The Sock Monkey Book

Some of you’ve seen the little sock monkey I keep on my camera lens. He stretches around the cylinder, a gutted Beanie Baby. I’ve got a sweet spot for them.

Eleven years ago I made this Sock Monkey Book for granddaughter Anna(14 now). I found it on a shelf while re-shelving some children’s books at Mark and Erika’s. Finding some books to pass on to the younger grandchildren. Not sure if these blank Little Golden Books are still available but it was fun to make.

I’ve sewn a lot of sock monkeys over the years. This book tells the story of transforming a pair of Rockford Socks into a lovable toy.

The finished sock monkey joins the other toys.

Finding What’s Good About Returning Home After the Holiday

My house is quiet this morning and it’s zero degrees with a windchill of plenty below.

I got back to Pittsburgh yesterday evening. I miss them all now, having spent two weeks with my families in Ohio.

This morning in my kitchen I see my 33 year old self looking at me making toast and wonder where the time flew – I took a cake decorating class in Germany with my friend J when Laura was small.

There’s the reliable top of the line toaster from my dear friend V.

Best 50th birthday present, still working wonderfully fifteen years later.

There’s the new ceramic pour over I received from James and Laura this Christmas. The family photo mug Marlene created for me last Christmas waiting for hot coffee to drip in it. The new spices and tiny lidded butter dish from J in Florida. Oh and the new spices on the rack from her,too. There are Christmas cards to read, bills to pay, Laundry, ordinary life stuff.

At my daughter’s home it’s “pour over” and mugs of places traveled. Every morning my DIL would make a fresh carafe of coffee. Both types delicious. How lovely it is to have someone serve you coffee. I made a pot in their fancy machine but I know they like it a certain way.

Five grandchildren in two homes guarantee fun, laughter and lots of activity. I like playing. Here at home, I’m thinking about finishing knitting projects, checking out a book at the library, hoping the pipes don’t freeze, going to a doctor’s appointment, meeting friends for lunch next week and continuing my efforts to reduce the accumulations in the house with multiple thrift shop trips with donations. I found I had difficulty doing this ongoing task so hired an expert to assist me, spur me on. Need to clear out my third floor.

It’s good to be home in my kitchen.

I’ll catch up on the blog and reply to comments, think about what’s next.

Schedule a battery replacement for my iPhone, (link to a Washington Post Article Below Run Don’t Walk To Replace Iphone Battery for $29). I won’t be running to the nearby Apple store as there is no availability support said to try tomorrow to schedule.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/01/04/run-dont-walk-to-replace-your-iphone-battery-for-29/

Old Stuffed Animals

Maura has two of her parents old stuffed animals. The sock monkey, in need of repair, I sewed for Mark in 1976 and the brown teddy bear is Erika’s childhood bear. It’s hard to throw away things with a face. They are definitely loved and cared for by their daughter now.

Do you have any old stuffed animals in your house?

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

1954 KODACOLOR Memory Captured Before It’s Totally Faded

IMG_7577IMG_7580You may have old KODACOLOR prints in your home, fading away.

I captured this one with my iPhone. Not much color left.

I’m posting this one to say Happy Birthday to my brother David.

 

I’m almost two, he’s almost 5 – in this picture of the two of us sitting on our dad’s knees in Montclair NJ.

Remembering Nora

Nora Nucera Bell

A wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter.

Well loved.

A teacher, a neighbor, a knitter.

A reader.

A colleague.  A friend.

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I took this photo of Nora in my living room  at the Greenfield Holiday Party years ago.

Her radiant smile spoke of her generous heart, her loving spirit, her sense of humor, her easy laughter. She loved her family with her all.

Nora was a loyal blog follower since the beginning of the blog 7 years ago and wrote emails in response to photos she especially liked.

Alaska. Baked Orechiette. The family.

She always had a positive word and expressed gratitude for so much.

This morning. fellow Greenfielders and all those who loved her, gathered together to celebrate her life at a lovely Mass of Christian Burial.

She will be missed.

We will remember.

The Early 80’s -my counted cross stitch phase

Saturday morning, I hung the ersatz garland up in the front hallway and positioned the ornaments so the fronts were visible. The little embroidered dates on them surprised me. Some of my friends were serious counted cross stitchers (Aida!!) I was more of a dabbler. Focusing on smocking and knitting when time allowed although Laura wasn’t born until ’83 so that explains why there wasn’t a mouse stocking  with her name on it.

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A surprise gift from my sister from Arundel Ladies Booth.

My friend Joanne knit the tiny sweater years ago

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One ornament from my needlepoint phase

 

New Horizon -Weekly Photo Challenge

New Horizon

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Had to consider do I post a photo “peopled or unpeopled”?

Aunt Mary, Michael, Maura and Jack look across the Hudson River to New Jersey. Documenting the Thanksgiving vacation, saving  memories of a childhood experience for reference.

 

The Schlumbergera Bloomed

Last night I was knitting the sleeves of Laura’s sweater, watching television and Steve came upstairs carrying the Schlumbergera-the species name of Christmas Cactus.  He bought it a couple of weeks ago at Whole Foods. Christmas Cactus. It had bloomed.  It had buds when he bought it. Flowering plants in winter appealed to him.

My mother kept a giant Sclumbergera, cascading out of a huge planter. She had a green thumb  but that gene skipped me

(What a name for this pretty plant-Is a single one a Schlumberger?)

When he brought it to show me the pink blossoms, I was flooded with memories of my mother and how thrilled she was when hers bloomed. I “get it” now. I’m sure I barely paid attention to her enthusiasm then. Pang.

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