Saturday, December 21, 2019

Southern Seasons Greetings

I’ve been enjoying my time South immensely.
It’s such a great time to see family and be warmer.
I’m not a big shopper but in my wanderings
here I’ve loaded up on things to take North to bring
comfort to my Winter—
pewter candlesticks, linen towels, many scented candles,
and textured wools and a new hooking pattern 
(a turkey, my favourite subject).

My parents and I got to celebrate Christmas
in the lovely seaside town of Southport, NC.
The exquisitely decorated old homes, 
the handbell choir at the historic church,
the holiday market.

Merry Christmas
To All!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Guadalajara Noel

Guadalajara, Mexico!

It’s only 81 degrees but humid.
Hubby is here for a convention so
I hired a tour guide and found
a most beautiful and historic city filled with
markets and friendly people.
 Day of the dead style creations
Centre of Tlaquepaque
The textiles were amazing but I am not into the super
bright colours.
I purchased a blue and cream bed runner
and several embroidered linen tea towels.
Most of the decorative textiles are hand worked.
 Anthro museum
 Murals by Jose Clemente
We hung out with his grandson
More of the Clemente  murals
The murals were located in this former orphanage
Beautiful cathedral downtown Guadalajara
Four story San Juan de Dios market
If you can’t find it there, it doesn’t exist.

While I’m sad to miss my friends for Christmas
I’m enjoying the warmth and energy of the South.
I’m heading to NC soon for the duration of the holidays.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Back in the Burg

Back in my hometown of Strasburg, Va
It feels strange but good.
The lack of snow and cold is particularly pleasant.
We’ve caught up with a few friends from childhood
Most connections were broken by time years ago.
Sad but true.
As I’ve aged I’ve come to notice the scars
of war and the deep ties to history 
the Valley holds.
I always return to Belle Grove plantation,
usually to go in the gift shop for unique and old time
gifts and to walk the grounds
(as the tour is ingrained in my head).
Unfortunately it’s closed this week but I got a photo:

I wanted to post a recipe in time for your holidays. 
Enjoy family and friends and His creation!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Thanksgiving Ahead

I set aside my Grandma's Rug to make
four cardinal ornaments for friends.
The design is my own. But super simple and cute.
The glue spots near the eye beads
will be removed before giving!

The bittersweet had a banner year.
Because I will be travelling much of the next month
and a half, I chose to let the birds have at them.
The berries continue to cling to the vines even after the snows
began to come.
Scottish terrier, Lucy, was enchanted.
That will be a feeling that will not carry her through the 
whole winter, poor pooch.

And as we gallop toward Thanksgiving for
 you folks in the US, I'll post my ab fav recipe for quick bread.
It is best left to cool, then cover and refrigerate
6 hours, allowing the flavours to marry.

Harvest Loaf

1 ¾ C flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
½ C margarine or butter
1 T vegetable oil
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 C canned pumpkin
¾ C chocolate chips
¾ C chopped nuts

Oven to 350. I insert an extra loaf pan with boiling water in oven to add moisture during baking.
Grease a loaf pan. Combine all dry ingredients well and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in oil. Add eggs and pumpkin slowly. Beat. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Add nuts and chocolate chips.
Bake 65-75 minutes. Cool. This is the important step: Let stand 6 hours in refrigerator before removing and slicing. Does not need refrigeration after this. 
The bread tastes much better after this step.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Harvest Hook-In

Snows are headed our way...
10-15 cm for the weekend!
I adore the first snows and then I could leave for the rest of Winter.

This past weekend I hit the road and headed to
a hook-in in picturesque St. Andrews, NB.
Two gals rode down in my truck with me.
Honestly they are such a hoot it was equal to the fun of the day.

The Quoddy Loopers hosted
 and they did such a terrific job.
The church hall was brimming with hookers and a vendor.
As per usual, the homemade soups, sandwiches and dessert 
squares were delicious;
 and no one makes a cup of tea like a Maritimer.

Sande Gunning of Leamington, Ontario
(and formerly from here) returned with awesome wares
Sande made these on a 100 yr old knitting machine
I bought some for my daughter for Christmas
shhhh, don't tell
The rug show was smaller but good
I don't know why there were no labels this year

These are some of the baskets waiting for the drawing

This is the basket I won-
the biggest one there,
stuffed with wool and a mug and tea.
 I have won a basket every year except last year.
It has gotten a bit embarrassing (I get ribbed a lot)
but not so much that I don't buy tickets.
Oh! And three of the women from the mental health day program
came to the hook-in and really loved it too.
So grateful they could come.

 I'm looking forward to some travel South for American Thanksgiving.
I know the month will whiz by so I am savouring the moments:
the last colours of Autumn, the smell of the leaves,
the urgent activity of the squirrels, the Canada geese honking as they flap 
Enjoy the moments too friends.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Happy Halloween Hooking


Tonight two of our besties are coming for 
wine and stir fry and scary movies.
We'll begin with Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
And perhaps the Disney short Sleepy Hollow.
Very atmospheric.

When we raised our kids we were involved with churches
that were outspoken against Halloween.
But we always took our kids out trick-or-treating.
I loved seeing the other kiddies' costumes
and happy faces
and seeing old neighbors and meeting new ones.
And I've always liked graveyards.
Being a pastor's kid our manse was always close
to or beside graveyards.
I never feared them but always liked the quiet 
and the huge expanses of green.
As little girls, my sister and I would pluck flowers from
 recent burial bouquets and present them to mom.
Oh dear!

Stones are sometimes beautifully ornate with carved angels, devils, 
willows or lambs while others are simpler with names and dates.
All represent such stories!
When we were in Boothbay Harbour, Me., we came across
a cemetery on our walk.

Poor old Alfred Gaswell.
His stone is being swallowed by a tree.
It's difficult to tell, but the bottom of the stone is airborn.

My hooking is coming along.
It is hard to tell, but the background colour is a brown-purple.

(P is for Primitive design).

What are you working on??
Something Fall-y??

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

October Trip

I've been hooking away at this mat by
P is for Primitive and have come this far.
I like the way that the images come right up to the borders.

Last weekend we took our rv
on the last trip of the season.
We drove down to Boothbay Harbour, Maine.
What a lovely lovely spot!
And what lovely lovely people!
We had planned to set up camp there and then
drive into Camden, Maine to hike but there were
AMPLE paths around Boothbay.

There are so many little causeway roads to small islands
which are covered in pines and craggy rocks.

Lucy is limited due to arthritis but she had a blast
as well!

And here is a tip-- take a wander into thrift shops in the place
you are touring.
Often you can find local pottery and art for a fraction of the prices 
of the area boutiques.
The thrift store I went into had paintings of ships and
lots of lobster knickknacks but look what else I found (and bought):

The Heirloom Rug design is old and on burlap
but for $2 is a bargain.
I will trace it out onto linen.
The book was $1.99 and will be donated to our
hooking group's library.

A Fredericton friend dyed these pieces of wool

All I know is that she used both fresh and dried leaves
and old iron nails soaked in something.
I'm very attentive.
Aren't they works of art?

Unfortunately our home is still on the market.
We get less than 5 trick-or-treaters each Halloween
and I want to live in a neighborhood with loads of trick-or-treaters
which means kids and community.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

My “Grandmother’s Rug” (see previous post)
is getting to the fussy point;
when I hook a width of border,
especially an oval rug’s border,
it’s hard to get an even width all the way around.
And since I hook like I cook (I hate to count or measure)
this poses a frustrating finish for me.
SO, I set it aside, temporarily of course,
to start this one by P is for Primitive.

The ladies at the mental health group
always put me in a better mood.
This term we have only three which is the smallest 
number we’ve ever had.
These women come every week
to hook for ninety minutes.
They have said that the rhythm of the art
and the company is helpful.
I agree! 
Here is what they are working on:
This woman is legally blind; we outline the figures and she fills!
This woman is a color and design master!
One woman traced her grandma's hands as she lay dying.
She is hooking the hands from
 her grandma's clothing to give to relatives.
Our hood is looking autumnal!
I took these on my walk this morning.

And this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving!
Technically it falls on Monday but families 
around here seem to celebrate on one or 
all days of the long weekend.
Some make rounds to all the family groups.
The celebration is more casual than in the States
and it does not quick off the Christmas season
so there is no rush to the retail shops. 
Our neighbour has us to her cottage since we have no family.
Such a special place to share.

I leave you with a local recipe which is over 100 years
for a yummy apple cake

Keswick Ridge Apple Cake
1 C sugar
1 C shortening
1 C raisins
2 C tea
2 large apples sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 C flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp b powder
1 tsp salt

Cook first 8 ingredients until apples are soft. Cool to lukewarm.
In bowl, stir together remaining dry ingredients.
Stir into wet mixture.
Bake at 350 in a 9 X 13 pan for approx 1 hour.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!