Friday, June 12, 2020

Five on a Rainy Friday: Roses and Rhubarb

Mid-June. Outside my window the raindrops fall. I'm wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a light sweater, and socks. The socks are a nod to the weather, normally I go barefoot from May to September. I can hear the faint chirp of birds outside, along with the tumble of the dryer inside. 

The above photo is of Boscobel, on a non-rainy day. She's giving me great delight.

I stepped out into the garden for a few minutes for some mint, and went back for my camera. Gertrude Jekyll, and Secret, below, are blooming in the rain. 

My reading is not very exciting. I don't have the mental energy just now for anything challenging or very exciting. I'm re-reading Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher, and found her words about the beginning of the Second World War applicable just now -

"Afterwards, in retrospect, Judith was always to remember the war as being a lot like a long journey in an aeroplane...hours of boredom interspersed with flashes of pure terror."

I don't know about the terror aspect, but I fear this Covid-19 will be a long journey that is often boring and uncomfortable. And I say this from an Island deemed free of the virus. Restrictions still apply. 

Our border with our friends to the south, where many of my readers live, is closed. We are becoming quite appalled by the way a few people think that the border doesn't really exist. We've heard about boaters coming up to explore our waters as they always do during the summer. We welcome them, but I'd just like to tell everyone to stay away for now. Washington State has many, many more cases than BC - with more new ones every day. 

It's almost lunchtime here. I'm going to have some cucumbers, red peppers, and cottage cheese with pickled onions, sunflower seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Followed by a square of dark chocolate for dessert. And probably another mug of steaming tea since it's a chilly day.

Being out in my garden fills me with deep content. We're enjoying fresh strawberries, not many, but enough, and last night I picked the first small bowlful of red raspberries, the perfect mix of tart and sweet. We enjoyed them with our breakfast this morning. The feverfew lightens up the dark corners of the garden. I let it grow to fill in spots, and it's easy enough to yank out where it's not wanted. The peonies, as you can spot, are bedraggled in the rain and dropping their petals like mad. 

In the kitchen I've been making rhubarb syrup for a thirst-quenching drink should the weather decide to warm up. The big jar is in the fridge, but the smaller ones are sealed and headed for the basement storage shelves. 

When we were in Europe last summer it was hot, hot, hot. I normally drink only water, but the cold "lemonades" they served were wonderful - not too sweet as we often make drinks in North America, but refreshing and tart. I'm attempting to make my own concentrates this year, with seasonal fruits. I think blackberries and raspberries will be delicious. 

There are lots of recipes on the internet if you do a search. I adapted a Rhubarb Syrup one to be heavier on the rhubarb and lighter on the sugar. 

There is a glimmer of light across the sky just now, behind the clouds. A good reminder that Light is always present, even on the darkest days. 

Weekend plans include some gardening, some housecleaning, a bit of baking, and getting together with friends on Sunday. How about you? Any plans? Are restrictions easing in your area? Happy Weekend, my friends.


  1. Lovely flowers! We're still remaining away from people and wearing masks when we go out. But I'm content to stay home in my gardens. I hope you have a great month. Kit

  2. Beautiful pictures. It must be fabulous to live on an island declared covid free, I can not even imagine it.

  3. Your roses look so lovely, covered with raindrops. It is chilly here today as well. I get to spend all day tomorrow with my granddaughter .

  4. Isn't feverfew a delight? The scent of it is unlike any other. It's said that it is a remedy for headaches and I do know people who have tried feverfew sandwiches, and said that it helped.
    Your roses are so lovely.

  5. Sounds like your weather is very similar to ours. I’m always impressed with your lovely ideas for fruit and cordials. I’ll have to check online. Your day sounds very relaxing and I do hope that you stay virus free in your corner. Jersey only has 5 cases now. Have a lovely weekend. B x

  6. That pink drink looks lovely . I bet it tastes refreshing too. I find peace in my garden as well! So much peace. My weekend plans include : social distancing,so no going to the National Knit in Public day at my LYS tomorrow . Im wearing my masks, Im staying away from folks. we have yet to really get together with anyone. That's ok. We are healthy. But Ihave a shawl to block and new socks to cast on!

  7. I like the sound of rhubarb syrup for pretty color refreshing drinks Lorrie - you always come up with such tasty ideas! Tomorrow I plan to make first batch of pesto for the season - checked the pots of basil today after the heavy rain we had, and clipping is needed - it grew by leaps and bounds.
    So glad to know things are so much better in your area. We are still self-quarantined and wearing masks etc. as sadly our numbers for deaths, hospitalizations and positive tests went up again this week.
    Thankfully the protestors are quieter so the nightly curfew has ended. All is so worrisome - and depressing! I really have fear for the future.
    Roses are beautiful - my first blooms have faded but hopefully more coming soon.
    Enjoy your weekend dear friend.
    Mary x

  8. Hi Lorrie,

    Thanks so much for your visit today and your kind comments. I always enjoy your thoughtfully worded posts. I'm very sorry to hear that citizens of Washington State are not respecting the closed borders you have at the moment. You may have noticed the citizens of that state are not respecting any borders (or anything else) at the moment. All the adults have left the building and everyone's running with scissors. Lawlessness is an ugly sight, isn't it? Feels like it gets worse every day.

    Other than that, I hope things are well with you and yours. Do you know yet if you'll be returning to school in the normal manner in the fall, or still teaching at home? I don't think we know here yet. Wishing you a good weekend, my friend.

    Hugs to you,


  9. Restrictions are lessening, but Rick and I have decided not to go anywhere we don't have to just yet. We're busy in the garden now and enjoying being out there these days. Things are growing and it's a joy to watch. Your post was a restful delight on this Friday evening. Your roses are beautiful. And your rhubarb syrup looks so must be delicious on a hot day.

    I hope you have a great weekend puttering and baking and relaxing with friends. Brenda xox

  10. I would have never thought to make rhubarb syrup, but I am sure that it will make lovely, refreshing drinks in the hot weather. (I am slightly envious of your light-sweater-and-socks weather because it is already hot here.)

    Restrictions are easing somewhat in our area. Tomorrow I will go to a memorial service for a friend's father. He passed away at the beginning of the stay-at-home time, so the service was delayed until now. Another friend and I visited a few antique stores today. It was refreshing to be able to do something "normal," and yet reminders are everywhere that life is certainly not yet "normal."

  11. Wonderful roses Lorrie, all the photos please the eye! I think the threat of Covid-19 hangs upon us like a devil's curtain. This first wave went extremely well in Finland, I follow the news and know the situation in the US, UK & Latin America. Finland is opening its borders to the Baltic countries, Iceland, Norway & Denmark - but not to Sweden and the Swedes are pissed off! We are allowed more freedom now - cafés & museums. But I'll still continue my careful style.

  12. A lovely five, your roses are beautiful. Cooler weather here too, socks and boots came out again for walks over the last few days. I like the sound of your rhubarb syrup and I'm sure I would like the taste too. Have a good weekend:)

  13. Oh the getting together with friends makes me envious! Unless we can meet out of doors we can't do that and as it is cold and showery here now and set to be so for a week or more that's not an option either! Apparently we can now form a "bubble" with one other person who lives alone but since the only person I want to form a bubble with lives 3 hours on public transport away that isn't much help to us either. So we must be patient and as you said endure the long, boring and uncomfortable journey to the light at the end of the tunnel feeling grateful that we are currently well and have a mortgage free home with a garden and the wood adjoining to walk in!!

  14. How wonderful that your area is virus free, Lorrie! I hope it continues. Your flowers are so pretty, and eating fresh raspberries would bring me such delight. Rhubarb syrup sounds like it will give you many cups of refreshing drinks. I scrolled through your previous posts, and saw Miss Iris...she’s darling, and so is your other granddaughter with her ombrĂ© birthday cake. Happy weekend!

  15. Thr rhubarb syrup sounds refreshing.
    I had no idea that boaters from the USA would be allowed to cruise up north with the borders closed...don't they need to clear customs?
    We are living in precarious times and should all be respectful of the rules put in place for safety and the reduction of the spread of the virus.

    1. They are not permitted to come, but a few are coming anyway. Apparently, if travelers say they are going to Alaska, they may go through BC. However, it appears that some are lingering in the province.

  16. Beautiful flower captures, Lorrie, even in the rain. I like to drink R White's lemonade in the summer and also still ginger beer when it's available. Lockdown is beginning to ease here in UK although people are still joining parades and protests, no social distancing whatsoever. In London yesterday the protest surrounding the statue of Winston Churchill became violent and the images in the paper today are appalling. Here in our bubble all is well however we did have to postpone the long awaited visit from my sister and her husband last week because of the rain. As we can only sit outdoors whilst maintaining social distancing of 2 metres we decided to wait for a sunnier day!
    Maggie @ turning the page.

  17. As always, your floral images are beautiful!

    My A/C is broken so I prefer to the cooler temperatures (low to mid 20s temperature).

    We're still in Phase 1 here, but I'm happy that we're allowed to form a "social circle" so my parents can now come inside my home (and vice versa). Even if we move to Phase 2 and open more busineses, I'm still going to stay home as much as possible (I barely went out before the pandemic).

  18. Your rhubarb syrup is such a pretty shade of pink. I would be curious to try it as I like refreshing drinks in the summer, but I don't like them to be sweet.
    Your flowers are beautiful and how wonderful to be enjoying strawberries and raspberries from your garden.
    As the weekend is nearly over, I hope yours was enjoyable. Here we enjoyed a cooler than normal weekend. Perfect for time in the garden and a few indoor cleaning projects. Our restrictions have eased slightly. For the most part I am staying home. Brett was at the grocery store yesterday and said other than the workers most people were not wearing masks. It concerns me that people are letting their guard down as the cases continue to rise.

  19. yum...your lunch sounds perfect, and I noticed my cucumbers in the garden are just about ready to pick...I think my Monday lunch might mimic yours!!! Love the green ball in your garden...and the flowers are beautiful. Our peonies are past, two of my roses are done for the year already;....we're moving into summer too fast!

  20. Thanks for sharing such a nice piece of information with us. Butterfly paper clumps

  21. Beautiful photos. That's wonderful that your island has been relatively free of COVID cases. Our corner of Washington state has been in good shape compared to others. We are now in Stage 3 of reopening. Seattle area (King Co.) is only at 1.5 Light reading is a good choice for these days and staying in the LIGHT is the best place to be. Is this your last week of teaching or was that last week? Have a good week regardless.

  22. Your roses are just beautiful and the rhubarb syrup sounds interesting. We can’t grow rhubarb here in the Deep South. Living on a COVID free island sounds heavenly. Enjoy your gardening!

  23. Yes, Coming Home this summer and Winter Solstice in December. And I had to reread Shell Seekers when I heard that she had passed away. I've also found myself pulling out old books of authors I've collected and kept all their work, women from the 30s even. I've not had feelings of "pure terror" since the first scary weeks. I guess you get used to everything, but my besetting sin of waiting for the other shoe to drop often pops up even though I know I should keep my eye on the Light.

    It's such good news that your island is officially free of the virus! It must be an almost impossible task though to keep people away who live off island or in Washington. It was definitely impossible for Florida to keep out the many people who fled NY. The world would be so much nicer if everyone......I interrupted this sentence when I realized how naive it sounded.

  24. Roses with raindrops and rhubarb syrup are a few of my favorite things. Smiling!

  25. Oh those roses are just beautiful, such a lovely flower.
    Brilliant news that your island is officially free of the virus.
    Although movement is becoming easier, we still have restrictions in place.

    All the best Jan

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