Saturday, April 21, 2018

Prehistoric Pop of Color!

When one lives in northeast Ohio, one learns to tolerate the dull and dreary for months on end...even if one is a cat!

But then one day, in April or May, one just cannot take it any longer! The other day, while contemplating April snow...again...

I reached out for some color. (Side note: If you have a container of Tic Tacs Fruit Adventure, this is a perfect pour! Very inspiring!)

Anyhoo, as I popped those bad boys into my mouth, I started thinking about the yarn again. Remember the yarn? So. Much. Yarn. What color should I knit next? I know! I will knit ALL THE COLORS...muahahahahaha! And so I did...

I started a Stegosaurus in stripes, with the brightest of green plates running down his (her?) back...  

Even when the knitters made fun of my acrylic yarn (which may or may not have come from a dear, departed knitter's stash, gifted to our group by a loving relative...we quite affectionately refer to this as "dead people yarn"), I pressed on until it was time to add the personality.

"I'm stuffed!," shouted Steggie, after many minutes of manipulating fiber fill into the body cavity...

Then the legs. The bright green legs. The legs that will help her (him?) hold that head high! Well, not high. Technically (according to Wikipedia anyway), a stegosaurus holds its tail high, but its short forelegs bring the head closer to the ground, so it can munch on all the natural salad it can find. I know, I know. I am a geek, so I had to look it up. 

Before I looked it up, I agonized at the way that the head always pointed down when I stood Steggie up. I even removed and repositioned the hind legs to make the thing sit a bit straighter, but as it turns out, I should have left it alone. This dinosaur should look like it is taking a nose dive, and Steggie was apparently frustrated with my efforts. In any case, he (she?) was finished with the photo shoot, so I stopped stressing.

Now I am left with only one question: What does one knit following a striped stegosaurus? Well, after just a few minutes contemplation, the cat mentioned a T-Rex...so I have obliged. It does not yet have legs, but she (he?) seems to like the cat already... Black Cat, on the other hand, is not quite sure that she should have chimed in. She did not realize that her suggestion would require participation in the knitting event. She has heaved many a heavy sigh since I started this one! lol! 

So now you now, this is what happens when Springtime in Cleveland lags, which it does pretty much every year. The weather people tell me that the sun should shine today, and it has, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that warm will soon follow! Well, I have uncrossed them to knit...but you get the idea. 

How are you surviving the extended winter of 2018? Are you knitting?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Demanding Dolls

(To the tune of The Brady Bunch Theme Song
Here's the story of a gal named Pretty, 
Who was thinking up some very lovely toys:
It starts by having White Cat pick the skin tone,

Then deciding girls or boys?

Since the grand kids are both daughters, 
She decides that gir-irls it must be. 
So she starts to knit the heads and arms and le-egs, 
Then she knits up two bodies.

Now this pile of pieces looks so very lifeless, 
And the dolls are seeming pretty rough -

The next steps are the stuffing and the sewing

Stitching them together so they're tough!

But they're naked, and that's not good! 
Wearing clothes is something they must do...

So Pretty heads out to the local craft store 
To bring home yarn for dresses too.

Then more knitting, and more knitting,
And then some more knitting still...
Until both dolls have new dresses and are decent. 
Yes, I think that fits the bill!

Ok, I am done with the singing now. But I am not done with the knitting! You see, after I finished these two dresses, the dolls looked over and noticed that there was a LOT more yarn available to me, 

and they have demanded more outfits. "At least one more dress each, I think," said the blonde.

"Yes, and wouldn't we like jeans as well? I mean sometimes a girl needs to be a bit more casual," answered her sister

"Oh! That's a lovely idea! Jeans! And t-shirts! Why aren't you knitting, Pretty?"

"Oh...," I answered slowly, unsure. "I guess I thought I was finished?" 

"Certainly not!," they replied in unison. And then they made me a list. Purses, hats, tote bags, and maybe a cardigan or shrug? But summer is coming, so they said I could take my time on the sweaters... 

Sigh! Dolls are demanding! But I do enjoy the knitting, so I suppose I will stop complaining and get to it! After all, the forecast calls for rain all weekend, so really...what better way is there to fill my rainy Saturday than knitting and catonlap? 

Is it raining where you are? Do you have weekend plans dictated by demanding dolls? 

Whatever your plans for the weekend, thanks for stopping by, and Knit (or not) in Good Health!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Just Because Follows Fifty

Sooo, last week I turned 50...here, there and everywhere! This morning, I was having a little trouble figuring out how exactly to follow that! I asked the cats for help, and they agreed to brainstorm with me...but then they saw a bird.

I thought back on chocolate covered fruit, sent from the clan in Colorado (THANK YOU!!! Super yummm!!!)...but then I was sad, because it is all eaten up!

I even thought about Barbie...all the Barbies, and all their new clothes, which were so fun to knit! (Photo courtesy of the Colorado girls.)

By the way, as I turned fifty, Peanut was turning 7, and Sweet Pea has managed 3 years and a  couple months...time, she sure does fly!

Anyhoo, I finally settled on the giant pile of yarn at my feet. Even the knitting has been a little uninspired lately. But, as I was getting ready to ship another box of Barbie goodies, it dawned on me that I have not knit a doll in a while...and we all know that I love to knit toys!

So, even though there is no occasion (Christmas is long gone, birthdays are finished, and Easter has passed), I am knitting some just-because-I-want-to dolls!

After all, there are many things in this life that I do because I have to (eat, shower, pay taxes, drive slow), and there are even more that I do because I should (eat less, wear pants, keep from strangling annoying people - yes, you're welcome)...once in awhile, it is good to do something just because it is something I want to do. Today, I want to knit dolls, and knitting dolls does not hurt anyone, so that is what I will do.

I remember thinking, when I was less than 50 years old, that it would be a glorious thing to be all grown up and be able to do whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it, just because that is what I wanted to do. As it turns out (spoiler alert!) life rarely works that way for adults. Bills have to be paid, so jobs must be attended. Houses have to be cleaned and families need to eat, so mom naps are often forsaken. Cats must be petted, so even the knitting  sometimes takes a back seat to other things!

However, dull and sad is the life that is void of simple pleasures. I know that I have mentioned abundant life here before, but it bears repeating. Jesus came and died and rose again so that his followers would have life in abundance, including simple and extravagant pleasures! (John 10) Big birthdays and holidays, expensive toys and hobbies, elaborate outings and gatherings are a part of that abundance, for sure. The bigger part, though, is comprised of the smaller things: the perfect strawberry, plump and sweet and juicy, to finish out a simple snack; a really good parking spot, found by chance, in a really bad rainstorm; a word of encouragement, spoken at the right time, and a smile. For me, the little things sometimes include the frivolous knitting of unneeded toys, just because. 

The extravagant is often here and gone quickly. But pay attention. The little things add up, day by day. When they do, they create an overflow of the heart that brings personal and shared joy that can barely be contained! 

Regardless of the big things that you wish you had, can you find some of those little things in your life today? I would bet my eye teeth that they are there, hidden among the have-tos and shoulds, just waiting to be discovered so they can bring more abundance to your life. Keep your heart and your eyes open, and see what you find. Oh, and along the way, do a little something "just because" today. 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit (what you love) in Good Health!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fifty...

Tomorrow is a big day, and I have been thinking about it for some time. Tomorrow is Easter, and it is also April Fools' Day. I learned on the internet that this will happen again in 2029 and 2040, then not until 2108. The last time it happened was in 1956.

There is something else about tomorrow...it is my fiftieth birthday! I would not say that I am "excited" to be fifty, but I am glad to still be here, watching my grandchildren grow and celebrating life with people I love! I am even ok with having to share this day with Jesus...lol! His resurrection is certainly a much bigger deal than 50 candles on my cake, and I live in the celebration that He conquered death so that I might see my fiftieth birthday with more faith, hope, love and joy than a body has a right to! 

In the last half-century, I realize that I have learned a thing or two. I am so grateful that I can be taught! Sometimes I doubt myself, as even the simple lessons get past me, but eventually I have managed to catch a few truths about myself and this lifetime. On the eve of the conclusion of my first 5 decades, I would love to share some of them with you...maybe they are true for you as well:

50 Things I Have Learned in My First Half Century:
  1. Jesus loves me
  2. My mom loves  me
  3. My dad loves me
  4. My mom and dad are not perfect, but they have always done the best they could do
  5. I am not perfect
  6. I want to be perfect
  7. I want to be enough
  8. I am enough, even though I am flawed
  9. I am loved more than I know
  10. My husband loves me
  11. My children love me
  12. Even though I love them, I still fail them...more often than I would like
  13. I am human and broken, but I can still be kind
  14. I am smart
  15. I am funny
  16. I like people, most of the time
  17. People are people, wherever you go
  18. People, even Christian people, will let me down
  19. I will let others down
  20. God will never let me (or anyone else) down
  21. God is good, all the time
  22. Just because it sounds cliché doesn't mean it isn't true
  23. Everyone leaves
  24. Everyone loses hope
  25. Everyone doubts something
  26. Everyone struggles with issues of faith
  27. I am not alone
  28. My dog loves me unconditionally
  29. My cats have conditions
  30. I should love like my dog
  31. I love my husband more than I thought was humanly  possible before I married him
  32. I struggle with that love when times are hard, but I still love him
  33. I love my children more than I thought was humanly possible before they were born
  34. No matter what they do or have done, I love them beyond measure
  35. I love my grandchildren way more than I thought was humanly possible
  36. There is nothing they could do that would separate them from my love
  37. God loves them (and me) more than any human could ever love
  38. God loves me (and you) so much that he gave his one and only Son away to death, so that whoever believes in Him will never die but have eternal life
  39. Eternity is a very long time
  40. Fifty years is not very long at all
  41. Fifty years is a lifetime
  42. Death is certain for everyone
  43. What happens next is up to me (and you)
  44. We have options because Jesus conquered death
  45. Losing someone you love is hard
  46. Grief is part of life in a fallen world
  47. Friendship and love soften grief in this lifetime
  48. There is a place where there are no tears, no pain and no sorrow
  49. Worship restores my soul
  50. When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!
Ok, it is not an exhaustive list. I could probably find another 50 things if I wanted to, and it would likely not take me half a century! But I think this is a good start for Easter weekend 2018, and the fiftieth anniversary of my birth.

Whatever your age and wherever you are, I hope you find some truth for yourself in my humble list. I also hope that you find love, joy, hope and faith in Jesus this Easter!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

PS - Yeah, there was no knitting (again) in this post. Rest assured, my needles are still clicking! Barbie is getting new clothes, and my family has warm hats and mittens on this cold Easter weekend in Ohio! Happy Easter friends!


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dancing Enough?

Dancing. What do you think of? Do you think of going out to "the Club," or are you more of a dancing in the kitchen gal or guy? What are you wearing? If you are Pretty, you are most certainly wearing hand-knit socks, which means that Pretty confesses here and now to being more of a dancing in the kitchen gal...in a new pair of socks...completed just last month!

Bonus! The yarn is one of my all-time faves (sadly, now discontinued), Dancing by Knit Picks. The last time this yarn was offered for sale was somewhere in 2014 or 2015, but while I was tossing the stash earlier this year, I found two socks' worth in my sock yarn bin! I was probably saving it, knowing I can never get any more...but on a whim, I pulled it out and knit it up, and today I am wearing happy leggings and new Dancing socks! Quick! Somebody take me to the club! 

Hahaha! No. Nevermind. No clubbin' for this gal...

Barbie, on the other hand, loves to go out dancing! She also enjoys walks in the park, horseback riding, feeding the homeless and advancing in her very prestigious career! But, as my granddaughter reminded me last week, she is also always on the lookout for a new outfit! She enjoys new clothes so much, in fact, that she is happy to accompany me to knit night for the occasional fitting and photo shoot! (Even if this is what her ride looks like...)

Especially since most of her photos are posed in a bedroom, perched precariously on the edge of a folded TV tray, some in less than optimal lighting situations (girls, back me up here...lighting is so important)...

She is so glad to feel the sun on her face once in awhile!

Sometimes she prefers the shade, too...

But whatever the lighting situation, she always enjoys a new outfit. I mean, just look how happy she clearly is in every. single. photo! (Even in bad lighting!!!)

Barbie never has a bad day, hair or otherwise. She never has a "what did that smile look like?" moment after snapping a selphie. She is so very plastic. Her happiness is so very plastic. Her whole life is so very plastic.

I am glad that my life is not plastic. Sometimes I am not glad that my life is so messy... Sometimes I wish that every smile, every expression, every word or thought or deed was more photo-worthy... Then I remember that I am enough. Exactly what I am right now, messy or not, it is enough. I am enough because of my Savior. I am not perfect, and I never will be. But, because he died for me, I am always enough. 

I look forward to the day that God looks at me in person and sees Jesus. Not to rush things, I will wait for his timing, but it will be nice to be free of the mess of this world. A dear friend passed this week, and although I have not seen him or his wife often in the last few years. I know that he is glad to be free of the mess of this world, of this life, of his illness...and there is such a sense of relief for his family in that freedom. There is also grief and loss, to be sure, and that will remain throughout their days, but life looms large for them in the promise that they will be together again in eternity.

As the Easter season winds down this week, and Christians all over the world remember the sacrifice our King made, I hope that the world is watching. I pray that one lost soul will learn the truth that he or she is enough, no matter their mess, when they believe the claim that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and he is their Lord and Savior. If you do not believe this applies to you, I hope that you will reconsider someday. 

I want to dance in Heaven with you, praising our Savior all the day long!

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