Five for Friday, at the end of January

Schools here began Semester 2 this week. Both of my classes (I teach part time) are in the afternoon, a change from last semester where one was in the morning and one after lunch. I'm finding a wonderful spaciousness of time in having my mornings free. This semester I'm teaching Spanish 10 and Foods 8, an introduction to cooking. 

The flame-coloured tulips brightened the room for almost two weeks, then drooped and began to dry. I left them on the windowsill because I enjoy watching the petals curl and twist. This particular bloom seems to have been swaying to music and just stopped in position. They've now been relegated to the compost bin. 

Two loaves - date and banana cooling on the counter last weekend. I asked Tim which one I should wrap and freeze, and he chose the banana. Date loaf is his favourite. It's mostly gone now. 

These are the books I've been dipping in and out of this week. I finished The Chilbury Ladies' Choir last night - a thoroughly enjoyable read set in the south of England in the first year of World War II. The two cookbooks are from the library and I hope to spend some time with them this coming weekend. The poet Mary Oliver passed away recently. Her question "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" along with her amazing capacity for imagery based on the natural world captivated me years ago. 

Two other books I've read recently, in very different genres, are Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, and Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. Indian Horse is the story of a young First Nations boy taken from his family and culture and put into a residential school. It's not easy to read, and I wept several times while reading it. It's simply and elegantly written, with flicks of humour that save it from being depressing.

Left Neglected tells the story of a young woman, busy with family and a career path who suffers a brain injury that "completely erases the left side of her world. Without an awareness of the food on the left side of her plate or even her own left hand, she is forced to search for answers in the void of this strange hemi-world..." Left neglected is a medical condition that I previously knew nothing about. I found the protagonist, Sarah, somewhat unlikable at first, but I became more sympathetic to her as the story progressed.  

January is a particularly good month to drink tea, just like all of the other 11 months. I pulled out an old teapot and cups the other night. I bought this in Ecuador; the pottery is from there, although I believe the designs are from Europe. 

I'm binding another quilt in the evenings. I started well, but have left it for a few days - I'll get back to it this weekend. At the same time, I've started sewing a skirt for myself and hope to finish that soon, now that I have time in the mornings to accomplish a few things. 

While most of Canada has experienced intense cold this week, we've continued with mild days and mostly blue skies with a few clouds. Yesterday afternoon, while walking, I noticed grey sweeps across the blue and white, signalling a change in the air. This morning is dull and rain is forecast. More exciting is the possibility of snow early next week. I do enjoy a bit of snow and hope that we will see some of the white stuff! That's not a universally popular opinion here on the west coast. 

Now, shall I read or sew for the next couple of hours before going to school? How lovely to have a choice. Stay warm and cozy in the winter freeze. 

Linking with Friday Bliss hosted by Riitta of Floral Passions. 


  1. Lorrie, sounds wonderful! I have been feeling the pull to get back to sewing. I'm not a quilter, but I used to make a lot of clothes when I was in my teens and 20s. Been thinking about it. Wonder if any of your Foods 8 students look at food blogs? I love every one of these photos, but especially the quilt, showing your fine stitching on the binding. My hand sewing is horrid!

  2. Just exactly right for a winter day. Thanks for visiting me. I think I would like your schedule of having mornings open to whatever you wish to do. Wish I could sit in our your Spanish class and refresh my memory. The date bread would be a favorite for sure for me. My mom use to make it and I sort of had forgotten about it. I love aging tulips and leave them out as long as possible too. Your weather sounds very similar to what we are experiencing. Expecting the possibility of snow next week. I love a little snow for a few days and then I will be ready for spring flowers.

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  3. Your new schedule sounds wonderful and I am happy for you. Love the book stack picture. I remember the quote from Mary Oliver, but know nothing more of her work. Having read so many bloggers discussing her passing with sadness, I think I should remedy that.

  4. How wonderful that you have your mornings free! Morning are always my favorite time of the day. It sounds like you have dodged that chilly bullet...good for you! The quilt is so pretty and reminds me that I need to get busy on one that I have been a vintage quilt top from ebay a while back and am backing it with a pretty sheet...going to be a knotted one. Have a great weekend!

  5. How great that you have your mornings free! Your loafs look yummy.

  6. I can well imagine just how lovely it is to have your mornings free - no rushing out into the winter weather, and a more relaxed start to the day.
    I love the teapot and cups you bought back from Ecuador - of course I know they aren't by Emma Bridgewater, but they do remind me somewhat of her work.
    Mary Oliver was a favourite of mine too, not wishing to be morbid, but her death made me think of her poem 'When Death Comes'.

  7. I like the sound of your new schedule. An morning that isn't in a rush is special. Beautiful teapot and cup and saucer. I'll check into the Chilbury Ladies' Choir. Hope you get a bit of snow to enjoy!

  8. Lorrie, ever since I saw a post on FB last year of a designer who uses dying flowers on purpose in his arrangements I've looked at them with new eyes. Maybe we do toss things out too soon and fail to see the beauty of each stage. Those home baked loaves and the lovely quilt make me glad that you have a better schedule for doing them now. You'll have to update us on your cooking class, share with us. I think it would be wonderful to teach some basic cooking to kids and maybe even inspire a budding chef.

    Beautiful tea pot and cups!

  9. Mornings free sounds good to me, and your classes are certainly different! But both subjects you teach well I'm sure. Love your pottery--it reminds me of the beautiful dishes I admired in Ecuador.

  10. I'm with Tim, and would choose the date loaf, too, as it's my favorite. My late beloved mom loved it, too, Lorrie. Your teapot and teacups are so very charming!! I am loving the beautiful pottery pattern. Your quilt is so very beautiful! Getting to choose in the mornings on which to do is so wonderful for you.

  11. Good luck with the snow. Glad you’re having a little more time to pursue your favourite pastimes. I’ll check out those books and look forward to seeing your skirt. Pretty pin cushion :) B x

  12. Your tea set from Ecuador is lovely and a nice reminder of your time there. It's nice to have a more leisurely morning. My brain feels so sluggish in the mornings--I'm blaming the polar vortex and winter blahs!

  13. I have tulips on the dining table at the moment and like you try to keep them for as long as possible. They bring a wonderful array of colour to a dark month and brighten my day. Good to hear you have your mornings free to pursue some of your hobbies. The quilt looks beautiful .

  14. Dear Lorrie,
    I wonder where you begin when you teach a introduction to cooking class? It would be so interesting if you would write a post about it. Are sauces first?

  15. Lorrie, Having the mornings free sounds wonderful. We have another dump of snow this morning and I am so glad I got a few groceries last night after bible study. I love the tulip photo. Thanks for the review of books as I am always looking for interesting reads. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  16. Your new time table certainly feels wonderful! It was interesting to read about your books that are all unfamiliar to me. I never even read Mary Oliver, have to check if something is available in Finnish. Looking forward to see your skirt and quilt ready! Wishing a cozy weekend.

  17. I'm sure you're making the most of those free mornings. I was also wondering about your introduction to cooking class and would like to hear more about what you teach for it. I was introduced to Mary Oliver's poetry just recently when it was mentioned on several blogs. I want to get a copy of her poems and perhaps share at a local poetry group. The books you mention sound interesting. Do have a lovely, creative weekend with your quilting.

  18. I love the quote you shared....Her question "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" I'll write this in my journal later and ponder it! I love that pretty tulip...oh and your stack of books! We would love to swap books if we lived next door, wouldn't we? Your sweet breads look very yummy too! Enjoy your afternoon!

  19. That stack of books looks almost as tempting as the loaves of bread. Nourishment for body, mind and spirit. The tulip does look a bit like it’s been caught in a game of freeze tag. But how nice to enjoy fresh flowers in mid-winter. (Though the Pacific Northwest I know has been spared the worst of it.... our daughter and I carried on our latest cross-country call while both of us were outside and all the rest of our country and yours might as well be in the middle of Antarctica. ...your part-time teaching schedule sounds ideal.

  20. Your mornings sound quite productive! (Not a morning person myself, I admire people who accomplish such great things at an early hour.)

    I love your tea pot and mugs!!

  21. I'm glad you are enjoying your new schedule - a change for the better is always nice. Your tea pot and cups are wonderful, and a hot cup of tea sounds wonderful, as well as the bread. I too like to let flowers twist and dissolve away before letting them go - sometimes they get the most interesting shine when touched by the sun too. Can't wait to see the finished quilt - my favorite colors. Happy rainy week ahead - it has been raining really hard over here today - and they can't seem to make up their minds about whether we shall have some of your snow or not, maybe a bit north of here, towards the border with BC will get the snow. Our grandson loves the snow so I hope we get a bit for him, and it is always so pretty.

  22. I love the colors of the quilt. The book, The Victory Garden is a book I am interested.

  23. After having rushed around for so many years for work and school, I really cherish the slow mornings now. Sounds like you have a perfect part-time schedule. My eldest took Spanish in 10th or 11th grade, but then they cancelled the class after that year, which was a shame. He really would have benefited from it while in Chile last year where he did a month-long volunteer organic gardening session in Patagonia Park. Sounds like you have lots of lovely projects on the go. I think I need to make some loaves of something very soon. We always have dates and bananas around here. Have a nice Sunday!

  24. Dear Lorrie,
    Thank you for your lovely post. I too enjoy bringing home practical items, like your teapot when travelling.
    My favourite is an umbrella, I bought out of necessity while in Northern Ireland. Everytime, I use it it bring back the joy of the holiday.
    While at church today, I was thinking of a lady in our congregation who had hip surgery and how I could encourage her. The thought came make her Banana bread. Your post 3 hours later confirmed it.

  25. Another lovely post and pictures.
    I too was saddened to read of Mary Oliver's passing …
    The books look and sound interesting especially 'Left Neglected' a condition I'd not heard of.

    Enjoy this month of February.

    All the best Jan


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