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Saturday, November 30, 2013

One Sky in September

I went through my archives for these sunset photos. 


These shots were all taken within a few moments of each other. 


I hope you like them. 


Enjoy your week and check out some other beautiful skies from around the world.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Start to the Week

 Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest... It's about who came, and never left your side...

Another week begins. I am blessed that though we were having cold weather, it has warmed up a few degrees.  Better still we are having clear skies and lots of sunshine.  This is a rare treat at this time of year and it is supposed to last all week! Yah!

On Friday I bought a new pair of flannel sheets. I already have some neutral coloured sheets but I wanted some plaid ones to change them out when I am doing the laundry. I bought this blue, red and white tartan and they kept me very warm during my first night of use.

I've been wanting something in shades of red and gray for some time.  The neutral pillow cases in the back are also made of flannel.
 
You might remember that on Friday I also went out shopping for a few little gift items and for a food care package for my mom.  I am hoping that she will be feeling a little better by the time the package arrives in a day or two and she will have some thing to eat late at night.  Where she lives they give her a snack after dinner.  But a few years ago she started a habit of having a bite to eat before bed and the care homes do not provide food after 7:30 p.m.  She gets agitated if she doesn't have anything to eat.  My brother and I buy her food for a few weeks during our visits. Once in awhile I post something to her in the mail and other times we have something delivered.  Delivery doesn't work so well because they don't shop for just the right things at the right price. You get what you get.  Sadly they don't seem to be able to provide anything at her residence for late night munchies even though the residents pay a fortune to live there.

On Saturday I prepared the care package for mom and prepared a few other small parcels and cards for posting.  I took them in to the post office though they won't actually get picked up for delivery by the mail man until Monday morning.  It is better if I take the cards and letters in over the weekend.  That way they will go out very early Monday morning before I am even ready to go out for errands.
Parcels and envelopes ready to go. My table is a mess (again).

I am so glad to have some of my parcels done.  Though the real Christmas mail rush has not quite begun I already missed one of the cut off dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery to Africa.  I am still hoping the mail gets delivered earlier than expected.

I spent a part of the weekend resting because I feel like I'm coming down with something.  My tummy doesn't feel quite right and my chest feels very unusual too.  I did get the flu shot but that is no guarantee of anything. My mother got the flu shot too and she is currently fighting a very bad case of the flu.

Saturday evening I continued reading this book I picked up 2nd hand entitled, Below the Peacock Fan:  First Ladies of the Raj. It is a very interesting account of 4 British ladies, all of whom lived in India at different points during the time of British Colonial rule.  It's fascinating to read what their lives were like a few hundred years ago in India.  Soon I will also finish the wonderful book, The Perfume Collector, by Kathleen Tessaro.

I'm looking forward to meeting a few friends tonight for a cooking session.  We cook in pairs and work on different parts of the menu.  Then we all sit down and eat together. It is always nice to see friends.

If you are part of the Crochet-A-Long on Thursdays, I probably won't be updating again until I finish the afghan. It may take awhile.


Have a wonderful week ahead!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gluten Free Pineapple Carrot Muffins

If you've been following my recent experiments in baking with millet flour, you may also enjoy this recipe.  This is my favourite of the 3 recipes I've made with millet flour so far.



Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 millet flour (I used Bob Red Mills brand but you may have another brand where you live)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (fresh is always nice but I used powdered ginger this time)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup crushed or chopped pineapple (I used a can of pineapple tidbits)
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (next time I will use half zucchini and half carrots)

Directions 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine the mashed banana with the pineapple, grated carrot, ginger, cinnamon, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  I used a Kitchen-Aid mixer but you can also just combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them with a wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and baking soda,  then fold it into your wet mixture.  The batter will be very moist.

Pour into the muffin tin of your choice. I used my silicone muffin tin. When you use silicon muffin tins you must place them on a flat cookie sheet or other flat pan when putting them in the oven.



Bake 20-25 minutes. I baked 9 regular to large sized muffins with this recipe.

Notes:  Let the muffins cool before removing from the pan otherwise they will fall apart.

I find when using the silicone tin, the muffins are always very moist at the bottom, almost like pudding. Today's muffins were no exception.


These muffins are moist and tasty though a bit too sweet for my liking. Next time I will experiment a bit perhaps using only half of the sugar or substituting half of the shredded carrots with half shredded zucchini. I won't omit the banana because that whips up into a nice frothy, liquid mixture in which to mix the dry ingredients.

 
Here is a link to a site extolling the virtues of millet flour.   These days many people are turning to millet flour because it contains no gluten.  But beware.  Millet contains goitrogens, a substance that suppresses the thryoid activity and can cause goiter.

Cosmos and Cotton

I'm joining up with the lovely Hannapat for her Weekly Bake.
Please click on the photo above to join in.

This concludes my experimentation with millet flour.  I will probably use again in future as I do a lot of baking over the winter months. I will be looking to use it in loaf bread too.
Thank you for following along.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Glorious Sight

Hi friends,

I'm a bit late with the post but it is still Friday where I live so I am posting my Skywatch Friday pics.

I took these about two weeks ago when I was in a different part of the city running errands. I am not usually out at dinner hour looking at the sky so I often miss the beautiful sunsets.

I hope you like these photos of the one I caught that day.



I had a busy day today dealing with my mother and her needs.  There is a flu outbreak at her residence and she and 13 other residents are quarantined. It sounds rather serious. I pray that she and the others will be better soon and that the staff will give them the very best care. In all honesty, I am not pleased with the level of care she has been receiving since she moved in there 4 months ago and I've put in a request to move her to another residence on a priority basis. We are now waiting for an available room.

After discovering mother was in quarantine and that I'd done what I could to ensure her needs were taken care, I decided to go downtown for a few errands and a distraction.  I wanted to buy some yarn, crochet thread, snack foods to send to mother, and a lot of smaller items for gifts to friends near and far.  I also thought I might get some flannel pajamas or some flannel sheets as it is now quite cold where I live.

Despite the fact that I don't really need more yarn, I continue to purchase a few skeins here and there of colours that I like and don't think I will easily come across again.  I'm actually thinking of starting to purchase skeins on line so I can have more colour options.  This way I will have what I want on hand for new projects. I want to make another African Flower Afghan once I've finished with the first one I'm making for a gift (see here if you like).  Truth be told I already have far too much yarn and other craft supplies on hand.  But it is the age old problem of never having quite what you need when you need it. I think other crafters can relate.





Tonight after I got home and had dinner there was a brief rap at my door. I looked out the peephole to discover that there was no one there but something red was sitting on the ground outside my door.

When I opened the door, there was this HUGE RED surprise there to greet me.  I joked that the poinsettia is so huge (you can't really tell from the photo) that it could take the place of my Christmas tree.

My nephew & his girlfriend left this surprise at my door but couldn't stay to visit. He called me to let me know.  I was very touched that he remembered I get poinsettias every year to brighten my home at Christmas.

I had a another happy surprise yesterday when I went to the Post Office. I won this beautiful Christmas book in a giveaway hosted by blogging friend Terra from Terra Garden.

The win was a delightful surprise as I don't tend to win things. The small Christmas book is beautifully presented and chock full of wonderful Christmas items such as recipes, heart warming stories and crafts. Terra also sent me a note card with a delicious sounding recipe on it. Thank you so much Terra for your generous heart!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Progress


Brrr, it has been quite chilly here both yesterday and today. On Monday it was overcast and raining. I think it was Monday night when it snowed on the mountain top. On Tuesday it was very windy and by the afternoon the clouds and dull sky had cleared.  I went out and joined a friend for a few hours of relaxation over coffee and a natter (chat).  Last night the temperature went as low as -2 Celsius and I had to turn the heat on for awhile in the living room.  My feet are like ice blocks this week so I also have on a pair of socks and slipper booties and from time to time I put the heating pad on my feet too.  I'm drinking cups of tea and hot chocolate to keep warm late at night.

Today it was another cold day.  I dressed warmly when I went out to buy the week's supply of vegetables and fruit.  I stopped at the Post Office where I posted a birthday card to a local friend and a Christmas card to Joshua, son of my new blogging friend, Tammy from Texas.

Tammy is my buddy for a home made ornament swap.  It turns out her son Joshua is in the Army and he is currently posted to the Middle East.  Sadly, he won't be able to join his wife or the rest of his family for Thanksgiving, Christmas or his birthday.  Being the good mother that she is, Tammy has asked people to help bring some Christmas cheer to Joshua by sending him a Christmas card.  Please read here and if you can, do send Joshua a card.

I was delighted to get a surprise at the post office.  I will write about the surprise very soon.

Today I also made 6 more crocheted hexagons for my blanket.  Yesterday and the day before I made the other 11 hexies and weaved in all the ends from the many other hexies made previously.  If I counted correctly, I only need one more hexagon to complete my blanket (I'll have to do a re-count to make sure).  I'm not excited yet. I'll be more excited when I'm finished joining all the pieces.  I'm joining in with Chrissie at Chrissie Crafts and Marianne at Ladybird Diaries

Chrissie Crafts
Since I snapped this photo I've made 6 more hexies, woven in all the ends of the others and took apart the hexies I joined together in week 1 (to get a preview of what things would look like).  The colour of the blue in the hexies at the front is off. They are a softer shade than what shows.


I made a couple of  foot appointments today. One for my mom's monthly foot care treatment.  I need to see the doctor to get some antibiotics for an infected toe and a referral to a foot nurse.  I've been going for a pedicure for years and years.  About 3 years ago I started getting infections in my big toes after getting my nails done.  I gather this is common for anyone with ingrown nails but it is a real pain, both figuratively and literally.  I found a mail person who was able to clean my nails and keep them infection free for almost two years now.  Then last week she informed me that she can no longer do ingrown nails due to health inspection rules.  When I heard that, I went back to my former nail salon (naughty me).  Two days later, I my toe was infected.  Lesson learned.  I am hoping a foot care nurse can correct the problem for good.  If not, I will likely need to get my toenails partially removed.

Yuck and sad face :-(.


I leave you now with a view from my patio today.

It was very windy yesterday and today. The good thing about the wind is it drives away the cloud cover.


Have a wonderful rest of your week!


Monday, November 18, 2013

My World Tuesday

In my world this week I am trying hard to juggle everything.  Mostly I find it hard to keep up to housework.  I am never caught up but I try.

I continue to work on 5-6 projects for Christmas.  Most of which will be unveiled on this blog if I remember to take pictures of the finished products.  I'm pleased with the progress I am making so far .

Two projects underway.
It is a very good thing I got an early start on these projects as they are all taking a lot of time and I need to pace myself and do other things in between. 

I've been enjoying reading the book, The Perfume Collector whenever I need a break from crafting.  Sometimes too there is a good movie on television.   I  "enjoy" vacuuming and washing the floors for a physical break every few days.  When I need to run my errands, I  manage to fit in a short walk in the neighbourhood.  Friendships and family remain important in my life just as they are for most people and these relationships all need time.

At this time of year the skies are mostly a dull gray. Now and then we see some clear skies and some sunshine.


It is late Fall in my part of the world.  Most of the brilliantly covered leaves are gone with the winds and rain.



The weather has gotten cold.  It is about 8 or 9 degrees Celsius during the day and about 4 or 5 degrees Celsius at night. On Friday night we had a rain storm to usher in the weekend. Thankfully I missed most of the storm by the time I went out to the pharmacy in the early evening.



About 6 weeks ago I took some flower photos and saved them for days such as this.  Here is one of the dahlias.


Joining up with Our World Tuesday this week. Thanks for sharing my world.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Butterscotch - Oatmeal - Millet Cookies

Last week I made a millet-5 grain cereal loaf. This week I'm trying some cookies.



Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup millet flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butterscotch
  • ½ finely chopped almonds
  • ¼ oil or shortening
  • 4 tablespoons milk
Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl adding the wet ingredients last.  Once thoroughly mixed, drop dough by small spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. 

If you are using butter or margarine as your shortening, you can blend it together first with your sugar and milk before adding all the dry ingredients.  If you bake at all you already know this but someone who is new to baking won't necessarily know.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until done. Gently remove cookies from the sheet with a egg flipper. 

This recipe makes about 32 cookies formed with a teaspoon. 

These cookies break apart easily if you are not careful.  I also found them quite sweet but they have a good crunch to them which I like.  If you don't like butterscotch chips you can also substitute chocolate chips or alternate making both kinds.  I got a "thumbs up" on these cookies.


Cosmos and Cotton
I'm joining the lovely Hannapat for the Weekly Bake. Click on the photo to join in!

Friday, November 15, 2013

November Evening






An evening earlier this week.
I was intrigued by the fast moving clouds.

Please join in with Skywatch Friday and check out more skies from around the world.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Images From The Hood

I thought it would be fun to take a few photos while out on my errands.   It was about 5:30 p.m. and as you can see the darkness falls early at this time of year.

It was the warmest temperature on record today with a comfortable 14 degrees Celsius.  The next few days it will cool off by a few degrees each day until it hits a low of 4 degrees Celsius (a few degrees cooler than the norm) on Saturday/Sunday.

A garbage can and a recycling bin side by side and a girl waiting for her bus.  I don't know how often the can are emptied.  I think a lot  depends on the weather too & what people are eating/drinking as they walk along the streets.  In summer months the cans are overflowing.

I always like the look of a bike sitting against a post or a tree awaiting the return of it's rider.  In this case, I think he was in the  barber shop getting a hair cut.



 I snapped the tree and I'm surprised it turned out. In fact I'm surprised any of these photos turned out because I took them with my camera phone.  




I even got some fairly good shots of the moon. I plan to post them on Friday for Skywatch. Until next time, keep smiling!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Millet & 5 Grain Cereal Loaf

Hello friends,

Life continues to move along at a quick clip here on the west coast of Canada. I've been catching up to a lot of things and enjoying as much as I can.

A friend and I recently went to the newly released movie "12 Years a Slave". It is a heartbreaking story about a man, Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was captured and sold into slavery for 12 long years.  After he was freed and reunited with his wife and children, he wrote the story of his capture and enslavement and the movie is based on this first hand account.  It is not a pretty movie in terms of it's content but well worth watching for a glimpse into our sordid past as North Americans.

Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
George Santayana 

The idealist in me hopes that when we learn from our past mistakes we are less likely to repeat them. I know this isn't always true but one can have positive hopes for the future.  Slavery still goes on today (sex slaves, child labourers and others) and it is something we must be alert to and try to stamp out.

On a lighter note, I've been busily crafting and making crocheted hexagons for an afghan I'm making for Christmas. I'm also thinking of several small gifts for different people which I can make in a short time since my 3 larger gifts are taking quite a while to make. I will be making some crocheted snowflake ornaments for a few people and also some dishcloths. I started on 2 of my quilts back in September but haven't finished them off yet. I hope to do that after I've got my hexagons finished.

I haven't been baking for a long while, partly for health reasons and partly because I usually bake in the winter months when we have cool temperatures.  Well the cooler weather has definitely arrived so I've been getting the urge to bake.  I have had a bag of millet flour (Bob's Red Mill brand) that I purchased awhile back and wanted to use.  I have been experimenting with it.

Click here to learn more about millet flour. I know a number of people who eat gluten-free but so far none of them have mentioned millet flour. Instead they tend to use rice flour. When I've travelled to Kenya, I've eaten millet porridge which is rather tasty. Millet is high in antioxidants and can be helpful in controlling diabetes and inflammation. I think we will be hearing about and seeing a lot more millet flour on the North American grocery shelves in the not too distant future. Hopefully that means the price of it will also come down.  One of my pet peeves is how expensive everything is in Canada when it is "new" on the shelves and it then becomes a trendy or "yuppie" product which is not so accessible to the masses.

I baked a couple of items based on the ingredients I had on hand. I will post the results for the next 3 Sundays (including today).  I don't think this recipe is gluten free because the 5 grain cereals sometimes have wheat in them. I've long thrown out my bag so I can't be precise on the ingredients so please adapt as you need to if you are gluten intolerant.

This isn't like a regular loaf of bread. This is more like a corn meal bread type of consistency but isn't sweet. Sorry for the blurred photo but the night lighting isn't good in my home.

Ingredients


  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 1/4 cups of 5 grain cereal (use food processor to grind medium fine)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup milk

    • Directions
       
      Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit.

      Oil a loaf pan.
      Sift all dry ingredients together. 

      Beat eggs and add oil and milk.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Do not over mix. Bake until golden brown.  

      In my oven which is a little slow, it took 35 minutes to bake this loaf. You'll need to experiment with your oven.  I'd recommend starting with 20 minutes and increase the time as needed.

      This loaf is a bit like corn bread without the sweetener.  Feel free to add a bit of sweetener if you prefer.

      I had a slice with butter after cooling.  Yum!

      I had better sign out now and carry on with my crafting. I've got so much to do to be ready in time for Christmas.  For that reason I'm always so thankful that we celebrate Thanksgiving in October where I live.

      I'll be around to visit your blogs when I have a few moments in between crocheting.

      Cosmos and Cotton

      I'm joining up with the lovely Hannapat at the Weekly Bake (click on the photo above).

                                                                      Have a wonderful week!



      Saturday, November 9, 2013

      Saving & Giving

      He who does not economize will have to agonize.
      ~ Confucius

      Sometimes I post about what I'm doing to save money from time to time (you can search "frugal" in my posts to see some of them).  Other times I post a running tally of what I've saved during particular shopping trips.  It helps to keep me on track and accountable for spending.

      I was inputting all my shopping expenditures onto a spreadsheet each month for awhile.  That way I could compare the costs over the year(s).  I still have all my receipts but whether I continue to input the information will depend on how much time I have.  Right now I am busy making projects on a deadline as I'm trying to get them finished for Christmas gifts.  When I am busy crocheting or quilting, I spend so much time on projects.  I hate to tear myself away to look at receipts and input data.   I'd rather work on projects, read or get together with friends for a frugal outing.  Having said that, my major savings strategy is still to shop the sales and examine my savings.  I just do it in a more general way.


      At the beginning of each month or the end of each month, it is always time to do the "big shop" for the month's food and household items.  This week savings were as follows:
      • savings $9.12 Canadian on 2 weeks of meat (chicken legs, chicken backs, pork ribs, pork steak, ground beef).  Actual cost - $51.23
      • savings $ 28.43 Canadian on food from the pharmacy (eggs, butter, milk, cream, canned tomatoes/beans/salmon, popcorn, toilet paper. Actual cost - $54.52
      • Total cost ~ $105.75 Total saving ~  $37.55 Canadian
      This week I have spent more at the pharmacy than usual because there are a number of things that were on sale that I wanted.  At the pharmacy I collect points for my purchases.  Once you reach a certain level of points you can redeem a certain amount of dollars and use it toward a purchase. I will be reaching $85 (Canadian) soon.  This is only the 2nd time I have been near  this level because I usually spend when I reach the $10 level.  When I reach $85 I will purchase multiples of things I need (butter, eggs, toilet paper, coffee, bacon, etc.).

      I still have to shop at the grocery store for items which are only purchased once or twice per year (oil, lard, flour). These items are all on sale this week.  I also get a lot of savings week after week on vegetables and fruits at the local produce store.  The produce store is consistently less expensive for most vegetables.  When you add these savings up week after week they can be quite substantial.

      For some time now, I've noticed that more and more things have risen dramatically in price.  Virtually everything is the local grocery store is now 30% higher in price (or several dollars more) than they were a few months ago.  I have watched prices steady increase over the past 3 years or so.  I've also noticed that some things, like toilet paper has doubled or tripled in price yet the number of sheets per roll has been cut in half.

      Did you notice that the manufacturers have reduced the size of double rolls yet still call them double rolls?  Or is this only happening in my corner of the world?

      You really do have to shop carefully and make sure you shop the sales if you want to keep your grocery bill close to what it was a year ago.

      How about you dear reader?
      Have you noticed the same things at your supermarket?

      I purchased a high powered blender recently and saved a $100.00 Canadian, plus the cost of shipping and handling which was an additional $19.30 Canadian.


      It arrived in the mail a few days ago.  I washed it right out of the box and promptly tried it out with some vegetables that were on their "last legs".  I didn't follow a recipe I just threw together a number of veggies. I didn't add water.  What came out was quite thick and tasty but more like cold soup than juice. I will have to read up on some recipes.  I already have a good blender but in order to use it I have to chop my fruit and veggies into smaller pieces and then I have to throw out or compost all the pulp and fibre that is extracted.

      I am so looking forward to the new blender to use as a juicer. I am thinking I can simply wash the fruit and veggies and turn them  juices that retain the pulp and fibre. I will also be able to make hot chocolate and hot soups for the coming winter and ice cream in the summer!

       The new blender should save me a lot of money every month but I did notice it is extremely loud to operate. I will have to experiment before deciding if it is practical to use at different times of the day and night.  I worry about waking the neighbours or annoying them. If it really is too loud, I will have to send it back and look for a quieter version.

      Well my friends you've heard what I'm doing to shave costs from the budget.

      What are you doing to keep your food budget or household budget down?

      Besides the ever increasing cost of food and household items, the needs in Kenya are always on the top of my mind.  The needs there are great.  The needs here at home have also been great and I've spent a lot on short travels.  Every dollar counts.

      I'm still trying to raise funds for Elvis to finish his medical studies in Kisii, Kenya.  The number of those willing to help him have been small but I remain optimistic that a few more people will help out. Elvis is in his last year and time is short to come up with all the funds to help him graduate.


      No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
      ~ Charles Dickens

      Kenya is a country that desperately needs medical officers (doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians).  When Elvis is finished his training, he is hoping to work with the people in the isolated northern regions of Kenya.  They can really need medical help.  They have to travel so far just to get a simple medical check up & many go without help for even the simplest of things.



      If you could help spread the word about the campaign to help Elvis or even add a donation to help him that would be awesome.


      For your convenience, you can use the button on the top right of this screen.

      Thursday, November 7, 2013

      Summer Skies

      Fall is well under way here on the west coast but I am reminiscing about summer ;-)

      Lazy, hazy days of summer 2013 down at English Bay.

      Skywatch Friday is the place to see glorious skies from all around the world with our hosts, Sylvia, Sandy and Yogi.

      Wednesday, November 6, 2013

      Crochet - A - Long Thursday

      Hi friends, it is time to check in with the Crochet-A-Long with Chrissie Crafts & Ladybird Diaries.  Last week I did make a small amount of progress on my afghan but didn't have time to post anything.

      Chrissie Crafts

      I'm pleased to report that I have an additional 28 hexies over the past 2 weeks. I now have 62 hexies. I have to weave in the ends of 20 of them. I will work on that part of the project when I have a few moments here and there.

      I've been working on the hexies to the left of the photo over the past 2 weeks. I haven't had a lot of time for this project but am pleased with what I did manage to get done.

      I'm not quite sure how big I will make this throw. I will use up the yarn I have now and see how many hexies I have before deciding whether to buy more yarn and make a larger throw.  I'd prefer to make it larger but I am not sure how long I want to spend on making this throw before I finish it off.  Whatever the case, I am hoping to complete this project by the end of this month and in plenty of time for Christmas.

      If you missed my last post Saving & Giving, please click here. I didn't space out my posts very well this week. Please know I appreciate all your visits and your comments! I always reciprocate.

      Sunday, November 3, 2013

      Pretty in Pink




      pink and beautiful grace notes

       brighten my days but

       rains usher in the new month




      I was very pleased to find these luscious flowers about 2 weeks ago. I took a few more floral photos which I will share another day during our gloomy winter months when I need a "pick me up".

      I apologize to my blogging friends if you see me less these days.  Even if I don't leave as  many comments as I usually do I am still reading most of what you write or post.

      I've been busily trying to catch up on my crochet-a-long but didn't have time to post an update last Thursday. I'll try to post a progress report and photos on Thursday.

      I've also finished two of the books I borrowed from the library.  Reading borrowed books is the most frugal hobby one can have.

      Of the two books I borrowed and read, I enjoyed Almost French best.  It is an engaging memoir of a young Aussie woman who ends up meeting a Frenchman on her travels around the world. He invites her to his country and they end up making a life together. The book highlights some of the cultural differences between France and Australia and the difficulties of making a new life in a new country.  I've read many such books and this one is one of the better ones.

      The Tiger's Wife is set in an unnamed Balkan country. Although it starts off well I lost the story line along the way.  Perhaps I took it too literally while the author likely meant it to tell a few folk tales as told to her by her grandfather.  In my humble opinion I just don't think the two main folk stories in the book hold together well as one book. 


      My little poem says that rains started the month of November. We had a bonus day today (Sunday) and I took advantage of it for a brief walk after church. I hope you are having some nice spots of weather too.

      Well my friends that is what is happening in my corner of the world.  Come by and visit again soon :-)


      Our World Tuesday Graphic



      Shine the Divine

      African Music & Happenings