June 30, 2003

Wild Strawberries



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

The weather is perfect today. A blue sky, scudded by billows of white clouds, hides behind the gently rustling leaves of the maple, cherry, and oak trees in the back yard. Bird song comes through every open window; Mist follows these calls raptly, unrealistically ready to pounce at each burst of sound.

The laundry is hung out to dry in the sun. Freshly baked seed bread sits cooling on the kitchen counter.

Attila had a free moment en route to one of his many assignations, and dropped in for a bit. We briefly settled on the deck, coffee cups in hand, to share a few moments. Oh yes, I have weakened, and have started drinking coffee again.

As we sat on the deck, from overhead, a sudden loud boom shattered the peace. A deep rumbling, which brought on an instant headache, followed it. It was a sonic boom, as a plane exceeded the speed of sound, breaking the sound barrier. Attila was quite familiar with the sound from his childhood. However, it was a first-time experience for me, and an unpleasant one. That plane has been buzzing the sky above all morning, but thankfully has not reached that critical speed again.

One thing that Attila and I share is childhood memories of our grandparents. Both sets were people of strong character, who lived in a state of relative self-sufficiency. We both remember the magic of picking wild berries on beautiful sunny days, in those secret spots that only our grandparents knew.

Yesterday, Sunday, Attila and I spent a pleasant morning in a fallow field, picking wild strawberries. Picking wild berries is one of the pleasantest pastimes imaginable. We chose the perfect day for it. There were clouds for the sun to hide behind from time to time, and a lovely breeze to keep the blackflies from swarming. When we at last tired, we had five quarts of beautiful berries.

As an aside, we are very careful about where we pick wild berries. The soil on some vacant land may be contaminated by previous industrial land uses, or industrial waste. It is not wise to harvest, or consume, foodstuffs grown on land with an unknown history.

The wild strawberries yielded four jars of jam. Fresh rhubarb from our back garden augmented the remaining strawberries, yielding a batch of Wild Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. The amount of sugar needed for a good "set" is reduced by using "light" pectin. The resulting jam has an intense fruit flavour. It is great!

Tomorrow is Canada Day, a holiday, but is seems that many of our neighbors have today off work as well. A bustling atmosphere surrounds us on all sides. I am serenaded by the pleasant sounds of people relaxing, visiting, and catching up with household and garden chores.

The wind is calling my name, suggesting to me that a quiet cup of tea under the trees would do me the world of good. Who am I to ignore such good advice!

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Lawn Chair under Shady Tree
The Beckoning

On the Screen
About Schmidt
starrring Jack Nicholson

16:58 EDT
Temp: 24`C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: W 11 km/h
Barometric: 102.2 kPa

Sunrise 5:48 AM EDT
Sunset 9:07 PM EDT

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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