Cheers to a great Lady on her final journey, Queen Elizabeth II.
God save the King!
‘T was very, very long ago, in days no longer snug
When giant stood about so high and pixies all were young
The Queen of Fairies said one day, ‘I’m tired of honey-dew,
So hasten now, and mix for me a cup of something new’.
‘It must lift the drooping spirit, it must heal the wounded heart;
It must bring the smile of happiness, and bid the tear depart;
It must make the young grow younger, and the old no longer old;
It must make the poor contented, and the rich forget their gold’.
When it boiled, they cooled and poured it, so the ancient story goes;
And to the Queen they brought it in the chalice of a rose.
She sipped, delighted; then she cried: ‘I issue this decree;
The cup you have so deftly brewed, I christen “Fairy Tea”!’.
So when you see the fairy folk “at home” in Dingle Dell,Fairy Tea by D.K.S., Old Wives Tales, St. Nicholas: an illustrated Magazine for Young Folks, Volume 40, 1914
All sipping something dainty from their cups of heather-bell,
You will notice they are happy, as good as fairies ought to be,
And that’s because they always use their famous Fairy Tea.
Happy Labour Day!
Peaches are coming into season soon, and I love the sweetness, tartness…and juiciness of a fresh, sun-ripened peach. Peach pairs well with ginger, so this morning as I prepared to put the finishing touches on my Dad’s wood-working project for my kitchen, I poured myself a cup of President’s Choice Ginger Peach tea.
Don’t let the brand fool you. Not all less expensive teas are “ less than”. This little sachet was flavourful – sweet and a little spicy (like yours truly)! The colour is an inviting rosy shade and the fragrance made my mouth water. The ginger was tempered so it provided heat without overwhelming the palate. True, it has a slight acidic and artificial flavour to it, but most peach teas do, and this was not obnoxiously so.
Peach is one of those fruits that don’t dehydrate well and the leaves aren’t peach flavoured. This tea is an herbal infusion, so no caffeine. It’s comprised of apple, blackberry leaves, citric acid, ginger root, hibiscus petals, rose hips, roasted chicory root, and natural flavours. It is definitely higher on the list of other peach teas I’ve tried, and like many others, I think it would make a fantastic iced tea for hot summer afternoons.
Especially with a good book or after a nap!
The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Dear Diary – My grandmother used to like the expression “when life hands you scraps, make quilts”. She was an avid quilter and I proudly display a few of her carefully handcrafted quilts in my home.
While I have been very fortunate to work on quilts with both of my grandmothers, my Mom and my aunt, I am not a quilter. However, I’m also not a “waster”. Mom helped me this week begin to cut strips of fabric from the scraps of fabric used in my business for another project. Hopefully, dear diary, I can share the finished product with you soon. It’s a time-consuming process but a worthy one to keep it out of the landfill. If we each do our part, we can begin to make a better world.
Do what you love, love what you do, leave the world a better place and don’t pick your nose.Jef Mallett
Dear Diary – It was another wild weather weekend at “the cottage” (aka my parents’ place), which seems to be an apt description for most of North America, if not on an international scale!
Saturday morning I woke with a start! The sun was already beating down behind my blinds and the famers were probably enjoying their first (or maybe second) coffee break. But it wasn’t the sunshine or the late hour that disturbed me; it was the lack of noise. My faithful electric fan was no longer buzzing beside me. I clicked the lamp next to my bed and it confirmed my fear: the power was out!
I was the first out of bed and I tried, in vain, to see if I could find out what had happened. Or more importantly, how long this was happening. My phone battery was already drained and my data plan, not unlimited. So I texted Hubby to see if he could find the answer and let me know.
He didn’t return my texts.
I texted Oldest Son as well.
He also didn’t return my texts.
I waited impatiently for someone to share my misery, as my nightgown dampened and my flesh screamed for caffeine. (Just re-living it makes me want to put the kettle on…)
Eventually my parents staggered from their chamber, less concerned with how we would manage. We had access to a pool to keep cool – but what about the seniors in town?
After consuming the sourdough cinnamon and raisin muffins my Dad had baked a few days before, he ventured into town to the nearest Tim Horton’s. My hero!
I settled into the soft couch with book to await his triumphant return. But his highly anticipated return was not triumphant. Nothing in town was open. All the street lights were out. And the park where there’s free wi-fi was one long string of cars.
More than an hour had passed, with my phone battery coughing it’s last, I called Hubby. He was playing Minecraft! 🙂 But he was able to confirm a large outage in our area and he reported our address. The estimated time for repair was more than 5 hours away…and they were still investigating. We were in this for the long haul.
I immediately popped 2 tea bags in a pitcher of room temperature water and set it aside to steep. I failed to notice Dad popping out the patio door. Soon after, he returned triumphant with a kettle of boiling water. Oh yes!! The BBQ.
Mom, meanwhile, was already feeling unwell and had fallen asleep in a chair. I had to restrain myself after the first glorious mug of golden elixir that lifted my flagging spirits and my caffeine-deprived body, so I wouldn’t drink her mug too.
Youngest Son slept on blissfully.
No tea and no pee! The absence of hydro meant not only no tea and no air-conditioning, it also meant no pump for the well, which meant no toilet. If anyone had to do their “duty”, they had to do it downstairs and use a bucket of pool water to flush!
By lunchtime, we were soggy. I tried to nap in my room but it was too hot. It didn’t help that there were still flannel sheets on my bed. Concerned with the contents of fridge and freezer, my Dad started up his generator. It staggered to life, belching fumes and grumbling like the old steam-powered machines at the local Fair. One that was on its last legs! But it’s grumbling helped the fridge and freezer do its job (and boosted my phone battery too), and allowed us to flush upstairs, away from the creatures with many legs. At least for an hour.
By mid-afternoon, I exchanged my third outfit of the day (each one showing more skin than the last) for my bathing suit, and Mom and I dunked in the warm pool to cool off. But without hydro to circulate the water, it was filled with very noticable hot spots and cold spots. It reminded me of swimming in a shallow lake, the kind where lots of kids are hanging out about waist deep…and when you hit a hot spot, you knew someone had just peed.
Dad chose this auspicious moment to run the generator to top up the cooling appliances. I felt like I was swimming next to a burping, aged tractor, but I was so thankful my internal core was no longer threatening to melt down.
Also, without the distractions of electronics, and being forced outdoors to try to escape the heat, we were reminded of all the beauty around us in nature. When the generator wasn’t running, we could smell the lilies nearby. Most wondrous of all, we were entertained by a trio of Monarch butterflies dancing in the field nearby and chasing each other in a game of tag. One even hid among the lilies, only to “attack” the other two and send them into a flight of fancy. Like tethered flowers, these tiny creatures flitted and fluttered and circled each other, an ethereal spectacle that we would have missed hunched over tablets inside.
By the time I was dressed again and armed with my camera, only one remained. It played with me instead, making me chase it from flowerbed to flowerbed, alighting only long enough for me to line up the shot. My finger pressed the button, but it was already gone. Except once…
Power was restored just before dinner…which meant we had to cook! 😦
We woke Youngest Son in time to eat.
Hubby made sure we didn’t stay in the dark. He texted to report there had been an explosion and fire at the local power station. Over 30,000 customers were impacted by the outage, yet this news story never made it on the local news!
On Sunday night we went to bed under a severe thunderstorm watch. The winds were high and thunder rumbled in the distance.
In the morning, we found out a tornado had touched down just 30 minutes away. That’s the second tornado this summer to touch down…also 30 minutes away from me. Tornados are not a common thing in our area, and as a kid, I took great comfort in knowing I never had to worry. But things are changing, and if things run in threes, I’m not liking the odds…
A long weekend is fabulous, but a 2 week holday is so much more satisfying. Instead of wondering where it went, I’m looking back, amazed at how slowly it passed. Tomorrow I am returning home, still lacking vigour and with no grand schemes in place, but still… feeling blessed.
I sustain myself with the love of my family.Maya Angelou
Dear Diary – I really thought I had packed everything, but within 24 hours I quickly discovered I forgot something crucial: razors, and without them, I would soon be a sunbathing yeti. I may soon have to pick up a new bathing suit too. Getting into mine is like trying to stuff pork into a sausage casing.
It’s not a pretty sight!
Dear Diary – We took a mini tour of local history on Thursday. Mom and I met Aunt Mary for a tour of the newly renovated Country Store, now home to a local insurance company. Both my grandparents had worked for this company, Nana taking over for Papa when his health deteriorated. He was so proud of her. Inevitably, when I was visiting in the summer, Nana would have business to conduct at a nearby farm and I was dragged along, with a pile of books to entertain me.
This mutual fire insurance company began in the pioneering years after Confederation (1876) by farmers create a co-operative insurance company to help protect them from property and livestock losses due to fire. Years ago an older lady who attended Mom’s church shared a memory of standing in the lake to escape a devastating fire. These companies pulled together to help rebuild her northern community.
The insurance recently undertook a massive renovation to the local “country store”, incorporating tin from the roof in the interior, and wood and brick from a large local furniture business that had operated in town for 173 years.
Even the silos gave a nod to the town’s heritage:
After our tour, we walked a block to what also used to be an iconic institution in town, the local bakery. Len’s Bakery had the best chocolate dip doughnuts in town. I can remember Dad bringing home tiny vanilla cakes covered in raspberry jam and coconut, and topped with buttercream and jam. Len sold his business a few years ago and the interior received an update from it’s 1950s style.
They make those same little raspberry coconut-covered cakes. Mmm…
Dear Diary –
What I said: Tomorrow I’m spreading out and sewing, people!
What Youngest Son heard: i’m spreading out and sewing people!
Punctuation is important!
Dear Diary – Mom pulled out a box of binders and newspaper clippings for me to sort through. At least 95% should have been tossed in a recycle box years ago. I found the “files” from Detective Club I formed with my best friends in Grade 3, figure skating programs, report cards, ticket stubs, and lots of poems and short stories I had written. I read a few and recognized the influence from books and t.v. shows I adored as a kid. Princess Tara: Child of the Sun was definately a mash-up of fantasy and Little House on the Prairie!
Dear Diary – Tuesday night, it was Youngest Son’s turn to worry about “the kids” being out so late! Dad, Mom and I went to the Drive-In to see Minions and Top Gun!
This drive-in was nothing like the one I attended as a kid. There was a screen…white metal roofing and wodden posts. The lot was behind an industrial office-type building but the gravel was raked to lift the front of the car for better viewing. And the ticket booth, was a school bus with Christmas lights. But none of it stole the excitement of this summer adventure!
The only thing that threatened to dampen the adventure was our soggy clothes. With it feeling like 35C outside, you can just imagine how steamy it got in a closed car. We tried opening the sun roof but that only let the mosquitoes in. Since there were only 5 cars in the lot, we did run the air conditioning briefly a couple times during the two shows, before Mom passed out in the back.
We bought cold pop at the small concession stand. The chocolate bar I brought was a puddle.
When we got home at 1:45, Youngest Son was still up. The house reeked of bug spray, and the living room floor was dotted with upside-down cups and votive candles. He had spent the last 5 hours “chasing bugs” and he wished he had gone with us instead.
The movies were what I expected…big-hearted yellow guys and high-action airplanes…but neither will leave the same mark as our big night out!
Every time I have a date there’s only one place to go, That’s to the drive inBeach Boys, Drive-In
It’s such a groovy place to talk and maybe watch a show, Down at the drive in!
He knows he’s beautiful!
He knows that I know he’s beautiful.
So, in a rare moment of vanity, Mr. C posed for me. A star is born…
She said that that was what star quality was – that little something extra. Well, you’ve got it!Norma Maine, A Star is Born (1954)
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