Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve at the Museum

On this New Year's Eve day, the kids and I went to the Behringer Crawford Museum in Covington.  They have a wonderful holiday train display, maybe not the splash of the Duke display in Cincinnati, but more up close and personal, with buttons to push.

There is a year-round train display too, also with buttons, and the discovery today was a little cave behind the display.  You can crawl through it and pop up in one of two plastic bubbles, right next to the trains.

The place where we spend most of our time is always the steamboat replica, with speaking tubes,

dress-up clothes,

driving the boat, and fishing off the edge.  Lovely unstructured play.  I bought a pass today so we'll be going again soon.  And I'll go by myself to actually study the history displays.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

One More

It was the year of the pajama pants.  I made five pairs in pink, plus pajama tops and bottoms for Nora and Aaron then matching pajamas for Nora's American Girl doll.  That's a lot of flannel.

Then my sister mentioned that my niece Ariel has trouble finding pajama pants that are long enough and I knew there was one more pair to be made.  I didn't get them finished before Christmas, but did make them today, still in the same calendar year. 

The pattern says that they can be made in one hour, but that absolutely isn't true for me, even starting with them already cut out.  Goodness knows after having used that pattern six times I know the short cuts plus the serger helps too but one hour just isn't happening.  Not even close.  I can't bring myself to actually care because they really look nice.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Duke Trains

At the Museum Center, Duke train display.  Are those pajamas on that cute little boy?  Ummm, yes.  A smart mom knows how to pick her battles.

A small section of the trains.  I love that one of the trains has a camera on the caboose, hooked up to a screen.  The trains used to be in the Duke building downtown but needed more room.  Still, there was something to be said for tradition.  And for the cookies that were given out to the kids at the original display.

I remember going with Nora and Aaron and Mike on Nora's third birthday.  She wore a little brown sweater in the double stroller and the outside temperature was 63 degrees.  And she did NOT want to sit on Santa's lap at the Carew Tower. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


Aaron and his mom picked up his new and much-anticipated glasses yesterday.  I understand that so far things are not going smoothly, with either glasses or patching.  Perhaps today will be a better and more rested day.  Aaron loved his fashion glasses, so perhaps he will come to love these too. 

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Museum Center to see the holiday train exhibit.  Most of the crowd went before Christmas and we were able to stroll along without lines deep into Union Terminal, enjoying the exhibits until we arrived at the trains.  There are so many enjoyable holiday things, it's impossible to even pick a favorite.

Thinking about holiday traditions reminds med that when Sarah and I went to Graeter's the day before Christmas to pick up a few goodies, there were many bags waiting for pick-up.  Probably filled with rolls and strudel and schnecken and pie.  Edible holiday traditions.  I really enjoyed the cherry pecan pie Sarah bought - maybe next year there will be a bag with my name. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Do You Remember?

I'm so glad that my grandkids will have Christmas memories like "Do you remember that Christmas that it snowed at Grandma's and Pap's and we didn't have boots so we put WalMart bags over our shoes and played in the snow?"  As opposed to, "Do you remember that Christmas that it snowed at Grandma's and Pap's and we didn't have boots so we didn't get to play in the snow?"

Well played, Steph and Mike.

Here's Winnie's dad with the Christmas quilt I made for him.  Only right that he should get a quilt since he traveled from North Carolina with Winnie and Sarah and the dogs, stayed five nights, and did everything except the early Christmas morning Santa reveal.  He was such a good sport, and is probably sitting in his home in Hendersonville today, enjoying the quiet.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Way Too Quiet

After almost a week of company and little dogs and going here and there and grandkid sleepovers and celebrating, it's suddenly and sadly quiet.  Way too quiet. 

Sarah and Winnie and Winnie's dad and the dogs left this morning in the freezing rain.  They stopped in downtown Newport for Sarah to exchange her bicycle gloves at Resser's and for breakfast and coffee at Mammouth Cafe.  They are in Tennessee now, traveling over Jellico Mountain.  Rain there and temps in the 40's all the way to Asheville.

Steph and her family haven't fared as well, weather-wise.  After a Christmas Eve gift and food bash at her house, and Christmas morning for the Santa reveal, they headed for Greenville, OH, for a Christmas celebration and overnight visit with Mike's family.  It started snowing last night and hasn't stopped.  We're talking lots of snow, blizzard periods even.  I hope the kids can scrounge up some boots and snow pants.

We've been to the Krohn for their Christmas show, to the zoo for the Festival of Lights, to Clifton for a nice lunch, to Findlay Market for some wonderful food and shopping.  To Bridget's house for food and an afternoon with Helen.  Visiting with friends.  Christmas Eve dinner at Steph's.  Sparkles and conversations and smiles.

And now it's too, too quiet.  Oh, and it's snowing, really snowing. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lights of Christmas

Last night Steph and the kids plus Bridget and me went to Sharon Woods to see all the lights.  Great.  And then we came home to admire the display on the hill here in Newport.  It's a private home with many, many displays.  If you stand in the right place, this wreath frames the impressive view of Cincinnati across the river.

My favorites are always the vehicles with lighted snowmen driving down the street.

One of the neighbors was having an outdoor party, 55 degrees in December.  It seems so fun to be able to have a party like that.  Part of the fun for them was probably admiring all the people admiring their neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Raggedy Ann

I have an item on my sidebar which displays random pictures, a different one every few seconds.  I was struck when this one popped up, not, as you might expect, by the charming then-two-year-old Nora.  It was the cleanliness of the handmade Raggedy Ann doll that caught my attention.  She is still around, still sweet, has survived several surgeries, and she doesn't look quite like this.  She looks more loved than pristine.

In September, when this picture was taken, Nora loved her Raggedy Ann.  Not so when Nora opened the package the previous Christmas.  She was horrified and threw the doll across the room.  Maybe the big eyes?  Or the clown-like appearance?  When it was his turn, Aaron loved his Raggedy Andy from the get-go, maybe because he'd seen it all before.     

Don't Tell Them

Don't tell Milo and Lucy that they are getting blankets for Christmas, fleece with backings and borders of paw prints.  I have to admit that these are not my best sewing, but they're cute and made for dog snuggling.  I hope the grand-dogs like them.

Yesterday was Nora's birthday and she has been celebrating.  Friday night slumber party, Sunday family party, last night dinner at Bob Evans with Bridget and Aunt Tina.  After gymnastics.  That little girl can turn cartwheels.

Next week Sarah and Winnie and Walt are coming on Thursday and the holidays will begin at my house.  One of my goals for today is to get the tree finished.  Aaron and I started it last week and there has been no progress since then.

I hope that by next week the street might be finished.  We are in the third month of big trucks and often no parking during the day. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sewing Retreat

I loved the sewing retreat, thanks, Louise, and the other organizers.  It is such a treat to just sew.  That's all, just sew.  No stopping to run to the grocery store or clean the bathroom or put out the trash.  Just sew.
Most of what I sewed is classified, it is December after all.  Nora doesn't read this blog, though, so I'll show you her pajamas and a pair with matching fabric for her doll.  I also made a pair for Aaron from the same pattern, McCall's 6227.  I love this pattern, no buttons, no trim, just practical.  Aaron's all into "fair" these days, and it seemed fair to make pj's for him too, blue fabric with construction vehicles.

This morning I'm having trouble settling into the alterations I should be working on.  I rethreaded the serger and had to make a table runner, just to see if the serger worked.  Picked out stitches on a project (too hastily done before I left) just to warm up the seam ripper.  Emptied the rain barrel because it's been raining like crazy.

Enjoyed unpacking all the things I took, marveled at the projects I didn't work on.  Pondered on what appetizer to take to the church party tonight.  I never make appetizers, don't know what to make.  Store-bought, maybe?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sick Day

Aaron had a sick day with me today.  Actually, the sick day was yesterday, today was the recovery day.  He would tell you that he threw up nine times.

He helped me decorate my tree, for a little while.  Then we delivered my baby quilt to a restaurant that was in sight of Newport on the Levee and the Aquarium.  He begged to go, so we went home for our passes and saw Scuba Santa and found every one of the hidden reindeer on the list.

Then we hurried across the river to pick up Nora and introduce her to Orange Leaf. 

And now, I'm making applesauce and bread and packing for a sewing retreat.  So many notions, so much thread, I just know I'll need what I didn't bring.  I remembered my great seam ripper, though.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Baby Quilt

I have a feeling that several of us from our baby quilt group are finishing our quilts today so they can be ready for the meeting tomorrow.  Usually, they'd be due the first meeting of next month, but we wanted to get our Christmas quilts to the hospital.  The design comes from the Inspired Modern Quilts class at Craftsy.

I find that I'm liking the new 30-wt Sulky Blendables with the very subtile color changes.  Perfect for simple quilting, like the zig zag block outlines on this quilt. 

Carrye and I went to Cabin Arts last week and I got the lovely tree-and-star fabric above for my quilt background.  It doesn't match at all, I must have just talked myself into the idea that it did because I loved it so much.  I guess it will be for another day.

I ended up piecing these three fabrics togther so I'd have enough for a backing, and I like that look.  I'm finished!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Outdoor Nativity

There is a large, although not mega, church down the street that does a live nativity each December.  The animals are real and arrive in a very large trailer drawn by a truck.  Aaron was so happy to feed straw to a camel, he said he'd wanted to feed a camel his whole life.  And a donkey, he said he'd wanted to see a donkey his whole life too.  There were also goats, but he's fed goats at the zoo so they weren't on the wish list.  The llamas apparently weren't either.

Nora sat on my lap, a respectable distance away from the animals.  She's never been fond of being close to animals or even of people dressed up like animals.  Think Mickey Mouse or Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Inside the church were crafts, hot chocolate, and cookies.  How nice is that?  There was a basket by the front door, which I thought would be for donations, but it was filled with candy canes.  It was the end of the afternoon and the kids were urged to take two.

And then, the kids got to watch the animals get loaded into their trailer. Some were pleased and some weren't.  Great end to an afternoon, the kids had gone to the Art Museum earlier.