Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | December 27, 2011


It’s been difficult posting because moments of quiet have been few with 14 people and a dog, and because my computer has been claimed for many hours by the boy child for a game with his cousins. The emotional aspects of the holiday are going to take some time to process – happy at seeing my parents and the rest of my relatives, irritation at the bad behavior of my niece and nephews, more irritation at the bad behavior that aforesaid nephew behavior induces in boy child, sadness over unhappiness of girl child with viewpoints expressed by relatives, joy at toddler niece, irritation at brother. It’s all just a mish-mash. So I’m going to just post some pictures mostly taken by the girl child with explanations.

Here are the stockings hung by the chimney with care. Over the years my mom has knit one for each of her children, then each of her in-law children, and then each of her grandchildren. She hasn’t always used the same size needles so some are bigger than others and the colors don’t quite match, but it looks great to have them all lined up across the mantle. Our stocking tradition is that parents are responsible for their kids, spouses are responsible for spouses, and anyone can fill in a bit for the others. All stocking stuff gets wrapped in tissue paper and are allowed to be unwrapped whenever you wake up on Christmas morning. I got some body butter, some chocolates, some tea, a refrigerator magnet, and a tiny bud vase in mine. Here is the tree on Christmas eve.

This is my toddler niece. She’ll be two in April and you can see her mom in the corner of the picture. It’s fun having a little one around at Christmas as the next youngest in the family is 11. Rutledge is my younger brother and SIL’s dog and their daughter climbs all over him, pulls his ears, inspects his teeth, covers him with her blanket, and he just lies patiently and tolerantly knowing that eventually she will be in her high chair eating and he will have snack time from everything that falls on the floor. Rutledge also moves from person to person, staying with whomever will pet and scratch him, and then, when your hand falls off from tiredness, on he goes to find another willing victim

. The excitement was too much for DH who fell asleep on Christmas afternoon.

And a shot of one of my favorite things in my parent’s house: This is a quilt they have hanging on the wall behind the sofa. It came from my maternal grandmother’s attic and we don’t know who made it. It is probably from the late 1800’s, and, while it was made with attention to the pattern, there are lots of places where things don’t match up perfectly and is obviously a quilt made of scraps to keep someone warm at night.

There was an exodus today and all the people left are our family and my older brother, so things will be a lot quieter now. Mom and I will have time to talk over all that happened and maybe I will find out what made girl child unhappy. I wasn’t in the room when the discussion that upset her happened so I don’t know what it was but from the scraps I overheard it was possibly political, she’s liberal and the rest of the people in the discussion are rather conservative, or derogatory toward gays. I love my family, but . . . *sigh*




  1. What a wonderful post. I love the dog. Reminds me of my dear Nikki who I missed so much over these holidays. Love how dogs know what they need and how to demand it. ; ) Also, I adore the quilt. That is special. Hope you get some R & R over the next couple of days.

    • Since over half the relatives have departed, things are much calmer. We couldn’t bring our dog so it was nice to have a substitute one for a few days and he is certainly a sweetheart. Odd how certain times bring back memories more strongly than other times, isn’t it?

  2. Robena, I had a few similarly based break-downs recently as well.

    Karen, that beautiful baby girl looks JUST like Cindy Lou Hoo!

    I’m so sorry about the unhappiness, and I am totally right there with your daughter. That kind of crap makes me really angry.
    With less folks around hopefully everything can be straightened out.

    The quilt is amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing these with us.

    • I hadn’t thought of Cindy Lou Who! But you’re right, she does! Things are definitely calmer with fewer people. Isn’t the quilt cool? I thought you’d appreciate it!

  3. Christmas with family does evoke mixed feelings, no? Tell the girl child The Fokker has the same problems … and that we are right, while they are wrong :0)

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