Monday, December 29, 2008

Dixieland Jazz

Jammin' with the band! On the last Sunday afternoon of the month Dixieland Jazz is on tap at the Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island. Many of our familly members were around yesterday to hear my dad perform with the Port Royal Sound Dixieland Jazz Band. Led by my dad's buddy and mentor Steve Rich, the musicians entertained us with familiar tunes like 12th Street Rag, DarkTown Strutters Ball, and When the Saints Go Marching In!!! Daddy's love of music and playing the horn is something we've watched (and heard) for a long time. He is always striving to improve his skills. We are all inspired by his pursuit of his dreams!!Here are a few pictures from the Jazz Corner!! Thanks to ALL the talented musicians for an entertaining Sunday afternoon!!! We're proud of you, Dad!!
"Man if you have to ask what it is, you'll never know." Louis Armstrong on jazz
Dad and his friend Steve Rich.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

" Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke
We celebrated the birth of Jesus with much family togetherness and Christmas Eve mass at St. Anthony's in Ridgeland. I am very thankful for all the blessings that we share. I am also thankful that we celebrate the season by getting in touch with those friends and family members who we may not visit with very often. All the cards and remembrances are very special.
We started our holiday festivities with dinner and gifts with the Thomas family at Aunt Brenda's.Tucker roasted a wonderful pork tenderloin and Brenda added all the fixins'. I think Philip, jr. enjoyed the macaroni the most!
Michael likes the toy truck!
Sarah is smiling just thinking about Santa!
Philip caught GaGa under the mistletoe
. . . Brenda's tree is beautiful!!!
We went to mass after Brenda's, then went to Mom and Dad's to visit with my family. I forgot to take pictures, but we enjoyed a little more good food and libation before going home to get ready for Santa.
Christmas morning! Philip is excited to get some camellia books.
Ashley zips up !
Philip in his new jacket!
Mom and Dad are excited that there was NOT a puppy in that BIG box!! Ashley, David, and Philip are having a little fun!
David is checking out the stockings!!
We enjoyed a little brunch after gifts and stockings were opened. Amanda came to visit Philip on Christmas afternoon. We all went down to Mike and Jean's to enjoy another feast. Smoked turkey....yum! yum!! It's a good thing this only happens once a year! I already know what the New Year's Resolutions will be.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . .

We've had so much fun decorating the house for the holidays. I decided to go with traditional Christmas red and green colors with pine garland outside.
"Deck the halls . . ."
". . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!"
"Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree . . ."
"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care . . ."
(There are not lights in this swag, the red balls are reflecting the light.)
Mantle decorations - courtesy of Ashley!!! Thanks, Ash!
" . . . four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, . . ."
A special note of thanks to Aunt Cathy Hightower for the beautiful hand-knit stockings that she has made for everyone in our family. They are so special to each of us. I hope I can learn her trade secrets and carry on the tradition.
I also want to share Philip's latest camellia bloom Tama Americana which is an early bloomer. It is unique with its rose-splashed white petals.
Merry Christmas to one and all!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Noro Rocks!!!

Some of my favorite yarns are those made by Noro. This name is synonymous with beautiful hand-dyed fiber that is bursting with color. My most recent project with this yarn is the "Striped Noro Scarf" by Jared Flood. See post of 4/30/2007.
I'm using Noro Kureyon in colorways 233, 220, and 40. It is a simple 1x1 rib pattern with color change every 2 rows. It is coming along very quickly and should be done in time for a Christmas gift.
I was hugely inspired by seeing these on Yarn Harlot and Brooklyn Tweed. Working on this has been pretty addicting. It is hard to put down with those colors changing all the time.
The first project I undertook using Noro was a modification of Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole by Kathleen Power Johnson. It is in the book Scarf Style. The most intriquing part of this project was learning how to do entrelac. It was a mindbender at first, but became much easier after a few repeats. This is one of my favorite scarves!
Ashley liked this scarf and I did a repeat in a different colorway.
Ashley took a few nice pictures of her scarf. You can see how interesting the color changes are! Last, but not least, is the Circle Vest by Elaine Eskesen. This pattern is in Silk Knits. I used Noro Silk Garden for this project in colorway 264. This pattern was really mesmerizing and a lot of fun to watch evolve.
Here is the vest being blocked.
I love working with colorful yarn. I hope this post will inspire someone to get some Noro and cast on one of these fun projects .

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Celebration

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration at the family farm in Grays. The Thomas family gathered for the traditional feast with many thanks for all our blessings.
Sarah and Michael having fun before lunch.
James says, "Touchdown!!!"
Here comes the turkey!! Uncle Bob fried the bird. Sensational as always!
This year, after the feast, Philip took as on a hay ride through the forest to see some wild animals. The adults enjoyed this as much as the kids. Here we are getting ready for the fun.

I didn't get a great shot, but I think that's a turkey in that clearing ....and there's a bobcat!!!

We also caught a glimpse of a deer, an otter, and some ducks in the pond.

Elizabeth is content after all the food and fun!

After cleaning up at Grays, we went to the Nimmer Family gathering at Bailey's. My sister Cathy and husband Phil had been entertaining my family. We joined them late in the afternoon to visit and eat some yummy leftovers.

Phil and Cathy in the kitchen.

Gerritt, Reeves, and Tony after "Round 2".

We are excited to see our camellia bushes with many blooms. A few are beginning to show color...and even a first bloom!!! Philip has worked really hard to fertilize, water, and prevent (or treat) "scale" .

Our first camellia pick of the season: Debutante.

Well, indeed I have many blessings to be thankful for. As we count our blessings during this holiday season, let us share the peace, joy , and love of Christ with others.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tailgaiting at The Swamp

Well, as football goes, we definitely entered enemy territory on Saturday, Nov. 15 when the USC Gamecocks travelled to Gainsville to take on the Florida Gators. The game results were less than desirable, but the tailgating was fun as usual. Here are some pics of fun with our family and friends in Gator Territory!!
Jean and Ann....
BarbaraJean and Pix
Tommy and Ann Mike consulting with George, Henry, and Philip on pre-game strategy.
The long drive gave me a little knitting time. Got to start the Feather and Fan Stole
on the way down and made friends with the Jil Eaton "MinnowMerino" yarn. It is so soft, but it likes to split. I think we have made a truce and things are going smoothly now.
Safely back home and time to get ready for the week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Football and Barbecue

One of our favorite fall activities is watching college football. We had a great time tailgating at 'The Shed" in Columbia this past weekend for the South Carolina vs Arkansas game. Everyone arrived early for the 1 p.m. game to enjoy Philip's ribs. As you can see it takes much concentration and precision to get it right! Philip is basting the ribs as Uncle Mike looks on.

The crowd was well pleased!! The ribs were tender and juicy - a great prelude to a great game - Carolina topped Arkansas!! Thanks to all the other cooks, too for the awesome tailgate- potato salad, slaw, deviled eggs, brownies, shrimp kabobs, Mexican dip..... I can't remember it all, but it was surely enjoyed!!!

The car ride allowed some good knitting time. I'm about half-way through the Hemlock Rink Blanket. We'll be taking the road trip to Florida this weekend. Gamecocks will face a big challenge in Gatorland. Looking forward to going down to Jacksonville on Friday!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baby (or Bear) Cocoon

I was excited today to finish the little cocoon that is hands down the fastest project I have ever done. Ashley was anxious to get her hands on it, so that she can use it for photography. I needed a model, so baby bear had to do! It is really simple, just a large sock with a collar of sorts. But is surely is nice to have something finished so quickly! I love the Araucania Aysen. So, it's back to the Hemlock Ring Blanket (and other works in progress)!!! .