Wednesday, December 26, 2012

in the mean time

New years is coming soon, and my resolutions will be similar to last year's. One of them will be to make stuff... and while we are waiting for time to make these resolutions, I'll be sharing some of the things I made for the holiday making season but couldn't share before now in case people who were getting the gifts took a peek at the blog.

Good thing I don't have "write many run-on sentences" as a goal, or you guys would be in trouble at this point, because that was a doozy.

Here's my first shared project:
infinity scarf
It wasn't even a present, I just happened to FINALLY finish it yesterday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

lovely christmas, with civilization

We had a lovely Christmas Eve, which flowed into a very nice Christmas day. Yesterday, we had a little (very little) Christmas open house with pot luck. The eclectic menu included devilled eggs, sausage balls, pizza, ham and chicken noodle soup. I love these truly pot luck dinners that my folks started having on Christmas Eves when we stayed home for the holidays. Most of our Christmases were spent with my dad's family in Wichita Falls, TX.

This year, almost everyone I invited had other plans all ready. Something about being out of town made it hard to come over, or something. Still, we did our pot luck, and enjoyed it, and watching a couple of movies, and visiting.

Today, we woke Raine up at the crack of 10:30 to open presents. She enjoyed herself, building a fortress of wrapping paper and surrounding herself with gifts.
excited about every gift.
She draped the scarf that her grandmother made her on her head as soon as she opened it up. (sometimes she channels her Aunt Scarrie) I think she wore it almost all day, including while reading before bed. Opening presents on Christmas morning is another one of our Christmas traditions.

When I get done with this post, I will be reprising one of my personal Christmas traditions, passed down from computer to computer, from the days of the first Amiga version of Sid Meyer's game, Civilization. Every holiday, and it seems especially Christmas, I would find myself playing into the wee hours of the morning. There always seemed to be ONE MORE TURN that I should take. As the holiday drew upon us this year, I got the itch to play Civ again. In fact, it seemed to be that something that might be missing, otherwise. Oh, sure, I play it other times - sometimes too often and too long - but the holidays just tripped a trigger for me I wasn't even aware I had created. Now, I you will excuse me, the English need to discover some new technologies, and explore their world!

Monday, December 17, 2012

where is it going?

Wasn't it Thanksgiving yesterday? No? Can't be December, can it? Already? Hmmm

Just a handful of shopping (crafting) days until Christmas now. We have a weather forcast for this Thursday (or so) that has a possibility of snow. It's probably crazy talk, but on can hope! I still have lots of sewing I want to get done, and I need to take my serger in for a tune-up. Worst possible moment, of course, but I can't complain about it really. It is such a work horse, and I use it ALL THE TIME.

We're going to have a Christmas Eve potluck. It was a tradition that my folks started, inviting everyone to bring their favorite dish and celebrate for a while on Christmas Eve. They kind of had the open house thing going, and people would come and go. We always had a great time, and a wonderful, eclectic variety of food. I asked Raine what she wanted to make for her favorite food, and she didn't even have to think very long or hard about it. Chicken noodle soup. I think we can do that. Me? I'm still thinking about what I want to make. I may break out the short bread and grannie's oatmeal cookie recipes. hmmm or....

Deciding to have the potluck has really put me in the Christmas mood, but I also find there are people I would love to invite, who won't - for various very logical and obvious reasons - be able to come. Still, Christmas is for remembering them, too...

If you are in my neighborhood, friends, come by on Christmas Eve. Bring a dish, or just your well wishes. Be welcomed. Be loved. Be Merry and Bright. We all need some of each.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

bloodstream book review

This weekend, I finished reading Bloodstream, by Tess Gerritson. I picked it up at the used book store, where I do a lot of my book shopping. I really intended to get one of her Rizolli & Isles series, but grabbed this one instead. I didn't realize it wasn't a R&I until I got home and started reading. I was about 3 chapters in, wondering when the ladies were going to show up, when I reread the cover, and went OH! Well, the book is a page turner, and so I eagerly read on.

The main character, Claire, is a female doctor, recently move to a small town in Maine and trying to make a go of her new practice, and her new life. Inexplicably the town teenagers seem to be spiralling out of control, becomming murderously violent. It has happened before in this little town, but no one wants to talk about what happened then. The doctor has to figure out why, because her teenaged son seems to be affected, too.

There was one point, about a third of the way through, when one of the townspeople tells Claire that it is all because of the witches, and the satanic rituals that are going on in the woods. It made me pause, people, it really did. That was SO MUCH what I didn't want this book to be about that merely having it in there was almost enough to make me put it down. I talked my self down.

"Dina," I said, "you are willing to read books with witches and supernatural occurances in them. Why are you acting like you aren't?"

I shook my head, "Self," I sighed, "when you are right you are right. I have enjoyed many of those books, and will enjoy more. But why did she have to go there? THIS book is supposed to be a medical mystery."

"Yeah. It says that right on the cover. So, maybe its a red herring. Let's read a little further and see if Claire falls for it."

Nope, she didn't. In fact - as a counterpoint - about two thirds of the way through, one of the characters is called a witch. Her neighbor says something like, Of course she's a witch! But at least she isn't a vegetarian. I loved that! Really enjoyed the book as a whole, and look forward to reading more of Gerritson's work, R&I related and not.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

get out the comfy quilt

Yesterday, toward the end of the school day, it hit me. A 24 hour type bug. Both of my brothers have been out with a flu, both for several days. I'm happy that mine was not as long or intense. Still, when you don't feel good, you just need some comfort. I got out the quilt that Grannie made for me.

Grannie gave me this quilt when I was in jr high or high school. It spent every winter on my bed up through the time I got married. Then, its age started catching up to it... a chewed corner from Dixie when we first got her. Some of the blocks have fabric that is nearly transparent now, or extremely delicate. I love this quilt so much, I didn't just want it to fall apart! So, it is on the shelf, now, most of the time.

Yesterday evening, it came off the shelf, and I wrapped up in it. It was almost like I could get a hug from my grannie, and my mom, who would do the comforting in person, if they could.

One of the reasons I make things is that feeling. I give the things I make to people I care about and I hope - even occasionally - that they can remember something warm about me, and think of me a little. Fondly. I hope they can get some comfort, if they need it, and make it through the night.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

make stuff for Christmas

That's something that has been on my to-do list for a very long time. Some years the projects will be varied. Others, I find something I love, and make it for everyone on the list. This year, Roxanne and I have been makiing fabric baskets in holiday fabrics. We have a list of people to make them for... including the one Roxanne picked out for herself. It has cute country-fied angels on it, and I think it is the only one we don't have a picture of. Here are some I DO have pictures of...

our first set, minus the angels

the second batch

If you notice the second batch has more embellishment, but we got fewer put together. We also got to pose a decorating idea for the picture...(pay no attention to the background there).

They are turning out well, and we have more to make. Of course, it isn't the only holiday making I have in mind, but I better get a move on if I want it to get where it belongs on time!