"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, 19 April 2017

More on wild red wrigglers

I first posted on our efforts of finding wild red wrigglers and the box I built to house them in on October 2, 2016. I left the box with the worms inside outside by the woodshed for the winter and hoped for the best. It was a cold winter and at times I wondered how the 140 plus worms we had found were doing. I waited until early spring before looking inside. When I lifted off the lid and smelled the rich aroma of earth I knew that the worms were doing fine. I left them with a large bucket of kitchen scraps and a small pail of cut up, soaked recycled paper. Apparently there are 700 - 800 breeding worms in a pound. (Breeding worms are the big ones with bands around them- they are in the picture.) I saw lots of breeding worms in our box - far more than what we had found last fall to put in. To me there is something incredibly beautiful about the sensuous rawness of nature's rhythms.

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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

At work in the forest

Some days all I hear is wind and the far off roar of the sea. When it is quiet I hear song sparrows, kinglets and robins. I rake and gather branches and cones shed from winter winds. This forest is my work place. I have worked here for years and it has shaped me in a way that is hard to define. I watch my young daughter gathering conifer cones and than she drops them into a red squirrel cache under a stump beside a large midden pile. I don't attend church but in this space I feel something far greater beyond myself and my work becomes sacred. My heart lifts toward my Creator in prayer and thanksgiving. Yet everything is not serene. I have a recurring shoulder injury that has reignited and many days I am not here. I know He hasn't brought me this far - only to abandon me. With a quiet, simple faith I wait to see where He is leading me.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A simple cake

You don't need a freezer or a crumb layer. This is a simple 8" x 3" cake from a Wilton decorating book. My almost five year old daughter made approximately 60 drop flowers ahead of time. We used tip #2D and #78 and the flower centres were tip #5. (The cake colours were yellow and lavender- the camera got it wrong- there was no blue.) There is a shell border I piped on with tip #21 after I iced the cake. It is a chocolate cake with buttercream icing between the layers. The buttercream frosting was applied with the light touch of a spatula and the flowers were simply added on. My daughter loved making the flowers and in her words the cake was, "beautiful!" We celebrated our birthday's and the cake was delicious.

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Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Rats, a mouse, and a squirrel

The islands history goes back to over a hundred and twenty years ago when white man first began to settle here. Even with the long history of steam boats servicing the island there have been no rats. All of this changed in the last year when black rats were trapped on the island. When I found a single dropping that was to big to be a mouse dropping on my covered back porch I was mortified. Five weeks later when I went out to town I purchased two plastic snap traps - each one made by a different manufacturer - just in case one did not work. I baited them with peanut butter and placed one on the back deck. I put it under a table and tied it to the table legs next to the cabin. The second went into a box with two small holes cut out as entrance ways and weighted with bricks. I put this trap under the foundation at the front of the cabin. Than I waited. The first night I caught nothing. The second morning I caught a red squirrel in the trap on the back deck. The third night I caught a deer mouse in the other trap. These rodents I am used to. In the four nights following that I caught nothing. It turns out that red squirrel droppings are similar to black rat droppings so this seems to be a case of mistaken identity. I am truly grateful. Nevertheless my trap line is still set up. I am sure none of you have any interest in seeing pictures of any of this......

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

All about thumbs


My daughter needed a new pair of mittens for her growing hands. She loved the fish pattern and colours from the last pair I made so I simply enlarged my pattern. I have a basic pattern that I use for all of my mittens. Each pair that I knit for her I write down how many stitches I used at the key points and that assists me in estimating how many stitches I need to enlarge another pair. (I also write down what yarn and what size double pointed needles I have used.) I only use double pointed needles to knit mittens. After knitting to where I want to place the thumb I estimate how many stitches I will put on a stitch holder. This is approximately a quarter of the total number of stitches you cast on. For this pair it was ten stitches. Immediately after placing them on the holder I will cast on the same number - ten stitches. I will then finish knitting the mitten. After the mitten is knit I will return to knitting the thumb. I put the stitches on the stitch holder on two double pointed needles - dividing the stitches equally between them. For this pair of mittens I put five stitches on each double pointed needle. Than I picked up ten stitches - putting five stitches on each needle. I now have four double pointed needles with five stitches on each of them. I will now knit these twenty stitches with a fifth double pointed needle until I have knit to the top of the thumb. ( You will have to try the mitten on to determine this.) At this point I will divide the stitches equally between two double pointed needles. For this pair of mittens it was ten stitches on each needle. The shaping for the top of the thumb is: knit 1, slip 1, psso, knit to the last two stitches on the needle and k2tog. I repeat this on both needles until I have 8- 10 stitches left - roughly half of how many stitches I started with. This is counting all the stitches on both needles. I will than do Kitchener stitch ( There are some excellent video's on utube demonstrating this finishing stitch.) to weave the opening shut. There are many other possibilities of doing this - but this has through trial and error become my signature way. I like to keep things simple and I look for repetitive patterns and I use proportions to assist me in this way.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The fridge - part two

As you all know my fridge quit working on Jan 21. The serviceman for propane appliances came back from his holiday on February 1 and never returned my call. I waited politely and than snow fell and for two weeks the roads were impassable. As soon as it melted I went back to work. It has now been over a month since the fridge stopped working and everything is ok. I have simplified our eating. I am conscious more than ever of what we are eating and I have learned and am learning new ways to prepare and keep food. I am also finding that a transition to eating vegan for now really helps. After all Adam and Eve (who were given that diet in the garden of Eden as God's original diet for mankind) never had a refrigerator. The cool weather has also helped. Life is decidedly simple and I am content. I am thankful for my peace of mind. This is an answer to prayer and I am truly thankful for His care.

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A rug for Helping House

Welcome to helping house - This is my daughter's playhouse and here is a 3" by 2" rug that I wove. After weaving the rug you saw in the preceding post I flipped over my discarded picture frame (my loom) and wove this.
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