Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Grey Days of November (Wednesday Hodgepodge)

From this Side of the Pond
1. Sum up your November in ten words or less. 

My orchid retired, but we bought a holiday bucket tree.

2. Are you hosting any holiday parties this year? Attending any? Party pooper, party animal, or life of the party...where do you land when it comes to parties? 

Our small group at church is going to have a (small) dinner potluck, which will be the first time in however long that we've potlucked with anyone. Perhaps the world is slowly coming back to normal.

3. Do you purchase holiday clothing of any sort (sparkly tops, Christmas jammies, Santa suit, etc). 

I was looking at a sparkly silver turtleneck yesterday at Value Village, but Mr. Fixit thought it might not be something I'd be happy actually wearing, and I figured he was right. But, right nearby, there was a grey J. Crew merino sweatshirt with kangaroo pockets, which does not sound that festive, but I'd rather have a  J. Crew merino sweatshirt than a pair of Santa Claus jammies. Besides, you can always add a scarf.

4. What's your go-to recipe when you're asked to bring an hors d'oeuvre to a party? 

I don't know, I've never been asked to bring an hors d'oeuvre anywhere that I can think of!

But I have taken a bowl of sweet potato hummus to a couple of evening events, so I guess that qualifies. All the links I had to it here on the blog seem to have disappeared, so I hope I have it written down somewhere. Basically, you blend cooked sweet potato with a can of chickpeas, and add a few things like lemon juice, cinnamon/other pumpkin spices, and some sweetener.

5. December 3rd is National Play Outside Day...what might you do to celebrate? 

Take a walk?

I just hope the weather's better than it is today (totally gross).

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

What we're reading to each other during Advent:

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wednesday Hodgepodge, Fast Fast Fast

 From this Side of the Pond

1. When did you most recently need to 'think fast'? Elaborate.

Trying to finish this on Wednesday evening, between a couple of loads of laundry and waiting for my husband to come back from doing an errand.

2. The Hodgepodge lands on National Fast Food Day. What was the last fast food you ate? What's your favorite fast food? How often do you grab fast food? 

As opposed to, say, just going out for coffee? That would be last Saturday in Toronto, when we met up with our oldest daughter (the Treehouse Apprentice), toured a pioneer village (pretty quiet, it's the off-season although they're getting ready for some Christmas events), and then got burgers at a nearby McD's.

Fast food isn't so much a "grab" for us; more often it's a stop along the road.

3. Life in the fast lane, get nowhere fast, on the fast track, not so fast...pick one and tell us how it applies to your life in recent days. 

Nowhere fast might apply to the past month: it's been pretty quiet

4. Are you a fast walker? fast talker? fast worker? fall asleep fast? stay fast asleep without too much trouble? 

Most of those.

Also a fast reader, when I want to be.

5. What is one 'hard and fast rule' in your house? 


Besides that?

Look for it used.

Besides that?

Pray about it.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Too late, he's back and the sheets are done.

But if you want some extra random, here's a list I just made of the books I've read this year.

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Books Read So Far in 2022

This Year in Reading

If you went just by numbers, it might look like I spent this year doing little but re-reading mysteries, Grace Livingston Hill, and Mitford books. Actually those were my speed reads, a.k.a. some much-needed macaroni and cheese. 

I don't remember reading any new (or new-to-me) fiction this year that really knocked my socks off.  (I hope to do better on that in 2023). The best books I read were non-fiction,  especially the ones listed under Christian Thought, and some of which took me most of the year to get around to reading (after I finished reading everything I had to on William Morris). But those were almost all astonishingly good, especially Adorning the Dark, Breaking Bread with the Dead, and Lifting the Veil; also Philip Yancey's memoir Where the Light Fell, which had some unexpected parallels to Jan Karon's Home to Holly Springs which I was re-reading at about the same time. So, not always just macaroni and cheese.

The most practical book was The Lazy Genius Way; it's something that could be applied in many different situations.  It's a good complement to Dana K. White's decluttering books.

("R" is my code for re-read.)

Not Done Yet

George MacDonald, the Best from All His Works

MacDonald, George 

Songs from the Silent Passage: Essays on the Works of Walter Wangerin Jr.

Peterson, Eugene

Faith, Hope and Poetry: Theology and the Poetic Imagination

Guite, Malcolm 

Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture

Gioia, Dana

My Utmost for His Highest

Chambers, Oswald 

Ourselves (R)

Mason, Charlotte

The Conscious Closet (R)

Cline, Elizabeth L. 


Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen

Brown, Alton 

Bare Minimum Dinners: Recipes and Strategies for Doing Less in the Kitchen

Helwig, Jenna 

Saving Dinner (R) (we're currently cooking our way through this book)

Ely, Leanne 

Getting Things Done 

The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, and Get Stuff Done (R)

Adachi, Kendra 

The Folding Lady: Always Solutions, Never Problems: Simple Home Hacks Room by Room to Make Life That Little Bit Easier

Liard, Sophie

Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life

Gill, Shira

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Fogg, B.J. 

Organizing for the Rest of Us: 100 Realistic Strategies to Keep Any House Under Control

White, Dana K. 

Effortless: Make It Easy to Get the Right Things Done

McKeown, Greg 

Shop, Save, and Share (R)

Kay, Ellie

Clothing and Style

Dress Your Best Life: How to Use Fashion Psychology to Take Your Look -- and Your Life -- to the Next Level

Karen, Dawnn 

How to Not Wear Black: Find Your Style and Create Your Forever Wardrobe (R)

Murphy, Anna 

Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+

Robinson, Andrea Q. 

The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas: A Stylish Solution to What Should I Wear? (R)

Lumbatis, Alison 

Education, Homeschooling, and Charlotte Mason Things

School Education: Developing A Curriculum (R)

Mason, Charlotte M. 

The Convivial Homeschool: Gospel Encouragement for Keeping Your Sanity While Living and Learning Alongside Your Kids

Winckler, Mystie 

This Country of Ours: The Story of the United States Volume 1: H. E. Marshall's "This Country of Ours" - Annotated, Expanded, and Updated

Marshall, H.E., and Breckenridge, Donna-Jean 

Christian Thought

A Mind for God (R)

White, James Emery

The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction (could have been under Getting Things Done, but I had to put it somewhere)

Earley, Justin Whitmel 

Downstream from Eden: The Amazing Gift of Water for a Thirsty World

Knight, David L. 

Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning

Pearcey, Nancy R. 

Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Peterson, Andrew

Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind

Jacobs, Alan

Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God

Guite, Malcolm

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Evans, Rachel Held 


On Our Way Rejoicing (R)

Trobisch, Ingrid 

Where the Light Fell

Yancey, Philip 

To A Different Drum (R)

Hamilton, Pauline G 

William Morris / Arts and Crafts books

Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny

Byatt, A.S. 

The Art of William Morris in Cross Stitch

Hammet, Barbara

Living with Arts & Crafts (R) (and a couple of others I can't think of right now)

Shaw, Ros Byam 

At Home with Beatrix Potter: The Creator of Peter Rabbit

Denyer, Susan 

William Morris and Morris Co.

Van der Post, Lucia 

Literary Criticism

The Well-Tempered Critic

Frye, Northrop 


Polishing the Petoskey Stone: Selected Poems (R)

Shaw, Luci 

Rivers Among Rocks

Gustafson, Ralph 

General Fiction

Dandelion Wine (R)

Bradbury, Ray 


Clarke, Susanna 


Willis, Connie 

All the Light We Cannot See (R)

Doerr, Anthony 

C.S. Lewis books

Out of the Silent Planet (The Space Trilogy, #1) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 

Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 

That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 

The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 

Mitford Books

A New Song (Mitford Years, #5) (R) (I think I might have re-read #4, Out to Canaan, as well)

Karon, Jan 

Home to Holly Springs (Mitford Years, #10) (R)

Karon, Jan 

Come Rain or Come Shine (Mitford Years, #13) (R)

Karon, Jan 

To Be Where You Are (Mitford Years #14) (R)

Karon, Jan 

Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim's Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series

Karon, Jan 

A Continual Feast: Words of Comfort and Celebration, Collected by Father Tim (R)

Karon, Jan 

Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader (R)

Karon, Jan 

Mysteries of all Sorts

The Cluttered Corpse (R)

Maffini, Mary Jane 

Death Plans a Perfect Trip

Maffini, Mary Jane 

The Four False Weapons (Henri Bencolin, #5) (R)

Carr, John Dickson 

At Bertram's Hotel (R)

Christie, Agatha 

Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot, #32) (R)

Christie, Agatha 

A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #2) (R)

Walsh, Jill Paton 

Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey #5) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #6) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey #8) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

The Nine Tailors (Lord Peter Wimsey, #9) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #12) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 

St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4) (R)

Peters, Ellis 

The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #5) (R)

Peters, Ellis 

The Rose Rent (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #13) (R)

Peters, Ellis 

The Hermit of Eyton Forest (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #14) (R)

Peters, Ellis 

The Potter's Field (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #17) (R)

Peters, Ellis 

The Grass Widow's Tale (The Felse Investigations #7)

Peters, Ellis 

The House of Green Turf (Felse, #8)

Peters, Ellis 

Somewhat Corny Christian Fiction (including a strange way to spell Esther)

Rose Galbraith

Hill, Grace Livingston 

Where Two Ways Met

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Hill, Grace Livingston 

More Than Conqueror

Hill, Grace Livingston 

Partners (R)

Hill, Grace Livingston


Hill, Grace Livingston 

The Christmas Bride

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Hill, Grace Livingston 

Matched Pearls

Hill, Grace Livingston 

Ariel Custer

Hill, Grace Livingston

Ester Ried's Namesake


Ester Ried Yet Speaking


The King's Daughter


Echoing and Re-echoing (The Ester Ried Series Book 5)

Huntington, Faye 

Wise and Otherwise

Alden, Isabella MacDonald 

Children’s Books

The King's Shadow

Alder, Elizabeth 

I Saw Three Ships (R)

Goudge, Elizabeth

Miss Twiggley's Tree (R)

Fox, Dorothea Warren 


Gravett, Emily 

A Place to Hang the Moon

Albus, Kate 

Christmas Farm

Ray, Mary Lyn 

Truly Miscellaneous

Crissy Doll and Her Friends: Guide for Collectors (R)

Gunther, Beth

Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds: A 50-Year Treasury of Art and Design

Nicholas, Stephen

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Rugs and Roses (Early Winter Clothes)

I have two clothes goals right now. One is to make better use of basic/neutral things--to remember to wear them. The other is to wear more of my favourite colours, like the shades of our vintage Namda rug, and this detail from a William Morris tapestry. Too hard to do at the same time? Here goes.