Thursday, December 04, 2008


Will I finish before Christmas

Will I ever get finished in time for Christmas? Seems like I ask myself that same question every year. I am making those towels with the crocheted hanging tops to help with the gifts for the daughters, daughter-in-laws, married granddaughters, sisters and sister-in-laws. If I haven`t missed anyone and I make 2 for each, I will need to complete 54 of them to add to the other gifts . Already gave 2 of the 54 to a granddaughter who won`t be back up before Christmas. I just finished # 31, so just 21 more to crochet, then I still will need to tack the flower into the shape I want it to be -on all 52 towels and sew on the 52 buttons. Every year I hear them asking for more , so here I go again this year. So, every year I try to figure out a different pattern. This year I am adding a colored yarn flower on each of the crocheted tops. Hope they like it as much as other years patterns. The most expensive part is the cost of the buttons. Well, it does cost more for the towels, but I feel they are worth the price. $1.25 for every package of three medium large buttons seems high with little to show for it. Just a few years ago I was getting 5 buttons for just one dollar. That would have cost me only $11 and given me one extra button for 54 buttons , instead, this year it cost me $18 for 54 buttons. What a difference. I remember my mother once telling me she wish everyone gave her back the buttons when the towels wore out. I wish she were here to see the new pattern I am making this year. I know she would have asked me to teach her how I am doing it so she could make them. We used to cut each towel in half making two hanging towels from each towel. Was a lot cheaper that way. Now, I just fold the towel in half which makes the towel dry better as it is double thick. Cost twice as much this way, but I like them better. Still makes nice gifts without spending too much. When starting the crochet work on the top of the fold, I use the nut meat picks to push a hole through the double thickness where i need to pull the yarn through the double thickness. Seems like we seldom ever used the nut picks any more since they started selling the nuts already shucked. So, I found a new helpful use for one of them and it stays in with my crochet needles. I also have those 3 sided rubber enlargers slid onto my crochet hooks so I can hang onto them. As they say- Where there is a will, there is a way. I was asked the other day how I ever crochet and knit and work in my wood shop. Told her I use extenders to make the crochet needles larger around and when knitting I let my knees support one knitting needle with the head of the needle tight against the seat of the chair I sit on so one hand can hold one needle and my right hand is free to wind the yarn around the needle between my knees. Doing this allows me to keep knitting and crocheting. As for working in my shop, the tools are large so my hands can close far enough to use them.

Tonight , I was able to finish one more top while waiting for my computer to go through the defrag.. Hadn`t defraged in a long time, so thought I should get it done. Now my fingers are needing a rest. Little harder using my hands when a storm is on the way. If it storms tomorrow, I will stay home and can maybe get three more done, I hope. UPdate- did three more today and added them to the numbers above.
Glad I already finished the baby afghan and the hooded baby sweater that zips down the back.

I am sitting here yawning. Not much sleep last night. Brother-in-law called me about 7pm last night to tell me that my brother went to the hospital as he was having problems breathing. I called the hospital to see what I could find out, but they just handed the phone to my brother and he kept me on the phone for over an hour. I think it helped to calm down his breathing while talking to me. I never went to bed till after one AM and woke up at 5:30 this morning. When I called the Hosp at 7:30 this morning I was told he had gone home. I called down home ( used to be the home place where I grew up) and I was told he came home around 2 am and was still sleeping. We know nothing more now than we did when he went in. I am sure nerves is playing a part since he has bone cancer and it isn`t good.
He can use all the Prayers he can get. Update since writing this- they say he had an infection between the ribs causing the pain.

Hanging on one of the gold knobs on my daybed is a straw hat, similar to those farmers wore while working in the fields. I remember the time I got it. I had taken my mother shopping and one of the stores was giving away a straw hat to everyone who bought a banana split. Back then a banana split consisted of a banana sliced the long way with three scoops using three kinds of ice cream spread over the banana ( vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream). Then the ice cream was topped with three different types of ice cream topping with whipped cream piled in the top center. Chopped nuts were spread over the topping and it was topped with a cherry. Delicious!!!

When I worked, right after graduation, every week I allowed myself one Banana Split on payday. That was the only money I allowed myself to waste. Glad they were real cheap back then since i was only earning $18 a week. Did get a raise- up to $21 a week after working a full year. But, I quit and got married and only saw that raise for about 4 months. Today I sometimes miss those banana splits and make them here at home. That day, in the store, I bought one for my mother and one for myself, My mother often used her straw hat while working in her garden in the hot sun. One time I asked my brother what happened to my mothers straw hat as I knew it was still in one of the upstairs bedrooms for years after she passed away. I would have liked having it because of the nice memories connected to it. But it seems to have disappeared over the years. There is another cap that has memories for me. My husband used to say " Where`s the beef ". It was a popular saying back then. One of the sons-in laws heard him saying it and the following week he showed up with a baseball shaped cap with this writing on the front of the cap " Here`s the beef". He had made it in his father`s shop. His father used to work for the newspaper and had bought the equipment for printing on shirts , caps, etc.. Walt got a big kick out of that hat. I still have it today. I look around my home and know it would look nicer if I got rid of lots of things. But, I hate giving away or tossing away anything with happy memories connected to it. Guess that is because i know there will never be any new memories made with Walt, my 2 brothers or my parents, so what i have from the past is twice as important to me. Like I still have the old Navy winter dark blue sailor pants with those thirteen buttons on the front flap. I can`t imagine having to button 13 buttons so many times a day. Think of the amount of time that could add up to in a month or a year. Seems like they could be a danger in a war as who can take time for that many buttons when being shot at. Leaves me wondering what the officials were thinking of when they added all those buttons.
I often wonder if the 13 had anything to do with the original 13 states that joined the Union making up the original United States. I will have to look this up when I have extra time.

Now these warm sailor pants kept my achy legs warm when I was a kid out sliding down the long roads in the roads, or skiing and skip jacking down the other steeper road. I remember how I used to come in the house after playing outside in the cold and my legs would ache for hours. One day my brother told me he had something that would help my achy legs and he came back carrying his heavy winter weight sailor pants. He was right, they did help keep my legs warm and I was able to enjoy being outdoors a lot more. Thinking of those sailor pants reminded me of how small and skinny my oldest brother used to be when he was just 17. Later he grew up to be a tall, nicely built handsome man. He had my fathers big broad shoulders and large strong hands. He was no longer that skinny 17 year old. But, I have to be happy he once was that smaller fellow for me to be able to wear his sailor pants.

A home would just be a house without the happy and yes, sometimes the sad, memories that made it a home. I have seen some houses that look like a million with all their rich looking furniture that no one dares to sit on for fear of breaking it or getting a stain on it. I have no stains on my furniture, but I do see happy memories each time I look at them. I could have afforded to own more expensive items, but I never wanted a show place. I wanted a place where people laughed and had fun. Where they were not afraid to cuddle up together watching TV. Cuddling with Walt on the couch to watch TV together- makes me smile just thinking of it. When the kids were small, they would often climb up to sit with us, or sometimes climb up on our laps. We never worried about how many crowded onto the couch at the same time. we just had more there to hug. As they say, a family that is close when the kids are small, if often a family that stays close when they grow up. Had a brother who was a millionaire. One of his children once told me that he would gladly give away all the money his family had if his family could have even half the kind of love he saw in my family and in my younger brother`s family. We were at the younger brother`s funeral at the time. He told me they might be rich, but they don`t have the closeness my family has. Money doesn`t buy happiness, love does. This nephew might be the youngest of 6 kids, but I think he is also the wisest. Also lost this wonderful brother this past summer and I see his family is not as close without him holding them together, so his son, my nephew, was right about having money and missing out on the closeness. This brother had nothing handed to him, he worked hard to get where he was. He started out drawing patterns for our local Lace Factory. Then he saved for a small factory of his own in New Jersey, which he later sold and went into partnership with a friend on a much larger Lace factory. He had a smart business head and wasn`t afraid of hard work. I always looked up to him. He has helped our family and our mother many times over the years. I can honestly say that I am the only one in the family who never accepted a hand out from him. I am proud that Walt and I were able to raise our family on our own without asking anyone for a penny. I always knew my brother would help if I needed help, but am glad Walt and I, working hard together, accomplished whatever we needed to accomplish to give our kids a decent life. As they say, life doesn`t just happen, you have to be willing to work hard to get ahead . So, I feel that baring medical problems, life is what we make it our self through our own actions, hard work and good deeds. No matter how a person grows up, if he keeps his record clean and is willing to work hard, he can end up giving himself-or herself- a future where they can feel proud of them self and proud of what they have accomplished. A person doesn`t have to be rich to feel proud, he -or she- just has to be proud of their own actions and how they treat others. Their children will grow up feeling rich as long as they are surrounded with the strong family love that makes them happy. Having enough to eat, a roof over their head and clean decent clothes to wear is important, but without love, it will not bring them any happiness. Material things are not as important as giving of yourself to make each child feel they are special. Not one special child, but all your children should feel this same warm loved special feeling. Guess I learned this growing up knowing our mother did have her special pets. OH, we all knew she loved us, but just some more than others. I wanted to be like my Dad who had no special children, we all felt special in his eyes. I can honestly say that my mother changed after she was laid up and needed constant care after her hip operation and one of her pets wasn`t willing to move in for a few weeks to help her, while my youngest brother, his wife and Walt and I were there every day and night till she was back on her feet. Took her into her 80`s to see what her spoiling her oldest daughter turned her into. To be fair, this sister did help out, she just wasn`t willing to stay for a week or more to help. What bothered my mother was that she could stay away from her home to spend the whole winter down south, but she had to get back home after just a couple days when she needed her. As I told our mother, I grew up loving Nursing and had over a years training on the job at our local hospital, while my oldest sister was one who didn`t do well around the sick. So, it was much easier for me than for her. I remember mom telling me she wondered what this sister would do if her husband was ever sick. Well, if she had been still here to watch, she would have seen this sister taking good care when her husband was seriously ill and needed her. My mother would have been proud of her actions all over again. I am sure she was watching with a smile on her face knowing she hadn`t failed with this daughter. Probably if there hadn`t been other family members living closer who were able to help our mother, I think she would have taken over caring for mom, but she did know I was better trained for the job and that I would be willing to do the work. Plus another sister also lived close by. She just had no training and didn`t know what she should or shouldn`t do and I was the only one who knew how to handle the bandaging etc. after the first op.. Yes, first they tried to repair the broken hip, but a few months later they had to do a full hip replacement and again I was the only one who knew the exercises and what was needed to get my mother up and back walking again. My Hospital training caring for all kinds of patients sure came in handy. I will always be happy that I was able to help her and she did appreciate it very much.

Thought I would explain what I was working on for Christmas gifts to let all my wonderful blog friends know that I haven`t forgotten them and I will be around to visit as soon as I have more time. I miss reading your blogs and hope I can finish the towels soon and get back to reading your blogs.

My goodness, Dot, you are one BUSY lady. Heavens, FIFTY FOUR crocheted towels! You are simply amazing!

Now, you've got me wanting a banana split. My first job in high school; working behind the counter of the town's only drug store. I cheated when my friends came in and gave them extra on the cones AND on the banana splits. My boss caught on, but didn't say a word!! And, oh my goodness, those "nuts" in the jars of syrup, GIRL, I cheated then too - I'd go back in the refrigerator and dip me out a spoonful or two. hahahaha

I hope you're able to finish the Cristmas gifts - I know your girls are gonna LOVE them. You have so much talent. I may take up crocheting again if I ever get my mind back. But, heck it's been gone so long, I have to wonder. haha

Your family is so amazing; I'm so happy you're all close, and Dot, I'm praying for your brother. Bless his heart. ((HUGS))
Wow, that is a LOT of towels to make, but you can do it! I remember the old-fashioned banana splits, they were so good! We only got to go the the ice cream shop once (in the summer of course, it wasn't open in the winter) per year.
This time of year is all work work work and it never seems to get all done until the end.
I hope your brother finds some comfort so he could enjoy the holidays some.
I do my best to keep up but it seems i am always lagging even when 1 am up until 5 am which is a regular thing lately.
Now you get some rest.
I hope your brother is a bit better and can have a nice Christmas.

Wow. Impressive work of you. Yes, it can be pretty hectic before Christmas, even for me.

So I wish you a Merry, Merry Christmas filled with joy, peace, happiness and lots of yummy Christmas food.

I also wish you a Happy Amazing New Year in advance, because we're going away on a trip before New Years Eve.

I stopped in to wosh you a Merry Christmas to you and yours
Thanks Sally. I did manage to finish my shopping for all 64 people. I finished the wrapping on Christmas morning. After counting up them all, I am beginning to think my kids are right when they keep telling me there way too many for me to keep buying for. Leaves me wondering how my own mother was able to keep giving gifts on Christmas to all the family as she had more grandchildren and more great grandchildren than I have.
Thanks for the nice wishes for my brother. It had to have been very hard for him to attend our Uncles funeral Wednesday knowing how serious his own condition is.

Good luck crocheting again as I think it does us good to be accomplishing something we can feel proud about when it is finished. Also good exercise for arthritic hands.
Have a wonderful New Year and thanks for dropping by.
Hi PBS, You were correct, I did manage to finish all the towels and all the store shopping. I finished the gift wrapping early Christmas morning. Getting harder every year as my family keeps getting larger- with more weddings and more new great grandchildren.
Happy New Year to you and thanks for stopping by.
Gee Walker, you go to bed at %AM and that is about the time i am usually waking up if I go to sleep around midnight. If I go to sleep earlier then i am just waking up earlier. I am one of those about 4 hour sleepers. Dr ordered another sleep test, but it didn`t show anything more of why I can`t seem to get a decent nights sleep even on the C-FLEX machine for my sleep apnea.
It has been a bad few days, but Christmas has brought back some reasons to smile.
Hope your Christmas was great and wishing you a wonderful New Year.
Lifecruiser, Thanks for the nice words and I also wish you and your husband a very wonderful New Year. Have a wonderful time on your trip. Hopefully I will have more time by then to get back reading your blog and all my other wonderful friends blogs. Christmas Day may be over, but I still have more family who will show up so I can give out the rest of the gifts sitting near my little tree.
Have a great trip. Watching you having fun on your trips would bring smiles to your Mother`s kind face and I know she is watching and smiling down on all those she loved so dearly. She so loved hearing about your trips as you know.
Walker, I am sure you noticed my printing error and have checked your keyboard where you saw I had hit the "%" when I meant to hit on "5" AM. With my crocked fingers my left hand hits faster than my right hand so the capital worked early. Even my fingers play games on me. Ha ha. Can`t complain as things could be lots worse. I am thankful to be able to keep working with my hands. Family and friends are always asking me how I manage to keep making things. I just remind them what Dad used to say "Where there is a will, there is a way. You just have to look for one." Both parents had arthritis, but Dads hands were lots worse and he still repaired cars for family and friends and still could take apart a washer and repair it. Thanks to him I am still using the washer I took apart almost 7 years ago and thanks to God for his help, it is still working great today. Walt had intended on buying me a new one when this one stopped working. We had to wait till Monday to go after it and this was on Saturday evening. Sunday morning I decided to see if I could do what I had seen my father do so many time many years ago. Watching him sure came in handy.
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