Can we please do something about all these holidays?

What does your family do for Halloween?  I know some folks who consider it Samhain, and don’t celebrate the traditional route of costumes and candy, but rather acknowledge and give thanks for the harvest.  I know some folks that are fiercely evangelical Christian that won’t even consider it a special day.  I also know a lot of people that do the costumes, decorate the house, hand out candy, and really get into it.  One of my best friends has a pretty complicated situation.  She has three kids from her first marriage, and they don’t acknowledge Halloween at all.  Her husband has three kids from his first marriage, and they do the works.  They have a baby together, and he has already told her that when the baby’s big enough, she’s going to do Halloween.  What would you do?  I think I would try to find some middle ground.  No trick-or-treating and maybe dressing up as things that are not ghosts and goblins, with music, popcorn, and movies.

 

I know I would dress Knitbaby up if he were old enough and take him trick-or-treating because I just don’t see a great deal of harm in it.  I don’t agree with dressing up like devils, angels, or Bible characters, though, because we are taught to have no graven images.  I think dressing up like a firefighter or superhero is pretty harmless.

 

My old church has a party on Halloween night with Christian rock music, food, and dressing up like Bible characters.  I don’t really know how I feel about that.  I mean, It doesn’t really explain to kids the reasoning that Halloween is bad, it just replaces one activity for another, and still celebrates the day.  Seems like it could be hypocritical, if one is not careful.

 

So, where do you stand?  Judgment free zone here, just asking because I’m curious.

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How quickly we forget.

Did you know it’s less than 2 months till Christmas?  Did you know I’m a knitter, and subsequently feel this overwhelming need to knit everyone gifts?  Last weekend I put together a comprehensive list of everyone I’m knitting for, and this is my knitting list to date, without recipient’s names because some of them may be reading.

Monkey socks-done!

Monkey socks-one sock done!

Marigold socks-one sock done!

Footies-done!

Juneau earflap hat

Man’s hat

Two boys’ hats

Tam

Girl’s hat and mitts

Baby sweater

February Lady Sweater downgraded to Friday scarf.  I may be ambitious, but I’m not nuts.

Sweater for knitbaby

Homespun scarf

So, not so bad!  Socks are very time consuming for me, and I only have two socks to knit!  Hopefully will have pictures as I progress.  Also, I did finish the baby sweater mentioned last week, but I still need to sew on the buttons and block it.  The baby arrived first, so it will be going in the mail Saturday to the happy Mom and Dad!

Updates, a miracle, and some wake-up calls.

I know it has been a while since I posted last, and I am sorry, but sometimes it’s just hard to put the words together, you know?  My brother is doing so well, he was able to come home last Saturday and has very limited damage from the stroke.  The doctors determined he doesn’t need physical therapy at all, and only needs speech therapy once a week, thank God.  He has to go back next month for heart surgery to replace his aortic valve with an artificial one, so the focus right now is keeping him well-rested and in good spirits, and making sure he is in the best possible health when he goes under the knife.  The staff that is doing the surgery have high hopes because he has one of the healthiest hearts they’ve ever worked on.  He is not a typical heart patient with clogged arteries and layers of fat.  Turns out R has a birth defect that only opens his aorta in two places instead of four, so all this blood pooled behind the valve and a clot formed.  When he went running that morning the clot came loose and caused the stroke.  Here’s the first part of the miracle.  He was able to finish a three mile run, drive home, wake the kids up for school, and get a shower before the stroke symptoms started.  If he had the stroke out on the track it could have been hours before anyone found him, making the recovery far, far worse, and possibly even killing him.  Now, the second part of the miracle.  If he hadn’t had the stroke, the birth defect would have gone undetected until his aortic valve exploded from the pressure, killing him instantly.  Thank God for strokes.

Whenever I talked to people that know my brother, they almost always said, “It isn’t fair.  There are terrible people out there that live forever, and R works out everyday, is a good father, works hard to do the right thing, and he gets a stroke.”  Well.  First of all, if any of those terrible people out there had a stroke like R’s, they probably wouldn’t live through it.  R did so well because he works out and takes care of his body.  (Wake-up call #1.)  Second of all, if the stroke had killed him, he would be remembered for all his good traits and looked up to by anyone who knew him.  (Wake-up call #2.)  I know it doesn’t seem fair, but sometimes life isn’t fair.  People die whether they deserve it or not, and we have to make sure we are going to be remembered as the type of person who always did the right thing by pushing ourselves in our daily lives to make the most of what God has given us.  If I die today, who will remember me?  What will they remember me for?  I know I can’t have everyone like me, and I’m sure there are a couple people who would spit on my grave if they had a chance, but I can’t do anything about that.  I just have to focus on doing what is best for my family, being a good friend, working hard, keeping a reputation of honesty, and living according to my core values.  When I die, I want there to be no question in anyone’s mind about what I stood for and who I loved.

Along Comes Trouble.

So I’m cruising along life’s highway, trying to get the bills caught up, spending time with my family, constantly forgetting to pay the electric and trash, and BAM!  A phone call to let me know my brother had a stroke and is in the hospital getting tests done.  My brother is about 11 years older than me, so he became a state trooper when I was 9.  I remember how proud I was at his graduation when he walked across the stage in his dress uniform.  I would brag to all my friends that MY BROTHER was a state policeman, the best in the state.  I also remember the meetings we had to have as a family with other troopers who made sure we were prepared should we ever get the call.  If you have family in law enforcement or the military, you know THE CALL.  (Cue ominous music of doooom.)  Anytime I would get a phone call in the middle of the night, anytime someone started a conversation with, “Your brother R,” anytime we couldn’t get hold of him, I would prepare myself for the words.  Lately, he’s been having a pretty rough time of it.  He just had a baby in July (number four), who’s been diagnosed with failure to thrive.  They’ve had to drive him to AI DuPont hospital, get specialty formula, the works.  I know his stress has been at an all time high, and he shoulders it all in silence.  He has never been one to complain about his circumstances or want a lot of attention.  When he had a knee surgery a few years ago he didn’t want visitors or anyone coddling him.  He’s just that way.  So, when I got the phone call last night I was certain I was going to hear the words, either about him or the baby.  It was actually a relief to hear that it was a stroke.  How weird is that?  I was grateful that was all it was.  R is only 42, in great shape, runs marathons, eats better than anyone I know, and still this got him.  I just don’t even know what to think right now.

Meh.

I think that best describes my weekend.  Fiberfest! was kind of a bust, but everyone who had been there last year said that it was much better.  The turnout wasn’t that great, I didn’t see a lot of people buying things, and only 6 people showed up to the Ravelry meeting.  Some of the vendors were selling great things, so I don’t really know what the problem was.  I got a set of Ashford carders for less than half price, a handmade button for Mr. Greenjeans, and some sock yarn from Crash into Ewe on sale.  The idea was tossed around to charge vendors next year so they can get live music or something, and I think that’s a great idea, but I’m not sure vendors would want to pay after not making much money this time around.It would be a risk, but If they got a larger area it may work.  Also, they didn’t advertise in any Delaware papers, and that probably would have helped.

I spent the rest of the weekend visiting with family and just lazing around.  More stories and pictures to follow.

Quickly, quickly.

I should be packing up the truck now for my weekend away, but I wanted to drop a quick post before I go.

Some finished objects!

The first patch of my travelling scarf!  I cannot wait to get back the finished piece.  I am sending a small notebook with it so everyone can add a little note about themselves.  This is going to be a very cool project!

My part of the travelling shawl.  This is going to be knit by people from all 50 states and the completed shawl will be raffled off, with the earnings going towards breast cancer research.  I may have a button on my blog soon to allow you to buy tickets, but we’re not sure about that yet, so I’ll keep you informed.  I will tell you that this will be a beautiful piece of lace once it is done, and the fact that it is hand-knit from folks all over the country really does make it a priceless piece, so if you are able to buy a raffle ticket, please do.  It is a prize worth winning!

Well, I’m off!  Knitbaby and I will be going to the Fiberfest! in Snow Hill on Saturday, so I should have some pretty neat pics when I get back.  Now, all that remains is packing the truck, getting gas, going to the post office, and picking the baby up from my MIL’s.  I should be able to get that done in an hour, right?  Hope springs eternal!