Saturday, November 30, 2013

Queen of the Castle

(S)he that has a house to put's head in has a good head-piece.
William Shakespeare in King Lear

Cat and I received early house-warming gifts today from my aunt and cousin. Cat is as thrilled with her toys and treats as I am with my exquisite first-Christmas tree ornament.

Work at my little abode has slowed. Handles were added to the cabinets this week and I am very happy with the result. Without exaggeration, I must have looked at more than a hundred different handles of metal, ceramic, plastic, plain, painted, ornate, knobs, pulls, and lugs. All those choices and yet just one choice. I guess that made the decision easy. ;-)

Now I await the completion of the 'odds and sods' and 'bits and bobs' -- with the biggest bob being the installation of the granite countertop. I must wait 10 more days to see that landmark. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunbeams on a Blustery Day

The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams.
Thomas Love Peacock, English novelist and poet (1785–1866)

Thank goodness we can drink sunbeams on blustery grey days! And what better accompaniment to soothe chilled body and soul than a wee bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich! An adult update for the comfort food of our childhood is a thin slice of pear embedded amidst the cheese layers. This we learned from Sue Ann Staff's mom who manages the grill as Sue Ann serves her latest vintage to Wrapped Up in the Valley passport holders. The event gets better every year. We came away with a packet of good recipes and a few cases of red and white sunbeams that should get us through the winter. Cheers!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Kind of Exercise

You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Psalms 128:2

Mom and I participated in the "Cookie Walk" today. This is my kind of exercise, balancing choices of chocolate and vanilla in one hand with almonds and caramel in the other. Yes, it's that time of year again when the whole church community comes together to put on the Christmas bazaar. The Cookie Walk is a tradition that we have become known for. The day's event culminates six weeks of training (aka baking) for Mom and it was so successful that there was barely enough leftover for the church mice.

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Little Sacred Space

The kitchen is a sacred space.
Marc Forgione, American chef

"What is a sacred space? At its most basic, it is a place which invites the contemplation of divine mystery, and encourages an attitude of spiritual openness."* For me, the kitchen certainly fits the bill as a sacred place where I can commune with the bountiful gifts of creation, perhaps sharing the joy with loved ones or just with my inner self.

Tingles of excitement rippled through me when I stopped by my little abode and found the carpenter working to install the kitchen's cabinetry. My dream is becoming reality. Shwaya, shwaya.** Next week the appliances will be delivered and the granite people will come to measure. Just maybe I will be settled in time for Christmas. Stay tuned.

*Definition found on the website for Santa Barbara Sacred Spaces.
**There are times when the lessons learned in my beloved Egypt prove most helpful to life in Canada.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Invitation to Dinner

. . . a good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
Virginia Woolf, British author in A Room of One's Own (1882-1941)

On Monday, my new chairs arrived at the flat and I can't wait to have them set around the oak dining table that a friend made for me some twenty years ago and have them occupied by friends and family sharing in good food and good chatter.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Friendship Quilt

A quilt for a friend says what words cannot.

My apologies for the scarcity of posts over the past few weeks. Besides the Monday to Friday commute and work routine, my weekends have been a blur of activity with shopping trips for necessary odds and ends to bring the flat together, ever so slowly.

But I did have the pleasure this week of meeting up with a good friend for dinner and giving her the quilt that I made to wrap her in cheery florals. Kaffe Fassett's fabrics are over the top and inspire outrageous positivity. Life blooms in technicolor even in the greys of November.

Little quotations* are scattered throughout the quilt's garden. Considering that I completed the quilt at the end of August with the intention of delivering it to its intended in early September, this quotation is particularly appropriate: True friends are never far apart . . . maybe in distance, but not in heart.

*For anyone looking for similar quotations, check out the numerous options available at Block Party Studios.