Martha s Original Christmas Cookie (biscuit) recipe

Sorry I had to leave out the apostrophes in the titles; no idea what I did, but this laptop is very touchy and all of a sudden began producing an accented è instead of the apostrophe. I am having trouble with the slanting line for fractions, too, (1é3) so have writtern them out. arrgghhhh

sigh . . .

First tray in the oven . . .

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

:Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper to save on cleanup and extra fat. Trust me, the cookies have their fair share of calories! And that is why I prefer to make recipes like this once a year for a feast, then get back on the straight and narrow; well, somewhat straight and narrow, if I have to be completely honest:-)

I am adding my notes as I go along, but will put just the necessary items in a list at the bottom. That way you can copy them and print as you like.

It is a good idea to take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften to room temperature. I used Olivina, unhydrogenated margarine, as it stays soft even in the fridge.

In a medium sized bowl mix the following dry ingredients:
2 c flour
(Mum used white, so I did that when making the cookies as gifts in her name. Myself, I would be more likely to use whole wheat, maybe some rye, a bit of wheat germ, etc. But then they would be MY original cookies, not hers.:-)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl (I used my small bread bowl, but it is fairly large in size)
Cream two thirds cup butter, softened (or you can use margarine of good flavour)
Add two thirds cup golden brown sugar a third at a time, continuing to cream the mixture
Whisk in two large eggs and cream some more
Add 2 Tblsp milk and mix, then add
1 tsp. vanilla (we prefer the real vanilla, not the imitation)
Method:
Add the dry ingredients to the wet a half cup or so at a time, mixing thoroughly.
Fold in:
One half cu:p chopped walnuts
One half cup chopped almonds
Three quarters cup chopped maraschino cherries
Three quarters cup mixed candied fruit peel
One and a half cups sultana raisins
Stir until fruit is well mixed in, then drop by rounded tablespoons onto the parchment paper. These cookies do not spread, so can be fairly close together.
For smaller (and more) cookies, use rounded teaspoons of dough
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes – do not over bake! I suggest making a few as a test run first to be sure of the time. I baked mine for 12 minutes when I had tablespoons of dough and for 10 minutes when I had teaspoons of dough. Size does matter!
Remove to wire racks to cool, then pack into containers or zip lock bags for storing. Better hide some; they do not last long . . .

A closer view

Here are the easy and more readable instructions.

Martha s Original Christmas Cookies

Dry Ingredients:
2 c. flour
One tsp. baking powder
One half tsp. baking soda
One tsp. salt
Wet ingredients:
Two thirds c. butter
Two thirds c. brown sugar
Two large eggs
Two tblsp. milk
One tsp. real vanilla
Fruit and Nuts:
One half c. chopped walnuts
One half c. chopped almonds
Three quarter c. chopped maraschino cherries
Three quarter c. mixed candied fruit peel
One and a half c. Sultana raisins
Method:
Set Oven to 375 degrees F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly with butter or margarine
Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl
Cream wet ingredients in a large bowl
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ones, mixing well between each addition
Fold in nuts and fruit
Drop by rounded tablespoons on to cookie sheets, spacing fairly close together
Bake 8-10 minutes – do not overbake! Try a few first as a test batch, then adjust baking time for your oven and altitude.
Let cool on wire racks, then pack into containers or zip lock bags for storing
These are excellent hot from the oven with cold milk, as we would have them on baking day as soon as we were home from school and changed out of our school clothes.

Cookies cooling and snack plate set up

Cookies cooling and snack plate set up

Cookies cooling and snack plate set up

 

 

Life is what happens while . . .

. . . you’re busy making other plans . . . (John Lennon)

So there’s been a lot of life going on here, but first, thanks to everyone who has offered support and sent warm energy over the past weeks. I’m so sorry I haven’t replied to comments and, in some cases, emails. I’m still hoping to catch up soon, but a post is long overdue, so I’m doing that first. I think it may be a rather long one, so get your tea now:-)

IMG_2522I was at the hospital a few days ago to bring cookies to the unit and on my way back through the courtyard, I saw that the Healing Tipi had been set up for summer use.

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The Nurse Practitioner who was the recipient of the cookies has become a friend; he told me about a Sound Healing – Tibetan Crystal Bowls event that was coming up. It was held in the Bikram Yoga Centre some distance west and south of where we live. It was an amazing experience; I’m very introverted and a bit awkward with groups of people I don’t know, so I went in, laid out the yoga mat I’d been given, and lay down to prepare for meditation. Matt Welke, one of the organizers of these weekly events, gave a brief introduction to the use of the bowls. We were invited to play one if we liked, but I chose instead to spend the hour in meditation and prayer for those I love and also for those who have requested it.

In 1997 I walked a labyrinth for the first time (not to be confused with a maze – you can get lost in a maze; a labyrinth has only one path; you walk to the centre and then back to the starting point). After I’d been ‘there and back again’, I sat nearby and meditated until all of the group had walked. I had an extremely intense experience of energy in my hands, to the point where they felt so swollen I thought the discomfort came from the pressure of the touching fingers. When I opened my eyes, though, my hands appeared normal and the feeling receded. On closing my eyes and resuming the meditation, the feeling returned, as strongly as in the beginning.  I was told later that I should consider studying Reiki.

I’m  sharing this experience because a similar thing happened while I was listening to the Singing Bowls and it was strongest when the largest bowls or a combination of bowls including one or two of the largest, were played.If this is something that interests you, I highly recommend attending a session. I can’t vouch for the healing effects, but my knees were much more flexible after I stood up and walking was easier. The trouble with attributing effects is that I’m currently using more than one approach. Still, the Bowls were pretty impressive. . .

IMG_2540 . . . as is this uniquely Canadian item. Who recognizes this?

I’m still not ready for the move; it won’t happen at the end of June; most likely now is the end of July. And it won’t be to the Crafties’ basement; I am moving back to southern BC, to Chilliwack where the oldest of my sisters lives. Or at least somewhere close to her. Anywhere from Abbotsford through Yarrow to Chilliwack will be just fine by me. I will be…

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Wan to see where I’m going?  Click here!

The first hospital in Abbotsford was built in 1922 and is where I was born some years later.  The town wasn’t called Abbotsford then; at least my birth certificate says ‘Matsqui’ on it. A lovely name, I think. Abbotsford was named after the home of Sir Walter Scott in the Lowlands of Scotland The hospital was replaced in the early ’50s and then again in 2009. I looked for a photo or two online, but couldn’t find one.

Anyway, the new plan is to find somewhere to live and so I’ve reached out to a couple of old friends who’ve lived in Abbotsford, then Chilliwack for over 30 years.

My plan always was to go ‘home’ to BC, but I didn’t expect to be able to go this year. So amidst all the re-structuring of my daily life, there is some joy, too. And that’s a good thing. I knew the decision was the right one for me as soon as I made it; a huge feeling of peace and relief came over me and the dark clouds began to lift. I’m not done working through the sadness, but it’s become easier now that I feel a sense of hope again.

Once settled, too, I’ll be able to visit my sons and their families, as well as some old friends in Vancouver and Victoria. I have’t been to the coast for over seven and a half years and that’s a long time.

In preparation for this move I went with the Crafties to their property where my container sits with some of my stuff. Boy, have they done a lot of work since I was last there (over a year): I should have taken more photos . . .

Their son has a small two storey cabin half finished:IMG_2543

This 16 foot square shed is nearly done, too, and is already in use for storage. On the south side (away from you)  will be a porch for sitting in the shade and taking a break.

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The outhouse was one of the first structures to be put up; here’s the view from outside and in . . . it’s all boards that have been salvaged from here and there.

Three views: the picnic area, the squirrel grove and the garden. The painted tires each hold a fruit tree. All the fruit trees and a sweet little weeping willow have survived the winter.

Before we had our cookout (using the barrel behind the table to contain the flames), Mrs. Crafty brought out some lovely hand-made soap for washing our hands. That’s it there; the round cake just left of the hand towel.

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Mrs. Crafty loves folk art and painting garden ornaments. Here are some she’s brought from home and a panther they found in a discard heap and rescued. It will be painted soon, too, and the other items will be placed in her gardens and along some of the deer trails, which are wide enough to walk on..

Behind this cute picket fence grows an assortment of flowers, domestic and wild, and above the garden hangs a hummingbird feeder. Bird and squirrel feeders are in several places here and it’s so lovely to watch the birds and critters that the feeders attract. The gate was made by Mrs Crafty from twisted branches she cut from small trees they were felling for firewood. The birdbath is a clay saucer I gave her when I realized I was not likely to have my dream garden, with a fountain at each corner.

The other three, and most of my clay pots, are going to a friend who used to be my manager when I worked at her Lewiscraft store. Later she encouraged me to take on the Assistant Manager position and after that, to move up to Manager. I loved so much about working in a craft store; ordering unique colours of yarn, teaching clients to knit and crochet while we stood in the niddle of the store, especially figuring out where a pattern had gone wrong for the more experienced knitters and crocheters.  When Mum was in the hospital before Christmas, she had a room-mate whose daughter remembered me from over a decade ago. She had knitted a sweater, arms and body, to the yoke in six months. Then, for over three years she struggled to complete the patterned yoke. In despair she brought it to the store; we went over each stitch together and found where the pattern was wrong! It was quite gratifying to find that all her family knew the story and knew who I was, just from that one day.

Can you tell that old wooden chairs minus their seats were used as part of the frames for these garden beds? The right hand bed is full of strawberry plants.

We have no idea what this plant is, but my sister thinks it may be cowslip:

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We were out there for over eight hours and besides taking a tour of the property, Mrs. Crafty and I went through over a third of the boxes in the container. The container has settled at the back, so some of the boxes had fallen and others had been placed with heavy boxes on top of half=full or light boxes, so the lower ones had collapsed somewhat. We are re=packing those into stronger boxes and organizing them near the front for easy loading come moving day. I am giving the container to the Crafties and they will store some of my things that are not sensitive to moisture for a couple more years. They will be able to store some of their tools and equipment in it, so it’s a good deal all around. Below you can see how much the container is listing . . . The bottom photo shows some of my boxes. The old bed frames and other things at the front belong to the Crafties. I remembered there being a lot more boxes, so seeing them was a good thing. Much more manageable that I’d expected. It’s helping, too, that I’m giving some of my things to Mrs. Crafty, like the yarns for afghans that are mostly or all acrylic. I’ve decided I’m switching to natural materials, or mostly so, from now on.

If I had a piece of property, I think I’d place two of these 40 foot long containers side by side, but about 30 or 40 feet apart, then roof over the space and the containers and build walls with large windows at the back and front of the large space. A large set of patio doors at each end and a floor would make it complete (and a wood-burning fireplace, of course). It would be easy to fit one container out with a bathroom and two bedrooms and the other with a kitchen, pantry and storage space. The central room would be workspace, gathering room, etc.Using salvaged materials for most of it, I think one could have a great cottae / workshop for about $10,000. I’d extend beams from the roof supports, too, to create a porch on either side. Solar panels could be set up nearby to power lights, etc. The neighbour has several set up next to where he lives and can run a washer and dryer, cookstove, small refrigerator and lights as well as his power tools. Very nice, I think.

The driveway out to the gravel road . . .

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. . . but we didn’t go back to town immediately. Because, in spite of my parents’ being sure that I would grow out of it, my love for horses is as strong as ever and I simply had to see the neighbour’s herd, or two of them, anyway . . . These are quarter horses and I was sorely tempted to hop on the grey and ride home . . . but common sense prevailed . . .

Now, the other news: I have been unable to find my ‘toe-up’ sock that is still sitting at the first toe/ But I have been busy going through boxes and packing (and down-sizing for the first of what I think will be several times). While doing that, I found six skeins of this amazing mohair/wool blend with a little nylon for added strength:

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The colour reminds me of piles of autumn leaves and is more beautiful than the photos.

I have had this yarn for ten years, waiting to be inspired and finally inspiration struck! I decided to make a Pi Shawl. The pattern for this shawl was first created by Elizabeth Zimmerman and is loosely based on the mathematical Pi. You begin with 9 stitches on three double pointed needles, knit two rows, then usising yarn overs you double the stitches to 18. The next section is 4 rows of knitting. The next row you double the stitches again, to 36, then knit 8 rows . . . see how easy? It’s good to keep track of your rows with a stitch counter, though, especially with mohair or other fuzzy yarns. I haven’t located any  of my own counters, so I’m making marks on recipe cards, four verticals and one horizontal to  tie them into a group of five. So far, that’s working just fine. I am now up to 288 stitches and have finished 10 of the 64 rows called for in this section. I have seen this shawl knitted from smooth yarns and some knitters have done patterned knitting in each section between the increase rows. Those are stunning! Now, if I were truly ambitious, I would be considering knitting one using the Fair Isle patterns I love so much. Maybe one day, when I’m spending more time in a rocker by the fire . . . Here’s the work to date:

In the left hand photo, I’d hung the piece on a hook in the hallway, but the light wasn’t good enough. In the other two photos the work is flattened and the pictures were taken under different lights; I think the right hand one is closest to the actual colour. I’m using a circular needle now, so the work has assumed the shape of a bag or maybe a Rasta beanie… Soon I will put half the stitches onto another circular needle and the work will continue to go easily. I’m not sure how large this shawl will be, but I’ve only just begun on the third of the six balls and if I fold the work, it comes nearly to my elbows.

By the end of each day, we are generally tired and partly that’s from the emotional side of . through our mother’s things. Other factors come into it, too, but I won’t be posting about those. So we make our supper and watch some Netflix movie or tv series and I knit. Then it’s off to bed. A good distraction when I just want to turn off my busy mind for a while.

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These are not particularly healthy, although the recipe could be adapted. Our youngest sister found it and I made it up just as Mum used to do for Christmas. This is a double batch and made eight dozen, with some dough left over. No idea what happened to that…

I loved using my favourite bowl (which matches a larger one of Mum’s), Mum’s wooden spoon and my Aunty’s potholders. I felt as though they were just in the other room.

If anyone would like the recipe, let me know in a comment below and I will post it. It’s quite quick and easy to make; the longest part for me was chopping the nuts with a knife. If one had a nut chopper, it would go very fast. These were a great hit and the hospital bag of a couple dozen cookies apparently lasted less than an hour. Made me happy . . .

So . . . my day out in the country with no sounds but those of nature was most refreshing and renewing. I hadn’t realized how much i’d missed it until I was out there again. We had lovely weather, warm but not too hot (although while in the container we were both sweating heavily), with a light breeze to cool us off.  Jtust what I needed, that day . . .

I’m not sure when I’ll get to post again and it likely won’t be so long next time, but I’ll keep you updated on the move and settling in wherever I land.I wish you all a wonderful week / month / year. I’ve been reading your posts as often as possible, but have not been able to comment from my phone (forgot my password . . . again!). I’m still getting used to the laptop, but eventually it will behave itself and then we’ll see . . . Lots of big hugs to all of you in the Virtual Village.  <3

 

A short, mixed, update

My dear friends, I am grateful for your on-going support, prayers, etc. I’m not sure if I will have time to catch up with all the comments, but please know that I have read them all. In the meantime, the most important news is this:

My Mum had a good day on Wednesday, 13 April (which was the year anniversary of the day my Aunty and I moved into the new condo). She was in good spirits, laughing and joking with staff and teasing often; she was the self that I love so well. She had ice cream for lunch and dinner both, following her own advice:

‘Life is uncertain; eat dessert first!’

She woke around 3 am and we talked a little, holding hands, then both went back to sleep. It was, therefore, with a certain amount of shock that I woke at 6 to find she had left us . . .

There were some interesting things about the date. As I said, the day before was a year since her older sister and I moved to the condo where the three of us planned to have some fun. But it was not to be.

The day after, 15 April, was both her own mother’s birthday and the day her older brother died (he was very close to their mother, who died far too young, leaving children from 2 to 20 years of age). Of the ten children, only one is left and she is 91 in a couple of weeks. I’m selfishly hoping she is around for a while.

In a way, her passing was not unexpected, but we had all hoped that when she chose to go it would be from her home, not the hospital. But, as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans . . .”

It’s been just over two weeks now and a big adjustment for my RN sister and myself. I have begun sorting through my things and packing. So far there hasn’t been much to dispose of, as most of what I brought with me was supplies for working on here. I’ve been going through my Aunty’s things, too. Not easy, as most of you will know.

The one year anniversary of my Aunty’s death was on the 26th and that week was full of memories, joy and sadness. This week, I am moving toward a proper schedule so that I will be ready to leave by the end of June. I will stay with my friends the Crafties for some time so that I can deal with my things in the container and the storage unit here, then begin bringing my stored things from BC to go through. I can only hope they are in decent condition after all this time. I’m not planning beyond those things for now. I will be doing some knitting and crochet soon and that will help. Being creative is always soothing for me.

I’ll be writing a proper farewell to my Mum soon, too. There is a lot to say when someone has lived over 90 years.

In the meantime, those of you who fell in love with the Bavarian crochet might love the pictures that accompany this workshop ad:

http://www.craftsy.com/class/bavarian-twisted-stitches-projects-techniques/10171;jsessionid=F78E1ED80A2548075AA2251A686C39F5.cure000?ext=DonnaDruchunas_10171_H&utm_source=Donna%20Druchunas&utm_medium=Instructor&utm_campaign=General-Course%20Activity&initialPage=true

And, although these lyrics are meant to salute the veterans of WWII, I feel this song by Runrig is a suitable accompaniment for my feelings just now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv5Ev40jIAw

To me, that song is about the passing of an entire generation, to whom we owe so much. I am grateful for the years I had with my parents and especially the past 17 years with my Mum. I am sad beyond my expectations, but there is joy, too.

Much love and many blessings to each of you. I will be back to more regular posting soon and I’ll see you on the bright side!

As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like deja vu, all over again”

Note: I began this post around the beginning of April. I habe another to write, but will post this one anyway, as is. More to come . . . (and thanks for your patience).

We were home for three weeks, then back in the hospital. Home again, back again . . . I feel a bit like a yo-yo (or maybe this is another version of the movie ‘Groundhog Day’.

Anyway, not much I can share publicly at this point.

I’m sorry that I still am not caught up responding to your comments. Wi-Fi service at the hospital is free, but frequently drops the user, sending data charges through the roof, so I’m not sure I’ll get to individual replies.

I’d like to say how much I appreciate all of you who are so supportive, whether by comment, email or just keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers. You and your families are in mine as well.

I have done no crafting since my last post, except that I bought (yes, and me with the humungous yarn stash!) four balls of Kroy sock yarn (because, although I have at least two balls ‘somewhere’, I have no idea where exactly they are – the joys of multiple storage sites . . .). Now, two balls are enough to make a pair of socks, so why four? Maybe I just like to tempt fate . . . or maybe I just couldn’t decide between two colours . . . I’ll leave it with you to decide.

I found this pattern on my way to something else (now forgotten . . . sigh) and couldn’t didn’t resist . . .
The yarn and needles (and the first sweet toe!) are at Mum’s condo; a photo will have to wait. I knitted a toe, realized I had misunderstood the short-row wrapping instructions (and yes, they were clear; I was a tad tired and working in poor light), had a short debate with myself and then frogged the whole thing. The second toe went as intended and now I wish I’d photographed the first, just for comparison. Oh, well, as I so often say:-)

Two days later I was here again with Mum and here I remain. It’s all good, though . . .

I already love these socks (or should I say, this toe?) and am planning to slowly replace all my store-bought socks with lovely woolen ones . . . I’ll let you know how that goes . . . :-)

Weather here has been very atypical;

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Better late than never, right?

Well, I know it’s late, but still I wish you all a very Happy New Year! May it bring you joy, contentment, inspiration and more . . .

I started a draft of my annual bit of doggerel, but it’s not finished yet. I’m hoping to have it done before it ends up being posted for the end of this coming December . . .

Our Mum came home from hospital after more than four months and we are all glad to have her here again. She is not out of the woods yet (but really, when are any of us completely out of the woods?) and with my RN sister here to take charge of medical issues, things are slowly settling into a loose routine. And I am very slowly beginning to catch up with blog post reading.

Knit Ridge Teapot Cozy

I haven’t done much crafting since last spring, really, but this week has seen me take up the knitting needles again to make a lovely ridged tea cosy for my sister (see picture above). I gave her my Aunty’s old Brown Betty teapot, as my sister drinks tea daily and for me it’s more occasional. I shall post photos once the two finished pieces are sewn together and the loop at the top added. The pattern is a tried-ad-true one from Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn. I had two balls of  this yarn in a lovely dark forest green that will fit perfectly, my sister tells me, in the ‘garden room’ she is planning to create once she is home in BC again. That room will house, among other things, a lovely round dining table with patented twin pedestals and two extra boards that convert it from round to a long oval. She also has an antique wardrobe that once belonged to our parents and it will grace the garden room as well. The colours will be mostly greens and browns, so having the green yarn on hand was quite serendipitous. On one of my trips to the Re-Use-It store with my friends the Crafties, I snagged a bag of Sugar ‘n Cream in various colours. I have already completed two potholders for our kitchen, as I want to retire the three made by my Aunty before they are worn out. I used the Idiot’s Dishcloth Pattern and made the pieces a bit smaller . . . and managed to create a few errors even in this simple piece . . .  oh, well . . .

I’m not sure now how I ended up at the Susie’s Knitting blog, but she had just the pattern I was looking for! You can find it here:  https://susiesknitting.wordpress.com/pattern-links/dishcloths/idiots-dishcloth/

Image result for "Idiot's dishcloth"

I borrowed this image from her to show you what I mean.

I am hoping to add an original touch to the cosies (did I mention that, because I made the one for my sister a bit smaller to fit the teapot, I have enough yarn left, I think, to make a second one for myself? And if it isn’t quite enough, I have a creative solution waiting in the wings . . . I’m not telling, though . . . I think we are back to ‘Anticipation 301’ :-)

If you remember my Barn Cardi (so called so that I would not feel concerned about achieving perfection):

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The picture on the left is my Aunty, who was always happy to model whatever I was working on. I miss her a lot.

I hadn’t felt like resuming work on it for a while, but today I dug out the project box with the cardi, the pattern book and some of the yarns. I’m planning  to resume work on the sleeves later this week, but first I need to complete the cosies . . .

So my friends, life is changed, but goes on down the new path, with a few dips and hummocks, as in all lives. I am finding small pleasures and great joys again and am once more listening to music nearly every day.

My brother in law who passed away in late 2014 introduced me to Sissel Kyrkjo, a Norwegian soprano. Here are two videos of her singing with the Welsh tenor Bryn Terfel:

And for the opera lovers among you, my sister introduced me to a self-taught young lady who will likely knock your socks off . . .

All the best to each of you and your friends and families. I expect to be back soon and hope to begin catching up with comments here and also with your blog posts.
Big hugs and much love to  you all . . .  ~ Linne

A quick catch-up and some thoughts on Hjemthra

Greetings to all my fellow Virtual Villagers. I began a post to let you all know what was happening with me, but that is on my phone and I can’t find it now. Who knows? Anyway, my apologies for being absent for so long.

Our Mum has been in hospital (except for 8 days in early September) since late August. My RN sister flew up the day after Mum came home after those 8 days and has remained here with us. We are all so lucky to have her here with her tireless diligence. Without her knowledge, care and optimistic approach, Mum would not likely be doing so well as she is. It’s been a long journey and most of it is not mine to tell, but where it impacts my own journey I think it’s ok to share a bit. After some bumps along the Healing Way, Mum has been slowly improving and there is a good chance she will be discharged before Christmas, although whether to a rehab facility or directly back to her condo is still unknown. My sister and I have shared Mum’s care around the clock since early September, with the bulk of the care being given by my sister. I will never be able to properly thank her for all that she continues to do.

In the meantime, there has not been much time on the computer and I have not known what to post, so have let posting lapse for a time. I will be back, though.

I have done almost no crafting of any sort since my Aunty passed away, although the hot pink ‘barn cardi’ is now back from its stay with my friends the Crafties, and is in the living room where I see it daily. Somehow, I have not picked it up to complete the sleeves and the button bands. I will, though.

A few weeks ago my last remaining uncle passed away and now, of the 10 siblings, only my Mum and one younger sister, now 90, remain. It’s been hard to face the passing of that generation. I don’t have a problem with birth, or death. Both are part of life to me. But I have been undergoing, and for some time  now, recurring bouts of ‘Hjemthra’, the Norwegian word for a particular sort of homesickness. Not just the longing to be back in one’s house, but a more generalized longing for a particular time, place and situation. I expect most people experience this, especially as we move on past the mid-century point and see the path ahead shortening as the part we have traversed becomes the major part of our journey. This time of year can trigger it, too, I suppose, although for me, it’s more about associations. Scents, sounds, textures, a bit of music or glimpse of a painting . . . sometimes just a child’s chuckle or a horse whickering somewhere. Bird’s wings overhead at twilight . . .

Anyway, as George Harrison said, “All things must pass” and so they shall. But I am in no rush to leave behind that which I treasure, nor to move toward the door that I know will open on the next stage of my existence.

I have been catching up with a few of you via your blogs but I have much reading ahead of me still. I know you will be patient with me as I wander through the village with my phone in hand showing me your cottage or mansion and giving me a glimpse into your life here.

I stopped by Serendipity Farm and a photo of pyrethrum daisies triggered the memory of  when I was nearly seven; with three brothers and my RN sister on her way. That summer we lived in a small ‘shack’ as we called it. About 10 feet by 15 feet, with a wood stove for heat and cooking/baking, kerosene lamps for light, a tin tub and washboard for doing laundry and an outhouse our only ‘facility’. I remember much about that time, but today I remembered sitting in the grass of the meadow that lay between our shack and the one where my Dad’s father lived. My Dad’s next older brother (married to my Mum’s next older sister) lived with their only child, a son, in a third shack a bit further up the dirt road. Anyway, the boys were playing nearby and I was sitting with my mother as she taught me to make a daisy chain from the field daisies and then join the ends to make myself a daisy crown. The colours and the scent of the daisy stems is as clear as day, even now.

I stopped by The Contented Crafter’s place, too, to finally leave a comment about her kindness and creativity  in spreading love and light to so many, in such varied locations. I was fortunate enough to have checked in with Pauline in time to vote in her Give-Away and was delighted, but not surprised, to see that she ended up sending simpler light-catching danglers to each of the nominees. And another to a randomly-chosen commenter, too. She is a Light-catcher herself and I can tell you that she has brought light into some dark days for me, even without knowing she did so. Her example inspires me so much.

On to Quarter Acre Lifestyle, with Wendy’s news that she has left her former employment and will be making soap for a living. Along with many other wonderful things. I have used some of her soap (although most of it is still ‘someplace’ as we never did get fully unpacked after the move and my things reside in four different locations now) and it is wonderful. I know she will do amazingly well in her new life.

Next a quick stop at the Farmlet and while I was reading a new post appeared, bringing tears and another bout of Hjemthra. It is so interesting, isn’t it, that even as we acknowledge that all changes, we somehow are surprised by, and resistant to, the experience of changes that touch our lives. I’m glad there are other ways to stay in touch with my virtual friends. I embarrassed myself on the Farmlet, too, by typing in the name of Wendy’s husband when I knew perfectly well what Christi’s husband’s name actually is. I’m lucky that Christi has a sense of humour and a lot of patience.

I checked in with my virtual hippy daughter, too, the Rabid Little Hippy, but there was no new post to read today.

There are so many of you still to touch base with; I’ll be by, but I can’t promise when or how often yet. But I haven’t forgotten any of you and you are all included in my prayers as well as so often in my thoughts.

I have no photos, as I haven’t yet taken time to download them from my camera. I’m hoping to be back on track by the New Year, but time will tell.

The news has been full of fear-enhancing images and words, but the Village is full of those who turn their backs on darkness and their faces to the Light and then find ways to multiply that light in their own lives and in the lives of others.

I shall be back, and, in the meantime, stay well, all of you; find time to be creative, even if only in some small way; forget about the seeming darkness; every age has had its dark time, but it’s from those times that amazing Light has sprung. Discard your ragged cloak of fears; let it compost under some wee bush or lofty tree. Put on a new garment of light and rainbows, find a small way to increase the Light in the world every day. And when Hjemthra knocks at the door of your consciousness, invite it in; sit by the fire with a cup of tea and a few treats and listen to its stories of much-loved times gone by. Then, with that to inspire you, move back into the world and do what you can to make today a time that will someday bring feelings of Hjemthra to someone else. Hjemthra isn’t only sad, I find, it’s inspiring and motivating, too.

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Singles Ad

I HAD to reblog this . . .

Piglove

You know everyone in the world is looking for love – some in the wrong places for sure – snorts.  This weekend I came across the most perfect singles ad that was posted in our local newspaper, The Atlanta Journal.  Why do you ask?  Read on to see what it said:

“Single black female seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant.  I’m a very good looking girl that loves to play.  I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pick up truck, hunting, camping, fishing trips and cozy winter nights lying by the fire.  Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand.  I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work wearing only what nature gave me.  Call XXX-XXXX and ask for Daisy.”

Sounds sexy enough huh?  Over 15,000 men found themselves calling the number and talking to the Atlanta Humane Society abut an…

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