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Thursday, December 31, 2015

On the seventh day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me
The “seven swans a-swimming” - “seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
(I Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, I Peter 4:10-11)
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

On the sixth day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me
The “six geese a-laying” - the six days of creation.


Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

On the fifth day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me

    The “five golden rings” - the first 5 books of the Bible, the “Books of Moses.” or Torah or Law.


Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


Monday, December 28, 2015

On the fourth day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me

The “four calling birds” - the four Gospels that sing the song
of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

On the Third Day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me
The “three French hens” - faith, hope and love – 
the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (I Corinthians 13:13).
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

On the Second Day of Christmas . . .

The “two turtle doves” - the Old and New Testaments,another gift from God.
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Friday, December 25, 2015

On the First Day of Christmas . . .

Merry Christmas, everyone.  I hope this day is wonderful for each of my readers.

Like many in the blogging world I have been stitching along with Paulette Stewart's 12 Days of Christmas pattern.  I had hoped to be finished by now, but no worries I'm on track for my purposes.  The 12 Days of Christmas song used to get an eye roll from me.  I liked it when I was small, but then I heard it so much that, honestly, I couldn't care less about hearing it again.  That is until I learned the history of 12 Days.  I love this song again more than I ever did.  I'd like to share that history with you.

In the church “Christmas” refers to a twelve day period that starts with Christmas Day.

This is the story of the origin of the lyrics of 
The Twelve Days of Christmas

The world celebrates Christmas for 12 hours, but the Church celebrates it for
twelve days because the gift of Christ is with us for twelve months of the year
When most people hear of “The 12 days of Christmas” they think of the song.
The song had its origins as a teaching tool to instruct young people in the
meaning and content of the Christian faith.

From 1558 to 1829 (271 years), Roman Catholics in England were not able to practice their faith openly so they had to find other ways to pass on their beliefs.  They were prohibited from any practice of their faith by law – private or public.  It was a crime to be a Catholic.  “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written in England as one of the “catechism songs” to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith – a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in “writing” indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could get you imprisoned… or worse.

The song’s GIFTS are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith: 

The “true love” doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but rather refers to God Himself. The “me” who receives the presents refers to a Christian.

1. The “partridge in a pear tree” is Jesus Christ, who died on a tree
as a gift from God.
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Busy Holiday Season

Oh my goodness.  I really had intended to blog before now, but it is has been busier this year than previous years.  So, without further ado, I will attempt to catch you up with the Reader's Digest version.

My red floss arrived sooner than expected for Paulette Stewart's 12 Days stitch-along, so I was pushed allowed to make progress at my own pace. I can only imagine the Christmas sales season greased the shipping wheel a bit.  Things seem to arrive a bit sooner this time of year.

I was a bit sad with the quick delivery because I thought I would make more progress than I did on Ghoultide Welcome before the floss arrived.  I don't usually work on two projects at once. If I do work on two at once the second is usually a small.  Twelve Days isn't a small, but it is beautiful.  I will count this as a blessing since I'm stepping out of my cross stitch comfort zone.  I have since completed the branch portion of the border, and it did match perfectly.  Phew, that's always a nail biter.
progress as of last night
Each holiday visit with Mom is a treasure, but as she ages I try to savor it as much as I can.  Thanksgiving was wonderful.  She made the meal, and I brought the desserts.  Oh, dear, I may have gone overboard with cookies for four people.  I had intend to make pumpkin pie, but clearly I was delusional when I saw cans of pumpkin in my cabinet.  There weren't any, so chess pie it was.

I learned something about plastic wrap while making this crust.  I was watching a British cooking show, and the baker said you could line the crust with plastic wrap before filling with weights or beans.  It sounded odd, but I tried it.  Let's just say there was some melting going on, and I don't think we were using the same stuff.  Yes, there was enough left to pull out the beans.  No, it didn't melt to the crust.  I'll be using parchment next time-lol.

Swedish Cookies, Chess Pie, Pumpkin Spice Springerle, Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies, and Spritz 
Chess pie with what I'm calling a "turkey track" baked in.

Mom has a family mantle clock I love.  It no longer works properly, but she loves the chime on it.  I haven't heard the chime for years, but still love that old clock.

I love food molds, and this is a family butter mold Mom displays on the entryway wall.

Visiting Mom's is like crawling inside a treasure chest.  She lives in her family home purchased in the late 30s or 40s.  The Gardner family first built this home in 1809.  Phase II brought an addition in the early 1840s.  It stayed true to that design until the late 50s when my grandparents restored and remodeled it for their family of five.  At this time two bathrooms were added as was a kitchen.  Over the last 200 years only a couple of families have lived in it.  The Gardners lost it in the late 1920s due to the Great Depression.  Yes, there were some tenets for about 20 years between the Gardner family and my mother's, but most were related to us or neighbors.  This home
was built in the Tennessee wilderness in 1809, and thankfully it is still surrounded by farmland.

One of the treasures is this sewing table.  The sewing machines are long gone.  My grandmother was a home economics teacher in the high school during the 50s and 60s.  At some point, they updated the sewing machines and got rid of the tables.  My grandmother had a love of history and took one home.  I love the green paint she put on it.  It was originally a darker stained wood.  The paper on top is foil lined wrapping paper sold as a fundraiser while she taught.  It still holds up after fifty years


Odd bits and pieces--need an extra colored Christmas light?
I've always had my mother's mannerisms and facial expressions, but I love how I'm beginning to look at her.
Three Generations

I ran another 5K this month.  Well, run may be two strong of a word.  Between illness and injury, my training was kaboshed, so about all I could eek out was a run/walk.  Why do I do this to myself?  I have finally figured it out--clothes and jewelry.  Who can pass up a tee with snowflakes or a necklace with an adorable reindeer?

Each year members of our church put up theme trees all around the building.  Themes include joy, advent, birth of Jesus, etc.  My favorite tree is The Carpenter's Tree.   I would love to make my own.  Maybe I could make a table top version.
Carpenter's Tree 




Until next time, count your blessings--God's gifts to you.