Tag Archive | family


I just read something on a blog I find curious, A woman was described as a 5th generation needleworker. Since most women of a certain age like me, would have learned from a mother or grandmother, how the hell do you know how many generations you go back? Especially since not too many generations back mothers made all their kid’s clothes.


My Brighid puppet complete with embroidered flames and Brighid’s cross

My mom did needlepoint and she made all my and my sister’s clothes until I was a teenager because I rarely fit anything from the store. She even made my tshirts and pants. She smocked all my dresses from when I was born until I was 7 or 8. (That picture of me and my brother I posted earlier in the week was her handiwork.) Mom also hooked rugs and made a huge floor rug she designed in needlepoint of the Queen’s beasts after she saw them in Kew Gardens.

My grandmother taught me to embroider and to design my own patterns as part of our family traditions and to chant things while I did it. At the end of my bed is one of the handmade quilts my great grandmother created. We still have several including one covered in butterflies that was on my bed as a kid and now dwells up in the cupboard next to a Hudson Bay blanket because I really prefer a comforter.


Lady Olivia Robertson, FOI puppet

I assume she was taught by her grandmother and mother. My grandmother had one of those foot pedal black Singer machines. I loved that machine and when I learned on my mom’s Singer she gave me a speeding ticket. I made a lot of my clothes for years because it was fun and I liked picking fabrics that were stealth pagan and had things like moons and stars. I lost my sewing machine when we had to let the storage go and we really don’t have room for it. I did when I lived alone but not now since I live with my sister and can’t leave things with pins and stuff out because of her cat, my cat had been trained not to go near my stuff.


Mom and Dad in our living room in front of three of her creations

I had a Great-great Aunt Annie, who was the family scandal and black sheep, not because she refused to get married but because she became a nun in a Scots Presbyterian family and she’d joined sometime in the late 1800s. I have a photo of her somewhere that I need to scan of her playing the guitar before she converted and her convent used to send boxes of handmade lace to try to raise money from the family. So she had to have been a needleworker too. The last box arrived when I was really little after all her brothers and sisters had died and I remember my grandmother and mom going off about it. I think that was the last time they heard anything from her and she had to be in her late 90s because her brother had died at 92 in 1945 and she was a little younger, I think, we can’t find her in ancestry.com and we don’t know her nun name.

So how can you say you’re a 5th generation needleworker? Now a days it’s more rare for women to be embroiders or sewers but 50 years ago almost everyone did. I can remember being at meetings and gatherings as a kid with mom’s friends and someone would be knitting, someone crocheting, my mom doing needlepoint she designed from photos, maybe someone tatting or making lace. All kinds of things were created because they considered it lazy not to be doing something with their hands.

I have to say I come from a long line of needleworkers that go back in history with no end.


Yule cookie – Melt in the Mouth

Melt in the Mouth

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1Teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
¾ cup sifted flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
½ Teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped nuts

Cream butter, add sugar, vanilla & egg
Beat until light
Add sifted dry ingredients and nuts
Drop by scant teaspoons onto cookie sheets
Bake in hot oven

400 degrees for about 5 minutes Cool for ½ minute
Remove to wire rack

Yule Cookies – Walnut Crispies

​2 Squares bitter chocolate

1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate in heavy saucepan
Add all other ingredients except nuts
Beat well by hand
Spread mixture in greased jelly roll pan or 3 (8×8 inch pans)
Sprinkle with nuts

Bake in  400 degree oven for 15 minutes
While warm cut with cutter into bars or squares
Break apart when cool.

Makes 4 dozen

Yule treat – Pineapple Pickle

Don’t knock it until you try it!

Pineapple Pickle

2 #2 ½ cans of pineapple chunks
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
20 whole cloves

Drain pineapple, reserving the liquid.
Add liquid to other ingredients and boil for 10 minutes
Add Pineapple and simmer for 10 minutes longer
Remove spices
Seal in hot sterilized jars or refrigerate until ready to use.

Serves 6-8

Warning when we made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas there is never any left to store. The longer you wait before serving the better the spices will do their job. So make the day before at least.

Yule treat – Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Make a pie crust or use one of the ones available at your grocer

Filling for a 9″ pie
Beat together with a rotary beater:

3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 Tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
melted 1 cup dark corn syrup

Filling for an 8″ pie shell:

2 Large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cups dark corn syrup

Mix in 1 cup pecan halves / 3/4 cup pecan halves

Pour into pastry lined pie pan

Bake until set and the pastry is slightly browned in a 375 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes
Serve cold or slightly warm

This from Mom’s really old Betty Crocker Cookbook from the 1950’s with the cool photos.

A Samhain prayer

On this Samhain Eve

I stand at the head of a long line

The last of my bloodline that there will ever be

I look back at the face of those that came before me

I see my nose and my chin

I see the red of my hair

I see those who went gray and white as I am changing

I see those who walked like me

I see those who loved trees and plants

I see whose who taught me to see the faeries

I see those who taught me to see life

I see those who taught me love

I see the ones who hurt inside so they hurt me

I forgive them

I see the friends that have gone through the veil

Before me

I see those love imprinted on my heart

I see all the shining ones who stand there

It is not my turn to join yet.

This year taught me how close it came to joining you

Some day I will see your shining hearts and faces

I keep you close to me

You taught me so much

I am grateful to have been loved

I am grateful to still have love around me

Hecate, this is your day

You are holding the veil back for us

To send love through

Faerie Queen, you sparkle on the other side

We bow in your honour

And we dance

Brighid, we turn our heads toward winter

And know your quiet strength

Is there for the asking

Elen, your swans pass over

Taking the new souls to Tir Na Nog

And we listen for the sound of wings

This Samhain I honour all those

Whose feet trod the path I walk

Walk with me

Teach me

Tell me stories

Let my ears and eyes be open this night

Let my hands and heart know what is important this night

I wait for the Dark Goddesses

Teach me

Tell me stories

Let my ears and eyes be open this night

Let my hands and heart know what is important this night

I wait for the dead

Teach me

Tell me stories

Let my ears and eyes be open this night

Let my hands and heart know what is important this night


Beloved Dead

Goddess, I miss him so much

Some years are worse than others

I miss my shadow

I miss my near twin

I miss his huge smile

I miss his hugs

Oh Goddess

Why does it not getting any easier?

He’s gone and he always will be

I miss his humour that was different from everyone else in the family

I miss when he didn’t get our jokes

I miss him trying

Goddess, grief is an unfillable hole

Yes, grief reminds us we loved

But oh, it hurts sometimes

It hurts to stand alone in the memories

Memories that only he and I held

I miss him hiding behind me when dad hit me

I miss being his protector

I miss him in the audience when I sang

I miss being his audience

Goddess. I’m selfish

I miss his love

I miss his smelly feet

I miss knowing I could call him if I needed

I miss the secret names we called each other

I miss seeing his eyes when we came out to each other

I miss the wonder of knowing he was gay too.

I miss knowing I wasn’t alone with my secret

I miss that he will never know how Harry Potter ended

The last book he read was number 6.

I miss that we can’t share Star Wars rebirth

He kidnapped me to the very first one

Insisting I would love it.

Goddess, I miss my baby brother

And it hurts so much…