Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays... you! (the song, folks...) Bing Crosby. The movie. 

And besides, I've said "Happy Holidays" for about 20 years now. Did you know that between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, there are at least a dozen different holidays that are actually celebrated? So, there's no "War on Christmas" unless you listen to a certain television/radio station. 

And the kids working the cashier stations in town? Give 'em a break. They're TOLD how to greet you. It's a holiday gig. Show some true holiday spirit...

OK, as I gingerly climb off my soapbox, I do wish you all a great holiday season - celebrate SOMETHING. 2016 has been a rough year for so many, maybe celebrating the fact that we're all still here is enough. 


So, let's go here first... Knitting on Baby Stuff continues. The hat - a super simple rolled brim, is coming along fine. Right now, I'm at about 3 1/2" and I have to be at 5 1/2" before I start the decreases. I may bring it to Christmas, but I don't know how much time I'll have to work on it. Definitely tomorrow, though. I think I can get to the decreases by then. 

You can find the pattern here:  Simple Baby Hat - and it's from my favorite knitting shop in Oxford, MS - Knit1! Of course, it's all on Ravelry as well. 

Once again, old reliable Cascade 220 Superwash - my baby wool of choice. The colors are sophisticated and if you wanted, you could go "traditional" with them if you want. 

When I knit, I do "untraditional" - as untraditional as possible, if I can. Remember the last baby sweater I did, in a "zebra" print? The little monster is already out of it, because he grew like a weed! Which is exceptionally good, given that he was 11 weeks EARLY. 

And then there's the "foofies." That's what our choir calls them. You'll remember, maybe, about 4 years back, I got the zany idea to knit the ruffled scarves that were all the rage - but for the women in our choir. Today being Christmas Eve, and this being our big Midnight Mass, I brought the "foofies" (as they were christened by a soprano) home. The closet where we keep our robes has an area that's apparently lined with cedar. And the scarves stunk. 

Seriously, cedar is amazing for storing your heirloom knitted projects. Keeps the dreaded M***s away (the beasties about which we do not speak). But it does smell. And I didn't think I could go through a Mass with that smell up in my face. 

I took my Woolies, large wool balls, and dropped 12 drops of Young Living Essential Oil, Lavender, on each of 3 of them (I use 6 balls in my dryer). I took the scarves and tossed them in there, set it for half an hour on "delicate fluff" and let 'er rip. 

There are 10 scarves. This is what they look like... And yes, BORING to knit. But if you remember, at some point, anyone with a set of needles was knitting these things or the ribbon-yarn-stuff that made even more outlandish fluffy scarves. 

I'll never do this again. Seriously, the only knitting I will never repeat. I really didn't like doing the project, though I love the way the scarves look. Our robes are "Cubbie blue" and this white + gold scarf is really sharp. We use them at Christmas and Easter. 

They came out of the dryer in a tangle, of course, and in the process of de-tangling, I found this... a snag. I pulled out some white thread, and made kind of a hash of the repair, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to run like a stocking. And you really won't see it in all the fluff. 

So they're all back in the bag again, and ready for tonight. There are far fewer of us in the choir, but that's ok. We'll look spiffy and I'm glad we have them. I'm also happy that they took to the dryer so well. They smell lovely - a hint of lavender that makes them feel as if they're just off the needles rather than having sat in a bag in a closet for a year. 

Christmas Eve...

Kid #2 had a great idea. He said, at Thanksgiving, "Let's let the kids do Christmas dinner." OK. Great idea. Execution was a little rocky. The Kid is a huge control freak ( idea where he got THAT) and one of the cousins likes to fly by the seat of his pants. That didn't help. 

I was talking to my mother about 2 weeks ago, and hyperventilating about the whole thing. She said, "Don't you dare bail them out. If we eat Ritz crackers for dinner, they'll have learned about planning."

So yesterday she called me. Hyperventilating about the whole thing. Of course, I said to her, "Don't you dare bail them out. If we eat Ritz crackers for dinner, they'll have learned about planning."

Man, my mother doesn't like her words tossed back at her... 

They consulted with me, and we decided on a quasi-"southern" theme. They asked me to make my "world-famous" pulled pork. Then the brainstorming began. The "southern" thing is nebulous... But here's the menu:

Pulled Pork w/buns
Chicken 'N Spice chicken chunks (my mom's idea and a good one - they're a Joliet institution)
Baked Beans
Homemade pickles
Cole Slaw
Mac & Cheese
Salsa & chips (see???)
Cookies & Potica

Maybe potato salad will show up. Not sure yet. 

At our Christmas party at the office yesterday, I got a lovely gift. It's now the "Official Potica Plate" because amazingly, it looks like it'll fit an entire loaf of potica on it. Isn't that adorable? It's Fitz & Floyd, and at first, I admit I thought, "I have a bazillion Christmas plates." But NONE of them are long. They're all round. This is perfect. 

Kid #1 won't make it out for Christmas. I'm sad about that. I mean, it really hit me hard. I'm a "raise 'em to go out on their own" kind of mother, and I honestly thought I was ok with everything. 

I'm not. He called me last weekend to tell me. I didn't cry. At least while I was on the phone with him. But I was depressed the whole weekend. Like, I wanted to sit in a corner and weep depressed. Didn't want to eat. Didn't want to do anything. Wanted to sit and cry. Even to the point of not wanting to knit, read or do anything else. 

That's a very strange feeling. It's taken me a few days to pull my head out of itself, but I think it's ok now. We'll see. 

Random Picture...

Will show you this then I've got to go practice and knit some on the hat. Also gotta get the pulled pork rolling soon. 

For over 30 years, I've collected the Hallmark "Frosty Friends" series. I've got enough of them to actually cover a couple of large wreaths. Since we don't put up a huge Christmas tree anymore, I can quite easily cover one small tree with these. This is just a smattering - and I must be overwhelmed, because I can still see "tree" greens. I usually cover the tree from top to bottom. There's too much green showing!

Do you have favorite ornament that goes on your tree every year? What is it? Share your favorite and its story...I'd love to read them! 

Happy Holidays to all of you! 

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