Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The First Christmas Tree

Perhaps the most endearing and widely recognized symbol of Christmas is the Christmas tree. Because they retain their green needles year-round, evergreen fir trees represent eternal life.
   
One of the oldest stories about how the tradition of the Christmas tree came about began with St. Boniface, a missionary in 8th century Germany. Around the year 732, he entered a northern town and learned that the people worshiped the god of thunder, Thor. They believed that Thor resided in a great oak tree in the village. Boniface realized that he would never convert the villagers to Christianity while Thor remained among them. He announced that he was going to cut down the oak and as he began to chop at the tree, a mighty wind blew and knocked it over. Supposedly, right next to the mighty oak, a small fir tree was growing, which remained undamaged when the big tree fell. Boniface told the people that the fir tree was a symbol of Christ. The villagers turned from their pagan worship and became Christians.

The tradition of a fir tree in the house at Christmas spread and eventually traveled to the United States with German immigrants.  There are many more stories out there, such as how the various decorations came to be, but you can look that up if you'd like. 
When I was a kid, Mom spent what felt like hours decorating our tree, hanging the tinsel, strand by strand. Then, after Christmas, she actually took the tinsel off the tree, laid it carefully in a box and saved it until the following year. For those of you who don’t remember, this was not the tinsel we have today (or does anyone even use tinsel anymore?); this stuff was thick and gutsy. It could actually be re-used.

Me? Here are a few of my trees. No tinsel, not even garland.


  My mother-in-law decorates her tree a little differently than I do.
 And these are a couple of my church’s trees. Beautiful, but only in a church, right?

As it is my tree is up, the lights are on it, and I don’t know when I’ll get around to hanging the ornaments. I have some time yet. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Christmas Star

If you read Friday’s blog, you know that I can be long-winded at times. I could write even more about today’s topic, but I’m thinking – well, you’ll see.

For the month of December, I’m blogging about various symbols of Christmas, any of the many items which remind us of this blessed time of year.

  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. (Genesis 1:16 New International Version)

So God gave us the sun by day and the moon by night, but he gave us a multitude of stars.

  He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5 New International Version)

Stars have fascinated us for as long as mankind has been on this earth. The ancient Greeks looked up at the night sky and picked out groups of stars to name, constellations. Astrologers took it a step further and believed that people’s lives could be influenced by the stars they were born under. In general, most of us, today, still look up at the stars and imagine what it’s like “out there”, if there is intelligent life on a distant planet, if Luke Skywalker could ever have cruised out there in his X-wing fighter. And who hasn’t wished on a shooting star.

You all know the story of the wise men who followed a star to find the Baby Jesus. It’s believed that they were astronomers who had been studying the night sky for a long time waiting for the sign that the King had been born. It also took them weeks, possibly months to travel the great distance needed to get to the young Savior.   

  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. (Matthew 2:10 New International Version)

Scientists over the years have had multiple theories on just what this star was. A super nova? A comet? The alignment of several planets causing that unusual bright spot in the sky? There is even evidence that some of these events actually occurred around the time of Jesus’ birth. I still find it surprising that people doubt the existence of God when there is such evidence all around us. 

In any event, it doesn’t matter to me if science can explain the star in the sky at the first Christmas. God put that bright light in the sky not only so that the wise men could find what they were searching for, God put that star up there for all of us to follow. Which is why the Christmas Star continues to shine bright on Christmas. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

The History of our Christmas Icon

 Well, I messed up this time. St. Nicholas Day was two days ago; I should have written this blog on Wednesday. As it is, since my son is named Nicholas – though he wasn’t named after the saint which inspired Santa Claus – I always want to do something for him on that day. And I always forget. So I guess it is no surprise that I am posting this two days late.

For the month of December, I’ve been writing about symbols of Christmas, some religious, some secular and some just for kids. Like today’s.

The legend of Santa Claus goes back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is thought that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in modern-day Turkey. He was admired for his virtue, kindness and generosity. It is believed that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. Over the years, Nicholas’s popularity spread, and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. He is remembered on December 6, the anniversary of the date he died.

The story of St. Nicholas first came to America in December 1773, and again in 1774, when a New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death. He was called Sinter Klaas by these families, which was a form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas).

In 1804, John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society, distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society’s annual meeting. The background of the engraving contains familiar Christmas images such as stockings filled with toys hung over a fireplace. In 1809, Washington Irving helped to spread the story of Sinter Klaas when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, “The History of New York”. Around that time, gift-giving at Christmas, especially to children, was becoming popular.

In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, wrote “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.”  His poem is mostly responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly figure and the ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head. Although some of Moore’s imagery was borrowed from other sources, his poem helped popularize the now-familiar image of a Santa Claus who flew from house to house on Christmas Eve–in “a miniature sleigh” led by eight flying reindeer–leaving presents for deserving children.

“An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” created a new and immediately popular American icon. In 1881, political cartoonist Thomas Nast created the first likeness that matches our modern image of Santa Claus, based on Moore’s poem. His cartoon, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly, depicted Santa as a rotund, cheerful man with a full, white beard, holding a sack filled with toys for good girls and boys. Nast gave Santa his bright red suit trimmed with white fur, North Pole workshop, elves, and his wife, Mrs. Claus.

(From History.com)
(I'm so lucky to live with the best Santa of them all.)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Poinsettia Plant

On Sunday, I promised that I would share various symbols of Christmas throughout the month of December. I only chose today’s candidate because of these pictures.
 
When I was in Kenya in the fall of 2015, we found this beauty growing outside of a women’s shelter that we visited. They were growing ten or so feet tall. These plants are native to Mexico, but according to Wikipedia, they were brought to Egypt in the 1860s. I don’t know if that’s how these guys made their way to the Nairobi suburb where I found them or not.
 
 The one fact that turned up repeatedly was that they get their name from Joel Roberts Poinsett who was the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825. He was an avid botanist so when he discovered this plant in 1828, he shipped several of them to his greenhouses in South Carolina. He started growing the plants back home and sending them out to friends and botanical gardens.

So what has the poinsettia got to do with Christmas?

They bloom naturally in Mexico during the winter months. And here in the northern United States any plant which blooms this time of year is a welcome splash of color. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. White variations represent his purity. Also their star-shaped leaves might be considered a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus.
 
There is even a Mexican legend about how Poinsettias and Christmas come together.

There was once a poor Mexican girl named Pepita who had no present to give to the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services at her church. As Pepita sadly walked to the chapel, her cousin said, "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him, will make Jesus Happy."

 Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a small bouquet. She was embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked to the altar, she remembered what her cousin had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Christmas Bells

  Every Christmas season, I like to blog around a central theme, if I can come up with an idea. This year, I’m going to share the stories behind some of the symbols associated with Christmas.
 As I was decorating the house last weekend, I came across the one item which to me symbolized the entire Christmas season as I was growing up. Every year ever since I could remember, this bell has hung in the doorway leading into the bedrooms of my parents’ house. When we emptied Mom’s apartment last February, and I found it in its original box, I knew it was the only one of Mom’s Christmas decorations that I wanted to claim.
 Even though Jingle Bells may be the first song we think of when we think of bells at Christmas time, the poem by Henry Longfellow actually says it all. He wrote it on Christmas day in 1863 as his son was recovering from nearly fatal wounds he had received while fighting in the Civil War. (I did not know that until just now looking it up on-line.)

   I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
        And wild and sweet
        The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
        Had rolled along
        The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
        A voice, a chime,
        A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
        And with the sound
        The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
        And made forlorn
        The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    "There is no peace on earth," I said;
        "For hate is strong,
        And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
        The Wrong shall fail,
        The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Isn’t this the song we should carry in our heads year-round in these troubled times?



Friday, December 1, 2017

Flashback Friday in the Classroom

Greeting the month of December with some - what can I say – interesting? Scary? Nostalgic? Whatever you want to call them, here’s what class pictures used to look like.

1939, Hay Creek School. My mom is in the second row on the far left. Hay Creek was a tiny one-room school house, with a second life as the town hall for the Wilson township. Somewhere I have a picture of it in later years, before it was torn down for a new town hall, but couldn’t find them this morning. Also of note, when your grandparents say they walked to school, uphill, both ways, it was possibly true. My mom lived on one hill and the Hay Creek School was about a mile away up another hill. 
 1942, Tripoli High School, Mom’s Freshman year. That has to be her in the back row, fourth from the left with that lovely white bow in her hair. When I see some pictures of her, I can tell why she never liked getting her picture taken. 
 1945, Tripoli High School, Mom’s Senior year. She’s in the front row, second from the left. Her yearbook saying was, “She loves life, she lives life.” Never heard her say that, I think that just picked sayings for everyone. 
 1966, Tripoli Grade School. Just so you don’t think I’m picking just on my mom, here’s my kindergarten picture. Ok, who can find me? Also, let me know if you recognize anyone else. I only remember about eight or nine of the other kids. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Cherished Heirloom

 If you follow my other blog, writing what I can when I can, you have already seen some of these pictures, but here’s the rest of the story.

When I first moved into this house in 1990, there were only two bedrooms. My son and daughter shared the northeast bedroom until we remodeled nine years later. The tiny southeast bedroom was mine. Hard to believe that for those first three years, there was a queen-size waterbed in there. Even harder to believe that we painted it orange when we first moved in. Too bad there’s no pictures of that.

 After the remodel, it was Nick’s room til he graduated from high school and left for college. Shortly after that, I started transforming it in any number of ways. Poor kid, no wonder he never came home after that. 
 When he earned his Eagle Scout, though, I did give him his own wall. That’s about the only thing that hasn’t changed in this room in all that time. 

 One other feature that the room had at one time was bunkbeds. Can you imagine how much space that took up in the middle of the small room! I don’t know how I survived before digital cameras. 



 I’m hoping this is the last remodel I do here. The greatest joy in this last update is the quilt on the full-size bed.  
 It’s called a signature quilt. Each of the pink squares has the embroidered signature of each of the ladies in my mom’s homemakers group from the 1950s. My mom never got her quilt put together, I believe many years ago, she gave her squares to my oldest sister. This particular quilt was given to Mom in 2010 when one of the ladies passed away. Her son gave it to Mom as he hadn’t known any of the women and only had sons of his own to pass it down to.  I believe that there may be only one or two of these sweet ladies still alive. A few of them, I don’t remember at all. But I still cherish all of their signatures.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Overflowing with Thankfulness

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7, NIV)

Where has the month of November gone? The first Sunday of the month I said that I would spend the next four Sundays sharing all of the things I am thankful for. I have not even scratched the surface.

If you have been following my escapades the last week, you know that I have a lot to be thankful for. As tenuous as my health may seem when I am writing about it, I am so thankful that I am actually in very good health. In general, nothing more than some aches and pains with some insomnia thrown in.

I live in my dream house on my dream piece of property in my dream neighborhood – okay, maybe that is all a stretch, but I couldn’t be much happier with my living conditions. And even though my internet is slow and we don’t have very good cell phone coverage – really? Those are things to complain about?

I’m thankful to have a great job in a great office. Again, for those of you who know me personally, I may seem to grumble about it a lot. But having been there for nearly thirty years should say something.

I’m thankful for my dog and my cats, my car, cookies and chocolate, and having the money to afford all the things I need and a great deal of the things I want. I’m thankful I have thick hair, a reasonable sense of humor and a decent IQ. I’m thankful that I wear a common shoe size and pretty much any shoe I put on in that size fits – not that I’d ever actually wear most of those shoes.

All the things I am thankful for is a pretty endless list. I am so blessed! And when you think about it, I’m sure you’ll realize you are just as blessed.

May God bless you all with all that you need. Amen.   
Not only do I have a wonderful house and backyard, I have this amazing deck as well.
Goofy little Alice always sleeps with her neck stretched out. It doesn't look comfortable to me. 


The only picture I have of any shoes, but I am thankful that when these broke, I could go buy new ones. 

Don't know how I managed to pick this work picture, but I don't work with any of these people anymore. Luckily I work with a whole new group of great people. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Another Shooting

 I don’t usually blog on Saturday, but since I only posted once during the week, and since I have something to say today, here we are. 
I don’t know if I’ve written about my trails in the woods before. At least two or three times a week, more in the summer, I take Dino the Wonder Dog for a walk around my little four-acre patch of heaven. I have a trail behind the house which goes up a hill, along a ridge and then back down to the yard near the end of the driveway. Another trail between my driveway and our swamp and a third very short one just west of the house. I’ve thought about measuring the distance of all three trails, including where I have to cut through my yard to get to each one. I’ve tried timing myself and when I feel up to an actual workout, will run the route twice, once in each direction, which, with the hill to be scaled is probably a decent workout.

And of course, Dino the Wonder Dog loves the run.

The other favorite activity in my yard is watching my deer. You well know about this as I post probably too many pictures of the deer who wander through my yard year-round, many times passing by my office window as I’m trying to write. A well-worth-it distraction.
It’s been hunting season here this week. A very big deal in this part of the country. People take the entire week off to sit in deer stands, dressed head to toe in blaze orange, rifle at the ready, waiting for that prize buck.

When I was a kid, growing up on our patch of ten acres, Mom wouldn’t let us out of the yard, barely out of the house, during hunting season, on the off chance a stray bullet would shatter a window and hit one of us. (Who knew that she was almost right, if you read a previous post.)

Even though I only have four acres, with houses on two sides and roads on the other two, Mom’s directive still hangs over my head. I haven’t been on my trails all week.

Last night, as we were working on supper, I sent the boys (son and son-in-law and four dogs) down to get the mail at the end of our tenth of a mile long driveway. They returned and casually mentioned a spike buck dead in the yard. I thought they were talking about the buck my son-in-law shot earlier in the week and didn’t think anything of it.

But the more they talked, the more I realized that, no, a deer had been shot somewhere in the neighborhood and had decided to die in my yard.

“No, not in your yard,” my son corrected me. “In the woods by one of your trails down by the end of the driveway.”

Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING ME?

“Go drag it out to the road, then.”

“We can’t do that. Mom, it’s got a bullet in its side. We can’t drag it anywhere.”

“Why not?”

They all gave me the look like I was completely daft. I guess there’s some law about touching the deer someone else shot, or something. I don’t know. Don’t want to know. Don’t want to deal with it. I am sick about it.   

The boys assured me that some animal would eventually drag it off, that something had been eating on it already. Really? Coz I didn’t need to know that.

But nope, it’s not time to move to the city, no way will I give up my four-acre paradise. Not yet, not until I can afford a ten, twenty, or forty acre paradise. In the meantime, maybe it’s the circle of life, maybe it’s just the isosceles triangle of life.

Now it’s up to my hubby to tell me when the coast is clear and I can walk my trails again. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful for Today

 Happy Thanksgiving. And sorry that I didn’t post a blog yesterday, but as you will read, I had stuff going on.

 Looking at this picture, you might wonder what I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving morning.
  I’m thankful that I can actually open the eye completely, it’s just partially open in the picture so that you can see the lid. I’m thankful that I don’t have a brain tumor, that I haven't had a stroke and that I can see out of both eyes. I’m thankful that even though the symptoms fit with Shingles, the eye doctor is stilling leaning towards this being just a stye, and that even if it is Shingles, they’re not actually in my eye.

 I also am thankful that I live in a community with a wonderful small-town clinic and that the staff there are all kind and caring and that they will squeeze in anyone who really needs to be seen same-day. You could believe because I work there, that I get special treatment as a patient, but we all treat all our patients equally – giving them all the time and attention that they need. I’m thankful they were able to get me in to see the eye doctor the same day, the day before a holiday.

 I’m thankful that my daughter was willing to drive me the 30 miles to the eye doctor. I could have driven myself, or the hubby was available and would have taken me, but I’m thankful that my daughter and I were able to have the afternoon together to talk and be ourselves.

 So what am I doing this Thanksgiving, besides hot-packing my eye? Enjoying my grand-puppies, maybe cleaning some cupboards, catching up on paperwork, and just being thankful for all that I have. Maybe I’ll pluck my eyebrows too. Yikes!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thankful for Family

 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
(Philippians 1:3 New Living Translation)

All November, I am posting on Sundays about the things I am thankful for. Here it is three weeks into the month, I am just now getting around to what I thank God for every day. That would be my family.

Not a day goes by that I am not thankful that God has blessed me with the most amazing, kind, loving husband. Hubby, I am nothing without you.

My kids are just as wonderful, even if we butt heads on many occasions. They are truly gifts from God.

I was blessed to have a mother and father who were devoted to their family. I continue to miss them both as much as ever. I look forward to the day we all meet up again in heaven. The same goes for my sister Pat. I miss my incredible aunts and uncles as well.

I’m thankful that I still have a sister and a brother who would do anything for me. I appreciate the multiple cousins, nieces, nephews, slew of in-laws, none of whom I see enough.  

I am truly blessed to have so many relatives in my life. People who support me, who give in to my whims, who make me laugh. I thank God that I’ve had the opportunity to know them all.


Thank You God for all the people you have sent into my life. I am truly blessed. Amen.
My family in 1968. I be the little one on the left side. Then Dad, sister Judy, brother Tom, Mom and Pat. Judy is holding her daughter Paula. I do not remember taking this picture, but I'm going to guess that Judy's husband took it.
The rest of these photos are from last year's Thanksgiving dinner at my house.
Unfortunately, there won't be a Thanksgiving dinner here this year as Hubby has to work. I should be thankful that he is still working, but will be more thankful when he retires. 




A horrible picture of me, but Hubby looks smashin' as always. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

What I have this Friday morning

Over the past seven years, I’ve shared lots of stories from my past, some funny, some sad and I’m sure, a few boring. My childhood was pretty boring, but on July 6, 1980, I came to appreciate how uneventful my life had been up to that point.  

It was a Sunday afternoon. I was sitting at our kitchen table trying to figure out my class schedule for college that fall. Mom was at the kitchen sink under the kitchen window, cleaning strawberries. She watched a car drive by.

We heard a bang, bang, followed by ping, ping, ping, ping. It was the Fourth of the July weekend. We thought nothing of it. The car driving by must have thrown firecrackers out the window. 

Mom’s sister came over later and after we all had eaten supper, the two of them took a walk around the yard. From inside the house, I heard one of them shout something. Dad and I ran out to the driveway where Mom and her sister were standing next to Mom’s car. The back of it had been sprayed with fine shot. We immediately realized that the noise we heard earlier had been gunshots.

While Mom ran in the house to call the police, the rest of us walked around the yard. Dad found a bullet hole in a pine tree in the front yard and two more bullet holes in the house, one right above the kitchen window where Mom had been standing at the time.

As freaked out as I was – we all were – we figured it was just the kids in that car, pulling a sick prank. We didn’t think anything else was going to happen.

The next day, Mom called me at work to say the house had been shot at again. This time the person had come through the woods behind our house and fired two shots into the house. One had actually gotten through the wall but was stopped by the metal radiator in my bedroom. Dad had been sleeping in his recliner in the living room just on the other side of my room. Had the shot come into the house a few feet higher, it could have hit him.

The cops were called again. We found shotgun shells in the trees across the road from the house, so ruled out the car we had seen drive by the day before. By then, Mom was starting to suspect who it was.

At this point as I am writing this account, I had to consult my journal from that year. A lot more happened after that that I didn’t remember so clearly.  

Mom ended up in the hospital because of the stress. The shooter went up to the hospital and confronted her. They moved her to a different room, next to the nurse’s station so they could see if he came back.

I spent one night up at my aunt’s house, but then slept the rest of the time with my sister in her room above our garage (as if being in the garage five feet away from the house guaranteed my safety).

Friday, Dad and I went in to see Mom at the hospital. On our way home, my uncle flagged us down as we drove by, to say that the shooter had been at our house nosing around. Everything looked fine around the house. Dad was calm, as always, not rattled, but I made him go back up to my uncle’s when I went to work in the afternoon.

Shortly after I got to work, Mom called to say that it was over. The man had fired more shots at the house, then went back up to the hospital. He went in the room Mom had been in before and when he couldn’t find her, he slipped back outside. The police tracked him down and arrested him in an alley.

As much as this event remains vivid in my head, I’ve not been able to share it before. The man died quite a few years ago. He had a disease which affected him mentally as well as physically. Mom always said, “he’s not insane.” But he wasn’t always in control of his decisions or his actions. That summer, he had his reasons for having a grudge against Mom (reasons I don’t feel I have the right to divulge). I don’t remember if he was ever charged with anything, but I know he never went to trial. His mom passed away this spring and my mom passed in February, so I feel I can at least now share this story, if not all the details.

The reason I’m telling you any of this right now is because of a shooting in my little community last night. A shooting which wasn’t as personal as the one in 1980, but still too close for comfort - I was at work a block away when this happened.

I think you’ll understand why I have a fear of guns. But even so, I don’t believe that guns kill people. People kill people. And if they don’t have a gun, they can kill or maim with a knife, a bomb, a car, a paperclip, their words.

What happened in 1980 was an isolated incident for those times. Not so anymore. This world has gone insane. I don’t know what’s in people’s heads and I probably don’t want to. I don’t have any brilliant answers. I think people should get to church, read their Bibles, have faith in something bigger than themselves. Study what Jesus taught, learn to forgive. It’s not much, but it’s what I believe.

That’s all I got this Friday morning.  
The house I grew up in, viewed from about where the first shots were fired. The tree in the middle of the yard wasn't here then, others were. Mom's car had been parked in front of the right side of the garage. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crafty Me

I hadn’t planned on posting a blog today as I knew I wasn’t going to have time to write one last night. But here it is the middle of the night and I’m wide awake, so thought I might as well be productive.

A month ago, when my friends and I went to the Fox River Mall for a girls’ weekend, I went into Earthbound Trading on my quest to find the perfect purse. I had success, but by then I had been sucked into the back of the store and the sale rack. They had a stack of six foot square tapestries, originally priced at $39.99, but marked down to the $19.99. As the sales clerk came through, seeing me pawing through the pile and opening them all up, she said they were an additional 30% off.
I was like, “in addition to the already marked sales price? So, like for $14 each?”

“Oh, yes.” Then she added, “did you see the one hanging up in the dressing room?”

“Nooo.”

I had to check it out, and of course it was indeed the only one in that pattern and it was the one I had to have, so she took it off the wall for me. I can’t remember being more pleased with a shopping experience. The only downfall was that this sweet clerk had an obnoxious voice. Just like Janice’s on “Friends”. Remember when she’d say, “Chandler Bing” and then laugh? Anybody remember that?

I digress. 

 I knew I wanted to make a wrap skirt out of half of the material. Don’t know what I’ll do with the other half yet – this piece of material was that big. Of course, I forgot to get a picture of it until after I had started cutting it apart.
 Also, in case you are wondering, I did look up patterns for wrap skirts on-line, but they all seemed too complicated. I know, right? How can a wrap skirt be complicated? So I just laid my old wrap skirt on top of this piece of fabric, cut it out, sewed the sides and hem and added the waist band with tie. 



 The color in these pictures does not come close to doing it justice. You'll have to find me out and about wearing it sometime, perhaps this weekend when I am at Sara Park in Tomahawk, from 9 to 3 Saturday. I'll have all of my books for sale there, as well as our Kenyan merchandise, the sale of which will support our nonprofit organization, Tumaini Volunteers. My skirt and I will see ya then!