Saturday, August 4, 2018

Figs For Sabbath Breakfast August 4, 2018

Ripe Green Figs from the first (breba) crop of the summer
When we first moved to Vancouver Island (November 2005), my husband was in awe of the neighbour's wonderful fig trees.  So we planted our own.  One of the two we planted withered and died (cursed?  
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Matthew 21:18–22  The Holy Bible
In time, however-- maybe about six years later-- the single surviving tree burst forth in prolific fruitage and has continued to this day.  It produces two crops.  Sometimes it rains and the droops mold before they are harvested (ahhhh) and sometimes (often) the second little knobs don't get enough of a hot season to mature enough to eat.  But there have been some wonderful pickings, and this year is one of those years.

This 'common fig'-- ficus carica--  does not require the pollinating services of a wasp from another fig tree.  Fig wasps are not generally available in colder climates.  While it grows in deserts, it is most happy next to an oasis (according to Wikipedia).  Our yard is like a desert in the summer-- a mountain ridge rising up from the highway that runs parallel to the Comox Harbour.  We generally start having a rainy season in early Fall, and throughout the winter months.  But no standing body of water in our yard.

Figs, dried, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,041 kJ (249 kcal)
63.9 g
Sugars47.9 g
Dietary fiber9.8 g
0.93 g
3.3 g
VitaminsQuantity
%DV
Vitamin A equiv.
0%
0 μg
Thiamine (B1)
7%
0.085 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
7%
0.082 mg
Niacin (B3)
4%
0.62 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
9%
0.43 mg
Vitamin B6
8%
0.11 mg
Folate (B9)
2%
9 μg
Vitamin C
1%
1 mg
Vitamin E
2%
0.35 mg
Vitamin K
15%
15.6 μg
MineralsQuantity
%DV
Calcium
16%
162 mg
Iron
15%
2 mg
Magnesium
19%
68 mg
Manganese
24%
0.51 mg
Phosphorus
10%
67 mg
Potassium
14%
680 mg
Sodium
1%
10 mg
Zinc
6%
0.55 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: Wikipedia

Friday, August 3, 2018

Backyard Blessings August 3, 2018


Another hot day it would seem, although, you know how weather works...

We are grateful to live in this dry, hot time WITHOUT wild fires nearby.

We are grateful for the bounty of our small, disorganized gardens in the backyard: purple pole beans (that cook green), thornless blackberries (if you struggle while picking regular blackberries in thorny bushes, you would so appreciate these thornless ones!), red tumbler tomatoes (thanks to Ed's dear friend Alberto), and the yearly crop of small golden plums from a tree wedged between a fence and a shed.

So grateful!


If you are grateful for your good fortune and would like to see how that gratitude works in your life, you can find some great suggestions for GRATITUDE PROJECTS here for you and your family.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Sentimental Journey: What To Pass, What To Keep When You Declutter

As you might have read already, I have begun to declutter my kitchen and living room areas as a ride-along with my husband's doing some painting in those rooms.  What to do, what to do-- I actually need to let go of items that were given to me, or harder yet, bequeathed to me, by people dear to me.  And the odd memento of some place and time that I will never more visit.  Dishes, mostly.  Please let me know what you think in the Comments below.  Would you give away something your |Grandmother gave you as a gift?  Would you give away a piece of bone china that you never use, that is missing a lid, but that is your all-time favourite Royal Albert pattern, and belonged to your Mom?



The first article of some sentimental value is a pinwheel crystal pilsner glass.  Pilsner is a kind of brew for a beer.  It is a fancy beer glass. 

 There were six of them at one time, wedding gifts from an auntie. There are three remaining (not bad in our house for something that landed here forty-eight years ago).  We do not drink beer any more. 

 It is too long to re-purpose as a dessert glass, and doesn't work extremely well as a vase either, although that is a possibility.  

What do you think?

Keep for sentiment's sake?

Give away?

If you are family, do you want it?

Any other ideas?




This is the bone china coffee pot that belonged to my mom.  It is Royal Albert "Silver Birch" pattern, which I like very much, but it is a knock-off of the regular coffee pot from the 1940s, and not quite as grand.  I can't find a lid online but I see that the tea pot lid is replaceable for $50 on Ebay. $50!

We don't drink coffee.  Does anyone serve their guests coffee in these pots any more? (I mean, besides at Church 'teas'-- do they even have church teas any more?)

Some arty folks would use this as a flower pot I suppose.  Is it worth it to advertise it on EBay and then wait six months for someone to buy it for $30?  If you are family, do you want it?  There are some cups, saucers and a cream/sugar that go with it.  Any other ideas?



 A china tea mug that my Grandmother gave to me one time when we lived in Saskatchewan and visited her in Vancouver.  Grandma was very precious to me.  However, I haven't seen this mug for the past six years, and so it is safe to say that it doesn't evoke any real feelings.  Family want it?
 A gift mug from a client who went to Hawaii.  It is always nice to see these sorts of little "appreciate-you" mementos, but the fact is that it sits up in the top cupboard unused and un-heralded.  I need the space.  The ex-client is now on my Facebook and we appreciate each other.  I don't think this gets kept.  hehe.
 A going-away gift I received from the Saskatoon women's shelter that I worked at for a few years, many years ago.  I just now took it out of the plastic bag it had lived in.  It is a very nice mug.  But Interval House has a website if I need to remember my times there.  Does anyone out there want this mug?  I would happily send it to you for the cost of shipping.

This is not exactly 'mine' to give away since it is a souvenir Ed brought back from his trip to Europe.  Like his 43 tee-shirts, it will likely live here as long as we do, but I will move it into his man cave out of the kitchen.  Phil, do you want this?  You were on the same trip as your Dad.

I don't think I will be going through all the minutia (nice word for 'junk') on this page, but you never know.  I know that some of you are organizational whizzes and I truly appreciate your ideas, offers, comments, and suggestions below.  Not just for these particular items, but for how to declutter in general-- what has worked for you?  Thank you!

If this interested you, you might want to read the previous post called Organic Granny Declutters-Simplifies-Minimizes 

For Family (Zirkwitz-Ritter-Rempel-Sanders) I plan to transfer our Genealogy information to this blog.  For the granddaughters and sons, we plan to write a little more about our life experiences.  All to come.  In the meantime, here are a couple of articles that you might want to read about our life long ago and far away:

Our Experiences of Being Contestants on a TV Quiz Show (1970s- Vancouver)

Food Trends Through My Life (1950- 2000s)

Some Things To Do With Grandkids in Edmonton (including photos of grandkids)

Read Me A Story: How Being Read Aloud To Shaped My Life (more grandkid pictures)

A Prairie Gal's Walk On Vancouver Island

Taking a Trip Back in Time With Pinterest (some family photos)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Organic Granny Declutters-Simplifies-Minimizes

Some of the Clutter from my Cupboards

WHY DECLUTTER?

My husband moved here about 13 years ago this coming Fall.  We managed everything we packed up in the space of a cube van-- by selling and giving away anything that wasn't positively necessary (or that to replace at that time would be too expensive) or that had deep sentimental value (hmmm).  In the 13 years since it is evident that if we had any "policy" in our home about not accumulating (okay, hoarding) it must have gone out the window quite quickly after we arrived here.

And we have precious grandkids-- who live afar-- which is meant to excuse the fact that we have raided the thrifts shops, Walmart, and Dollarama for stuff they 'collect', things they need need need (like water safety devices-- we don't have a boat but we do live near the Ocean), etc., for their time here.  I also had quite a respectable doll collection from forays onto EBay back in the day when I was addicted to doing that.  Some of the dolls have made their way to their "real" home, but there are still a wall-full upstairs.  And so it goes.

But the real reason is that I am feeling old and over-burdened with all this "stuff" that doesn't get used but that seems to have rented space in my head as well as taking up considerable space in cupboards and closets and drawers and on shelves throughout the house.  And because when we moved in here we felt that we were here for quite a while, and that feeling has changed with the comings and goings of new neighbours, I absolutely cringe at the idea of having to do a huge sort, pack, give away, and move with a deadline, when the time to move actually arrives.

And... it would be nice to live in a home that was not cluttered.  I vision that we will feel more relaxed, that it will be easier to have a clean-up schedule that doesn't involve feeling discouraged about all the niches and crannies and spider webs that must be cleaned up, and all the stuff that doesn't get done because of overwhelm (and because there are things I prefer doing, that win out-- I confess).  I imagine there will still be spider webs, but you know...

WHY DECLUTTER NOW?

We are a couple with a spontaneous work schedule.   Mowing gets done when it looks like it might rain, meals get made when people arrive looking hungry, and arts and decoration projects often languish in boxes somewhere until they are either forever forgotten, or pulled out during an overhaul of whatever room the boxes live in.  Recently I have gotten into my head that the downstairs ceilings must be painted.  Knowing what a messy job that is sure to be, it seemed to be a good time to pull apart all the cupboards and begin the de-clutter process as described in an article I recently read.

  1. Remove all items from one room to another room so that the room to be decluttered is totally empty.
  2. Sit on the situation for a few days or a week.  Don't make any rash decisions about what must go and what must stay.
  3. After the week or so, begin to bring in the items that you definitely want in your space.
  4. Sell, give away, or throw out all other items that you decide are not necessary to your life and new peaceful outlook.
So, I am clearing out my cupboards in the kitchen, removing stuff from walls, shelves, drawers, counters.  I am about half-way finished and the small room I am using to collect the  detritus stuff.

Stay tuned if you are curious how this all works out.




Photography for Kids