Friday, July 21, 2017

Rambling Here and There

On Saturday, the wind blew in from the Pacific; a steady stream that boded ill for the wildfire situation in the interior of the province. The fires continue and about 45,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. We here on the Island are a bit distant, but no less concerned. Thankfully, no lives have been lost.

Saturday evening Tim and I went downtown. It's fun to mingle with the tourists and walk along the waterfront. The world comes to Victoria in the summer, via cruise ships, bus tours, and independent travelers. We welcome them. Dinner, for us, was at a favourite Mexican restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf, a bustling community where commercial fishermen dock their boats, people live on float houses, and a number of great seafood restaurants ply their wares. Combine that with live entertainment and the dramatic skies seen above, plus fish tacos, for the makings of a fun and casual evening.

On Sunday evening friends came for dinner. A pitcher of mint-raspberry water was both pretty and delicious. Next time, I'll put the raspberries in overnight - by the next morning the water was delicate pink with a marked taste of fresh raspberries. 

Paella was on the menu. One of my friends wanted to learn how to make it, so we worked together, chopping, sauteeing, and stirring. It turned out very well and the six of us went through an amazing amount of it. 

I went to Butchart Gardens two days in a row - once where I met a friend (previous post), and the second day with a favourite little man. I use my annual pass well. Mr. F's mother used to work at the gardens and, as a result, has a lifetime pass, so the gardens are very familiar to Mr. F.

He was quite clear on what he wanted to see. "I want to see the (s)pitting frog. I want to see the (s)pitting snail. I want to see the garden in a big hole (sunken garden). I want to see the (s)pitting dragon." So we crisscrossed the gardens to see what we wanted, without following much of the prescribed route. In the Japanese Garden, we walked over bridges and stepping stones, circling back around to do it all over again. Several times. All the (s)pitting things (s)pitted admirably. 

He drops the initial s and it makes me smile.

Backtracking a little to Sunday afternoon - we went blueberry picking. We eat a lot of them, mainly with yogurt or granola in the winter. Our bushes can't provide enough for us, so we went to a U-pick farm, and picked 40 pounds. They are all in the freezer now. 

Fresh dill and pickling cucumbers at the market inspired me to put up a few quarts of dill pickles.

I rambled around my garden this morning, admiring the flowers, the bees in the lavender, the squash flowers and small fruits. The sweet peas are gorgeous this year and I keep them blooming by clipping regularly. It's a double win - sweetly scented bouquets in the house and more blooms in the garden. 

The sweet peas at Butchart Gardens are also doing well. I overheard some visitors saying, "oh, let's pick one and eat it," so I cautioned them that they are not edible. 

There's been some reading. Armchair travel via the two bottom books, and light mysteries via the first two. I can't decide if I like Dominic LeJeune, the protagonist of this series. He's a bit too moody.

The week also included tea with a cousin. She and I are both fond of blue. So I end this rambling post with a blue hydrangea blossom. The weekend holds ramblings of a different sort. How about you? Have you rambled near or far?


  1. It sounds like you are thoroughly enjoying your summer break with a wide variety of things! The hydrangea is a real beauty!

  2. Great rambling and photos. The first pictures looks like a painting.
    The Paella looks delicious! It's one of the best photos I've seen of that dish.

  3. Oh dear...I am so far under a rock that this is the first I hear of interior fires. Hope that gentle, squelching rains come soon. I can hear your little grand's lisp and it sounds adorable. Boys do keep a grandmother busy! The raspberry water is so there such a thing as blueberry water?

  4. What a lovely idea to add raspberries to the water, I have only ever used lemon, but leaving the raspberries longer to make the water turn pink sounds like a great idea.
    I do like blue hydrangeas, mine are all pink - if I was able to grow blue then I would probably want pink!

  5. that's a whole lot of PITTING . So cute when they are working on pronunciation. Your photos are wonderful!!!

  6. I can't imagine anyone thinking they could eat sweet peas! Lovely photos of your ramblings, especially the beautiful flowers...and the paella too. Blueberries here are mainly in supermarkets at £2.00 per small punnet, so I gazed longingly at yours!

  7. Lots of great things to see and reading about. Seeing the food and seeing the fruit makes my mouth water. I still have not ever made Paella but it always intrigues me. I see a lot of pitting when I watch soccer. Have a good weekend.

  8. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Lorrie, that food looks so delicious! Love the idea of raspberry and mint tea! And nice blueberries! The flowers are gorgeous. Good work!

  9. Beautiful hydrangea! Wow! Sounds like your having a wonderful summer! Mr. F certainly did know what he wanted to do!

  10. I hope the only ()pitting that happened was at the gardens. lol What fun that this little one loves the gardens so much. Your food looks wonderful and so does the raspberry/mint infused water....even it you couldn't taste the raspberries it is a pretty presentation.
    I need to get some blueberries, too.
    Have a great weekend- xo Diana

  11. I was a little slow to get the s(pitting). HA! I'm a fan of paella so I was drooling over your tasty dish!

  12. I have only had paella once, and really enjoyed it! I was determined to try my hand at making it sometime...but have not yet purchased the paella pan. Yours looks yummy...with such a west coast theme! We love raspberry flavoured water...and use frozen raspberries throughout the year.

  13. Lorrie, your summer just sound so lovely.

  14. Such a lovely post, and your photographs are so good to look at.
    I think the pitcher of mint-raspberry water looks so pretty and I'm sure tasted delicious.
    What a beautiful hydrangea.

    All the best Jan

  15. To foster a child's love of gardens is a joy.

    When I see the wildfire reports I think of you and a few other blog friends from that area and pray it will end soon. I am always astonished to think of you actually living in such an idyllic place. It makes me curious to know whether you are from there originally or if not why you located there? If I remember correctly your parents live further inland, right? You go through mountains to visit them? To live where people splurge to vacation seems amazing but then maybe you take it for granted the way we take Nashville for granted, even though the world comes a visiting here too.

  16. Such a lovely post. The first photo with the moody skies is beautiful. Wishing we had a pick your own fruit farm but ours stopped a while back when the owners retired. That paella look delicious bet you all enjoyed it. Will have to look out that crime series its new to me :). B x

  17. Wonderful photos, Lorrie, as yours are always. The mint and raspberries look really pretty.
    The fires are awful - drought and wildfires are devastating Southern Europe too. What a strange weather also this year! We have had cold weather for months. It's slightly boring, but not very dangerous yet.
    Wishing you some rainy days!

  18. I love the story about all the spitting! Made me laugh! Sounds like a lovely place to wile away the hours. We are having fire problems here too. It has been so hot and dry. Send some of your rain this way. :) Kit

  19. Great photos, Lorrie. I especially love the first one. Kisses from Greece.

  20. What a wonderful weekend you enjoyed full of special things, your Little Man is adorable how lucky are you all to be able to enjoy Butchart as often as you wish. We only spent a few hours there when we visited many years ago and I would love to go back nd see if it has changed or not.
    I hadn't heard about the fires, I do hope that no lives have been lost since you wrote this post.


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