Wimpy Sunshine, and 165 Days To Go

There are patches of blue showing through the eternal overcastness of the sky but I’m not yet prepared to acknowledge that Spring is here. She’s done this to us before.

At least it’s not raining … all the little Widder-seedlings are just a’soakin’ up those rays…

“Here comes the sun, do-do, do, do, do.” “What? Where?” “Over there!” “No it’s this way!” “Up there! In the sky!”

“Here comes the sun, do-do, do, do, do.”
“What? Where?”
“Over there!”
“No it’s this way!”
“Up there! In the sky!”

-oOo-

In one hundred and sixty five days from today, (18th April) I’ll be 60 years old.

Which isn’t as startling a concept as I thought it’d be … although I have been pondering the concept of late, especially as I moaned and groaned through the aftershocks of a migraine at 3 O-Clock this morning, hence this post.

60 was an age that seemed impossible to achieve when I was twenty … far too scary when I was thirty … a deadline with a death-knell attached to it when I was forty … ‘meh’ when I was fifty … and just another birth day when I turned fifty-nine.

I’m still not ‘rich and famous’, as I swore I’d be when I was in my mid-twenties, although there still 165 days to go, so you never know.

My body’s certainly not in the state it was when I was in my mid-thirties. I only needed one pair of glasses then.

And I’m not planning on doing anything ‘special’, because as far as I’m concerned it really is just the next year after 59.

I wonder if we put so much significance on these ‘decade’ birth days because there’s no other ways to celebrate the major adult milestones in our lives that are also celebrated among our larger community, apart from, ‘old enough to get a drivers license’. Things like births, weddings, funerals, exist within a family and/or extended family community, but nothing on a larger scale. (except if it’s a ‘royal’ birth/wedding/funeral – ‘royal’ being anywhere from her Majesty, Liz the Tooth, on down – but that has more to do with encultured tribalism, which is another topic entirely)

So, the sun shone (off and on) for most of the afternoon, I did a little philosophical waxing on turning 60 this year, and now, as the evening draws in, and the temperature plummets (because no cloud cover – I guess there’s just no pleasing some people) it’s time to turn my attention to the next episode of ‘Prelude …

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Signs of … not Winter?

In spite of the horrendously pathetic showing Spring has managed so far, some brave souls have made their presence known.

Did you know that veggies like celery, some lettuces, etc, can be grown, or re-grown, from their end-y bits? I left a bit more of the stem/stalk on these green onions than I usually do then stuck ‘em in a little bowl with a bit of water and left them to it.

“Is this what humans mean by reincarnation?” “Can you see anything?”

“Is this what humans mean by reincarnation?”
“Can you see anything?”

 

Once their green bits reached about 8 cm I re-potted them in a custom designed seedling tray (milk container cut in half) and left them to it. They were semi-protected by the patio roof. I figured they’d do OK on their own out there.

“It’s freeeezing out here!” “What did we do to deserve this?”

“It’s freeeezing out here!”
“What did we do to deserve this?”

 

(I know, I know … more conversations. I’m on a roll … at least they’re not inanimate objects this time)

Just as an experiment I stuck a celery end-y bit straight into the pallet garden with the hardcore parsley and strawbs. It took about two weeks but there she was …

“I’m gonna work out every day and grow big and strong like Hardcore Parsley!”

“I’m gonna work out every day and grow big and strong like Hardcore Parsley!”

And remember that poor little frozen branch all encased in ice, from the Great Ice Storm of 2017? Look at her now!

“Wheeeeee!!! I’m flying, I’m ... EMEGHERD! Is that blue sky up there? ... It is!!!! ... Look everyone, Spring really is heeeerrrrre!!!”

“Wheeeeee!!! I’m flying, I’m … EMEGHERD! Is that blue sky up there? … It is!!!! … Look everyone, Spring really is heeeerrrrre!!!”

(she’s an excitable little bud)

Which meant that the beans had to pop up for a look.

“Who’s making all that noise out there? ... Mabel! Come’n ave a look at this! Sunlight!” “Oh please, Dolly, you’re hallucinati ... Oh my!”

“Who’s making all that noise out there? … Mabel! Come’n ave a look at this! Sunlight!”
“Oh please, Dolly, you’re hallucinati … Oh my!”

 

A sentiment echoed by the Three Pretty Maids all in a row …

“We are the very model of a modern garden planter bed” “No, not Gilbert and Sullivan! Anything but Gilbert and Sullivan.” “Oh, PishPosh, Dolly Bean. You’re just jealous. We’ve got a round bed and you’re stuck in a boring old milk carton.”

“We are the very model of a modern garden planter bed”
“No, not Gilbert and Sullivan! Anything but Gilbert and Sullivan.”
“Oh, PishPosh, Dolly Bean. You’re just jealous. We’ve got a round bed and you’re stuck in a boring old milk carton.”

Yes indeed, the sun had finally put in an appearance that augured well for the season.

Alas, it was not to last.

“I am gone TO the West, and brought great tidings. I am the Sun and Juliet is the ...” “Outta my way! I am come FROM the West. Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage. Blow! You cataracts and hurricanes, sprout ‘til you have drenched our teeples ...”

“I am gone TO the West, and brought great tidings. I am the Sun and Juliet is the …”
“Outta my way! I am come FROM the West. Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage. Blow! You cataracts and hurricanes, sprout ‘til you have drenched our teeples …”

 

Surely it wasn’t going to be that bad.

George and Gracie Mallard, our seasonal duck visitors, seemed to think this was a bumper puddle-waddling occasion. (George and Gracie have visited every spring since we’ve been here. I don’t know if it’s the same pair every year, but it’s only ever two of them)

“I think there’s a nice puddle over there, dear.” “Hee, hee, hee. Race you!”

“I think there’s a nice puddle over there, dear.”
“Hee, hee, hee. Race you!”

 

Mind you, when the rain came down so hard even my little cell-phone camera caught the drops as they fell, George and Gracie took flight for parts unknown.

“25 seconds. That’s all it took for the road to become a river. 25 seconds.” “Yes dear, time to go now.”

“25 seconds. That’s all it took for the road to become a river. 25 seconds.”
“Yes dear, time to go now.”

-oOo-

P.S. Those big black clouds, (which incidentally produced an impressive amount of hail as well as truck-loads of rain) were quoting King Lear, by Mrs Shakespeare’s lad, Bill.

P.P.S. And, of course, the immortal Gilbert and Sullivan as performed by the Three Little Maids. (a bit of illicium, and two bulbs, we can’t remember the names of)

Conversation with my Sewing Machine

Mrs Widds is a frequent visitor to our local town’s many thrift stores. One day she returned with a fluffy bath towel. Up until that moment I’d never understood why extra large towels were called ‘sheets’. This one could’ve served as a coverlet for an entire raft of king-sized beds with room for a day-bed or two.

Unable to wield it as designed, Mrs Widds continued using her usual towels, with the proviso that one day we might find a use for our monster towel.

And so, it languished, unloved and unappreciated, in the linen cupboard for several months, until a curious thing happened. One by one our hand towels began to disappear, until we were down to one. Which, as you can imagine, was not a satisfactory state of affairs at all.

Unwilling to spend money on thrift-store replacements, (which were more expensive than the full sized towel counterparts – why is it that the less there is of a thing, the more one has to pay for it?) Mrs Widds, in her inimitable problem-solving style suggested we attack the monster towel and reduce it to four un-monster-sized towels.

As we’re both of the ‘re-purpose, reuse, recycle’ persuasion, this was the perfect solution.

Out came the scissors and ‘voila’ four (generously sized) hand-towels … that needed hemming … with a sewing machine … which was … somewhere.

“Oh, sewing machine? Where are you?”

“Mumgph-urgllbuyf.”

Ok, It’s been a while since I last used my sewing machine, long before we built our shed last year, and we’ve rearranged all the storage spaces in our little cottage at least twice since then.

There’s an assortment of beds it could be under, and shelving units it could be in, at least two closets, a sideboard, and the coat nook near the front door … at least I’m sure it isn’t outside in either of the sheds … ** dashes outside to check sheds** … nope, not in the sheds.

“Ah, well, yes. I thought you might be hiding behind Myrtle (the Moose) and the Love Bug”

“Ah, well, yes. I thought you might be hiding behind Myrtle (the Moose) and the Love Bug”

“MUGMHPHMH!”

(translation - “Get me OUT of here!”)

(translation – “Get me OUT of here!”)

“What are you doing in there, with the paper shredder?”

“… …”

“Hmm. Well. What can one say? That’s paper shredders for you.”

-oOo-

…some time later …

“Avengers … I mean, Materials, Assemble!”

“Very funny. I suppose you still remember where everything goes?”

“Very funny. I suppose you still remember where everything goes?”

I half expected the towel to buy into the conversation, with pointed comments about the scissors, but no. Just between you and I, it probably decided to keep a low profile. The sewing machine was on a roll.

It ‘tutted’ in the background as I tried to remember how to thread the needle with the handy-dandy- built-in needle threader, (which worked like a treat once I remembered how it worked) and ‘yea’ed’ or ‘nay’ed’ as I made my way through the 50 different stitch options that its merry little computer innards could produce on command. (there’s more computing power in this machine than the entire Apollo Space Program

“Bugger! I can’t remember how to dial up this stitch I want to use. Maybe if I just …”

“Try using the manual.”

“What?”

“Try the manual.”

“It’s way over the other side of the room with all the other manuals. What if I …”

“The manual!”

“But …”

“Manual!”

“The Law of Diminishing Returns doesn’t really count in this instance, you know.”

“I AM THE LAW!”

“Oh, very droll. Judge Dredd reference. Touché.”

“Hee, hee.”

“No matter where I start it’s going to be the very last one, isn’t it?”

“No matter where I start it’s going to be the very last one, isn’t it?”

-oOo-

“Why does one, very annoying, sewing machine need five feet?

"I know, I know, ‘The Manual.’"

“I know, I know, ‘The Manual.’”

Usually I’m good with manuals, but I think this was a matter of dignity. I’d been using sewing machines since I was about 11 starting with an old Singer treadle machine. The fundamentals were the same, but as with all things technological, the ‘new-and-improved’ brigade tweaked and twaddled everything until common sense went out the window.

“Stop justifying and get on with it!”

“Oh look, it shows what type of foot I need and how to do the stitch.”

“Oh look, it shows what type of foot I need and how to do the stitch.”

-oOo-

Merrily we sew along, sew along, sew along. Merrily we sew along … hmm, the bobbin’s getting low. We’re not going to run out of cotton are we?”

“No.”

“You sure?”

“SHUT UP!”

“Told you.” “But it was a close call.” “Srlsy?”

“Told you.”
“But it was a close call.”
“Srlsy?”

-oOo-

Finally! All four hand towels neatly hemmed and folded, ready for action.

“We worked so well together.” “You’re delusional and I need a holiday. Put me back in my cupboard.”

“We worked so well together.”
“You’re delusional and I need a holiday. Put me back in my cupboard.”

 

-oOo-

The finished product, ready for action! “And I couldn’t’ve done it without my Friendly Neighbourhood Sewing Machine.” “Just shoot me!”

The finished product, ready for action!
“And I couldn’t’ve done it without my Friendly Neighbourhood Sewing Machine.”
“Just shoot me!”

The Jester Trees

I went for a walk the other day to clear my head from the dross left inside it by all the writerly stuff I’ve been doing lately. Not complaining, mind you, but I think I’ve written more this year than I did for the whole of 2017.

As I ambled along the road I spied another consequence of our destructive December ice storm, this time a formerly stately five meter high hedge had paid the price.

These venerable trees now looked as though they had thrown their dignity into the ethers and taken on new identities as jester hats.

No more conformity for us!

No more conformity for us!

An uncanny resemblance …

 

Lost Days

I have an infected tooth and am taking antibiotics which both my dentist and I hope work so I don’t need any heavy duty dentistry. It takes me a day of so to adapt the them so today was a total loss as far as writing goes. (blog comments notwithstanding)

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and started adding up the days each month I lose to various once-offs and on-going health stuff. It averages out to between five and six days a month … which really didn’t help my state of mind until I turned it around and realised that I had twenty four-ish days a month that weren’t ‘lost.’

I felt much better … then I bit down into a piece of toast and set my tooth, and gum, and half my face, to throbbing.

C’est La Vie … you win some, you lose some.

-oOo-

Later …

… I was walking through the laundry, which, among other laundry appliances and accoutrements, is where our chest freezer resides, on my way to the back door when I espied this, just casually kicking back on the top of the freezer …

Thing, from the Addams Family, in drag!

Thing, from the Addams Family, in drag!

You can see the resemblance, right?

… All in all, not a bad day, here on Widder Island.

 

 

The Season Of Snuffles Is Upon Us

That moment when you want to rip your face off and wring it out

That moment when you want to rip your face off and wring it out

Up until we moved here to Widder Island six years ago I never suffered from seasonal or pollen allergies.

Although we’re protected from the worst of the ‘eau de cow-poo’ fertilizer smells this time of the year, the same cannot be said of the airborne things that cause one to go ‘AaaaaaCHooooo’ in the middle of the night, morning, afternoon, evening, that is the by-product of swathes of farmland in the Fraser Valley.

This is another reason we’re planning on moving to the Interior as soon as we find our forever home.

Pseudoephedrine is a snuffler’s best friend at these times … unfortunately it’s also a toxic friend when it has overstayed its welcome.

And then, one day quite by accident I uncovered, not a cure, but a tasty remedy for the symptoms.

Licorish.

The good stuff, not the flavoured sugar kind … and therein lies the issue with eating even little nubs of the stuff all day – sugar, which is an ingredient, no matter what the quality. (as far as I know)

Never fear, Widders is here. (Lost In Space reference – the trailer for the re-boot looks … not terrible) I found a magnificent alternative in the spices isle of our local bulk health and organic food store – star anise!

I suppose it comes in a powdered form but in it’s un-smooshed state it looks like this …

Star anise – Naked and un-smooshed, baby!

Star anise – Naked and un-smooshed, baby!

First thing I did was make a big pot of star anise tea and added a bit to everything I drank.

Mrs Widds found the giant mouse tea-cosy in her favourite thrift store

Mrs Widds found the giant mouse tea-cosy in her favourite thrift store

It worked, but after a while everything tasted star anise-y.

Enter, my handy-dandy essential oil tea light diffuser.

Much better

Much better

I wouldn’t normally have used so many ‘stars’ but these were left over from the last pot I made and they still had some smell to them so I chucked them in the top added some water … three days later they’re still going strong.

The aroma isn’t too overwhelming, Mrs Widds hasn’t fainted dead away, and I …

I … Can … Breathe!

Of course, it’s not for everyone, but if you’re doing the sneezy two-step like I am, give it a try, see what happens.

The Definition of Irrelevance

Recently, I featured a ‘comment’ from the catacombs of my WordPress spam folder.

The catacomb has revealed another gem with yet more sinister overtones.

Let us now gird our loins and be confronted with, in all its gruesome entirety, the sheer terror of …

 “Leave me alone!”

… in my spam folder …

::blinks::

… okay then.

... the sound of one cricket chirping ...

… the sound of one cricket chirping …