About Linne

This blog is to record family histories and memories and my thoughts along the way. I love language, languages, languaging; anything to do with words and their usage. Also art, music, living outdoors and much more . . . That's the 'memory' bit. As well, I'll be sharing thoughts about the future and what we may need in order to make it a good one. That's the 'thought' bit. email: maelinne@hotmail.com

Three Things / Thankful on Thursday

Thankful on Thursday

I have been sitting here and contemplating what to write about tonight. There are things in the works that I’m not ready to share yet and things I planned and haven’t been able to begin. Still, there is much to be grateful for.

One: I am grateful for the skills that my mother started me on when I was a wee child; hand-stitching from the age of two or so, for one. Knitting and crochet and embroidery for more. I feel so deeply happy when I knit and crochet; I feel connected to such a long line of women in my family who all did the same, either to keep their family warm and cosy or to be creative or, in most cases, both. Last winter i crocheted an enormous throw for my friends in Tacoma. Out of cotton yarn. It began as an idea for a light (ha!) summer wrap, something to keep  one’s back warm when sitting by an evening campfire. And it morphed into this:

crochet spread teal white mango 01

I used two yarns; one teal and the other a variegate with teal, mandarin orange and white. I started in the centre, crocheted once around, then joined the second yarn. I just kept alternating yarns in a lovely spiral. I changed the pattern a couple of times, too, but now I wish I’d written down what I did. I would like to try this again one day, but with three yarn colours. I did find at first that the variegate interfered with the clarity of the pattern. Next time I will choose solid colours only. AS you can see, it’s five feet across or more. I’m still amazed that I created this in about two months, in the midst of other handwork and with only two to four hours a day, some days not at all, too.

The second thing I’m grateful for is my renewed love of sock making.  When I was in my twenties, my lovely mother in law gave me a pair of work boots for Christmas. I was living with my oldest son and his dad on one of the Gulf Islands and we walked everywhere. They were wonderful boots that fit me exactly and I have never forgotten her thoughtfulness. But I needed some warm socks to go with them. I didn’t than have the patience for knitting with fin yarns and I had some pure wool rug yarn, so I took a men’s dress sock pattern and did the math. The resulting pattern was a perfect fit and I had those socks for many years.

A few weeks ago my cousin and I were driving to Vernon for some of the weekly sales shopping and he kindly took me to Armstrong along the way. Armstrong is a small town about twenty minutes from here, not far off the main highway. We went to The Twisted Purl Yarn Studio and I bought some Jamieson & Smith pure wool two ply jumper yarn in five colours: black, burgundy, red, pink and a sort of sage green. I had not stopped to think what I might make, so gave the colour selection less thought than usual,; the selection was small for my taste and I simply picked colours that I thought I could use successfully in Fair Isle type stranded knitting. A few days later I decided I needed a pair of wool socks and the adventure began. The colours aren’t quite what I like, but I think they are working out fairly well. In any case, they will keep my feet toasty warm.

IMG_4694

AS you can see, I’ve successfully turned the heel and am about to begin knitting my way up the leg. The other sock is ready to have its heel created, too. There are a few errors in the knitting; While doing the hearts motif I was listening to Runrig on my headphones and lost track of the counting, so some of the hearts aren’t quite right. By the time I noticed it was too late for frogging. And while doing the heel, the pattern required using short rows with a wrapped stitch at the beginning and then picking up the wrap with the stitch and knitting or purling them together. Sounds easy, right? Well, try doing that with black yarn in the late evening and under rather dim lighting. Not to mention that my eyesight is not too good at present. However, I got through rather well, I think and the heel looks fine to me.

Today, with snow coming tonight for the firs time this autumn, we went to Vernon again so that I could buy a pair of thick work socks, some heavy work gloves for shovelling snow and the like and some more candied ginger. My cousin is a very kind man and made time to take me to the Twisted Purl again, where I put in an order for a few colours I feel I need before I begin the next pair of socks and another ball of the black for this pair. The Purl was out of the black but ready to make another order, so I asked for not only the black but also a medium green, a slightly golden yellow and I think another colour. And as long as I was in the store . . . I bought these:

IMG_4763

Two balls of dark green, one of a light blue, one of  a darker blue and one each of the three reds I’m already using in the current socks. We were in a bit of a rush to get all the shopping done and get home before dark, so I didn’t want to take time over the colours and order more. I think I can make these work, though. I have a happy pattern in mind for the legs of the next pair and I’ll share that with you all once I get to that. It’s all part of the plan for next year . . .

The third thing I’m grateful for today is my odd knack for baking ‘on the fly’; adapting recipes that I’ve never made before I make them and then having it all work out so well. Usually, anyway. Yesterday my cousin’s wife, Cousin S, gave me five bananas she had brought home from her work as a school custodian. They had black spots on the skins but were still firm. She mentioned that she had been thinking of banana bread and had Googled for a recipe, finding one for Chocolate Banana Bread. I offered to whip that up, as she rarely has time for baking and after lunch I set to. I added chopped walnuts, whole wheat flour and wheat germ to the original recipe (I like to maximize nutrition as much as possible). I doubled the recipe so that I could use all the bananas and when I found the batter a bit dry I added some yoghurt. In the end, we got twenty four muffins out of the recipe. I chose to do muffins instead of a loaf as it makes it easier to pack one for lunch and, wrapped individually, they keep very well in the fridge. They turned out scrumptious, especially hot from the oven with butter after I split them open. The chocolate chips didn’t hurt, either; they formed wee volcanoes of deliciousness that I’m sure you can imagine.

I will share the recipe here, likely tomorrow. It was very easy and well worth it.


Chocolate Banana Muffins 

INGREDIENTS for a single recipe: makes 12 muffins or one loaf.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4  cup wheat germ

1/2 cup cocoa, preferably not processed with alkali

1 tsp baking soda rounded slightly

1/2 tsp salt (less if you like) The original recipe called for sea salt, but we don’t have that, so I used regular table salt.

3 large brown bananas – 1.5 cups mashed

(I find there is a more pleasant and mild banana flavour if the bananas aren’t too ripe, but I abhor waste, so use whatever you have)  🙂

1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 cup oil (I used safflower)

Note: you can use all butter, all oil or cut it back and substitute yoghurt or milk for part of the liquid.

3/4 cup packed brown sugar (if you measure the oil and butter first, then the brown sugar in the same cup, you will waste less oil/butter). This will work with less sugar.

1 large egg at room temperature (I didn’t see this recipe in time to take one out, so I used a cold egg. You could use 2 smaller eggs if you don’t have large.)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 to 1 cup raisins (large are great and for special occasions, you can soak them in rum or brandy first; the alcohol is eliminated during baking, leaving only the flavour)

Optional for topping: chop some chocolate chips and walnuts together. You would need a few tablespoons of the chopped mix.

Optional (if needed): plain or vanilla yoghurt OR milk

INGREDIENTS for a double recipe: makes 24 muffins or two loaves.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2  cup wheat germ

1 cup cocoa, preferably not processed with alkali. I used a couple of heaping tablespoons more; we like chocolate around here.

2 tsp baking soda rounded slightly

1 tsp salt (less if you like) The original recipe called for sea salt, but we don’t have that, so I used regular table salt.

5 – 6 large brown bananas – 3 cups mashed. I confess I didn’t measure them. Hence the yoghurt added at the end.

(I find there is a more pleasant and mild banana flavour if the bananas aren’t too ripe, but I abhor waste, so use whatever you have)  🙂

1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 cup oil (I used safflower)

Note: you can use all butter, all oil or cut it back and substitute yoghurt or milk for part of the liquid.

1.5 cups packed brown sugar (if you measure the oil and butter first, then the brown sugar in the same cup, you will waste less oil/butter) This will work with less sugar.

2 large eggs at room temperature (I didn’t see this recipe in time to take them out, so I used cold eggs. You could use 3 – 4 smaller eggs if you don’t have large.)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 to 2  cups chopped walnuts

1 to 2 cups raisins (large are great and for special occasions, you can soak them in rum or brandy first; the alcohol is eliminated during baking, leaving only the flavour). I didn’t use raisins this time; cousin M has requested them for next timre, as he loves the large raisins we buy.

Optional for topping: chop some chocolate chips and walnuts together. You would need a few tablespoons of the chopped mix.

Optional (if needed): plain or vanilla yoghurt OR milk

Variation: I think these would be wonderful made with chocolate chips and chopped candied ginger, too. But I love candied ginger! lol

METHOD:

Heat oven to 350 F

Grease one or two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans or one or two 12 hole muffin pans, I use a non-hydrogenated margarine made with olive oil. Safflower oil would likely work, too. I like the margarine because it isn’t absorbed so much by the muffins / loaves.

In a medium sized bowl mix the flours, wheat germ, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl mash the peeled bananas with a fork or a pastry cutter.Add the butter and oil. Stir until well mixed.stir in the brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, folding in carefully. I usually add the dry mix in three portions; it makes the folding in easier. Don’t overmix.

IF the mixture seems too dry, add a few heaping tblsp of plain or vanilla yoghurt. Milk can also be used. Use your judgement; less is more sometimes.

Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins.

Using a large serving spoon or a tablespoon (a small metal measuring cup would also work, I think), spoon the batter into the muffin cups or the loaf pans.

Optional: Spoon a little of the topping mix onto each muffin or top the loaves with it, if using. I didn’t and they were fine without it. It’s my idea, not from the original recipe; I just thought it would fancy them up for a special occasion.

If making a loaf, the original recipe calls for baking it for 50 – 65 minutes. I’d test them from about 30 minutes on, using a toothpick or table knife. When it comes out clean, remove from the oven, let cool for 5 – 10 minutes, then remove to a rack.

If making muffins, bake for about 15 – 20 minutes and then test to see if they need more time. Every oven is different. I had mine in a 400 F oven for 25 minutes and it was a wee bit too long; the chocolate didn’t burn, but it would have if I’d not checked them.

These muffins are fantastic eaten hot, split open and buttered. You may want to make tea, coffee or your favourite hot drink to enjoy along with them.


I have more to tell you, but it will have to wait. It’s well after midnight now and bed is calling me . . .

Correction:

I didn’t link to The Twisted Yarn’s Three Things on Thursday post. And a good thing, too! I was doing my best to get back to more timely posting and typed that from memory. Actually, the Thankful on Thursday posts belong to Mrs. Snail. My apologies to both ladies.

It’s too dark for me to type properly as it is. I’ll add that tomorrow, too. In the meantime, do share your Three Things / Thankful in the comments, if you feel inspired to do so. Love and warm hugs to each of you. I hope you are all doing well.

A final addition: This is what I woke up to today:

And, as to my Peace Poppies for Kendal; they arrived in time. In this photo you can see two of them quite clearly (the ones with the red bit around their black centre):

The second photo shows the WWI medical tent over which the poppies were draped after being fastened together by some wonderful volunteers.

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Update on the Poppies

Good evening, my friends! Much has been going on here, what with Canadian Thanksgiving and all that. But I have managed to complete eleven poppies and will be airmailing them to Kendal tomorrow (see my last post for more details); fingers crossed that they arrive in time for the display! These are for the display planned by the group called Kendal Wool Gathering, to commemorate WWI anniversaries. They have a facebook page, if you are interested. It’s a bit late now to be making poppies for them (due date for arrival in Kendal is 30th of October) but you may wish to make a few poppies for your own community. Any poppies sent to Kendal with pins on the back are being sold as brooches to raise money for the Royal British Legion. I suggest we all think a bout making some for next year, when we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War. I am hoping our Women’s Institute will have some events planned, but have not contacted them yet to find out.

11 poppies lg

I made eleven because, as I’m sure you know, the Armistice was signed at 11.00 am on the 11th day of the 11th month.

There is some symbolism in these for me personally, too, as there were my parents and nine children in our family; the three red poppies are for my Dad and his brother and one of Mum’s brothers, all of whom served in WWII. The group as a whole is to honour the man I worked for in the late 1980s, Mr. Brown; he served during WWI, but was stationed in the Caribbean Sea in case of attack. He saw no action, fortunately. However, his brother was one of the 3,598 Canadians who died at Vimy Ridge between the ninth and the twelfth of April, 1917.

If I have time, I want to make a poppy scarf using mostly the white Peace Poppies and a few red traditional poppies. If not this year, then next year for sure, which will mark 100 years since the end of WWI.

I have permission to link to the pattern for these poppies. The designer is Emma Leith, of Emma Leith Atelier, who has been more than kind in taking time to respond to my emails. That link will take you to her site and to the poppy pattern that she designed and offers for free.

With her permission, I have adapted that pattern to make my own Peace Poppies. Remember that they are white with a black centre? I tried that, but it looked like this:

White Peace Poppy

I felt it needed something, so I tried this:

Peace Poppy 01

I like this one much better. I still used Emma’s pattern, but I used white for the last two rows, leaving the second row red. For me, this honours those who shed their blood, or at lest offered to do so, while still holding to the thought of Peace on this earth in our time. I haven’t written up my version for Ravelry yet, but I will do so. It will be linked to Emma’s pattern and will also be free.

Oh, one other change I made and it’s certainly optional for anyone else: I used Judy’s Magic Cast On. It gives the option of a tighter centre, but also means that the petals can become a bit more ruffled. In part, for me, that may be due to my using a rather ‘hard’ acrylic yarn. With a softer yarn, the result may be quite different.

Well, my friends, I’m going to keep this short. I’ve been up to rather a lot lately, which is why you haven;t heard from me as often as I’d hoped. Lots of creating going on here and more about to begin! Not to mention that, in honour of ‘Anticipation 301’ I’m giving advance notice of a HUGE PROJECT in the works for next year. Hints to come and then the Great Reveal!! I’m so excited! It’s lovely to be happy and excited again; it seems as though it’s been forever.

before I go, though, one last thing. I know that some of you have been facing great challenges in one form or another. You are all in my thoughts and prayers; in particular anyone near the horrific fires in California. I still haven’t unpacked my ‘go-bag’ from our fires here. I know how so many must be feeling, living with the uncertainty. I can only imagine how it is for those who have lost their homes or, worse, family members. I wish you strength and courage for the coming days and months.

I have been saddened by the Las Vegas shootings, too, and I hope none of you have been directly affected. One of my daughters-in-law had a business trip scheduled for Vegas two days after the shooting, but in the end was unable to go. In light of all the challenges out there, including the political facings-off, with Tom Petty’s death, I was reminded of one of my favourite songs that he did (the background to this song is on YouTube under the video and well worth reading):

Good night, dear friends. I shall attempt to respond to comments before too long. (But I do have a couple more posts to write, so those may come first). Warm hugs from rapidly-cooling BC.

Poppy Project/s

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?” ~Eve Merriam.

Hello, my friends! Now (as of today) it’s officially autumn. Attention is shifting from gardening, harvesting and ‘putting by’ to crafting.  At least mine is . . .

Yesterday I saw a post on fb about the Kendal Poppies project to honour those who served in WWI. Apparently similar projects are happening in other towns, too.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/KendalPoppies/

If you don;t do facebook, you can read about it here:

http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/15530088.Poppy_pop_up_art_installation_to_be_created_for_Kendal_Wool_Gathering/

Sara Last, who is mentioned in the article, has created a group on fb for anyone interested in taking part.

I have made two poppies already today:my first two poppies

Luckily, I had bought some red and black yarn yesterday (inexpensive acrylic) for making some Christmas items I hope to sell. After reading about the meaning of the different coloured poppies, I went back today and picked up a skein of white, too. Inspired by Mother Teresa, I am no longer anti-war; I am pro-peace, so most of my poppies will be white. with a black centre; I plan to try out a black centre, narrow red band surrounding that, then white petals. To learn more about the various colours, go to

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-37798965/red-white-purple-black-choosing-a-remembrance-day-poppy

I am using a pattern that was posted to the group and have asked the designer for permission to post it here. I’m sure she won’t mind, but am waiting for confirmation.

If any of you knitters and crocheters out there would like to take part, your contributions will be most welcome. They are hoping to cover a WWI medical tent by spreading camouflage netting over it and attaching the poppies to that.  The initial display will be on 20 October, I think, so that gives us time, especially for those of us who don’t live in England. The poppies will be used for Remembrance Day, too, (and I think some may be sold), then donated to Wonderwool Wales for their curtain.

http://www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk/show-events/curtain-of-poppies.html

There are patterns for both knitted and crocheted poppies in the group, so likely online, too. If you don’t do either, but want to take part, they will accept other forms of crafted poppies. Felt, woven, stitched, etc.

Well, back to crochet for me! I’ll update this post later with my creations.

Oh, one more thing: I am contacting a local yarn shop or two and the local Women’s Institute (Mum was a member for years and I was, too, but not for as long) to see if anything is planned here that I might contribute to. You might want to do the same where you are. Love and Light to each of you. I wish you all Inner Peace. ~ Linne

 

Summer 2017 — 2/3 done and counting . . .

. . . well, it was 2/3 done when I began writing this post (sigh) and now the end is in sight. Some days, I have to tell you, I like to say that phrase differently: “The End is Insight”.

This will be a long post, I think, so do find yourself a cuppa, or even a bucket, of tea or whatever boosts your spirits, and settle in for a lengthy set of glimpses into my summer this year (so far). It’s great to have you here for a visit again; just like old times, isn’t it? I’ve missed posting (but you are about to see some of the reasons why) and I’m hoping that once the white stuff arrives I will be more settled and have time for regular posting. I’m already working on some posts looking ahead to Christmas. Only 100 days to go, you know, which will matter if you plan to make things . . .

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Two of the items I brought from my older storage units. The old scale lost its surface but works better than any new scale I’ve ever used. The bookcase will be holding crafty supplies now that we are nearing the end of summer.

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A few of my herbs. In the round pot are rosemarie, lavender and two basil plants, as well as heliotrope (because I love the scent and that it dates to Victorian times), a marigold and the two original iris plants.

Above are only a few of the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken of the Echinacea plants. My cousin S was given two by one of her co-workers and they spent last winter buried in the ground, but still in their pots. So I transplanted them to a new bed that my cousin M helped create. To their left are two zucchini plants and to the right, five more zukes. I bought the seeds and planted them later, so I’ve only had three fruit to eat so far, although there are at least two more waiting to be picked. I mistakenly assumed these were plants that would run and had planned to train them up the side of the shed wall. However, they don;t run and therefore are likely way too crowded. But they shaded the Echinacea, so all has not been lost.

Thee have been flowers galore:

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Healthy food likewise:

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There has been baking:

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. . . and putting by of foods (to use one of the old, beloved, terms):

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Did I mention the gardening and the fruit trees? We had two long beds, one smaller square bed and assorted containers including two hard rubber bowls that were originally meant to hold grain for horses. There are three apple trees and a plum tree, as well as a cherry (the cherry will appear in the next post) Here’s a few of the gardening photos:

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We have gone from the threat of flood (I posted about that a couple of posts back) to the even more real threat of fire and instead of bringing things from the storage to go through, I found myself taking my most precious things from here and putting them into the storage . . . We’re probably done with that now, but have had only one day of rain (and that was off and on), so I’m still living out of my suitcase, kept ready in case we suddenly need to leave. Some people had only twenty minutes warning; some had less.

The summer has included entertainment provided by Spooky the cat, visits to two fall fairs, a week-long visit to my one remaining Auntie, who is now 92, and a fair bit of crafting. But it’s getting late, so I will leave all that for the next time.

Thanks so much for dropping by, in spite of my long absences and irregular posting. I appreciate your visits so much! Until next time, then . . . Love and Light to each of you. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers, along with your families and friends. I know there have been huge challenges around the globe this past year.

Book Tag ~ you’re it!

Hi again. (never rains but it pours, right? So here I am again after the long drought of no posts).

I found this wonderful idea here on Marcia Meara’s blog and just couldn’t resist taking part. I love books and reading more than anyone I know and for years read more than a book a day, so this is right down my alley . . . As she suggests, I have copied the questions; the answers are mine.

Do you have a specific place for reading? 

I can read anywhere. For years I carried a bag of handwork and a book or two everywhere I went. I could be found reading in a lineup at the bank, the grocery store, a bus shelter and more. Like Sam in ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ might have said: I can read it in a box, I can read it with a fox, I can read it here or there; I can read it anywhere! You get the idea, I’m sure.

Bookmarks or random pieces of paper? 

Both; Tissues if necessary. Whatever i can lay my hand on in the moment. I love bookmarks, but often they are packed away. I have even bought myself a couple of lovely ones with curved metal bits and danglers of beads, fibre and crystals. Too nice (or, honestly, awkward) to use, although I love the idea of using them and really enjoy looking at them and handling them. I was brought up to know that desecrating books simply was not done, EVER!, and dog-earing the pages definitely came under the heading of desecration.

Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter? 

IIn theory, anywhere; in practise, sometimes at the end of the chapter. more often, unless fate intervenes, at the end of the book. ONce I’m caught up in the story, I simply HAVE to know what comes next. Even as I dread coming to the end and SO wish to leave something for later or even tomorrow . . .  It isn’t easy being me . . .

Do you eat or drink while reading? 

Yes, sadly, I do, more often than I like to admit. Reaching the end of a meal with little recall as to what, exactly, it was composed of. I think this began once I was living alone and mealtimes were no longer times of conversation and shared communication. I know it’s bad to do this, but I hate sitting at a table alone and looking at my food. Besides, I get more read that way. I do have to say that I’ve learned not to do one thing, though. I used to use finishing a chapter / book as an excuse to eat more, as I could hardly be expected to do anything else while eating, right? But that had consequences I didn’t like much. Now I limit the food intake to meals or tea / coffee and my daily treat and that’s it. I give myself permission to read because I love it so, not just to fill in time while eating. That’s working much better for me. I may need new jeans soon . . . smaller ones 🙂

Music or TV with e reading? 

Yes, most of the time. I grew up in a busy home with eight younger siblings plus assorted friends, and if I hadn’t learned to tune out the excess noise, I’d never have read anything, ever. I can tune out pretty much any distraction, even now. Sometimes music will distract me, but that’s ok. I only play what I love, anyway. Celtic folk and folk-rock, mostly. I can tune out people talking, even when they are talking to me, and have been known to make those acknowledgement noises (mmhmmm, sure, yep, etc.) even while engrossed in a fascinating turn of plot. My family and friends know to be sure they have my full attention and am no longer looking at the book before continuing.

One book at a time or several? 

Several, always. I prefer to keep piles by everyplace I may sit, lie or otherwise pause for a moment or several hours. I never know what I will feel like reading: fiction; non-fiction, various genres of fiction and so on . . . I may be in the mood for something thought-provoking, or a distraction, or a book that is complex and subtle, or not . . . I am currently living with cousins, so do my best to keep the piles in my bedroom, although cousin M is as much of a reader as I am and he would certainly understand. Still, one likes to fit in and not complicate matters too much.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Both. Everywhere, to be honest. I sleep better if I read first, although if the book is interesting enough, I push on to the end and sleep less . . . You’d think I would have learned by now, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

Read out loud or silently? 

i read to my sons nearly every night and often during the day as well. I’m self-conscious about reading to adults, though, so then I sound stilted and awkward, especially when it comes to giving the characters individual voices and expressing moods. For myself, I read silently, as that’s much faster. At my peak I read more than a page a minute, but my eyesight is not what it used to be and now I am much slower. Poetry is a different thing, though. I like to hear the sound of my favourite poems out loud, especially Gerard Manly Hopkins, with his unusual accenting patterns.

 Do you read ahead or skip pages? 

I can’t believe anyone would even ASK that!! NEVER, EVER, do I read ahead! And I would NEVER skip pages either!! The very idea!!! Until recently, I also read anything I started to the (sometimes) bitter end. But now, if it’s too awful, I do put it down without continuing. With a such an extensive feast for the savouring (and with fewer years ahead than behind me, even if I live to 130 haha), I can no longer justify to myself finishing what I’ve begun when it bores me or makes me angry / disgusted.

 Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? 

Another question I find hard to comprehend. Sometimes a spine is so stiff that it breaks on its own, but I would never do it intentionally. When I purchase a book new for myself, I prefer to keep my it as much like new as possible, but most of what I own is older and well-loved and often-read, so not in pristine condition. I admit I rather like the marks left by previous owners; I may never know who they were, but I know there is a story there and I like knowing that. Still, if I were to mark a book, the word ‘desecration’ would once again rear its ugly head . . .

Do you write in your books?

Well, what I’ve said above about ‘desecration’ holds here, too. I have never written in a book, but I have written on a post-it and left that in a book for another time. I don’t know if this question includes turning old books into ‘works of art’. I get the concept, but seeing a lovely antique rendered unreadable strikes a chill to my heart. If they want to do that to modern romances or maybe (maybe, I said!) to old Readers’ Digests, I could (barely) understand that. Better yet, print out your own book and mark THAT up, won’t you? Leave the leather-bound tomes with gold edges for those of us who treasure them beyond measure.

Well, that’s it for me. Sorry about the ranting, but I’d do it again (especially about ‘desecrating’ practises), so I guess that doesn’t count as an apology, does it? 

I hope some of you will follow suit and copy these questions, adding your own responses. If you do, link back to Marcia (link above), whose blog is worth reading, and / or to the originator of this game of Tag, Sarah Brentyn, whose blog, Lemon Shark, is worth checking out, too.

If you leave a comment here for me, I’ll check out your responses as time permits. I may have strong opinions (you think??), but I enjoy other people’s opinions, too, even when vastly different from mine. So rant away, if you like.

Stay warm, those of you south of the equator. And cool, those of you on the up side. Hugs to everyone.  ~ Linne

Thankful on Thursday: Three Things

First of all, and this is not part of my ‘Three Things’, I’m thankful for this idea, which I found on The Snail of Happiness’ post. Feel free to start your own list or lists.

I quote Ms. snail here (in case you would like to leave a note with either or both of the ladies who began, and are carrying on, this lovely idea):  You may wish to let Ms. Snail know you are spreading the word as well.

“Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.”

Three things that I am thankful for today are:

A) A place to lie that is low-key, with little pressure and a lot of acceptance of me as I am. That’s not always easy to find.

B) More than enough to eat and nearly all of it healthy 🙂  As much as possible of it is grown here, much is purchased from local growers (sadly, we have just come to the end of the local asparagus season; no more until next year, as we prefer to eat seasonally.  The treats tend to be home-made, often baked by cousin S. She is a very good baker and those treats are tempting, I can tell you! This week it’s been rum and raisin chocolate muffins, with the raisins soaked for half an hour in a cup of rum before she began. The alcohol is baked out, but the scent and flavour remain . . . We have one a day, along with a cup of hot herb tea. Very nice, indeed.

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C) beauty, in such a variety of forms that I had a hard time selecting a ‘few’ representative images. As you can see I love nature and weather, and especially old things, with their peeling paint, their rust, all the details that tell me they hold a multitude of stories. I shall never know those stories, but I do love knowing they exist. To me, new things are, for the most part, soul-less and uninteresting. There are a few exceptions, of course.. 🙂

That’s it for today, my friends. In the face of daily challenges, personal or global, I think it’s good to practise gratitude for what we do have, large and small.

And a favourite classical piece to lift your spirits:

Let’s each be that wee girl, taking one small action and starting a flashmob of joy! Have a great weekend, all of you. See you again soon.  Love and Light  ~ Linne

Getting back on the horse . . .

Well, my friends, it’s time . . . to get back to regular posting, I mean, as I finally caught up with your kind and thoughtful comments!  I wonder if others find it hard to know where to begin, too? I’ve been thinking about what I want to share and so on, then decided I would simply upload images from my time in Tacoma (part One), then add notes and probably some of my thoughts along the way. I hope that works for all of us.

I took literally thousands of photos after I left Edmonton late last September, so there were plenty to choose from.  I think I will write above the photos (just so you know what I’m going on about . . .).

This is a long post, so don’t worry if you can’t get through it all, and don’t feel obliged to comment on all, or any, of it. I totally understand about that.

Here is a photo from my friends’ back porch in Langford, BC, where I stayed while waiting to get new ID suitable for entering the USA. That took longer than I’d imagined, partly due to the fact that I had only my birth certificates with me; all else is in storage ‘somewhere’. Anyway, the autumn colours were lovely and I especially liked this view through the latticing.

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We kept busy, ,y friends and I, as I waited. One trip we took was to a small country market and I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the pumpkin / squash display. I have a painting planned, based on this sumptuous collection of colours and shapes.IMG_5599

Once I arrived in the wee Varda (travel trailer; I like the original gypsy word, VArdo, but liked to think of Varda as a feminine form), I adjusted my diet to fit my food prep options. I have never cooked in a microwave, but really didn’t want to have the propane hooked up, so I quickly learned to make simple and delicious meals. More about that in a separate post, I think. Below is the glass dish I used for cooking everything from morning oatmeal to pasta and veggies.IMG_5710

It wasn’t long before I got back into crochet and knitting. More on that later, but I couldn’t resist sharing this cute photo. So true, isn’t it?

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I had fun taking photos in the Varda, too. Some of my oranges were especially interesting in shape and I liked the composition of this one sitting on my unmade bed one morning.

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My friends have a lovely upright piano that belonged to Mr. R’s mother. They loanded me a book for adult learners and I had a lot of fun any time they were both out, just noodling around and working my way almost to the middle of the book. I used to attend all my younger son;s lessons (violin, viola, piano, etc.) and had always wanted to play myself. Music is very healing, at least for me. There is a wonderful book called “Music as the Bridge” that gave me a different outlook on the place of music in the world and in my life.IMG_5834

AS I think I’ve mentioned, <rs. R was not well for most of the first month that I was there. Once she was feeling better, we had some fun making Christmas gifts for her grandchildren. Each received a fleece blanket, which was made by putting two pieces of fleece back to back, cutting slits along the sides (we used masking tape so that the slits would be even in length), then knotting eacch pair of ‘tabs’.IMG_5949

This is the back of the blanket pictured above.IMG_5950

THEN, we got more serious about creativity. Before I went south, my friend J (Mrs. R) had asked me to teach her to knit and crochet again (she’d learned as a child, then not done any for some years). You may be appalled to know that I pretty much threw her in at the deep end when it came to the knitting. we decided that she would make a scarf for her husband for Christmas and chose patterns that reflected their individual heritages.

The scarf is made of Classic Wool on two sets of circular needles, so the pattern is always facing the knitter (easier for the knitter and making any errors simple to spot and correct.

In the end, though, J found the loose ends of the unused circular needle were too distracting for her, so I knit the pattern bits. She did most of the plain knitting, though. Here is the first end once the patterns were completed. The row counter is there mostly to mark the beginning of the raven pattern segment.IMG_5960

At the bottom is a row of Fair Isle hearts; J’s grandmother was from Oban and apparently liked to tease her husband about his being only a Lowlander.IMG_5962

Mr. R’s grandparents, like my maternal ones, came from Norway,, so we chose to include two ravens, one on each end of the scarf. They were considered to be Odin’s birds, Hugin and Munin (Thought and Memory), who flew all over the world each day, bringing back news to Odin. This pattern came from a book I had from the library a few years ago. The book is called Selbuvotter (Mittens/Gloves of Selbu); it has many lovely patterns for gloves and mitts traditional in Selbu, Norway.IMG_5963

The upper pattern band is also from the Fair Isle tradition. It has Os and Xs for Hugs and Kisses, with Crosses in between for blessings.IMG_5964

This is the ‘back’ side of the scarf.IMG_5965

J gave me two lovely rayon tops from Holy Clothing, a company selling ethically made clothing. This photo shows the embroidery around the neckline of my favourite piece.IMG_6089

In January, J drove up to victoria to visit her son and his family, so I went along and while I was in Langford again my friend L trimmed my hair. The longest parts were finally down to my waist, after many years of wanting it to all be that long, but it was looking quite ragged, so I bowed to necessity. I don’t care for it this short, but it looks neater, so that’s ok. Besides, it should grow in again. IMG_6102

WE left late in the afternoon, taking a ferry to Port Angeles, WA. These are poor photos of lovely views from the ferry; James Bay (Victoria) in the last light of the sun.IMG_6120

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reativity!  While in Tacoma, J and I began going to Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann stores; occasionally to Michaels as well. To start her off with crochet, we had purchased a small ball of variegated khaki Sugar n Cream cotton yarn.  With an eye to the future and savings (ha!), and knowing that J loves turquoise and teal, I talked her into buying these two cones of cotton (also Sugar n Cream).

But then, one evening as I was sitting with her while she worked on a square dishcloth in the khaki, I asked if she’d mind if I started a ‘small’ piece using these two colours. You see, I’d had an idea . . . what if one was to create a circle using both colours in concentric spirals?  Of course she said yes and so it began . . . You can see the beginning below. I never wrote down what I did, so if you feel inspired to make your own version of this, ou will have to do as I did, make it up as  you go along. IMG_6246

After a while, I switched to treble (US double) crochet, with a chain in between, which you can see in the first photo. Then, for a change, I began working in the back stitches, creating a lovely ripple as if there were waves washing up along coral and white outcrops. The piece grew like Topsy and I bought two more cones and two more cones and one final cone of the turquoise. so, seven cones in all. At one point, I found myself creating interesting ‘petals’ in the variegated yarn, but they vanished in the next row. I remembered them, however, and re-created them as I came to the ends of the piece. By that time, it measured around seven feet across, I think. The final photo here is of the centre. I do have photos of the completed piece, but I’ll have to look for them.  spread out over a recliner chair, it covered it and hung down the back!  I’m rather proud of this piece. I think it’s the larges I’ve ever made; certainly it’s the most creative in terms of stitches and overall design. Not many things make me as happy as pure creativity, making things up as I go along. (although it doesn’t always work out so well, I have to admit). I’ll post the photos of the finished piece next time, assuming I can find the photos.

In the meantime, I am thinking of each one of you out there in the Virtual Village; those for whom things are going well and those facing a challenge or ten. Take care of yourselves, will you? I’ll be dropping by to visit soon.

And here’s my newest favourite album; it was the first recorded by Runrig, back when there were only four members. It’s not so much rock and, while it’s in Scottish Gaelic, I find it hauntingly beautiful. I find myself hearing it in my dreams and often waking to it in the mornings. i hope you enjoy it at least half as much as I do.

Love and Light to each of you.  ~ Linne