Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: threes



1. Garden: We had a record dry August and September here, and still no rain. I have trouble keeping up with watering. With cooling nights now, the last of the tomatoes were harvested, with the green ones ripening in a basket indoors. The pepper plants came in too. I'm trying to repot houseplants before bringing them inside after a summer outdoors and it is time to take cuttings of tender annuals. I need to find and plant some small trees, shrubs and spring bulbs for a new garden area next to the new neighbour's wall. The fall is as busy as the spring, mostly in reverse mode.

2. Art: Working hard on a series of prints at home and in the studio. Saw a wonderful exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery which I must tell you about when I have time. And tomorrow evening is the opening of the exhibition by Japanese artists.

3. Letters: Busy with correspondence with a cousin in Finland whose brother P. has been very ill. This morning I learned that P. had passed away. Went looking through photo albums from the 70's when he'd visited us in Canada. I scanned some of those old photos along with a little story and sent it to the family over there. All the older generation in those photos are no longer with us. Sigh.

Marja-Leena | 03/10/2012 | 5 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Home


Nice pepper scans. My mother used to wrap her green tomatoes in newspaper and put them in a low dresser drawer to ripen slowly. I'm still not sure quite how it worked but we did have fresh tomatoes long after the season ended. I'm sorry you've had such a long dry period there - quite unnatural for that part of the country but there have been a number of strange weather patterns everywhere. Are you planning a nursery visit for trees and shrubs or were you considering a late night raid on the Butchart Gardens?

It sounds as though you're very busy with all the activities of a return of the school and social year. It should be a lot of fun going to the show tomorrow evening.I hope you'll be able to take some pictures.

I'm sorry to hear your cousin passed away. Even so, it's lovely you found the photographs to send to the family. None of us ever know how long we have to spend time with dear elders or even friends and family our own age. Kindness is always appreciated and love is never lost.

What a pleasing thing to do--re-discovered pictures and remembered stories are so good. I'm certainly finding that people from my youth are starting to leave us, and very few of my "elders" are left: my mother, one of her sisters, one of my father's sisters. My mother was the baby of nine children, my father one of six.

Hope you have pictures from the exhibition... Good that you are getting work done and have plans, trala!

Pepper shine! Very nice and intense. I feel rather pepperish today: full of pepper vim.

Susan - I've heard of that way of ripening though not done it. The drought is quite unusual as is the forest fire hazard - in October! No raiding of gardens, just shopping at garden centers, if I can find the time, it may end up waiting 'til spring at this rate with all the other busy-ness. I'm slowing down with age and bad knees.

The opening this evening was excellent, as is the art. I'll try posting photos tomorrow. And thanks for the kind words on the passing of my cousin. I didn't see him often but the connection was still there to remember and keep in our hearts. His late mother, my aunt was quite dear to me.

Marly - my parents came from large families too, mother was eldest of nine and father the youngest of eight. I have a few aunts and uncles on mother's side left, none on father's but there are so many cousins I don't even know them all. Being the eldest of the cousins on mother's side, I feel like a matriarch at times.

Certainly at a time of loss like this, one's thoughts travel around amongst all these many relatives who are gone and those who are still with us.

I haven't looked at my photos yet. Will be taking more at the demonstration tomorrow so will process them afterwards. Hope they turn out. Now to sleep.

i've heard of ripening tomatoes that way too - in a book i received, 'preserving food without freezing or canning' though i must say that mincemeat and chutney is a tempting alternative!

you can be the matriarch if you like. perhaps a trip to finland would be just the thing! x

Elisa, I missed out on making the mincemeat this year since there were not enough green tomatoes. That trip does sound inviting were I not in slight disrepair.