My dear, dear followers and friends, those of you who remain faithful to me throughout these past 2+ months in my absence, being patient even with my silence. I have thought of you daily during this time. I guess I should explain because I owe you that much. This 2nd year of my widowhood has been more difficult than the first. For some reason by the time November hit I was having an emotional meltdown. It starts on the 20th, my husband's birthday, and then continued throughout the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year holidays and ends after my birthday January 18th which was the 2nd anniversary of his death. I am sure there are some who think "she needs to get over this", but believe me, unless you have experienced this first hand you just don't know the emotional roller coaster one goes through when you have lost someone you loved for about 45 years. I was married when I was 19, and now I am 64. You don't forget. Starting over is not an option for me. I am learning to spend my life alone and being resigned to sharing time with my family and a few close friends. I know I have been blessed and still am. So I will leave it at that and hope not too many of you are rolling your eyes and thinking "enough already".
I have not been idle during my absence. The first 3 pics I am sharing is just one of the 4 afghan/blankets I have made in the last 6 months. This one is from the Leisure Arts book AFGHANS FOR ALL SEASONS published in 1993. The pattern is called STITCH SAMPLER and it claims to be a good pattern to use up scraps. Personally that might be true for the first several rows, but when getting to the longer rounds you better have plenty of yarn or you won't be able to complete rows. Nothing worse than getting almost done with a row and coming up short. I tried to follow the color scheme as close as possible but concentrated on using up my scraps and refusing to go buy more yarn (yeah, right).
This was fun because you learn some new crochet stitches. It was actually a fast project because I never got bored with it. There is a lot of counting and more than once I found myself a bit frustrated when I came up a little off. If you decide to make it don't be scared, there are 81 rows of instruction. I didn't measure it, but take my word for it, it is large, heavy and warm. The perfect winter project.
Of course I could not let this winter come and not make my little guy a new cap and matching scarf. The cap is a free pattern is from ChemKnits.com and is the Wide Brim Skullcap pattern. Holden has so much curly hair that even though this pattern is for the adult-size head it fits him. The ribbing makes it stretchy. I made his daddy one too, same size, using the same size circular knitting needle and it fits Chris perfectly. For both I used knitting worsted weight yarn and US size 6 circular knitting needle. Holden's is made from Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn color Moss Creek, and the gray one I made his daddy's was the variegated gray but can't remember if it was Hobby Lobby yarn or Red Heart. The color was called Dove I believe.
Then the first Saturday in December my sister-in-law Faith and I planned a surprise retirement party for her husband, my brother Michael. I volunteered to get the cake(s). I have a friend down the road who does a great job of cake decorating. I gave her a pic of Mike when he was a student in Columbus at the Academy and I found a die cut collector replica of the exact patrol cruiser he has been driving for years, a Crown Victoria.
He is so young in that pic, so handsome. I am so glad we gave him this party but even though we planned for it to be a surprise (he had told his wife he did not want a party) she had to let the cat out of the bag because he had planned to go deer hunting that day.
Of course when Faith told me that Mike had told her he didn't want a party I told her, "Too bad, we want a party, and if he doesn't want to come then we will have one without him." LOL. When it was all done and over he was so glad we gave him one. He got to see several people he hadn't seen in years.
There was probably a good 50 people there. I didn't get around to take but a few pics and actually there was only a few people I knew. The gentleman sitting at the table, with his hands folded is a childhood buddy of Mike's, his friend Foxy.
Above is my brother Mike (on the right) chatting with another friend.
Then came Christmas Eve when 3 of the brothers and their wives and we go spend the evening with my mom. Those of you who follow me know that way back during the summer I was busy making Christmas presents in my spare time for my sister-in-laws. Above (from left to right) is Mike's wife Faith, John's wife Pawnee and Ralph's wife Sharon. They were so happy and surprised with their scarves and ear warmers.
I went through the whole routine showing the gals just some of the ways to wear their scarves. Can you tell what their favorite colors are, lol. I had to ask their husbands and do you think any of them knew what their wife's favorite color was, of course not, heavens!
Mom, what can I say, what do you give an 84 year old woman who claims there is nothing she wants or needs? I racked my brain on what to do for her. I had some yarn that was not suited for much else when it came to garments. It was so impossible for garments so I thought to make her a tissue box cover, add some flowers with cloth yo-yo centers. She loved it! This woman is hard to please, a stubborn German woman, very old school, she had a hard life back in the day when she was young growing up in Hitler's Germany, her father, who was not a Jew, but a business man, having been taken by the Russians to die in a concentration camp in Russia, her mother and younger sister losing all they had but the clothes on their backs, walking down the streets of Berlin while it was blown to bits and burning, no food to eat but boiled grass. For all her stubbornness I do love her.
Then of course Christmas morning with Holden. I got the biggest kick out of him. He must have been waiting for me because right there he was as I opened the door. He had a smaller wrapped present held up in his right hand and the first words out of his mouth was, "MA MAW, "do you want to open presents?" I told him, "Well I sure do!" His mommy told me that as soon as he got up he had gone into the living room and opened a present while they were still in bed, bless his little heart. Of course I had to snap a pic of every gift he opened, but I won't post them all.
I will include Holden's buddy, the family pet, Jasper. Oh, he is such a good dog, very lovable, faithful and loves being around his people. He was so good, watching his little guy open presents.
I guess his Christmas gift was getting to remain in the chair without someone shooing him out of it. I can't remember what he got for a gift, but they usually get him something. He is an English Springer Spaniel. They are hunting dogs but the only thing he gets to hunt are the squirrels in their back yard. You don't dare say the word "squirrel" or off he goes to fuss at the back sliding door, wanting out.
Then came my birthday a week ago and my girls, grandson, son-in-law Chris, brother Mike, his wife Faith, and Meghan's boyfriend Chris. We went out to eat at the Chinese Restaurant The Golden Dragon in Fremont Ohio. I got the General Tsao's Chicken. What you see in the above pic is my doggie bag, half the meal to take home. Yes, they serve you enough for 2 meals. You will not go home hungry. The pics that follow were just some quick snapshots I took in a hurry. Only one person was prepared......another looking like a deer caught in the headlights. Good thing it was my birthday or I am sure someone would have killed me there on the spot, lol. I didn't give anyone a warning, I just started snapping pics, snap, snap, snap, snap snap.....and snap......oops, let's me get a pic of that take home Styrofoam carton, yep!
As you can see, in my absence I have not gained any real photogenic skills. I am truly lacking in any proficiency where picture taking is concerned. I am more a person who takes pictures as an after thought instead of sharpening my abilities. I even surprise myself when I actually remember to grab my camera. I suppose my family would choke me with my camera strap if they saw some of my photos I have posted of them on here. I have never been photogenic. I actually shy away from cameras, now who would guess that about me.
I have done more afghans/blankets and need to get pics yet. I am going to try to post once a week or at least once every couple weeks. I am sorry to say I have not been reading but a couple blogs so that is admitting to being so far behind. I also should be ashamed about promising the pattern for the slippers. Meredith and Linda were interested in it. I have Meredith's home address and need Lindas, so girls if you still want the pattern I will get it to you in the mail, pinky swear. Linda if you are reading this please send me your address in England to my yahoo address which is located in the upper right column of my blog. I have missed you all and will try to do some blog reading. God Bless and keep you all. Love you ♥