Monday, December 31, 2018

New Bike

On this gray and rainy New Year's Eve, we waited at Sleepy Bee in Oakley for a wonderful breakfast and then stopped in Newport at Reser's Bicycle.  It's one of Sarah's favorite places and I always enjoy Christmas shopping for her there.

I waited in the car to catch up on the national news - I know I shouldn't and it isn't good for me, but I just can't stop.  Sarah and Winnie were gone for a long time.  And then Sarah came out.

Sarah:  Sorry it's taking so long.  A thing happened.  And it wasn't my fault.  Winnie bought a bike!

And so she did, a green Salsa she had been admiring but hadn't found in the size she needed.

Don't worry about the bike getting to North Carolina.  Their car top carrier has a rail for a bike.  Of course.  When they go down the road tomorrow, other travelers will be admiring that bike.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Three Little Visiting Dogs

Three little dogs, left to right:
     1.  Lucy, the oldest.  She was a stray, dropped off near a goat barn.
     2.  Milo, the youngest, a rescue from Tennessee.  
     3.  P-Nut, a foster, now adopted.

Lucy is the most even tempered, the one who soothes the others.  Milo is a lover, wants to be petted and give kisses.  And P-Nut probably had a bit of abuse in another life.  Be careful how you approach her.

Milo is doing well after his dental surgery, lots of tail wagging and ear perking yesterday.  He is getting pill snacks like Lucy and will for another week.

We are glad he was able to have his surgery and recovery here, not face it when he got home.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Little Dog Blues

There are three little brown dogs visiting along with Winnie and Sarah.  The middle-sized one, Milo, who weighs about eleven pounds, took a tumble off my high antique bed two days ago.

Yesterday he had dental surgery to remove several teeth loosened in the fall.  The little guy was pretty groggy last night and is still snoozing this morning, but he was his usual brave self prior to the surgery and was able to eat last night.

He went to my other grand-dog's vet across the river in Ohio.  The practice is called All Creatures, which makes me happy.

I'll try to post his picture tomorrowHe is definitely a lover, a sweet little rescue.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Krohn Holiday Display

Every year the Krohn Conservatory Christmas display is familiar, and every year it is a little different.  This year's theme is "A Crystal Holiday," with crystals draped here and there.  There are the usual wonderful poinsettias and coleus plants as well as a few others.   Interspersed here and there are Cincinnati landmarks and trains.

After the Christmas rush of "doing," the Krohn is a wonderful way to slow down, to look at flowers and huge plants and water and just be.  We went toward the end of the afternoon, in the last hour, and it was still crowded but there were a few close parking spots.  As the 5:00 closing time approached, the crowd started to thin and there were photo op spaces. 

A surprise for us this year were National Park Service structures, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  The first clue was when we spotted a National Park lodge, probably Yellowstone.  These structures are in the greenhouses outside the special display area.

Definitely, go if you can.  It's open through January 6.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Merry Christmas everyone!  Joy to the world, please!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Baby Bib

Anita Goodesign Bundle of Joy.  Lettering from my software.  I can't tell you how many times I've used this design collection.  Lots.  It's totally done in the hoop, no sewing involved.  Usually.  This time I did stitch around the outside,

So grateful today to have more energy than previous days.  No coughing.  Went to the grocery early.  Took gifts to work.  Doing laundry.  Wrapping.  Resting in between.  

Keeping a mental list in my head of staples I've forgotten that I can pick up at Family Dollar.  Dryer sheets, food storage bags, batteries, juice.  Quick in and out, and they have lots of things, even some frozen and refrigerated foods.

Does anyone from the Detroit area remember Lawson's stores?  Milk, orange juice, bread, sliced deli ham.  It seems as if we drank more orange juice then. 


Thursday, December 20, 2018

VanGogh Exhibit

If you live in the Cincinnati area, and you can squeeze out a little extra time, this traveling quilt exhibit from Cherrywood Fabrics will be worth your time.  And, it's free.  You'll find that it's very striking since all the small quilts are the same size and all use some, but not all, of the same fabrics.

Just walking into the room will be a treat.  And several of the quilts were done by local fiber artists.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Mom.  1999.  A flat metal ornament.

This week I machine-embroidered names on three felt stockings for my neighbor.  She had made four stockings with Bucilla kits we rescued from her stash and mine.  Apparently kits were in short supply this year because there was a fire at the Bucilla factory.  She told me it took a long time to embroider a name at the top and I told her I could do that for her.

The stocking I was working on has been languishing.  Not a single bead sewn on since before Thanksgiving.

This was the laziest of days and I'm not sure why.  I wasn't feeling all that sick any more, just discouraged.  Tomorrow I want to take a shower right away and just get started.  Maybe start off with baking some banana bread.  And I do want to go to Target.  And pick up some groceries.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Tuba Concert

Yesterday Nora and I went to a tuba concert at Newport on the Levee.  Tuba, Souzaphone, and euphonium players get together and practice earlier in the afternoon, then hold a concert.  Turns out that this happens all over the world.  You can read about it here.

Afterwards we went to Barnes and Noble for a book.  It's one thing Nora never turns down.  That and Panera chicken noodle soup.

I took the picture out of the second floor window at Barnes and Noble.  It was a rainy, gloomy day but people were in a good mood.  Lots of cars in the parking garage.  Looking out the opposite direction, you would see the Ohio River and the Cincinnati skyline.

I was good for nothing in the evening, but it was so good to be out.  Oh, and my friend Suzy was there with her grandkids and it was so nice to see her and meet the kids. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Santa's Snow Plow

Santa's Snow Plow.  2001.

I actually ordered this from ebay after Christmas since I really wanted it.  A nice reminder of my dad, who was a farmer and always had red tractors.  He farmed well into retirement age, probably until age 80.  I think he especially enjoyed that last decade of farming, when his farm and equipment were paid off and he was no longer responsible for a family.  If he had a good year he could buy a nice piece of equipment and if he didn't, he still had social security.

I can remember how opposed he was to social security in his younger years, feeling that he could use the required contribution better to grow his farming.  In the end, I'm sure he was grateful to have some  retirement money for all those years.

Rain this morning and pretty much all day.  The sound is so nice, better than the sound of snow plows, there would be lots of snow if it was colder.  Fifty degrees.

I've ordered a pie and rolls from Graeter's for pick-up on Christmas Eve.  There may even be store-bought frozen lasagna for Christmas day, when we put the lasagna in the oven and go to the movies.  As my Swiss grandmother used to say, "Things can't always be the same."  I am so much less stoic than she was, but these words have  stayed with me.  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Please Pause Here

Please Pause Here.  1991.  Santa with a Coke.

I don't know what's happened to his left upper leg, that little hole.  I might guess a mouse chew, but the box and the bubble wrap are unchewed and the plastic is really hard.  Maybe a burn from a bulb, prior to the bulbs we have now?  After all, it is 27 years old.  Santa clips to a branch.

Steph and Nora just stopped by, raving about the Transiberian Orchestra concert.  A lot of smoke and lights, wonderful but loud music.  They made my heart happy.

Nora was pleased with her birthday gifts, an Echo Dot, pajama pants, a music book, and her favorite holiday lotion.  I think I scored.  Whether Aaron will like his un-birthday gift is another matter.  A recorder and music.  If he doesn't like it, he can trade it in and Nora will have a nice recorder.  And if he does like it, he might change his mind about being in the band next year.

Probably about 50% less coughing today than yesterday, so that's a big jump forward.  I had a great coupon, so I'm off to pick up a Marco's Pizza, a do-over from last yesterday's frozen pizza.  I've had this pizza lots of times so I know it won't have much garlic.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Answering Machine

Santa's Answering Machine.  1992.  Back when there were answering machines.

This ornament hooks up to the light string and when the button is pushed says, "I'm out packing my sleigh now.  Wait for the jingle bells."  Followed by jingle bells.  That button has been pushed a lot over the years.

Coughing a little less today.  I made a quick trip to the library for books and another to Aldi for food.  Aldi is the quickest in and out in my neighborhood.  I got a frozen pizza, frozen sweet potato casserole, and some snack mix with peanuts and almonds.  

The pizza has way too much garlic, although I'm a light weight when it comes to garlic.  The snack mix is wonderful, but there are 43 servings in that can!  Maybe my family will like it too. 

I've had tickets forever to take Nora to hear the TransSiberian Orchestra.  I know that will require more energy than I have, so Steph will take her.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dogs in Sweaters

I went to the quilt shop to drop off some postcards for the Van Gogh exhibit, really, that's all I went for.  But this Elizabeth Hartman pattern caught my eye since I have three little brown grand dogs.  It has a pillow option or a wall hanging option with just four dogs, easily adaptable for three dogs. I'm picturing myself at the next quilt retreat, working on just this.

Trying to figure out how I feel this morning.  Better, I think, after having been up for awhile.  Less coughing, easier breathing.  Steph picked up my antibiotic last night and it wasn't ready, something about the robot being empty.  What?  I wonder how many people were waiting for Z Packs, with no one to advocate for them.  Anyway, I felt bad that after a long day at work she had to deal with that.  In a few minutes, I got a text that the meds were ready, so they must have by-passed that robot.

I had planned to take pizza and chocolate cake for Nora's 14th birthday, but they had pizza and chocolate cake without me.

This may be a day of just laundry and some hand work on the beaded Christmas stocking.  I am tired of Kindle Unlimited reading, and my clothes options are getting slim.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Happy Campers

Happy Campers.  2017.  A bulb from the light string pokes through a hole in the back, giving the tent a lit-from-within appearance.

Loving thoughts to the family of Ruth Butwell, who died yesterday morning.  Never could I have asked for a more wonderful boss.  When I started working with her, she was Dean of Students at Berea College.

A visit to the doctor this morning revealed that I don't have pneumonia or bronchitis, just a congested cough.  Really good news.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Most Precious

Bell Chimes.  1982.  One of the most precious.  My first Hallmark ornament, and it was from my mother.  I'm guessing that she probably got it at an after-Christmas sale and saved it carefully for the next year.

My mother died December 19, 1985, so this happened toward the end of her life.  My dad, December 20, 2002.  As his life wound to a close, I wondered whether he would pass on the same date as my mother, but he got his own day.

To check the dates, I looked at a website that showed their monument at the cemetery.  It seems a little strange to me, but I can see that such things would be invaluable to people checking their genealogy.  

And then, because I could, I looked up my grandmother, Emma, my dad's mother.  I never knew her.  1877-1938, so she would have been 61.  I always heard that she died fairly young, but sixty-one isn't all that young.  She had five children fairly close together.  Baked pies on Saturday and put them to cool on the Hosier cabinet that sits in my dining room.

All right, strange ramblings for the holiday season.

Sunday, December 9, 2018


Time for a Treat.  1996.  This one needs a little propping up with a tree branch to hang right, but I love the Hershey bar on the sled and the little mouse taking a bite.  He has a friend on the other side but the friend isn't eating any chocolate.  Don't you just love the little shoes?

Sun today!  For me, anyway.  Sarah and Winnie are getting snow and ice and word is that Sarah got out her chain saw to remove a tree that had fallen on their road.  But then, she loves a chain saw opportunity.  I'm sure Winter Lights is cancelled for tonight.  So far, power is on for them.

I just glanced down and saw our tickets for Nora and me to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Friday afternoon.  I'll probably get her out of school half an hour early so we can make it downtown.  Last period is band for her, probably her favorite time of the day.

Bengals play in a bit.  I'm promising myself that if they don't play well - again - I'm moving on to something else, not watching until the bitter end.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Do Yourself A Flavor

Do Yourself A Flavor.  2007.

After teaching a class today, I promised myself a cozy evening reading in bed.  A promise I'm keeping.

I've had the porch light on because for some reason I decided a package was being delivered today.  Just checked, and it's Tuesday.  So, I can turn off my light and go back to my reading.  A mindless Christmas novel.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gingerbread for Joanne

Joanne posted yesterday that she was getting out her gingerbread house for Christmas and I told her I'd post a picture of the winning "house" from this year's Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition.  It was the 26th year for the Asheville competition.  There were 190 entries.

The winner is "Gearing Up for Christmas."  Rules state that the creations must be 75% gingerbread and be completely edible.  I've read that sometimes the judges use drills to get a peak inside to be sure the rules are followed. 

The Grove Park Inn is worth a visit any day of the year, but right now it's all the better.  Besides all that gingerbread, there are gorgeous trees and a fire in the big fireplace.  In the huge lobby, people sip hot chocolate and the year's craft brew.  Plus, there's all that history.

So worth a visit if you're in that area, say for Biltmore Christmas.  Or Winter Lights at the Arboretum.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sittches of Joy and Loving Stitches

Stitches of Joy on the left and Loving Stitches on the right.

I started working early this morning on class preparation for Saturday's Epic Machine class.  Tomorrow I'll go into work and sit down at the machine for awhile and also copy the handouts.  I know that by the end of the class I'll be lusting after that machine all over again.

But today - lunch at the Art Museum and then viewing the special exhibit Fabrics of India.  Friends who have seen it have raved, and I'm looking forward to going.

One of my friends was complaining that we don't need to see pictures of George W. Bush passing candy to Michelle Obama.  I disagree, I think we do need to see those pictures of warmth between two people on the opposite sides of the aisle.

And how inspiring was the video of Bob Dole being helped from his wheelchair so he could salute another war hero.  Age 95 saluting age 94, there aren't many of those World War II veterans left.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Most Nostalgic

Of all my ornaments, this is the most nostalgic.  Titled simply "Dad."  1995.

Purchased early in the season and already on the tree when my husband died in early December.  

Seeing it always takes me back to that weekend.  The unexpected death Friday morning.  Visitation Sunday evening following Sarah's college graduation ceremony.  Funeral Monday morning.

I didn't think to take a camera to the graduation.  It wasn't even on my radar until I got there and saw all the cameras.  Steph asked a random someone in the audience to share their pictures.  It turned out to be the father of one of the students who went out west with Sarah for a short term camping class. During the preceding January.  That father sent a video as well as pictures.  There were many blessings during that long weekend but that one stands out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Li'l Jingler

Li'l Jingler.  1986.  If you look closely, you can see the raccoon hanging from a string of gold bells.

I had gone to see Steph in her first year at college to buy her a winter coat.  At Crestview Mall, now Crestview Town Center, we bought a long tweed coat and visited the Hallmark Store.  I really wanted this ornament, even though it was out of my budget.  $6.75.  Like I said, I keep the boxes.

Now whenever I go to work I pass Crestview Town Center.  You never know the twists and turns that life has in store.

I'm not happy with myself for not using my sit-down quilter, made by Handi-Quilter for Viking.  So today, I just did it.  Free motioned the inside of a wreath on a Christmas quilt.  Nothing fancy.  Just a re-start.  Stippling, because I feel like a beginner all over again.

I was amazed at how quickly the quilting went.  Remembered how much I really like this machine.  I chose ecru thread on an ecru fabric, just to hide any bobbles, now I wish I'd chosen a thread with a little more contrast  Just breathe, that's my quilting secret. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Tree Decorating

The tree decorating has begun.  Maybe 5 ornaments are on it.  This is one of my favorites.  Mama Bearinger from 1993.  Yes, I do love Hallmark ornaments and yes, I do store them in their boxes.  I know, don't say it.

One of my goals from last year was to not drag down that over-sized tote of ornaments, so I'll be bringing down a few at a time.  That tote is just too bulky and too heavy.

Work day today.  I got on the interstate and realized that I'd forgotten my phone and wallet at home.  It was fine, I needed neither.  Usually I'm not so careless with these things but I had several other items that I needed to take out the door.  I did remember all of those.

I have more things on my to-do list than I can hope to do today.  I always think I'll have plenty of post-work energy and that doesn't happen.