"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

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

One more time

It's evening and a northwesterly wind has kicked up. The tree's are sending down showers of needles and cones. I hear a large branch break and fall somewhere off in the trees. I go upstairs and hear flapping against the side of the cabin. What kind of bird is trying to get inside? I wonder outside to have a look. A piece of tar paper covering the plywood high up on the side of the cabin has come loose but I go to bed hoping that in the morning the paper bird will still be there. This wind reminds me that fall is nearly here. Soon the storms will come. The woodshed is full of chopped dry wood but if the weather holds I want to do all the fun things my daughter and I did this summer one more time. Than I will get serious, haul out the ladder and staple those wings down.
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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Summer

I pulled the rug out of the sitting room, washed it and hung it up to dry on the fence in the sunshine. When I put it back I laid it down widthwise instead of lengthwise. I cut pictures of contemporary bird paintings out of a wordless children's art book I picked up at the thrift store. I replaced the dated family pictures I had framed in my hallway with these. This has been the summer that I completed refinishing my floor loom. (I've spent the last two summer's working on this.) I used Tried & True Danish Oil and will continue to apply it periodically. I'm really happy with this product and if you want to check it out you will find it on amazon. (No I never got anything free or any rebate for saying this.) The best part of summer is that it is still here. I'm still barefoot and there are still flowers blooming in my yard. Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 7 August 2016

When things need repair

No matter how practically simple I try to keep things invariably I still deal with repairs. Some things have helped me like anticipating what may go wrong and planning for that and if possible to postpone a decision on how to deal with a break down for as long as possible. This is generally not easy but it has saved me money. Sometimes by holding off long enough I will be led to a new decision that I had not previously entertained. There are other things I do. I take into major consideration worst case scenario and I google a lot of things. Prayer which I have mentioned last is in reality my first choice. I had a section of fencing that was falling down and I was faced with what to do. I took my time - prayed over it- planned out exactly how I was going to rebuild it and eventually I did. While it was a relief to complete this repair it came easier than I anticipated and I was left wondering why I often feel so incompetent. Still there is an incredible feeling of satisfaction in doing a good job and in getting it done. The picture is of my Estwing hammer that I "splurged" and bought for myself just before I began my cabin renovation and it is a pleasure to use. It was this tool that taught me that a well built tool is part of a process and in that way a good fit between you and it go beyond the definition of an object much like a good fitting brau is more than a clothing item.
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Sunday, 24 July 2016

No regrets

The long, endless, dreamy summer days are filled with easy warmth, free time and endless inspiration. I have to keep pinching myself to see if this is for real. I spend hours at my loom while my daughter sits next to me weaving on her loom. At last I am at the loom long enough to weave tapestry. It has been many years to get to this point. I treasure those years and I have no regrets about my decision not to weave tapestry during her babyhood. When I finally put that first warp on two years ago this September I got so much joy just looking at the warped loom that it more than made up for the fact that all I had was bits of time. It is now that I have time and I am relishing this new freedom. I lose track of time and a day pass's unnoticed. Shocked I wonder how that could happen - I do after all have a phone to remind me- but wait a minute- I didn't turn it on. I spend the afternoon on the floor drawing out a weaving cartoon while my daughter sits beside me tracing her hands with a pencil and than colouring them with felt markers. Than she draws moons. Earlier that morning before the sun peeked over the mainland hills we had walked the beach gathering rocks and shells and we had admired the luminescence of a full moon hanging over the island. Her moons are bright and colourful and many are striped. She is in love with what she is doing. "Mommy I can't have supper until my work is done," she says. Apparently that means using up the large sheet of paper I gave her. I smile feeling the joy in my own heart. Life is full and sweet like that moon.
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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Notes on cross stitch

I liked this text enough to cross stitch it and make this pillow which I have on my bed. The only way one can do what the text admonishes is to surrender one's will and look to God for His will to be done on a daily basis. If you haven't done this I suggest you try it. Cross stitch is remarkable easy. This is my second project. I find it much easier to design my own patterns. I use graph paper and do a basic outline of the shape and leave the rest to the whim of the moment when the needle is in my hand. I do all of my cross stitch with my four year old daughter and find this process works very well with frequent interruptions. She has finished two complete projects on her own- motivated completely by herself. Both of these were worked on plastic canvas with yarn. Back stitch and French knots are two other great stitches which complement cross stitch and give one greater design possibilities. Cross stitch is extremely inexpensive. All of the required supplies are available at Walmart for under 20.00. To keep in that budget I wash my Aida in hot water to remove the sizing and this softens it enough that a simple 4" embroidery hoop is more than adequate. The only other things you need are a tapestry needle and floss. Ordinary scissors work fine to trim floss and are not necessary. Patterns and ideas can be found online or in thrift stores for 1.00 or less. I would love to hear your thoughts on cross stitch or embroidery.
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Sunday, 17 July 2016

A new ribbing stitch

I was attempting to learn a look alike cable ribbing stitch from a knitting dictionary. I never did master that one instead I came up with this one. It's simple and fits easily into the rhythm of my pattern. Cast on an even number of stitches. Row 1: *purl two sts., knit two sts., repeat from * to end of row. Row 2: repeat row 1. You are knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches. Row 3: *purl two stitches, k2tog but do not slip off needle, insert right hand needle between these 2 stitches and knit the first stitch again, slipping both stitches off needles together. Repeat from * to end of row. Row 4: repeat row 1. This stitch has given me joy while doing my annual sock knitting task. I always knit a new pair usually for myself and several pairs for my daughter. As I sit barefoot knitting the next pair I feel the glory of summer content knowing we will have warm socks for whatever lies ahead.

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Salal sourdough pancake recipe

An entry I wrote last week on my phone: "My hands are covered in blisters but I am finished digging up my waterline which for a variety of reasons had to be moved. Tonight I feel joy running in my veins. I will not think about the fact that I have yet to finish filling in the old trench, dig a new one and re-assemble the pipe. But the night is young so I switch activities and begin hauling firewood in my wheelbarrow and than stacking it in the woodshed. Time passes but how much of it is irrelevant. What is important is how much wood I get stacked. I stop when I am feeling dead tired and than I notice some ripe salal berries that my daughter and I neglected to pick earlier in the day so I head into the cabin to find something to pick them into. I pick bare armed and ignore the few mosquitoes buzzing around. Through the darkening forest I see the golden setting sun and I pop a few berries into my mouth. They are dry and earthy. I love them but it is an acquired taste. Late spring/ summer is the closest season to heaven on this side of paradise." I make this pancake recipe once a week: In bowl add: 1 cup white flour; 1/4 cup oatmeal; 1/4 cup flaxseed flour ( I make mine in my blender) 1 cup sourdough ( from a sourdough culture) and enough warm water to make a pancake consistency. Cover and allow to sit overnight. In the morning add: 1/2 tsp. baking soda; 2 tablespoons honey; 3 tablespoons flavourless oil; 3/4-1 cup salal or blue berries(optional); water as needed. Let stand 15-30 mins. before frying.

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