Magic Cottage Creations

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September 29, 2012

Zip Went The Strings To My Cells

By Maryanna Gabriel

I seem to have joined the growing throngs of people who have developed a wheat intolerance. As the good doctor said, it is not the wheat’s fault, it is what we do to it. I listened to my body communicate to me, via electronic impulse, a startling and effective experience somewhat similar to the principles of kinesiology. How many times have I said, I am really sorry body, but can you please put up with this a little longer while I meet some work deadline, and borrow from my future to pay the costs of today? The future is here and it is payback time. What a chorus of protest, a veritable outcry of complaint, and now I am in a position after about a billion inner nudging and whispers ignored of having to face the fact my cells wants change or else. I listlessly wended my home after this visit, my grocery list lying inert at the bottom of my purse seeming more like a death sentence than a good idea, with a bag of lemons and some millet, feeling rather confused. It’s called breaking habits and this going to take a bit of thought now that I have given myself my undivided attention. Cells rule.

September 22, 2012

Island Moodle

By Maryanna Gabriel

I passed car after car trying to get to where I live as I sought my escape.
By some perverse happenstance I found myself in the Duncan Saturday market, a welcome change from the famous market where I live. I didn’t even know Duncan had a market. I found pumpkins at a far more reasonable price and all kinds of interesting wares. I seem to be born under a travelling star even when I try ever so hard not to. I moodled (coined from a friend meaning leisurely exploration) my way up the “big island” to my favourite restaurant in Courtenay, The Atlas, and treated myself to a beautiful glass of local Pinot Grigio with a lovely pink hue. I was told it was because the skin was left on. A return to Miracle Beach was my final destination and it was lovely with all of this breathtaking weather we have been having to enjoy the sand, sea, and mountains, a truly splendid area. Miracle Beach lives up to its namesake and it was a tremendous accomplishment not only to get the tent pitched but to capitulate to its call.

September 15, 2012

A Lot Of Cockle Doodle Doo

By Maryanna Gabriel

A local author writes this week that the island is looking like a strip mall with all of the roadside stands. I only stopped at two today. It’s because so many people come here and buy plum jam I guess, or else they wouldn’t be here. I hear the sounds of cows bellowing in the field below me and there seems to be a lot of cockle doodle doo. It’s a hullaballoo as hundreds of people prepare to descend for the fall fair with zucchini races and all the other things fall fairs do. I’m a bit of a grump about it all. The first 10 years of island life fall fairs were sort of fun, I even won ribbons and really got worked up about the pies and who won the vegetable cup. Things changed for numerous reasons well beyond the scope of this blog, and the novelty, well , let’s just say, it’s old. I suppose I should be setting out a roadside stand as where I live becomes impassible with cars, surely there is something I have a proliferation of. Oregano. Nah, wouldn’t fly. Instead, I am fleeing for a quiet place. It’s why I came here after all and goodness knows, like a frog in hot water that tolerates it all until it is boiled to death, I am at my saturation point. One has to know these things. I hear the call and I am jumping. I’ll kindly and most firmly be passing on this incredible career opportunity and leave the stand thing to my more ambitious neighbours.

September 8, 2012

Provocative Pepper

By Maryanna Gabriel

It is the harvest and the island is burgeoning with vegetables and ripening fruits.
The other day I found myself in the nearby shop feeling as though something was wrong. The red pepper I specifically needed for a pickle I was making was not from a local garden. I thoughtfully retreated with my purchase. I love my garden but the forest setting makes some achievements impossible. Some mornings start with a chase down the road picking blackberries, then over to the market for a local cheese, then a maneuver to a roadside stand for cherry tomatoes. Hmm. Much sweeter than that bigger market garden at the local hotel. Why only the other day I made a lengthy special trip for a rather splendid roadside pumpkin I had been hankering after. It is all kind of an off-the-grid ,zigzag, that is this island economy chasing local specials down dirt roads, constantly juggling small bills and change. All of this fecund bounty is leading to a canning frenzy that is unprecedented accompanied with an orgy of delicious cooking. It is kind of fun not to be feeding into corporations and to support all of these gentle farmers who have worked so hard to produce such amazing food. It is the simple things that are the inherent treasure.

September 1, 2012

Thotful Spot

By Maryanna Gabriel

“What will I be doing?” said Pooh. “Well, Pooh, you'll be sitting in your thotful spot thinking as usual.”
A.A. Milne

I am feeling a bit like Winnie The Pooh. It only took me 17 years to actually come here. I would walk by and think to myself, I really must return with a picnic and a good book and make a day of it. Years have passed. Today is the day. Lucky me. Here the pretty, white shell beach, reveals this to be a midden in days of yore and the sound of lapping of waves is soothing. The land is dry and the arbutus leaves rattle disconsolately nearby as a breeze moves through them. The grove of maidens are in a state of dismayed dissaray as their bark hangs in great swathes revealing a smooth, sensuous, skin beneath red, blistering, peels. The ladies are bashful it would seem. I look respectfully away sensing something. I glance uneasily over my shoulder. Nothing is there. This land has spirits. I feel it every time I come here. Above, old man’s beard hangs in shaggy strips from an ancient gnarled Douglas Fir twisted by winter storms. Is that a seal making that mournful loud cry? It sounds like a silkie. Despite the sense of other worldliness here, the day is bright and breezy.

The sun lights up the landscape with a palette that is the west coast greens, grays, and gold of the grasses. I dip my brush into my paints. “Thotful spots” are a sense of communing with nature in a way a camera lens cannot evoke nor a canvas convey.