Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year One and All!

Just wanted to wish you all well before we start on another whirlwind weekend of celebration.  Cairo and his humans say HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heading Toward the New Year

The weeks leading up to Christmas were rather hectic for us.  We planned to spend Christmas with old friends in Massachusetts, but Clara called to say she had to work and wouldn't be able to come.  So we changed gears and planned to spend a couple of days in Brooklyn at Clara's apartment so she wouldn't be alone.  The Sunday before Christmas we got another call -- she didn't have to work after all and wanted to come home.  So we changed gears again.
On Tuesday, I woke up with a miserable head cold, but soldiered through it to finish buying and wrapping presents, grocery shop, decorate and pick Clara up at the train station.  I called Barb and told her we would be here and would make Christmas dinner and she should join us.  She booked the ferry.  I called some friends who were home alone for Christmas and asked them to join us, too.  I finally made some curtains for the mudroom.  Then we started the storm watch: possible blizzard conditions on Christmas.  Two days later: no blizzard on Christmas, just snow the day after.  On Christmas Eve: the blizzard is on it's way and it is time to batten down the hatches.

We spent most of Christmas Eve prepping for dinner the next day while listening to Christmas carols.  We had unexpected visitors stop by with gifts, which was a gift in and of itself.   The visits were such an old-fashioned, neighborly gesture.  We opened a bottle of wine and set out some cheese and crackers.  Barbara (the basket maker) and her husband Ron came by.  They were kind enough to give us our beautiful Douglas fir Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago and came loaded with gifts for Clara, who they adopted this summer and taught to horseback ride.  We sent them home with a bag of homemade cookies and 50 pounds of horse feed for our favorite four-legged friends.

Dan, our contractor for the renovation (which we started two years ago just before Christmas), stopped by with peanut brittle and fudge, homemade by his wife Tina.  While the renovation was in progress, Dan and I had coffee almost every morning.  He is a great, family-oriented guy and is always up on the latest Greenport gossip and I miss our morning chats.  So I was really glad to see him.

Christmas Eve was low key.  We had fancy hor d'ouevres -- seafood wontons, little lobster rolls, stuffed mushrooms -- while watching Despicable Me (a really nice and funny little movie).  Our friends canceled for Christmas dinner (they got the same cold I have). so we got up late, ate Pete's pecan sticky buns at 10 am and put off dinner til 7.  We played Banagrams and watched more movies and worried about Barby getting home on the ferry before the blizzard started.  Dinner (crown roast of pork, Wisconsin wild rice, applesauce, roasted cauliflower and broccoli and a chocolate coconut charlotte for dessert) was delicious.
Barb left here at 8 on Sunday morning and caught one of the last ferries.  Snow had already started, but the winds held off until later in the day.  By afternoon the winds were blowing so hard it sounded like a freight train was running down 5th Street.  We ended up with very little snow, maybe 6 inches, unlike the City, which got close to 12.

Now it looks like the sun is going to break through and I won't have to shovel!  I'm cleaning up the studio, organizing my ideas and looking forward to the New Year . . . and getting rid of this cold.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Celebrating the Season

My rug hooking guild, the Peconic Ruggers, celebrated the season today at the home of sisters Sally and Sue.  Their beautiful house, not far from the shores of Peconic Bay, was a wonderful place to spend the afternoon.  We have had  torrential rain and lots of wind all day, but who cares about gray skies when there's good company and good food around?

Sue and Sally had decorated for Christmas -- there were handcrafts and antiques throughout the house. I fell in love with this tree in the kitchen.
And how about this rug?  The border makes me smile . . . 
A sweet tableau on the sideboard.

Decoys in the kitchen.
Thanks to Sally and Sue for a great day, and to my fellow guild members for another year of crafting and companionship!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Monday

The sky has been alternating sun and spritzing snow all day with a gusty wind that makes us wish we had installed a fireplace or wood stove when we renovated the house.  I am investigating pellet stoves for the kitchen, between the two north windows where there is currently a rickety and unattractive little desk that no one ever uses.  I'm not keen on a wood stove.  I had one out in the garage and there was always a mess around it -- ashes and bark and schmutz -- and I hated cleaning it.  Pellets are much neater.  So we'll see.

My other plan for warming up the kitchen: oriental rugs.  My sister-in-law Fran told me she had great success buying Oriental rugs on ebay.  So I bid on one and won it.  It came today and I love it.  Instant warmth for not a lot of money.

Clara was home for just one night to print out some photos for her portfolio and pack up some more belongings for her new apartment, so I spent the afternoon hemming pants and looking through my stash for fabric to cover a bench for her.  It was a brief visit, but it is always fun to have her at home.  I've also been doing a little Christmas shopping on line as well as gearing up for creating my own website -- a daunting task, but one I need to address. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Primitive Gathering Christmas Shop

Yes, another post within an hour of the last . . .   I forgot to mention that The Primitive Gathering opened its Christmas shop this morning.  My sister Barb, aka thimblefolk,  has some festive and beautifully made woolen creations available for sale there, as well as in her Etsy shop .  Please take a look!  The Primitive Gathering

The Earth Moved!

I was sitting at my sewing table yesterday morning and it started . . . . dancing!  There's no other word for it . . .  I thought the oil delivery guy was in the driveway -- that always makes the house shiver a bit.  But then I realized he filled up the tank last week . .  .  I got up and looked out the window -- nothing was happening -- so I sat down and went back to work.  When I turned on the evening news, I discovered there had been an earthquake, just off the south shore of Long Island.  Earthquakes aren't unheard of on the east coast, but they aren't common, and I can't remember actually feeling one here before . . . 

I woke up this morning thinking about Christmas.  The holiday feeling has escaped me until now.  I haven't thought about the decorations or the shopping or the wrapping or the cookie baking. But I'm working on it now!  I unearthed my Christmas music and am listening to it as I type this.  I've started my gift list and I think I am going to do my tree in snow this year:  white lights, snowflakes, and glass icicles.  I'll post pics when I put it up, which won't be for a week or two -- it is still a little early for me.

And thinking about the upcoming holidays -- today is the first day of Hannukah!   I almost missed it, it is so early this year . . .   So Happy Hannukah and Shalom to all of you celebrating today.