Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lilac


I'm  loving lilac everywhere I look this spring.
I noticed my lilac is thinking of spreading a little love of its own.
It's date day today. . .and I have a bit of lilac cotton yarn tucked in my handbag.
During our travels today . ..
I'll be keeping my eye open for some crisp cotton fabric to match.


I do hope you also find a bit of enjoyment in your day.  .dear ones.

All for now . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

soft feather jacket



The other day . .
we were out in the field . .  Grandgirlie and I.
We do this most everytime she comes to visit.  We just walk around. 
The activities seem to amount to a hill of a beans and yet we can keep busy by inventing tasks.


Grandgirlie was very busy collecting soft feathers.
She would unzip my jacket pocket and tuck in a soft feather and zip my pocket back up and then busy herself . .eyes back to the field in search of more soft feathers.


I finally asked her what she was planning on doing with her soft feathers.
She said   . ."they are for my mommy".

There you go!
Soft feathers. . .for mommy.
I loved that she said that.

all for now . .

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Gift Idea



We were invited to  friends on Saturday night to help them warm their new home.
I popped into town to  pick up a box of chocolates. .
and then went home to match some fabric and ribbons from my stash.


When I came in the door. .
she recognized what they were . .
and put them straight to work.



Little hostess gifts need not cost an arm and and a leg. .
but sometimes just a bit of thought and time.



We never did see that box of chocolates again.  :)

OH. ..but what a wonderful time we did have.
We stayed too late. . .and still had not finished our visit.
Next time.  .
my turn.

all for now.  .

Friday, March 25, 2011

spring break yard work part 1



It's spring break here in our parts.  ..
so we've spent the last few days in our yard enjoying the gorgeous 16 Celsius weather.
He's been doing the back "breaking" part and I've been doing the feeding and documenting part of the task at hand.



He seems to be making a point to the lawn.
Rather displeased with last years performance he's scratching the living daylights out of the early spring blades that had the nerve to push through the moss.
If they think that's rough treatment. . .they should see what he has in mind for their next lawn style "spa treatment".



The fence guys have come back. . .
and are back at it. .
working hard at keeping pace with the "mature" person on the lawn.

The beautiful snow crested mountains in the background are a constant reminder that we live in the Fraser Valley.  It's usually this time of year when the locals begin to wonder about the snow pack up in those mountains and the Fraser River that runs through the valley. 
In 1948, eleven years before  I was born. . .
flood waters rose to the middle of the bedroom window that eventually belonged to me.
My parents reminded us each year of the strawberry plants that died underneath the sandy silt of the Fraser River flood.


Spring break 2011 is proving to be a tremendous bit of enjoyment.

Enjoy your weekend.

all for now . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fintgertip Pot Holders



I love quick little projects that I can copy and pass on to others.
My friend Linda gave me this sweet little set for my birthday.
The little fingertip pot holders are perfect for bringing something hot to the table and leaving with hot dishes to pass around.

I've made them two different ways now and since the method is slightly different I will explain them both ways.

For each little holder you will need two pieces of fabric cutting them each 8 inches long and 4 inches wide.  Round the edges as shown.

Then. ..you will need 4 more pieces pieces to slip your fingers into,
These pocket pieces measure 3 1/2 inches long each and 4 inches wide.
These measurements are meant to be a guide.  You can of course make each one a bit wider or narrower to suit yourself.  You will also need some heat proof fabric which is sold especially in fabric stores for pot holders.

To make the little fingertip pot holders without binding follow the instructions below.


  1. sew right sides together of the half circles on the straight side.Turn right side out and press the seam and top stitch  (alternately you could use one piece of fabric and simply fold it in half to create the same shape
  2. cut a piece of heat proof fabric to match the exact size of your two long pieces
  3. arrange your stack of fabric beginning from the bottom using a piece of heat proof fabric, then a piece of contrast fabric right side up and then the two half circle pieces, as shown.
  4. sew on one side through all pieces of fabric being sure to sew a bit of both half circles in place.  This is to prevent the fabric from shifting when you turn it right side out later.
  5. on top of the stack of fabric, put one more piece of long fabric right side down facing the half circles.
  6. Sew around all the layers of fabric beginning on the side where you sewed through the first layers right where you ended sewing.  You will need to be able to turn the pot holders right side out after.  Trim edges close to stitching all the way around. Then turn the pot holder right side out.  Use something dull to poke around all the edges to be sure to get the seam to the edge.
  7. Press and top stitch around the edge all the way around.
To make the pot holders using seam binding follow the instructions below.

  1. Cut 4 half circles for each pot holder.  Edge each straight side with seam binding.
  2. Layer all the pieces of fabric. 
  3.  First, one long piece of contrast fabric, right side down, then a piece of heat proof fabric, then a piece of contrast fabric right side up and then the two half circles as shown.
  4.  Sew around all the layers all the way around.
  5. Trim close to seam all the way around.
  6. (looking at number six and wondering what to say about this duplicate picture). .observe your trimmings  :)
  7. Sew seam binding all the way around.
I found the seam binding version a bit easier to make look neat.  You will have a little extra expense in the seam binding but it also allows another bit of trim to make your fingertip pot holders pretty.

Let me know if you make some.

all for now. .

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"my special"



Once upon a time. . .
my friend Linda gifted me with this sweet little china lass.
It had been given to her by a dear old family friend.
Why she gave it to me. ..I can not remember.
I think she knew I had a tender spot for things lacy and sentimental in nature.
With no girls of my own .. she might have thought I needed something that would touch my feminine heart.
The wee china lass came to me undressed . ..
so I sewed it a rather hasty little frock and stood her up amongst my pretty things in my china cabinet.



Several years later . .
her daughter and my son. ..fell in love. . .and soon my friend and I were standing beside our children at the altar. . .blessing their marriage.

Linda and I share something very precious.
My grandgirlie and little miss muffet are her  granddaughters too.



Yesterday when grandgirlie was over .. .
we shared a spot of tea with my new tiny tea set that was given to me for my birthday.
I smiled when it was given to me.
The giver had no way of knowing it matched perfectly with the little table runner that my friend Linda just made for my birthday this year.



At some point during tea. .
Grandgirlie spotted the wee little china lass and with in a gentle voice called it
 "my special". ..as though she found a lost possession.
Since I felt some concern for the well being of the wee little china lass I tried to turn the attention elsewhere but try as I might. .
she would not forget the china lass.
She assumed it was hers. . .and of course it really is.

I thought yesterday again how the Lord knew of the course my life would take.
He knew that the girl I shared grade nine Physics with thirty-seven years ago . would one day be the friend I would share granddaughters with.

I feel rather sentimental about the wee china lass.
It isn't really mine anymore. ..
and knowing it would soon be leaving. .
I took a few photos . .
to remember her by.

all for now . .

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the effects of farming



The other evening I was tucking grandgirlie into bed in the grandroom.
When the grands were born. . .my beloved installed a dimmer switch so that I could have a "night light" on the ceiling.
We prayed. . .and she lay there quietly on her side while I scratched her back.

A few minutes later. .
She says in a serious tone. . ."grammie. .. is that chicken poop on that light?"
I say. . ."no love.  ..it's just some dirt  (not wanting to alert her to the fact that little bugs had died within the light fixture).
She says. ..rather adamantly.  .."grammie. ..it looks a lot like chicken poop".
I said. . ."I know love."

Satisfied. ..she let it go.

Needless to say. . .I cleaned light fixtures thoroughly the next morning.
Out of the mouth of babes.

all for now . .

Monday, March 21, 2011

new growth



Wasn't yesterday just wonderful in the Fraser Valley of Beautiful British Columbia?
The sun was shining and the warmth of it was felt through my blue jeans as we went for a long walk on our countryside roads in the afternoon.
Green growth is later than usual here. . .there is no doubt about it.  I had to really look for something growing along the way and I yet I am hopeful and nearly certain that everything will open up rapidly and the grass will need mowing before the week is out.
Stay posted for that.

The super moon. Did you all run outside to take photos of the massive glow circle in the sky on Saturday night?
It was a spectacular sight wasn't it?
I took photos but declared them unworthy for blog material.
It helps to have your camera set right before going out into the dark.
It also helps to ensure that your tripod has three out of three leg brackets willing to tighten at your will.


After walking up and down over the hills that boasted both greening meadows and emerging gravel pits out of the farmlands we went for a drive to see what else was out and about on such a magnificent day.
We stopped for a coffee and sat outside to celebrate springs arrival.



We took the Merc when we went to get the cobwebs out of her system.
We arrived home safely after observing the speed zones .  . .most of the time.
OH. ..looking beyond the Merc? 
The fence . It's  not quite finished yet.
Stay posted for that.



Spring is officially here.
I'm glad.
I welcome the new season with all the expectations of new starts and fresh motivation.
As with each new season I wait upon the Lord for his leading and my renew my desire to be both quiet in unecessary prattle yet ready to give an answer with joy for the things that matter most.

Happy Spring.
all for now. .

Friday, March 18, 2011

working on that tree again


The other day I was baking buns and through the window I saw he brought out the ladder. .
and the chain saw.

I also noticed he turned around to see if I was watching.


I just kept making my buns. . .as I kept half an eye on him and his decision to prune. .
some more.

Remember a few weeks ago when we took off part of the big Y in the tree?
He was not happy with the result.

So. . .he removed a chunk at a time . .

He would drop a big chunk.. .

and then just like a boy . ..watch where it dropped.

One chunk at a time ...


until he was satisfied.

oh ..not quite done.

There. . .all done.

I bet you are wondering what it will look like once the leaves come out.
You and me both. . .I'll keep you posted.


OH. .not quite done.
I came around the front of the house where I caught him digging out a shrub that had overgrown his spot.

He most definitely has spring fever.
At this rate.  ..if spring doesn't arrive soon. .
we'll have dug up the entire yard.

all for now. .

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Stew


I expect that if you invited all your Irish friends and family over for dinner tonight you will not be just beginning to look this morning for an Irish recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook for your supper idea. 
If you did happen to invite 30 people to dinner and you are stumped as to what you will serve them.  ..
then rush on over there to find the Irish Stew to serve tonight.



It is a lot of experimenting that goes on over here.
When the experiments start to involve large groups of people the credit goes to the lot of them for taking part in what will eventually be a good idea.
A few weeks back I made this Irish Stew for our Pastorate Group.
It was enjoyed by all and the roasting pan was scraped clean.

It's hard to go wrong when you use some simple fresh vegetables that are readily available all year round.
A sprinkle of fresh herbs . ..some stock and a pile of home made meatballs and you have yourself a stew.




I'm always working on ideas for groups of 25.  What is your favorite simple menu idea for a group?
While you are at it. .. jot down a list of people to invite over for a simple meal and a piece of pie.
Next. ..pick a date way in distance before people make plans. .
and then call them up.

When you invite people into your home you are telling them you value them and your relationship has worth.
When you make them a meal you not only satisfy their hunger you are also satisfying a human need we all have for companionship.

Blessing on you as you make your home. . .
a place where people feel welcome.

The story of St. Patricks Day Can be found here. ..

all for now . .
with love,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

pruning apple trees



His eyes are focused on the task at hand.
God created us with a desire to learn and stretch both our body and minds.



Little hands and strong hands working side by side.
Two faces reflecting a common thought.



As it begins to rain. . .
the decision is made to put the tools away for the afternoon ..
and go play a board game indoors.

Simple pleasures in March.