It seems like we talk a lot about how much we have to do and how busy we all are during this month of December. Often I think we have an attitude that it is just all too much, and we get very little enjoyment out of what is intended to be pure enjoyment! So I am focusing on the big 4: family, friends, faith and fun! I do what I can with what I have, and keep reminding myself that it is all good.
We always do some outdoor lights, but simply done. A couple strings on the front porch, maybe a small tree near the road, and that's enough. Then we light up the tree in the house, and depending on my mood and time, we might wrap the log beams with garland and lights. Altogether, they create a nice glow and a noticeable bump in our electric bill! We have decided to convert over to LED lights for their low-energy consumption, but we don't want to shell out the money for a total light makeover. So we started with 3 new strings for the porch lights this year, and will add more as we go. They do seem to have more light output, I hope we don't have any wandering aircraft mistaking our front yard for a landing strip!
We had a little excitement this week and a reminder of how lucky we are to be living in the 21st century. My sweet parents had a bad scare when my dad's heart started acting up a bit. Here's my mom and dad from about a year or so ago--
Normally healthy and happy, this pair just seems to keep on ticking. They really are those people who are "young for their age", and although they have slowed down a bit over the years, they keep plenty active. This really is the first experience of this type for him, and was distressing at times, but overall things went smoothly. He developed a very slow heart rate, which brings with it additional problems. A heart rate of 35 might be desireable for a marathon runner, but not so much for an 85 year old guy! A quick helicopter ride from Worthington to Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, pop in a pacemaker, and voila! Looking and feeling much better! These little devices seem routine and commonplace to someone like myself who has worked in the medical field for many years. But when I step outside of that perspective, this can seem much more amazing. And if this had happened 50 or 60 years ago, my dad would not have had such a good outcome from this heart problem. In fact, his life would have suddenly become severely limited and shortened. So THANK YOU to all those medical researchers, past and present, who work continuously in some lab somewhere, doing a job that might be considered boring and tedious.
When we found out early Tuesday that we would be taking an unplanned trip to Sioux Falls, I needed to quickly get not only some clothes packed, but a project or 2, of course! I had started out a pair of socks not so long ago, using the technique that lets me knit both socks at once, so I tossed that in the car to keep my hands busy. I am using a nice yarn called Noro Silk Garden Sock, which I purchased early in 2009. I would have liked to work on it sooner, but ran into a little problem. To make these socks, I needed to divide the one skein of yarn into 2 equal balls. But then one ball disappeared, and I had no idea what happened to it. I looked high and low, and resigned myself to the fact that it was permanently gone. I occasionally looked at the one sad ball remaining, and wondered what to do with it, but never was able to pick it up and do anything with it. Lucky for me I didn't! Because 2 years later, when I am removing couch cushions to clean underneath (yes, I know I should do that a little more often than once a decade) I find that missing ball of yarn way smooshed down in the crack! So I finally was able to cast on for those socks, and was making a bit of progress during waiting room and drive time this week. Until I looked more closely at what I had been creating, and realized that the cuff was going to be too small to fit over any ankle that is not emaciated! So time to rip back, and recalculate. These socks are a long time coming! Maybe I will eventually have enough to take a picture of and share, but no guarantees!