Friday, December 28, 2007
Christmas Photo Album
Papa and Landon check out Thomas Train

First look at Christmas lights up close and personal

Santa brought a little moose!

Sweet little family on Christmas morning

Checking out the Elmo Doctor kit Uncle Pace and Aunt Poppy sent

It reminded us of Christmas mornings past - a little one in the house - seemed like a great way to end the year - sharing what our Christmas morning was like. Isn't this time of year all about spending time with family.
New Year's Eve will be spent at home, in pajamas with family sharing some snacks, a game or two, and watching the ball drop before we head to bed. Then up to cinnamon rolls, good coffee and watching the Rose Bowl, later in the day some football and baking a ham. Nothing big, just being thankful for God getting us through another year - realizing the biggest blessing is His constant presence in our lives. Who knows what 2008 holds? As long as He's there with us, it'll be fine. Happy New Year's everyone. xooxxo Bev


  posted at 8:28 PM

Thursday, December 27, 2007
With Cheese Please
My middle daughter, Leslie went with me to see Enchanted tonight. We'd planned it over a month ago, and hip hip hoorah it was still hanging around the theater.

Cheesy - adorable. Completely clean cut. Laugh out loud parts, and when it was over all the little kids sitting in the front section clapped and cheered.

The critics gave it three stars - I give it four for good plain fun. Grab a sister or daughter or mother or girlfriend and go see it. I already can't wait to buy it someday for granddaughter Addison when she's about 6 years older. The stuff little girls dream of.

Speaking of dreams - McDreamy? Worth the price they charge for popcorn these days! Go. Do not take your husband or boyfriend or brother or father. They'd rather be beaten, trust me. And listening to them complain through the entire thing would just be annoying.


  posted at 11:29 PM

Me and Victoria Wuz Running with Razors
I know I asked in my last post if anyone else could relate to post-holiday disasters. How 'bout hair challenges? Since I'm just like you and go to Walmart on a regular basis and once in awhile I do a survey of heads, and I'd say 7 out of 10 women might want to look for a new hairdresser, I have to wonder. I've always thought being a hairdresser or an English teacher would be the most depressing of careers. It's so rare to see really great hair that when we do, we tend to ask, "so do you mind telling me where you go to get your hair cut?", and they're so flattered that usually they reach up and pat their 'do and go right ahead and tell you who, where, how much, etc. English teachers I just feel sorry for, with all the 'they wuz', or 'them thar', or 'you wasn't' stuff I hear, usually on the same Walmart trips. I'm not sure which career has less rewarding results- bad hair or bad grammer.

So, like many women, I have hair issues. My face is oval so supposedly I can wear almost any haircut, but in reality anything longer than my chin makes me look like the cartoon Cruella Deville, it's thicker than the average bear's and I do mean literally, it has about 95 cowlicks or what I prefer to refer to as 'natural waves', and I'm not great at fixing it even when it's well cut. It's also about half grey or at least I suspect so, since like Beth Moore, that's a secret known only to God, not me or any of my girlfriends. Soon as roots peek out they are saturated in Hydrience Tawny Breeze, and I'm back in happy denial again. I'm just saying styling hair is not my strong suit. The only blessing is that I know it. When I get my hair cut, I watch carefully to see what she does, with what products, so I can replicate back at home. Because honestly going home to cook supper and do laundry when your hair looks fabulous is just not very satisfying. I'd like to look smashing when I'm out participating in the other parts of my life, like grocery shopping, or taking the trash to the curb.

I had a great hairdresser for three solid years, man could she cut hair, and I could actually fix what she cut, but then we started doing color and highlights on a regular basis. Every five weeks I'd show up and shell out over $100 for her to color and 'touch up' the highlights she'd put in the last time. Finally when our checkbook was looking pretty thin, and my haircolor resembled Jessica Simpson's, I broke up with her. Being the brave person I am, I chose someone else at the same salon, but they worked on opposite days. When she started cutting my hair it was chin length. After three visits the back was shorter than DH, and what with winter coming and all, and I didn't really want to wear a toboggan all the time, I ditched her too.

Seven weeks later, after the back of my scalp didn't show through anymore, I stopped into a shop at the mall, where some girl with a funky name and funkier hair and makeup worked on my hair. She kept saying 'oh my' as she snipped here and there, and proceeded to tell me she could work on it, but it'd take more than one visit to fix the mess. The mess I'd been paying through the nose for. Seems I had this funky shelf of hair across the back of my head that didn't blend too great. I did develop a bit of a girl crush when she even mentioned my hair and the name Victoria Beckman in the same sentence, but decided since I don't have a body that stops traffic, nor the tattoo running down my back to go with it, I should probably move on. The hair looked better, but anyone who even thinks of Victoria Beckman while working on my hair is probably not in touch with reality enough to trust with scissors. So the hunt continued.

Two weeks ago at my favorite local coffee shop I spied a friend, whose hair looked fabulous. Nice long layers with just enough choppy, beautiful highlights, you noticed her face and the hair was just the icing on the cake. Perfect. I proceeded to ask, 'do you mind my asking where you get your hair done?' and she proceeded to tell me who, where, how much, just like I thought she would. It was the daughter of the local coffeeshop, and I love to support local talent, so I picked up the phone, made my appointment and showed up. Walking in, I quickly realized the shop was owned by someone who attends my church, generally a basic no for me - it's hard to break up with your hairdresser and then stand next to her and worship the following week. Trying to take the safe route, I showed her my photos - no Victoria Beckman, but rather Debbie Mumm, my age, pretty tasteful hair, not too out there, not too dated. Long straight layers with just enough choppy in them, with a little flip in the back. Great, she loved clients who brought photos!

When she picked up the razor and proceeded to whack at my hair, then hold up each side to see if they were the same, and lo and behold they were not, so she had to whack off a bit more, and the hair on the top of my head began to stand straight up, as if saluting someone in a parade, I was concerned, but what can you do? You can't just bail out of the chair halfway through the scalping. I prayed and kept my mouth shut. Smiled, thanked her, paid the bill and even put on a nice tip, since I knew I'd never be seeing her again, and it was Christmas after all.

Back home, my husband (who has been married long enough to know to tread carefully when it comes to discussing new hairdos) only said, "can I just ask if that was the look you were going for?", and I assured him hair that is somewhere between Liza Minelli and a woman who wakes up and sticks forks in sockets was not exactly the hair goal. When I get up in the morning my hair is so scary I just don't do anything to it, rather brush my teeth, pour my husband's coffee, pack his lunch, and rely on the length of our relationship to get us through the next four or so weeks of this disaster.

So I emailed my girlfriend who has had good looking hair for the eleven years I've known her, has been going to the same stylist for 23 years and never cursed her name in my presence - told her 'here's the deal, I don't care what she charges, tell me her name.'

So I'm making an appointment with Nina, and I'm more than happy to hand over what she's going to charge me every five weeks to keep me presentable, but before we even move to the sinks I will explain to her that much like Samson should have, no razor will ever touch my head.


  posted at 10:00 AM

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
State of Affairs
Sinkful of dishes, and when I tried to eat healthy this morning the oatmeal exploded in the microwave... pumpkin pie does not do that.

Desk is a bit out of control, but it's nothing a good 8 hour workday can't fix.

Every bed in the house is unmade, with sheets needing washed. I'd like to just climb back in but that's not going to happen.

My Christmas loot, opened, but not really checked out yet. I can't wait to load up my new knitting bag - actually it will have to wait. I'm relatively sure those magazines aren't going to get read - recyle pile...

So how about you - can you relate to that 'day after Christmas slightly overwhelmed with being behind in every single area of your life and the entire house looks like a bomb went off and you're scared to even look at the checkbook and if you open the refrigerator leftovers start falling out every which way', so you're doing what almost every other female in America is doing?

Heading to the mall for a day of looking for bargains and doing returns?

Me too. Back in a bit, after I take some downtime, then come back and blaze a trail through the mess. Feel free to chime in and tell me I'm not alone...xoxo


  posted at 10:25 AM

Monday, December 24, 2007
The Reason for the Season

"for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." ... So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger." Luke 2:11-16


  posted at 1:28 AM

Sunday, December 23, 2007
Memories of Christmas past...
If you have time for one more project before Christmas, you might want to make these. My mother-in-law's 'famous' popcorn balls - and if you don't have time to make them by yourself, all the better - let the kids help you!

Here's her recipe:

Popcorn Balls by Atrel Gibson, serves 12

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup white corn syrup
1/3 cup water
4 Tablespoons butter (or 1/4 cup = 1/2 stick)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 qts unseasoned popped corn (12 cups)

Put sugar, corn syrup, water, butter and salt in a saucepan and cook. Stir til sugar is dissolved.

Continue cookinng w/o stirring sytrup til syrup forms a brittle ball in cold water (270 F)

Add vanilla and stir only enough to mix it through the syrup.

Place popped corn in a bowl large enough for mixing. Pour the cooked syrup slowly over the popcorn and mix well.

Wet hands slightly and shape corn into balls, using only enough pressuree to make them stick together. Makes 12 medium sized balls.

Wrap individually in wax paper and twist at the top. She added a bit of red food coloring to make them look Christmasey. They're very pretty placed in a big bowl, then put in the middle of the coffee table, for family members to devour at will.
My MIL always put them in the box of our packages, using them as packing for anything fragile. All those years, all those packages, and I don't remember much of what any of them held. I / we do remember the popcorn balls. No matter what else is on my list, I'm finding a way to make a batch of these, and wrapping them up for my DH to open Christmas morning. I think she would be pleased.


  posted at 1:00 AM

Friday, December 21, 2007
Better Late than Never
Boomama had a Christmas Home Tour, but it wasn't very Christmasey around here then, so I passed on it. However, now that we have a TREE up with LIGHTS, and some other miscellaneous acknowledgement of this oh so special of seasons, I thought I'd share anyway.

I bought myself this last year right after Christmas. LOVE IT! Even my husband chuckles at it, because it's oh so true!

I gave away over half of our Christmas decorations last summer at the Free Garage Sale, but did hold onto the little snow village. It has little blue lights that are charming at night when all the house lights are turned off. I like it especially when it has kitty prints in it.

The tree - not perfect, one clump doesn't have working lights. Good enough, moving on...

I personally like having a monstrous-sized pig over the embroidered nativity. Not sure what that says about me.

Faux fireplace. Real stockings.

Real fireplace, no stockings, just some snowy stuff.

Gifts ready to drop off at friends' homes. Some knitting, sewing and wrapping and I think we'll be set. Merry Christmas everyone. xooxox


  posted at 5:48 PM

Thursday, December 20, 2007
Santa Came Early
Here's what DH decided I needed for Christmas. Not only am I missing calls because the volume button is on the side of the phone, and the cute little pocket of my purse I store it in is lowering the volume to silent, he also realized a newer model might offer some other good options.

Good grief, am I behind the times or what? This new little gadget is a bit bigger so I can reach into the deep recesses of my purse and grab it, but better it flips open to a QWERT keyboard so I can type text messages that are longer than "I luv u 2 xoxox Mom", and they gave me unlimited messages (my daughter-in-law will love that!), it lets me retrieve emails from all of my accounts so I don't have to travel with my computer anymore, which means I can just take my knitting bag instead. So much more fun, and then on top of all that it has a built-in GPS system and for those of us directionally challenged, that will be fabulous. I can type in and find the airport, the car rental return, the nearest Starbucks or knitting store, but he also told us when we visit NYC in the Spring we can turn it onto walking mode, type in where we are and it will give us directions. Last but not least it has a 2 megapixel camera with a memory card so I can snap away with cute shots of everyone and load them onto my blog!

Fabulous - simply fabulous gift. Oh yeah, it also has one of those big bug looking gadgets for my ear so I don't drive off the road this winter. My socially conscious friend Janice will approve of that too. I won't tell you how many times I've looked down to dial and looked up just in time to see I'm about to meet another car in their lane. I can talk into it and say "Home James" and it'll call for me so I don't have (another) wreck.

No calories, perfect fit, Santa outdid himself this year. Just exactly what I needed!


  posted at 10:24 AM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Smilin' at the Simple Stuff
This is my latest knitting project - a squared off baby hat with tassles on the side, knitted in camoflague with an orange stripe so other hunters will see him. Never too early to be ready to go hunting with Daddy, who will hopefully have a semi-matching hat by the time Santa shows up (I think we'll hold off on the tassles for his.) (This is another pattern from Itty Bitty Hats, by Susan B. Anderson - love that book!)

Momma saw it modeled when she dropped Landon off today, and thinks Daddy may question the tassles, saying they somewhat resemble pigtails.... I personally don't see a little girl wearing this anytime soon. It's not even pink for pete's sake.

Just to be safe, we took a survey as we grocery shopped together, and the vote was unanimous - 'great hat' was heard over and over. People just smiled when they saw him wearing this.

So we're sliding back into life with simple stuff, like hats that make baby faces look nice and pudgy, just like they should. Best part of all - he liked wearing it!

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  posted at 2:08 PM

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
We're home. We're thankful, we're sad, we're doing well, we're a bit weary but catching up a bit day by day. Thank you for covering us all with prayer. There was always strength when we needed it, laughter, good times with family, and little ones to keep us busy and reminded that life goes on.

I'll be back soon as we clear a path between the suitcases, packages, newspapers, doggie prints and pet hair, to catch up, hopefully before the Big Red Guy shows up! xoxoxo


  posted at 11:30 PM

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Thank You
We're flying to snowy Colorado this morning, nine of us, coming from here and there to meet and say goodbye to Don's mother. Some scurried to get ready, some were extra patient with those doing the scurrying, and some stayed behind so others could be there.

Many of you stopped by to offer your thoughts and prayers, and we appreciate them so much. I apologize for not having the time to thank each of you separately.

Please, if you think of us, continue to pray for our travel safety, for two babies to handle this trip easily, all of us to be patient and loving as we're jumbled together here and there, and for each of us as we deal with this loss. I'll be back in a week or so, after life settles down some. xoxoxo


  posted at 3:57 AM

Saturday, December 08, 2007
I'm sad to post that we lost my dear mother-in-law early this morning. She had a 'minor heart attack' earlier this week, and had spent much of the week in the hospital. It was just too much for her very tired heart. After being transferred back to the facility she lived in, she quietly slipped away in her sleep this morning.

It's too early, too soon, to gather thoughts of what she meant to us. At 95, she'd lived a full, rich life, loved the Lord, and so we know she's in Heaven now enjoying not having to put up with pesky oxygen tubes, a wheelchair or walker, feet that hurt, and all the other aches and pains she likely tolerated but didn't say much about.

We're flying out to Denver in a day or so, and will be there for at least a week, so I won't be around blogland for awhile. I'd appreciate your prayers for our family, Don and I here, our kids as they travel to Colorado during iffy winter weather, and all of us as arrangements are made, and we all gather to say goodbye to a great lady, loved by all who knew her. She's going to be missed so much.

In the meantime, I did a random number generator for the cookbook giveaway, just in case any of you are planning to give them as gifts. Here's how it all settled out:

#1, Maxwell House Coffee Cookbook, goes to Melissa K, but I can't seem to get an email or blogsite. Can you please email me through my sidebar with a shipping address?

#2, the Tuscan Cookbook, goes to Kelli, Living in Grace.

#3, Low Fat Healthy Heart, goes to Trish, A Joyful Heart.

#4, Smoothies, goes to a very sweet mommy, Miller Moments.

#5, Rachel Ray, (wish I'd had several of these to give away!), goes to Samantha, not a blogger, but a sweet commenter.

#6, Mary Englebreit, goes to Robin.

If you'll all email me at with a shipping address, I'd love to pop these in the mail to you on Monday, along with (praying hard here) all my Christmas packages.



  posted at 5:26 PM

Friday, December 07, 2007
Cleaning out the Cookbooks....
We rearranged the family room this past weekend, which led to rearranging the living room since we stole furniture from there to go there, and that led to rearranging the eating area of the kitchen, and if you're thinking this is a little like "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie.....", you're exactly right, and thank goodness the only other room on this floor is the bathroom and anything in there is attached to the floor, or I might never stop this nonsense. Who has time to rearrange their entire house this year, and what was I thinking? And yes, I've already read Sidetracked Home Executives. I'm aware of my personality quirks, as is the rest of my family. So where was I?

Oh yeah, I decided to get rid of a bunch of my cookbooks, and wondered if any of my blog girlfriends would like them. None of them are written in, all were purchased new, so you might even like them to give away to someone special on your Christmas shopping list.

Like all of you, I'm a bit pinched for time, so I'm foregoing the whole photo thing - here's what I have:

#1 Maxwell House, Coffee Drinks & Desserts Cookbook - great for having girlfriends over

#2 Pino Luongo La Mia Cucina Toscana (a Tuscan Cooks in America), this is a beautiful cookbook, would make a nice housewarming gift with a good bottle of wine!

#3 AMA Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook, might be a good gift for a parent?

#4 Super Smoothies, 50 Recipes for Helath and Energy, I found I just throw in a carton of yogurt, some banana and call it good, but this has great recipes if you want to fuss. Would be nice if you plan to give a Smoothie Maker to anyone.

#5 365 No Repeats, Rachael Ray, A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners. She drives me a little bit nuts, but the hyper stuff doesn't come across on paper.

#6 Mary Englebreit's Queen of the Kitchen Cookbook, very pretty picture book type of cookbook,would make a nice shower or wedding gift, or Christmas gift for a bride-to-be, accompanied with some cooking utensils.

I'll keep the give-away open til Saturday. If you leave a comment, please let me know which books you'd like to be entered for. I'll send them all out next Monday (weather permitting, I live in snowy Pennsylvania!) by media mail. I'm dating this for Friday evening, so hopefully it will stay at the top of my blog, no time to go in and repost it over and over.

My kitchen looks much better, and one of these may be just what you're looking for. If nothing else they make a good White Elephant gift. xooxxo


  posted at 11:59 PM

See's Fudge
She used to be Johnny-on-the-spot, getting her Christmas list ready in plenty of time. This doll, that toy, and as she got older, those jeans or that pair of cool tennis shoes (which I got miserably wrong and she has since forgiven me.) Times change, and little girls grow up. Now she's a mother of three little ones, who are busy making their own lists, so hers doesn't get much attention.

This year, however, she phoned me and gave me hers. "Popcorn balls tinted pink, and fudge, cut into little pieces", each with a walnut on the top, and placed between rows of waxed paper in used Russell Stover boxes. Every year we could count on a box arriving a week or so before the big day, and nestled inside would be a much used candy box, packed with See's Fudge. Popcorn balls used as packing would tumble out, and we'd gather them up and place them in a big bowl on the family room coffee table. As the days wound down to Christmas the pile of popcorn balls would get smaller and smaller. My husband would keep count every evening - don't even try to eat more than one in a sitting! Much like your favorite Girl Scout cookie, they only arrived once a year, and he didn't want them all disappearing too quickly.

His mom is now 95 years old and the days of making treats and mailing them in Christmas packages has passed by. Sarah gently suggested that I pick up the ball, or popcorn balls as it would be, and continue on the tradition for her children, and our other children and their children to enjoy. We rarely finished the fudge. What mother in her right mind would let her kids eat a whole box of fudge, knowing she'd have to pick them off the ceiling to get them into bed that night?! Sometime after December 25, I'd pack the uneaten fudge in the back of the fridge and after the New Year passed, I'd eventually throw it out. You can tell I'm not a chocolate lover...

This year I headed to the local grocery and bought three boxes of inexpensive Russell Stover chocolates, opened them at sewing group and asked my girlfriends to help me out by eating them all. I don't really like chocolate, unless it's a light coating over coconut or toffee. Getting ahold of those three empty boxes cost me $14.25. If I'd known that, I'd have saved the ones we received year after year. Next time I visit my mother-in-law I'll be sure to ask her if I can carry home a few or a dozen of her candy boxes, which are surely still tucked away in a closet.

So if you have anyone on your list who has to have fudge to keep their Christmas memories intact, this one is easy to make, and was a sure hit in our home for over 20 years. There are many variations, this is just the one my mother-in-law gave me, and traditions can't be messed with, I'm sticking with this recipe, no substitutions!

See's Fudge (or as she called it, "One Bowl Holiday Fudge")

by Grandma Atrel

2 pkgs (8 squares each) of semi-sweet chocolate
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Microwave chocolate and milk in a large microwavable bowl on high 2-3 minutes, or til chocolate is almost melted, stirring halfway through the heating time. Remove from microwave. Stir til chocolate is completely melted.

Stir in vanilla and walnuts. Spread in greased (and you bet she used Crisco!) 8 inch square glass dish. Refrigerate til firm. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator. Makes 4 dozen pieces.

Me? I'll be putting a little walnut on top of each one, then lining that candy box with waxed paper, folded into lines, packing the candy inside the box, and shipping it out to our three kids and their families. This time of year you just can't mess with traditions, and I'll smile to think of our grandkids, being gently picked off the ceilings at night then tucked into bed. then I'll put together a smaller box, and send it the one who took time all those years to make a tradition in our family. Surely you're never too old for fudge and popcorn balls. (I'll try to post that recipe next week, after the fudge is done. This time of year, slow and steady wins the race!)

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  posted at 7:36 AM

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Brrrrrr - it's cold, let's knit!
Yesterday was our first real blast of winter with 3 1/2 inches of the white stuff. Waking to the sound of the salt trucks going down our hill tells me the roads will be passable. It's a comforting sound to start the day.

I bundled up and ventured out for coffee with a girlfriend, and then again with a daughter, to be greeted by a winter wonderland. It feels somewhat like you're on a mission, along with everyone else on the roads, when you get out and do battle with the snow. Since shoveling snow burns about a gazillion calories an hour, after the driveway was clear, I crossed 'work out' off my list and had cookies with my coffee, completely guilt-free!

Waking up this morning, turning on the kitchen faucet to hear it sputter a bit - oh no, how cold did it get? The prediction was for 22.

8.5 degrees????!!! I'm not so much into the single digits. We hit a balmy 29 degrees by mid-day. That's okay, we only have 3 1/2 more months of this. Maybe that's part of why God made snow drifts so beautiful. I still have memories of being new to Colorado (from Texas), running outside with a large mixing bowl, scooping up a bowlful of snow. Back inside we'd add some vanilla, sugar and milk and eat to the bottom of the bowl, amazed you could have 'ice cream' in the middle of winter. I won't think about the ozone and what could have been in it. It was worth it for the memories.

Since it's so stinking cold, let's talk knitting for a change! I finished this scarf, a project done in Alpaca Wool, knitted for my hubby who thinks it's for our son. I figure you can tell some white lies at this time of year, so I was able to just sit and knit away right in front of him. I've ordered more of the yarn to whip up a hat to match before Santa arrives. We need wool hats and scarves around here. This one was done to look a bit dignified, to go with his trenchcoat.

It was my first ribbed project, and I had to do a few 'frogs' on it - rip-it. Chalk it up to learning. Don watched me do some of the ripping out and said he's officially labeled me the "Angry Knitter". Nonsense, I would more call it "Foamy at the mouth while holding needles in your hands Knitter".

I just checked out of the public library a book called "Never Too Old to Knit, Beautiful Basics for Baby Boomers" Sixth&Spring Books, edited by Karin Strom. While the book teaches the basics of knitting, it also approaches knitting from a mental health / emotional / social approach. So, straight from the book,

"The Top Ten Reasons to Start Knitting Now"

1. Knitting can relieve stress (after you learn the stitches I might add.)

2. Knitting - the new yoga. (That's great - my knees can't bend into pretzel positions these days.)

3. Knitting provides mental and creative stimulation. (I'm all for learning something new, I'd rather burn out than rust.)

4. Knitting is good for your health. (I've seriously lost 6 lbs since I started because you can't eat and knit. The book promotes it as an aid to smoking cessation, and even weight loss. You can't focus on food or cigarettes and knit and purl or variations thereof.)

5. Knitting is portable, productive and oh so glamorous. (I love taking it on planes, into doctor's offices, while I have coffee with girlfriends, or watching TV at night. My other hobbies are not so portable. Knitting is.)

6. Knitting is ageless, timeless and unisex. (My 31 year old daughter taught me. I'm teaching my other daughter, who is 26, and her friend, and her friend's mother who is older than me. I'm 52. The best knitter who visits my yarn shop is 22, she learned when she was 8! This is something I can do for many years to come. I don't want to be scrapbooking when I'm 80!)

7. Knitting provides an opportunity to give back to the community. (After Christmas I plan to investigate making caps for chemo patients, or preemie babies, or the homeless. I love that I can do this and give it away.)

8. Knitting improves your wardrobe and provides countless gift ideas. (Absolutely! and if I am ever able to make a fabulous striped sweater, I swear I will sew the label on the outside so everyone who sees it knows "I made it myself!")

9. Knitting can be good for your social life. (I have loved meeting Michelle who owns the yarn store, Ann Marie who goes there for open knit night and I previously thought of her as my pharmacist. I'm meeting Dianne, from Unfinished Work, for coffee and knitting this weekend.)

10. Knitting promotes shopping and travel opportunities. (We won't even go into what I've spent since I started, I just budget for it. Let's just say it's an understatement to say it's promoted shopping on my part... I am excited that I'm going to a knitting conference near my home in February with one of the girls in my quilting group.)

So I'm staying inside, grabbing my needles and getting busy with the next project - Christmas packages have to be in the mail a week from tomorrow!


  posted at 4:26 PM

Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Divine Hat for a Little Diva
Less than a skein of yarn, two nights of knitting while we watched football, and a trip to the local fabric store for some polar fleece to add a dash of sass.

I whipped this up for our 18 month old granddaughter, Miss Addison. The pattern was taken from Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson, the book my daughter Sarah used to teach herself to knit. What's not to love about it? I could get addicted to making hats for little people!


  posted at 11:21 PM

Sunday, December 02, 2007
Domestic Bliss
Yesterday was the Christmas luncheon for our quilting group, the "Sew and Sows" (which my daughters pointed out to me sounds like large female pigs that sew, but we're going with the 'sowing the word' take on it, and besides that they named the group before I joined so I didn't get a vote).

We decided late this summer to do a block exchange rather than giving gifts to each other at Christmas. Each of us chose a theme, or group of fabrics for our quilt, and we exchanged fabric swatches. We each also made one block for an Americana quilt to give to one of our missionary families in Brazil.

Here's our group, all cleaned up. We meet once a week in each other's homes and don't normally look quite this good. Since this was a fancy schmancy luncheon at a country club, we fussed a bit more.

I'm the tall one in the middle of the back row with the flashing glare next to my head. I think we're a great looking bunch. Across the back row left to right, Janice, me, Ingrid and Jennifer. The short ones in the front are: Joyce, Linda, Sharon, Mary Ann, Susan and Beth. We have several other members who did not participate in the exchange. I think we span 22 years in age, but when you put us all together we're just girls. I love that.

These are the blocks I sewed for everyone in the group. You can see that each one is different - there were three Christmas quilts, two Americana, one had cats as a theme, and I also had two Americana for the missions quilt that aren't on this board. I've only been quilting for less than three years, so overall I was pleased with how they came out. They were sewn with enough love to make up for any seams that don't match perfectly.

These are the blocks I received from my girlfriends. I chose 30's reproduction fabric because I plan to take this quilt with me when I move away in a year or so, and wanted something that reeked of memories. I love that the fabrics are reminiscent of my grandmothers' aprons. This less than lovely photo of me is the only one of my blocks. Each of us will take the blocks we received and piece them together to make a wall hanging, or add a few more blocks to turn them into a bed quilt, starting in February, then we'll get together this summer at our annual hot dog/pool party at Joyce's to show what they turned out like.

Being a part of this group is a tremendous blessing. When you spend one afternoon a week with a group of women, you share an awful lot of tears and laughter. We truly love each other bumps and warts and all. The younger ones in the group listen to our menopausal woes; the older ones advise those still in the middle of raising teens. One of the women announced at the luncheon that she and her husband will be grandparents next July, raising the number of grandmothers in the group to 8. Our next outing is planned for late March, when we're headed to Lancaster, PA for a quilt show in Amish country. I can't wait for that!

And, finally, here's what I just finished knitting - a hat for six year old Caiden. Paired up with a new football for his Christmas present from Grammy and Papa.

Okay, back to my machine and needles - too many projects, too little time. Not to mention a tree to put up, popcorn balls and fudge to make, throw out the dead mums still on the front porch and drag out the old sled.......

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  posted at 9:31 PM

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    About Me

    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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