Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday Brunch at the Broadmoor

I was in Colorado for Christmas, and what a treat to go to the Broadmoor Hotel for Sunday brunch! I loved the holiday music played on the grand piano as we dined.  The selection of food and the service was outstanding, but I found the festive decorations and displays equally as wonderful.

In one of the rooms was displayed a little western town, all made of gingerbread.  So clever.

See the Pirouline wafers supporting the porch roof?

It thought it was very clever to use vanilla wafers for the plywood on the saw horses.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Let's be jolly...

No coal in the stocking this year... but plenty of cheer, good food, good company.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  
May all who need comfort, peace, safety, and love, 
find it in the promise of 
God's infinite love 
for all Her children.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Two blooms preparing to open...

I am amazed at the rapid growth of the Amaryllis in the past few days.  I'm told that it takes a while for those blooms to be ready to open.  Well, I wait in anticipation of beautiful red flowers.  Maybe New Years??? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Programs

Every elementary student was in every Christmas program at the school I attended, so I had a few performances under my belt by the time I reached Jr. High. The community loved and supported every program.

I don't remember many specifics, but  one picture, probably taken by my parents, sticks in my mind; it was a big production! The picture revealed a colorful  and somewhat elaborate western background on the stage, which was filled with little students in colorful frocks.

Thinking back, I now realize that as a grade school student preparing for these programs, I was learning traditional  Christmas literature, learning to sing in large group, learning to hear and sing harmony, and learning concert etiquette. That music background led to my learning to play clarinet and to not only continue piano lessons, but also learn to accompany.  So by the time I was in high school, I had many opportunities to sing in a choir, to accompany soloists, and to play in a band.

I think what's remarkable about it all is that this was a small, rural community. Most classes had only 20-30 students.  But, somehow we were blessed with some top-notch teachers, and they gave me the opportunity to find my passion in the arts, nurture it, and give it expression.    I am so thankful that this was the case.

 My involvement in the arts has continued to this day in one way or another. When I hear of schools cutting back on instruction in the arts, I stand aghast.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Progress of the Amaryllis

Check it out!! The Amaryllis has suddenly taken off.  It may even bloom by Christmas!  Or by New Years, for sure!  It's like it got a peak at the calendar and decided to kick it into high gear.  I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Look what flew in...

Something outside caught my eye.  I went to the window to take a closer look.  Hmmm. Several big birds had landed in my yard and seemed to be looking for something to eat as they pecked at the ground.  I had never seen these birds here before...and truthfully, I did not know what kind of bird they were.  Does anyone recognize them?

After doing some research, I discovered they are Chukar Partridges, know simply as Chuckars "in these here parts."  (A seasonal song lyric comes to mind..."and a Chukar Partridge in a pear tree..."  What?)

The stripes on their underside are quite distinctive, as is the band across their eyes and their red beak. I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple of pictures through the window.  I continued to watch them for another minute or so, and then something scared them, and up they flew.  I'm guessing there were 9 birds. Maybe they were looking for a pear tree? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silence and Support

For bloggers across the country, this is a day of silence and support for the people connected to Sandy Hook Elementary in CT.  May you feel God's love comforting you and meeting your needs.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Christmas Village

A few photos of my Christmas Village seem appropriate for a December post.  The buildings remind me of my first look at English architecture back in the mid '70's. I especially liked the look of Elizabethan half-timbering.  I fell in love with it immediately.  England's quaint villages, huge cathedrals, and stone fences all spoke to me like fine poetry.   I'm also reminded of cold winters, outdoor activities, rosy cheeks, hot cocoa, savory smells from the kitchen,
warm fireplaces, and family traditions.  There is peace and warmth in these images.  They prompt melodies of Christmas carols running through my mind like sleds  twisting through wooded vales.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Needle-felted Santa and other ramblings...

The drawing for the Christmas give-away of the needle-felted Santa was last night, and the name pulled out of the basket was Laura O.  Congratulations, Laura, and I hope you enjoy him.

Several Christmas concerts are scheduled pretty tightly in the next week.  Last Sunday was the college's concert. It was lovely. I will attend two (maybe three) high school concerts next week.  These events are a highlight of the season for me.

My vocal and piano students are going to perform Christmas songs Friday morning for the Senior Citizens Brunch hosted by the school.  I'm looking forward to that too!

Christmas cards are in the mail.  I designed my own cards through Heritage Makers.  That is one amazing website/program.  I still have to have a little help from my friend Julie F. to get it done, but I'm getting more acquainted with the program and have worked on a couple other projects too.  Can't wait to receive them.

This year I took the time to put up my Christmas Village.  It's a bit time consuming, but I really do enjoy the lighted houses and the general scene it creates.  Pictures of the

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hitchhiker Scarf #2

I had to start another Hitchhiker Scarf.  This time I'm knitting it in Zephyr Wool-Silk (50%/50%) on size 2 needles.  I'm halfway finished, and oh, it's really soft to work with. The color is garnet, but in my opinion, it's a pretty light garnet.  I was hoping to find a more "Christmasy" red-colored yarn, but this was the closest I could find in Zephyr.  I think it will look pretty festive with the right color of green, white, and/or black.  I'm not sure I'll get it finished for this Christmas, but it will be close.  Maybe it will become a Valentines scarf!

It's an 8 row repeat, and I have added the K2tog and YO's to add a lacy effect.  My friend Julie has added this row on every row 4 of the pattern, and that looks really great too.  I suppose there are many, many modifications that would look wonderful on this Hitchhiker pattern. I'm thinking I may want to try a couple more new designs/modifications using the other colors that are in my stash.

How are your last minute knitting projects coming along?  Will they be finished by Christmas?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Dragon Scarf is growing...

Yes, Cheryl, more scales have been added to the Dragon Scarf .  The tail is getting longer... and what a pleasure to work this up in a beautiful cashmere yarn.  It's yummy soft!  Isn't the color stunning? Are you getting anxious?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Just down the road, going east, from where the Big Horn Sheep were sighted, I couldn't help but notice the colors of rock in the badlands.  The afternoon light was just right for showing the layers of color on a December day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Keen eyes...

It often takes a keen eye to spot wildlife.  On my way home from a quick trip "up country," just east of the Red Rocks I saw that a car had pulled over and the driver had walked some 40 feet out to the fence with his camera.  I slowed down to look.  Sure enough.  There they were. Grazing on a steep slope.  Big Horn Sheep.  I have not often seen them, so I had to stop and try to get a picture too.  Fortunately, this time I had my camera with me.  The wind was blowing and was so bitterly cold, that I was not motivated to get closer; I was going to rely on my little ol' telephoto lens this time.  Whatever image I could get was going to be good enough. I then focused in on the sheep standing alone (upper right corner), and the photo below was really pushing the limits of my lens.  But at least one can see the nice curl on the horn of this sheep.

Friday, December 7, 2012 progress...

So far, the Amaryllis is still growing, and now it's reaching above the glass planter.  Waahoo!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Give-away

That's right!  It's time for a little holiday fun on the blog.  Felted items do not photograph very well, but I attempted to get a picture of one my needle-felted Santas, which I will give away next week.  If you would like to put your name in the hat for the give-away, just leave a comment on this post with a name and a way to contact you if you win.  The drawing will be next Thursday when the knitting ladies get together.  I will post the winner on Friday (12/14). 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Felted Christmas Ornaments

A very talented friend, Deb P., has been felting up a storm!  This is a picture showing off her needle-felted ornaments.  She came upon the idea that she could needle-felt yarn scraps as well as wool roving to create designs that had interesting textures, and she's had so much fun experimenting with a variety of colors and designs.  She's one of the most talented needle-felters in our area.  I love her work and her creative energy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Will it bloom by Christmas?

So for something special, I bought an Amaryllis plant recently, and I've been watering according to directions.  It has started to grow, but will it be blooming by Christmas???  I will be watching it daily! I've seen others do very well, and the blooms are beautiful.  Without a green thumb, I don't know any tricks.  I'm hoping special attention isn't needed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Flowers in December

I don't claim to have a green thumb.  So, that makes it all the more exciting that my two African Violet plants are blooming!  One is a very light lavender, and the other is a beautiful dark purple (although in the picture it looks lighter). I love having these house plants blooming in December!!