Day 13: An easy special treat for Christmas Eve breakfast: Skaters

It’s very early on the 13th and I’ve been visiting blogs instead of writing a post. Then I spent some time deciding what to write about. Posting every day is a bit of a challenge, but fun, too. But today I have solved the photo-inserting mystery, so there will be pictures!

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The cottage pie, before and after it was cut open.

Today I went into town with cousin M to have a notary public sign a single page document. I’ve never had to make an appointment for that before, so hadn’t called ahead. Anyway, we are going back on Friday to have that done. We stopped to order the Christmas turkey from a small shop where we purchased the Thanksgiving turkey; they are raised naturally and so delicious they are worth the price. Then we went to a small speciality yarn shop that is mostly too expensive for me at present. I wanted to buy one more skein of yarn for the scarf, as I’m afraid that my leftovers from the tuques aren’t going to be enough for a decent length. This took a bit longer than I’d hoped, as they no longer carry that brand (why it was on sale in the first place), but I was able to find some pure wool that is very lovely and ought to work colour-wise. And if I don’t need it, I may have to knit or crochet something else. This is what I get for wanting to use up my leftovers . . . I don’t really like to knit with wool for others, as nowadays people often don’t want to take the time to hand-wash items. But my sister will, I know. he values hand-made, too.

The real bonus was finding bamboo double pointed needles in size 0 (that’s a zero) and size 1. You may remember that I have my great-grandmother’s dpns, but one is size 2 and the other three are smaller.  So now I can make socks using her needles, the ones that she taught her children on and also my mother and her siblings. I can hardly wait!

Johan Jorgine Carlson Stromme 01

I’ve had another message from the Norwegian professor and he sent me a photo of my great-grandfather  with three other people. In return I sent him this photo; This is my Mum’s beloved Grandfather Johan and Grandmother Jørgine (Georgina in English and it is Jørgine’s steel knitting needles that are now mine to love and cherish. Behind them is their farmhouse, where Mum and most of her siblings often spent a week or two in the summer and where the family gathered for Sunday dinner on many a weekend. The children were aged 3 to 20 when their mother died and their grandparents stepped in to help whenever possible. I don’t know if I met them when I was taken to Saskatchewan for my first birthday; I hope so.

But you must be wondering about the easy treat, right? It’s very simple and you may use whatever bread recipe you prefer for making buns or rolls. Depending on how many people will be at the breakfast table, you may wish to make only enough for one loaf of bread. I always used a standard recipe for two loaves, as my two boys loved these. You can also make the dough, freeze half and use the other half for one batch. If you prefer a sweet dough, go ahead and use that. I like whole wheat nearly all the time, so that’s what I made, but half whole wheat and half white work well, too. You can add a little wheat germ for extra flavour and nutrition if you wish. I always do.

Now I don’t have photos of these, but if I get to make some during the holidays I’ll come back and update this post. (I’ve searched the internet and am surprised that there are no photos of them anywhere that I looked.)

You can make the dough in a bread machine, too, if that gives you a bit more time.

Once the dough is ready to form into buns for baking, here’s what you do”

Divide the dough into about 12 – 24 pieces. Take one piece and roll it into a cylinder. Form the top into a cone-shaped cap. Twist a bit to form a neck, not too  narrow, though.

With a sharp knife, make a slit from the bottom about 1/3 of the way up the cylinder. This forms the legs. Then form the arms by making two slits from about a half-inch to an inch below the shoulders down past where the waist would be.

Now separate the legs a bit and twist the last inch or so to make feet that stick out to the sides, like feet with skates on. I like to make the tips curve up, like the old-fashioned skates from Victorian days.

Twist the arms a bit, too, pulling them away from the body. You can pose the arms and legs differently to make them more interesting. If you want to be even fancier, pinch off a piece of dough and form a scarf, then wrap it around the neck with the ends blowing in the wind a bit. Don’t make the scarf too thin or long. You want these to bake evenly.

Arrange the skaters on a greased baking sheet as you make them. We used to use two raisins to form eyes and three more to make buttons where the jacket would be. Poke raisins well into the dough so they don’t get shoved out when the dough rises.

You can let these rise now, then bake at 350 F until browned like any dinner bun, or you can put the tray of skaters into the fridge (assuming you have room) and let them rise in  a warm oven in the morning while the stockings are being unpacked (that’s what I did). We always had them with butter and home-made jam., as well as our scrambled eggs and crispy bacon. It was the only time of year that we had bacon, so that in itself was pretty festive.

If you are fairly new to bread baking, I recommend a trial run ahead of the big day so you have an idea of how long it all will take. If you have any questions, do feel free to ask me in the comments below. but I think this is one of my easier Christmas recipes.

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The last of the Honeycrisp apples, the pie we made from them (and a few more) and, on the right, the mincemeat turnovers waiting to be baked.

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The ends for the Dancing Granny scarf as it was yesterday. Today they are a bit longer.

Have a lovely and stress-free day today.

Here’s some music that I like for this season:

Peace Train by Cat Stevens

Imagine by John Lennon

 

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Day 12: Family history discoveries and my eggnog recipe.

Note: I finally got some photos to upload to WordPress, but for some reason I still can’t insert them in a post, so, since it’s now after 1 am, I am going for text only . . . again. I’m sorry about that as I know how much more interesting a post is when there are pictures to enjoy as well.

Today I got a late start followed by an unexpected trip to town. Lucky for me I stayed up late last night and had everything I needed in order. Cousin M is not a planning sort of person and I have lived with others for so long that I automatically plan my things around theirs. It’s easy for me and I like it, so that usually works best. It’s a good thing that we share the same heritage; I understand him and he understands me, so generally things go quite well as a result. And then the post office had a long lineup and my purchase took time, too, so I was in the drug store for over an hour. In the end, I made a mad dash into the grocery store for two bags of cranberries (I’ll tell you about that tomorrow) and then went back to the truck and we made it home before dark.

I didn’t get any knitting done today, which is too bad, but by the time I phoned a dear friend in Victoria and had supper, I wasn’t up for knitting. I did manage to drop in on a few folks’ blogs and catch up a bit more.  And I checked email briefly, then facebook for messages. And on fb I had a wonderful message waiting for me.

I was looking for information on my mother’s parents and grandparents a few days ago. The man who contacted me is a lecturer (professor?) in Norway. He has a group on fb about the island of Leka, very near to Trondheim, where we always thought my great-grandparents and my Mum’s mother had come from. Well, this professor has made a project out of tracking down the descendants of people who emigrated from Leka to the Americas. He had information that I was able to check out with my Auntie tonight and it’s all correct.

Apparently, when people emigrated at the beginning of the 1900s, it was generally via Trondheim, so that was the name that showed on the immigration papers.

I did check this man out and he has fb posts going back to when he was in high school; he’s now in his early 40s, I figure. So I’m pretty sure he’s legit.

One of the exciting things for me was learning the names of my great-great-uncles, two of whom stayed in North Dakota when the others came to Canada and the names of my great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother.

An interesting fact to me was that they lived on one of the Western Isles of that area, I lived for over thirty years in what I think of as our Western Isles and the band whose work I love best also hails from the Western Isles, this time of Scotland. Possibly co-incidence, I know, but still . . . I can be quite practical about some things, but I am also quite fanciful about others. This is one of the latter. I don’t much care if it’s a true connection or not; it makes my heart sing.

I first lived on an island when I was a toddler and my Dad and his brother, my cousin M’s father, worked in the open pit mine on Texada Island, near Powell River, BC. We left a couple of years later, so I don’t remember much from that time, but I believe that’s where my love of the sea and islands comes from.

My own recipe for eggnog:

Do read this through in advance. Amounts aren’t really too critical as you will want to adjust to suit the size of your serving bowl and the number of people who will be partaking.

After supper sometime, separate 1 dozen eggs, reserving the whites in the fridge for the next day and putting the yolks in a large bowl. [I used to use my big glass punch bowl, but I didn’t have a fridge, so I didn’t have to worry about space. Our mudroom was always cold enough to serve as a refrigeration area, so I simply covered the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in the mudroom for overnight.]

Using a whisk, beat a cup of icing sugar into the yolks, then add a half cup (4 oz) of rum and 1/2 tsp of grated nutmeg; fresh is fantastic, but if you don’t have it, use pre-grated. I prefer dark, but use what you like. This ‘cooks’ the yolks so that they lose that raw egg flavour. I think brandy would work well, too, but I don’t think I ever tried it. Put the bowl into the fridge overnight or until the next evening.

Stirring gently with the whisk, add a can of evaporated milk to give it a richer,fuller flavor. I always used Pacific, as that’s what I grew up on, but I’m sure any brand would work. Next add 2 quarts (litres) of whole milk. At this point, I like to let the mixture sit another 24 hours to ripen the flavour.

Depending on the amount you want, you may add another two litres of whole milk at this point. Or wait until just before you are ready to serve. (see below)

The day you are going to serve the eggnog, whip a pint of whipping cream until it makes soft peaks. Fold in gently. Last, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt. 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar can help it to form peaks well, but is not necessary. Fold the egg whites into the mixture as well. Taste the ‘nog to see if it needs any tweaking. I used to make a punch bowl full when we had company coming, so would add more whole milk and often more whipping cream, whipped, of course, as well.

At this point the eggnog is ready to serve. If the drink is only for adults, it’s possible to add more rum to the bowl. Otherwise, you may want to have the bottle handy for guests to use themselves. We rarely drank and our friends were the same, so this once a year indulgence was never a problem for anyone. I have known serious drinkers, though, and if they had come to our house, the rum would have been hidden safely away. 🙂

I like to keep the nutmeg and grater (or bottle of pre-grated) handy to add to each glass as it’s served up.

If you do try this, I’d love to hear what you think.

Music for today: Hymn to Nations, set to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ and sung by the great Paul Robeson. I apologize for the quality of the recording; it was released in 1953. I couldn’t find a better recording. still I love the words to this song (and the music); I first learned this when I belonged to the school choir in Chase, BC, in grade five. I have never forgotten it and I think we need to hear it often during the challenges of these times.

May your day be filled with Light and Love.  ~ Linne

Day 11: Two weeks to go . . .

Well, like many of you, I suppose, I wish I could say that I’d spent the last two days finishing Christmas gifts. Wouldn’t that be nice? Instead, I’ve been busy with paperwork (and poring over very teeny print is not my favourite thing, really) and helping with some of the usual weekend tasks around here. My cousin’s wife, S, retires on the 22nd, so I expect things will change a bit in the New Year. For now, though, they generally shop on Saturday for the food items that will be needed for Sunday. And on Sunday, we prepare those things for whatever dish will be the mainstay of our suppers for the next five days. Weekends are a mix of leftovers and whatever we feel like making on Saturday.

Today we made a large crock pot of spaghetti sauce and  when that was c cooked, the cooked fusilli was added to it. Last week we made Cottage Pie, which we often call Shepherd’s Pie, although there is no lamb in it. But that’s our childhood name for the dish.  Cousin M steams a large pot of veggies every  night as well and some weeks there is a baked potato to go with it all. A couple of nights ago we were eating the Pie and commenting on how healthy and delicious our meals are here. I began to count the number of vegetables on our plates and it seemed that we had between 12 and 14 varieties. Not bad, really. If you are curious, here’s a list: Cottage Pie: corn, peas, green beans, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, green bell peppers, onions, garlic, carrots, celery. I think that’s all. Steamed side dish: bok choy, pac choy, carrots,

[I did have photos for you today, but for some reason they won’t upload. I don’t have time to tinker just now, although I did for a while. I’ll share another time]

Anyway, once the spaghetti sauce was cooking, Cousin S and I made a large apple pie and then she made some mincemeat turnovers from the leftover pie crust. That apple pie used the last of the Honey Crisp apples, which I can highly recommend for apple pie. I did save two for eating, but that’s it otherwise. We still have a panful of the smaller Macintosh apples, but will be lucky to get a pie out of them. We are going to have to start using up the frozen fruits soon. Cherry pie soon . . .

I did find time to knit today and the scarf is growing more quickly, now that it’s simple knit and purl and only 22 stitches across. I shall have to try and buy another skein, though; so much for using up leftover yarn.

It’s 3 am so I will stop here. Have a great week, everyone!

Music for today:

Another favourite of mine: Hobo’s Lullaby by Woody Guthrie, sung by his son Arlo.

This time of year I think of the challenges faced by homeless people all over the world and this song says it all. The cello part is rather haunting in this version.

And here is my wish for you all: Forever Young by Pete Seeger’ the words at the end by one of the children are worth hearing.

See you next time!  ~ Linne

 

 

Day 10: A Story for Saturday

This is the beginning of my introduction to TMMT, soon to be revealed.

Today I want to share one of my favourite stories with you all. You know, there have been times in my life when I was ‘out of sync’ and things didn’t flow easily; in fact, sometimes it seemed as though they had frozen right up. But I’ve had a few times when I was ‘in sync’, too and then life seemed easy, even magical.

I rarely had much money and so had not travelled other than a few short trips into Washington State or to visit friends in upper central BC. Once we even drove to Peace River to visit my husband’s sisters. But nothing further.

Then, one year, I was chosen as a delegate to an international conference in Virginia on the East Coast of the USA. I was given enough money to cover my air fare and a week in a hotel, plus some for incidentals. But I wanted to maximize the opportunity, so I booked my flight for a three week stay, not knowing how that might work out. I didn’t book a hotel room, either.  I did know that there was a campsite set not too far from where the conference was being held, so Plan Z was to stay there for the duration and take the trolley back and forth each day.

I did stay there the first night. I had arrived at 9 o’clock in the evening and it was already pitch dark outside. I’d forgotten that, the further south one goes, the earlier the sun sets in the summer. But no worries, eventually the trolley came and I took that to the campsite, where the overnight staff were rather astounded to see a single, 40-year old woman on a Friday night. Well, what did I know? I grew up when camping meant camping, not drinking and raising hell . . .

So the staff gave me a site near to their office and kept an eye on me all night. They were great! For the first half of the night there were loud sounds of people carrying on, drinking, singing, talking loudly; a while later there were  sounds of people being sick in the bushes. But eventually all was quiet and I did get some sleep.

I should tell you about my camping style here, too. I didn’t own a tent but I did have a sleeping bag. So I took five large black plastic bags and a piece of kitchen twine. I had a plan, you see. I made and lived in a tipi the  year myboys’ Dad and I worked on a small truck farm in the Okanagan and I had a book on tipis. so I knew how they were fastened down to keep themf rom blowingover in high winds. And I adapted the idea to make a sort of tent/shelter. I cut one bag open at the bottom to form a tube, then overlapped it with another bag. I put a pebble inside and pushed it up through the two layers, winding the string around a couple of times, then forming a half hitch to hold it in place. I didn’t cut the string. Another pebble about six inches away, more string wrapping, and so on until I had a long sausage shaped bag. I cut another plastic bag open down one side and hung it from a tree branch with more string until the corners touched the ground. I used small rocks to anchor the corners after I’d spread them out. The two remaining garbage bags I used to cover the backpack so it would stay dry. I got the sleeping bag into the ‘sausage’ bag and myself into that, with my head under the cone shaped bag hanging from the branch. I slept well and was dry as could be, although it did rain a bit during the night. The only thing I lacked for was food, because I wasn’t allowed to bring any on the flight. It’s amazing what one can do when motivated and informed, isn’t it?

I woke early, bought some snacks from a vending machine and sat on a picnic table eating my makeshift breakfast and revelling in the sound of the Atlantic ocean just over the dunes. Then I walked to the shore, took off my shoes and waded into the chilly water. It was a moment I’ll never forget.

By 9 am I was on the trolley and on my way to the conference to sign in. We stopped for a break at a small fruit stand and I had a treat that I’d dreamed about for years, but never expected to realize: I bought a real Georgia Peach and ate it right there, bent over to let the gushing juice fall onto the ground. It was amazing and all I had imagined it o=would be.

When I finally arrived at the conference , I did ask about places to stay and was given a list of people who always provided a room to attendees. but, of course, all were filled. Indeed, some people had booked their rooms the year before. Well, no worries. I went back to the nice lady at the desk and asked if she knew of anything else I might try. And she mentioned a young couple who were usually on the list but not that year. So I called them and it turned out they were artisans, one a potter and the other a silversmith, with thousands of dollars worth of tools and stock in their home. They were going to Washington, DC that week for a few days and hadn’t wanted to leave strangers in their home. But they said if I hadn’t found anything by 3 pm I should call them back. I explained that I didn’t need to be in their house; I just wanted a place to camp. I planned to wash up at the conference itself. I’ve lived outdoors several times in my life when younger and I do love it, so I was quite fine with the idea. And there was always the campsite.

By 2 I still hadn’t found anything else, so I called them back and was invited over. We hit it off immediately and an hour later they left for DC and, much to my surprise and delight,  I had been left in the house with keys and all. Best of all, when I walked out the back door, across the yard and then across a narrow lane, I had only to climb a small bank and I was at the conference! I was closer than anyone who had booked way in advance. The couple asked if I thought $10 a night would be ok, as I was going to buy all my own food. And of course it was! I stayed with them for two weeks (they returned a few days later, maybe 3 or 4) and I did what I have always done; I helped with the dishes, babysat their lovely 3 year old daughter, generally made myself useful when not at meetings. And when I left they would only take $5 per night. There ARE miracles in this world!

But I still had a week to go before my return flight. I had brought enough of my own money with me to cover a few extras and one of those was a massage at the massage school. The trainee who gave me the massage was a lovely young girl and we connected right away. She asked me questions about where I was from and where I was staying. And she said that if I needed a place to stay at any point to let her know and I could stay with her. At the end of the second week I had to leave the couple’s home; his older children were coming to stay for the summer. So I did contact the masseuse and ended up spending a delightful week with her. She was paying her way through the massage school by working part time in a fast food place that specialized in something called, I think, Cajun Boil. They had large pots of water with spices in and in those they cooked a wide variety of seafood, all sort thrown in together. Crab, lobster, clams, mussels, oysters, fish of several types, etc. And if a customer placed an order and didn’t pick it up, the staff was allowed to take it home. So I had all the fresh seafood I could eat for a week, every day.  I could never have afforded to eat like that back home. And she was great company, too. ONe night we went to see a movie and sat in the car outside with paper towelling tucked into our collars, feasting on fish and shellfish before going in to see :Raising Arizona”. I shall never forget that time.

That trip was on my bucket list, although we didn’t use that term in those days. I learned a lot about stepping out on faith and having trust.

I have two other stories to share with you, but it’s too late tonight.

May the day be merry and bright and may you find time for creating something, baking, stitching, painting, writing, anything that makes your heart sing.

Dubliners Travelling People

Music for today:

An all time favourite of mine: The Travelling People, also known as The Moving On Song,  sung here by The Dubliners. My brother in law who died three years ago first introduced me to this recording and to The Dubliners. I particularly love the pictures used for this video; I had horses like that years ago and nearly ended up living in a gypsy wagon then, too. A long story . . . But I’ve learned that sometimes a simple life is a hard life; all the same, it usually gives us greater gifts than one might imagine.

And another song, Go, Move, Shift; this one by Ewan MacColl, is even more relevant in these days and for Christmas in the original story.

See you tomorrow.  ~ Linne

Day 9: Christmas Eve traditions

Today, well, earlier today, when today still meant Friday, my cousin M took me to Vernon to have my photo taken and to do some errands. On the way there and back I mostly knitted on one side of my sister’s scarf, working up from the darker pocket. I chose to use moss stitch for a nicer finish to both front and back. This is K2, P2 for 2 rows, then P2, K2 for 2 rows. It went fairly smoothly; until I noticed a section where I had .that I had just done six rows without changing the beginning. Oh, well, it has now become a ‘design element’ in the best tradition of knitters everywhere. There is no way I am frogging anymore unless I really make a mess of it!

And while I was knitting, I was thinking about a few things, including some of my own family’s traditions, especially for Christmas Eve.

In 1975 I learned of an old house that was being torn down soon and that people were welcome to salvage whatever they could. I was lucky enough to gIt was oveet a complete built-in dining room buffet, complete with drawers, glass doors, and more. Friends helped me take it apart. But the big score was an old Chesterfield, likely from the 1920s or 1930s. It was over  six feet between the arms and on Christmas Eve it was perfect for all of us to sit on; sometimes up to four adults and four children.

I have a pretty old-fashioned approach to some things: food and holidays are two of them. So on Christmas Eve I tried to make something special for dinner; after that, any last-minute preparations for the big day were taken care of; then we sat on the big couch with hot chocolate and some of the Christmas baking and admired our tree, full of hand-made ornaments. No tv and only rarely did we have batteries for the little transistor radio. When we did, Christmas music was lovely in the background. But the best part was when it began to get late. We would all hang our woolen work sock stockings near the fireplace (in Victoria) or the old Franklin stove (in the old log house) and then we would read the original Christmas story from the Bible, followed by The Night Before Christmas poem. Last of all, the boys put out a plate of Christmas baking and a glass of milk for Santa. One year they left carrots for the reindeer, too. In the morning, there would be only crumbs on the plate and a milky glass next to it.

Finally the boys were tucked up in their beds and our fun began! Into each stocking went a Christmas orange, a handful of nuts in the shell (therefore stretching out the fun of eating them), another handful of hard candy and licorice (one of my favourites) Some years there was chocolate, too. But the part I liked best was taking the small gifts out from their hiding place and wrapping each individually. I am a savouring sort of person myself, so I like to extend enjoyment for others, too. In the basement floor of two of our department stores was a section much like the dime stores of old and the dollar stores of today. I would have bought several small items there, things like Silly Putty and crayons, balsa wood airplane kits, perhaps a small top or other toy. I usually bought a magazine like Owl for each of them, too, rolling the book and then wrapping it. Small rubber balls were always a favourite, too. One year there were wooden recorders; another year it was friction cars; do you remember them? You would roll them back and forth to wind them up, then let them sail across the linoleum, often making a siren noise as they went. Very popular with small boys!

Often last-minute wrapping followed, especially of the gifts that were from Santa. I remember the first Christmas with my husband; he bought a ride-on horse with springs suspending it from the frame for the youngest, who was three at the time.  That was hard to hide! We kept it in the studio and one day the wee boy got in and we heard him bouncing away on the horse. He was soon removed and the door kept locked until Christmas Eve.

The last of Christmas Eve we spent quietly on that old Chesterfield, talking and making plans for the future. My husband would get out his guitar and sing, I grew up with home-made music and it was so nice to have it in our own home. This is when I liked to have the first of the eggnog with a little rum or brandy to spike it and the shortbread I made with oat flour. So good!

Simple traditions, really, but I loved them. I hope one day to be able to repeat some with my grandchildren.

Did you have a tradition that you loved on Christmas Eve? Was it from the family you grew up in or did you make your own?

Well, it’s late and I’m ready for bed, so no pictures today, either, sorry. But there must be music:

My Favourite Time of Year by The Florin Street Band This is a group new to me. I like their voices very much.

I wish you some time for reflection and remembrance today. Love to you all. ~ Linne

Day 8: Five by Five on Friday

Hello, again; it’s been so long since I wrote, hasn’t it? (at least 20 minutes!) But I was just informed that Cousin M and I are going to Vernon tomorrow to shop, so it means up a bit earlier than I’ve been managing lately and less time during the day to get things (like knitting) done. Of course I will take my scarf and try to finish it on the drive; it’s over a half hour each way, so that’s good. So no blog-hopping tonight, sorry. I may have time tomorrow evening. We’ll see.

And so I have been wracking my brains over what to write about for Friday. I think it’s going to be Five Lists  for Friday. Because I do love lists . . .

A) Female writers who changed my thinking and my life . . .

  1. Tasha Tudor, author and illustrator, who lived as though she’d been born in the 1830s, weaving the cloth for her dresses, making her own candles and soap, raising her own food and much more.
  2. Keri Hulme, of New Zealand, who wrote The Bone People. Not an easy read at times, but a beautiful use of language and story-telling. She addresses some difficult issues.
  3. Zenna Henderson, who wrote the few books about The People. They make me think about how we react to those who are different and to their gifts, too.
  4. Ursula K LeGuin, whose books also changed my thinking; more accurately, showed me different ways of thinking and also to question what I think of as ‘normal’. The Left Hand of Darkness in particular, for questioning gender and gender roles. She wrote the A Wizard of Earthsea books, too. Also thought-provoking.
  5. Vonda N. McIntyre, for Dreamsnake in particular and also for Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand.

That’s five, but I can’t leave off Andre Norton, whose book Star Rangers I read at age ten. I have read nearly everything she wrote, but Star Rangers remains the most important to me, as it exposed me to thoughts about racism and racial harmony.

B) Male writers who changed my thinking and my life:

  1. Robert A. Heinlein, for his children’s books first and later his more adult novels. I don’t always agree with him, but I love that he is so thought-provoking.
  2. Ray Bradbury, for everything he ever wrote. Mostly for The Martian Chronicles and Dandelion Wine.
  3. Guy Gavriel Kay, Canadian author. I love all his books, but most of all, The Lions of Al-Rassan. His characters and plots are subtle and complex and he never fails to surprise me by some twist of plot or change in character. And his use of language . . .
  4. Louis Bromfield, whose Malabar Farm introduced me to ecological ideas about farming and whose house-building inspired me. He (with an architect)  started with the original small farmhouse, then built on additions to look as though they had been added over many years.
  5. J R R Tolkien, whose The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings will be a part of me forever. I read these four books to my boys half a dozen times or more, the firs time when the older=st was four and a half and the younger one not yet born.

And I can’t forget Zane Grey and Albert Payson Terhune, the former for his stirring plots and colourful descriptions, the latter for his love of dogs. I first loved Collies because of his books.

C) Musicians who have changed my thinking and my life:

  1. Runrig, for their love of family, country and their own culture; for the beauty of their songs; for the way their words and melodies have touched me deeply.
  2. Phil Ochs,  for standing up for what he thought was right.
  3. Pete Seeger, for the same and also for his love of music and fun.
  4. Woody Guthrie, for more of the same . . . especially for The Hobo’s Lullaby
  5. Buffy Sainte-Marie, ditto

Looking at this list, I can see the sameness in my favourite singers, although I do like other genres, too.

D) Artists whose work I love

  1. Maxfield Parrish
  2. M C Escher
  3. Emily Carr
  4. A Y Jackson, The Group of Seven
  5. Jackson Pollock. I came to understand his work through Ed Harris’ wonderful depiction of him

E) Poets who have influenced me

  1. Gerard Manley Hopkins. I still have the book of his poetry that I bought when I was in uni and I still love his work. He introduced me to a different approach to words and rhythm in poetry.
  2. John Masefield
  3. Emily Dickinson
  4. Pauline Johnson
  5. Walt Whitman

I wanted to add photos and more details of why I chose these particular people, but I’m out of time now. If you have questions, do ask in the comments section and I;ll do my best to answer them.

Music for the day:

2 Cellos playing Benedictus live in Zagreb, a lovely piece.

I wish you all a day of Peace, Light and Harmony.  ~ Linne

p.s. In case you missed it, I’m having a Give-away! Check out Day 5 . . .

Day 7: Progress & Three Things on Thursday (a short post)

Well, my friends, I was up late this morning, but after I ate, I knited until supper, called my Auntie (the brightest spot in most of my days) and then knitted some more. And here is the result:

The pocket scarf for my sister J, backs (left) and fronts (right).

The most challenging knitting is done; now to finish the upper parts and, of course, stitch up the bottoms of the pockets.

I have been valiantly resisting starting any of the other projects I have in mind; if you are a ‘starter’, you will know what I mean . . . and I still have the smaller tuque’s crown to re-knit.

Before I go, though, here are Three Things for which I am grateful this Thursday:

  1. All the musicians, old and new, who bring light into this world through their work and through their personal example.
  2. My own great health, in  a world where so may are facing very difficult challenges.
  3. This Virtual Village, where I have been privileged to meet so many kindred spirits; sometimes we share one interest, other times a wide and varied range. My life is richer for having ‘met’ all of you.  Bless you!

Thanks to Ms Snail, who got me started on this, although some weeks I forget to share . . . it’s good to be grateful!

So I am going to keep this one short, drop in on a few of you, then it’s off to bed early for a change.  But first, there must be music . . .

Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Light One Candle” always inspires me to go on when things seem darkest.

I hope your day was a good one. See you tomorrow. Love ~ Linne