Friday, November 30, 2012

A Dip Into Red

 Tomorrow is December!  Yippee!  Our realtor (from over 20 years ago-we haven't done any house buying since then) left us a poinsettia.  Bill sent Christmas roses and greens to me at school (so sweet!).  So, it's a flowery Christmas season already.  No decorating has taken place at this cozy house.  Soon. 
 I finally met an M & M product I don't like!  Miracle!  These are the pretzel M & M's.  Have a handful?
 Let's tip the polka dot teapot.  Do you want some?  I do hope you have time for warm beverages this holiday season.  
 Susan Branch does it up big when it comes to calendar pages.  Last month!  Can that really be?  Do you think 2012 went by terribly fast?  I do.
 I thought a look at a bear face might cheer you.  Maybe because my maiden name has a Bere in it, I really LOVE bears.   I keep my teddy bear (this is a secondary bear pictured above) near our bed and sometimes when I'm messing around looking for shoes that I've scattered there, I pick up my bear and squeeze him and smooch him.  I say, "I love you, Edward."  I bought him quite a few years ago after having my own personal Winnie the Pooh read-a-thon.  I was on a mission:  find an Edward Bear for cuddling and loving.  I found one at the Hallmark store.  He's floppy and soft.  Just now he has on a pair of koala printed corduroy overalls that were Bill's when he was a baby.  I believe in stuffed bear hugging. 
 No decorating yet, but the books have been carried up from the basement.  Fine reading.
Once again I am participating in Floss's A Pause in Advent.  I will post on Sunday. If you pop over to Troc, Broc, and Recup
you can join in.  You'll meet VERY nice people, I promise.  Yes, it's time to light the lights.  
Isaiah 9:2-6
The people walking in darkness
     have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
     a light has dawned . . . 
For to us a child is born,
     to us a son is given,
     and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
     Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Magic Bean Buyer

 Have you been listening to The Nutcracker?  Bill was playing it when I got home from Jenny's last night AND he had a fire going, so we ate dinner in front the of the fire and later watched   Christmas Vacation.  Funny.  Birdie is the Sugar Plum Fairy in the front row (bow in hair).  This was a few years ago, but don't you love all that pink?
 Do you have the carols playing at your house?  

 Jenny was sick with a flu bug yesterday, so I went over to help so she could stay in bed.  Little Lizzy is such a snug little cuddle bug and Samantha was happily flitting about the house!

 Here's a little more Nutcracker loveliness!

St.  Lucy's Day is December 13.  That's my sister's birthday, too!  One year I made buns and I might do that again.  I like some of the little divergences from the norm during the holidays, do you?  Could we narrow some of the "to do's" down a bit?  Isolate a few of the simple joys?  Frances and Jody (Left-Handed Housewife and Gumbo Lily) are reading Little Women.  They have already begun.  Isn't that a great idea?  I like to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  I AM reading A Christmas Carol.  Dickens is good about now.  Kim (Farm Girl) is reading Bleak House.  Don't you find all of our differences inspiring?  I do.  Last night, before bed I was reading A Circle of Quiet again.   Madeleine L'Engle says that one cannot create while in the state of self consciousness.  If we are too aware of our self, we aren't free to create.  Is that what causes writer's block and painter's block and all the blocks?  What do you think?  What are you going to make this holiday season?

I finish with this lovely invitation from Shel Silverstein.
“If you are a dreamer come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
a hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean-buyer,
if you're a pretender come sit by my fire.
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in! 
Come in!” 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Feast

 I am now in the mood for yarn views.
The feasting is over.  Whew.  Yesterday, I woke up in the morning feeling very "cookish" and looking back, I had all the energy for preparing the feast that I needed.  It did run out though.  I always grow befuddled when almost everything is finished and the real orchestration of putting the food on the table commences.  At this point I could walk away from it all and dine on a peanut butter sandwich.  It's a good thing that there were a bunch of hungry loved ones around. It DID taste good and Bill did the dishes.  I bought the pies and they were NOT delicious.  The banana cream tasted like glue and the pumpkin looked rubbery (I didn't taste it).  The cherry was too sweet.  I'll bake next year.  I  am not cooking a turkey for Christmas.  I will choose quicker dishes for that holy day.  I DID bake chocolate chip cookies, but I used the break-and-bakes.  I am really becoming a "short-cut taker" in my old age.
Today I want toast and tea.  I'm tired from all that eating.
 I have a few projects on the needles.  I'm making an apple (a red one knit with roving wool).  I am also making a cowl using a  bit of soft and hairy yarn.  I will go slow today, will you?

Lizzy is quite happy going slow.  She slept through A LOT of noise yesterday. She's pink and she's peaceful.  
Right now I am going to fill my little brain (and heart) with words from my fat black bible.  I'm hungry for HIM.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful Week

 Happy THANKFUL week to all of you!  Sorry to top this post with tulips when tulip season is months and months away, but look at the color. And be cheered.
I'm thinking of bountiful blessings.  Apples.

Peppers and cucumbers.  There is SO MUCH food in America.

 In the middle of feast preparation, we might want to slow down and make something loving, like chocolate chip cookies.  Aren't chocolate chip cookies a humble food and a unifying food?  Bill used to ask for them after dinner.  "Are you going to make chocolate chip cookies tonight?"  I would.  
 It is not Christmas  just yet and we can still pick up a leaf or two and press them into some of our favorite books.

 Peek into an inspirational book or two and revel in the joys of autumn.  We were in Pennsylvania this past weekend and there were lovely leaves . . . on the ground.  Wood smoke smells like family, doesn't it?

 The crown of the feast:  pumpkin pie.  I hope my crust turns out okay.  Sometimes I wrestle with it.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish (or holiday dish for my friends who do not celebrate Thanksgiving in their land)?
Soon we'll be hanging lights and clipping greens, gathering candles and baking cookies.  That will be FUN!
Soon Advent will begin and we can share our sense of awe and holiness around this life-giving season.
I am looking forward to celebrating with you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Willows Love

 My heart is extremely cheered by The Wind in the Willows Grand Tour.  They began at my house in the fall of 2011 and these little fellows have been traveling the world for over a year now.  Now they are in Australia, having had a rousing time with Quilter Liz and moved north to spend time with Sarah and her children.  You can click on Sarah's name to see what they are up to.  
 Mags and I love The Wind in the Willows and all of our hostesses do, too!  Mole was lost (and found!) on a dark street in Belfast so now he is a bit smeared, but all the boys are thriving because of the care of all the involved bloggers.
 When they were launched from Denver to Canada to spend time with Deborah, we had no idea that their tour would be so grand!  

 From Sarah they go to Angel Catherine in New Zealand where they will enjoy spring time!  Then it's back to me.  I can't wait to see the annotations and decorations in my old pink copy of my favorite tale!

I am so moved by women and their childlike sense of fun and hospitality.  Mags and I will put our heads together and create a way for you to have a smattering of the photo fun in one spot. We are already planning our next The Wind in the Willows event and here's a little hint:  it involves Badger!
Thank you to all the friends who played along and PLAYED BIG!  I am in awe of this sweet affair!
If you have a copy of The Wind in the Willows, you may want to dip into it today.  Read about Ratty and Mole on the river or their adventure in the Wild Wood.  It is SUCH a story!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Button Nose and Books

 Hello from Miss Button Nose!  We went to a musical the other night. A small Christian theater company (child actors!) put on The Little Mermaid.  The children were such a amazing performers.  The young man who played Sebastian was INCREDIBLE!  I spoke with him after the show and told him, "You'll be on Broadway someday! You made us CRY!"  He was SO good.  The girls LOVED the show.  They did not wiggle or complain.  They love the mermaid!  It's always fun to hang around with grandchildren.  Yay!
 We've already had a little snow here, but at the back of the garden yellow snapdragons are still growing!  They can symbolize the great sun of Colorado!  We have so many sunny days.  When you see those big snow dumps on the news you may think it snows all of the time in Denver.  It doesn't.  I'm praying for a few Snow Days (capitalized for emphasis) so I can have some cozy days off from school.  Smile.
 I found one of my old college notebooks.  I think I've shown this on my blog before, but don't you love how leaves last forever?  I liked Grandma Moses then, too!  I have loved her work since I was a child.  My mama loves her, too.  My sisters do, too!
 Our blog friends teach us about new things, don't they?  Mags, my dear Irish friend, told us about Toon Tellegen and I had to dash to Amazon and find a bit of him.  These books came yesterday and they are adorable! LOVE at first sight!
 I dug out some of my "creative" books.  I forget about them!  I am going to savor the holiday season and create for the sake of creating.  
 I'm also going to grow my teacher skills a bit.  I have SO many good teacher books and I must make time to dream and plan (not just DO).  

 Last night I was watching the election returns and I looked at my knitting spread out on the ottoman.  I did not knit.  I like to knit but I have to be in the mood and knitting magazines put me in the mood. Are you like that?

We have parent/teacher conferences this week so Friday will hold lots of "across the table" talks with people who are blessed with eleven year olds.  I like it.  I do run out of words after a while because talking to so many people is intense.  Oh well.  The weekend is coming and November weekends are very nice weekends.  What will you do with your November weekends?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Betty's New Dress

 Brown Betty has a new gown!  She is sporting a tea cozy purchased at The Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC.  I'm not sure she'll want to take it off.  It's okay, Betty.  Your sweet brown self deserves a fluffy Canadian wrap!  
 I'm home!  Victoria is beautiful.  I can't tell you how many times I stooped (Ouch!  The damp weather made my bones ache a bit!) over and picked up VERY RED maple leaves off of the sidewalks.
 Abigail's Hotel is amazing!  I don't know how Bill's travel agent finds the deals she does!  We felt completely pampered!

 Can you believe the bathroom?  It's five times the size of our little cubby we call a master bath.
 Clam chowder.  YUM.
 Ferry boats docking.  Joy!
 Majestic totems
 Victoria's artist:  Emily Carr

 My sweet "treater" Bill.  He's the BEST traveling companion.
 Our little home for three days

 The famous Empress.  I have never seen this kind of astounding architecture in real life.  
 Isn't the interior lovely?

 The gift shop.  This is where I bought Betty's dress.
 This church looks so "Northwest" to me.  Pretty!
 And then in the museum . . . YIKES!  A life size woolly mammoth!

 King of the crabs
 I can't describe the First Nation exhibit.  The totems are breathtaking.
 This is a an old kitchen display in the museum and I found that it didn't fascinate me as much as old kitchens used to.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe I'm old enough to have viewed my fill of old kitchens.  Hmmmmm.
 The blanket of leaves in the parks.  Delicious.

 Victoria's Chinatown

 I'd like the red teapot, please.  When one travels with no luggage (just a backpack) one cannot purchase teapots.  This one does not need any more teapots.
 The markets were so clean!
 I like this little Chinatown feature.  It's so clean and shiny.
 We found a well stocked yarn store and if I hadn't been so overheated (too many layers of clothes) I may have purchased a hank or two and tried to stuff it into my backpack.

Back up the stairs to our cozy room.  Two whole days was just right.  I'm thankful.
Now it feels good to be home.
Don't you LOVE November?  It's the thankful month and the turkey month.  It's the stay-at-home month.