Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Got a Little "Bah Humbug" Going On

I feel like this Christmas, I'm having a hard time getting into the spirit of the holiday. Hell, I even felt like this at Halloween but not Thanksgiving for some reason. I think this might be the first time I've ever had a case of the Christmas blues. Hell, I can't even come up with a good post for "My Favorite Things" like I've done here for the last two years. It feels kind of trivial.

It's been kind of a shitty year, to say the least. We lost my husband's mom unexpectedly earlier this year, and my mom became sick again but at least her chemo is working. I think a big part of my problem is not having Jeanie around any more.

Shane told me earlier this year that he wanted red and white rope lights for the front tree, and red lights for the tree he planted in the front yard for his mom. I got a bunch of lights and it took me forever to get off my ass and actually put the damn things up. Shane came and helped with his mom's garden's decorations. When I finally finished the the peppermint lights for tree, I was alone in the yard. I stood out there in the dark and started to cry over the damn things. Red was his mom's favorite color. I got myself together, went back in the house and never let on how I was feeling.

I didn't even want to put up a tree this year. I was going to bring down the little ceramic Christmas tree that my grandma made in 1977 for the family and use it instead. I asked Shane last week how he was feeling about Christmas this year and he said he was doing fine, and then asked me why. I told him I wasn't really feeling this year, but I didn't go into great detail. I figure it's probably better for me to try and be strong where his mom is concerned, at least for him, anyway.

On Monday afternoon before I got home, I got a photo sent to me from Shane. It was a picture of Cujo sitting in our driveway next to a Christmas tree. Shane wrote that he took Cujo with him to shop for a tree and let Cujo pick it out for me from the church down the street. I thought that was wildly sweet and sad in a way, because it means that no matter what Shane is going through, he's still thinking about me.

So we've got the tree, it's decorated, I have my Santa's scattered throughout the house, and I need to bring Snoopy and his house downstairs from the attic to the front yard. Maybe if I fake Christmas spirit, it'll work out.

I was listening to the radio this morning on the way into work, and the question of the morning was, "What was the hot toy at Christmas when you were a kid, and did you get it?" There were Cabbage Patch kids, of course, but I didn't ask for one. One of my aunt's actually made me one and I liked it better than the store bought one. I asked my mom where it was, earlier this year, because I wanted it. She said she gave it away because it was old. Bummer.

The one toy that sticks out in my mind (and I just texted my sister to see if she knew where it was) was my stuffed Chewie. I saw him in K-Mart one day while I was with my mom. It must have been about 1977 or 1978, pre-Christmas.

I lost my mind when I saw the Wookie. There were boxes and boxes of them on the shelves. I believe it was a blue box. He even had his ammo belt on. He was wonderful. I needed my own Chewie, even though as a kid of 4 or 5, I knew a person couldn't own a Wookie, because they weren't meant to be pets, but you could be best friends with a Wookie. Hey, I understood the logic of Star Wars, even at that tender age. Droids were for owning, not Wookies.

So there in the middle of the toy section, I remember telling my mom that I neeeeeeeeeeded a Chewie for Christmas. She said no, I didn't need any more toys for Christmas because I was going to get plenty. I insisted. She resisted. And that's when she told me I lost my shit in the store. I started shrieking that I'd ask Santa Claus for it then, because SANTA would bring it to me since SHE wouldn't get me a Wookie!!!!!!!!

Guess what was under the Christmas tree for me that year. There was an inflatable lightsaber, an inflatable R2-D2 punching bag...and my very own Chewbacca. He was as perfect in real life as he had been on the shelf, with a face so furry, you couldn't see his eyes. Mom even trimmed the fur around his eyes and nose for me, so you could see those big brown wise eyes. She told me later on, that normally she would have gotten after me for pitching a fit in public like that, but I was so adamant about neeeeeeeeeeeeeeding that Chewie, that she just couldn't say no.

I loved that damn toy. In fact, as I think back on him today, I think I'm going to check eBay later on, just in case my original Wookie is long gone from my parents' house. The only thing there is that maybe some little kid got my Chewie and my Cabbage Patch Kid from the local Goodwill store.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A New Magazine to Check Out

My mom gave me a couple issues of a new magazine called Love of Crochet. With the Winter 2012 issue, they are now a year old and can start offering subscriptions. Previously, they had only been available to purchase each issue individually.

I have the Winter 2012 and Holiday 2012 issues. They do have some cute patterns in them, but I am not impressed.

As far as the types of patterns go, you'd really find mind more and better free patterns on any of the yarn companies' sites, Craftster or Ravelry. Hell, there are some bloggers out there that have come up with better quality patterns, either for how the project finishes up or how clearly the pattern is written.

Don't get me wrong...like I said, there are some cute patterns in these issues that I want to try out, but I don't have much faith in them. I don't know how well they are checked for accuracy. For example, the "Urban Chic" cap pattern (Winter 2012, pg 28-29) is listed as being an intermediate skill project: at row 5, it stops making any sense. I don't know if it's me or it's because of how the pattern is written.

I guess the reason I'm so critical of the Urban Chic hat is because it looked like a good chemo cap option for my mom. She said she'd like something with a slightly open weave so her head doesn't get too warm. Even though she has a couple from the hospital, I wanted to make her one.

G sized crochet hook and about 3/4 of a skein of Premier Yarns in Mega Brushed in color 51-225. You can see the start of another (smaller) version of this hat on the side, that I'm making for my niece.
But since the Urban Chic pattern didn't really turn out, I looked through the Holiday issue and found the "Christmas Cuties" pattern (pg 40-41). It's a granny square-style of hat for a little girl and one of her dolls. I obviously increased the overall sizing of the hat, using own head as the model. I just hope having hair on my head didn't screw up the sizing for my mom's head.

The good thing about the patterns in the magazine is the yarn definition. They break down the best choices for each project as what to buy if you want to save some money, if you want something nice, or if you want to really splurge and buy something awesome. I thought that was a nice touch.

Personally, I think that with the number of ads and the quality of the patterns, this is a magazine I will be skipping.