Tis the season to entertain which usually leads me to clean the house deeply. Which in turn lead me to finally finish cleaning up the last of the garden. You can only move or hide things for so long before you need to deal with them. That applies to important shit and the beans from the garden.
So should it be #meatlessMonday or seeds for the actual bean plants next spring?
These lovely big purple ones are the big red scarlet runner beans I grew on a trellis in the old wagon. I’ll keep them for seeds. The little white and purple ones are called Jacobs Cattle or so says the bag they came from.
These brown beans seem to be two different kinds and must be the common bush plant that I grow every year.
I will combine them with a bag of kidney and brown ones that were my starter kit last year and do a pot of beans for supper Monday night. I’ve wanted to try making real beans from scratch for a while. Wish me luck or send me tips. Meanwhile I really have to go finish cleaning. Bernie
There is a wonderful children’s book called Something from Nothing. It’s by one of my favourite Canadian authors of that genre, Phoebe Gilman. I was reminded of this book recently when I decided to create something from nothing. Once the Continue reading
My journal entry, dated July 28 1998, states that Spencer drew a picture of the airplane and wrote one long sentence that had no punctuation. We were on our way to England for a family reunion and I felt that writing about the experience would be a good idea but I quickly gave up that idea but I am pleased to report that, 21 years later, my son was excited to write up and submit this blog post. Continue reading
The sunlight dappled through the raspberry patch and while it was a beautiful colour it added a level of complexity to berry picking. The evening tinged light made the ripe berries hard to distinguish.
She thought maybe life’s like a raspberry patch and not a box of chocolates. Chocolates are so pedestrian; mass produced and if you read the key there aren’t even any surprises. It’s all so uniform and easy and she thought that’s not like life at all. Life isn’t easy. Those chocolates are tasty but they lack the smell, feel and taste of victory. Because each bowl of raspberries is a little victory on so many levels and that’s much more like real life is.
No there was much more to it than walking out and picking the big juicy berries on the top. She thought of all the background work that most people don’t ever consider as they eat that berry. How all that time and those little decisions ripple along and collide with the factors we can’t control. The best maintained berry patch can be levelled by a hail storm so intense that there is nothing left but beat up old canes. The new strapping plants growing so pristinely for next year are desecrated.
That’s what life is like she thought. Hail could so be a metaphor for a crisis like a car accident that claims a young life and cripples someone in their grief. Raspberry blight was like that bloody cancer. The one that robs young, old and in betweens of the life they wanted to live. Instead it replaces it with something they never dreamt could happen to them. Cane rot requires the whole patch be burnt and relocated which she reflected, was what those who had lost their relationships or their jobs were often forced to do.
Better to live through a drought, she thought, even though that had its downsides as well. Less berries with a lower quality and perhaps there was some lesson to be learnt there as well. That smaller bowl was worthy of the same respect as the big juicy bowl full of prime berries. That analogy seemed to elude her grasp and yet sat in front of her face but the metaphor wasn’t jumping up at her. Ps late at night these two thoughts intruded: racism and or white privilege.
Pulling her mind back to the picking of the berries she mulled over that the work of keeping raspberries. The mulching, weeding, cutting back of the floricane at the year end so that the primocane could flourish the following year and the disposal of the canes. Those maintenance items were like seeing brushing your teeth, eating properly, getting enough sleep and stretching. Those self care items that people neglect on themselves but will take care of for others or as it turns out for plants. Perhaps the bees were sent along to help like friends do in real life.
But if the care of them was like self care she rationalized then the use of the berries was like the sweet things in life. Preserving the berries for a cold winters day or eating them fresh with farm cream was hugs and laughter all around. And if life handed you little raspberries then make lemonade. Now that was an analogy she could get behind; that some times difficult situations force us to respond to find the best possible outcome. Yes life definitely was like that.
Perhaps I’ve been spending too much time alone in the raspberry patch!
The geese and the owls are back. The crocuses are just popping up their pretty heads. All of this signals that spring is on its way.
While most people are turning their thoughts to outside deck time or lake time my thoughts have turned to my Continue reading
One of my mother’s favourite sayings, recently, has been that
growing old is not for wimps. Continue reading