Friday

Things begin to pull together for the Christmas season on Friday.  I’ve been invited to sub for the leader of our exercise class on Friday.  She will be preparing her home for the class for our annual Christmas brunch.  We’ll exercise and then head directly to her home for a fabulous repast and conversation.

Saturday, I hope to get some baking done.  Sunday is the family party for my side of the family.  Either Saturday or Monday afternoon I’ll be caroling with some of the women from my exercise class.  There are six people we hope to visit, to bring a little cheer.

Christmas Eve I hope we’ll go to the 8:00 service at church and then on Christmas Day we will load all the presents I’ve been wrapping (in green paper with gold ribbons, Cop Car), and head north to spend the day with Dear Husband’s children and our grandchildren.

After Christmas, I hope to spend a couple of days with family teaching some of them how to make sugar crisp, the traditional family cookie.  It’s time to be sure that SOMEONE will carry on the recipe.

I’m looking forward to all of it.  This the season of joy!

TMI

Be forewarned, this post may have too much information for you.

I was good and went for a colonoscopy today.   This is my third.   Everything is fine.  My mother had colon cancer at 78.  With that in mind the doctor is now shifting me to an “every three years” schedule.  He said that as I got closer to the age when my mother had her cancer we would need to be more vigilant.  I protested that I have a lot of years to go to reach 78, and he said it didn’t matter.  So in three years, I’ll be doing this again.

I’m always glad when I get test results like this.  It puts my mind at ease.

Gift Wrapping

We have an unusual division of labor at our house for Christmas.  Dear Husband chooses and shops for gifts for his children and our grandchildren, and he frequently chooses the exchange gift for my family’s Christmas party.  I arrange for most of the gifts for those who provide us services, and for the gifts I give to my side of the family.

The one thing I do that DH usually does not do is wrap the gifts.  I started the wrapping this afternoon.  I plan to do a few every day from now to Christmas.  I started with dark green paper with vines in a darker green, and two kinds of gold ribbons.  One of the packages has tiny Christmas tree ornaments nestled into the bow, and the other has red and green jingle bells.

I’d like to choose a theme every year and decorate all the gifts in that theme.  Wouldn’t that look fabulous under the tree as the mound of presents grows? I could choose a different paper for each of our granddaughters to make it easier to hand them out on Christmas Day.  Unfortunately, somewhere the idea breaks down and we end up with a hodge podge of every kind of decoration imaginable.  No one else minds.  Perhaps the idea is just too anal-retentive.  I still may try it one day.

So, the Holiday season can start!

Birdseed

I tried to talk Dear Husband into filling the bird feeders.  I said, “I think YOU should fill the feeders.”  I said it a couple of hours ago, and I said it at 3:30.

We’ve been having one of those lazy couch potato days.  We really should have been out running errands and getting ready for Christmas, but we were being  sloths.  DH had found the movie “Forever Young,” and I sat with him to watch, picking up my crocheting.

A storm is coming in.  There’s a white glow outside, not quite fog, but not yet snow.  I could see the feeders from where I was sitting on the couch, and knew the birds needed one more shot at some food before the weather closed in and the sun went down.

It was peaceful outside.  I could hear chickadees chattering, and there was a squirrel nearby, waiting for me to get out of the way.  I filled the two big feeders, and topped off the finch feeder.  I put down three ears of corn, and re-settled a dried sunflower  head so the squirrels could get to it, but couldn’t drag the entire thing away.

I’m glad I went out, glad for the birds and glad for myself.

Lost and Found

My sister, Frankie, made a tower of grapevine for us two years ago.  She had made one for herself that I greatly admired, and she and her husband collaborated on one for us.  I took to calling it “Cousin It,” much to her dismay.  Her tower was graced with strings of lights that welcomed you to their front door, and, of course, I wanted mine to look just like hers.

Frankie found strings of Italian lights with wires that were brown, so that they blended in with the grapevines.  I plugged the lights in every night throughout the Christmas season, and into January, and then they died.

One of the chores on my to-do list was to find replacement lights for It.  We tried several places near our home with no luck until I struck it rich at Hobby Lobby.  I bought two sets, to be sure I had a back up.

I was ready to string the lights the other day, but couldn’t find them.  I asked Dear Husband if he had seen them.  No….neither of us could remember where they’d been put.  I checked every conceivable place they could have been tucked away, with no luck.

I was seriously considering going back to buy more lights, when Dear Husband announced that he had found them.  We had taken the SUV in for winterizing, and were using our second car to run errands that day.  The lights had been sitting in the back seat of that car, and I’d never thought to look there.

I could SEE myself tossing the lights into the back seat.  I just couldn’t see which car it had been.  When Mother was alive, I was always the finder of things.  No matter what she lost, I was likely to be able to find it.  I  think I may need someone to fill that role for me, now.

 

Bunny Faces

I have a wonderful quilt top almost finished for my newest great great niece.  Actually, it’s been finished for a couple of months, waiting for me to figure out how to do  eyes and mouths for the bunnies that grace the quilt.  I’m very aware that it is inappropriate to sew  on small buttons for the eyes, so that left me in a quandary.  Should I try to do something with my sewing machine, or try to draw faces with permanent markers?

Well, I’m not much at drawing things.  I’d hate to ruin a block that is already sewn into a quilt top. (Yeah….I know….I should have done the faces and THEN sew them together.)  Everything about this quilt is a new experience for me.  This is the first time I have ever tried my hand at machine applique, including trying Stitch Witchery and Heat and Bond and other types of  sticky things. I’ve learned to use a blanket stitch, and learned that  I might want to consider putting the stitch into proportion with the pattern I’m  making.

Today, I spent about three hours at my sewing machine trying to see if I could sew  eyes or a wink, and a smile, or at least a mouth.   I’d choose a design and sew it.  Then I’d alter either the length or the width and run it again.  At that point I’d mark the design number and the changes.  And then I’d make some more changes.

(I think my new sewing machine can make waffles, but I haven’t found that button yet.)

I  took time to read through the manual.  It’s large and not very well written, but I did find a magic button that elongates a pattern, and that was just what I needed!  I practiced a bit, and think I’m ready.  Now, should all the  mouths and winks be in black, or white?

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Thank God for all these babies who have joined my family.  I learn new things with each quilt I make for them.

 

Chores

EVERYONE has chores.  Sometimes I make lists of what needs to be done to encourage myself to get through them.  There are days I don’t do any chores, and days when I regret I didn’t do my chores! I’m adjusting to being retired, and have learned that having goals helps me to keep to a healthy schedule.

Having said that, I can tell you that I have finally put away the Halloween decorations, and re-organized those for Thanksgiving.  I think there might be another box of Thanksgiving decorations in the basement, but I’m happy with what is already out.

This Fall I made table runners from my batik stash.  The colors were warm golds and reds and tans.  I made one for each of my sisters and one for myself.  I have a lovely little mum, a grapevine pumpkin and a Tiffany-style lamp sitting on mine. I am trying to enjoy it as thoroughly as possible, because I’ll have to pack it up at the end of the week. (And I don’t have one made for Christmas!)

Can you hear me making lists of chores in my head???

 

Dreaming

I’ve read that dreams are a way of making sense of all the stimuli that we face in our waking lives. I haven’t made a study of dreams, but I do know that things pop up in my dreams that we’ve talked about, or things I’ve seen or thought.

A couple of nights ago, near to morning, I was dreaming.  I can’t remember what I was dreaming about, but some how a skunk walked through that dream.  His presence was so realistic that I can recall thinking, “Maybe I should wake up,” to get away from the scent.

I woke about 6:30 and got my day started without much more thought about the dream or the scent, but as we pulled out of the garage on our way to exercise, Dear Husband commented that a skunk had visited in the night.  :-)

I guess we DO process what happens in our lives!

Yup, I’ve been busy!

You have to know that if I’m away from my blog for three weeks, I’m busy.  I’m not quite sure what all I was doing, but I’ve been busy! lol

I think we saw the last of the herons and egrets about the middle of this month.  I’m always sad to see them go because they are such beautiful birds to watch.  Our weather has closed in and it’s pretty cold for the end of November.  In a week the family will be happy to be gathered in one warm place, visiting and celebrating Thanksgiving.

I have had a number of houseplant projects on my list of chores for the past month, and got to them today.  The aloe plant needed to be re-potted.  I learned that aloe needs less water than I have been giving it.  Did you know that when you re-pot aloe, you don’t water it for a week??  I was astonished to learn that.

I have a geranium that I bought when I was visiting with Frankie in central Indiana.  I have that geranium in pale pink and in hot fuchsia.  I wintered it over last year and it did well when I returned it to the front porch.  This fall a couple of the branches were broken, so I put them in water to start roots.  Today I potted two of them.  We moved the larger plants into the sunny window of the office for the winter.

I have had a Norfolk pine growing in my living room for years.  The plant has done very well, but the terra cotta pot it was in was beginning to crumble.  I’ve been meaning to re-pot the pine for the past year.  I FINALLY put down a plastic table cloth, brought in a new pot, potting soil, gloves and a sharp knife.  I slid the knife along the inside of the pot to be sure the roots were loose.  Dear Husband came along to give a hand lifting the pine from the old pot to the new, and lifting the new pot to it’s new home.  I’m really relieved to be able to cross off all these potting projects off my to-do list.

If I didn’t tell you, Scraps on a Mission has ended for the year.  I have eight small quilts that need to be delivered and six thank you notes to write.  I found a bolt of batting on sale for one quarter of the original price and picked that up so that we will be ready for the coming year.  The final count for 2013 was 58 quilts, with one woman making about 26 of them.  We gave some lovely quilts.  I’m working on baby quilts for my family now.

I’ve been crocheting in the evening when I sit with DH.  Charity Crochet Exchange on Facebook does a project each month.  They ask for six-inch and twelve-inch squares, and request a specific color plan for each project.  I’ve been doing very basic squares for them.  I figure that my simple blocks make a background for those who do the lovely work.  I just finished 52 six-inch squares for a Meals on Wheels auction.  They can either put together one afghan in white, aqua and teal from these blocks. or disburse the squares through out the other projects.  The next project is in shades of pink, with white and/or black. I’m glad to have something to keep my hands busy at night.

Dear Husband is Christmas shopping on line.  Now that he is retired, and has more time to play at the computer, I find him in the office looking for a new home, or shopping.  I’m delighted that he has taken over this activity.  I’m happy to wrap the gifts

And last, we have taken our home off the market for the winter.  I don’t want to have to clean up after people who come to look at the house during the holidays, and I don’t want to have to keep it super clean so that they can come to look.  We may have a stager come in to help us make the house as appealing as possible, and perhaps I can persuade DH to make some minor changes that might make it easier to sell.  I’m happy to have one more winter in the house. :-)

I hope that those of you who visit here are well, and getting ready for Thanksgiving,

Irritation

I am being besieged by pop ups!  Grrrrrrrrrrrr!  I tried to respond to Cop Car’s last comment, which was to wish my Dear Husband a Happy Birthday, and each time I clicked on “Reply,” or on “Post a Comment,” it took me to a family tree ad.  I finally logged out of the program and then back on to add a new post.

There’s a similar interruption at AARP.  If I try to play Mahjong Dimensions the pop ups are so numerous that I can’t play the game.

I assume that I have downloaded some bogus software that is taking over my computer.  I’ve called out to a friend who is very computer savvy.  I may need to put the computer in his hands for a while, to weed out whatever is wrong.

Cop Car, I passed on your wishes for a Happy Birthday.  DH sends his thanks.  He went soaring again today.  Although it was partly cloudy, they went up, this time a full mile.  He got the first of his lessons.  He’s definitely going to go for a license.

Wish us luck taking back control of our computer!