Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet Runner Beans

I’ve been keeping busy, very, very busy, keeping my speed up to that I can leap over chasms. My days are mostly pleasant.

We have had rain! It rained yesterday morning, which prevented me from taking my walk as early as I had planned. By the time the rain stopped and I stepped outside, it was like entering a sauna. I decided to take my walk anyway, but to avoid issues I walked very slowly, not pushing myself. I was soaked with sweat by the time I arrived home, safe and sound.

Last Saturday we had a lovely surprise. Luna and the Grandbabies arrived for a visit, staying for lunch and dinner. Imp and Elf and Tink are growing so fast now! Imp has grown quite tall. She and I had a great time going through some of the books on my bookshelf, trying to find the oldest book. I taught her where to look for the publication date at the front of the book. The oldest one we found was a leather bound copy of The Select Poetical Works of Lord Byron, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, & Company, 119 Washington Street, 1853. Elf had fun building a wooden chair, footstool and table from wood scraps leftover from the garden shed project. Attila spent some time teaching him to use the electric screw driver. Tink enjoyed playing with the dolls in the toy box. She read the first half of the book Go Dogs Go to me, and then I read the second half of the book to her. All three of the Grandbabies stopped to sit with me as I read, it was charming.

Terra and Lares stopped by for about ten minutes with the Sunny and Sky. The babies were all dressed up for a family occasion of some kind, on Lares side of the family. They weren’t here long enough to take pictures. The twins are now both over 7 pounds and are rosy and healthy. They sleep a lot, oh how quickly I forget. Attila and I got to hold them, briefly.

We had a few cool days, when the high temperature only reached 24C, and then the heat returned. It has been a summer of blistering heat. The drought ended last week with an all day rain, and we had had rain again yesterday.

My toe nail is turning colour and separating from the nail bed. It isn’t a big deal, but when it became very painful I decided to get it looked at to make sure that it hadn’t become something serious. My only option for a medical opinion, the emergency department at the hospital. I arrived there and joined the queue at 7:30 p.m. last night and arrived home at 2:15 a.m., the drive to and from is under five minutes. Most of that time I waited in an almost full to capacity waiting room, sitting across from a couple who were very obviously high on something, who were themselves waiting for a morning after pill, which they were discussing loudly, with the television in the room loudly describing gruesome murders and showing graphic reenactments. It was a long night, and the doctor visually diagnosed fungal infection and poor circulation, injected freezing, suggested salt water soaking and tylenol, 20 minutes tops, and sent me on my way.

There has to be a better way to deliver basic health care.

I slept until 7:20 am this morning, a very short night, and I feel horrid from a bad night’s sleep.

Things are looking green, and at last the Scarlet Runner Beans along the fence are filling in and blooming profusely. Yesterday morning I stood at the kitchen window for ten minutes or so, to watch a Humming Bird visit each bloom on the Scarlet Runners. Plants are on sale at the moment, particularly potted plants that suffered during the hot drought. We picked up a large pot of Echinacea, which Attila planted by the compost bin, where we think it will do very well. I am attempting to plant Monarch Butterfly friendly plants in the yard. I was most interested in a site devoted to creating Monarch friendly gardens. I haven’t seen any Monarch Butterflies this summer!

A bloom on the Scarlet Runner Beans. I will be watching these blooms again this morning, in hopes of seeing the Humming Bird feeding.
The new Echinacea plant, already thriving beside the compost bin.
The herbs and spices for a Lentil Salad. I made a Lentil Salad yesterday, assembling three batches of the herbs and spices needed. One I used to make the salad, and the other two I stored in small jars for future salads. There are so many herbs and spices that finding them all in the kitchen cupboard takes a bit of time, so doling out three measures into three containers saves me a lot of time.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EDT Thursday 25 August 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 23.6°C
Dewpoint: 21.7°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: SSW 23 km/h
Humidex: 33


Why is it we feel
So little for each other, but for this,
That we with nature have no sympathy,
Or with such things as have no power to hold
Articulate language?
And never for each other shall we feel
As we may feel, till we have sympathy
With nature in her forms inanimate,
With objects such as have no power to hold
Articulate language. In all forms of things
There is a mind.

William Wordsworth, fragment from the Alfoxden Notebook, in Ernest de Selincourt and Helen Darbishire (editors), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Volume 5 (Oxford University Press 1949), page 340.

Poem for Carl Robert

I name you the bloom
on the scarlet runner beans
growing wildly up my fence
and the bristly heads
crowned with purple
of the Echinacea.

I name you the leaves
that loosely follow and
beckon and caress empty air
and the long grasses
pointing the way.

You who filled
certain crucial holes
in my universe
so that I could have walked
blindly through life.

How beautiful you were.
How beautiful you are.

Maggie Turner


  1. Since you love this lentil salad, why not keep a small spice rack with only the lentil salad herbs/spices in it, so you can just go right there and get them all without searching?
    We had a hard rain not long ago too, to end a drought also, but just one rain, even if it’s a soaking one, doesn’t really do it for the plants. It dries up pretty darn quickly. I still go out each morning and fill the birdbath up with fresh hose water and spritz a few of the plants but not all. Our yard has way too many and we are in a drought situation here, as well, which is very, very odd for our area.

  2. Your post is so jam packed with information, I don’t know where to start! So I’ll start at the end—the lentil salad. I couldn’t help but wonder about the herbs and spices you used. It must be healthy! I also cook with a variety of herbs, and believe they add to our digestion and general health.Your experience at the hospital is unfortunately becoming a common one in Canada. A good friend had kidney stone attacks this summer, and had to go to emergency each time. Her experience was horrendous—hours and hours of waiting! I’m shocked and saddened that this is becoming the norm in the quality of our health care.

  3. The healthcare situation is worsening all over the world, it seems. No doubt you’ve heard about the 600$ Epi pens here in the States. We’ve since discovered it costs only a dollar to make them. Crapitalism!

    I’m glad you had a good visit with Luna and your grandkids. Your poem is beautiful! (Hugs!)

  4. That is a good idea Bex, keeping all the needed herbs and spices in one spot, something to aim for when we get this kitchen thoroughly purged and organized. I am still working on reducing three spice containers of garlic powder to one, apparently that kind of thing takes more than a year, lol.

    Oh dear, your drought conditions have not subsided, how awful. Even an all day rain here did not soak more than the first few inches of soil. When Attila dug down to plant the Echinacea he found dry conditions not too far below the surface.

  5. Diane, I have added the recipe for Lentil Salad to the Recipe tab at the top of this page, the tab should give you a drop down menu and Lentil Salad should be on the list for you to select. It lists all the herbs and spices in the salad. Attila and I both feel a euphoric “hit” when we eat this salad, and I’m not sure if it is just the intensity of the taste, or all that goodness hitting our systems.

    I am saddened to hear that this is new norm in Canadian health care, I regard the system as substandard, delivering the wrong types of primary care to the wrong people in the wrong places at the wrong time. The hospitals are meant to deal with illnesses that cannot be managed on an outpatient basis, not as drop in clinics for the those with no primary care opportunties.

    Let us hope some improvements are in sight for the future.

  6. Joan, I agree that wrong values have gone into health care. It shouldn’t be for profit, it should be a subsistence enterprise, providing a working wage for health care providers and an interative system of delivery. Instead we have a “business model” which ony funnels cash into the hands of the 1%, with a few great people swimming upstream trying to help their fellow humans. It is backwards. What a species!

    I did hear about the $600 epipens, criminal.

    We love spending time with the Grandkids! Thanks about the poem, I am missing my brother.

  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Glad to hear you’ve had enough rain that your garden is beginning to bloom, again. We’ve had a number of good soaking storms here but I was sorry to see when Squee was chasing her frisbee yesterday that she was once again kicking up dust in our backyard.

    Sounds like you had a good time with the older grandkids. With Sunny and Sky, I guess that, being premies, their biological age would only be about 2 months (?), so it’s still time for lots of sleep. Wish you’d had more time with them.

    OMGosh, what a production at Emerg! I have noticed that as the one big fault in Canadian social medicine, that for many people Emerg is used as a clinic and not for just emergencies as it should be. The fault of a system where there are too few GPs taking on/able to take on new patients.

    Hummingbirds! How wonderful! I think we’ve seen 2 hummingbirds in our neighborhood in the 5 years we’ve been here, but never at our house.

    Last year we saw 3 or 4 monarchs in our area, this year none. 🙁

    Two weeks ago when DH and I went grocery shopping we intended to buy the ingredients for your Lentil Salad. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find the Dupuy(?) lentils and I’m not sure how to modify things for other lentils.

    Nice poem, though I can’t imagine you walking blindly through life. You’re one of the most observant people I know.

  8. Teri, for the Lentil Salad I use regular red lentils and it works fine, they don’t need as much cooking time though, you have to watch them or they overcook.

    Sunny and Sky, if full term, would have been born on August 9th, so they are really only a few weeks old. That is the birthday I am going to assign them through their first year, after that they will probably catch up and it won’t matter. But for now, I don’t want to see them as behind in any way.

    I think there were a few emergency cases in there last night. But with NO doctors taking patients in town, and lots of people with no car to try and travel hours to find one, the emerg is full of the hundreds of people who have no other options for health care. Emerg is not good primary care, in fact it is abysmal primary care, whatever the first symptom they write into the computer is the ONLY symptom they are going to assess, overall health or lateral thinking is completely missing.

    I love the hummingbirds! They are so small I nearly missed the one feeding on the Scarlet Runners, I thought it was a large moth at first, but it moved so quickly I stopped to take a closer look and am glad I did.

    I know, no monarch butterflies here, ever, or at our country house. They have to have milkweed and we have some at our Rideau Camp, I am going to try to get seeds to plant here at Mist Cottage.

    My brother wanted me to be able to walk without fear, without watching, to live in a world where trust was dominant, and he strove to make that a reality; not just for me, but for my whole family. It was an impossible task, but he never wavered, he never backed away.

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Maggie, red lentils cook quicker? I’m trying to clarify as I did some reading about the Dupuy lentils and I thought I remembered that Dupuy cooked more quickly than other lentils, so now I’m getting confused.

    The church near us has milkweed growing around their parking lot. Last year we had fewer milkweed but more monarchs. This year more milkweed and no monarchs. 🙁

  10. Teri, I found that the instructions in the recipe (which called for Dupuy lentils) gave too long a cooking time for the red lentils I had on hand. My lentils are organic, and a few years old. I know nothing about Dupuy lentils, you know more about them than I do.

    Go figure with the milkweed and the monarchs. Their caterpillars only eat milkweed, so without it there is no possibility of the butterfly. Maybe last year was just a good year for the caterpillars and the drought, heat combination this year was a problem, hard to say. I am on the prowl for milkweed in the wild, see

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