January 28, 2014

Take the Plunge

I know what my currently reading sidebar says, but diversions do spice a life.

Over the years, people have asked me about the books I read, or why, God forbid, I horde books.  Puzzling questions. After all, what you reads depends on your preferences. I've had many books recommended to me, or made random discoveries and, of course, my choices have changed over time. I read everything, including can and cereal box labels, graffiti, and, occasionally, over another person's shoulder, or the writing in the sky. ☺

When pressed I'd say I read for enjoyment and, hopefully, to learn something, buy not all books are enjoyable. They can lead us into places that we'd rather not go, or can not imagine, but most allow us to see life from a different perspective.  Books equal (time) travel; they can place us in other people's brocade/leather/plastic, or worn out shoes. They can also comfort, surprise, delight, raise questions, and, more importantly enhance our critical thinking skills.  

Recently when I was listening to an author's interview, during question period a member of the audience asked the writer why he/she wrote an elitists book. (Elitists, these days, is a dirty word, but writers, are not generally of the ruling class, but, then again, perhaps a few do influence educational policy, which might be a good thing. But I digress.) The writer was surprised and a little annoyed, I think.

As far as I could determine, the condemnation had to do with the intellect and education of the writer--the  writer who wrote a hard book to read. ( If I only had that brain!) My first thought was HUH? and O, come on. (Not exactly articulation at its finest. Perhaps, I should read more.) 

My second thought: dictionaries are free, and, these days, they are built into whatever device we might be using.  If necessary we can, of course, Google one, or dust off an in-house copy. Most information--also free.  We live in a country/continent where we can get our hands on a lot of information and any book we choose. That's freedom and that's what keeps several writers (unfortunately, many with first hand experiences) writing fiction that tells of the horror of losing that freedom. (As we know, most totalitarianism regimes start by burning books. They know that a populous who reads can, for them, be a dangerous thing.)

I hope that particular individual will exercise that freedom. That they will be a curious and radical reader. That they will read whenever they can and whatever they choose, that they will use the library, and discuss books with neighbours, friends, or join a book club. And should reading lead him/her, to Google a dictionary, or other information, I'd say: for heaven's sake dive in--take the plunge!
The in between reads: The JudgesUnfortunately the Year of The Flood was recalled by the library before I could finish it. Time to find another copy.

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.”
Joyce Carol Oates

January 21, 2014

Fleeting Moments


If you turn your back for an instant this time of year the backdrop changes. Last week I ran inside to get my camera and when I ran back outside the sky had completely changed. Although not as lovely as that particular evening, I did capture these pics recently.

On the go a pattern that I might be happy with soon. 
A touch of the whimsical.

January 16, 2014

Basket Tales

Tucked into my basket, Misty Alpaca ~ soft as water.  I can't decide what to make with this yarn. But I'm certain that when I ordered it, I had a concrete plan.  Obviously, I should have made a note.
A while ago, I did just that and indecision wasn't a factor when I cast on a lacy head-turner scarf.    But while knitting, I noticed that a few of the slipped stitches looked a little askew. At the halfway mark, (I'm a quick study) it couldn't be ignored. I quickly pressed all the right buttons and crash landed on the Raverly project pages and discovered that a few other projects had that same weepy edge look.  O, dear won't do, I said to the walls as I began to rip with muted satisfaction, boarding on the uber superior notion that I wouldn't settle.

A few days later, armed to the teeth with my needles and a spare, I tried again, then moved on to socks-- tried two different patterns and, you guessed it, another scarf.  Not so dearie o.

Recently, on a stash dig, I happened upon that ball of yarn. As I fondled it, it spoke to me of its charms.  I soon came to my senses; frowned and slipped it into a nearby garbage bag bound for Agape. Last week, in a blinding snow storm, as I threw the bag with the determination of a Javelin thrower, from a distance, into the bin because I couldn't climb the mountain of ice guarding the receptacle, ( I tried, but that's another story ) I felt a twinge of guilt for foisting that ball of yarn off on someone else.

Later, safe from the storm, with my booted feet near the heaters at Tim's, (coffee shop) decked in my wet (redolent) woolens, I imagined (although I wish for visions) sure, nimble fingers skipping that ball of yarn into something miraculous.  And as I munched my muffin and gulped my boiling tea, I decided that perhaps, after all, I had done the right thing.

Warning: to those in the northern hemisphere:  The following photos are for entertainment/daydreaming purposes only. Not intended to overwhelm.

Enjoy the weekend...

January 12, 2014


My old January friends.

Many years ago, under the mature trees on an old farm property, I stood and looked at naturalized banks of daffodils and snowdrops. As I looked, I wondered who planted the bulbs, and where, since the property was deserted, they might be living, and if their thoughts were drawn back each spring to bulbs they once planted that so beautifully painted the landscape that lay before me. 

At that time, I was sorry that I didn't have a camera with me. But a camera was not necessary because, even now, I can easily recall the field where bits of snow reluctantly wept in the dark shadows. And I can still feel the cold, soggy earth beneath my boots, the weak sun giving off a bit of warmth in sheltered places, and the intermittent breeze that turned the heads of the daffodils. 

We are, happily, in the throes of a January thaw. I am pleased about that, but it does make me long for spring.

An antique linen in need of TL, and a thoroughly admired book of Garden Quotations given to me by my garden pal, Joan.

A garden planted with love will always bloom.

January 05, 2014

A Clean Slate

The New Year has arrived, bringing with it the hope of something better. I've been thinking about  something better, but I believe the best practice encompasses being grateful for the year that I just stepped out of instead of running from it toward a clean slate like some fashions dictate.

I've heard that 80% of all New Year's resolutions fail. Exercise and losing weight are, no doubt, near the top of the resolution list. Great things to want to do, but having spend many years in the gym, I've watched some of the New Year's crowd enter with gusto and a never say die attitude that soon lead to exhaustion and failure. I am not suggesting that I was warned by the oracle, or just knew better. In those days, after a bit of weight lifting, five minutes on the treadmill was, thankfully, all I could muster. Yes, I felt a wee bit embarrassed, especially when I looked around and saw greatness, but I survived. (These days it's walking and a little yoga.) I've heard Rome is still a work in progress.

In the past few years I haven't made any outright resolutions.  So this year I've decided to throw caution to the winds and resolve. Of course, we all have our private resolutions, but among those that could due with an airing, I resolve to be absolutely grateful for last year. (Lessons were learned. Good times had with family and friends. Things were accomplished. The sun burned away the clouds. etc.) Also, I resolve to enjoy the world around me more; take more time to dwell on the beauty, and last, but by no means least, I resolve to be a little more creative because that's where bliss lies for me.

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