Wednesday, January 7, 2015

She's Back

In case you couldn't tell, the last couple of weeks were holiday-busy.

Not to be a party-pooper, but this year, I'm kinda glad it's over.  I just never really got into the spirit this Christmas, for a whole lot of reasons, and by the time it was all said and done, I was kind of glad it was all said and done.

I know it isn't feasible, but I can't help but think that it would be nice if we could occasionally arrange to have Christmas at some other time of the year, perhaps a bit spontaneously.  So, I could decide sometime in June, for example, that it's "Christmas," according to me, simply because I'm in the Christmas-spirit.

This would also mean that radio stations couldn't hijack their play lists for 8 weeks and play nothing but Christmas music all the time.  Does anyone really like when they do that?  I mean, really like it--not just put-up-with-it-because-you-feel-forced-to-pretend-to-like-it?  I really don't see what's wrong with a simple 2 weeks of Christmas music.  When it starts in November, I just don't need it.

But all that said, I did take pictures of various and sundry Christmas gifts, so I thought, what better way that to start the year than by reminding everyone that I'm not now--nor will I ever be--a photographer?

Here goes:

I decided to be creative this year and make a stuffed animal (along with a couple of blankets) for my neighbor and her children.  My neighbor did service above and beyond the call of duty when she followed the ambulance to the hospital on a particularly bleak night of my life last April, when I had to be hauled off of the floor of my bedroom because I accidentally ate food I was allergic to and needed to stab myself in the leg with an epipen and call 911.

She didn't know what had happened, until the ambulance guys told her.  She didn't want me to not have a ride home when I stopped projectile vomiting.  She said she wanted to make sure I was okay.

In short, an instant friend.  Right there.  BAM.  She nailed it.  This isn't a Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood kind of neighbor.

Her husband checked on my cats, because, even when I have a blood pressure of 70/60 and I'm coping with a sudden onset of anaphylactic shock, my priority is my kitty cats.  So, as a "gag," I made her a grey kitty cat.  (She has dogs.  Yes, I know, cats are better but... she has dogs.  One of her dogs behaves kind of like a cat, though, and he's grey, so I think that kind of covers it.)

The minute I finished it, Smokey felt it was important that the world see just how far short it fell from the perfection that is an actual grey kitty cat.  Quite frankly, I think he was kind of jealous of it.  (He has nothing to worry about, obviously.)

I also made a scarf, and although at one point, I thought keeping track of the lace pattern might actually be the thing that sent me over the edge and into the kind of medicated, knitting-needle-deprived lockdown I might some day need, I finished it.

It really isn't a particularly complicated pattern, I just kind of suck at doing lace-work.  I might get better at it some day, but right now, I tend to tell myself that it's a goal to be saved for "retirement" or "some thing like it."

Truth be told, if I spend my retirement driving myself nuts working on lace patterns, I'm not sure what I'll think of retirement.  I suspect I won't like it.

I also took the time to bake some bread.  This is a really good Ethiopian Honey Bread, that I used to make all the time, but that I haven't made in several years. (I think the last time I made it was when I turned 40, in 2008, and threw a little birthday party for myself.)

It's a bread that Ezra (and several other friends) used to love, so I decided to make a huge braid of it to share for New Year's.

I've also decided that this is my New Year's resolution for this year: to get back into baking bread a bit more regularly.

I used to do it quite often, but then life got in the way, and I stopped.  But it really is kind of fun, and it makes the house smell rather wonderful, so I think I should do it again as a way of celebrating the fact that it's 2015.

I also decided to get creative and make a wind-chime using shells that I collected over the summer.  It turned out okay: I gave it as a gift, but I have enough shells to make one for myself, so I think I may do that during some dull moment in the upcoming winter months.

Right now, though, I'm going to enjoy the fact that I'm back where I belong, the holidays are over, there's a fire in the fireplace, I have a stack of books to read, and a bunch of knitting awaits.  This is what January weeks are designed for.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."