collecting december 2018 …


It seemed to me that we had an inordinate amount of rain-filled days in December, which may explain why 1/3rd of the photos are nature and sky themed…rain, rain but no snow! Despite, there was lots of holiday decorating and merry making spread throughout, including Christmas Day. This year, my sister’s oldest grandson joined us (#26). The photo before –  #25, tho’ not so clear –  is a group pic of my nieces and nephews…I guess I was taking the picture and not sure what happened to my sister… Throughout, there are a few quilts  – two made by fiends in my quilting group; I close out the month with two photos of the hanging of the Flower Garden.

2018 is a wrap and 2019 is off to a good and modest start!


holiday magic …


Christmas was filled with magic for one little boy and a chance for an older brother to show said little one, the magic of how this strange thing, called a toy, worked. We all gathered at the little boys’ grandmother’s – Mimi, as she is known! – for brunch that lasted throughout the afternoon! A grand time was had by all!

Today, I’ve been up to my elbows in a much needed activity, purging stuff, aka döstädning – getting ready for 2019! Hadn’t realized how late it was until I glanced out the window and saw the sun was setting! Time flies when you’re having fun!


3 on thursday | 12.20.18…



  1. I  haven’t even started to shop… I’ve had that pin for 23 years! I looked for it earlier this week and t’was nowhere to be seen/found. Oh well, I thought, perhaps it’ll show up… I was sure the time thieves were involved. I was right! Today, I pulled out my Christmas vest and there it was – pinned (still?) to the sweater, last worn  in 2017. …
  2. I haven’t even started to shop… for my nieces, ages 32, 26, almost 18, who prefer $$$… (I do have an object for them, too that’ll I keep secret until after Christmas…just in case they happen onto this post) …
  3. I haven’t even started to shop… but I shall brave the crowds tomorrow and/or Saturday or Sunday to pick up a few groceries for dishes I’ll make for a Christmas Eve gathering…and go to Barnes & Noble for a few books for Chris and Elias.

My real reason for shopping so late in the season: I love being out among the crowds. It’s a real trip down memory lane for me. Norman and I often reminisce about how all things Christmas when we were kids  – from shopping to getting/putting up/decorating the tree – happened on Christmas Eve Day. Of course, when we were kids, we also didn’t have online shopping or Amazon …

How about you – shopping all done? Joining Carole and friends for 3 on Thursday


it’s tuesday | 12.18.18 …



~blue sky blooms and love the menagerie of dogs all decked out for the holiday ~

Another day filled with blue sky and sunshine, tho’ a tad brisk out…but, who can or should complain? Certainly not I.  A good day to run a couple errands: post office and a leisurely trip to Whole Foods. Feeling quite proud of myself for not buying any talenti gelato – t’wasn’t on the list and I did not even tempt myself by walking past the refrigerated section.

Home. After putting away the groceries and consulting with Norman’s son re: N’s IE Explorer acting up… somehow the browser’s image size got changed to a teeny tiny 10. Michelle (Obama;  I’m still listening to Becoming) and I took a brisk walk. She’s a great walking companion and had it been a tad warmer, I might’ve walked and listened a  little longer.  I’m not in a rush to finish the book – I’ve just finished the chapter on the night of Nov 4, 2008, when Barack Obama won the election for POTUS 44. I have very vivid memories of that night! My plans to give my nieces and sister each a copy for Christmas have changed: my niece – grand niece’s mother – beat me to the punch! Haven’t a clue about what to substitute…but, I still have time.

I don’t have much holiday prep to do; however, it might help if I sat down and made a list…

Have you finished with holiday prep?



n is for nutcracker …


My childhood memories are filled with Christmas at Chicago’s Marshall Field department store. My recollection is the center court of the store housed the tallest  (I thought) Christmas tree in the world, reaching from the first to the 5th or 6th floors:

  • One could spend her entire lifetime just looking at that tree and hoping, wishing, barely-able-to-wait for Christmas.
  • One could go to each floor and look out from the balcony, getting a closer view of the tree’s decorations.

The 14th letter of the alphabet is N and Daniel Saboda’s Christmas Alphabet Book‘s popup is the nutcracker. Both of the only two I own have interesting stories:

The first – on the left –  I bought around my 50th birthday from a major Washington DC department store – Woodward & Lothrop.  Woodie’s (as it was fondly known ) was a real department store with 4+ levels and everything one needed, from clothes to furniture to toys, What I liked best about the store is that it was a smaller version of Chicago’s famed Marshall Field’s.  I don’t know why but nutcrackers were a big part of my Marshall Field’s memory and when I saw this one, I bought it. All for a mere $19.99, then… I still have the box.  Sadly, shortly after the holiday season, Woodies closed its doors forever.

The other nutcracker is a more recent purchase; I think maybe in the past 10 years. It – a “quilter” – usually resided in my sewing studio. Several years ago it disappeared;  I couldn’t find it anywhere. This year when I looked in a storage bin, there it was! No doubt, time thieves at work again: building time, picking up something by mistake, realizing their mistake, and putting the missing object back where it belonged so it could, would be “found!” Eureka!

A lot of Christmas holiday magic is remembering and reliving childhood memories, don’t you agree?




3 on thursday|12.13.2018 …


I joined my Thursday stitching group today – for the first time in several weeks…we had a good time and I can’t believe I didn’t take a single photo…


Poinsettias have to be my favorite Christmas flower; we have three small ones and the one above, which sits in front of the quilted wall hanging I stitched  and completed in 2015.


The quilt hangs year round – that works quite well… This holiday season I moved the  couch so it sits opposite the windows and the poinsettia… just for a change of pace. Everything is all quite festive…

Joining Carole and others for Three on Thursday.


unraveled wednesday |12.5.18 …



Christmas, late ’90s: My mother bought the above book for me. In addition to being an alphabet, it is also an advent book, filled with wonderful paper sculptures and accompanying words.


Even tho’ this book has been a Christmas staple, easily 23 years, it still delights each day as I open the corresponding letter for the numerical date…and remember my mom. Always in my thoughts and with me.


Knitting the Christmas stocking is slow progress … but progress is being made! Chalk up a “win in the making…” TBC…and I’m still thoroughly enjoying Michelle Obama’s  Becoming. For sure a keeper – I intend to also purchase the print version, for me and a few secret chosen people…

Joining Kat and friends for another Unraveled Wednesday. Read and Knit on!


a few of my favorite things …


The Christmas season is the time of the year for lots of nostalgia and memories – the old and the making of the new. Though new items  are and may be added to the collection of memories and things, some things stand the test of time. These are just a few of my favorites:

  1. calendar has been around longer than I remember. It sits on the window sill over the kitchen sink and gets updated everyday…a ritual of sorts as I make tea and prep for MSQT – Morning Solitude and Quiet Time …
  2. bokeh lights …
  3. scotty dog + tree mug , a gift from my friend AJ, easily 25 years ago; there are 4 in the set and I’m so pleased they are all still intact…
  4. ornaments, all handmade, go back decades: the cloth angel Dolly and my mom made three decades ago; the penny rug, my mother made during the first, 1979, International Year of the Child. The bottom two were made by work associates in the mid -70s. All are lying on a woven Scotty dog towel, also made by my mother in the mid ‘8os.

This weekend, when we were pulling out holiday decor, I couldn’t find the ornaments…I rejoiced when they appeared. Whew! I’d not packed them with the others. I’m wondering: do you suppose the time thieves had taken them by mistake?


unraveled wednesday | 11.28.2018 …



In my ongoing döstädning efforts,  I found this tangled mess: a Christmas stocking I began, hmmmm… well let’s just say many moons ago…and leave it at that! I toyed with these ideas:

  1. abandoning the project…
  2. taking it to my quilting group as a freebie – some of the members also knit…
  3. attempting to pick-up where I left off and declaring it December’s knitting du jour.

After 30 seconds or so mulling time, I opted for my third choice. I’ll knit on the stocking each evening as we watch Nightly News; msnbc; and occasionally a Hallmark holiday movie (see Norman cringe!).

And who knows: perhaps I’ll even make considerable progress on this very-long-in-the-making Christmas stocking!

I’ve been listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming on my daily walks. It is excellent and 100% enhanced by her narration.  It’s just about noon, very, very windy –  c-o-l-d  still – but sunny!  My plan is to hit publish on this post, don my coat, hat, gloves and earbuds, be brave, and go for a walk.

What are you döstädning, unraveling and/or reading these days?  Joining Kat and friends here for another Unraveled Wednesday.