"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Tapestry available for purchase

Before the blog I used to keep a journal. On April 1, 2010 I wrote, "I went out and gathered ten different variations of vanilla leaf growing in the same area. None of these differences were caused by decay, disease or pests. While I was there recording these variations a ruby crowned kinglet came within five feet of me. What a precious sight - this tiny bird beating it's wings and feeding off the underside of a giant sword fern frond." Than on April 14, 2010 I wrote," Vanilla leaf- when I first drew this particular plant it was no more than 1" across. Today I have returned and it is now 10" across." These thoughts, drawings and measurements came together in this tapestry I wove last fall/winter titled; Achlys triphylla • vanilla leaf. This woodland plant is seen in the spring, in my yard and elsewhere along sunlit forest edges. It has a misty cloud of tiny white flowers but it is the large, sweet scented leaves with a vanilla like fragrance that make it special. This tapestry measures 21.5" by 21.5" and is mounted on a frame and it is ready to hang on a wall. I am making it available to purchase for my readers for a limited amount of time. 40% of the purchase price will be used to purchase warm clothing and food for homeless northern BC teens. A lay away plan is an option. For additional details or to purchase email me: woolraven@hotmail.com

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Wild berries

Years ago rather than plant grass I encouraged wild plants to grow in my yard. Salal and Oregon grape are native berry bush's on the BC coast and both are plentiful in my yard. Salal and Oregon grape compliment each other. Both of them ripen at the same time. Salal has a lot of pectin in it and will thicken the combination. Oregon grape has seeds in it which I remove before cooking. This is my recipe for a wonderful, rich, fruity, syrup that we have been feasting on for several weeks. 3/4 cup of salal berries with 10-20 Oregon grape berries; 2 Tablespoons white sugar; 1/2 cup water. Put all ingredients into a kettle and boil gently for 15-20 minutes. Once the berries begin to soften I mash them with the back of a spoon. I serve the syrup on sourdough pancakes or oatmeal pancakes with berries added in.

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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Mending

For me fair weather is the time to mend that which is broken. When the unusually high amount of snow we received in February fell off the main part of my roof onto my deck roof it damaged two sheets of plastic roofing on the deck. What a blessing that I had exactly two extra sheets tucked away behind the shed and all that was necessary was to remove the damaged ones which were one sheet in from the end of the roof and replace them with the new ones and put the undamaged end sheet back on. I built this deck alone and I completed this repair by myself as I knew exactly what had to be done. Another repair was the driftwood garden gate which meant a trip down to the beach. Along with my little girl I brought my handsaw, square and a measuring tape in my backpack. I cut a piece of cedar driftwood and than packed it home and screwed it onto the gate. It's nice to have it working again. If only it was as easy to mend a broken heart. It's been years now since my partner walked away from me when I was pregnant yet I continue to live with a grief that has never ended. I understand a broken heart. This experience has left me with an understanding gained only by living with it. The pain worsens when I think about myself. The pain lessons when I turn to God and think about him. When the grief hits me hard - and believe me it still does on a regular basis- the best thing I can do is sing hymns or read scripture. Both of these result in one thing; I take my eyes off myself and I look to Jesus and He fills me with peace and hope. Real love I am struggling to understand but I have learned that it does not abandon - ever. " I will not fail you or abandon you." Joshua 1:5 God has rescued me. I am left in awe at this love so undeserved yet this is God showing me Himself. It is God who says," Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I The Lord your God, am with you wherever you go."Joshua 1:9 In the years that followed after my partner left it was God who stuck around and I know that no matter what or how many wonderful things I say about Him I can never repay His love - for love is Him.
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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Guests


I keep a visitor book for the summer guests who visit the birdbath. This summer I recorded nine species. Their are also four other year round resident species who regularly visit. On february 20, 2015 I posted about how I made this simple birdbath. After several years the ivy is beginning to wind it's way around the post and the perennial fuchsia in front of it is filling out nicely. I have grown fond of it and appreciate the ease of being able to lift it up since I clean and refill it daily with a watering can. I took this picture of a Swanson's thrush through the kitchen window. The Swanson's is a secretive bird more known for it's flute like song than it's appearance. Typically it spends it's time in the tree top's. A pair of yellow rumped audubon warbler's were also regular visitors. Both of them nested in the tree canopy around the forest clearing. Other visitor's were golden crowned sparrows, MacGillivray's warblers, western flycatchers, warbling vireo's and robins. A pair of goldfinches are now our daily visitor's. We enjoy these sweet summer visits and look forward's to whoever else may stop by.
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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Making a potty

After 17 years of using the same outhouse it began to fill up and I began to consider options. On the Internet I learned of a more helpful and gentler way of managing human waste. (google humanmanure handbook as a starting point) Composting. I have been composting kitchen waste for years and in the last year I began composting kitchen waste with worms. Now I am about to begin to compost human waste. I will keep my worm box for kitchen waste and I will build a new composting bin for human waste. After learning about this I believe it is truly a better, gentler, more helpful approach to managing human waste than using an outhouse. I explained the concept to my five year old - "with this potty," I said, "we are helping plants." I have learned through observation in nature that a fulfilling path is found when the motivation in one's life is to help and I believe that in doing this I will find a deep satisfaction. I found plans online on how to build this simple potty. I had the right lumber scraps on hand. The lid is made of 3/4" plywood. There are four 2x4 pieces on the inside and 1/4" plywood is nailed to them on the outside. I built it with a hammer, drill, handsaw and a jigsaw. There is a five gallon bucket on the inside. Carbon is added to the bucket after each use which eliminates the smell aspect. The buckets are changed out and emptied onto a compost pile. There are quite a few things to learn about this process so that it is done correctly and I recommend that if you want to learn more to google it. In the future I will be posting more on this experience.
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Sunday, 2 July 2017

A simple pleasure

I washed this pair of rag rugs I wove some time ago. Both of them are in my kitchen and receive a lot of daily wear. As usual, I used my washboard and a laundry sink on my back deck to wash them in and than I hung them up on a metal wire fence in my yard. When they were dry I rolled them up and put them away - until fall. It fills me with pleasure to see them clean again. Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Vegan carob cupcake recipe

My daughter and I made these carob cupcakes to welcome summer. They are inspired by Wilton. The daisy's are buttercream frosting and the lady bugs are royal icing with the black markings hand painted on with a brush. My five year old loved doing that. The daisy stems are popsicle sticks painted green with cake icing colour and the leaf is buttercream piped on after assembling. I used tip #101 for the petals as I find the smaller tip easier than the suggested wilton #104. Tip #12 was used for the flower centres. Carob is considered to be a healthier alternative to chocolate. Please google this if you are interested for a more detailed explanation. This recipe is gifted to me by my mother. It makes a wonderful 8" by 8" cake or 11 cupcakes. 1/2 cup sugar; 1 1/2 cups flour; 1/3 cup carob powder; 1/2 tsp. salt; 1 tsp. baking soda; 1 T. Lemon juice; 1/3 cup oil; 1 tsp. vanilla; 1 cup cold water. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine. Pour into cake pan or muffin tins for cupcakes. Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.

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