Harmony, Maine Yarn

I’ve been to Harmony, Pennsylvania but not Harmony, Maine. Recently I watched a Kristy Glass Knits knitting video where she told about Bartlett Yarn Woolen Mills (since 1821) manufacturing yarn.

The man on the video featuring Hudson Valley Sheep and Wool said, “Bartlett is a mainstay for us. This is your grandma’s yarn. This is real true farm yarn.  Or your great grandmother’s yarn.  At Christmas, a lot of people buy it to make stockings .”   Well, I’m getting a head start this year. My friend Deb has been knitting Christmas stockings and inspired me to knit them for my grandchildren.  You might remember her gauge difficulties with her Christmas stocking- I blogged it last January.

The grandmother who taught me to knit was born 126 years ago on February 7th.

That very day, I got on the phone and spoke with a nice woman and told her what I wanted to knit.  Three days later I got a box of yarn from Harmony, Maine. She helped me select Spruce Heather, Cranberry and Natural.  I added the other heather to create sock monkeys on the stockings, which I graphed. Mark’s old stocking from childhood served as a guide and I found a vintage knitting pattern  from the 60’s on Etsy to serve as a template for the actual stocking.  The woman who knit Mark’s stocking in Clarion PA was named Jane.  My plan is to knit one a month and have them ready for NEXT Christmas. For the grandchildren.  Getting an early start this year.  And yes I did finish James’ sweater and he loves it!  

Knitting bowls gifted from Toni, Laura and Bill.

Already I realize my monkey is a bit too tall.  Back to the drawing board. 

There Were Years When My Decorations Stayed Up

There were years when my Christmas decorations stayed up in my front hall for months. The straw roofed manger on the dining room mantle ALL year with the olive wood figurines – the garland hung passed Epiphany, passed Chinese New Year, passed Groundhog’s, passed Valentine’s. Don’t think I ever added Easter eggs to the fake evergreen boughs in my front hallway, though.

So when I drove by this today (February 6th) I was reminded of my leaving holiday decor up long after the Christmas season.

Games Families Play

Do you have boxes of board games in your home? Or have electronics taken precedent?

This week I’m visiting family in Ohio and we’ve been playing board games. Some take hours and hours. The card games aren’t included in this picture but UNO is the most popular around here. Maura and I’ve played a few rounds. I heard the four grandkids were playing Life before Christmas.

Does anyone in your household seek world domination- or scarf up real estate, utilities and railroads, add houses and hotels?

On my mother’s side my Uncle John was very good at chess and my Uncle Robert was good at backgammon and Royalty. Both of their families are good game players. I think my family missed that game playing gene although we had Flinch. I looked up the vintage card game Flinch and it’s pricey on eBay.

Different ages prefer certain games and there are a few games I find difficult to stick with and finish to the win. If I were photographing games at my house you’d see Scrabble and Jenga, Boggle, Pictionary, Mille Bornes and Monopoly.

Good sportsmanship and learning to lose gracefully is an ongoing effort.

Following the rules, taking turns, paying attention are essential ingredients.

The new Risk has been trending at Mark and Erika’s house this week. I’ve been watching Ticket to Ride tutorials on YouTube to teach the grandchildren how to play.

At Laura and James’ house the selection is colorful and fun. Charlie is 2 1/2 so it’s Hi Ho Cherrio! Or these two games photographed by Laura today. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel GameCharlie and the squirrel grab acorns. Goodnight Moon Counting Game

Airedales Amplify Festiveness

Exuberant, energetic and humorous.

The dogs, that is! They were even excited there was a layer of snow outside.

How did we get their attention toward the lens for this photo?

My son put two dog treats on top of my head!

It worked.

Crazy fun.

Henry on the left Josie on the right

you can see them eyeing those treats on my head. The kids thought it was pretty funny, too

(And not to forget the grandkids Jack Anna Maura and Michael). A merry Christmas Eve.

A new favorite for the end of 2017

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/2017-favorites/

Something About Trains

Little boys love trains. It was fun going to experience the model trains through Charlie’s eyes.

“There are five miniature trains running on 280 feet of track.”

Monday morning, Laura and Charlie and I went to the Columbus Main Library downtown to see the Huntington Holiday Train Display.

The train display is a tradition since 1992 built by Paul Busse. He created all the buildings with moss, seeds, pine cones, bark and natural plant materials

The setting is Bavaria in Germany, buildings patterned after Rothenburg and Bernkastel- the Frauenkirche Cathedral is one in Dresden- Columbus Sister City. You might recognize Mad Ludwig’s castle.

in the Children’s Library there is a wonderful aquarium.

http://www.columbuslibrary.org/come-see-huntington-holiday-train-main-library

Penny the Golden Doodle ate Charlie’s Animal Cracker During the Family Photo

It was time for Grandma  (AKA Froo Froo Ruthie) to go home.

My car was packed and I’d left Mark and Erika’s house to head to James and Laura’s house.  About a twenty minute drive. Had to drop off the cast iron griddle gift left by the couch.

Drive back to Pittsburgh.

The one thing I didn’t really do on Christmas day was take any photos. It’s hard to be a participant AND a photographer simultaneously.

It can interfere with your living in the moment and enjoying those you are surrounded by. A camera can be a barrier, a distraction, an annoyance to others- sometimes I’m unobtrusive and candid and they ignore me…..but I said to James and Laura I was leaving and the one thing I didn’t get was a family photo of them at Christmas.  And I’d really like to get one of their family I’d gotten Mark and his family on Christmas eve in the usual spot after church.

Okay, get Penny a milkbone biscuit.  And Charles got an animal cracker/cookie.

Bribery. This group family photo will just take a sec, a little tasty bribe…..  OOPS

Penny’s nose was right at the level of Charlie’s animal cracker.GULP.  One big bite for Penny. And in the second photo you can see how  Charlie felt about losing his snack.img_1488

img_1489We’ll get that family photo another visit. Thanks for letting me try.

 

I might be waiting awhile

thanks Michelle W at WordPress for the suggestion of stockings hung by the chimney with care –Weekly Photo Challenge anticipation 

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Needlepoint c.1974 by Bobbie, my sister-in-law

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Handknit Snoopy stockings by a woman named Jane G in Clarion PA 1981

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Christmas.

Decking the halls. Preparing for the Christmas season. I haven’t done any decorating, yet. On the recent trip to New York, the effort was in full swing. A couple of Pittsburgh shots, too.

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