Showing posts from November, 2009

Musing Mondays.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading/blogging during the holidays…

How does your reading (or your blogging) fare in the holiday months? Do you read more or less? Do you have to actively make time to read?

Over Christmas my reading and blogging does take a 'back seat'. These times are usually busy with family and friends, and I feel it would be rude to sit and ignore the conversation. After all the hustle and bustle it's good to sit , relax and read.
More book 'talk' can be found here.

A Busy Weekend.

Yesterday was our church Christmas Fayre,it attracted quite a crowd . There were various stalls;crafts, cakes , tombola and the raffle stall. I helped with the raffle and we were all pleased to raise over £200 bringing the raffle total to over £1000. The prizes were varied from the the top prize of £100 to a box of chocolates, so there was much to please the public. The tickets have been on sale for a few weeks,therefore helping to boost the total.
After the fayre my husband and I spent most of the day and some of today delivering the prizes to various parts of the dale. This is always the best part of the weekend as people are always excited by their winnings.
So ends another successful fund raiser!

Now to start my Christmas shopping!

The Miracle at St. Bruno's.

The Miracle at St. Bruno's by Philippa Carr.

On Christmas morning the monks of an English abbey discovered what they later described as a miracle. The miracle was a child found in their crib. No parents could be found so the monks took the child as 'their own' and brought him up accordingly.All believed he had special 'powers' and as such grew into a very spiritual child.
Living nearby were Damask Farland and her parents plus their cousins. All were slightly in awe of the boy , but being children they liked to sneek the occasional glance through the boundary of the abbey.
This idyllic childhood however was overshadowed by the reign of the ruling monarch;Henry V111. His succession of wives all effected the children and monks . Which religion should they follow ? Both sides in this debate were in danger of losing their lives and the choices people made were to have devestating consequences.

Another excellent book by Phillipa Carr(Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt). I felt that i…

Booking through Thursday

This is the post today,

It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. today, so I know at least some of you are going to be as busy with turkey and family as I will be, so this week’s question is a simple one:

What books and authors are you particularly thankful for this year?

That is a difficult one , looking back over my list read this year many books could be included, but I will keep the list short ----

First is
Enchanted April .This was a wonderful book, pure escapism. I will have to read it again.

The next one is
Black Diamond. I don't normally read nonfiction, but this was a great portrait of mining communities in the 30's. Landowners v miners, a mix that created much anguish.

I am grateful for all my books but the above two are special. 'Enchanted April' for it's ability to lighten my mood and appreciate human friendship and 'Black Diamond' as it showed me how grateful I should be for my own working/living environment.
Great books, highly recommended.
More thoughts can be …

Teaser Tuesdays

It's time for a teaser , so here is mine -----

'Strange to be remembering those things now, Alec thinks as he trudges along the wooded track that leads to the Brig o'Don, his feet slithering a little in the mud. Strange how these images come to him at times, sharpened with the passage of time, as if they'd been stored somewhere in the depths of his mind, the shapes and colours and smells perfectly preserved.'

page 169, 'Touching Distance' by Rebecca Abrams.

You can catch more teasers

Is your wooden spoon handy?

Today is ----
Stir up Sunday

November 22nd 2009 is Stir up Sunday when all Christmas pudding should be made. Don't forget that a Christmas pudding is traditionally made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples.

A proper Christmas pudding is always stirred from East to West in honour of the three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus and every member of the family must give the pudding a stir and make a secret wish. Apart from coins other traditional additions to the pudding included a ring, to foretell a marriage, and a thimble for a lucky life.

Information courtesy of
this site.

Mine are made , how about you?

They're back...

This is quite a long sketch but worth listening to...

Booking through Thursday

This week's topic is ----

Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

This is a difficult question. Looking back over my reading of the last year there are many authors who I can see as categorised as a 'classic' in the years to come. However, I'm going to pick Jean Plaidy.I have read more of her books than any other author and each one is as enthralling as the next.
She also writes as Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr .As Victoria Holt ; her novels take on the air of mystery and intrigue , as Philippa Carr she concentrates on the ordinary people in society caught up in historical times(at least that is the case with 'The Miracle of St. Bruno's' which I am reading now)and as Jean Plaidy the reader is amidst all the excitment and intrigue of history.
I believe her last books were wri…

Life challenges v Book challenges.

Today is the last day for the
Chunkster Challenge 2009. My intention was to pop over to
Dana's blog and post my completed list. Although only three chunky books read this year ,I was pleased with the outcome of the challenge. However,on reading Dana's latest post , my list appears trivial. She has had the most horrendous times lately and has terminated the blog. Click on the link above and drop her a line. I pray her life will improve soon.

The Woman in White.Audio CD

'The Woman in White' by Wilkie Collins.
This novel was written in 1859 , I'm sure at that time it must have shocked society. Here, is a tale of primarily greed. Sir Percival Glyde is a sly and pompous man , a man who will trample over anyone to increase his finances and advance his position in society. His accomplice is Count Fosco, Italian by birth , a man who fled his own country to save his skin. The pair are scheming cads, who concoct outrageous plots to further their ends. Kidnapping, murder, madness and deceit are all given full rein in this novel.
This took me a while to 'read' as it is an audio cd and I only listened when sewing , but it was a brilliant book, an 'Agatha Christie' of the 1800's. Highly recommended.

Remembrance Day

Lest we forget.

Photos courtesy of
this site.

Sewing progress.

Well it's been a very busy weekend as my grandaughter visited with her parents and auntie. I finished the above dress just in time and she has taken it back home with her , probably for Christmas. Although, it did look quite big, so which Christmas I'm not sure! The pattern was for 7 -13 lbs and as she is over 8lbs now no doubt she'll fill it out soon.
The weekend was taken up by visiting lots of relatives; her great grandma and aunties. Everyone cooed and smiled at her and she behaved in an admirable fashion , no crying. She even managed to sleep through the Latin Mass at church, not a peep was heard.So good and so beautiful!!!
The house seems very quiet now they have all left but they will all be back at Christmas , so we are all counting the days!!
Tonight is my sewing class, as my skirt (photo to follow) and the above dress are finished I am going to use left over material from my skirt to make a baker boy cap. That's the plan anyhow, we'll see how it goes...

On the farm in November.

Tupping Time...

The breeding season on the farm has begun again, with the start of Autumn comes the start of tupping (mating) time, which means the tups (rams - male sheep) are let off with the ewes (female sheep), which will hopefully result in lots of lambs come next spring.

The first step (a bit like making a cake if you will!), is to buy any stock needed to replace elder members of the flock. September and early October hosts breeding sales at local markets, or marts as they are known to farmers, where tups and breeding ewes of varying ages are offered for sale.

In November the Swaledale ewes (see top picture) on the home flock from previous years are then examined for their suitability for breeding. This is done by checking their teeth because this gives a good indication of the animal's age, little or no teeth means no more babies for them.

The general condition of the ewe is also taken into account, whether they are physically robust enough to maintain their position in the …

Christmas cooking.

These last few days have seen me toiling over a hot stove, well not really, but I did get all my Christmas puddings cooked. There were three in all , one for each of my daughters away from home and one for this household.
I use a recipes that belonged to my husband's grandma and it usually turns out well, so 'fingers crossed'!.

I thought I would share it with you ----

Dark Christmas Pudding.
This recipe is for a 2pint basin

4ozs. sultanas
4ozs currants
4 ozs seedless raisins
2 ozs mixed peel
4 ozs soft dark brown sugar
4 ozs fresh white breadcrumbs
4 ozs cooking apples(after, peeling and grating)
3 ozs shredded suet(vegetable)
3ozs self raising flour
1 quarter teasp. salt
1 half teasp. cinnamon
1 teasp. mixed spice
1 large egg
1 quarter pint of milk and rum mixed
1 level teasp. of black treacle.

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients, add the apple.
Bind the mixture with the egg, rum and milk mixture then add another small glass of rum.
Beat well till fairly wet and sticky.
Steam for about 5 ho…