I live alone with my preschooler in an off-grid cabin on a remote island off the coast of British Columbia.
"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Monday, 27 October 2014
In between rainy days we picked some rose hips and made some jelly. While we are out we often see geese migrating. It brings to mind these lines by Mary Oliver. "You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things."
It's been raining a lot and when the sun comes out it dazzles our world. I made a couple loaves of French bread and bean dip. Then we made gingerbread cookies just because we could. I've been thinking about the pioneers. Their determination, self sufficiency, and hardiness is something I admire. I haven't been to town in a month and I need to go. And it's not just for toilet paper..... A hummingbird showed up at the feeder that has been vacant for months. I wonder if this little bird plans to over winter. The temperature this morning was 9 degrees celsius; that's our coolest morning yet but the cabin is warm and there is always cookies to be had.
I don't do sticky notes. I make my reminders from discarded envelopes and paper. A clip holds them together. And if need be I can attach the clip to wherever. With the changing weather marking the end of dry weather I have been putting out little notes like this one to remind myself to keep the kindling and wood box full out on the porch. It's much more agreeable to go out there in my slippers to get an armload of wood then to venture out in a down pour. Weeks ago I put out the suet (I put it away for the summer months) but the towhee and song sparrow who have regularly visited for the last couple of years have either passed away or moved on. Even the chickadees had vanished. It was horribly quiet and so still that I had to scrape mold growing on the suet. Eventually, the chickadees showed up and their little chatter attracted a song sparrow. Then, the other day a towhee arrived. My toddler took a look at the male in the feeder and said, "looks like robin." And so they do except their behaviour is a whole lot different. I'm happy to see them. Birds offer a simple companionship.
I've been aware of for some time of what I have considered the limitations of weaving tapestry on both of my looms. One day out of the middle of nowhere it occurred to me how I could build the loom I wanted. Their is no loom being manufactured that resembles the specifications of this loom. I used what I had on hand - except for one, two dollar bit. I stripped pieces off one loom and used clamps, screws, 1x4's, & 2x4's. I used my handsaw and screwdriver to construct it. I am not a carpenter just a determined woman. It was at all times intense, sometimes frustrating, and a good distraction as I got mentally wrapped up in it. Now that it is built and warped I have woven on it a little. Mostly just to tweak things and curiosity. That's what got me started in the first place.
Several months ago I shared with you a oatmeal bread recipe. That recipe along with this one is from the out of print All The Way Vegetarian cookbook by Dorothy Simms. I like this cookbook for it's bread recipes. I particularly like this whole wheat one as it does have white flour in it. This is a melt in your mouth bun/bread recipe. The ingredients are: 4-4 1/2 cups white flour; 3 teaspoons instant yeast; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/3 cup honey; 3 tablespoons margarine; 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour. Combine 2 cups white flour, undissolved yeast and salt in mixing bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups warm water. Beat 2 minutes. Add 1 cup white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Beat 1 minute more. Stir in remaining whole wheat flour. Gradually add enough of remaining white flour to make a soft dough. On floured board, knead thoroughly. Put dough in warm greased bowl and let rise until double. ( approx. 1 hr) Divide dough into two portions. I usually make a loaf of bread with one and the other I make buns. Let rise until almost doubled. Bake 400 degrees; 20 minutes for the buns and 35-40 minutes for the bread.
I've had this ford truck for 12+ years as far as I can figure out. Last spring it needed more than a battery; although it needed that to. While I was trying to figure out why it wouldn't stay running the driver's door suddenly stopped latching. That was a bit of a surprise. The truck hadn't been running very well and with every trip I had wondered if it was the last. So now the truck that is older than myself is being barged back to the mainland for scrap metal. I will miss the truck. Going along for the one way ride is my old wood stove (it sure is nice not to have that lurking around my back gate anymore) and the washing machine I broke some time ago from which I learned that you cannot use unfiltered rainwater in them. We are ok. My arms are strong and the wheelbarrow tire is not flat. What lasts forever? I like this answer found in a quote by a pioneer woman. "The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong." Laura Ingalls Wilder