"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

Saturday, 31 January 2015

When to quit?

I have observed that as I have gotten more proficient at knitting I make fewer mistakes. At least this is the general rule. This afghan which is 6 feet long and is for my nephew is perfect and it was a pattern that fell off my needles. After I finished it I did some other knitting and then I decided to knit a pair of baby booties. A gift for a special baby not yet born. It was also a tribute knit to my late grandmother as the day of her passing nears. In memory of her I had a very particular way that I wanted them to look so I grabbed some Bernat softee baby yarn and cast on. The pattern I felt was to be found somewhere between intuition and my needles. I also skipped the very manditory and highly recommended sage advice to knit a swatch so it should have not been a surprise to me that at the end of the evening I had a bootie suitable for Bigfoot baby. The next evening I started again. I have a pole, battery LED lamp that I use for knitting and it works very well. As it is portable I am able to put the lamp anywhere I feel like knitting. Sometimes that's bed, the couch or in front of the stove. Something can be said for the luxury of watching a genuine fire on the other side of the glass. I settled in for a good knit and what happened next was not normal for me. My second attempt failed and so each evening became another failed try. Although each time I did progress a teeny bit further. Still one morning in disgust I bagged the project and put some new yarn in my basket. I wanted to knit some coasters for my kitchen. But that night I pulled the bootie back out of the bag. By now I had lost count of how many times I had tried. I asked myself why not quit? This was obviously not fulfilling right now. The only answer I got back was knowing when to quit and what to spend my time on is all about keeping my priorities straight. I can't show you the finished booties now - it's a secret- but sometime I will.

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Chocolate peppermint green split pea soup recipe

The inspiration for my recipe came from a book called; More Easy Beans by Trish Ross and Jacquie Trafford. I've changed it a lot to suit my preferences but I have kept the general idea. This is my way of making it: 3 cups water; 1/2 cup dry split green peas; 1 medium carrot peeled and chopped fine; 1 stalk celery chopped fine; 1/2 of a medium-small onion chopped fine; 1 tsp. oregano and sea salt. Cook in kettle on back of woodstove until tender. If I put this soup on in the morning it is usually ready for an early supper however if the split peas are old it takes much longer. I think this soup would be great cooked in a crock pot. When the split peas are cooked add 2 tsp.(s) Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp chopped fresh chocolate peppermint if you have it. Regular peppermint is also fine. I have a chocolate peppermint plant that I keep on my back windowsill. It still hasn't frozen and I've been harvesting off of it all winter. You can substitute the fresh for 1 tsp. dried peppermint. Allow to simmer for 15- 30 mins before serving. Makes approx. 3 cups of soup. The key to this receipe is to add enough water to cook everything but not to much to make it watery. This is a thick, chunky style soup. I served mine today with sandwiches made from my honey whole wheat bread, pickle, lettuce, tomato and onion patties.

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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Oranges for a knife

I put out these oranges in my sitting room to add some colour. Seeing them reminded me of the experience I had the last time I went to town. That day as I drove the forty minute drive I contemplated the stickers I had in my purse. I knew that after I finished my grocery shopping I would have enough for a free paring knife. But I asked myself, Did I really need another one? Wouldn't it be better to give it to somebody else? I began to contemplate how I would go about doing that. As I shopped in the produce section I saw 10lb boxes of oranges. I couldn't help but inhale their delicious scent and notice their expensive price. "They will be marked down Friday," the employee said helpfully as he stacked heads of lettuce. "Oh," I said, "I cannot come back." "That's not a problem," he said pulling out a felt marker. You will get the sale price today." "Thank-you," I said pleasantly surprised. After I had paid for my cart full of groceries and received my stickers I turned to the three people standing behind me. "Would anyone like a paring knife?" I asked holding up the stickers and voucher. It made me smile. I had tried to make somebody's else's day better but I only received more in return. My experience reminded me of the bible verse, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Lighting the cabin and my Aladdin lamp

I bought this Aladdin #23A kerosene lamp new last summer. I chose a hanging model as it is safer with my toddler. A shade is necessary as it sends the light downward on the table. I ordered the parchment shade because it was much cheaper. I'm glad I did. The clips grip the shade downward which is unlike the way Aladdin's table lamps hold the shade up. Meaning if you drop it like I did while putting it on (and you have to take the shade off to light the lamp) it will fall. I have used it at least one full evening a week. It's bright enough that I can knit under it but not with black yarn. My only misgiving is this: twice it seems the lamp turned itself up (not sure what happened) I suddenly saw orange light and I was just sitting there quietly knitting. It scared me and I turned it down right away but I never leave it burning unattended. I am also careful about how high I have it turned up and I regularly trim and clean the wick. The instruction booklet that came with the lamp I've found very helpful as I had no previous experience with these lamps. After having used it all winter it really is lovely. It has a wonderful ambience that I enjoy. I put away all the wick burner lamps in my kitchen. The aladdin with its mantle is much brighter. Unless I am burning candles I turn on the Aladdin.
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Saturday, 17 January 2015


Before I was pregnant I lived and breathed tapestry weaving. It was the meaning of my existence. Motherhood became my invitation to selflessness. When my baby came into the world I stopped tapestry weaving. That's what priorities do to you. I took up watercolor painting which was a very good fit as I had very little to no time. I needed to be there for my baby. Now my daughter is nearly three and I have some time. In september my toddler helped me build a loom. It is unlike any loom being manufactored today but it has everything in a loom that I want. Last month I began weaving a small tapestry. The years I spent away from it have been a gift. I don't know where I'm going but I'm breathless for the journey. I have come full circle and for this I celebrate. My experience has made me wonder: Does selflessness always offer a greater return?

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Helping bc kids

If you've been following the blog you will know that back in August I had a open studio where I donated 40 percent of my earnings to bc kids without homes. I got a lot of support and in the weeks after the sale I mailed two very full boxes of new clothes that were distributed to these kids. Two of these kids will be finished their grade twelve at the end of this term in early February and are looking for employment. At Christmas time I received word about a girl who stole a hoody because she needed one. I sent the remaining money to my mother who purchased used black hoodies and coats in various sizes in good condition from thrift stores. She laundered them up and they are crammed into this box and she will mail them and they will be distributed as needed to these kids. If you are one of the people who bought at the open studio and you are reading this thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me in my dream to share love with them.
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Sunday, 11 January 2015


In the early seventies my cabin was built between two second growth cedar trees. The cabin fits neatly between them. One at each end. Years ago in a violent storm the top of one of the tree's came down in a storm and heavily damaged the cabin. But that's another story. Last winter the snag with its broken top attracted the attention of the pileated woodpecker but this winter the bird hasn't been back. Because of the snag's mammoth girth and close proximity to the cabin last week I paid to have it taken down. The climber/faller made it known that he was single and I was glad for the presence of other islanders, some who accompanied him and another who happened to come by to see me when the action got started. I don't blame him for trying after all there is not a lot if any woman to choose from. The island is very quiet right now. The wood was bone dry. I chopped some up and started a fire in the stove for the evening.
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Thursday, 8 January 2015

My story: in the landscape and the God in it

We did this long beach walk and stroller ride combination today and my daughter found her first sand dollars and I brought home two pieces of sea glass. The sea was calm, the sky grey and the distant blue of the mountains were partially obscured by fog. As we walked around the bay the evergreens towering over us never looked so green. There is something to be said for spending time with the landscape. I believe it leaves it's fingerprints on your soul and the longer you spend immersed in it the deeper those marks. If you spend long enough out there it changes the entity of who you are. It has a way of cutting through everything in this life and culture that is perceived as necessary or meaningful and reveals the essence of what really matters. It beckons like a love song. It feeds your soul like how a brook throws itself at the sea. I have never regretted any of the time I have spent in it. My longing has only been for more of it. When I was 15 I became an atheist. When I was 23 my life was spared from instant death. After that I knew He existed and I became determined to get to know Him. A year later I moved to this island with my now exhusband. I needed a simple life where I could search for Him in nature. I found a God of love, laughter and care. Nature is so marvellous, so interconnected with each other and man. It endlessly testifies of its Creator. This experience changed the course of my life forever.
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Monday, 5 January 2015

Pretty in blue

On Christmas morning when my daughter opened up and saw her sweater she held it nicely in both hands and said,"try it on." This is exactly what a knitter wants to see and hear. 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Ya that's my hand

After I wrote my last post a week ago my phone went dead and I let it stay that way. I needed to make my world smaller and that is how I brought in the new year. It was a very meaningful time and with fewer distractions it gave me the freedom to mull over some things. I may do it again in the future. It's been a cold week and the chestnut backed chickadee's have spent a lot of time at the feeder. Wild birds are a delight to befriend. I alway's carry sunflower seeds in my outdoor pockets for I know that when they see me they will excitedly chirp and fly to my hand expecting a seed. This is for me endlessly cheering.

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