Saturday, December 24, 2016

It was weird, but good

Many of you know that our family said goodbye to our dad, granddad, great-granddad,  husband, uncle, and brother this past July.  This was the first holiday season without him.  First Thanksgiving and now Christmas, Daddy was missed.  Daddy was fixture in our family and at every holiday gathering.  This is usually how we found him.

The type of camera has changed over the years; from an 8 mm camera which blinded you (but still he would say "look at the camera!" and all we saw were spots), to the digital wonder you see before you, he felt it his personal duty to be the one to record our family history.

Daddy liked to talk politics and so every get together, even visits, you had to be well versed in current events.  Regardless of how much you thought you knew, You would still walk away having learned something you never knew or never thought of before.  Daddy was a walking encyclopedia and/or history book.  "Well read" would be an understatement.

Daddy was big on quality control when it came to Christmas cookies, especially the cut out Christmas cookies.  He knew he never had to worry.  Mama knows cookies of all types.  She definitely knows her way around an oven.  He did, however use quality control as a good excuse for snagging a few.

We gathered this year and managed to have two successful holidays.  We laughed, joked, opened gifts, hugged and just enjoyed being together.  But it was weird.  It's the best way to describe it.  There were no political discussions.  People took their own pictures, but there wasn't the hiding from the roving camera.

  I missed a bear hug.  Daddy gave great hugs.  He was so big, he could just wrap you up.

 We laughed, but the heartiest laugh over all was absent...for now.

What there was, though, love, family, and togetherness.  Above all of that was Hope.  There was something missing from the festivities this year...Daddy.  But we celebrated, regardless, because we have hope.  Hope given by a baby in a manger who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  One day we will have another Christmas celebration with all of those who have gone on before us, and I will hear that laughter and receive that hug again.

I say all of this to point out, good or bad, happy or sad, Christmas is Christmas.  Not because of the gifts, songs, cards, or even people celebrating.  Christmas is Christmas because of Christ.  This year was hard, but possible because Christ is still Lord.  Christ still chose to come.  So we celebrate.  I hope this Christmas finds you well.  Thank you for all of your support this year and previous years.  I wish for you the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest new year..

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Still here

I know I've been absent of late.  My doll clothes business is going great with the holiday season here.  I'm figuring a lull after Dec 20th so things should get back to more normal.  This was my first year having an Etsy shop so there's been a bit of a learning curve.  Right now I'm at 91 sales.  I'm hoping I can pass 100.  In the new year during the slower times, I'm hoping to increase my inventory so next Christmas won't be quire so crazy.  It's been fun seeing all of the places my creations get to go.  I may not be well traveled, but my doll clothes are.  I've been to London, Canada, and the Cayman Island internationally.  I've been to New York, California, Virginia, Pennsylvania and many other states in the US.  I have to say I've really enjoyed this experience.  Here's a link to my store if you're interested.

The new year holds many things on my to do list.  We're in a drought here and so I was wondering if I would have a garden.  Lately we've had a good amount of rain so I may chance it.  Especially if I can get my first priority accomplished for the year; Gutters on the house.  We've never had them, but I want them and badly.  The rain that runs off the house is eroding the ground at the base of my foundation.  Not cool.  We are finally planning on getting this resolved.  When I do this, I'm making it where I can either steer the water to my garden, or catch the water for my garden.  Either way, my garden should benefit.

Speaking of garden.  Dec 23rd is the date I have set aside(if I am going to have a garden) to plant my seedlings to grow indoors.  I've always started them later, like February, but my tomato plants end up setting fruit when it's getting too hot outside.  I'm hopeful I can get a longer harvest time if my plants are bigger when I set them out.  I'm also going to start my cold weather things like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, snow peas, and lettuce.  These things, once mature, can take low temps as far down as 21 degrees, so if I start them indoors I can get a sooner and longer harvest.  Again, when my cabbage family plants are setting fruit, it's getting too hot for them.

Other items on my to do list include having the few cracks in the foundation of the house patched (don't worry this isn't a weight bearing foundation), rebuilding the crawl space door under the house, Pressure washing the house, and repairing or replacing the decks : front, side, and back.  This will be a work in progress and I make no promises as far as accomplishing all of these.  I'm gonna look into it and see what I can do and what we can afford.  Those are my plans however.

When the time comes, the garden will take priority, but there are a lot of things requiring our attention.  For right now though, the gutters are top of the list.  Everything else falls under that by necessity.  No other repair will be worth it if the ground continues to erode.

With two week to go til Christmas and with Etsy requiring a lot of my time, I may not be back on here until the new year.  If I can I will.  So just in case I don't see you, I will wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!  HAPPY HANUKKAH!  HAPPY KWANZA!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.