Wednesday, January 1, 2020

I Made It!!!!

My goal this year was to enjoy Christmas.  I did.  I bought and wrapped presents Thanksgiving weekend.  With presents all wrapped, I then decorated the Christmas Tree....took two weeks but that is OK.  The goal was to enjoy the process.  I tire easily when standing so decorating a tree is a challenge.  I put on the lights, waited a couple of days next the garland, then slowly the ornaments.  I backed off from any activity that came with a feeling of dread.  I was surprised that quite a few social activities this time of year I enjoyed when I backed off from the more stressful ones.  I wanted to do so many things that I took a mental black marker and crossed off several, like making Gingerbread houses to do another year.  I don't need to do everything every year.  I crocheted snowflakes, lots of them.  Some were wobbly and not too nice.  Others turned out amazing. 

I marked web pages and took notes since I want to continue this project so that all my grandchildren will have their own snowflake.  I tried these before and they turned into awful messes.  This year I watched a video by Mikey on The Crochet Crowd and he explained it in a way that I understood.  I took off early from work on the last day of school.  I've never done this before.  I wanted to do somethings before the main events all happened.  I actually gave myself time to do what I needed to do.  It was peaceful and set the tone for the next several days of celebrating with family and at church.  I took naps.  I used all the skills I learned in counseling to help maintain self care.  If I felt pressured by myself or others I backed up and decided which of the activities would fulfill my desire for peace and making beautiful memories.  I noticed that memories aren't so beautiful when I am feeling stressed and warn out.  I did it.  I truly and a marvelous time.  I baked huge amounts of bread, cookies and treats giving most of them away.  I enjoyed the smells in the house.  During all this I kept doing my physical therapy that I started in November.  I continued to take care of me.  I am very happy with how I spent my holiday.  I spent the New Year finishing a challenging project, my first crochet animal.  It is much trickier than I expected but I finished tonight.   Crocheted animals are going to be my 2020 challenge to complete 17 different ones before Christmas next year.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas Story

 I love Christmas stories.  Some are true some are not.  I'm ok with that.  Shared by a friend.  If you don't like Christmas stories....enjoy your day and I'll have something different another day.

About a week before Christmas a family bought a new nativity scene. When they unpacked it they found 2 figures of the baby Jesus. "Someone must have packed this wrong," the mother said, counting out the figures. "We have one Joseph, one Mary, three wise men, three shepherds, two lambs, a donkey, a cow, an angel and two babies. Oh, dear! I suppose some set down at the store is missing a baby Jesus because we have 2."
"You two run back down to the store and tell the manager that we have an extra Jesus. Tell him to put a sign on the remaining boxes saying that if a set is missing a baby Jesus, call 7126. Put on your warm coats, it's freezing cold out there."
The manager of the store copied down mother's message and the next time they were in the store they saw the cardboard sign that read, "If you're missing baby Jesus, call 7126." All week long they waited for someone to call. Surely, they thought, someone was missing that important figurine. Each time the phone rang mother would say, "I'll bet that's about Jesus," but it never was.
Father tried to explain there are thousands of these scattered over the country and the figurine could be missing from a set in Florida or Texas or California. Those packing mistakes happen all the time. He suggested just put the extra Jesus back in the box and forget about it.
"Put baby Jesus back in the box! What a terrible thing to do," said the children. "Surely someone will call," mother said. "We'll just keep the two of them together in the manger until someone calls.
When no call had come by 5:00 on Christmas Eve, mother insisted that father "just run down to the store" to see if there were any sets left. "You can see them right through the window, over on the counter," she said. "If they are all gone, I'll know someone is bound to call tonight."
"Run down to the store?" father thundered. "It's 15 below zero out there!"
"Oh, Daddy, we'll go with you," Tommy and Mary began to put on their coats. Father gave a long sigh and headed for the front closet. "I can't believe I'm doing this," he muttered. Tommy and Mary ran ahead as father reluctantly walked out in the cold. Mary got to the store first and pressed her nose up to the store window. "They're all gone, Daddy," she shouted. "Every set must be sold."
"Hooray," Tommy said. "The mystery will now be solved tonight!"
Father heard the news still a half block away and immediately turned on his heel and headed back home. When they got back into the house they noticed that mother was gone and so was the extra baby Jesus figurine. "Someone must have called and she went out to deliver the figurine," my father reasoned, pulling off his boots. "You kids get ready for bed while I wrap mother's present."
Then the phone rang. Father yelled "answer the phone and tell 'em we found a home for the baby Jesus." But it was mother calling with instructions for us to come to 205 Chestnut Street immediately, and bring three blankets, a box of cookies and some milk. "Now what has she gotten us into?" my father groaned as we bundled up again. "205 Chestnut. Why that's across town. Wrap that milk up good in the blankets or it will turn to ice before we get there. Why can't we all just get on with Christmas? It's probably 20 below out there now. And the wind is picking up. Of all the crazy things to do on a night like this."
When they got to the house at 205 Chestnut Street it was the darkest one on the block. Only one tiny light burned in the living room and, the moment we set foot on the porch steps, my mother opened the door and shouted, "They're here, Oh thank God you got here, Ray! You kids take those blankets into the living room and wrap up the little ones on the couch. I'll take the milk and cookies."
"Would you mind telling me what is going on, Ethel?" my father asked. "We have just walked through below zero weather with the wind in our faces all the way."
"Never mind all that now," my mother interrupted. "There isn't any heat in this house and this young mother is so upset she doesn't know what to do. Her husband walked out on her and those poor little children will have a very bleak Christmas, so don't you complain. I told her you could fix that oil furnace in a jiffy."
My mother strode off to the kitchen to warm the milk while my brother and I wrapped up the five little children who were huddled together on the couch. The children's mother explained to my father that her husband had run off, taking bedding, clothing, and almost every piece of furniture, but she had been doing all right until the furnace broke down.
"I been doin' washin' and ironin' for people and cleanin' the five and dime," she said. "I saw your number every day there, on those boxes on the counter. When the furnace went out, that number kept going' through my mind. 7162...7162. Said on the box that if a person was missin' Jesus, they should call you. That's how I knew you were good Christian people, willin' to help folks. I figured that maybe you would help me, too. So I stopped at the grocery store tonight and I called your misses. I'm not missin' Jesus, mister, because I sure love the Lord. But I am missin' heat. I have no money to fix that furnace."
"Okay, Okay," said father. "You've come to the right place. Now let's see. You've got a little oil burner over there in the dining room. Shouldn't be too hard to fix. Probably just a clogged flue. I'll look it over, see what it needs."
Mother came into the living room carrying a plate of cookies and warm milk. As she set the cups down on the coffee table, I noticed the figure of baby Jesus lying in the center of the table. It was the only sign of Christmas in the house. The children stared wide-eyed with wonder at the plate of cookies my mother set before them.
Father finally got the oil burner working but said, "You need more oil. I'll make a few calls tonight and get some oil. Yes sir, you came to the right place", father grinned.
On the way home father did not complain about the cold weather and had barely set foot inside the door when he was on the phone. "Ed, hey, how are ya, Ed?"
"Yes, Merry Christmas to you, too. Say Ed, we have kind of an unusual situation here. I know you've got that pick-up truck. Do you still have some oil in that barrel on your truck? You do?"
By this time the rest of the family were pulling clothes out of their closets and toys off of their shelves. It was long after their bedtime when they were wrapping gifts. The pickup came. On it were chairs, three lamps, blankets and gifts. Even though it was 30 below, father let them ride along in the back of the truck. No one ever did call about the missing figure in the nativity set, but as I grow older I realize that it wasn't a packing mistake at all.
Jesus saves, that's what He does.
Author unknown

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Ice sounds amazing

I am not a fan of freezing weather.  I live in Phoenix, Arizona where snow is rare.  I am happy with that.  However, occasionally I come across something truly amazing.  Thanks to whoever posted this on Facebook....Ice sounds.

If that link doesn't work, try this one.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Don't Eat the Peas

Arizona snow.
Really....that poor frozen pea package is used to sooth aching muscles.  For the last few years one leg was getting worse and worse pain and weakness.  Assumed it was old age.  Then I thought the other leg is just as old and it isn't such a mess.  Finally, went to the doctor.  The nerves in my left hip are damaged.  Fortunately, physical therapy can help repair the damage.  I am thankful the doctor believed me.  Even more thankful for an awesome physical therapist that is encouraging me to heal and strengthen my hip, thus the need for frozen peas.  They are ice cold but break up to wrap around rounded muscles....I keep moving the peas around then toss them back in the don't eat those peas. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Making an Angry Bird

Yup, really.  I just finished stuffing the body of a crocheted Angry Bird.  It actually looks like the picture.  (Shocker)  I am thankful for crocheting as a creative outlet that I am feeling like I can explore.  A big Thank YOU!!! to Mikey at The Crochet Crowd. He is an amazing teacher of all things crochet.  (He does knitting to but I don't knit.)  I am getting braver and trying more and more exotic stitches in his Stitch Alongs.  Thanks to my daughter for introducing me to Stitch alongs and in the process meeting Mikey online.  He has no idea who I am but that is ok because he patiently explains what to do when I make a mistake, why it is important to make test swatches, and challenges me to try new stuff.  He is one of my Super Hero people that make my life more interesting and creative.  Thank goodness for Black Friday Shopping that reduces the cost of yarn.  Interesting side note: I can't use wool yarn.  My hands start to itch like crazy.  I can pet a sheep but yarn is processed in some way that my skin reacts.  Thank goodness for amazing bamboo, cotton, and new types of soft and silky acrylics.  One of my coping techniques is crochet.  Mostly I do wash cloths that I can easily take to a waiting room, meeting, or other places that are challenging for me to hang out at. I give away my finished projects.  I release my stress and someone else enjoys the by product. 

My first stitch-a-long.  

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Not adulting

I am not adulting.  I am not doing the lists of things I should be doing.  I am playing games.  I am ignoring the should-dos in my life.  Simplest things are left undone.  I am doing great on my computer games, just adult stuff is not happening.  I hurt my back/leg/or something on the right side of my body.  I did nothing to help it get better.  I need to setup doctor appointments...not doing that either.  This is self care I should be doing....ate most of the batch of cookies in less than 24 hours.  Heavy sigh.  So what did I do?  I actually finished several projects.  Some I finished ahead of time so have time to add to the project.  I am contacting people and talking to people and included in a parent/teacher conference.  I am Peopling and that is tough.  It was fun to reassure a parent with the student sitting right their that frustration is normal for programming and we (the teacher and I) recognize the work he accomplished.  I thought after integration and counseling and all the work I've done that all this stuff would get easier.  It didn't.  I had a mini melt down and had to stay home from school just because I don't have a mailing address for Heaven so I could send Halloween cards to all my Grandkids.  It seemed so ridiculous on the surface but the reality is years later I am still grieving my little granddaughter that I only held for a moment. Grief, sadness, tears are all part of healing.  Before I started healing, I didn't feel these things.  I shut them away with joy, happiness and every other emotion.  I am not ready to adult tomorrow either but I need to go to work.  Sometimes getting up and going through the motions of living is all I can pull off.  Guess what?  That is just fine.  Feeling feelings is important work even if it requires me not being an adult for a bit. 

Finished this for my represents the Earth with the innercore with rocks and lava and waves of water with plants on the surface, Mikey on was my teacher...