Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November's End

November 14 came and went.
I am thankful that I decided not to stay in bed that day...
Encouragement came from my in-laws to gather for coffee
and then to visit the graveside. 
After lunch with some very dear friends I felt the relief of
"getting through this day".

Later that evening, Becky and I had our first of 6 weekly 
watercolour painting classes.
A nice way to end the day.

Watercolour art is hard ... not sure I'll ever "get it".

Snow came rather unexpectedly near the end of this month
and brought with it the feeling of Christmas.
There were many Christmas Craft Markets one could attend and this
special night market at the Tom Patterson Theatre was so beautiful!
A crisp and energizing walk from my home ...

Regardless of the shopping opportunities however, 
my Christmas shopping is yet unfinished.
Most items that I need are still to be made or ordered online.
I just can't face the malls ... am I the only one?

A gingerbread train was created.
This was made from a kit purchased at Walmart.
Best tip I ever received was to hot glue the gingerbread pieces together 
instead of trying to stick them together with royal icing!!!
It's not all that edible anyway.
But, everytime I looked back - a few more gumdrops were missing - a mystery??!!

A really fun thing my friend Carolyn and I did was to complete making
sweet little bags from my bridesmaid dress worn 50 years ago at our mutual
friend's wedding!
Don't ask me how many 50 or almost 50 year old bridesmaid's dresses I have 
hanging in my closet - eek!
Carolyn is a confident sewer and offered to help me make them ...

This is us 50 years ago!!!


We boldly cut into the dress and the velvet over-dress/jumper,
using the dress as lining for the bags and the velvet for the outer fabric.
The velvet is just beautiful and I plan to save some of the pieces for the crazy quilt  
that is on my sewing bucket list.

Carolyn made 3 of these for us!

This one is for Lynn's Granddaughter!

I just love mine - my "theatre bag"

Happiest Anniversary Lynn and Jim!!

So glad to give this to Lynn this morning and to be back home while the snow and
wind rages outside AND while my furnace works again!

And so - November ends ...
My heart is getting ready for the Advent Season and for

Till next time ... wishing you many blessings as we head into the Christmas season.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

November Be Gentle

The month that I have dreaded so much has arrived!
The anticipated "dark" days of November have been surprisingly gentle so far,
unusually and almost eerily warm ...
expected waves of sadness and also with much happiness ...

I pray the gentleness continues as my family and I remember ...

An unusually colourful October went by so quickly!
The Fall colours were especially brilliant this year.
My busyness was a welcome distraction once again.

At the end of September and first weekend in October I was
privileged to be involved with helping to set up some exhibits for the
BiCentennial celebration of the first Amish settlers in SW Ontario!
200 years ago, my ancestors came to farm and live out their lives here.
They came from the Alsace Lorraine regions in Europe to find a better life,
and freedom of religion.
Many were granted crown land on which to farm and live.
We heard many stories about how they co-existed with the First Nations peoples,
stories that were heard for the first time by many participants.
We sang soul healing "old" hymns from the German Ausbund and early hymnals!
I was moved and blessed by the whole weekend!

 Below is a collage of pictures of some of the displays.

It was a well planned and very interesting weekend plus ...
in addition to several Sunday evening hymn sings at various churches,
there were some well researched and interesting bus tours of the historical areas,
and a traditional bean soup lunch.
"Bona Supp" was a favourite meal in my childhood years!

 The tables were beautifully set
with the traditional bowl of 
apple butter to accompany the soup.
And - always - the cinnamon to
sprinkle on top!

My mom's recipe:

“Cook the navy beans till soft and tender”

1 Cup dried beans yields approx. 2 ½ cooked beans.  Overnight Method – place beans in kettle and cover with 4 cups water to 1 cup dried beans.  Cover and let stand overnight (at least 8 hrs.)   Simmer till tender in soaking water.  Quick Method – place beans in kettle and cover with 4 cups water to 1 cup dried beans.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.  Return water and beans to a simmer and cook till tender.   Cooking time for navy beans is approx. 1 hour.  Tip – add 1 tbsp. fat to cooking beans to control foaming.

“Add milk and salt and pepper to taste – heat but do not boil”

“Pour hot soup over buttered farmer’s loaf bread cubes and several strands of saffron”. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

My sister remembers mom putting the buttered bread and saffron in the bottom of her large pickling crock and pouring the hot soup over the bread.  She served the soup right from the crock.

I don't remember that we added a dollop of apple butter to the soup but it certainly was slathered onto a generous slice of buttered bread!

What a treat!

October also brought ...
A sweet new kitten named - Spinach

Thanksgiving - so much to be thankful for ...

Glowing trees ...

Sunrises ...

A new something, something ... ?? Stay tuned.

Halloween with "Wreck-it Ralph and Venellope Von Schweetz!

All in all, October was good.

November has taken us to see the "Imagine Van Gogh" installation in nearby London.
What a treat to watch this 7 year old take it all in ...

Praying that November continues to be gentle as I go down this
sometimes very lonely path ...

Till next time ... be good to yourselves and live each day to the fullest!

"Three Pines"

Bookstore Painting And - we're off ... Yvonne and I - ready to board the bus   ... on a four day adventure to Quebec's Eastern Towns...