Christmas in July, Forest Fires, Family

Christmas in July… what comes to mind? Not Christmas, right? For me, its just the year is half over and the heat  does not help in preparation for holiday shows. Not sure right now , but once the weather calms down, and schools are back in session, holiday prep will begin.

Christmas in July gives you ideas for holiday projects, for those that plan ahead their handmade crafts. I look at Christmas in July and my mind swirls every time I open my email and see 50 projects I want to make. Close the laptop and get back to work.

Christmas in July is coming to an end, back to school begins in just a month, if not sooner and the weather begins to change. The days become shorter, the trees change color. Retail stores are discounting their summer wares and goods and bringing in holiday items. Halloween is popping up everywhere. Too soon? Red Heart Yarn has come out with a Joyful Home lookbook with 38 project to knit and crochet. Click on the link and it will take you to the page where you can peruse the projects.

Joyful Home, Red Heart


Gone are the bright neon colors, in come the fall rustic shades people will be wearing: hunter green, mustard yellow, steel gray, cornflower blue. These fall colors represent the colors of the firestorms that are happening all over California, and other western states. You hear stories of people barely getting out of their house without much of a warning, and then suddenly it becomes personal.

Pantone’s colors for Fall 2018;  photo courtesy of


My brother and sister in law live in Redding, and unfortunately, their house was not spared. They lost everything. They got out, with their kitty with very little. After 5 days, they returned to see what was left of their home. As my brother said to me “it sucks, but what do you do”. You start over, with nothing but you, your family, friends, the kindness of strangers.

Our sister, Terri, started a GoFundMe page to help them get a few necessities. It’s her way of helping out, as she said to me “I feel helpless, I don’t know what to do”. Click on the link, and you can read all about it, see the photos of what was their home. Many people are in the same predicament as my brother, over 500 homes lost in just this fire.

What am I doing to help out beside made a monetary donation? I am busily working on an afghan for them. Its my way of helping. Something handmade that will comfort them. It will be bright, full of colors, and big enough to cover a queen size bed.

Gizmo “supervising” the project


It’s ironic that this firestorm happened the week our father’s estate was finally closed. My brother packed up family belongings and shipped them to us right before the fires broke out. Maybe something in the boxes will bring a little bit of home to them. Will see….



Kathy Bartholomew