Friday, December 30, 2005

Quilted Pillows

What a lovely Christmas gift! These were hand quilted and embroidered by our daughter in law Tomomi for us for Christmas. To see more of her work, click here.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Comfort/Prayer Shawl

Well, the whole crew went home today. Everyone had a great time, we ate too much and visited the day away yesterday. Today the routine things need to be done..the tree is still up (and probably will be for a few days), but Hubby and I have just slouched the entire day and rested up...grin I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Holiday.
During our slouching hiatus today I worked on another Comfort/Prayer Shawl. I finished a lovely yellow one in very soft baby sport weight yarn as a gift for our daughter. This one is made of a heavier yarn and is not as wide. It is a very simple pattern and quick to make. I will add fringe on the ends as the fringe on the yellow one gave it a pretty finished look. The pattern for this shawl is here on the Lion Brand web site.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Rosalie's Christmas

I received this in my email this Christmas morning from a very dear cousin. Merry Christmas to all this lovely day.

Rosalie's Christmas

We were the only family with children in the Restaurant.

I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating
and talking.

Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said,
"Hi There!" as he pounded his fat baby hands on high chair tray.

His eyes were crinkled in laughter and excitement

and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin,
as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.

It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast
and his toes poked out of would-be shoes.
His shirt was dirty
and his hair was uncombed and unwashed...
his whiskers were too short to be called a beard
and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell,
but I was sure he smelled.
His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.

"Hi there, baby;
Hi there, big boy.
I see ya, buster," the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, "What do we do?"

Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi, hi there."

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us

and then at the man.

The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.

Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room;

"Do ya patty cake?
Do you know peek-a-boo?
Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo."

Nobody, especially my husband and I thought the old man was cute.
He was obviously a bum and a drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed.

We ate in silence; all except for Erik,
who was running through his repertoire
for the admiring skid row bum,
who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door.

My husband went to pay the check
and told me to meet him in the parking lot.

The old man sat poised between me and the door.
"Lord, just let me out of here
before he speaks to me or Erik," I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back

trying to sidestep him
and avoid any air he might be breathing.
As I did, Erik leaned over my arm,
reaching with both arms in a baby's "pick-me-up" position.

Before I could stop him,

Erik had propelled himself from my arms
to the man's.

Suddenly a very old smelly man
and a very young baby
consummated their love relationship.

Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission
laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder.

The man's eyes closed,
and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes.
His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor,
cradled my baby's bottom
and stroked his back
with a gentle love I could not describe,
but I felt in my soul.

No two beings had forever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck.

The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms

and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine.
He said in a firm commanding voice,
"You take care of this baby."

Somehow I managed, "I will"

from a throat that contained a stone.

The old man pried Erik from his chest unwillingly,

longingly, as though he were in pain,
and handed him to me.
I received my baby,
and the man said,

"God bless you, ma'am,
you've given me my Christmas gift."

I said nothing more than a muttered "thanks."

With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car.
My husband was wondering why I was crying
and holding Erik so tightly,
and why I was saying,

"My God, my God, forgive me"
over and over.

I had just witnessed Christ's love

shown through the innocence of a tiny child
who saw no sin,
who made no judgment;
a child who saw a soul,
and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind,
holding a child who was not.

I felt as if God asked,
"Are you willing to share your son for a moment?"

And I remembered that He shared His son
for all eternity.

The ragged old man,
had reminded me,

"To enter the Kingdom of God,
we must become as little children."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve... May your Holiday be all that you could wish it to be.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Babies

I love the Christmas season. My tree is finally up and all my babies are nestled on it. These were gifts over a period of time from one of my gransons and have been on my tree each season for several years now. Each baby has a different emotion on it's face and this little sleepyhead is one of my favorites.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Quote... Mother Teresa

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Mother Teresa
Painting by: John Sparks (

John Sparks

Every day I have to look in on John Sparks to see what beautiful creation he is painting that day. This morning I received this lovely Christmas card in my email and thought I would share it with you. If you love art and enjoy seeing something new almost every day, have a look at the Spark's Art page. You'll be glad you did. And "Thank's again, John, for the lovely card!".

Friday, December 16, 2005

Graduation Night! Working full time, twin sons and college... he did it! Ask me if I'm proud. And did I mention what a great son he is too..??

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hangin In There!

I love this pic! It seems to fit this time of year even tho it isn't Christmassy that a word? What a sweet, wonderful time with everyone rushing about and doing everything they can think of to make the holidays as wonderful as they can... and hangin' in there...grin
I got the tree up today...tomorrow will be the decorating day. Every year I am faithfully going to get it up and the house decorated either on Thanksgiving or the day after...well... we know that didn't happen! And probably won't next year either.. but the "Joy is in the Journey!" they say.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wednesday Night...and Nothing to Say!

Did you ever have a busy, work, work... and at the end of it not be able to think of more than 2 or 3 things that have been accomplished all day? Today is one of those days... I finished the Evening Afghan, tweaked the 4 knitted scarves, got everything in their Christmas boxes (not wrapped of course) and spent the morning with the PC guy working on our computers to remove the Admin logon that we put on yesterday...
It seems that when you log on as the Administrator (if this is set up after you've had your pc for a while) none of your documents are available... what's up with that? I keep having some hacker trying to get into my machine....not cool! So the new Admin account was set up with a killer password...worked great! I couldn't even get to my stuff! grin
But the great thing about all that time spent this morning is that he helped me figure out how to get my FTP set up so I can finish work on my web page for my Hall's Teapots! More on that later...
During this time, Hubby was continuing to work on the dining room. Removed the ceiling fan, covered the hole and painted it. Then he touched up all the dings from all our nicks and bangs hanging the cornices and in general worked all day. What a day....

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Wildflower Embroidery

I found a wonderful site for anyone interested in stumpwork embroidery. Wildflower Embroidery has a free pincushion design that looks like it would be great for a beginner. May have to try it!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Evening Afghan

My afghan is growing. This is a very simple pattern using only the single crochet stitch. It can be made as simple or elaborate as a person wants to make it just by choosing different colors or charting a pattern of colors to use. To see a larger pic, just click on the picture. ( The blank area by the door is where the Christmas tree will go if I ever get the carpet shampooed ...hurry up Monday!)

Dining Room Cornice Finished

The 9 1/2ft. cornice for the dining room is finished. The sheers are hung. This the guest rooms... still need to be tweaked, but it's finally coming together... And the real decorating will have to wait until after Christmas. This was taken a couple of days ago... right now the light fixture is off, laying on the table and the new fixture is waiting in the box to be put up tomorrow.. phew! grin (Click on the pic for a larger version)

Eastern "Red Shafted" Woodpecker?

Newcomers keep showing up almost every day at the feeders and waterers. Keeps Hubby busy..grin This one has been hangin' out for a couple of days now. We looked him up in our book and the best identification we can come up with is Eastern "Red Shafted" Woodpecker. We have several Downy Woodpeckers, a Red Bellied Woodpecker and at least one Pileated (Crested) Woodpecker. This one is a newby on the block. Also called a Flicker..

Friday, December 09, 2005

Very Cold Today

Supposedly the temperature got up to 42 degrees today... couldn't prove it by me! Our thermometer on the porch only registered up to 38, but what does it know. Thank goodness for not much wind... the breeze was enough to make your cheeks feel like popsicles... I can only feel for the people living further north.
My brother Stan called this afternoon. Always such a pleasure. Had to tell him about the fiasco with the carpet shampooing... and just like a brother... he laughed..grin It's just been one of those days. I think the shampooer got mixed up and decided that my whole plan was not to clean the carpet, but to make mud! What a day! Enter Steamatic! next Monday..
Just so you know... this pic was taken last spring...not today! All the leaves are gone now except on the huge oak at the north side of the house. Now the long wait for green again...

Backyard Habitat Maybe??

I almost sent my money in for registration for "
Backyard Wildlife Habitat" once. Perhaps I should have gone ahead..grin
Looks like our possum has become quite comfortable... looked out under the pecan tree and there he was right in the middle of the day. I thought sure when I opened the back door, he would run... but he didn't. Not until I opened the screen door on the back porch and had taken 2 pictures did he turn and walk off... making good his escape through the back gate.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Sarge is my son and daughter in law's cat. Tomomi posted this pic on her blog Black Cat a couple of days ago and I laugh every time I see it... Makes me immediately think "Did ya ever have just one of those days?!!" Thought I would share the grins. And if needlework and quilting are your thing, her site is filled with pics of her beautiful handwork. The site is mostly in Japanese, but the menus are all in English, so it is easy to navigate. Have a look!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Vinegar Pie

My grandmother died in 2001 at the age of 98. One of my favorite things she ever made was what we called Vinegar Pie. I suppose she got the recipe from her mother (who could wander the fields of Oklahoma and come home with supper! literally!) I have no idea where or how Vinegar Pie originated, but have always assumed that it became a staple dessert back before refigeration and the availability of year round apples. It is also very inexpensive to make, so it would have been used a lot during the depression (I am assuming here, since I have not researched... but makes sense to me! grin)
A few years ago, I found that Uncle Bobby had modified Grandma's recipe some and then I had the opportunity to actually EAT some of it... WOW! Love that! So thanks to Aunt Edna (who sent me this recipe tonight after returning from church) here is the recipe...

Bob's Vinegar Cobbler

Preheat oven to 390 degrees.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey (optional)
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
Enough cold milk to make dough workable.

Combine first 7 ingredients to make vinegar mixture and bring vinegar mixture to boiling.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and shortening together with fork, fingers or pie knife until resembles cornmeal. Add enough cold milk (a little at a time) to make dough workable. Roll out 1/2 of the dough and cut into strips and drop into boiling vinegar mixture by pinching off dough into approx. 1" x 1" pieces. Boil 5 minutes to cook dumplings. Pour mixture into 9 x 13 " baking pan or pyrex dish. Top with remaining dough. This can be rolled and placed on top like a pie, or cut into strips and placed on like a lattice top pie. (Or whatever you want it look like!) Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top and bake at 390 degrees until crust is light brown.

Note: If you leave out honey, add another 1/2 cup sugar.
For diabetics you can use 2 cups honey and omit sugar.

And there you have it... Vinegar Pie! grin

Correction! This is a Red Bellied Woodpecker!

(Correction! Doing some research in my identification field guide...this is a Red Bellied Woodpecker! Sorry...)
Finally got a picture of the downy woodpecker and cardinal today. They are a little grainy since I had to take the pic through the back porch screen, but I love them anyway...grin
Can you tell we have finally had our first snow? Not much of it, but was really pretty as it fell. Very, very cold... at least to us here in Texas. This will probably turn into an ice storm by morning as it is too cold at present for snow. Sooo... we did all our grocery shopping and etc. this afternoon and got home just as the snow began to fall in earnest.
I have almost finished the last ... thank goodness... upholstered cornice. It is 9 1/2 ft. wide and 19" long. I should be able to put up pics tomorrow after it is hung.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Grateful Tuesday

It's been a very busy 2 weeks and have at least another day to go to finish the valances and get them hung. Hubby and I are getting a bit tired and with no days off for a couple of weeks, today we realized why we were both dragging...duh!
So tonight I thought perhaps it was time for a little down time and my grateful list. So here 'tis:
1. The feel of Brigit's curls as she snuggles against my neck.
2. Hot Apple Cider in a mug.
3. The stack of shoes by the kitchen door as the kids and grandkids come home, kick off their shoes and slouch on the sofa
4. The light in my husband's eyes as he answers the phone and realizes it is one of his daughters.
5. The smell of a roast cooking.
6. Crocheted house slippers.
7. The smell of an orange slice in my hot tea.
8. Email
9. Our wren's curiosity
11. My husband's cold toes
12. My sister's laugh
13. Fingernail files
14. Crochet hooks
15. The intelligent look in the eyes of the possum in our backyard tonight.
16. The beauty of the yellow against the red of the hibiscus
17. The phone call from my sister Teresa today.... just to talk and laugh.
18. My Uncle Bobby's Vinegar Pie... the best!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Time for a break

When I got a little snippy with my favorite guy a bit ago, I realized it was time to stop for the day, rest a bit and recoup. I slipped over to
kiki's place and grinned. She has the most adorable Santa and reindeer that just makes ya wanta smile.

Got our first Christmas card today. From some wonderful friends in Bull Shoals, AR. Hubby and I were on the Board of Directors when we lived there and Ed Bean was the President of the Board of Bull Shoals Theater. We've been gone a year and 1/2 now and still miss Ed & Judy. Drop by the
Bull Shoals Theatre website and have a look. (Also get to listen to one of my favorite songs... "Last Date" by Floyd Cramer performed by BST Volunteer and Board Member Ed Kufeldt ( a real wizard with music and computers!.) If you click on the History page, there at the bottom right is a pic of our hard working guy with none other than Country Star T. Graham Brown. If you're ever in the Bull Shoals area, you couldn't find a more wonderful place to visit.

Our Cardinals are having a hard time getting to the feeders these days. The American Finches have arrived in force! Feeding now takes place twice a day with 2 thistle socks only lasting about 4 days. I saw the wren again yesterday... thought she may have left us when a cat got her mate a few weeks ago. One more thing to go on my "Things to be grateful for" list...!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Curtains & Valance Room 2

The last couple of days have been busy, busy. The valance for the small window was larger than for Room 1 and the second one for this room is over 6 ft. long. But...they are up and the room is rearranged completely. These pics are before the rearranging and the full length curtains under the long valance have been hung. Will take more pics after the decorating is done.
At a later date... that can be read as " after Christmas"... I may go back and put trim around the bottoms of the valances. But that will have to wait since there are 4 more to go....the tree to put up... gifts to wrap and last minute things to buy.. not to mention the deadlines looming on mailing gifts and Christmas cards. Like I said... Nothing like a little stress to spice up the holidays!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Valance, Curtains and Pillows Done

The first bedroom window is done! All hung and the room is put back together, but not finished. The tassle tiebacks need to be moved over a bit and the pic in the blue frame lying on the dresser will be hung on the small wall to left of the pic... It is awaiting the finishing of the frame for another pastel I finished last winter. The blue frame on the wall is one that Hubby made a few weeks ago.
The finish work for this room will have to wait a few days, since today I put the padding and fabric on another valance ( or should I call them cornices...ughh) that Hubby put together for me yesterday for the other guest bedroom. This one is a little bigger and took a lot longer to finish. Tomorrow is hemming the curtains, cutting and hemming the sheers and hanging them. Then will help build the really big valance for that room... More to come...

Colleen Moore's "Dollhouse"

Colleen Moore's Dollhouse is "the most opulent in North America". It truly is amazing! Have a look!