Monday, December 20, 2010

On Hold........till January, 2011

It's that time of the year--everything is put on hold and family rules the roost! Some of the projects have been ongoing for some time so we can say they are 'aging' and it will not be a big problem if they age till 2011. Like this knit project..............................
it's handspun como wool/silk ply and it must be finished by January 15!!!
These two projects involve hand stitching; ready to be picked up so if time is available and family is elsewhere, we might do some stitching.
It sounded great when the idea was submitted--a small pattern each day leading up to December 24th. This was Advent knitting, but at the present time we are 'stuck'!! (as they say in the movie Christmas Story) on day 15. The finished scarf will need lots of TLC or blocking!
Now, it's time to bid everyone Merry Christmas! See you in the New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Traditions!

Traditions~we all have traditions we follow throughout the year. Mostly, we have traditions we follow during this time of the year. Maybe, it's an evening spent with friends or a luncheon laced with gift exchanges. But, there are those things we do within our family that are the most important and remembered. How does one start a tradition? Just by repeating it year after year. Every year for the past (who knows how many) years, our son has given a gift to his fellow company personnel. And now every year, it is the same thing......... We take the recipe from this book.
And on the recipe page, we make notes--lots of notes since the first year we ran out of ingredients and had to make a grocery store run.
We gather the supplies. We need jars--this year 24; some years, it has been 36 or more.
Bags of sugar
Tasty walnuts.......
Boxes of cocoa.......
Pounds of flour........
And we begin the assembly. There are some years when granddaughter would assist, but this year she was in the midst of her college finals and just too busy. But, she and I had worked out a method!
It certainly helped when we found these jar holders. The first few years, we used an old funnel that we had cut off the spout.
Pour in the sugar, flour, baking soda and powder, salt--shake it down. Still must add
chopped walnuts.......
Chocolate chips.......
All filled and ready to be capped off with a fancy square of fabric. Screw down the top
and slap on a label to tell how to assemble the brownie mix. Now, as the numerous years have progressed, this is always a wonder--do the recipients really enjoy receiving this -traditional- gift each year? Our son says yes; they look forward to the brownie jar sitting on their desk--they know they're not forgotten. Maybe, this is a tradition in their households--either bake up the mix or see how many jars they can acquire!!
December 16 is also a day we remember because it brings up another tradition--thanking God that we have a wonderful life. December 16, 1976 was the day we lost our home, cars and all personal possessions to a fire--new traditions were begun that day--ones that will be passed along to generations to come.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wreaths Across America

What an emotional and satisfying day December 11 was! We volunteered to assist with the laying of the wreaths on the graves of 26, 249 veterans at the Houston National Cemetery. This fourth annual laying of the wreaths is sponsored by Wreaths Across America, Houston. There are several corporation sponsors as well and we tagged along with our daughter's company. Shuttles are provided from a local northside mall as parking at the cemetery is limited.
We thought we had arrived early, but found when we entered the National Cemetery that we were late! The streets surrounding were lined with cars, trucks, buses and other shuttle vehicles.
The sight of numerous American flags flapping in the strong southerly breeze swells ones heart and soul.
We stood aside as a cadet corp stepped off their bus to march in precision to the ceremony location.
At the entrance of the Hemi-cycle, the Lone Star flag flew at half staff along with the American flag. Your heart beats a little faster when you see all those in attendance--motorcycle vets, every nationality, young and old alike--all in attendance to pay honor to those who have given their lives for our freedom.
Before the start of the official ceremony, the United States Honor Flag was proudly displayed. Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, a flag was gifted to Chris Heisler by the Texas House of Representatives. Like many Americans, Heisler felt compelled to take action during a horrific time for the United States, and with this flag in tow, he set out for Ground Zero. Along the way, Heisler helped to organize one of the longest police motorcades in the history of the United States, bound for Ground Zero bringing many tokens of support together with other agencies, to our nation's Heroes. Since September 2001, the United States Honor Flag has paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty protecting our lives, our homes and our country, and also those who currently serve our communities and our nation.
The Honor Network was founded on the conviction that every person who is committed in service to our communities and country deserves the support of every single American, and that an increase in American patriotism is vital in keeping our great nation united. We passed the Honor Flag vehicle as we walked into the ceremony area. Presentation of colors by Kingwood High School NJROTC.
St. Thomas Episcopal Pipe band member played "Amazing Grace"--giving one 'goose bumps'.
The parade of flags lined the entrance of the Thomas Circle. Presentation of Wreaths placed by WWII veterans from the US Army, US Navy, US Coast Guard, US Navy, US Merchant Marines, US Air Force, US Marine Corps and POW/MIA. The ceremony begun with invocation and continued with National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance; a 21 gun salute and echo taps brought tears to ones eyes as we remember. Then it was time to lay the wreaths.
We went to our staging area to gather our wreaths. Here daughter and granddaughter take their wreaths from grandpa.
Laying a wreath on WWI soldier grave site, you take a moment to straighten the bow, step back, say their name and a word of prayer (if you so chose) before walking to the next grave site.
The sight of many pausing as they laid their wreaths was awesome!
It was a day peaked with tears of sadness, thoughts of lost ones and reflection of why we were there. Next year, maybe we can lay wreaths on 50,000 grave sites--now, wouldn't that be fulfilling tribute?!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We Gather To Celebrate

It's the time of year we gather together as friends and family. We gather our personal celebrations of joy--the things that make us happy, the small reminders of good days and sad happenings. Bringing out the boxes loaded with ornaments, tree trimmings, table toppers and wall hangings give us pause to just remember. Each piece holds a special place in our hearts.....
like this wall hanging.
quilted by the hands of 92 year old mother-in-law. You can hear her speaking about her younger days as she sat under the table of her mother to push the needles back up to the quilters.
She talks about the short stitches needed "can not be big enough to catch your toenail on", she says. You have heard the tale a hundred times but it still means something to you and her. Her quilting was always done with white thread and it was a novel idea to use a colored thread on this piece.
And ah, the JOY you feel when you visit with friends--this quilt (made and quilted by Judy M, hanging in her newly built studio) expresses the satisfaction you feel when you see friends' smiling faces. Hugs all around to calm the difficult days, ears to listen to problems, and just being there helps. Sandy brought Karen's Christmas quilt to ring in the season of celebration. We all loved the setting--quite simple and scrappy but worthy of display.

Walking into Judy M houses is a delight--always festive for whatever season of the year. This hangs in her dining room.
And the snowman proudly declares--"peace, joy, love, and a wide open heart"!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We're Up and Running Again!

Hurrah! The PC is back in operating order--thanks to dear hubby who worked long and hard to solve some of the errors and the little guy in India; for the price of $250 (year Dell contract)who cleaned off the rest of the errors. What a relief!
This is the view we have from the top of the stair case. This quilt might have been on the blog previously but it's always worth a second look especially after it's on display.
The quilting on these individual blocks always amaze. And with each step down the stairs, you see something different and unique in the threads.
Many designs are custom.
a Welcoming wreath and a basket filled with ivy and holly--
Okay, off to view other works in process (WIP). Yes, there is something on the loom--cotton warp and handspun cotton as weft.
Brown handspun cotton on the bobbin--
and other WIPs--a way to practice applique stitching--large pieces and not many small turns to make.
And the fact that this is a large block--whoopie!
Here is another Raggedy Annie block under the belt.......
And if you are following the blog, you know about the Layer Cake QAL. Here are the first two blocks from the challenge.
Now that the house is decorated for the holidays, it is time to finish up a few small gifts for family and friends.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What the Heck??

Somewhere along the line, a virus entered my PC system--gee, what the heck happen? How did it happen? We have a virus protector--so we thought. So, the PC is in the hospital (!) trying to be repaired. It might be a few days before it is back in operating order--how much of our life hinges on the Internet and a computer?

It has been an interesting week--we celebrated our granddaughter's 20th birthday--gee, they grow up so fast; although, she thinks it has been a slow journey to this age. Just wait till you are approaching 30 and then see how fast life passes you by.
Anyway, during the early morning hours of the next day, hubby experienced rapid and irregular heartbeat. Now, his is always a constant at 65 beats, so when it was beating at 125 and it was jumping around like a scared rabbit, we knew something wasn't right. Off we go to ER for tests. By the time he was there an hour, all these symptoms disappeared and he was released after three hours. Back at home in his nice warm bed, he fell immediately to sleep--no sleep for the worried though. Now, he has appointment with cardiologist--meaning more tests.

See y'all soon as PC is happy again!!