Another Update

Hi, everyone! I started this a while back, then later did a lengthy update. When I tried to cancel adding a photo, WP froze and lost all the update. I gave up for a while after that. But no doubt you are wondering what’s up around here . . .

The original bit:
First, thanks so much for all your comments, support and thoughts in general. I’ve been super-stressed and feeling overwhemed for a while now. I think I’ve turned the corner now, though. It’s been challenging, but many have much larger challenges; I didn’t mean to sound quite so “poor-me” as I obviously did. So . . . back to ‘keeping on keeping on’ 🙂

Still haven’t found a container and flurries are forecast for later this week. Not likely to get snow that sticks, luckily.

In the meantime . . .

Mum has been given three months notice, which is not an eviction and requires no reason to be given. That’s good, as it means her perfect rental record will remain clean.

Also, she will be allowed to give one month’s notice so long as we are out by the end of January.

Mum is looking for a place to buy, as that will be cheaper than renting in the long run. But she’s keeping an open mind.

So . . . big changes coming up, eh? Good thing most of the packing has been done already. 😉 I’ll continue with that next week

That morning:

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It was gone a few hours later. Whew!

On Thursday the 6th of November four small towns in Alberta had record high temperatures; the highest was 19.6C.

On Friday, the evening news warned us of a big cold front coming down from the North.

On Saturday, we woke to:

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and by evening it looked like this (from my Aunty’s east-facing suite)

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and

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and this (from Mum’s west-facing suite):

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Meanwhile, progress continued in fits and starts; a shipping container was located and purchased, to be delivered (I thought) in the afternoon of Monday, 03 November. However, several failures of communication occurred (is Mercury retrograde or something? It seems to be speeding backwards lately . . .)

These will give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
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In the end, after several phone calls to/from Mr. and Mrs. Crafty, who were waiting to open the gate and direct the truck, we learned that it had been booked for the following day . . .

So . . . back they went the following day (a drive of an hour or so each way). Again, they waited outside, this time in steadily cooling weather. More phone calls . . . turned out the truck, making its first delivery of the day, had gotten stuck in deep mud somewhere near Lloydminster, way north of here. At first, there was hope that the driver would be able to get unstuck, return to the yard (south of the city), load my container and deliver before 5:00 pm. Didn’t happen that way, so we re-scheduled . . . to tomorrow, Monday the 10th, when the temperature is expected to be between -12 and -15C. But it will be the first load of the day, so is expected to arrive about 10:00 am.

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This morning, facing east.

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The eastern balcony . . .

On Friday, the 14th, with temps expected to be between -10 and -17C, the Crafties will pick me up at 8:00 am and we will go get the 26′ U-Haul truck, proceed to my storage units, load up anything I can live without ’til spring and then drive north to the property. We hope to be able to back up to the container, extend the ramp right into it, then hustle everything inside. If all goes smoothly, we will drive back to the city, return the truck and then spend the remainder of the day warming up, crafting and watching a movie or two while enjoying some take-out. No-one will want to be cooking by then!

Remember the wee Bavarian afghans I am making for my grandchildren? The first two are in a box on the balcony, but here are the latest two:

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Pretty, aren’t they? I haven’t finished the large ‘Violets in the Snow’ one, or the (meant to be equally large) multi-coloured one or the smaller multi-coloured one. I have one more white and blue afghan to make, then three more for related babies (related to me, I mean). 😉

By the way, I managed to re-pot all our houseplants and pruned the Happy Hibiscus, too.

AND . . . while I love the Golden Goddess chai that Wendy from Quarter Acre Lifestyle introduced us to a while back, making it is a bit fiddly for me. So here’s what I’ve been making:

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I start with some kefir, thanks to the most Diligent Dorcas. This goes into a Magic Bullet container, but you can use your blender, stick blender or what-have-you . . .

Throw in a banana, then a teaspoon or more of nutritional yeast, a shake or two each of ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. I use about a quarter teaspoonful of each, but you can adapt amounts to taste. Add some honey or your favourite sweetener and top up with kefir. Blend well and enjoy. If you like it quite cold, add a couple of ice cubes before blending. If you want it hot, I’d say pour it in a pan and leave it on the stove for a few minutes. I haven’t tried that yet myself . . .

Have a great week, my friends, and remember . . . “Choose Joy” as one of The Contented Crafter cards says.

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Still keeping on . . .

Hi, everyone! No photos, sorry (no time); next time I should have some.

Still not done with the packing, but getting close. The team is coming tomorrow!! and they hope to be done in one day. I sure hope so, as I’m back at my Aunty’s the following day and I need to get things ready for that. Mum will go to my sister’s for the day, but will take a small suitcase in case she has to spend the night. I’m going to hover in the neighbourhood in case I am needed. I don’t really want anyone moving the large antique table or the many loom parts without my being there to supervise.

Once they are done and gone, we start the process of bringing things back in, sorting and arranging. No comment . . .

I did take Saturday off and spent it with Mr. and Mrs. Crafty, with a few hours at their daughter and son-in-law’s ‘farm’ near Westlock, north of here, then on to see their new property. It was slightly windy and the sun was warm; we walked all the way around the ten acre plot; fairly rough as we followed the new fence line. The back is against Crown land, which to me is ideal; it’s like having a park without the taxes and maintenance . . . We saw stumps scratched by a bear and a few deer tracks; a few other markings that I couldn’t identify. No wildlife, though, and only a few small birds. It was so good to not hear any sound of humans for so long!

They won’t move out there for probably four or five years, but they have a good neighbour who keeps an eye on the place for them. With the new fencing up, the ‘quadders’ can’t drive across the land anymore, which is good, but there’s always a chance of someone coming through the fence. I hate that such thoughts must even cross my mind. When I was young, we never locked the house and my Dad left the keys in the car while he and Mum did the weekly shopping. Better than now, I think.

I didn’t want to take the large Bavarian with me to work on after we got back (the Crafties smoke and the smell gets into fabric and yarn), so I took two balls of yarn and began another Bavarian that will be one of those slated for the grandkidlets. This one’s not as fancy as the large “Violets in the Snow” one; just the standard, simple two-colour work.

My Aunty was just up again to visit with Mum, so I had enough time to write a short post. Now she’s off home and I’m back to bagging and shifting . . . Dorcas the Dutiful (my kefir) will be going into the fridge tonight, so I hope she is ready for a cool rest, too.

I’ve not kept up with comments, but will likely catch up once things settle down again. I apologize for that. I do read them on my iPhone, so don’t feel you have cast your seeds to the wind . . . I’ve dropped in on a few blogs, too, but not as much as I’d like and have not left comments. In spite of the weather about to descend on us, I’m sorta looking forward to this winter and to staying in, knitting and crocheting, who knows??

Love to you all and thanks for hanging in during this time. I appreciate every one of you so much! Hope your autumns and springs are bringing you many blessings . . .  ~ Linne

June . . . catching up . . . and still blaming Dani :-)

It’s hard to believe it’s been three weeks since I posted last. Stuff just got away on me. I’m ok, just frustrated in several areas. I’ve been thinking of moving to here, so I could get back to ‘normal’ any time I liked.  😉

It’s only fair to warn you, though: this is a very, very looooonnnnnnngggggggggggggg post and you may want to clear your calendar for the morning, then fill your bucket of tea before commencing reading . . . just sayin’  🙂

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Boomdee asked what we liked best about June and I’d have to say the photo above is my answer: deliciously cool. misty. moisty weather! Finally, the spring I have been hoping for for years! I’d nearly forgotten about Steeleye Span until recently, so am enjoying them again. This is an old nursery rhyme that I’ve always liked.

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Ice in May.

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Amazing cloudy skies through June this year . . . sorry, I was going to make them into a slide show, but imported everything and feel too lazy to remove and re-import 🙂

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One morning we woke up to real mist! Was I happy!!

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More amazing skies!!

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Just what I needed, eh? I found these for peanuts at a mall table run by a woman from the Philippines and her husband.  The first time I met her, a few years ago, they had a large butter churn, much like the crocks used for making pickles and such, with its wooden dasher intact, along with the lid. I can’t tell you how much I long for that churn. Of course, it wouldn’t do me much good just now; I don’t know anyone with a cow. One day, though. She knows I want it and now it’s kept at her house ‘so it won’t get chipped’; I think she’s waiting for my lotto ship to arrive . . . me, too!  😉

So on the left is a salt spoon, to be used with a salt cellar (usually one was set at each place at the table); in the middle a lovely wee butter knife and on the right an old Gerber baby spoon. So maybe this is a sign that there is a baby in my future?  🙂

So, if you haven’t been here for a while (don’t blame you; I haven’t been here for a while, either!), you may not be aware of the gorgeous Bavarian crochet afghan addiction being fostered by Dani of the Teddy and Tottie blog. Bit me, but good!

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Number two afghan, done and dusted! This took me a week of pretty steady crocheting.

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Remember this one? This was number One afghan. It took me about a week and a half.

And now for something completely different . . . (well, maybe not completely different):

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This is number three Bavarian afghan and it’s nowhere near done! It’s a long story and a longer afghan . . . I made the first afghan to use up two huge balls of acrylic yarn I’d given to my Aunty for knitting tuques or scarves, but she’s not knitting anymore and besides, felt the large balls were too intimidating, so she gave them back to me. Of course, once I saw how lovely these afghans are, I decided I’d make one for each of my five and a half grandkidlets. This meant, of course, that I would have to purchase more large balls of yarn. Two for each afghan, in fact. I did have a couple in my stash, which helped, but not the colours I planned for the kidlets . . . so I picked up a few lovely colours over a few visits to The Store I Will Not Name. But they were out of white; No worries, I’m patient. After a few trips I wasn’t quite so patient anymore, though. The second afghan was nearing completion and I had all these colours just begging for white . . . What to do? Well, Mrs. Crafty took me to a larger venue of TSIWNN, where we found only beige, no white . . . Now what? Ok, off we went to The Craft Store I Will Not Name, where we found large balls of white yarn . . . but not quite the size I needed. I bought four balls anyway, thinking it might work. Nope, they don’t! In the meantime, my Mum had found a ball of lovely purple. Now this was the same brand I’d been using up / buying, same label, same gauge, everything, it said . . . except that in fact it was a far lovelier texture and a smaller diameter yarn. Grumble, grumble, grumble . . .

Still, it worked alright with the white yarn that I hadn’t returned, so I began this:

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Hard to tell, but that dark colour is a gorgeous purple; much like a dark pansy. I think it may end up being a  ‘keeper’. Like I need more ‘stuff’, right? Oh, well . . . 🙂

And then I started afghan number three (above), using the colours I had in stock, but with the white centre. If I find any white yarn in time, I’ll incorporate a couple of white rounds farther out. So this one, being in the same style, but with such a different colour combination of colours, is going to be much larger and will be a gift to my son and daughter-in-law so that they have one that matches those of the kidlets.

So you see, I am using up my stash . . . I can hear you laughing, you know . . .

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. . . and more amazing skies . . .

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those are all of the Happy Hibiscus, which has borne and lost at least six blossoms to date and still has seven buds and maybe more . . . I’ve had this plant since 1991 and this is the first year I’ve had more than two blossoms . . . maybe my pruning a few weeks ago scared it into trying to be more attractive . . . whatever the reason, I’ve been rejoicing in these lovely blooms, short-lived though they are.

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Anyone familiar with the term Honey Moon? No, not the post-wedding variety . . .

Give up? Well, it’s what they call a full moon that occurs on a Friday the 13th. For some reason, Mum’s computer is acting up; the screen going suddenly black, then a message that the drivers failed, or some such, then it returns to ‘normal’ (no, not the town!); ’til the next time, anyway. I thought I wouldn’t be able to give you the link to this, but after I hit it with a rock re-booted it, it resumed working as if it were ‘normal’. Ha! I am not fooled . . .

Anyway, I missed seeing this, thanks to  those clouds I’ve been so thankful for, and I likely won’t be here to see the next one, but this photo gives you a good idea . . .

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Thought we were done with sky photos, did you?  🙂

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Three birdhosues painted and decorated by Mrs. Crafty for her son’s garage. Cute, eh?

On Thursday (the 26th) I spent the day with Mr. and Mrs. Crafty, helping their son and his fiancée to move. They have sold the wee old house that he bought five years ago and has renovated with the help of his talented parents, and they have bought a home in a better neighbourhood, near a small shopping centre and a school. Next year they are getting married and after that plan to begin their family. She’s very crafty, too, and a lovely young lady. We had a long, but productive day with five people, two cars, an open backed pickup with a trailer plus a truck with a canopy. I’m not sure how many trips we made. After seven pm another son in law arrived home and brought his truck to help as well. It was good to have two strong young men when it came time to bring things like the freezer up from the basement . . . I’d forgotten what a 35-year old can do and still have energy for pull-ups from the garage rafters . . .  I was picked up at 8:30 am and got back home just before midnight, but we stopped  for pizza around seven and after that there wasn’t much I could help with. I pulled a muscle in my left knee somehow about three weeks ago and then spent three days flat on my back to give it a chance to heal. It seems to be doing ok now, though. Still, by evening on moving day I needed a hand to get up off the low-slung futon couch . . . I hate that! I couldn’t help remembering back when I had horses and could jump on bareback so easily . . . in fact, once I was teaching a city friend how to do it and of course showing off just a bit . . . I swung up and over and landed flat on my back on the ground on the other side . . . I still get a laugh out of that memory . . . Pride and all that. eh?

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The new place has a huge garden, which I not-so-secretly lust after . . .

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Lovely yellow roses at the new place . . . with the most aromatic lemony scent; I wish I could add ‘smellies’ here sometimes . . .

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The skies were so impressive that evening . . . someone actually asked me if I had just gotten a smartphone, I took so many photos . . . only to share with you, of course 🙂

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Some of you will remember these two when they were much younger . . . two of Mr. and Mrs. Crafty’s grandkidlets; they came to supervise as their parents helped move stuff.

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This bench was given to the young man by my mother when he bought the house. It used to be a park bench, I was told, but had been loaned to friends on one ofmy sisters for an indoor bench. Then it was put out in the yard and lost all its varnish and paint. Now the wood is quite weathered. The fiancée plans to do a bit of restoration on it, but sadly it will never be what it once was.

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Lovely young hands . . .

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Oh, my! What are these? 🙂

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I love that blue in the evenings . . .

and the Maxfield Parrish blue that follows, ever so briefly . . .

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. . . and a lovely silhouette of a lovely tow and a half year old . . .

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While hauling boxes, somehow I broke my index fingernail in two places, both cracks going right into the quick. After two bandaids were applied and lost in short order, I became resourceful and turned to duct tape. Worked for me . . .

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Not a very clear set of photos, but these were a handful of lilacs picked by the ‘Awesome’ young man who is pictured above. Picked especially for me to take home and share with my Mum. One of my favourite spring blossoms . . .

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After a day of taking it easy, today I was packing up my own things, to be moved to the storage unit downtown.  A great deal, but not all, of my current frustration comes from having to deal with a condo board that simply has no care for health and safety, but is very invested in how things look, even if we are the only ones doing the looking . . . Instead of waiting until Mum either dies or moves out to repair all the ceilings that are stained from a series of leaks (the roof had been repaired, but not well; it took several years before the board broke down and had a new roof installed), we have been told that all the ceilings are to be scraped, then new texture applied and after that, paint. This means that we need to move much of our belongings out so as not to impede the workmen. So we are boxing up Mum’s things to go out on the balcony and I will just take my stuff to the storage. Apparently the board chairman has said that we ‘have too much stuff’ in the place. No thought for our situation or that we are willing to be somewhat inconvenienced so as to stay near to my Aunty, who is Mum’s older sister.

It’s not as though we have stacks of rotting newspapers; then I could see the concern. No, we have looms (several, but only one small one set up), supplies for weaving, knitting, crochet, beadwork, painting (fine art and folk art), embroidery, sewing, quilting (including a quilting frame designed and made by my Dad), also Mum’s keepsakes from over 90 years of receiving gifts and collecting things of interest, beauty and usefulness.

Books, of course, and finished items. Some antiques from the days when Mum and Dad bought, refinished, repaired, then sold them on, keeping the things they fancied the most. It’s hard to imagine living a full life and not having anything to show for it.

I asked the landlady to find out from this man exactly how many items we are allowed to have, as ‘too many’ is so vague . . . we don’t think we have too much; and we don’t expect others to have what we have. Each to their own taste, we say.

Well, apparently not . . . so I will be removing nearly all my things and putting on hold my plans to make more items for the store. I’m going to bring back Mum’s things from the storage unit we share, then empty my smaller unit into it, so as to have only one.

I wish some of you lived near to me; I will be giving away  some of my supplies. I gave Mrs. Crafty nearly a full blue recycling bag of fancy yarns on our last visit, but there is much still to part with. It’s quite disheartening, really, but needs must, as they say . . .

I know some will have wondered at my sudden silence through this month. I meant to post an explanation, but simply had no heart for talking about it all. I’m getting over it now, though. just another stage, I think. There was more than my personal stuff, though. I felt very affected by the 70th anniversary of D-Day this year, that same week, three young RCMP officers were shot and killed by a mentally ill young man. I was so incensed by our prime minister’s words at the funeral, where he talked about ‘evil’. This from a man who has removed nearly all the protection we’ve had for our waterways for many decades . . . who has allowed some of our resources to be sold outright to China, who has entered, on our behalf, into a contract with China that we cannot break for many years . . . and so on . . . His lack of compassion for the killer and his parents, who had warned the police and had asked for something to be done to stop their son, but who were told that nothing could be done until he ‘did something’. I can only imagine what they are going through now. I know how I would be feeling if it had been one of my sons and I had been unable to avert the tragedy.

So, all in all, a rather sad and discouraging month for many reasons, yet with the eternal hope of spring and youth breaking through nonetheless. After all . . .

cat that one friend

One positive thing I did this month (after wearing my jeans ’til the side seams were parting company) was to buy several pairs of new jeans and T-shirts to match. Clothes may not make the woman, but I actually enjoyed the shopping once I figured out where stuff was. In, pick things up, go pay, get out . . . my idea of perfection when it comes to clothes. Now, book shopping, or tools, materials, anything like that and I can be in the store for hours . . . 🙂  I’ve been known to get into the bookstore, find a book I can’t afford, sit on the floor in one of the aisles (yes, I know, inconsiderate to other customers, but I’m at the mercy of books at all times) and just get lost in the story . . . When I found out that The Secret Garden wasn’t the only book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett; that The Little Princess was still in print, I visited my favourite bookstore in Victoria (BC) every week and read a chapter each time. The staff were all readers and understanding, so I was never bothered about my odd habit.

6 million people U need one

While packing, I ‘found’ a piece of black fabric with a pattern of small pink roses that I’d meant for a long dress. So while out with Mrs. Crafty looking for white yarn in TSIWNN, I bought two metres of plain black cotton which will become the yoke and perhaps the sleeves, with the rose-patterned fabric forming a collar and cuffs as well. I have some black velvet that was meant for the bodice, but ah hour of searching at the storage unit only yielded a dark purple velvet, so I’m resorting to the cotton. When I find the black velvet, it will be used to make short vesty sort of garment to wear over the dress. While looking for the velvet, I also found a box with some of my patterns in it; that box is now waiting for me in Mr. and Mrs. Crafty’s attic.

4 out of 3 people Math 01 Love this!

I just looked over this post and am a bit appalled to see that the photos are all bunched up and then there’s this long bit with no pictures at all. Sorry about that. No time to fix it properly and if I don’t post tonight, who knows when I’ll get back to it? Besides, there are comments waiting for my attention . . . 🙂

  being an adult not working so me . . . 🙂

In case you are missing the music, here is a link to one of my favourite spring songs:

The Lambs in Springtime, sung, of course, in Scottish Gaelic by my favourite rock band

. . . and a rousing version of An Sabhal Aig Neill, performed at the Hebridean Celtic Festival held in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis on 17 July, 2010. Sung by Runrig and accompanied, then followed by, the Drums. If you love drumming, give it an ear . . .

And, on the subject of challenging days . . .  The Bricklayer’s Song by  The Corries.

Thanks for listening (if you are still with me after all that . . .). I feel better now.  🙂

Fun, thanks to Dani of ‘Teddy and Tottie’ fame . . .

Oh, did that title give it away? Darn!  🙂

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That’s the front, as it’s grown over the past three weeks (well, I didn’t touch it during the middle week, so during the first and third weeks). Thanks to Dani’s tutorial, it didn’t take me long to get the hang of this new technique. A couple of bits took some thinking, then it all became clear . . . Anyone else working on this (besides Pauline)?

I thought I’d have two photos to add tonight, but alas . . .

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See what I did? One and a half circuits back, I made only eight double trebles in the corner; there should be twelve . . .  so guess what I’ll be doing later on . . . that’s right, ripping out one and a half circuits . . . I do count carefully, so I must have been chatting with my Aunty and not paying quite enough attention for just a minute or two . . . or else I was distracted by the news last night (more likely, now I think back).

Knowlton Nash, a well-respected tv journalist for several decades and anchor for “The National” before the current anchor, Peter Mansbridge, died yesterday at the age of 86.

A good age, I know, but still . . . so many people I’ve looked up to for much of my life are moving on . . . and I miss them. Mr. Nash covered so many of the events that helped to shape my life and thinking; the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedy election and later assassination, Che Guevara, so much more . . . He was my first image of a good journalist and now Mr. Mansbridge carries on in the same manner.

Anyway, not much else to report and not much time left tonight. We had a lovely windy storm last night and today it was deliciously cloudy and we had a big downpour earlier (the sky darkened so that I wouldn’t have been able to read indoors) and then another, longer one from just before supper. Rain and the leaves are beginning to appear, not to mention the grass greening . . . makes one believe in spring!

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I’ve made bread again, using less of the rye flour. Still ended with dense, low loaves; still, they taste wonderful and I’ve made some kefir cheese and mixed it with bought chive cream cheese; I spread that on the ‘rye’ bread and it’s perfect with a cucumber, onion and tomato salad! I’ll make bread again this week, but I think I’ll only add rye flour to part of the dough this time. I like bread tall enough for sandwiches. 🙂

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Have a great week, everyone! I’ll be back to reply to comments soon. 🙂

Music for you:

Runrig and the Drums

Runrig and the Drums playing An Sabhal Aig Neill (Neil’s Barn) followed by the Drums @ Hebridean Celtic Festival, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (17/07/2010)

Woody Guthrie playing ‘All You Fascists Bound to Lose’

Pete Seeger singing ‘Which Side Are You On?’

this last was sparked by a picture on Facebook today:

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I’ve been a bit quiet . . .

. . . but up to quite a bit. I finally figured out how to upload the green scarf photos to Picasa, not to Google. I did it the first time with no trouble, then couldn’t remember exactly how. Oh, well, I got it figured out; only took about four or five hours . . .  So, when Pauline gets home, she can choose the one she wants before I put them in the store. I do love the greens; there are five dark green and three light . . . I dyed six dark, then accidently snipped three tiny holes in one while removing the threads for the final rinsing. But all is not lost . . . I’ve got an idea or two on what to do with that one. 🙂

Then I’ve been working on an interesting project for my friend Mrs. Crafty:

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Mrs. C found a few crochet patterns at the Re-Use-It Store recently and only after she had them at home did she realize they were all in Danish! So I have been typing the instructions into a Word document, complete with the special characters, and then using the Word Translator utility to turn them into U.S. English (no option for Canadian English, of course). The translations aren’t finished, though, because some of the words didn’t translate and some were translated into very odd wording. So now I must go over the originals, word by word, and figure out the missing bits. Lots of fun for me, the word/language geek (who is only fluent in English hahaha!); I do love an odd challenge! I have done two of the five so far; the lovely summer hat pattern pictured above and another for a baby set; jacket, bonnet and booties, all in Tunisian crochet.

So what was I listening to while doing this typing? Yep, Runrig, in Gaelic, of course! I’m not sure why it doesn’t distract me from what I’m doing, but it doesn’t. Interesting.

I have just finished a most fascinating book, too:

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This is the true story of a boy diagnosed as autistic at two and a half. His parents, after a fascinating series of events, including a treatment by some shamans (Bushmen of the Kalahari people, whom the dad was helping in their fight for autonomy and to not be evicted from their ancestral homelands) took him to Mongolia to meet with a group of shamans and then a single shaman of the Reindeer People. I won’t tell you the whole thing, but if you haven’t read this yet, you may want to add it to your winter reading list. If you know anyone who has a family member with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, I highly recommend reading this. I learned so much from it and found I couldn’t put it down! What the dad has to say about the boy’s special relationship with animals of all sorts and especially with horses is also fascinating. After they returned from Mongolia, they set up a riding school for both neuro-typical kids and kids with autism, Asperger’s, etc. In addition, the mum is a psychologist teaching at the uni in Austin, Texas. She is a Buddhist and has been developing a study on self-compassion, which she says is much better and more helpful than raising self-esteem. After reading some of her writings,, I have to agree. She has done some TED talks, too, apparently. Her name is Kristin Neff, if you want to google her and learn more.

This is a perfect example of why I’m not in favour of e-books replacing ‘real’ books; As you can see by the sticker on the cover, it was a ‘Staff Pick’, so I happened to spy it sitting on a shelf and immediately knew I had to read it! If I’d had to know the title and then look for it in the ether somewhere, I never would have discovered it. It’s given me so much to think about; I can’t begin to address all that here, at least not just now.

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Oh, yes . . . you know what this is, don’t you? That’s right, a new project! And yes, there are four circular needles in play; I couldn’t find the right size of double-pointed needles for this project and I need to get it done soon, so I’m improvising, as usual . . .

I really needed another project, as you all know . . . I can’t tell you what it is exactly, but all will be revealed one day soon. I can say that (generally speaking) it’s going to be sent to the Snail of Happiness once completed . . .IMG_5744[1]

This is a framed photograph taken by my Dad when he and Mum were on a trip through part of the Yukon. That’s Atlin Lake in the background and my Mum is just visible, coming back from the water with a couple of bucketsful for their camp. The picture is in our living room / lounge and I love to look at it, so thought I’d share it with you.

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In case Christi is reading this, here’s a picture of Dorcas, who has been settling in nicely (it takes a while) and is now producing delicious Kefir for me. Her grains are so BIG!

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While eating supper, I’ve been watching several movies. These pictures are from Les Miserables, the version with Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean. I read the book in school and later, but hadn’t seen any of the movies. This one was good. I especially love the robe the young Cosette is wearing in the second picture. The first picture is her playing with her doll after Valjean pays the horrible greedy caretaker so the girl can have some time to play. This little girl is quite adorable.

Well, I’ll be back soon (not too soon; don’t want to stuff up your Readers 😉  ). Have a wonderful week, all of you.

Oops, nearly forgot: here’s some music for you . . .

Malvina Reynolds, an original Bolshie Little Black Duck, if you don’t mind my saying so, Narfie! Malvina began her songwriting creer in her late 40s. You’ll know her “Little Boxes” and “What Have They Done to the Rain?”

and Tracy Chapman . . . I haven’t heard anything about her for a while, but a friend loved her work and we used to listen to this a lot.

Moving and other things . . .

Well, it’s been a week since I posted, which is new for me. But I’ve missed being here a lot. I don’t have time to reply to comments just now, but will catch up at some point, likely in a couple of weeks.
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We’ve had some amazing storms and stormy skies over the past while; I love them and won’t post all the photos, I promise 😉
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Same clouds a few minutes later . . .

I’ve been alternately overwhelmed and lying on the couch reading with a small bowl of cashews and raisins for ‘needed strength’ or else I’ve been packing, putting the boxes in large clear blue plastic bags, tying them tightly and putting them out on the balcony. That’s right . . . OUT ON THE BALCONY!! Well, they have to be staged somewhere in readiness for moving day . . .

Mum has decided to put a lot of her things into the storage for a month or two as well. Besides the dreaded balcony inspectors, we also expect a team to refinish nearly all the ceilings in the apartment. This is because of big stains left from the days when the roof leaked a LOT! We don’t care and asked if it could be left until we leave, but the condo board is so inflexible they make rigid look like overcooked spaghetti . . .

Mum is also leaving on Wednesday with my sister from here and our two great-nieces. They will be gone for two weeks for various adventures, including visiting my RN sister in Chilliwack, BC. It will be a good break for Mum. I wasn’t able to book a moving truck for today as planned, but have one for the 7th through the 9th of August and the landlady informed me today that the inspection of balconies won’t happen until after the 10th!! So a certain amount of the weight is off my shoulders and I’m feeling marginally less overwhelmed. It also helped to have a mini-breakdown several times in the past few days as things continued to pile up in ways I could not have foreseen, but which had to be dealt with. Too much to even contemplate writing about just now; I’m just glad that better times appear to be on their way, after the move, of course.
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An amazing sunset happened while I was at my Aunty’s last week. It was while the full moon was happening and to top it off, we could just see the fireworks from the Klondike Days fair (now re-branded to “K-days” after a couple of years of being “Capital Ex”, which no-one liked and many quit going to). It was stunning! This picture was taken facing due East, actually. Still amazing, no?
Tomorrow, my friend C will come in the late morning and we will load up as many boxes as her car can fit, then go to the storage facility where two new units await us. Sounded to me as though they’ve been opened up into one unit, but I won’t know ’til we get there. Thanks to my sister, we have a unit large enough for both Mum’s and my things, at a price we can afford.

We will take loads when she is free (my friend C, I mean) just to get some space opened up here for me to pack into. Then we will pick up the UHaul truck (a small one, only 10′ long in the back) on Wednesday the 7th and begin loading into it. We are no longer allowed to back up the hill to the back door, as that lawn is the roof of the underground parking (glad I never thought of that the last time I took a big truck up there!!) and we aren’t allowed to back up to the front steps, either, so the move will entail taking a dolly of boxes and whatever else we can fit into the elevator in one go and then carrying them down one step into the vestibule, across the upper landing outside, down more steps, across another, smaller landing and down the last steps to the ground, then over to the truck. This is assuming that we can find a place to park the truck in front . . . if we can’t, we will park in the back and then take the elevator to the basement, down a hall, through a door to the carpark, across that, then up a steep ramp to the street level. Fun, eh?? Can you tell I’m just a wee bit grumpy at the thought? Oh, well . . . as they used to say, “needs must when the devil drives!” 🙂 IMG_3607[1]
For some reason, WordPress is doing odd things; when I add a photo, it is placing it at the beginning of the post and I am having to move it down in stages to the bottom. Grrrrrrrr…………. This one is the full moon the night before the stormy sunset.

Right now, you can be glad that the smell of my hands is not attaching to this post . . . the last time I was going to use the dolly, one of its tires was flat, so I purchased a can of “Fix-a-Flat” and this evening I went out on the balcony and shook the can vigorously, as instructed. I then attached the end of the clear flexible hose to the valve of the tire (after removing the cap, of course). Then I held the button on top of the cap until I judged the gloop had stopped flowing. (I may not have held it long enough; I was afraid of the tire blowing up in my face). When I unscrewed the connector, some of the gloop oozed out (not sure if ‘ooze’ is the right word; it was a bit more energetic than that) and onto my fingers. I wiped them on the peeling paint of the balcony floor and did the other wheel, just to be sure. Same procedure and even more gloop on my hands. Wiped that off, too. Then I re-capped the can and rolled the dolly back and forth for a while. The instructions said to drive (it was assuming I would be re-inflating a car tire, of course) for 6 – 8 km, but there was no way I was going to roll the dolly that far, so what I’ve done will have to do . . .
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Here’s my latest batch of kefir ‘cream’ cheese, courtesy of the delectable Delicious Delilah.
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This is how I make it: I hold a #4 coffee filter (a white one; I tried a ‘natural, unbleached’ brown one and the kefir immediately made a hole in the bottom and I had to start over); I fold it a little bit over the edge of the container, hold it with one hand and with the other, pour in as much kefir as fits. Then I screw the lid on, which anchors the filter. A day or three later I pour out the whey that has collected in the bottom, put the ‘cream cheese’ in another container and add more kefir. Today I used the whey in the breadmaker as I was making some “white with a bit of whole wheat and a bit more than that of wheat germ” bread. Yum!!

I have found a ‘work-around’ for uploading the photos at the end of what I’m writing: I am selecting the entire post, ‘cutting’ it, uploading the photo, moving the cursor above the link info and then pasting the post back in place. Then I select the entire post, cut, insert photo . . . ’til my patience runs out, I guess . . .
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Here is my supper the other night: some of my yummy bread with mayo and avocado. I LOVE avocado . . . especially with onion thinly sliced along with it. Not sure if I had any on that sandwich, though.
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. . . and this is the gift I found inside my avocado . . . see the lovely little radicle? I had an avocado tree I grew from one like this (quite a few years ago now); it was over six feet wide and a bit taller than that, too. I forgot to water it on one too many occasions and now all I have is its dried up root ball. (don’t ask!) 😉 So I was overjoyed to find this; a high point in my week, for sure.

I have a lovely series of storm photos I wanted to upload for you, but it’s late, I’m tired and besides, I’m out of time on the computer. One last thing for you, though:

http://acerecipe.com/recipes_food/all_network/13407/Bottomless-Brandied-Fruit-Crock.html

My RN sister used to keep a batch of this in her pantry and was it ever good spooned over icecream, puddings, or just straight from the crock to the mouth . . . don’t know if it’s to anyone’s taste these days, but I always wanted to make it and then use it a year or two later in fruitcake. (quit making that face! I can see you!!) I love fruitcake and created my own recipe that is the best I ever tasted (and I’m not bragging, either! honest!!) But I think this fruit would improve it even more.

Well, I’m off to dreamland soon. Have a great week. Not sure if I’ll be able to post next Monday or not; that will be moving week. If not, I’ll be back after the Long Haul is over. Have a great week out there, all you who are harvesting and putting by and also those who are planning the plantings . . . ~ Linne

Recently . . .

I’ve been busy here, with one thing and another. Now to catch up a bit . . .

20130608-183508.jpg The view to downtown (south from my Mum’s place) a couple of days ago. We have dark clouds again this evening and I’m hoping for rain through tomorrow . . . for brunch that day, I added these

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. . . thanks to Delicious Delilah, whose output of kefir is increasing in quantity, so I have had to start being inventive with ways to use it all up. No pictures, sorry, but I did make some ‘cream cheese’ (1% milk, remember), added a bit of dried onion soup mix and let it sit while I cooked up a cup of the Lundbergs’ heavenly Brown Basmati rice. I used two cups of whey as the liquid and it gave the rice a bit of a tang. Then I mixed in more than half of the dip/whatever and I ate some hot and some later on cool. Just like the Pease Porridge (am I dating myself here? lol), it was perfect. I suspect it would be after nine days, too, but it won’t last that long. I’m drinking a smoothie a day, too.

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Remember the shawl (the ‘simple garter stitch’ one? LOL). Here’s where it was at last time I mentioned it to you. And here’s where it’s at now . . .20130609-195645.jpg

When my Aunty first modelled it, it looked like this:20130609-195719.jpg

Now it looks like this:

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And the ‘Mystery Crochet Project’ has also progressed:

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And then, one of my best/worst habits sang its siren call once more. Having no mast to be tied to, and no trustworthy companions to tie me to it, I succumbed without a struggle . . . Isn’t this lovely? Too bad it’s just acrylic, but I’m not in a position to be buying lots of wools, etc., when I have a perfectly usable stash (and no, this is NOT from the stash . . . just don’t tell my family . . .)

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This is a poorly lit picture of the first day’s work with that yarn:

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This photo shows the colours more truely (can you see it’s been growing?):20130609-195949.jpg

This picture is brighter, but the colour washes out . . . did I mention that I’m designing it as I go? One of my favourite things and this one seems to be working out ok. I’ve done quite a lot on it today, so will have to post a picture once I have one to share.

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This was the sky late in the afternoon yesterday, looking directly west from Mum’s balcony:

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And from the balcony looking to the north:

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. . . and more of that is passing overhead today, too, with bits of rain and lovely coolness. I do love rain, rainclouds, storms and all . . . but I can do without any hurricanes or tornadoes, thank you very much! Mum likes to scare me by saying we just might get a tornado; I’d never get all our stuff off the balcony before it lifted off and went to join Dorothy and Toto . . .

On the other hand, if it would take only me to the land of Aus . . . and back again, of course . . .

A Taxing Day . . .

Well, I did it!! All my Income Tax returns have been completed!!!

But I forgot to post the Word for Wednesday . . . I guess this one will be a Word for the Week 🙂 . . . seriously, though, I’m posting it tomorrow; it’s 1:17 am and I’m bushed!!

Other good news: Delicious Delilah continues to thrive and I’m making a smoothie a day! They don’t need maple syrup now, though.

A banana, 5 or 6 small strawberries, 1 tsp nutritional yeast, 1level scoop soya powder; add kefir, top up with apple juice and blend. SO good!!

Sampson’s Muffins . . . or the Further Adventures of Delilah

It’s early afternoon and I just looked in on Delilah . . .

20130510-141443.jpg . . . as you can see, she is most fecund; I only gave her a new ‘feed’ of 1% milk last night (right out if the fridge, too!) and she has already thickened it . . . what to do?? A most delicious dilemma . . .

I got out my ‘Joy of Cooking’ (’cause its standard, old-school recipes will suit both Mum and my Aunty, both in their 90s. I chose the “Sour Cream Muffins” recipe and halved it. This is supposed to make a dozen 2″ muffins, but mine will be a bit larger. If I have dough left over, I think it will become a yummy pancake . . .

I did use about 7/8 cup of white flour, then added wheat germ to make one cup. Then baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1tablespoon of white sugar. I also added a tablespoon of soy protein powder, but no telling, ok? Nutrition works best when it’s hiding in a yummy disguise. 😉

For flavour, I added cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. I chopped a small handful of sulternas 😉 ’cause my Aunty likes them chopped – they distribute better, she says.

By now, the dry mixture was in my favourite glass bowl (well, it’s Mum’s bowl, but my favourite, if you know what I mean . . . ) to free up the one cup glass measuring cup.

In that, I broke an extra-large egg and beat it up with a plastic fork. I added Delilah’s offspring from last night (lucky me, there was exactly a cup!) and beat it some more. It helps to remember that egg mixtures are a bit masochistic, I find. I was going to add a bit of vanilla, but I forgot . . . in the next adventure, ok, Delilah?

20130510-152629.jpg I added wet to dry in the time-honoured fashion and mixed roughly with Mum’s smallest wooden spoon (also a favourite of mine . . .) and . . . into the lightly greased muffin pan it went!

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20130510-153805.jpg . . . and . . . into the countertop oven they were popped (screaming their silent little screams, no doubt, but I wasn’t listening . . . I can be quite self-centred and ruthless at times . . . )

20130510-154047.jpg a little later I checked on them:

20130510-154123.jpg mmmm, good wee muffins, rising nicely . . . so, meanwhile (meanwhile WHEN? as a favourite author once said), I gently but firmly weaned Delilah’s second litter ??, put her back in the glass jar and made her happy again with a fresh drink of milk; she’s a good Mum when it comes to fecundity, but gets on with her life rather quickly once they leave the nest . . .

OK, the jar is no longer only a jar, it is now “Nido Caelestis” (Heavenly Nest)!

and, as I was saying, meanwhile . . .

20130510-155239.jpg Delilah’s offspring of the second (what?! I can’t say ‘littering’ and ‘pregnancy’ doesn’t quite fit . . . OK, got it: ‘Delilah’s second family’ is in the Magic Bullet’s largest ‘party’ container and that’s the frozen strawberries and a banana about to be added . . . then a teaspoon of powdered nutritional yeast (Engevita):

20130510-181100.jpg a scoop of soya protein powder (no way to tell if it’s GMO or not, thanks to our government’s refusal to insist on labelling, so I just don’t think about it . . . much . . . )

20130510-181254.jpg next, some vanilla (see the wee brown drizzle?):

20130510-181347.jpg . . . and a dollop of real Canadian maple syrup! I hope you lot down under know you can make maple syrup from other maples (or birch syrup from birch sap); I’ll have to post about our older son’s maple syrup adventure . . .

20130510-181725.jpg Like that lovely sweet brown syrup wending its way down through the kefir? MMMmmmmm…….
And here it is, whipped into a nutritious frenzy . . . but . . . where are the muffins?

20130510-182401.jpg Didn’t I hear the buzzer? Where are the potholders? Oh, here they are; take a moment to admire; these were knitted by my Aunty from Sugar N Cream cotton yarn about a decade ago and given to my Mum.

20130510-182700.jpg and . . . here they are; at last!!

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“What, you didn’t wait for me?”

20130510-184017.jpg “Nope! I had a new stand-alone mystery waiting . . . ”

20130510-184641.jpg “But . . . but . . . look at me! Is that a perfect crumb or what?”

20130510-184841.jpg A few minutes later . . .

20130510-184932.jpg “Oh, well, at least I have another for my bedtime snack . . .”
In between baking and blending, I managed a couple loads of laundry.

Thought you might like this T-shirt that one of my sisters bought for our Mum at the Vancouver (BC) Public Library . . .

20130510-185311.jpg My Mum, my sisters and I all say a loud “AMEN” to that thought . . .

Oh, and I worked more on the new shawl . . .

20130510-190848.jpg Bet you can’t guess where that goes . . .

I’ve done a lot more, too, but that’s another post . . . did I ever tell you I inherited the family ‘tease’ gene?? 😉

Delilah . . .

Yep, the naming thing has returned to my life, thanks in part to Jess of Rabid Little Hippy and Narf7 of The Road to Serendipity. They have named their stoves and their kefir grains and who knows what else . . .

My stove (not wood, except in my dreams, where it has the same name) is now ‘Hester’. And MY kefir grains are Delilah; they are so, so tempting . . . but they can’t cut my hair, lucky for them!    😉

Anyway, about Delilah (did I digress there, or what?): over two weeks ago, Christi from Farmlet mailed some kefir grains to me. When they didn’t arrive in the first week, I began to think that they had been intercepted by the customs people; likely so they could begin their own growvolution 😉

But, no, after 16 or 17 days, the lovely package arrived! I unwrapped the ziplok bag and sniffed it; it smelt delightfully ‘yeasty’. So I rushed off to Mum’s computer and looked up ‘how to make kefir’ and got lots of links. This one was super helpful: http://www.tammysrecipes.com/making_kefir (and, by the way, Christi has a link on her blog to info on using kefir to make a ‘sourdough’ bread: http://farmlet.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/kefir-madness/)

I had given up on seeing the grains, so had taken the 2% milk down to my Aunty’s place. However, we had lots of 1% in the fridge. I rustled up a pint (2 cup) canning jar (bottling to you fellow picky people out there lol). Into it I carefully decanted the grains and the milk that had fed them all that time; over the top went a piece of plastic wrap, held on with the ring. I put it on top of the fridge and left it to do its thing:

Delilah swimming on top of the Fridge

Delilah swimming on top of the Fridge

Tonight, I checked to see how she was doing and found a bit of whey showing at the top and bottom of the milk. So I got a cup and Mum’s plastic sieve; put the cup in the sink, held the sieve over it and poured the very thickened milk in. I used my fingers to swirl it around until only a handful of grains were left. I had milky hands and couldn’t take a picture, but honestly, it was a good half-handful! Delilah and I were very happy!! I put her back in the jar without washing it, added more milk and returned her to the top of the fridge. The kefir is now in a covered container in the fridge, waiting to be turned into something; most likely a smoothie tomorrow. It tastes a bit yeasty, but not unpleasant; mind you, I’m one who eats raw bread dough and other things . . .

Here’s what I got the first time (and a bit spilt out; the sieve is too large; I’ll have to get a smaller one, I think):

How she's grown in just two days!

How she’s grown in just two days! 

I’d forgotten I took this before I added more milk! Yay!! That’s the kefir in the cup at the bottom of the photo and Delilah in the glass jar. Christi, aren’t you proud of how well your ‘girl’ is doing? I’m totally in awe!! I do wish now that I hadn’t been in such a hurry and had photographed the grains as they were when I first saw them. You’ll just have to take my word for it; they were NOT that large!!

Next week, when I’m back at Mum’s, I’m hoping for a rainy day or three; then I can experiment with pancakes, muffins, maybe even bread . . .

I am so excited! and even more pleased!! From what I’d read, I’d expected it to be a month or more for Delilah to get to this size. She must like living with me . . .