All posts in Book Flavor

To Remember April

Late March our provincial government announced libraries were no longer necessary (contrary to sound stats and research).   April arrived with promise of difficulty.  It was a month I had hoped to celebrate being back at work for 1 whole year, and in my dream job too… small town librarian, after a 15 year break!  Instead it was a month of fighting for my job and my children’s right to learn freely and enjoy community freely.

I am just going to put a couple posts here that I wrote but didn’t share on my blog.  I was very emotional through it all but now I think I will want to remember this time.

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Napping in the Park

If I could bottle such days and replay them when ever and where ever I please I would bottle last Saturday.  Pyjama day till noon, an enthusiastic trip to the library (proof I have a house full of lit lovers), toboggan rides in a warm sun on a slick hill and then the icing on the cake… a nap in the park!

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I would like to introduce you to three book series that I am enjoying with my kids in mind.  All are for the older child, as they have intense lessons and dangerous adventure.

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She took a deep breath in, held it… and then slowly let it out.  But for the mess of breakfast dishes, and the almond milk left sitting out again,  it would be hard to tell there was a crew of kids in that kitchen only minutes before.  Gazing out the window she spotted the big yellow bus pull away… with her crew of kids.  Turning back to the dishes she sighed deeply and hugged her mug of coffee close.

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Mac Tac

Some say parenting and reading regularly can’t coexist.  I say, get your kids into reading and you can all escape together!  I also say ignore the kids  a little bit more, you can’t be accused of being a helicopter parent that way, AND you get to READ; win win!

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So I Read It Too

(Snapped this treasure of a photo a couple winters ago.  This is my fourth born, copying his big sister.)

My mom was (and still is) a good mom, so I don’t mind stealing things I remember her doing.  Reading what literature my kids are supposed to be reading, or bringing home to read willingly, not only came from her inspiration but most definitely it comes easily to me due to my being a library technologist.

When my older two got into reading as a hobby, a few years back, I started reading along with them.  They would bring library books home from school and I would rub my hands together with anticipation and think ‘oh so what did we get this time’. 

More and more I am impressed with their choices.  I wonder if they have caught on, or noticed, that I will run to the computer to do research on authors and books I am unfamiliar with, that I am thrilled when I notice they have brought home classics or award winning books, that I will make them send back dribble; that basically I am big into books.

I know they catch me devouring their books after they have gone to bed for the night.  I have actually pried a book out of my eldest’s hands once she had fallen to sleep, and turned her room upside down to find it the next night so I could finish.  She knew… she wasn’t so impressed with the idea of me finishing her ‘biggest chapter book yet’ before her.  My daughter especially really really gets into books so I feel fully with in my right to check out what she is soaking in… I also just simple adore reading.

When I am reading their book choice, at the same time as they are, I get so much energy out of talking about the book with them.  I am jumping in to a new world with them!  Whether they like it or not this Mama is cannon balling it, I know I am not subtle.  “Mom, not another book talk!”  Oh yes, I like to refer them to other literature that is similar to their current reads, and to discuss reaching out to try new genres.  I feed off of questions they have about their book, or books in general.  I AM THAT MOM who reads to them at night and acts it out, voices and all… by all I mean when the owl got knocked out by the bat throwing a large icicle upon his head, ending a magnificently tense scene, in tonight’s bed time chapter, I fell on the floor to demonstrate.

Well it sure hasn’t deterred them from reading, quite the opposite.  They seem to really enjoy that we have this comradery.  Can I just add how amazing it feels to be sitting on the couch in the evening reading with my oldest daughter and oldest son on either side reading too?  Three little heads bowed, noses buried in books… I have waited for moments like this!  My kids make reading more fun for me and that says a lot since it has always been a joy of mine.


Christmas Treats That Schmeck

‘Food that Really Schmecks’ by Edna Staebler

I have mentioned this favorite old cook book before. I ‘inherited’ it, if you will, from my grandma. Her and my mother have enjoyed their copies of it for many many years, and so I had to have one too. Full of sweet stories and lovely practical Mennonite recipes, I have come to enjoy flipping through it time and time again as well. A favorite recipe that stopped me in my tracks the first time I had a gander was “Cranberry Pie”, or tarts if you put it into little shells instead.

Oh how pretty cranberries are. They are a favorite of mine and yet because of the punch-y bite they carry it can be hard to use them in large amounts. Some might have assumed this pie would be too tart right away, but seeing as my other total favorite pie is JUST rhubarb I figured I could handle it. Well hello cherry pie taste with no pitting! Yup, as lovely as cherry pie but FAR easier when making the filling from scratch!

I just boiled up a batch of filling today, in preparation for day two of my holiday baking cook off tomorrow. It looks so amazing on the stove, such a beautiful colour! I can’t help but feel cheery while cooking it:) This is a beautiful Christmas treat that will brighten up any holiday gathering!

Bellow is the recipe for the filling. Other then that all you need is a top and bottom pie crust from your favourite pastry recipe.

REMEMBER to make this ahead and cool in the fridge, even over night, because it really adds to the flavour!

Cranberry Pie

2 cups whole cranberries (fresh best but frozen are just fine)
1 cup chopped raisins
2 cups organic sugar (or coconut sugar, just add a half cup more)
2 cups water
2 generous tablespoons of unbleached flour
2 tsps vanilla
2 Tbsps butter

  1. Bring all the items listed to boil in a pot.
  2. Stir until nicely thickened.
  3. Turn the temperature down to low and let it stew down for 15 minutes.
  4. Cool thoroughly before putting into a crust. Best if it is cooled overnight in the fridge, for best taste.
  5. For tarts I will roll out the crust for the tops and use cookie cutters to cut out cute shapes in it, then just put a small shape in the middle of each tart.
  6. For pies I put it in a full shell top and bottom, putting a little design in it with a knife and then brushing the top with milk and sprinkling with sugar to give it a glow.
  7. BAKE at 350 degrees for about 30 in pie or tart crust(s).



The Process of Preparing a Meal That Is A Moment

I am a napper… have been for years… my mother and grandmother where nappers so it is in the genes… In the last few years I have went from an easy riser to a crawl outta bed kinda mama. Fatigue is common place in my life.

Now I struggle with putting naps off. The idea of not being with it enough afterwards, for my kids sakes, is a real difficulty. This inner conflict meets its match with the promise of fresh espresso to help with the wake up process. I am super thankful for my little stove top espresso maker. It doesn’t break down like the fancy new ones often do. It is fast and makes nine shots at a time!

After years of this fatigue stuff I still manage to smile as I work at shacking it off, because I really really like my espresso treat and the espresso making process.

I have to serve my wake up espresso with something substantial to avoid going from a walking ton of bricks to jittery jabber-y nut. I find the process of setting it all up a sweet encouragement to my weary self. It is almost as pleasant as the slow morning routine of setting up a breakfast and not just scarfing something down.

Sun coming up…

patter out to the kitchen in favorite robe…

make favorite hot beverage and set up you breakfast in style so you feel pleased to sit down to it…

crack open the Bible and breath in and out as much as possible before the kids wake up!

Speaking of the process of presenting ones self with more then a meal but a moment…I just purchased a book, long ago recommended to me. It is about two women who spent a year purposely making a little oasis around their breakfast habit. I am hoping for delicious encouragement from this book. I will let you know what it is like when I get it.


Summer Reading

In reading, a lonely quiet concert is given to our minds; all our mental faculties will be present in this symphonic exaltation.
~Stéphane Mallarm

Silver Wing by KENNETH OPPEL

A fantasy novel in the world of a war between bats and birds, written for young adults.

Reading to the kids in the evenings.

Always Now, Volume 1 by MARGARET AVISON

A delicious collection of this Canadian writers poetry (a sweet gift from my little brother).

This is just for mommy in my all too precious alone time.

A Princess of Mars by EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

A fantasy/science fiction classic.

Enjoying this little easy reader with my man. We are taking turns reading it to one another.

The Lost Princess by GEORGE MACDONALD

A fairy tale type fantasy, by one of THE first fantasy authors. George was C.S. Lewis’s inspiration for his Narnia collection.

This was a little book so it was perfect for my purse book. Carried it around in my purse all summer to pass time if needed.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by HOWARD PHYL

Another childrens book but a classic, so I am reading through it first to see if the kids can get into the old English and more graphic adventure scenes… truth is I couldn’t wait till we finish the bat story.

Not a big bold reading kind of summer. With how busy it has been I have been enjoying mostly easy to read pieces of literature that fit in my bag. You know, great away we go stories. I plan to leave the heavy reads on my list for a cold winter day.


You Shan’t Hear Me Singing “Rain, Rain, Go Away!”

Or “come again another day!” for that matter 🙂

( The little ones of the house have been lulled to sleep by the drumming of the rain out our windows. )

Thanking my God for rainy days right now. We are in the middle of a water ban, right after I planted my little garden plot, but the Lord has provided and even though my hands are tied about watering the baby seeds, there’s already signs of green life in my patch of dirt.

Oh, I can find many more reasons to be thankful for rainy days. Grey days reek havoc on my emotional state, whether I want to admit it or not, but when the clouds burst forth in rain I feel a weight lifted and I can be heard letting a deep down sigh of relief out. It is pouring so beautifully today that I can hear it all around me, though I sit happily dry and cozy in my living room. It caught us just coming home from more errands. The little ones and I got very wet very fast, giggles came naturally as the water streamed down our noses and through our hair. We laughed all the way to the back door.

Mostly I am thankful for the rain because it gives me a sense of relief… that it is okay to stay home and just enjoy my little house and my kids. I feel like it is a good excuse to just relax and read and drink tea.Today I am indulging in an audio book! I haven’t done this before but I couldn’t find a copy of C.S. Lewis’s ‘Problem with Pain’ in the library system, all they had was the audio book and so I grabbed it. I am actually very interested as to how it will go, lounging on the chaise, watching the rain, listening to the book read to me… I fear I will fall asleep simply because of the delicious comfort and peace of it all… and not because of the literature itself for I always find Lewis engaging. One isn’t forced to keep ones eyes open (or in my case eye) to enjoy the book when it is a recording.

Bits and bites about my years of fatigue and feeling rotten have ended up on my blog but I usually keep it about the weak days… I don’t like to talk about the anxious days. Fact is I seem to burn myself up on my good energy days and then I have a day or more where I just can’t move which is followed by feelings of inadequacy. Rainy days slow me down, give me permission to ignore my ‘go go GO’ mind and this is why I am truly thankful for the rain today.

On a more positive note, the ball is rolling in regards to my health and the health care system. Specialist appointments are popping up and I am relieved. They will likely lead to more and more appointments as we FINALLY work out not just the genetic disease I have, but the good bad day roller coaster I ride as well.

Thank you Jesus for rain, for how it brings me peace and makes my garden grow. Truly I planted the seeds but you made the increase! This daughter loves you so!

“when pain is to be born, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.”
~C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)