Monday, 26 December 2011

Best Christmas Ever!

Really, it was and is. I often have overly great expectations and then get the blues a bit if reality strikes. This was my first retirement Christmas holiday. So, I wonder, how was it different?

First, the faux tree. No worries. You put it up, decorate and enjoy until July if you like. It has twinkly lights. I got all my decorating done early and DH commented on how nice it was. He doesn't help with decorating much, unless required. But it is nice to know he enjoys as well.

I made and bought lots of my fav things as presents. I refused to wrap and gave them out to family as they liked to take. Present a basket. They remove what they want. Works for me. No pressure, no fuss. They seemed fine with it and I must say it really didn't matter to me if they liked, took anything , or not. I had fun and hoped they would too, but didn't look for anything back in spirit or gift from the giftees. Nice. So nice.

My DH is not much for being gifted. He accepts gifts with thanks but there is little excitement or oohing or aaaahing. This year I started about 2 weeks out and gave him a gift whenever I felt like it. He got a gift every day or so and we both could enjoy and appreciate more that way. This new tradition is a keeper. I didn't worry if I had gotten the right things. I just gave him things I thought he might like, and no clothing made the cut. Except for the socks I am still knitting for him. He is still waiting for those but gets to help keep the yarn untangled. He seems to like his gifts more. I think the relaxed pace suits him as well.

Along with this relaxed way of giving, I had a more relaxed way of anticipating being gifted. I went with no expectations. I got several well thought out gifts from friends and family, and they were complete surprises and truly wonderful! When you spend no time trying to set up a perfect Christmas in your mind, all that comes your way is gravy! I like it.

DH and I really relaxed and spent time just counting our blessings and putting about. It's been a really nice, feel good holiday. That's a truly lovely gift, isn't it?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Mother is Always Right, Eventually

I ate a lovely ham dinner. I gained 2.5 lbs. Mother was right. You do retain fluid when you eat ham. 24 hours later, the fluid was (mostly) gone.

The lace making continues, and it is, without question, the most difficult thing I have done in a long time. I spent at least 15 hours on this week's homework. I ripped out (gently teased apart) every inch many times. Like 6 to 8 times each. You can only get so far before the mistake causes you a problem. There are no fudges available.  Now the good part is that I do recognize the problem, and many times can see what I did wrong. The mistakes seem to come in every department. There is just so much to think about. You are working from a dotted sheet with squiggly lines for a pattern. my instructor gives me written directions as well, but she can only say so much before it gets cluttered. I have to recognize the rest on my own. So, lacing is a thinking person's sport. As I wander into older age, this will be good for me.

The final product (to me) is beautiful. My teacher says it may not be museum quality yet, but I think she may be underplaying my brilliance. Yes, lacing can lead to delusional thinking.

See? So beautiful!

Thank heavens my thread didn't break! Can you imagine the shrieking? It hung in there, and I gave thanks to the thread gods after every row (forward and back). Now my littlest sister says I am just like my mother in this regard. Maybe. But perhaps more like my mother on crack. Each generation takes what they see and know and adapts it to fit their own life. I hope my persistance is not problem doggedness. I think perhaps it has been in the past, but I hope I am more balanced now.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The down side of discounts

So at my fav store today (Value Village) I was asked if I was a Senior. It was Senior Tuesday. I was all perked and piped up with "yes, I'm 55." Well, seniors there are 60. That rather put another spin on the seniors discount. Do I look 60? I don't feel 60 yet. I may never feel 60. Discounts for 55 - good. For 60 - I'm depressed. It seems 5 years can mean a lot in the proper context.

I went to the Christmas Concert at my old school this afternoon. I took my MIL as she loves to get out and do things. In fact, she's such a doer of things that she had to blow off an appointment to come. The kids were just so impressive! They sing beautifully, have a great time, put on a great show and are generally all around really good signs of good things ahead for this world. It is a rather privileged school, although I don't think they appreciate how much, or how much that means. I've taught all over the place. I loved all the communities well, but some just have it so much easier on life's journey.

I got lots of hugs and good wishes in the halls. Wow. I am blessed to have many friends under the age of 10. Nothing is more true than a friend prior to puberty.

Lace class yesterday. That poor teacher sat with me for 2 hours 1 on 1, and although I was doing fine, going out the door I seem to have left much of it behind. I worked all afternoon and got about 20% more done that I had to undo. 1 step forward, 5 steps back. However, I have graduated from the training weight thread and things do look gorgeous! Or at least there is promise of gorgeous. I only have 5 more days to get my homework done and I'm a bit panicked. If it doesn't get finished we simply cut it off the pillow and move onto the next lesson. Cut off the pillow means it dies a premature death. So sad. Never to be pillowed again. The guilt is overwhelming.

Sewing Guild tonight! I have 2 show and tells and there is promise of group snack! Can't beat that!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Finally, to go with the creaky joints

It's happened, and it is good! I needed to renew my Fabricville membership (Vogue patterns 75% off) and I got the 'seniors' rate! $10 less! Thank you very much. I have no problem with this. I have a pension check, and it only comes half as often as I like.

Somewhat at odds to the above, I LOVed the Prince concert! He seemed to be a very generous performer, and that wasn't what I had been led to believe. I love his music. Yes, much of it is not for the young or easily shocked, but he's an emotional boy. He has things to say. And he said it well, although I think that if he had been sitting in my seat, the sound crew would have been walking home. Things were not crisp, vocals were blurred and guitar did not cut like a knife. He seemed to entertain as if he had invited us over for a party and was thrilled with the guest list. He shared the stage with his band as if thrilled to be there with them. Now the encore business was a bit messy. But I call what I see in front of me, and I haven't spent that much time on my feet ever. And no, his sister can't dance. Let's not debate that anymore.

I start sewing Christmas things this week. I want to make lots of things. Then give them all away. Fun, and I don't need to worry if it fits or looks good. I also don't have to find the perfect present for everyone this year. They can pick it themselves. I have decorated (early for me) and the house is festive. I have the faux tree all aglitter, 2 mini trees are adoilied and a mid side tree sports woven ornaments only. My fav things. I'm trying to hold off on the baking, but I did do a little fruit cake last week. It's currently getting itself rum soaked. I do like a nice rum soaked fruit cake. Mmmm...