Sunday, November 30, 2014


                      The Advent of Hope. Advent  means "coming"."Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous." (Thornton Wilder, form the " Eighth Day")

                                                     In the darkness, there will be light.
                             The first candle of Advent is Hope.
                  Not just the hope that you will get the lights untangled. You may not believe in miracles.               Get ready. I have news for you ....
                                  "Everything is a miracle." ( Albert Einstein)
               "What oxygen is to the lungs,such is hope to the meaning of Life."
                                                                                 (Emil Bruner , Swiss philosopher)
           As each November day passes  we see the weather change, winter set in, the cold and damp. We wait.Then suddenly it's Advent.
            Christmas cannot be far behind. We surround ourselves with memories , loved ones and things that shine and gleam in firelight. And Hope.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Pye Christmas

       Sigh. Heaven. Sheer heaven. Under the Big Gold Christmas tree. At last. At least that is what I imagine Pye is thinking. Many a Christmas has she stuffed herself under the antique ornments, swathing herself in gold netting ( which, if truth be told, is really a tablecloth of sorts, but I like it's meshy goldness so much I swirl it around the base of the big tree every year.) Pye likes it as well.
 Then one morning. Early: 6am to be exact. Found a poinsettia on the front doorstep, in the misty fog of the dark morning. Huge thing. Two people could carry it easily enough. A surprise from the neighbours.  It dwarfs the table. But off to the work office  it has to go. The cats seem to sense its presence, and have been trying to nibble it's leafy goodness. I can hear them . Slinking around the pot. Trying to steal bites. Before I whisk it away to the garage. Pointsettias can be toxic to pets.  Beautiful thing that it is. It will be happier at the work office.I may just have crushed the hopes and dreams of the cats...............
 And while Pye snoozes, the mist and fog rise out of the forest. Pye makes snuffling sounds.
                              The ornaments tinkle and crinkle with her movements.

                            The tree  shivers as she settles herself. For a long winter's nap.
                            And soon she is snoring. Happy with her tree. Happy with the peace.
 And in the darkness, the lights shine, and other felines emerge. Sniffing. Probably wondering what happened to the poinsettia.  We all tiptoe around the Christmas tree where Pye snoozes, liking the familiarity of her being there. Again.  Like every Christmas.....

Monday, November 24, 2014

Five Days to Go....

                Dark days. Cloudy days. Stormy days. Bo watches from her window..No light.
                                                    Five days to go. Five days to watch.
                 "Advent awakes in us the memories of goodness and opens doors to hope..."
                                                                               (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)

             Tree pruners clobber trees.       Storm clouds roll in. Storm clouds roll out. Rain swooshes.
           Sun peeks through sticky trees. Sun leaves. Dark again. Light again. Make up your mind......
                                  "Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace...."
                                                                                                   (Edward Hays)
  Smokey  sits. Happy again. Bouncing through the garden.          Spencer watches.
                       Piles of branches. Juncos perch.
 Bo watches again through her window. Juncos flit in front of her face. Teasing. Five days.  Five days to go...Five days till the start of Light.....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ready, Set, Go Christmas

 Ohhhh, I love Christmas. The one time of year, you can stuff the mantlepiece with candles and  Nutcrackers and watch them clack their mouths  open in surprise.

 The cats flop genrously by the fire.  The other one's watching birds from the window.  But these two know a good thing when they see it. Ahhhhhhh, now this is the life...
  Cookie cutters dangle happily from the front window. A few years ago I was leafing through a Christmas magazine and saw how they spread out all their cutters from a light fixture. Why not from a window? I don't make  cut out cookies much, and I've go sooo many, so this is a great alternative. Some of these are very old, some are fairly new, like the cats cutters. They purr  from their place of honour in the sunset.
 And in the distance, a happy fat orange cat watches as I wrangle those cutters into position. This is Cordelia's buddy. I've never seen the two of them in the window together.  But often Cordelia will sit on the other side. Way up high on the hill. Surveying all.
 Candles glow. Antique angels sing. The little church is alight; a gift from a special friend. Brass stocking holders waiting with bated breath. Shining in the firelight,, while the cats snore underneath.

 And in the dawn, Cordelia, beautiful as ever, sits on her Moai head and listens. For bells pealing , I like to believe ; she is like a sentinel up there.
            The banister is set, Father Christmas awaits in the foreground, cause Advent is coming. And it comes soon. Next week. The elves are ready. These are special elves. Vintage. I found these on eBay. They are from the 1950's. When I was really young, in the 60's and 70's , there were similiar elves on the tree. Just like these. I always regretted that I had not kept them. Reminds me of that time.

                         Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Advent right around the corner. Ready, Set, Go Christmas......

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Jam Jam Morning...

       Brrrrrr. -7 Celsius ( 9 F for those south of the border). It's cold.The Christmas decorating is done ( but of course it is!). Now we have that frost.  Not that mile high snow sort of cold from the prairies or back east. This is that grating damp, chilled into your bones sort of cold that is so west coast. We do live in a rainforest and everything drips, even when it is isn't raining.
 The neighbourhood cats are frozen to the ground.Smokey and Spencer come for their morning treat. To say hello. To nuzzle and purr. They  come to chase birds, sit on the fence and make sure their presence is known. Even on a morning like this..

 Time to make Jam Jams. Spencer has decided to help.  He likes to stretch on the  new screen. Again.He squashes his face into the window. Quality Control Expert.
JAM JAMS ( I always double recipe)
( Will disappear in a flash…..zoom)

 2     cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch salt
½ cup margarine
1 egg, beaten
½ cup ( and a tad more) milk
Topping: Raspberry jam ( or whatever kind you like best)


In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Cut in margarine. Make a well in the centre. Beat together wet ingredients. Then plop all together into bowl and stir lightly to form a soft dough. It should not be overmixed or the Jam Jams will be stiff.The less you mix the light the biscuits will become.

 Pat or roll out to ¾ inches. Cut with cookie cutter. Place on silpat liners or greased cookie sheet. Stick thumb in centre of each. Place a dollop of jam in the hole. ( Not freezer jan. Too sloppy)

Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully, as they tend to burn if left too long. Least amount of time is best. Should just be brown and the biscuit starting to separate into layers.

Serve HOT! Oh yum yum those Jam Jams!

 Perfect on a cold day. On a day that you just finished decorating the house for Christmas ( but of course you  have! Hasn't everyone?!)

  And the mornings are cold and frosty. The afternoons warm and the sunsets  pink like peppermints.