A candle is burning on the coffee table and beside me a small book lamp is illuminating the knitting in my hands. The windows in this room are curtain less and on a clear night there would be stars but tonight it is black. The clouds are hiding the face of the moon and I sit listening to the rain. My little girl is asleep and I am silent now too. There is an intimacy of life I have found in the velvet blackness, a quality of quietness in a long evening alone and I savour it. All day we watched ribbons of Canada Geese trailing across the sky and leaves falling from the maple tree in the yard near the edge of the forest. By late afternoon the tree is looking plucked and by my definition winter will be here when the last leaf falls. Dressed in the finery of fall - is the tree acknowledging its Maker or is God showing his care for us in giving brilliant colour in what would otherwise would be an incredibly depressive season? "Praise Him,...... fruit trees and forests...Praise Him,....all people...."Psalm 148:9,11
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This is lys Duralex manufactured in France and it is my new everyday dinnerware. I chose it because it is lead free and it is tempered glass making it 2-3 times stronger than ordinary soda lime glass such as Pyrex and Anchor Hocking - although both of these in clear glass are lead free and American manufactured. The glass in my setting is from Spiegelau which is manufactured in Germany and their series authentis casual. This is a beautifully brilliant clear glass which has a lovely ring when tapped. I contacted the manufacturer through an email and they told me this series is lead free. It is produced in crystal glass ( lead free). I've been having fun with my young daughter learning different napkin folds and the heart fold I learned from a wonderful book called, " Napkin Folds," by B. Jones and M. Brehaut. All of my dishware I bought/collected and some of it was gifted over twenty years ago. It has served me well and while necessity has brought change I couldn't be happier with my choice.
I have spent many happy hours with my young daughter gathering, drawing and preserving leaves. This simple activity is resplendent with blessing. Time becomes meaningless when spent amongst their company. I become aware of a different dimension to life where what is of value in our culture today becomes meaningless. I leave their company refreshed, calm and whole. It is God who made leaves and in doing so He gifted mankind with the indelible fingerprint of His love and care for us. For this particular wreath I traced the desired size onto poster board, cut it out and glued the pressed leaves that my daughter had chosen on to it. It is under the glass of our kitchen table. I need to get inspired now and take the summer wreath off the front door. I will leave you with the words of this poem titled Leaves by Craig Sathoff. "The leaves of autumn speak to me in fast, impatient tones of all the beauties to be seen and tasks that must be done. At other times they sing to me in accents soft and low, inviting me to sit and dream not hurry to and fro. The leaves might laugh and jest a bit and pass the time of day, or barely stop to speak to me as they rush on their way. I've talked with leaves at autumn time since I was just a boy and every year their friendship brings a special touch of joy."
The earth is dark from the autumn rains. We are out looking for wild red wriggler composting worms. These worms are different than earthworms. They are red, flat on the underside, and have a yellowish tail. Unlike an earthworm they are generally found on top of the ground rather than down in it. This is how we found ours. We put down a piece of wet cardboard with a stone on top and it worked wonders at attracting them. Looking under the compost bin was another score. I guess inside the bin isn't quite right. Raking under fallen leaves was another success and after three days we had approximately 40 worms. We continued to collect by revisiting the sites where we did find some. We put them into a two foot square wooden box with a sloping lid that I built last summer from old douglas fir siding boards. A piece of plywood serves as a roof and another for the floor which has holes drilled in the bottom for excess moisture. Their bedding is paper we needed to recycle that my four year old cut up for them. Tucked into that is kitchen compost. The idea is new and the adventure young so we will see how it unfolds. If you are interested in learning more about composting with red wrigglers what I found helpful was a 1973 September back issue and a July/August 1983 back issue of Mother Earth magazine.
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