Thursday, September 21, 2023

The tale of a tail and more

Earlier this month, I spent some time cat-sitting--not something I do very often, as I have allergies, but...This kitty is special. Her name is Miss Molly. 

It didn't take many days for her to train me to understand her needs, including when to brush her, pet her, go outside with her, and of course, dole out the snacks. 

She'd sit near me and give me 'the look' which fortunately, I learned to understand. Standing by the kitchen door was the easiest, as it meant she wanted me to grab my book and for the two of us to go out to sit on the deck on the puffy-cushioned chairs. 

When my tour of duty was nearing its end, I was packing my things and had left the bag for my rainboots and extra shoes on the floor. 

Since pretty well all paper bags are fair game for kitties to climb into, that's exactly what she did. 

But little did I know that she'd curled up inside. So when I went to pick up the bag, it was much heavier than I'd expected it to be. Then slink, out she came, clearly not happy that I'd disturbed the place she'd chosen for a nap. 

I'm hoping that particular experience didn't sour our relationship too much, as I'm planning to go back there in October. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what she decides, whether I will remain worthy of her friendship or not. 

Sunday, September 10, 2023


While I am very grateful that I don't have to rely on my foraging skills to eat, it's certainly an activity that I enjoy.

As the various fruits have ripened over the summer, I've been picking and packing those away as wintry treats. So far, four kinds of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries) are either in the freezer or stored as jars of jam. As for apples and pears, I've been freezing or canning them, and may still dry a few. Some of these treats will fill gift bags at Christmas. Others will be hand to enjoy with toast or yogourt. Frozen ones will serve as filling in crisps or pies. 

It's not time yet to go out seeking mushrooms, especially where we're still experiencing drought conditions--once practically unheard of here in Canada's rainforest province. Those need the kiss of moisture to bring their fruiting bodies to the surface of the woodlands. 

So yesterday saw me exploring the rocky shoreline for seaweeds. I suppose because I'm somewhat adventurous, I enjoy adding these to soups or stir-fry dishes. As the tide receded, there were so many different kinds to gather. Our province is home to a huge variety from giant bull kelp, some of which are now endangered as are so many species on our fragile planet.  

When it comes to preserving them, drying seems to work best, and they reconstitute quickly when they hit the hot broth. They'll be an interesting taste treat in the coming months--and in addition, a nice boost of vitamins and minerals, including iodine. 

Like I said, I am fortunate to not have to rely on what I forage, but it's something I will probably always like doing.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Just peachy

Poking around for information about peaches, I found that there's a state in the US that claims it as their state symbol. But gosh, wouldn't you know that it would have to be Georgia, the state that's making more than its share of news these days. 

I'd rather not hear or see more about he-who-shall-not-be-mentioned. 

Instead, I'm looking forward to being able to pick and eat one of these glowing orbs from the brave little peach tree in our back yard as it's spent the summer surviving extended drought and now, smoky air. 

Nonetheless, I'm counting on it tasting as explosively delicious as its companions have in previous years--one of the highlight treats of summer! 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Are people getting stupider?

I'm not sure, but it seems to me that some folks indeed are getting stupider. And I have a few reasons for thinking this--not all of them completely stupid. 

My number one reason is the number of folks in the US who continue to believe that he-who-shall-not-be-named is a truth-teller and, as such, is worthy of being able to run (and be elected) as the next president of the US. 

Another reason comes from watching today's news where California is being drenched by rains from Hurricane Hilary (only one L there, so no politicizing, please). As a result many roads have been closed now that waters are rushing over them, temporary rivers.

But hey--what's that I saw a little while ago on CNN??  Yep, folks driving past the 'road closed' signs as if they were mere decorations. Stupid. And I suppose if their car gets wrecked, they'll be looking for compensation from their insurance provider. 

The reason I even thought about this in the first place was a message on a box of cereal in our pantry. Look closely (you can double-click on the pic to enlarge it) at the box of Vector and you'll actually find 'directions for use' offering instructions for how much cereal to put into your bowl as well as how much milk (skimmed--oops, I use 1%) to add. To think, for all these years, I've probably been doing it wrong. Duh!!

Friday, August 11, 2023

The weeds shall inherit the Earth

It's been about the driest summer I can recall. There was maybe one brief rain shower in July, and not much more this month--at least not yet. So most of the lawns in our neighbourhood are golden brown. 

Only, not all of them. 

It amazes me, but there are actually people who live nearby who have artificial turf instead of lawn. I suppose it's easy to have a lawn that never needs cutting, but...

I'll avoid going into my objections over such artifice even though they make up a longish list of gripes. The day is too beautiful to be indoors typing, so I am going to go back outside. 

But I must say that there's something quite agreeable about seeing such a tangle of invasive morning glory (bindweed) as well as some other sprawling weed exerting themselves across their would-be finery. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

A new chapter

After a weekend spent on more than one ferry, the Big Move is now complete. Whew!

It wasn't us, but my son and his partner, gone to Vancouver Island to a very comfy house. It's much bigger than their old one, with space for a decent office for each of them. And oh, the storage shelves and cupboards and closets and drawers -- Wow!

There's also an amazing garden there, with raised beds looking ready for next year's plantings, along with an apple tree, a plum tree, and a nicely established bed of raspberry canes. 

Even in winter the garden will look amazing, as there's holly and all kinds of small evergreens. But the most fun part is all the birdhouses and small statues interspersed amongst the greenery. One of them is this Buddha, who's clearly happy to have them near. 

Now I guess we're just going to have to get accustomed to more rides on BC Ferries

Sunday, July 23, 2023

So much depends...

Oh, just look at all that shiny stuff -- right down to the gold-striped serviettes. Shiny or what. 

Those items were accessories at the buffet meal served yesterday at the 'celebration of life' held for a dear friend. I'm not sure she would have liked that much plastic, especially where it looked like it might not be recyclable. Still, it certainly made the table very pretty, and I know that intentions were good. 

The food was quite amazing, with everything from several kinds of salmon -- delicate smoked lox, even chunks of candied salmon. And just about every kind of fruit you could think of, especially the summer treats like melons and berries. 

But for me, even more amazing were the memories people shared. It felt like all of us in the room were part of some overgrown aging family. 

And most amazing of all was one of the speeches, clearly the best-prepared of any that were presented. 

This friend used the analogy of the humble wheelbarrow to illustrate the many wonderful traits of our recently-gone friend. The wheelbarrow, overall, was such an apt metaphor for our friend as she was an avid gardener who never let the chance to enlist guests in work parties pass her by. But on, to the wheelbarrow, on which we know 'so much depends'. 

The legs, left and right, stood for the two sides of her brain -- logic and organizational skills on the right, balanced by the freedom-loving creative side on the left (which was also pointed out as being the departed's political leanings). 

The wheel with its ever-forward, onward direction reminded us of our friend's penchant for travelling the globe, sometimes even on the wheels of a bicycle. 

And yes, William Carlos Williams told it so beautifully all those years ago with his spare little poem about the wheelbarrow

Shiny plastic cutlery or not, I am sure our friend must have looked down on all of us and smiled.