Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Lady's Hat - Now Under New Ownership

Often when I called her to find out about her day, Nana would give a list of all the things she did.

She'd often done something like this:
  • stripped the bed,
  • washed the sheets,
  • done 2 other loads of laundry
  • put fresh sheets on (while the others were washing)
  • washed the kitchen floor,
  • scrubbed the deck outside... "those darned fuchsias are dropping everywhere!"
  • made rice crispie squares
  • and 3 batches of shortbread
  • checked the sales at the grocery stores
  • and planned her route
And that was when I'd called at 9:30 am... I guess she got up at 5.

More often than not, she'd say "Oh! and I did My Lady's Hat! ...daisies today!" It was one of my favourite things to hear her talk about the arrangement in her Lady's Hat. It was never wilted, always pretty, fresh and bright.

With Nana's passing, I have been entrusted with that task... and am sure to be under close scrutiny; Mom has threatened to abscond with it if she ever sees an arrangement that isn't fresh and perky. And I will do my best.

So far she has had:
  • white and green flowers for Nana's memorial,
  • pink gerberas and green chrysanthemums for a bit of cheer,
  • and pink roses (because if they are picked from your garden in November, they deserve only the best for their display).

I hope she approves.

More to follow. A lot more!
Thanks Nana.
You were a sweet fart.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I thought of canning some of these babies, but had concerns about the texture.


... Prickle-Pickle anyone?


It seems as though it has been raining every day since I can remember. Everything is soaked.


Rivers make their way toward the street drains passing piles of soggy leaves and debris on their way.

Looking back on the summer, I think of the harvest of warm green water bottles gleaned from the fence out back. Vines replenished. It would seem that the preparations for next summer's bounty have begun already.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I am a bit annoyed that this blog has been stuck where it was for so long. I have only myself to blame... and my sentimentality. Its time to move on. He has, and now its my turn. I'll work on it. I promise. Its just that those feelings haven't come around too often for me, and its hard to let them go.

Something creative next time.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

January Vacation

Early in the year my sweetheart, Sean, asked me if I'd join him for his birthday weekend. He wanted to get away for a couple of days to celebrate, and had managed to find a great deal on a waterfront cottage in Qualicum Beach; a place that his sister had recommended as a nice place to stay.

We left on Saturday morning and drove through the rain, stopping on the way for lattes, taking the rambling scenic route for the last part of the trip up. When we arrived we were ushered into the main building, through an old farmstyle kitchen so warm you could imagine bread dough rising in it on a daily basis. The women that greeted us were equally as warm and friendly, telling us the history of the lodge and getting us signed in. Once we'd paid, the younger of the women led us out to the cottage we were going to rent. It was a "duplex" cottage with two bachelor suites side by side. The other half hadn't been rented, so we had our choice between the two near-identical units. They were tiny and cute; somewhat sparse, just the essentials - all in 1950's style. Short of the electric kettle, toaster, and frying pan the places were totally original. Our friendly hostess mentioned that when something got worn out it was replaced with thrift store finds of the same vintage.

It was the perfect place for two.

Two chairs seated at a table in the window facing the beach, a loveseat, a double bed, an old oil cookstove (one of my favourite parts) and a small kitchen and bathroom. We got settled in to the one with the better view of the beach; bags unpacked, couch tested out, heat turned on (also provided by the oil cookstove), bed rolled around on... and after a short while of testing the place out, got ready to head out again. We went for a stroll along the beach, marvelling at the view and how lovely it was, and when it started to get dark, we headed back and into the town to pick up some birthday dinner groceries..

At the market we found crackers and antipasto, and dinner things; smoked ribs, pork roast, potatoes, cranberries, apples, onions, and wine. And coffee and morning essentials. We returned to the cottage and turned up the oilstove, and got to the dinner preparations. It was so wonderfully intimate to make dinner in a place that was ours together. The warmth of the stove as it warmed itself both to cook and heat the place, the sharing of ideas, and chopping, and washing the veggies and setting the table. And the "not rushing". Dinner was served, and was most delicious...

The next morning, we got up leisurely, made some coffees and cooked up some breakfast. As the breakfast sizzled away it was decided that it would be so nice to have breakfast on the beach. With blankets around our sweatered shoulders we headed down the path to the beach, Sean looking somewhat concerned as the seagulls approached overhead. We found a mostly dry log, balanced our coffees on it, and perched with our plates on our knees. It was so nice to be outside; it was cool and partly cloudy, but it felt so wonderful to be able to do such a thing in January.

We finished our breakfast as we fantasized about owning the house next door (on the water, with a studio!!!). What a dream place. Then we packed up and continued on our way... a bit farther north before we headed home.

It was a time I'll never forget; a time that "feels like a honeymoon". It was a reunion of loves, it was the happiest of times; it was the sharing of being.

Being together.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tea Tales

Last night I put away my new dishes. They're special ones; Royal Albert "Val d'Or" - they're from my Nana. She's moved into a smaller place, and has downsized quite a bit lately. A few days ago, when I brought the boxes of them home, I felt as though I was bringing my dowry. It felt funny to think that, but at the same time as I brought home the beautiful white and gold dishes, I was also given Nana's cedar chest. It was a gift from Grandad to her on her 17th Birthday. And now, nearing 85, she is passing it along to me. I love it.

And so, to make room for the new dishes, I began clearing out the china cabinet of everyday bits that I thought I'd ease into the kitchen cupboards.

Out came the pretty set of Japanese rice bowls, the glass bowls with silver rims, the odd egg cup, then...


brownish-taupe pottery mugs and matching cream, sugar, and teapot each with smiling sun faces. It all came flooding back.

Thoughts of their purchase on Quadra Island. Every dream I'd had of the tea I'd drink, and conversations I'd have with friends in the cozy cottage I'd build. It was a timberframe and it would be on Quadra Island, too. It's a magical place, you see. Uncle Noel was talking about them all the time; he'd actually built one up there and I had stayed in it once or twice for holidays. It was simple, and beautiful and could have easily been a place to call home.

I could smell the fire I'd burn in the fieldstone fireplace, hear the cat purring as it sat on my lap. For sure I would make a quilt for that place. There'd be potlucks and gardening parties, cozy times cuddled up with someone special. Intimate conversations punctuated by the sizzle of red and yellow cedar as it warmed the hearth.

It seems even sweeter now in the remembering. Going to Quadra Island to see my great-uncle. Bringing home a teaset and a pocket full of dreams for a sweet future.