Ending of 2022

Coming back from coffee with the men on the corner I noticed the frozen fog over my new home.

Later I walked over to the river.

The corn has been all cut down. And the river has just a few places of ice from the super cold of Christmas.

Two days ago I decided to mend the mud cloth pillows around the house. These got me thinking of how they came to be in my home for so many years.

Verda Elliot was an old weaving friend who I was in a guild with in Michigan. She was a key person in the complexities of computer designing on looms. We moved to western North Carolina and shortly after so did she and her husband. Before she left here for San Diego, California, she gave me her mud cloth panels. I used them to cover pillows. Verda was quite the mentor in the guild and was very sure to not let sloppily-woven garments, etc get past the scrutiny for being sold under the guild’s name. I certainly appreciated her eye for excellence and like to think standards are still being adhered to in the craft world.

Today, even though I am fighting a cold of sniffles, coughing and overall fatigue, I decided to open my old shoe trunk containing all my cloth and get out fabrics and patterns.

Cutting out one pair of pants before stopping to fix a smoothie for lunch…then I knocked the blender and that banana pineapple almond drink ended up all over the counter and floor.  Took a while to clean up and now I have stopped for the day.

Maybe tomorrow I will get back to cutting out clothes…..maybe.

I went to a movie with the men and MaryJo the other evening but canceled going to a neighbors tomorrow for gumbo.

Bed early tonight.

Til later….next year in fact!

After Christmas

Last Wednesday evening family arrived for the holiday. I made a thick Midwest Corn Chowder for them. The recipe came from one of the men at the corner and I took his suggestion of adding other ingredients to the mix. Even though only sharp cheddar was called for, I don’t think you can make anything like this without the addition of Velveeta. Two meals of this and it was pretty much gone.

We took a walk at the dam.

And on the way back the wind started to pick up.

Christmas Eve day and the howling winds brought very cold weather.

Patrick took this picture of the pond in the garden.

We started a puzzle that took three days to finish with all four of us working on it.

1,000 pieces of overlapping cats almost did us in!

Marla made her old family recipe of a blackberry jam cake. It needed a place of honor to be served with Christmas dinner….so the gift from one of the guys on the corner did come in handy.

Christmas Eve we started on the smaller Christmas Cake that requires an Irish cheddar and a glass of Madeira.

The larger round Christmas Cake I made will be wrapped tightly and put in the freezer for next year. I took no pictures of meals because they all ran together and were connected by continuous grazing on an overwhelming amount of food. So one last picture of the tree for this years Christmas Eve.

We had one other person join us for dinner…She brought even more food! My rule for receiving Christmas presents is it must be consumable. So lots of teas, spices, food wraps, unusual candies and cookies, utensils for cooking to replace some that are getting on in years…….with a smattering of computer/Iphone cords and connections.  And of course the annual large amount of Stone’s Ginger Wine that I can not find here. If all of these don’t last a couple of years at least, then I may have to cut down. Now all put away.

The day after Christmas all ornaments, tree and decorations are packed away. Marla helped me make a few adjustments in placing my collections on shelves in the den and living room. We seem to always be tweeking or fluffing the nest when she is here.

It worked out well renting a house for them for six days. They all bunked in here last night with their air beds to get an early start back home to Michigan this morning. I shoved as much leftover food as I could in a truck that was already packed to capacity.

I just received a message that they have passed into Ohio, so Patrick should be dropping Amy off first in about three and a half hours, then Marla and home to his place for a good night’s sleep.

Sadie and Dilly are looking at the front door waiting for them to come back in.

I did laundry, dishes, cleaned floors and packed food away.

Next visit is scheduled for March.

Til later….

Christmas Social

Yesterday I cleaned house to welcome neighbors in, This room was filled with pleasant chattering.

Even the dining room was ready to welcome them. And here is the food I spent a few days preparing. It was a very nice time with about twenty attending.

It was a pleasure to pull out so many of Lee’s wooden pieces to serve food on. And the punch bowl with endless cups made by a potter friend years ago. I took no pictures of the neighbors visiting. Photographing people in mid conversation, eating and drinking seems somehow inappropriate. And I was lost in conversation most of the time.

This morning I stopped on the way back from the gym to capture the sunrise and moon. Very chilly morning.

And in about 45 minutes our new vet is paying a house call to get to know the cats and hopefully trim claws on Dilly.

Til later….although Amy, Patrick and Marla arrive for Christmas in two days, so I might be a bit late. This morning I checked out the house I rented for them and the owner informed me she is heading there today to put a Christmas tree up.  How nice. And they can look out from the hill and see where I live, so they are close by.



Christmas Parade and More

A Christmas gnome outside the coffee shop. Some local vendors came into town for the parade.

And then the crowds gathered around the square on both sides of the street.

Then it arrived. We were all like children waving and having candy tossed to us. I have not seen a parade of any kind since I was little.

This past weekend I put sixteen invitations in the doors of neighbors for an open house here this coming Sunday. Then I settled into baking.

Olive wine crackers. they are about the size of a quarter and quite tasty.  Later I put a batch of almond biscotti in the freezer for the open house.

Also made some spreads and cheese balls. And this blueberry banana bread to take to the corner this morning.

On the walk back to the house this morning I saw this coppery hill above our houses. Wonder what is planted there as nothing else looks like this.

And this in a planter along the sidewalk in town….beautiful visual on dying.

And finally Dilly and Sadie cuddling in the African chair.

Tomorrow night is another wine tasting and I will be going as a Christmas gift from the builder. It is the second seating and has more people attending that I have known for some time.

So with having dinner with new friends at their house Friday, being in the crowd for the parade and now hosting an open house, I think I can call myself social again. When the holidays are over I have plans to get back to work in the studio to finish off old ideas and start on the new ones.

Til later….