Showing posts from November, 2018

Finding Lost Things: Part One

This post has taken enormous courage to publish. I read a piece of writing, just a sentence or two, about lost things, and it piqued my imagination. From it I created a simple story, not a literary work by any means. It will be published in three posts over the next week. I hope you enjoy it as I have enjoyed writing it. 

Alicia didn’t know exactly when she lost her love of Christmas. It was gradual, imperceptible, lost over years of baking too many cookies for piano recitals and school programs, lost through wandering the malls looking for just the right gift, lost by too little sleep and wondering if she’d done enough.
          She remembered the anticipation of being a child – those years when the turning of the calendar to December 1 kindled a small spark of excitement that was fed into flames by playing the part of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer in the puppet show in Grade One, by putting on an angel costume and singing Angels We Have Heard on High in the Sunday School program. S…

Towards the end of November

Our small table, where we eat when it's just the two of us, has the best view of the bird feeder. These days we watch black-eyed juncos, house finches, a variety of sparrows, the occasional towhee, and a few chickadees vying for positions on the feeding perches. They can certainly squabble, those birds, all a bit greedy to have sole access to the feeder. 

"No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, No comfortable feel in any member - No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds - November!" -   Thomas Hood, No!
Hood's words seem a little harsh for this year's November. We've had a fair bit of sunshine and just yesterday I saw a wasp inspecting a red Christmas light strung along the eaves, perhaps thinking it some sort of flower. I pulled on my wellies this afternoon and tramped around the garden. How surprised I was to see a few flowers: a couple of cornflowers, a sweet pea, some roses, a stalwart zinnia, and of cou…

The Soft Side of November

I carry the sheets, warm from the dryer, up the stairs to the bedroom. Holding one edge of the sheet, and raising my arms high, I let the sheet fly upwards and billow like a cloud before it settles quietly on the bed. November bright sun surges through the window illuminating the African violet on the bookshelf. Crisp shadows, pale coloured flowers against rich green leaves. 
The sight was worth going downstairs for my camera.

Outside, the brilliant leaves of late October and early November are fading into pale shadows of themselves, settling deeper into the earth. Gingko leaves curl into whorls of creamy yellow.

Birds pick off the Hawthorne berries one by one, leaving open spaces among the branches. A few shriveled black berries are perhaps a reminder that the feast won't last indefinitely.

November comes And November goes With the last red berries                              And the first winter snows

On one hydrangea bush, the leaves and blossoms sing a duet of colour that will soon f…

A November Weekend

November 11. Remembrance Day here in Canada. Our church service this morning honoured those who gave their lives in service to their country. 

After lunch, it seemed like a good idea to go for a walk. The sun shone weakly and intermittently and my chair by the fire was very attractive. I left it reluctantly. However, once outdoors, the crisp air and a brisk 10 km walk got my endorphins working. For the first half hour I wished for gloves as the wind was chilly coming off the water of Elk/Beaver Lake, but I did warm up. 

Dull leaves litter the ground. A few still fall, lazily drifting back and forth, before being caught by ground hugging bushes and suspended. 
Snow berries (Symphoricarpos Albus) are the brightest plants in the wood these days. 

Leaves of various shades float on the dark water among the rushes. 

The other day I read a funny article about How NOT to Hygge. The author begins "It's been two years of listening to people not from Scandinavia tell us what Hygge is - and w…

Friday Bliss / Friday Five

Rain has once again been vanquished by sunshine. This morning I looked outside from the bedroom window to see white-frosted roofs stepping down the street below our house. A frosty morning usually means a sunny afternoon, and such was the case. I like the way sunlight streams into the living room, although I don't admire the way it reveals the need for window washing. 

Last weekend's rain dampened and clogged the bird feeder. They would come and try to feed, but couldn't, so Tim took it apart, washed and dried it thoroughly, and refilled it. It emptied quickly with house finches flying in to chatter and feast. 

Dark-eyed juncos await their turn at the feeder. I can see another housekeeping job that needs to be done. 

Autumn afternoon light slants low and adds a glow to the garden.

I've had a hankering for warming Beef Bourguignon. On Tuesday night I browned each piece of meat, peeled carrots, chopped onions, and deglazed the browning pan with wine and beef stock before tip…

November Celebrations

Last night we moved the clocks back to Standard Time. As I write, it's nearing 5 pm and darkness begins to cloak the landscape. Trees toss their branches, littering streets and gardens with leaves in golden shades. Soon we'll close the curtains and withdraw into coziness.

Over the past day or two a Pineapple Express from the South Pacific blew through bringing heavy rain, wind, and warm temperatures. In my garden roses continue to bud and bloom, although the full flowers droop under the weight of rain. The pink dahlias produce enough flowers for me to clip a small bouquet each week. Yesterday I discovered a few raspberries, not as sweet as summer's fruit, but still "very tasty" according to a six-year-old who spent the night and enjoyed the berries with her breakfast. 

This hydrangea blossom clearly misunderstood the memo about November. She looks a little uncertain and young alongside the mature and weathered blooms. 

After a very wet night the sun streamed into th…