Monday, February 26, 2018

A little bit grumpy, a little bit seasonal

So, what's wrong with this picture? Besides the obvious -- that the focus is ridiculous and that the snowman's carrot-nose is sticking up from his head? For me, it's the fact that there's a snowman at all in a yard where a palm tree is growing. Bottom line is, I'm not used to the amount of snow we had this winter -- and definitely not this late in the season. Grumpy about that? You bet.

And I'm not the only one who thinks there's something funny about what's going on with the seasons.

The Christmas cactus has decided (because of all the snow?) that it's time to bloom again. Lovely, but the wrong flower for this time of year. I'm wanting all those brave little daffodils and tulips out front to put their heads back into the light and come into bloom.

Yesterday was better, waving goodbye to another Olympics. My only complaint there was that they didn't choose the athlete(s) who seemed the obvious choice as flag-bearers on the way out, Kaitlyn Lawes and John
Morris. After all, they not only won gold, but did so in a sport that was new to the Olympics, mixed doubles curling. Canada had a pair of athletes as flag-bearers for the Opening Ceremonies, so another duo for the Closing would have made nice bookends to that.

But enough grumpy opinions, today's looking good. This morning, the birds were singing their heads off -- LOUDLY, it seemed. As if to say they're ready for a change too and announcing the end of winter for all to hear and rejoice.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Ruled by the moon

So many people, so many different places on Earth, observe a calendar based on the moon. The Asian calendar, with its welcome this weekend to the Year of the Dog, is one of those.

We celebrated in our own small way by cooking up some delicious (store-bought, frozen) siu mai (shumai) to go with the rest of our decidedly western supper (spaghetti -- though, wait a minute, weren't noodles invented in China?). If you look carefully, you'll see that there's a traditional red envelope in view, though ours didn't contain money, but a couple of lottery tickets.

It wasn't long ago that I learned a bit about a First Nations tradition called Hoobiyee, a celebration that marks the new year according to the moon. It was also linked to the return of the oolichan to the river, an important event marked by the Nisga'a.

I wasn't able to see the moon last time it was 'new' (February 15th), but I'm hoping its shape was more of an upturned crescent than a downturned one. My reason goes back to one of the concepts I learned about Hoobiyee: the first new moon after the new year indicates what kind of harvests there will be. An upturned one (cup-like) indicates bounty, while a downturned one, the opposite. Especially where I've just pruned our berry bushes, I am already looking for a good harvest later this summer.

And after our yummy sampling last night, I suspect, before the week is out, I am going to want to go to a restaurant for a celebratory feast of more dim sum.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

P.S. to the previous post

Yep, looks like spring is 'off' again.

Hoping this lacy white stuff only lasts through Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

On again off again spring

This past week has seen temps going up and down, from T-shirt afternoons to bundled-up as if ready for snow mornings.

The sun has meant I've managed to get myself outside more. I've pruned a friend's blackberries, trimmed some butterfly bushes and rhododendrons, and hacked the dead bits off of some of our roses too.

While the snowdrops are to be expected this time of year (and are out, in their usual proliferation), the daffs and tulips are up a good hand span, looking green and fresh -- a welcome sight. And the little treasure above (a cyclamen, something I generally overwater and kill) said hello to me from a friend's garden patch -- a friend who, unlike me, was a dedicated and skilled gardener.

Sadly, the meaning of the cyclamen is resignation and goodbye.

Even though that gardener friend has been gone a couple of years now, I don't suppose I'll ever be quite ready for a final goodbye -- especially when I see such lovely signs of life from her.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Superb Owl goes to the Super Bowl

...and takes an actual 'super bowl' along.

The bowl has quite a history. It started life as a prop in a play, but remains as an item in my kitchen. And yes, that's coloured tape on the side of it. The effect was supposed to make it look like Mexican pottery.

The bowl's theatrical background made it seem like the right container for treats brought back from Cuba, even if the geography's not exactly right. (There'll be more on that visit in coming posts, I am sure.)

The 'treats' are a range of junk foods, but ones that seem perfect for nibbling with beer at a Super Bowl party with friends. Garlic flavoured puffy balls, cheesy ones too. Another that I think is mostly potatoes.

Whatever, they should be a good conversation piece, even if they aren't the hit of the potluck table.

(Go, Eagles!)