Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Curly Outlook

Last Saturday, while you were reading my blog, I had nearly arrived at my darling granddaughters' house! Sweetie and I were beyond excited to see them again, especially since they will soon move to a state far, far away. The drive time for our Saturday trip was approximately 8.5 hours, and when we got there, we were greeted by only the dogs...the house was empty, in preparation for their upcoming move, and the poor dogs had only the floor (and their bed) to sleep on!

All the furniture and household goods had been packed and shipped, and our future visits will likely be by plane. But I was not going to worry about that just yet, because they all came home before long, and we ran and played and had Wendy's for dinner before everyone went to their sleeping bag for the night.

On Sunday, they loaded up the van with most of the remaining "stuff," as well as two girls (with all of their paraphernalia) and two grandparents for the drive back to Ohio.

The drive went well, and the parents (and dogs) followed on Monday evening. Since then, we have been climbing

running

playing and laughing

playing with yarn

building

swimming

and having a great time!

Knitting time has been limited, so there is not much to show you this week, besides  these socks I started on the drive to and from Virginia...

The socks are still coming right along, and I plan to start a couple hats for the girls soon, because their new home will be in a place that can get pretty cold. The new place will also be a 20-hour drive, which means that our visits will be fewer and far-betweener...(sad face here) But I am thankful that we live in such a time as this, with video chats and airplanes, and we will see them much more than past military families would have been able to. On top of that, cold climates mean I will knit new hats, sweaters, mittens and socks for them, and they will be wrapped in my love from head to toe on those very cold days!

For the rest of today, I am going to run and play and laugh with two amazing girls (and their amazing parents), and I will forget about that move. I will carpe diem, and relish the sound of their giggles as their curls bounce along and my heart swells with the love I have for them.

I hope that you have some sunshine in your life, and in your day today! I should be back again next week, with more photos and funtimes. Maybe there will even be some more knitting? Until then, thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Knitting in My Sleep

I knit. I knit a LOT. Some might even suggest that I knit in my sleep. I don't know about that, but I do know that I have fallen asleep while I am knitting, and I have done this on a regular basis. In fact, I am currently having trouble staying awake all day long...and if napping were a marathon event, I would win! I figured that the sleepiness might have something to do with one of my new prescriptions, so I asked my doc about it at the last checkup. "I dunno if it's normal," I said, "but I can sleep 12 hours at night, then take an afternoon nap for 3-4 hours, and sleep another 10-12 again the next night."

Hmmm... Perhaps it has happened, and I have finally turned into a cat?

Doc looked a little concerned, and replied that my current medications should not be having that effect. In fact, as the depression is controlled, the opposite should be true. I should have renewed energy! Hmmm... We decided to check my thyroid, and guess what? It is a slacker! I have hypothyroidism, which means that my thyroid needs a swift kick in the pants (or a new prescription) to encourage production of thyroxine (the thyroid hormone). Since the thyroid lives near my throat, I opted to not have it kicked, and I have started a new medication.

Fun fact about the new medication: It doesn't play nice with my multivitamin and calcium supplements, so I have to take those at night now, while I take the thyroid pill in the morning. You know what that means? Yes, I have arrived. On Wednesday I bought my first AM/PM pill minder. o_0 Time marches on, and I am not getting any younger...it was inevitable, I suppose.

::So, Pretty...can you really knit in your sleep???::

Well, not yet...but if this medication doesn't kick in soon, I may have to knit in my sleep OR start my Christmas knitting today! This past week, I have not knit much, but I have napped well. I think I am trying to store up sleep so I can be awake for the visit of some very cute granddaughters. They will be coming on Monday, and I have the house pretty much ready...we are so excited to see these faces in person again!

They will visit until early June, and then they move too far away for weekend trips. I will have to start a savings plan for airline tickets! Please forgive me if I end up taking a short blog break. I am sure to be back with plenty of photos before too long. For now, I think I am going to take a nap.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pair-ing Down the Stash

One of my favorite knitting acronyms is SABLE, otherwise known as Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy...or more yarn in my stash than I would reasonably be able to knit before I die. Since none of us can know the hour or the day of our death, I suppose I may have reached SABLE...I especially think this might be true when I take a walk down to the basement, where the majority of my yarn lives! (Don't worry, it is in plastic bins and bags, well protected from moisture, cats and husbands who may wish to de-clutter.) If I live to 100, and I can still knit, I may not have acquired SABLE...yet. Still, there is a LOT of yarn down there, and I've been working to use up some of it, two-by-two. For instance, there was a recent finish of a pair of rabbits that just flew off my needles!

There are also fingerless mitts, pair 1

pair 2

and pair 3.

Two by two, I am pair-ing down the stash! It might be a good idea to clean and de-clutter the basement while I'm at it, but the truth is that I probably will not...lol! After all, if my stash-busting is to be successful, I will surely need to sacrifice other things (like cleaning and organizing) to meet my goals...right?!? Right!!!

Another thing that I tend to stash is regret. I know that I am forgiven by the sacrifice that Christ made, and that I will be white as snow when this life is over. I am so grateful for that! But I still beat myself up sometimes for the mistakes I have made. I look back and wonder how such a good, good Father could forgive my really big sins...but He has. Because He sent Jesus, who took on all our sins and spilled his own blood to pay our debt, we are free forever to live life to the fullest!

Life is so much better when we let go of our regrets, de-stashing the guilt and sadness we feel, and live a life filled with love and kindness. After all, Jesus did not die for just Pretty, he died for all of humanity! If you are stashing regrets, I hope you will take a moment to really consider that. Jesus was God's only Son, and he died so that you and I could be free of blame and regret.

If I were a betting woman, I would wager that we all live with some regrets. The sad truth is that each one we hold onto represents a step backwards. Whether you believe that Jesus was the son of God or not, I hope you can see that stashing the guilt of past sins keeps you from moving forward. The next time you are held back by feelings of guilt over something that happened before today, please take just a moment to clench your fists as tight as you can, and then slowly relax and open your hands. As you release the tension from your fingers and hands, mentally let go of whatever is holding you back with regret, and take a step toward forgiving yourself for being human. Wiggle those free fingers, forgive yourself and thank God for His abundant mercy!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit (YOUR stash) in Good Health!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

E-Check

I live in Ohio, where we have to have an emissions test (E-check) on our cars every other year. Yesterday, I took the party car for her required test, and it got me to thinking...

What if we had e-checks for people? Before you get too far into that thought, I should clarify. I am not proposing a biennial test of vapor emissions from anyone, especially not husbands! Rather, a human e-test would be a personal and regular evaluation of our emotional responses, and how those responses color our world and affect those around us. 

Even if this is only the second post you've read in this blog, you will likely recognize that Pretty was created as a very emotional person. If this is the first post you've read, I hope you'll take a few minutes to look around the blog and see what I mean. I am very, very emotional. The truth is that we all are. We may differ in how we react and respond, but we are all created emotional beings.

Some time ago, while working with a group of 5th and 6th graders at church, I shared this idea with them, and they were not instant believers. But when I said, "Girls cry and boys yell, that's just what happens," even those pre-teens agreed that maybe I had a point. While there are exceptions to this rule, it does carry on into adulthood, and it is a good thing to keep in mind when dealing with people (and their emotions)! The best advice, whether you want to laugh or cry or yell, is to just let yourself feel it, and be careful to not direct your feelings at someone who has nothing to do with them.

Just this morning, Sweetie was working on a job in the living room, and when he realized that the job might not go smoothly, that there might be yelling involved, he chose how to react and respond. Well, he chose to take his reactions and responses out to the garage, so that his outbursts (if there were any) wouldn't affect his very emotional wife. He was also protecting me from the smelly stuff he would be spraying, and I am thankful that he shielded me from flying emotions and chemicals! (For the record, when he came back in, he reported that there was no cursing or throwing things. The job went much better than expected...yay!)

I tend to manage my emotions with deep breathing, prayer and knitting. Sometimes I also cry and even yell...and that's ok. I do my best not to let my emotional reactions spill over onto others, but sometimes I just need a good cry. At other times, I need a good laugh, and it seems to me that the laughter and tears balance each other out pretty well. Everything is a process, and when it comes to emotions, it is still best to just let myself feel it.

Often my knitting reminds me that there is a process to everything. You cast on, follow the pattern, and then bind off. Sometimes there are seams to sew, and there are always ends to weave in. In the end, you have a completed project and maybe even a gift for a dear friend!

Sometimes my knitting goes late into the night. Those are the times that I can embrace the stillness and listen for God's leading through an emotional time, and share my heart with a cuddle-y friend.

And sometimes I even put the knitting down, in favor of complete stillness. Usually the clicking of the needles is like a balm for my heart, as His Word is a balm for my soul, and I alternate between knitting and just holding the stitches in my hands. In these times, I opt for the simplest projects, and I pray through each stitch, remembering God's promise to never leave me or forsake me. 

I am thankful that I was created to be this me, knit together in my mother's womb. I am one of God's masterpieces, and I am loved. I am so very loved, and you are too. If you're not feeling loved today, remember John 3:16 - For God so loved you and me that he gave his one and only Son, that you and I, when we believe in Him, will not die but have eternal life. (My paraphrase, His idea.)

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Joyful

It is difficult to not be joyful when knitting toys.
It can start with a bunny for a baby...

...continue with a puppy and a kitty for the daughters of dear friends!

Finally, a white rabbit, suitable for even Alice!

Even when life doesn't go as I have planned, there is joy. Even when I am unhappy, there is joy. Even when I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances and underwhelmed by my endurance, there is always joy. Joy in the skills gifted especially to me by my heavenly Father, when He created me in his own image. Joy in the acceptance of Jesus as my Savior, whose gift of life I will never deserve. Joy in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who calms my soul with a peace that passes understanding.

My life is not perfect. I am not perfect, though I would like to be. And still, I find joy in the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I find joy in the love of family and friends, and I find joy in being but a small part of this creation. I even find joy in my shortcomings and failures, in the times I must lean heavily on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is great joy in leaning back into those loving arms, relying fully on them to hold me up, when I cannot hold myself together.

Happiness is fleeting, but joy is ever present if you know where to look. I hope that you are finding joy in your life, even in the midst of your struggles. If you are not, maybe it's time to look in a new direction. Open your eyes, and your heart, and the joy will come.

Thanks for stopping by on this joyful day, and Knit in Good Health!