Thursday, December 28, 2017

Post Christmas

Sarah and I always enjoy The Elusive Cow bar/restaurant in Bellevue, with its cozy feel, good draft selection, and ease of vegetarian ordering.  I know the picture is a little overwhelming, but you can pick our a table inside, car parked outside the door, and a nativity at the church across the street.  We shared portobello fries and nachos and we each had our own beer.  Perfect.

Sarah stayed an extra day because she picked up a cold.  Germs are everywhere, no blaming it on any one person.  She started on her way back today, stopping in Berea to run to the top of the East and West Pinnacles outside of town.  Neither her cold or the cold temperature seemed to bother her too much.

And now the house is once again too quiet.  The front door stays shut.  The refrigerator door stays shut.  The washer isn't washing.  There are no tv video games and no hockey equipment here and there.  The piano lid is closed.  No one is asking for a charging cable.  Sigh.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Merry Christmas, everyone!  Celebrate!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

On December 23

Yesterday was the annual visit to the REAL Santa at Macy's.  Santa's visiting hours began at noon and there was no sneaking into his chair for Santa.  He showed up at the back of the line and greeted families along his way.

Hathaway's Diner has been in Carew Tower since 1956 and has become part of our Santa experience.  Comfort food, sandwiches, and breakfast all day.

Carew Tower is a wonderful art deco experience.  Sometimes, when the weather is nice, we go to the rooftop observatory and look down on the skaters and shoppers below.  This wasn't one of those days.  There was a cold breeze and rain, which did nothing to detract from our day.

The grands spent the afternoon at my house in the traditional waiting-for-Aunt-Sarah holiday tradition.  She arrived just in time for us to go to Bridget's for a lovely evening.  Bridget had a great  pasta and salad bar, thanks, Bridget.

Back at my house, Aaron stayed up until midnight so he could say, "It's Christmas Eve."

Friday, December 22, 2017

Winter Solstice

On the day of the Winter Solstice, I went to the car wash.  Along with lots of other people.  Last time I went to work, I was briefly behind a salt truck on the interstate.  It wasn't a pretty outcome.  The other cars in line looked quite clean compared to mine.

Today, when I woke up, I could be happy that we are going toward the light.  Almost like yesterday, but it feels different, it feels hopeful.  

Perhaps today, if I take one room at a time, I can prepare for Christmas.  Lots undone, but nothing big.  Just spread out.

Most of you know that I worked at Berea College for many years and am so passionate about Berea and its mission of providing quality tuition-free education for its low income students.  If family income is too high, students aren't admitted.  So, the tax that will be placed on its endowment is hard for me.  If you're interested, google Berea College tax reform.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

That View . . .

The Baby Quilt Group had lunch yesterday at the home of one of the members.  I love, love to go to her home and look at her view.  In all seasons.  The houses and buildings in the front are in Kentucky and the taller buildings in back are in Cincinnati.

It was lovely to sit with these women for awhile.  And so fun to pick out fabrics donated by the family of a quilter.  A quilter with a huge and beautiful stash.  I tried to stick with fabrics in a similar color palette.  There are some generous people in this world.

I wonder whether Amazon is getting tired of me ordering those last little things, a bit of this and that.  Probably not.  I think that many of the items come from the warehouse close to the airport, not far from here. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Camboni Mission Nativity

It's a family Christmas tradition to meet our friend Bridget at the Camboni Mission on Beechmont Road to see their animated nativity.  Bridget's mom used to take her when she was a little girl.  This is the nativity's 70th year.

The nativity is in its own room and stays set up year round.  People gather, the room dims, and the recording begins.  Always the same, that's part of the tradition.

There is also a small museum at the Mission, and the display includes some long African knives.  Aaron, when he was small, was quite verbal and combined the two, calling the total experience "Baby Jesus and the Night of the Long Knives."

The building also houses Aaron's beloved Garden Montessori School in the back of the building, so some remembering always goes on.  As in, "when the playground mulch was too wet, we would come to this big driveway for recess."

Admission is free, but they do suggest canned food donations.  It's open 6 - 9 p.m. December 15 - 30, Christmas Eve 4 - 6 p.m., closed Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Waiting and Anticipation

Last Sunday, there were two candles lit on the Advent wreath.  Today, there will be a third.

The first Sunday in Advent, this banner was a plain dark blue cloth.  Last Sunday, the sparkled overlay appeared.  Today, there will be shiny silver discs, not too many.

We started with a few votives in jars, sprinkled here and there.  Today there will be lots.

Waiting and anticipation.  This is my favorite season for putting those feelings into visualization.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wonderful Words

Reds pitchers and catchers are reporting for duty for February 13.

What wonderful words these are.  Magic, really.  They can transport me from the 21 degree cold to a spring day, just like that.

Reds opening day is March 29, wonderful words too, but not quite the magic for me.  Still, fun to consider.  Three days before Easter.  

This turned into a dilema for the Opening Day Parade, which won't be held until four days later.  The parade starts at Findlay Market, and those days before Easter are busy ones for the market.  They need to be open for suppliers and customers, not closed for the parade.  Blame MLB for the early opening day.

I'm sure everyone knows, the guy in the picture is one of my favorite catchers.  Along with his sister.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Little Early

A little early, but Santa's deer are gathering.  

I noticed a car parked in the street, looking at my house, not much to see there, and then I noticed these three deer in the side yard.  After the car left, number four came walking up the street.  I'm guessing that they live at the park at the end of the street.

No sewing, no projects these days.  Other things keep trumping sewing.  Tomorrow, for sure, a little sewing.  I'm in to work today, so I'm sure to get some inspiration.

Last night I was reading about bad weather for the commute this morning, but all looks fine.  Or, not.  Just looked at my phone and it's snowing.  Too dark to actually see what's going on.  December 12, so we're almost at the winter solstice.  There will be more light.  If you're like me, that feels welcoming, exciting, even.  A promise.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Turning Thirteen

Yesterday was Nora's family birthday party, today is the actual birthday.  

From her mom and dad:  an Under Armour hoodie plus a music stand that she put together right away.  I was impressed with her dad, giving her the tools and guiding her but letting her do the work.  

From aunts Sarah and Winnie, a drum pad and drum sticks.  I understand that there is a blister on her finger this morning from all that drumming.  From Aunt Tina, pretty fluffy onsie pajamas.  From Grandma and Pap, Twisted Peppermint bath bombs and shower gel.  From Bridget, a game she wanted.  From me, mint Converse shoes and athletic pants.  And, from the neighbor boys, a Red Ryder BB gun that brought a huge grin.

I am listing the gifts, not to be consumer-oriented but to illustrate the diversity of likes of a thirteen-year-old girl.  I hope she maintains that diversity always, not getting bogged down with the "shoulds" and "what everyone else wants." 

That's my real birthday wish for her.   

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Vintage Ornaments

Do you remember having these Shiny Brite ornaments long ago?  And, do you remember that, no matter how careful you were, once in a while your finger would poke through the delicate glass?  Or, was that only me?

I've seen ads this year for those molded candles like my mother had.  Santa, angels, reindeer.  Never lit, just treasured.

I've fallen into a hole these past couple of days, but this is not the season for it.  So, a few things on my list for today.  I've been using Steven Covey's Big Rocks, Medium Rocks, Small Rocks plan recently and that's a good plan for me.  

If I just make a list, I tend to pick out the things I like instead of the things that are timely or important.  Actually separating out what needs to be done is helpful.  Along with still doing some of those things that I like!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Snowing . . .

. . . just not here.

This is Sarah at work at the North Carolina Arboretum.  Eventually the snow came too quickly for a blower and they had to switch to a plow.  Winter Lights was cancelled for the evening.

I hope she was able to get back into work this morning to start snow removal once again.

Here, it's cold.  I need to get out my warm winter coat.  But, no snow.  Maybe a bit this afternoon.

I've done well with my to-do lists lately, more about that another day, but yesterday afternoon I just gave it up, after my trip to the post office and the bank.  I have a good book that was calling me and I was just weary.  Weary.  My mother-in-law used to use that word, and I always think of her when I say it.

Saying a quick prayer for the people in California who are in the fire area.  I just can't imagine.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Little Projectts

Little projects I made for the work open house last Saturday.

If you're looking for some quick embroidery projects:
     Anita Goodesign Bottle Aprons
     Kimberbell It's A Cinch! for in-the-hoop gift bags
     Kimberbell Holiday Mug Rugs

The little patterned circles are surrounds for little LED lights (they have to be LED), linen heart to try with your applique stitch, and blue ornament with Timtex and satin stitching.

Last night I took Nora to meet her Mom at the beauty shop and it was such a treat for me to have that time with just her.  She talked a lot about playing trombone in the band, one of her favorite activities right now.  And about how she hoped that Kelly wouldn't have to cut too much off her hair's length to get rid of the split ends.  

I told her again about the day she was born, sitting in the hospital rocking her most of the day.  Looking at the light snow falling outside.  Sharing the rocking time with her other grandmother who came in the evening.  Remembering the doctor visit, when the doctor said she had a broken collarbone, detectable by a little bump, but that it would be just fine.  And it was.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Little Bird Tree

Christmas approaches.  Nora's birthday is next week.  Time goes on too quickly to suit me.

The little white tree is turning pale yellow and this year lots of little plastic needles fell off.  Half the lights didn't light and I had to cut them off.  I've decided that pre-lit trees are a bad idea, unless you go in with the mindset of a few years, over and out.  And that seems just too wasteful to me.

I pictured shoving that little tree into the trash can, but went on, and now the tree looks lovely.  I have it in my office and use it as light early in the morning as the sky lights up.  It's a gentle reminder of my mother, who loved bird ornaments with their soft tails.

My mother died on a December 19 and my dad on a December 18, not the same year.  My husband died on December 8.  There were years when I sort of dreaded to see December roll around.  Many years later, though, I enjoy thinking of them throughout the holiday season.  I love how the spirit heals and adjusts.