Tuesday, December 29, 2009


After one of my busiest years ever, it was a lean Christmas for homemade gifts. I ran out of time long before I ran out of projects. With only enough time to finish one quilt, and make two aprons, I vow I'll start earlier next year.

I thought I'd take a picture of the girls in the aprons, but in my fog-brain state, I forgot that my camera was set to 'video' instead of regular picture.

But the video is likely better anyway because of GG's antics. I had just told her to make a 'big smile' and she did her best:

Don't they look cute (the girls, I mean -- not the aprons!)

Several weeks ago, I received this piece on the 'History of Aprons'. It made me smile (or as GG says, "smyyyyyelll") too...

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that,
it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion
was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs,
fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs
to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came,
those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,
bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples
that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road,
it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust
in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch,
waved her apron, and the men knew it was time
to come in from the fields to dinner

It will be a long time before someone invents something
that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Decorating Help

Okay, the countdown is on. My little grandaughter knows how many sleeps.  And I know I won't be getting much sleep unless I can get some help in preparing for Christmas.

Some days, I wish I had six teenagers. Not the 'hang-out-at-the-mall' kind, but the hardworking, energetic, helpful kind. You know -- like John-Boy Walton.

Alas, we're empty-nesters, and the best I have is my travelling cat (click here for that story) and my faithful and most intelligent Border Collie, Shilo. I say, "intelligent," because she knows to come when I call, "Treats, treats!"

Her intelligence is crucial, if I'm to get help with putting my tree up.  Click on this video to see the possibilities.

Ah, yes, I believe there's hope.

"Come on, Shilo. Have I got a job for you. Come on, pup. Treats...treats."

I hope you're enjoying the Christmas preparations at your home. And if I don't get back to blogging before then, I hope you have a very, merry Christmas. And to all a good night.

"G'night Shilo-boy -- oops, I mean Shilo-girl."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Is it my imagination, or does Christmas arrive earlier every year ? Did somebody change the date and forget to tell me?

This year I saw a decorated Christmas tree while I was on my way to buy Halloween treats. What, did they think we'd forget?

I promise I'll remember. But could we just wait at least until November?

Today, I did the first of my Christmas shopping. Well, that's not really true. So far, I've bought our little grandaughter's present three times. The trouble is, Grandma Joey can't stand the excitement, and GG gets to open the gift. Then it's back to the store for another. So far, she's opened two. I can't give her the last one until Christmas, because I've run out of ideas.

But today, in the store, I was shopping for others.

I'm not a very good shopper -- I mean, I don't get to town often, and I have no idea what the stores have. Today I saw a lot (I mean A LOT!) of Hannah Montana. What happened? Everywhere I turned, it was some brand name or other. And not just on the toys -- t-shirts, pyjamas, socks, and even underwear, all branded.

Are we all so idea-bankrupt that we can't give 'brandless' gifts? Are we so easily manipulated that this advertising strategy works?

If I'm going to be successful in my plan to overthrow the industry, I'd better get busy making some gifts. Ooops, maybe I should have gotten started back in October when I saw that first Christmas tree!