Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wrap Up

This is the holiday wrap-up, back to the usual day-to-day after this. And, I hope that everyone has safe and happy plans for tonight, New Year's Eve. My plans are to eat a good dinner and watch a kid movie with Steph and Mike's family, then be home early. Maybe write a little. Reflect a little. Maybe just go to bed. I hope not, that last one, going to bed, but I know myself.

On Christmas Eve, we met friends at the Duke train display at the Museum Center. We thought it might not be crowded on the day before Christmas, but we were wrong.
We went again yesterday and the entire museum center was incredibly crowded. I'm hoping that people who came earlier just for the trains realized what a treasure that place is.

After a quick lunch, we headed for Covington, where Sarah and Winnie treated us to a carriage ride. It was my first time and was a really lovely family event. To make it all the better, the weather wasn't especially cold. We went by Chez Nora and got to explain to Nora about the restaurant with its name meaning "house of Nora."

Christmas Eve and Steph and Mike's was a blur of wonderful food and lots of gifts. We passed my neighbor's house on the way - they have a count-down clock and it was almost time for Christmas.

We went back on Christmas morning for the Santa reveal, then Steph's family left for Greenville and the celebration there.

Sarah, Winnie, and I came home, decided on a movie, put the previously-made frozen lasagna in the oven, and took off for Newport on the Levee. We met friends for The Muppet Movie, which we decided was a perfect Christmas Day movie. We've done the movie-on-Christmas-Day for several years now. It's so fun to see people happy and cheery and often dressed up in new clothes.

And that's it, the wrap up to a truly wonderful Christmas. The day after was a project day, then came the packing and the good-byes.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Steph and Mike treated everyone to a fun evening at the skating rink on the Friday before Christmas. Nora's school has regular skating parties, so she's learned to skate (and got her own skates from Grandma Janice and Pap for her birthday.) And Mike has skated with her at the parties.

For most of the adults, though, it was the first time skating in quite awhile.

And for Aaron, it was his first time, ever. I didn't skate but had a good time watching everyone and taking lots of pictures, most of which didn't turn out well. I don't have a good one of Aunt Tina, sorry, Tina.

Aaron loved the big pretzel and drink that Bridgie got for him. That was a big part of the experience for him.

Aunts Sarah and Winnie - (Sarah's a good skater, to no one's surprise.)

And Bridget's nephew Blake -

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Friday

Ah, Friday - started out at Krohn Conservatory. Note Winnie's vintage coat from earlier shopping.

The display was different this year, with trains and model buildings throughout.

There was the usual lovely large Christmas tree and the nativity outside. I've heard that one of the sheep in the nativity had a baby a few nights after Christmas.

Afterward we had lunch at Rookwood Pottery, one of my favorite restaurants, and I'm not sure why I didn't take any pictures. Wonderful food, including the Grippo's fries.

And now, the probably-not-to-become-a-tradition, Christmas at Lowe's, with Aunt Tina, Bridget, and Blake.

We were going roller skating, but it turned out that the rink opened at 7:30, not 7:00. And there was . . . Lowe's.

We admired the Christmas decorations and the fire pits

then went on our way without buying a thing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On These Days

I've been trying to put it all together, the past week, remember it all. I realize I should have taken notes. I thought it was my advancing age, but Sarah said she and Winnie were discussing just that in the car on their way home and were having the same dilema.

The first day Sarah and Winnie were here, we met Steph at IKEA for lunch. Just so happened that she had an unscheduled trip to West Chester that day, so it worked out to have lunch there. I don't have any pictures, although Sarah has great ones on facebook, but meals at IKEA and shopping at IKEA are such fun. That evening we gathered at Steph and Mike's house.

The next day was a work day for Steph so we went on our way, having close-to-home adventures. The first stops were for vintage shopping on Monmouth Street in Newport. Winnie found a lovely red coat that will show up in pictures later. The pitcher above, way the way, is Bybee Pottery.

Lunch and shopping at Findlay Market. We had lunch from the little Vietnamese restaurant there, where the food is amazing. There was no seating room in the restaurant so we took our food to the big building and found seats there.

Sarah and Winnie found dog scarves and toys at the pet store. Just look at these dog treats - who knew? I was very taken by one of the dog toys displayed and made a similar one when we got home. I have more dog sewing in mind. I mean, did you know, that squeakers for dog toys are available for replacement or new toys?

Churchill Tea Shop, where Winnie found several kinds of decafinated tea from their big selection of loose teas. I don't have a tea diffuser, so she had to wait to try them out at home.

From there we went to the Taft Museum of Art, with their vintage Christmas display. I love that museum, in a former home, on any day, but with the Christmas display it was even better. We've already seen pictures from there. Then we stopped at York Street Cafe in Newport (below) for drinks and an appetizer. It's in a former pharmacy and is so charming with many things to look at.

The last stop was at Sweet Tooth, where we filled up a box with chocolates of all kinds. (The last time Aaron was visiting, he asked twice to go get an ice ball there, but ice balls are a summer only treat, not because I said so but because they're only available during the summer.)

And that was Thursday, a stay-around-home day, all within, probably, a four mile radius.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


This morning, the bags were all packed,

then the car was packed, the dogs were ready, and Sarah and Winnie left for North Carolina. And I am sad. The house is too quiet, my world is too small. Christmas, which I so love, is over for another year.

My house is happy, though, because Sarah left behind a lovely blue bathroom,

a front yard without the old, cheap, and yes, ugly bushes, ready for changes come spring,

and a new rod in the dining room for hanging quilts.

Our family had the nicest Christmas, and the best adventures, more pictures to come. Family dinners, a trip to IKEA, Duke Train Display, skating, carriage ride, Krohn Conservatory, Findlay Market, the Muppet Movie, vintage shopping. Not to mention Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with all the kid exuberance.

All things to be remembered and celebrated, but this afternoon I am sad. Maybe, I should have packed up and gone to the sewing group I like so much, but my energy is low. Maybe a trip to the library later.

Monday, December 26, 2011


It's the day after Christmas and the gifts have been opened, hopefully, so we'll take a peek. The baby quilt, made from a jelly roll, and burp cloths are strictly utilitarian. The quilt was made to go on the floor, in the stroller where it might drag under the wheels, in the yard. Just used. Put in the washer and dryer and used again.

The quilt above was for my sister. My mother put together the blocks from old neckties at least twenty-five years ago. Well, even more, since she's been gone since 1985. (December 18. My dad died on December 19, years later.) My mother decorated the blocks with wonderful hand stitching.

Then she put them in a box, probably not sure about how to put them together. My first attempt was totally unsuccessful, so back in the box they went. Now, with a walking foot and a big plastic ruler for squaring the blocks, I could be happy. I hope my sister was too, I'm waiting impatiently to hear from her.

The quilt was in the box that was misrouted and spent several days in some town in Pennsylvania whose name I can't remember now. And now you know why I was stressing about it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone

Merry Christmas, everyone.
May it be sweet.
May it be at least a little hand made.
May you get something red.

Friday, December 23, 2011

It May Be A Little Too Late . .

It may be a little too late, in several ways, to get these 5 cent Christmas cards. I wonder how much the stamps were.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Local Christmas

Dogs at a front yard train display -

Snowmen driving a car -
York Street Cafe -

Best of all -

Vintage Christmas display

At the Taft Museum of Art

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nothing to Show

Lots being made - but nothing to show - the goose is getting very fat.

And my sister's present, which is very precious, is . . . somewhere . . . in Pennyslvania. I'm a little stressed out about that.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nora's Party

Nora had her family birthday party last weekend - the cake was from Aunt Tina

Hello Kitty slippers from Aunt Tina
diary with a lock from Aunts Sarah and Winnie
real roller skates from Grandma and Pap
boots from her Mom and Dad
great purse from Bridgie
water color pencils from Gran B

And Aaron, well, Aaron was happy because there was cake and because there was a little something from Aunt Tina and a Mr. Potato Head Pirate with, guess what, a sword and a hook. Score!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

Truly, grandchildren weren't on the radar when I started collecting Hallmark ornaments many years ago. I was just attracted to the color and the detail and the memories that could be associated with this one or that one.

Now, though, I'm so happy that the collecting went on, when the front door opens and someone says, "there's the tree," followed by the plopping down of both kids and the words, "oh, I remember that one" begin."

And then, the ornaments start coming off. Piles are guarded and there may be a little trading or temporary sadness because the other has the plane or the train or the Snow White witch. And all this time, coats and hats are still on because that's not where the focus is.

I love it all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Left overs

Left over pumpkin in my flower bed -

Left over pumpkins in my neighbor's flower beds -

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Miss Nora

Miss Nora is seven today. Seven years ago I was sitting in Christ Hospital, rocking her and looking out the window at the snowflakes. Time stood still.

One of my retreat projects was making her this birthday jumper. I've always liked the granola kid look, but this is probably the last of this style jumper that I'll make for her. And that was made possible only by the peace signs and circles in the corduroy, giving it a little more grown up look. That, and the black dress boots that she'll wear with it. In the past, I used an Indygo Junction pattern, but this year I used McCalls 6387 because it came in a larger size.

First grade, and she's turned into such a girl since school started. I remember going to first grade and being much younger than she is, such a little kid. Well, except that I was a fat little kid.