My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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Walking along Dallas Road on a windy day.

Yesterday I joined some friends for a lively walk around the Ogden Point area – lovely to be outside now that the snow has completely disappeared!  It was a bit of a windy day and the ocean was just rolling in waves, tossing huge logs around with such ease – nice to watch safely from above! dec08Walking along one section of the gravelly beach areas, more logs have been tossed into a pile.  Magnificent to see the waves splashing up and over any barriers in their way.  Can’t stop the power of a wave.dec13There are a number of stairways leading to the beach areas.  The wooden steps were a tad slippery, so it was good to have sturdy rails to hang onto, to catch one’s step. dec02After a cloudy start to the morning, the skies soon cleared and there was beautiful sky art overhead to brighten up our little world.  Seagulls happily flying overhead.  Watching their side-slips and swift turns made me long for the summer and high flights in the glider.  Just a few more months and then that will  happen, oh great joy! dec06Yummy .. yummy … kelp!  Good for forming baskets (keep them out of the rain, haha) or chopping up for the garden.  My pal D and I will go seeking seaweed in the new year.  Lovely for the garden!!  Adding zillions of minerals to the soil. dec-03A couple of seagulls taking a bit of a rest between flights.   Checking out the weather conditions and where is Charlie anyway?  He promised to join us here!  Lots of logs making their way to the beach area.dec-05Another set of stairs, the wood looking lovely and weathered by the salty air.dec01

More people walking along Dallas Road, enjoying the beauty and power of the wind and waves.  Snow covered hills in the background and there, to the left, is the beautiful walkway with (thank heavens) wire railings on both sides.  A safety net for those (like me) who are appreciative of such guides in open spaces! dec07

A closer view and lovely paintings all along the sides to add beauty to the surface of the cement walls.dec09

There were a few Cormorants in the waters – such beautiful birds, I quickly snapped a photo before this one dove down into the cold waters.dec10

A closer view of the wire “walls” or “fencing” that gives us the feeling of safety against the open vista of water.  Now I don’t feel as if I’ll tumble over the sides.  In the past I have encountered people, nervous like myself, as we gingerly passed each other on the walkway.   I didn’t notice any nervous people .. .everyone walked along confidently, happy in their walks.  Smiling as we passed each other.  Felt good.dec12

As we neared the end of the walk, I noticed this gull.  Perhaps this was Charlie and he forgot the rendezvous location and was seeking his two pals?  I wonder. dec11

So, a lovely hour and a half in the fresh air .. what a lovely experience after having had a miserable cold/flu!

And the days are starting to be longer!   Soon I will be outside in my garden.  Tidying up .. as I never did finish doing that in the fall.

I even left all the bean poles up – more places for the birds to perch and hide when necessary.

My garlic has been growing greens (photos tomorrow) due to the warm fall weather.  Some of the greens look pale and weather-beaten I hope that this doesn’t affect the quality of the cloves.

Every year I think that I haven’t planted enough garlic.  You know, lots for home, lots for friends and the largest cloves for planting.  Oh how I long for more property so I can start planting much more garlic.  Soon I hope.

Anyway, about 13 large containers with at least 10 (or more) cloves planted in October.  Instead of planting the various ‘stans of garlic purchased from Richters (love them!) I just planted Elephant (leek family, but, oh my, my Elephant “garlic” is very garlicky!)     And a ‘stan (I think Kazakhstan, from Richters many years ago).  These grow very well for me and the cloves are super easy to pull apart.

Dreaming of the upcoming days when I can be outside, watching the birds, loving the sky art above and perhaps doing some work .. I will enjoy, for now, the luxury of being inside.  Playing and creating with my millions of beads.  Practicing my fiddle.  More decluttering (does it ever end!)

Looking forward to my clogging, practicing dumbeq with a friend, beginning my study of the German language (something I’d started years before).

I find myself delving into interests that I had for so many years … activities put aside on the shelf till a later date.    And the happiness that I feel in doing so just fills me with such joy and satisfaction, that money just can’t buy!

🙂


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The thing about learning the violin is that you can never get worse!!!

Many years ago, I took violin lessons.   Like my other interests, this one fell to the wayside over the years.  I still had my violin … just couldn’t part with it.  A friend had found this one and thought that I would enjoy learning how to play .. so I bought it and found 3 instructors, one after the other.   Each one had a technique which I struggled to understand.  Finally I decided to stop as I wasn’t just understanding what it was I had to learn – the language of music was too muddled for me to comprehend.   So my violin was placed atop a cupboard and stayed there for many years.

Sometime during the summer, my dh suggested that I take up the violin again.  I was becoming obsessed with my beads and things and he thought that some of this energy might be better served with something that brought me joy.

So .. .I fetched my violin case down from the cupboard and felt kind of sad at all the dust that covered it.   See my fingerprints where I carefully brought it down.

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The first thing that I did was to fetch a cloth and dust it off.  That made me feel much better!

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Then I opened it up and there was a piece of music from long ago inside!  My violin itself wasn’t dusty.   And did I hear a sigh of relief when I opened up the case?   I think so, but perhaps I imagined it?   Was my little violin happy to be out of the darkness finally?

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A few months later, my violin has a new set of strings, (the new strings turned my attention to old strings and how to make jewelry out of them, that is how my mind works!  more later), a new tailpiece.  And I also have learned to supply a fabric padding so that my violin won’t rattle about in the case when I carry it around.   I used one of my beautiful scarves for this purpose.   I also have my lovely little tribute to my Muscovy Drake “Huggers”  .. a friend had created this on some green felt.   It is perfect for dusting the surplus rosin from my strings and it is a sweet reminder of my little duck.

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I bought a whiteboard to mark things I need to learn and can change it about as I learn more.    Some things are falling into place.  (and oops .. first 4 notes of a minor scale .. must correct that whiteboard!)  🙂

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I have my new and old music to learn and practice from and am so happy that I kept the old stuff!

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Old and new – a delight and a challenge!

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I’m learning the basics, which include so many things and it really is like juggling plates on sticks, rubbing my head and tummy while learning where to place my feet.   Almost a bit overwhelming, learning how to stand, place the violin, the left hand (without the death grip and letting the thumb just relax) and how to move the right hand and then move the bow in a straight line.

All at the same time … and then .. try to remember the tune to play.

Sometimes, when I practice, I can imagine that I can hear the tune that I’m learning, despite all the scratchings of the strings.   And for those brief seconds I am happy.

I will strive to learn and will do my best and sometimes, when I’m practicing, there is an overwhelming feeling of joy and satisfaction as I focus, one at a time .. at the many things that I am learning.

Have been following some blogs on beginner violin players and do get a chuckle at the similarities that we share!  And when I read how experienced violinists do have their qualms, this gives me a feeling that we are all in this together.  Some have devoted their lives to learning and playing this music.   I have only just begun and their thoughts give me solace.

I guess I could talk on and on about this but the time is running late.

Oh .. one more thing (among others!) .. I’ve begun my clogging again!!!  After an absence of about 10 years, I have found my instructor and have begun my beginner classes.

Funny how some of the steps, learned long ago, are still there …I love the rhythm and steps of the clogging .. so energizing and lively!!

Tonight was my first session and as I listened to the fiddle playing of one piece of music used for certain steps, I knew I was making the right decision to revisit the clogging as it ties in with the fiddle music I will be learning!  And there will be forays to the states for clogging workshops where, no doubt, there will be fiddle playing.

And I will be so happy!

So much fun …….so much joy …

🙂


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JaneE Kat in the sun, learning again how to drum and more about beans.

I have never given JaneE a bath and it seems that she prefers showers, what did I know?  My darling little girl (who will be 22 in December!) loves sitting next to my sump pump washtub fountain and in the process has a little shower.  Perfect in the hot summer days that we are experiencing now.  Not sure if you can see the tiny droplets of water, reflective in the sun .. but she is covered with water!  Cool Cat!

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She is mesmerized with water – outside – here she is sipping at water that overflowed when I was watering some beans …

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Those Portuguese bush dry beans are prolific …very sturdy plants.  I’ll have lots of beans for soups and stews this winter.  Or just boil, mash and put lots of butter on a bowl of them!   (with some stewed tomatoes!)

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Speaking of these Portuguese beans being sturdy, last week one of them, fully laden with flowers, had been nearly snapped off .. whether from an animal at night or perhaps it wasn’t well supported.  I tried to mend it together by wrapping that green adhesive garden tape around it and tying the plant to a stick of bamboo.  Somehow, it worked, the energy continued flowing and the plant flourishes.  I’m so happy.

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I had saved about 30 seeds of the Ram’s Horn bean from last year.  Planted them all and one actually grew!  So I separated it from where it was growing – intertwined along with a Scarlet Red Runner bean and attached it to a separate string and here it grows.   Looking forward to seeing the fruit from this one!

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Some squash growing in a pot.  They are shallow rooted so I knew they would flourish in a container.  Now they are growing, long vines are being trained up some lengths of wood.   Flowering away .. the bees are very attentive to the flowers.

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The magic of a seed morphing into a plant that provides food for the table never loses intrigue for me and it never will – I’ll always be amazed and grateful.

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Last year I noticed a clematis ( Jackmanii ) that grew up a little arbour in the yard was rapidly becoming infested with mildew.  So I simply cut it all down and it regrew.   This year the same thing happened so I cut the plant away and look at all the new growth.  In a week or so, the vine will have crept over the arbour and will start flowering again!

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And now about the drumming!  http://www.drumvictoria.com/

Jordan Hanson started teaching African drumming in Victoria over 15 years ago .. and he has brought in quite a variety of teachers over the years.

I’d begun at that time and life kept interfering with other things so I wasn’t able to commit to steady classes.

Now that I am (happily) retired I can now devote time to things that bring joy and energy into my life.  One of these is drumming.  I’ve been interested in drumming since I was a teen and had my first set of bongos!!   That was in the hippy generation.  I never did learn how to play them but did enjoy just trying to make a good sound.

So last week I enrolled for a series of workshops that involved Balafon – here is a link that explains the instrument: http://www.african-music-safari.com/african-balafon-history.html

I purchased a used balafon and have it set up so that DH & I can just play the soothing musical tones .. it isn’t in tune but sounds great anyway!

And the drums!  There are a variety of them, from Djembe, stick, and it’s fun learning how to play them.  Jordan is a fantastic teacher and is able to show us as a group, how to learn the intricacies.  http://www.drumvictoria.com/

I do love the energy and his drumming notes show that “even just a few minutes of drumming a day can contribute to a feeling of well-being and can really improve playing skills.”   Getting lost in the rhythm is meditational and relaxing.  Time literally flies by.

It is fun returning to drumming after being away for so long.

And soon I’ll be revisiting another interest from years ago .. clogging!  double up — double down .. cloggers know this one!  An Appalachian instructor demonstrated this in a workshop in Duncan years ago and I can still hear his accented voice as he led the group in a routine.  So I’ll be dusting off my tap shoes with the double set of metal clickers and putting them on once again, in a few weeks to relearn the rhythms of the dance.

And more interests being revisited again .. but now it’s time to get on with the day!

🙂