Books · hygge · make do and mend · Making things · out and about · Random Thoughts · the gardens · The Great Outdoors · Uncategorized

Hello again

Well it has been much longer than I had anticipated to get back to the keyboard and write a blog.

Winter around here does tend to get a bit dismal. After all of the colour and excitement of Christmas and blogmas I went into hibernation mode. You can imagine how pouty I get when we have to take down all of the Christmas lights and my garden is so dark at night.

We have had some lovely weather in amongst many cloudy days. This sunset last week was spectacular. Of course way better in real life that this picture can ever convey. The pinks were vibrant and shimmery.

image

Today, February 22nd has been incredibly warm. Late in the afternoon it was 15 Celsius. I had the windows open in my office!

image

You can see there is hardly any snow out there, and actual blue sky. I go nuts on a nice day.

I get all sorts of energy.

I even get around to blogging for the first time in 2 months!

I haven’t been entirely idle over the winter. I finished a knitting project that is making me very happy.

imageThis is the Light and Up Shawl designed my Caroline Wiens. The pattern is available on Ravelry for free. It is an easy pattern and was a good choice for the beautiful yarn I purchased at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitters fair last fall.

It is called Gobstopper yarn and is a 50% Merino and silk mix. Lovely to work with, deep colour penretration and a beautiful luster. I highly recommend it. You can find it here

https://gobstopperyarn.wordpress.com/

image

I added an additional repeat of the lace rows to allow the full gradient of the yarn to show. Blue and brown are one of my favourite colour combinations. It turned out lovely, and is so soft to wear.  The colour name is “sinkhole” which made me laugh because I am terrified of sinkholes. But I believe this is the nicest one I have ever seen.

image

I was knitting by the fire in January when the weather was much less friendly than today. I’ve been embracing the Hygge and all round cozy-ness. I loved these books.

image

“The Little Book of Hygge” by Miek Wiking which is widely available. And “The Year of Cozy” by Adrianna Adarme.

I have read both cover to cover and keep them beside my chair so I can dip in and enjoy again. Lots of inspiration and ideas to make life more enjoyable.

image

Nothing better on a winters day.

The weather today is making me think of spring. I have been out poking my fingers in the soil, standing and squinting at areas of the garden that are up for transformation this year, and yes I have already ordered some seeds.

The open window had my nose twitching at the prospect of garden time soon.

Blogmas 2016 · Christmas · out and about · Uncategorized

Blogmas day 20 – Gingerbread house contest

Hello sugarplums

I was doing a bit of last minute shopping today at the mall and came across the finalists in a ginger bread competition. This was not individual people entering but businesses and office groups creating local landmarks in gingerbread (and other edibles) on a big scale. I did not even know it was happening so I’m glad I just stumbled across it.

image

The closest town to us is Goderich Ontario and has about 8000 people living there. Not very big really, but it is the largest town in the County. Our mall is only about 11 or 12 stores and businesses – welcome to living in the country. But we have everything you actually need. It was nice to see that so many people had put so much effort into the contest.

image

These pictures may not be the best as I only had my phone to snap pictures. The building above is the mall itself, well at least the Food Basics store.

image

The public works department did a full scene including white icing snow (lots of it) chocolate roads, Oreo crumb “dirt”. leggo workers and trucks and diggers. There is a battery pack in the middle…I bet the little digger can actually move the “dirt”. The building looks like a log cabin made from those rolled cookies. I don’t think the real works shed is a log cabin! Maybe that is wishful thinking.

image

The Air Cadets did a great airport (we do have a small airfield just north of town) They made their own planes from cookie dough. I think they should get extra points for that! And a graham cracker runway. The one issue might be that the plane is too big to fit through the door of the hanger….

image

But the grand prize winner was the amazing town square made by the folks at the local radio station “The Beach”. Goderich is based around a circle road surrounding a big square County building. A few years ago we had a horrible tornado and the solid court house was one of the few buildings still standing (the windows were gone, but the building was OK) All of the trees in the park surrounding it were lost. But the town has now recovered and the park is just as beautiful as ever. This is a great candy model of it. Very impressive.

image

The three dimensional trees are amazing. And I notice that Santa is on the roof! He’s a little early I think.

Well done to all. It was a very festive thing to come across the week before Christmas and made me feel all Christmassy.

image

 

Blogmas 2016 · Christmas · hygge · out and about · Random Thoughts · The Great Outdoors

Blogmas day 8 waiting….

img_1483

Hello my little snowflakes!

Well the day job has been keeping me too busy to do any Christmas projects for a day or two. so I was scrolling through my pictures to find something to chat about.

As I was out and about today the number one topic was the weather. Today’s weather was fine, cold but mostly clear. It’s the weather for the next few days that is on everyone’s minds. We are under a snow squall watch. Even now the wind is starting to pick up. The temperature is still above freezing but everyone is aware. And secretly hoping for a snow day.

img_0824

A snow day is a day to wear your PJs – all day. It is a day to watch movies while snuggled under blankets and stick a pot of soup on the stove. As long as you do not have to brave the storm to drive to work, or better yet if all the roads are closed, (Yes, sometime they do close ALL the roads) it is the best day of the year.

Puzzles and games come out, The fire is roaring, the hot chocolate is full of marshmallows and the topic is how little you can see out the windows.

image

Everyone in Canada has an epic snow day story and as you nip into town to grab some extra supplies it is perfectly natural to great your neighbours, also at the store grabbing a bag of milk, extra bread, and maybe candles, by grinning and saying “Stocking up – hoping for a snow day!”

img_1585You bring in extra wood, check the flashlights or make sure the generator has fuel. Call your friends to make sure everyone has a plan for getting where they need to go. Check on Grandma and make sure she is ready. (but let’s face it she has seen more snow storms that you have)

image

Put the new Christmas flannel sheets on the bed.

and then, we wait.

img_1493

Blogmas 2016 · Christmas · out and about · the gardens · The Great Outdoors · Uncategorized

Blogmas day 4 outside trees

tree3

Hello my little Pinecones!

There are only two reasons when I don’t like the snow. One is when I have to clean it off my car the other is when I am driving my car and can’t see the road. Other than that I love snow. I would miss it if I lived in a warmer climate.

I miss it a lot right now because it would make the pictures of the outside tree look more seasonal and festive.  So again the picture above is not from this year.

It was nice to put up the lights on the big tree this year as it wasn’t even cold. But is is still a huge process that takes 3 of us. The tree is now about 20 feet tall. I am amazed at how much blue spruce grow every year.

img_1733

Trying to wrap lights is a good way to understand that it grows a lot in one year. Last year we could wrap both the big and small tree but this year it is only the big one.  It takes this 8 foot ladder, a long pole with a hook on the end and the fairly tall Mr Murfin to reach the very top. Then my son and I do a May pole dance feeding out the strings of lights  and loop over the branches.

image

But we did not have enough lights for both this year. So yet again a picture of last year. These tress are right at the end of the drive way very close to the road.  I love that you can see it for a long way as you approach the house at night.

img_1734-copy

I love Christmas lights and decorated houses. But I have rules…in fact I have a rating system. When we are out and about at this time of year I like to look at all the house decorations and I call out what score each house gets as I pass. Certain things get you more points. as well as an overall effort score. I prefer multi coloured lights – that’s an easy 5.  I don’t like all blue lights that will lose points. I like it when people include trees as well as house lights, but I’m not keen on those inflatable figures and scenes. All white lights is good if you have lots of them. I’m especially fond of the white lights in balls hanging from deciduous trees that look like over-sized Christmas baubles.

Some houses – when all my favourite items are present, get the ultimate “full marks”. In fact I will drive out of my way just to go past those houses. It pleases me to think that people enjoy our tree as they drive down our road and I hope we score at least an 8.

img_1746


 

out and about · Random Thoughts · Uncategorized

High Tea

It was Miss Murfin’s birthday last week and she and I decided to visit a tea room and indulge in a special high tea. She had never tried clotted cream before…Imagine!

We went to a place called The Silver Spoon in Kitchener Ontario. It was wonderful and we happily recommend it if you are in the area.

Since it was a mini snow storm that day we had the place to ourselves. The staff was warm and friendly, we felt very comfortable and just relaxed and enjoyed the whole experience. (for 2 hours!)

high tea

The table was laid with lovely china and the full high tea is three courses. With each course we had a new and delicious tea and more tasty nibbles.

They display their china all around the room. I love that there are all these different cups and saucers and tea pots.

high tea 2

Each course came on a two tiered server. This first course was earl grey tea with scones and small muffins and fruit.

high tea 3

The second course was tiny crustless sandwiches and quiches with a blooming green tea in a clear pot. My picture of that did not turn out so we skip ahead to the final course of Chai tea and sweets.

high tea 4

Whew! we were stuffed! You think you are just eating tiny little bites so you won’t get full, but it all adds up to a substantial amount of food. Since it was all YUMMY we had to take the chocolates home. Such a nice way to celebrate my special girl’s birthday.

high tea4