Monday, December 4, 2023

Weekly update: holiday celebrations, small finishes, and OMG December + reading


The social whirl is underway!  

The GFWC-IL District 10 luncheon was on Wednesday.  We played Santa bingo.   I won $41 in the split-the-pot raffle.   

There was a Christmas tree trivia quiz.  The average artificial tree is used for 6 years (and is in the landfill forever).....Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states....Calvin Coolidge began the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in 1923.

Friday evening we enjoyed dinner with Rotary friends prior to the Carthage College Christmas Festival

Familiar carols and other old and new songs, with splendid choral and instrumental music.  

Saturday was the AAUW Waukegan Area Branch holiday luncheon at Lamb's Farm.  It's a residential vocational center for adults with disabilities. Their restaurant servers are clients.   Of course we don't just eat -- we raise money!  There's a white elephant/silent auction (AAUW Greatest Needs Fund), a 50/50 cash raffle (local STEM scholarship), and the quilt raffle (Greatest Needs).  

Here are Betsy and me with the winning ticket for the quilt and the **$118** that I won in the cash raffle!  

I made the quilt in June and quilted it in July. (Photo shows front and back.) 

I paid $12, total, for two silent auction items that will be perfect for upcoming holiday gift swaps, and people bought the things I brought so I didn't have to haul them back home. 

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In the studio:   I used HSTs left over from this quilt to make placemats.  The dark blues are a Chicago Bears print.   Nursing home/Meals on Wheels placemats are one of my guild's charity projects. 

OMG for December  I'm going to keep up with the clues for Indigo Way.  Right now I'm 1/3 done with Clue 2.

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"That's the thing about Coopers Chase. You'd imagine it was quiet and sedate...but in truth it's always in motion. And that motion is aging, and death, and love, and grief, and final snatched moments and opportunities grasped. The urgency of old age. There's nothing that makes you feel more alive than the certainty of death," writes Joyce. (348).

#4 in the series is the best yet. The intrepid four from Coopers Chase retirement home -- Elizabeth (former MI6), Ron (union organizer), Ibrahim (still-practicing psychologist), and Joyce (retired nurse) -- enlist the help of long-time friends and new ones to solve the murder of an antiques dealer. It's a pleasantly convoluted caper novel and a delight to read.

I appreciated Osman's descriptions of Elizabeth's husband Stephen who has dementia.  "Stephen was right: our memories are no less real than whatever moment in which we happen to be living." (320)

Osman is a screenwriter and structures the books like a script -- very episodic. He writes that he's going to give the Thursday Murder Club a break (the next book will have different characters) but assures us that they'll be back. Meanwhile, I hope he'll work on a dramatization. (I'm thinking of Eileen Atkins for Elizabeth, Bill Nighy for Ron. Elizabeth McRae (Brokenwood) for Joyce. Not sure for Ibrahim....)

Linking up with Sew and Tell  OMG at Stories from the Sewing Room Design Wall Monday Oh Scrap!


  1. Boy you have been staying busy.. any time for napping haha!! Glad you are having great fun!

  2. True that ook is the best so far....looks like you are on a lucky streakm! Went to dar party sat and had fun!!

  3. Wow, you know Brokenwood? I thought we were the only people who watched it, such a treasure!


  4. Sounds like you've been having lots of fun! I try to have my 'have-to-do' list completed by the end of November so I'm free to be social throughout December, although I have to say that since the advent of Covid many of the social things have fallen by the wayside.
    It was interesting to see that an artificial tree usually lasts six years - I think we've gotten closer to 15-20 with our last one. Sadly, we're not allowed real trees in our apartment complex so we are pretty much stuck with artificial. The new one we bought on the weekend should last us the rest of our lives.

  5. Sounds like you've been busy and having lots of fun. The book sounds interesting. Though I've been reading a book on the Science of Murder based on th foresenic science in Agatha Christie novels. It's been years since I've read Crhistie, so I'm going to go back through her catalog. That should keep be busy for awhile.

  6. You're on quite the winning streak!!! And so many fun Christmas events!!!

  7. Congrats on the wins! We kept our first artificial tree for over 20 years. It was the rare thing that was made in America. I finally parted with it because it had lost so many needles. My husband took it to work for its second life. They had it stored in a closet. There was a sewage backup and the tree was involved. Now it's in the landfill. 😥 Good luck with your goal. It sounds like an ambitious one!

  8. I've had the series as audiobooks from the library so I can be read to while I sew. I put my name down for The Last Devil to Die when it came out and the queue runs until early 2025 (not a typo, not 2024). Congratulations on your winning streak, long may it continue

  9. You are both busy and helpful this holiday season. Congratulations. Ann at QuiltNotYourself


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