“The first fire is the symbol of winter’s arrival. Winter comes not in calendar compartments; it comes with the advent of fire. When the air becomes resonant with the chopping of wood, when I see the smoke ascending from neighbors’ chimneys and smell the fragrance of wood burning, I know that winter is here.”
-Abbie Graham
The sorting continues, and tho’ it felt a bit like book-burning, some old cards of mine that were too bent or dented to use or offer fed our first fire of the season quite beautifully. I unearthed quite a little collection that are in fine condition and hope to offer them closer to Christmas.
We’ve also been warming ourselves by the fire of friends and music at the Hallowe’en gig last weekend…nothing like that combination.


It turns out to be rather easy to make a pirate-wife/sprite costume…if you have frequented the thrift store for years (and have probably too many long dresses and skirts that others have given away) and have plenty of pretty pins to tuck up skirts with, a borrowed belt, turned-down boots and a woolen sash (actually a lovely scarf from Salina)  from which to hang “weapons”.
I decided I wasn’t in the mood for swords and knives and instead dangled an old pen, a little notebook and a hen’s feather, because…after all…”the pen is mightier than the sword”. I found all the layers of leaves and flowers rather earthy and enchanting and may just try to wear it out on regular days…tho’ without the sash and adornments and tucks…I suppose…


Aaarrrgghhhh…a pirate and his iPad can ne’er be parted.



“Kneel always when you light a fire!
Kneel reverently, and thankful be
For God’s unfailing charity,
 And on the ascending flame inspire
A little prayer, that shall upbear
The incense of your thankfulness
For this sweet grace
Of warmth and light!
For here again is sacrifice
For your delight.

-John Oxenham

P.S. You know…all the dark and light contrasting in these photos puts me in mind of the achingly gorgeous shots of Edinburgh I have been drinking in watching Jackson Brodie (please roll your “r” when you say it!) in Masterpiece Mystery. So, so good. And as I recorded them, I will be rewatching them this week, and highly recommend them. Edinburgh is as much a presence as any of the wonderful human characters portrayed in the stories.