Merry

Looks as if we’ll have a white Christmas here in the Twin Cities. There’s about six inches of snow on the ground. It’s light, fluffy stuff, easy to shovel and plow. But it’s very cold outside (in the single digits), so I’m not going out in it except to walk from my car to someone’s front door and back again. It clings to tree branches and drapes picturesquely on evergreen branches, very pretty to look at  – out our windows.

The Remicade infusion I had last week is working well, my joints are hardly complaining at all.

Our friend Ann had a birthday the seventh of December so we took her out for supper at a new restaurant in the shadow of the new Vikings stadium. The restaurant is called Erik the Red after a famous Viking, and the food reflects that heritage. One offering as an appetizer is marrow bone. I’ve heard about marrow and read about marrow in old books, touted as wonderfully nutritious, but I’d never had a chance to taste it or even see it in person. So I offered to share an order of it with Ann. It’s the femur of a cow (or steer) split lengthwise and roasted, and the marrow comes still resting in the two halves of the bone. The texture is sort of like the fat on a good steak, only smoother and maybe a little softer. It’s light in color. And it’s very delicious, very rich. I can imagine it flavoring a soup or stew, but just by itself it’s very good.

merry-2

I’m working on a big needlepoint Christmas stocking – or rather I was, but I’ve set it aside for a much smaller project. A few years back I was in Stitchville USA, a really excellent needlework store, and back in a corner they have a deep-discount selection of patterns, kits and stuff. I found this wooden frame seventeen inches long by seven inches high. A pattern of holly is painted on one corner and attached to the other side is an old-fashioned jumping jack shaped like a very leggy Santa Claus. The string and knob were attached to it, but pulling the knob didn’t make Santa’s arms and legs leap – it was broken somehow. The price was ridiculously low so I bought it, thinking to find a Christmas pattern that would fit inside its dimensions. But I didn’t find anything I liked and the frame ended up in the mess of canvas bags, half-begun projects, and needlepoint stretchers behind an overstuffed chair in my office. But I got it out a month ago and brought it to Nancy at The Club Room, the needlework shop we gather in once a week to talk and stitch. She painted the word MERRY on a piece of canvas that just fit inside the frame. It nearly ended up back behind the chair, because I was focused on the stocking, which is coming along beautifully, but Ellen took custody of it and fixed the jumping jack (she can fix anything), and that inspired me to begin stitching over the MERRY with Kreinik’s red metallic. You can see that I’ve got the Y and most of one R finished, and a corner of the base covered with ivory wool. I may take out the ivory wool because I kind of like the texture of the naked canvas. The word MERRY suits the Santa perfectly.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a new idea for Tying the Knot and will have to go back and re-write a hunk of it, making a different innocent person the suspect my sleuth will work to clear. So it’s working, but slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y.

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