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Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Monday

We are all home. The original 5, plus one girlfriend. Tonight we have a treat in store. We attend an annual dinner party with friends every Christmas eve. We all indulge in Christmas cheer as we stuff ourselves with tenderloin and all the trimmings. Tori is a gourmet cook, need I say more? Then we bundle up against the bitter cold ( 48 degrees ) and head out for the midnight candlelight service. The Pastor is a good friend. We love to sit up front and distract him with hand signals and dance moves. Spirit lead, I assure you. Today, it is a Christmas eve heat wave. It may hit 80 degrees. Ryan is thrilled that I am allowing him to wear shorts to church tonight.

Brynn has fallen in love with our puppy. Steezy is concerned with all of the hub-bub. She wonders who the heck this rowdy crowd is and why they are here in our house? Wait until tomorrow when we have 14 for dinner. As a result of all of this adulation, she is becoming a cunning beggar. I will have my work cut out for me when the New Year arrives. I must tell you that I bought the ultrasound anti-bark remote control devise. Every time she barks you point this contraption at her and press a button. It emits a sound only the dog can hear. Christine points out, how do we know it is working? How will we know when the battery dies? Good questions, all. My answer is in her behavior. She has reduced barking by 80 - 90%. All in a day. That is success! She acts sheepish and walks away from the barking source. She does not appear to have any pain. I am impressed. Thanks to Heather for the tip.

I am going to work on our Christmas cards on the 26th. They will arrive in time for a nice read by New Year. We have enjoyed the photos and letters that we have received. Keep them coming. Don is at the post office with my last 4 boxes to ship. All of my wrapping is done and the kids are in the dining room finishing their wrapping. Last week Ryan and I baked cookies and biscotti. The tree is beautiful and when it is dark you don't see dust and imperfections. Well, I do, but most don't.

It is the night before Christmas and all through the house, the creatures are stirring, even the spouse. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Mom stuffs them with gifts beyond compare. We are as ready as you can be when time runs out. We wish you and yours all the love of the season. Happy Birthday Jesus. You are my salvation. Blessings and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekly Wisdom

Last Monday I posted 3 times in anger over the tree situation, etc. Today I'm sitting down to a quick update fresh from attending the funeral of a friend that lived well and was loved. He was honored by his 5 children and friends for his talent and temperament. It is good to attend funerals (especially when the deceased was such a great person) as a way to reflect upon the ways in which you may be remembered.

The funny thing is that the buzz of a chainsaw is once again the music in the backdrop of this scene.Seems the tree guy left behind several large branches hanging precariously from the top of one of the Eucalyptus still standing. Now he is cleaning up. My rage is spent. Vented in a million ways, the energy of all of that angst is gone. I hope I am remembered as a person that blew her stack and expressed freely her feelings. Good and Bad. But, at the end of the day, with the energy of anger drained away, there remained a thoughtful and restored Marsha, ready to fight another day.

I am always ready to fight the good fight. Although, I have felt tired of late and likened my will to a slab of granite that has a trough furrowed into it by a single constant drip of water. The source of the dripping water varies, but each drop leaves a mark and deepens the furrow.

Last night we took Ryan to the beautiful Handel's "Messiah". That was a peaceful 2 hour respite that we all needed. The Christmas cards and all of the shopping and shipping remain to be done. We baked cookies yesterday, Ryan and I. He really is my "foreverchild" and this willingness to spend time in traditional Christmas activities is a gift to me. Autism and retardation benefits must be claimed where they exist!

I am knitting a Brioche Gaiter designed by Ann Budd from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2007, and the stitch is giving me fits. I tore it out twice after an inch each time looked wrong. Now, I am certain that in the round my count is gone off- but the piece is pretty and interesting, so I will finish it, Roxanne the recipient will be none the wiser. I definitely am taking design details to new heights.

Funny how I can always find a way to pick up the needles and continue to find that it helps me to find peace. Peace to you this season of love and remembrance...

Monday, December 10, 2007

I wish I had a River I could Skate Away On

Today is a 3 post kind of day. The soundtrack would be by Joni Mitchell from her greatest hits album. I wish I had a river I could skate away on.They're cutting down trees and I made my baby cry.

I am so mad at my husband. I write this with the buzz of a chainsaw drowning out the Christmas satellite radio. The dog can't stop barking at the men swinging from ropes and wielding the saws of doom to my trees. How did this come about?

The fires inflamed the fears of my neighbors. It lit a fire under the She next door and her He extinguished the flames by asking my He to cut down all of the 100 ft Eucalyptus trees on the property line. She would not be able to sleep well until the fire danger those trees represent to her were gone. I argued for the trees. With a full western exposure and a hot little house, I begged to keep the shade afforded us. I argued that our trees were a mere dent in the population of huge trees surrounding the area and belonging to many of our neighbors. Were all of the adjacent tree owners on board and willing to cut down trees so She could sleep?

The stumps testify to the life that once stood proud. The logs being sawed will not fuel my fireplace. Seeing those logs have set a fire inside of me. Not the good kind. Now my He has some fires to put out. This She is hot...

Travel Necessities

If I run away from home I will pack lightly and take my new dog STEEZY. I still love her and am glad to have her, even if she barks too much. Any advice from you dog whisperers out there?...

Surviving Christmas

I have searched my memory and cannot remember ever anticipating Christmas with joy and calmness. Even as a child the holidays were fraught with anxiety. The parents divorced when I was 6. My brothers were 7 and 3. We never had a secure financial foundation. When it comes to finances, my whole life has been a consistent roller coaster ride. Some things never change. As adults it is only slightly easier to adjust and cope with the unexpected. Easier, none the less.

Yesterday I participated in a dismal "craft show". It was misrepresented to vendors. It was really a country club event for the children to have Santa arrive in a helicopter, not to shop at our 8 foot table spaces. We were 36 vendors crammed into a poorly lit space. The club members were eating and drinking and running amok. I had items snagged, dragged to the floor and near misses with red wine.

When we entered the venue, we were given a contract to sign. Here are some of the high (low) points. The food and beverages on site were for members only. We were to wait until the event ended and could then partake in leftovers. We paid $50.00 for table rental and donated a raffle item. We set up at noon through the side door and were not allowed to leave until after 5pm. The organizers foolishly put all the hand knits in one area, all the jewelry vendors together, etc. The vendors included Cookie Lee. Nothing against CL, I own some and enjoy wearing it- hardly the upscale handcrafted market that was promoted.

Call the craft sale police. At 3 pm I packed up my goods and exited. I had made 2 sales to friends from church that came out to support me. I appreciate them coming and I know that they are sincere fans of my bags, as they have been customers in the years past. All of the vendors nearby felt the same way I did, but chose to stay. I had better things to do. This is my rant. Thanks for the chance.

On a brighter note, I came home to an email from a women that saw one of my bags, a customer was carrying, and she wants one. She owns the local J.Jill store and perhaps she and I can get together. Of course my husband thinks I should be selling these world wide. He doesn't get that each one is so organically mine. Hand knit with an original design, each one modified and made only once with the best quality yarns from all over the world. Many purchased during trips. The yarns are one of a kind hand dyed, or yarns no longer manufactured. Oops, I may have slipped back into the rant. When I was growing up in the Detroit area there was a local columnist that wrote a weekly feature called "Monday Morning Moaning" in The Free Press. I must be channeling that energy this Monday morning.

We have just come through a winter weekend in San Diego. We had a down pouring of rain with snow above 3000 feet. Snow capped mountains are visible all around us because the air is clear and brisk. No smog from LA or marine layer off of the ocean. Spouse man took pictures and you can see what I am talking about. It has been cold. In the low 40's and high 30's, at night. Frost is on the ground. Christmas must be right around the corner.

Saturday night was a fun holiday/50th birthday party that will long be remembered for the rain on the tent and puddles and umbrellas. It was fun to need boots and coats for a change. I have busted out my gloves and been seen wearing a hat!

The house is decorated for Christmas thanks to Karen. I went traitor and purchased an artificial tree. I love it. Yet, I want to run away from home. Christmas. Look at the neat ornament one of my dear students gifted me with. I am blessed in a push me, pull me sort of way...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday All Day

It is Wednesday. I can't sleep, must have had caffeine in my decaf at 3pm this afternoon. So I have to get up in 6 hours and get to church for our WBS at 7:45. Following that there is a celebration lunch for Kay's birthday. We eat at the Rancho Santa Fe Inn and the Christmas decorations should be lovely. I pick up the boys and drop them at our house and make some quick dinner for them before heading off to Knitwits.

We knit and eat and drink red wine until 9pm. Clean up and lock up and head on home.

Is anyone else wondering what the poor little puppy will be doing all day? Steezy will hang out with me most of the day in the car. She has moved in and loves to go with me. We have her bed, treats, toys, food, leash and hand knit blankie in the Wenskay mobile. We will see how things play out.

The knitwits are finishing their stockings.

We will start a new knit-a-long project in January.

I'll tell you about it tomorrow, or I should say, later...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NCKG Luncheon and Fashion Show

Monday was the annual guild holiday luncheon and fashion show. What fun. Eight knitwits made it to the event and a jolly good time was had by all. We had vendors to shop with, donated raffle items and door prizes in abundance. The inevitable chicken lunch was even good.

The high point is the fashion show. Sometimes you wonder if the show is a competition to show most creative way to use stash,with or without regard to style. We all have different tastes and preferences in clothing. BUT, knitting is wearable art. I respect all creative expression. I may not want to own a Pollock or Kandinsky painting, however, I appreciate the art and the artists. Same with the knitted pieces. Hit the Pollock link and move your mouse to create your own masterpiece.

So, take a stroll through the gallery of knitted art photographed for your enjoyment. I was inspired, awestruck, surprised, amused and delighted. I hope you will find yourself just as fascinated...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Motherhood and Mornings

Holy smokes.Thank God for coffee. I am so tired. I do not do mornings. I really do not do 4:30 am, unless I never went to bed.Having a new baby when you are 53 is tough. This new baby has an old momma. Thank God she is adorable. Smart as a can be. Steezy learned how to use the doggy door in a few hours with a treat on either side of the door. Dad and the boy were her teachers. She now goes out to potty as needed. It is so weird to have a young, active puppy in the house.

Our Roxie girl had begun to function as a favorite comfy pillow. She decorated her leather chair and cuddled us and her love was in the house and all around us. Her only exercise was to get out of the chair to eat, and go outside when absolutely necessary. Her lack of activity had a gradual onset. We all got older together. My inactivity went hand in hand with hers. I noticed when she quit running out to the car to join me on outings and errands. But, I always deferred to her decision to stay home as she slowed down. Every once in a while Roxie would have a puppy attack and run through the house with a sock in her mouth. She always made us laugh!

The last 5 months without my dog nearby have been lonely. She left a huge whole in our home.

Little Steezy is starting to fill in the hole. She is different. She makes more noise. She buries bones. She runs and plays. Everyday at about 4 pm she has a burst of energy and plays with all of her toys like it is Christmas morning. When she falls asleep, she flops out like a wet noodle or a toy switched off. We are learning so much about each other. This family has expanded and we are all adjusting to our new addition.

I am pleased to report that she has not shown any interest in my yarn stash. She has not touched anything that she should not. I want to catch up with my craft show knitting and the few gifts for Christmas I have committed to. Then I will knit her a sweater for these harsh southern California winters.

We had 2.78 inches of rain on Friday. More than all of the rest of 2007. Steezy has never seen rain in her short life. Definitely hated it. I took her out with an umbrella to potty and she walked between my feet and refused to move. That was the day she chose to eliminate in the house. I could hardly blame her. The rain was lovely for us humans. The ash has finally been washed away and this water will help insure that the fires will not find a stronghold the next time we have Santa Anas. It is cold here. Tonight it is 45 degrees and I my dog and I are sharing an old hand knit blanket made by my mother-in-law 26 years ago.

I finished the 2 large tote bags and a few other bags for the next show. I have delivered 50% of the hand knits collected from the guild members. Monday the preemie hats go to Tri-City Hospital. I will mail the helmet warmers following the January guild meeting. I'm getting organized.

I can't wait to start a couple of projects I have been thinking of knitting for the selfish pleasure. I might even keep them for me? What a concept. Tomorrow, the Christmas decorations come out and the season officially begins. Did I mention I am tired? No rest for the wicked. Bundled up, I will work on a beanie for my mohawk boy. If I went to bed before midnight, maybe mornings wouldn't be so morningish...