Since it's time to put away Christmas, I thought I'd show you what I do with my precious hand stitched ornaments. I no longer put up a tree because quite frankly the lights are too darn frustrating. And before you say, "why don't you just buy a pre-lit tree, " let me remind you that I did just that about 6 or so years ago and found that at the end of the holiday it was too heavy for me to lift and sat on the floor in my living room until March when Sara finally got Vernon to come over and put it in the garage where it has lived since. (She got embarrassed when I blogged everyday and showed the tree every day laying on the floor. It may take some time but eventually someone catches on and comes to my house to take care of the situation.) Anyway, after that I gave serious consideration to "no tree" holidays. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, so this was really a very hard decision for me. I have collected ornaments from every place I ever visited. My children have given me many ornaments and friends have also given me the most beautiful stitched ornaments, so my dismay was really about what to do with all of this. So the first year "tree-less" I got a couple of cases of greens and had bowls, vases, you name it and I stuck greens around it, just so the feel of the tree and Christmas would be in the house. I also hung a wreath on every door inside and outside. The first year the wreaths were all fresh so I attached regular ornaments on them (inside wreaths that is), but it gave me a glimpse of how to utilize my hand stitched ornaments. Then 2 years ago I started getting artificial wreaths and would run a ribbon through the wreath and then attach my stitched ornaments on the wreaths and hang them on the doors. Since I already have stitched pieces hung on the doors the hanger was already there so it was a no brainer. I loved the look, but especially loved seeing my hand stitched ornaments again. And with the artificial wreaths I didn't have to worry about any sap, or dirt getting on the ornament...win, win! The two I pictured are hanging on the inside door on my enclosed porch and the 2nd wreath shown is hanging on the inside of the door so when you look at the door from inside you aren't seeing the back of the other wreath. So I'm seeing the ornaments every time I go through the door. Plus, the doors inside have wreaths with hand stitched ornaments as well. I really hate to put them away, but will do it so it's special again next Christmas. But that and the weather is really making this a sad day for me. I know a lot of you are dealing with tons of snow, and we just had a few flakes Tuesday that didn't even land, so I feel a little whiney to even say this, but it's cold and bleak here. We don't see these temperatures often, but at night it's falling near or below 0 with the wind child and during the day it's not getting that much warmer (warm...it's hard to think warm when you are in the teens with wind chill). So pardon me for whining, but it's depressing for me. But the good news is I'm almost finished with my "Sweet Heart of Mine," the piece by Barbara Jackson. It has really been such a wonderful stitch. 36 ct. linen over 2, except for the wording which is over one, so tonight I hope to get the case finished and then it's a sweet ride with just the scissor pocket and one other small to complete, and then the finishing..oh, oh. You know that's the least favorite part of these pieces for me. And Michael will be here for the week, so not sure that my frustration will allow me to do the finish until he's back home. I don't even have his room ready since I'm moving him from the kid's room (I figure he's outgrown that in more ways than one) and moving him to the regular bedroom with a double bed. Meanwhile I've been using that room for my gift wrapping room, my ironing room and the place I keep all the finishes waiting for framing or whatever. I hate to clean everything up, but a girls got to do what a girls got to do. Meanwhile I was thinking Friday and he announced Wednesday while we were having lunch that he's going to be here tomorrow night. At first I looked at him like he was nuts...oh, my a day early? But when he told me Sara was leaving at 3:00 a.m. Friday I realized he had to be right so tonight will be the only time for me to get that darn room free of extra crap. Damn, is there no rest for the weary? What we do for grandchildren! I'm really not sure if I'll make a week. With homeschooling him there are days when I can't wait to close the door behind him and take a nap. I can get as frustrated with him as he gets when he can't seem to grasp a concept. But thank God, Michael is a sweet and loving young man and is as nice to me as anyone could be, so he's usually very easy to be around, but we're talking 24 hours a day when I'm use to living alone, doing what I want when I want. I can't imagine being a grandparent who has to take over raising their grandchild. And of course this means watching "Moonshiners, Gold or whatever Discovery is showing and Duck Dynasty every single Night." Sara has obviously been lecturing him about this because he always says, "You can watch whatever you want Nana, it's ok," but I always say, "no it's ok, and the next moment there is Moonshiners or one of the others on an endless loop. We did one night of Duck Dynasty from beginning to end and last time he spent the night, it was Moonshiners, an entire season. Good Lord. The worst part was I started to pay attention and started to know who was who. Then I'd get aggravated because he loves to talk through every program so then I'd have to rewatch it when he wasn't here to see what the hell he was talking about. Oh, My God...what is wrong with me? That's scary! Now every night they are on I get a text from Michael telling me what time to tune them in. Since I no longer watch the "Housewife" franchises on Bravo religiously, there are some open slots for trash on my viewing schedule....but moonshiners. I just have to wonder what do the normal people do at night? But I will rest restrain on Sunday night because Downton Abbey is back and Sunday night is mine. I just love that show...in fact I have the DVD's for the first 4 seasons so I can have a Downton Abbey marathon the first snow (O.K., I really did just say snow but I don't mind if it doesn't snow I can wait to watch the series at some other time, perhaps a hard rain day when there is no school.) I've watch The Dutchess of Duke Street(another British show set over the course of time) several times and I could still watch it again and I'm talking about 4 days worth of watching....I love the British shows. Have to go start getting Michael's new room ready.