dreams

Lady Lake's gingersnaps

 

I like mornings. Enough so that I'm glad to be awake for the grey world to slowly be suffused with colour, even if I fall asleep again later once all the light is in the sky. I like seeing the orange squares of light in the window frames of the neighbouring houses. I like seeing the colours, pinks and yellows, flow from the sky into the landscape, and the drained sky to slowly turn blue.

This is kind of a strange place, with gulls wheeling by and the wind always ready to whip up strong and hearty. The garden in the back, all dry grasses and bent plants, is flooded. One night I dreamt that this whole flat area, the garden and the field next to the house, were underwater and there was a great shallow lake with ducks milling around outside the bedroom window. I went out the window into a boat.

Lady Lake's Ginger Snaps a family recipe...   2 1/4 cups flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 Tbsp ginger 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger

In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients, then set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and continue beating. Add molasses and blend well. Gradually add dry mixture to creamed mixture until incorporated. Stir in candied ginger.

Chill dough overnight. Scoop with a spoon and roll into small balls. Roll these in granulated sugar to coat. Press flat. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, careful not to burn.

swells

This morning I dragged my inner self kicking and screaming to the office. I was almost late and all but my physical self clung to everything beautiful and calm that I passed along the way. Dreams like kites burst out of me, tethered by longing. One day I will find myself spending days how I choose. However, I swam in the ocean this afternoon, which makes up for a lot. I splashed around at a place where the water is cool and clear, and angled rocks make a small tucked-away beach at the end of a winding rural road. There were big swells coming in; they lifted and lulled me as I tilted my head back to take in the wind-tossed treetops. Small blackberries at the top of the beach trail. Home, and dinner, and tea. Summer is sliding by quickly.

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patience

I think I can safely say that my job is making me sick. Here I am again on the couch, utterly useless for the second afternoon in a row. Yesterday I came home, set all plans for adventure aside and took a nap with the cat. Today my head aches and I feel puke-ish. Maybe because I'm sick of this job? Daylight savings time is a rough adjustment in the bakery. The good news is that I quit on Saturday. It was a glorious relief. I felt more relaxed than I have in ages, and a huge smile kept creeping onto my face. Afterwards, we celebrated with gelato (yes, it was sunny and so warm for March) and a walk around Swan Lake. (Ducks, again! Mallards and scaups and cute coots.) But now, it is so hard to keep going back after I've quit. The place feels so unwelcoming and people talk through me and around me. I am counting days, and double-checking the calendar very often. At home I have half finished art projects on my desk and sourdough ready to shape in the fridge. It has been ready for days, again. Laundry, long since dry still decorates the racks and furnishes the hall like tented scaffolding for the rabbits to hide under. The ganache I brought home is mostly still all in its bucket (sadly it is too sweet for my liking and while decent does not taste of especially good quality). It is sad to see the home front in such a state. I long to be here more, pouring my care into everything that keeps us happy and whole. I'm looking for new work that is better suited for me, and I hope something will be (though really I want to be an artist instead), but I think both Jer and I wouldn't mind too much if I have a little lull in between. We've agreed that it'll be easier for me to seek something new when my energy is no longer going to surviving and resenting my current job.

Our timid budgies have finally worked up the nerve to check out the paper I wrapped around one of their perches six months ago. They spent the fifteen minutes following discovery shredding it wildly. Patience... happiness?

Even though things are difficult right now, they are definitely improving. Dear friends, I wish we could spend the afternoons together, drinking tea and laughing.

I'm excited to be regaining my mornings soon. Morning is such a special time and I prefer to savor it slowly with coffee and herbal tea, plenty of healthy breakfast and staring out the window listening to the birds. The gap between my conscious and subconscious mind is a bit hazy upon waking and it's a lovely time for musing. The other night I dreamed I was among people canoeing on the Hay River, up north. Decadent birches lined the silty blue water and as the sky grew stormy the old trees cracked, limbs falling around us and then the canoes were split birch trunks and the current pulled us on. The dream when I think of it now is a shifting expanse of stormy blue and the pattern of birch trunks repeating.

8 7 6

Seven put the dandelion leaf on Zephyr's head; we're not sure why.

when the moon is out

Today has been a day of seagulls. On my way home I slowed down to a crawl because a flock of gulls had surrounded an old man by the roadside. I think he was feeding them, and they wandered contentedly in the street. Out walking beside the ocean this afternoon, I saw was the usual unremarkable seagull presence and then, lit by the low sunlight, one gull coasted in on a flurry of white wings. It wandered on the shallow beach, zigzag-ing its way closer to me and cocking its head in a questioning way. This morning, despite my lucky squirrel socks, I stalled through three lights at a little hill in town. Happily, at that hour of the predawn there was no one to see. Still a little shaky from my drive (calm reservoirs get low when  overtired) while walking to work from the car in the dark, I heard something move in the bushes beside the sidewalk. I started and ran.

Work went surprisingly well for such a tired day. I got stuff done and made people laugh, which seems like an all around success to me.

There are some things I like about my job and its hours. Often I'll look up from rolling pastry to see people going by with umbrellas in the grey drizzle, and by the time I'm done work the sky clears up and there are usually patches, if not great swaths, of blue. Sleep deficiency makes me feel fragile and more open, which can be a beautiful experience.

A woman I worked with for years always commented that she had trouble sleeping when the moon was full. I think there may be something in this for me. The brightness inspires a creaturely alertness and the night is very beautiful when the moon is out.

I was lamenting to J on how this blog seems to have turned into "I woke up early, drove to work and hopefully didn't stall too much, worked, then came home and hung out with my rabbits" and he suggested that maybe this could be a dream post, about where I would like to be a year from now and what I wish I were doing. He's a clever man. What I would really like is to be at home with a baby, and to have a big vegetable garden and chickens, and spend my spare time baking, painting and crafting.

We are having a roast for dinner tonight, in stages because it always seems to take longer than we plan for. It is somewhat of a picnic as we've set up blankets on the floor in front of the fireplace.

Here is Seven the rabbit's advanced maths for the evening:

*9/8\

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things missed

I keep thinking of things that I meant to write about after I’ve posted for the day. Yesterday I forgot to mention that I heated up marmalade without the rind-y bits as a substitute for apricot glaze, to brush over the tarts when they come out of the oven, and I toasted sliced almonds to scatter on top. How, moving back to Victoria we psyched ourselves up for days or even weeks of rain and it has been unexpectedly sunny.

When I was lying in bed on Thursday morning, I kept drifting off and I dreamt of kitchens, a car I couldn’t start, and catching then releasing broken butterflies.

Yesterday was J’s birthday and I wasn’t at all ready for it. I got out of bed early and made him a mouse card, and there was a trip to Lee Valley and the frangipane tarts, but I would have liked to have made it more special. When it’s my birthday he lavishes me with gifts and sweet plans.

At work, even though I feel I'm trying no more or less than before, it would seem my efforts are paying off; I was told that I'm on track. I got off work early this afternoon, but had to wait for J and the car to come at my usual time. I sat and ate a small and excellent rejected quiche and part of a strawberry rhubarb galette from work. There was a bunch of tulips that I wanted to buy across the street, but I had just enough change for cilantro for the rabbits.

We have a second set of keys for the car now, so now I also have a key. It feels symbolic for now being able to drive it and capably drive standard.

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