Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Days Before Christmas

Days "before Christmas and all through the house..."

"the stockings were hung by the chimney with care..." 

I'll stop there because that's not a picture of my house! We haven't decorated for Christmas. We aren't having company. We aren't visiting anyone. No need to spend time putting out Christmas reminders when my heart and soul know the true reason for the season. This morning I completed The Wonder of Advent Bible study, so I'm gratefully embracing and appreciating the hope, joy, peace and love that the birth of Jesus Christ is to me - to all of us. 

Therefore, quietly anticipating Christmas, my activities have been as usual with pauses to give thank-you gifts - homemade zipper pouches, fabric bookmarks, knitted dishcloths, and travel trays - to activity leaders for their year of volunteering.

Progressing toward a finish of this 63" X 83½" Tilted Tiles, I have completed custom domestic machine quilting on my Bernina 770QE with designs I chose as I went along. 

While machine quilting, dozens of tiny bits of batting covered the quilt top, especially evident on the dark burgundy, claret solid. When I began big stitch hand quilting and I saw more little bits, I resolved that issue by going ahead and binding the quilt. Binding is made with three different fabric colors. 

Hopefully I've done the right thing! I don't think the big stitch quilting I'm continuing to add will distort the finished quilt. I'm moving forward with no quilting plan other than to pick one of five colors of #8 perle cotton and add stitches wherever I think they look good.

As we've had cooler (50℉) mornings and gloomy, rainy days, it's been nice to sit with this quilt across my lap as I stitch. 

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights our temps are supposed to get down to the mid-20℉. We're planning to cover temperature-sensitive perennials with blankets. This area of Central Florida may set a new low-temp record, set in the 1930s! Still, there'll be no ice or snow, and that's a blessing. 

Book Recommendations
Send Down the Rain
 is another great book by Charles Martin @storiedcareer, my new favorite author. (Iowa author Heather Gudenkauf @heathergudenkauf books run a close second.)

Allie is married to a truck driver who spends more time away from home than with her. While she has worked hard to keep her parent's popular Florida Gulf coast restaurant open, she doesn't have the money to keep going. When her husband's semi-truck, loaded with fuel, misses a curve in the road and explodes, she envisions a different future. But her dreams are crushed.  

Joe has removed himself from his past by living in a remote mountain cabin. But when he hears cries during a snowstorm, and ventures out to investigate, he finds a mother, two children. A little girl has fallen into frigid water. His heroic rescue and return to his cabin with the family reveals more of their story. Yet Joe has the ability to improv their circumstance. When he does, his life and Allie's, changes for the better... until some bad men find them, with the promise of revenge. Joe's past then catches up to him, and the reader understands he's not covering for himself, but someone he loves. 

I can't say enough good things about Charles Martin stories. Every one has been entertaining, enthralling, and tinged with faith in God that gives subtle understanding of each protagonist's true character. 

Linda's score: 4.3/5.0

So as to fully savor Charles Martin books, I'm continuing to alternate his titles with other authors, The Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock was my next read. 

Twin baby girls, adored by their parents, are left with their loving father when their mother dies in a car accident. Raising babies alone, he falls in love with Amanda. Just as their marriage is getting started, he too dies. Left with three-year old twins, Amanda becomes the mother she was meant to be. Yet, knowing of the family's fortune, the twins' maternal grandparents lay claim to the girls who are taken from Amanda to live in squalid conditions where they're slapped, told to stop crying, and locked in closets. The girls grow up in filth, with little food, and not knowing love or how to care for and respect themselves. They grow and come of age, while Amanda continued to love and care for them from a distance, remembering them on every birthday. Yet their greedy grandparents tell the girls lies, and assure them that a billionaire's fortune is theirs for the taking. 

Though this book too is written with an underlying faith theme, the story bothered me because it was obvious that a judge made an incorrect ruling - awarding custody to nere-do-well, greedy (for money) grandparents. Even though a happy resolution to the story was coming in the end, it took a frustratingly long time for the situation to be set right. I'm wondering if such a mistake, so apparently wrong has ever/could ever really happen. 

Linda's score: 3.9/5.0

Merry Christmas to all my blog-friends in my MacBook Pro computer! I'm leaving you with this delightful video of the Christmas story, as told by children and enacted by adults. Only three minutes long, and I guarantee it will make you smile.

Christmas blessings, everyone! Linda


  1. Thank you for that delightful video, I really did enjoy the Christmas message through the eyes and voices of these children. Sending Kiwi Best Wishes your way Merry Christmas to you both.

  2. The touches of big stitch quilting will be a beautiful addition to your quilt. I hope you enjoy your quiet and peaceful Christmas.

  3. Adorable! Thank you Linda! Merry Christmas!

  4. Your quilt is amazing and could never be done as a block of the month. Each part seems to be done as you think of it and that is hard to put on paper but looks great.

    Modern Bethlehem story is cute.

  5. Happy Christmas to you Linda. You are quite right we don't need decorations to be able to celebrate the birth of Our Saviour, his coming then and in the future are a truth worth reflecting on with grateful hearts every day of the year.

  6. Thanks for the sweet video. It made me smile on this cold cold morning here. It's -16 below when I got up with a projected high today of only 2 below. Glad it's only lasting a couple of days. 5o sounds lovely. I hope Florida doesn't get too cold. Have a blessed Merry Christmas Linda. Peace.

  7. Merry Blessed happy Christmas Linda to you and yours.

  8. To all a good night, then, at your home! Merry Christmas. The video was so cute!

  9. The quilt looks beautiful! Merry Christmas.

  10. Beautiful quilting!!! I read Covenant Child a couple years ago. I remember the frustration of the court's decision. I recorded that God was faith after 15 years. Oh, my, how I do find it hard to wait 15 or more years for answers to prayers. I like Terri Blackstock's books. I'll try Charles Martin as soon as I have a chance. The vid was so fun and funny!

  11. Congrats on the QuiltCon acceptances. Merry Christmas! I'm sure you enjoyed a lovely day.


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