Saturday, January 31, 2009

I just wasn't up to pictures today,

But that's no reason not to write, right?

I'm relaxing on the couch, but it's been a very productive day. I made the usual pancakes and then went to Salvation Army, Yokefellows (junk store) and the Habitat ReStore. Didn't get much but fun to look. Bought a book for Julia, and a pair of boots for her, 2 t-shirts for Peter since he's rapidly outgrowing everything, plus 2 used copies of "The Power and the Glory," which we're reading soon in British Lit.

Speaking of Peter, he's also just about grown INTO the suit that his daddy wore about 15 years ago. He is tall and thin. So, he's wearing it tonight! There is a winter formal dance for our high school, and lo and behold, Peter asked a friend from church to go with him! I think he is a bit on the young side, but it's a dance, not "dating." Adam is chaperoning them around to eat at a restaurant, and then to the dance, which is held at the home of one of our school families. Adam said the 2 are very quiet and shy. At that age, it's almost impossible to conquer nerves and make conversation!

I did some more yardwork - dug out that rose bush and removed lots of soil to make that bed smooth and level. Peter dug out 3 holly stumps and some nandina. Then we burned up lots of brush in our firepit while Adam kept his fire going in the oven too. He made pizza. Fairly often we tell him,"Wow! This is your best pizza yet!"

I'm sleepy. Poor Adam will have to stay up until the wee hours to pick them up from the dance. I don't think Peter will do this again soon! He had no experience and did not know how much "going to a dance" entailed! Still, I'm sure he'll have fun.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I'm so glad it's the weekend. It's been a long week. Lots of teaching, reading and grading going on. And last night, we had a "state of the school" meeting for 3 hours, with all parents, many kids/students, and all staff/faculty. The administration did a good job putting on the evening and presenting how the school is going. Finances are not great. The parents were thrilled to discover, however, that there will be no tuition increase at all next year. The staff were dismayed to find out that 1) there will be no salary increase, not even a cost of living increase! and 2) they are considering reducing our tuition discount. Right now, staff/faculty pay 50% tuition. They are considering having us pay 2/3 tuition, getting only a 33% discount. So, even with Philip leaving (and believe me, our expenses for him won't disappear just because he goes to college...), we could end up spending $200/month MORE than we do right now, on our kids' tuition. At a school we both teach at. When we taught at Cono, our kids attended for free. Many Christian schools do this. I am sad that our administration seems to think this is something they should do; making a living in Christian Ed. teaching is hard enough as it is.

Well, I'm home for the weekend; we did our grocery shopping on Tuesday night, which was LOVELY. Walmart is entirely vacant on Tuesday nights. I may drift through a couple of resale shops tomorrow, but that's it. If it's warm enough, maybe a little yard work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Several of you have inquired about how my mother is doing since her surgery. The surgery went well. The pathology report showed that the surgeon did get "clean margins," meaning that there are no more cancer cells in the wound area, in her arm. Her cancer, a sarcoma, evidently does not spread first to the lymph nodes, but to the chest/lungs, so they did a chest x-ray. It indicated a small spot, but they do not know what it is yet. It could be many things, I suppose. She has her post-op appointment in the morning, will have the stitches removed, the drainage tube removed, and a CT scan done to determine exactly what that spot is, on her lung. She will definitely have radiation on her arm, but they will determine whether she needs chemo, I suppose, based on the results of that CT scan.

That's about all I know. She's in good spirits, although the arm is very tender right now. She has excellent mobility, however, and has been able to drive and do everything else.

Thanks for asking. I'll try to keep you posted on further developments.

The patio evolves...

The ripping up of our patio continues. [I can't type today. I typed that sentence quite a few times.] There was ugly, dilapidated wooden lattice in front of that AC unit that extended across the whole back of the house, and covered the windows too. So glad it is gone!

Here's another shot. See how much cleaner it is already? There was so much CRUD behind that lattice that we couldn't reach!

The hacking of the stump continues also. Peter is now digging a trench under the stump, Adam will insert a 2-ton hydralic jack to work the stump free, and then he will pull it out with a cable attached to the truck. Hopefully.

This is a smaller flower bed at the foot of the steps. It was packed with monkey grass and overgrown, and in the way. I dug out all the monkey grass, leaving only a climbing rose (and this is a terrible spot for it), which we'll transplant into a large pot and place in a sunny place.

The removed monkey grass. We don't like monkey grass much, so it will probably just get dumped out.

Monday, January 26, 2009

For those of you who've never seen Covenant College...

Here's Philip, standing in front of Carter Hall. It's the oldest building on campus - an old hotel, built like a castle. It's pretty cool. That's where I lived when I went there. The dining hall is also in this building.

A more complete picture of Carter Hall. It has been redone of course, since its beginnings in the 1920s.

Here is an inside shot of the beautiful lobby of Mills Hall, the science building. This is where Philip will do all his chemistry classes.

Another favorite spot on campus, the overlook. Chattanooga lies below.

An inside shot of one of the chemistry labs. They have 2 huge labs, plus other lecture rooms, a smaller lab, and offices.

Friday, January 23, 2009

On the Mountain

Can't write much, but I'm having a great time up here on Lookout Mtn. with my son. Actually, I'm not much WITH my son - he's busy doing his thing, and I'm busy having fun in my old stompin' grounds. I've seen old friends, seen new buildings, had great conversations, enjoyed the views and had some food that is vastly superior to any college food I ever ate!

Back home tomorrow :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What to write?

What's happening?
I'm finished with my first day back in the classroom, after having over a month off. It's rather like taking back up a rigorous exercise routine after the holidays.

What am I about to do?
Travel to Covenant College with Philip. He's going to their scholarship weekend. We get a banquet tomorrow night, and I get to stay in a hotel with an old friend and catch up on old times.

What am I excited about?
This semester I get to teach some literature I haven't taught in a few years: Homer's Odyssey, Plato's Apology, and Romeo and Juliet, which I've NEVER taught! And...I don't have to do any American literature, of which I am thoroughly tired.

What do I think is funny?
My children, especially these two boys. They are extremely silly tonight. Philip is all zippy for some reason, and Peter is downright ridiculous. He has his first dance-date coming up soon, and he is all a-tither.

What am I sad about?
That I have to leave and go out of town AGAIN, after just getting back. Adam is also rather bummed out that I'm leaving again, even though it is only for 48 hours or so.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day

It's not much snow, but it is enough to cancel school. Not enough for good sledding, sadly for Peter. He'll try anyway. Still, it makes the neighborhood look pretty.

Adam went out early to get his pizza oven burning. He's so happy to have another day of relaxation after such an emotional and stressful week - 2 funerals. So he's fiddling with fire. We'll have fondue today, and pizza, and probably a good movie. He'll make a fire in the firepit, and we'll see if I can tolerate the cold long enough to enjoy that!

I'm still reading the novel Gilead. It is such a good book. I don't usually read modern fiction, unless it has slipped into the category of "classic," worthy of anthologizing. Even then, I'm leery. But this is an excellent book. It is a first-person account of an elderly pastor, writing to his son who is a small boy, and whose life he anticipates missing because he is so old. The novel has much to do, subtly, with the relationships of fathers and children. The pastor is a thinker, of course, and the book is filled with his ruminations, doubts, wisdom and fears. His evaluations of himself, and of his own motivations and prejudices are perhaps the best elements of the book. I'll probably finish it today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's snowing!

Yep! Sure is! Don't know how long it will last, or how much there will be, but we'll take all we can get.

Because, y'know, we might get to skip school, and that's ALWAYS a good thing :)

A Somber Week

Here is Bev, our pastor's wife, and a lovely woman. She's in the foreground in the blue shirt. She is so missed already. We had visitation at the church last night and hundreds of people came and waited in line. The family had a short video of photos of her throughout her life. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, and a sweet friend. The funeral is today at 11:00.

We use the past tense when we speak of friends who've died. "She was so lovely." "She loved him so much." Why do we do that? It reinforces the fallacy that the person has disappeared -- that they no longer exist.

Bev is still very much alive. Her body is dead, or as Jesus says, "asleep." But her soul is more alive now than ever before. If she loved before, she loves even more now. If she was beautiful then, she is moreso now. She IS. Not she WAS. If we fully grasped this concept, it would change the way we grieve.

It is appropriate to grieve because we are sad to have someone taken away from us - because we are lonely for their company. But we should not grieve as if the person had ceased to exist. Bev is already with her mother, right now. And her daddy, who is elderly, has a very short time to wait until he is with her again, never to be separated.

Adam preached yesterday on death. Christians have many misconceptions about death which are not Biblical. At least 2 people came to him afterward and asked the familiar question, "Will I know you in heaven?" Where in the world do we get the notion that our brains will somehow not function in heaven, and we won't recognize friends or family? Does Scripture ever say that? No - but some Christians somehow think there is some piety in such a notion. When Scripture is clear that there are cities, and grass, and trees, and fruit, and eating -- all in heaven, why do we see it as a place where we float around in the clouds? Jesus said to a dying man, "THIS DAY you will be with me in Paradise." The Greek for "paradise" is "the garden" - like the garden of Eden. How much more plain can Christ be, that we are, upon death, taken to a beautiful place, a garden?

This is just rambling on my part. Adam preached on the concept, which is stated often in the Bible, that the Christian does not taste death. Christ tasted the bitterness of death for us, so that in some form we do not taste death. Obviously the body dies, but I love to contemplate the fact that Bev did not taste death - her soul was taken painlessly, easily into eternal life, with Christ, with believers, in a garden of trees and a river of life.

We say in our creed that we believe in the resurrection of the body - we believe that our eternal life is not merely a spiritual one, but a physical one as well. If it were not, then Christ did not need to be resurrected in his BODY. God made us a blend of physical and spiritual, and that wonderful blend will be maintained in eternity.

Bless Bev - she's already there.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Busy Boys

While I was gone to England, Adam and Peter got busy cutting down the weeping cherry tree that graced our patio and shaded it. I loved the tree, but it was far too large, and the root system was pushing up the bricks and, worse, pushing out the retaining wall. So, away it went! A new chain saw was needed for the deed, of course, and then Peter proceeded to dig his best at the huge roots. What a boy!

You can see how much more space we will have on the patio. It will just about double the usable area. We had allowed the ground under the tree to be covered with ivy and other brush. The bulging roots made it too bumpy to set anything on.

In this shot you can see the edge - that's the curved retaining wall. We'll put a fence of some kind along that curve for privacy. Then Adam will build a pergola overhead - over the entire patio, for shade. It should turn into a very pleasant outdoor room!

Passing from death unto life

Our pastor's wife died this morning. Adam went to the hospice house last night to visit the family, and said she was plainly in her last hours. Please pray for the family, as they are grieving heavily now.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ah, yes, there is school...

This morning I'll head back over to the school. It's been almost a month since I've been in the classroom - that's quite a break! Although I must say that last week in England was definitely WORKING. I'm frankly looking forward very much to sitting in my nice peaceful classroom, with a handful of students quietly working away at something academic.

But today I'll have it even better: I get to sit in my room prepping for classes next week, getting all my little scholastic ducks in a row, making copies, planning lessons. That's my favorite part of teaching, I'm sorry to say. The actual teaching is fun too. The grading is the worst.

I got a cold almost as soon as I came home - actually I probably got it on the plane. 11 hours on that plane. Bleck. So, now I'm dragging around with congestion and a headache. Hopefully it will be gone by Monday. We're all looking forward to a 3-day weekend. Thank you, Mr. King!!

Adam had a crazy-busy week while I was gone. Church work kept him very occupied. On Tuesday AM, a dear elderly man in our congregation died, so Adam had a lot to do, planning the funeral service, visiting the widow, organizing everything. It's very important to get a funeral right, because you can't do it again better, later. He did a great job. And our pastor's wife is doing very poorly. She really needs to go to hostice full-time. I imagine these are her last days. Our pastor is not doing well. Some people seem to handle grief better than others. He is really struggling.

When I asked Adam what he wanted from England, he just said, "A Greek book from Oxford." Can you imagine the silly looks I got from those noble book-sellers in Oxford, England, when I approached them and said, "I need to find a book written in Greek for my husband. Any old book will do. Do you have anything in Greek?" Of course they did. When I finally found the right place, I had a whole WALL of Loeb editions of both Latin (bound in red) and Greek (bound in green) to choose from. I spied a 2-volume set of Mathematics by ancient Greeks, and got him the first volume, just in case they weren't any good. But he's enjoyed it. And I also got Procopius's "Secret History" which I think he's enjoying. All that to say, my book choices were a hit.

Time to go dress. The others have already left for school, but I'm moving slower. I didn't even intend to go in yesterday or today, to allow myself to recover from the trip. But I can't tolerate sitting at home when I know I have class prep to do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm Baa-aack!

Yes, back in the good ole U.S. of A. But had a lovely time on that pleasant island across the pond :) Have you seen silly people with their little cameras, arms stretched out in front of them, taking random pictures of themselves? Yes? That's me, below, standing in front of Buckingham Palace. It's not beautiful, as castles go. Rather boxy and industrial. Still, a good photo-op!

There we go - that's a better picture of it!

On Tuesday I had a chance to eat lunch in the crypt of St. Martin in the Fields church. They turned the crypt below the church into a cafe! What a wild idea, but to the Londoners, this is quite normal. So, people got their lunches on their trays, and walked on the slabs of 400-year-old dead people. I finally got dessert: apple crumble with custard on top. Yum! Didn't get to stay for the 1:00 concert in the church - what a disappointment, because I've ALWAYS wanted to hear music in that famous place. Oh well. Had to catch up with the group. Oh, BTW, here's a shot of the roof of the crypt cafe.

St. Martin's and the National Gallergy both sit right on Trafalgar Square with its impressive monument to Nelson. Here he is. I enjoyed the National Portrait Gallery. It was fabulous to see the ORIGINALS of all the great portraits of various writers, kings and queens. Wow.

This is just another shot of Big Ben and the houses of Parliament that I took earlier in the week, but I thought it was a beautiful evening shot, for the end of the trip. Hopefully I'll get to post some more later.
I'm so glad to be back home!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oxford, oh my

Hi all - just a few quick pics. Below is the Eagle and Child Pub, where I ate lunch today. That's where Tolkein and Lewis and their fellows met regularly. Sadly, I ate there alone; Lewis couldn't make it. Would have been nice to have had my husband too! The food was decent, but the atmostphere - it doesn't get any better!

This is Blackwells Bookstore. I spent some time there today (5 floors of books, I believe) looking for a fun book of Greek for Adam, and then found a little Old English for myself. Must get back into it, now that I've done that!

This is the ONLY un-fuzzy picture because it's the only one I didn't take through the rainy windshield of a double decker bus! We had a riding tour of the town.

The front tower of Christ Church Chapel. I toured this as well, and got to see the famous "Great Hall" which was used in the Harry Potter movies for the dining hall at Hogwarts. I asked the man there if they still use it for meals - it's so old and so gorgeous. He replied that the students eat there three times a day. I love the way the British USE their old stuff!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The feeling of being there

Hi friends. We have been so busy (remember, this is WORK for me, seriously) that I haven't had time to blog. We're up and gone early in the morning, and don't come back to the hotel (where I can do computer stuff) until later in the evening, at which time I have 10 teenagers to get to bed and quiet by their curfew. BTW - I found out today that "curfew" comes from the French word that means to cover a fire!

I remember hearing people over the years talk about what it was like to visit the Holy Land - to walk in the places where Jesus likely walked, or to touch something that he probably touched. And I thought, "I don't need that! I have him right here in my heart; why do I need to go where his body was?"

However. We visited Westminster Abbey. I stood right in front of the bones of Chaucer. And the next day (yesterday) I stood not 2 feet from a blue sapphire that was (almost certainly) on the finger of Edward the Confessor -- the king who ruled England right before William the Conqueror came over in 1066. I could SEE it - 2 feet from my face. There's something stunning and exhilarating about that, that I can't explain. Seeing its picture, or even knowing it's in the same city isn't good enough. You want to be in the same room, see if for yourself.

Same thing today -- to stand in the room where Shakespeare was born. To put my foot on the stone floor he stood on (okay, so I even slipped my foot out of my shoe so I could really FEEL it), to stand in front of HIS grave as well, in the chancel of that church. Those few things make this long trip ALL worth it.

Tomorrow I walk around Oxford. I hope to sit down in the Eagle and Child, the pub where Tolkien and Lewis sat together.

Tuesday I hope to go stand a foot from the Anglo-Saxon mask found at Sutton-Hoo. After that, I'll be ready to come home.

No pictures tonight. I think I'll post them later, maybe when I get home. Just typing is about all I can manage right now.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Well, I'm in London, as in, London, England! I've loaded a few random pictures below, out of the 150 or so that I've taken thus far. I'm here with a group of my students for a week of touring the sites. We went to Westminster Abbey, where (among other things) I shot this tombstone. There were many (most I could not photograph b/c they were inside the Abbey), but this one caught my eye: the plumber got to be buried in Westminster Abbey. Let's hear it for the plumbers out there!

Here's the side of the Abbey.

Here I am, standing beside one of the Royal Horse Guards. Sweet old horse.

Houses of Parliament, in the evening light, beside the Thames. Lovely.

The London Eye - we went up in that giant wheel and were in the fog at the top. A nice end to the day.

I'm very busy with the students and all the walking, so I can't promise a daily blog - sorry. I'll do what I can!

Tally-ho for now!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A day with the cute old people:

Today I went to Winston-Salem to accompany my parents to my mother's cancer appointment. For those of you who know these dear folks, here is an update on how it went:

Her surgery is scheduled for next Monday. She and Daddy will go again this Friday, for her "pre-op" -- although I always thought pre-op was RIGHT before surgery, as in, put you in your little gown, plug needles in your arm and whisk you away down the hall. Apparently not.

Her cancer was/is a sarcoma. Adam did a little reading online today, and apparently sarcoma is a pretty aggressive cancer, which would explain why this mass on her forearm grew so quickly. Sarcomas also are only about 1% of all cancers, so they are pretty rare. Sarcomas, if they spread, do not spread to the lymph nodes; they spread to the chest, by which I suppose the doctor means the lungs. So one of the first things they did today is take a chest x-ray to evaluate whether there is any indication of cancer in her chest. They also took blood for her blood work (finally!) and did an EKG.

Mother and Daddy are both very upbeat. They had a nice stay at the Hawthorne Inn, which is a hotel/conf. center owned by the hospital, so they give a generous reduction in price for patients who stay there. And they offer wonderful shuttle service from the hotel to the hospital and back. Very nice. Wake Forest Hospital is a maze of floors, breezeways, construction, oddly shaped buildings. I helped navigate us around.

The surgeon will reopen the wound and remove some of the muscle. Mother should not have much reduction in her mobility, however. I think he said, though, that if the chest x-ray indicates cancer there, plans could change very quickly.

Well, I'm off to the airport for a week-long trip to England with my students. I'll be blogging from there, hopefully. I wish I could be here for Mother's surgery, but she'll just have to soldier on without me!

Love to you all - please pray.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I KNEW there was a reason...

I had a baby a little over 18 years ago.

Philip has been invited to go to Covenant for the Scholarship Weekend! Yippee! He is being considered for 2 major scholarships, although there is no guaranty that he will be given scholarship help. But we are hopeful! Anyway, he gets a free weekend atop the mountain, which is fun in itself.

Yep. He's a pretty good kid.

Here we go...

We all headed back to school today. Sigh.

It actually wasn't too bad. I had a meeting with the students who are traveling to England, to tie up some last-minute details. Even 2 of the moms came!

I have a lot of cleaning to do before I leave. Another sigh.

Wednesday I'll accompany my parents to my mom's appointment in Winston-Salem to the cancer doctor. Pray that that goes well.

More later...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Old Salem

Adam and I went to Old Salem, NC for an overnight stay at a B&B. We do this occasionally to get away, refocus our attention on our marriage, see some lovely sites, and relax. This attempt was a success. (Our last attempt, 2 years ago, was NOT. I had a stomach bug the whole time!)
Here we are in the parlor of the B&B, The Zevely House.

Yesterday and today we took brief walks around Old Salem, seeing the beautiful architecture and seeing the shops. Here's a shot of the Moravian Cemetery. The Moravians, and their church, settled Salem long ago. They lived simple lives, and believed that all were equal in God's sight. Thus, all the graves are identical, none more showy than others. And, as in their church, the men are buried on one side, the women on the other. Families are not arranged together. The latest one to die and be buried gets the next slot in the soil.

The parlor in our B&B was cozy, and Friday evening about 5 couples sat there, discussing destinations for dinner and other B&Bs they'd stayed in. It was nice conversation.

Adam sits in our cozy room. The house is old, and carefully divided into accommodations.

Here is a better shot of our room with its wonderful fireplace. It was on the bottom level, with a private entrance.

Although our two days in Old Salem were rather cool, the weather in NC has been unseasonably warm during the Christmas break. The poor forsythia bushes will be regretting their early attempt! They usually bloom in March, I think, so that shows you how warm it's been.

Here is a beautiful walk we found this morning, next to the cemetery. Old Salem was very peaceful and devoid of tourists this weekend, although our inn was nicely full.

In the heart of Old Salem is Salem College, a girls' college with about 1000 students. The grounds of the college, and the buildings, were absolutely lovely and cozy - I wanted to go back to college days! I couldn't help think of Anna attending there, although I have no idea if it is a good school! But it sure is pretty. This is a courtyard among the residence halls.

Zevely House entrance.

It is a lovely building.

The Salem Tavern across the street was highly recommended for dinner, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations. We went to "The Filling Station" instead, about 7 minutes away, and it was delicious! We highly recommend it.

This morning we stepped into the Winkler Bakery, perhaps the best known place in Old Salem for their fabulous thin ginger cookies. They actually come in many flavors. And the bakery makes breads and sweet breads. Adam had a good long talk with the baker.

Here are some of their delicious loaves. The rosemary bread is luscious!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Recipe for Adam's turtles

Ellen - here's how Adam does his turtles. He loosely uses a recipe from a chocolate cookbook he bought me years ago.

Caramel Mixture:
5 2/3 cups heavy cream
3 3/4 cups light corn syrup
7 1/2 Tbs. salted butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract

(The above proportions give a smooth non-sticky caramel, easy to handle. Adam increased the fat content from the original for this purpose, and increased the amount of brown sugar to give a darker caramel color.)
In a heavy saucepan, stir cream, syrup, butter, sugars and salt. Cook over med. heat, stirring until sugars dissolve and butter is melted, about 3 minutes. Bring to boil and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches about 245 degrees, or close to hard-ball stage. Adam uses the ice-water test at the final stages, dropping a bit in a small bowl of ice water and feeling the consistency. It takes about an hour to cook this caramel, so don't be in a hurry!

Once cooked, pour unsalted peanuts onto a large cookie sheet, pour caramel sauce over peanuts, and work into the peanuts. When it's cool enough, work the caramels into small discs. It will be hot to your hands. Freeze them on cookie sheets until they are frozen hard. Freezing them allows you to use pure chocolate (no paraffin) , and you won't have to temper your chocolate. This makes for delicious turtles.

Chocolate Dip:

1 lb. milk chocolate to 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate- this is the proportion.
Melt in double-boiler. If you can smell the chocolate, it's too hot and you're scorching your chocolate. He uses 4 1/2 lbs. of chocolate total, to the above recipe amount of caramel.

Dip frozen caramel discs into chocolate. Place on cookie sheets (on parchment paper is best) and freeze again. This sets the chocolate. After they are frozen well, place them in plastic food bags and keep in freezer. They are great just eaten straight from the freezer, but you can put them into tins and give away too.

The above recipe will yield about 120 caramels, depending on the size of your discs.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


That's what I've been doing. I confess, and many other women will understand this, that when I get a penchant to rearrange a dab of furniture, it blossoms. Before you know it, all males in the house are toting chairs and tables around.

I brought my television cabinet upstairs. It's been abused in the den downstairs for long enough - that's the children's domain. I sent the old victrola case down there, and it has plenty of room in it for the DVDs, etc. I finally put away the pictures I never hung up when we moved in; they'd been leaning against the dining room wall all these months.

Adam took down the Christmas lights today too. His comfy black chair came back upstairs and life can resume its normal mode.

Julia has taken up hand-sewing. Grandmother gave her a cute little sewing basket, and today I bought her all the little necessities at WalMart: scissors, thread, needles, pins, tape measure, pin cushion. She is thrilled.