Monday, December 29, 2008

Phone Sweater

We've all had such a lovely Christmas holiday, my personal high moment was having the gravy work out! Always a "phew" moment for me. The Heiress got a new phone and wasn't having the best of luck in finding a case that fit properly. Ravelry to the rescue! We sat down to browse the patterns and found one that fit the bill. The Heiress was so pleased with the result she came downstairs carrying her iPod. "Mum, do you think..." so of course I did. With so many errands to do and things to remember for Christmas I was joking with a friend on Christmas Eve that I needed a notebook on a string around my neck. At Christmas dinner when it came time to pull our Crackers what popped out of mine but a miniature notebook! Gales of laughter ensued, it was a wonderful day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cranberry Sauce

Every Christmas and Thanksgiving I open a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and listen for that unmistakable sound as it slides out. You see, I am the only one that likes cranberry sauce in our house. Thinking about it, I am the only one that likes a lot of things in our house! I digress. This year I was inspired by K from Jolly Hockey Sticks! to try and make a batch of homemade conserve. The recipe comes from The Barefoot Contessa's Parties book and it was so simple! Had I known, I would have been spared "the jelly" years ago. R walked past the kitchen, pointed at the pot and asked "Do you use cranberry sauce to make that?" "It IS cranberry sauce, this is what it's supposed to look like" I replied. Thank you Barefoot Contessa!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

This is the view outside my front door two hours after the snow started this morning. It's supposed to keep up all day, my back is sore already just thinking about the shovelling ahead. It's not all bad news though, days like this are terrific for lots of things! All day fires, in the fireplace of course, baking, knitting, movies in the afternoon and chatting with neighbours. R went off to work this morning and by 9:30 am was promptly sent home by the powers that be. It's a good thing too, now I have a shovelling partner!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cross Stitch Ornaments

In the past I've done my best to make an ornament every Christmas for The Tree. Since there is No Tree this year to hang ornaments on I have put some behind glass to be safe. This way I can admire them without fear that Deacon will play Thief.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Yesterday I became the very excited owner of my very first Persephone! It's titled Good Evening, Mrs. Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes. A quote on the back cover states: "A revelation...These exquisite and wryly funny short stories, by the Jane Austen of the Home Front, provide a unique insight into English life during WWII" Robert Harris. Here's how it all came about. We stopped by Chapters as R wanted to find a book or two to read during some time off work. Always eager to be of service I was browsing the shelves for quirky titles, that's what R likes best. Then I spied the unmistakable Persephone logo on a spine, can it be I thought to myself. Such was the unconfined joy as I ran, okay I tried to be feminine, walked quickly to show my treasure to R. Since Chapters just happened to be having a Buy 3 Get 1 Free special it was tucked under my arm for purchase. Cue the Hallelujah chorus...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Short Stories

There simply are not enough hours in the day at this time of year I find. Which is exactly why these short stories are fitting the bill so nicely. Elizabeth Bowen's tale Green Holly actually turned out to be a Christmas ghost story! I really enjoyed her writing and discovered that at the library we own a collection of Bowen's short stories. I brought it home and read Mysterious Kor which is about two lovers and their quest to be alone on a moonlit night during the Blitz. I'm looking forward to dipping back into that book later in 2009. Turning back to my Christmas stories I then chose an Anthony Trollope called Christmas at Thompson Hall. It involved a sick husband, his wife, a mustard plaster and a case of mistaken identity. How's that for a plot? Christmas will never be the same for those people. There was a rather odd story by Muriel Spark called Christmas Fugue. My eyes kept popping whilst reading as the main character, Cynthia "made love" to a pilot during a flight - several times! I'm thinking that back when this story was written Muriel meant something a bit less salacious with that reference. Moving right along, Evelyn Waugh is up next with Bella Fleace Gave a Party, the red silk ribbon is holding my place until later this evening. I think there's a cup of hot chocolate in the picture as well, good night!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I've started reading my Everyman's Pocket Classics "Christmas Stories" and have discovered a wonderful author who writes under the pen name, Saki. His legal name is Hector Hugh Munro and he was born in Burma in 1870. The wit and satire with which Saki writes reminds me of EM Delafield, only a bit more stabbing. I found myself imagining the two of them having dinner together and what the dialogue would be like. In my short story "Reginald's Christmas Revel" he writes: When a man goes out in the pouring rain to brush caterpillars off rose trees, I generally imagine his life indoors leaves something to be desired; anyway, it must be very unsettling for the caterpillars. I laughed my way through this all too short story and knew right away that I'd be adding more Saki to my collection. In reading his bio I was saddened to learn that his life was not all frivolity and light and that he died before his time at 43. Killed by a German sniper during the first World War he was over the age to enlist but volunteered regardless. Thankfully, he left behind quite a legacy of literature - I can hear my bookshelves groaning!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This is my third pair of Serpentine Mitts and I just love the colour! They will be owned by a very good friend of The Heiress. S loves a pair of knit socks that I gave her so much that The Heiress tells me they make an appearance almost every day! I'm left wondering if those stockings will be hung by the chimney with care or just stand up on their own. No matter, it's lovely that my efforts are appreciated and enjoyed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ginger Honey

For some reason Blogger wants to publish this photo sideways so I'm going with it. There seems to be a food theme going on in a few blogs I've read this morning so I'll continue it. Perhaps it's the time of year! A very nice friend gave me some ginger honey awhile ago and it's been my favourite ever since. It really perks up a bowl of hot oatmeal! Bzzzz....