Finished knitting 2 heavy woolen socks for presents; finished crochetting some silver snowflakes for craft-gifts.
Made a December and Christmas plan.
Found a new brown suede leather jacket at the thrift shop today, to make myself some leather gloves.
I've been away for awhile...busy getting all my Christmas gifts ready, and they are now in the mail. The knitted items turned out well, and looked substantial and gift-worthy.
Passed my 60th birthday with a triple-layer chocolate cake (my recipe was a basic chocolate whacky cake baked in 3 pans, then frosted with a butter/cream cheese/cocoa/soy flour recipe). It turned out perfectly, and cost very little to make.
I got very bad family news on the night of my birthday, and have been recovering.
Thank God for His help with my problems! My spirits are beginning to lift again.
When I get some time during Christmas holidays, I plan to work on some more necessary sewing projects (for myself, this time). I still haven't been able to find time to decorate my Christmas tree, but hopefully I can do it this weekend.
I made my Christmas cards this year, and they turned out pretty good. I also figured out a pattern to make my own envelopes. I got the stamps on a coupon trade, so didn't have any expenses sending my Christmas cards. A family member sent me a $25 gift card along with a birthday card, and I regifted the card to somebody on my gift list.
My only Christmas expense so far has been $38 postage to send out my gifts to family.
(But I'm starting things earlier next year, because there never seems to be enough time to get things done, without feeling the pressures.)
Deb, last winter I spent a lot of time at the library gleaning free patterns for various items. I got some glove patterns off of the internet, and enlarged them at home on my printer, and organized various binders for other patterns.
As some of you know from my posts of previous years, I have been down-sizing, decluttering, and repurposing intensively for a few years now. But I didn't have enough concentration and energy for some of the sewing and craft projects I've been contemplating. However, this year, some of my strength and energy has returned, and I can handle some of these things again.
But first a few deep breaths...to deal with life's problems, and the stress of the season.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself being very selective around Christmastime. The hustle and bustle is too much for me nowadays, so I spend most of my time at home, with the radio OFF, the tv OFF, the phone turned on to the answering machine. AND JUST LISTENING TO THE SOUNDS OF PEACE AND QUIET!!! Instead of the jangling commercials on tv and radio, and their hyper voices, and all of the conglomeration of commercialism which bombards Christmas every year.
The day I finally finished making, wrapping and sending out my Christmas gifts, I settled into my rocking chair...exhausted...with a cuppa...and just watched the stillness of the scenery through the window.
And let the peace of God touch my soul.
Hope everyone is doing well. :winter:
I'm now on holidays, so will have time to do some of the 'To Do's on my list...baking, sewing, etc.
Unfortunately, my hand mixer seems to be broken and is now casting out metal filings as the rotors rotate, so I have to get another mixer in order to do most of my Christmas baking. I see one on sale at a local store for about $16, half-price, so it looks like I'll have to make the investment. Might not get a turkey for Christmas this year, because the store-deal is $10 off a $24 turkey, if you spend $100 on groceries first, and food prices are ridiculously inflated during the holiday season.
I still have $33.80 left on my budget, so will be very selective in spending...the mixer is a necessity for me...I tried hand-mixing a Johnnycake, and couldn't incorporate enough air into the margarine and sugar, and ended up with 'hardtack' instead. So, there's no point in spoiling any more baking recipes that require beating. :chef:
Snapped off a few twigs from the blue spruce on the grounds, that I prune regularly all year, and made a nice Christmas arrangement for the front entrance...stuck the twigs into a large flower planter, and added some fabric poinsettias here and there on it. Looks pretty good, and didn't cost a thing. Have got my tree up at last, and the rest of my Christmas ornaments.
I'm still keeping the radio and tv OFF; turned the radio on yesterday to check on the weather, and was actually quite startled by the shrieking gabbling of some of the announcers trying to sell stuff for Christmas shoppers. These days, I'm also re-reading the Little House books series, as I do from time to time; right now, I'm reading "The Long Winter" again...and enjoying the pointers from Ma's home-cooking recipes. :read:
Got my sewing projects all set up to work on asap. Went through my closet last night and made sure everything was organized, and also moved all my winter clothing to my dresser drawers this week. :sewing:
A few days ago, it was snowing hugely fluffy snowflakes, so I took a break on a busy morning, dressed up warmly, and just went sauntering around outdoors, enjoying the snowfall.
The deer are now sneaking into my backyard and up to my house at night, and trampling down my raspberry canes, and nibbling on my grapevine. Will have to get out there and set out some inverted tomato cages here and there...this really worked well the last 2 years...they didn't attempt to go anywhere that I'd set the tomato cages...to avoid the sharp prongs. :wink:
I've received some more gift cards from family...which I'm going to save and regift to my grandkids for their birthdays next year. So far, I haven't bought much food from the stores because I have lots in my storage. Chocolate buds are tempting me right now, since the store has a deal on Neilson boxes...4/$5, but so far, I've been able to resist. I bought lots of eggs, and milk...and froze 2 jugs of milk. If I can avoid the stores right now, so much the better...I won't cave in and spend any money unnecessarily. :grinch:
Well, I'll close for now, and wish everyone a Very Good Christmas celebration, and God's blessings now and in the New Year! The library will be closed for a while due to the holidays, so I'm not sure when I'll be back.
Take Care, and Happy Holidays, everyone! :santasm2:
Just a quick update, folks.
It was a very difficult Christmas season for me and family, due to DS's work-accident, injury and amputation, and ongoing medical issues. A really bad situation. Various other problems emerged as well in the family, so I have elimated as much stress as possible in order to cope with it all mentally and emotionally. That has meant no tv, radio, internet, phoning, etc. As is my way, I usually keep big trouble to myself, because I'm the kind of person who has to process it all internally before I can discuss any of it with others, and this has all taken a big toll on me, but we go on with life as it is, and make the best of it. We are all in God's hands.
During 2014, I am going to continue to organize my mind, with all of the newest troubles and conflicts. I find that spending time alone with God in prayer and Bible reading is what helps me most in sorting out the confusion, and finding hope and peace again.
I've been back to work for a few weeks, and things are going along as usual there. Otherwise, I am keeping at home, mostly keeping things going, and working on my craft projects in my spare time. That helps to deal with the stress of worry. So far, I've crochetted a pair of boot-slippers for myself from a few balls of yarn that has been sitting in a bag for years and years, and I'm also working on 2 more pairs of socks...one for me, and for DS3 for a birthday gift.
Money situation is ok; I still have $15 left for the month, and my CPP (pension) is going to net an extra $2.25 per month than I originally thought, so that's a plus.
I did my 2013 budget accounts, and I earned $500 more than expected, but spent $200 more than expected, so have a surplus of $300. However, that will mean lowering my variable monthly budget again from $150 to about $120, just to be on the safe side.
Thank-you all for your good wishes, and may we all have a good year in 2014!
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