Monday, October 30, 2017

What's up with Hygge?

So I'm in the process of reading this little book.  Did I tell you I'm back from France? Well, yes I am, and today, the difference in temps between our little town in France and where I live is a whopping 18 degrees... This gap will only widen in the days to come so I'm getting ready for it!

Hygge (pronounced hooga) about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love.  A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.  You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life - or just be comfortable i each other's company - or just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.
Originally written in Danish, the translation is not the greatest and the author does seem to go for repetition but it has spurred me onto the mission of spending a happier, more contented winter. The hygge manifesto speaks to my soul directly and I want to make it my own. 


I'm ready for  # 4, 6 and 8 - I love the idea that, in the case of a gathering, tasks, as well as airtime, are shared.  Let all the people have a turn to speak - and no drama allowed! Now we're talking hygge.  The idea is to FEEL GOOD!

So in the weeks to come and, hopefully, throughout the winter, I will be adding to my list of hygge possibilities.

 This past week:

1. A neat site I found where our city's best coffee shops are listed.

2. Soup, soup and more soup including Italian Wedding (made for our arrival by M.), Barefoot Contessa's Winter Minestrone and Thai Curried Butternut Squash. Comfort in a bowl, mmm, mmm.

3. I've picked up my knitting needles again...

4. All caught up with GOT and Designated Survivor...

Any other hygge ideas out there? Please share!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Vegetable Fairy Strikes Again!

Yesterday, we went to my sister D.'s farm for a lovely lunch and a little trip to her magnificent vegetable garden for strawberries, raspberries, swiss chard, beets, lettuce, basil, parsley, cilantro and dill.  No pics of these or the farm, so sorry I didn't at least take my phone to the garden...

Last night I made freezer strawberry jam with a product D. sent along made by Club House.  Had the jam this morning on toast and it was beyond delicious and not too sweet. (1 1/2 cups sugar for 4 cups of berries.) I recommend the product, it's got a couple of unpronounceable ingredients but nothing really evil. I'm going to make the freezer raspberry jam today.

image via

D also gave me her garlic scapes and with it, this morning I made garlic scape pesto with this recipe. It's seriously good! Very garlicky tasting and green just like basil pesto. My friends Corey and Yann would love it.
Going to be having it tonight with pasta and swiss chard. I'm roasting the beets on the barbecue now and will make a roasted beet salad with lemon and thyme dressing which I found here.  I love cooking from fresh produce and sometimes regret that I don't have my own vegetable garden.

Next week we are heading to Chicago to meet our son T.'s special girl.  We look forward to hugging our boy and spending quality time with them both.  This year, both our sons have a special girl and we are enjoying having more people at the family dinner table.

My cast has been off for 9 days and I am working every day to make it stronger.  I finished knitting two hats this week and I've never been so happy to do dishes! I am going to cast on my first shawl this week and will have it as my knitting project in Chicago and in France later. Check out the pattern, it's called AGLEAM by Canadian designer Lisa Mutch.  All photos are from her Ravelry page:
All images via

I am making it with the same yarn featured in the pictures, it's called Metallurgy MCN by Northbound Knitting and is hand-dyed by the pattern designer. Check out my Ravelry page (link on the side bar) to see my finished projects.
I have been knitting rather simple patterns and I thought it might be time to do something different.

So glad to be making again.

Friday, June 9, 2017

I Had PLANS...

I had finished with work a bare month when I fell off the top of the stairs from the upper deck to the lower deck.  It happened so quickly that I barely had time to register that I was falling when I literally hit the deck on my left hip and left arm/hand.

You know how I like a good 'To do' list.  Is it a coincidence that a medium told me about three weeks before my accident: "Stop doing and just be." Check!  I guess I'll be doing a lot of being in the next few weeks, six to eight to be precise.

The photo above was taken three days ago after my follow up visit with the orthopaedic surgeon when I found out that surgery was not required and I got my new orange cast.  Still, I need to go back in two weeks to see if I still don't require surgery.

Yesterday I tried knitting.  The surgeon said I could while specifying: "Let pain be your guide." Well, I cast on 104 stitches and knit half a row before I had to rip it all out and start over. The second time, I cast on 52 and decided that the being part of my day was going to take over.

All in all, though, I have a few gratitudes: broke my left wrist and I am right handed.  Didn't break or seriously injure anything else.  I adapted quickly though not without some self-pity.

My new To do list:
  • Keep up the positive attitude
  • Micro-doing only
  • Stay in touch with friends
  • Enjoy my orange cast
  • Get other people to do all the chopping
  • Pull out those weeds, it's a one hand job anyway!
  • BE