Whew, what a day yesterday, shoveling 14 inches of snow, and now it's 17 below wind chill! Hard to
keep up with the weather these days…I hope the birds found the millet
and sunflower seeds we put out for them…We're happy we still have heat and power here, and lots of cookies that we baked!
It's not howlingly cold where these people are and they look happy because someone helped them feed their family, go to school, make their farm successful. Clara Parkes on Knitter's Review reminded me today why I started Knitcircus in the first place–to help knitters share their generosity and just a little bit of yarn money with mothers and families around the world who could benefit so much from what we use to buy one skein of yarn, while having fun and knitting, sewing and crafting in the process.
Every issue, we've given what we can to Heifer International–we've made Heifer a priority in our extended family for the last few years, and I just went on there this morning to shop for everyone and print out my own cards sharing the good news. And I cried the whole time, 'cuz I'm like that. The thought of giving the kids' teachers a flock of chicks, my mom a Basket of Hope, my dad the woodworker a Gift of Trees, my SIL who had a pet named Daffy a Flock of Ducks, makes me feel that we can be part of something bigger than our windswept Wisconsin block. So often I wonder what worrying effect we're having when we run the dryer, salt/sand the driveway, etc, and of course, as a mom, the thought of kids hungry or cold gnaws at me. What a relief to know that we're having a ripple effect in a good way.
If you're not familiar with Heifer, one of my favorite foodies, Alton Brown, has a great video intro on the program.
Things have been a little leaner here than in past years, but we're still going to have a lovely holiday full of crafts, carols, fireplaces, cookies, sledding, knitting and gifts. I'm glad we can still reach out to Heifer this holiday, and hope you'll be able to help a child in Tanzania, family in Vietnam or farmer right here in the States by passing on the gift. You might hint to your family members that a share of a Knitting Basket would really warm your heart…
Hey, for another gift that really warmed all of our hearts around here, check out Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson.
My parents gave me the book last year and I've lent it a number of times already. Greg Mortenson was a mountain climber who wandered down the wrong side of the mountain, arriving sick and starved in a remote village. The people there nursed him back to health, and he promised that he would repay their generosity by building them a school. He had very little money or connections, but he never gave up, and ended up building not only one school, but many, in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan where the opportunity for school and a better life had never been an option–especially for girls.
"Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure
stories of our time. Greg Mortenson’s dangerous and difficult quest to
build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not
only a thrilling read, it’s proof that one ordinary person, with the
right combination of character and determination, really can change the
world." –Tom Brokaw
Tom's right. After reading this book, if you ever find yourself wondering how much one person can really do, you'll always be able to think, wow. One person can really make a huge difference in this world.
My dad's getting Greg Mortenson's new book from me this year: From Stones into Schools.
And,in unrelated cool gift news, if you're looking for a book for anyone who loves beautiful pictures, you've got to see Flotsam.
Lil Buddy brought this home from the school library, and we all paged through it, entranced. This wordless book draws you into a secret of a camera that's been floating through the sea for decades and can photograph magical sights of undersea creatures as well as of the kids who find it. Everyone from Lil Buddy up to my dad wanted to look through it more than once.
Okay, Knitcircus Gift Guide signing off for now–watch for more recipes and crafts tomorrow and take care, wherever you are, especially if it's cold and icy.