Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Goodbye November

Welcome dear viewers. Thank you for dropping in.

Last night as I prepared for bed, I took a peek outside and took a rare flash photo of the scene out front: the pretty snow falling. There are still a few of the old warm light streetlights around but we've got one of the cold new ones, halogen I'm guessing. You can guess what I'd prefer. Ah well- progress.

By morning, the rain was doing a good job at melting the snow away, but even a little bit of snow is a welcome sight, layering the landscape with freshness.
You can still see some of our kale in the foreground, still surprisingly tender.

Yesterday I went a little bit nuts coffee staining papers, 2 at a time in a 350F oven. The smell of roasting coffee was intoxicating.

I still have very little control over what happens. Coffee grounds, for instance, don't leave a mark.
But look what happened to this ledger paper when I faced it down on the baking paper that I lined the lasagna dishes with!

These are very thin paper doilies from the dollar store that I found even cheaper
at a second hand store. I put only a thin wash of coffee on them.

Muji slept throughout this photo shoot.

I don't know if you've noticed how rarely Babu has been making it into my posts these days.

That's because my little guy is almost always on the move - when he's awake.

He is a sweet and loving cat and wants cuddles and playtime

And here's what came of that doodle I showed you last time.
Little Miss Dolly.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

deer in the hayfield

Good Morning on this quiet Saturday.

In fact it has been a quiet week, spent stitching.
On Wednesday I spied this young deer, one of the fawns in the hayfield.

Just beyond him I could see his mother.

My pictures are blown up from poor shots to begin with, my little camera smaller than a playing card.

She remained like this for quite a while, certainly enough time for me to compose myself and steady my hand against the window. Ah well, better than nothing at all. It's a thrill every time to see these beautiful wild animals in their element.

And here are my "boys" in theirs. They were in a charming embrace when I went to get my camera.
But this is how I found them when I came back. "What?" they seem to ask.
Again, my little camera has trouble with the low light, but still worth a shot.

Considering a subject for a new embroidered piece, I doodle with my Japanese calligraphy pen that is set up with a cartridge like a fountain pen and gives an amazing fine line, the nib treacherous to soft paper- i.e. very sharp.

have a lovely last weekend to November
keeping peace in our hearts and intentions

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

this november day

A damp and dreary November thus far, and the thermometer is heading down.

This is what 3:30 in the afternoon looks like out my kitchen window today.
The ocean damp goes right through us regardless of our layered winter clothing.
Snow was forecast for last night and today but it never made it.

Nonetheless, Wally has put up our Christmas lights outside.
Muji took an avid interest as Wally investigated a broken connection because of a burnt out bulb,
but I mislaid the camera long enough to miss a cute shot of them together.
Doesn't take away from Muji's cuteness though.

I continue with my embroidery and patchwork applique,
another brooch finished.

The tiny stitches comfort me. I used to be a "broad stroke" girl. I liked to finish a project quickly and get onto the next. Nowadays I'm satisfied with a 2 or 3 day relationship with the piece I'm working on.  Shows to go we do change with age.

Like so many people I've heard in the past, there is a comfort with the self that comes with ageing. My relationship with myself is more substantial than it used to be in my youth when the outside world ( some call it "the real world" but we know that's not true) mattered more.

breathe into the moment
the only reality we truly have

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


How naïve I can be. The mistakes I've made through ignorance and ignoring. We have so much information available to us these days that the backlash can be that it is all too much for us to take in, to digest, to understand the implications. I've often compared modern life to life in the proverbial jungle;  there is so much danger lurking in places we least suspect. Unaware little lambs that we are, we put our faith in other unaware, or worse, immoral people, corporations, governments. Like our health food stores that sell Xylitol as a sweetener, another jungle trap we fell into almost 2 years ago ( see this site for an explanation:) .

Today, in my attempt to remove the stench of Febreze from beautiful secondhand fabrics I've bought recently, I've read about the betrayal of Proctor & Gamble in their use of poisons in this product. People have killed their pets and caused themselves no end of respiratory problems and worse. Thanks to Roscoe of Supreme Mariner in a thread on this topic dated December 2012, I quote a few of his findings:

1] 2-ethyl-hexanol. This chemical is a news article unto itself, in that
it has been categorically identified as an indoor air pollutant which
was found to activate a type of white blood cell which, in turn, pro-
duces the major inflammatory mediator Interleukin 6. Specifically
speaking, 2-ethyl-hexanol activates the CD4+ cells.

This ingredient is a testimony to the fraudulence and hypocrisy of the
Proctor & Gamble Corporation. Febreze is showcased as an effec-
tive organic air cleaner, yet it contains a notorious indoor air pollu-
tant. In sequence, 2-ethyl-hexanol has been implicated in Building-
related Illness, otherwise known as Sick Building Syndrome. This
Febreze ingredient is a menace.

2] Acetaldehyde. This is the hangover chemical, as in excessive
alcohol consumption. It happens to be recognized as a cancer
risk to the upper digestive tract.

3] Benzyl Acetate. Produces respiratory tract irritation. The con-
tinued exposure to ambient levels of this compound at 50 parts
per million will cause kidney damage. Cats have died from this,
at 180 parts per million. 

I'm no scientist. I've often joked that my left brain is atrophied. But it leaves one wondering about telltale clues in our lives, things that we dismiss at first that seem to linger. The body can only undergo so much duress before "something's gotta give". Just sayin'.

                                       Ironically it is a foggy day today. (I love metaphors.)

I've filled my laundry tub with my latest beauties from the secondhand shop and put in the usual dose of washing soda (sodium carbonate) and borax along with a good dose of pickling strength vinegar. I threw in a kettle of boiling water added to my machine's tub of hot water and hoped for the best. It didn't work.  Apparently the petroleum based fragrances that pervade most household products are hard to remove because of their oily base.  Some say that fabrics, whether on furniture or clothing, will release these oils in outdoor freezing temperatures (don't try it in your freezer) and Jocelyn Dale on a forum at in 2008 said:

Febreze is really freakin' hard to remove. I've had luck with a soak using Calgon (the laundry treatment). With as hot water (initially), a soak usually does the job. And then a double wash to remove the smell of the Calgon.

Have you tried milk soak? Water + dry milk powder. I usually use a cup or so dissolved in a bucket of water.

How very affirming that there are people out there like you and me who care. As for the ignorance of the workers who spray this stuff and the managers who direct them to, the housewives who think they are doing their family a favour, and all the innocent people, children and animals who are subjected to it, we can only spread the word. I am not up for the monumental task of litigation. As it is, the New York State government has won battles on separate occasions with Monsanto, banning Roundup the weed killer, yet Monsanto, one of the biggest, if not the biggest chemical company in the world, continues its immoral  pursuits. Don't kid yourself that Money cannot trump truth. "Just pay the fines; it's the cost of doing business."

Then there's the phenomenon of  being dismissed, if not downright rejected for delivering facts. It has certainly changed my life. There is an unconscious fear that compels some people to "shoot the messenger." Regardless, disturbing information is available to those who care to research it. It is a harsh fact of life that I normally avoid on this blog as there is enough unpleasant news to last each of us several lifetimes.

Still, we are compelled to ask, "What is sacred if it isn't Life?"  Moral Integrity, that's what. That stands at the edge of Truth. Morality is a loaded word. Religious leaders argue with Philosophers, Countries with each other, Parents with Children, Brother with Brother, Sister with Sister. Ultimately, as the  Dalai Lama has said, "It is better to be killed than to kill." It is the dark side of human existence that when threatened, we opt for fear. Yet it is illustrated so often in life that Fear is the opposite of Love.

For now, I will continue to try to wash out this putrid Febreze in the textiles under my auspices. Surely I can break the bond.

Now on to more pleasant things-

One nice thing since the repaving of our road, is that it is quieter out there. Big trucks and tractor trailers don't rattle and shake the house as they once did when hitting the low spots, even when they weren't speeding. Overly zealous drivers forget that they left the highway 4.5 kilometres ago. Now that our part of the road is 8 inches narrower, I've seen less commercial traffic than before, but this may just be the adjustment period after 6 months plus of being detoured.

My sweet companion Muji after his breakfast while I ate my own.

We took a little detour of our own on Saturday, well past White Rock where I showed you our Thanksgiving wilderness visit back in October, to find an utterly quaint craft show at the community centre in Black River. We'd given up on finding it when it appeared dead on at a T junction.

That's the day we passed a bit of snow on the north mountain. It refreshed us considerably to do something so spontaneous and rewarding.

Then we headed back through White Rock to our original destination- the library

this is one of my favourite houses, with a distinctly Georgian façade, with an extension and walkthrough to the brown garage(?) behind. Too close to the main drag for my personal taste, I enjoy its formal elegance. Note the groundfall of the apple trees next to it.

Here's that wonderful Saltbox home in Wolfville that I can't seem to get a good picture of from a moving car. What a grand piece of traditional architecture.

This is where I left Muji this morning as I went out to hang my Febrezey laundry. As my washing did not remove the smell of it I hoped a good airing would help, but I've since talked to Wally who has encouraged me to run it all through another wash with something that will target the oils and chemicals that carry the smell. It reminds me of the years I couldn't remove the stench of a supposedly deglanded ferret from a favourite sweater of mine.

You may remember the beginnings of this brooch from an earlier post.
(I take great pride in it being odourless!)


I think the word of the day must be
Christ said, "Forgive them for they know not what they do"

It is clear that the conscious choice to do immoral things is every bit born out of limited scope as unconscious choice. This is why we have moral teachers to guide us to do what is right. Because we are so limited as human beings.

I always default to the fact that what we perceive is illusion as the atoms that make up things- people, trees, cars, blue whales, fleas- is mostly made of space. If we squeezed all the space out of the atoms of all the people in the world, you could indeed fit the entire human race in the volume of a sugar cube.  Perspective (i.e. Context) puts a huge spin on The Truth. What is it from a different angle?  What recourse remains if it is not Kindness?


Sunday, 13 November 2016

the second week of november

At 6:22 a.m. EST on Monday, the moon will be at its closest orbital approach to Earth by about 30,000 miles than it will for another 18 years. Tonight's our best chance to see a supermoon for a long time. Good luck with cloud cover!

Last week I wandered out into the garden a few days after Wally cleaned up the old tomatoes and cucumbers, leaving this bit of stalky broccoli and kale.

Even though the Broccoli has gone to flower, we still use it in our juicing.

Suddenly some ducks flew by heading Southwest.

The hydrangea take on their fall wardrobe

The Lavender still blooming

a few days later we had a morning vistor

Then two

a blurry flutter into the little apple tree

for a bit of a perch

the other on the ground

turning a corner

cocking its head

pecking for grubs

and a final pose

later in the day, the long afternoon shadows with a bit of golden colour left

Wally managed to scrape together a 4 day long weekend around the provincial holiday of Remembrance Day and began by culling the last of our multi-coloured carrots. Muji did inspection.

Poor Muji had a rough week with alkaline crystals in his urine after a one and half year reprieve.
I blame myself for allowing him access to the Dracaena plant we brought in as well as an overzealous dosing for a week of cilantro based on Babu's symptoms. Sheesh! This kitty just can't do greens. I'm sorry I made a guinea pig of him in my assumption that if one cat has something, the other does. Big mistake. But Muji is back on track, and so is Babu for that matter. Thankfully. We live and learn.

Remembrance Day brought a storm front in from the west

But as ominous as it looked, we only had a brief shower

Muji gives a high five

and finally, an embroidered patch in pinks and pale blues

I was on a roll through September and October.  November has had other distractions including colds for both Wally and me. Hopefully I'll get back on track soon as my head is bubbling with ideas.

peace on earth