Friday, January 08, 2010

A day of Utter Delight

It certainly wasn't the weather that made it so gratifying, - nippy, windy and treacherous ice underfoot.

But the library yielded a new book by Alexander McCall Smith - 'The Lost Art of Gratitude'

and my venture into the knitting of socks on a grand scale took off most satisfactorily when I reached the heel of the first sock.

In a recent posting I spoke about this splendid idea I had for making wonderful woollen socks for all the fellows on my Christmas list. The number of socks to be made expanded to thirteen pairs. Perfect!! I like things to be mathematically orderly. Thirteen pair of socks equals twenty-six socks, and by knitting one sock each two weeks (theoretically) I should be finishing off the last sock Christmas Eve, 2010!!!! You will note I make no allowances for contingencies, - they are not allowed this year!

I am making the socks from washable wool to save the washers of socks from shrinking them and becoming martyr's to Grandma's Christmas Sock Project.

As if this were not enough to make the day notable let me show you what I received as a birthday gift from our son and daughter-in-law who live away and are wonderfully creative.

A most beautiful wooden ring!

The primary wood is magnolia.....

The centre band is Ancient Kauri, - timber that is aged from 30,000 to more than 50,000 years. It has been discovered in prehistoric forests buried at the time of the last ice age, located on the Northern Island of New Zealand.

The ring is bordered by Apple Wood and Grenadilla (African Blackwood)

It fits perfectly and I am just so pleased and honoured to have such a lovely gift.

The ring with it, in the little wooden box that David also made, is one of the first rings he made some years ago. It is aged to perfection, as is the lovely olive wood ring he made for Charles.

A sweet brooch....

and a bracelet....

David and Nicola live a rather romantic life, off the grid in the Cariboo country of British Columbia. They send their beautiful rings to all corners of the world.

Vincent, our youngest son, lives there too, and between them and their neighbours they run a sustainable logging operation to utilize the beetle infested pine wood on their property.

A simple and truly authentic way of life, and they made my day delightful!

As are the blogs they write about their way of life and its accomplishments.

We are often overwhelmed by the love and time and generosity which all our children give us.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Sunrise in the Similkameen, 7:38 a.m. January 6th, 2010

The Day of Epiphany honouring the visit of the Magi and the beginning of the season of Epiphany in the Christian church. Epiphany is the Season of Light, spreading throughout the world, - it begins after Twelfth Night and ends with Ash Wednesday.

Light from Darkness, - I thought this a most appropriate and beautiful beginning to Epiphany.

For more beautiful skies click here and marvel at the beauty.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

ABC Wednesday

Y is for Yesterday

I was not a great fan of the Beatles, - wrong generation I guess. But now as I age (a little) I think, "what a sweet young man' And Yesterdays are very dear to me....

Look for more Y's at ABC Wednesday here.

Monday, January 04, 2010

My daughter mutters 'Scrooge' as I contemplate taking down the Christmas decorations. I think she would gladly leave them up all during Epiphany and right into Lent, and so be it for her, but something in me begins to long for simplicity and order. I can carry the spirit of Christmas forward, but not the tinsel and the garlands and the glitter.

So this morning I telescoped the little golden tree we accepted this year as our nod to outdoor greenery. I put the most delicate of our decorations on it, - mostly the ones that had been passed on to me by a dear friend - white and gold and clear and crystal.

I slipped it back into its little flat box along with the paraphenalia that holds it upright, and went on to the garlands and the angels and the Santa Claus.

All the little snowmen and the Christmas candles and their silver and brass candlesticks got tucked away for another year.

I left a few that were small delicate, just to remind us of the joys of the celebration, but when everything else had been boxed and blessed and put up on the tall shelves in closets and cupboards my thoughts turned to the tins of shortbread and fruit cake that linger in the pantry to tempt us.

Off with their heads, I said (aloud)! They will be abundant on the tea table (or in the freezer) until simplicity reigns along with good healthy oatmeal cookies.

I looked around the fairly orderly house (no pine needles) and before Charles came in for lunch I sat down with my new daily journal and made out a list of the men in the family who could do with nice warm woollen work socks next Christmas.

There were nine of them!

The knitting urge is upon me.....

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Yesterday was a kaleidoscope of emotions as I celebrated my 85th birthday.

Firstly, as I woke to a still dark morning, there was the WOW factor. A surprising rush of gratitude that I have attained this age in good health and with an awareness of the beauty that surrounds us in both complex and simple things. The complexity that accompanies our relationships with family and friends, and yet the simplicity that is reflected in the way these intricacies are dissolved in love.

Birthdays are family affairs, - warm and loving. Birthdays so soon after the celebrations of Christmas and the New Year are in some danger of being viewed as just a tag-a-long tail of the comet, but I have found that on the contrary they absorb all the love and good feeling that is floating around as a result of the meaningfulness of Christmas.

My younger daughter made a delicious cake that was parceled out to a succession of young visitors, and I reveled in the chance to be in their company. There were wonderful phone chats, beautiful and loving cards, happy birthday wishes in my 'in-box' and on Facebook, and I felt thoroughly spoiled, - even unto today when we shared the last little bit of the delicious cake with family from down the hill.

I went to bed, pleasantly weary and smiling, - thankful to all the dear ones who made the day so sweet.