Sunday, December 17, 2017

Yopping Update 25

I am happy to announce that my Spice Market shawl is off the needles!

but, oh my look at all the ends that need to be sewn in!

I have been making great progress on my Peace shawl.  I started the border two nights ago and I love the wavy lace pattern.

I have done quite a few rows on my Dying of the Light shawl as well.  Each row is now 476 stitches so if I posted a picture it wouldn't look much different from last time.

On Friday I went to the McNews stand near me and bought this great bundle of Simply Knitting Magazines.  Hooray, another Hedgehog to knit.

and there is a very cute cotton tee I want to knit so it is now added to my project queue.

Today is the start of the third week of Advent:

"In the third candle of Advent shines
The light of the beasts of every kind,
The animals that tread upon the earth,
And gave their stable for his birth.
Now the beasts are on the Earth,
Waiting for the Christ Child’s birth.|"

The two animals on the wreath are our chinese zodiac animals - the rat and the sheep, both stable denizens.

Also my Hoya is blooming for Christmas - five blossoms!  This plant reminds me of my mom - it is nice to have her memory in my house.

Happy yopping dear friends - may you find peace this last week before Christmas and always.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pulling towards the heart

The Healthy Knitter talked about her three observations when she sees someone looking at yarn. 

1)  They ooh and aah
2)  They rub it against their nose or face
3) They pull it near their heart. 

Number 3 really really spoke to me.  I do this with yarn I love.   I have seen my sister do this too. 
In fact when I read that post today I had a strong image of my sister pulling wool towards her heart, and my heart responded. 

I started to think of all the expressions with the word heart:  warmhearted, heartfelt, change of heart, cold-hearted, getting to the heart of things, heartache, heartthrob, heavyhearted and knowing something deep in your heart. 

Life is not for the faint of heart. (or is that feint of heart?) 

Heart is the seat of love.

Heart is where we feel joy bursting out of our chest.

Today I am going to reflect on heart things.

I am going to pull towards my heart. 

It has room enough to grow with every encounter, and even times when it has been sorely broken it has mended, stronger and bigger and with even more room for new things to be pulled towards it. 

There are scars.  There will always be scars.  But they are a reminder that I have healed, and lived a life. 

A life where I have pulled things towards my heart.

A heart that holds the memories of loved ones who are no longer physically with me in this life. 

They live in my heart. 

I believe I live in theirs.

Blessings to you, dear reader, as we continue through Advent. 

I am so glad you are with me on this journey. 

I thank you from the bottom of  my heart.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Yesterday The Healthy Knitter asked us to write a letter to ourselves making seven wishes for the new year.

I did this last year too and my wishes for myself were:

1)    A good relationship with your daughter
2)    A resolution to your back pain
3)    To be on a long camping trip in 2017
4)    No car troubles
5)    A lessening of your anxiety
6)    Healthy support for your husband

7)    Lots of Time spent with friends and family.

Number 1,2, 5 and 7 came true.  Number 3 will likely happen next month, and the car trouble (4) was minor and all fixed now.  I believe I am making progress on number 6 and I think my own healing journey  (5) has been part of his too.  I am so thankful to The Hope Centre and to my Empathy Group for supporting me these past six months. 

So, that was last year. 

Here is my letter for 2017:

Dear Mary-Anne,

In the coming year I wish for you,

1)  Peace - peace of mind, peace of soul, peace in your family, peace in the world

2)  Physical Health - strong bones, normal blood counts, strong muscles

3) Mental Health - continued healing and practice of all the things you have learned this year.  You have come so far.

4) The ability to make decisions about the future with no regrets or dilly dallying.  It is time to move forward with clarity and  hope and joy.

5)  More time with your loved ones and friends.  Get out more.  Pick up the phone more.  Plan more.  Write more.  Just.  More.

6) A long camping holiday with your dh.  Head south.  Find the sun and the warmth both literally and metaphorically.

7) Make you first response to another's invitation be YES.  Just. yes.

So there they are.  My seven wishes for myself.  Anyone want to join in?  Let's say them out loud and make them come true.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Advent Update

Today we woke up to a glorious sun rise.  The pictures don't do it justice but this is the view to the east.  To the south the sky was awash in pinks and blues and purples.

My daughter sent me a picture of her advent candles, and it is lovely to see traditions carried on in another's house.

Yesterday was another good day (that's three in a row!), and I went for my tea and Croatian lesson and learned the words for things to eat:

riba - fish

mesa - meat

smokva - figs

naranča - orange

baluku - apple

juha- soup

cer - cheese

kokoš- chicken

jaja - egg

palačinke - crepe

kava - coffee

čaj - tea

So next when I go to Croatia I will be able to eat!!

I have so many flashcards now I need to put them in categories!  It is nice to be learning something new and my daughter and I text a little in Croatian.

Most important I learned how to say volim te!

(I love you )

and in keeping with the season

Sretan Božić i Nova godina

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Blessings on you all this Advent Day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

No better place to be

My dh and I went down to the Quay for a late lunch.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and we took our lunch outside to eat.

The seagulls were circling, the pigeons were cooing, the sparrows were filling the trees with their winter song.  The seabus was going to and fro.

Did I mention the sun was shining? The sky so blue.

It wasn't the least bit cold.

An Advent blessing for sure.

A second happy day.

Baking done.

Cards in the mail.

Skype with my daughter.

Phone call with my son.

And knitting. 

Another good day.

An Advent blessing for sure.

Monday, December 11, 2017

It has been a good day

This morning I walked down to the post office in the glorioius sunshine.  There was quite a line up but I had a lovely chat with the woman behind me and the 35 minute wait flew by. 

Advent parcel in the mail - and I started to walk home.  I passed the Christmas tree sales and there were the cutest little Charlie Brown Christmas trees for sale - only a few left. 

I decided to buy one and carry it home.  I texted my husband as I headed up the last hill to our house and told him to get the camera ready. 

After lunch I decided to make some nuts and bolts, a family tradition in our house, and since they take two hours in the oven with stirring every 15 minutes I decided to write my Christmas cards. 

It has been a pleasant afternoon, sitting at the kitchen table in the sun, watching the hummingbirds flit to and from the feeder and writing to old and new friends. 

Now the sun has set, the advent candles are lit, my husband is making homemade pea soup for dinner and all is right with the world. 

Tonight there will be knitting as I am about to cast-off my Spice Market shawl, and then work the next ripple on my Peace shawl. 

Tomorrow I will walk back to the post office to mail all my letters. 

I am feeling good and strong and dare I say, happy. 



It has been a good day. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Yopping Update 24 - Advent update 8.

It has been a busyish week and I have lots to show.

First of all necessity is the mother of invention (and so is being cheap).

The part of our car key that attaches to the keyring snapped off.   To replace the key would be $171 plus tax!    Grrrr.   So I took my husband's key.  Cast on 6 pairs of stitches and doubleknit this little hemp key cozy.

When I took my car in for a repair the mechanic said I should sell these.  Hmmmm.... Maybe?

Here's an update on my shawls:

First Dying of the Light is coming along nicely:

 and so is my Spice Market:
Also I am keeping up with the Peace Project and I am almost to ripple 14:

I put this little guy in the mail today - how cute is he?

Our knitgroup had their Christmas party last Thursday and we all swapped mini skeins from our stash.  How pretty is this?

We have been above the fog all week and the sunrises are gorgeous!

As are the sunsets:

I went to the Orpheum theatre  on Monday night with two friends  to attend the Prince tribute.  It was glorious:

This week I have Christmas Cards to write - but I am happy that I did get my daughter's parcel off to Croatia.  (The postage cost more than the present - lol!)

This was the first Christmas Card I received this year - perfect!

Today is the second Sunday of Advent:

In the second candle of Advent shines
The light of the plants of every kind,
The roses red, the grasses long,
The trees that grow so tall and strong.
Now the plants are on the Earth,
Waiting for the Christ Child’s birth. 

This afternoon I am taking my honourary grand-daughters to the East Van Panto - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  I was lucky to win four tickets via the miss604 blog.  

It has been quite a lovely week.  A few swims and a long walk  thrown in for good measure.

Also my son has got me signed up for Google Play Music - so I am listening to Prince and Leonard Cohen and Missy Higgins and and and......loving it.  

Have a great week everyone.   Besides the Christmas Cards all I have to do this week is make my mother's famous nuts and bolts recipe.  I make gluten free ones and I bought all the ingredients last week.  Yum.

To follow other yoppers - check out here

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017


I was so grateful this morning to have been invited to the Grade Seven class play - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

The set was magical, the costumes fantastical and the children were stellar in their roles. 

There they were:  the daughters of Eve, the sons or Adam. 

Such hope.

Such bravery.

Such promise.

And Aslan. 

Giving his all to save Narnia where 'it is always winter and Christmas never comes.'

I am going to re-read the Narnia books.  I haven't read them since I was in university. 

It is time to go back to those old friends and see what they have to say to me now. 

Blessings on this sixth day of advent. 


Thursday, December 7, 2017

The wings of God

Shining sun
kissing the snow capped mountains

Cold air raising the hair on my arms
as sun beams warm my hair

Apple leaves
a handful
resisting the urge
to fall
reaching toward the
winter sun
with hope
and diligence
bravery and

They will fall

We all will fall

but not today

today I am above the fog

today I am nestled in the
wings of God

and safe .

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Sign of the Times

I made a decision to post everyday during Advent, but the odd thing is I don't feel like I have anything to say.  


I have said before that when I am feeling well, both mentally and physically then my words seem to abandon me.  

So, let's talk about Prince!

On Monday I went to a tribute concert for Prince put on by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.   
I went with an ex-student of mine who is 19, her mom, who is 47 and yours truly, who is 62.  

So there we were - three generations - all singing along to Prince songs.  

His musicsreally does have meaning for so many generations, and I believe generations to come. 

His song Sign of the Times was written in 1987, but it could have been written today.  

That made me sad that our human condition hasn't improved but on the other hand I was impressed that a song written thirty years ago could still have such relevance.  

Prince once said that he believed one day in the future there would be no black or white, but that we would all be a lovely light brown.   I think he felt the same way about gender roles.  

“One thing I’d like to say is that I don’t live in a prison. I am not afraid of anything. I haven’t built any walls around myself, and I am just like anyone else. I need love and water.”

So, since Monday night I have been reflecting on the world Prince envisioned. 

I have been listening to his songs and re-reading his lyrics. 

And missing him.  

If we could just love each other and find our common ground.

Maybe then there could be peace.  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Cards

This is the first Christmas Card I received this year. So lovely. 

Some years I send them

Some years I don't

I always love getting them

And displaying them above the mantel over the fireplace. 

It was my job to put the display the Christmas Cards on the front door of my family home. 

This year I am sending cards

To those near and those far

Not to everyone, but to the ones I need to reach out to and hear from. 

I rummaged through my card box and found a couple of dozen cards - an eclectic bunch. 

Today I also bought the ingredients for a Christmas care parcel that needs to travel across the world.

I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt. 

It was good to get the Christmas ball rolling. 

My mantra for this year is simplicity, and calm, and peace. 

So I knit another ripple on my Peace Shawl.

I will add a few more rows to my Dying of the Light Shawl.

I will start a new colour on my Spice Market shawl. 

Mostly I will sit quietly, breathing deeply.

I have been dizzy today, and I need to move slowly, and keep my equilibrium. 


And Metaphorically. 

Blessings to you all on this third day of Advent. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

In the presence of Grace

In the quiet and calm....

Words from the song I posted about a few days ago. 

It is Monday, the second day of Advent.  I have lit the advent wreath and I am getting going with my day. 

My anxiety is a little obnoxious today, but once I meet the deadline and write up the evaluation I did last week then I can go for a swim and those two things will help ease my fluttery stomach. 

Tonight I am going to dinner and a symphony concert with two friends.  The Vancouver Symphony is performing a tribute to Prince, so of course I am going!

A friend of mine posted yesterday about Hope, and whether it ever is gone.  I don't believe it is ever gone, but sometimes it hides from me, from us.

I do believe so strongly in Grace.  By the Grace of God, or whatever you believe is Holy, I can find my way back to Hope. 

I am knitting my Peace shawl and I am up to ripple 11.  The ripples get farther and farther apart as the shawl progresses - just like the ripples each of us send out into the world.  As I knit today's ripple I will dedicate it to Prince and all he meant and still means to so many.  Here is a youtube of him singing my favourite song, The Cross.

Today's Project Peace post was on Snowflakes, and how individual each one is, but then how they come together and cover us like a blanket of Peace. 

So for today, the second day of Advent, I wish you Peace, and Grace and Hope. 

And a little Prince!

Blessings on your day.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Yopping Update 23 - Peace

Today is the first day of Advent and I have set up my Advent wreath to begin the season.

In the first candle of Advent shines
The light of the crystals in the mines,
The rocks, the jewels, the precious stones,
The oceans’ seashells, and even our bones.
Now the stones are on the Earth,
Waiting for the Christ Child’s birth. 

I have decided to post everyday through Advent as a way to stay calm during this season that can easily become fraught with too much sensory overload, and not enough peace.

Speaking of Peace - Friday marked the first day of Project Peace 2017 and many many knitters around the world are knitting the same beautiful shawl pattern that represents the ripples and waves we send out into the world when we practice Peace.

I didn't start mine on Friday because I wanted to get my Spice Market shawl back to where I was when I frogged those 106 rows last week.    And I did!


Last night I started my Peace shawl.  I got to ripple nine and I am loving this pattern.  With every ripple I knit I am sending peace out to a loved one and I am adding their name beside the ripple on the pattern. 

I am knitting with Sport weight yarn and 3.75 mm needles.   I am starting with the colourway called Blue Fog.  It shows up quite grey in the photo, but it does have a lovely blue tinge to it.  It represents the sand and the shoreline on a foggy day.   Then when I get to the lace I will change to a light blue - to represent the waves lapping on the shore, and then finish it with a darker blue for the deeper ocean.

I think it is going to be beautiful.  The wool I am using was the gift I received from my knitterley friend who moved yesterday and gave out yarn at the last knit group she attended.  She didn't want to move ALL her stash so it will be lovely to have this shawl to remember her and her generosity.

Dying of the Light and the mini-sweater were on hiatus this week because I really wanted to get Spice Market back on track.

So I will be back here tomorrow for another Advent post.  Please join me.

Let there be Peace on Earth
And Let it Begin with Me.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Little Boat on the Ocean

I heard this song a month ago.  It is by Beverley Elliot from her CD Sunday Morning.

It has helped me immensely and I want to share it with all of you.

Little Boat on the Ocean (the 2nd song on her website gives you a taste of the first verses and the chorus.(

Little boat on the ocean rowing along
Little boat on the ocean be strong
There's a light in the harbour
Beckons you in
Little boat on the ocean be strong

Little shell on the seashore
Washed in the sand
Little shell on the seashore be strong
Theres a wave that is coming
to help you along
Little shell on the seashore be strong

Let love take you by the hand
Give you courage to stand
In the holiest place
In the presence of grace
In the quiet and calm
It is clear
In the dark of the night
You will hear Love
calling you,  calling you
Hear Love
calling you, calling you
Hear Love
calling you, calling you

Little bird in the treetop
singing so true
Little bird in the treetop
be strong
There are 10000 people
they're singing with you
Little bird in the treetop
be strong

Let Love take you by the hand
give you courage to stand
In the holiest place
In the presence of Grace
In the quiet and calm
It is clear
In the dark of the night
You will

Hear Love
calling you,  calling you
Hear Love
calling you, calling you
Hear Love
calling you, calling you
Hear love
Calling you, calling you
Hear Love
Calling you, calling you
Hear Love
Calling you, calling you

Little boat on the ocean rowing along
Little boat on the ocean rowing along
Little boat on the ocean
Be strong.

I am planning to post daily through  Advent starting tomorrow. Please join me.

Peace to you all this Advent season.