Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27: Care for the careworn soul

Being of solid Canadian stock, I try not to mind the winter weather, but today the cold and the snow and a variety of events conspired to get the better of me. Since I'm not really a fan of spending my only day off moping, I eventually just togged up and headed out for provisions.

I bought some new beeswax candles to light in the middle of the afternoon. (In a fabulous repurposed tin baking mould from Sherrie, isn't it neat?)

I also stocked up on the ingredients for homemade granola, which is in the oven now, redolent of maple, cinnamon and ginger.

These tulips cost a whopping $10, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. They practically glow in the dark.

Home again, I dug around and found a bit of sunshine in my yarn stash. These bright yellow socks and a variegated rainbow toque on the needles mean a bit of sun even when the clouds roll in.

 That's better! Hope that some colour (and some chocolate) found its way into your day today.

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13

The city is dirty and grey these days: last week's deep freeze and its attendant brilliant blue skies seem to have disappeared with the warming wind, a wind that brought clouds and fog and rain along with it. The sidewalks are like luge runs, although markedly less pristine. I walked through the park on the way to the post office this afternoon, head bowed against the rain, dodging puddles. I'm uneasy on that path now; the branches overhead whistled and groaned in the wind, and the stacks of branches that came down during the ice storm weren't exactly reassuring. It doesn't look like a single tree was spared, and I'm afraid there's more where that came from.

All I could think of this afternoon was visiting Point Pleasant Park the spring after Hurricane Juan, walking around one hot breathless day in early May, staring listlessly at tree stumps, standing in what should have been a forest but with hardly any canopy to shelter us from the sun. We're in for something similar this spring, I fear.

But that is months away, and trees, like humans, can bounce back from much worse. Meantime, I'm stocking up on amaryllises and lilacs and tulips to stave off the the winter grey-blues, and collecting recipes to give me reasons to turn the oven on when the weather turns cold again. I'm in the mood for something tart and bright – what's your favourite lemon bar recipe?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 7: frost

I don't think I've ever seen frost like this on the windows in this apartment. It's C-O-L-D out there.

But there is a bright side – the brilliant blue sky and sunshine that accompany temperatures like this are something to be relished.

Already the days are getting longer, and though it doesn't seem like it right now, spring is around the corner.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

On reading cookbooks

Today I had the pleasure of being a guest contributor over at my friend Shari's blog, The Art of Seeing Things. If you're interested, I'd love it if you headed on over there to read about my favourite book of 2013. Thanks!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking behind, looking ahead

2013 was a challenging year, but it wasn't without its rewards.

In the past 12 months I lost one job and gained four more. I met all sorts of interesting people and came to appreciate my friends and family more than ever. I completed more than two dozen knitting projects and wrote thousands upon thousands of words. I cooked and baked and read; I travelled a bit and stayed home a lot. I took a few photos along the way...













And here I am at the beginning of another new year. I'm not much of one for resolutions; I have hopes and wishes and plans and goals, projects to finish and projects to begin, and I am sure that you do, too. They're our own schemes, and I'll look forward to sharing mine and learning about yours as the year progresses.

In the meantime, here's to 2014. May your days be happy and healthy, full of good food, good books and good friends. Happy new year!