Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tea with a New Friend

Several months ago, Marilyn of Delights of the Heart, wrote that she and her husband would be visiting Victoria. We planned to have dinner together, but that idea was scuttled when Tim had an evening meeting. Instead, we met for morning tea at the White Heather Tea Room.  

Marilyn's husband was a good sport, enjoying tea along with us while we talked about blogging, pattern making, and other sundry items. 
The scones were delicious, soft and warm. One Apricot Ginger and the other Raisin, served with Lemon Curd, Raspberry Jam, and a tart-sweet cream. I didn't need any lunch after that! 

Marilyn is a retired pattern maker and the tea cozy she gave me is one of her patterns. It will certainly come in handy in the colder months to come. She's also published a book of tea recipes that I'm looking forward to trying. Isn't her card pretty? Love that square shape.

Marilyn's husband kindly took a photo of the two of us. Isn't her smile beautiful? (unlike the person sitting beside her who barely cracked a smile) 
Meeting blogging friends is always wonderful. I'm a bit apprehensive and nervous at first, but every blogging friend visit I've had has been great. 

Have you met many of your blogging friends?  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Walk in the Woods to the Ocean

I stand still. A leaf falls, slowly twirling downwards to land on a fallen log. A cool wind sighs in the treetops. The sun streams through the branches, but it cannot completely warm the air any longer.

We arrive at McKenzie Bight. Light filters through tired green to sparkle on the water.  One hardy soul swims around the point. "He must be crazy," we think. "Or very brave."

Mosses and grass flourish now. A bit of rain works wonders although the waterfall is still dry. The filtered light beyond the moss captures the palette of this late September afternoon.

A toadstool springs up from under a dry leaf. On such a golden day it would have been a crime to stay indoors. 

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith of Lavender Cottage, and with Through My Lens, hosted by Mersad.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pattern and Design

Monday morning. Temperatures hover just above freezing. Then the sun comes out. A good day for visiting a farm in Alberta. Su

Sunlight plays through leaves and branches, casting shadows on the woodpile. I can't resist a well-stacked woodpile. All those shapes and textures form a beautiful pattern. 

This hen, along with her hen-mates, is truly free range. She clucks and runs hither and yon in utter randomness. Her beautiful feathers ruffle in the wind. The eggs she lays form part of our delicious brunch.

The old barn with a (relatively) new roof stands on the hill overlooking the farm like a protective watchman. Patterns here in the wood, some running vertically, others horizontally. Clouds form random and ever-changing designs in the sky.

A week or so before we left on our trip, our youngest daughter decided to join the family gathering. All our children would have liked to attend, but family and work commitments didn't allow it. Ashley flew from Vancouver, we from Victoria and we met in Calgary. 

Do you ever wonder anything about the clothes you wear? Who designed them? Who made them? How are they constructed? I never thought too much about such until the past few years. Ashley works as a pattern drafter for Kit and Ace, a new clothing company that is growing fast. She was recently featured in an interview and short video. I thought you might enjoy it, and you might think differently about your clothes after reading/watching it.

In a fun bit of serendipity, I'm meeting a retired pattern designer for tea this morning - I'll be sure to let you know all about it later.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Early Fall on the Prairies

Mid-September mornings in Alberta lean more towards autumn than summer. Clear, bright air. Tim and I flew over the Strait, over British Columbia, and over the Rockies to attend a wedding and an 85th birthday celebration.

One morning I got up early to walk around the ponds nearby our lodging. The sun crawled slowly up from behind the hills. Dull-leafed trees changed to gold.

Autumn draws the eye with irresistibly colored trees. There's still plenty of green, but yellow will soon take over.

Scuffling my feet in crunchy leaves is one of my favorite fall activities. Wonderful sound. I kick the leaves as high as possible and down they twirl. Do you scuffle in autumn leaves?

Isn't it lovely?

We're home again, tired and content to sit with a cup of tea and a snack. Suitcases are unpacked and tomorrow will be here soon enough. 

Over the week I'll be catching up with lots of things - what my students have been doing, laundry, and blog visiting - to name a few of them. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Just a Touch of Fall

A little house fluffing over the weekend had me thinking of a better way to organize the earrings I wear often. I tend to leave them on the bathroom windowsill or on the top of my jewelry box. 

A few pieces of blue and white (one from Spain, one from Holland, both gifts from children), a thrifted consomme cup and an old blue willow cup from Japan play nicely together on a silver tray. 

"Height is needed," thought I. So a crystal vase filled with hydrangeas that will dry in situ was added. One cup holds my opera length strand of pearls, the other my watches. The driftwood stick is something I pulled out of a coat pocket - bits and pieces often come home from a walk. 

The sun streams through the window, highlighting the varying shades of petals. 

There. One corner of the house has a little touch of fall. How's it going around your place? 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Satisfying Weekend

Sometimes, weekends can be too busy - chores to accomplish, social engagements to attend to, work that needs to be done. 

Other times, weekends flow easily and the moments unfold without haste. This past weekend was one of those, and yet, when I look back, a lot of things happened. 

Housecleaning (a cursory job of bathrooms, vacuuming and dusting), a bit of shopping (new boots, the dressy kind, not the warm kind), cookies baked, coffee on Saturday night with one set of friends and lunch on Sunday after church with another set.

A long afternoon walk on Sunday afternoon took us along Blenkinsop Lake, a trail popular with cyclists and pedestrians alike. Long shadows fall early now, yet the sun beats fiercely on our backs in defiance of the season.

On Friday night we made popcorn and watched the movie Woman in Gold. Have you seen it? I enjoy Helen Mirren in every role I've seen. The story was compelling and left me thinking of the terrible ways in which humans can treat other humans. I didn't think the movie was redemptive, but there was justice, and a coming to terms with life.

In the woods today, the cyclamen bloom. Pale colors typical of spring, not autumn, yet there they are. So lovely.

Another week begins, full of potential. 

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith of Lavender Cottage. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Finding New Rhythms

The first few days of classes are behind me. I can do this. Lesson planning, interacting with students, and marking are hesitant rhythms yet, with the awkwardness that reflects a lost ease. Slowly, it will return.

The slant of sunlight illuminating trees with hints of gold is a sure sign that autumn is finding her rhythm, too. Misty mornings heavy with dew burn into deep blue skies. Morning's light jackets are shed as the sun rises higher and stronger. The sun fades behind the hills and I reach for a sweater.

Sunflowers hold autumn's colours - almost navy blue centers circled by specks of tawny yellow and fringed with bright, shining petals. They make me smile, standing there on my mantel. 

Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Party and a Walk

It's Sunday evening. The house is quiet, back to just the two of us. I smile, remembering how different it was last night with 8 adults and 3 very active little ones. Rollicking laughter, balloons galore.

We gathered to celebrate 3 September birthdays. The big table for the big folks, and a small table for the little folks. Flowers. Candles. And don't forget the lighter, left there during the photo taking. (roll of the eyes at myself)

The Happy Birthday song sung by all, with great hilarity as everyone attempted fitting the names in, all in different order. A Little Miss helps blow out the candles. Katie, our daughter-in-law, made the cake - a scrumptious poppy seed chiffon, filled with jam and vanilla pudding and covered with whipping cream. It's a family favorite from years ago and I'm tickled that she made it.

Church this morning and this afternoon we took our daughter to catch a ferry back to Vancouver. The two of us stopped in Sidney by the Sea for a walk along the water. Blue sky. Deep blue ocean that seems to hold all the richness of summer light.

Along the pathway, cheery clumps of golden Black-eyed Susans nod at passersby. 

Tall masts reflect in the water. Autumn is in the air - crisply fresh. The earth gives off the warmth it gathered during summer's height. A fine day to savor life, arms resting on the fence rail overlooking the marina, face lifted to the sky.

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith of Lavender Cottage. 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Back to School in a Garden

Teachers at my school went back on Monday. No students until next week. After a meet and greet in the school lobby, we all boarded school buses and trundled over to the Horticultural Gardens of the Pacific for in-service and lunch.

The day was drizzly and I had little time for wandering, but after lunch I went for a short walk. These photos were taken with my I-phone. I like a garden with some whimsy in it, like the planted rubber boots, and this succulent planter perched on a pedestal. 

This dwelling looks well-loved. The red and wood are great against the yellow flowers.

How many kinds of dahlias are there? I don't know, but I enjoy all of them, especially these pink-with-a-hint-of-yellow ones. 

Roses drooping in the rain. I was ever so slightly pleased/relieved to see that even beautiful gardens like this struggle with black spot on the roses. Our summer was so very dry (that's ended with a vengeance) that I didn't have much trouble with black spot in my own garden.

This weekend we will be celebrating the September birthdays in our family - 3 of them. Garden clean-up is also in the plan, if the rain stops. And I'd love to get to some sewing, if there's time. What are your plans? 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

On a September Evening

A fine drizzle of rain falls outside my window. I watch the street light flicker, go off, then come on in full force. Tree tops sway in the light wind. It's September 1 and feels like fall. 

Teachers are in school this week; classes begin next week. Meetings and prep time are cut short by the need to organize classrooms after some major and minor renovations over the summer. Brand new science labs, but the construction spilled into almost every classroom. 

Today I helped move English book sets. Teachers were ruthless, boxing up discards of sets that hadn't been taught for years. 

I came home exhausted, glad that dinner was simmering in the slow cooker. Before school I had also prepared the dry ingredients for Platz, and the treat came together quickly. Plum Platz, a favorite from my childhood. But today's version including varying flavors - a row or four of plums, one of peach, with apple and raspberry completing the pan. I used up fruit on hand.

Now, I sit with a cup of tea and a glowing candle while darkness closes in. 

Of Spare Rooms and House Guests

  If you've ever read L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables , you'll remember the importance of the spare room. It was a long-...