Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sometimes It's Just The Simple Things...

Several years ago I was engaged in one of my pitiful efforts at decluttering and ran across some fabric that my mother had given me many years ago.

These pieces of fabric were actually old flour sacks from the 40s/50s that Mama had saved. She used to make clothes for my sister and me from the printed sacks.

I kept thinking that I would do something with them... eventually... but I never got around to it. When I came across them again I decided to give them to my friend Theresa. She sews and makes quilts and stuff like that.

Theresa was quite thrilled to get them and even did a post on her blog about them.

Well, as it turned out, Theresa never got around to doing anything with them either. (Sometimes we are both pretty pathetic.)

Then, come Christmas, and she had a brainstorm. She decided to make me napkins out of the flour sacks and give them to me as my gift.

When we were exchanging gifts, she kept hemming and hawing and being afraid I wouldn't like her gift. I told her to quit issuing disclaimers and just gimme the damned gift and when she finally gave it to me I was blown away.

It's so thoughtful. I now have fourteen nice napkins, with a history behind them. I plan to buy some neutral-colored placemats, and since we have white china, I can set the kind of eclectic table I like. I will be able to use my variety of pottery pieces for serving and happiness will ensue. I'll also get to tell their history to my guests when I use them.

Here are the napkins:

The prints are true to their era and I just love my napkins.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Number 100

This is my 100th post. I was going to wait until the anniversary of my first blog post, but y'all might think I gave up.

I started reading again, and I have finished the first book of 2011:

The Long Road Home, by Mary Alice Monroe. This is Monroe's first novel, recently re-released. New York widow Nora MacKenzie finds out that her husband's estate is virtually bankrupt, and she takes on a farm in Vermont while waiting for the estate to be settled. Once there, she has to deal with the skepticism of the locals and one very intriguing farm hand, C.W. She shows her mettle by working as hard as everybody else, caring for the farm's herd of sheep. The house that she and her late husband were building is unfinished, so she hires help to complete it. We find out that C.W. is actually Charles Blair, the man Nora blames for her husband's death and all her financial woes. Nora does not know this, but C.W. knows who she is and he is determined to right all the wrongs perpetrated by his evil (only way to describe her), greedy step-mother, Agatha, who issued loans to Nora's late husband and forged Charles's name to them. Then she called in the loans, which Mr. MacKenzie could not pay. MacKenzie thought Charles had ruined him and he went to Charles's office in the Blair Bank and shot himself. This affected Charles deeply, so he crawled into a bottle, eventually dried out, then disappeared from New York. Everybody in Vermont thought he was a drifter. Even Nora. As this is a romance, Nora and C.W. fell in love. The road gets quite rocky when a freak autumn snowstorm wipes out most of the sheep, C.W. disappears to New York to straighten everything out, and Nora goes to NY to see to the settling of the MacKenzie estate and to deal with the auction of all her posessions which she hopes will pay off all her husband's debts. She goes to the Blair Bank to confront Charles Blair once and for all. Fur flies when she finds out that C.W. and Charles Blair are one and the same.... The book is well written and the story has romance, suspense, and intrigue. I'd recommend it to anyone.

This coming Friday is another anniversary. Richard and I will have been married for sixteen years. We're going out to celebrate. We don't buy each other anniversary gifts; instead, we buy something for the house. We haven't decided what the house needs this year, yet, but we will. Dinner will be good. I anticipate having both an appetizer and dessert, in addition to my entree. Too bad I don't like wine, or we would toast to another year.

Take care, everybody.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So I'm Four Days Late...


I had a good year in 2010 and I'm expecting no less in 2011.

I finished reading my 60th book of the year on Christmas Eve, and then I took a break from reading. My reading got ahead of my book reviewing, but I'll try to do better this year.

I've gotten a couple of new followers to my blog, thanks to the interview in the local paper, and several people have told me they plan to keep track of the books they read from now on. That's rewarding, to know that someone thinks you had a good idea.

This post is not really meant to be a list of my accomplishments. I just wanted to wish everybody a Happy New Year.

We went to a Winter Solstice party. One of our friends throws this party every year so that she can have a December party and still spend Christmas with her family. Everybody is asked to bring a gag gift and some food and we have an exchange of gifts after stuffing our faces. (We know some really good cooks.) Some of the gifts are hilarious and some are not so "unwantable." Richard and I wound up with a Grinch Christmas tree ornament, which is actually kinda cute. One person didn't like what she got and kept trying to trade with someone -- anyone -- but we all stood firm. (One year, another friend didn't need what she got -- it was a set of napkin rings -- so she hid the rings around our hostess's house. Julie was finding napkin rings all year long.)

Christmas Day with Richard's family was enjoyable, as always. I think everybody gave me at least one book, so my reading list grows. We had a ham in addition to the turkey. I love ham. For dessert, Richard and I made a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. Even my brother-in-law, who doesn't have a sweet tooth, ate some of the apple pie. Our nieces were not able to stay for dinner, but Katie left her two yappy dogs at my sister-in-law's house. Without my hyperactive niece, the dogs were quite calm and affectionate. One of them, Courage, curled up on the sofa next to me and stayed there for a long time. When we were opening presents, she got into my lap and I had to open my gifts around her. It was sweet. Snow was predicted for that area, so Richard and I left a little earlier than usual. At one point during the day, there was a snow flurry, and then it rained. Beverly (SIL) called later and told us that after we left, it started to snow in earnest, so we missed seeing a white Christmas. Oh, well. It was still nice.

On New Year's Eve we went to a party here in town. There was plenty of champagne and our hostess offered orange juice and pomegranate juice to mix with it, if you were so inclined. Champagne mixed with orange juice is a Mimosa, and Renata and I decided that champagne mixed with pomegranate juice is an Ambrosia. We kept telling ourselves that the mixtures were good for us because of all the antioxidants and vitamins we were getting. There is nothing like a good rationalization.

Well, I hope your new year is starting off right and that the rest of the year is as good to you as you could wish. Happy 2011!