Monday, December 27, 2010

Want a good New Year's Goal?

If you knit or crochet, here's a program you might want to consider joining. HAP= Handmade Afghan Project and the group makes afghans to give to wounded service men and women in military hospitals.

The HAP website has all the information you need to join this terrific group of volunteers. If you don't knit or crochet but would like to donate to the program for mailing costs and other expenses, all that information is also available at the website.

The requirements are easy- they ask that you make 6" x 9" rectangles that will then be assembled by other volunteers into hospital bed sized  afghans, using rectangles from 49 different people. This way each afghan represents the work of 50 or more people! What a wonderful way to show wounded warriors that many people around the country appreciate their sacrifice!

There are no requirements that you submit a certain number of rectangles to stay a member of the group- so, no pressure. If you have some yarn laying around in an approved color ( no pastels or baby colors for obvious reasons) you can send as few as 7 or as many as you can make.

The goal for 2011 is 105, 154 rectangles which will make 2146 afghans!

So, if you would like to be doing something productive and worthwhile as you sit in front of the TV, or during your lunch break, or whenever, check out this group. They are accepting new members until January 21, 2011.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Here's why we are not on our way to Florida!

This is what we would have been driving through.

 And a bigger perspective on what we'd have been driving through.

All in all, a good decision to fly on Tuesday.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It turned into a very nice Christmas! But then.....

Christmas turned out really nice for us. We got past the car situation and had a lovely evening for Christmas Eve, decorating the tree, watching movies on TV and just generally enjoying the peace and quiet.

Christmas morning was also really nice. Everyone was very pleased with their gifts, especially me! DH asked two days ago "what do you want?" and I said I didn't care but then winked and said "jewelry is always good!". Well, it seems that DH is developing a penchant for black and white diamonds! (Remember the anniversary necklace?) Here's a not terrific picture of a real surprise I opened this morning:

Yeah- all those sparkles are diamonds! On a more practical note, I also got a heated ice scraper for my car- and he bought that before the change in the weather forecast! 

The rest of the day went well also. Dinner was very good- brined turkey is THE way to go! Mom and DD came for dinner and it was very pleasant.

Speaking of the weather, however.... we were supposed to leave tomorrow morning to drive to Florida. Obviously, THAT is not happening. So now, at RIDICULOUS expense, we will be flying down on Tuesday. My other Christmas present from DH, two new books on CD for the trip ( we like to listen to books as we drive), will probably now get saved for another trip, whenever.

Having spent the last 15 New Years in FLorida, I was really looking forward to the WARM. I will still get it, but we must first endure the blizzard that is apparently on the way. It will make Florida seem even better, but I do wish we could have gotten away BEFORE the shoveling!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoys the rest of the holidays.

Harry Kalas: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas « CBS Philly – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Philadelphia

Harry Kalas: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas « CBS Philly – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Philadelphia

Studio 60 O Holy Night

This clip makes it worth the entire "Studio 60" series. The performers are actual New Orleans musicians, displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The audio only of the music used to be available for download- it might still be out there if you look for it. I LOVE this version of this beautiful hymn.

Friday, December 24, 2010

We had a SCROOGE Christmas Eve

Someone decided to do their Christmas shopping in my son's car. :(

Gone is his briefcase, with the Leatherman we bought him 10 years ago for Christmas and which he liked so much he named it, and carried it all the time. Also in the briefcase were his school materials from Drexel, including the engineering calculator that will cost a bundle to replace. Plus they don't make that particular briefcase/messenger bag design anymore. 

Gone are several rare comic books with author's signatures- totally irreplaceable!

Gone are two Vera Bradley bags, still in the boxes. Gone are presents he had bought for other people to give when he was at stores they didn't have time to get to. Gone is his GPS and car radio. Gone is his gym bag.

Also gone is the car window they smashed- and no place is open to fix it until Monday. So the first expense was to buy a car cover in case the snow actually shows up.

Everything except the radio was in the trunk so it wasn't like the stuff was sitting on the seat asking to be taken. He usually brings most of the stuff into the house every night, but he was staying over at a friend's house so he didn't bring them in.

Although the total loss is quite large, the car insurance covers some things and the homeowner's others, and both have deductibles that make two claims not viable- so he/we are out the whole expense.

I am SOOOOO NOT in a Christmas mood now. :(

Sesame Street: True Blue Miracle

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We have a bathroom!!!

So, here's the view later than the one I showed last weekend. Some of the old subfloor is now gone and you can see through into my living room.

 This is one of the views looking up from the living room. This was Monday and Tuesday.

Here's where they had to go before they could completely fix all the problems correctly- NO floor, and the upstairs of the house literally propped up from below!

I got to do a Meg Ryan in "Kate and Leopold". One of the days the contractors forgot to close the bathroom window, which they kept open hoping to keep the dust level down ( I guess it helped, haha) and I had to walk across those skinny, SKINNY beams to close it.

Finally, late yesterday afternoon, I got to take this picture:

That's the GOOD news. We have a fully functional bathroom- an expression which has been used repeatedly by my happy family in the last day. "I'm going to take a shower in out fully functional bathroom"; "I'm going to brush my teeth in our fully functional bathroom". Sure beats "I'm going out for dinner and a shower"- from my son several days ago, sure to become a famous family quote.

There's still some bad news. The living room ceiling still looks like this:

 The sunporch still looks like this:

 Every surface in the house looks like this:
And the really amazing, depressing thing is how the dust can get EVERYWHERE- even inside closed doors and drawers:

 It's gonna take FOREVER to get rid of the mess. Christmas is going to be interesting, to say the least. 

Whatever the situation though, I am wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas on 1915

Saturday, December 11, 2010


  This is a view of my bathroom, right now. Yeah!

When the plumber and contractor came on Thursday to do what should have been a relatively quick, easy (and NOT horrifically expensive) job, they discovered that the previous contractor, 25 years ago, had done something interesting.

Instead of laying down a subfloor on the side of the room that supported the shower, toilet and sink, he had simply broken up the original tile, used that as fill, and put in approximately 1 1/2 tons of CONCRETE!!!! between the new floor and the living room ceiling!!!! 

So, for the last two days they have been breaking up concrete and hauling it away. Leaving us this:

We will be without a bathroom upstairs for several more days. Now, at any time, that would be a significant issue. This weekend- with rehearsal at GMA this afternoon, my mother's birthday dinner tonight, and Candlelight tomorrow, being unable to shower is *rather* a bigger issue than a normal weekend. (There is a "bathroom", i.e. toilet, in the basement- unheated.)

So, I am packing to go to my mother's to shower for today's events and then will sleep at my aunt's tonight so I don't have to hike down to and up from the basement all night. Clothes for several events, skin care, hair stuff (dryer and curling iron), and a general goodie bag- all these need to be organized, packed, etc.

This is NOT fun!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas busy with fun and great memories!

This is turning into my crazy Christmas week!

Last night I went to a crop at my CTMH rep's house to work on Christmas cards. I got 12 done, using the Mistletoe Workshop on the Go- same as the crop I went to several weeks ago- which includes some really pretty papers and a great stamp set; I made the cards using a design included with the WS. It was a really relaxing evening. Thanks, Cindy! 

Also on the agenda this week is a Christmas party tonight for the faculty and staff of my beloved CD- I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and having a wonderful time.

Friday night is DH's staff party; that should be fun as well- I've known so many of these people for years and really enjoy their company.

Saturday night we are taking Mom out to dinner for her birthday, along with Auntie.

Saturday afternoon I have to drive out to GMA for rehearsal for what I think is a GREAT idea. Mercy is having an alumnae Candlelight Procession Sunday evening, and I am (again, as in Senior year) an Angel!

As I know I've made clear before, I loved my high school experience, treasure my memories and classmates, and am eternally grateful for the 4 years I spent a GMA. I also am very blessed that the lessons that the Sisters taught us, very subtly since I did not recognize them at the time, have stayed with me all my life, and I hope, have made me a better person than I might have been without them.

One of the most important and wonderful times at Mercy was Candlelight Procession. Our school has a central courtyard, and around it a "glass corridor" that leads to the auditorium, which has break-away walls. Imagine looking out, from a darkened auditorium, to a winter scene with a procession of candles carried by young women singing Christmas hymns approaching. It was truly magical!! Once we were in the auditorium, the lights came up, everyone joined in singing Christmas carols, and then the room darkened again for the Christmas Tableau. While Senior girls read from the Christmas gospels, students portrayed the Holy Family and all their visitors.

One picture which I have only in my mind is one of my greatest treasures. It is a toddler boy, just turned 2, in a white turtleneck and bright red corduroy overalls, climbing up onto the stage to see the Baby Jesus in the manger. In front of everyone, of course. Yes, I didn't hold his hand and he got away from me. That was 30 years ago as I fulfilled another Mercy tradition- taking your children to Candlelight.

So I will probably be exhausted all next week from all the activity this week, but everything planned will be fun and I will finish this week, or more accurately start the next, repeating a special memory with classmates and schoolmates from the past- how wonderful is that!

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Enya

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Cards

My Close to My Heart rep had a class/crop a few weeks ago. It was a fun afternoon and I got some actual cards made!

CTMH has a really pretty Workshop-on-the-Go this year, using the papers from their Mistletoe collection and a nice stamp set. The workshop comes with a booklet with cutting guides for a good selection of cards and enough paper and supplies to make 25 cards or more. 

I am pleased with how these turned out. A couple of us are getting together next week to finish our cards. Once we figured out the cutting guides, it was easy to cut out all the pieces needed to assemble the cards next week. They are all individual, but the work putting them together is close to assembly line, so the time invested will be far less than if we were designing each card individually.

 You can check out this workshop HERE and see others that CTMH also offers.

Are you cards made yet? Addressed yet? Mailed yet?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chatelaine German Christmas Market

Here is an idea of how this design will look when I (someday) finish stitching it.

What is it, you ask? It is the Chatelaine (Martina Weber Rosenberg) German Christmas Market design!

My supplies for this piece are ordered- it is so gorgeous!!! Martina designed it originally for a dark blue fabric to mimic the look of the market at dusk, but when I saw her preview of it on black fabric I knew (no matter how much black fabric is NOT friendly to 58yo eyes) that I had to do it that way!

I also signed up for another project with Martina- the Wisteria Garden. This one is so beautiful- and it is going to include lots of "3D" stitches for a really textural, "flowery" look. This one starts in January.

Martina has a Yahoo group that you can join HERE. There is also a Yahoo group for each of her designs during the time the design is active, which is usually a year. After that you can still buy the design, but you would miss out on chatting with other stitchers working the same design at the same time- a really interesting and nice feature.

If you like the look of these designs but not necessarily the particular topic, make sure you check out her website. Everything she does is absolutely gorgeous- the hard part is choosing which one to choose!