Saturday, November 26, 2016

Well, Jesus, Mary and Joseph...!

Halloween has passed, and now Thanksgiving is over. Well, technically there are still leftovers left over, but Thursday has ended (Black Friday, too). So now, officially (according to Pretty, at the very least) it is time for the holiday decorations and music to come out of hiding and cover us all with tidings of comfort and joy! 

As for me and my house, the decorations will include a Christmas tree, festooned with multi-colored lights and ornaments; red and green towels, dishcloths and oven mitts; a wreath on one door and bells on another; and buckets of Christmas cookies! I do not have a nativity, but I've always wanted one. I found a pattern to knit my very own nativity this year, and I had planned to knit one figure or animal per month in 2016 in order to have a complete set. Somewhere around November 1st, I realized that I had not yet started on the venture...but it's never too late...right?!?

Well, sometimes it is too late, but as it turns out, I was able to knit Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus before our visit to see Peanut and Sweet Pea last weekend. 

The girls loved them, and Peanut listened eagerly as I told her the Christmas story right from my head. I know that my telling probably was not perfect, as I did not read the verses directly from the Bible, but I think she enjoyed the telling, and so did I. I wish I knew which she liked more...the story, or learning about what I had stuffed into the figures to weigh them down (better to throw at your sister? No!) and keep them standing upright. (Small, decorative rocks, from the craft store, but not so small that they will come through the stitches.)

While I never did get a photo of the girls playing with their Christmas story family, I did manage to snap a pretty good picture of my son and his family. 

They are a good looking bunch, for sure! Right now, he is home for a short leave from the foreign country he serves in, but he will be going back before Christmas. In the meantime, they do have their tree up and fully festooned, and I would venture to guess that Snowflake (their elf) has already taken up residence on a shelf somewhere in their home!

Soon, and very soon, I will decorate my own home, and I will send photos to the girls (maybe you will also see one or two pictures of Christmas joy here!). In the meantime, Peanut told me that her Christmas socks are too small this year, so I have to get knitting! She's gotta get some new socks before she grows any more, and she's got to get them before Christmas! After all, there are only 28 days until all that Christmas garb is out of season! Have you started shopping yet? 

I have, but mostly online so far...I really don't go in for the crowds on days like yesterday! But I will be shopping today, on Small Business Saturday! Get out there, if you can, and support your fave small businesses today! If you're local, spread the word...I'm always looking for great small businesses to support with my spending!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you are enjoying your own holiday celebrations and traditions, whatever they may be, and that you will Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself thankful for lots of things. The thing I am most thankful for this year, though, is that my depression is finally lifting. 2016 has brought the strangest combination of events, many of them tragic, but I am ok. I am finally ok. After roughly 6 months of not being ok, suddenly I am...and I am so thankful for that. 

I am also thankful for a new job, with a new agent, that starts the first of December.

I am thankful that I have finished taking my pre-licensing courses and exams, passing each one and obtaining my licenses to sell insurance.

I am thankful that I have had some time off to heal.

I am thankful to have had a place and a job, provided by a very good friend, and for the opportunity to turn that temporary job into a new career. 

I am thankful for many friends who have hugged me and listened to my stories, reaching out with encouragement and affirmation when I needed it most. 

I am thankful that I have enough...enough to provide for my every need, enough to see me through a difficult time, and enough to know that I am loved beyond measure.

I am thankful for medical professionals and modern medicine that has given me the proverbial "new lease" on life. 

I am thankful for my God, my Savior, and the faith that has seen me through some dark, dark days. All of the good in my life comes directly from His hand, and he has provided for me an abundant life. 

Finally, I am thankful that I have my yarny mojo back. There was a time, it lasted much longer than I expected it would, that I did not feel like knitting. It's ok, you can gasp at that...it is shocking. :) But, I am especially glad that it is back, since there was a baby shower last week. I was able to bring this stash of goodies for the mother- and father-to-be, and they were so appreciative:

The masterpiece was an afghan that was not knitted, but crocheted. It turned out better that I could have hoped, and it was quite well received by the expectant couple!

Both of them love Jesus and they love music, so it was important to me that this song play a part in their nursery preparations. It was a good choice, and now I can rest my fingers for a moment before it's time for the real Christmas knitting rush! 

I hope that you have much to be thankful for this week and always. Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Projects  pictured include the following:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

'Tis the Season...?

'Tis not quite the season for putting up Christmas trees and wrapping the gifts, however...
'Tis certainly the season for knitting holiday gifts and keeping them secret until Christmas day!

'Tis not quite the season for singing Christmas carols and watching A Christmas Story over and over and over again, however...
'Tis certainly the season for Hallmark Christmas movies, almost 24/7! Movies where the beautiful girl is in love with the wrong guy, but meets "Mr. Right" (also a beautiful person, of course) in the nick of time, and also in time for Christmas.

'Tis not quite the season for baking trays of Christmas cookies and gingerbread, however...
'Tis certainly the season for mixing multiple batters and freezing cookie-sized balls of dough, so that Christmas baking is stress- and mess-free when it's time to bring plates of cookies to friends and family!

'Tis not quite the season for exchanging brown, paper packages tied up with strings, or those that are brightly wrapped and ribboned, however...
'Tis certainly the season to think of others and limit personal shopping, because Aunt Sally knows you well and always gives the most lovely gifts, just like the things you would buy yourself!

'Tis not quite the season for family dinners, complete with the stress of sibling rivalry and relatives who refuse to believe that you are an adult, quite despite the fact that you are 45 years old, however...
'Tis certainly the season to pay attention to the needs and desires of those around you, so that you may plan good gifts in secret and anticipate the joy those gifts will bring at Christmas!

Christmas is coming, to be sure. First, lets get through Thanksgiving, because we have much to be thankful for. My challenge to you today, as you knit and plan for the upcoming gift-giving season, is to make a habit of giving the gift of kindness to those around you every day. Most everyone appreciates a kind gesture, whether small or extravagant, and it only takes a moment to share a smile. 'Tis always the season for Kindness.

Of course there has been much knitting in the Pretty house lately, much of it related to gift-giving and therefore secret, but I will share with you a quick pic of my granddog (who knows all my secrets after visiting for a week with me and Pop Pop, but he's not talking!). Isn't he the cutest??? 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Be kind to one another, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Almost Christmas? Not quite...

I'd like to say that I haven't always been this crazy, but then I would be lying. In that vein, let me tell you about some of my earlier crazy-times, marked by the OCD Pretty personality that you have (no doubt) come to know and love:

When I was a younger Pretty, I would set deadlines for myself. You know, like getting to an appointment at least 5 minutes early, or having pictures for Christmas cards done by the first of October, or starting to buy non perishables for Thanksgiving no later than November 1st...that kind of thing. These deadlines gave me plenty of room for getting behind without actually getting behind (the OCD, she is strong in this Pretty) and they also gave my friends plenty of fun-making opportunities.

"You know, I saw Pretty at Wal-Mart the other day, and she is buying her kids' clothes for NEXT summer, right now! It's a little crazy!"

"I know...it's August! She says she does it every season. Something about clearance prices and wanting to be prepared...but how can she know what size they will be in a year?"

"I don't know. And where does she keep everything in the meantime? I've seen her house, and it's not that big."
"Yes, but the kids are small. Their clothes don't take much room..."

"I suppose... You know what else she was buying? Christmas presents!"

"What?!? Now THAT is crazy!"

Well, maybe it was crazy, but it's what I did when they were small. I bought their clothes at the end of the seasons, and my Christmas goals included having all the "big" Christmas items purchased before Halloween each year! From roughly 1990 until both kids were in school, neither of these things was that big a deal. The kids grew at a fairly predictable rate as preschoolers, and before the influences of friends and television caused them to change their preferences willy-nilly every week, it was easy to buy the gifts early. 

We had a rule in our family: No one may buy anything for themselves after the first of October. You could buy presents for other people, but not for yourself, and it worked pretty well. By the end of October, I'd have the toys and gifts safely stashed in the attic, and we would build the hype by watching MORE Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Elmo, or whatever matched the toys in hiding! Sometimes, I would even take them to the toy department, and show them the exact same toys I had already bought, letting them dream of a time that they might be so lucky to have such a great thing! 

"Do you think Santa might bring me that???"

"Well, let's write him a letter right now, and see what happens."

By the time Christmas morning rolled around, both kids were usually delighted to receive the toys they had been anxiously awaiting for months! (And their mother felt like a genius! lo1!)

As Halloween looms, just two days away, I am reminded of my sentimental deadline. I am also reminded that I do NOT have any of my Christmas shopping, knitting or planning even started, and I am starting to feel a bit less like a genius with every step closer to the holidays. I have set some deadlines, and I'd like to say that they are more realistic. In reality, I am just not quite as OCD as I once was. This means that I sometimes miss those deadlines, but usually I do ok.

Right now, two days before Halloween, I'm not sure what I will get for my Dollface this year, or for Mork and Mindy and the girls, or even for Sweetie! I'm sure that I will figure it out by the time December 25th rolls around. I usually do! In the meantime, I'm going to go see if I can find the Halloween candy. Even if I have a couple pieces, there should be plenty left for the kiddies, right? 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health! 


Saturday, October 22, 2016

The More Things Change...

As I think back to when our own kids were small like this,

I remember that my Sweetie has always been a kid magnet. Even as Dad, our kids (and many of their friends) climbed all over him, just like this.

In fact, as they grew, the neighbor kids would often come to the door in the evenings to ask me, "Can your dad come out to play?" If he was home, his answer was usually yes, and each time I see him with these girls,

I am transported back to another place and time...but the here and now isn't too bad either. I mean, it is pretty cool to be Gramma to his Pop Pop, and I really cannot imagine doing this phase of my life any differently. I mean, look at these happy faces.

They are smiling at not just Pop Pop (although he does edge me out as their clear favorite for the outdoor activities)...they are smiling at US! Gramma and Pop Pop are a team, even though Gramma is the one taking the pictures (which means she's not usually in the pictures)!

I guess it just goes to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same. He is the rough and tumble one, I am the sit and read. He is the champion hide-and-seeker, I am the let's-make-something type. Thankfully, in this stage of our lives. we are both pretty snuggle-y!

This is a belated post, with photos from a couple weekends past, but the message doesn't change. Since we've been home again, he has been taking care of things around the house to be ready for winter, and I've been starting on the preparation for Christmas knitting and yummy-treat-making. It really is true, over and over again...the more things change, the more they do stay the same.

Whatever your plans are today, I hope that you are celebrating old traditions and creating new memories. Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!