Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A Bit of This and That on a Sunny Tuesday

 


First of all, thank you for your many kind thoughts and wishes regarding my last post. My voice is back and my throat healed. I'm still careful not to speak too much, but that's not too difficult when I'm home alone most days. Best of all, I'm sleeping through the night - isn't sleep such a wonderful gift? After a solid 6-8 hours I wake up with energy and a bright outlook on the day. 


On a grey and somewhat drizzly Sunday we took a walk. Curving pathways and overarching growth create an air of mystery and anticipation. Although the woods look dull and lifeless, a closer look reveals that much is happening. 


The yellow flowers of mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape) are some of the first to add colour and cheer to the woods. In summer, dark blue berries form. The First Nations peoples used the roots, bark, and berries of the shrub for medicinal purposes. Although the berries are extremely tart, they make a delicious tasting jam. 
The plant is native to North America, and the botanist David Douglas took plants to Europe to use in English gardens as shady ground cover. Plants have certainly traveled around the world, sometimes for the good, other times not so much. 


Another early bloomer is the June Plum (oemleria cerasiformas), also called the Oso Berry. The leaves emerge from the stem tips and often stand at attention, while the blooms droop downwards in clusters of creamy white and green. Small fruits appear, but although edible, they are quite bitter. Like the mahonia, many parts of this plant are used by the First Nations for medicinal purposes. 


Our Iranian friends celebrated the Persian New Year (Nowruz) on the weekend, at the time of the Spring Equinox. They brought us a traditional decoration of a plate of sprouted greens, along with delicious candies and a bottle of rose water. In the weeks leading to the celebration, it's customary to do a "house shaking" - a thorough cleaning of all corners of the home. 


For Christmas, one of our granddaughters asked for bits and pieces of fabric, lace, and ribbon - "not big pieces, just small ones", she said - along with peg dolls. I had so much fun going through my stash to present a box of materials to give to her. Now during Spring Break, she created a Castle of Love and a set of characters to live there - King, Queen, Princess, and the Queen's twin sisters. Boxes, toilet paper and kitchen paper rolls, tissue paper, and a lot of imagination went into this creation. My daughter sent me the photos. 


Yesterday afternoon I was just about ready to pull on my wellies and do some gardening when the heavens opened and a very cold rain doused my enthusiasm. Later, I wandered around looking at the emerging plants and making all kinds of plans in my head. I stopped to admire these primroses, so perky in spite of the rain. 

Today I'll be baking a cake for a birthday later in the week, and doing a little shopping. Two grandchildren will be coming over for the next two days - although it's Spring Break for them, their parents need to work. I'm so looking forward to some concentrated time with them, something I haven't had since summer. I am weary of this pandemic and will be so very glad when we can gather together indoors as an extended family.


25 comments:

Laurie said...

Your photos are beautiful, I’m so glad you’re feeling better, living alone does help to keep us from talking. Your grand daughters have a very strong creative energy! I love their requests and the product of them. That’s how our grand daughters spend time too, we save bit and pieces and they have so much fun.. it’s healthy fun! Enjoy your week!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Glad you are feeling better! The little dolls are adorable.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The little peg dolls are just adorable! What imagination and creativity! They take after you! I'm glad too that your throat is better! Take care!

kathy b said...

Grandchildren. HOW fun. I love the little doll cluster she made! Very creative

Ruth Hiebert said...

You are seeing such pretty signs of spring. Enjoy that quality time with your grandchildren .

Rosemary said...

I have finished my own "house shaking" for this spring and thank goodness it is now over.
I read on another blog that last weekend was the Persian New Year (Nowruz) - they had shallow woven small baskets filled with freshly sprouting grass which looked very attractive.
I think that we are all feeling rather weary of the pandemic, who would have thought a year ago that it would last this long.

Granny Marigold said...

The royal family and their castle are so cute.
The gifts of sprouted greens made me think of the micro-greens I've recently been experimenting with. I got the idea from The Furry Gnome who mentioned them on his blog some time ago. They're supposed to be very healthy.

gretchenjoanna said...

So glad you will get to see the grandchildren for an extended time!

Mary said...

Lovely news knowing you are feeling so much better - and sleeping well!

As for spring cleaning, none going on here until after the last wood fire in the hearth, perhaps late next week, then it will be worthwhile as the dust will be less. . . . . . . . but of course then the pollen starts so it will all be in vain and will have to be done again, sigh!

Take care dear.

ellen b. said...

Happy to hear that your vocal chords etc. are healing nicely. PTL. Sleeping that many hours in a row is a wonderful treat! Have fun with your grands!!

Judy said...

I'm with you...weary of this pandemic! Enjoy your time with your grands.
Glad to hear you are getting your voice back and feeling better. Love that basket of sprouted greens!

riitta k said...

Lovely spring bloomers Lorrie, here we have to wait. Enjoy the week with your grandchildren!

Patricia said...

What a fun post, Lorrie. The little Royal family are adorable, and your granddaughter must have had a great time creating them. I am pleased to hear you voice has got better, and you are well and out walking in the woods. What pretty primroses you have. Enjoy the grandchildren!

Marie Smith said...

Time with the grandchildren. Perfect.

I enjoy seeing the vegetation. So far ahead of our spring. Beautiful!

Deanna Rabe said...

Your granddaughter inherited your creativity! What a lovely Castle of Love and family!

I love learning about other cultures and how they celebrate holidays.

I'm glad you're feeling better, somehow I missed a post I think.

It's raining here today, so it'll be a quiet indoor kind of day!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

The walking path looks like a magical place.

Jenn Jilks said...

What a full post! It's delightful to see spring springing!
I've been shaking it up here, too. I resisted doing floors, though, and went out ditch diving instead. :-)

Cheryl said...

I am impressed with your granddaughter's creativity, imagination, and initiative! I'm relieved to hear that your throat/larynx have healed well, and that you have been able to sleep. Indeed, sleep is a gift.

I'm sure you're enjoying this special time with your grandchildren!

Angie said...

Lorrie - I am glad to hear (ha ha!) that you have regained your voice. After many years of sleep deprivation, one of my greatest pleasures is sleeping in! Oregon grape is very common around here, but it is not blooming yet. The "Castle of Love" is fabulous! I understand your temptation to get out in the garden because I felt the same way a few days ago. I resisted the urge - I would have been up to my ankles in mud!

Coastal Ripples said...

Those primroses are perfect with their raindrops. Mahonia in our garden has long since flowered it must be a different variety to yours. I love the scent they have. Enjoy your time with the grandchildren. I bet you’ll have fun. B x

Gina said...

Dear Lorrie,
So glad you are better. Something you didn't need along with worrying about Covid. Sounds like your back to your old self judging by the many chores you have taken on.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I just read about your choking incident and then how it caused your throat to be irritated. I’m so glad you’re doing better, Lorrie. I also read about your sourdough bread. I never discard any starter. I’ve been keeping mi e going for 18 years and just feed it and use half for bread. My original directions from someone who said that it came from the Civil War, never said anything about discarding any of it.
It’s nice to see what all you’ve been up to with cooking, baking, family, gardening, reading, and stitching.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Such a beautiful walk you took, it is always nice to see how the seasons arrive in your world, before they arrive in mine. No real blooms to show yet here. We do have plenty of the Oregon grapes growing all over our property. I've never made the jam with the berries, I probably need to try that! I hope you have a wonderful time with your grandkids coming over, sounds like you have some fun activities planned! Many blessings to you :)

Beside a babbling brook... said...

-happy sigh- What a lovely area, you have, to walk in...

And what a talented grand daughter you have. Her Castle of Love is amazingly creative. -smile-

"Miss BB"
πŸŒ·πŸŒΈπŸŽ€πŸŒΈπŸŒ·

Anneliese said...

It's fun to see what children can come up with when they have some bits and pieces of cloth, ribbon, paper etc. Such a cute royal family! One of my granddaughters had fun going through my stash of paper and stickers I have left from when I did scrapbooking. She made cards. One was for her teacher.

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