Christmas Memories

dscf9486Fezzik has been good about the tree so far.  For that matter, they all have.  Why do I blame the baby all the time?  

I’ll be knitting the Christmas socks all weekend.  Seems they are not getting longer despite the fact that I knit on them exclusively.  I usually cheat with a shortie sock and the past two pair I’ve knit a real size so …..surprise to me:  They take longer.  And I’m bored, red, green, white, red, green, white…..But I will keep going and be full of glad tidings when they are done. 

While visiting sweet confused as ever mom, I talked to her about Christmas things.  I tell her she gave us a great Christmas.   “Mom, you raised 6 kids!  You know that don’t you?  ”  and somehow I remembered when small we always gave her 

Jean Nate.   Fireman laughed and said he gave his mom Jean Nate too. Did you Jean Nate?   The sweetest thing was, my mom, had enough Jean Nate to fill a bathtub with it yet she always acted like it was just the best gift.  

We always gave my Nana dusting powder.  She smelled great.  I realize it was called dusting powder because you ‘dusted’ yourself with it.  I thought it was because my Nana was always dusting the house. 

My dad got OLD SPICE  and I can smell it still.   I recall giving the gifts with great pride.   Back in the day, we also made a gift in school for our parents.  I think it was the only time I liked school.  The teacher would show us the final product, explain all the steps and mine would look not a whole lot like the display!  

Through an odd sequence of events, (?) Fireman and I realized both of our aunts moved within a block of one another.  They have met.  I’ve been a bit estranged from that aunt due to my father, but I decided to reach out and send her a card this year.   I just said, “Sorry it has been so long.  ”  

I spent so many of my early Christmas’ at her home with my cousins.  Santa came to their house for us on Christmas eve.  Their neighborhood joined lights from roof to roof.  I have good memories of all of our families young, intact and playful there. So it was a joy to send her a card.   A strange relief.  

The Holidays… much emotion tied in.  I like to look back for all the good.  There was plenty of it.  and Plenty of Jean nate



Christmas Socks

dscf9481-1In the quieter evenings here in snow land, Mrs. Claus continues her sock knitting.  I want to be done.  Why?  Because I get like this on second sock.  I also happen to have some awesome new yarn to cast on after this.  Stop.  Mrs. Claus.  Enjoy the present.  Oh and I’m going to leave the toes to kitchener at the same time or something else.  

The trees are up.  The felted stockings that I knitted this summer during the house sale frenzy are up. dscf9464Oh my gosh, a Christmas blog miracle . I just figured out how to add a photo after some text here at wordpress.  Wheeeee.

dscf9478Al and I rescued a tree from someone’s garbage pick up a few years back.  Isn’t it the perfect porch tree? 

The good news is the Christmas tree in the house was still standing this morning.  Not a creature was stirring not even a new mouse.  

I’m off to purchase new winter boots.  It has been years and my old  boots had dry rot on the plastic part.  I hate to spend the money….but we live in the woods now and boots and snow are essential.  

Happy Friday!


Christmas Kitties

dscf9436Wonderful Giroux (aka Dee) sent Fezzik his first ornament.  Oh my . Gosh. Golly.  Holly.  Jolly.  Adorbs.  It will be just like Fezzik to peek out of a box.

I wonder if I bring my mom a little present, if she will know how to unwrap it?  I think a snowglobe will delight her.  Guess what?  We visited her last night and I got to feed her again: egg salad.  Again.  I’d feed her anything to make her happy, but I really gag with the egg salad!  Haha.  She kept saying her brother John and her Pa were there.  I said hello to both of them.  I do think they are angels in her room. 

I’ve been pretty disciplined about knitting the never ending blanket on our trips back to Illinois to see mom.  Still it seems to never end! 

I am enchanted with each and every house that is decorated this time of year.  Today, we put up our tree.  Let the (cat nonsense) festivities begin!

Double Take Santa

The sock is the first and I’m into the foot body.  I’m knitting them on zero needles.  The yarn is a tad splitty if you aren’t careful.  But elves are very careful.

I’m not a shopping mall person but Fireman likes to go at Christmas time.  I must say there was so much glitter, gold and lovely decorations.  We always watch as children meet Santa.  Apparently , it was change of shift.  These Santas were only too happy to pose for us.  I don’t think any little ones were in view so their dreams are safe.  

How’s your knitting going? 

Creative Packaging

dscf9426There has been knitting.  Christmas socks.

And there has been uncharacteristic baking.

You all know my baking laments.  But something changed this weekend.  I was able to make gingerbread cookies that actually look pretty fair!

Truth: I used Krusteaz gingerbread mix.

Truth: it was much easier than buying all the ingreds.

Truth: There may have been more flour on the floor than on the cutting board.

Truth: it took all afternoon.

Truth: the new kitchen has infinitely more counter space than the old kitchen of 33 years and it seemed to make me less kookoo while baking.

Truth: the house smelled amazing.

Truth: I cheated with the icing.  You can buy a writing icing: CakeMate makes the icing and it hardens in about an hour.

Truth: This box is going to my brother in law in Minnesota.  He is a veterinarian so there are dog bones which are people bones actually , included.

Truth: I dreamed up packing them in coconut.  I think its pretty brilliant.

Truth: that British baking show coupled with some holiday cheer and the gingerbread houses we saw, prompted me.

Truth : I ate more of the cookies than I should have.  Less than I would have in past though.

Truth: I wish I could send you all a box.   Everyone seemed to like the idea in yesterday’s prompt.  Suffice to say if someone loves you enough to send you cookies they worked very hard to do so!

December 5 Monday Q and A

dscf9412Let’s have some fun Okay?


*Can you knit something by *heart*

*Would you like some yarn for Chirstmas?

*Did you shovel any snow this December?

*Can you make a bow for a package or gift?

*Do you buy used books or new?

*Have you seen a living Nativity?

*Have you ever received home baked cookies in the mail?

*When was the last time your toes froze and your nose was red?

*Did you know that Christmas and Hanukkah are intertwined this year?

*Do you love to get a Christmas card? 


My answers:

I can knit socks by heart if they are plain vanilla!  This is because I ‘d say over 50% of my knitting life has been socks.  And I’m not stoppin now!

Of course Id like yarn for Christmas!
Who comes up with these questions? Oh yeah, me

I shoveled Wisconsin snow yesterday.  And let me just say Lake Geneva snowflakes are much better than Illinois snowflakes.

I cannot make a package bow for the life of me.

I like to buy used books.

I saw a Living Nativity in our town’s night parade on Saturday.  Mary bundle that baby up, it needed a hat!

Yes, my sister sent us homebaked cookies one year.  Too bad she doesnt read the blog. It was one of the funnest gifts ever. I’m sending her some gingerbread and I’m packing it in Coconut shreds.

My toes were freezing at the Night Parade Saturday.  Note to self, clogs are not warm enough up here.  Buy boots.

Yes, I love when holidays collide.

Yes, I Love to bring in the mail in December and see everyone’s lovely cards and photos.





For your east to feast upon: Gingerbread contest at the Grand Geneva in Wisconsin. 

For Dee and Mere, the flamingo scene complete with Santa boat in the water. 

For all of those who love to camp that adorable camper gingerbread made me think of you!

The Wrigley Field gingerbread Stadium is unreal.  Complete with the LIGHTS that now allow for night baseball. 

I loved the marshmallow snow walk in the upper right photo.

Finally the stone work in the double story home is lovely, complete with gel windows.  

The hotel lets you vote for your favorite and their are age categories to keep it fair.  I personally am going to vote for a 4-7 year olds, that looked quite, er, um

age appropriate. 

As for me, we are expecting snow tomorrow.  Our first snow in the woods house.  I can’t wait.   I may make gingerbread men today.  I will knit my Christmas socks for sure.  And there will be holiday music whenever the whim arises here. 

Capucine Toddler Hat Gift


Our great niece Emma in her Capucine hat gift.

I altered the pattern for a child.   I winged it.  It worked!  Christmas magic!

This hat is knit on straights at first and then you change to the round, so there is no seaming.   

After thoroughly enjoying the Great American Bake Off last night, I feel compelled to 

a) bake a Christmas cake of unprecedented detail of which I am completely incapable of

b) bake Gingerbread men 


c) share my favorite bar cookie recipe with you now:

this is an old favorite of mine. 

Go to and search their Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bar recipe.   You need sweetened condensed milk, cupboard handy stuff,  nestle semi sweet chips, and a good raspberry jam.  

I’m not a good baker, but everyone loves these bars and asks for the recipe. 

Happy December!

Beginning to Look Alike like Cookies

Oh look. Christmas cookies at the bakery.  I did not eat any.  This does not mean I didn’t have cookies at a dear friend’s house last night.  I had gingerbread and it was divine.  There wasn’t even any frosting on the gingerbread men and I ate more than I should have.  I’m going to make gingerbread people this week for the holiday. 


Oh look, Christmas sock yarn.  Wheee. I had to order it on ebay.  I’ve cast on but was too crazy busy to knit for two days……

What?  Two trips home ( to the old neighborhood I mean)  and back in two days.  Volunteering in the Operating room for 4 hours yesterday with a new vet, Board Meeting that was long Tuesday night, Seeing sweet mom (more on mom) and a holiday gathering with two dear ones from High school …whirlwind.  (both my friends got knitted cowls that I had made this year and they loved them) 

We do pass our old house and it is awesome to see new decorations on the fence and lights in the front trees that we never decorated.   I don’t feel. one. pang . to . go . back. 

Mom got her dinner tray while we visited.  I fed her again.  If there is one food you cannot eat, smell or see others eat what is it?  For me it is egg salad.  And that’s what mom had for dinner last night.  Talk about a work of mercy!   I tried not to gag.  She was so happy to be eating it that I got past it.    

( for those who asked, I knit about 4 inches in the cuff pattern of my last socks)


Thanksgiving Sock Finish

dscf9300Finished the Holly & Ivy Dyeworks Socks in colorway: Firestorm. 

Yarn purchased in Knoxville, near the Smokies.  We are all so sad that the Smokies are on fire.  😦  We heard HILLBILLY GOLF burned down.  Prayers for all who live there. 

The nice bumpy cuff part of this sock is the Sock Candy Sock Pattern.  You basically knit 3 rows in the round, the 4th row is K1P1.  

I have a new reason not to sneak a snack in the middle of the night. I’m more than terrified that I’ll find a mouse in the kitchen.  Mouse number 3 murdered by the cats last night.  Thank God, Fireman gets up first.   I love that my cats are mousers. Who knew they’d earn their keep.  I do NOT like mice in the house.   YIKES