Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Day After Christmas!

Christmas 2014 is now a memory.  Soft lights.  Hush of evening.  Candles.  Church Bells.  A Holy Night.  Christ was born.  Family gathered.  Gifts shared.  Home.  Laughter.  Love.  Joy.  Christ alive.  All is well.



Saturday, December 20, 2014

First fire in the Holton House fireplace

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."' John 8:12

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Light of the World ... our Savior Christ Jesus, was born on a dark winter night when the world was cold and still ..... do you?

The nights here in Central Indiana are chilly, air is frigid, world is silent and still ......time for the first fire in the new house.  Time for reflection.  Gratitude.  Wonder.  He came to live with us here on this difficult place called earth to show us the way .... to die for us in order that we may live with Him forever.  Oh, the wonder of it.

Time to be thankful .... time to light a fire in the fireplace.



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies

Yesterday was the Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange held in a beautiful country home and hosted by a vivacious and interesting lady.  She is a successful attorney, wife and mother of two, homemaker and fantastic cook.  Not sure how she does it all, but I am grateful to be invited to this cookie party for the third year.  So many cookies - tables full of them.  AND one of the guests wears her own creation Christmas sweater complete with lights and four battery packs!!!!  She creates a NEW SWEATER each year.  Here is this year's invention.

Well, here is one of the battery packs in her hip pocket .... there was another one up one of the sleeves ...
and I think two more hidden on her in other sleeves or pockets.  She confessed that a trip to the ladies' room was quite a feat and no easy undertaking!!!!

Cookies .... cookies .... everywhere.

And we each proceeded to load up our large plates, or boxes, or Tupperware containers, or zip locks .... with three or more of every cookie on that table plus the recipes for each one!!!!!  Our plates runneth over, so to speak!

To counter-act - or perhaps an attempt to prevent - overindulgence on all that sugar, our hostess had healthy snacks and delicious food awaiting in the kitchen.  Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, spinach dip, cheese trays, stuffed mushrooms - yes, we were treated well.

Closing with a few photos from here at home.  Beekeeping Daughter came over and delivered a gift for me to put under the tree. Can you guess what this present is????  A necklace perhaps?  A ring?  Perhaps a pretty sweater or blouse?????  Hmmmmmmmm.

 She blinged it up with beads, bows, and holly berries!  Pretty wrapping paper on that wonder gift!!!
We then loaded up a little wagon with items that needed to go to Knitting Daughter's home (the wagon needed to be returned to her also), donned our coats, called to be sure Knitting Daughter was home, and hiked the 2.2 miles over to her house.  After a long drink of water, a nice chat and visit, Knitting Daughter presented me with this lovely ornament painted by one of her friends.  Then we hiked back 2.2 miles, hung the ornament on the tree, and felt refreshed and invigorated.  Isn't the ornament lovely?

A nice afternoon with two of my daughters and a good walk ... after a beautiful church service this morning - Christmas Music Sunday with a full orchestra and choir.   A little glimpse of heaven.  What a fine day .... the best.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Quilts and Christmas Bows

Monday night the plan was for our Lovely Miss Witty to hold a little tutorial with Miss Exactly Perfect to demonstrate the proper method to make beautiful big Christmas bows.  Miss Exactly Perfect has a neighbor with a rather horrid, exceedingly ugly privacy fence that runs along her side yard, giving her a depressing view.  She had the thought of dressing it up with possibly garlands and big red bows.  She arrived with an armload of rolls of velvet looking red ribbon ..... and Lovely Miss Witty came with her package of pipe cleaners and a wealth of experience and information.  Thus the tutorial began .....

Miss Exactly Perfect turns out the most intricate, elaborately embroidered and beaded Christmas stockings with tiny stitches, miniature pearls and sequins .... and quilts with tiny pieces all matching perfectly - every corner meeting and every point perfect.  BUT when it came to doing a free form bow, frustration reigned.  I think she wanted a template to use and wished she could measure each length of ribbon as she tried to  loop it into a bow .... she couldn't relax and just CREATE the bow.  At one point she crumpled the whole thing up in a ball and threw it on the floor!!!!  Oh dear!!!!  Not sure what the conclusion was, but I think I heard the words, "I will just go to one of the big box stores and BUY a bunch of fancy bows!"  All the while, Lovely Miss Witty quietly coached and calmly churned out fluffy big beautiful bows!!!!

Meanwhile, Miss Wonderfully Kind quietly stitched the binding on a striking quilt she is finishing up as a gift for her boss.  Someone is getting a very special gift,wouldn't you say!

Miss Wonderfully Kind's next quilt is a Log Cabin design.  Here is one of the squares she has started.

I will finish up with a few photos of the tree in its completed stage .... and the mantel with greenery and little lights - the Holy Family .... and angels.

The last photo is of the three lighted trees, all silvery and shiny - a house warming gift from these wonderful talented quilting/crafting friends - my Monday night dear dear friends.



Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Saturday following Thanksgiving - and all through the house!

The turkey is all sliced and taken off the bones and some pieces waiting to be frozen, bones discarded, dressing remains are being eaten - and the dishes are all put away - house is cleaned up!!!!  Now - down with the fall decorations - and time to drag out all the Christmas boxes.  UGH.  They are the only boxes remaining from the move - all the others are unpacked, thank goodness.

I will start with a little 'centerpiece' made from an old sewing machine drawer.  It is  filled with pop corn and colored corn from the bulk bin at Whole Foods - acorns and pieces of nuts from the woods in back, twigs and interesting leaves and berries from the wooded area, and cinnamon sticks.  And, of course, a scented candle.

This was on the buffet next to the table was too big to put in the middle of the dining table and be able to hold a conversation over it!!!!!

I want to show you what I did in the sewing area.... I took the antique spools we had and put some of the old lace pieces around the spools .... and placed them on top of the cabinet above the area where I sew.

It is easier to spot the lace ... and I kind of like the look!

Then today ... the sun peeped out, warmed the air and it was actually nice outside!!!!  One of the sons-in-law and grandsons surprised me and came over on this warm day to split all the logs that had been stacked along the side of the woods from the tree that had to be felled to make room for the house.  What a lot of work!  They made me stay way way back from them in case a piece of wood would come shooting out ... but I managed a few pictures of the ax welding and wood splitting action!!!!  Now there is plenty of wood, in sizes I can manage in the fireplace, to keep me warm all winter!  Wonderful job.

They inspired me to clean up the leaves and spiffy up the yard, cut the grass, and clean up the perennial bed to prepare it for the 'real winter' that will be coming soon.  This day was a very nice respite from the unseasonable cold and snow.  I love days like this!

Working outside in the fresh air was so invigorating - and inspired me to finish up the decorating for Christmas that was begun last night.  Boxes marked "Christmas" were all unloaded, the goodies carted upstairs, and the decorating began in earnest.  Here are some shots of the tree before the last three or four boxes of ornaments were put on .... and I will share other little pictures of things around the house in the next blog .... and the tree in its final finished state!!!!

I thought I might not put up a tree ever again after last year ... what is it about last year???  I just did not like the thought of another tree .... but this year it is so delightful and such a good thing to do.  So many memories are bound up in the little ornaments.  I have enjoyed lugging the boxes out and decorating this lovely house.  It's been a joy.  I just wish you could be here too.