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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, December 10, 2010

Song for Friday...old song, same message

When John Lennon was killed in December 1980, a lot of us remembered where we were and what we were doing.
It was like when John F Kennedy was shot, the generation before us knew where they were and what they were doing.
I was pregnant with my daughter and out for a walk to the 7/11 to satisfy a craving for Alpha Ghetti.
When I got to the store, everyone was standing still, listening to the news.
"what's going on? " I said...
"John Lennon's dead."
At the time, it was a shock and I thought it was some kind of weird joke.
As time has gone on, I've realized more and more what an influential person he was, in his music and his plea for peace and love.
Hippie stuff? You betcha!
But all in all he was SPOT ON about it.
This video was shot in a hotel room in Montreal.
Have a peaceful, loving weekend.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A life well lived...

This is Marge Duncan...nee Cairns.
 Better known to some as 'mom'.
Best known to me as 'gramma'.
Born on the small island of Saltspring on a snowy Christmas night in 1921.
Too snowy for Doctor Maxwell to make it to the farm to deliver this baby girl,
so it was left up to 'Aunt Emily',
(shown with her father and sister, San, the following summer)
She grew up on this island...
Until she met the handsome Gerry Duncan...
They were married in 1939 and moved to Victoria.
 It was there where 9 babies were born to them.
My mom was the first.
And then 2 boys and finally a baby sister!
And then 5 more boys!
And one more boy, a nephew, who was wrapped up in the warm light of one big family.
One more brother for all to love
This was my gramma.
Full of love for children.
 Full of kindness to all.
Her own, her kin and any others that came into the house.
She was married to my grampa for over 57 years...
Giving faith to true love and commitment.
  Baby fussing?
Give it to gramma.
Soon the babe would fall asleep in her arms.
Even in latter stages of dementia, 
the latest of the great grandchildren could be rocked into dreamland by my gramma.
 Her characteristic giggles while saying hello and grabbing your hands to pull you towards her were also evident until the end.
Without the ability to speak anymore, there was still the knowledge of grand smiles and gripping hand holding.
 Ever so kind.
Ever so beautiful.
Ever so loving.
Ever so loved.
My gramma died peacefully in her sleep, early Sunday morning.
Typically, not bothering anyone.
Marge's life lingers on through us, her kin and keeps this wonderful person alive and well.
We are all better people from knowing her.
We all get the giggles from her.

Monday, December 6, 2010

snow crafts...

When I was little, I was captivated by snow globes.
Miniature winter worlds encapsulated in glass.
With the shake of your hands, you could create a blizzard of swirling snow and glitter!
So according to Martha (Stewart, that is)
"making home made snow globes is a wonderful and fun way to bring back some of the magic of childhood."
What my friend Norene and I discovered was that 
"making home made snow globes is a nasty, messy project that takes more than a few tries to get it right!"
Anyway...first to gather up all necessary equipment.
jars, plastic greenery, glitter, glycerin..
and tiny toys which are really hard to find.
Here is Norene's version of an iceberg by the tree...
...beach glass comes in handy in all kinds of weather!
My tiny plastic sheep weren't working out so I made my stuff out of Fimo clay. (which bakes up in the oven)
(except he lost his nose because the orange pen I used was water soluble! Note: everything you use has to be waterproof!)
In the end, they ended up looking pretty cute in the window...
...and yes, the magic is still there!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


With all this frost and cold about, you would think I would dream of reindeer,
fields of snow and blue tinted morning walks...
Instead I dreamt of March.
Not just any March, but March in Ireland.
 Spring coming, on The Aran's.
 The thatch creeping in amongst my stardust...
 Strange how dreams come to be...
Stored away in quiet corners of your subconscious,
only to be awakened by a random thought, or in my case, a voice on the phone from Dublin.
My dreams have bits of stone in them...
 Switching to words and signs...
Somehow streets in Dublin pop into view...
Roads with daughters and fathers...
The countryside flying by through the window of a train...
this is how dreams feel...spliced bits of time and place...
And then I'm transported to the most lovely spot I know...
The Lakes of Killarney...
And the rough Dingle coastline...
These bits of memory embedded deep into my soul.
I often think...
This is where my heart lies, my roots began here and still have a hold in the ground.
Fortunately for me, these dreams come often and magically take me to these places.