Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Riddle: More popular Christmas carols reworded: Twelve o'clock on a cloudless night witnessed its arrival. A small municipality in Jordan southeast of Jerusalem. Sterling carillons.
Most of the recent road trip was great, some a little less so. The Embroiderers Guild of America party in La Crosse was super. Big crowd of stitchers, a pot luck dinner (great food, far above the standard), enthusiastic reception of my talk, and they bought lots of books. On the other hand, Beaverdale Books, a really nice independent bookstore in Des Moines, despite all efforts, produced an audience of one. Seriously, one person came. I was amused to hear my little GPS mangle the name of the city: Dess MOY-nez. On yet another hand, at Village Needlework in Marion (a quaint suburb of Cedar Rapids), there was standing room only. So you never know what you're going to find. In Marion I blew the budget on punch needle materials, including a clever little lap stand that is actually two embroidery hoops, larger and smaller, connected by six-inch pegs. I have some embroidery hoops, but none of them holds the thin fabric of punch needle very firmly. This is advertised to be different. We'll see. We had lovely weather the whole trip, until the drive home from Omaha, when we ran into rain that turned to sleet that turned to snow that disguised the road surface so thoroughly it was only by running occasionally into the rumble strip that marked the shoulder we stayed out of the ditch. It took more than three hours longer than predicted to get home very late Saturday night. I'm still tired. But it was worth it, it's exciting and rewarding to meet people who like my books.
The problem with a December road trip is that it messes up preparations for Christmas. Here it is less than a week away and I haven't sent Christmas cards or baked Vanocka - a Christmas yeast bread that has orange zest, two colors of raisins and blanched almond slivers in it. The smell of it baking has come to mean Christmas. I haven't even put my tree up yet, though that is supposed to happen later today.
I hope your holiday schedule is progressing serenely.
Answers: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. O Little Town of Bethlehem. Silver Bells.