Monday, December 30, 2013


As the current year winds down, I find myself craving a bit of "ordinary", the non-festive pursuits such as picking up the newspaper from my front steps and enjoying it with a cup of hazelnut coffee.

All is snow-covered outdoors, but that means I have a greater appreciation for the African violet which has decided to bloom after a long reluctance to do so. It must like its new home under the countertop lighting.

It's about time to return books to the library and find a new stack of reading material. The collection in the photograph seems a rather incongruous one, but I've been thinking about whether I'd go to see Saving Mr. Banks (have you?) hence the Mary Poppins book. I saw the Mary Poppins movie as a child and distinctly recall leaping over the basement furniture in a girlfriend's house while she played Chim Chimney on the record player.

As for the Louise Penny mysteries, I think I have a bit of a crush on Inspector Gamache.

One little treat to look forward to is this book, a present I gave myself, one that will carry me off to the English countryside.

A bit of reading, a bit of blogging, a bit of walking in the crisp winter air on this sunny day . . .

Ordinary pleasures.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Reminder: For those interested, Sunlit Sunday will resume on January 5, 2014 and run for 3 months. All are welcome to participate.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

A recent ice storm led to the loss of power in my neighbourhood for much of one day and phone/internet/TV for the better part of two.

Up to 300 000 people lost power in the large city nearby. I had plans to go have Christmas dinner with friends at their home, but on the 24th they were still in the dark. Which is why I'm sitting here, waiting for my guests to arrive. Fortunately, their power has since been restored. (I had invited them here a couple of days ago, but they were content with the heat from their gas fireplace.)

I hope your day is a happy one.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Food and Friendship

I've caught the baking bug of late. Some morsels were for a lunch I was planning, but the bulk of it was tucked in the freezer to have on hand. I wouldn't say that I have a very sweet tooth, but at this time of year an ancestral reflex must come into play as the temperature drops and the oven gets preheated. 

For starters, shortbread seemed like a good idea at Christmastime.

I'm a fan of Lorrie's rugelach recipe. These were a big hit with my lunch guest. I like them warmed up just a touch.

Mince tarts are a classic at this time of year, some people love them, some people don't. The pastry is homemade, but I confess that the filling came from a jar. I can live with that. Maybe I should try making the filling sometime. Have you done so?

Warm butter crescent rolls. 

Count me among those who still enjoy bread . . .

especially when accompanied by a bowl of hot soup and a fresh salad.

We celebrated lunch and and our friendship.
 And talked.
For hours.
 Then I sent my guest home with stockings and baked goods.

It was time well spent. Here's wishing you your own special times.
Thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments.

Note: For those interested, Sunlit Sunday will resume on January 5, 2014 and run for 3 months. All are welcome to participate.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Casting On: Mini Christmas Stockings

My knitting needles have been diverted away from the pullover I was working on and redirected toward some tiny ornaments. There's a lovely blog from the United Kingdom called Little Cotton Rabbits. The blog's author has kindly provided a free pattern for Mini Christmas Stockings and I couldn't resist making a few.

I used bits of yarn that I had on hand, which happened to be baby sport weight. In lieu of a button, I added a jingle bell to each of the four stockings. For fun, I played with combining three colours on one of them.

If you knit, you might enjoy this little project. I'm going to wrap up these ones and give them to a friend who's coming for lunch later this week.

I may have to knit some for myself. Working them up is pleasantly habit forming.

❇ ❈ ❅ ❄ ❆

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tires, Balance, and Casting On Stitches

The photo is not a pretty one for a blog post, but it's a day of puttering about here at My Little Home and Garden. The winter tires that I hauled out of my basement last evening and stuffed into my car have been driven over to the garage and put on, ready for cold weather and snowfalls. Now, the other set needs to be unstuffed, rather like the bird at Christmas, and carted to the basement for storage. This is why women have hips, to balance tires being moved from Point A to Point B.

I had the wheels balanced as well. Given I'd noticed a bit of vibration while driving, that job was overdue. I'm never quite sure how often to address these sorts of things. A bit of online research suggests a plethora of opinions. Balancing them now seemed necessary and occurred around the same time as thoughts about a good balanced life. With Christmas on its way, I'm thinking about putting my own parameters on it, what to do (or not do) for the season.

One little pleasure is that I've started a small knitting project. More on that later. 

Right now, I'm off to write some Christmas cards. 

Enjoy your day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December tiptoes in . . .

Now that December is here, I'm fiddling about with Christmas decorations. Not a lot of them, just a few little things here and there.

A couple of small poinsettias add a touch of red, 

as does a new set of tea towels.

It's a quiet Sunday, just what I need. I hope yours is a pleasant one.


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