Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 ~ a year in pictures

~~ January ~~

~~ February ~~

~~ March ~~

~~ April ~~

~~ May ~~

~~ June ~~

~~ July ~~

~~ August ~~

~~ September ~~

~~ October ~~

~~ November ~~

~~ December ~~

Saturday, 25 December 2010

December 25th - grateful for ...

{ His Birth }

~ El Greco ::The Adoration of the Shepherds ~


Troparion for Nativity

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath given rise to the light of knowledge in the world. For they who did worship the stars did learn from them to worship thee, the Sun of Justice, and to know thou didst come from the east of the Highest. Glory to thee, O Lord!


Kontakion for Nativity

The Virgin brings forth today the omnipotent, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable. Angels give glory with shepherds, and the magi journey with the star, when for our sakes was born, as a new babe, He Who is from eternity God.



May you all have a blessed Christmas!


Friday, 24 December 2010

December 24th - grateful for ...

{ being here }

(do you remember this view?)

No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.

~L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

December 22nd - grateful for...

{ being healthy }

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

~ Buddha


(Please read the post below; I'm having a chat with a lovely lady!)

Interview with Erin

Hello, hello!

Come in and make yourself at home!
Today you're going to meet my lovely interview partner, Erin.
Apologies for the delay in posting this; I know I told everyone who's participating to try and do it before the holidays but we have both been extremely busy lately.
Now, if everyone's ready, let's welcome Erin.


-Welcome Erin! Please tell us, which part of the world do you call home?
I live in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada. I grew up here, beside the Pacific Ocean, with snow-capped mountains all around. I'm so lucky! Come visit me at Pughs' News to read more about my life here.

(Erin and her boys in London this summer)

(Erin enjoying a glass of wine outdoors)

-What do most of your weekdays look like?
I get up way too early every morning, and somehow manage to get everyone organized, dressed, fed and out the door on time, including me (only problem is, I often forget to feed myself!) I drop my husband off at the bus stop, my little one at his preschool and then take my older son to kindergarten. He goes to the school where I teach, so once he's at school, I'm at work too (I work three days a week). Isn't that handy? Once in a while, we have enough time to drive through Starbucks and pick up a latte that I'll drink at my desk. Those are the really great days! I get to relax a bit while I'm in my library, but at 3:30 or 4, I'm in the van and on the go again, running errands, picking kids up, and heading home to make dinner and get a fire going (it gets awfully chilly here in the winter!) I try to read with the kids, and do art activities with them before or after dinner. Then it's time for baths, pajamas and several bedtime stories. My husband gets home around this time and helps me tuck the kids into bed. Then I head for the gym (3 nights a week). I'm usually there for an hour, and then I head back home to have a shower and start packing backpacks and lunches for the next day. When all that's done, I sit down with a cup of tea and try to write on my blog for a bit, write a letter, or maybe read a book or watch a tv show with my husband. Needless to say, I go to bed way too late every night...

(Erin and her husband)

- As I've told you before, I love your job as a school librarian. What do you like most about it?
I think my favourite part is shopping for books! There's nothing better than spending the afternoon in the bookstore, picking out stacks of wonderful children's books, and then charging them to someone else's account! I also really love the excitement on the kids' faces when they see a title arrive on my "New Books" display shelf that they've been waiting for!

-Which are some of your favourite children's books?
Growing up I loved the Betsy-Tacy series, Anne of Green Gables, the Narnia books, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. I still love all of them, and can now add Harry Potter to my list. Children's books are still my favourite kind of books to read.

- What are you reading these days? Can you recommend a couple of books you've really enjoyed?
Right now I'm reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. It's a strange story, but I'm really enjoying it. I just finished The Hunger Games Trilogy. It was intense, and rather disturbing, but I couldn't put it down. Next up I'll be re-reading Water for Elephants, for my book club. A few books I always recommend are And God Created the Au Pair (hilarious!) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (lovely historical novel). Both are written in the form of letters. I love letters!

( Parliament buildings in dowtown Victoria)

-How do you usually spend your weekends? What are some of the things you do as a family?
We go grocery shopping as a family every weekend. We work out in the yard (we have a big garden), and try to catch up on a few household chores. We like to take walks and go for bike rides. The four of us usually go to Starbucks on Saturday evening for a drink and a treat.

-How does your family celebrate Christmas? Any traditions you'd like to share?

We love Christmas! We celebrate with lots of lights and decorations, baking of traditional treats (like gingerbread men and shortbread cookies, chocolate rumballs and butter tarts) and getting together with family and friends. Christmas dinner is always an enormous extravaganza with at least 20 people! My sister does a movie night at her house where her husband projects a classic like White Christmas or It's a Wonderful Life (my all-time favourite feel-good film!) onto a big screen. We eat popcorn and goodies and get all weepy and sentimental. It's great. On Christmas Eve, we sing carols loudly, with the windows open, so the elves can hear how festive we are and toss candies into the room. It is a completely magical time of the year. I adore it.

(Her little boy on the beach)

Thank you so much Erin; it was great getting to know you a little better; and thank you for all the beautiful pictures.


I think if I ever get tired of teaching, I may become a reporter; this was such fun!


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

December 21st - grateful for ...

{ knowing and liking myself }

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

~Dr. Seuss
If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.

~Johann von Goethe

Monday, 20 December 2010

December 20th - grateful for ...

{ remembering this post from my archives }

(this frosty image is not a randomly picked one; it represents how I've been feeling lately and why reading what I wrote a year ago is something to be grateful for)

Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown): ... I think there must be something wrong with me Linus, Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy, I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel ... just another dang Christmas I guess, I like getting presents, and sending Christmas cards, and decorating the tree and all that but I'm still not happy, I always end up getting depressed ...
Christopher Shea (Linus): ... Charlie brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful gaping white Christmas and turn it into a problem, maybe you shouldn't gripe, of all the Charlie Browns in the world you are the Charlie Brownest ...
From A Charlie Brown Christmas

Sunday, 19 December 2010

December 19th - grateful for ...

{ hot cinnamon tea }

"Talk and tea is his specialty," said Giles. "He has come along inside... We'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place".

-The Wind in the Willows

Saturday, 18 December 2010

December 18th - grateful for ..

{ Christmas ornaments }

(from my ornament swap partner, Connie; literally, the only ornaments on our tree we haven't made ourselves!)


Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles.

~Author Unknown

Friday, 17 December 2010

December 17th - grateful for...

{ snow }

(schools are closed today)
Snow Towards Evening

Suddenly the sky turned gray,
The day,
Which had been bitter and chill,
Grew soft and still.
From some invisible blossoming tree
Millions of petals cool and white
Drifted and blew
Lifted and flew,
Fell with the falling night.

~ Melville Cane

Thursday, 16 December 2010

December 16th - grateful for ...

{ art }

People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love.

~ Claude Monet
I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.

~ Claude Monet

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

December 15th - grateful for ...

{ inexpensive long-distance phone calls }

(image via)

Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would I'd never leave.

~A.A. Milne

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

December 14th - grateful for ...

{ fantasy }

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!

~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!


My little boy went to bed with a broad smile on his face last night, after I told him a story I made up.

I took the picture on Saturday at the Christmas village we visited; this was a place called 'The Little Prince' after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's book. It was really magical.

Monday, 13 December 2010

December 13th - grateful for ...

{ Sunday afternoon stillness }

( under the blanket you see is my baby who's napping)

God's poet is silence! His song is unspoken,
And yet so profound, so loud, and so far,
It fills you, it thrills you with measures unbroken,
And as soft, and as fair, and as far as a star.

~Joaquin Miller

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Saturday, 11 December 2010

December 11th - grateful for ...

{ central heating }

Forms of central heating have been discovered that date back to the time of the Greeks - despite the Mediterranean climate - but it was the Romans who created the system which allowed properties and water to be heated, Mr Geoghegan claimed.

Later, in Victorian Britain, households experimented with different ways of heating the home but it was not until 1970 that gas fitter Martyn Jarvis claims he first saw central heating really taking off.

"There was a sense of excitement. It was like getting the first colour television - 'Ooooh, I've got central heating'," he explained.

(via here)

Friday, 10 December 2010

December 10th - grateful for ...

{ weekends }

(from last winter)

“- "I've been thinking Hobbes --"
- "On a weekend?"
- "Well, it wasn't on purpose..."”
Calvin & Hobbes quotes

Thursday, 9 December 2010

December 9th - grateful for ...

{ the blanket stitch }

The best thing about doing needlepoint for very small children is that they are so uncritical. They don't say things like, "I see you've missed some stitches over here on the leg, was that intentional?" or "Was this creature blinded in a fight?" They will clasp it in their little arms and love it besottedly, inseparably as the thing becomes more and more rancid.

~Carole Berman and Jennifer Lazarus


I think today's choice needs a bit of explanation; you see, my sewing machine broke down on Monday, leaving me with a whole list of projects to be completed by the end of the week, presents mostly. I was quite miserable after that until of course I came to my senses and realised it was not the end of the world and there are always alternatives. There's no way I'll manage to do everything I wanted to but , well, c'est la vie!

(and yes, there's a reason you only see part of what I've made!)

Take Care!


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

December 8th - grateful for ...

{ my job }

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

December 7th - grateful for ...

{ music }

Music is well said to be the speech of angels.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Monday, 6 December 2010

December 6th - grateful for ...

{ crafts }

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

~ Jonh Steinbeck

Sunday, 5 December 2010

December 5th - grateful for ...

{ food }

there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread -- there may be.

~ David Grayson

Saturday, 4 December 2010

December 4th - grateful for ...

{ nature }

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

~Kahlil Gibran

Friday, 3 December 2010

December 3rd - grateful for ...

{ books }

Medicine for the soul.

~Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes

Thursday, 2 December 2010

December 2nd - grateful for ...

{ friends}

She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.

~Toni Morrison, Beloved

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

December 1st - grateful for...

{ family}

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!

~Albert Einstein


this is my online advent calendar.

i'll leave the light on for you every day until christmas.

have a blessed month!