söndag 31 augusti 2008

A fruitful day

Illustration by Elsa Beskow
With all the fruit at hand I had to change my plans to take care of as much of it as possible today. It's a task I enjoy — but maybe not when I'm trying to get organized to go away for a couple of weeks. I like the contemplative part of peeling and cutting so even if my body spent the morning in my kitchen my mind traveled the world and I went from one decade to another in seconds. Thinking of how we went to different apple farms in New England to pick apples. Something we don't have here so I asked a million (more or less — probably more) questions when the owner turned up. My questions must have been adequate as the owner asked me where I had my apple farm.

My mind wandered to Winnipeg and the fall I spent there — I remember how odd I thought it was when we picked the last strawberries in late October. A bit surprising as I was told it was too cold to grow apples there.
Thinking about thinking made me think (hope you can follow the thinking here) of how I and a colleague discussed our jobs — she said she always listened to the radio while weaving and I said that I very seldom did that as weaving, if it's not a too complicated pattern, is perfect for letting the thoughts wander. But I don't want to think, she said. Thoughts are not always pleasant. I'm most grateful for a life on the sunny side where unpleasant thoughts have been rare.

It is late afternoon here and I've just had tea and decided not to spend any more time in the kitchen today.
I have a nice heap with dried apples, applesauce drying to become apple leather, several jars of apple butter and apples all over the kitchen

You don't have to be clairvoyant to figure out that I'll be quite busy tomorrow; doing everything I meant to do the last couples of days. I have all my lists from previous trips to the island saved in the computer; how much food we left, how much food we use, which clothes we left and what to bring. In the future I'll need to make o copy of the lists as I have no use for them if the computer refuse to work.

lördag 30 augusti 2008

Another jam session

From Child-Land, by Oscar Pletsch and M. Rictor
Mama has been boiling some fruit to make jam for the winter, and given the children a large pan which has been used to make it. They are busy getting out every morsel of the syrup, for it is so nice and sweet.
Went to the studio to mow the lawn today. It usually takes about an hour but today I had to remove all the apples before I could start mowing

It was a bit of a surprise, I've owned my studio for 22 years and one of the apple trees that has not produced one single apple in all years all of a sudden is weighed down with fruit this year, and there were plenty of windfalls to gather. I also noticed that there were lots of red currants left on the bushes — I haven't had time to pick them and thought that the birds would have had a feast — so I spent some time picking some of them. I also picked some of the mahonia.

I've made jam of the berries and some of the apples are drying on the trays in the dehydrator now. I'll try to slice more apples tomorrow but I'm afraid I have to donate some of them to the deer.

In the studio I found a teddy bear I knitted some years ago but never finished so I brought it home in case I’d find myself idle.

This is the toadstool that yesterday looked like a ball.

Penguin Persons & Peppermints

Penguin Persons & Peppermints — wouldn't it be a perfect name for a blog? But it is the title of a book by Walter Prichard Eaton from 1922. One of my many finds on Gutenberg.
I haven't written about my Gutenberg finds in a while — which doesn't mean that I'm not spending Saturday mornings looking at their new books. But I haven't had much time to read or write about them. Hopefully that will change when I've tucked the gardens in bed for the winter.
This book is a collection of essays originally published in different publications. I'm looking forward to taking a closer look at it and other finds next week. There are a few but lovely vignettes.

fredag 29 augusti 2008


onsdag 27 augusti 2008

Best Way to Read a Book


Best Way to Read a Book

Best way to read a book I know
Is get a lad of six or so,
And curl him up upon my knee
Deep in a big arm chair, where we
Can catch the warmth of blazing coals,
And then let two contented souls
Melt into one, old age and youth,
Sharing adventure's marvelous truth.
I read a page, and then we sit
And talk it over, bit by bit;
Just how the pirates looked, and why
They flung a black flag to the sky.
We pass no paragraph without
First knowing what it's all about,
And when the author starts a fight
We join the forces that are right.
We're deep in Treasure Island, and
From Spy Glass Hill we've viewed the land;
Through thickets dense we've followed Jim
And shared the doubts that came to him.
We've heard Cap. Smollett arguing there
With Long John Silver, gaunt and spare,
And mastering our many fears
We've battled with those buccaneers.
Best way to read a book I've found
Is have a little boy around
And take him up upon your knee;
Then talk about the tale, till he
Lives it and feels it, just as you,
And shares the great adventure, too.
Books have a deep and lasting joy
For him who reads them to his boy.
Yesterday was Edgar E. Guest's birthday and I intended to post this poem but before I got that far I was too tired to think straight — so I went to bed instead.
Even if I'm not a boy and we never read about pirates, this poem brings back so many sweet memories from the time my father read to me before tucking me in bed.


How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood.
When fond recollections presents them to view!
77777777777777Samuel Woodworth

This time I hope the dial up from the island works — even if I pay for every second I'm on-line it would make it possible for me to add photos to my blog and check mail while there.
I don't mind living without a computer — the problems start when I'm back in cyber space, sorting, deleting and answering mails takes quite a while if you're away from the computer more than a couple of days.

A bit too early

for the leaves to turn red — isn't it. This is one of my red maples that I smuggled into our country 26 years ago. I had five small maples in my hand luggage. At that time we thought it was sugar maples but now I have learnt that they are red maples. But I also have learnt that you can make maple syrup from any kind of maples.

So some years ago I tried it in a very small scale, tapping one of our Swedish maples, Acer plantanoides. Our Swedish trees seldom get the bright and vivid colors as in the States. They turn yellow and brown with a hint of orange.

I too am a bit like a snail — I move forward in a very slow but steady pace, rest when I need and then continue until I reach my goal. My goal today is to find out if I need to prepare any more dishes for the island. Since we want life to be very simple I make several dishes at home, which I freeze and bring. That means that I don't have to cook very much which saves time, energy and water. The latter not the least important as we have to carry the water to the house. It also helps slimming the packing as I only bring exactly what we will eat.

tisdag 26 augusti 2008

Writing lists and packing

We're leaving for the island next Tuesday so I'm moving between lists, freezers and closets hoping I manage to pack what's essential. Books are most important, there are clothes left in the house so even if I forget what I intend to bring we can manage. If we run out of food we have to go home earlier than planned which I hope we don't have to do.

I've been out in the garden with my camera both yesterday and today — a few brave flowers are still in bloom or even producing new flowers — but most plants seem to prepare for the winter.Here are yesterday’s pictures.

måndag 25 augusti 2008

A perfect day

But it probably is the last sunny day in a while — hopefully not the last summer day, but you never know.
Yesterday I met one of my former students for a picnic by the river. She lives in London now so we only get together when she comes home a couple of times every year. It was one of those days when time seems to take a pause and everything is now

söndag 24 augusti 2008

Upon the Snail

77777777777777777777777777 77777777777777777777777
Upon the Snail
She goes but softly, but she goes sure;
She stumbles not as stronger creatures do:
Her journey's shorter, so she may endure
Better than they which do much further go.

She makes no noise, but still seizeth on
The flower or herb appointed for her food,
The which she quietly doth feed upon,
While others range, and gare, but find no good.

And though she doth but very softly go,
However 'tis not fast, nor slow, but sure;
And certainly they that do travel so,
The prize they do aim at they do procure.

7777777777777John Bunyan

lördag 23 augusti 2008

One happy winner

Until now I haven't won anything since I won this rocking horse when I was four years old. The first little boy who went to see an exhibition after a certain time on a certain day won it — and that was I!

Only the week before my mother got tired of me crying every morning when she untangled my locks so she reached for a pair of nail scissors, all she had in our summerhouse, and gave me a hair cut.

And so on my birthday I won these lovely tatted earrings when Noreen had a giveaway — and a couple of days later I won a book from Maureen — a book I wanted to read for years!

Come to think of it, the reason I haven't won anything in all this year might have something to do with the fact that I never buy lottery tickets or participate in contests....