Friday, 29 May 2015

a misty morning

At 7 this morning, I couldn't see across the field, but an hour later:

the day unfolded,

the greenery lush.
 Our little peach tree, set near the corner, is still wrapped in a stocking of white spiralled plastic.

The lilacs bloom alongside the roofed exit to the walkout basement,

their scent heavenly

The Japanese Maple's bandaged branches have healed and it looks very happy.
Forget-Me-Nots create a blue border beyond.

Muji wonders what I am doing, those pale aqua eyes want to know

May has been a healing month for the Japanese Maple, Muji, Wally and me. April was a harsh teacher, but we have learned a lot. I am  daring to feel the optimism of Spring. 

We have learned, not only to make a raw food diet for the cats, but to allow ourselves to listen to our inner wisdom that this was the right way to go. The cats are looking much healthier these last 2 weeks since taking them off  the "therapeutic" diet after 7 weeks on  their prescribed 12 week programme.  I use quotation marks because it is clear that, while the food we were told to use may clear up crystals in Muji's urine, it is not good for his overall health. 

During this course of time, I have learned to use a chef's knife after a lifetime of being afraid of them, only using a small paring knife all these years for most tasks in the kitchen, or a bread knife on occasion.  Juicing with cilantro among a myriad of vegetables for leeching heavy metals was added to our routine for Wally's trembling hands. It worked.  Daily preparation of the Budwig protocol for the cataracts in my eyes has made a difference. Deboning raw chicken thighs (lowest bone to meat ratio) for the cats' new diet until we can afford a grinding machine is the latest addition to the regimen. This is the first year we have added new dandelion leaves from our yard to our salad; long overdue: they are delicious.

All this unsettling shift in our lives led me one day to a video that startled me into a kind of awakening:


  I had seen this video before but never connected to it so well as I do now.  I came to understand on a deeper plane the need for "slow food, slow lifestyle" and that I am part of the post World War II generation that has been diverted from the simple life of past generations, people who naturally grew their own food, baked their own bread, brewed their own herbal remedies. We were indoctrinated to be consumers, to work towards not working, to be served.  I learned that it was good to have  someone else cook for me, grow food for me, in other words feed me instead of being invested in my own garden and food preparation. I learned that someone else must fix me with drugs instead of having the tools for my own health care, drive me instead of using my own body to get from A to B, well, you get the idea. I also learned not to ask too many questions, to leave it up to the "professionals", and I became a" child"  in their "parental" care.

Our culture is very "other" dependent. That would be a good thing if it meant that we had community and neighbours on which we could depend, but unless one belongs to a social structure where the old ways are passed down, learning how to make one's own bread -without a machine- is, at best, novelty, and at worst, revolutionary. By "other" I mean, that we are socialized to get someone else to cook for us, to entertain us, to heal us, etc.  There are reasons for knowing self care that I won't get into here, but it is helping me to turn the runaway locomotive that was April around.  It has certainly made me re-examine the new Minimalism and down-sizing that is in vogue and rethink my foresight to keep the handgrinder that we are using today. Because of this "awakening" I am more connected to the "privilege to be able to hang your clothes on the line"

So while I have not managed to get into the studio, there have been doodles.

each doodle representing a telephone call

I have no idea where they come from, no agenda, just a mindless raveling.

I hope you have managed to take some pleasure from the season wherever you may be. Spring is so beautiful here with forsythia in a blaze of canary yellow and rhododendrons engorged in violet rose. The cherry blossoms fell like snow earlier this week and give way to the other fruit trees.  It is Apple Blossom Festival here this week. Suddenly the road crews are out repairing potholes and the big vacuum truck is cleaning the winter's sand and debris. It inspires me to keep cleaning and reducing our mess.("Keep nothing you do not believe to be useful or beautiful") Always something to do.

One of the lines I found funniest was Maggie Smith's in her role as the dowager duchess in the television drama, Downton Abbey, when she asked, "What is a weekend?"
Ironically, many of my days flow into the next one, and but for Wally's schedule or the occasional appointment, I often find myself caught up short that it is Friday already.  I venture to guess, that it is a rare person these days that isn't so removed from the world that they don't know what a weekend is, so it won't be too perplexing if I wish you a happy one:)

 Blessings and good cheer.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Of course it isn't sudden, but when one is preoccupied with other things and casually looks up-
there it is!
The neighbour's cherry tree in full blossom

the munificence of just one branch

and closer

the lavish beauty in numbers, even the starbursts of stamens

 Only one tulip survives the deer who don't like daffodils.

Like girls in their frilly yellow dresses twirling at the ball.

Over in the front yard by the driveway, where the sun is strongest, the forget-me-nots are in bloom.
These had a strong pull on my heart-strings when we first found the house.

They are sheltered from the road by the privet hedge behind them. 
Even though the grass is getting high, we never mow until the forget-me-nots are done.

How I love the dear-hearted forget-me-nots

Walking back to the backyard, I pass the herb garden where the chives are about to bloom..

a delicate appearing, but quite hardy chive bud

The neighbour on the other side protects his tulips with an electric fence..
His car appears just as overwhelmed with tulips as it did in the snow only a few months ago.

An accidental shot. You know how awful they usually are,
This one peers through the lilacs and new California maple leaves to the tree trunks that border the back of the neighbour's yard. So? you might ask. I see the magic of a jungle in their depth.

A surprise frond of white lilacs that have revealed themselves from Wally's pruning last fall. 
Isn't that cool? It's like the ness of honeysuckle vines that I began to tear out 2 years ago that revealed a hidden blossom thus saving it from further ravage.. I must train it this year. It explains the wrecked trellis I found buried around it.

The hayfield and the trees beyond are filling in.

Then back around forget-me-not cabin, past the door with its padlock still protected by an ancient flap of leather left from the past owners.

Along the part of the cabin facing the garden with the cherry tree glimpsed to the right. 
We are torn as to whether to repaint the funky old colour on the garage doors or update. 
Change can be so hard for sentimental folk like us.

And here, a parting shot of a surprise single blossom at the end of a very long skinny stem.

We have been so lucky to have a long spring this year. The weather is temperate with surprisingly little rain. That can't last. Soon the summer heat will be upon us here in what is known as Nova Scotia's Hell's Kitchen, the intense heat and humidity that grows the grapes and other produce that the Annapolis Valley is famous for..

Peaceful times. Focus pulled up close and present. Kindness in all choices.

We hold a smile in our hearts.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

spring tidings

Spring unfolds her sprites, the budding delights...

I stepped out into the yard last week and was startled by this froggy ornament that Wally placed in the flower garden by the steps.  I had to laugh.

Yesterday evening Wally told me about a stone that lay in the centre of some newly sprouting bulbs that he went to pluck out, figuring it had been thrown into the bed by the snow blower..
He realized there were others in the centre of each of these plants,
Very firm, though not quite stoney, we are curious to see what comes of these purplish buds..

Wally had to tie a splint to some broken branches of the Japanese Maple.
And here I thought it was so well protected, buried to the top in snow, but apparently there was enough weight on the branches that it caused some to break. The splinted branches are budding, beautifully, so we're reassured that their integrity is intact. Amazing!

Just behind the Japanese Maple lays a huge piece of driftwood we brought home from our walk cum scavenging on Spring Clean-up eve. To the right, some daffodils are about to bloom.

a tour around the yard brought me to the grapevine bed where some purple hyacinths are blooming.
Too bad my camera doesn't like purple, for they are a yummy shade.

Try as I might, I couldn't bring the purple colour up. 
Now I see that I must get at the sheep sorrel that is taking over the bed.

Beyond the grapevines is the bordering hedge of lilacs that Wally pruned back in the fall.
The pruning is going to bring in a bumper crop of lilacs. More purple
. I can already smell them in my mind's nose.

You must understand that while I am roaming the garden, there are all kinds of bird calls accompanying me.
A dear warbling sparrow comes to the trellis by our composter (where, by the way, the clematis and the hollyhocks are looking strong)  and sings its sweet song for us.
 Here, a crow in the neighbouring cherry tree announces her presence.

Back to the herb garden by the back stairs, the chives have taken off first, but no blooms yet.
Here are lemon thyme.

Another score on our Spring Clean-up walk, a resin cupid stroking a dove now sits in one of the gardens.  I didn't notice his third leg until I took this picture.  Obviously his companion flew away awfully quickly.

The garlic is the first thing up in the vegetable garden, planted last fall.

And out back, the hayfield greening.

Now it is about half an hour later and the colours grow richer in the humid fading light. 
The budding maple tree in the far corner of the yard, the white garbed peach tree in front of it.

the garden at last light 

Now it is a new day, still overcast and hinting at rain.

Babu makes plaintive mews for his breakfast.

He has learned to tap my arm to remind me. We are slowly learning each others language.
Interestingly enough, he has learned what "Quiet" means unlike my dear Muji, who belabours me with his Siamese demands.

Almost noon here and still no breakfast for moi, so I leave you with kind wishes for a sweet day.
peace, love and kindness to all 

Monday, 4 May 2015

april showers bring may flowers

We needed some cheering up so what better place to go than a nursery! So, in no particular order (and with little description as I don't remember too many of the names) :

Succulents for sale

Framed succulents. Wally identified the rusty thing on the right frame as a wood stove damper



and elephant ear :)

oh, and a bunny doodle

Have a lovely start to your May