen.
It was truly a masterpiece and tasted as good as it looked!
Enjoy this Feast for the Eyes: we sure did~
Blessings to all chocolate cake eaters out there.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Confession of The Guerilla Gardener

Yes Officer, you have caught me dead to rights, watering can in left hand and coily garden hose in the other: Yes I confess, I am a Guerilla Gardener.
There is a rental house in the neighbourhood where the owners planted a stripling magnolia tree, watered it maybe once or twice, then left it to its own devices.
Obviously they never told the renters to keep watering it.
So of course I could not leave it to wither and die now, could I?
I water my plants every two days during this hot dry weather and then I fill a bucket of water and wander over and oops o my, it slips and accidentally on purpose waters the base of that magnolia tree.
So yes, I confess.
I am that Guerilla Gardener.
I will come with you peacefully now, just as soon as I finish watering my plants.
Blessings to all Gardeners out there, Guerrila or no.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gingerbread House for Hansel and Gretel Wasp

We first saw these 'wasp catchers' in the picnic area at the Pont Du Gard in Provence France.  The ingenius French had taken an empty plastic 1 litre pop bottle, cut the top off, inverted it like a funnel and then put about a half cup of red wine sweetened with sugar in the bottom half.  We saw them nailed to various pine trees and they were working! Once the wasps get in, they can't figure out how to get out and probably the fumes from the fermenting wine sugar mix gets them good and drunk anyhow.  Lots of dead bodies floating in those traps!
We have a wasp problem here in the summer and hearing about it, Mrs Mom gave us a wonderful gift last Solstice: a glass version of the french wasp gingerbread house. I tried it out a couple of days ago and it is working well: the wasp population has definitely decreased!
Blessings to all those who aren't bothered by wasps!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mighty Like A Rose - Welcome David Ross Coupe!

Our newest family member born today at 0039 PDT to Jennifer and Ross Coupe;  making I and Mr Bear, Great-Aunt and Great-Uncle!
Sweetest little fellow ev'rybody knows
Don't know what to call him but he's mighty like a rose
Lookin' at his mummy with eyes so shiny blue
Make you think that heav'n is comin' close to you

When he's there a-sleepin in his little place
Think I see angels looking through the lace
When the dark is fallin', when the shadows creep
Then they comes on tiptoe to kiss him in his sleep

Sweetest little fellow ev'rybody knows
Don't know what to call him but he's mighty like a rose
Lookin' at his mummy with eyes so shiny blue
Make you think that heav'n is comin' close to you

When the dark is fallin', when the shadows creep
Then they comes on tiptoe to kiss him in his sleep

Sweetest little fellow ev'rybody knows
Don't know what to call him but he's mighty like a rose
Lookin' at his mummy with eyes so shiny blue
Make you think that heav'n is comin' close to you
Blessing to all new borns and new born parents out there!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daydreaming, Villa Rentals, The Sweet Art of Doing Nothing

If you need to find me, this is where I am in my daydreams (for now)
We are in the planning stages for next year's trip to Toscana and Rome.
Villa rentals with pool are being looked at, and a new laptop with 'Cloud control' <g> is being considered.
Stay tuned.

PS I remembered that I had written a post in
one of my other blogs (Soul Caravan) about visiting Italy - here is the post: I PLAN 
…(when we arrive in Italy) to practice
‘l’arte di non fare niente’ or the Sweet Art of Doing Nothing.
I once read somewhere that Joseph Campbell was giving a talk and at the end of it, a lady came up to him and after shaking his hand, told him rather worriedly that she was going traveling and was hoping that everything would go ‘according to Plan.’
Whereupon Mr Campbell took her hand, and said to her,
”My dear lady, I do hope for your sake, that things do NOT go Exactly as Planned.”
Blessings of golden wheat fields, dusky grapes harvested and sweet art of doing exactly nothing be yours.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Parksville: A Grand Day Out

Sea Fever
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
John Masefield
Blessings to all those who can get away and enjoy a Grand Day Out!

Monday, August 19, 2013

According to the Book of Aunt

"It is incumbent upon the Aunt that she shall make at least one wreath a year with the Niece."  (pg 27)
So I did. (g)

Blessings to all wreath makers out there.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tonight I was called Auntie

And my heart got tearful. I am an only child so any kind of 'sisterhood' or 'aunthood' comes through my husband or cousin's side of the family.
It is a rare honour and precious title and I feel so blessed that I am called by that name even though in truth, I am actually a cousin.
When I watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the scenery was breathtaking o yes, but what I shall always remember, will be the incredible politeness and cultural ease of the instant honorific of 'auntie' or 'uncle' due to age and not familial relationship. It was later explained to me that anyone the same age as the parents of the children regardless of family ties are called 'auntie' or 'uncle'. I still smile every time my new cousin nephew Jesal calls me Auntie and no it doesn't make me feel old in the least! (I believe I do have a few years on his mother!) So tonight when I got a voicemail from my cousin niece Amanda asking if Auntie was available for wreath making: I danced inwardly and of course said yes.
Blessings to all Aunts and Uncles out there: related by blood or friendship

Saturday, August 17, 2013

We are walking into Indian Summer

The blackberries hang heavy and ripe on Quail Hill's second terrace, a pair of trumpeter swans have flown overhead, and as darkness falls, the sweet song of the cricket is heard.
All portents of a Good Indian Summer: the kind that lingers like an invited guest who is reluctant to leave your home because they are having too much fun.

The Diane Witch Hazel is already bringing out her Autumn paintbrush and teaching the Crocosima how to be that exact shade of orange red.
And I, not be outdone by all of these colourful shenanigans, had my toes painted a bright red Asia in preparation for the last of the season Beach Day up Island. Fingers x'd it will be nice and sunny.
Blessings to those who are enjoying the last of the summer on the beach.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Feasting At The Farm Table - Providence Farm

Tonight as a very belated Thank You to Ms P for helping to look after our place while we were gone for two months; Mr Bear and I decided to treat her to dinner at Providence Farm's new venture, the Farm Table Restaurant.
Here is their Press Release -
Providence Farm is pleased to welcome Vancouver Island University (VIU) to its Farm family.  VIU’s Culinary Arts Program moved to the Farm in February 2013 and on April 25th it opened its teaching restaurant The Farm Table.  The Farm Table is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and reservations can be made by calling 250-597-0599.
They serve a 3 course meal comprising of Starter, Main and Dessert all for the princely sum of 15.00! (which covers the cost of the meal as it is non profit organization).
I know you are dying to see what we had, so here is the line up:
First our Starters:
I had ricotta flan with Providence Farm baked baby carrots, glazed with Providence Farm cider.
Mr Bear had the Farm Fresh salad.
Ms P had the corn chowder.
I am sorry I did not take pictures of the Mains but I can tell you that Mr Bear had the Grilled Brochettes of Chicken Tenders, Ms P and I had the home made Pasta Ravioli stuffed with pork and spinach and all were delicious! Plates were literally scraped bare.
Just when we thought we couldn't possibly eat another bite or move! -  
O My Desserts were brought.
Mr Bear and Ms P had ordered the Chocolate Layer Cake which came with a small mountain of whipped cream sprinkled with a drift of marigold blossoms and as an added dash - a small flower stem of spearmint was placed on top.
My Fruit Tart was presented as a small island surrounded by red dots of raspberry coulis.
As the French would say: ' We ate with our eyes.'
We are not overstuffed, but pleasantly sated as I write up this post and this bodes well for a good night's sleep.
So on that note: I will leave you to your dreams as well.
Blessings on your table, may your guests never leave hungry.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sing Early, Sing Often

Yesterday when I was holding that sweet baby boy in my arms and singing a lullaby to him, I thought of the large billboard in town proclaiming 'Sing Early, Sing Often!   O how important it is for both parents to sing to baby, especially while floating in the silent sea of mommy's womb! It sets up a longing to give voice and craving for rythym even before the language skills settle in. Music gives a child an early mathematical advantage and teaches them how to 'hear'.

The Poet Tagore wrote one of my favourite quotes: 'God respects me when I work, but He loves me when I sing!

Sadly in this day and age, the general consensus is why make your own music when all you have to do is download any music you like and listen to that?
It is wonderful and I do it all the time, but it is NOT making your own music and I think the world is poorer because of that.
I applaud anyone (especially boys!) who go against their peers and actually gasp! join the choir or glee club!
North America has a rather puritan outlook on music making, and if by chance some one does attempt to sing in a local pub, chances are they would be hustled out! Whereas in Ireland (for example) the patrons would most likely join in!
And that brings me to my next question: if your church is not making a Joyful Noise, why not?
Before I get down from my soapbox and put it back behind the curtain, may I plead with parents who have ears to hear: that you enroll your child in a music programme and most important, that your child learn to read music and SIGHT READ as well! Any choir in the land will be clamouring for a sight-reading songster. I only wish I had that particular training.
Blessings to all who sing from the heart.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sweet Wee Baby Boy

Tonight as I held and rocked you in my arms, I felt my mother flow through me to enfold you as well.
I sang the same lullaby that she would sing to me:
Over in Killarney, many years ago ..
Too ra loo ra loo ra.
You looked at me, looked around, looked back wondering where the song was coming from and closed your eyes.
Too ra loo ra li
Too ra loo ra loo ra, that's an Irish Lullaby.
Blessings to all who sing to their babies.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wanted: One Library 'zoomer' step-ladder

You know the kind I mean, dont you? The ones where you can 'zoom' from one end of your library stack to another, as the ladder travels along the track at the top. I have a floor to ceiling library and try as I may, being height challenged (ie short) there is no way at the present, I can reach the top shelves.
Thinking of libraries and books, brings back wonderful memories of great movie lines: I am proud to be... to be a LIBRaRian! (Rachel Weisz in The Mummy) who promptly falls over drunk and passes out.  Or who could forget Indiana Jones In The Last Crusade where his father (also Dr Jones played magnificently by Sean Connery) is so hoping his son remembers that I stands for a J in the old script. The Da Vinci Code is another great ' Books are a wonderful thing' type of movie and the better read the heroine or hero, the better the outcome. Books save lives apparently. At least in Hollywood movies!
I am a papyrologist,  a lover of all things paper, from origami paper folding to book binding. It seems the more technological we become ( for example I am typing this on a samsung galaxy tablet, not writing it out in longhand on paper) the more we seem to crave hand made and hands on. I know I do. I have fallen head over heels in love with mini albums, books, and journals. I am still in the process of trying to find a balance between what I can do digitally and photographically and hand writing/painting. It is a real battle sometimes between paint and pixel!
In the meantime I am still on the lookout for a small basement sized 'zoomer' library ladder; you will let me know if you find one, won't you.
Blessings to all readers and authors out there. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Flat Place To Ride

The slight 'sss' sound of bicycle tires on the leaf strewn path and the polite, "behind you" caused us to us turn around and see a father and daughter out biking in the last light of the day.
"It's her first time out on the trail," Dad explained, "and we were looking for a flat place to ride. I think we found it, right hon?"
The little helmeted princess nodded her head.
They paused to readjust their various bits of equipment, took a good look at the trail ahead and then pedaled past us; Dad making sure he could go slow enough so that the two of them would be side by side. As Mr Bear and I walked on, I thought of my own first time with my father pushing me on the fender of my big red bike, yelling at me to "Pedal HARDER HARDER! and you won't fall off!" Good thing my first time was on our grassy front lawn, as later on I did fall, many times, and I have the scarred knees to prove it. With hindsight I realize now why my parents were so keen to get me biking at the grand old age of 10; due to the constant whimsy of the school budget, the school bus no longer went by our road and since my father needed our car for work, this was the obvious solution. So I pedaled my way to elementary school for grades 4 and 5, over a 5 mile hilly trek that was strewn with rocks and various other spiky bits of nature. Looking back, I'm surprised I survived with only scarred knees and not a dented head! (Though some of my friends may disagree.)
So dear little helmeted princess, I hope your father took pictures as you rode together and that you will always remember your Dad searching for that special "Flat place to ride,"- Just For You.
Blessings on all Fathers teaching their children to safely ride out there.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

We have no "Official Weather' at Quail Hill

When we first moved here 6 years ago, we were confused as to why the weather forecast for our Valley was so often WRONG.
Turned out there was a good reason. According to the Government Met dept (In Ottawa, Ontario where they determine these things), our Valley is part of the Same Weather System as Pat Bay where the Victoria International Airport is located. 
Obviously these characters have never looked at the map. We are on the Other Side of the Malahat Mountain, in the rain shadow and quite a distance from the perpetual ocean breeze that blows and cools down the Airport Control Tower and surrounding area.
Simply put: Our Weather is NOT Their Weather.
It's all very well to predict for today, buckets of rain and temps ranging in the low 20's - ahem! as I write this, the sun is shining and the current temp is hovering around 27C.
When I was a Girl Guider (many moons ago) one of the crafts that we got the girls to do was make their very own 'willy the weather worm' for their camp hat. 
The note pinned to the worm read as follows:
If I'm dry, it's sunny.
If I'm wet, it's raining.
If I'm moving, it's windy.
If I'm gone, it's a HOWLin' Southeaster and batten down the hatches!
I think I need to make a few and mail them to the idiots at the Weather Office in Ottawa along with a map with our Valley highlighted in yellow so they can find it.
Then again, I'll just make a few for our puzzled guests and save the postage!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

He sang to his family tonight at the Dairy Queen

Every now and then, he would drum softly on the table while singing in  a melodmious low pitched tenor, full of emotion and heart while his family sat quietly, listening while they ate.
We sat across from them and when the singer turned his head and looked at me, I smiled and asked: "What are you singing?"
"Its one of the Bone Game Songs," he replied,  "Do you know the Quw'utsun' Centre?:"
"Yes," I said.
"I sing there as part of the Cultural Heritage show."
" O how wonderful," I remarked, as I quickly untangled myself from my various cords and plugs (I had brought ny tablet with me to the DQ - free wifi) went over and I put my hand out for him to shake, He took it and I told him my name, then asked, "What is your name please?"
And then I shook the hand of the woman who was seated next to him, who told me she was Cynthia,
I thanked them both for sharing their heritage songs with us, returned to my seat packed up and walked out to the car under a glorious sunset which followed us almost all the way home.
Blessings of a warm summer evening and a sunset ending.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Still of the heat and roseate light

Gold sunbaked fields
Fir's sweet incense
The zephyr that caresses
You breathed me in and held me

betweeen dusk and dark
Only releasing me 
when the crickets and first geese flight
Called me home

Blessings of roseate sunset light to all who read this.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

My Travelin' Hat

Here she is, a well worn paperstraw rollable toss in your suitcase hat.
Not much to look at, but o how well she has kept me cool and saved me from sunstroke (too many times to count).
I found her the other day, squished down in the back of the closet, and with a few good tugs to get her back into shape, she was good to go once more. I did not realize how old she was until a friend saw me wearing her in a photo taken in 1999 Glanum Provence. Yes indeedy, Indiana Jonesita!  The tales she could tell, the nights in Lussan at a little auberge situated in a town no bigger than a minute, the first omelette at La bar de la fontaine, the climb to the very TOP of the tower in Uzes, the churches, the fields of sunflowers, the LAVENDER of Senanque, the afternoon repast in Gordes, she saw them all with me. Next year if we play our cards right, she will be with me as we explore Rome and Tuscany. I do have a Tilley which I consider my 'town hat' but when I want to go exploring and take photos and do art, this is the hat I wear with love and gratitude.
Blessing to those broad brimmed hat wearers like me!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I bow to the Light.
Blessings of Light to all who read this.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I (am Beginning To) Know

I am doing Inner Excavating Along with Effy Wild over at the Glitterhood.
We are on the final chapter (or Week 7) but as Effy says, if you treat it like a book with chapters, you can always go back to the beginning and read again.
I plan on doing just that.

Here is the Island Poetographer's 'I (am Beginning to) Know' digiartpiece.
Blessings to all who view this.

Last Sunday Night I Virtually Sang in Germany..

..along with 5094 other singers from 101 countries: Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 4.
I had previously (knees shaking,voice cracking) submitted my alto video to Virtual Choir 3, his 'Water Night' and miracles of miracles it was accepted in the mix! Over two thousand voices joined together and I was among them, the Unknown Alto 1085. After it was completed, we were told just how special this video was: we were going to 'sing' at the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Titanic Centre in Dublin, at the exact minute that the ship struck the iceberg 100 years ago. It was by all accounts one of the most moving things ever witnessed, the video was played against the huge wall of the atrium and it seemed as if we were singing for those that perished and for those that survived that Awful Event.
Over the past year, since the release of Water Night, the Virtual Choir 3 members became a 'family' with constant updates on Facebook: VC Friends group formed and sustained and for me, an absolute once in a lifetime experience: actually meeting Eric Whitacre in Vancouver last October when he came to conduct his music in the Orpheum Theatre with the Vanouver Chamber Choir.
So when Virtual Choir 4 was announced, how could I not say YES!?
It wasn't until we were in the last stages of submitting our vids when Eric announced just 'who' we would be singing for and why it was so important to get our vid in on time! (June 10)
His 'Fly to Paradise' would be performed at the Coronation Gala at Buckingham Palace for Her Majesty the Queen! And now this past Sunday,we have sung at the Schweslig Holstein Musik Festival with 600 live singers in front and our vid played on the big screen in back. 
My real life passport may have expired, but my pixels have no such requirement and freely travel the world with Eric everywhere he goes.
Blessings to all those who think this is a wonderful idea - it is! Come Join Us!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Fishing with Elvis and Fresh Figs

The other night we were out and a very weird voice mail was left on our phone.
Hi this is Ed -
Right now Im in the Pacific Ocean -
Over top of a live volcano -
Fishing with Elvis.
Just checking in with you folks at Quail Hill.
Catch you later, Ed.
Mr Bear and I (when we played it back) thought o oh he's had a few too many of his pain meds.
Turns out thankfully not to be the case!
He spoke the absolute truth.
He was on a road trip and had stopped off in Oregon to go fishing.
He was calling us from the boat in the Pacific Ocean, they were right on top of thermal vent from a live volcano underneath them and the guy he was fishing with was, you guessed it, named Elvis!
Had he thought to bring his passport with him, we could have hosted Ed yesterday at the family BBQ, as he was only 150 miles away at one point, but now that he knows how far he can go on his motorbike, we may be seeing him sooner than we think!
Still on the Beloved Friends theme: How many friends do you have who risk life and limb and death to bring you fresh green figs as a gift?
Meet Dayle whom I known for at least 3 decades.
The figs she brought are very very precious, greater in value than the Crown Jewels and here are the reasons why:
Dayle picked these for us from her son's tree and risked death twice over by doing so!
Death dying act 1 - She had to climb a stepladder to reach them (the ripest are always at the top apparently)
Death dyfing act 2 - She is DEATHLY allergic to wasps who of course cluster around any kind of ripening fruit, FIGS IN PARTICULAR!
Her epi pen is always close by in her purse and when she came through the door yesterday, she said to us, Please dont' let anyone move it - it contains my epi pen and I may have to get to it in a hurry!
I made sure as our guests arrived that they DIDN'T TOUCH OR MOVE DAYLE'S PURSE!
(During the BBQ, armed with an electic bug zapper, she killed 10 of the little suckers that had the audacity to buzz her!)  She has great hand eye co ordination does our Dayle,
So dear readers: I present to you a photo of those precious death dying green figs - which will not last long (as you can see 3 are gone already!)
Blessings of weird and wonderful voicemails, precious green figs and of course great Friends!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

In my own good time

You may harvest me.
Michele my Meyer lemon has been babied, coddled, watered religiously, fertilized and talked to since November. This is her second fruiting for me. Once her lemon is truly ripe to pick, then I will transplant her to a bigger pot for the winter.
The scarlet runner beans and the willow have become great buddies much to my delight.
Two years ago, this  willow 'tree' was actually a willow 'stake' that I put in the pot originally for the scarlet runners to climb, and it sorta like topsy, grew.
I wasn't sure if there was enough room in the pot for the beans to put down their roots but the willow accommodated them. I love how the bright orangey red of the scarlet runner is such a surprise among the willow's green branches.
The beans are twining nicely and I have begun to train to them to bend the willow branches down.
Stay tuned, I let you know what kind of Fall harvest I shall have.
Blessings of a sunny Sunday to all who read this.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

A quiet backwater in Lughnasadh's port

..Or the calm before the Family BBQ chaos tomorrow.
Mr bear and I scurried round to get the food, burgers, buns, condiments, and FRESH CORN! 
O my heavens, yes. Peaches and cream corn grown right here in the Valley.
Russell Farms Market: We love this place!  one of the best places to get not only corn, but blueberries and strawberries in season!

Then we hit the recycling Depot which boasts not your average work of art in their stairwell:
How is this for a real beauty?
Then Home: to face the task at hand: clearing a space for all that Food that will be coming through the door!
Right now I am typing on a perilously perched pc (hmm say that six times real fast) at the end of a kitchen table (at least I think it is the kitchen table (g) while gazing over the Lost Landscape of Creativity. (the title of the photo on my pc is 'Don't I Wish' (g)
Here is where I now create when the weather is rainy or night has fallen.
My wrenched shoulder has decreed No More Office Chair and sitting for hours in front of the pc, so I am reduced to either the Tablet or reduced minutes here.
I have come to like creating even Blogging! on the Tab though at times it does frustrate me.
Creating in this kitchen space has the distinct advantage of a> being close to the coffee machine and b> being close to the bathroom. Both are Necessities in this artist's life: the bathroom was for cleaning my brushes, what did you think? sheesh already. laughing.
But it will soon be a craft-less area, filled with food.
My family (comprising of cousins and baby cousin) are known to take our motto 'guests never leave hungry' very seriously so no doubt this will become a Groaning Board.
What better way to start off the Lughnasadh Turning, then with a Harvest of Family and Feasting?
Blessings at this Turning to all who read this. Happy Harvest. May your heart be happy.

Friday, August 02, 2013

A Soft Day

Dear Rain,
You were so considerate last night, making sure not to wake us by falling softly instead of the usual thundering torrent of the Fall. Bless you. My garden is grateful.
You have even graced us today with your on again off again kitten paw drips making it (as the Irish would say) a 'soft day'.
While I was admiring this wondrous mist filled start to my Friday, I saw my uninvited guest, Buck the deer, polishing off the birdseed that had fallen on the ground. I opened the window and yelled "SHOO".
Buck's head came up, he looked at me,with a 'ya talking to ME?' expression, ears flicked back and forth like paddles, tail swished, then nonchalantly he turned and sauntered up the hill pausing now and again to nibble on my rosebushes, just because.
I see he has already helped himself to my sunflowers that I have struggled for months to get to the transplant stage.
I can only hope I have a few left for the Fall Show.
As for cherries and apples, not this year thanks to him; he stripped the young fruit off the tender branches.
Will we ever reach some sort 'of 'detente cordial'? Stay tuned.

In the meantime the DGG (Domestic Goddess Gene) drummed her beautifully painted fingernails on my kitchen counter and pointed at the fast ripening cherry plums that Ms P had brought.
Well? She said.
OK I sighed, I will attempt a sorta clafoutis by making it almost gluten free and replace the flour with 1 cup of almond meal and a scant handful of flour. Though this one did not rise as high as the 'official' clafoutis, it still looked darn good and smelled divinely of sweet plum jam. Next time I will not use 3 eggs but 2  (I found it a bit 'eggy' in taste) and cut back on the milk as well; but all in all it still disappeared somehow. The DGG is quietly satisfied and has retired for the night (for now).

Blessings of a soft rain for your garden wherever you may be,