Saturday, December 30, 2006


After loading almost an entire bookcase of titles onto my LibraryThing account, I decided to relax and knit some on Dad's Aran while watching HGTV. On a "ReDesign" episode, a couple was choosing artwork for their family room, and they selected three paintings that were basically a color with texture. And they really, really liked them.

If I knew the artist very well, I suppose I would like that kind of artwork on my walls. Joan paints, and I love her work. Uncle Gus paints, and I love his work. He even has painted a lot of abstract art, and although I'm not a fan of modern, abstract art, I like his art because he is my uncle and I love him. Joan's artwork is more scenic and domestic, but if she were to venture into cubist or modern art I would like it because she is my daughter and I love her.

I have several of Joan's paintings framed and on the walls of of our family room. I have an early painting of Uncle Gus's on our living room wall:

I like it because it's a place. I think it was an exercise in perspective, but it works for me anyway.

For Christmas Mom and Dad gave us this painting:

Again, the appeal for me is that it's a place. I can imagine myself there, or wonder what it would be like to be there. And for this one I don't even know the artist... .


Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Glenn

Glenn's birthday was on Christmas Eve. He and Amy and the girls came to us the day after Christmas and stayed for two days. Now they're back home in Illinois and we're missing them.

Despite the lingering virus, we're cleaning up and organizing - getting ready for the new year. Yesterday and today we washed, scrubbed, swept, vacuumed, dusted, and put things in their places. Steve's birthday is on New Year's Eve, and the house should be sparkling by then.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Penny has a print of this Nativity scene by Gari Melchers. She showed it to me several years ago and pointed out what she liked about it - Mary, looking realistically post-partum with her exhausted, yet contented, reclining pose; Joseph seated protectively near Mary and the baby Jesus; Baby Jesus in the manger, the object of Mary and Joseph's wondrous gazes. And there's also the basin of water and rags there beside Mary, to clean up the mess that accompanies birth.

Because "...the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Auburn socks done

I went ahead and finished knitting Jacy's socks so I could finish something. Still knitting sleeves for Dad's cardigan and Mom's cardigan. They won't be finished by Christmas.

More sick ones here. I'm praying we'll all be well enough to go to church together tomorrow. I haven't been for the last two weeks, and various children have missed as well due to the coughing virus. It's not that I have to be with other Christians in order to celebrate and enjoy Christmas, but it is exciting and joyous to get a tiny, imperfect glimpse of the future when *every* knee will bow and *every* tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

We're sick

Some kind of *ick* virus is causing us grief. We are all sick and have been coughing and feeling miserable for days. We have made four trips to the doctor and numerous trips to the pharmacy.

I'm thankful we're not as sick as we were last Christmas. And I'm thankful we're not in the middle of a move. And I'm thankful for all the good health we've enjoyed this year.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Today is Jacy's birthday

Jacy is 18 today. She's had a busy day - the start of a busy week for her. Her Bible study group gave her cookies and a cookie birthday cake. Her sisters and grandparents gave her shoes. Her brothers gave her jewelry. Steve and I gave her clothes, and she also received a couple of handbags. So she was fed and clothed for her birthday. To top it off, Tom arrived today to spend three weeks at home. What bliss - birthdays, Christmas, and family!


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chocolate lab

We're now thinking a Chocolate Labrador Retriever might be a good fit for Marley. And, since the puppy hasn't been born yet, we have time to ready ourselves for a dog... .

(Glenn and Tom - can you believe it?)


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Border Collie at work

We watched six Border Collies work sheep this afternoon. It was amazing.

After watching them, though, I can agree with the sheep in the movie Babe - "Woooolves!" There's something wolfish about those dogs!


Border Collie

This afternoon David, Marley, and I are going to a farm to watch Border Collies at work. I love the dogs, but I don't think they're the breed for us. Our yard isn't big enough for sheep (and would we be allowed to have sheep since we're in town?) and I'm afraid we couldn't come up with enough "work" to keep a Border Collie busy. Still, it'll be fun to watch some herding sheep.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The last of the home tour pictures -part II

I know this is like a bad song that never ends, or a story with no point to it, but I think these are really and truly the last of the pictures from Saturday's tour of homes. The upstairs didn't have a whole lot of decorations, but everyone wanted to see the upper part of the house because only two or three people in town had ever seen it when Mrs. T was still alive, and no one saw it after she died, except her heirs.

The upstairs bathroom:

Sarah's room:

You can look through Sarah's pointy door, down the little hall, and see Joan and Marley's room:

Joan and Marley's room (and a glimpse of Jacy's room beyond):

Silly Jacy and Joan goofing around in Joan and Marley's room:

Jacy's room:

The end.

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The last of the home tour pictures -part I

I just had to post the rest of these pictures so I can have a record of every room clean and tidy - all at once. So here are pictures from the upstairs...

David's room:

The playroom (or as Marley told everyone last Saturday, "...the-playroom-SLASH-guestroom...":

And the upstairs hallway:

I need to hang some pictures on that blank wall in the hallway, but it was just finished about 2 1/2 weeks ago, so we're still savoring the pure wall-ness as opposed to the bare studs that were there when we moved in.

More of "the last of the pictures" to come...

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Old house living

One thing you don't usually see in those swanky magazines of Victorian homes or other older, more "seasoned" domiciles, are the hills and valleys in the floors, the waves in the walls, the doors that won't close all the way, and other evidence that the house has settled as it has aged.

Dy at Classic Adventures is working on her old house and keeps a running progress report that is fascinating and fun to read. I told her I'd post some pictures of our nowhere-near-plumb house so here they are...

The hallway downstairs:

The hall is part of the house that was built in 1875-76. It was originally a wide, dog-trot type of hall. You should be able to see how the molding along the floor curves - from our bedroom doorway at the back of the picture it curves up, because the floor goes up there, then as it nears the door of the half-bath in the front of the picture, it curves outward as the wall bulges outward. Nice, huh? Gives it "character."

The entryway and living room floors slope steeply down towards the center of the house. In the entryway you can see it by the pictures on the wall and the furniture on the floor. The pictures are hung straight, but the rocking bench beneath slants downward to the right because of the floors:

The bookcases in the living room are bolted to the wall and have shims shoring them up underneath, because the floor really dips down from the wall to the center of the room:

I admit that for the first month we lived here I had nightmares many nights - I'd dream that the house was collapsing on us, drawn down by the weight of books and people. Now I'm getting used to the occasional creaks and groans and the hills, valleys, and waves.


Knit Night tonight

Tonight is Knit Night and I'm very glad! My 85-year-old knitting buddy, Mrs. C, is hosting it at her house and I think I'll be working on sleeves for Mom's cardigan. She likes the blue cardigan I gave her for her birthday, and said she'd like one in cranberry-colored yarn for Christmas.
Here's the back and fronts of the cranberry cardigan already finished:

And I am knitting away on the ribbing for the sleeves:

I have the back and fronts done on Dad's Aran cardigan. I still have to finish the pockets and the button and buttonhole bands:

I'm working on the sleeves for Dad's cardigan, too, but they require more attention than I think I can give them tonight:

Jacy's Auburn socks are almost done - they're my car-knitting:

But my favorite knitting - which I must deny myself until Dad's Aran is finished, really, I MUST! - are the squares for the Lizard Ridge afghan:

I have one square in progress, but I cannot touch it until the Aran is completely finished!


Monday, December 11, 2006

Sam is 5 today

Today is Sam's 5th birthday. We gave him his gifts last night and recounted the story of his birth for him. I got all choked up and started boo-hooing, but managed to tell it all. The children were able to corroborate for him all the details, and they all remembered waiting anxiously at the home of friends of ours from church, then giving a mighty cheer when the phone rang with the news of Sam's safe birth. Even last night a couple of the children grumped about not getting to see or hold Sam until the day following his birth - hey, we're sorry, but it was late!

Today he played with the TinkerToys we gave him, his Pirates of the Caribbean props from Jacy, and ate the candy Sarah, Joan, and David gave him. This afternoon he proudly determined the exact spot on the bedroom wall for the Star Wars poster from Marley and Tom. William called from Florida to wish Sam a "Happy Birthday!" and the grandparents came by with a card and a new book for him.

Later this week a family from church is coming over to play and eat supper with us in celebration of Sam's birthday, then we get ready for Jacy's birthday.


More house tour pictures

Thanks for the kind remarks. The house did look nice; now the house looks like we live here again. This week we'll be moving books and bookcases back inside, and taking things out of the closets and drawers before I forget where I temporarily hid them. Tom gets home in a week, and Glenn, Amy and the girls are coming on the 19th. (Amy, I bought a portable crib thingie and hope to get a high chair before you guys come back on the 26th!)

Anyway, more pictures of the downstairs - the family room:

And the staircase (I was pleasantly surprised to hear several people say that putting books in one's staircase was a "clever" idea - and here I was afraid people would think it was tacky!):

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