Monthly Archives: December 2015

Signs of the Season

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We were blessed with family and festivities and all the Christmas season is supposed to be.  A time of joy, peace and blessings.  Now we are settling in for the rest of the winter.  Cold, dreary days.  Firelight flickering.  Candles glowing.  The days for soups, chili, and comfort food. Baking bread.    The days for enjoying our Christmas gifts, if we got any, or just enjoying being inside and working on our indoor chores and hobbies.

I am in a sock knitting obsession.  I started a pair of socks in the last couple of weeks.


My first time ever to knit on circular needles.


Very tiny circular needles.   I found I liked the knitting part of it, but was dreading turning the heel.  I think I worried about it so much I dropped stitches as I was trying to knit the heel flap, got all impatient about picking up the stitches and ended up tearing out the whole sock and now am using the yarn to knit yet another scarf.  So I am back to square one in starting a pair of socks.  I think I am going to order some different yarn as this yarn is acrylic and not really sock yarn and I did not like the stiffness of it as I was knitting.  Maybe it was a good thing I dropped those stitches.  David said, “you spent hours knitting that sock,” and I said, ” I can start again.  I am determined to knit socks.”  I won’t give up.  If millions of women can knit socks, so can I.

I did get this for Christmas.


I am not so sure this will be any easier as there is a CD to watch and all kinds of things one needs to know before one starts.  How can a simple sock be so hard?   I know people who knit hats on looms like this, so it cannot be that hard.  Anyway, that is what I tell myself.


Meanwhile, I told David I wanted to learn to crochet this year, also, which made him get out his crochet needles and proceed to crochet a scarf.


He use to crochet all the time and even crocheted a huge afghan.  If David can do it, surely I can.  He says it’s easy.  Sure it is.  When you know how to do it!


We had an informal table this year at Christmas. I didn’t want to be spending the time doing dishes on Christmas day.



We used paper plates, but I did find these vintage looking ones with napkins to match at Hobby Lobby.



Kids are what make Christmas so much fun.


Even grumpy snowmen are fun.  Our oldest son modeling one of his gifts.  As one can see, it made our grandson laugh.


Another gift I received was this adult coloring book.  It has brought out the kid in me.  I can’t stay away from it.  I collected all my coloring pencils and got to work.


The pages are all these black and white drawings, but as you color you turn the pages into…


Little works of art.


I am having way too much fun with this book.

Other signs of the season are these…..


Birds at the bird feeders.  A titmouse.  We haven’t seen titmice for years at our feeder so this was a wonderful thing to see.  I hope we get lots more of these pretty little birds.





The winter garden is still wonderful to see.  There is beauty everywhere.  These flowers only bloom in the winter.  This is the first year I have had them and I plan to get some more as it is a joy to see flowers in December outdoors.

As we come to the close of yet another year, I pray for peace, for happiness, for health, and for the love of family and friends in 2016. I wish it all for you, too. Bye.


O Holy Night

She had walked ninety miles over rough terrain.  Sometimes Joseph would place her on their little donkey, but in her condition it wasn’t all that comfortable.  Coming into Joseph’s ancestral home, Bethlehem, there was a bustle and hurry among the people, most here to pay their taxes to Caesar Augustus.  She and Joseph were pushed and shoved in the crowded streets.  She felt twinges of pain.  Her baby was due at any time. Where was she going to birth him?

From inn to inn they went looking for a bed for the night.  “No room, no room,” they were told over and over.  Then one inn keeper felt pity for the young couple and motioned them to follow him.  He took them behind his inn where a sort of cave held his animals.  At least it was out of the weather.  There was clean straw on the floor.  A couple of cows stood in their stalls.  Chickens  clucked softly on their roosts.  A few sheep baaed softly.  Mary looked around at the surroundings and thought to herself that this was not a place for God’s son to be born, but there was no where else to go, so she settled down in the hay.

The birth pangs became harder and harder.  Joseph rubbed her back and said soothing words.  Then the time came that she should be delivered.  The boy they had been promised came into this world among animals who watched curiously at this event that was happening.  Mary gazed at her baby’s face.  She was looking into the very face of God.  This tiny babe who would change everything.  Time would be based on his birth, BC and Anno Domini.  The world would not accept him.  He would touch thousands of people during his short time on earth.  Thankfully, Mary did not know what her baby boy would one day have to suffer to save this world of His.  All she knew was that she loved him more than anyone she had ever loved before.  She kissed his sweet, baby face and smelled the sweetness of his baby smell.  His downy hair stuck up.  He gurgled and cooed.  She held him to her breast.  All was calm.  All was peaceful in the stable.   Joseph found some rags and she carefully swaddled Jesus.  They were now a family.  Parents with a great responsibility for they were to raise God’s son.

Out in the fields surrounding Bethlehem, shepherds were watching their sheep.  Watching that no predators would come along and grab one to kill and eat.  It was a chilly night.  They pulled their garments close around them as they looked up at the starry sky.  It was such a clear night, so quiet and peaceful.  The sheep were grazing.  Lambs following their mothers up and down the hills.  Suddenly, right before their eyes in the dark nighttime sky, a light appeared.  A figure of great beauty appeared before them.  They began to shake with fear as the angel said to them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign to you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly the skies were filled with hosts of angels,  a multitude of them, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will to men.”

Suddenly it was a dark night again and the shepherds looked at one another.  Did we really see that, they asked themselves.  “We had better get down to Bethlehem and see this thing which the angels told us about.”  So, they left their sheep grazing on the hills and hurried down to the busy streets of Bethlehem going from place to place until suddenly, there they found a little family in a stall for animals, their baby swaddled and laying in a manger where the cattle fed.  Such a lowly sight and yet a glorious one.  A soft glow shone over the family. The shepherds bowed down and looked at this tiny baby who would change the world.

This year as you celebrate Christmas remember this.  It is about the gift.  The greatest gift of all.  God’s gift to you.  Just for you.  Jesus.  He came, not to condemn the world, but to save it because He loves us so much.  That little baby grew to be the savior of the world.  One day to die a horrible death on the cross taking your and my sins upon him.  Every last person on earth meant that much to Him.

Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus.  You are infinite.  Your birthdays will go on forever.  Welcome into our hearts today.  Merry Christmas, everyone and may you be blessed to know Jesus.  Bye.

Chicken Version of the Night Before Christmas

  ‘Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the coop,

Not a chicken was stirring

Not even their poop.

The chickens were nestled

All snug in their beds

 While visions of mealworms

Danced in their heads.

 Me in my pjs

 And Dave in his chair

Soon gave me to know

I had not a care.

When out in the yard

I heard such a clatter

I ran to the door

To see what was the matter.

Belle and Bonnie were having a rumble

Biting and jumping

  A right good dog jumble.

As I came back inside

And proceeded to bed

I saw a fat man

Dressed all in red.

He looked at me funny,

He looked at me weird.

He sure wasn’t Santa

He had no white beard.

Instead of a beard he had feathers on his chin

As I kept staring, he started to grin.

You don’t know me, do you?

He asked with a smile.

I don’t come round usually

Just once in a while.

Only to good little hens

I come to see.

Your hens have been just as good as can be.

I’m Chicken Santa,

I’m new at this job.

Seeing chickens whose names might be

Beatrice or Bob.

I’m bringing the chickens something they want

Something they usually have to go hunt.

 And then in a twinkling he opened his bag.

What I saw in it made me want to gag.

 A big bag of worms squirming around

Something I don’t see except in the ground.

He spoke no more to me, but went out to the birds.

Filled up their feeder without any words.

And looking at me with nary a sound

He disappeared from sight as I looked all around.

But I heard him exclaim, though he wasn’t in sight,

Merry Chickens to you and to all a good night!

Four More Days


I really wish there were two months between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The four weeks between seem to be a whirlwind of activity.  I just came up for air today since all the gifts are wrapped and I won’t start preparing for Christmas dinner until Wednesday.  Today I have been knitting and watching movies on tv.  It’s rained all day so it’s been kind of nice and cozy here with the tree lights shining, the fireplace flickering and my needles steadily knitting my very first pair of socks.

This past weekend we shared Christmas with part of our family.





Four boy cousins, who, when they get together, start the wrestling.  Running after each other, climbing on each other, jumping on each other, until someone cries and then they settle down for a bit until they start in again.  I just sit there and laugh, because they are really having a good time together and since they don’t see each other very often, I am glad to see they like to be together.  By the way, I made that quilt on the wall for my daughter several Christmases ago.


Meanwhile, our granddaughter stays blissfully out of the fray.  She tolerates the boys and that’s about all.


Santa was there.  David loves to wear his Santa hat and go “Ho ho ho.”

We opened gifts.  Here is something I made.


A barn quilt made from Lori Holt’s Vintage Farm Girl book which I am in love with.



Each barn block has another small quilt within the block.

It was a fun day.   Our son-in-law made homemade strombolies which were delicious.


This is my first sock I am knitting.  I got all excited about knitting socks after reading Lucy’s blog, Attic24, where she knit her first pair of socks.  She crochets beautifully, too.  I have never knitted on circular needles and these are teeny tiny ones, but I have caught on pretty fast and actually am enjoying the process so far, but the dreaded heel will be coming up shortly where I will have to knit a heel flap and turn the heel and pick up stitches and then knit to the toe and do something called the “kitcheners” stitch which is really kind of worrying me because I would hate to get this far and make all kinds of mistakes in the latter process.   I wish I could have an experienced sock knitter sitting right by my side while I start the process so if I start to make a mistake she could tell me so.  I have been watching youtube videos of the process, read all kinds of lessons on the process and I am still rather confused as to how the whole heel thing magically comes together.  I’ll let you know if I make it though.


I knit on the sock until my hand gets tired and then I take up my other needles and start knitting a scarf.



I just finished this scarf. It’ a lot longer than shown as I have it folded.

I plan to learn how to crochet in the coming year.  Everyone on my Christmas list plan to receive one of my creations next Christmas.


Burning candles to brighten up the dull days.  This is my favorite scent to burn during the Christmas season.


We have an artificial Christmas tree so this makes it smell like we have a real one in the house.


A friend gave me this cute snowmen the other day which holds tea lights.  I kind of have started a new collection of snowmen.  I didn’t mean to, but I seem to have several now, just like my Santa Claus collection.  When people find out you like something, you start getting that something quite often whether planned or not. I love this new little snowman and he will be decorating my house for Christmases to come.


Found this little Nativity set I purchased several years ago and set it up.


I can put this one out and know it can’t be broken. My Jim Shore Nativity had an accident one year and one of the donkey’s ears was broken off which a certain grandson hid under the couch and I found it there later.   David repaired the ear and that nativity is placed up high where, hopefully, it can’t be broken.


Made potato and sausage soup and it was soooo good.  Think we will have it for leftovers tonight.


Baked snickerdoodles and it wasn’t long before this happened…..


A hand stole in to take one.  These did not last long.  I made three dozen sugar cookies Saturday and they are all gone, but it was because I gave them to our grandchildren to take home.  I think I ate one of them.

I have to tell you about a cleaning solution I saw on Facebook.  I tried it and I was amazed at how well it worked.  Here is the recipe:

2 oz. of Dawn liquid (1/4 cup)

4 oz. lemon juice(1/2 cup)

8 oz. white vinegar( 1 cup)

10 oz water(1 and 1/4 cups)

Put in a glass jar and shake it up.  I use a canning jar and canning lids.


This was two batches and I already had used some for cleaning.


I have these blue Ball jars I plan to store it in.


I guess you could use another dish washing liquid other than Dawn, but then you wouldn’t have this pretty blue cleaner.  I have used it on cabinets, floors, the refrigerator and a toaster that was really greasy and I had tried to clean it with just soap and water.  This is what it looked like after a cleaning with this.


It was sparkling, although I do see a few places I need to apply the cleaner again.  You can clean your oven, walls, windows, just about anything.  It is a little soapy, but I spray it on, let it set, wipe it off with a clean cloth and it seems to work well.  It smells fresh, too and is safe around animals and children.   Anyway, if you don’t like harsh cleaners, this is one you might want to try.  I give no guarantees, just that I had success with it.

In closing I will show you how hard it is to take pictures of your grandchildren all at the same time.







Notice our granddaughter never moved, but stayed posed, while the boys were up to their usual shenanigans.


Four more days and another group will gather at our house for another day of fellowship and fun.  Hope your days are merry and bright.  XOXO  Bye.






The Days Before

I sit here writing this as a blizzard is blowing outside my window.  Snowdrifts creep up the steps of the front porch.  Snowflakes hit the windows as wind gusts slap them against the panes.  I sit here in my warm house, by a roaring fire, a cup of hot chocolate holding one marshmallow in my hand.  My knitting at my side waiting for me to pick it up.  I hear the wind outside and feel the coziness within where I am safe and warm………

No, this is really not happening.  Only in my dreams.  We are having unseasonably warm temperatures here in the Midwest of the United States.   Fifty and sixty degree days almost like the beginning of Spring.  Today it is raining outside my window.  I am still warm and cozy inside my house with an electric log glowing in the hearth, blowing out warm air.   It doesn’t seem that Christmas is less than two weeks away.  I worked in my shop this morning making a few little gifts.  I won’t stop sewing until the day before probably.  David says I always do this every year.  Think of one more thing to make even though I have finished with all the gifts.

The picture above is of two of my brothers back in the 1950’s checking their stockings on the fireplace our daddy had built and covered with brick looking paper.  I still have some of those stockings we hung back then.  I love everything about this picture.  My brothers in their pajamas, the Christmas tree on the side, the wallpaper, the logs in the fake fireplace, the candles on its mantle.  I remember it all. I see in the picture that someone got a Bobbsey Twins book.  I was too little at this time to have received it, but I did love the Bobbsey Twins when I grew older.  On Christmas morning the stockings would be full of candy, little gifts and always an orange and nuts in the toe.  One year my stocking held a Cinderella watch.  I loved that watch, but wore it out winding it over and over.

My heart and mind turn to Christmases past when we children were all at home.  Christmas was always a very special time for our family.  Mother and Daddy made it a wonderful time for us and always managed to give us a wonderful Christmas every year.  One year I got a bright, blue Schwinn bicycle.  Because we hadn’t had much snow that year, I took it outside onto our road and rode it up and down the road pretending it was a horse, because, you see, I always asked for a horse every Christmas. I would go so far as to go out and look in the barn every Christmas Eve to see, if maybe, there was a horse standing in a stall.  Little did I know that it would not be long before my brother, Fred, helped me buy my horse, Tornado.  I took all the money I had in the bank and he gave me some money and we bought my beloved horse.  I rode Tornado bare back until one Christmas there was a saddle under the tree.  I loved that horse until I fell in love with David and I forgot about all else and after I married, Daddy sold him. Not David,  Tornado!  I still feel sad that I forgot all about him.  But I had several years that  I rode him all over the countryside.  There is nothing like the back of a horse to make you feel happy.  I loved riding.

I can still remember the smells of Christmas.  The tree brought in from the woods.  Mother baking fruitcake, cookies, making candy.  My sense of smell was blasted with so many good smells and my sweet tooth was satisfied immensely during this time.  Mother always made gingerbread men to put in the Christmas stockings she had made for the children in her Sunday school class. I always helped her ice them and decorate them with raisins for eyes and mouth and buttons.   I think I may try my hand at gingerbread men this year.

I get nostalgic this time of year.  Wishing we could all be together one more time, but Mother and Daddy and my oldest brother, Jack, are in heaven celebrating being with Jesus.  I will see them one day and every day will be like Christmas.   So I make the most of Christmas here on earth and pray for peace and that everyone will have someone to love this year.  That’s what Christmas is all about, you know.  The greatest Love came down at Christmas into a manger stall.  Celebrate.  What a  wonderful time.  Bye.


All Is Merry and Bright

The weeks after Thanksgiving seem to go in a blur for me.  I’m making, baking, creating, sewing, quilting, decorating, and doing all the other things I do during the days before Christmas.   Also, when grandchildren and their Christmas programs are added to the mix, it makes for a very busy time. 

This week we had two programs to attend.  Our granddaughter sang in her Christmas choral concert.  Really put us in the spirit of the season. 


She is getting prettier every day.  So proud of her.  She is using the talents God gave her.



  Their school is Christ centered which is really what the season is all about.  It’s nice to attend a school program where Jesus is welcome.  Too many schools don’t even want to use the word Christmas any longer which is really sad. 

  On the home front, decorations have gone up. 



The little ceramic tree I was given one year by someone I babysat for.


We put the tree in the dining room because honestly, it was the only room it would fit. 


I love our Christmas tree. 


I even like its reflection in the window!


Our neighbor down the street has a huge tree with lights.  I can see it out my kitchen window.


Lights on the front porch.  David put them up and half of them didn’t work any longer, so he had to take them down and buy new ones.  They just don’t make things like they use to.  Those light sets didn’t last a year.  Hoping these sets last a little longer. 


I am doing a lot of sewing, but since I cannot show you what I am making at the moment, I will show you a purse I made for myself recently.  I love this pattern.  I have made so many purses from it, given some away and kept some for myself.    Can’t wait to show you what I have been sewing for presents. 



I have been knitting, but not these things.  I made the sweaters and little socks years ago for my baby boys who are now in their forties.  I had forgotten I ever knit socks.  I have been following a blog that teaches how to knit socks and after Christmas I am going to try to knit on circular needles for the very first time and make a pair of socks.  I have been lusting over skeins of sock yarn online.  There are so many luscious colors from which to choose.  People have been posting their sock progress on Facebook which makes me want to start immediately.   I can see a new obsession taking hold.

Last night we attended another Christmas program put on by the fourth graders at my grandson’s school 


It was a Christmas western show.  All the children wore plaid shirts and kerchiefs on their necks.  They looked so cute.  My grandson is the red head boy in the front.  He and the other two boys had major parts in the play.


Here they are sitting around the campfire.   Why does Spin and Marty come to my mind?  You folks who grew up in the fifties in the states and watched the Mickey Mouse Club know who I am talking about.


Suddenly, angels appear in the sky. You know, the shepherds in the field keeping watch over their flocks by night.  When suddenly the heavenly host appeared singing “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth, good will toward men.”


  They went looking for the baby who had been born. 


Carrying his sheep all the way!


During one song, our grandson played the drum. He was good too.


I love this boy.  He’s growing up way too fast.

I hope your days before Christmas are busy, happy and blessed.  Bye.