Friday, June 27, 2008

Glory Be!

When we first decided to move, I had many criteria in mind for the ideal home and property. Coming from the south, where there were many choices in housing to be had, and many developments which were ongoing, I was surprised to find it was not the same here in the Cariboo.

It was the first surprise...there would be many others.

With two dogs in tow, it was not easy to find a rental property, while we searched for our ideal home. Staying in a motel seemed to be the only answer.

All homes I looked at were under a blanket of Snow. There was no telling what might lie under the Snow. I heard stories of people buying homes in Winter, only to find when break-up came along that there were garbage and old cars littering the property everywhere. The search for the home I had in mind became elusive...and I knew it would be up to us to make our new home ideal for us.

Although the home we finally bought was extremely clean and well-kept, when Snow melt came along I was disappointed to find no actual garden planted. But the former owners had left no footprint at felt as if they had never actually lived here.

The Cariboo, along with many other parts of the country, seemed to ignore Spring this year, leaping straight into Summer. Even when Snow had melted, it seemed I was the owner of a wild piece of property. And because it was so cold for such a long time, nothing poked its head out of the ground to greet a new season, preferring to remain huddled under the Earth.

But slightly warmer weather came along, and sprouts of...things...came up out of the ground, sending strap like leaves I had never seen before to cover whole sections of the property. With the exception of Wood Violets and Strawberries, nothing else seemed to bloom, however...for what seemed like an eon.

Thinking I was surrounded by only green...coniferous and deciduous Trees and Shrubs were abundant...I planted pots full of Herbs and Flowers and Tomatoes. I visited nurseries which suddenly sprang up everywhere, being closed and hidden during the Winter. I bought Lilacs and Hydrangeas and Black Elder. I bought perennials such as Ligularia and Hostas and Vines.

Sun's rays are stronger here in the Northern Interior. Daylight lasts longer than on the Coast as well, with Sun rising earlier and setting later. Those two elements makes gardens bounce; I am constantly amazed at the beautiful gardens I see as I drive to town...old, well-kept spaces, with shrubbery that astounds me.

More than a tended garden, however, I wanted a Fence. Beyond keeping the two dogs in my yard, I wanted that Fence to delineate the areas where I could garden, without losing my cultured plants to the Forest.

The Fence has done its job; more than that, it has grounded the House, making it look firmly planted.

But as quickly as the Fence went up, the Forest and its Meadows bloomed. Glory Be.

I am now in a conundrum.

There are Flowers everywhere. I'm not sure of the names of some; they have differences from descriptions in books.

Do you remember the wild Roses that bloomed, seemingly everywhere, in your youth? I do. They are no longer as prolific in the area where I grew up...Man and his ways the culprit. But it seemed the countryside was enveloped in a soft, pink perfume...when I think of Pink, I think of these perfectly beautiful, perfectly useful and perfectly loving plants.

And lately, with the Wild Rose blooming profusion around me, I have felt particularly loving. I am sure the aroma that assaults my nose and the colour my eyes are drawn to have much to do with it. This, along with the way the Wild Rose takes me back to my youth, when I was in awe of plants which came out of the ground, seemingly out of nowhere, every season.

There are Lilies, Columbines, Daisies, Sedums, Babies Breath (who blooms right beside Rose!), Blue-eyed Grass, Asters and Yarrows, Arnica, Vetches and Pea Vines, Indian Paint Brush and many, many more, all showing their colours, popping up right under my feet.

They are exuberant and wild and free. Their nodding heads take what the Mountain Gods throw at them with impunity. Planted by Spirit and cohorts, in a wild spree, the Flowers are strong, at one with the area in which they find their roots. And they are glorious.

At the moment, I am not so sure I want a Bobcat to come in to tame the glorious spectacle...

How can I, when I loved these Flowers so, as a child, be the one that destroys the exuberance? How can I align myself, with the ones who killed the Wild Roses that lined the roads...?

And so, I won't.

What I will do, is plant my shrubs amongst them. I will tame some, a little. A bit of pruning goes a long way to make a garden look tended, even one planted by the Spring Gods and Goddesses, in a wild revelry.

Doing so will keep my shrubs protected from the whims of changeable Weather, and also protect them for a few years from Sun's hot Interior rays, until they have found purchase in the soil.

When I first came here, I accepted a challenge, in many different ways.

Gardening in the bush is just one more of them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Soup to Nuts!

Kilroy, from The Gonzo Papers, asked me many months ago to host a course for his progressive Blogging Dinner...a Carnival with five different courses.

In the middle of moving at the time, I promised I would host a course later...and here I am.

I'm hosting the First Course...the one that whets one's appetite for the rest to follow. I think my entry will be short, perhaps, with a hint of spice.

Here is Kilroy's announcement, with links to follow in order to enter:

The Soup To Nuts Progressive Dinner Blog Carnival Is Coming Back This Summer


Blogospherians {A Kilroy_60 original} in the know, those who value the social aspects of blogging above all, participate regularly in carnivals. There's no better way to promote your site and to connect with other bloggers.

The latest, greatest innovation is the:
Soup To Nuts
Progressive Dinner Blog Carnival

The way a progressive dinner works is...

you start out at one house or restaurant to have hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, then move on to a different one for appetizers, and continue moving from place to place all the way through dessert.

Soup To Nuts combines the power of blog carnivals with the adventure of a progressive dinner, while adding a dash of whimsy.

You can enter as many as five posts in the Soup To Nuts PROGRESSIVE DINNER Blog Carnival. If you wish, you can enter a single submission; or two or three or four or five.

How does it work that you can submit multiple posts to one carnival; and why would you?

---(-)-> You could say, Soup to Nuts is FIVE CARNIVALS in one. All five are connected, to make one megacarnival. <-(-)--- Remember, there are five different host blogs involved. If you submit five posts, every one of the host blogs will have a link to your site. Entries are being accepted NOW. Don't be one of the people who come to enter late; to find they have no seat at the table. {Enter}

Dinner is being served 31 July
No entries will be accepted after 11:59 pm, Friday, 25 July
Entries are being accepted NOW

The Rules...

---(-)-> Only English language posts will be accepted.
---(-)-> It's a FREE FOR ALL! - meaning you can submit posts on any subject, no matter when they were written.
---(-)-> No posts with titles that include profanity or pictures of a sexual nature.
---(-)-> Posts will not be accepted from blogs that publish primarily adult-oriented material; that means no sex blogs.
---(-)-> Please do not submit the same post for more than one course

The individual portions, in the progressive dinner, are referred to as courses. The lineup for the second Soup To Nuts PROGRESSIVE DINNER Carnival:

The Hors d'oeuvres & Cocktails course...
will be served by Lisa at Stories of A Traveling Diva
{Enter} - Choose hors d'oeuvres category

The host of the Appetizer course...
will be served by Jacob at Group Writing Projects
{Enter} - Choose appetizer category

The First Course...
will be served by me at Herbal Connection
{Enter} - Choose first course category

The Main Course...
will be served at The Gonzo Papers
{Enter} - Choose main course category

The host of the Dessert Course...
will be served by Kimberly at Blog N' Butter
{Enter} - Choose dessert category

We would appreciate your help in promoting the Soup To Nuts Progressive Dinner Blog Carnival. Please email the url of your promotional post to - you will receive links back in future announcements by the hosts.

This is a unique event. Please follow the format of this post to make the submission process as easy as possible for all involved.


Have any questions? Let me know!

It's the first time I have hosted a carnival...but some of the courses are fabulous.

Since I am hosting the First Course, I imagine I'll serve something light...a taste of scrumptious ideas for the courses that follow.

Think about entering. Perhaps you'll come up with a frothy dessert, or a savoury First Course!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bon Voyage

My granddaughter, Bree, is leaving shortly for three weeks in Europe. She is travelling with another family and is... Oh! So excited!

I am filled with gratitude for this opportunity she will be an experience she will never forget. Already a seasoned traveller, having visited Venezuela, Mexico and the South Pacific... at the tender age of thirteen, she will add Scotland, England, France and Italy to her repertoire.

As happy as I am for her, I am also filled with trepidation and apprehension, at times. She will be a long way away. If I allow myself, in my imagination, I can have her in all sorts of trouble in no time.

Bree is the first Sagittarius in my life. She is way different from the Cancer, Pisces, Taurus signs that are the norm around me. She loves cheerful people, places and things, becoming sad and cynical if life is not so. Never still, she loves to visit friends and family on weekends and holidays. She dislikes being alone, becoming restless when she can't find something to do.

And she needs her freedom...a true Sagittarius. A fire sign. A true optimist. She can be brutally honest, as Sags are...words flowing from her long before she realizes they may be inappropriate. But she expects the same honesty in return, from others...backed by sound, reasonable logic, the only proviso.

From one of the websites about Sagittarius, I read their motto is "It is better to know how to learn than to know." And Bree will seek her knowledge in countries in which I have little experience...what could I possibly say to her that she will remember? Me...a Pisces...a Water sign.

Water can put out a fire or it can temper the flame. I could not forgive myself if somehow, by my words, I put out the bright blaze that is burning now, because of my own fear for her.

And so, my advice for her, on this momentous journey she will be undertaking, is to do nothing she will be ashamed of, later, in her memories. I will tell her to weigh the pros and cons of a thing, I will tell her to be as cautious as she can be, in all those different countries, with different customs. I will tell her to remember her manners.

I will tell her homesickness is suffered by most, but to realize, if she feels sick for home and familiar things, three weeks will fly by. Each day wasted by thinking and feeling sad for home will be a day she will not be able to experience or appreciate new sights and customs she may never visit again.

Although, knowing Bree and her plans for her life, it will not be long before I must let her go more often than I would like, in the future. But she knows I will always be here, when she returns from an to listen and advise, if it is called for.

Water can soothe fiery feelings, as well.

Bon Voyage, my dear Bree...I cannot wait to hear about the people and the customs you will experience! You will do us all so proud, as you always do, no matter what.

And don't forget Gray's Edinburgh Rock!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Scrambled Eggs

It's been a couple of months since we moved into our new home. It's been more than six months since the Tower Card of the Tarot came into our lives, turning my brain into scrambled eggs.

The upheaval hasn't abated. In fact, life has become a series of welcoming contractors, early in the morning, for this or that job which must be done. Change is a constant these days.

We began, after taking possession of the property, with the new kitchen. We decided to move the whole room to the other side of the house, leaving me with a workable kitchen while the new one is being built.

The new kitchen is now rea
dy for cabinets, which are floating around somewhere between different carriers. This morning, we were told the carrier had left a message with Ann and Bob.

And who might they be? I do hope they enjoy their new kitchen.

I wonder if it is possible to ever receive kitchen cabinets in the timeline stated by the seller? This is the third kitchen
I have built, and the same problem has surfaced once again. However, I have learned a few things in the years between the different kitchens...I no longer get upset about it.

The cabinets will surface when they surfa
ce...pushing the rope on this one really is useless.

There are other projects which are slated for completion before Cariboo Winter sets in. And these
are moving ahead with great the point where I am having difficulty keeping up with all the changes.

Yesterday, we had Trees cleared from the West side of the House. The logs will be used for landscaping and general fencing...and the space for Graham's woodworking Shop. It was a morning where I had my heart in my mouth, watching the Fallers taking down tall Trees growing right next the House.

The Fallers were complete professionals, however...their expertise coming through many years of experience. Not a branch hit the House, nobod
y fell or had a Tree fall the wrong way, and the Logs are trimmed and prepared, for their new incarnation as a fence.

I also took delivery of the new garden tractor, which has a Trailer. I am looking forward to using it for moving Logs and Stones I
want to incorporate into the landscaping. And there is nothing like meditative mowing, where the World passes by while Sun shines and the smell of cut Grass transports me to different places, different times and different realms.

This morning, the Fencing Company arrived. Their machine is not bothered by Boulders or Slopes or Drop Offs on the barrels through underbrush and Trees as if it were swimming through Water. I hear the long drill scraping Boulders as it tries to find a clinging anchor for the Fence Posts...I hear the sound often.

There are many,
many Boulders on this Land, all making a very strong statement. But, eventually, Man and his machines will find a way, including moving the more stubborn ones to a different location. And the Fence will be built, foiling Lucky and Nate's escapes for freedom, as they become more accustomed to the Cariboo and its ways.

When the Excavator arrives, the landscape will change once again. The West side of the pr
operty will be levelled and prepared for building, the Logs will be placed at the spots where they will be used. The slope will be tempered; the driveway will be extended to become a circular driveway around the house.

Taking Trees do
wn has made the Land look ever so much bigger. Having grown used to a small, enclosed space in my former home, I find so much space amazing. My morning walks around the property take me through Hills and Valleys and Meadows. I found someone's fort deep within a dark belt of the Forest, after following a game trail. The Land is still new, to me...its many surprises yet to be discovered, day by day.

t now, however, I hear the machine pounding posts into the ground and I begin to see the outline of the area being fenced. I hear another sound...a deep, growling, tearing sound.

I go to investigate.

The corner of the house is now hanging slightly askew. It seems the machine caught the corner, as it pounded posts...and knocked the house off its hinges, as it were.

Luckily, Graham has his journeyman's Ticket in Carpentry; he was able to look at the damage and figure o
ut very quickly how to fix it. I am sure the Fence Builder was grateful for Graham's expertise; I wonder if I have ever written about how grateful I am for his presence in my life.

Graham can take
almost any problem and come up with a positive solution. I am in awe of this gift he has been given...he is a wonderful role model for me, when anxiety takes hold of me and my brain becomes scrambled eggs...

The Excavator Man just called...he will be here in a day or two...

Changes are multiplying; one change begets another. I say to my Guides...Too fast, all this is happening too fast. Help!...And the answer comes...You wanted it done quickly...are you asking for delays?

And of course, I'm not. Delays are excruciating for someone as impatient as I can be. And then, I am directed to Talking to Nightlights newest post...

Scrambled eggs or not, life is accelerating, going from 0 to 60 in a minute second.

I guess I'll just hang on for a very fast ride.

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Big City

We spent a few days in the City of Vancouver last week. After visiting family...a truly wondrous time,where we all reconnected our called for Graham.

We stayed at the Bayshore Inn, on the twentieth floor. The panoramic view of Stanley Park, the Yacht Club and marina, the Mountains and the Ocean were what my heart needed, after leaving the family. Parting from them is not easy for me...and I was in search of solace.

I had been away too long from Vancouver and its Spirit. I lived here in the sixties, and a very different City it was. My landmarks are no longer there, having met the wrecking ball long ago. The buildings that survive are swallowed up in the long, tunnel like streets of a very large and vibrant City.

But the energy I met, as I walked along Robson Street, is a hard, driving energy...a very materialistic one...and I noticed many, many tired people on the streets I visited. It is a jungle of people intent upon their next appointment, their next payment, their jobs...the practical and logical sides of their lives. I found the energy draining me as well, shielded though I was.

Whereas, years ago, when I was young, I found it enervating, bright and bubbly. On my own for the first time, I found the City liberating, exciting, with opportunities around every corner. And there were many like me, young adults recently emerging from the family cocoon. There was a sense of community, a sprightliness in our sure knowledge...the knowledge of the young...that we could change the World.

But time passes; change has inevitably and inexorably marched on, putting its mark on everything. Me, included.

So many glitzy things! Tourists, piling bags upon bags, buying yet more souvenirs or shirts, loved the Spirit of the place, which urged them on to buy more and more. Bored salespeople, who greeted with forced enthusiasm for every visit, watched with glazed eyes, their minds on the hour.

I wandered along, trying to find the sense of community I had once felt, in this area. I found some hideaways, tucked into the corners of lots or buildings, where I remembered gathering, so long ago. But the community I was once a part of seems distant, the doors closed to me now.

I found a bit of it in a Whole Foods Market. The people who shop and work there are genuinely passionate about the products offered. And I love that. At the end of a long day of walking amidst goods I had no need for, wandering in this store restored my spirits.

I bought tea and bread and licorice. The smell of the bakery/cafe was heavenly... the whole foods goodness baking in those ovens wafted everywhere. And the people, as young and cool as they were, were friendlier than their compatriots who struggled so hard to be just so...these young adults were already following a different path.

On the way home, I mused about the way I felt about Vancouver, today, at my age. I realize the Forest is my home...and always has been, even in the years I spent away from it. I find the same sense of community here in the Cariboo I once felt for a section of Vancouver.

People lived sustainable lives here, long before it became popular. Vegetables are grown, hunters hunt and fisherman fish, throughout the different seasons. Wildlife is abundant, berries of all kinds are found growing wild everywhere.

Life moves at a slower pace here in the Interior. The strong, competitive, driving force of energy I met on a Vancouver street is not usual here. People are extremely hospitable, going many miles further in their aid to each other than warranted. Even clerks in big chain stores have a smile and a story.

I believe I like that. I don't find the door closed here in the Cariboo.

When we arrived home, to relaxed, exercised dogs and a yard which had grown at least a foot of grass and weeds, to a Forest in which all the deciduous Leaves had opened fully, enclosing us in a curtain of green, I gave thanks to Spirit, who knew exactly what I needed, at this time in my life.

Can there be anything more awesome than Sun filtering through young, tender leaves, than hearing the rush of Wind moving through the soft greenery, making a sound like waves upon a shore? It is mesmerizing watching the Leaves dancing with Wind.

Mesmerizing and meditative. Perhaps this is why I have always found a Forest when I am in crisis. After the crisis has passed, I will seek Ocean to wash the garbage left behind away. But in the Forest, Trees listen, Shrubs shiver in sympathy, Wildflowers lift their heads intently, upon hearing my woes.

Nature, in a Forest, offers comfort...and solid grounding.

A City's competitive energy and drive can't match that.