Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Busy Fingers

Well, just look who stopped at my house yesterday!   Santa came with a package all the way from Flo in France!  I am taking part in Chookyblue's SSCS (Secret Santa Christmas Swap) again this year and while the package I sent off with Santa was headed for Australia,  this one was coming to me from France.   We are allowed to open the ornament now but must wait till the big day to open our main gift.   How nice that Flo added tea to go with the gingerbread man ornament!  How did she know I drink at least a gallon of tea every day??? (Really, I do.)
Here's the man of the moment getting acquainted with the other ornaments on the tree.  Thank you, Flo!  Your blog will now be on my sidebar for all to share!

I never cease to amaze myself sometimes.  My hope was to get one of these quilts done by Christmas, the one for Michael, but I did give myself permission to not fret because his birthday is in February and it could go to him then.  Charlie would get his whenever. 
But look!!!  Not only did I get one finished, I got BOTH finished with time to spare!  The quilts are almost identical.  The front of each is the big baseball, the back of each is the big orange Detroit Tiger "D" but the backing fabrics are different stripes and the binding is different. 
Yes, they are lying in the snow for a brief moment but never fear, PH was standing just off to the left ready to lift them the second I snapped the pictures.  He held them up out of the snow till I told him to let go for a minute.

I am trying so very hard to use what I have in my stash.  That's why the bindings are different.  The green dots match almost to the thread the green stripe front and if you use your imagination they can be thought of as little baseballs on the field.
I had this stripe and shocking (!) there was enough to cut a bias binding even though I cut three rows of it wrong (yes, three.)  But the back of this quilt is a navy stripe, the stitching on the ball is red and the green stripe works with field on the front.  In my brain it worked.

Oh, my, there are no words to say how SO very happy I am these are both finished and ready for Christmas!  I'm going to put the needle away for awhile and go read till Christmas. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekend wonders

We had an event filled weekend, the start of December and the start of trying to fit in family get togethers. We spent the afternoon at a cousin gathering on my side of the family.  I won't bore you with the pictures, but it was another loud, laughter filled afternoon.
 We made it back to town in time for some dinner and to find a good spot on the curb to watch the Santa Claus parade.
 Marching bands, decorated trucks, sirens blaring, elves, the calliope worked and Santa himself. We were lucky, the weather was perfect: no wind, no rain, no snow, temperatures cold but not freezing. We couldn't have asked for a better evening.
 Sunday afternoon this changed the scenery. It will be all melted by this afternoon but this is just the beginning of winter and we live in Michigan, so....
Outside the dining room window this morning the deer were looking for greenery.  They nibble on the trees as winter gets harder.

Last night I put the last stitch in the second baseball quilt!  They are both finished!!!  Pics tomorrow.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hurts to laugh

This week has been absolutely busy beyond what I'm used to anymore.  It was all good, just extremely exhausting and today I vowed not to leave the house so I could catch up.  But I think I may need more than a day.

 One of the highlights this week was when we met some of PH's cousins and his brother (all the males in the group) for dinner one evening.  We live about 45 minutes from most of them now and it's so nice to throw out a spontaneous "want to meet for dinner?" and have it work.  Sometimes it hurts to laugh, you know?  Your cheeks kind of get stuck in that laugh position.  This turned out to be a 3 hour dinner because no one wants to go home.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Magdalene Scrolls

The Magdalene Scrolls by Barbara Wood

This is Barbara Wood’s debut novel, published in 1978.  This is also the first of Barbara Woods’ books that I’ve read.  I chose it for preview because of the story line.  I do like those treasure hunt stories, the ones that promise a cataclysmic surprise.  Sometimes they deliver and sometimes they don’t. 
The story behind the Magdalene scrolls is a wondrous find that is sent to paleolinguist Professor Ben Messer.  It’s very exciting stuff to be sent something dated to just 30 years after the death of Christ and Ben immerses himself in transcribing the scrolls.  They turn out to be a last soul wrenching I-have-to-get-this-off-my-chest-before-I-die confession of David ben Jonah. 
David and Ben’s lives become more and more intertwined as the translating progresses.  Ben imagines himself living David’s life.  David struggles with the same questions of faith as Ben.  David witnesses the Roman persecution of the Jews, half of Ben’s family were victims of the Holocaust.  David struggles with what it means to be a good, pious Jew while Ben disavowed the faith after moving across country to escape the reminders of his home. 
We are teased through the entire story of a sin so great committed by David that he will never be forgiven for it, and David’s words from 2,000 years ago slowly seep into Ben’s consciousness until Ben no longer can control either David or himself.  I stayed with the story because David’s story was interesting.  Ben’s wasn’t so much, there was too much watching him descend without knowing why.