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Friday, September 27, 2013

Another Weekend Rolls Around

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday it was a beautiful, bright sunny day.  Today it is very dull, overcast and raining.  Apparently it is the calm before the coming storm.  Our summer is pretty much over but it was a good one. Soon I hope to have some good Fall photos to share.

As I mentioned the other day, the transition to Fall is always a very busy time here and this year is no exception.  I didn't do much quilting for the last week as I'm feeling too tired.  Instead I concentrated on rest, reading and enjoying connecting with friends.

Yesterday I combined a bit of food shopping with coffee schmoozing.  I hadn't planned on shopping but there were some good deals on beef.  That doesn't seem to happen very often these days so I bought some steaks and a roast to divide into several meal portions.

I was also able to get together with a dear old friend who is a year older than my mother.  Though my friend is now completely white haired, she is still as vibrant and joyful as ever. I don't get to see her very often.  She and her husband have always led a very busy life with a lot of travel so I am lucky to catch her from time to time.  I have to say though that she makes much more of an effort to stay in touch than a lot of people do these days so that is very commendable given her busy lifestyle.  It was nice to catch up and perhaps we'll get together again after her next trip to eastern Canada.

I also finished reading this book which I've been looking forward to reading for some time.  


It didn't take too long but I read it a bit slowly.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I put it on hold at the library. I purchased another book on the Dead Sea Scrolls by the same author who is a scholar at a Canadian university.  I first heard him being interviewed on a Christian television program one day and found him very interesting.  So I immediately began searching out some of his books.

This particular book intrigued me because of the preponderance of sensational claims being made these days about Jesus of Nazareth. This book promised a glimpse into the life during the time of Jesus.  More than that it promised to be based on scholarly research and evidence, not just claims based on conjecture.

I learned about what Nazareth was like; whether Jesus could have been a cynic; whether synagogues were around in Jesus day; whether people were literate in Jesus' day and whether Jesus himself was able to read and write; and burial practices and whether Jesus was buried. There were also a few appendices which provided more information on what Jesus might have looked like and whether Jesus' tomb has actually been discovered.  Last, but not least, the book concluded with a reading list for people interested in scholarly works based on archaeological findings, and with an extensive list of the source materials which formed the basis for the conclusions in the book.

This book is quite short.  If you are interested in Biblical stories and their relationship to archeological findings, I highly recommend you add this book to your reading list.

Well, it is also Friday today.  Whenever the weekend rolls around, I find myself thinking about my sponsored children and what I should write to them or send to them.  I have sponsored children in 3 African countries and today I was prompted to write to my sponsored kids who live in Zambia.  I've written them twice already and so far they don't seem to have received either of my letters.  It is a bit frustrating but certainly isn't their fault.  Anyone familiar with the postal system in developing countries knows that sometimes the mail doesn't get to the intended recipients.  I do hope the children receive these latest letters.  I can only imagine how exciting it will be to receive letters from across the globe!  I too will be excited to receive their letters some day.

My sponsored child in Ethiopia is now finished with his program and is on his own. I will no longer have any contact with him. The Compassion office sent me a notice that I could write to him one more time and that they would make sure my letter got to him.  They also sent me a new child in Ethiopia to whom I could write.  The new child is only three years old.  I've never written to anyone that young before so it will be a bit of a challenge.  It will be fun to watch him grow over the years of our correspondence.

Today is also when I participate in the weekly Skywatch Friday meme,so I leave you with a few sky photos.

The first photo is of the last moments of a sunset I saw while on a recent evening walk.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me and my camera phone doesn't take great distance photos.  While I fiddled to figure out how to zoom in (I still don't know how), the sun had almost fully set.  The colour of the sky was much better than  my camera phone was able to capture.  I'm sorry for that.  I'm glad I was able to enjoy it even if I wasn't able to capture it for you.


I like this next evening photo because the sky is bright enough that you can see all the electric wires overhead.  These are the wires that conduct the electricity on which some of our city buses still run though all the new buses are diesel operated.


Last but not least, I am sharing a photo of my container garden.  The gardening season is pretty much over here so this red pop of colour brings me some cheer. Look at all the rain drops on the petals!


Skywatch Friday

Monday, September 23, 2013

Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9




Would that there be peace in the world so that the killing of innocent people like in Pakistan and Kenya can be ended. 

The World Day of Peace (September 21) has passed.
But each of us can still all do our part for peace in this world; through prayer, through awareness, through understanding one another and supporting one another.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Some of the Things I Love

 “When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” 
~ Erasmus


I'm still feeling tired and sneezy this week from the cold I'm fighting.  Even so I've spent a  lot of time doing things I love as I recover.  Working on the two quilts as Christmas gifts saw me not only cutting, sewing and ironing but also running errands to purchase fabric and new blades for my rotary cutter.
I also modified two t-shirts into camis for my mother as I can't find any to fit her that don't have spaghetti straps.

When I needed or wanted a break from sewing and quilting, I spent some time on my other favourite hobbies, reading and catching up with friends.

Newest second hand book acquisitions this week cost a  grand total $3 (Canadian) and include:

~ Tower of the King's Daughter (Outremer #1) by Chaz Brenchley. I'm not sure about reading this one as I found out it is actually the 2nd book in a series.












~ Bel Canto by Ann Patchett









 
~ Almanac of the Dead, a Novel by Leslie Marmon Silko











The next book was borrowed from the library after reading about it at my blogger friend ClairZ.  The book is set in Kenya, land of my heart, and is about a woman who starts a mobile library in northern Kenya.  The books are transported on the back of a camel!













I also ordered a book from Amazon (total cost $7. and change included shipping costs) after reading about it on my blogger friend Martine's blog over at the Happy Sparrow. 


This book is an exploration of how women can live in beauty and grace, joy and peace in the midst of difficult circumstances. Real life stories are interwoven with biblical insights.








Last, but  not least, I put this book, Jesus and His World, on hold at the library and will be picking it up very soon. It's been on my "to read" list for awhile now.













I joined a for a fabulous movie called "The Sapphires", based on the true story of 4 Australian Aborigine women who form a singing group and travel to Vietnam to entertain the American troops during the Vietnam War.  It was a delightful, very funny and poignant story. All the proceeds went to a good cause in support of a local organization which helps young women develop self-esteem.

With the coming of the Fall season I've also been spending a lot of time working on my calendar and trying to make sure I have time for all the things I want to do. This always means making concerted efforts to get together with friends for coffee and a good natter.  I look forward to catching up with some friends this week. I'm also making plans to join a new Bible study group. I don't know if it will work out yet but I'm trying. September is always a busy and fruitful time though it can seem a bit frantic at times.  Next thing you know, Thanksgiving will be here. In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October.

Today (Sunday) it is pouring rain in Vancouver.  I'm relaxing and reading one of my new books.  If I get up some energy, I will continue working on my mother's quilt.  I hope your week was also filled with hobbies that you enjoy.

Joining up with Our World Tuesday this week.

Have a great Tuesday!
The first one of the Fall 2013 season.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Work-in-Progress

 “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
~ Abraham Lincoln


My nephew's quilt is nearing completion
and that makes me happy.

This is a snuggle size quilt for one person.



I would like to make more time to work with my hands.

I find it relaxing.  But as I do it so seldom, I tend to do it to excess 
as I don't know when I might do it again.


I still have to quilt it and I haven't decided whether to do it by hand or by machine. 

I will only do a "light" quilting job so that the finished effect is more or less, reversible.  


This throw has has a nice loft making it extra cosy.

I'm joining up with  I Heart Macro for this post.

BREAKING NEWS:  In sad news, there was a terrorist attack on innocent citizens at an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday. See more here.  Please pray for the government and security to get the perpetrators and bring security for their citizenry and tourists.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Height of Summer Heat


I'm already missing summer, lol. This day in July was one of the hottest days of the summer months in Vancouver. I took several shots into the direction of the sun. I was trying to capture the shimmer on the water.

I'm joining up with Skywatch Friday this week. Why don't you have a look at the various skies from all around the world.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Red & Brown and Stitched With Love

A quilt is something you make to keep someone you love ... WARM!
Quilting Quote ~ The Stitching Cow

Hello friends,

Since I posted about the quilt I am making for mom here, I've had a lot of wonderful suggestions about colour choices for borders. I wish I could try them all because I know they would all look wonderful. In the end I selected a brown inner border and a red outer border. I'm glad that some of you also suggested this combination of colours.

I also did some on line research looking for more of the sunflower fabric but I didn't have any success.  While I did find the fabric it was in a different colour way.  I even called the out-of-town quilt shop where I purchased the fabric in fat quarters to see if they had any pieces left.  They did not.

So I went out and bought the brown and red fabrics for the borders yesterday. I spent some time cutting the pieces and sewing them to the quilt top.

Here is a lengthwise view of the end result ready for quilting.

I've also been busy at work making my nephew's quilt. It proved to be a bit more difficult because I am recycle a small down quilt of his to use as batting for the new quilt.  I purchased the down quilt for him when he was a teen and I wanted to use it as a way of incorporating some memories for him.  I also wanted to use several fabrics from his grandmother's fabric stash which I inherited and some fabrics which I bought new.  This way, the quilt would have more meaning for him.

It was quite the sight in my home last night. I cut the quilt on one side and had down fluff pieces flying all over the place.  I really didn't believe there was down in the quilt but there was!  I got smart and sewed two seams on the opposite side before cutting down the middle of the seams.  This was a perfect solution and no more down fluff floating around.

I also made a black border for my nephew's quilt last night.  Working with dark fabrics in low light is not a good idea especially when you need to distinguish the front and back sides of the fabric.  I managed but it made a simple job take that much more time.

I got a good start on the quilts now so I can be ready well in time for Christmas. I hope to also cut out a few more quilts that have been waiting in the wings for awhile.

Does anyone have a good Ott-lite or craft light to recommend?  I'm looking for a floor lamp that will cast light that looks like daylight so I can see what I'm doing especially over the winter months.  So far I haven't found a good one at a good price. I've read a lot of reviews on different models but can't find a good one yet.  If anyone has a good lamp to recommend, please do let me know the make and model and perhaps I can purchase one on line.


I have some comments and a question unrelated to quilts for all of you bloggers.  

I like to visit my followers and will often click on the icon in the followers widget.  This doesn't always work.  For google + bloggers it takes me back to your google page.  Sometimes I can find your blog and other times I can't.  It depends on what else you've been sharing.

If you are a blogger (not on google  +), and I click your profile icon, it might take me to a page showing me the blogs you are following (if you've shared that information) but you will be amazed how often your own blog is not linked to your profile.

It makes it rather hard to find your blog if I haven't yet had a chance to add your blog to Bloglovin'.

I'm wondering if anyone knows why a blogger's profile doesn't link back to a blogger's blog?

I'm guessing it's because a blogger hasn't added their blog address to their profile (under General settings for your blog).

It would sure help me to find you if you did!

Have a good few days.

I'm going to an Australian movie based on a true story about four young Aborigine women.  The  movie is called "The Sapphires" and I'm looking forward to seeing it.  It came out last year year but I didn't get a chance to see it then.
Here is a trailer if you are interested. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Sunny Project

 One yard of fabric, like one cookie, is never enough!
Quilting quote from Stitching Cow

Hello friends,

I wrote here about my next project. I've decided that quilt will be for my nephew.  I'll make it in the same style as I made one for my mother (see here).  It will be a bit larger for snuggling on the sofa while watching television.

In the meantime I've selected this bright sunflower fabric from my stash for my mother's quilt. It will be larger than the other two I've made her so she can use it this winter as a cover up on her bed.



I wanted something bright and sunny for her and something that would blend with the colours of the standard quilts provided by the residence.

I purchased all of fat quarters over the past year and a half or so at different places. I really love the sunflower print and have been looking for more on line to no avail.



I cut out many of the squares and came up with the layout above.  Far too small.  So I have to add a few rows of coordinating fabric to make the quilt larger.  I purchased the sunflower fabric out of town and it's doubtful I can find more of  it.  I looked on line for it but whatever is available is in the wrong colour.

I've  already had one compliment on this work in progress.  I am hoping it will be a hit with my mother. I think this will be her Christmas present so I have a bit of time to finish it.

Here is the finished quilt top (sorry for the poor lighting).  I just need to trim up the edges a bit. I laid it on my bed to get an idea of appropriate length and width and to see how much "hang" there is.  The very top row which you "just see" in the photo, is exactly like the bottom row in the photo (which you cannot see).

The bottom row which you cannot see is the same as the top row (which is cut off in the photo).


I hope to find some coordinating border fabric soon. I'm thinking of two colours to frame the center and make it pop. Once I frame the quilt top it will be plenty large enough for mom's bed. Now I will get back to making my nephew's quilt top before finding batting and backing material for both quilts.


Dear reader, I'd like your help. 

Let me know what colours you would recommend for a) the inner border and b) the outer border. 

I'm thinking of brown as the inner border to pick up the colour in the center of the sunflowers, and red on the outside edge.  White might be nice too but that would get too dirty. I'm thinking there is too much orange but perhaps that would also work on the outside edge. 
I'd like your thoughts or other colour suggestions.

This is my world today for Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Frugal Notes

I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.
~ Lao Tzu


It has been a very long time since I made a post about what I've been doing to save money lately. The last post in August, was about curbing my impulse buying and doing without. If you'd like to read it, you can find it here. Curbing impulse spending is one of the best ways to save money and ensure you don't rack up more credit. I know this isn't always possible and some of us are more disciplined than others. I am an impulse buyer and if someone in my family needs something, it is always my first instinct to try and provide it. I still try to do that but now I carefully consider the purchases and timing of them.  I also have an instinct to purchase something when I know it is a really good deal.  These days I still do that but only after I've considered all the angles.

In my August post I had a list of "to dos" that could provide me with some cash. I've managed to follow up on all of them but one. I hope to do that soon. The last one is a receipt for health insurance which I forgot to submit over the summer months. I have to hunt around for my receipt as well as two items of paperwork that need to be submitted. I do have the paperwork but the receipt isn't in the obvious place. I have one more  place to look.

Other ways I've saved money this summer:
  • Reduce:  Rather than purchase books I borrowed 7 from the library this past month.  I don't purchase books very often these days but  when I do I try to get them used on Amazon or for very cheap at the thrift store. I then give a lot of them away through Freecycle when I've finished reading them. I only keep the odd one that I might want to re-read because I already have so many books and don't need to add more to my shelves.  This summer I purchased one book off of Amazon for the cost of shipping. The price was for a used book and the cost for shipping was a dollar more than it would have cost me to take a return city bus trip to go and buy the book in person.  In fact, it would probably cost me more on a bus because first I'd have to try to find the  book somewhere.  Through Amazon, I didn't have to leave the house so I not only saved money but time.
  • Reuse:  I made two bib type garments with pockets for my mother. The bibs are not for clothing protectors when eating but are made with pockets so she can carry her telephone and wallet as she travels around in her wheelchair. I used fabric I had inherited from her for one of the bibs. I had gotten rid of a lot of her fabric that I knew I wouldn't use and saved some I thought I could use within a reasonable period of time.  It has come in handy despite not really having a place to store it all. I also had a worn out sofa slip cover that I took apart about 2 years ago.  It still had a lot of reusable fabric and I used it for the 2nd bib.
  • Recycle:  I put together some kitchen items and books for recycling.  There are always locals who are ready to pick up almost any kitchen, reading and bathroom item.
  • Watch the flyers:  I purchased lots of toilet paper and paper towels for less than half the regular prices. When these items are very inexpensive I stock up on them and store them in my laundry closet. I know many people don't use much toilet paper at all and only allow themselves 1 or 3 squares maximum per use. I don't subscribe to this kind of savings. I would rather feel clean and comfortable. However, I would make reusable cloths to use in place of paper towels.  At this point I don't use enough paper toweling to warrant it but it is something on my 'to do' list of frugal practices that are also good for the environment.
  • Browse discount fabrics:  From time to time I do browse the fabric at quilting shops and purchase fat quarters or smaller yardages that are put on clearance. I then try to purchase a few pieces of coordinating fabric along the way.  Getting enough fabric to use to make a quilt is something I'm learning to do by trial and error.  Crafting can be expensive so whatever I can do to save funds to help me continue crafting, is a good thing.  I've learned too that not all materials are created equal.  For example, at Wal-mart, one has to be careful about the cotton fabric you purchase.  A lot of the fabric is virtually see through because it is so thin and it isn't the best quality.  No doubt they purchase in bulk from the cheapest sources to give the best prices to the consumers.  But you get what you pay for and this kind of fabric won't stand up to a lot of washing.  Sometimes you can get some better quality cotton there. You just have to be careful.  The same is true of any discount fabric store. Unfortunately, where I live, we only have one fabric store handy and two quilt fabric stores. We don't even have a Wal-mart.  I have to go to the next suburb to shop there so I don't bother.  I only go to Wal-mart when I travel.  
  • Grow the garden:  This year my floral garden didn't do well.  But the garden did grow hot peppers, large and miniature tomatoes and a small bit of kale.  Next year I will grow the same things.  Hopefully we won't have all the rain we had at the start of the growing season.
  • Use points:  I collect all kinds of points.  It is a job you have to stay on top especially if you want to make sure you have your points cards with you when you are shopping at a particular place. You also don't want to buy things just for the sake of getting points. I always try to purchase on sale and very seldom ever pay full price for things. Sometimes I double up on things if there are bonus points but only on things I actually need. A few weeks ago I got $85 credit at my local drugstore.  This enabled me to stock up on laundry detergent, dish washing detergent (I make it when it isn't on sale), butter, bacon and various household needs. I also got a $60 credit on clothes shopping at a place where I often buy clothing items for my mom. The credits were mailed to me at the right time since it was during end of summer sales and many things were 50% off or less.  You can't make things with new fabric at those prices.  I was able to purchase a summer dress, a dressy sweater, 2 summer shirts and a jean capris for myself; all within the $60 credit.  I got brand new clothes for less than the price of many thrift store purchases in town.  I was very happy.
  • Travel bargains:  This summer I took a trip to the Province of Quebec and to several eastern states in the USA. I was able to convert a lot of my air miles to get accommodations at one hotel for two nights in New York. This was a huge savings in terms of dollars out of pocket. It took me years and years to save those air points but when I needed them I was able to use them. Other travel bargains included taking chances on where to stay as we drove along the freeways.  The places that had comfortable beds and a huge, varied breakfast were the best bargain.  For the most part these tended to be Best Western Hotels. Not only was the price right (in the USA) but the breakfasts were very nice and for two people a fantastic savings on daily spending.  On top of that we got 10% off every time we spent a night through BCAA membership.  Since we were on the road non-stop, I also went to places like Wal-mart and purchased snacks like ready made sandwiches, salads and drinks for the road.  One thing I dislike about travelling is having to eat fast food all the time or dining in restaurants that are far too expensive to eat in three times a day, not to mention the health issues that come from dining out. Another big expense of travelling is gas. Gas in very expensive in Canada.  Much of our road trip was in the USA so we felt like we were saving money every time we fuelled up since gas across the border is much cheaper than where we live.



  • Flowers:  For a long time I gave up having fresh cut flowers due to the expense. Lately at my grocers they have been discounting floral bouquets as new ones come in. I've been fortunate enough to find flowers I like and buy them from time to time. Fresh cut flowers are one of my favourite things and bright ones with a scent do lift my mood and give my days some beauty.  I just purchased 3 bouquets of snapdragons for $3. total. I think that is a great bargain. I don't buy flowers every week. I change their water often, use disinfectant, discard dead stems and try to make the bouquet last as long as possible.
  • Food:  This summer I was fortunate to be able to buy 8 wild salmon (whole fish) at a huge discount (total cost $52. Canadian).  These were Pink salmon, not Coho which is very expensive. Nonetheless it was an excellent bargain especially since most of them were cleaned of their scales.  I didn't buy 8 whole fish at once because they wouldn't fit in my freezer at the same time.  But I was able to purchase the fish on 2 different occasions and cut most of the fish into portions.  I saved one big one for a dinner with friends. Another way I've been saving money is to purchase in bulk when an item is on sale. I drink coffee and I'm not a coffee snob. So when the big cans of coffee come on sale for half the regular price I buy 3-4 at a time. For some time now I've been adding more grains and pulses to my daily diet. I've also added a lot of greens and even more vegetables than usual. It has allowed me to cut down on the meat so that is also a big savings on the food budget and a benefit to my health. I do still use milk from time to time and I use butter instead of margarine. I get both of these on sale at my local pharmacy where I save about half the cost of a pound of butter and about $1. off a jug of milk over the regular price at the local grocery store.

Well there you have it my dear readers. I didn't actually tally my savings over the summer but it was easily within the hundreds of dollars.  Despite all the savings it has been a more expensive few months for me than usual and it will continue to be so for at least the rest of this year.  The challenge is always to find the best deals possible and to save wherever I can and s-t-r-e-c-h each and every dollar.  Whatever I can save in one area is applied to another high priority need.

If I can, I am going to do some no spend weeks between now and Christmas. That should help a lot.  For the year 2013, I have had several financial goals. I've done well on them for the most part and will give a report on the progress at the end of this year.

What about you dear reader? 
Have you been able to save money this summer?


My Next Project

Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

Quilting Quote from Greenfairy Quilts.
 

My next project....
I made a start with cutting the fabrics.

My apologies for the colour and quality of the next photo.  My night lighting is very poor.


This quilt will be for my mother or my nephew. I haven't quite decided yet.  I do have fabric and quilt ideas for several more quilts although I still have to purchase the batting and backing fabrics.

 One of the quilts I have in mind will definitely be for my nephew. Originally I thought to make it for his birthday but that date has passed. I will likely give it to him at Christmas.

 I'm still new to quilting and I'm realizing that I would save a lot of time both in cutting and in finding coordinating fabrics and colours if I simply bought pre-cut fabrics.  I'm also finding that a lot of the new patterns I've been admiring are designed to be made from pre-cuts (jelly rolls or charm packs).

What about you  dear reader?
Do you cut from fabrics you've carefully selected or do you purchase already coordinated pre-cuts?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Move # 2

I've just returned after a long 3 days away. I was moving my mother for the second time in the space of two months.  You might remember I moved her from one facility to another in early July.  At that time there was no room available on the ground floor which she had requested.  Parts of the ground floor were closed to residents due to flooding and it has taken two months for all the repair work to be done.  So this week was the 2nd move and I'm glad it's done. 

I found the move from one floor to another to be more difficult than moving from one facility to another. Even though I was better rested this time, the move was still a chore.

The temperatures were still very hot at over 30 degrees celsius so that made errands and moving rather draining.  Thankfully the residence has fairly good air conditioning. Even at that it was even too warm indoors at times.  Just imagine what it would be like without air conditioning!

I spent the first day moving from one floor to another and unpacking and putting most of the clothing and personal items away.  The next day I concentrated on arranging things according to mother's specifications; hanging more photos and making lists of everything that needed to be purchased.  Today was devoted to a Care Conference with all the staff, completing a number of forms and settling financial accounts as well as following up on medical supplies which are still outstanding.

The good news is that I had more thinking time to complete forms, make enquiries, make phone calls, meet people, tour more of the facility, make lists and purchase things for mom.  I also had a bit of time for my own personal business and got to take mom for a very short walk.  We didn't stay too long outside due to the excessive heat. 

It is always difficult to leave mom because I cannot visit her as often as I would like.  But it is also good to get home. The facility was having a special event tonight so it made it easier to say goodbye  knowing that she had something to occupy her mind tonight before sleep. I hope to visit her again in about 6 weeks.

Sunset on the freeway to Vancouver

Join Skywatch Friday here

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Glorious Day After All

Everyone must have felt that a cheerful friend is like a sunny day, which sheds its brightness on all around; and most of us can, as we choose, make of this world either a palace or a prison. ~ John Lubbock


 Today started off cloudy and threatening to rain.
(I didn't get a photo of the cloudy sky for comparison).

I was getting together for breakfast with a friend from Alberta, who if I am lucky, I get to see once a year.

Last year it was coffee and muffins at my home. This year it was breakfast out. Her treat.


We dined, drove around, then dined some more.

I forgot to take photos of the food.

Well it wasn't much. 


She had a BIG salad. I had clam chowder soup and a fresh Caesar salad. It was the first time I've had Caesar salad without the romaine lettuce leaves being torn into bite sized pieces. But the capers were certainly nice!

The day turned  out to be sunny and warm.

The scenery from my chair was spectacular.

I love days like this.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend.


Joining up with Our World Tuesday.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

One Night This Week

I managed to catch a beautiful light in the sky a few days ago.








Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Have yourself a beautiful weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Salt & Progress on Reading Goals

I finished my expanded reading goal of 28 books last Thursday. I can't help myself, I've picked up another book.

A friend and I were going to go out to the local annual fair.  When she heard how I sounded this morning she suggested I stay home instead and have a good rest.  I seem to be coming down with congestion in the chest. I took her advice and it gave me a chance to begin a slow read of my new book.


The new book I've had on my shelves for a long while. It is called, Salt by Mark Kurlansky. It is a book all about the history of salt and how it has shaped civilization. 

Did you know that wars have been fought over salt; that salt has been used for currency, or that in 1930, Ghandi initiated a salt march to overthrow British rule in India? I also found it interesting that "sal" is the Latin word for salt and that our "sal-ary" derives from the word "sal" because soldiers used to be paid in salt. The word "sal-ad" also derives from the word "sal" because at one time, salad was made of vegetables flavoured with salt or a salt based dressing.  I've only just started the book but already it sounds very interesting.

Most of us use salt on a daily basis. North American table salt tends to be heavily processed,  stripped of its trace minerals and enhanced with anti-caking chemicals like aluminum to make it easier to shake from your salt shaker.  In fact, salt is crucial to your health but many of us use overly refined salt and  too much of it. In recent years, the governments in North America have been creating awareness of the danger of too much salt, warning that amongst other ailments, too much salt contributes to high blood pressure.  Consequently, many of us have cut down on our table and cooking salt, eliminated it or replaced it with herbs or what we think are healthier versions of salt.

I switched to "sea salt" years ago.  I put the words "sea" and "salt" in quotation marks because really, all salt comes from the sea.  Once salt water evaporates you are left with salt. The real difference comes in the processing of the salt and what is subtracted from, or added to it.  For more information on the difference between table salt and sea salt, please read here if interested.

First, I tried Himalayan Sea Salt and I also bought one of the Himalayan salt lamps) to counteract the positive ions created by the computer and television). This type of salt is sold in health food stores here and is very expensive so I switched to a refined Greek sea salt called Kalas, made by the largest producer of sea salt in Greece.  I've moved on again to another type of sea salt from an ancient sea bed in Utah, called Real Salt.  It is an unrefined salt containing over 60 trace minerals. I can't say it has made a huge difference in how I feel or in the swelling of my extremities but I'll stick with it because I believe the lack of processing and the presence of 60 trace minerals has to be good.

What about you dear reader? Do you also still use regular iodized table salt or have you made a change?

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