It’s the Most Wonderful (?) Time …

Over the years, I learned to dislike the Christmas season … yes, I am a Grinch-y Christmas person. I’m not sure when I made the turn but somewhere along the line, the expectation of  making Christmas perfect for everyone got bigger than me. And it grew and it grew like the Grinch’s heart. I keep trying to scale back the expectations and it’s difficult. Even with no kids in the house and even though the pressure really only comes from me. I’m still not in love with Christmas.

So, for this year’s goal for myself, it’s to try to keep it simple. Focusing on what’s important. I’m not going to have all the gifts ready – my daughter’s leg warmers are probably not going to be finished. But she knows they’ll get to her as soon as it’s humanly possible. The rest of the family I’m keeping in my heart with small gifts to acknowledge the day. The hundred and fifty cards may not be sent until after Christmas (Happy New Year!) I want to make cookies because it’s a tradition. I want to have a small something for my family to open on Christmas and know that they’re with me in spirit although we’re separated by many miles. I want to be relaxed and enjoy the season!

I know I’m blessed to have children and family that I’ll miss on Christmas because that means I have people in my life that I love. I want to hold that close and remember how grateful I am for my children, my family and my friends – and you, dear blog readers are in that extended family, too.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah, whatever you are celebrating I hope it’s filled with joy, wonder, good health – and maybe a little bit of yarn!

Gone knitting!

Knitting with Friends

Camp Smedley – From the Water

We have our first house guests (maybe I should call them “camp guests” since this house is really a “camp”).

Our friend Bob comes up with kids each summer and the kids keep on growing. They’re fun to watch around the lake each year and it’s interesting to witness the excitement that they get when they’re “let loose” at the lake.

Coffee discussion this morning centered around what it is that one of the kids likes about fishing. Talk amongst yourselves….

We decided that Bob was probably “right” in his observation that the joy of fishing is in not knowing what you’ll get. The adventure of the hunt. Walking through the grass and finding a snake or up on the railroad tracks and finding a long-dead porcupine or dipping a hook into the lake over past the boathouse and waiting for the thrill of the first underwater tug. The joy of the unknown? Would that that joy continued into an adventurous spirit in adults rather than fear!

Meanwhile, I’ve had lunch and attended a knitting class with a new knitting friend. My post about the Ravelympics was picked up by a reporter for an Olympics News-related website and I was asked to respond. (Little old me?!)

On my needles … my tunic sweater is growing again after its too-large frogging. 🙂 I really love knitting with my Signature needles. The cord is so flexible. Much more so than the other needles that I have. I’ve finished my first Maine Lobstah sock and must admit it’s a tight fit … not sure if I’ve knitted it more tightly or if the yarn is a bit heavier than typical sock yarn but they’ll be fun. Sock number 2 is cast on and a new WIP. I’ve decided to pull out a few of the older projects and yarn that has been in my stash for a (long) while. I’ve cast on the Gaia Shoulder Hug shawl by Anne Carroll Gilmour. It’s a simple lace design knit in Noro Kureyon Sock (or Silk Garden Sock) and the lace/eyelet rows are knit as the colors transition. The color way that I chose is difficult to knit with as the color transitions are so slight. But, I’ll finish it this time … if for no other reason than to do it. And, last, I’ve pulled out my mohair lace yarn to cast on the lace scarf that I had attempted years ago. I’ve done a successful cast on as required in the pattern and I’m ready to try the pattern again.

Bought a bit more yarn the other day, too! (I don’t know what to say, I can’t seem to help it! Must be just like I wrote above … the wonder in the discovery!)  Ron Miskin had another surprise purchase (with an excellent discount) on The Buffalo Wool Company‘s Facebook page. And, I’ve had an order from that wonderful grandma who won the socks give-away. A little hat and mittens for her grand-daughter for the holidays! More goodness to come! Blessings are all around me!

Gone knitting!

When Does Life (of a knitted object) Begin?

I know, I know, it’s a touchy subject but one that I think really needs to be addressed here in my blog.

Yesterday, I “mastered” short rows and knitted a complete Bandana Cowl. I’m not really sure when this cowl became a living garment … I’m pretty sure it wasn’t able to live alone until it was off the needles, birthed, so to speak, by me and able to survive as a garment without the needles.

Not sure what I’ll do today … maybe it will be cookie baking (the poor butter has lived out of the refrigerator for a day, was put back, pulled back out and put back in another time, too!) as the Christmas holiday is drawing nigh (how’s that for antiquated language?) and there’s not a cookie in the house.

I wonder when the life of a home-baked product begins … hmmmm.

Gone knitting.

Now THIS is More Like It!

Yesterday was a hot one. Plain and simple. When it’s that hot, it’s best to leave me alone … it was too hot to bake, too hot to knit, too hot to sit with my laptop on my lap, too hot to hug. The only thing I managed to do yesterday was to get a load of sheets washed (and dried) and read a chapter for my Human Bio class.

Just a few days ago ...

... and today!

I’m already into today and have accomplished several rows on my Noni bag, have a load of wash going in the machine, and am into Chapter 5! It’s warm in my summer office today and I have to admit to some perspiration, but the strains of music are floating over the lake from the Music Camp and I am feeling much better and more productive.



One of the things that I am marveling about today are the wonderful banana blueberry muffins I baked last week. I made a double batch because I had six bananas that were too ripe to eat. Now, I love the recipe that I’ve been using for years, but for some reason, with my new gluten-free flours, the muffins (and breads) have been a little bit different consistency. This time, however, it was amazingly light. Could it have been because when I read baking powder (and added it to the mix) and then saw that it was really baking soda (and added it to the mix) that I added the right balance of ingredients to change the outcome just that little bit? Well, I guess I have to wait until the bananas are too ripe again – as they always are! Or, I could try some other muffins … we’ll see how today pans out.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 cups sifted flour (or 2 cups gluten-free baking mix plus 1 teaspoon xanthum gum)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen (Maine) blueberries (you can buy them from another state but they won’t be as tiny and sweet!)

Cream together sugar and butter. Add bananas and eggs; beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; add to batter. Mix just until blended, fold in blueberries by hand. I usually sprinkle the tops with raw sugar or cinnamon sugar. Pour into a greased loaf pan (or muffin tin) and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour (15-20 minutes for muffins). Test for doneness when a toothpick inserted at thickest part comes out clean. Yield: 1 loaf (or 1 dozen muffins)

Another thing I’m marveling about today are my feet. Yes, I know that sounds strange. But I’ve been diagnosed with plantar faciitis (and inflammation of the muscles under the feet that connect the ball of the foot and the heel) and I’ve been struggling to find the right “fix” to make my feet stop hurting. I’ve tried insoles, new shoes with better foot support (and higher prices) two doctors, cortisone shots in both heels, $350 custom orthotics, Birkenstocks with two different foot beds. None of them have helped my feet. (The custom orthotics are the biggest “hurt” to my purse and they will be going back to the doctor!) Anyway, I think I have found a solution that works for me… Teva sandals.

Yes, my toenails are blue!

These sandals ($59.99 here in Maine but they’re also on the Internet) have a most wonderful “anatomic” foot bed and great arch support and I’ve been wearing them for a couple of weeks exclusively. Yesterday, I was able to go barefoot around the house for a couple of hours which I’ve not been able to do in (probably) two years. That’s what I call progress. So, back to the store we’re going today to get at least one other pair. Woo hoo!

So, just for today, my feet are happy, my sweetie’s happy (he’s currently about 50 feet up in the oak tree in the yard) and my dogs are happy because they can lie inside or outside without being too hot.

And bonus – tonight I am going to my knitting class … life is good!