"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, 16 October 2016

Lead free

This is lys Duralex manufactured in France and it is my new everyday dinnerware. I chose it because it is lead free and it is tempered glass making it 2-3 times stronger than ordinary soda lime glass such as Pyrex and Anchor Hocking - although both of these in clear glass are lead free and American manufactured. The glass in my setting is from Spiegelau which is manufactured in Germany and their series authentis casual. This is a beautifully brilliant clear glass which has a lovely ring when tapped. I contacted the manufacturer through an email and they told me this series is lead free. It is produced in crystal glass ( lead free). I've been having fun with my young daughter learning different napkin folds and the heart fold I learned from a wonderful book called, " Napkin Folds," by B. Jones and M. Brehaut. All of my dishware I bought/collected and some of it was gifted over twenty years ago. It has served me well and while necessity has brought change I couldn't be happier with my choice.

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Sunday, 9 October 2016


I have spent many happy hours with my young daughter gathering, drawing and preserving leaves. This simple activity is resplendent with blessing. Time becomes meaningless when spent amongst their company. I become aware of a different dimension to life where what is of value in our culture today becomes meaningless. I leave their company refreshed, calm and whole. It is God who made leaves and in doing so He gifted mankind with the indelible fingerprint of His love and care for us. For this particular wreath I traced the desired size onto poster board, cut it out and glued the pressed leaves that my daughter had chosen on to it. It is under the glass of our kitchen table. I need to get inspired now and take the summer wreath off the front door. I will leave you with the words of this poem titled Leaves by Craig Sathoff. "The leaves of autumn speak to me in fast, impatient tones of all the beauties to be seen and tasks that must be done. At other times they sing to me in accents soft and low, inviting me to sit and dream not hurry to and fro. The leaves might laugh and jest a bit and pass the time of day, or barely stop to speak to me as they rush on their way. I've talked with leaves at autumn time since I was just a boy and every year their friendship brings a special touch of joy."

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Looking for red wrigglers

The earth is dark from the autumn rains. We are out looking for wild red wriggler composting worms. These worms are different than earthworms. They are red, flat on the underside, and have a yellowish tail. Unlike an earthworm they are generally found on top of the ground rather than down in it. This is how we found ours. We put down a piece of wet cardboard with a stone on top and it worked wonders at attracting them. Looking under the compost bin was another score. I guess inside the bin isn't quite right. Raking under fallen leaves was another success and after three days we had approximately 40 worms. We continued to collect by revisiting the sites where we did find some. We put them into a two foot square wooden box with a sloping lid that I built last summer from old douglas fir siding boards. A piece of plywood serves as a roof and another for the floor which has holes drilled in the bottom for excess moisture. Their bedding is paper we needed to recycle that my four year old cut up for them. Tucked into that is kitchen compost. The idea is new and the adventure young so we will see how it unfolds. If you are interested in learning more about composting with red wrigglers what I found helpful was a 1973 September back issue and a July/August 1983 back issue of Mother Earth magazine.
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Sunday, 25 September 2016

A good mug

Twenty years ago I bought this mug new. I have utilized it regularly since than. It was a good choice. It has outlasted the men in my life. Lately, however I have noticed staining and pitting on the bottom and I decided to replace it. To my dismay I found that while Waechtersbach still makes the same style of mug they are now being manufactured in China instead of Spain. I guess it's time for a change. How hard can it be I wondered to find lead free or almost lead free North American pottery dishware manufacturer's? At this point I have found three options. Homer Laughlin China Co., Emerson Creek Pottery and HF Coors all clearly state on their website that their dishware is lead free or nearly so. Whichever I choose I know the new one's will still match these mug rugs I knit up in worsted wool. Each one took part of an evening. It was a great way to use up left over yarn. If you knit you can make these easily too. Just draw out your design on ordinary graph paper allowing 1 stitch for each block. My red Waechtersbach mug is still as perfect as the day I bought it. It reminds me of sweet days long ago and good decisions.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Mother and daughter skirts

It was the last item on my summer mending pile. A skirt that I had sewed years ago but it no longer fit and I no longer liked the style. However, I still loved the cotton Swiss dot fabric. It was a very full skirt and after removing the excess, I shortened it and put in an elastic waistband instead of the zipper. Now I suddenly had something I loved that fit. It was easy to see what to do with the excess fabric and my daughter was thrilled.
The summer mending pile is gone and the last camping trip is done. The sweetness of it is preserved in my memories. My daughter has grown with those good times and I see how the summer experiences we have shared together have become a part of her like how they are a part of me too. I feel truly thankful for these memories and I will carry the lesson I have learned into every season - not just summer. "True wisdom lies in gathering precious moments out of each day." Author unknown

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Vegan Hummus Recipe

My daughter loves this hummus. It's creamy and subtly seasoned. It get's it's creaminess from the oatmeal. If you are interested in how I make oatmeal milk check out my March 3, 2015 post titled Cell phones, blogging and making milk. For the hummus you will need; 1/4 cup of oatmeal ( any kind) soaked overnight in enough water to cover them, 1 cup cooked garbanzo's, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. olive oil and 1 very small garlic clove. Put everything in the blender and add a touch of water so that the blades will spin. Blend until smooth.

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Sunday, 4 September 2016


I broke the first birch wooden knitting needle shortly into the first mitten but I wasn't too alarmed. After all there are five double pointed needles in a pack and I only needed four. What are the odds of breaking two needles in the same project? And than I broke a second needle. What was a gal to do now? I wasn't going to town and there is no courier service or post office on this island so ordering online wasn't going to help me now. I checked to see if my bamboo skewer sticks were the same 2.75 mm dimension as my needles - but they weren't so I carved a new point on the broken end of my needle with my pocket knife, lightly sanded it with sandpaper, rubbed it across a piece of beeswax and knitted on. It worked very well and I actually preferred the shortened length of that needle enough that I carved a new point on the other broken needle and used that one too. But it did make me wonder how is it possible that I've knit four other pairs of mittens for my daughter from this same yarn and never broke a single needle? At least they both broke near the end and not in the middle. I've never had to make a knitting needle - at least not yet.

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