Friday, December 21, 2018

With a Heavy Heart

Since 2010 I've been pretty much a daily blogger but at the moment, I'm out of words.

I haven't mentioned it because I hated to always be a Debbie Downer but I've been giving serious round the clock hospice care to my beloved companion parrot who was diagnosed with cancer just weeks after Daddio passed on in January and days after Dear Old Doggie left us in February. I figure I have had only the first 10 days of this entire year that I haven't been grieving-and it's taken a toll.

Yesterday morning at 5:15 my sweetie bird flew over rainbow bridge. She'd been wanting to cuddle and be close at night so I've been sleeping sitting up while holding her for months. I was holding her last night when she reached up to rub her cheek on mine and say her last goodbye. I raised her from a hatchling and she's been my best birdie buddy for close to 30 years. She was the first voice I heard every morning and the last I heard at night. She was supposed to be my forever friend.

So....I just can't prattle on about holidays and knitting right now. I know you get it.  It's been so hard pretending that my life has been centered around normal things when it hasn't for so damn long. This time last year I had a dad, a dog and a bird and now I don't. I don't know what to do with all this sadness other than take some time for myself to sort it all out.

Hopefully, I'll be back sometime in the New Year.
Give your critters a squeeze for me.
Life can change in an instant.

Rest in peace my sweet Wo.
I love you more than one more day.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mincemeat and More

 I had all this dried fruit leftover from the fruitcake adventures so I decided to try my hand at making my own mincemeat. I usually buy it in the jar but I thought....why not?

Christmas breakfast is always a slice of mincemeat pie and a tangerine. Now that's it's just me eating it, I use these cute little pie and tart pans that I found on clearance at Micheal's a few Christmases ago.

I studied recipes for days. There are two types. Cooked and fermented.

 I went with cooked and subbed out the suet for butter.

 It looked lovely.

 It smelled lovely. I had to send The Mister on an Allspice run. It was the one thing I didn't have on the spice shelf and it made all the difference.

 Since I already had the brandy out I gave the fruitcakes a bath. I also gave them a nibble. Alton was right. His is better. Mine is a traditional brick of a cake. His is light as a feather.

After cooling, the mincemeat got jarred up. Now it will sit until I am ready to make pie.

I also managed to squeak out a pan of Hello Dollies aka Magic Cookie Bars. It was the one and only cookie I ever remember my grandma making and it's a good one. It's The Mister's favorite too and I'm glad. I hate standing in front of the stove baking pans of individual cookies.

Having said that, of course I went and made some "regular" cookies too.

I'll use any excuse to use my new Echo Show thingy to ask for recipes. I love that thing. She even has a cooking music playlist.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Blame it on Santa

 Because of stuff like this.....

 ...I'm only this far along on this.

By the middle of the month I am usually done with the Sheep Virtue block and onto my secondary project. Thanks to my Santa puzzle, it's not happening. We've been putting the same puzzle together every Christmas since 1995 and it's a December priority. My other pretty sampler will have to wait.

I did figure out the beading on the Santa ornament. I managed to struggle through one mitten before my eyes went cross. It's fiddly and rather sloppy but I think when my head clears from all this holiday stuff, it'll be a welcome challenge. I'm ready for January, are you?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Stuff

 I've got to stop watching You Tube videos in the middle of the night. It always ends up with me buying stuff-like these stamps. Cute, huh?

 They work with this die. It cuts holes in the paper so the little stamps can show through. I forgot to order the dies for the stamps though. They are on the way.

 I also bought another swatching stamp set. I am still not over my watercolor craze. It's just on hold until I clear out the holiday junk. I've got no room to play at the moment.

I've even got a new set of watercolors to play with after the new year.

They are from Russia. I saw someone review them and of course had to have them. I've got another set on the way too. From Russia. I am not sure why I needed two sets of Russian watercolors but there you have it. Midnight madness. I need to start reading at night. My You Tube habit is getting too expensive.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Finishing Up

 I think I won the game of yarn chicken.

 My pink sweater is almost done. I'm knitting the two inch collar and then it will officially be over the finish line.

 I am very worried about the neck circumference. It looks huge. I know it's supposed to be a wide neck but this may hang off my shoulders. I think I knit this sweater at least three sizes too big. I wanted it big and sloppy but it might be too big and sloppy. The Mister said he'll wear it if it doesn't fit me. Lol.

The short rows at the yoke were new to me. They scared me to death when I read about them but they weren't too terrible. It moves the back up higher than the front. That should be interesting. I can't wait to try this baby on. I bet it's going to be hilarious.

I'm also this much past the gusset on the second mitten.

I'm at the point in the first mitten where I have to stop the lining and do the thumb so I can weave it in before I close off the top. My brain isn't ready for this so it may go in time out until I finish the second mitten. The hard parts are always at the end, aren't they?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Over the Hill

I've been over the hill for a long time now but I think today it's official. Now when I need medical care I HAVE to hand over my Medicare card. I feel ancient. I used to hand over Daddio's tattered old card all the time and now it's MY turn.  I should also mention they take a nice big chunk out of your Social Security to pay for the fun of being old. Sigh....

This is Sally doing a great impression of how I am feeling.
The only good thing about me being 65 today is that for most of last year I thought I was already 65. It's almost like I gained a year. Almost. Waaaaah...

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Poor No Name Slob

 If you have read or seen Breakfast at Tiffany's you know what I'm talking about. A cat with no name.

The new guy has been with us for a while now. We took him to the vets and got his shots but have yet to find a name for him that sticks.

Unlike our ferals, this kitty is playful so The Mister picked him up some toys. When he first showed up last winter he was wearing a flea collar so we called him Collar Kitty. He was filthy and starving and he never left our deck for months. No one was looking for him. He didn't have a chip. Poor guy. He must have been left behind or dumped.

 He loved his new catnip mice.

He's even made peace with Hoover who used to be his mortal enemy when he was living on the deck all summer. Now they get along fine. Now as for a name...because of his prominent vampire teeth we've tried Hannibal, Louis and Dexter but they just don't fit. Maybe we'll just call him Seven. That's how many of these homeless critters have adopted us now.

I'm not even counting the newest feral who's been showing up for a meal every morning and has been sleeping in one of the heated huts every night. He could be Seven's twin. I guess we'll call this handsome guy Eight. Sigh.....

Friday, December 14, 2018

A Meowy Christmas

 Way back in early fall I bought this stamp set with the intention of making kitty crazy Daughter's Christmas card.

 With all the other things I have had to do I just managed to find the time to get around to it.

 Coloring all those kitties was easy. Trying to figure out what to do with them was not. I wasted a lot of paper trying a lot of ideas that didn't work.

 I knew I wanted the kitties in the card.

 I knew I wanted them to peek through to the front.

Ta da....nailed it. It's really cute and now that I've got it down, easy to do.  Now I am already excited about next year's holiday soap giveaway. This will be a fun and fast card to mass produce. Meow!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Meet the February Soap

I had a lot of fun making the Valentine's Day soap. I made some old favorites like Love Spell.....

 ....and Lavender and Vanilla.

Blushing Orchid is new.....

...and so is Warm and Fuzzy.

 My all time favorite fragrance is Mediterranean Fig and it came out beautifully.  You folks who signed up for February will be getting some lovelies. They all smell heavenly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Guilty Pleasure

 I feel like a criminal. I just bought all these soft, squishy bed socks.

 I've got about 70 pairs of socks but I just can't bring myself to wear my handknit ones in bed. I actually rarely wear socks in bed but from time to time I get a chill and like to keep a pair of those squishy ones close by in case I need them. My beautiful woollies just don't have the same comfort level.

I should have said I have 70 pairs and counting. I've got a pair on the needles now and I do believe I have at least six pairs that I finished this year that I haven't added to the rotation. I have slowed down my pace though. I usually have at least two pair on the needles at the same time but the new rule is one. Only one. I'll never get through that bin of sock yarn this way but really doesn't matter does it? I'm still gonna buy it. I love sock yarn.