"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

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Learning patience

I have learned when I take time to linger, to enjoy the toddler holding my hand spashing through the mud puddles as we meander down the lane then I know I am in the right head space and everything else that happens in our day will be fine. And that's what it has come down to is for me to preserve the inner tranquility.  There are times when I feel impatient and I have learned that if I just stop and pause long enough before speaking I will regain the calm again. With practice and the constancy of prayer it is becoming a part of me. It takes hundreds of tiny stitches to make a quilt and hundreds of days to create the story of a childhood. May each day like each stitch be beautiful.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

How I do laundry

Once a month I had been hauling our laundry to town until last February or so when I purchased the wonder wash made by Alternative Laundry. I bought my unit off amazon after reading the reviews. I use it six days a week and it hasn't fallen apart and neither is it leaking. I wash all of my daughter's clothing, my shirts, sock/underwear, pj's, and soft toys in it. Anything that is stained first receive's a soak and/or a scrub. It uses very little water and soap and is simple to operate. I crank it by hand for two and a half minutes or so for the wash cycle and then empty it out and refill it and then crank it for forty five seconds for the rinse cycle. As I have drain plumbing I let it empty into the kitchen sink and to fill it I pack rainwater in a bucket from a water tank outside.  I do not use it for sheets, towels, jeans, or anything that would be 'heavy' when it is full of water. Those items are to messy to remove from the top of the machine. They get washed by hand in a tote outside on my back deck. The wonderwash has made things easier and its small footprint is something I can live with.

Monday, 24 November 2014

To say I Love You

It's a Christmas Eve in a month and well, frankly I am nervous. You see I decided the very best gift I could give my daughter is a handknit sweater. After all what else could make you feel more loved or cared for than to wrap yourself up in something that has taken a zillion hours of someone else's time? Yes, she is only 2 but her favourite clothing items are the one's I've knitted. So I know she get's it. Yes, there is a population out there of unappreciative holders of knitted items. In my stash I found the perfect yarn and then I found the perfect pattern. Yes, I am going to follow directions for this one time. With this in mind I've gotten started but I've only gotten two sleeves done. Well, not quite there is still the embroidery part on each cuff to do. And then there is the fact that I don't have the perfect buttons. So much for keeping Christmas simple.

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Toilet paper and simplicity

(Picture irrelevant) I made a miscalculation. No an oversight. I forgot to buy t.p. (toilet paper) and it's going to be awhile before we go to town again. Just to make sure this won't happen again I have pinned a note on the bulletin board beside the shopping list to count t.p rolls. The plan is when there are four left I will switch to leaves for pee's. Lucky for me on the coast there is an evergreen shrub with large, leathery mostly soft leaves called salal so I don't have to use snow. What is simplicity? Is it easy access to t.p.?

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Monday, 17 November 2014

To be the best

In my quest to be the best mom I've taken to cooking and baking. Some of my latest efforts, like the walnut carrot coconut cookie recipe I created and the sweet potato fries I experimented with have been nirvana. The other day I decided to introduce to my daughter the wonders of popcorn cake. I have the recipe my mom used and while it contains a few preservatives that I normally shy away from this cake was a favourite of mine a long time ago. As usual before baking we put on our aprons and I set all the ingredients the recipe calls for on the table. The cake which came out looking a deep purple looked more like candy but I remind myself it's a treat on a once in awhile occasion. Although the only occasion I am aware of today is my sweet tooth. For a snack I cut a slice. My toddler takes a nibble while I straighten up. "No mommy," she says and pushes it away. "Oh, no I think what have I done?" The flavour was so intense that if I had a really bad cold I would have been able to still taste the grape. It took me until evening after the little angel was tucked into bed before I realized my undoing. I had put 85 grams of Kool-aid in instead of jello. I'm glad it wasn't a birthday cake. I'm glad her socks knit up perfectly.
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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

If I were a hummingbird

"It is a matter of surprise to many persons to see the great amount of energy of mind and personal exertion that women will make under the most adverse circumstances in this country. I have marked with astonishment and admiration acts of female heroism, for such it may be termed in women,...(as they) perform tasks from which many men would have shrunk....they have resolutely set their own shoulders to the wheel, and bourne the burden with unshrinking perseverance unaided; forming a bright example to all around them, and showing what can be done when the mind is capable of overcoming the weakness of the body." Catherine Par Trail, A Canadian Settler's Guide. I think the same could be said about hummingbird females in general but as I watch the Anna's and how they approach life outside my window during this cold snap we are having; I think it is specifically applicable to them. These girls are hardy, brave and gutsy. Yet they live so unaware of themselves, and in that they have a sweet humility. This is what makes them so beautiful and desirable.

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Lunch and Soap

This week my daughter and I were over at a friends place and we had lunch together. I haven't been to her place since I was pregnant. The visit made me realize how introverted I have become. I wonder if this is a permanent change.....or is it a part of the circle of grief that I am passing through? The weather is rainy but the thermometer doesn't drop. The maple leaves have turned gold but they haven't fallen. We eat two meals in twilight and watch two female Anna hummingbirds frequenting the feeder. (They don't visit at the same time.......) Is it fall or winter? I used to make soap but then it became impossible to locate lye without ordering it online. So I quit. I've since regained an interest in it but this time I will make my own lye from ashes. Somewhere in my woodpiles I have a small stash of yew. Perhaps enough for a partial batch of soap. But I have to locate it first. One of these days I am going to build a woodshed. Then the firewood will be organized like my knitting needles. It will also stay dry.

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Thursday, 6 November 2014


It's 5:51pm and I'm knitting the first toddler sock. I have the whole entire beautiful evening to knit. (Picture taken in daylight) I've got my thermos of tea and I'm sitting under my LED lamp. I know this pattern. That is why I knit the first pair for myself. Now I just have to make everything a whole lot smaller. As I knit I keep noticing I'm holding my breath. I remind myself that I've made a calculated guess before I cast on. I knit for awhile. Everything seems to be going really well. After all the leg part is just a tube. As long as I get the width right it will fit. The real question is how are things going to go on the short rows of the gusset heel? I know that once I nail that...I'm good. Everything else will be just fine. As long as I remember to keep breathing.

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Saturday, 1 November 2014

The functional has got to be beautiful

Having warm, cozy feet is important to me. So I only knit socks with wool/nylon sock yarn. I knit these on size 2mm needles so they are thin and I can easily wear them in my rubber boots. I am going to downscale this pattern to fit my two year olds feet. She can wear them in the pink rubber boots that she loves with the little, green jumping frogs on them. Then, I will know that her feet like mine are toasty warm.
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