Sunday, January 30, 2011

familiar silhouette

Mountains become friends. They comfort with their familiar silhouette against the changing skies.They tower above us and mark the seasons better than any calendar. In the afternoon light, winter snow glows like Vanilla ice cream. Spring meadows widen as snow shrinks, patches measured by the eyes of experience. Summers distant blue haze gives way at last to the mist of autumn. Change, always change, but mountains reassure with their sameness.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever. Psalm 125:2

space and time

Four oval pine plaques once adorned my living room walls.
I hung them to see how the grouping would fit the wall space, and there they remained. Empty plaques. Time passed. The country look came and went.
Guests would glance nervously at the wood grained ovals, no doubt wondering if they were some sort of avant garde art. Were they missing something, they would wonder to themselves?
The blank plaques were eventually painted, a bit at a time, here and there, over the years and are now a part of my dining room decor. They remain a work in progress, the foregrounds unfinished.
Sometimes an idea needs space and time.
Sometimes art needs room to breath.
But sometimes there's an even simpler explanation.
Procrastination at its finest.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I absentmindedly grazed on two slivers of farmer sausage out of the fridge this evening. Then I followed up nicely with a decadent chocolate which I ate by cutting thin slices off, as though to fool myself into thinking I was just going to eat a little piece. Mmmmm.
I'm not really much of a snacker, especially in the evening, but it's fine to break our own rules from time to time I guess.
The guest speaker at Quilt Guild tonight celebrated breaking rules. She endorsed creative freedom. She urged thinking for ourselves. She shared her passion and motivation.
Quilting is for many of us, an indulgence. A sweetness we savour. A treat.
But its also a path we travel. A way of viewing life. No guilt, no rules.

Friday, January 21, 2011

here's hoping

I've lost something. Not my mind, but that may be next.
I suppose I should say more accurately that I've misplaced something. It isn't lost, as in gone forever I assume. It will surface on some distant day and I will shriek and wave it in the air and clasp it to my beating heart.
If time is money, my lost treasure is worth a fair bit, because I have devoted two separate evenings to the fruitless search. Oh where oh where can it be? Oh why oh why can't I find it?
Over the years, I have misplaced my share of important things. I have ground my teeth, seen sparks, felt like snapping a pencil in half, felt hopelessness and felt like breathing into a paper bag. Ahh, nothing like misplacing something to make you feel truly alive. An opportunity to run the full gamut of emotion, especially if that which is lost, is found. Here's hoping.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

heady stuff

Vintage embroidered linens are heady stuff. When I spot them at Thrift Shops, my heart beats erratically. This little lamb was embroidered by an unknown patient soul and began life on the corner of a table cloth of all things. I believe it is a step up for it to be surrounded by flowery meadows on the back of my granddaughters doll quilt. Doesn't it look proud? Stay tuned, the same tablecloth had a wonderful embroidered robin............

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

dinner gong

Golf courses are empty on January mornings. Or so I thought. A coyote caught my eye this morning. I had been admiring the rolling greens, and there he was. He looked very fit and plush and happy. His big ears were forward and he looked ready to pounce on some small morsel.
The untimely demise of my friend's cat came suddenly to mind. Her ancient, arthritic cat had been outdoors in the gathering twilight, prowling. My friend heard a meow at her glass door, but unfortunately, a passing coyote heard a dinner gong. He was up onto the deck and away into the darkness with the cat before you could say quick and nimble, or quickly nibbled for that matter. And that was that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

miniature nine patch

Nine patch quilts dazzle me. I would like to make a nine patch that has nine, nine patches within each of the nine patches.  My math teachers would be so proud.
This little nine patch is about 14inches square. The next one is going to be set on point I think. And maybe I'll try having scrappy backgrounds in the one after that. If you squint you can see why it's called Irish Chain.


Thinking thoughts dark and dire takes a great deal of energy
My step falters.
My joie de vivre drains like a bathtub and the world seems a howling wilderness.
The negatives of life do not make good companions.

If I choose to mull and ponder, it might as well be the beautiful and creative, the unexpected gifts and kindnesses of life remembered.
Thoughts matter.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or
praiseworthy, think about these things.” Phil. 4:8

Monday, January 17, 2011

i must go down to the sea

Friends have recently settled into their new home.
The other night we sat with our feet under their table in a new yet familiar space.
Often, as years accumulate, so does the assortment of furniture in a home, and they had edited their collection in honour of the move. A small blue green cupboard now stood like sculpture in the living room. A side chair, its curved wooden arms burnished and glowing, rested gracefully before the fire.
It was the painting above the fireplace that made me gasp though. They had found it in Oregon and loved it because it reminded them of sand dunes along the North Sea. The crash of the surf and relentless wind, the silky cool sand and coarse waving grass of the dunes were there like a window, ever changing, ever inviting.
"I must go down to the sea," I quoted to myself like a prayer.
I can breathe there, find comfort there, and peace.
This is what I wish for them in their new home.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

a simple life

“If I told people that I learned to sew on a treadle machine it would make me sound very old, and it was only because there was no electricity,” I added defensively, weakening my case even further.

Small, remote towns, like the one I grew up in remained locked in time in the 60’s, as far as technology was concerned. Children a few hundred miles away were watching Atom Ant and Bonanza on T.V. We were hunting for frogs and picking blueberries. Their mothers were shopping in large department stores. Ours ordered from catalogues. They picked up bread at the Woodward's Food Floor. We ate crusty loaves baked in the oven of a wood stove. It may be nostalgia speaking, but when I think of childhood days, a quote comes to mind. “A simple life is its own reward.”

Saturday, January 15, 2011


There was once a long and weary winter.
Its spell was broken by the early arrival of my second daughter,
and with her came a fresh, delightful joy;
An infant, dark eyed and mysteriously familiar;
A wee babe, tender and sweet lipped;
A baby sister, basking in all the love of a toddler's heart.
"Isn't she beautiful," the attending doctor had murmured reverently.
"Ohhhhh," my brother had cooed. "Oh, she looks just like you did, the first time I saw you."
Heaviness fled away.
Winter was fresh and bright.
Happy New Year.
Happy Birthday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

golden crisp

Fluffy pancakes with edges golden crisp,
tangy lingon berry sauce and thick, creamy yogurt.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

still and white

While we slept, wind howled at the distant moon. It moaned down the chimney and pummelled the siding. It roughed up the trees, and pelted the windows with fistfuls of ice. It whirled and raged and roared. "I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down......."
By morning it was gone.
All was still and white.

Friday, January 7, 2011

her story

My granddaughter is "nearly new."
She turned two yesterday.
January the sixth. An Epiphany gift.

Wales celebrated the day with The Hunting of the Wren.
Holland with Three Kings Day.
King's Tart was eaten in France and
it was Twelfth Night in England.
Food and festivity, gifts and gaiety, these things mark Epiphany; A remembrance of the gift bearing Magi, the Kings who travelled so far to fall in worship at the feet of the little Christ.  They are an object lesson that portrayed a great truth. The Messiah had come for all mankind.
What a wonderful day for my granddaughter to be born. Amidst the food and festivity, the gifts and the gaiety, I will remember another wee babe that lay in a manger and pray that His story will be part of her story.

Monday, January 3, 2011

traffic pattern change

The first post of the New Year feels abit like walking in fresh, untrampled snow, or like writing in new scribblers at the beginning of a school year. I love beginnings, and the New Year has always been a favourite. Not in a party or resolution making sort of way, but in a joyous, anticipatory sort of way. This year was different and I drooped dejectedly off to bed before the old year was completely spent. Things didn't look a whole lot brighter in the morning but by mid-day I had recovered my equilibrium. The setting sun on New Year's day would have melted a heart of stone. Such a blaze of glorious color. The air was crisp and as fresh as the alpine.
Driving home from work this afternoon I noticed a sign remaining from a recent road project. Traffic pattern change, it cautioned. It seemed a good warning for the New Year. Change is guaranteed. It's gratitude that's the option.