Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An NaCl Kind of Holiday

So, did you survive?
We had a wonderful, noisy, busy, delicious, love/laughter/family filled Christmas Eve.
 It's not that we like banishing the kids to a different table, it's just that our antique dining room table has no leaves, and can only sit six (maybe eight if we squeeze real tight). So the grownups sat at The Big Table. The centerpiece is a pewter Santa that The Hub smuggled back from Cannon Beach one year after I'd admired it there. He managed to keep it a secret not only on the trip home, but for the months between then and Christmas. It's been our Holiday Centerpiece ever since.

The girls' table was right next to ours (at least they weren't relegated to the basement). Everyone got an ornament, and I love getting out the Christmas Dishes.

The girls were wildly excited, and they absolutely loved their Totem Spindles from Halla, and their American Girl Doll Boots. And for a year in which I had absolutely no gift expectations (we're going to SoCal late in January, that's enough), we made out like bandits.

 The hub got this upside down, inside out, insulated beer glass. It works.
 My youngest sister made me a bracelet and earrings using pennies from 1952, though why she thought that year had anything to do with my year of birth is beyond me. Really, it's just a lovely bracelet featuring a random year. I'm not that old... heh...
 Sorry about the fuzzy pic- but this is a light-up wine stopper. Honest, it pulsates and glows red. I love it!

Several gifts came by mail, and as they arrived, I just put them in their Amazon boxes under the tree, so it wasn't until Christmas morning, after I'd opened the Quick Knits book (edited by my own editor at Taunton) which was a gift from a good friend, that I remembered that I actually ordered the Metal Clay Jewelry book myself. Merry Christmas to me!
Another sister gave me these gorgeous earrings. I can wear wire and dangle and hoop earrings now, and I'm enjoying every bit of the bling.

My friend Jane sent me these wonderful knitting socks. Are you jealous?

And, oh the sodium chloride. The Trader Joe's salt grinders are fantastic (the chili & garlic smoked sea salt is wonderful on leftover turkey). I used gift money to order the Lidded Salt Bowl from The Meadow, in Portland, OR, which is my absolute favorite salt store. Okay, it's the only salt store I know of, but it would be my favorite even if they were on every street corner. The bowl is carved from solid Himalayan Rock Salt, with a lid that fits perfectly. It weighs about 4lbs and it'll be perfect for serving cherry tomato halves, or as a salt cellar, or as a dish for unsalted butter. The two little bottles in front are specialty salts- one made from Oregon Pacific seawater, and the other from Alaskan waters. The Oregon salt is mild and crunchy, the Alaskan salt is wonderfully strong. Who knew that I would end up being a salt connoisseur?

But the best gift of all was the personal calendar that Matt and Cassy made for us. Every month has a picture of our family and friends, many from the wedding in July. Eyes were a little teary, I can tell you.

 And look! I'm a Calendar Girl!


Glenda in Colorado said...

Yes, I am jealous of your knitting socks - any idea where she got them?

We had to have a kids' table this year too, but the youngest kid was 26.....the oldest was considerably older than that! http://glenderella.com/2011/12/28/big-family-small-house-lots-of-love-and-laughing/

I always enjoy hearing about what you are knitting and reading, let us know how you like "Quick Knits," please!

Kathleen Taylor said...

Glenda, the link to the sock company is under the picture. I don't know which shop sold them in Portland, but I think they're distributed nationally.