Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I wish everyone a Happy New Year.

My sister gave my family this lovely Waterford Times Square musical Snow Globe to welcome in 2010. It plays "Auld Lang Syne."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Vintage Quilt, Santa Claus, and a Snowman

While we are all looking forward to the new year 2010, I like to consider the beauty that has been handed down to me. My Great-Aunt Ethel, my mother's aunt, was a quilter. She, however, was not a quilter of today, with everything planned out and perfect. She used fabric that she had left over from other projects, and she made needed and useful quilts for warmth. She always said that it was necessary to have a project to do. It made you want to get up and get started on it. It gave a purpose to your day. Several years ago, my dear mother gave me a quilt that Aunt Ethel had made in the early part of the twentieth century. I display this treasured quilt at Christmas and throughout the winter. It is pieced together in Christmas colors of red and green, but the blocks are composed of fabric that Aunt Ethel had left over from other sewing projects. I treasure this quilt. My Santa Claus, from the late 1950s, was one of two given to my parents when they opened bank accounts in a town they had just moved to. Santa is actually a bank and was given to new customers to encourage children to save money. I have one and my sister has one. I just love this Santa bank. My wooden snowman was painted by my mother about ten years ago. I love to look at his jolly and friendly face. These are the treasures that remind me of the beauty of this world and make this season so beautiful to me.

My Great-Aunt Ethel's quilt, which she made in the early part of the twentieth century.

This is a close-up of one of the blocks.

This is a close-up of another block.

This is the back of the quilt.

This is my 1950s Santa Claus bank. I keep it in my corner china cabinet that belonged to my Mother and Father.

This is my jolly, friendly snowman that my mother painted.

"These are a few of my favorite things."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter Wonderland

After waking up to a green lawn on Christmas Day, I think the beautiful snow today is like a winter wonderland. It's quiet and peaceful inside the house.  It's always so nice to be with family during the holidays. Today I'm considering what book to start reading and what stitching project to work on. My cats enjoyed their Christmas. They got a remote control mouse that they have been chasing around for two days.

Jessie Rose is taking a nap after Christmas.

Dasher is so elegant.

Snowball fades into the carpet because he is so white.

"O.K., I'm chilaxing. What of it?"

Jessie Rose is always ready to have her picture taken.

I took this picture of a hawk. He was in a tree behind my house. I took it from my upstairs window.

I love the ice on the redwood bushes. I took this picture on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Old Books and Memories

I love old books, old movies, and pretty much anything from the 1940's, even though I was not even born in that decade. When I was a little girl, I used to visit my Aunt Margaret, who had the most amazing collection of books--bookshelves were in the living room and in the sitting room. I would spend hours just going through all of her books: novels, volumes of poetry, and biographies. Every night I would curl up in a large chair under a window in the sitting room and read. My favorite book was Betty Grable and the House with the Iron Shutters, written by Kathryn Heisenfelt and published in 1943. As an adult, I always wanted my own copy of that book. I found it in a used book store and subsequently found another Betty Grable book, Betty Grable and the House of Cobwebs, published in 1947. Every time I look at them I remember my Aunt Margaret and her love of books that she shared with me.

Along with my Betty Grable books, I have The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle, published in 1942, and later made into a great ghost movie with Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey. The other books on top of the stack are Idylls of the King, Irving's Sketch Book, and The Deerslayer, which were my Great-Aunt Virgie's school books. These editions were published in the 1800's. Aunt Virgie became a school teacher.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow in the Suburbs

The wind is blowing the snow across the yard. The sky is filled with the swirling flakes, but it's warm inside. The following poem "Snow in the Suburbs" was written by Thomas Hardy and published in his Collected Poems in 1925. Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite poets and authors. If you've never read his works, or if you're a frequent reader of his works, here is one of my favorite Thomas Hardy poems.

"Snow in the Suburbs"

Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.

A sparrow enters the tree
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eyes.
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a nether twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.

The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.

Thomas Hardy, 1925

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dasher and Snowball

Jessie's brothers, Dasher and Snowball, have allowed their photographs to be taken today.

Dasher hides behind a flower tree. This is one of his favorite spots. Dasher is a silver tabby Maine Coon Cat.

Snowball won't look directly into the camera, but you can still see him. He is a solid white Maine Coon Cat.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow and Ice

The snow was really nice this morning. The ice on the roads was not. Twenty minutes into my commute to work, a bridge was closed because of the ice and a wreck. The detour was solid ice. I was very thankful when I made it to work.

The following picture is from the snow this morning. These are the last blooms from a red rose bush.

Look at the pretty winter pansy that has survived the morning snow. It was still in bloom when I came home.