Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas came without ribbons or presents...

Our time in Des Moines is drawing to a close and a wonderful time it has been. Guitar Guy and I arrived first and had several days of playing with our grandson before Nicole and Pat arrived Sunday night. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I watched in amazement as a perfect, magical Christmas snow drifted down, accumulating to about 4 inches. It was one of those dry, sparkling snowfalls that coats the trees and shrubs with a lacy beauty.

It was an unusual year with no presents until Monday night (except for Rowan who got his Duplo blocks early) but somehow I didn't miss them. Beef stew was simmering in the crockpot and beer bread baking in the oven, filling the house with comforting, savory smells.

Rowan has fallen in love with the little man who came in his Duplo blocks, dubbing him Nosez. We had no idea why as his nose doesn't seem particularly notable but Nosez he is. Many towers have been built and destroyed. Everyone has stepped on a block in bare feet at least once. I think we've had as much fun as Rowan has.

Knitting is proceeding well with Rowan's new sweater 1/2 finished. This is a Cabin Fever top down cardigan pattern using Dream in Color Classy in Romeo Blue. It is going to be warm and beautiful with Rowan's bright blue eyes. Hopefully he will like it.

Thursday I'm off to my dad's house for a week. Should be plenty of knitting time and maybe even some pictures. I know my New Year's will be quiet. How about you - anything exciting planned?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Greetings from the Las Vegas Airport

Hanging out in the Vegas airport, waiting to fly off to visit my family. It's been a long and stress filled month. My father and father-in-law are both struggling with declining health, necessitating many phone calls and difficult decisions. Do they want to do more tests or not? Is is time for assisted living or help at home? How can the family best support them when they live far away. No easy answers. They both frequently remind us that getting old really sucks.

The fun part of the month has been spending time with Nicole and Patrick baking cookies, touring the holiday lights and eating too many good meals. It is such a gift having them in town and we'll enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Since I will be staying in Iowa for an additional week to help my dad, I've packed plenty of yarn so I can get some quality knitting time in. I'm finishing a pair of socks and starting a sweater for Rowan. Should have started a month but you know how that goes. It will be a January sweater instead of a Christmas present.

My best wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The cookies are calling me

Six months ago I was so proud of my weight loss and now the pounds are creeping back on. It all started with Nicole's graduation party last May when I let myself gorge and I've struggled ever since. Now the Christmas cookies are calling me and the jeans I wore last winter don't fit anymore. It would be so much easier if they weren't so tasty!

Nicole had a day off yesterday so we spent the afternoon watching Christmas videos and baking. She is working a lot this month so not too many days to do holiday activities. We will try to get out and look at lights one night - GPS makes it so much easier. The stockings are hanging over the fireplace and a few decorations are sprinkled about. For the first time in my 55 years, I won't have a Santa stocking this year. Between packing in a carry-on and the cost of filling the darn things, we decided to forego stockings this year.

It is an odd year with my dad not doing as well and Guitar Guy's dad just out of the hospital after a serious infection. Even old Icey cat has been feeling her 21 years and hobbling around less. It reminds us anew how important those visits (for the humans) and ear scratches (for the cat) really are.

And now back to our scheduled Phoenix Suns game - Go Suns!