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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Song for Friday...a love story

Yesterday I heard this song and an interview with the singer/songwriter Josh Ritter.
He's such a talented man with some intriguing ideas.
This song, he explained, came to him as a dream.
He knew the whole story before he wrote the song.
It's about a mummy who is made famous by the archaeologist who found him.
As he goes on to fame and fortune, she is left behind and, well...
You'll just have to watch.
The puppetry is enchanting and done the good, old fashioned way.
Have a great weekend.
Happy Halloween!

Going back...

If you haven't had a chance to see this series, you simply must...
Right now it's being aired on our local Knowledge Network but it was on BBC last year and I'm sure through the magic of the Internet you can watch it online.
A fantastic journey by three people back in time.
Everything must be done exactly as it was in the Victorian days.
The tools, the cleaning, the cooking, the raising of livestock, the gardening, the farming.
It will make you appreciate all of the modern conveniences, but it will also make you want to go out and buy yourself a kerosene lantern and a draft horse.
Here's a little taste...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the end...?

Yesterday Griff and I went to one of our favorite summer haunts...the pull ferry.
We sure had some fun adventures with my sister and the kids in August when they came to visit.
I will always have a quiet giggle in my heart when I think about that day and how we all got muddy and wet and had twigs and leaves in our hair and then had to go to town on the way home.
We must have looked like a right bunch of bush whacker's!
The grass is dry and brown and dying in those same fields where it once grew over our heads...
Some think of this time of year as the end.
In a lot of ways it is, but for me it's always the beginning of other, creative, looking inward sorts of things.
Life doesn't end for most just goes to sleep...
It sets its seeds for it's next life in the spring.
Burrows itself down deep into the earth.
Roots itself preparing for the next phase.
And then slowly, just disappears, under deep depths of mulch and snow.
It gives itself back to whence it came.
Feeds the ground that nurtured it.
And in this process, gives us a gift of jewel tones and warm hues...
Down by the river, a mysterious miracle is also at work .
The salmon who came from these places as tiny fry, have come back after 4 years in the ocean to give it all they've got.
Fighting the rushing currents, only knowing that this is what they must do...
No matter what, they keep on struggling...
Only to spawn and die.
So in all of this seemingly difficult to watch drama, there is a marvel to behold.
I am a witness to a force powerful and inspiring.
No one knows how the salmon know exactly where they came from.
Some say it's a smell...
Some say it's the stars...
Some say it's the moon...
I say...
I love a good mystery.
Griff and i will say goodnight to this place for the winter.
It's getting much to wet, even for my gumboots.
But we'll come back again for more adventures next year when all is bright and new again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book review...

In 1888, an arctic air mass came down from Canada and pummelled the Midwest.
Many Northern European immigrants, as well as Irish, British and people from the eastern states, came to the prairie's to start a new life.
Land was abundant.
The New Frontier.
But during the winter of that year, it turned disastrous.
It was called 'The School Children's Blizzard' because the loss of life was dominated by the hundreds of children trying to make their way home.
Some lived only minutes from the schoolhouse.
Some were with parents, helping secure animals in barns.
David Laskin tells a chilling (mind the pun) tale of the mistakes made by the U.S Army Signal Corps who were responsible for sending out weather forecasts in a timely fashion.
In three minutes, the cold front dropped 18 degrees F and kept dropping.
The winds were fierce.
The snow was more like falling ice.
By morning, frozen bodies lay strewn across the Dakota-Nebraska prairie.
Although a bit tedious in parts when talking about technical terms, it is an incredible history lesson.
People were forever changed by this storm and the stories told by descendants of those who survived are simply heart wrenching and incredible.
Most of the time I was reading this book, it was at bedtime.
I was snuggled up in my comforter, mug of warm milk in hand.
I couldn't imagine these children in their tiny leather shoes, short pants and dresses, trying to survive the night in these most extreme conditions...
but some of them did.
Another book which has left me in awe of the strength of the human condition.
If you like to read about weather, you'll learn a lot.
If you like history, you'll learn a lot.
I tried to find images for this post and then I slapped myself, thinking...
"I'm sure they weren't thinking about taking photos."