When I turned 60, that number looked big; but when I listen to my thoughts or look into my heart or look around me I feel much, much younger. But even if I were turning 100 it would still feel insignificant after our journey in 2011 to a magical place in Nova Scotia that is 350 million years old. Continue reading
I wrote this post 5 years ago. We’re very happy with our place in the universe – Bear River. – Flora
I can’t resist picking up a purple cabbage at the grocery store. Oh the colour is so rich and the slicing reveals the most intricate patterns. I noticed that the line from the middle spiral outwards. Is everything in creation a series of spirals?
I came across this totally easy and VERY TASTY recipe called Warm Red Cabbage, Red Onion and Apple Slaw. Even the title is visually appealing.
I use apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic, but I’m sure both are delicious. I also add a handful of walnuts. AND, I keep it on the stove until the cabbage is soft. That means putting a lid on it at the end.
The book Vegetarian by Joanne Weir is out of print, but here’s a link to it.
It’s snowing outside, the washing machine is washing, and the kitchen is filled with a sweet and sour fragrance. The cat is curled up by the fire. Larry is upstairs creating an ad for this season’s Bear River Artworks Gallery.
Reminder to self: the studio calls.
At work two weeks after mom’s death I heard a song about loss on the radio. (And believe me, when you are fresh with grief, you’ll find that most songs deal with separation.) I cried in front of my coworkers and felt overwhelmed that evening with loss and with the realization that I would never talk with my mother again or experience her love. I am very fortunate to have a treasure trove of letters from her, written to me while I was an art student in the German Democratic Republic in the 1970’s. I pulled one out at random and it began:
“Dear Flora – yes, I do love you.”
The letter was dated only with the month and day – Oct.23 …. what would become her death day! I was quite astonished — how fitting, it seemed, that my mother the writer would choose just the right words to comfort me.
Today I’ll think about my dear mother and miss her as I have every day for 15 years. I’ll read some of her poems and I’ll paint. And for sure, I’ll eat a pomegranate. I am so thankful to her for exposing me to art and books and ideas and for being the free spirit she was. I know it was her wish for me that I could paint full-time. Well, I can now and I do. And thankfully I do this in a beautiful valley, much like the one she imagined in this poem she wrote when she was 38.
To Be in Country Warp Again
To be in country warp again, in fields
who, sleeping, stir and rustle of the past;
in hills, from whose veiled summits are downcast
night shades, still showing glistening shields;
where footed cattle strike the ground
unseen, in pastures, beaded in the night
by incensed air that with night cries resound,
as one by one, stars thread the dark with light.
– Sandy McConnell Doehler, 1960.
The loss of a parent is profound. Parents are extraordinarily significant in all our lives. If you are interested in reading more about the various impacts on adults losing their parents, there is an excellent article here.
Snow storms are very OK if you don’t have to drive anywhere. But even better is having a walking destination that leads to:
- a delicious Sissiboo Coffee latte that I could never emulate at home
- a place with wonderful art
- somewhere with just the right music
- friendly folks
So Larry and I bundle up and slip and slide down the hill.
Then over the little bridge from the Digby County to Annapolis County side.
Then into Sissiboo Coffee Bar and Gallery for a treat and to enjoy the art.
See more of Penny’s stitching, dyeing and fibre story-telling at her blog
I’ve left out the conversations about the recent local Herring Deaths, the Trump stories, the agony of aging parents, the state of the world, heating systems, fostering creativity, music concerts and lost cats.
I’ve left out the Bob Dylan, John Prine and similar sounds in the cafe.
I’ve left out the stop at the post office.
And finally, the walk home……
And then a peek into the studio at my newest creation. A need to add some colour to this beautiful, monochromatic world.
And finally for you, dear reader, a little puzzle.
I’m not sure why, but this summer I forgot to grow my pumpkins! There are still pumpkins and squash at the local farmer’s markets so I’ll be making these delicious patties again.
In 2013, I grew beautiful winter luxury pumpkins and dumpling squash. I love the flavour of squash, but there’s only so much baked squash a person can eat. And if I turned all the pumpkins into pies…well that’s not a great health move either.
Because they are the same family, anytime a recipe calls for squash, you can substitute pumpkin.
Which is what I did using this recipe that I found online.
I made a few changes to it. I left out the flour, instead substituting it with ½ cup of corn meal and ½ cup of oat flakes. I added fresh basil leaves too.
I baked the pumpkin first and then scooped out the pulp for this recipe. I used about 2 cups of pumpkin.
Then, instead of frying it, I baked it in the oven. I put parchment paper on a cookie sheet and then spread a thin layer of olive oil on the paper. I baked it in the oven for 30 min at 350, then turned them and baked another 5 minutes.
You can freeze these patties for those evenings when you need to throw together a meal in a hurry.
Meanwhile, here are some photos of the gorgeous hoarfrost that will soon end when the temperatures continue to drop.