Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Report

The cast of characters:
Jerry, John, Logan, Lars, Ash, and Ben
Casey, Alicia, Melody, Kerri, Nikki with Nacho, Jan with her dog, and Krista
Amanda, Julia, Steve, Sadie, Adam, and Nick

the menu:
Lacquered turkey a la Martha Stewart (Divine, darlings)
Dressing
Mashed potatoes
Gravy
Roasted Veggies
Green Bean Casserole
Chinese Chicken Salad
Jello Salad
Sweet Potatoes
Home made rolls
All kinds of gorgeous tarts and pies for dessert
Wine
Sparkling Cider
Sangria
Wassail

The ritual:
A reading of the history and meaning of Thanksgiving
including a round of spoken gratitudes
a round of what we hope to accomplish in the next year
a candle lighting and extinguishing ceremony

The oldest person in the room was the designated candle lighter and the youngest was the extinguisher. The honors went to me and to Adam.

It was a wonderful evening. Tonight I'm finishing off my share of the leftovers (veggies) by cooking them into meatball soup. And it's time to eat again!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Cats are Out of the Bag and Other Weather News

Here's a quilt I made for Amanda and Ashley's joint birthdays (November 24 and 27). When I first saw the pattern over a year ago, I knew I had to make it for them -- cat lovers (and owners of four) that they are. When I got the quilt assembled, it looked blah, there wasn't enough contrast in some areas, so I set about to compensate. Once I got started, I couldn't stop: buttons, ribbons, sequins, beads, and little articles of clothing found their way onto the quilt. Here's the closeups and an explanation of each cat's persona:

Lulu
"Will belly dance for Pounce"

Fifi the French Maid
"Voulez vous coucher avec moi?"



Plain Jane
"Do you like my basic black and pearls?"

Tina the topless dancer
"Watch me twirl 'em!"
Lil
“Diamonds are a

girl’s
cat’s best friend”






Horatia Algeria
From rags to riches


Dora Deff
"Dinner at eight? I thought you said dinner for eight!"



Fanny

“I’m just a plain and simple old-fashioned girl cat”


Carmen the Flamenco Dancer
"Stomp your booties!"


Desiree the Mardi Gras Queen
"Show me your boobies!"


Sandy Barbara
"Welcome to my litter box"



Ali Khat
the Pimp
Notice that each of the "girls" has a heart of gold.
I know weather reports are boring, but the last 24 hours have been extraordinary, even for this part of the country which often experiences extreme weather. Here's this morning's exhibition. It was delightful -- no ice, clear roads, and a gorgeous dusting from fat, wet flakes.


Thanksgiving report tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Creepy Weather

It's 70 degrees at nearly ten o'clock on the evening before Thanksgiving.
Here's what NOAA has to say about it:
THROUGH 11PM...A LINE OF STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
EXTENDING FROM NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA INTO CENTRAL MISSOURI
WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE TOWARD THE EAST NORTHEAST AT
AROUND 35 MPH. THE MOST INTENSE STORMS WILL AFFECT
AREAS IN MISSOURI ALONG AND EAST OF A LINE FROM NEOSHO
TO SPRINGFIELD TO ROLLA. THE STRONGEST STORMS WILL BE
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING TORRENTIAL RAINFALL...HAIL...AND
WINDS UP TO 60 MPH. ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE ALSO POSSIBLE.
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF ONE HALF TO ONE INCH ARE EXPECTED.
LOCALLY HEAVIER AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF AN INCH IN A SHORT
PERIOD OF TIME COULD RESULT IN LOCALIZED FLOODING.
WEATHER HAZARDS EXPECTED...

THE LIGHTNING RISK IS SIGNIFICANT.
THE THUNDERSTORM WIND RISK IS ELEVATED FOR WIND GUSTS
OVER 60 MPH.
THE HAIL RISK IS ELEVATED FOR HAIL TO THE SIZE OF
PING PONG BALLS.
THE TORNADO RISK IS ELEVATED.
THE FLOOD RISK IS ELEVATED.
THE NON THUNDERSTORM WIND RISK IS LIMITED.
THE FREEZING RAIN RISK IS LIMITED.
THE EXTREME COLD RISK IS LIMITED.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be winter -- temperatures could
go as low as single digits.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Deer in the Headlights

On the far left, Ben totes a marching marimba. He was surprised to see me in the area where the parade was forming, hence the startle reflex. I found a spot that allowed me to sit in the car and read my magazine after taking this picture. I've seen enough of the local Christmas parades. They are long on old people in old cars, and pretty young girls freezing to death while perched on the top of the back seat of convertibles. Then they hurl hard candy at you, hard. It hurts. I am too old to think it is fun. And OMG, the traffic. They come from miles around to see this parade -- the population quadruples for a couple of hours. I don't get it.

Fortunately, it is still fun for Ben. He was so enthusiastic about carrying the marimba for this occasion that he practiced by marching a mile yesterday while carrying the marimba on his front side and his 50 pound backpack on his back. He thought it would toughen him up for the parade this evening. I guess it worked. He said the march tonight was much easier than yesterday's drill.

And speaking of drills, the driving lessons are going well. We go out every day and he is now driving on the road, he's mastered the route to and from school, is gaining confidence, and I'm unclenching a little.


Here's a table runner I made from fabric left over from another larger project. I'm calling this piece "Stars Over Ozark" and it is going to be a prize awarded to the person who sells the most raffle tickets for the quilt (Stars Over Mozambique) I donated to the church as a fundraiser for the Mozambique mission project.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lesson #1

Ben had his first behind-the-wheel driving lesson today. And I had my first lesson as a driving instructor. Ben did very well and I didn't do too badly. He asked great questions and did well at moving forward slowly, backing, turning, etc. All within a safe, large, empty parking lot. I don't think he's ready for the real world yet; I know I'm not! But, I know I'm ready for him to learn -- this family needs another driver!

Notice the fall foliage on the trees in the background -- November 13 and the colors are still coming! They say the wooly bear caterpillars are extra fuzzy this fall. I'm ready for winter (but not ready for driving on ice!).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Think That I Shall Never See . . .

Dogwood, November 9, 2010

I love the dogwood tree in front of my house. I chose to plant it there because it is native to this area (the state tree) and I thought the protection of the house would fool it into thinking it was growing in the understory, its preferred niche. For a couple of years, I feared I was wrong. It just didn't do very well.
This year when I saw these buds (look closely, or click on the picture to enlarge it) forming on the branches in August, I panicked. I was sure my tree was out of phase, trying to bloom in the wrong season. After a bit of hasty Google research, I learned it was normal. The next season's blooms set in August. I had failed to notice this before because the tree had failed to set a significant number of blossoms -- twelve the first year and ONE the second year. It flowers on my birthday (April 18) which I take as a special gift and I can't wait till next year. The branches carry way too many blossoms to count! Joyful abundance!

I watch the tree very closely. Typically, I spend hours sewing each day, sitting at my machine in the dining room, looking out the window at the dogwood. It gives me great pleasure and many peaceful hours. But, like the fisherman's wife, I am never content for long. Now, I wish for a nest of birds to grace my tree in the spring.