Random thoughts in late November

Can you believe it's almost time for Thanksgiving here in the U.S.? I think, for many of us, this year's feast will look a bit different than that of 2020. I remember last Thanksgiving sadly sitting alone with my husband as we ate, not a traditional turkey, but a simple chicken breast, a photo of our far away family members propped on the table. It was a hard day... the first Thanksgiving without my beloved mom and without anyone other than my husband to help me get through it. Thankfully, this year more and more families will be reunited to give thanks for our blessings once again! I'm excited to be traveling to Ohio for dinner at my niece's house (and pretty excited that I am not hosting it this year, if truth be told!). What are your plans? 

This time of year my stitching always seems to take a back seat to baking, decorating, Christmas card writing, etc. But, I did manage to get my ornament for November done. As soon as I saw this adorable design with the cheery Christmas mugs stacked three high and the smiling gingerbread boys peeking out, I knew I had to order it from Whitehouse Stitchery on Etsy. You can see what the original chart looks like, and purchase your own copy if you're interested, right here. I used my favorite 40 ct. Newcastle linen--this time in a new-to-me color called "Water Green." It's the prettiest shade and I love how Christmas colors look on it.

"Sweet Christmas" finish for my November ornament

I did make a few changes to the colors and rounded out the gingerbread boys' heads a bit more. I also stitched only half of the charted design to make it ornament sized. And because I wanted an oval ornament, I added a few snowflakes to both sides to shape it. It's hard to see, but there are red beads representing berries  next to the holly in the top mug. As there is so much going on in this design I kept the final finish quite simple merely adding white cording and a red and white gingham bow and hanger. I've always loved gingerbread boys and this one truly makes me smile each time I look at it.

Such cute little grins on the gingerbread boys!

I've also made some significant progress with my Prairie Schooler "Christmas Village" which I first shared with you in this post. At that time, I had only two of the nine houses stitched and now I'm up to five so I think I'm about at the half-way point. I feel like I could stitch those little trees at the top in my sleep by now, but they are a good thing to work on while watching television. I honestly can't tell you how much stitching this piece relaxes me. Even those long, solid roofs don't bother me! That's Prairie Schooler for you! Just the best!

Progress! About half-way done!

Randomness... thoughts on what I've been doing, reading, watching, baking!

*** Who else is watching less and less network television?  There just seems to be nothing that captures my interest these days. I've been turning more and more to Netflix and Hulu and have been really captivated by the Dopesick series on America's opioid epidemic (on Hulu) and  Maid (on Netflix)--a fictional account of a young, single mother who takes a job at a cleaning service while trying to raise her child and navigate the confusing legal aid system. And I finally watched the delightful Lark Rise to Candleford series on Hulu... Oh, if they would only make more shows like that one--love the characters so very much. The British do know how to make such charming series!

*** YouTube favorites... Unlike many of you, I'm not a Flosstube watcher. I find most of them move way too slowly for me and they're much too long! But, I've discovered several fun decorating/thrifting/makeover type YouTube channels that I enjoy ever so much. Do any of you watch: Canterbury Cottage, The White Cottage Company, She Holds Dearly, or Jessica Giffin? I enjoy all of these women because they are working within a budget and trying to recycle/reuse when they can--talk about creativity! Anyone else have recommendations?

*** Of course I've been baking for Thanksgiving--I've made nine different kinds of cookies so far, freezing half for Thanksgiving and half for Christmas. These are the goodies I whipped up this morning--so light and flaky. Not to mention--they have raspberry jam in the centers! My favorite! You can find the recipe right here. Do roll the balls of dough in sugar before baking and pressing the indentation for the jam--it makes that process much easier. 

"Evelyn's Christmas Cookies"

 

*** I've read several very good books lately! Meet Me at the Museum is a charming tale (told in letter form) of an older couple whose relationship develops through correspondence. A first time author at the age of 70, Anne Youngson, created a very sweet story with such memorable characters. I've read many Susan Meissner books and have enjoyed most, but this was my favorite to date: The Nature of Fragile Things is set in San Francisco and weaves a tale of mystery, romance, and female friendships during and after the great earthquake of 1906. Finally,  Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer takes on a very difficult subject--postpartum depression. It's hard to read at times, but explores a subject that definitely deserves more attention and discussion. I'd give each of these 4 1/2 stars out of 5! Can anyone else recommend a must-read book?

***I've been bit under the weather since we last talked... The reaction I had to my Covid Booster on November 10th caught me by surprise as I'd had nothing but a sore arm and mild tiredness with the first two shots. This time I experienced chills, a fever of 100.6°, and general body aches. BUT... I'm so glad I had it as I feel safer going to Thanksgiving and traveling again. On top of that, I somehow injured my lower left rib area when we were visiting my grandson. Oh, it felt like I was being stabbed every time I coughed, sneezed or laughed. And rolling over in bed or simply sitting in my stitching chair was pretty painful, too! I didn't know if I had broken a rib, bruised a rib, or torn a muscle. Since it is starting to feel much better ten days in, I think it was the latter. How did it happen? Um... roughhousing with my grandson and picking up and carrying a 27 pound toddler surely had something to do with my injury. I really need to be more careful given that I have osteoporosis... sigh! 

*** Decorating... Since we aren't having Thanksgiving here this year, I did very little in the way of decorating other than putting out a few of my cross stitched pieces. I did decorate my mantle, though, with a collection of copper pieces, candles, and white pottery. I really love how warm and cozy it looks on these cooler autumn nights. I also convinced my husband to bring the boxes of Christmas decorations down from the attic last night so Christmas decorating will commence on Friday--I can't wait!

My decorated mantle with my blue stitching chair on the right


Some of these copper pieces belonged to my mom which makes this display even more special

 

Speaking of mom, below is a throwback photo to Thanksgiving 1963. I think my siblings and I are being Native American Indians (apparently none of us wanted to be Pilgrims!) and entertaining my parents before dinner. My middle sister is wearing a headband with what I'm sure are turkey feathers because there was a large turkey farm down the street from us. My brother is beating on a drum while I imagine I (sporting those "lovely" short bangs my mom used to cut for me!) am, most likely, making some sort of Indian whooping sound. Probably totally politically incorrect in this day and age, but that was life in the '60s! My dad was the photographer and my youngest sister, just a couple months old, was, most likely, asleep in a nearby bassinet. Such nice memories... My mom always made sure that our holidays were very special and now, being a mom myself, I know how much work goes into that process! I don't think you can truly appreciate all that a mom does until you become one yourself...

A 1960s-style family Thanksgiving!

 

So, it's time to end this longer-than-expected post! I hope you know one of the things I'm truly thankful for is all of you. Honestly! I have such a nice group of readers and commenters--I hope you know how much I value your friendship and love hearing from you. As I've said many times, if only all the world could be as supportive and loving as the stitching community, it would be a much better place. I wish all of my U.S. stitching friends a blessed Thanksgiving with your families. And I hope all of my international readers have a lovely last week of November. Do take care now, and I'll see you in December! Bye for now...

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Source: stitchingdream

Random thoughts in late November