It’s one month till Christmas which means November is almost over. I’ve not watched one Christmas movie, Hallmark or otherwise. But we did see Bryan Adams in concert and it was fabulous. My Mom and I went to see our first Globe Theatre of the 2022/2023 season. Also, wonderful. And I’ve been busy with my watercolours and watching The Great Canadian Baking Show. And the sunsets and sunrises the last couple of days have been gorgeous.
I’m leaving you with a tiny snippet from Charlotte and Ridge’s story (Whisper Creek Series, Book One). For a guy who’s trying to keep a low profile he’s not doing a very good job. It’s been a lot of fun throwing him into the deep end of the pool and figuring out what comes next.
I hope you find a moment of calm to read a great book in the amidst of the storm that is Christmas shopping, baking and socializing, oh my. I’ve recommended some great reads in previous posts. I also share bits of this and that on Instagram and Facebook, in case you’re interested.
This Sunday is Grey Cup. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the CFL (Canadian Football League), that means this weekend is the final game of the season. Now normally I don’t care about the sports. Sorry, not sorry. But my city is hosting this year, which means there are all kinds of events happening. None of which I’m attending, by the way. But it’s fun to absorb the atmosphere from enough degrees of separation.
However, Globe Theatre is back and this year’s first reproduction is paying homage to football in Saskatchewan.Yes, ’tis the season for theatre going. That I can get excited about. Last Sunday was our first time back and the Globe is putting on #34 by Munish Sharma which highlight’s the incredible, groundbreaking career of George Reed. Reed was a running back who played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for 13 seasons from 1963 to 1975. So, if you’re here to watch the Grey Cup, you might like to buy a ticket to the show.
I found it interesting. I really loved the last fifteen minutes of the show. There was deeper level of depth there that I felt was maybe missing from the rest of the production. Although, that is probably because of my lack of interest in the game of football. I still found it very entertaining and I learned some things about the early days of the CFL and what life was like for the players. I came away with even more reasons to love George Reed, like his support of Special Olympics Saskatchewan.
Me and my Momma! Who knit the sweater she is wearing, which in my unbiased opinion is a piece of art!
Until next time…
What’s everyone else out and about doing? Or are you keeping close to home?
It’s been a joyful beginning to November as we welcomed our newest grandchild. Little fingers, little toes, little nose. That new baby smell! He’s the sweetest little guy! Babies are the best, aren’t they? Especially, when you’re not the one responsible for them 24/7.
The writing is also starting to flow better. I don’t mind saying, it has been a slog for a while now. BUT, I’m finally making consistent progress. Making notes like the ones below put me in the right mindset, so to speak. They also help me with the story itself and brainstorming all the details that add tone and mood to a story.
I also signed up for an online lecture on November 24 through the Saskatchewan Writers Guild with Joshua Whitehead: Writing From the Body. I’m very excited about this.
Halloween is almost upon us. To be honest, I don’t go to a lot of trouble. I put up a few decorations, we carve a pumpkin, make a couple of crafts, and hand out candy. Most of that effort is because our adult daughter, who has an intellectual disability and still lives at home. She keeps us young!
I have to say the highlight of this October was once again finding myself in a theatre seat to see the musical Come From Away. The story of how Gander, Newfoundland, with a population of under 10,000, found themselves hosting almost 7,000 air travellers who were redirected there on 9/11. It was so uplifting and so inspiring and just what I needed. If you get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it.
Also, it snowed. Ugh. But it’s melting. So, yay! A couple of fashion brands to mention. The black sweater is from Sarah Sue Design, a sustainable and ethical, female owned fashion brand out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is one of my very favourite brands. The blue tunic is from another lovely brand, sustainable, ethical and female owned, Cider and Vine. From Estevan, Saskatchewan, they focus primarily on linen, although the one I’m wearing is a heavy terrycloth. The black pants are Eileen Fisher and the burgundy pants are Free Label (Vancouver, Canada, ethical, sustainable, female owned). Both pants are several year old and have been worn multiple times.
The banana bread recipe was delicious and from my new favourite baking site, Sally’s Baking Addiction. The delicious apple cake is my Mom’s recipe. I’m going to try and get that recipe up in December.
I’ve never written a Halloween story. The closest I’ve come is Exposed, which takes place in October and centres around Aspen Lake’s annual Gothic Revival Festival. One of the key events of the festival is The Mad Man’s Ball. I had so much fun brainstorming ideas for this festival and then putting them to paper. The whole town gets into and it’s a major source of income to many of the businesses. Putting those details into a story is what makes writing so much fun.
The Abbey, where the ball takes place, was inspired by the Moosehead Inn at Kenosee Lake, southeastern Saskatchewan. I spent lots family time at Kenosee Lake as a child and I worked at Moose Mountain Provincial Park, right next door, for two summers. I met my husband that first summer. Sadly the Moosehead burnt down in 2021. No one knows what happened to the resident ghost, who was quite infamous, and a total troublemaker…
Until next time…
What’s everyone else up to? Is Halloween a favourite holiday for you? Or are you a bit meh about the whole idea?
This is the book I picked for October because, you know, Halloween. And it has vampires and werewolves and soulless humans (?) and the typical mortal kind. And they’ve found a way to co-exist in Victorian England. Mostly.
Soulless by Gail Carriger a combination of urban fantasy, victorian, romance, steampunk and mystery. I’ve never read anything like it. I enjoyed it. Alexia Tarabotti is an outspoken, sarcastic delight. She may have no soul but she’d got character in spades. Though I have to admit I had to do some backtracking. That doesn’t necessarily bother me, especially if it’s a genre I don’t regularly read. And there was a lot going on in this story. And a lot of characters. And layered world building to sort through. It’s not for everyone but if you’re curious definitely give it a try.
Here’s a sneak peek at a book I’m writing which may or may not have a ghostly character.
Speaking of baking, the heroine of my work-in-progress bakes cakes for people. Aside from getting ready to open up a bed and breakfast, she has a little side hustle called Buttercream. New in town, she’s getting to know the people of Whisper Creek one cake at a time. Or at least, she’s trying…
Sometime during the earth plague, I decided I enjoy baking. Weird. But yummy. I think my favourite thing to make is galettes, or pies. But I’m on a snacking cake kick at the moment. Today I’m going to make my Mom’s apple crumb cake. I’ll let you know how it goes. Hopefully, as good as my Aunt Alma’s Chicken casserole, which I made with leftover turkey, despite the rather sparse instructions. It’s from back in the day when you recited the recipe from memory to the person requesting. Like throw in a few peas. Add maybe 1/2 cup of milk – or maybe a 1/4. No indication of baking times or oven temperatures. Because if you have to ask you aren’t worthy. I made it anyway.
I’ve ordered the turkey from a local grocer. I shopped for the rest of the food on ten percent Tuesday. By accident, but still. I’m feeling very organized. It feels like forever since I’ve hosted a holiday meal and I’m very excited about the whole business of setting out a feast.
My Go To Roast Turkey Recipe:
This cookbook, Canadian Living Cooks Step by Step, is over twenty years old. So, I guess you could say it’s vintage. The photos are certainly dated. But the recipes are still awesome. And you get basic step by step visual instructions. It’s one of my favourite cookbooks.
It’s true that in Canada British explorer Martin Frobisher held a thanksgiving feast in Newfoundland 1578 with salted beef and mushy peas so thankful was he for being alive after a failed attempt to discover the Northwest Passage, but Indigenous peoples have held fall harvest celebrations for thousands of years before the first settlers arrived. And no doubt they were tastier too.
Our big dinner is tomorrow, so I’ll be stuffing a turkey and mashing potatoes. There will be carrots and salad and buns. And linens on the dining room table. There will be cranberry sauce and dessert.There will be stories, old and new, told as we sit shoulder to shoulder at the table. If necessary, I’ll steer the talk away from politics. We’ll be together and we’ll hold the ones not able to make it in our hearts.
From our table to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.
Until next time…
Turkey? Ham? Roast cauliflower? What’s your go to fancy feast dinner?
So long, September! It’s been an absolute pleasure. I baked, like a lot, which is strange for me. But I really enjoyed it. From biscotti to a plum almond cake to peach streusel muffins. Everything turned out as it should and was delicious. This is not always the case when I bake so maybe it’s a sign I should continue. Maybe it’s all those episodes of The Great British Baking Show that I watched.
One of the things I don’t talk a lot about is fashion. Not because I’m not interested in clothes. I’ve spent the last years creating a sustainable, ethical wardrobe that meets my budget and is functional. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s come a long way from the days I had a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. These days I love the things in my closet. Some of them are new, some of them are old (and mended), and some of them are thrifted.
A lot of it comes from Canadian, female owned, small businesses. The dress in the upper lefthand corner is from Buttercream, one of my favourites. Buttercream fits my need for casual apparel and is budget friendly. I wore this dress to a baby shower for my son and daughter-in-law. That’s right, I’m going to be a grandmother for the second time. Very excited!
However, once in a while I splurge. Because sustainable and ethical fashion usually means expensive. The sweater in the upper righthand corner is new and from an American company called Able. I don’t usually order clothes from the US, because of the exchange rates, the shipping costs and the duty and taxes. But this sweater filled a hole in my closet and I couldn’t resist. Hello sweatha weatha!
Meanwhile, it still looks like summer in my yard and in our favourite park. There are rumours going around that this winer is going to be harsh. As in COLD. Like colder than our regular cold, which is plenty cold enough. Looking forward to enjoying the short fall prairie season with it’s crisp mornings, cozy evenings and pretty leaves.
Until next time…
What does fall look like in your neck of the woods?
I’m thinking of Atlantic coast family and friends today as they batten down the hatches for Hurricane Fiona. A left hook of heavy rainfall and powerful winds expected to hit tonight and into Saturday morning.
This Friday’s mug is full of steaming Earl Grey tea, my morning favourite. It rained here last night and it smells glorious. All cool and crisp with brooding skies.
What a week it’s been. Tragedies around the world. It’s hard to set boundaries around what to take in and what to let go. Including the guilt of looking away. Because we aren’t meant to absorb all the world’s troubles 24/7. I hope you find peace this weekend. I hope it includes a book and a quiet moment in the mad dash fall rush. Also, thank goodness, there’s new programming on television. Looks like some good shows coming. I’m looking at you Alaska Daily, and East New York, because Jimmy Smits. I’ll watch anything with Jimmy Smits. I still miss NYPD Blue.
Until next time…
What are you looking forward to TV wise this fall?
It’s been an interesting week. Canada is a Commonwealth country, and the Queen’s death has taken over news cycles, not just here, but around the world. Here in Canada, Monday has been declared a federal holiday by the Prime Minister, which means federal employees get the day off. Otherwise, individual provinces are responsible for statutory holidays for other workers. In Saskatchewan, Monday has been proclaimed September 19 as a Day of Mourning but otherwise it is off to work.
I guess now makes it a good time to have read a regency romance about a widow and a Marquess? How’s that for an awkward segue? To Have and to Loathe by Martha Waters is a delightfully witty read. Waters style reminds me of Emily Henry’s books. I have a bit of a nitpick though. I feel like the title is a bit of a mislead. These two do not loathe each other. I’m not sure they even dislike each other that much. They disagree and they bicker and it’s highly amusing but that’s not the same thing. As a big fan of the enemies to lovers trope, I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, still worth the read for the dialogue alone. Just don’t expect any actual loathing. sigh. Also, not sure what that says about me…
Until next time…
Are you planning to watch the Queen’s funeral on Monday? I think I’ll pass. But I totally get why you might want to witness history.