28 February 2020

Weekend reading

Someone asked for new Gracie photos last week.  Here they are!

I've been busy with my family tree this week and will continue on with it until the World Heritage plan expires next month. We had a lovely family lunch, including all the grandkids, last Saturday. I made a German Abendbrot - a selection of different breads, cold cuts, chicken, cheeses and salad; it's an easy way to serve a large family lunch. Everyone makes their own sandwiches and they all get what they like.

There's been a lot of talk, all over the world, about the weather in Australia this year but I'm wondering how other countries are going. I know there've been floods in England and too little snow and too much snow in various parts of America and Canada. How are you going in your neck of the woods. Are you seeing signs of seasonal change?

My wonderful sponsor, EcoYarns, is continuing their 15 per cent off discount for Down to Earth readers.  There are a lot of new yarns, tools and notions to discover. I'm looking forward to knitting with their Pichinku Chunka Organic Cotton. I'll let you know how it goes.

Here are a few of the things I read this week. I hope you enjoy them too.

Flight Lines: the heroic story of two grey plovers – and the man who followed them
What does it mean if coronavirus is declared a pandemic
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
I love these two YouTube videos about traditional food and life:
   Rhodes - Typical Dishes from the Greek Island
   Macedonia - Ajvar: a paprika mousse as national dish
Have a look at this ship tracker. You'll be amazed at how many ships travel our oceans and seas
DIY embroidery floss organiser using clothes pegs
Spinach and ricotta rolls recipe

And finally, another poem from the late Mary Oliver.


When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”


  1. I love Mary Oliver's work, Rhonda. Thank you for sharing her poem today. Also, love seeing photos of your Gracie. Look at those ears! Have a happy weekend. MegXx

  2. It has been a mild winter here in KY, USA and the bulbs are prematurely sending up shoots already, but there are definitely signs of Spring coming.

    I haven't looked at the link for the ship tracker, but I have looked at a website that shows how many airplanes are in the air at any one time. UNBELIEVABLE!

  3. Oh yes; I noticed that post requesting snaps of Gracie and thought it a good idea. These are gorgeous, and she is such a pretty Scots Terrier. There are two who live not far from me. I always enjoy running into them while taking my dog for a walk. I have a Sheltie and he means the world to me. A sable; he turned four this past January. There is definitely nothing like a dog.

  4. Gracie is a cutie!! I am sure you enjoy her!! I had been longing for a dog again...anytime I have been without one, I long for one...but my daughter here nearby got a puppy and we do over mid day to play with her and let her out...and I am just fine with that much doggie time!! (getting old and lazy!! ha!!) I do love dogs though and am grateful for this puppy in our lives now!!
    Elizabeth in WA state

  5. Thank you Rhonda for responding with the new photos of Gracie - her sweet face makes me smile every time. Glad you were able to have all the family with you the week.
    As you say we have flooding in the UK- it has been raining heavily on and off since September and our farming friends( who keep records) say its the wettest autumn/ winter for decades and it's causing them problems. We are fortunate to live on high ground away from watercourses so won't flood but the ground is saturated and we can't get on the garden yet. A small irritation compared to what some people are enduring with the floods.

  6. Lovely pictures of Gracie, she looks so sweet (and a little naughty?). We have had a very strange Winter here, with very little snow, and far too mild. The next ten days however, it is going to come all at once it seems. I am hitting the shops today to stock up, incase I am snowed in for a bit. Pam in Norway

  7. Sounds like a wonderful lunch! Our weather here in upstate New York has certainly been warmer than usual and we haven't had nearly the snow we usually have.

  8. I have been so glad to see the pictures of your full rain gauge, green and growing garden, and "hear" some lightness in your voice after all that has happened. Your lunch sounds perfect - growing up my Mom and Aunts would always do something similar when our families got together to catch-up and play cards. We've had a normal amount of snow this year, but it has been warmer than usual. The ground was fully saturated last fall after a very rainy summer, so we could have some flooding this spring. Thanks for the Gracie pictures - every time I see her I think what a beautiful, thick coat she has - it must be her home-cooked diet! Beth in MN

  9. I love that sort of lunch, we have them every week here too. This winter has been one of seemingly continuous rain or snow - which rarely settles as its too wet. I long to see a blue sky it feels like it has been weeks and weeks, grey low cloud starts to get to you after a while. The ground is so saturated here that when we do have rain it quickly floods anywhere it can. We have had weather warning after weather warning for wind and rain that I have stopped looking at forecasts now, I decide if we can go ahead with our plans for the day when I open my curtains in the morning. The wind is very noisy too which is tiring, I have chosen to live in a quiet rural place and it is anything but at the moment. I am looking forward to the calm of spring in a month or so.

  10. We've been having beautiful weather in California. There was snow on Thanksgiving and Christmas up at the cabin. The mountain air is so clean, fresh, and energizing. Down at the cottage we have had a good year for rain. The fruit trees are doing so much better, now that the drought has ended. I've had so many blood oranges; I give bags of them to my neighbor. Her son just loves them. They grow in clusters, like grapes.

  11. Feeling like autumn down here Rhonda. We have a small glut of tomatoes and zucchini,as is usual,good to be able to give some away.Gracie still has that cheeky puppy look! Like with humans, I think that makes life a bit more fun. Have a great week.

  12. What a lovely poem, a perfect reminder to slow down and take in your surroundings. Photos of Gracie are always a joy, that ever so sweet, slightly mischievous little face is such a pleasure. Take care xx (Tassie)


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