Saturday, December 30, 2017

Almost there...

4 seasons. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days.

Today is nearly the end of another year.

2017 has been full of ups and downs, good and bad, smooth sailing and rough waters. I am glad to say that the year is ending on a high note for the Pretties!

This last week has brought an abundance of joy, from sunshine-y icicles

to snow-covered bushes for a white Christmas

to rooms full of family

and friends.

Arts and crafts at the dining room table

finishing up the Christmas cookies

and granddaughters in Minnie pants who have just passed out cold from the excitement!

There have been games

and toys,

handknits modeled in hallways

yarny gifts

and quiet mornings with Pop Pop and catonlap!

And even though the Christmas candy half-off sale is over

and the decorations have been packed away until next December,

today our sweet Dollface gets married! Who will the new addition to the family be? Stay tuned for wedding photos and a big announcement next week!

Until then, I have a dress to get myself into, and a party to attend! I hope that your year is also ending on a high note, and that 2018 brings you health and happiness!

Thanks for stopping by, Knit in Good Health, and HAPPY NEW YEAR (a little early)!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017!

Merry Christmas, from under the tree!

May your day be merry and bright, and may you Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Blue Christmas?

This December has been a little blue for me. There have been some weepy days, some memories that have hit hard and made me miss dear friends who are gone too soon. There has also been much joy...after all, Christmas is almost here! But there have been tears and sadz, too, for things that will never be the same. I am trying to remember that these are just feelings, and that feelings are not wrong, they are just feelings. This is the advice I would give if you came to me with December sadness that you were trying to banish...I would tell you it is ok. I would say, "Let yourself feel it before you try to move past it," and I am thankful that I have in-person and online friends who have said the same to me this month. I need the reminder as much as anyone.

December sadz are harder than those that come along during the rest of the year. It seems that there is no place for sad and lonely in the "hustle and bustle" or in the "merry and bright." Don't worry at happy...right?!? Not always. Let yourself feel it, for a time, even in December.

If you miss him, let yourself miss him. Remember the Silent Nights and the candlelight with joy, though you mourn the fact that Christmas Eve will never be the same. Treasure the memory, but free yourself to create new traditions. 

If that song, you know the one that she loved, makes you wish she were still a part of your life, let yourself miss her. Remember the sparkle in her eye when she heard the introduction, and the  way her eyes danced through the music. Treasure that song as a part of who you are because of who she was to you.

If a memory is filled with regret, because of something you did or said, let yourself feel the regret for a moment. Then use that feeling to move forward and do better. By all means, if you are sorry, forgive yourself! You will likely be the last one to forgive you, but you must...then work at avoiding that regret in future relationships.

If  you are feeling "less than" this Christmas season, this is the one time I would tell you to stop it. We all feel less than perfect, less than capable, less than talented, less than loveable, less than worthy...all of us feel that from time to time. It is often more acute when we think we should be planning Pinterest-worthy holiday celebrations and new traditions.  

But whatever you are feeling less than about, from a failed attempt at Pinterest-perfect to regret over relationship woes, remember this:  You are God's Masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things he planned for you long ago. (Eph 2:10) You are never less than anything, but you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14) and loved beyond measure! (John 3:16) You are forgiven, you are loved, and you are more than enough.

If you are having a blue Christmas season, I feel ya. Me too. It is ok. Let yourself feel it, for a time, then get back to living your life abundantly. (John 10:10) That is what God intended when he sent Jesus, that we would not only live, but live large!

As we all get ready for December 25, I am praying that we will be finding new things to celebrate every day, despite the sadz. I am thankful for new reasons to smile every day, especially when I do not get things right on the first a dog (or cat???) sweater that must be knit twice, and even then is not really appreciated!

Find your merry and bright, and try to live there most of the time.

Above all else, do what you love when you can, and do it in Good Heatlh!

Thanks for stopping by, and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Last Christmas, This Christmas, Next Christmas

Last Christmas is probably my least favorite of the "contemporary" Christmas songs. I do not say this to start a comment war, or to invite judgement on my musical tastes, it is simply a song I do not enjoy. I cringe every time I hear the opening bars. To make it worse, the artist and composers have nailed the darn song, creating an iresistible invitation to sing along. (How can I not? I am wired to sing, and this song has been played 47 thousand times already this year, so I know all the words...and the tune is super catchy...gah!) Still makes me cringe, even through the singing. lol!

Last Saturday, at the annual Knitters' Christmas Party, we were reminded of our hostess's least favorite Christmas song - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. I know, I know. THAT should be my least favorite song...but I not-so-secretly love that one! It comes on, and suddenly I want a hippopotamus too! When Last Christmas came on at the party, nothing happened. It just played quietly in the background, but when the Hippo Song came on, the party got started!

While Brenda gave a Judy-eye-roll, somebody started singing along, and soon we were all singing too...well, everyone except Brenda! She is a good sport, though. She endured the whole song (yes, we all sang to the end), and did not throw any of us out, which is very good...because Baby, It's Cold Outside! 

Also, the food!

And the friends, and the laughter!

And the poop-and-vomit talk...yes, you read that right. I am not sure where it came from, and it was gross, but funny too!

And the much knitting!

And the biggest, Christmas goodie bags, full of stocking stuffers!

And the not-quite-finished stuffers that we will have before Christmas, but for now a picture will have to do!

Of course there was also the annual sock picture, because you know, we knit socks!

Last Christmas we had a super Knitters' Party!
This Christmas we had a super-great Knitters' Party!
Next Christmas we will have a super-great-awesome Knitters' Party!
It is kinda what we do! 

Thank you to our hostess, and to everyone who brought their fun selves to the party! I had so much fun, and I love you ladies!

As the season winds down (Christmas is almost here...) 

Tell me, which Christmas songs and parties are you looking forward to (or not) this year?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit (and shop and wrap and give) in Good Health!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas is Coming!

The grand-dog would like you to know that there are just 16 days left!

That means it is time to package up gifts for parties, and for shipping off to another state, and be ready. Hellooooo, Christmas Central!

Done and almost done. There is still some wrapping to do for the shipping boxes, then I can concentrate on the local gifts, and free up that bed for some out-of-town guests...super yay! But it is hard to get moving on an icy-cold winter morning, even though my buddy Jack Frost has been at work all night!

For now, I am going to sit here in my Minnie pants with a red Carly and  Christmas socks, and drink in the stillness of the morning...

Later is the annual Knitters' Christmas Party, the best Christmas party of the year! I am excited for funtimes and festive food with friends, so I am blogging a little early, in the company of a couple of cats....catonlap=super-cozy!

16 Days until Christmas...are you ready? Well, ready or not, here it comes. I hope you are finding joy in the season!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Little Bit More

'Tis the season for Christmas decorating and Hallmark Christmas movies with an abundance of cat-on-lap! (Even though, in this picture, one can clearly see that Sweetie was changing the!)

'Tis the season for remembering Christmases past when you put those handmade ornaments on the tree! (And sometimes missing dear friends who hold a special place in your heart, even though they may be far away...or in heaven.)

'Tis the season for Christmas knitting! (Even though you started too late...again this is pretty exciting to see if you can make it by the Christmas deadline!)

'Tis the season for crafting Christmas cookies, candies, and other goodies! (Even though you discovered a pinhole in your chocolate squeeze bottle, which made more of a mess than this photo shows...but it was CHOCOLATE, so I just licked it!)

'Tis the season for Christmas carols, cinnamon tea, colorful socks in greens and reds, and all the bells and whistles! (Even as we remember the birth of a baby, a child who shivered in the cold, and who came to give us the greatest gift of all!)

I am not sure of the actual date of Jesus's birthday, and it probably is not December 25... And yes, there is a lot of commercialism built up around the Christmas season... And yes, it is fun to give and get presents, so much fun that we often forget about Jesus in the mix... But is it wrong to indulge in the joy of the season, commercialized as it may be?

Whether we participate in gift giving this season or not, even the Grinch himself reminded us, originally in 1957, that Christmas is more than the commercial hype:
It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes and bags. And he puzzled and puzzed 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What it Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
It is ok to indulge in the commercial, Christmas spirit. It is more than ok to love one another through the season, bringing the light of Christ into all we do...which Jesus followers should be doing all year long! It is ok to say, "Merry Christmas!," as a warm, December greeting to anyone you meet.

It is not ok to overspend, beyond our means, to give extravagant gifts in order to out-do other gift givers, or last Christmas...that just gets us in debt. It is not ok to look down on others because their traditions are different than ours, or because we have not taken the time to understand the significance of those traditions...that makes us intolerant. It is not ok to respond negatively (like the Grinch at the beginning of the book) to someone who wishes you a merry or happy anything, even if you do not celebrate that particular "anything." If that happens, just smile and say, "Thank you," then offer your warm greeting to the next person you meet.

Christmas is a little bit more, Dr. Seuss. The idea of Christmas brings with it warm thoughts and fond memories of loving relationships, good food and nourishment for the soul. I say it every year, and 2017 is no exception, I wish the Christmas spirit (holiday joy, winter wonder) could last through the whole year. It would make the world a nicer place if we all did our best to regularly be as warm and welcoming as Christmas dinner at Grandmother's house.

Please, don't be a grinch at Christmastime...unless your heart has already grown three sizes, and you are ready to carve the roast beast!

Thanks for stopping by, Knit in Good Health, and...


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Comfortable Constant

After a lovely Thanksgiving with family, 

we had a nice, relaxing Black Friday at the Pretty house. There was no shopping (save for picking up a few groceries), but there was a bit of decorating.

Not much, just the tree and lights. The ornaments are still in the attic, and the cats are just getting used to this. I will probably grab the boxes and finish putting out the Christmas this weekend but at this moment, I am enjoying the quiet of my sleepy cottage, my Minnie pants and my first pair of Christmas socks this season!

I am sure there will be a couple of Christmas cats thrown in for good measure at some pont today, 

but for now they are happy over there, playing with their Amazon box. 

As it turns out, they LOVE the Christmas season, what with all its boxes, and dangly things and curly ribbons and crinkle-y wraps...and I am also a fan. There is just something about shopping for gifts (in person, online, however you do it), wrapping them, baking treats that make the whole house smell yummy, and glazing over in front of the Christmas tree with a holiday movie...and maybe some holiday knitting!

There is not as much secret knitting going on in 2017 as in years past, but there is some...yet I know that my dear readers will not spoil the surprise...right?!? Right. So, here's another peek...

This year will probably bring some new traditions, even though the grandkids will not be in town until after the big day...Christmas concerts and Christmas Eve services at a new church, hope and joy as the family finds new reasons to celebrate, and the tried and true traditions of Hallmark movies and It's a Wonderful Life!

So much same. So much different. Christmas is a comfortable constant, and I am thankful for this. I am thankful for a time to specifically celebrate the birth of a Savior...although this and his resurrection are something I celebrate all year, it is nice that the media gives me a constant backdrop of festive in December. I am thankful for the memories I hang on my tree each year, and a time to admire them and remember a little Christmas past (without a ghost!) all through the month. I am thankful for the hope of new beginnings that the promise of a New Year will bring!

I hope you will join me in celebrating this month. If you like the idea of Christmas concerts and festivities, maybe you will even consider joining me for an hour at is just down the street, and I would love to share in the festivities with friends! Whatever your faith traditions are, I hope that you are thankful, and that you know I am thankful for your friendship.

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