Season of Merriment
A few extended family members: l. to r. we have youngest son Jesse, oldest son Cody, Aunt Robi, and cousin Sarah.
I had purchased two twenty pound turkeys (and defrosted them, thanks to the advice a few of you provided awhile back), and enlisted fellow Board members, Cheryl and Tim to cook them in their ovens here in town, as our mountain home oven has always been too small for even one huge turkey. I baked cookies and made the stuffing, while Cheryl finished up the gravy just in perfect time to eat, and Tim, the mashed potatoes. Many of the guests brought side dishes and beverages, and our table was loaded down with abundance, including peach and blackberry cobblers that Cheryl produced from last summer's local bounty (We tried closing our eyes and visualizing that it was really ninety degrees and we were hanging around in the shade at the river eating blackberries, but it didn't work - the temps were hovering just above freezing and it was spitting snow as we started dinner).
Nikki hates this photo, but we thought she looked so contented with our dinner!
Two of my sons share my love of photography, so Cody and I had to get the obligatory "bloggers taking photos" shot... I am wearing a real Dale of Norway sweater picked up at a secondhand shop several years back.
I always have the best time when I get together with my family... here, Nikki and I model scarves I have made in the past year while smiling for the camera.
Cody had us laughing so hard that we had everyone else staring... what started as an innocent statement that when he got married, he might go for formal Scottish attire, including a kilt, led to an offer on the part of his doting mother to make him kilt hose for the occasion (yes, I actually have the patterns and did a sampler of stitches several years ago). His response was "why would you bring kilt 'hos to my wedding, that's totally inappropriate..." and just degenerated from there into fits of giggling for the next ten minutes.
We had caught our breath by the time this photo was taken... from l. to r. Nikki, me, Jesse, and Cody.
Our friend, Bill, who played at the Apple Harvest Celebration back in October, had offered to come back for this party. He brought three other musicians this time, and they regaled us with rock 'n roll tunes from the '60s, '70s and '80s.
Cody particularly got into the spirit, and knows the words to all kinds of oldies; we all sang along to "Brown-Eyed Girl" and I realized that taking him to see Queen Ida when he was two had led to a life-long love of Zydeco.
Nikki caught us singing and dancing together.
The evening really put me back into the holiday spirit after a stressful, disheartening week of work, and reminded me how immensely grateful I am for the wonderful life I have had so far... full of loving people, really good kids (my best F.Os by far!), a dear, sweet husband, and lots of good times over the years. There really isn't anything more I need, but it is nice to get a few extras along the way all the same.
I have made some knitting progress while taking it easy today (hiding out inside from torrential rains). I am mad at hats right now, as the Cashsoft hat for Cody is STILL not right (although the pattern fits Nikki just right and her Bling Bling hat will be on the needles tomorrow, Cody's needs to be an inch longer, so must be ripped and redone). I switched back to the Versatile Scarf using Margene's gift alpaca, and finished the second tie, only to discover that I must have lost count on the first one, as it is an inch longer! I need to pin and steam it so the lacy eyelet stitch will look nicer and the edges lie flat as intended, but I doubt blocking will fix this, and decided that it was a "design innovation" and not a mistake (meaning, I can live with the difference and move on). I do like this Fiber Trends pattern and started another version, the triple-eyelet garter stitch version, which is very similar to making a washcloth with drapey ties attached; soothing knitting. Good for a dreary, low-energy day.
I hope that each of you is finding time for family and lots of laughter during this holiday season. It's not about the gifts or whether you managed to make the perfect pie (read, cake, turkey, stuffing, etc.), but about cheering each other on through the darkest nights of the year, reaffirming your love for each other and the blessings and good fortune you have been given. A happy Winter Solstice to all...