Friday, December 19, 2014

Pentatonix White Winter Hymnal

I think that this Fleet Foxes cover by Pentatonix is totally rad.  Enjoy! 
Below is the original version by the Fleet Foxes.  Thanks to my son T. in Chicago for introducing them to me. 

Caitlin Matthews in her inspiring little book: Celtic Devotional : Daily Prayers and Blessings counsels us to

Practice introspection, meditation, contemplation, drawing upon the peaceful sanctuary of this season.

The White Winter Hymnal, especially the Fleet Foxes rendition, recalls the winter season in the perfection of its tone and rhythm.

Yours in the Christmas Spirit,


Thursday, December 11, 2014


When I went to France this year, one of my objectives was to secure a darning egg at the brocante.  I bought a beautiful one in Cotignac but alas, it that has developed a hairline fracture in the last two months as it is very dry here in Alberta.
I also scored at the second-hand store when I found someone's vintage fabric-covered box full of embroidery thread and darning yarn.  I brought a few cards home to use to darn V.'s socks. 
 I like the economy and the ecology of sock-darning.  I have more time now and it makes so much sense to repair a small hole rather than throw two socks away. My friend Corey says that brocanteurs were recycling before it became a trend.
My Mom used to have a flowered biscuit tin to hold all of her darning and embroidery thread and I remember her wearing a thimble... I love vintage sewing notions and think that I'll be looking out for more of these on future trips. 

Do any of you darn? or sew? or knit? 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Recording Gratitude: You are Never too Old or Too Young

This post is dedicated to Donna with thanks.

If we are still hearing about the power of gratitude in books, on Oprah and on the net, it is in large part because of  Sarah Ban Breathnach and her seminal work: Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy published in 1994.  That book spoke in part, about the importance of gratitude: all you have is all you need" wrote the author.  Oprah discovered the "pink book" in her offices and the world was never the same again.

Ban Breathnach appeared on the Oprah Show maybe 10 times to talk about Simple Abundance and about the power of gratitude to transform lives.  She then published a little book called The Simple Abudance Journal of Gratitude in 1996.  I have begun writing again  in this journal.  I purchase them on Abe Books and often get them for a song.  I know they are also available on ebay. Of course, any piece of paper will do to record five things you are grateful for that happened in your day.

SBB has come out with a children's book with the theme of gratitude at it's core, it's titled: The Best Part of the Day.  The book is beautiful with it's illustrations by Wendy Edelson, there's a lot to see on the page and the text is rhymed. I purchased my copy and after having read it, know who I am going to give it to. An activity sheet has been created to accompany said book and I think that cultivating an attitude of gratitude with the very young just might make a big difference in the world we live in. 

You could create a gratitude journal by assembling 7 sheets for a week of daily thank you's.  Or, you could assemble 4 sheets at a time for weekly entries for each month.  A parent could read the book in the evening before bed, gather up the child's gratitude list and on Sunday, the child could write/draw on the activity sheets what he/she was grateful for during the week.  The journals could be seasonal too, as the book is divided.   You can find the activity sheet here. You can purchase the book at Costco if you are in the States (I saw that SBB had a signing there in September) or at Ebay, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, Amazon, etc.  This book makes a thoughtful gift for any family that you love.

Yours in Simple Abundance,