Friday, 31 December 2010


For several years now, I've been following Little Jenny Wren's blog.

I love the way she writes about her life, her creativity, and just the peace and joy that her writing quietly exudes. And her dolls, if you take just a quick look, are works of absolute art. A while ago, I managed to snag a spot to get one of her dolls.

If you follow her blog anything like I do, you might have seen this post from about a month ago...

That top dollie? Yes, she's sitting right next to me as I type this, sweet and smiling and warm and very happy to be up here in the North, where it warmed up as soon as she arrived. (It's now about -3 C, rather than -27 as it was yesterday morning.)

After Christmas...

...we had a party!

Well, okay, Monday evening, a bunch of old friends (and new ones, and new ones' siblings!) came over to play games and talk and eat.

Normally we just have Autumn parties, but Theophilus was very much absent this summer and Autumn, so we made an exception and gave another.

And now I'm pretty much done with parties for another year. ;)

However, I greatly enjoyed seeing people I hadn't seen in months: friends who live out of state, those who've gotten married, and even some of those who are now pregnant... which was the most surprising part of the evening.

It's also strange though, at these parties, to see the people whom you remember knowing when they were little, and before I could even read a clock (okay, that wasn't all that long ago- I'm bad with clocks) who are now either married or very "grownup"-ish or living on their own. Or in the case of one of them: almost completed with her Masters. When did we get older?

So, now that I'm in a nostalgic mood, I want to watch Disney's Robin Hood and reread The Velveteen Rabbit. Perfect for bringing in the New Year, right? Especially since I doubt I'm keeping myself up until midnight tonight...

Thursday, 30 December 2010


I know- I dropped out of touch as soon as Theophilus came home...

The first few days were pretty quiet, and then Tuesday we went to a friend's house and made doughnuts.

On top of that, the guys played Catan. I drank tea and then joined for a game of applied geometry. (More fun than that sounds.) The doughnuts were delicious and I probably had more than was really good for me, but after all, it was Christmas time, and you can get away with lots of sugar then. :) We watched a movie, talked, and then made thimble cookies with raspberry jam made by the lovely Mrs. S.

For most of that week the temperatures were a balmy -28 C.

On Christmas Eve, I was part of two separate Church services. The first was a Children's Mass, at 5 PM, but I was supposed to be at the church to rehearse by 3, which really broke up my day oddly. I loved seeing the children in the pageant for the gospel readings. Also, my friend Annie came and brought her new-born, who was completely adorable. While everyone talked, I got to play with several of the kids there- since we don't have foster kids at home right now, I was missing having little ones to play with.

We got home and had our traditional supper and opened presents and watched some Doctor Who, and then I went in to play for the Midnight Mass (frigid -34 C) and had another lovely time, although I was more than exhausted by the time we got home.

Christmas Day passed quietly, happily, with lots of food, and then, in the evening, a Doctored up Christmas Carol.

And it's hard to believe that was only a week ago!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

He's Home For Christmas

Theophilus is home now... he came in the middle of the night. I think I was more asleep than anything and some how don't really remember anything other than Mum telling me to give him a hug. 


Well, now for tea and catching up with him and soon going into S-Town for choir practice... Mid-night Mass is now in less than a week! 

Merry almost Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bit Chilly Out There!

Tomorrow night, my brother's getting back from college. And I have a Christmas concert... and it's still very cold out! ( -20 C range, for all my dear southern hemisphere friends)

Tonight, I went to a rehearsal, but got to K-Town a bit early, so I went to take some photos of the sunset while on a walk with a friend.

Sorry again for the blurriness, but I'm finding it hard to not shake the camera when it's cold. (It was about -26 C according to this friend's iPhone. That's just too cold.)

Monday, 13 December 2010

It's cold out!

Yes, I went on a walk in the freezing cold weather we're having. But it was too beautiful not to!
However, hot tea does sound like a very good idea now.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

I am done!

Well, I'm not feeling so great, but I'm still in town because I have a rehearsal tonight for a Christmas concert next week. This should be fun.

But on happier topics, I turned in my last test for math, and figured that if I got a 55% on this test, I'd still get an A. Happy days. I should be able to get all A's in my classes, with perhaps an exception for my writing class; the teacher doesn't like my style, and I feel it's very possible that he'll grade me down as much as possible for that.

For now, here's to sitting at cafes and drinking hot tea and reading lovely books and not having homework for a whole month! Merry Christmas Break to you all!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


... why I love Alaska in the winter. Sorry for the blurriness- it was really cold when I was trying to take this photo. About -20 C.

Monday, 6 December 2010


Well, here I am, waiting for my first final tonight: speech. It should be easy, it was a take-home, and as long as you listen, you pretty much know all the answers.

Also, I've finished my take home test for math- pretty sure I'll be acing that one. But it's not due until Thursday, so I've got a bit of time for that. Since I finished Spanish already, that just leaves me with having to edit my final stories for my writing class and I'll be done.

Minus, you know, working all next week as well.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

In Cold December-Time

Only 24 more days until Christmas. And here's some more Christmas music.

It felt like December was never going to get here, the year just dragged on. And now it's time to make it feel like Christmas everywhere. That may include being part of the group from my office going to the School Head to petition for a Christmas tree in the office. 

Isn't this time lovely? I really can't wait to decorate our tree soon. 

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

It's Almost December Time

Well, in case anyone needed reminding, tomorrow's December. Just so happens to be my favourite month. I mean, there are Christmas carols and trees and candles. 

I think it's about time for me to break out the music books and CDs and find some Christmas lights to put up in my room. I'll post photos when I get to that. 

For now, I'll just leave you with a few clips of Christmas Music. :)

Monday, 29 November 2010

It's Snow Time

This morning, I noticed how lovely the snowy trees looked when I woke up to prepare for school.

Then I remembered dear Saminda telling me that she'd never touched snow. So this is for her.


Isn't it pretty at seven in the morning?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving Day here in the States, and I just thought I say hello to all of you, and wish you a lovely, blessed day.

I'll spend the day quietly at home with Mum, since Dad has to work all afternoon. Here's to breaks from school and lots of Doctor Who.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Of Virgules in the Time of Commas

I'm done with Communications, for all it's worth. I gave my final speech on punctuation. And got an A. From a teacher who practically never gives out As.

But I assumed that all my classmates would fall asleep; after all, not many people actually care about punctuation, much less about the history of how punctuation came to be.

Like this \, called a virgule, is the original mark. It was the only mark for hundreds of years. Then along came Aldus Manutius and the Printing Press. Viola! All the other punctuation marks come along. (Courtesy of Manutius and Sons.)

And he invented italic print to boot. Gosh, I love that man. He also came up with the smaller style of books which are the precursors of the modern format.

After class, everyone said it was very interesting, and no one fell asleep.

I feel so accomplished. And a lot better about not having quite so much stuff to do as far as homework is concerned.

Monday, 22 November 2010

At Last

Well, my Spanish class is finally over. I hope I never have to study another word of it ever again. I may have to take another semester, but I really hope not.

I never told the story behind why I took it, did I?

Originally I was signed up to take Russian. I was so excited, Russian is beautiful and so many lovely books have been written in that language. Other than Don Quixote, Spanish has nothing to appeal to me. In fact, it infuriates me because everyone and their maiden aunt's hamster from elementary school seems to be learning Spanish these days.

Then I find that they cancelled Russian because not enough students signed up for the class. And the defunct option for students who need the credits to be full-time? Put them in a Spanish class!

Yep, I got stuck in a Spanish class, and it was late enough for me to not have any real options that were much better. But it's done now. All over. Huzzah for that, at least, now I can focus on more important subjects like Math or Communications. Yay for long speeches that are due... tonight? Yikes!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The End's in Sight

As I was sitting here doing my Spanish homework, I realized that after tonight, I'll only have three more classes left in that class for the semester. It's possibly the class I'm most excited about finishing. And that it ends before my other classes makes me very happy indeed.

I'm unsure if I'll continue with Spanish for next semester; if they offer Russian, I'm taking that over Spanish. And, in 30 days, this semester will be over. Huzzah!

And I'm holding a high A in algebra and speech. And after 30 days, I won't have to write any more modernist fiction for the rest of my life, as far as I know anyways. I really don't like the style of writing that has been prevalent for the last sixty years or so. But I guess I'm the better for now knowing how to chop any and all descriptions that don't serve symbolic purpose out of my story? At any rate, it is very hard to write more than five page stories when you can't go into descriptions of peripheral things.

One more great thing: I've started a rewrite of the Princess and the Pea. It was inspired by me making minestrone last week for Mum. Oh, if only that sort of inspiration hit more often.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

NewBorn Afghanistan

It's odd- when I added on the next bit of yarn- you can barely tell the change. But when I use flash- viola! - the new yarn stands out.
I'll be mailing this off in the morning, sending it on it's long journey half-way around the world. 
First stop: Pennsylvania. 
Second: Kabul. 

Blessings, child who will end up with this. And prayers be with the mother.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Monday, Monday

Today's the day I should've stayed at home. And it's not half over.

In math, I spent a good chunk of the time scared that I'd flunked the test I took last week. She'd marked -0, +5. Of course, my mind translated this as only five points.

Afterwards, my teacher congratulated me on my 105% on the test. That -0 meant that I'd missed none, and the +5 was because I did the extra credit problem. That I didn't know was an extra credit problem. 

Then I spent a good two and a half hours looking for inappropriate or misleading/false advertisements from magazines. Now that I've finally got them, I've got two hours of Spanish to face. Then three hours of speech class where I get to talk about my misleading ads. 

Oh, I'm so glad the semester is half-way over. 

I'd really rather be at home drinking tea or something. Writing and knitting would be nice, especially when compared with Spanish grammar.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cake

I'm on a food trend now. No stopping me.

Well, this is actually another autumnal thing Mum made. Pumpkin pie meets spice cake.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

And it's topped off with walnuts.

How good is that?

A Piece of Pumpkin Cake

Pretty good, I'll have you know.

Especially when eaten on my green polka-dot plate.

Autumnal Eating

Okay, I don't know what special foods are eaten during this time of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, although I've always wondered. Maybe that's one of the reasons I've always wanted to live in Australia for a year. To answer my questions.

However, for us, apples are in season. I love apples- so lovely fresh, or baked, or stewed, or roasted. I do rather miss going to an orchard near HC and picking two bushels of apples. Ah well, that was lovely, but that's not going to happen up here in wintery Alaska.

But my Mum makes the best cooked apples ever. It's not mushed out like applesauce, but it's soft, and slightly spiced. And oh, so good.

It's great to eat apples up here in late autumn. Wouldn't you like some?

Autumnal Baked Apples

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Winter's Coming Around the Next Corner

It's beginning to feel like winter's about to hit up here.
It's grey outside, and cold. So cold, settling into my hands and feet and bones.
Perfect weather for curling up in blankets with hot tea or cocoa. Add a book and some quiet music and I'm just about set.

Too bad today isn't the perfect day for algebra, isn't it? Since I had to read over fifty pages of algebra text just to cement logarithms into my head. And after this semester, I'll likely never use logarithms ever again. My teacher encourages me that it develops brain development and critical thinking. I feel I've had about as much as I need. Give me geometry first. Besides, I prefer creative thinking.

And we're due for snow tonight. I'll let you know if it's true. At any rate, I'm expecting it at any moment.

First Frosted Leaf of Winter

On Sunday, I took a walk after Mass. 
It was a chilly, crisp morning- bringing tidings of the soon-coming winter.
And then I saw this frosty little leaf... still green. 
So beautiful.
Warmth and light ~ Laura

Friday, 15 October 2010

A Very Lewis Breakfast

The other day, I was reading through The Horse and His Boy. Now Lewis bothers some people because he wasn't like his good friend Tolkien. Tolkien was the master of describing grass for about three or four paragraphs. Lewis had the gift of being short. (Physically and writing...)

Now I don't think that's really such a problem. Sure, he doesn't go into great detail with battles, but the things he does describe are beautifully worded. And usually involve food. That's the sort of author I feel at home with.

"And immediately, mixed with a sizzling sound, there came to Shasta a simply delightful smell. It was one he had never smelled in his life before, but I hope you have. It was, in fact, the smell of bacon and eggs and mushrooms all frying in a pan.
... By the time Shasta had finished his porridge, the Dwarf's two brothers (whose names were Rogin and Bricklethumb) were putting the dish of bacon and eggs and mushrooms, and the coffeepot and the hot milk, and the toast, on the table. 
It was all new and wonderful to Shasta for Calormene food is quite different. He didn't even know what the slices of brown stuff were, for he had never seen toast before. He didn't know what the yellow soft thing they smeared on the toast was, because in Calormen you nearly always get oil instead of butter..."
 Now, after reading that, and it does go on for a bit, I found myself very hungry. This morning, in celebration of not having to be at school early, or indeed of having to leave the house at all, I decided to make myself a very Lewisian breakfast.

That included fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms, British Muffins with butter, and a pot of hot tea.

A Lewisian Breakfast

It was absolutely delicious. I think I shall make it again someday soon. And maybe a bit of porridge to go with? (And not so many eggs if I'm the only one eating it!)

Monday, 4 October 2010

We Shall Fight On the Beaches

It my brother Theophilus' birthday today, as well as my dear friend Eddie. So, in case they're reading, happy birthday!

On another note- I've prepared a speech for tonight on Winston Churchill's "Fight on the Beaches". Last night, I found a recording of some of the key parts of the speech, twelve minutes, so roughly half of the brilliant speech. And now I'm on a Churchill buzz.

Then I ran into my teacher, and he informed me that he would love the speech, but I should be prepared for the fact that half the class would never have heard of this speech, and the other half wouldn't know who Churchill was.

Isn't that just a sad statement on the American education system? Oh well, I'll just go read some more of his books and dream of a reformed school system. At least I get to have a bit of a fun time in speech tonight, with one person to understand what I'm saying. Unfortunately, I have Spanish between now and then.

More posts heading tomorrow!

Friday, 1 October 2010

It's... October?

Okay, so I promised last week that I'd post photos of the TARDIS scarf, but since I was so close to finishing it, I decided to put that off till I was done. And consequently, the last of September vanished with a merry twinkle of the eye and I'm sitting here thinking: "Hold on, it's October already???"

That's right, three months left to the year. So not ready for that. So much to do, so much I won't get done.

Next week are mid-terms. Not sure how I feel about that, but at any rate, I don't think I'll be cramming. There really isn't any point for cramming after all- tests only show what you don't know, and I've been faring alright so far this semester.

So, hopefully I'll finish the scarf tonight, and perhaps, if I'm very very good, we'll have photos by tomorrow!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

All the Pretty Little Horses

For right now, this seems to be the baby's favourite song. At any rate, it's the only one that's calming her as she's very fussy right now.

For my little Buttercup.

Interestingly enough, I remember my mother singing this to me as a small child. Hope I can pass on the memory!

Weekends are for... relaxing!

It's sunny again today- and Mum's out shopping. That means I'm home alone with the kiddos, who are currently sleeping (or I'm hoping they are...). Huzzah for that!

The wind is really quite brisk, so I'm nursing a cup of apple cider for all it's worth. And I've given up on trying to keep my hair in order. It looks a bit like the tops of our quaking aspens!

I love the weekend as it gives me a delightful break from study- at least this weekend does. Normally I have math and other stuff to occupy me, but this weekend? Only some writing and reading for my Lit. Arts class (which is NOT my favourite thing to do- never knew I disliked modern fiction this much...) and that's it. No math- no speech- no Spanish. My heart sings for that one.

Instead, I have beautiful days of tea and knitting and cuddling the baby!

And later, look for photos of the TARDIS themed project- they should be up by tonight.

Violin Fantasy

Well, I got Ladies in Lavender from the library this week, and was reminded of the existence of some very lovely music. And being as it's been a while since I posted any music and the blog has become rather knitting in subject matter, I thought I'd post a short clip of one of my favourite pieces in the movie.

Oh, and while I'm talking about the movie, it has some fantastic glimpses into gentle (and genteel) domesticity, plus wonderful knitwear and knitting. :) (Just had to get knitting into this post somehow!)

If you don't look too close, you can almost believe that the actor's really playing that violin rather than miming to a recording of Bell, if there were others in this world who could sound as good as Joshua Bell. (I doubt there are many like him these days... Heifitz and Menuhin and the like are all dead, sadly.)

Friday, 24 September 2010

Lilac Pine Forest

Well, if you remember, back on Tasha Tudor day, I started a new knitting project. It's been going pretty slowly with everything else in my life, plus my other knitting projects, which includes my TARDIS scarf that I'll post about eventually.

However, I promised photos... And I remembered that.

So, here are photos of my lilac version of the lovely Pine Forest blanket.

And the Wind Blows Us Away

Well, it's very windy out today, and I love it! The trees are all golden, and the leaves are dancing away. It's such an inspiring time of the year, and I feel the need to get out with my camera at some point today. Right now, the baby's playing at my feet, and I have some lovely lavender grey tea. 

With no work, and no classes, today, it feels like the weekend come early. Although, I do have some homework that needs finishing by tonight. But it's not really that hard, just readings and a quick write up of a page or two. 

That all gives me the ability to go out and sit in the sun, with the chilly air whipping around me. And yes, with the full,  clear moon last night, I do believe it was a frost I saw at five or so when I woke up and looked out my window. That all means that winter's around the corner. The fireweed's all gone, and we have until maybe the first week of October. And the predictions for this winter are that it will be one of the snowiest, coldest, and longest winters we've had in about twenty years. Oh dear. Lots of knitting and tea in the next few months, I suppose. 

But for now, I think I'm going to move me, my tea, my knitting, and the little one outside to enjoy the autumn that's here for at least a few more days. All before the wind takes away all the golden leaves.

Monday, 20 September 2010

It's the Twentieth?

So, I just realized that September is nearly over. Weird feeling, that. I've had a lot of flashbacks these last four weeks to the first month of school back in 2007. There are a lot of similarities, and that's just a bit unsettling.

Plus, I've been pretty sick the last three and a half weeks- finally getting over that. My self-treatment includes lots of sleeping and tea, along with homework and Doctor Who. And knitting. I think that there is something healing in the soothing repetitions of knitting. Probably everyone who knows me realizes that I love knitting by now. Hmm.

We still have the two little girls, and I like having them around: even when I'm tired, they usually make me smile. They're great distractions from math. (No longer calculus, I was smart and transferred into college algebra- which makes minimally more sense to me.)

Hopefully I'll get those knitting photos up tomorrow or Wednesday, we'll see.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Drawing

Well, I did remember than I promised to do the drawing today....

And it goes to Saminda! Based on her previous mention of dishcloths, I think I know which prize she'll pick.

Saminda, just send me a message with your address, and I'll get it posted soon!

Thank you all for taking part, dear readers. :)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

I'm Back, I Promise...

I know, I haven't blogged since last month. Dear me, but I really have been busy.

School- foster kids- more school- attempting to not get sick. I've been doing pretty well at all of them, except the last one. We'll see what's going on tomorrow, I hope.

Here soon, I hope to get some photos up of my knitting projects. Yes, I've broken my tradition of never having more than one thing cast on at a time- I'm technically working on wool Aran squares for an afghan (which is nice, because I'm also technically free because I don't have a new square in the works as of this typing), a TARDIS inspired scarf (huzzah for British telly!), and a lilac baby blanket. So, the only one I've actually been working on in the last two weeks has been the blanket- and I started that one because of Tasha Tudor day.

And that reminds me that I owe Saminda a post all about Tasha! I do promise, it is coming. After I do my presentation tomorrow, I'll have a bit more time, I hope.

The worst bit about having three (or two, if I wish to relieve my knitting-conscience) projects going at once is that I cannot come up with a good reason to not start another one. Namely, a little sleep-sack for a baby, one with little owlies along the top. If you saw it, I'm pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to not want to cast it on right away. Especially if you had lovely wool to work with ready for that exact project...

Anyways, I should go and practice my much-disliked Spanish nouns before I am tested on them tomorrow afternoon. But, remember, two more days until the 500 Drawing!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Yes, dear friends, I've actually managed to somehow write 500 posts on this blog. It's rather surprising, shocking, and just a tad encouraging that I have gone somewhere along this path I'm on. 

I meant to post this on Sunday, but my day wasn't exactly what I expected, and yesterday was full of classes and studying until about 10 o'clock at night. And I'm housesitting, with no wifi for my new computer (although I suppose I could get on the computer that's at the house) so I didn't post last night. Oh dear, there went August!

But as it is my 500th post, I'd like to host a drawing, which I'll pull a name on the 14 of September. Dear Saminda has suggested I give dishcloths, another friend has suggested that I give away a pint or so of dandelion jelly. 

So, just leave a comment, let others know! 

And thank you all for reading. :)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Tasha- Inspiration for a Quiet Life

I hope you've all enjoyed your Tasha Tudor day! Mine has just begun, as I worked for eight hours in the early part of the morning, then came home and napped. :) I'll post about my day later! Light and warmth ~ Laura

Friday, 27 August 2010

Plans for Tasha Day

Well, tomorrow's Tasha day, and I've pretty much settled on making a wool Owlie-Sack for the baby. All things go well and I'll post photos of how everything goes. I'm hoping to also have a tea, even if it's just me (not sure how it'd work with the littles), read some poetry, and maybe do some personal writing - not just homework.

Right now, I'm hanging out at my favourite cafe, drinking tea and relishing the feeling of having a defeated a bit of Calculus. I didn't bring one of my hand-outs from class, so I'll work on more later. Plus, my brain is almost dead from being up over 12 hours and it being only mid-afternoon. I don't really like or function well with early morning work-shifts. And people think teaching is hard- try kitchen work at five in the morning... At any rate, I have plenty of inspiration to keep working at college!

I realized today that I shall soon be hitting my five hundredth post, and I think I shall post a give-away, what do you think? Perhaps jelly, or dishclothes.... or something like that. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Week One Accomplished!

My first week of classes is over. I'm not quite sure what to think: I have a lot of calculus homework to do, which threatens my general happiness about the weekend. I just finished my fiction work, have a bit of Spanish (I'll write about that tomorrow afternoon), and one thing for Oral Comm.

I'm not looking forward to five in the morning work tomorrow either. I'd almost rather stay doing school over the weekend than that. Part of it is the actual work itself, the other bit probably being the whole "I'm getting out of bed at 3:15 in the morning just to work at a job that I can't stand."

But, hey, this is life, right?

Tasha Tudor Day

It's coming up on the 28th!

One of my favourite artists, and inspiration for the simple life. Two years ago, Jenny of Little Jenny Wren brought Tasha Tudor day to my attention.

On this day, do something simple or creative or relaxing in honour of Tasha. Drink a nice cuppa, read some poetry, make something crafty, sing some lullabies, draw, maybe write something. Anything that makes you feel peaceful, rested and happy.

I'm thinking of casting on for a baby-blanket, or perhaps a baby sack instead. I'll let you know how it goes. And if you're planning on having a Tasha moment on the 28th, just leave a note and let me know either what you're planning, or how it goes for you!

Have a lovely, warm day, full of light and peace!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Calculus is Coming to Get Me

Well, my first class starts in half an hour. I'm on the verge of "break-down and spazz." We have two little ones at home as well, so my mind is also on them.

I'm not sure what to expect from calculus this semester. I was doing well at HC, but that is no guarantee for how well I will do here. Though I have heard great things about the teacher from friends- it'd be a little more reassuring if they weren't all math-lovers to begin with.

However, it's only an hour long, and then I'll have time to breathe afterwards, and eat, and see a friend who is leaving next week for her college. And then, I have speech class later tonight.

Possibly the only class that can scare me more than math. At least it's not physics, right?

Thursday, 19 August 2010

100 Hours

I seem to be doing a count-down to school, so I'll start off saying: I have have about 100 hours until I begin my first class for this semester. That class happens to be calculus. Not that I really like math, at all, but I have hopes to at least get a B in this class and be done with it forevermore.

I'm actually pretty happy about going back to school, even if sometimes I'd rather just be a kid again doing the fun parts of learning: early books, addition for maths, and playing outside for hours and hours. But I am taking Russian and a Fiction class as well this autumn, and I know I couldn't take those if I was only seven. A part of me is a little afraid that I won't have anyone to talk to and school will just boil down to "study, attend class, write up homework, work, and sleep." But a friend's mother says that I'm sure to see people I know (this is part of a small town where I've lived my whole life, and I am not an obscure member of the community. Not sure if that's a compliment or not) and if not, I'll make friends over the time I spend here. 

My books are bought, or at least ordered; my schedule is set; and now, I just have to pray, breathe, and study. At least this year, I'll be living at home while attending school, so I don't have to worry about campus food (the little restaurant on campus is excellent though, I love the fries.) And I won't have to worry about dorm life, or any of the problems inherent in a campus where everyone lives within five minutes of each other and there's no escaping the drama of the interwoven lives... 

All in all, life should be fun and interesting these next few months. I'll have more time, hopefully, than last year for blogging, crafts and photography. And I won't be forever in the health-centre. 

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A Highlight of Tea

Two of our former foster girls are over for the day- it's been so rainy they've been shut up and we wanted to see them before they start school on Tuesday next.

Since I was picking them up after work, which ended for me shortly after ten, I thought I'd have a slight treat for us.

I stopped at the tea shoppe, and let the girls pick a tea for us to drink later. We ended up with Chocolate Mint for them, Blackberry and Blueberry-Heather for me. And a quarter pound of licorice pieces. Plus plenty of exclamations of adoration for various vintage hats, and teapots, and books and jewellery.

Now, for a day of laughter, music, Sleeping Beauty, raspberries, and tea.

Monday, 16 August 2010

And Oh Lord...

I am in an extremely nostalgic mood right now. Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's the fact I'm starting school again in a week. Or maybe it's that two dear friends were married on Saturday. 

Or maybe it's just me. 

Here is a video especially for my parents. They raised me on Peter, Paul and Mary, and I still love their music. In fact, Peter, Paul and Mary was the first concert I went to that I remember at all.

Thanks Mum and Dad. :)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Is it really the middle of August?

In one week, I'm starting school again. I'm slightly bewildered as to where my summer has gone. It's been so rainy and cold that it seems we've been cheated of our season.

I've also been working recently, and am very tired from all that. Hopefully I'll be a little more regular in my updating once school begins. Although, I wasn't all the best with that last year during school.

Oh, and last night was the summer Gala concert, which I was actually not in this year, which was very strange. I missed playing the music and seeing the people who are a part of it, but I did appreciate not having the added stress and time-commitments the last two weeks.

If you have any extra sunshine to spare, please send it my way. Mum would love it very much.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Rasberries, Strawberries, I'm-Eating-Too-Many-Berries

Today, I found that our raspberries are more than ready for gathering. I got Mum to come out and join me in the picking process...

But she was waylaid by the strawberries. So she gathered them, while I picked through about half the raspberry plants.

Later, she went out and got the rest of the raspberries that were ready. In all, we got three litres of raspberries. And probably about two or so of strawberries.

And now, I've eaten over half of the strawberries, and we still have kiwi-fruit, blueberries, and other berries to eat, along with seasonal fruit. I'm starting to feel like I'm on a fruit-only diet...

Which is just wonderful.

Monday, 26 July 2010

I think I'll head to Carter Hall and live in a Laura...

As I was thinking today about music, and past years, and warmer things, I remembered the story of Tam Lin. After all, Meme wrote a story based around the old ballad for me a few years ago.

Yes, my brain is that random. And I remembered my dear Jhaniel mentioning that she liked to dance one of the Tam Lin tunes. Since I was pretty sure she'd sent me a version of it, I hunted it down.

What do you know? it was on the jump-drive I'd been using for downloading about 8 GB of photos earlier. Then I just had to share it you with, since I'm on this "post the music I like" binge right now. But, of course, I couldn't get it to load from my iTunes to the blog.

Why are technology and computers so complicated? And why don't I understand them better? I guess I'll just go back to the stone ages now. Or at least Walden.

Instead, I'll leave you with this rather interesting modern version of the Ballad of Tam Lin, and go off singing "Oh, in Carter Hall, in Carter Haaaallllll!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And maybe I'll find a laura. I'd like a laura.

Go Gently

It's still raining.

I'm still listening to Kate Rusby.

How could I not when she's got lovely songs like this one? It makes me slow down and remember that there's still lots of things to be happy about in life, even if the rain and the pain in the wrists try to make me believe otherwise.

May you keep warm and joyful today!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

We Are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium

Well, after my last rather woe-be-gone post (I hope it wasn't too whiny), I went and listened to some Kate Rusby music.

And rediscovered the wonderfully impish Village Green Preservation Society. I'd forgotten hearing this last January. Anyways, I know it was originally done by a quasi-Beatles group, but I like Rusby's version much better.

I love almost all things British- BBC, books, tea, the accents, their art, their music, their history, Winnie-the-Pooh and umbrellas. With the exception of politics, I can't think of one thing British I don't like. And I don't really like anyone's politics. (Or maybe I just don't like politics in general.) Winnie-the-Pooh was probably what indoctrinated me when I was but two or three. (Before the disgusting Disney movie distortions of the mid-ninties. I hated those...)

So, now I really wish there were such a thing as the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium (or CPAC for short). I'd totally join that. I love custard pie, even if they're not all the best here in the Frozen Northlands.

What things British do you love? I think in the future, when I get on a Anglo-spree and blog about it, I should call it part of my work for the CPAC.

Mid-Summer Rainy Days That Never End

I was thinking of doing a post about some of my most recent knitting projects- Aran styled squares to be pieced into a blanket. But I wanted to finish my current square, and had that planned for this afternoon after Mass.

But the last week has seen the return of extreme hand/wrist/arm pain. All summer, things have been going pretty well. I have an electric stimulator that I use about five times a week, and that'd taken care of me so far. Then the unending rain and damp won. Last Tuesday, I had to leave a orchestra rehearsal from literal inability to play through the pain. My hand wasn't moving.

I thought it'd be better if I layed off the knitting, typing, etc. that might cause extreme pain in my hands to continue. Normally, the pain would go away after that. But nope- it's still here. I may not be able to play for the August Gala concert, which is pretty much the musical highlight of the summer, and rather of the year.

So, instead of knitting lovely winter-white wool, I'm watching Doctor Who on the computer and drinking tea, and burning incense to get the musty smell out of my room that came with the rain. I feel kinda cooped up, with my inablity to do the things I love. Here's to hoping I get back to knitting soon!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Reflections on the Te Deum

Yesterday, after spending a large chunk of my day reading a wonderful book that my brother lent me called Catholic For A Reason I: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God, I went online and was really wanting to listen to some liturgical music.

For years, I've liked the sound of sacred music, especially choral chants. In the past year, I've come to enjoy this type of music even more. In the Lutheran church that I've spent about half my life in, we sing quasi-traditional hymns most of the time, and being a pianist, I played the liturgical music when at home, since the melody line was usually included in the front of our personal hymnals. Last autumn, when I went to HC, I spent the first few weeks visiting various churches, and searching for where God was leading me.

Then I went to the Catholic church one Sunday in mid October, and heard the beautiful liturgical service that was not present in the other churches I'd been to. I fell in love. I went back to my dorm singing snatches of the choral music. Immediately, I compiled a music playlist of sacred music, with the emphasis on Gregorian style chants.

Yesterday, I typed in "Gregorian chants" and it turned up one of my favourites: the Te Deum.

There is such beauty and peace in this song, I can't believe I'd gone months without listening to it. Te Deum was sung before the start of that service in October that I remember so well- they were rehearsing for the next week's service at a monastery nearby and I only hear it because I was the first person to arrive that morning and had been dropped off early. It reminds me of why I kept going to the Catholic church: it was calling me. I attended every Sunday until I went to my grandparents' home in December. January and February, I spent the majority of the daylight hours of every Sunday at Mount Irenaeus, the Franciscan monastery that was about 50 minutes away. Here, it was not just the beautiful liturgy that drew me, but the peace, beauty and simplicity.

Since I've come back to Alaska, I've made it to Mass nearly every week, which worked out well with my work schedule most of the time. And again, I find beauty and joy in the liturgy, in the peaceful music that fills my soul with praise for God.

When I hear it, I can see the stained glass in Fillmore, feel the smooth wooden kneeler under my knees, and smell the sweet incense that burned in the hangers by each of the four windows on each side of the aisles. I can see the Franciscans in their brown habits as they prayed for each of us, feel the linen cushions on the polished wood floors that we sat upon, and see the frosted woods that I came to love as I walked through them every Sunday when it was time to go the the Chapel.

I have a year of beautiful memories tied to this piece of music. It reminds me to be still. It reminds me to pray. It reminds me to accept peace and grace. And this was all before I knew what the words meant. So, now I pray that this prayer may quiet you, and give you peace.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

I Am Heading Down to Hippie-Towne!

On Sunday, we got a new (to us) vihicle for me to use... it's not pretty, but it runs.

So today, I'm heading down to Hippie-Towne to browse my favourite shoppes, walk the beach, and go to an orchestral rehearsal. Okay, so the only one that I really have to do and that caused the trip is the rehearsal, but hey, I haven't been to H-Towne in almost a year.

Maybe by tomorrow, I can load some photos if  I get any good ones while I"m down there.  Cheers!

Monday, 12 July 2010

White Dahlin' Dahlias

Benefits of working at a hothouse- we get to take home cuttings when the plants are over-producing. Saturday, I took home over a dozen dahlia blooms so that the plants wouldn't kill themselves from all the buds.

And this lovely "White Dahlin' Dahlia" is shining pure and radiant down in my room.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Belle and Tink and Co.

So, on Wednesday, I had a golden day. Absolutely lovely, which was exactly what I've been needing for a while. A day when things don't go wrong.

Our first foster girls came for a visit. And I made blue sugared cookies for them. The younger three went into the hot-tub with Mum as Hannah (the eldest) helped me with the baking. Later we watched The Wizard of Oz and ate popcorn.

I read them fairystories; Belle looked at my Cicely Mary Barker books with me and we pretended to be fairies in my room as the other girls played tigers and foxes. I've missed them all so very much. My heart needed to be with them. Now, I can start to heal. And I can see them again.

And we can have tea, and play fairies and tell stories and make pretty things. My Belle and Tink. The other two were never as close, but I also love having them around to play with and talk to. They are getting older, but there's always a special little apartment in my heart for those girls.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Mid-Summer is Supposed to be Warm

I think I'm going through mid-summer blues. It's so cold and grey out that it doesn't seem possible to be July. What happened to our sun? Or our warmth? And what about my energy?

I've managed to pretty much work myself out of my job, as the greenhouse is in the state it usually is around the end of August, beginning of September, when we close. Plus, I somehow hurt my back last week and that took a few days to feel better, and I don't know the next day I'm going to be called in for work. So I'm job-hunting, which is always a discouraging process.

So, yesterday, I had a golden day where none of that could touch me. It was exactly what I needed, and I'll post all about that here soon, when I've got some photos ready.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A Special For Mr. Elijah

Oh, I wish I'd posted this a bit sooner. It was to be for Mr. Elijah's fifth birthday party, but it's quite a bit late for that. Anyways, I do hope he and Saraya and William still like the photos.

Baby moose are always born around the end of May to the beginning of June.
And this one was right in our yard, and I took these photos from our deck.
He was so agreeable to the idea of being a photo-present that he posed very calmly for me.
Well, Elijah, I hope you liked looking at the baby animals I grew up with!
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