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the chit-chat corner

Tattered but still lovely

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Oct 31, 2018, 10:59am Top

Come over here and talk about anything at all.

sweet story:

His mother checked out Spoon River Anthology when she was 11 years old and never returned it. He paid the fine due from 1934.

Oct 31, 2018, 2:11pm Top

$1,542.65! The man is a hero!

Nov 9, 2018, 8:51am Top

Found a copy of the 1959 Folio Society edition of Mansfield Park in an antique shop today. This just qualifies as TBSL, right? I bought it partly because it has illustrations by Joan Hassall.

Nov 9, 2018, 11:44am Top

Absolutely! I wish my mom had hung onto some of her People's Book Club editions from the 50's; wonderful (and exquisitely 50's-ish) inside and cover illustrations. Even before I was old enough to read, I loved looking at the pictures.

Nov 25, 2018, 3:43pm Top

I can't find it now, but I think it was this group (or else it was Gardens & Books) where I spoke about daughter's family moving into a Victorian home in Cincinnati a year and a half ago.

Anyway, we did Christmas up nicely last year, with the tree set up in the front parlour (LR) and the pocket doors closed until Christmas morning. But it was kinda slap-dash, as she wasn't yet fully unpacked or situated with furnishings.

This year, Anne has a vision she's reaching for; and she knows to ask for support from me. She asked earlier this month if I had lengths of greenery.
Ahem! Of course I do. (I used to decorate the entire local library for a while, I know how to buy cheap and stash away.) I hauled out two huge bags stuffed with pine garlands. (Bought at $1 each on clearance) We spent Friday festooning the tops of doorways and windows with a crown of pine and down her carved staircase railing. We had enough to do foyer, LR and dining room. Just by itself, it's festive. But now I need to dig up in the attic for berries, fruits and ribbons. Time to move those treasures from my house to hers.

Oh, and I saw two boxes of younger daughter's tree ornaments as well, that I might now pass on. She has never done a full sized tree; but this year they have a baby and newly renovated space. They are not yet done with the renovations, so it might be another year yet.

But I have managed to move some of my favorite baby clothes and toys and books on.

Nov 25, 2018, 6:17pm Top

Good grief. I couldn't live with Christmas decorations for a whole month. It'd drive me up the wall.

It's perhaps unfashionably old-fashioned these days, but our decorations go up on Christmas Eve and come down on Twelfth Night. I have had to accept that you can't buy a Christmas tree just in time for Christmas any more, so I'll probably buy that about a week in advance and hide it in the garden.

Still, each to their own. There's no other time of the year quite like Christmas for pitting one family's way of doing things against another's. My wife was brought up to expect pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce, otherwise it's not Christmas dinner. Both strike me as completely unnecessary. Also Advent calendars (plural, one for each child). My parents' Christmas dinner required bread sauce and brandy butter, neither of which my wife can stand. Oh yes, and a pantomime. Much as some families have to go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve or a performance of Handel's Messiah for it to be Christmas, mine had to take in a pantomime. My wife has a complete blind spot when it comes to pantomimes. A complete waste of time. So our Christmas dinner table groans under pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and brandy butter, but the children and I go to the pantomime on our own.

It makes me wonder about the parental negotiations that went into the "traditional" Christmas we knew as children, and what our children take away as the essential elements of our family Christmas, as they enter negotiations with their partners. As long as I've inculcated a love of pantomime, I'm happy.

Nov 26, 2018, 11:32am Top

I could almost live with Christmas décor all year, except for the coming of spring, which requires a different set of colors and fabrics.

My parents had us do the decorating on Christmas Eve, but, oh man! What a chaotic evening! I'd much rather do it gradually.

In my household, we focused on preparation for the Nativity. Our creche grew to cover an entire wall - and we started with the Wise Men's travels on one end and the stable at the other end. When grandson came along, the camels got pretty rowdy and scattered the wood pile a lot. (I've always wanted to add a running stream, but haven't managed that yet.)

Nov 26, 2018, 1:49pm Top

Reminds me of a game my (oh-so-long-ago!) 2-year-old son and I would play. The "shepherd" would hide behind the couch. The "angel" would appear suddenly and deliver, depending on who was whom, either an accurate or deliciously mangled version of "Fear not! I bring you good tidings of great joy for all the people..." From there, it was a free-for-all--first one to run to the manger wins!

We are experiencing a severe shortage of 2-year-olds in my family. I wouldn't mind playing a round again :)

Edited: Dec 4, 2018, 9:37am Top

We've had traditions come and go as the children grew. One which held up pretty well was the opening of stockings on Christmas morning. Last year was the first time that didn't happen since the children were born 30 years ago. Ah well. I try not to set stipulations and grand expectations for the holidays because as each child has found a significant other, they should focus on making their own traditions/memories. Also, the other halves of their new families might want to see them at the holidays too. Not sure my kids will be home this year due to that fact, but they will come home at some weekend even if it isn't "that" one. The "no pressure" at holidays was something my mother-in-law instigated 35 years ago when I married her son.

For a few years when the children were small, we would reenact the Posada, a ritual from Mexico (my husband's heritage) of Joseph and Mary seeking room at the inn. The children would go from door to door in the in-law's house and a different adult would open it saying "no room!" Or the Spanish version, which I forget. Until they arrived at the room where the food and party was to be held (including a piñata).

This year I am trying to make a small "book" tree, since our artificial tree died last year and I'm not eager to replace it. There will also be a Victorian Mouse House, our Mousiah, and a Nativity scene (or several). The Nativity used to be traditional, but lately my children's whims dictated whether it was populated by Lord of the Rings figurines, Star Wars characters or dragons. I suppose my years of doing a Nativity with mouse figures taught them to have some leeway with the traditions. :)

>5 2wonderY: Your daughter's house sounds lovely! Would she consent to your sharing photos with us when it is finished?

Edited: Dec 4, 2018, 10:53am Top

Condolences for your tree. Perhaps you'll find one on clearance that'll suit.

The Italians do up Nativity scenes right. They call them Presepio (I encourage all to google image search the word.), and they are always awesome and home set-ups can include elements of all stories past, present, future and fantasy. In my mind, that makes sense for the ultimate meaning of the story, eh?

We've collected human figures and animals from all over too, and our Holy Family has been served pizza from the dollhouse collection. I've re-homed our basic set to daughter's house, and the grands were surprisingly enthusiastic to build on. Locational questions and cats make the project more difficult.

I was spoiled as a child. My uncle was a priest, and he sent us a huge and elaborate set from Italy. It took up the entire DR buffet, and Mom baked a birthday cake for baby Jesus and we would sing Happy Birthday.

Hmm, maybe we'll try the Posada activity as well. Reminder to all of the reason for the season.

I'm sure Anne would love posting photos.

>8 gmathis: I assuredly agree with your position on two year olds. Not much is better in this world!

Edited: Dec 22, 2018, 8:10am Top

Love reading the Christmas traditions.

>6 Cynfelyn: my husband's family would put up an artificial tree right after Thanksgiving, but my side had the "get the tree and decorate on Christmas Eve" traditions.

My dad would drive Mom around from lot to lot trying to find the perfect tree. I remember how he'd bring each specimen up to the car, to display for Mom's approval (she never got out of the car). Once she made her choice and we got the tree home Dad would put it in his improved/modified tree stand (engineer!) and trim branches to make it more symmetrical. Mom would take the trimmed greenery and make a "spray" wreath, attaching blue and green metallic ball ornaments while the tree's lights were attached...those old fashioned HOT lights which we knew better than to touch! After the garland was added it was up to us, the daughters, to trim the tree with ornaments and tinsel.

The wreath was hung on the front door and the presents put under the tree while Christmas carols wafted from the record player. Before bed we would sit around the tree while my dad read from Luke 2. And then we'd open a few presents, one person at a time in order to enjoy the reaction of the recipient. When we lived in a house with a fireplace we'd often have a fire burning, too.

I thought for years that the reason we'd buy and decorate the tree on the 24th was because the trees were on sale, but since then I have discovered that part of my mother's Danish heritage included the traditions we grew up with.

>9 MrsLee: the stockings tradition continued with us, and we still stuff them for each other and our adult son who is living with us. The stocking design was from the stockings my grandmother made for her children, that her daughter made for her daughters, and that we continued with our own children. The little jingle bell from the top of my stocking was lost years back, and the floss hand-embroidered name disintegrated long ago, but I can still see my mother's handwriting, faintly showing on the top.

Dec 24, 2018, 10:41am Top

Anyhow, it’s mid-afternoon on a surprisingly pleasant although chilly Christmas Eve in southern England and I’m sat in our conservatory with a shot of rye and a book. Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and have a fabulous day if you don’t.

Dec 24, 2018, 6:37pm Top

What are you reading? Hmm?

I drove across Ohio today again arriving at daughters and noted no tree up. They have new dog and kitten and were concerned about tree disasters. I argued and we compromised with tree and lights only, perhaps some ribbon. It’s not glorious, but a step in the right direction.

A blessed holiday to my LT family!

Dec 25, 2018, 12:29am Top

>13 2wonderY: It was Word by Word by Kory Stamper. Terrific book—I loved it, but if you are a prescriptivist grammarian it will not please you.

I read A Christmas Carol last Friday, for the sake of the season.

Dec 25, 2018, 1:24am Top

That’s already on my wishlist!

Dec 25, 2018, 12:34pm Top

Merry, merry to all of you! We are having a deliciously introverted Christmas--just three of us and the cats, all of whom (except me) are taking their pre-lunch naps. We've visited and connected with family in small doses on and off since Thanksgiving, so today's agenda is crammed with books (literary and coloring), favorite movies, and a luscious serving of idleness and stillness. Much needed here.

Dec 26, 2018, 9:28am Top

>16 gmathis: That sounds wonderful. After my kids left yesterday, I confess to a marathon with the TV and food. I was finishing up a series on Hulu (The Rookie), then saw that they had The Librarian series. I know my time would better have been spent reading (I'm in the middle of Lone Cowboy by Will James and The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud), but somehow I couldn't do it.

Anyway, I have hopes of finishing both of those books this week since I won't have to cook after work. There is a plethora of food left from the holidays.

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 3:10pm Top

Woo! Merry Christmas etcetera!

We did not travel, bless you all that braved the elements and traffic to go visit. We had a ham on Christmas Eve for dinner, so decided to postpone the Christmas turkey until today...possible as we’re all older (son is youngest one here at home, he’s 35), we were feeling a bit tired, and none of us get upset over a change of day...especially since everyone’s taken time off this week!

Dinner will be ready about 6pm ET, with aforementioned bird, sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mac and cheese, gravy, mashed rutabaga, cranberry sauce, rolls, and pumpkin pie. The sauce, gravy, and rolls come from cans, but the rest is made from scratch.

Dec 29, 2018, 12:34pm Top

A member recently added this great photo:

Bombardamento di Londra, la distruzione della Biblioteca di Holland House

Would this be us?

Dec 30, 2018, 10:56am Top

>19 2wonderY: I can't see that photo?

Dec 30, 2018, 12:43pm Top

Dec 30, 2018, 2:14pm Top

>19 2wonderY: It's a colourised version of a staged black-and-white photograph of the Second World War bomb damage to the library of Holland House, a privately-owned mansion in Kensington, west London.

There is more on the two versions of the photograph on the 'Books for Victory' blog, and more detail on the 'What are you reading for?' blog:

Looks like the photos came straight out of the "Keep calm and carry on" playbook, treating the public like mushrooms. You remember, kept in the dark, and fed sh...

There is a photograph of the Holland House library, pre-Blitz, on Wikipedia:

Dec 30, 2018, 2:20pm Top

>20 MrsLee: I can see it...

>21 2wonderY: you made a punny!

Dec 31, 2018, 9:54am Top

I see the photo now. Must have been a temporary glitch for me.

Jan 2, 7:30am Top

Aaand I've just realised belatedly and shamefacedly that I've not put up a New Year greeting to my fellow TBSL-ers. So best wishes to you all for 2019 and may your year be filled with light, love, good times and great reading.

Edited: Jan 15, 10:13am Top

How is everyone surviving this odd January? I'm in furlough mode, and since the weather isn't good, sticking close to home. I'm working on several projects, but slowly. Main task is to reduce stuff. Focusing on paper and books, but also keep a small Goodwill bag by the door.

Here is my discard thread.

Another project is writing down some childhood memories. My mother shared hers with us at the supper table often, but I didn't follow suit. So I realize that my family has no idea about a lot of their history.

I found this in with my papers and it prompted the memory of mom bringing these decals home from the five & dime and applying them to both the crib (in constant use for 15 years) and the bed I shared with a sister.

Jan 15, 1:09pm Top

>26 2wonderY: I remember decals like that!

Edited: Jan 15, 1:46pm Top

Fighting a bad case of January blues with extra vitamin D, copious amounts of tea, and reading breaks whenever I can manage. (I used to pooh-pooh the notion of seasonal affective stuff; now I am the poster child for it.) I work in a 100-year-old much-renovated high school building, and some of those decals--maybe a little newer, as they are sunbonnet girls--are still on the tile walls in the cafeteria.

And hear, hear! to the notion of recording family stories. My mom did some of that, and I cherish the little "volume" she wrote for her grandsons. Wish I had more family lore left after my parents' passing than I did family "heirlooms." (Cut glass crystal candy dishes, anyone?) My sister has taken on the role of family genealogist, and has passed along some priceless bits and pieces, including a local newspaper article circa 1929 chronicling my grandparents' shivaree.

Jan 16, 9:27am Top

Ah, family stories. One of my "goals" is to write down those I heard from my grandmother, grandfather, father, etc. Have done some, but not in a formal organized way. When I retire, I am hoping to make "stories" of my family history, using events of the times and places they lived to pad out the details and a good dollop of fiction to make it fun. Don't know if I am up to the task, and I have this nagging feeling that I shouldn't put it off until retirement, but where is the time to do it now?

As for January, it is going along.

Group: Tattered but still lovely

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