it’s coming along, but slowly, darned baby yarn. But I should finish it tomorrow, lots of meetings scheduled.
This month for book group, we are reading David McCullough’s The Great Bridge. It is thick. And having read his John Adams, I knew it would be dense reading – lots of material. But I also knew it would be well written. I am right on both counts! (Don’t you just love when that happens?) I am about a third of the way through the book and they have just started digging.
What I like about it is that it is less about the bridge (so far) than the father/son team who made it happen. they are fascinating characters so far, and I can’t wait to read how they pull it off. McCullough is doing a good job of making this non fiction work read like a novel. I have a couple more weeks to finish it, so I read a bit every night before I go to sleep. It is due back at the library a few days before book group, I hope I remember to renew it.
But Salpal, why did you take it out of the library, when you usually buy your book group books at your local bookstore?
Well, because I am stubborn. I bought this book for my father for Christmas one year, and I refuse to buy it again. Yes, even though I will probably never see Dad’s copy again. And also, I wasn’t sure I wanted to own this one, and I know for a fact that the people I pass my book group books onto would not be interested in this one.
I love reading it because my grandmother and her father’s family lived in Brooklyn. Her father used to cross this bridge to go to work every day, so that is kind of cool. The Brooklyn described in the book is much more like the Brooklyn she knew than any Brooklyn you could find now. So I enjoy reading it and thinking about her growing up there.
So anyway… not totally unrelated is a WIP I am working on. One of the book group ladies is having a rotten miserable year healthy wise. She is currently recovering from back surgery and from a chemo round for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I haven’t seen her in a few months, but I have to think that she is cold and tired and not enjoying life at the moment. So I am knitting her a little hat, which, if she loses her hair will keep her head warm. And if she doesn’t lose her hair, it will keep her head warm.
It is a soft purple and white combo made from a cashmere/alpaca and wool mix – not itchy at all. And the amazing part is that I got this wool at a local thrift store for only a dollar a ball! Sadly, they only had the three balls, but I am loving working with it. It is tiny, so there are lots of stitches, and it takes many rows to get anywhere, ut it will be a fine hat when I finish. I want to get it done before next book group meets, in case we see her or one of the members who lives near her can drop it off.
I also have put aside the blue beaded scarf for a bit of Christmas knitting – blue leg warmers for my niece. the pair I made her last winter didn’t really work for her, so I am trying again. This time I am using a pattern, which I should have done before but thought it could not be that hard. It could be. So, trying again. They are going lots faster than the last pair, since they have half the stitches!
Instead of knitting at night though, I have been working on Christmas card assembly. I have figured out the production line, and make them in batches of four, as I can get four cards out of one 12 x 12 and one 8.5 and 11 sheet of paper. I spent some time making the cuts for about 24 cards the other night, and then brought the bits downstairs for gluing. I got about 14 done in one evening, then last night I glittered them. Almost done, last step is to put the hallmark on the backside. So tonight, I will do some more cutting and then a bit of gluing, tomorrow night I will be gluing a lot of them, followed by an evening of glittering.
How will the Christmas knitting, as limited as it is, get done? Just not sure about that one!
Last year I knit the teenaged nieces necklaces, and at Thanksgiving, I heard that two of the girls loved them, one to the point that hers wore out!!! I told her return it for mending or replacement. The other said she wears hers a lot and gets many compliments on it, so that is encouragement to make more – but I won’t promise those in time for Christmas. Often we don’t see the girls again until January – reprieve! But then there are the other two girls whose packages have to be mailed… soon… what will I put in those???
Never mind, I will just go read my book while I think about it….
Can’t thank Slipped Stitches enough for her generous donation. A dozen hats and 9 pairs of mittens will add a lot of warmth to folks around here.
I’m just sorry the picture isn’t up to the quality of her work, but my office is not very photogenic!
Thank you thank you thank you.
If anyone else wants my undying devotion and the happiness that comes with warming others, the address is
c/o Washington Hancock Community Agency
248 Bucksport Road
Ellsworth, Maine (USA) 04605
While demand is greatest right now, we provide warm outer wear to cold folks all winter long, so go ahead and finish up your Christmas work now, we will still be here when you are done.
I stopped at two craft fairs today – both were really disappointing. One was a church craft fair, and I was sure the ladies would have wonderful stuff – but it all looked like they bought it at the dollar store and added red and green paint to make it “handmade”. The other one was to benefit the fire department. At least this stuff was handmade, but it really was cheap and icky. That is the technical term! All I bought was some whoopie pies for A, and she said they weren’t very good. Not even tha baked goods pass muster.
It seems like this year, the craft fairs are just not up to snuff. In past years I have seen wonderful handmade products, pretty and creative. I always was able to buy several Christmas gifts at these shows, but not this year. It’s disappointing as I love to check out other people’s creative work.
I also stopped at the ReStore to drop off a bucket of nails and saw several pieces I could imagine bringing home, painting and using. But we don’t need furniture… we don’t need furniture…we don’t need furniture.
I also went to the local craft store for two things – paper and Stickles glitter glue. (I told you the Christmas cards have glitter. ) They had the paper, but not the glue, so, sadly, I had to go online to get that and of course, got a few more colors than I exactly need. Have to get that “free” shipping, right?
Other than time spent running around town, I was in the craft room all day, getting Christmas card pieces together. I think tomorrow I will be able to churn out lots of them – until I run out of glitter,that is.
Sorry, gang, I am really late with the Friday list, aren’t I?
Since I did everything on the list already, I will just fill you in on how my day has been so far!
While yesterday was a day of traveling to brother N’s and overwhelming family and fabulous food, today was a quiet feast. I cooked the whole traditional Thanksgiving dinner on a small-scale for us and A’s 2 sisters. So – got up this morning, cooked the turkey, baked a few potatoes, made a green bean casserole and stuffing, set the table with Gram’s dishes and then we ate! Sisters brought dessert, and A did the cleanup – it is all eaten cleaned up, put away and we are sitting watching a recording of yesterday’s big parade.
I love having the leftovers for supper tonight and all week-long… A isn’t into it like I am but she does appreciate the meal the first time, which is great.
Still recovering from a day with family yesterday – I love them all, but I often leave those huge gatherings feeling emotionally beat up – I can’t figure what that’s about, except that it is too easy to revert to old, established roles, no matter how hard I try not to, and don’t want to. It’s exhausting, I am so glad it only happens once or twice a year. It was good to see the kids though, as always – though of 1 nieces and nephews, we only saw three this holiday – not a great percentage!
But nieces C, N, and little E are all looking fabulous and growing up so much. C, in fact os totally grown up and has a “real” job, which makes everyone happy! SHe seems happy living at home, and her parents seem happy to have her, so she is a lucky young woman! Her little sister N is amazing – she is wearing her independence much more comfortably now than ever before – very sure of herself, where she wants to go in life, but she seems to have gotten to a place where she can enjoy the family gatherings, and answering the unending questions about her studies and job, future plans. Both girls were very graceful and welcoming hostesses yesterday. Little E (as opposed to big E, whom we did not get to see this year) is getting BIG – at 7, she is 50 inches tall, which her mom (Sister C) says puts her on track to be taller than C by age ten or eleven, and in the 5’10″ range as an adult. So funny as mom and dad are both petite. E had a good day, not tantrums or accidents, she answered nicely when spoken to and asked lots of questions about people who weren’t there. She renamed the cranberry sauce “Slippery Berries” and she ate it in huge quantities, even chose it for her dessert over all the baked goods available to her. So she was the lucky person who went home with the spare pint of sauce, and I do believe she will get some for Christmas, since we have so much of it.
We were home and settled in with our cats all fed and played with by 7, which was nice, no late night!
I did start the chemo on my lips last night, so far OK – it doesn’t hurt, and while I do notice redness around the edges, no-one else noticed yet.
A and L put together a bag of gifts for me to open as I go through this – they had talked about it a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t sure they would do it – and S did a set of her own for me, so I get 2 per day! I opened one up this morning for yesterday’s dose, and I got a pair of wax lips from And and L (I suspect a theme with those two) and S gave me “craft coins”, a couple of dollar coins. She and I each struggle to make craft supplies part of our household budgets, so she knows I appreciate every yarn-stash dime.
Now we are relaxing, and thinking about what to do this weekend, while avoiding the madness that will be the stores in Bangor and Ellsworth. We think that the dump won’t be too crowded.
L will come back to work with A on their never-ending basement projects, and I will work on Christmas card assembly and go check out the new store in Bucksport – Davy Jones’ Locker. And we will all eat turkey!
We are having a big storm today, as predicted. Unlike the millions who have had this storm already, we are just getting rain, it is nearly 60 degrees out there! The wind is absolutely howling, and there really is nothing to do but work on the Christmas cards.
Late this morning, I went upstairs, and after procrastinating a little (taking final photos for the post on bubble blowing), I settled down with all my scraps of Christmas papers from past years’ cards.
I have a plan. I made a prototype and A approves.
It has a few steps, but none really tedious. It has glitter, so there will be drying time. I do love glitter.
It has steps I can do in the living room with A and the TV. It uses supplies I already have. It is relatively simple. So. Here goes – card making craziness. Can’t share it with you yet, but as soon as I mail the last one, I will. And I will take some photos along the way.
Here’s a teaser, though – sofa work ready to go!