ducks

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.

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.

everything I hope for

The rabbits are sneaking up on the houseplant behind me. The cat is at the door, scratching first on the inside, then on the outside. The other cat is on the couch trying to convince J to nap with her. Just a normal evening at our house. The sun descended behind the sky's ragged hem of blue mountains, all streaks of pink and orange fire framed by branches yet to leaf out. This morning it did the same thing but in reverse and with a great deal more magenta.

We drove out to the lagoon to look at birds through battered binoculars. Ever-present and yet-to-be-properly -identified gulls wheeled around and hopped playfully on the beach of broken shells. Mallards, pintails and widgeons dabbled in shallow water in the late afternoon light. In a moment that was like a rush of breath, two swans flew in close over our heads and then disappeared on the horizon, their graceful bodies huge. It felt like a gift.

Recently, I had a thirty-minute wait after work before J came by with the car. I found a bench in the sun and sat quietly with myself, the sun in my eyes and its warmth on my skin. I have fallen out of the habit of daily meditation, and it felt so good to come back to myself there, the warmth and light of spring awakening me too to the present. We have gotten lazy about our evening yoga too, but small poses work their way through my body in the course of the day.

Today when I got home, I found a sunbeam. I carried blankets and pillows to where the floor in the front hallway was a crisscross of light and painted relief of many years' scratches. Spring here is so delicious this year. It is everything I hope for in a spring. I know it's early for most of the country but these are the rhythms I was raised with and I often found myself impatient with the mountains' slow melt and fickle reruns of winter.

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some days

I had a job interview this morning. It went okay, I guess, but I'm not the greatest at job interviews and I didn't feel like I presented myself as well as I could have. And then I walked around town in the rain and was hungry and a little bit mopey but didn't feel like getting food from anywhere. Almost home, I stepped in dog poo (while wearing my good shoes) in front of the house that I hate walking past because its squalor seems to be crawling across the yard towards everything. Sigh. Some days, shit just happens like this. At home I made two pieces of toast and ate them with butter and squares of dark chocolate on top like they do in France (err, like I did in France, anyway). That helped. And I made coffee, though perhaps I shouldn't have because it felt like my heart rate picked up before I was even through grinding the beans. Then came the question of cleaning the house. Why bother cleaning the house when I could relax and read and maybe paint something? But I like being in the house better when it's clean, and someone has to do it. Remember when the Cat in the Hat eats cake in the bath and leaves a cat ring all around it? This is what I think about when scrubbing our tub. One of our cats likes to hang out in the tub and lap up the small puddles left from showers, but I don't think I can blame her. There were good points too. There always are. Two Anna's hummingbirds were serenading the world when I passed by. They perched in shrubs by the water, their tiny beaks buzzing and chirping sweetly and their faces iridescent fuchsia when caught by the light. At the water's edge, clumps and drifts of ducks placidly stirred - American wigeons and mergansers - and black oystercatchers and various gulls comically prowled the shore.

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