Down to Dufferin Grove

Andrew with the fish has left first thing this morning. Hopefully the rain holds off till he is returning home. But he did bring a canopy just incase.
Today I am just smoking fish for Saturdays market. Andrew will hopefully be able to go fishing tomorrow. The marine forecast for tomorrow is 15 knots from the west. Then increasing to 20 knots from the northwest Friday evening. Hopefully we will be able to get out on the water first thing.

More About Cropping

We're into full swing now. Colin has one field of wheat already planted and hopes to get another couple in. I even think he's planting sweet corn this weekend. This is the field of wheat. He's already spread the "organic soil conditioner" -aka piggie poo and then Dad followed along behind with the disk and rolling harrow to make sure it gets worked in so that the nitrogen won't escape into the air.

The wheat is "no tilled" which means that Colin did not plow this field in the fall. It looks a little smoother than normal, but that's because of using the disk and harrow. No tilling saves a lot of fuel, which is good for the environment and for our input costs. It is also a time saver, something to think about now that Colin's Dad is starting to want to slow down. We have to find time saving ways if Colin is going to be able to work the land himself.

This field is what a no till field usually looks like. It was corn last year, this year it will be soy beans. We're still waiting for the ground to warm up before planting this one. Right now Colin is chisel plowing another field to get it ready for corn. With our heavy clay ground it is not a great idea to no til corn. It really affects production.

This is where the real farm work is going on right now. This is Daddy's greenhouse and it is full of sprouts. You can see the plastic hanging down from the ceiling. Colin uses that to create a smaller greenhouse inside to keep the temperature about freezing overnight. There is a space heater for really cold nights. We won't be safely free of frost until May 24.

Here's a selection of plants. Mostly tomatoes right now. But the cucumbers and pumpkins are all planted too. There is even a pot of flowers for Momma's garden :)
And here is where a lot of the tomato plants will end up. Colin has the garden covered in heavy black plastic and makes a hole for the plant. We have soaker hoses underneath the plastic, but we've only had to water a couple times in the 2 years we've gardened this way. Having the plastic was a life-saver last summer. It was so cold and wet. But the tomatoes that were laying on the plastic were still good, if they had been laying on the ground they would have rotted. I sure hope we have a good tomato season this year. Last year was dismal. Not only do we need the income, but I need to can tomatoes and make fruit relish. I was also thinking of making tomato sauce this year too.
That's about it for now. Nothing too exciting (according to me-haha) going on around here. If anyone has questions feel free to ask. I never know how much people want to know :)

Excuses not to cover:

"But it doesn't apply today, it's only cultural" I am so tired of hearing that pathetic excuse. Let's just start by looking at the verses again. If women covering their heads in prayer is "only cultural" then doesn't that mean that verse 4 is "only cultural" too? Why is it that men are expected to take their hats off when they pray? If these verses are "only cultural" then men should be allowed to wear their ball caps in church. I don't know of any church today, Protestant or otherwise that would tolerate men wearing hats in church. For goodness sake, even in NASCAR they tell everyone to remove their hats before the opening prayer!

If women wearing prayer coverings were only cultural, why did women cover for the last 1,960 years? Women stopped wearing coverings, be it veils, hats, etc, to church only in the 60's and 70's when Women's Lib really started taking over society. That's what makes me laugh when I hear churches say they have "no tradition" of women covering. Feminism has told so many lies and brainwashed society into believe what they want it to believe, people have stopped using their own brains. I love history and have done a number of project on churches and such. And I have yet to find an old picture of a church gathering (pre-1970's) that doesn't show nearly every woman wearing a hat! How's that for tradition! Even when my parents were married in 1970, it was expected that hats or veils would be worn for church.

If you want to talk of church tradition, the Blessed Virgin covered her head. I'm happy to follow her tradition.

One argument I've heard lately (in Internet-land) is the cry of Legalism. Pastors in particular seem to like to throw that one around. What is Legalism really? It's following every order in the Bible down to the letter in the mistaken belief that this behaviour will gain you a place/better place in Heaven. This is not why most women wear a head covering. True there may be some, but there are always exception. And yes, it's true that we are following a Biblical directive to cover and/or dress modestly. But, do we do this so we can get to Heaven, NO. We cover because it is what God wants us to do and since we love Him we do it to please Him.

It's like watching NASCAR or making fruitcake. I don't really care for NASCAR but I watch NASCAR with Colin -every Sunday and you couldn't pay me enough money to eat fruitcake but I make my famous fruitcake every Christmas because my Mom and family love it. I don't do these things for reward I do it out of love. Therefore, it's the same with covering. I cover out of love for God and to please Him, not just to try and get a reward, i.e., Heaven. I've been saved by God's Grace, I don't need to do good works. I want to do them!!

I truly feel the cry of Legalism comes from a guilty conscience. Pastors know they should be preaching the desires of God more thoroughly, but are afraid of ruffling the Feminist feathers of their congregations. And when other women say it, it is because they know in their hearts that they are not doing what pleases God.

I've been shocked to hear some pastors have actually told covering women that they are no longer welcome in that church. How's that for Christian behaviour? Those pastors need to be reminded that they serve God and the church is not theirs to run as they choose. Besides, how is a little piece of cloth/hat going to hurt the worship of the Lord? Maybe it will bring other women to read their bibles more closely and listen to what the Lord wants? Pastors also seem to forget that a woman only has to explain herself to God and her husband/father. All that aside, maybe the pastor's attention would be better spent addressing the women of the congregation that seem to forget to get dressed before going to church! The outfits that are allowed to be worn to church are downright shameful. I'm not suggesting full burkas for women, but surely, Colin should be able to attend church with me without having to see all manner of bra straps, pantie lines, and other things I won't mention. Pastors should really worry about more things than what's on a woman's head.

I think those are all the reasons against head covering. As you can see from my other post, I wear head coverings that don't really stand out. They do in a way, because so few women wear anything on their head. But I don't wear, for example, Mennonite style prayer caps or long Charity-style veils. I don't feel the Lord has called me to stand out any more than I already do because I wear modest dresses. I cover for/because of my love for the Lord. I don't need to put myself on display. That's one of the benefits of dressing modest and wearing head coverings, I no longer have to "fit" the current definition of fashionable and I'm not on display for every passing man to ogle. I have noticed one thing since changing to dresses and coverings. I get much more respect and gentlemanly behaviour from men when I'm out in public. They even seem to mind their language more, which is good since I always have Ella with me. This also, isn't the reason I cover, just a nice added bonus. Then of course, there is the pleasure it brings my husband. Colin loves to see me dressed as a lady and he finds my coverings very "suiting". These aren't the real reasons I cover but they sure are nice added bonuses -see what happens when we please God?

I forgot to mention, this is the best response I've ever heard to "why do you cover", especially when asked with malice by another Christian woman... the response is "why aren't you?"

Well Andrew just got in. Some pictures of when he hit shore.

The fish is now getting scaled and soon to be filleted.

See you tomorrow.

I was so excited to receive the gorgeous big Jen Jones book about Welsh quilts featured in an earlier post. It's a large coffee table type of book. What I'm enjoying most  are the wonderful colored photographs and closeup detail shots of tons of the antique quilts Ms. Jones has in her collection.  What a treasure.

I've progressed quite a way with my Welsh quilting project.  I found a lovely pale turquoise Kona cotton to mark with the design created by Marjorie Horton (the green pattern in the picture).  I pored through Marjorie's wonderful self-published book "Welsh Quilting Pattern and Design Handbook." It's crammed with ideas and ideas of how to get the designs onto cloth.

I've just finished the marking of my top!  I traced some of the designs from the pattern sheet and made cardstock templates to trace around for others.  I also used my ruler for many of the lines as well.  I decided it would look elegant quilted in silk thread.  Yesterday I went to a great thread shop  which blew me away.  She had threads made from silk, cotton, wool, soy and bamboo!  She also had an enormous selection of silk ribbon for embroidery as well.  Who knew there were people making so many beautiful things for hand sewing.  I ended up purchasing several cards of Twisted Silk Pearl #8 which I notice was made in Switzerland (brand name Elegance).  Each card has 20 yards of thread on it, so I cleaned the shop out of that.  I also purchased several hanks of a lovely cotton embroidery thread called "Wildflowers" by Caron which has 36 yards on it.  I have no idea how much thread I'll need for this project.   I plan on starting in the middle with the silk thread and if that runs out, I'll use the pretty cotton thread in the borders.  The stitch I'll aim for is an even stitch, rather like Sashiko.  I discarded the idea of doing the quilting with variegated threads as I want the designs to show up clearly with no interruption in the colors.

At the thread shop I confess I gave into temptation and bought a lovely pattern for an embroidered Elizabethan coif.  This pattern is from a line of patterns called Extreme Patterns and is "one of a series of patterns for different costume and home furnishing pieces created from the 16th and 17th century British embroideries and paintings."  A coif was embroidered on linen with silk thread and was worn on the  head, rather like a baby bonnet, before headresses or other headcoverings were added to the clothing of the people of that time.  The coif helped keep their hair clean!  I fell for the lovely Tudor roses that are included on the pattern I bought and think I might have to trace a design to see how it looks quilted...Oh boy am I into my British Heritage quilting, or what?

Rose Quilt in Library Exhibit

Here are the quilts that were exhibited in our local Public Library during the month of April.  Each quilt was cleverly hung from the lighting fixtures with fishing line attached to metal shower hangers.  Each quilt also had the poem that was interpreted by each participant hung the same way!  I was happy to get my quilt home safely and displayed it in a temporary location until I can find just the right spot!  I just got to the library in time to photograph it as moments after these pictures were taken, ladders appeared and the quilts were quickly and quietly taken down. 

Finally the wind, thunderstorms have subsided for now. Andrew was able to sneak out and get his nets back in the water again. It looks like it is still threatening to rain but rain just makes fishing miserable but not impossible. The marine forcast for Southern Georgian Bay sounds like the wind will be north 15 knots veering to 15 knots from the northeast tonight, then light for tomorrow afternoon. The wave one metre or less. We shall see if this holds true.

Here are a few pictures of what the day is looking like for us. Also a picture of the smoker just a puffing away for Thursday's market.

We're busy here these days. Colin is starting to get to the field work. Still waiting for some wet spots to dry a bit more. I'll post a "cropping" post a little later. I may actually disappear offline for a while. Our computer may be/likely is dying, so I'll have to wait till my BIL comes up on the weekend and take him computer shopping. He's the "computer geek" of the family and is always willing to help.
We had a wonderful Sunday. We have found a local company (well local as far as Renfrew County is concerned) that builds modular homes. We visited the factory and actually planned our addition. Now we are just waiting for financing. The company is called Guildcrest. This is what the floor plan looks like (mostly)

Then this Swine Flu nonsense starts. Now everything is on hold and we're hoping we can continue to feed ourselves and keep the house we've got. I wish the media would calm down and find something else to worry about. I also wish they would call it the Mexican Flu or something. It is a mix of bird/swine/people influenza!!!! This is why pigs are kept in barns!!! The loose pigs in Mexico caught the flu from migratory birds which then mutated with the human version. I really wish people would remeber that people die every year from the flu (not that I'm saying it's ok, I'm just saying lets not panic). It's something like 4000 every year in Canada.

I'd really like to know how they are "confirming" these cases of Swine Flu. Blood work just turns it up as Influenza A -regular human flu. I have to wonder how many of these cases (esp. non-Mexican) are just plain flu?

Seems to me that the media were disappointed they didn't cause a North American depression -they sure seemed to be trying at Christmas -and have moved onto the next thing to cause a panic about. They aren't telling people that it is perfectly safe to continue to eat pork! They seem to forget to tell people that handwashing goes a long way for protection. And the big one is -if you are sick STAY HOME! I get so tired of seeing sick people out everywhere, especially church -especially if they are before me at Communion!

So please everyone, keep eating pork. Especially from your local pork producer. It's safe and healthy and good for you too :)

On a happier note, yesterday was my Mom's 61st birthday. She spent the day with us. We got her a folding Muskoka chair with a footrest. Very comfy.

BBQ Grilled Vegetable Medley with Pasta

This is one of our springtime creations. We created a veggie rub out of Italian spice, red pepper flakes, freshly ground pepper and red garlic sansel and mixed it in with green pepper, zucchini, garlic, onion and a ton of eggplant. We grilled the vegetables on the bbq and then tossed them with some organic kamut pasta and a tiny bit of tomato sauce...awesome!

Eat Your Eggplant!
Excellent source of potassium, dietary fiber and copper. Also a good source of vitamin B6 and folate (which helps regulate red blood cells and prevent anemia, promotes skin cell production and has been proven to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis and Alzheimer's). As an added bonus, eggplant is also rich in antioxidants and is referred to as "brain food" based on the antioxidant nasunin found in the skin of eggplant - protects the lipids (fats) in brain cells which in turn helps protects the cells themselves and may even play a key role in preventing the cellular destruction that can lead to cancer. Be a cancer-free smarty pants and eat your eggplant!

Wind, Thunderstorms, Morels & Leeks

The title just about sums up our weekend. We tried to go fishing, couldn't for the wind changed and the thunderstorms moved in. A couple of pictures of the storm moving in last night just behind our house and how the water looks just before the storm.

Andrew went for a walk and found our first morel and leek. We are planning on going out and continuing the search this week if it stops raining. Hopefully we can have a pot of homemade potato leek soup soon. And the morels just to be fried up and added to our favorite dish. Sounds yummy and looking forward to the hike on the bluffs.

Tomorrow the weather may let up. We will need to wait and see. But the brines for the smoked fish is made and now cooling. I am going to be ready to smoke Tuesday. Now we need to just ask the wind to calm and thunderstorms to move on so we can get the fresh.

Running Free

So I ran today. I flew!

I don't know what it is, but when you are running, time is irrelevant, or at least, it can be. In order to press on, you have to live each step in the moment, never thinking of how far you've come or how far you've yet to go. When my mind wanders, and I see a breathtaking view, I forget I am running, and all I can feel is the gentle breeze, brushing softly against my face, keeping me refreshed and able to continue.

It's such a metaphor for life! Such an accurate description of time... For what is time? This subjective thing that moves so slowly or quickly, and allows us to let things in the past go, and look forward to the future. All in one moment, a lifetime.

I run, and reach my destination; an old maple tree on a practically deserted road, and I lean my heaving body against it's cracking sides. It holds me, and comforts me. It is almost as though I do not exist, for I look up, and my shadow has been swallowed by this massive life-giving force behind me. Stopping, I look around, and see the grasses gently waving in the wind, and listen to the birds and rabbits moving softly through the brush. That breeze, it tickles my ears and eyelashes, and I feel so very calm.

Resting there for a while, I see all the life around me; the moss on the tree, and tiny leaves growing out from that soft, green carpet. A small fly that lands upon my shirt and decides to honour me with a brief visit. The sun, which shines it's sleep head upon this secret haven of hope and life. I see it all so clearly! It is all so vivid now!

And then I run again, propelled forward by some unseen force, running--somehow--for a cause. With a purpose. Because of love?

Wind in on my face, I return home. Happy. Joyful.


Andrew made it home around 10 last night and we had the birthday cake. Good midnight treat.

Andrew is trying to head out on the water. The wind is brisk but in an okay direction.

He has some pictures and I will share a few over the next couple of days. They are of the first morning in San Jose, the group for the conference, a fountain San Jose turns on when its really hot out, and out the window of the plane coming home.

We are aiming to come down on Thursday. We are managing to get back into the swing of things just a bit sluggish today. Hope every can get out and enjoy this beautiful weekend.

Andrew Made it to Toronto

Andrew on his way home after a long day of traveling. He sounds good just tired.

Myself and the boys just returned from a bike ride again and now I am just happy to sit and wait for Andrew to come home.

Andrew's birthday today so we can share some cake tonight as long as the boys can stay awake.

The weekend sounds a bit breezy but hopefully it is wrong or coming in a direction that works for us. Tomorrow is suppose to be thunderstorms but calmer in the evening. We will need to wait and see. Tonight the water looks confused and moving quite quick. The boys tell me it is warming up but I think they are just trying to see if I would let them go swimming. No swimming for a couple of months.

I am just glad to get back to normal tomorrow. The boys agree.

I know, I'm English-born, but gardening is not one of the talents I brought with me to the New World!  It's a nice assumption that many American friends make.  They assume, because of my origins and accent, that I am a keen and talented gardener.  Which I'm not.  I do love gardens but have never had the urge to really get with it in that department! However, I do a mean job of planting in containers and had a little expedition to Home Depot this week.  This is as far as I got.  Doing the choosing and buying part.  Next I have to hose out various nice containers I have accumulated and find the strength to lug the 1 yard of potting soil to my deck where I'll have a planting session.  I found a couple of poppy varieties on sale. Poor things, they were wilting in the sun.  But now they have perked up and I shall be very advanced with my gardening skills and actually plant these in my "low maintenance garden"! (lawns, trees, bulbs and rhodie bushes)  The close-up of the alien looking about-to-be-blossoms are  Icelandic Poppies.  I also bought a California Poppy.  He has two flowers but thinks it is just a bit cold right now to open up his blossoms. 

Some of the blogs I follow are by Englishwomen.  They often talk about their gardens which I love to read about.  I notice that many of them are careful to put the Latin botanical names of the plant species they show and tell about.  I think I'll just stick with the common names on the pretty little tickets in each pot.  Like Lotus Parrot's Beak, Petunia Plum Vein Improved Ruffle and Lobelia Blue Star.  I particularly love Geraniums which remind me of our California garden and patio which were always filled with various bright colors of that familiar plant.   Some of the little start plants I bought are totally unfamiliar to me but they looked pretty in their pictures. I'll enjoy whatever surprise they bring!

Good old Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors!  Here's Younger Son's cookies and cream ice cream birthday cake.  We were a bit short on candles, but we had one for each decade of his life plus one to grow on!  I found a package of candles which I thought were the alphabet.  However they spelled out "Congratulations!" when I got them home and looked at them carefully.  Luckily there was a  letter "T" and an exclamation point candle and I scrounged two other b'day cake candles from the back of a kitchen drawer!

Isn't it?

Isn't it strange, how fast a year goes? Isn't it funny how slowly days go by?

And isn't it absolutely amazing, when you realize you're in a new stage of life, a new moment, an awakening? Or when, in the midst of all the newness, a seemingly insignificant question is posed, and you realize the only answer to your lack of participation is simply because you haven't done it before? And that haunts you.

But isn't it beautiful, to be loved by someone, and to look up, and see the sun, and feel the breeze pass through us? To see the tiny flowers, or take some hidden rural road behind the bustle of town? It keeps me thinking.

When it doesn't matter that I'm tired, or that I just want to sleep. When I don't mind being overly warm or overly cold. When it doesn't matter that I'm hungry, or that my hand is sliding in it's sticky sweat. Isn't it grand?

Isn't it wonderful to make music with people, or just to sit and watch some spraying water move along with the tunes being made? I love the feeling of that smile that settles neatly across my face. Or sometimes to walk alone, in silence, or alone with a rhyme in your mind. Or, of course, to walk, two, side by side but alone, each in a thought world far removed.

Isn't it wonderful, to spend a day hard at work, to look up and think, at any given time, that there are people in this world that love you, and people that want to spend time with you? That there are communities of music and joy that you are a part of?

Isn't it?

That's me.


Today is St. George's day -- he's the patron saint of England! A bit of study reveals  thatt he was admired for his bravery and other macho stuff.  It's also Shakespeare's birthday ( a date that is a legend not a fact apparently) and, more importantly,  it's my younger sons's Thirtieth Birthday.  

I have some templates cut for my Welsh quilt madness which I will post after the family day of celebration for our son.

From Vegan Soups & Hearty Stews for All Seasons
Andrew will be home tomorrow from San Jose, California. Things can return to normal. Sure it was nice to have break but a week of trying to twiddle my thumbs was long enough. I did get a little bit accomplished but not much.
Andrew did well on his speech. That was a first time in front of a crowd like that. He is going to try to make it to the shore of the Pacific today. The fisherman is missing the water but I am sure it will be very different than Georgian Bay. I love the smell of the ocean and that is something I will never forget. Hopefully he notices it and is able to at least put his foot in it. I asked him to bring me home a shell but with no creatures still accommodating it. When I was on the Pacific shores off Victoria I remember the handfuls of sand dollars that scattered the shore. Also the numerous other types of shells but some of them still had occupants.
Finally here at home the sun has peeked out. The boys are anxious to go out biking tonight. I am trying to relax before this for I know they have been saving up the energy all week and the plan is to go until mom says "I give".
We will share the pictures of Andrew's trip when he returns. He will be back tomorrow night and just in time for his birthday. He will also be bringing back Daniel and work will commence Saturday.


I was going to finish my post on Why I Cover, but I am too angry. There were some comments made by some of the co-op people regarding our pigs being in a barn. I'm much too angry to make much sense :[

I'll just share a picture of Ella on her bike. Last summer I thought she's never get it figured out. This year there is no stopping her.

So, my apologies for my lack of posting, but my 17-year-old self has been CRAZY busy!!! What with actually having friends (What? Yes!) and choir and music, and workshops and studying and practicing and teaching, working, interviews of all kinds, CPR re-certs, and actually getting hired as a lifeguard and swim teacher (What? Yes!!!), I haven't had much time for posting. However, I was at work today, and I built a tower out of mega blocks with a tiny munchkin S. :-) Tiny munchkin O. watched from the sidelines, draped over the side of the mat. Very, very cute. I realized that this was a fabulous photo op., but I didn't have a camera! And then the lightbulb came on... I had a cell phone with me! Out popped my Mum's 'cool green cell phone', and some not-so-great pics were snapped. Enjoy!!!

Hey! Look at that! A Dr. Suess tower! Note the cuteness of the napping Munchkin O. on the right... :-)

Good work, Munchkin S.! It's almost as tall as you!'re in front of my tower, girlie...

Check out the marvelous-ness of the top! And note the cute little almost-two-year-old arm adding stuff on the right... :-)

Ah! She moved!

Ahhhh...fall down go boom!

Good job Munchkin S. Rebuilding is the way to go. :-)

Hugs to you all!!!


Andrew made it to San Jose

Andrew left at 1:30 am and made it to his hotel about an hour ago. He hopes to catch a couple of hours of sleep and then get ready for the conference tomorrow.
He is lucky he pulled his nets from the Bay before he left. It is windy and just yucky here. The wind is southeast 20-25 knots and waves 2 metres. I wish I could show you the white caps hitting our shore. The temperature is 6. We are back to wearing jackets and sweaters.
I spent the day trying to figure out what to keep myself busy with. I froze up yesterdays catch and did a bit of a clean up. Pretty quiet here during the day with Andrew in San Jose and Daniel also left for the city for the week till Andrew returns. It's nice to be so quiet but wish the weather would clear up so I could go weed my flower bed or clean up the yard.
Colin has lately started supplying a restaurant in Pembroke with pork. It's called JJ's if anyone's nearby. Grandma took Ella for a sleepover (she was having Ella-withdrawls), so I decided to take Daddy out for supper -likely our last real date night until the end of summer. I was right, today he started injecting the "organic soil conditioner", aka piggie pooh, today and has already said to eat without him.

On the house front, things are going well. We were at the Home Show in Petewawa on the weekend. We found another modular home builder, Guildcrest, that is actual based in Ontario. A definite plus. Also, their homes arrive complete, inside and out (except of course for the "seam"). Their prices are equal to or less than the company we were thinking of using. And those homes were completely NOT finished inside. Colin would have months of work to do before we could move in. We even got a quote for the new septic that was half of what Colin was expecting. Getting quotes has been the hardest part of all this -except the waiting. I'm getting so excited, I just hope we can work mortgage payments that we can afford.

Here's the floorplan we're thinking about. Room size is subject to change because I don't know what I'm doing :)

Cookie day today (in between loads of laundry). I made Bushel Cookies. I made the 1/4 batch because it's a new recipe. The 1/4 batch made 8 dozen cookies, plus 4 "Daddy size" cookies. I hope you've got a scale. Next time I make them I'll measure my ingredients and update the recipe. Also hope you've got a cookie scoop, the dough is rather slack and sticky.

Bushel Cookies
Full Batch 1/4 Batch 1/2 Batch
Brown sugar 5 lbs 1 1/4 lbs 2 1/2 lbs
Lard 2 1/2 lb scant 3/4 lb 1 1/4 lbs
Eggs 12 3 6
Maple Syrup 1 c. 1/4 c. 1/2 c.
Baking Soda 2 oz. 1/2 oz. 1 oz.
Baking Powder 2 oz. 1/2 oz. 1 oz.
Milk 1 qt 1/4 qt 1/2 qt
Flour 6 lbs 1 1/2 lbs 3 lbs
Oatmeal 2 lbs 1/2 lb 1 lb
Raisins and Chocolate Chips, mixed 2lbs 1/2 lb 1 lb
Ground salted peanuts 1 lb 1/4 lb 1/2 lb

Mix as you would any other cookie. Cream shortening and sugar. Mix in eggs and syrup and oatmeal. Alternate milk with flour and leavenings. Then gently mix in raisins, chips and peanuts. Bake 350F for 10-12 min. on greased cookie sheets. Let cool 5 min before removing from sheets or they will stick.

Personally, next time I will save the maple syrup for my pancakes, as you can't really taste it in the finished cookie. I may put in at least 1/2cup (per 1/4 batch) of peanut butter. I also did not put in the ground peanuts. I don't like nuts in things so I didn't have any around. I did have some sunflower seeds in the freezer, so I added some of them.

I always keep my nuts and seeds (and yeast) in the freezer. Please don't keep them in your cupboard, they can go rancid very quickly.

 My cousin, who lives in a 14th century farmhouse in North Wales, actually drove to Jen Jones's place in South Wales to buy her new book"Les Quilts Gallois/Welsh Quilts" for my recent birthday!  I am waiting with much anticipation for the mailman to deliver this wonderful gift. I do already have the little grey paperback book in my quilting library which contains an interesting  history about these unique quilts.  Another Welsh cousin sent me a funky example of a quilt that she picked up at  a garage sale which had been formerly used by a farmer to cover his tractor seat!  I need to get that out and photograph it.  What's so terrific about Jen Jones, an American woman, is that she went to Wales and unearthed these quilt treasures and caused quite a revival of appreciation for these unique and expressive quilts.   

I had the pleasure of working with Marjorie Horton a few years ago, to help bring an exhibit of Welsh and English quilts to the Pacific Northwest Quiltfest in Seattle.  I had been a student of hers in a class and was on  the Board of the Association of Pacific Northwest Quilters (APNQ) at the time.  Really all I did was make the introduction for Marjorie so that she could mount a wonderful special exhibit at the quilt show.   Marjorie has made an incredible study of Welsh quilts and has been teaching all about them all over the place in the US.  She's the one who got me hooked on these wonderful quilts, which I had no idea existed.  She self published a book which I treasure.  It's my first go-to resource when a Welsh quilting fit comes over me.  I love designing the quilting in this style. I marked a couple of baby quilts for a friend.  I found out that there were women who only marked quilts in England and Wales in the 19 and 20th centuries.  That was their job.  I really relate to those designers. 

I think I'm going to get all my Welsh quilting quilt design marking tools out and mark my little Amish-inspired quilt with those designs.  Many experts think that the Welsh quilts influenced the Amish.  I think the story goes that Welsh immgrants who went to work in the mines in the 19th century, were neighbors of the Amish and that somehow the Welsh quilts influenced the Amish quilters.    

New Quilt Top and First Rhododendron Blooms ...

I've been poring over books about Amish quilts for days and dithering quite a bit.  Today I just went for it.  I banished the quilt police in my head as I blithely cut the strips, not caring that two of  the turquoise strips could only be cut on the bias!  I eyeballed the proportions of the bars and borders.  This top measures about 21 x 23 inches. Rest assured that the outer border corners are actually square, but I had to crop this picture as the image was a bit wonky. So much for me exploring the earth colors that I have.   However, there might be a Rail Fence in me combining some of the leftovers from this top with those quieter colors.  Now to figure out about the quilting.  I hate to practice my free motion on this piece, so will investigate my stash of traditional quilting stencils and will probably end up hand quilting with luscious hand dyed threads to take it up a notch or two so it feels like my own work.  I do love that I was able to stitch this top together so quickly today.  Sure beats dithering.

Before I started cutting fabric I had to go to the bottom of our garden where our first rhodie has started to bloom.  Perhaps the red of the blooms inspired my fabric choice of the red in my quilt top.  (The fabrics are all from my luscious Cherrywood Fabrics stash.)We have quite a few rhododendron plants in our garden.  Washington's state flower is the rhododendron. Each plant has its own special blooming time. They rarely appear all at once in a showy display, but rather each one gets to shine on its own.  From the bud picture, it looks like quite a hard birthing for the bloom to appear.  It almost seems as if the bud doesn't want to let the flamboyant petals within come forth!  Another triumph of Mother Nature's wondrous ways. 

What a busy day but it is coming to an end. Our youngest had his 10th birthday. He ate Kraft Dinner, hot dogs and then ice cream. The cake will come when his dad returns on Friday and both birthday boys get to share it together. A father/son cake. Andrew's birthday is also on Friday.

Andrew went out fishing the last time before he leaves for San Jose tomorrow morning. His nets now are sitting on shore waiting for his return. He was able to catch 110 lbs roughly. Now I have enough fish to smoke when he returns. But I freeze it for now and have it patiently wait for his return.

Also the packing was completed. It is quite warm we found out in San Jose right now. Yesterday we thought Toronto was quite warm at 23. When we got home at 5 pm yesterday it was only 7. So now going to somewhere even warmer it will be interesting and difficult for we haven't even unpacked our summer clothing yet. But we managed and now just going over the last details.

I don't know if I will update this blog to much this week for really I won't be doing much except chasing my sons. But I will see how this week goes. Hope you had a great weekend.

Made it home

We all got up for market at Wychwood and just made it home. We will settle in for the evening and tomorrow is my youngest son's birthday. Andrew needs to pack also tomorrow.
Hope everyone had a good Saturday. We did and just glad to be home.

This is my everyday, work in the garden, out and about hat. It fits well over most of my coverings which is handy when I need to throw on a hat (walking for the mail, etc). With a nice big hat pin, I'm ready for any weather.

This is one of my church hats. I have a nice black felt one, much the same style, for winter. Again, stick in a hat pin and you are all set. No worries about the wind.

This is my go-to, everyday covering. It used to be sold by Prayer It's been discontinued but Bayley, the owner, was kind enough to send me a copy of the pattern so I can contine to make them. It's basically a triangle scarf, but it has two darts in the back that take away the "fly-away" nature of a triangle scarf. I think it's very nice and always looks good. I use a clipie on each side and it doesn't go anywhere all day, I never have to think about it slipping. I plan on making a black lace one for wearing to church/somewhere fancy for when I don't wear a hat. This style looks good with my hair up or down or any where in between. Check out Prayer Coverings, they have many different styles. I could spend a lot of money there :)

Please forgive this picture, I've told you I'm terrible with a camera. Go to the Garlands of Grace site and see much better pictures. This is the Cecily It looks really nice with my hair down, but also works with my usual braids. Garlands of Grace have so many beautiful styles and fabrics, it's hard to choose.

This one is from Garlands of Grace as well. I'm almost wishing I had bought an off-white coloured one because it is so white. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. Once I get out my white based summer dresses I'll get the chance. It's a snood, which is different for me. I think they are beautiful.

This last one is left from my Society for Creative Anachronism days. It was going to be a caul for wearing with my German 16th century garb. I never got around to making it into a caul, so I just wear it as a triangle scarf. If I have my hair up, I often catch the point in the tie, which makes a neater look (though it looks lumpy in the picture). I don't wear this often. Usually depends on where I'm going. It really suited when I wore it to the Polish festival in Wilno last May. Helped me blend in and look less German -haha.

As you can see, I wear a variety of coverings. I like variety. I guess it proves that, though I may be conservative in nature, I'm definitely not Plain. I like the heart-shaped Amish style prayer cap, but that's too tied with a specific group. I don't want to confuse people.