Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"If ever there's a reason to be swept up in the season. . . " ~ Derby

We got our first serious dusting of snow recently, and with Thanksgiving so early this year, our Christmas decorations have come out a bit early as well.  I love to decorate our home for the holidays, and having a bit of snow on the ground, and turkey soup on the stove makes the process joyous.  

I am sharing some of my favorite "winter" songs with you below to help get you into the spirit of things.  If they do not come through via e-mail, please go directly to my blog.

Let the festivities begin!

The Wexford Carol by Yo-Yo Ma;Alison Krauss;Natalie MacMaster on GroovesharkSkating on the River by Lily Frost on GroovesharkCarol of the Bells - Sing We Now of Christmas by BarlowGirl on GroovesharkIf Ever There's a Reason by Derby on GroovesharkAspenglow by John Denver on GroovesharkSong for a Winter's Night by Sarah McLachlan on GroovesharkValley Winter Song by Fountains of Wayne on GroovesharkWinter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson on Grooveshark

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup." ~ Buddy the Elf

Looking though on-line magazines is a recently new phenomenon for me, and one that does take a bit of practice.  How to turn a page; how to enlarge the pages so that they can be read?  The newly launched holiday issue of Sweet Paul is worth the effort however. 

Filled with lush photos, Sweet Paul offers up holiday tips from decorating to crafting, from entertaining to fashion.  It is filled with incredible recipes to help you begin your holiday menu planning. Oh - and it's free!


(P.S. - if the video at the top of the page does not come through via e-mail, please go to my blog)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us." ~ Iroquois Poem of Thanksgiving
Since meeting in early October for BITE, it seems as though it has been quite some time since we have been together!  How appropriate then, on the eve of our Thanksgiving here in the U.S., that Tierney chose the theme of Native American foods.  I was a fourth grade teacher for many years before moving on to the junior high level.  Fourth grade here in New York State means local history, and local history in Central New York means the Iroquois Nation (The Haudenosaunee).  I enjoyed revisiting some of the sites and tales from this period of time, including the Creation Myth.

As always, Tierney greeted us with a splendid table-scape, complete with teepee's and woven rugs.  She never fails to impress!

From appetizers (a little difficult to define what is actually a Native American appetizer), to our final dessert - wonderful dishes all the way around - and really good for us I might add!

Fry Bread made by Chris, which was perfect to dunk into the Three Sisters Soup made by Ellen.
Three Sisters Soup which was thick and so flavorful!
Berries and Wild Rice made by me.  You can serve it hot or cold and I opted for hot - tangy and sweet!
Lemon for our main dish.
Tierney chose to cook Roast Cod with Crisp Potatoes, which we all agreed was just delicious!
And lastly, Chris also provided our dessert, which I unfortunately did not get a very good picture of.  Her Wild Rice Pudding was sweet and custardy, with just a bit of crunch from the rice.
In closing, when I taught fourth grade, we always had a festival celebration and each student brought in a Iroquois dish to pass.  Before beginning our festival, we would recite the Iroquois Poem of Thanksgiving, which I have copied below.  From my home to yours - Happy Thanksgiving!

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and squash, which give us life.
We return thanks to the bushes and trees, which provide us with fruit.
We return thanks to the wind, which, moving the air, has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars, which have given us their light
when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to our grandfather He-no who has given to us his rain.
 We return thanks to the sun, that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness,
and who directs all things for the good of his children.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs--but it is amazing how many eggs one can break without making a decent omelette." ~ Professor Charles P. Issawi

I simply cannot resist sharing with you the video below that I recently stumbled upon!  It's so much fun to watch - and it makes me want to run to the refrigerator, grab an egg, and smash it!

Click on those four little arrows on the lower right - this is worth watching in full screen!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew." ~ Marshall McLuhan

Shortly after my sisters walked out the door to return home from our "de-cluttering" weekend, the elves from Spun Right Round, our local yarn store, walked in.  Last year, Renee from Spun right Round, hosted the sale of ornaments for the benefit of our local Salvation Army.  This year, we women who sit around and solve the problems of the world on Tuesday evenings (yes, the ones who witnessed my Loch Ness Monster sleeve) have embarked on another fund-raising enterprise.  Having decided to make felted brooches to be sold for the benefit of The Cortland Free Library, we began collecting old woolen sweaters (or knitting up some swatches on our own) and then felting them in our washing machines.  We amassed quite a supply over the past few months!

Determining that our proceeds would benefit the library seems particularly fitting.   A few years before
Spun Right Round opened, The Cortland Free Library, offered to provide a day, a time and a room for local knitters to gather.  I don't believe that any of us knew each other at the time - I know that I certainly didn't. We became fast friends over the years, and while we meet at the shop now, the library gave our merry band its first start.

I offered to host a "put them together" gathering at my home.  Each lady brought supplies for the brooches and a dish to pass.  It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!  I must say that it put me in the holiday spirit!

The brooches will be for sale at the shop beginning the week of Thanksgiving.  If you are local - please stop by and check them out.  They are cute, they are festive, they are creative and they will be helping out The Cortland Free Library.  Thanks T., for taking pictures! 

Made Locally
Purchased Locally
Benefits Locally
Well Done!

P.S.  Calender Alert!  The newest episode from Craft in America airs this Friday (16th) on PBS!  Watch the preview below ~

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Sisters are for sharing laughter and wiping tears." ~ Unknown

My four sisters are all with me this weekend as we help our folks sort through some of their household possessions as they look to "de-clutter" - I may employ their help for a little sorting of my own at some point! While there is work to be done, there will also be a lot of laughter and eating!  In the meantime, today is one of those days when I am going to take a bit of a blogging break - and borrow from one of my favorite blogs in order to fill this space.  

Thanks, Super T. (and honorary Rhodes Girl), for turning me on to The Lumineers - They are right up my alley!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." ~ Woody Allen

If I had been drinking milk at knit-night not too long ago - it would indeed have been coming out of my nose!

I have been working on a pullover sweater on and off over the fall; picking it up and putting it down as I work on other projects in-between. When I finally moved on to the pullover's sleeves - (yes, that's a sleeve up above) - I had picked it up and set it down many times over.  How, in all of that time, I did not notice how it looked - I don't know! I mean really - look at it!  

So, knit-night at Spun Right Round - I'm sitting there with all of my "people" and knitting and chatting and laughing and solving the problems of the world - because that's what we do.  Suddenly, for whatever reason, I decided to LOOK at the sleeve I was working on.  

         "This doesn't seem right," I said to myself, "I have too many stitches for as long as this is. And -
          it really isn't laying right."
It was then that it dawned on me that at some point, rather than increasing, as I should have been, I picked it up anew and began decreasing - and then - increasing again!  The end result was "The Loch Ness Monster", as I have affectionately referred to the craziest mistake that I have ever made in knitting!

Oh my word - the laughter! I (and I dare say the others knitters present) haven't had that good a side-splitting laugh in a long time!  I am reminded of how good it can feel to have a laugh at your own expense, and to be in the company of people who will laugh good-naturedly along with you.

Thank you Sue, for capturing the moment for all time - it just cracks me up!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." ~ John F. Kennedy

It seems particularly appropriate, on the eve of our own presidential election here in the states, that I share some photos with you of our recent trip to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.  The only other presidential museum that we have ever been to is the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Museum in Austin, Texas.  The two museums are quite different, though serve the same purpose - to highlight the works of each president's  political life, and to shed light on their private lives as well.

Walking through the JFK Library is a humbling experience.  You come away with the smallest sense of how overwhelming and all-encompassing the role of Commander in Chief really is.  While I have always enjoyed things dealing with history, I'm continually amazed by the things that I don't know.  A trip to a presidential museum really points this out!

While I have no intention of politicizing this blog, my opening and closing quotes were chosen with care.  I can only hope that the American people will do the same.

"(The president) must serve as a catalyst, an energizer, the defender of the public good against all of the narrow private interests which operate in our society" 

"In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course."

                                                                  ~ John F. Kennedy