Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Nostalgic Songs for Parents Whose Kids Are Growing Up

This is the bitter-sweet time of the year when parents are sending their kids back to school... or when kids have made the actual flight from the nest.  Sweet for some parents who are overwhelmed with responsibilities and jobs and who are happy to see the kids "safely" back in school... but bitter when parents are not ready to release their quickly maturing child to a non-familial environment, like a school, a college, a work place, a move far away from home for whatever reason.

These are some of the schmaltziest, most gratuitously sentimental songs ever recorded.  They exploit the tenderness that a parent (or grandparent) has for a child, the fears they have for their loss, and subconsciously, hark right back to a time when the listener was negotiating his/her own passage to independence from her/his family of origin.

Some of this music will sound downright cornball, but you will likely catch a phrase that will touch you heart, and you will generally begin tearing up.  There are lots of possibilities here... pick ones that speak to you.  A little crying is good for the soul... actually, toxins are released in your tear drops, so crying really IS healthy.

So, go ahead and enjoy yourself.  Please share which sentimental songs bring up sad nostalgic feelings about your children as pre-schoolers or kids leaving home-- in the comment section below.  

I'M YOUR LITTLE BOY sung by the German boy, Heintje, somewhere in the early 70s. This song really moved my mother to tears, both about her little grandsons, and her sons.  You can also listen to these other heart-breakers sung for/to/about mothers and grandmothers (um, of another era).

ALWAYS BE YOUR BABY written and sung by Natalie Clark-- written for her Dad

DADDY'S ANGEL recorded by tcartermusic .  Described as the "perfect father-daughter wedding dance song"

MY LITTLE GIRL sung by Tim McGraw about his growing child.

I LOVED HER FIRST by Heartland.  I'm of a couple of minds about this particular song.  It sounds fiercely protective of a child but sort of nudges on the border of the kind of possessiveness of chattel that women have had to fight to free themselves from.  When you read through the comments below this song you will find a number of 'trolls' with disgusting remarks to young women disclosing how much they miss their fathers, and a reference to this song being part of a TV show about sexual predators that has apparently stimulated the inappropriate comments.  But there is something rather sweet Daddyish as well.  If you have comments, please add them below in the comments section-- I'm curious about what you think.

FOREVER YOUNG by Rod Stewart.  This poorly replicated video has over 14Million hits so you know that it has viral/classic status as a sentimental tune about Daddy loving the young you forever (or is it that he is "forever young" in his memories of being a young dad?)  Here is the follow-up several years later with his daughter Ruby Stewart

SONG FOR MY SON- by Mikki Viereck - billed as the first Mother-Son Wedding Son.  Quite lovely.

YOU GAVE ME A MOUNTAIN sung by Elvis Presley.  Written as a little chat with God, a sort of lamentation and a missing of the little son that the song writer's wife left with at the end of their relationship.  There is no doubt that loss cuts more ways than one where separation and divorce are concerned.  Here it is sung by Marty Robbins-- some prefer this version.

NEVER DIE YOUNG by James Taylor -- a little veer off into another sentimental place, this is apparently James Taylor's tribute to his grandparents who were childhood sweethearts who loved well into old age, a good model of a loving couple.

SUNRISE SUNSET from the movie "Fiddler on the Roof".  The biggest tear-jerker of them all.  Speaks to handing off the torch to the younger generation of adults, to letting go of the hand-holding stage of parenting, to celebrating the passages while mourning the loss of the little child, and to the rhythm of the seasons that inevitably brings change.

Our quotable 10-year old granddaughter's most memorable quote of the 2-week end of the summer with us when I suggested that in just 8 years she would be 18:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Blessing of the Fig Tree

In our yard we have a little green fig tree that has launched into an abundance of fruit-bearing over the recent past.  In its initial 8 or 9 years, it languished.  Its little buddy expired fairly early on (not unusual for fruit trees in our front yard soil, which could be described as a gravel bed with a slim overlay of topsoil.
An idea of how many figs this tree is putting out-- every branch is laden like this with a couple of crops.

And a shot of some of the 'baby' figs that will form the second crop later in the summer/early Fall.

The same fig tree just four years ago-- barely hanging on, and only producing a few figs that year.

We have fertilized/amended the soil around its roots with lime and rock phosphate.  Those mineral nutrients have made a huge difference.

Here my d.h. is demonstrating that the tree is about 6' in breadth, not that the big one got away.

What do you do with your harvest of figs?  I would appreciate some more ideas. Comment below!

Yummy Quick and Easy Fig Jam (on Hubpages)

These are recipes I have used:

Yummy Quick and Easy Fig Jam (along with some interesting facts about figs)

Fig-Quince-Ginger Jam (yes I also have a quince tree-- not thrilling, but good in this jam)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Sunday Outing to the Cumberland Farmer's Market and a Seaside Edible Walk,

It could have been another day lounging around with the tablet on Facebook... but, twigged by something someone said (or inferred) about how lazy I am, I suggested to dear hubby that we might check out the new-ish Cumberland Farmer's Market.  It is open from 11am on Sundays throughout the summer.  Off we went.

These gorgeous hydrangeas greeted us at the entrance to Village Square Park where the Cumberland Farmers' Market is located.

I personally have never seen this sort of hydrangea before.  Have you?  It was gorgeous...

The Cumberland Farmers Market at the Village Square Park, Dunsmuir Rd., Cumberland BC Sundays 11AM-2PM
This is really a pretty little Farmers' Market-- it's new-ish (just opened this year) so really doesn't seem to have caught on yet.  The bonus is that it is a little less cheek-to-jowl with people and vendors, for those who prefer a bit of a stroll and a chat vs. a push and a shove and jostle for the coin.  The Market operates 11AM-2PM every Sunday until September.  It is located on Dunsmuir, in The Village Square Park, right next to the Wandering Moose Cafe (a re-purposed old Bank building).

There were many young parents with their little kiddies, dancing wildly to the music of the Celtic Cargo Cult (2 musicians playing a variety of Celtic tunes).  It was fun to see that the kids, in small town tradition, shared out the blueberries and pies that their mommies laid out on the grass for them.
The Celtic Cargo Cult minus the kiddies whirling and jigging on the grass.
What would a farmer's market be without a fun little band playing while you do your shopping?  Here is a youtube with a slightly re-constituted Celtic Cargo Cult at the Courtenay Farmers' Market 6 years ago.

I guess that you can tell that the hempsicle was the highlight of the Market for me.  It was an absolutely delicious organic hemp-based chocolate, chocolate-covered non-dairy confection.  It was $4 (pricey) but worth the leap-- and really, only the cost of a frapiccino, etc., so not a biggie I suppose.  Dear hubby and I shared it.  It was made in a commercial kitchen in Cumberland. I recommend it.

We also bought some other stuff: carrots, beets, garlic scape salt (very tasty).   Fun, fun, fun.

Parking is kind of haphazard, but we did get to park next to an espalier apple tree (or trees?) that I really admired.  It leans over the front fence of someone's home yard.  The apples look very inviting, don't you think?  I took a picture because I am trying to convince my dear hubby of the benefits of doing some espalier planting of fruit and/or berries.  He is a hardsell... but we'll see.
Espalier apples where we parked near the Village Square Park
And then we careened off down to our favourite sea-side walk along Marine Drive in Royston.  It has become sort of an "Edible Walk"... meaning that you can eat from the fruit and berry trees that grow along the ocean.  The blackberries are everywhere this time of year, wild and aggressively invasive, but there isn't a huge cry to get rid of them, like there is for the Scotch Broom, for example.

I met a sweet mom and son team picking blackberries for the "old people, who like the memories they bring back when they eat them" explained Irene, 86.  She declined having her picture taken but referred me to her son, John, about my age (in his 60s) who had already filled up a pail with these black-purple gems.  John is a horologist, a technician trained to repair old clocks.  He has a bad back, so when he picks berries he says that he tells himself: "well, at least you have a pail of berries to compensate for the pain".
John, who with his mom Irene, picked over 100 pounds of blackberries last year to share with elderly friends
Irene came to the Comox Valley from Nova Scotia... her father was from County Cork (I could detect some Irish in her speech), or, as her mother had it, from County Cork-in-the-Bottle.  Yes, she was one of those young children of party men in the past who would ask for "Baby" (Irene) to be wakened at whatever hour he arrived home ("three sheets to the wind" is her description) so that she could dance (jig) with him.

John, Irene's son, was born and raised in the Comox Valley.  Last year they picked over a hundred pounds of blackberries, which they give to various elderly friends and acquaintances in their neighbourhood.  A few years ago they donated to the Food Bank but apparently discovered that some of the people who benefitted from the fruits of their labours, so to speak, were hawking the same berries on the corner to get money to "shoot up" with drugs.  They are going for another 100# again this summer.

I told them about the Farmers' Market in Cumberland with its Celtic music and we parted.

Here is a groaning Apple Tree near the beach.  In a while this tree will be picked by various people, some volunteers from Lush Valley Food Action Society, some just doing it as an annual routine for their own purposes.
Apple tree on the cobble beach...
There are also cherries and plums along the ocean, although they get picked pretty fast by the birds and people-in-the-know, and are not as prolific as the apples and blackberries.  I personally love this abundance of "wild" fruit.  Of course, we also have or share of wild animals that are drawn by the same fruity abundance: birds, raccoons, deer, the odd bear.

So we came home after this fun little excursion and after lunch we did some picking in our own yard, golden plums and cultivated thornless blackberries.  It's a big fruit and berry year this year.  How is your local harvest? (Please comment below-- thanks!)