Saturday, November 28, 2015

One Down.....One to Go

Thanksgiving is over and done.  We had a really great day; son and girlfriend, other son and our daughter.  Dinner was a little later than I like, which meant the cleanup was later.....but we still managed to get in a couple of games, a movie and a LOT of talking and laughing.

Now to clean out the fridge and put a ton of leftovers in the freezer.  Gotta make room for Christmas baking ingredients.  Today I'm hoping (hahahahaha!) to get some decorating done.  I would like to get the deck.....decked.....with lights, wreath and such; get the lights on the windows all over the house and get the lighted garland above the kitchen cabinets.  That should do it for now.

Doing the usual slipper boots for gifts....I have 6 1/2 pair more to go.  I have about 1/3 of the other gifts ready to be wrapped.  Made my lists yesterday of things to bake, ingredients to buy and the rest of the gifts yet to be purchased.  I've cut the list of baked goodies in half.  Have you seen the price of eggs?!!  What is up with that?!

 BH suggested I make my lists now, including finishing up the decorating.  Then there's daughter's apartment to be decorated, put her tree up and take her Christmas shopping.

AND, best of all.....our granddaughter will be home for Christmas from her deployment in Kuwait!!!   2 months early, to boot!!Ohhhhhh......Happy Dance!!  Can't wait!!

What I'd really, really like to do is get back to my spinning.  But wheels and wool are put away until Dec. favorite day of the Christmas season!  I can do this.

We don't do anything special for New Year's, happily.  Haven't had company for a few years now, except daughter, who will probably be here for a few hours in the evening.  But definitely not near or past midnight.  She can't manage to stay up that long and neither can we.  But that's ok.  It's a perfect, quiet, restful end to a very, very hectic season.  And by that time, I'm happy to see it end.

Cold.....very has come upon us as of Thursday night.  But not more than a dusting of snow, thankfully.  I wouldn't mind if it stayed like this till Spring.

Well, here's hoping the rest of the month goes smoothly with just a minor hiccup here and there.  Because, you know, there's always a hiccup somewhere.  Onward and upward........

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a blessed day filled with plenty of good food, warm homes, warm hearts, family and friends around the table and wonderful memories of days gone by.   May you be thankful everyday and remember all your blessings, big and small.

We have a roof over our heads; we have wood in the stove to keep us warm; we have the means to fill our table with delicious foods.  No one in our family has ever suffered from an incurable disease, had a life-altering accident or found themselves without shelter or employment.

Everyone has struggles and sometimes we wonder how we're ever going to climb that mountain.  We fret over why bad things happen to us or those we love; how are we ever going to get through?

But we're not being bombed everyday; we don't live in fear for our lives every minute of every day.  We're not living on the streets or in shelters; we don't have to wonder where our next meal is coming from.  No one is in danger of being killed by gangs, drive-by shootings or drug addiction.  Our children are well taken care of, not abused or neglected and left to run wild.

And those of us who have loved ones in service to this country are thankful everyday for their lives, thankful that through the grace of God, they will be home with us soon.  We pray for their continued health, well-being and safety.  And we mourn for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, their life, in an endless, incomprehendable, unnecessary war.  We pray their families will have peace as they cling to each other for emotional and physical support.

We have so much to be thankful for, from putting our feet on the floor each morning, to just being able to live our lives day by day.  Give thanks every day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Got a Freezer....or 2.....You're Golden!

My mother always drove herself nuts when holiday dinners rolled around.  She would cook all day.  And back in the day, when we were all young kids, a 27 -28# turkey was the norm.  We had to eat dinner by 2 or 3pm because my father would leave about 7pm to get back to the woods for deer hunting.

So, she'd get up at 2 am, get the turkey in the oven by 3am and spend the rest of the day, peeling, chopping, cooking, mashing, and getting the table finery ready.  One year, my grandparents decided they were coming to our house for dinner.....don't get me started.  Suffice to say, if tranquilizers were the norm, Ma would've needed a whole bottle.  Thank goodness there was beer or wine to cut the edge.

Of course, pies were baked the day before.  Insight is a good thing.

So, for my 48 years of preparing my own family holidays, I did what my mother always did.  As the years went on, and the kids disappeared for other venues, the turkey got smaller.  But somehow, there were always others to take their place.  Other relatives and friends who found themselves to be alone were always invited and welcomed to our table.

Also as the years progressed, I've begun to lose interest in cooking and baking.  Holidays have now become a drudgery I would just as soon leave to someone else.  But I don't.  I salley forth.

Last year, something was going on.  Maybe I was in the middle of Christmas preparations along with Thanksgiving.  Maybe some people didn't know if they were going to be here; maybe there was a danger in the weather.  Anywho, it occurred to me: "why not prepare most of the dinner and put it in the freezer?"  Just about everything can be frozen.  Everything.  Except the mashed potatoes and maybe one more fresh veggie side dish (green beans).

GENIUS!!!  So, I spent the week before preparing candied yams, butternut squash, 2 kinds of stuffing (we now have a vegetarian in the family......), cranberry relish and roast turkey.  Even the gravy is made and frozen.  Come Thursday, it all goes in the oven to warm through (except the cranberries, of course).  The potatoes are peeled, cooked and mashed, green beans done.  Table is set beautifully as we await the family.

I do have to say, the only way this can really all be accomplished is because we have 2....yes 2.....freezers; a big upright and a big chest.  If only my mom had freezers.  Even 1 would've eased her crazy cooking day.

So now, on Thursday, I will have time for a glass of wine or many glasses are in a bottle, anyway?  Don't have to worry about something burning or forgotten about.  At 12pm, the wine starts flowing.  My daughter exclaimed one year, "Mom, wine's only noon."    And you know the standard response:

"Ahhhh, but it's 5:00 somewhere!"

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ohhhhh....This is Going WAYYYY Too Fast!.........

In about 5 - 6? (I try not to look at the calendar from this point on)weeks, we'll be in the throws of the Christmas season.  Christmas!!  What the hell happened here??!  I'm not ready.  I'm not getting ready.  I don't want to get ready.  This could be a problem.

Well, that's not all true.  I have a tote filled with gifts I've been accumulating over the past couple of months.  And I do have a LOT of handmade crafts of all kinds in storage for just such an occasion....that being that I'm bogged down, don't want to go out and shop, don't know what to buy, don't want to spend the money when I have totes...that's right, totes, plural..... FULL of handmade crafts.

Anywho.....enough about that.  Spinning and knitting have taken me over!  I know I'm an addict, but this has been full on!  Hence, the lack of posts for the past month plus.  So, one day a month ago, I was perusing my magazine and book collection.  Low and behold.....what I thought was just 1 Aran pattern book became 2!!

Honestly....I don't remember buying 2 Aran books.  Of course, the one was purchased some years ago....maybe 8.  I either bought both of them or the Irish knitting fairy has been very good to me.

So I found a new pattern; one with all twisted cables intertwined.  Just what I was looking for!  And there it was!  Not just one, but a whole book of new Aran patterns.  Well.....that just called for knitting a scarf immediately with one of them.  Long story short, (HA!) the scarf is done.  But then I started thinking, how about a hat?  But to do the vertical pattern wouldn't work. about the cables lay on their side, around the head, and then I knit a 1" rib on one length (the forehead) and pick up the stitches at the other side and continue in a stockinette crown?!  This looks like it might work. It sounds like a LOT of work.  Almost done with the cables, slipping the first stitch on each row for an easier pick-up.  I'll have pictures if it turns out.

I had to break down last week and super clean the house.  Hadn't been done since the beginning of September.  Nothing more than a little dusting, vacuuming, clean kitchen and bath.  I couldn't tell the "dust bunnies" from the wool.  It was getting bad.

I just finished spinning 2#s of the most delicious, dark, dark, chocolate brown fiber.  It wants to be a Fair Isle sweater.  I think I have enough complimentary yarns to do the job....after the shhhhh....holidays.    And now there's the softest, beautiful top being spun.  It was purchased a couple years ago at a little shop while coming back from vacation.  The tag said "8oz.  Corriedale".  But, geezzzz, it feels and spins like Ashland Bay merino colorway. It's striations of grey, white, sky blue, teal green and a light brown.  But when it's spun, it's a beautiful steel blue/grey.  Loving it!!

It was the only ball the proprietor had, or I would've bought more.  It's spinning up laceweight; will be 2-ply.  It wants to be a shawl.  And so it shall.  With steel grey glass beads knitted into it.  And maybe....the other single will be white merino...blended with iridescent Angelina.  Doesn't that sound divine??!! 

Well, BH has been hard at it cutting down trees, cutting logs, splitting and stacking.  He's working on next year's supply!  What a guy!  All the yard work is done for the season; just the storm windows to put up next weekend.  We're supposed to have moderate temps all next week.

We finally went and got a futon for the spare room.  Gave my brother the twin bed for his grandkids.  What a job putting the futon together!  I told BH we're really, really getting too old for all this heavy lifting and construction!  But, knowing us, I'm sure there will be another project in the not-so-distant future.

Anyway......the spare room looks great.  "Looks like a sitting room" says BH.  Indeed.  Sitting.  And spinning.  Or knitting.  Maybe sewing.  Reading.  Napping. 

It's all good.