Sleigh bells ring, are you listening ...
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... oh wait, it isn't Christmas yet. The snow had me confused there for a couple of days. Well , now I have had a preview of what it might look like here if we get snow on Christmas; the white Christmas I illogically prayed and hoped for every year in Los Angeles. I just had to move a bit more than 3,000 miles in a north easterly direction in order to find it. The snow definitely heightening my anticipation of the approaching moods of the holidays and gave my husband and I even more incentive to have a cuddle. Unfortunately for people south and east of here the snow was more destructive. My sister-in-law and her husband live about fifteen miles outside of Buffalo, where the storm hit very hard. They live in the small town my husband grew up in, actually in the family home from those times. They suffered many broken tree limbs and one fallen tree. My sister-in-law said when the storm was over they could not see out of their windows because of the tree limbs piled high all around. All of their utilities were taken out, and they might not have power for another week. We drove down on Saturday to help them get a generator hooked up and running properly ... my husband has skills (have I mentioned that I admire him?). After they got the furnace and a wood pellet stove running, we all sat down and had a nice candle lit dinner by the pellet stove. My sister-in-law is a phenomenal cook and happened to have made a big pot of chicken stew the morning before the storm hit. She served that along with frozen biscuits which she cooked in a skillet on her stovetop (she has gas burners). Those biscuits cooked on the stovetop were wonderful with a crisp crust on both sides ... yum. She had also made apple crips ahead of time, and had homemade sesame cookies and caramel apple cheesecake on hand baking she did earlier in the week. Needless to say there was plenty of comfort to go around. When we left she gave me a little china teapot and creamer that used to over the a cottage; a favorite of their mother's. She is excited to finally have a sister-in-law to share things like that with, and I was very happy to receive it. I needed a china teapot and am thrilled to have one that was treasured by my new mother-in-law, and especially delighted it was used at the family cottage, which is always referred to as "the place in the country" by my mother-in-law when she shares her memories of their happy days and times there. I had to take a brief break from knitting the Jinny's Vines Blanket for Napping to get some mittens made up for my daughter and I, now that the weather has turned so cold. I knit a pair of Knitty.com's Fetching Fingerless Gloves for her in Plymouth Yarn's Suri Merino Luxury Indiecita Brand wool yarn in Black. This yarn is 55% Suri Alpaca and 45% extra fine merino wool. I bought it a couple of weeks ago when my friend Dorothy introduced me to a local yarn store in our nearby village. I am extremely happy with this yarn, because as I knit with it a beautiful velvety sheen appeared. The gloves look absolutely scrumptious and are a rich black color. I wish the photograph showed the lovely deepness of the color as well as that velvet sheen. A little bit ago she brought me a piece of french toast she made from rye bread. It was delicious, and a wonderful treat wtih 100% pure New York maple syrup on it. A sweet treat, from a dear daughter. I made the same modifications to the pattern for her gloves as I had earlier done for my own: size U.S. 5 dpns (rather than size 6), with five extra rounds in the body of the gloves and three extra rounds in the thumbs. Also, as with mine, I knit the first round and the last round to create a little curl at both ends. I gave them to her this morning, which made her smile ... she is wearing them now. Now I am going to knit a pair of actual, complete mittens for myself in more of the Berroco Ultra Alpaca yarn in Lavendar Mix, plus I have a hat pattern I've designed in my mind to match the Lavender Scarf I knit from the same yarn. I had the idea after using my Lavender Scarf the other day as a head muff ... not sure what else to call it. I didn't have a hat yet, and needed one when I was out in the snow shooting photos, so I wound my scarf round my head and created what I called a muff to keep my ears warm. It worked wonderfully well and inspired a vision in my mind of a hat I cannot get to leave me ... so I know I must knit it after I get the mittens made. However, I will continue pushing along with the nap blanket so those of you participating in the knit along will not feel "left out in the cold," so to speak. I published the Lentil Soup and Pumpkin Bread recipes this morning, as promised. The snow is all gone now ... it was actually mostly melted at our house before the end of the day on Friday. Down south of here there is still plenty, but here it looks like autumn again. That's okay, because autumn is inspiringly beautiful and should stay with us a bit longer. Have a cozy day, wherever you are. ~firefly
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