The Advent of Santa: Day Three

December 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Posted in art, baby, Christmas, country life, family, gifts, Holidays, knitting, Life, love, photography, Santa Claus, snow, socks, stockings, travel | Leave a comment
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The Santa I showed on Day Two of my advent has met with a wee bit of misfortune and is in the shop for repairs.  Meanwhile, the fellow standing in the middle here is his temporary stand-in.

For Day Three of The Advent of Santa (which I should have posted yesterday) I offer you Candle Santa.  I bought him at Macy’s in Los Angeles about 26 years ago or so.

He is a candle, and even has a wick coming out the top of his hat.  Who could ever burn a candle made to look like Santa?  I certainly never could.  So, he has been save with me these many years.

I pack him away each year in the same nice big cube-shaped box he came in, with the same straw packing material.

My, how time goes by.  But this fellow looks no worse for the wear, really.  And, he has never had to go to the shop for repairs.

We continue to have snow, and it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.


The Advent of Santa: Day 2

December 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Posted in baby, Christmas, country life, country living, dogs, family, gifts, Holidays, knitting, knitting for babies, Life, love, pets, photography, snow, socks, stockings, yarn | 3 Comments
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It snowed heavily for much of the day yesterday; after about the first hour or so it started sticking to the ground.  We got several inches of snow, and the dogs had a particularly good time romping in it.

In today’s Advent of Santa you see a second Santa Claus from my collection.  This one my son bought for me in Colorado when he was about eleven years old.  He was visiting with his father before Christmas, and saw this Santa in a shop window.  I love how whispy and ethereal this particular Santa is, plus he has great sentimental value to me because of the connection with my son.

Speaking of my son, his English Bulldog is boarding with us on the farm for a while and, being a Los Angeles-raised Bulldog who was born in Texas, yesterday was his first time in the snow.  The first moment I took him outside he instantly looked all around excitedly and started snapping at falling snowflakes, trying to catch them in his mouth.

He ran around, jumping belly first into the snow and then twirling around, making his own version of snow angels.  I had never seen a dog making snow angels before, and I couldn’t help but laugh heartily.

He isn’t trained on the electric boundary fence yet, so I have to take him out on a leash, and he was running this way and that pulling me along, joyously jumping into the air (quite a sight to see a chubby, short-legged bulldog doing that) to try to catch the snowflakes. He is definitely a snow-loving dog.

This morning did his first ice-skating on the frozen autumnal pond that has filled in out by our grand old willow tree.  He took one step onto it and started skating around before breaking through.  Such a cute little guy, and so much fun to see him discovering an entirely different world.

I just finished this long, long, long hand knit Christmas Stocking for my daughter.  I will release a pattern for it next week sometime, but wanted to show a photo of it today because it is long and skinny like the Santa Claus in the top photo.

This is knit from two hansk of Foot Notes Sock Yarn I purchased from Fiber Optic Yarns (Kimber Baldwin Designs) last winter.  The two colorways I chose were her low contrast Batiks, Tomato and Pale Watercress. Amazingly, because her hanks of yarn are so generous in yardage, I still have plenty of left over yarn. I even knit a miniature version of this stocking for the Christmas tree, and still have plenty left over. I think will knit a pair of real socks for my baby grand-daughter from the remaining yarn … and even then will probably have some left over!

It is snowing again, the Nutcracker ballet is playing on the television in the background, and I am feeling rather Christmas-ie all up and down and inside and out.

I hope your advent of the season, whatever it is, is going well.

Until tomorrow …

Copyright © 2010 J. L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

October comes lovely

October 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Posted in art, baby, country life, faith, family, flowers, knitting, Life, love, marriage, photography, relationships, romance, socks, yarn | 2 Comments
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October comes lovely each year, whether cold and wet or crisp and windy … for me it is the most lovely month of  the year.  Our trees are at what looks to me like peak or near-peak color today.  It is rainy and dark, but the autumn leaves glow far and wide bringing a strange brightness to what would otherwise be a gloomy, moody day.

My son is visiting, and yesterday afternoon we all took a quick two-mile bike ride; Grandpa, me, little Sweet Pea in a trailer pulled by Grandpa, her mom (my daughter) and my son.  It was a spur of the moment ride because the mood overtook us and I relished in the pleasure of being here in this beautiful place where we could make such a decision on the spur of the moment and act on it in the immediate environment.

My son has been visiting for the past two weeks and we have had a relaxed and easy going time of it.  A few days after he arrived we had a beautiful dinner at Zambistro Restaurant, where a selection of my paintings hang regularly.  It was my son’s birthday last month, so we had a private five-course Chef’s Tasting dinner to celebrate his birthday belatedly.  Mike, the talented owner/chef of Zambistro, crafted a stunning dinner especially for us.  I was able to email him specifics of each person’s likes and dislikes, wishes, etc. and he created customized menus for each of us.  For my vegetarian main dish he created handmade raviolli stuffed with roasted butternut squash seasoned and topped in such a way that the dish created a powerful yet soothing taste and texture sensation that literally made me cry, it was that good.

Zambistro hosts a monthly five-course Chef’s Tasting dinner beginning each fall and continuing through winter. These dinners fill up and sell out quickly once the announcements go out in the mail, so if you would like to attend one be sure to make reservations as soon as you hear about the dinner. October’s dinner has already passed, but I am sure he will have something extraordinary planned for November.

As for October around here, I get up in each morning and look forward to day light arriving sometime later, knowing it will reveal something beautiful to behold. It might be a frosty white field and lawn streaked with golden sunlight as it filters through autumn trees, fog rising on our river, soft fluffy clouds streaking in tones of pink and lavender across the sky … lovely, and cozy.

By the way, thank you if you participated in the survey for the September Sock Yarn Give Away. Your answers will be very helpful in planning I am doing right now for knitting patterns I will be developing over the next few months. The winner for September’s Sock Yarn Give Away is Marty W. She chose “Mulled Cider” as her colorway of choice … check out photos of this pretty new Fiber Optic Foot Notes Sock Yarn colorway on my Facebook page.

I have to be on my way, but hope you enjoy today’s photo selection.

Have a beautiful October day!


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