Monday, December 27, 2010

 Christmas, 2010

It was time. I hadn't had my mom's Christmas cookie cutters out since our grandson was born, four years ago. When we were kids, baking the cookies was a huge deal.  Mom would make as many as five or six triple batches of cookie dough and spend the whole day baking.  Then the family would gather and help with the decorating.  We'd make the entire Nativity scene in cookies as well as dozens of Santas, trees, stockings, stars, holly wreaths, and bells.  We would load and wrap plates of cookies and drive around our town, delivering them to friends and teachers.  It was a wonderful time

I only baked Santas this year, and only mixed up one batch of dough.  The Santa cookies are everyone's favorites.  There is a method to eating them, have to eat the pom pom off the hat first, then the hat, then the hat brim, then Santa's face, then the beard.  I think there may be a law that says all that.

 This is the all-important 'blob'.  It's what's left when you've rolled and re-rolled the dough and cut out all the cookies you can from it.  The little, too-small-to-make-a-cookie bit that's left over is a 'blob' and you get to eat it as soon as it's baked.  You only get to eat the 'good' cookies if they break or burn.

Here is the Christmas tree that almost didn't make it up this year.  We were finishing and painting the drywall in the living room and dining room, and only got the mess cleared away a few days before Christmas.  I considered not putting it up this year, but I'm glad I did, now.  It does bring a great deal of cheer and it's always so pretty, with all of the ornaments collected through the years.  My angel stopped lighting up this year, after twenty years of use.  I hope that we'll be able to repair her, but if not she'll have to be replaced. 
 Robby in his goofy hat...
 Ethan in his new hat and mittens, knit by Grandma...

 Layla modeling her new tam and mittens, also knit by me...

 Opening presents and showing off some of their new goodies....


Christmas really IS for children, isn't it. = )

My Christmas was topped off by a visit from my oldest brother, who lives in Canada.  He's been here since Saturday morning, and may be here through the first of January.  This is about the most time I've spent with him since we were kids, and I am so enjoying every minute of it. My family has become so fragmented since my mother's death in 1998.  It's good to still have this one close connection.

A Happy New Year to one and all!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A bit of this and a bit of that...
I'm not nearly ready for Christmas, but that's nothing new. I have, however, finished a few projects.  

A couple of years ago, I knit five pairs of socks for some of my chat room friends.  One has yet to wear his, as his wife says 'They're too NICE to wear."  Another, however, wore his so much that they were already through at the toes last winter.  These lovely blue socks will, I hope, take the place of the worn-out pair.  While working the heels and toes, I knitted in a strand of mystery yarn from my sister's stash in the hope that it will help them last longer.
New socks in the mail tomorrow, Kevin!
What a beautiful day I had today to photograph them.  We had high winds and a couple of inches of fresh snow overnight, but the sun is out today and the sky is really THAT blue!  I do love winter. :)
This little hat and mitten set is in Robby's favorite color.  I used one strand of Opal Uni-Color in orange for the hem and then added one strand of Opal Rainforest in "Schmetterling" for the rest of the hat, holding the two yarns together.  I divided the skein of Schmetterling into two balls, both beginning at the same place in the pattern repeat, and alternated knitting one round with one ball and the next with the other, so that the self-striping pattern would be longer.  He loves them!  Next time, though, I will make the hat a bit deeper, as his ears peek out just a bit.
These are the two pair of fingerless mittens that I showed in a previous post, now finished.  They are very nice for keeping my hands warm at the keyboard.  Next time, i think I'll try knitting the individual fingers.  I think they look like turtleneck sweaters for one-armed Barbie dolls! 
This was my 2010 entry in the Shipshewana Merchants' Association annual scarecrow contest.  She wore a dress that my mother sewed for me when I was in the eighth grade, that closed with buttons from my great-great grandmother's button box.
A bout of hormonally-instigated depression took away my Christmas spirit last week.  I had difficulty finding any joy in my heart for those days, but I think I'm on an uphill run again now.  For those of you who may not believe in depression, it is real, it is painful, and it is very, very hard to deal with.  I have lived with it for forty years and I've learned how to work my way through it, but this episode was a particularly bad one, and I'm glad to be able to see the sunshine again.  
This is a terrible time of year for those who struggle with depression.  Keep watch on your loved ones.  Give a hug when you see it's needed.  Try to understand that it's not a sign of weakness, it's not your fault, nor is it theirs, it just is.
Just love them.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Two pair of fingerless mittens, and a little boy peeking from my computer monitor

"My" new store

A pair of antlers and a red nose to make people smile


A snowy day

Learning how to wink

 What a wonderful world this is!