December 30, 2012


It's been a busy, busy week!  Our Christmas celebration was terrific, from the Christmas Eve services to saying good-bye to Michael's sister and b-i-l.
We really enjoyed our Christmas Eve singing in church, with  a youth choir of 50 plus young people, hand bells, percussion and trumpets and trombones
The next morning the presents were opened.  Michael's sister made her husband this beautiful t-shirt quilt, can you tell he is an Ohio State fan?  It's just gorgeous!  No, the quilt I made for Matthew didn't come out this nice!
 and then we were off to Erika's and Jim's house, with the rest of the family that lives here in NJ.
 Jessica and Andrew, who is already getting bigger
 Lots ad lots of presents, and Evan in the middle - can you spot him?
It was a wonderful day, we had such a good time, and yes,
we made out like bandits!
We briefly got to chat with Chuck and Sue and see Katie and Noah.
 The next day back to hiking, trying to maintain our weight at least!
Back to the Delaware Water Gap,
up, and up the mountain.

 Back more on regular level, we took a walk along the brook with it's mini-waterfalls
and tons of fallen trees from storms
 Brother and sister below,
Michael and Karen
The day after at the New York Botanical Gardens for the Train Exhibit.
I've blogged about it before, so here are just a few details
 The Geo. Wash. Bridge
 and a detail on one of the houses.

 .. waaaahhh, the flower is screaming at me!
Pretty powder puffs, aren't they?

I wish you all a very happy new year!

December 23, 2012

Almost there

Well, our Christmas celebration has begun.  Michael's sister and husband are here, the living room is so full of presents there is almost no room for us, tomorrow we'll be going to Christmas Eve services in the church we got married, my daughter got married 14 years ago, and all the shopping is done.  All the wrapping is done - all of it done by my great husband!
 here is our Christmas baby, a scant 2 weeks old
 and the poinsettias at church, where we went for Jessica's piano recital

 and our Christmas tree, with just a few of the presents, I'll take more pictures, the packages have increased!

And above my Christmas present to myself, a wonderful computerized sewing machine!

(Change of subject, I have to announce, I'm accused of switching too suddenly)
Today we saw the Pileated Woodpecker again!  And he let us take pictures of him!
Isn't he gorgeous?  He is big, about 16 to 19 inches long (40 - 49 cm)
and he posed, he didn't seem bothered by our presence for a good long time, 
merrily pecking holes in the tree

 Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, Bon Noel, Feliz Navidad!
I'll see you when I have time!

December 19, 2012

Busy season

It is really busy!  Between the new baby, the Christmas sing-a-longs and concert we went to, the gymnastics competition, a visit from Noah and Katie with parents, the cookie-baking, present-buying, working, and babysitting plus trying to finish a quilt, I'm busy!
But it's fun.

I hope you are all busy and happy!  

December 15, 2012

Our Day

Quiet day at home.  Decorating, baking, reflecting, etc.

Impressions of our day:

 Loved the poinsettias.  And love my little red antique ornament.

 Christmas cactus, blooming right on time
 My Santa, wrapping presents
And our chandelier, decorated

One more week to go

A note about the photo: It was taken by my little brother Thomas, of the Christmas
market in Colmar, France.  

A little more then one week to go, and it'll be Christmas.

So much to do, such a busy time.

And yet, stopped in our tracks with the terrible things that happened in Connecticut.  One's
imagination doesn't even dare to go there, and Michael mentioned last night that he is glad he doesn't know anyone there and isn't connected at all to it.  I agree, it's too much to bear to even hear about it.
Meine deutschen Leser:  Ja, Waffenkontrolle ist angesagt, und wird auch hier sehr aktiv befoerdert und verlangt.  Aber da ist das verfluchte zweite Ammendment der Konstutition, das jedem Mann seine Waffe zusagt ist immer wieder der Stolperstein.

My brother called on Wednesday to tell me that a friend of mine in Germany died.  She had been sick or not feeling well for a long time, years really, but we all thought it was something chronic, and that she would be around for a long, long time.  She got married to a childhood friend of my brother's.  She and her husband have a charming house near where we all grew up, and we saw them and used to spend time with them whenever we visited.  I just got a Christmas card from her!
I will miss you, Edelgard, and I am still trying to get used to the idea that you are without pain and no longer with us.

We visited the family with the newborn on Monday, cooked dinner for them (stuffed peppers, red, orange and yellow, yummy! and macaroni with cheese, so good), and held the baby.  So special to hold a little brand-new life!  And see his brothers, the oldest was busy with his mother's new iPad, which kids take to like ducks to water.

Somewhat busy at work, some customers have last minute orders.  Yesterday was the Christmas sing-a-long at Jackson's and Evan's daycare/school, so we went, and it was just adorable to see the little ones.  Yes, we got to hold their little brother, who stayed home with the grandmother.
Tonight my son and family will come and spend the night with us, have breakfast with us and Matthew and Jessica and parents, and then go back to Maryland.
I'm sure you are all busy.  Hug your children, and enjoy your time together!

December 8, 2012

Andrew James

.... is the name of my new grandchild:

isn't he beautiful?  He is healthy, weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces when he was born, and both mother and child are well.  Actually home already!
 The proud and happy mom
 The adoring aunt and dad
 proud father of three sons!
 the adoring family
and last but not least, the other grandmother!
Welcome to the family, Andrew!

December 5, 2012

Advent time

Busy time of year.  Back in the real world, working, thankfully it's not extremely busy and I'm feeling on top of it, and getting things out in a timely fashion.
In the meantime, I'm trying to get a t-shirt quilt done for Matthew, and Michael helped a lot yesterday in deciding how large the t-shirt  squares are going to be, based on the smallest shirt.  That was a big help, since I was going with - oh, maybe I'll make them different sizes, and then add binding to make it fit....  better they all be one size and done.

We went to UPS yesterday to send off some packages for customers, and found a box left outside the store (the store is in - to put it quite frankly- pretty bad neighborhood). The box was wet from the rain - it obviously had been there quite some time.  Michael kicked the box, and found it contained something, wasn't just empty, and opened it.  In it was a stereo system!  We loaded it into the car, figuring we have nothing to lose.  Yup, a working system, slightly used, not perfect sound, but great for the shop!  It replaces a horrible little radio that kept losing our favorite station.

At home I was rummaging around in the storage area, looking for something.  While down there, I decided to look through some stash of fabric in a bin, and found a finished quilt top I had made, oh, probably 15 plus years ago.  When I wanted to quilt, had the somewhat know-how of patching a top together, but chickened out on the quilting.  Well, that's going to happen now.  It's a log cabin quilt, which always fascinated me, with the light and dark contrast. Hm, can't finish it now, I have to work on Matthew's Christmas present!  After that, sure!
Never did find what I was looking for....  but got rid of a container full wool that I had been keeping for I don't know how long, since been found by mice - yuck, good riddance!

..... Much later - ----- new grandson arrived!  Andrew James, 8 lbs, 2 ounces!
Mother and baby are fine!

December 2, 2012

Winter Wonderland

We're still upstate NY.  It''s cold, snow on the ground, and we love the inn we're staying in (the stay was a wedding present from the children), and the area.  I keep forgetting how pretty it is here!  We went hiking again today in the same area, we didn't explore everything yesterday, and it is just gorgeous.  We love the woods there, what's remarkable is that there is undergrowth.  We don't see any of that in our area, because the deer population is so large, they eat everything that comes in their path.  Yesterday we saw a bear!  Black bear, he crossed the path we were walking on up ahead, but by the time we were done gaping and grabbed the cameras, and got them focused, the bear was gone.
Oh, and I almost forgot, we went to the site where the original Woodstock concert was, in Bethel, NY, not Woodstock.  Now there is a giant building with a museum (no, we didn't go in), a souvenir shop (expensive), and a concert hall.
M was there in 1969, not I :-(
Above, a self portrait with the timer.  
And this is the lovely, lovely undergrowth.
Mountain laurel and Rhododendron 

 Not here, it's all mature pines, on the path down to the Neversink river
 The moss is just gorgeous in these woods, you are even asked to be careful of the moss.
 On our way to lunch by the rapids
(Italian wedding soup)

 going off-trail, climbing near the waterfall
more lovely undergrowth 

Pfad durch Rhododendron - wunderschoen!
This is the actual site of the Woodstock (1969) concert.  In Bethel, NY
And yes, M was there.
Not me.  :-(

 Self portrait - M is so good at it, I don't even know how to set it!
hot lunch by the river
Fuer meine deutschen Leser:
Wir sind auf unserem Mini-Honeymoon, ein Hochzeitsgeschenk von den Kindern.  Drei Naechte in einem Inn in upstate New York.  Sehr schoen, der Inn ist im viktorianischen Stil, unser Zimmer hat einen Kamin, und ein Jacuzzi im Zimmer (hier Fantasie einsetzen).  Grosse Raeumlichkeiten, ein See in der Naehe, Wald, wunderschoen gelegen.  
Am Ankunftstag gingen wir hier in der Naehe spazieren, und dann am ersten Tag fanden wir einen wunderschoenen Natuerpark, sehr gross, mit einem Fluss, Mischwald, und etwas, das ich schon lange nicht mehr sah, Unterwachstum unter den Baeumen im Wald.  Bei uns in der Naehe gibt es soviele Rehe, dass es Wachstum unter den Baeumen nicht mehr gibt.  Mountain Laurel und Rhododendron. Am zweiten Tag gingen wir noch einmal im selben Wald wandern, es gab viel zu entdecken.  Wir sahen eine Kroete, die sich trotz Kaelte noch langsam bewegte, und etwas weiter entfernt einen schwarzen Baeren.  Wir waren so erstaunt, dass wir uns zuerst den Baeren mal ansahen, als wir die Kameras rausgekramt und angestellt hatten, war der Baer um die Ecke weg.  Ne, Angst haben wir nie, wir sind eigentlich so erstaunt, dass wir so etwas sehen duerfen, dass Angst uns nicht in den Kopf kommt.

Ach, und fast vergessen: in der Naehe ist Bethel, NY, wo das originelle Woodstock Konzert gehalten wurde.  Jetzt ist ein Riesenmuseum da (nein, wir gingen nicht rein), mit Souvenierschop, usw.

Ich vergesse immer, wie schoen es hier ist!