Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Comes


"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.         

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."

-  Elizabeth Coatsworth


 “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 
1 Corinthians 10:31  

If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15

These photos were taken several days ago. I assume these young people were starting an early celebration of Halloween since it was a Saturday at around 4:30 p.m.

This post isn't meant to offend anyone.  It is just an opportunity to be clear on my position concerning  Halloween.  I do not celebrate it and I have to say that lately I've been very alarmed to learn that so many Christians do seem to celebrate it.

It is virtually impossible not to see the influence of Halloween all throughout the month of October.  Even on television, movie channels show scary movies and horror movies all month.  Wherever you go in the stores there is row upon row of Halloween costumes for purchase.  Retailers even clear out their regular stock until the "Halloween season" is over so they can make room for Halloween costumes.  My local grocer even has put out a lot of Halloween decor this year but at least they have also put out harvest displays to balance it.

Whichever way you slice it, Halloween is big business.  Very big business.

Individual consumers are spending increasing amounts of money on celebrating Halloween. The average American consumer planned to spend $66.28 on costumes, candy and decorations in 2010, up from $59.06 on Halloween in 2006, says the National Retail Federation. Canadians planned to spend $60 on Halloween in 2006 according to a similar survey by the Retail Council of Canada.
But retailer Value Village's 2011 annual Halloween shopping survey found the average Canadian planned to spend $300 on the big day - and pet owners planned to spend on average an extra $59 on their furry friends. Ken Alterman, president and chief executive of Value Village, says that Halloween sales have increased more than 35 percent over the last five years. It's a similar story over at Canadian Tire, where Halloween now represents the third most important seasonal category behind Christmas and summer backyard living.
(Source: "Halloween - A Really Sweet Business Opportunity", Susan Ward,

Christian perspectives on Halloween are strongly divided. Here are three differing views to consider:

  • "... Halloween is anything but harmless. It focuses one's attention on witchcraft and demonism, which flies in the face of the holy God Almighty! When parents not only allow but also encourage their children to celebrate witches and goblins, they are teaching them that it's acceptable to deal in demonism." -- Jerold Aust from "Halloween: Behind the Mask"
  • "... Rather than 'hide' in the face of evil, we should unabashedly and boldly create an alternative that is positive and uplifting; that celebrates good over evil and the triumph of God over Satan. We need to provide an environment that also makes room for heaps of fun while using the day as a 'teachable moment' to celebrate God's protection, provision and purpose for our lives." -- Elliott Watson from "Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?"
  • "Not all believers should celebrate Halloween. For those who have been redeemed from the occult, Halloween in its foolishness may contain what was for them deadly seriousness ... It is understandable that they look with horror upon what once enslaved them. Such sensitivity may be appropriate for them, but it is not appropriate for the majority of Christians. Holding their opinions as appropriate for most believers is like having a former bulimic dictate how Christians should regard church hot-plate socials ... Christians should instead celebrate Halloween with gusto. If we follow the traditional formula of having a good time at his expense, Satan flees." -- Anderson M. Rearick III from "Matters of Opinion: Hallowing Halloween"
(Source:  "What Does the Bible Say About Halloween?" by Mary Fairchild, About.Com)

I do not condemn those who choose to celebrate Halloween but I can evaluate whether I personally condone celebrating it for myself.  The Bible doesn't actually say anything about Halloween but I think it provides a lot of guidelines about what is good and acceptable.  For me, I find that the day is centered a lot around dark and sinister characters and the atmosphere is meant to be scary and dark (cemeteries in the night, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, zombies, blood and gore, etc.).

I don't like to be associated with the things of the dark.  No matter how you try to dress it up as "fun" it is really not about fun stuff behind it all.  I didn't always feel this way.  As a child I also loved to dress up and go looking for candy.  What child doesn't love to get free candy and lots of it?!  Even back then there were annual scares about children finding apples with dangerous razor blades inside of them.  Today in most towns and cities in my province, children don't go out alone to "trick or treat".  They are usually escorted by their parents due to the dangers involved in going out alone, and often they don't go house to house "trick or treating" for candy, but go to organized events and parties instead.

A lot of people don't feel the way I do about Halloween and that is their choice.  I  know that the commercialization of the day promotes fun and frivolity and for young children, teens and adults.  The day provides an excuse or opportunity to dress up and party and for some, another chance to drink.  It has become customary here to celebrate Halloween on the Saturday before October 31st.  That is so people can party throughout the night and not worry about having to get up in the morning to go to work.  They use Sunday as a day to rest and recover before heading back to work on Monday.  The young people I met in costume downtown (some in costume in photo above) had obviously been well into the drinks even though it was only 4:30 in the afternoon.  There was a strong smell of alcohol on the young man who gave me a hug from behind when I was trying to snap his photo. I didn't get a good photo of him in costume.

I believe that Christians should consider whether the activities they engage in give glory to God.  In this case, I would have to say that the activities of Halloween do not give glory to God, so I don't participate or encourage participation by those I am close to.

I also don't like all the commercialization which surrounds Halloween, or Christmas or any other holiday for that matter.  When it comes to Halloween, I save money on not buying all the decor, costumes and candy that goes with the day. I also save money by not going out to party.

I try to remove myself from commercialization of the holidays even for Christmas. For example, as the children have grown, I don't give them gifts on an annual basis.  However I might give them something they really need or want from time to time.  Mostly we just spend time together and gather around a meal since we don't get to see each other that often.  Another idea I like is taking all the funds we might have spent on gifts for one another and giving them to a local charity.  This one is harder to implement because everyone has their own ideas as to what they want to do. Sometimes I just let my family members know not to buy me a gift and do something good for someone else instead.

In closing, I heard a great teacher, Dr. Jim Richards, on television recently, he said (paraphrasing)  if you want to know who is influencing the world today, follow the  money. Selah.

You may have other great ideas for how to celebrate the holiday spirit in ways that help others or give glory to God, whether it be Halloween, Christmas or other holiday.

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said. 'Wake up, 0 sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Ephesians 5:8-14

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Living the Life of Riley

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

After coming from a massage in the building next door, I found these pigeons enjoying a bath.

It struck me that they look extremely well fed. They obviously live the life of Riley, as they are not only eating well but they have a huge, luxurious pool to bathe in as well.

I kept trying to get a photo of them dipping in the pool and shaking their feathers out but I wasn't fast enough with my camera phone.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)

There was a side benefit to watching the birds. I met Maria from Brazil.

Maria was standing near by, saw me taking photos and she decided to take photos of the birds too.  We began chatting and I invited her for coffee which she accepted.  We had a great time getting to know one another.   The way we talked you would have thought we'd always known one another.  She was very kind and invited me to stay at her home if I ever travel to Brazil.  Maria was very busy while in Canada.  She took a short English language course to supplement what she already studied in Brazil, she took a week long tour to the Rocky Mountains, and the big City of Calgary.  She also went to Vancouver Island to visit our provincial Capital City, Victoria. She loved her travels but she absolutely loved Vancouver.

I managed to  get together with Maria once more before she departed on her long journey back to Brazil. I  hope we will be able to keep in touch though she tells me she won't soon be back to Vancouver.  While she absolutely loved it here she only visits each place once so that she can try to see many new places around the globe.

Would you believe that neither of us thought to get photos of one another despite the fact that we  both of us had cameras, lol.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Come Back Africa

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

I was looking for the showtimes for a new film based on Salmon Rushdie's book  and screenplay, "Midnight's Children", directed by Deepa Mehta. Apparently, it doesn't start playing in local theatres until November 2, 2012.  Though it was shown at the recent Vancouver International Film Festival, I didn't get a chance to see it.

While looking for "Midnight's Children", I instead found out about a movie called "Come Back Africa", a Film by Lionel Rogosin. It was filmed in secret in late 1950s in apartheid South Africa and is a glimpse into that harsh reality that was life for many black South Africans during the apartheid years.

What I liked about this film is that it was filmed in 1950s so is likely more realistic than a recreated story of what took place in the 1950s. I also enjoyed seeing all the old cars and the dress of the day. I was amazed at how large Johannesburg was back then. I was also struck by how much the Black Africans loved music. Everywhere in the streets there were small groups of Christians singing or children or young men playing flutes and dancing.  Despite the hardships of life they did not forget the joy of music and no doubt it helped to sustain them.

I'm leaving you with a trailer for the film in case you get a chance to see it where you live.  A young, Miriam Makeba also sings in the film.

The film deals with some disturbing subject matter but it is good to be educated about what apartheid was really like. Perhaps in educating ourselves we can avoid the mistakes of the past. For more information about the film click here.

Blue Monday

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” 
Vincent van Gogh

A multi-coloured cotton baby bib with baby blue ;-)

Joining with Smiling Sally at Blue Monday today.
Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Congratulations, Jonah!

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Hello friends, I am so pleased to announce that Jonah from the Missions of Hope has graduated with his Master's degree in International Development. He has been working very hard these past several years to study and gain his master's degree, at the same time he has been actively involved in his community and in the work of the Missions of Hope.

Through God's grace, Jonah managed to get from Kenya to Uganda for the graduation ceremony yesterday.

Jonah is second in from the right side of the photo with the green and yellow cloth around his neck.

Here Jonah points with his grad cap to the Bugema University logo on top the lovely fountain.

Well done, Jonah!!!
I am excited for what the Lord will do for you.
God bless and keep you.

If you have an encouraging word or message for Jonah, please click here and leave him a comment.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Heavenly Skies

“He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” 
 Acts 3:21 (NIV)

 I'm joining up with the gang at Skywatch Friday.
Click here to see the other submissions. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simple Pleasures

"That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest." ~ Thoreau 

"Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires."  ~ Lao-Tzu

Hello friends,

How are you today? I hope you are all having a fantastic week. I have been busy doing a little knitting and a lot of crocheting.  Today was a good day as I took a break from that.  Yesterday was a good day too as I had a chance to clean my kitchen floors and do some laundry.  It felt good to 'catch up' on house work for a day.  Do you ever notice how housekeeping feels good when you haven't had time to do it and you get a chance to catch up? Or is that just me?

I just got back from errands and grocery shopping.  I sent my mother a small care package of a hot water bottle wrapped in a cosy leopard print cover and a toothbrush.  Since the weather turned cool she has been complaining of being very cold.  No amount of blankets and wraps seems to help.   I can totally understand as I've been feeling a bit that way myself. The weather changed suddenly this year rather than gradually and no doubt we are both feeling the brunt of it.  I thought a hot water bottle might help her as she is not allowed to use an electric blanket for safety reasons.  She also needed a new toothbrush. Even though she has two somewhere in her room or bathroom, the staff never seem to be able to find anything.  Poor mom has also been having a lot of breathing issues lately.  She is using an inhaler but it doesn't seem to help much. If you would say a prayer for her that would mean so much to me.

At the post office I also weighed all the hand crafted items I've been making for my Etsy shop.  Some of you will have seen a few of the items I've been making.  I'm hoping to raise funds for the Missions of Hope through the sales.

Right now I'm making a quick dinner of stir-fried ground beef (minced beef) with chopped vegetables (baby carrots, onions, celery and fresh green beans). I like to stir-fry all this with soy sauce and put it on top of small new potatoes with skins on.  I don't know if they have new potatoes outside of North America. They are just basically small, immature potatoes.  The skin is not yet hardened and thick and they are quite delicious!  I also have some baby greens, English cucumber, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and a yellow apple for a basic salad.

After a few days of being mostly indoors and feeling oh so tired, it is such a joy to have a nice simple day where I don't feel too bad.  Adding to my feeling of joy is a short letter I received from one of my sponsored boys, named John. John lives in a slum near Nairobi, Kenya. He is 9 years old and today the letter I received is one he wrote me all by himself.  Usually someone else writes a letter for him.  John wrote his letter in English and I am so proud of his nice, neat printing.

I was also blessed to receive a letter from the daughter of my childhood Sunday School teacher.  My former teacher is about 90 years old and though she is in good physical condition, her memory is no longer good. Her daughter is packing up her mother's things and moving her into her home to look after her better.  While she was packing her mother's things she came across a note I sent back in November 2011 and decided to write me.  I'm so glad she did.  I'm also glad I've been writing to my former teacher while her memory was still intact.  It was one of my goals to let her know how much she meant to me and how her faithfulness impacted my life in a positive way.

The weekend starts tomorrow.  
My wish for you is that you have time for some simple pleasures.

Blessings and hugs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ode To Fall

I was at the university over the past weekend for dinner and enjoyed the lovely Fall colours despite the overcast skies.

 Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.”
William Cullen Bryant

I think the colour of the leaves on this tree is stunning.
This scene reminds me of the small forest near where I grew up as a child and taking walks through it to the small watering hole for horses at the end of the trail. I spent time with different family members on those walks and they remain part of my happy memories.  This typical Fall scene always reminds me of the Robert Frost poem below.

 The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I'm glad I captured the autumn photos when I did. Little did I know that within 48 hours we would experience this snowfall.

The snow on the mountains makes a  beautiful scene and I've decided to use the photos for my Winter season blog banner. But the snow also brought cold temperatures today.

Please join with others for Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blue Monday

I made this little baby bib with the multi-coloured blue and green yarn. I just need to add a button.

The colours are more vivid than in this photo which was taken in poor night light.

  Joining up with Smiling Sally at Blue Monday.

Smiling Sally

Our First Snow

This photo was taken in the early afternoon (Sunday). You can click to enlarge it.

The next two photos were taken about 4:30 p.m. when the sun came out for a short while.

Scenic Sunday link

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Plans

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored. Earl Nightingale 
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15
It's Saturday today and I'm looking forward to it. It's been raining a lot over the past two weeks.  Not every day but almost every day and I've been spending a lot of time indoors.  It works out perfectly because it gives me a chance to make a lot of hats.  Some of you know that I'm planning to sell them to raise funds for my favourite charity, Missions of Hope (MOH, see button link on side bar).  I think I'll have enough inventory soon to sell and hope to spend some time in the near future to write up the descriptions and describe each hat/beanie and size, etc.  I'm hoping to make a badge too (just thought of that) and if you want to support the MOH, you can place the badge on your own blog. It will link to my Etsy shop for those that want to purchase.  Not only will a person be buying a hat but they will also support the needs of poor villagers in Kenya.

So far I've got 2 berets, 1 tam and 2 beanies for a woman, 3 beanies for toddlers and 3 for babies. I will be adding more colours and sizes but am also trying to use up what I already have.

Even though I was busy, I did manage to get out for coffee with a new friend.  We both had a good laugh when we realized that our paths almost crossed many years ago through mutual friends but we didn't meet until decades later!   At the Diabetes Clinic I attend, I was finally able to get some help with my broken glucometer.  Now I can start testing myself more consistently.  I need to monitor the blood sugars consistently to see if the new medicine I've been given will help my sugar levels which are still too high despite all my best efforts.  I do hope it works.

Last week,  I purchased alpaca yarn at the yarn store and mother of pearl buttons at the bead store. I need to go back to both of these stores to purchase another skein or two of yarn, as well as exchange some of mother of pearl buttons.

A few of the buttons are too thin on one side (see lower right of photo).  Buttons are so expensive these days with these ones being $4. (Canadian) a piece.  The owner let me have them for $2. each and about 4 of them are not of good quality.  I've never had this problem with a button before.

I've always loved mother of pearl buttons.  Do you like them too? 

These buttons are quite large.  I'm thinking of using them for embellishment on cowls and hats, or perhaps on a sweater.

Once the errands are done, I 'm heading out for dinner with my nephew and his girlfriend.  It will be the first time I've seen their new apartment so I will take them a draceana plant as a house warming.  I checked with them first if they wanted it.  I thought they might be too busy to care for a plant or not that interested but they seemed eager to have it.  I think they like the fact that it will grow quite high over time.

After my dinner, I am meeting up with a Ph.D. student from Kenya.  He also teaches and tutors in the Swahili language and I'm thinking of hiring him as my tutor.  This might work out better better than taking classes once a year.  The classes don't always fit into my schedule and the sessions are so short that one can't learn a whole lot before the sessions are all over.

Sunday I am hoping to hear from a new Brazilian friend, Maria, whom I met here last week when I went for a foot reflexology session (heaven).  Maria is a psychologist and she will be returning briefly to Vancouver after a tour to the Rocky Mountains.

I hope you all have plans for a good meal and or joining up with friends. Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Today's Sky

It has been raining a lot here over the past two weeks and the sun has only been seen 2 or 3 times for a brief period. Today it was a beautiful Friday with glorious sun and partly blue skies.

I love the bright orange of the tree in the background (as seen between the branches of the tree).

If you have a few moments please read news of Kenya here.

I'm joining up with Skywatch Friday today. You can also enjoy a lot of submissions from around the world if you click here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Prayer Request & Report: Missions of Hope

Hello friends, here is a word from Jonah in Kenya.  I'd be grateful if you could please take a few moments to read up.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57

PRAYER REQUEST Please pray for Jonah's mom. They have done tests at the hospital where she lives and don't know what is wrong with her.   She has been transferred to Eldoret Hospital. Healing and funds are needed so we ask for prayers. It is God who can provide the answers. Blessings.

Kenya Missions of Hope: A Life Well Lived: This week I lost my aunt. It was one of the hardest things to believe.  But I took time to believe that she has died.  I tho...

(Click highlighted link above for the rest of the story.)

Berets & Beanies

Wordless Wednesday here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tale of Three

 Be ye strong … for your work shall be rewarded 
 2 Chr. 15:7

My friend Jonah in Kenya has had a lot of highs and lows over this past month.

He finished his thesis and has now been able to have it bound and attend to all the administrative requirements they had him to at the main campus in Uganda. He is just waiting to get his official grades and graduation certificate later this month but he has done well.  However, he has not been able to move all his belongings from Nakuru to his home in the village. Please keep this need in prayer.

No sooner did Jonah complete his thesis then his aunt took ill and died.  Her funeral was just the other day and was very well attended. She was a good strong Christian example and she will be deeply missed.  You can read more here.

In other sad news, Jonah's mother is now ill and has been taken to the local hospital for medical tests and evaluation.  She will probably be sent to Eldoret for more testing because the local hospital really doesn't have much capacity. Jonah's mom just graduated last month with a Diploma in Theology.

Jonah's mom on the left of the photo.

Please keep all these needs and Jonah in much prayer.  Everything has a financial and personal or emotional cost and we all need help in times like this.

We are also still trying to raise funds for Little Linet's cleft palate surgery.

You can read more about that here. If you can help with any of the costs, please send your generous donation.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Time is Flying By!

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
  1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 NIV

I cannot believe that it has been an entire week since I've posted. I think that has only happened twice in the last several years so my apologies to my regular readers.

The weather has turned cloudy this week and today the rain accompanied the dark sky.  The rain is expected to last a few days.  It came down rather heavily today but I was fine with my jacket and rain hat as I braved the weather to go to the fabric shop. I was looking for fabrics so I could finalize plans for two quilts.

Imagine my surprise when I got to the shop and found a very long line up.  There were also many people hanging around the front entryway, mostly young men.  I quickly realized that the majority of young shoppers were there looking for ready to wear Hallowe'en costumes or fabric to make costumes. 

The popularity of Hallowe'en grows every year and people spend lots of time and money getting creative with their costumes.  I don't celebrate Hallowe'en or get dressed up in any costumes.  That stopped when I was 13 years old.  I don't even give out candy to children because there are really so few children who go house to house.  These days mainly it is a time for adults to get dressed up and have a license to party.  I'm beginning to sound like the Hallowe'en Grinch, lol. It isn't that, but I do not celebrate most holidays except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

After winding my way through the crowded store, I managed to find most of what I needed.  Afterward, I met a friend for dinner.  Then we went for coffee and she shared some sweets though I didn't want too much of it today. I walked her to the Bingo where she said she would play a round before making her way home.  I walked home the several blocks rather than catching the bus.  There I sat, unpacking my "goodies" and trying to figure out how to work my various fabrics into the two quilts I have in mind.

One find that I did not have on my list when I went to the fabric store today was fabric for a quilt for my niece.  I've decided to make a very simple quilt for her using a quilt panel with images from Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. My niece LOVES Dorothy and the different characters like the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Lion and so I thought it would be a nice Christmas present just in case I don't see her for Christmas and have to mail the present, I need something that will ship easily.

This is part of the panel I will sew to some quilt batting and backing.

This week I also made this crocheted scarf.  It has metallic thread in it which gives it a glittery look.  Some of you might remember the one I made last week in shades of rust and brown.

In trying to wrap up my reading goals for the year and make progress on a late addition goal (reading the Bible from cover to cover), I managed to finish reading "Letters from Africa, 1914-1931", Isak Dineson (Author), Frans Lasson (Editor), Anne Born (Translator).

I recently read Isak Dineson's (Karen Blixen's pen name), "Out of Africa" which leaves out many details because it is not written chronologically.  This book of letters helps to fill in some of the gaps.  What I enjoyed most in the letters was reading about the many people Karen Blixen met in Kenya, her day to day activities on the farm, her interactions with the tribal people, her love of nature, which included many hunting trips, and just the way life was in Kenya during it's early foreign settlement.  Karen Blixen also writes extensively about feminism, marriage and sexuality.  But I felt that her writings on these latter subjects did not convey her thoughts quite as clearly as on the former subjects.  The fact that she did express views on these subjects at all however, make this book an interesting "must-read".

At the moment, I am reading the classic, "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck.  This will be my last book in my annual reading  goal before I carry on with my goal of reading through the Bible.  I thought I had reached it already with the completion of "Letters", but I was mistaken.  When I was a university student, I read "East of Eden" and remember enjoying it a lot. Recently I found an old copy of the book in the thrift store and decided to re-read it.  I am not enjoying it as much as I did the first time.

I think it's because I no longer have the tolerance for racism against Native Indians (through use of derogatory terms like "squaw"), or misogynistic views of women which is conveyed in different ways throughout the book.  The story is about the two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and it is set in Salinas, California during the era when California was first being settled.  Racism and misogyny were likely very much in existence in those days, just as they are now so in that sense they make perfect sense in the book.

John Steinbeck is one of the foremost American writers of recent times and it is important to be familiar with at least some of his writings. Many of you have probably read  his novel, "The Grapes of Wrath" or at least seen the film by the same name and I would recommend "East of Eden".

Soon, I must get started on my other quilt projects and make some crochet or knit hats.  I have so many projects to undertake that it is often difficult to know where to begin so I usually just work on whatever I feel inspired to work on at any given time.  

I  wish you all a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm Stuffed & Thankful

Hello friends,

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. I am so thankful to God for so many things. Truly, I am thankful for even the simplest of things like the ability to walk, as an example. I don't take anything for granted.  So Thanksgiving weekend is always a special weekend for me.  It gives me a space in which I can focus on what God has done for me. I am thankful throughout the year but Thanksgiving is an extra special time of reflecting on things for which to be thankful.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

My brother, my nephew and his girlfriend were my guests for dinner.  Now my guests have gone home and I am relaxing and feeling tired and stuffed.  Though everyone ate and had seconds,  there are lot of left overs. I guess I over did it in the cooking.  Partly because at the last minute, I decided to invite two foreign students.  I met one of the students at the African Market I went to in August.  The other one is going to tutor me in Swahili.  Understandably neither of them could make it. One was already invited to dinner tonight and the other was at Whistler (out of town) on school assignment. I told them not to worry because my invitation was so late.  We all agreed to meet soon for another meal or over coffee.

Dinner was traditional:  antipasto plate (cold cuts, cheeses, pickles, grapes, stonewheat crackers), roast turkey with home made stuffing, smashed red potatoes with garlic, gravy,  a big salad with lots of colourful vegetables,brussels sprouts, buns, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, fresh fruit salad, and an assortment of beverages.  I made an extra pie for the guests who will take it to another dinner tomorrow night with other fellow students.

I don't have photos today as dinner preparations were all consuming and I was enjoying my guests when I wasn't busy making dinner.  Tomorrow I can relax instead of working in the kitchen.

Let me close by wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends and readers. I hope your holiday is a good one! myspace graphic comments

Friday, October 5, 2012

Crafting in Progress

Hi friends, I've been enjoying myself making some crafts this week.

This is a crochet scarf in shell pattern. It is made in beautiful Fall colours and has metallic thread running throughout which gives it a touch of elegance.

Click on this photo to enlarge and see the metallic thread as well as the true colour.

It isn't quite finished. I still have to weave in the end threads and then it will be done. When it is finished I will be making another scarf or a cowl/neck warmer, in shades of deep blue and green.

Two dishcloths in a traditional pattern. This is a small present for a young woman who just moved from a room, into a new apartment and is setting up house. 

My knitted square in a weave pattern. It has crocheted edges. You might remember this work from here. As you can see, I decided on a beige colour trim instead of the blue as I thought this could be used for a lap blanket  or a unisex baby blanket.

Once I finish these works and a few others, I will put them up for sale in my Etsy shop. Perhaps you would like a scarf or a hat for a Christmas gift or simply to wear for the Fall and Winter season.

All profits go to the Missions of Hope.  Potential buyer enquiries welcome.

Sales, Promotions & Stocking Up

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, How are you today? I'm writing this on Saturday and I'm feeling very tired.  I even slept in unti...