Saturday, December 14, 2013

Week in Review

December 7-14, 2013
  • Weather

Record low temperatures this week here on the western slope of Colorado with -15 degrees!  Also we had 8 + inches of snow here.
  • Something New (to me)

Audible.  Love listening to books.  I've never bought more than a dozen audible book downloads, and usually from iTunes or Amazon.  But after listening to one of my favorite podcasts (The KnitGirllls), I was convinced to try an Audible subscription, with the first book free and twelve credits thereafter for a reasonable price.  As of yesterday, I'm listening to Life after Life, thanks Jean, and just purchased The Winter Sea by Suzanne Kearsley, thanks  to Woolythyme.
  • Knitting

on the Derecho shawl:

  • Food and recipes
Especially enjoyed root vegetable stew by the husband, Martha Stewart's cornbread and sausage dressing WITHOUT garlic and served with Cornish hens (thank you, Steph at KnitspiringOdyssey), spritz sugar cookies, and new coffee creamers (Mexican Cinnamon Chocolate by Lucerne is my favorite this week)

I may make cakes adapted from Gretchen's Nativity Cake recipe for the neighbors who so graciously shared their bountiful pumpkins, tomatoes and squash with us during harvest time.
  • Reading

finished The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  Giving it a grade of A-.

finished Amy Tan's Valley of Amazement.  Lots of reviews of the book out there.  Here is one recent review.  I would give it a grade of  B- for overall enjoyment.

still picking up Fredrick Beuchner's digital book Secrets in the Dark
  • Mailed

Cookies for Julie and a few little gifts

completed fairy for the fairy ornament swap.
  • Apps:

plugging along on "Flow Free" and  compulsively playing "Words with Friends".  Invite me to play under the name "templeton7" and we can compete on this sorta' Scrabble app.  Also using the new Audible app for listening to books and doing the daily word puzzle on "7 Words"
  • Christmas decorations

Set up Madonna and Child icons and votive candles
  • TV

the never ending funeral of Nelson Mandela, incredulous at the sign interpreter (did you see Jimmy Kemmel's take on the schitzoid interpreter?  I laughed.)

Enjoying some of the sweet little Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, and movies from the books Diary of a Wimpy Kid (thanks, Charlotte).

"Magic of the Snowy Owl" (Nature), available through Dec. 25 on PBS Roku Channel

  • New blog friends I am stalking:

 barefootcrofter in Scotland
 Gladsome Lights in CA
 The Ellen Report
  • Linking to

Yarn Along with Small Things


Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Pause in Advent

Recently I came across a campaign to help build a second home for unwed mothers in Kenya, Africa.  The building is called Mercy House Kenya.

With the dire situation of the AIDS epidemic just in that country alone, it has taken over 1.2 million lives in 2012, or 75% of  2012 deaths attributed to AIDS deaths worldwide.

The Mercy House Kenya campaign has a poignant story, paraphrased and with some cutting and pasting, that is worth repeating.  They need money to build another house for mothers and their unborn and newborn babies.  Yes, it is a shameless appeal for your dollars; Ann Voskamp wrote the entire post here.   Voskamp writes:
Anticipation is the scent December.

So a woman in San Diego hangs a wreath outside on the front door, the sun beating warm on her neck and a grandma in Minneapolis watches the snow fall and ices another batch of shortbread and all the women in God’s beach house know the waiting of December isn’t passive, it isn’t a twiddling of the thumbs and flipping glossy pages of the latest catalogue and counting down the minutes, but this is the active waiting for a Baby to come.

Like expectant mothers preparing and praying and exercising and nesting – and working – because labour and delivery is coming — we’re the women waiting actively, praying and reaching out and grabbing hands and we’re women pregnant with hope, we’re women expecting – expecting Jesus’ kingdom to come into the world and come through us.

In Lubbock, Texas and Scapoose, Oregon and Calgary, Alberta and Sheffield, UK and Sydney, Australia – Christmas makes us midwives of another kingdom coming.

And once upon a time — today — in a slum in Kenya, a young girl rounds large with a baby. Where does she go in the running sewage and the rusting shanties to birth a baby no one wants her to have?

How does she feed a baby when her stomach gnaws with hunger and her soul is bony and starved?

... this is the part in the story where not one woman turns away or grows cold – because all God’s daughters are waiting for Jesus to come and she knows the One Whom her heart loves, that He comes as the least of these.

How can her heart not warm? How would she ignore Him now?

One girl holding a baby is knocking on a door in Kenya looking for room for her baby and Christmases all over North America are ready to answer that door.

There are Christmases all over North America that are saying there is no more room in the inn and no more room in their lives —  no more room for indifference, no more room for apathy, and no more room for excuses – because we are desperate to make room for Christ this Christmas.

That’s the Christmas we’re all buying this Christmas.

This is a link that will take you to making a second house for Mercy House Kenya.

The second Advent candle is lit today.

Linking with others to A Pause in Advent

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Deep Freeze

It is beginning to look a little like Christmas around here.  I'll have some pictures to show you on Sunday, along with a post about Advent.  Floss in the UK sponsors a blog-along relating to Advent, and I have been reading up in anticipation of remembering the Baby's birth during Advent. 

For today, some cooking, perhaps.

It is -5 degrees outside and could almost look like this if we got on our snow clothes and took a picture! But we have not had nearly as much snow as my friends in the North, nor have we experienced those dangerous icy conditions on the roads.  Friends, remember to drive safely!

It is pretty outside since we had eight inches of snow in the past few days.  But I'm in my jammies (yes, still), perusing Pinterest and about to continue reading Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement.  Finished another pair of ballet slippers and linking to Finished Objects Friday and Fiber Arts Friday.

How about you?  What's cookin' ?  Scones or cookies in this kitchen...

PS: you MUST see this Life Sized Nativity (Knit-tivity) Scene !  (and you thought YOU knit excessively?)