Tuesday, June 18, 2019

In Memorium: Betty Sabey 1928 - June 16, 2019

Photo Credit: Bill Sabey

Betty Sabey

Photo Credit: Bill Sabey

A celebration of the life of Betty Sabey was held in her garden, as she wished.

 All of her children and her grandchildren attended as well as many of her Vancouver friends.

Churches on Monday

 Wyona and I weeded our respective gardens this morning, one of us for over an hour. Our collective reward for doing this hard Monday morning work was to go to Salmon Arm and visit our favourite thrift store: Churches of Salmon Arm. We had a discussion as to whether the shop was open, since our friends told us it would be closed. But the internet, that carrier of all truth, said the store was open and it was.

Wyona found two small wicker baskets shaped like garden hanging chairs, but they were sized for a child’s doll.

 She bought both of them.

She is going to hang them from a tree in her yard.

She also found some lovely crystal: one piece to be used for spare earrings and the other just the right size for snacks left on the kitchen table.

... the large red checkered picnic table cloth thrown in for free ...
... plus one set of blue napkins and one set of white cloth napkins ...
I found a wicker picnic basket – not fully equipped, but I didn’t learn that until I got it home.

Still it had a big red checkered table cloth, four blue napkins and a full set of white cutlery plus four plates.

Whatever pieces are missing, I am sure Grandmother will be able to supply for a never ending backup of glasses and bowls.

The whole intent is to use the basket to go into the woods for a picnic.

 Lucky for us, the woods are only 15 feet away.

I also found a copy of Edith Fowke’s Red Rover, Red Rover: Children’s Games Played in Canada. I shall be studying this book during my lunch hours.

For the curious I shall list the Contents:

1. Starting a Game
2. Chasing Games
3. Catching Games
4. Seeking Games
5. Hunting Games
6. Racing Games
7. Duelling Games
8. Exerting Games
9. Daring Games
10. Guessing Games
11. Acting Games
12. Pretending Games
13. Miscellaneous Games 14. Marble Games
15. Word Games

The cost of the book on the internet is $309.00 new and  $27.95 used.

This copy at the Churches of Salmon Arm Thrift Store was $2.00.

What if I can find a way to just do one new game a week with the Richard and Miranda's little childen?

 A lovely what if....


Thursday, June 13, 2019

The South Facing Flower Bed

... the view from Arta's bedroom ...
A Spring Sunrise 

You have to be up at 4:13 am
to see something like this
I walk by Miranda’s and Richard's cabin at the Shuswap every day.

I am on my way to water Moiya’s newly planted raspberry canes while she is away.

As I am watering that space and a little more for I can see newly planted grass that needs some water, I look back at Miranda’s iris bed.

One tall iris between 3 and 4 feet high is in the bed.

The rest of the space is irises that aren’t doing that well – they maintain themselves as leaves but they do not flower.

The rest of the bed has the natural look -- meadow.

While I was holding the sprinkler, for I hand water, I decided to just dig that bed up for Miranda since I am walking by there every day.

The dig has not gone as planned.

I thought it would be easy to turn over the soil. And the top four inches were good.  But then there is a fist-sized rock or a boulder that stops the axe every time it hits the earth.

I can’t help thinking of the past when I unearth a buried treasure there. How about the rusty metal U-turn that goes with a plumbing unit?

I found the end of an electrical chord.  I couldn't pull the rest of it out from beneath the house no matter how hard I dug.

I dug out a horseshoe, now three feet deep. I wondered which kids were accused of taking it for their play and ruining the men’s game that was played in the area between the two houses. Now I know the horse shoe was just in the flower bed.

I found second spoon in my dig, while not in a condition to eat with, a perfectly good toy for the sand box. Another generation of children playing the same game of “Dig in the Sand” with the same tool.

I found a white bone, round, a diameter of maybe 1 ½ inches and 2 inches in length, the marrow now gone from the bone. I stopped to consider if this would look good as a necklace. Just a rope of the right kind through it and it would be pretty classy, I thought. I held it in the palm of my hand for a while and then decided, no – too heavy.

My Breakfast
strawberries from Moiya's garden
The hardest pat of the dig were two boulders and one stump. I had to call on David Pilling a few years ago to help me with a boulder I couldn’t bring out of a flower bed (the bed being, supposedly 2 feet deep, but sometimes I cheat with 18 inches or less). David pulled it, rolled it out and then said to me, “You could have done it if you had just believed.”

So I took David’s advice. I started to “believe” with my two boulders and kept working the first one with my axe. Nobody would have been more surprised than me when it first moved enough that I knew I was going to get it all the way out.

“A good case for believing,” I thought.

The stump was hard until I figured ut that I should cut all of the roots and then try to pry the stump out. This turned out to be a good idea.

And that is the end of my journey to the bottom of the flower bed. Tomorrow I shall refill it with the dirt I saved and I will add a little more black compost to it.

I will love that flower bed.


The Poplar Seed

There were small tufts of white poplar seeds float through the air in the evening, and tonight about 7 pm the wind picked up.

 It could have been snowing as that downward wind picked up the small white seeds.

I could see them floating downward from the top of the road where the poplar tree is, to the bottom of the valley.

Floating as the snow does in big tufts in the winter.

Both Glen and David Pilling say to me, "If  you miss Spring here, you miss the best part of the year".

Now I get why they say this.

Wild flowers make meadows where the grass is not mowed.

Today I could see that one of my peony bushes is beginning to fade.

Fifteen unpicked blossoms.

I ran out of vases before I ran out of flowers to put in them.

And then as a rounded the corner tonight I came face to face with another peony bush in full blossom.

One blossom would more than fill the palm of my hand – maybe 2 hands.

Small red roses are blooming at the corner of my porch and the rose bush that we call LaRue had two white buds ready to bloom.

Yes, to miss Spring here is to miss one of nature's miracles.


In Mexico - Moiya and David

David heard thunder this morning. When I looked outside the ground was all wet but the sky was blue.

David and Moiya Wood on The Malecon
We are going to take the bus to Alltown Puerto Vallarta this morning.

I want to get a silver necklace.

Not only that, we have not been into the old town yet and we can get there on the bus for 10 pesos. That is about $.75 Canadian.

It is really fun to be on the buses with the locals.

They have all been so kind.

We have only three more days here in Puerto Vallarta.

Then off to Calgary on Saturday and ride up to Spruce Grove where David will help Adam finish his deck.

Love Moiya

Sent from my iPhone Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What’s the Rush

Photo: Rob Dirk
I am still connected to the habits of my pre-retirement life.

I time every event around here: cooking, cleaning, typing, gardening.

I think I need to make sure I get places when I am supposed to be there.

I think that if I make a meal I have to have it ready when the clock strikes 6 pm.

But really? For me? What is the rush?

So I have my lunch at 3 pm? That just seems to work for me. That feels good to just let my gardening life play itself out and gather up the tools and quit when I wish to.

This was not totally true yesterday when I had the battle of the blackberry bushes. Walking down the nineteen steps from the house to the road has become dangerous. The blackberry vines curve out on the stairs. Some secure themselves to ground close to the stairs and become a new bush full of thorns. Alice and Betty were sometimes afraid to walk up the stairs last year.

In an effort to protect the little girls this year, I put on some green gloves that are meant for working with prickly bushes. I suited up with a fleece hoodie and then put on a heavy-duty jean jacket on over it. I pulled my hat down low on my brow. I laid down a tarp to receive the cuttings. I cut back those bushes as far as I could, gingerly moving them one by one with just the tips of my fingers. I laid them all parallel to one another, just as Glen has taught me to do. This makes transporting any pile of branches easier.

The best thing about dragging the blackberry branches to the burn pile is that when I turned the tarp over and leaned into it to secure the load to the pile, I could feel the vines collapse into one another. I thought of how painful that would be, to lay on a bed of blackberry vines. When I pulled the tarp away, there was no slippage. The vines clung to each other – a bonus since I didn’t have to reach down and throw runaway ones back onto the pile.

I did hear myself say ouch a number of times during the cutting. Those little thorns could reach out and get me when I was least expecting to feel them.  Yes, they got their revenge.  Yes, I made the path safe.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Rocket Man at a Theatre near You

David Camps Johnson was having an “electronics / sleep over” party last ni weekend, the emphasis on the party being the former and not the latter.

Bonnie came out to Annis Bay to spend the evening with me.

We began the night with home-made pizza, and in a moment of spontaneous madness, we drove to Salmon Arm for the opening of the Salmon Arm Art Gallery show.

That event ending and being a lot of fun, we drove by the theatre to see if there was anything playing that would interest us. Neither of us were ready to end the night.

“Nope,” I said on looking at the marquee. “Nothing.”

“Hey, Rocketman  is about Elton John and I want to see that,” Bonnie said.
Image from IMDB

With one half hour to the start time and not being ones to waste any minutes together, we knew we could get a small Frosty for $.99 (the new summer price) and still be in time for the movie.

I stayed awake, mostly.  It is hard not to compare Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born and Rocketman, trying to figure out which one I liked best.  Th.e problem is that there are 3 genres here: a biopic, a fiction and a musical fantasy.  Better to view each with its own set of conventions and see if the movie works with those.

Image from IMDB
Bonnie said that Elton John was the first popular culture singer she was aware of as a child – she learned about him in Grade II and she used to practise his lyrics while walking to and from Tracy Appleton’s house.

Apparently she was successful for I could often hear her voice softly chiming in on some of the tunes during the movie. Usually patrons would shush someone who does that, but she wasn’t the only one singing. I could hear the other movie goers seemed singing as well -- the event was a quiet sing-a-long.

I slept in the movie when I needed to. I think I was awake for about 9/10 of it.

On the way back to the lake, we dropped by her house so Bonnie could check on the party there, even though Joaquim was overseeing the event. The snacks, four pizza’s and three 2 quart-bottles of Mountain Dew were gone but the party was still going strong.

Not like parties of people my age where as soon as the food is gone, we go home for our self-set 9 pm curfew.