Friday, December 30, 2016

Busy hands

I have indeed been busy. On Wednesday afternoon I had a few ladies over for late lunch and wine...just nice friendship and good conversation. We had Baked Ziti, Antipasti lettuce wraps, Shrimp with cocktail sauce and some Orange cranberry cake and of course Sparkling wine; Raspberry and a white. I think all enjoyed themselves.  Yesterday while out getting a few needed household supplies I bought another
small coffee maker. Mr H does not drink coffee, so this size is just right form me as I prefer to make one mug at a time. A few aisles away....this popped into the cart
they knew I had to have purple/lavender gems so I could make an Ice Drop for Becky....we worked together at Jo Ann's until my retirement and her moving to Texas. I did make another new one this morning...
The one on the right has LA Colors 3446 nail polish (glitter) painted on the front of the clear gem and purple beads and the one on the left is made with Recollections Rhinestone stickers that measure 3/4 inch. I stuck 2 back to back and voila, a pretty sparkly Ice Drop. These little tatted ice drops are very addictive. The possibilities are many. I have a couple of packages ready to go to the Post Office next week with ice drops ..... the fun is sharing them with others. Not everybody tats.  Another cloudy day here in The Valley of the Sun! Rain expected for the weekend. Mr H and I do not go out to celebrate but I do feel bad for those who do. Two last days before another year begins. I know many of you feel the same, this year has certainly passed quickly. For some of us there were ups and downs but we made it through. Most of all, I am so lucky to have your friendship and kind words, Thank You! I hope you have a wonderful day.....See you in the New Year☆

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Getting ready for the New Year

Mr H and I enjoyed a quiet Christmas, football games and a good meal. The weather finally stopped raining and is still cool. I actually had to wear a cotton jacket out to run errands yesterday morning! I have kept busy
finished 3 more Ice Drops....these will be going out to my sis Lynowl this week.  I really enjoy making these pretty things. I plan to keep mine out all year...not sure where/how to display them but I am sure it will come to me. I have another on the shuttle waiting to be finished and a couple more in the planning. All that asked for one got them before Christmas....feel special to know that a piece of me is with family and friends with these tatted Ice Drops. We have a whole group of us tatting them now. It is all Diane's fault....
Alice is started and in the work basket..... this will be the full pattern. I could not wait to start mine after making the abbreviated version for Livi. I am hoping to set some goals and limits for myself for 2017. Not exactly resolutions, but trying to reorganize myself. I am recognizing that I am, as I am getting older, having a few issues and rather than ignore them, I will work with them. The dreaded (for me) 70th birthday is approaching. For some reason this one is bothering me...it has always been just a number. Seems different this time. I have at the ready My Journal Jar as planned by Jacquelynne Steves.
I have it sitting in my sewing room on the book case and all is ready. Pens and pencil as well a cut pieces of paper and the jar to put the notes in. I am using an old canning jar. The aqua tint and the name Leotric imprinted on it. I have the glass lid stored on the side in the metal latch so it will be easier to write, fold and put into the jar without the hassle of the latch. Anything to make it more inviting to do. I have the paper stored in a sugar bowl that is a favorite of mine. Mr H broke the lid recently and I hoped to find a use for the bowl and so I have. I may move the Journal Jar to my computer desk...we will see. So starting January 1st I will try to write a note a day. Click on the link (My Journal Jar) to read about it and get some free labels to print. Thank you for the encouraging words re: my mom being in a rehab center. She does not want to be there, but I know it is for the best. WE shall see what the social worker has to say. So, I have lots to do today but I want to thank you for your friendship and kind words. Always happy to have you vist and comment. Have a great day.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A dreary day

Yesterday and today have been very dreary, not like our usual warm and sunny Arizona days. I guess for me it is also due the fact that I am not feeling very cheery. This past week my mom EvaP has been in hospital and will now be going to a rehab center. Not what she would want, but her health calls for this decision that The Brother Alan and sis Lynowl have had to make. If I were there I would be making the same decision. Life is such. Yesterday I spent the morning with needlework friends; some knitting, some crocheting others doing something with a needle in hand. We meet every Thursday morning. My neighbor and friend Sue suggested a few months back that I join the group and so happy that I did. Not only have I met some lovely ladies, but Sue and I are becoming very good friends and that is a good thing. I came home just as the postman was bringing mail and what arrived...
this cheered me up! Remember the Manger Herbs? Well I took a chance and contacted the name on the back of my very old tag and she emailed me that she long ago closed her shop. Then Betsy Williams emailed me to say she found a packet! This was so meant to be...I needed this cheering up and she was going to send it and so it arrived. I then visited her web site and what did I find...she is the person who wrote a book that has been on my to get list for so long. This is so meant to be. Betsey enclosed a note that says, "Thank you for the gift of joy you gave me. I am so happy you have kept the Christmas Herbs in your life all these years!"...the joy I gave her?, no the joy she gave to me. So, here I sit concerned about my mom, it is a cloudy dreary day but I have the love of my friend Sue and the kindness of a new friend Betsy to cheer me. I value friendship and so I will..... Thank you for your friendship and kind words. Have a cheerful day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice

Today is the first day of winter....but as I am in Arizona, I only see/feel little change in the weather and temperatures. Not to get technical with the tilt of the Earth and the rotation and stuff, we will leave it that the shortest amount of daylight and the longest darkness of night occurs today.
The only snowflakes falling at my house are these  crocheted flakes that will never melt! Snow will fall in the High Country to the North and a few places around but now here in The Valley of the Sun...although it may drizzle a little today. This is a good thing as I do not own any, not any winter clothing. No indeed. I left all that back in Rhode Island where there is cold and will eventually be lots of snow. I prefer to live barefoot and warm. The air conditioner is finally off in the house but I did use it in the car the other day. I had to remind myself that Christmas is this Sunday! Maybe it is an age thing (and we do not want to talk about my soon to be birthday) that time slips away more quickly. That I have notes for myself and Mr H all over the place and still can forget what it is I need to remember.
So the only snow that I want is this flake, not referring to Mr Snowman! I will admire the pictures that are posted and oh and ahh, I will giggle at the fun others are having. The memories I hold of wonderful times as a child playing and building snowmen will always warm my heart. Remembering the day Aunti Angie took sis Lynowl and me out for a walk not knowing we were starting to have a blizzard, the times we went sledding and school cancellation meant a play day.
This picture was taken of me and sis in February 1952 ( I am on the right). So fashionable then with coat and leggings and our fur hats and muffs. I was 5 years old and sis was 3. The Brother Alan was not even a thought at this time! But I would not want to leave him out so....
I took this picture the winter of 1960 when he was about 3 years old...again, wearing leggings, matching coat and hat. Look at the snow behind him...I treasure my old photos. This reminiscing is holding up my morning. Must get the laundry in and some coffee and maybe a bagel and of course organize my stitching day. I enjoy sharing my memories with you. Thank you for the kind words and your friendship....have a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Christmas gift

I love making and giving gifts. For me, I do not get to see the person receiving and opening most of the time because I send them via mail. I have a niece in Rhode Island who's daughter loves Alice in Wonderland as much as I do. So when I posted that I bought the beautiful pattern to stitch, the nieces ( both mom and daughter) commented. That is how I learned that Olivia loves Alice.  I knew that I would never be able to make the full pattern before Christmas and I never stitch a big piece more than once anyway, so I had to think about this. Yesterday Livi received
my version for her, mounted on board and with a special stop watch attached. I have had the paperback book forever and it sits with a few of my other collectible books. Livi's mom Julie tells me that she was very happy to unwrap this.
Instead of stitching Alice's hair ribbon I added a real ribbon. It gives a bit of shimmer to her don't you think. This was a delight to stitch and I am so looking forward to stating the full project for myself.

I found just the right picture to put inside the pocket watch.  The same hair ribbon is used to attach it to the picture. I love the braided trim that is framing the piece.
The Quaker motif is just perfect for her skirt. Yes, this was a delight to stitch and the young lady who now has it is a delight also. She is always so respectful towards me and Mr H. On December 12th she celebrated her 19th birthday

isn't she pretty?! Livi is such a respectful young lady to me and always has a response to my comments. You see, she is in Rhode Island and I am here in Arizona so we keep in touch via Facebook. It was my heartfelt pleasure to make this for Olivia.
Speaking of birthdays, Mr H (Dennis) sends his thank you to all of your for the good wishes. Thank you all for the kind words and your friendship. Glad you took the time to visit with me. Have a great day.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A special day

Today my Mr H (Dennis, aka Denny, deh) celebrates his birthday. Although he has had a trying few years with health, he is always ready with a smile and comments that come out of who knows where! Great sense of humor and caring, he makes my everyday. He is my world and it is a better place because of him. So today instead of needlework and general chatter, I wish my guy a very happy birthday and wishes for many more. My one and only.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Advent Blog Hop

Once again, Jo has organized The Advent Blog Hop. Always fun an today is my day. My stitching to share is
Dear Santa from The Primitive Hare. I love this post card. I asked Mr H to cut me a piece of uneven wood to mount it and then I found a snowflake to add and voila. I keep this hanging all year so Santa will always know that I try to behave. The topic for us is: Decorations - do you have a favorite decoration you must have on display every year -
oh yes indeed......this is a story card that my parents gave to me in 1967. The Night Before Christmas poem. It hung on our tree and then when I married and Mr H and I put up our first tree, and ever since it has hung on my tree. Each year it reminds me of many wonderful Christmas Eve celebrations with my family. I know, you are thinking; 1967?! She was not a child then! No, I was 19 years old. Who doesn't like to recite this tale? Be sure to stop at Jo's and see all the other Advent posts. So much to do today. This morning is a weekly stitching group and then this afternoon is the groups Christmas party. Yesterday all my packages were mailed and will arrive in time for Christmas.  The aroma filling the air  tells me it is time for my coffee and then to gather up my things for this mornings outing. Thank you for the kind words and friendship and for taking the time to visit with me. Have a good day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bread and angels

the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread....ahhhhh. The new Dutch oven is fantastic for this bread. I bought it through Amazon and the price was good and it shipped so quickly. The first loaf I made was in a regular pan and just so-so. This one is much better and I am sure the next one will be great.
While the bread was baking I made a few dimensional paper angels.  While the bread cooled I went to get my haircut. Busy morning. Now, as soon as I am rested (so exhausting) I will mosey to the post office to mail out my packages. I tried to get there yesterday, but it was not to be. I did manage to address cards so that was a plus. My plans (after the PO) is to sit in my stitching chair and keep myself busy. Might make a few more paper angels to hang around. Such a pleasure visiting with you. Thank you for the kind words and your friendship. Enjoy your day.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Manger Herbs


Every year also on my tree is the list of Manger Herbs. I used to have a small bag of them to put with the tag but after so many years they did not look to great so I tossed them and never did find another. There are 9 listed and why they are chosen. Let me share them:
Rosemary for remembrance.  This is the chief herb of Christmas. Rosemary hid the Holy family during the flight to Egypt. Our Lady's Bedstraw used for bedding. Fresh grass said to have been Mary's bed. Rue, the herb of grace, vision virtue & virginity. Lavender the symbol of purity. Lavender received its lovely scent because it served as a drying rack for the Baby's swaddling clothes. Pennyroyal, a small creeping mint that tradition says blooms on Christmas Day. Horehound, a native of Palestine, it was on of the bitter herbs of Passover and symbolizes the flight to Egypt. Thyme, the symbol of strength and courage. Chamomile is the symbol of patience and cheerfulness under adversity. And lastly, Sweet Woodruff the symbol of humility. It is said that all of these were found in the manger hay. One day I will gather all of them again and the sweet smell will grace my tree.   I love reading this card each year as I place it in the tree. I hope you enjoyed reading about it. Thank you for your kind words and friendship. Have a good day.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tat tat tat

I am so happy that I am able to return to tatting! A year ago I stopped due to my hand issue, but as soon as I tried I surprised myself that I remembered all that I learned a short time ago. Problem is I am absolutely addicted to these

Ice Drops.....thank you very much to a fantastic gal, Diane Green Cadematori and her great tutorial. You just can not tat one! I am not sure where they are all going to go.
Here is one done with gold beads on the outside and I just started one with red beads and I have some blue beads and, well you can guess where this is going! Fun to make. they measure just over an inch from one picot to another.
Plain or fancy they look sweet on the tree. So far I have only use "clear" gems in the center....until I find some colored ones.
Now, some people have the Shelf Elf around Christmas...
I have The Grinch watching over me at the computer desk. He has been with me for maybe since 1999. I also have the larger one who is sitting in the living room and remember the bulb ornament? well I also have a gourd that Mr H painted...will have to show those to you another day soon. It is almost nine AM and since I have been awake since 2 AM, I figure it will be a long day. I do have plans to finish my Dresden wreath wall hanging this morning and of course those  multiplying Ice Drops. I have already had a friend ask for one so that my house will not have an avalanche of them! My pleasure to share them! Thank you for stopping by and for your friendship and kind words......enjoy your day.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Ornaments on the tree day 4

Yesterday was I joined the Thursday needlework ladies. We are all working on different things, all with a needle of sorts. I am still new to the group but I am enjoying these new friends. The afternoon was running a few errands and while out I stopped at Pier 1 and of course just had to pick up a few new ornaments.... I will get to show you sooner or later but for now....
love this old type ornament. So fragile. It is one of a dozen that was given to me by my Aunt Angie who passed away many years ago. Of course through the years some have broken so now I am even more careful with the few that are left. I love the indented centers....
here is another.  They are so unique...

this one always makes me thing of flowers with it's bright fuchsia center.
Here is one from my first tree 46 years ago
Not many of them left either. But, between my very old ones and hers there is a dozen.... enough for nice memories. There were a few of my very old ones that had to be discarded...what ever the make up of them, they were badly tarnished and di  not seem safe to handle.. The quality now is much sturdier and the finishes last. Looking at Aunt Angie's always brings back childhood memories and not all from Christmas...nice memories. She was one of a kind. My tree is very eclectic....some old, some new and some made. The other 2 trees remain themed. Mr H and I are at a comfortable place in our lives.... good day and off days for him, but all in all we are enjoying another Christmas, this is our 46th Christmas and boy have the times changed. Dealing with changes is how we grow. Learning to accept some changes is what we have done to get to where we are now..... a good place in our lives. I can smell my first fresh brewed cup of coffee so with that I say thank you for your friendship and kind words and I hope you have a great day.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ornaments on the tree day 3

I skipped ornament posting yesterday so I could honor my dad and those who were at Pearl Harbor, December 7th 1941. It has always been a special day at my house and although dad died in 1985 it still is for me. anyway, on to the ornaments...
these are story books. They are only 2 1/4 by 3 inches; the Poinsettia, The Christmas Tree, The Yule Log and the Christmas Angel. I have had them since the 1990's and they were from the company, Current. To my surprise they are still in business. We used to group order where I was working.
As you can see there really is a story inside. Each year I read them again as I put them on the tree. Rather than hang them I just set them on a branch here and there so they are easier to pick up and read. I love the lore and legends around holidays. I love the reason behind lights on the tree....and I quote in part .....
"Among the legends of the Christmas tree is one even more dear in religious circles. It seems that when the little Christ Child was born in Bethlehem, not only did the shepherds and the wise men come to pay homage, but the birds, the beasts and even the plants came too. Each visitor had a gift for the blessed baby except the little pine tree. It had nothing to give the Christ Child except its needles, and as the needles might prick the baby and hurt him, that was hardly an acceptable gift at all! According to the legend, God saw how disappointed the little tree was and told some stars to go down and rest on its branches. When they did, the little tree was illuminated with such a warm brilliance......from that time forth the little pine tree always bears lights at Christmastime....
Time for me to have a cup of coffee and think about the plans for my day...even if it is only 3:20 AM! Hope you are enjoying the posts.....thank you for your kind words and friendship. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor December 7 1941

Today I remember ... for my dad who returned and for those who did not. December 7 9141. Giuseppe (Joseph) Piccirilli...he was stationed on Oahu and just returned from guard duty and headed to the chow hall when the attack began. The men dove into the bushes until they could try to get their guns. The pilots were so low that he recalled looking at their faces as they dropped bombs. He never forgot and nor shall I, for him. He was just 22 and spent almost 5 1/2 years in Hawaii. He met and married my mom Eva after his return to the states and they married in 1946. He was a very patriotic man and I suppose that is why I am. Once while I was still single and living at home we watched From Here to Eternity together..... he was always careful to hide his emotions, but I thought I caught a tear in his eyes the night. He was very involved in the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, serving as the President at one time. In this picture you can see a copy of the newspaper and a copy of the Instrument of Surrender as well as the Christmas dinner they had that year. The newspaper article with my dad is an interview he gave the local paper one year.
 This is a picture taken with his older brother John who was in the Navy and in the surrounding waters at the time of the attack. He also survived. It is old and scratched but it is the only one I have of them together in uniform. There are those who do not know anything about that terrible day, but for our family it was a big deal. My grandma did not have the news access we have today when tragedy strikes. She waited almost 2 weeks to hear if her sons were alive. I am proud of the military service my father gave for our country. Just wanted to share........


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ornaments on the tree day 2

Oh my I am posting late today! This morning was busy.... out of the house. Then Mr H called to tell me we needed bread and milk. Now, that is a winter back East request when the snow is arriving and we do not have that white stuff here in The Valley of the Sun Arizona! Seems we are always needing milk and bread. Anyway, today I want to share light bulbs. No, not the kind to light up, the ones on my tree.
Mr H painted this back in the 90s.... his beard is painted with textured snow paint....I just adore him. While he was in a painting mood that year....
the Grinch came to stay not only on our tree, but several other houses. Everyone loved him and so they got one and some even asked for
yup, the Cat in the Hat. These remain a few of my favorites because my guy made them for me. I just asked and he painted. This year I mention about painting a bulb and he just looked at me so I guess that means not happening. While we are talking old stuff how about

my disco ball. I really did not like the disco music but certainly love the sparkle of the disco ball. I have a large one just out the kitchen window in the yard and when the sun hits it, there are "parkles" everywhere, outside and in the kitchen. Fun, simple fun. I will try to get a picture of the sun parkles for you...today is a partly cloudy day, so maybe soon. I do not know why but December which is just starting seems to be moving along too quickly. I think it is because I have a few project to get done and the fairies are just rushing me. Must remind myself to take a deep breath and then remember to exhale. Did I mention I started tatting again? Yes, after a year of not picking up a shuttle, I tried and wait until I show you what I am making. My practice piece came out pretty good. One of my friends remarked today..."oh, people will want one for their tree..." Anyway, hope you are enjoying day 2 and tomorrow, we shall see. Thank you for your friendship and kind words....have a great evening...not signed off with that before! but here it is 4:30 PM...a late post for sure.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ornaments on the tree day 1

One of the things I love the most about decorating the trees is handling each ornament like it is the first time! Then comes a memory and then finding the right spot....or not. Sometimes my ornaments move about the tree several times. To start let's look at one of the things all my trees have...
The Christmas spider. The main tree is the only one with a web. Through the years I have made these beaded spiders and sent them off to other trees literally around the world....to blog friends. Along with the spider I send the legend (one of the many that are printed).  The spider on the Ana Lee tree is red and the Southwest tree is bronze. Once I had a request for one in purple! One of the other must be on the main tree things is...Santa's Key
This has been a must as I have never had a working fireplace and how else would Santa get in to leave gifts! Many years ago one of my nephews asked about this. "Aunti Grace, I do not have a chimney and I need to be sure Santa can leave my gifts". My answer was that Santa would be a able to use my key because we are family and he will unlock the front door...(I was not going to give up my key and get no gifts!) This totally satisfied him and every year on Christmas Eve when he came to my house he would look for the key. I still place it in front and low enough for a child to find. So that my friends is the first of the ornaments. I love recalling this memory. So that is the first day of ornaments. Glad you could stop by and read about it, hope you will return for the others. Thank you for your kind words and friendship. Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The trees are decorated

All 3 trees are looking pretty...
This pencil style tree is in the kitchen and has a Southwest theme. This year the beaded Santa and the crocheted dream catcher were added. Each year I try to add something homemade. There is usually a wreath at the bottom but it is someplace else this year....so I will be looking to add there. I finally got my bedroom tree settled in...
this is my Kurczap tree of Ana Lee....My dear friends Lucille
( Lu )and Stan back in Rhode Island started to send me Ana Lee ornaments each year and this is where they are. Some stand on the table while others hang in the tree. Oh I love my fancy ornaments and it is a constant reminder of our long and continued friendship. Lu manages to find a new one each year. I in turn send a Southwest ornament and so far I manage to find different ones.  Of course the main tree in the living room ....
front view...can't seem to get it without a bit of blur! This is a new tree this year. The other was fine and lights still all working, but after 10 years it was time to replace. Placed in front of the floor windows, is looks so nice from outside...will have to get a picture of that.

this is from the right side of the tree....and then from the left...
I am pleased with the tree this year. During the week I will post some close-up of ornaments. Some I have had a long time. I will admit that when we moved from RI to here in AZ and lived in a small apartment, this was also a place where I downsized. We went from a very large 8 foot real tree each year to a 3 1/2 foot  table top! No room for all that I had. The left behind ornaments went to good homes. In a way it was nice starting new as we were starting a new life 3,000 miles away. I feel the need for a cup of coffee...so with that I will say thank you visiting with me today. Thank you for your kind words and friendship, have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Officially count down for Christmas

Today is the last day of November so it is my official start to the Christmas festivities. This is the first year that I started to pull out the decorations before December 1st. It all started with my wanting to change The Village location and my need for the piece of wood. Once that was ready it seemed as good a time as any to bring out The Village. After that, well it just happened. I think there is not much left of our tour....

The Village Tree.....it stands about 14 inches high and has it's own lights. I always gave it center stage until the gazeebo arrived then it became the backdrop for that. Certainly makes it feel like a real town square. Even in the daytime it looks special. So far it has been lite up for about 20 years. I would have it re-wired when the lights fail.  I thought showing The Village all lite would be nice, but someone suggested that I also show it in daylight. So,
here it is .
I do not want to bore you with The Village, but I also took pictures of individual areas so that I can compare next year for set-up. It spans 36 inches across and 18 deep with the little 2 inch rise in the back. Who knows, next year maybe Mr H will make me a small board to raise the Garden Shop up a notch!

Here is a day picture of the items on the mantle.
Each day more of the decorations start to appear. Later today I may even get the tree in the kitchen set up. I enjoy taking my time getting it all out of the boxes and each item has it's own story for me. The violin for example. There was a great store in our area  (back in Rhode Island)  and they were closing and selling everything at fantastic prices. I sked the manager if he would sell me this violin from their display and I got it for $5.00. I replaced the ribbon and voila. That about covers decorations .....at least for now.  My special stitchery is coming along and one of my ideas just may work out. We are still in a winter temp but I am still not into wearing socks yet! I Time to get organized for the day....hope your day is great. Thank you for your friendship and kind words my dear friends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Change in plans

First I should admit that I wrote down the wrong appointment time for Mr H and the doctors office called looking for us. Luckily the office is 5 minutes away so off we went. I got myself settled in the comfy rocking recliner to stitch and then out came Mr H from the treatment room...no injection on this day, he will wait about a week or so. So home we came. today in the next tour of The Village ...
This is Mr H's place, the Garden Shop. I love the greenhouse....there are plants and such inside. It always is on the right hand side of the set-up. This year with the 2 inch rise in the back, it has a nice look. I wanted to add a few small bushes to the front....still time to do so. In the center of the village is the gazeebo....
I took this with the flash so you could see Santa nd the photographer better. On the right is what I call the Mayor giving directions! It is my story so I can tell it my way, yes? When we were still in RI I had a huge set up.....a boat house with "water" and fisherman, a large church and a few other buildings. Knowing we were going to be in an apartment complex (limited storage), and not knowing we would later buy a home, I did not take those as well as many other things. A couple of years ago we did add the Sweet Shoppe
Of course I have close to my knit shop for that quick snack! The sign on the left says fudge....but my potato fudge is much better. that is the baker in the open front of the Shoppe. Although the buildings are always in the same spot, the surrounding trees and people move a little. I also add some rocks that appear to be boulders here and there. I took them from our property back in RI to have a bit of that home with me. I enjoy having my village. We are still in a cool temp and guess this is really winter now. I am still barefoot in the house and my pants are "cargo" type, cropped below the knee but not to the ankle! That will not happen until January. Well my friends, I really need to get back to my special project if it is to get to RI before Christmas. Thank you for your friendship and kind words. Have a great day.