Archive for December, 2010

Marion Ruth

December 28 is my mother’s birthday.

Yesterday, on the 27th, I was sorting through more boxes in the basement. Boxes boxes boxes.

And I found a rug I have been looking for for years. I have been trying to remember what might have become of it. It is one of my mother’s many creations and it lay on the kitchen floor of our family home in front of the sink. Comfy quilting to sink your feet into as you washed dishes.

The rug said, “I Hate Dishes but I Like Cooking”. I had completely forgotton about the “I Like Cooking” part.

In the box it was wrapped up to form a draft snake. Fabric put together, often with newspaper rolled inside, to be placed at the bottom of exterior doors to prevent cold drafts. This was in the days before serious weatherproofing:) I can only conclude that my mother, always finding a reuse for everything long before such a concept was popular, decided that the piece had outlived its usefulness as a rug. So she rolled it up and sewed it up and tied the ends with colourful ribbon. And all the years I have owned it I always thought it was a draft buster. And I have always wondered what happened to that rug.

As I picked it up out of the box I realized it was not my mother’s standard draft buster. No newspaper. And the ends were open. And the ribbon was a novelty too – none of the others have ribbons. And bing – I knew what it was.  I untied the ribbons and pulled apart the threads and there it was.

And I am taking this as a gift from my Ma. She told me she would always be there watching over my shoulder.

My mother and I. Belgrade circa 1957.

My mother with my sister, me and a friend. Berlin circa 1964.

My mother. Circa 1953. At a black tie event in Warsaw. This was her wedding dress cut down to a very swanky evening dress.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her.

I would not have thought of doing this were it not for my friend Lois. Lois who has created the most beautiful of tributes to her parents on her blog.  It made me so happy to be thinking about my Ma today in this way. Thank you Lois.

Read Full Post »

Several months ago we had dinner at the home of old friends. It was there that I first laid eyes on the animals …. The ones I saw were in three sizes, a small herd, of small, medium and large animals.

I could not take my eyes off them. I chose a seat from which I could continue to gaze at them.

It would appear that Tim entered into an email correspondence with a woman from MonkeyBiz in Cape Town. A purchase was made. And a large animal began its odessey from Cape Town to the Little Street. Where it arrived on December 24th in the post.

When ordering an animal you cannot select a pattern. You choose between small, medium, large,  X large and XX large. And then it is a surprise. A lovely glorious surprise.

More than lovely these are gifts that do good. Imagine. Indeed I am of the view that perhaps everyone should own one – or a herd:)

You can see them here. Good luck on resisting.


And here is my lovely beautiful Christmas present. No name yet. We are still getting to know each other. Not sure what he is. I am thinking perhaps a Wildebeest?

The artist is Mandisa Muinjana.

Read Full Post »

Bits and Pieces

Turkish Delight…

Pour Moi?

Read Full Post »

Very tiny Santa, tree and gift created by the Little Girl …..

Read Full Post »

Gingerbread Houses ~ Part II

Oh my they are lovely.


Read Full Post »

Gingerbread Houses ~ Part I

Yesterday three Little Girls arrived at the Little House early in the day. They measured and poured and cracked eggs and beat and combined, rolled and cut. Busy.

Egg Cracking 101 – all graduating with flying colours.

Four gingerbread houses = 24 cups of flour. 2 pounds of butter. 8 eggs. 16 teaspoons of ginger and 16 teaspoons of cinnamon. And 6 cups of molasses. Just saying:)

One house and accessories ready for the oven.

Out of the oven. Please note stained glass windows. These are butterscotch. We also had a house decked out with peppermint drop windows.

Part of the Village awaits embellishment.

Read Full Post »

Tis the season…

To grow paperwhites. Tho some do object to their fragrance. Can’t really argue with that. But so lovely.

And our other tree..

The Elf Tree.

Read Full Post »


Christmas in our own house. And this time we don’t have to leave after Christmas day.

It has been a week. I made, with assistance, 140 lime Melt A-Ways.Lime shortbread with a tart lime icing. Packed up beautifully and carted off to teachers at both the elementary and secondary level. 17 boxes.

The Little Girl creamed the butter. Beautifully. Far better and with more patience than I have for the exercise. Also much grating of lime rind.  The Girl beat ingredients relentlessly and rolled and cut and rolled and cut and rolled and cut etc etc etc.

They are a good thing.

And then. Last minute. Cookies were needed for the After Care party. On short notice. And these were created and sent off.

Hard to see. But these are miniature gingerbread men and equally diminutive angels with frosting and sprinkles.

The late afternoon light came in today and struck.

Read Full Post »


I read about this book on one of my favourite blogs – A Bloomsbury Life.

Thinking that it is a perfect perfect book title. I am intriged.

A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life: How to live creatively with collections, clutter, work, kids, pets. art, etc…. by Mary Randolph Carter




Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of A Misspent Life: How to live creatively with collections, clutter, work, kids, pets, art, etc... and stop worrying about everything being perfectly in its place.

Read Full Post »

Ho Ho Ho Again

The wee skates have been with us for almost a decade now. A gift to The Girl on her 6th Christmas. And if you look carefully you can make out the single green grape hanging above the skates – one of the remnants from the collection of my mother’s Russian ornaments,

Lots of good stuff here. The H was needlepointed for The Girl by my mother and was a gift on her first Christmas. Peeking out behind the “H” is a gingerbread man – a gift to the Little Girl from her Nano ..hmmm..three years ago. With her back to us is “Alice”. Oh my I believe that “Alice” belongs to the Little Girl. I better get this straight and get it in the will:) Right below Alice’s feet is a star. This was originally a gift tag – from my father to me. Now it is an ornament.

Mouse stockings. Made by our Nano. Soon to be filled with minature candy canes. On the right is my mother’s favourite Russian Santa – St. Nicholas.

Added this year. Snowflakes hanging in the front windows.

Another Elf. I am not sure that it is possible to have too many elves.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »