Friday, December 7, 2012

The Weather Outside is Too Warm for It to Really Begin to Seem Like Christmas, But . . .

This year Christmas is calling me strongly.

When I put up the tree after Thanksgiving, I really started missing Swan, who lives in Minneapolis.  She is such a part of decorating the tree almost every year that I felt there was a huge hole while I worked alone.

I took this photo before the sun rose this morning, so I could get some sort of photo of the tree without the glare from the windows.  I did manage to get a reflection of the tree, so maybe my idea wasn't really so good.
This is an earlier photo of the Christmas tree with the glare on it.  Which not-so-good photo of a Christmas tree do you like better?
The objects on the coffee table (other than the Netflix envelopes) are figurines of carolers, which IT Prof's parents gave us years ago.  The carolers are lovely and far better than anything IT Prof and I would have bought for ourselves; so, if the carolers are meant to make us think about IT Prof's parents, the plan is working great.)

Stockings are supposed to be "hung by the chimney with care," but our mantel is too short and has a piece of molding that precludes using the stocking holders.  This year I tried out the bookcases instead and decided I really liked having the stockings next to the Christmas tree.  Five of the stockings are my mother-in-law's beautiful needlepoint work.  Unfortunately (and not just considering Christmas stockings), my mother-in-law developed too much arthritis in her hands to needlepoint anymore sometime after Swan was born.
However, fortunately we have added members to our family.  I made the quilted stockings out of whatever Christmasy fabric I had when I made them.  Thus, sometimes a fabric is repeated in another stocking, but the stockings are all different.  I keep forgetting where I keep my stocking patterns, so none of the stockings are the same size (although some of the later ones approach a similar size).
The stockings I have made are for our son-in-law, our grandson, our daughter-in-law, and, now Swan's friend Shark.  The previous list is in chronological order, so, please, no one should read any sort of crazy ulterior motive in the order.
Yesterday evening I finished making Shark's quilted Christmas stocking.   I used ten different fabrics in it, and do have to admit, I did supplement this year's stash with a few new pieces of fabric.
IT Prof's parents have also given us the beautiful crystal Christmas trees.  I, however, bought the table runner in Rhodes.  But, come to think of it, IT Prof's parents were the ones who paid for the family trip to Greece, so essentially they gave us the table runner, too.  I think these decorations are really pretty in our dining room.
Roly-Poly Santa is back guarding the front door.  This is a Christmas decoration I actually made without the help of IT Prof's parents in a guild-sponsored class two years ago.  In real life, our front door and Roly-Poly are rotated one-quarter turn clockwise from what is shown in the photo.  But, sometimes I just get tired of playing with the software and accept what I get.
(This is not too say that it is the software's fault.  A few weeks ago I downloaded the free Picasa software.  It is the perfect program for someone like me with limited talent in photography but one who is still interested in preserving memories.)
On a completely different topic, the drought continues in Kansas City.
Farmers, barge workers, and many other people are really suffering.  My disappointment with our disappearing lake seems so shallow in comparison.  (The pun is semi-intentional, and it is one of my better ones.)  The lake is usually and hopefully in the future eight feet deeper in front of our house than it is now.
The old wooden roof on our house was 21 years old, and many of the shingles had migrated from the roof to the yard.  So, after two weeks of obtaining estimates, agonizing over said estimates, becoming too sick to do anything but lie in bed, and choosing a roofing contractor, our new composite roof was installed.  The photos above were taken during the construction process.
The new roof looks good.  However, I really would like a good rainstorm to make sure it doesn't leak.  I also hope we get that rain during the roof's warranty period.  IT Prof and I are giving each other the roof for Christmas (and maybe for other occasions to be named later).  We joke amongst ourselves and other family members that IT Prof and I can each have whatever we want for Christmas as long as its color is Stonegate Gray.
The new roof is more fire-resistant than the wooden roof, so our insurance premium has been reduced.  That doesn't happen often; does it?  At least this year, if we have been good enough, Santa's reindeer won't crash through a dilapidated roof.  It's nice to have peace of mind, at least for awhile.

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