I'm usually a celebratory Christmas person. I have always been one to cook Christmas dinner, to put up a nice Christmas tree, and decorate the house. I love buying gifts for folks, especially when I can find that special something BUT this year is going to be different.
A few weeks ago Jim and I decided to take a New Years vacation on the beach in Tampa Florida, we did so because we really need some "us" time. My mother-in-law and Brother-in-law have been staying with us for about 4 months now, and will likely stay another 2 months. Mom is recovering from hip replacement surgery and brother is coming up on settling a divorce. So, while we love them both dearly, it's been a while since we had just a simple night alone, and we really need to just get away and do some relaxing. Even if it's just to hang out in our pj's vegging in the hotel on black and white movies all day while we munch on pizza delivery. You know some times you just miss the intimacy that home life can bring.
Our plan was to stay here for Christmas so we could cook the traditional ham dinner and enjoy the holiday with Jim's family. At first I never even considered anything different, it was unfathomable to think about missing Christmas at home. I was suppose to put up the tree this weekend. My tree is not just any tree, I have super special animation character ornaments and really cool Mickey Mouse and bugs bunny type things that my tree holds.
Well, after some bad news from my family in New York State we realized that this trip needs to include a travel to see my (quilting mentor) Granny in Alabama, because my usual spring trip to see her may be absorbed into a trip to see my other Grandmother who lives in NY state. I really need to see my family from NY this year, but December is not the ideal time to visit Rochester, NY, is it? So we are extending out New Years vacation to encompass Christmas as well and the holiday will be especially spent with Granny and my mom and all my Alabama kinfolk.
Another reason Christmas will be missing from our life is it will be the first time in my adult life that I have not put up my special tree. Since we have the new pup, Opal, our house sitters insist that I don't put it up. They don't want some unforeseen (or perhaps actually very much foreseen) accident to happen with the puppy vs. the Christmas tree.
I am actually a little bit relieved because last year my little (deceased) Tuxedo kitten "helped" me put up the tree. It was going to be sad putting it up without my little kittens help. His first (and last) Christmas experience was so much fun last year, I really enjoyed his company and if I wasn't already in love with my little boy, he sure did seal the deal for Christmas.
Actually the tree would have already been put up, but my dread of mourning, allowed me to delay, so when the decision was made that we won't be here AND no one wanted my special tree out up, it was easy to say ok.
More news on the kitten adventures of our household...we have already adapted a new feline baby. Our vet who mourned the loss of Tuxedo as much as we did, was just waiting for us to come in for some other reason. Today we had to take our Daisy dog in for her rattlesnake vaccine booster..the assistant says I understand if your not ready...BUT. I have someone I'd like you to meet. Here she comes in the room with the most beautiful tortoise shell girl kitten that I have ever seen. Heather says...she doesn't like to be held yet, but she is playful and we have rescued her from being dumped in the parking lot, and she's a very playful wonderful 15 month old kitten. The kitten that "didn't like being held" sat in my arms purring, rubbing, and loving on me for Daisy's 30 minute vet exam. My heart melted, the deal was sealed, and I will not for long be quilting Catless.
The new baby Paisley will join our family when we return from our holiday travels. The vet is going to keep her for us until we return. We will be visiting before we go so I will post her picture in a day or so....Jim got one on his cel phone but I have no idea how to post that here. Jim actually picked the name Paisley and it couldn't be more perfect, that is the name we decided on and I think it really fits her well, I can't wait to share her beauty and stitching critique with you. You know how cats love our quilts, hopefully Paisley will fit right in...as I think, am I crazy for wanting her to be my quilting buddy, I remember so many times Tuxedo would bat my thread, steal my scissors, cuddle on the hoop d at inconvenient times, but I sure do miss it. No matter how annoying, and how much I try to deny it, I am now a cat person and my Tuxedo is to blame. I'm sure life with Paisley is going to be wonderful.
Here's Paisley when we visited today. I couldn't wait to get to see my little kitten again. We brought her this little box-bed thing and some toys and covered her food until the year end. She loved the bed and jumped right in. Arroyo Veterinary is the best vet we have ever dealt with. Each and every one of their staff are top notch and I am so glad we found this office. Heather, one of the assistants, knew exactly who to match Paisley with...she knew we would be a purrfect fit and Paisley is going to be a perfect addition to our family.
thank you all for reading, I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season.
Here's the obligatory quilting photo, the last legs of the yellow row for my crazy quilt. I do believe my next post will have a little tortoise shell kitten wrapped up in my sewing just like our Tuxedo did. But if she chooses to have no interest that will be ok to...only time will tell.
This is what I will be sewing till next year....
Today, my beloved, mother-in-law (aka mom or Lynora) had hip replacement surgery. She is a vibrant, healthy young 80 year old lady whom I adore. She has been staying with us for a few months and will be here another few months while she recovers and rehabs. Normally she lives independent and still keeps her own house and garden and I'm sure she is looking forward to getting back to her quiet little home.
I feel privileged that she has had the opportunity to be mom-sat while Jim and I watch over her. However, we will also take advantage of having a house sitter and we will be taking a nice beach vacation for New Years this year. It will be the first in a long time that we will be away for the holiday season. Jim's brother will stay with his mom at our house while we are away so she will still have company and help watching our 4 dogs and her 1 little dog. While it's great to have family around and close; it will also be great to get away.
I have been slowly piecing a block-of-the-month for Lynora. You will recall I'm calling it Cowboys and Indians. I'm piecing 2 quilts at the same time that are the same pattern: 1 with the fabric sent in the BOM; the other using my fabrics. I'm really liking how they are both coming along. This project is also helping me learn to use my rotary cutter far better. With each set I cut I get better at it, I wonder how I pieced my other quilts without it!
This is a 12-block pattern; they have send me 8 and I am very very far behind. I have the first 2 blocks completed for both quilts and 1/2 of block 3 (my fabric) completed. I'm currently working on block 3 using their fabric.
My plan was to use the cowboy boots and hats pattern to add to the quilt I make with their fabric to make it large enough for a bed.
I thought about combining the two quilts but after taking this picture I think it needs to be 2 separate quilts.
I've been doing this piecing now and then while Lynora has been with us but she doesn't really know this quilt will be for her. She hasn't said anything about it like she does when I'm working on my crazy quilt. I wonder if she won't like it? She always comments on how pretty the crazy quilt is, but never mentions anything when I'm piecing the blocks. I wonder if she doesn't like it? Or, perhaps she can't really tell what it will look like when it's done? Maybe the blocks don't make sense to her until they are all put together?
She is very much into southwestern decor and cowboy western stuff. So naturally I thought this would fit really well in her house. I know she would never complain, but I don't want to give her something that she doesn't really like. I sure hope someday she says something about it while I'm working on it. If she doesn't comment I might have to find something else to make for her.
The crazy quilt is king size and far too big for her beds, and I believe that will be marked for my real mom if it turns out good enough for my Granny's inspection. My mom lives with Granny and I can't send it if it's not just right.
Sew, til next time I work in doubt....