Weekly update - December 8, 2023

We're at the end of the first week of December and I'm not panicking. Yet. I make no promises about next week. I think I'm in the denial phase of Christmas preparations. Today I spent the afternoon organizing and cleaning my studio. I could maje the very tenuous argument that it will help me complete the rest of the gifts I have to make, but this would be patently false. I've worked in the rather dirty and disorganized space for months now,  three more weeks wasn't going to kill me. It is nice to have it clean and organized, though. I also spent some time today washing and ironing the linen napkins we used at Christmas. This doesn't really count as preparations as I probably won't use them at Christmas. It is the first time ever that the linens used at Thanksgiving are put back away before Christmas.  The sunsets continue to be lovely.  My children have lost count how many times I have shouted at the car in front of me at a round about that it is not a four-

Vaguely famous all over again

For a moment I couldn't figure out why my blog numbers were bizarrely high when I sat down to write this evening. Then I remembered, oh yeah, the documentary was re-aired tonight. This time around was more pleasant as there were no interviews to go along with it. I could conveniently forget about it.  But it seems I have some new visitors, which seems to warrant a brief introduction. I've been writing this blog since 2005, which is coming perilously close to twenty years of writing. It also means there is a lot of content here... probably several book's worth of words. To help you navigate, look at the tabs right underneath the header and click the 'more' option. Those will take you to lists of older posts. The 'About' tab will identify who is who, as I use initials instead of names here. Yes, I realize it's a but confusing and annoying. What seems to be a good idea with five children doesn't grade up so well. And then when you start to add spouses,

Just a couple things

I had an update on the horses all planned out to write tonight, but I was away all day at meetings and appointments, so don't have the bandwidth. Maybe tomorrow? We'll see.  There are two items I can share with you that may be if interest. The first is that we have named our stuffed Christmas hedgehogs. (This counts as vital information, doesn't it?) They are Holly Christmas and Jolly Christmas. Holly is the one with the shirt with holly on it, of course. Maybe you need a picture of them to remind you.  They were well worth the splurge and have sat on many laps today. I got home from my meeting this morning to find G. and L. sitting on the couch each with one in their lap. And they make me smile.  The other bit of information is to let you know that Hayden and her Family will be rebroadcast on the PBS World channel as part of America Reframed tomorrow night at 8/7c. If you haven't seen it and are interested. When I see the footage from it these days, all I can think is


I had a couple of new friends follow me home from the grocery store today.  I don't normally give in to impulse buys. Today, though, G. was with me and we stopped to visit the hedgehogs (something I've been doing for the past couple of weeks). G. fell in love with them, too, which was enough to push me over the edge of reason.  Not only are they cute, but they're weighted, so are very satisfying to hold. Their happy faces watched me while I paid bills thus afternoon. Yes, grocery shopping and bill paying all in one day. Some days are special like that. Though if I had reversed the order, after paying the bills, the hedgehogs would still be in the grocery store.  I didn't pay the bills first, so we get to enjoy their happy faces. Because everyone needs a Christmas hedgehog. Or two. 

Fiber Monday - Color gamp and a new toy

Today was the last day of the weaving class I was taking. We were weaving color gamps and learning a bit about color theory. A gamp is kind of like a woven sampler. You have columns of different threading in the warp and then you do rows of different treadling patterns in the weft. You can then use a grid to determine the two parts that made a certain pattern. In this case we did the same thing with color.  Each column was a different color and each row is a different color. The gamp allows you to see how the colors interact with each other. It was a lot of fun to weave watching the colors change. I need to hem and wash it before it is totally complete.  Then there are all things I can't show you at the moment. Christmas gifts and all... I can show you the new toy that arrived earlier this week. It's an inkle loom. Inkle looms are simple looms used for weaving bands.  I didn't weave this, it came on the loom. I've been looking out for these for a while, but they are fai


Today was the first Sunday of Advent. I finally got the rest of the Thanksgiving things put away and Y. helped me dig out our Advent wreath.  Following dinner we always head over to the piano and sing Christmas carols together. Over the years, these times of singing together are some of my dearest memories.  The first candle of Advent is the candle of hope. If ever a world needed hope, it is now. So to my fellow Christians, be the reason someone feels hope this week. Do not succumb to fear. Be kind. Love people's socks off. Small acts really can make a difference. 


Growing up my very favorite Christmas album was called The Meaning of Christmas by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. Oh, how I adored that record. On one side was narration about all the more secular aspects of Christmas with songs for each one. On the other side was the Christmas story with choral arrangements for each section. Every December, when I got to stack the records on the record player, it would be one of the first ones I chose.  When I went to college, I needed it with me, so I made a cassette tape of it. (I'm truly dating myself here, aren't I?) That cassette lived with me for a very long time. By the time I had children of my own, it was fairly stretched out and didn't sound terribly good, but I insisted it be the first Christmas music we listened to in the car on our way home from Thanksgiving at J.'s aunt and uncle's.  This worked for a while, but the tape wasn't getting any younger and cassette players were increasingly difficult to find. Ever