18 December 2018

Christmastime with a Broken Wrist

Sigh.  "Next year will be different," I keep telling myself.  Yes, I am trying my best to be in the moment, and I am enjoying Christmastime overall, as I usually do.  But I have to tell you, this year has presented challenges, due to my limitations from a broken wrist. 

Some background first:  The Tim is famous for getting a tree for us during the first week of December, and then almost immediately putting the lights on it.  And then, nothing.  He wants us to decorate it together, but he is usually either sleeping, cooking/baking things he wants to make for the holidays, or at work.  So almost every year, the tree has lights only for a week or two, and then all of a sudden he decides it has to decorated THAT SECOND, regardless of what else I may have going on, or be in the middle of trying to get done.  The down side of this is obvious if you have read this paragraph.  The good side is that in the meantime, I've put out all of the other decorations and have cleaned up after myself, so other than vacuuming pine needles once the tree is finished, there's not much left to do.

This year, though, has not worked that way.  I have been going to occupational therapy 2 times a week, and I have about an hour's worth of exercises to do on my own every day a minimum of twice a day.  The days I go to therapy are especially hard, as those sessions are exhausting both physically and mentally.  But I have been doing my best to get out the other decorations and place them where I like them to be, which is fun.  Sadly though, I am not able to pick up the empty boxes and put them back in the basement, since I do not have the control in my hands and wrist yet.  Which means that there are boxes all over the place, because The Tim is a believer in wait-until-everything-is-ready-to-put-away and there are still one or two small boxes of ornaments to unpack (which we are doing tonight and will finish the tree one way or the other), so I can't really clean up.  He is not bothered by this, but it is making me CRAZY.  So I told him that tonight we are finishing up with the ornaments (because as far as I'm concerned, it should already be done), and the boxes need to be downstairs by the time I come home from work tomorrow (he has the day off). 

So what will I be doing this week before Christmas, when I am usually just able to enjoy things and do the activities I want to do (baking, knitting, etc.)?  I will be cleaning the house.  Which usually means a commitment of a couple of hours.  But when you have limited mobility, it takes a very very long time and every single thing is a Big Project. 

Now, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, this is truly no big deal.  But for me, it's really annoying.  I just keep telling myself that a) it will all get done, and b) next year, I will be able to do things the way I like to do them, and that makes me more of a happy camper. 

On a very positive note, I did successfully get the gifts wrapped that we send to family and friends so that they are well on their way.  I love wrapping things, but as with every single thing at this time, it was, shall we say "challenging."  Especially when you are not only surrounded by snoopervising kitties, but a large dog simply *has* to have his head resting on your knee while you are in the midst of it ...

I've also made toffee and one kind of cookie so far (The Tim has made several), and hope this weekend to make a batch of cranberry curd.  I'm sure we'll also tackle decorated spritz cookies, since we generally make those right before Christmas Day.

Maybe The Tim is lucky I can't lift much of anything ... you never know what could happen ... ;-)

17 December 2018

A Blast from Christmas Past

I was looking through Christmas photos for a particular photo (which I have not yet located), and came across this one from a few years ago. 

Boxes - entertaining cats since the dawn of time ... 

16 December 2018

Third Sunday of Advent

Making the House Ready for the Lord

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you.  Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice - it is the season of their
many children.  What shall I do?  And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances - but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do?  And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow; 
what shall I do?  Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door.  And still I believe you will
come, Lord; you will when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, come in.

-- Mary Oliver

15 December 2018

Blogger Is Not Being Festive

It seems that every once in a while without warning, Blogger decides to mess with me.  And I can never figure out why, or what happened.  Recently, it has not been allowing me to comment on some - but not all - blogs, even after logging in, completing the Captcha, proving I'm not a robot, etc.  Then this morning, I realized it never published my post from yesterday, though it shows as published in the list of posts.  Blogger, this is not festive AT ALL, and I do not appreciate it.  I'm guessing Santa and the elves are annoyed with  you as well ...

So if one day, a random post dated December 14, 2018 shows up, don't blame me!

Anyway, I'll repeat the photo I showed in yesterday's post, because I think you'll all enjoy it.  I think I have mentioned that the kitties, who are used to Dug, can't figure out why Hamlet didn't want to immediately cuddle and be friends with them.  Hamlet was never really around cats, so when he joined the family, he was not in any way aggressive, he just wasn't sure what to do.  He has gotten better, but he still doesn't quite get it when they try to cuddle.  But the other day, the Koodle got ever closer to his eventual goal.

Hamlet was snoring here, but as soon as I picked up the camera to take a photo, that one eye opened, which made me laugh!

Anyway, in today's post. I wanted to show you some photos that made me very happy!  You may or may not remember, a couple of years ago, I knitted hats for all of my nieces' husbands and significant others.  I got lovely thank yous, and was 99% sure they liked them, so that was nice.  But recently, my niece Amanda and her husband Patrick took a trip to Switzerland.  The photos they posted on Instagram and Facebook were so pretty, so Christmas-y, and made it look just as you imagine.  Then this morning, Patrick posted two photos on my Facebook timeline, thanking me for the socks I'd knit him a few years before, and the hat, saying that it kept him warm in Switzerland, and that he got lots of compliments on his hat from the Swiss "and one guy from Croatia." 

I told him thank you of course, but said that I'm glad my knits got to travel, even if I didn't! 

But seriously, you can bet that he and Amanda will get more knits - they would have anyway, as they are both extremely knitworthy, but this takes it up a whole 'nother level.

That's it for today.  Hopefully this will not just show up as "published" but will actually really *be* published!  I hope you are all having a good weekend.  We are cozy inside listening to Christmas music and doing Christmas things, while it is a rainy day outside.  It doesn't get much better than that.

13 December 2018

Especially Special

Most of our Christmas decorations and ornaments on our tree have a special meaning to us - we can tell you where we got them, who gave them to us, etc.  Since today is Three on Thursday, I have decided to share three things are are "especially special" to us.

This wreath:

This is one of the very first Christmas decorations we ever had as a couple.  When The Tim was in graduate school at Notre Dame, and we lived in married student housing, we had a small apartment and the door was in an enclosed hallway.  We wanted a wreath or some kind of decoration for the door, but couldn't really afford to buy one.  A fellow student of his suggested we do what she did and make one using materials from a local craft store.  Success!  This has traveled from apartment to apartment with us, and now to our house, where it hangs inside the front door.  Every year, I expect that I will pull it out of the package and it will be a mess, but it's hung in now since the Christmas of 1978.

This Rudolph and Santa:

(OK so this is two things, but they are ALWAYS together!)  The little stuffed Rudolph was a promotion from Duracell back in 1984 or 1985 - you sent in proof of purchase, and they sent you this stuffed toy, and he had a Duracell battery in his nose - when you press his one ear, the nose lights up!  I have to give them credit, it lit up until 2 years ago, so it did last a good long time.  (You can't replace it without tearing him apart, so we are living with a non-glowing Rudolph now.)  

The stuffed Santa is from a kit bought at JoAnn Fabrics the first year we lived in Philadelphia, which was 1991.  I had gone to look for fabric to make stockings for the kitties and though I didn't find that, I did find this kit.  It was simple to sew together, and like so many of our decorations, manages to look just as good from year to year.  Our cat Hannah used to love the jingle bell on the end of Santa's cap, and would sleep next to these two on the couch for most of Christmastime.

This Yule Woodsman:

I knitted this tiny guy (well, actually I knit two - the one above was for a swap, and then I knitted one for us) from a kit probably at least 15 years ago.  He hangs on our tree every year, and always seems just as happy to be there as we are to see him.  I am always amazed that I was able to successfully make two of these that turned out to look like they were supposed to look, since I was a fairly new - and not overly confident - knitter at the time.  

What about you - do you have any holiday items that are "especially special?"  Or, alternatively - any that you keep, but you don't really know why??