Category Archives: Christmas

Time for Something Cheerful

Friends:

As you may know by now, I love sharing cheerful posts, especially in challenging times. So here’s one, with pictures provided by the wonderful Hamlin Grange.

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First, you may recall that I save our Amaryllis bulbs each year, hoping to get them blooming again at Christmas. Amaryllis are a Christmas tradition in this part of the world.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms CU1

The trick is to cut the flower stem off after blooming, and allow the plant to keep growing in its container. Take it outside in the spring, and only stop watering in late summer. Then I shake the soil off the roots, and store the bulbs in a big paper bag in the cold cellar.  

But – once again — I forgot all about them. Till late June. And discovered they were growing — in a peculiar colour.

Husband and I planted the alien creatures right away in a big ugly container …

Blog Photo - White Amaryllis 2 - July 2017

Blog Photo - White Amaryllis 4 - July 2017

… and hoped that beautiful changes would take place. 

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 4 - July 2017

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 3 - July 2016

And here is the outcome: Christmas in July.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 3 - July 2017

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 2 - July 2016

Whoever said “better late than never” was not thinking of this, I’m sure. But after the 3 weeks just past, these flowers are such a cheerful sight, we wanted to share them with you.

Take care of yourselves, all of you. Thanks also for your kind wishes. I’m not back to form yet, but speaking more clearly today, moving around a little and taking no risks. The new cast is providing more support, the sun is shining, and my family and friends have been wonderfully kind. I’m thankful for every blessing.

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Photos by Hamlin Grange.

ps: Some photos are mistakenly labelled 2016. Pls. ignore.

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Filed under A Good Home, Amaryllis in Bloom, Canadian Families, Canadian life, Christmas, Flowers

Giftish Books/Bookish Gifts

I chose these books because there’s an attractive freshness to them. They’re also mainly Canadian.

Jim’s Star, by Paul Nicholas Mason. A collection of stories with a Christmas theme, this small book is an affordable Christmas gift or stocking stuffer. Set in places such as small-town Ontario, Canada and Zimbabwe, these stories are charmingly written. Great for reading alone or to an audience.

Awakening in the Northwest Territories, by Alastair Henry. A man with a restless spirit, a failed marriage, and a yearning for meaning, finds himself working with the Dene people of Canada’s north. A refreshingly frank and personal book about Alastair’s awakening to other ways of living.

Blog Photo Awakening

Alone: A Winter in the Woods by Felicity Sidnell-Reid and illustrator Jirina Marton.  I love this book. Adults and adolescents will find the story harrowing, gripping and a great read. A 13-year old boy finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness during a brutal winter and makes friends with an Indigenous boy his own age. A story of survival, set in 1797,  it’s a compelling and beautifully written book, by Sidnell-Reid with images by Marton who won the Governor General’s Award for Illustration in 2009.

Blog Photo Alone

Oldenglen, by Robin Mason and Michael Mason. Yes, Canada’s exceptionally creative Mason family has been prolific this year.  Robin, a lawyer and father of three, wrote this book with his father, 91-year old Michael. An adventure-filled story for young people, this absorbing novel is the first of a 3-part fantasy series. Oldenglen is set in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A.

Blog Photo Oldenglen

A Journey Just Begun, by the Sisterhood of St. John The Divine. If you’ve read my book A Good Home, or my feature story in Arabella Magazine, you’ll know that this unusual Anglican Sisterhood is a very special order: women of various backgrounds – interesting, creative, well-educated – who have dedicated their lives to God and the service of others.  A Journey Just Begun tells their story in text and photos – from building and running a prominent rehabilitation hospital, to offering many activities, including monastic hospitality to individuals and groups. Author Jane Christmas and Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert, the first nun from this order to become a priest, are the editors and lead writers.

Blog Photo A Journey Just Begun

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Filed under A Good Home, Books, Children's Books, Christmas, Young Adult Books