Christmas Presents Big and Small
We have a fake Christmas tree, which I know sounds bizarre given that I live in a pine forest, but live trees in the house make my nose stuffy. (Also, the husband is a firefighter.) Our tree spends most of the year in a storage bag, one of those woven polypropylene affairs that is lightweight and cheap. A few years ago, the straps started coming out of the seams. I meant to fix the bag last year and forgot. Yesterday, after getting the tree set up, I sat down and sewed the straps back into the seams. All fixed:
I don't know how long the fix will last, but we'll get at least another year or two out of it. The seams inside were taped with grosgrain ribbon, which was a nice touch, but they were sewn with what I'd consider a basting stitch in a cheap thread. Sometimes, design choices made by manufacturers just baffle me.
The husband spent yesterday getting a jobsite ready for a pour, so I had the house to myself in the afternoon. I was putting the ornaments on the tree when my friend Tera stopped by on her way home from church. She brought me this wonderful gift:
It's a bag full of cones of industrial serger thread. These will be put to good use! Tera and I had a quick (too short) visit but made plans to get together after the holidays. We are going to try to schedule some sewing days together.
And a box arrived on Friday from a friend of mine from high school. She had asked me a few months ago if I wanted some fabric. These are old curtains from way back when we both lived in the same town in Ohio and she's been carrying them around with her all these years. She thought the fabric might make a good bag lining and I agree:
It's got a bit of texture to it. I need to separate the main fabric from the lining fabric, but I can see some uses for it. Thank you, Daria! It was nice of you to think of me!
That Tim Holtz subway blocks quilt was mailed to Colorado last week as a Christmas present for my father-in-law. The husband talks to his dad every Sunday night. When I got home from Christmas caroling last night, he told me a funny story. The husband is very fond of his recliner. I bought it for him about 20 years ago it's in horrible shape but he doesn't want a new one because he can sit in this one in his work clothes without ruining it. Sometimes he falls asleeep in it and forgets to come to bed. My father-in-law got the quilt and spread it out over himself in his recliner to see how big it was and the next thing he knew, it was 3 a.m. I said that now I know where the husband gets that gene. I am convinced, though, that quilts have magical powers. When I got home from the hospital last February, I fell asleep every night on the couch for two weeks underneath a quilt I had made.
I am delighted that the quilt found a good home. I like my quilts to be used.
Christmas caroling was a lot of fun. Ali and Elysian and their boys came along and the little boys were a big hit. Everyone from our church is so gracious about having kids involved in our activites. We went for a long time without having kids in church and now we have quite a few. And these are the kinds of events the kids will remember fondly (we hope) when they are older. Some of the young adults are already home from college and they joined us at choir practice yesterday.
My friend Cathy had a surprise last week. She bought a cow about six months ago from a man who lives down the road from us. He told her he thought it was open—not bred—but lo and behold, it dropped a calf on Thursday so it was already bred when she bought it. All of her cows have had heifers this year. She waited a few days to be sure (and to be able to get close enough to verify), but she let me know yesterday that this one is a bull calf. What a nice Christmas present for her!
We traded some of our pork to another friend of ours who raised beef this year. My mother-in-law sent me a pressure cooker cookbook for my birthday which has some great recipes in it. One of them is for a brisket, so I'm going to try that recipe today with a brisket we got from our friend. The recipe says that the key to a good brisket is to let it sit in the pressure cooker for an hour after cooking to allow it to absorb some of the liquid back into it. We'll see how it turns out.