A Fist Full of Flowers


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Wild Chickweed and Violets

I’ve always loved flowers.  Always.  Earlier this summer I was reminded of some of my first childhood memories of flowers.  As a very young child I soon learned as my father’s shadow, what flowers were in season.  We would go to the poplar forest as the leaves were just emerging from winter rest, the sun having warmed last autumn’s carpet, coaxing hepaticas to speckle the brown and gray with white, blue and mauve.  Usually that was consistently around Mother’s Day so we would return, fists full of tiny flowers, stems barely crossing the width of a palm.  Mom would find a shot glass to hold the crushed bouquets.  We never picked enough to fill it, our efforts always seemed so diminished by the empty spaces. I learned early that for flowers were best displayed and stayed fresh longer the longer the stems were.

The next offering of spring would be the marsh marigolds, then violets blue and white, followed by lilacs, buttercups, bluebells, wild anemone, something Dad labeled Kentucky Bluegrass, red clover, brown eyed susans, asters and goldenrods.  A bouquet would be barely wilted and I would be bringing Mom another from the fields and the woods.  Before I was taught to know better, I would bring bunches of daisies.  Dad held them in low regard because they were a weed, spoiling the hay harvest.  Plus they stunk, and brought tiny crawly bugs with them into the house that fell and littered any surface the vase holding those sunny faces set off with pure white petals sat on.  He loves me, he loves me not.  I spent hours trying to teach myself the art of daisy chains and consistently unsatisfying attempts at flower crowns to set on my white blond head.

Dad would take us to the spruce forests to search for Calypso Ladyslippers and the blueberry hills for Pink Moccasins and Indian Pipe.  There were excursions into the bog to seek out swamp laurel and pitcher plants.  We observed trout lilies, mayflowers, and never picked wood lilies, or irises.  Dad recalls seeing trilliums blooming just over the crest of the hill, on the east side of the field where we entered the bush to look for hepaticas weeks earlier, but I never managed to locate any on our place.  I enjoyed watching the bees visit the blueberry and raspberry and strawberry and chokecherry blossoms, leaving them alone in anticipation of sweet fruit and berries.  We would beg Dad to guide the boat into the lily pads to collect brilliant white water lilies and butter yellow spatterdock.

I was intoxicated by the scents of twin lilies and lilacs and goldenrods.  I’d search out Canada Thistle and whittle it down with my pocket knife because I had heard once that if you were ever lost in the woods you could survive on its pithy stems.

Flowers are perfect.

Luke 12:27  “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

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Two Weeks in the Whirlwind


It’s been a tough two weeks.  The not hoped for, daily prayed about, inevitable happened.  God’s everlasting light shines upon my father.  I will miss him dearly.  Presiding at his funeral was the most uplifting experience, difficult but affirming.  Ever held in the love of God, Dad went to tend the fields of heaven.  I love you.

George with hay

Luke 6:1-5  One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

and Collie Makes Three


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On June 9th I flew to Toronto for study leave and my Darling drove to Kenora, Ontario with the Boler to deliver it to my sister.  DSC_0066

After four days at St. Michael’s College and Starting Well at Toronto School of Theology I flew back to Winnipeg.  It was wonderful to spend Father’s Day in Kenora with my Dad and enjoy a dinner of one of my favourites, Sorrel Soup.  Monday we returned to Winnipeg via Anola, Manitoba and picked up a canine addition to our family.  We have been with out a dog for a little over a year now.  My Darling has been missing the click, click of nails on the hardwood. He found this boy on Kijjii, he had been previously owned by an elderly lady who had returned him to the breeder when she went into a seniors’ home that didn’t allow dogs.  Not surprisingly he is a little undisciplined, although he walks on a lead really well.  His worse habit is the impulse to herd cars.  He didn’t anwer to his name (the same as my Darling’s!) so we have renamed him Haggis.  He is 2 1/2 years old (birthday is one before my Darling’s — Whaaaat?!)  He thinks he is a lap dog and at sometime in his life called permanent and perpetual ‘Shotgun’.  Wrestling a 80 pound dog into the back seat for 1800 kilometres was not fun.  He is settling in quite well, a bit of separation anxiety when we leave the house, but it is decreasing all the time.  He is a gentle boy, very friendly and is becoming quite attached to his new parents.  Plus, he is beautiful!

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Springtime Traditions


DSC_0967Treasured childhood memories for spring is the burning of grass around the edges of the fields and out buildings.  It was an event that we looked forward to with high anticipation.  Dad taught us all the ‘safety’ procedures for burning – starting a line of fire downwind, carrying a shovel, waiting until the wind died down and knowing there would be a heavy dew that night.  We would put on our oldest spring jackets, our Ukrainian ballet slippersindex and out we headed with dad in the lead.  He would start the fire and we would pull up hanks of long grass, twist it, touch it to the fire and then drag it long the edges of the fields to extend the burn line.  If the fire got too close to buildings or ran the risk of escaping, we would stomp out the fire.  That was much more exciting than using our shovels.  Just after dark we would return to the house, covered in soot and smelling of smoke, circles of fire on fields of black imprinted in our vision.  It was great.

April 26th was my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary.  Dad is 18 years older than my mom, and turned 91 this last December.  He had a minor stroke a year ago and has slowed down quite a bit.  My sister got the burning permit for spring refuse.  After dinner she walked the saluki and made the comment that the wind had died down and she was going to burn the ridge along the old garden.  I haven’t seen my father move that fast in over a year!  He was in his glory.  Ribs for dinner and grass burning after, the perfect anniversary.

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WIP Wednesday – Weekend


DSC_0910Holidays!  It’s an event packed weekend.  My parents are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.  My brother is turning 47 on the same day.  And Sunday my first grandbaby-daughter is being baptised into the family of God.

Today my two sisters, my parents and I traveled to visit my brother who lives 2 hours away from the Farm.  The day was filled with laughter, strange movie references “These are not the ‘droids you are looking for!”, stories that might have sounded like a kidnapping to someone evesdropping, “You are not listening to me.  I have the pizza.”, and twenty questions on the trip home that started conversations about food, bucket lists, places we’d been and a few tales out of school about school.  Nana, sisters M and N played Wii Dance Off 4 with nephews GR and Y. Even dad had a pretty good day.  Naturally we had to stop at Morden’s Chocolates for Russian Mints, Mixed Nut Brittle, bags of ‘seconds’ and Almond Crunch Clusters (I should have bought some of the latter…).

Pictured above is the quilt I am racing to finish by Sunday for my grand-daughter.  I am half done the binding as I type.  Cute, isn’t it?  Just like my A.A.E.P!

Omar the Saluki


My sister’s Saluki was resting at the Farm one morning.  I had to bring out the camera for a little shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

Such a good boy, willing to let us pose him in almost any position.

He’s rather skinny, most likely from moving into a new home.  Rest assured he’s filled out quite abit since living at the Farm.

Reminds me of the Pompeii Dog