Christmas will be here in two days, so now is the time to record photographs and what has been happening in our neck of the woods this month. We have not put up a decorative tree in years, but I do make displays of angels and votive candles and Madonna and Child icons to commemorate the season.
On Tuesday, friends came over for coffee. I was so bold as to ask that each bring a refreshment, otherwise I just did not believe I could host a small coffee. Why, getting up from bed or resting would have required an hour of standing! I am only half kidding here, because I do spend most days fatigued and prone on the bed. Thank you, everyone, for bringing tasty treats.
This is Marianne and Janice's boys putting together origami trees. Marianne brought tasty biscotti and entertained the young guys for quite a while; the boys seemed to enjoy playing with the papers.
This is Janice, the boys' mom. We lost her mom, Maureen, to metastatic breast cancer (mbc) almost three years ago.
The ornaments above are like ones that Julie chose to give to the workers at the manor. Every one of the workers at Mesa Manor received this small gift, along with a candy cane. After going back four times to Michael's to supply the goodie sacks, ensuring no one was overlooked, we made a total of 52 sacks. Julie and the last few bags are posing below.
This picture was taken prior to our holiday lunch last week and pasted on FaceBook by Verda, so I am reposting it here.
Healthwise, it has been a rough couple of weeks since pneumonia germs seemed to have found a nice spot to multiply in my lungs. Talk about a fatigue maker, pneumonia and its fighter, capsules of Leviquin, combined to create an atmosphere for feeling awful. A PET scan and an MRI are scheduled next week to determine if the Ibrance is working to keep tumors at bay. The oncologist decided to change medicines and will make further decisions after he reads results of the scans. "Scanxiety" is the term for wanting to know, yet not wanting to know results from tests scanning for cancer growth. Actually, I do not have scanxiety. as I will never be abandoned or lost (Hebrews 13:5). Leaving you with a favorite Norman Rockwell Christmas painting:
Julie opens up a present. Her laughter is priceless.
She said she wanted a pig for a pet when she returned to Colorado after Jack's death. A live, breathing, eating, oinking pig: impossible. Substitutions were made in the pet category. Christmas presents of two stuffed pigs, Olivia the Pig pillowcases and a pink blanket with a pig emblazoned on the front account for 2015: Julie's Year of the Pig. The robotic pig in the video has been dubbed "Wilbur." He snores, talks in his sleep and kicks his hind leg, all while his piggy belly heaves in deep breathing exercises while sleeping. The whole routine takes about a minute and is amazing. The entire nursing home staff is enchanted with Wilbur, as is Julie.
Ten years ago, I came across a magazine article that gave a tutorial on making ornamental holiday balls to use either as gifts, tree ornaments, or to group together in bowls for light reflection. These sequined balls look especially nice with candles placed close to the sequin and beaded balls, because the light plays off the surfaces and gives a soft, glowing effect.
In total, I have made about 20 of these sparkly ornaments, all in different sizes.
Styrofoam balls in various sizes
8 mm sized sequins
more clear plastic beads that come in one size at the craft stores, in packs of 100
3/4 inch sequins (silver is preferred)
Beads with a hole big enough to fit on the pin and small enough that it won't slide past the head of the pin (size 9)
Ribbon, optional for hanging
1) Spray different sized Styrofoam balls with acrylic paint (silver or gold being the preferred color for Christmas, ensuring a base of color which will show behind the sequins);
2) after the paint is not quite dry on the Styrofoam, generously sprinkle silver or translucent glitter on the ball;
3) place a (silver) sequin on the ball, thread a seed bead through a size 9 dressmaker's pin, and then thread on a plastic bead
4) stick the threaded pin onto the sequin, holding all together, almost like a shish-ka-bob
5) repeat so that just a little of the glittery paint peeks between the sequins
Here are a few of the sparkling sequin and bead balls which we display each holiday season
Try making a few, they are fun to put together and will last forever if you carefully pack them away.