The designs have been a combination of ones I have found on the internet - most often a combination of at least 3-4 different images put together in some way to reflect the highlights of the month.
December Embroidery Journal Quilt Square.
The central image of this month's quilt square is a Christmas tree. Christmas was the major focus for us during the month. As we have done during the past few years, we did a Countdown to Christmas in which we did different activities and/or made holiday food each day during the month.
December had a record-breaking snowstorm on the 9th and 10th. Over 17 inches of snow fell in less than a day. That's a lot of snow...even for Minnesota!
A snowflake to represent a major snowstorm and
17 inches of snow that fell in one day.
December also was marked by many performances - plays, harp, and choral. Sophia and Olivia played angels in the annual Christmas play at church. They enjoyed the experience...despite the amount of work and practices (twice-weekly during November and December).
Angel to represent Sophia and Olivia.
That same weekend as the play, the girls sang two songs at the St. Lucia service at church. One song was the "tomten song" that they sing each year. Each child in the chorus wears a red hat and scarf to look like a tomten (like a little gnome).
An image to remind me of the girls singing the tomten song
during the St. Lucia service.
December also has been an interesting one in terms of wildlife. A Harris' Sparrow showed up at the feeder after the huge snowstorm and has been here the entire month. Hopefully it will stay around for the rest of the winter rather than migrating further south. It's such a treat to see a new type of bird.
There also have been a flock of pheasants (about seven on the average) that have been hanging out under and by the pine trees on the east side of the farm. They have even wandered into the front yard; and flew up and sat on the fence where we have been able to see the brilliant colors of their feathers.
In addition to an eagle that I saw on New Year's Eve day (more about that later), I also saw some type of hawk. However, as Olivia looked at the picture I took of it and looked at the Minnesota bird book, it looked like a juvenile eagle or osprey. So, I'm not sure what kind of bird it was nestled in the pine tree boughs. Regardless, it was a large bird and one that I typically don't see which made it all that much more thrilling.
Perhaps most exciting for me was seeing an eagle twice during December. Once as I was walking out to get the mail at the end of the driveway, an eagle was flying no more than 20 feet above my head and about a couple feet in front of me. I could hear its wings flap and see its eyes it was so close. It was such an amazing experience to see one fly practically right in front of me (or at least it felt that way).
Embroidered eagle on the quilt square.
The second time I saw an eagle was on New Year's Eve during the day (about 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon). I had been thinking about this time last year - December 31, 2011.
At about this time last year, I was leaving to go visit my Mom who was in the hospital after her blood sugar level had escalated to a dangerous level. After the visit with her, I went to visit my Dad who was at the nursing home. It would be the last time I would see him look at me (he was able to open one of his eyes despite being very sick and - what I would find out within a few days - dying).
So, as I was thinking about these things, I heard a loud screeching sound coming from outside. I looked out a couple of windows upstairs, but couldn't see anything that would make that type of noise.
Walked downstairs and looked out the front window and saw the white feathers on the eagle's head and black feathers covering its body. It was perched in the oak tree along the driveway.
The eagle perched in the oak tree.
I opened the back door quietly and kept the dogs inside. The eagle was facing north towards the cornfield so it didn't see me, however I'm sure it could hear that the door opened.
It sat, facing north, for a bit and then readjusted itself so it faced west. I'm sure it could see me from its new vantage point, but it wasn't frightened. It sat contentedly in the oak tree.
The eagle opening its wings as it
readjusted its position on the branch.
It remained there for quite a while until a low-flying plane flew right over the house. At that point, the eagle flew off.
I was so happy to have been able to see eagles twice this month. Hopefully the eagle will come back again soon. Even better...to make its home here so we can see it every day.