Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Yuletide to all!

Here we are in the final week  before Christmas!  At my house, all the preparations have been made and we're having a relaxing few days before the holiday. It's the time of the Winter Solstice, one of my favorite holidays. Why, you ask, would my favorite holiday be in the depths of the Wisconsin winter and the shortest day of the year?  Well, I'll tell you the story of how this came about. Settle into your favorite chair with a mug of something warm and fragrant and listen to (or read about) how it all happened.

Many years ago, in a long distant time, my husband took a new job in a city far from where we had been living. Seventy-five miles to be exact.  I had a wonderful job that I loved very much (and which paid quite well to boot!) in that city where we'd been living and I was loathe to leave that job and commence on a search for one that would be even close to comparable.  My decision was to drive back and forth every day, and that's how I know it was 75 miles exactly from my house to the office.

I began this commuting odyssey in the Autumn of the year and before long, the dark, cold winter nights had crept up on us. I found myself leaving home before dawn and driving home after dusk.  As we passed Thanksgiving, I began to see Christmas lights coming on in the houses, farms, and log cabins along my route to and from work. Mostly, I would see them during my evening commute.  I realized one evening that I was using these lights as guideposts as I traveled through the dark winter night, going home to loving children and husband and a hot supper on the table for me.  I would mark my travel as I passed the lit up large front yard pine tree, the house with the Christmas star in blue lights, and the blinking Budweiser sign in the window of the Silver Lake Tavern.

The coming of the Solstice as a very big deal to me that winter!  It meant that the days of darkness would begin to lessen. I would be driving in daylight (or at least dawn and dusk) before I knew it, and winter's grip would be loosening.  I decided to have a Winter Solstice celebration that year to rejoice at the coming of light.  For my family, I decided to have a dinner composed of white food!  I wanted to have light everywhere!  We had baked chicken, mashed potatoes, cauliflower with white cheese sauce, and lemon cheesecake for dessert.  We loved it and I've been making a Winter Solstice almost every year since.  But not always with white food. Sometime we'll have a green or orange vegetable--just for variety!

A Walk in the Woods (2015) Poster

This year, Don and I did not have a Solstice dinner. Instead, we went to the movies yesterday and saw A Walk in the Woods starring Nick Nolte and Robert Redford.  I'd read the book by Bill Bryson a few years ago and when I learned of the movie, well, I had to see it.  And I would recommend it to everyone who doesn't mind a great deal of salty language and a glimpse of Nick's be-hind!  After the movie, we had dinner at a new-to-us Thai restaurant which was very good.

In the quilting area, I'm working on the next step of  Bonnie' Hunter's 2015 mystery quilt.  Got most of the pieces cut out but none are sewn yet.  Maybe today.

I finished my 3rd embroidered Santa table runner and it's in a new home. Whew!  It took some very diligent embroidering to finish all three of them before Christmas! 

 Next is to make up the napkin quilt for a customer. I'd promised her it would be done by the middle of January, so today is the day I begin the stitching on it.  I've been sending her pics of layouts and so forth so I think she's going to be quite pleased with the finished project.  Actually, I'm not looking forward to making it up so I have to force myself to get going on it so it can be done and out of my house!  It's not the quilt itself, it's the fact that the napkins are made of a synthetic fabric which just feels so foreign in my hands after all the years of working with cottons.   

So, the next couple of days at my house will consist of a little housework and a little sewing and a lot of relaxing before Jo comes home for the holiday.  I hope your days are peaceful and wonderful as well.

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