11 December 2014

90 is Not Enough

November 30, 2014
Yesterday my Gran died. She was 90 years old and tired of being bedridden. She was at home with her family. I don't know what to do except write about it while I cry.

She's the underlying hum in all my faith stories and a leading figure in my religion, a shining example of constant faith.

I grew up just two blocks from her house, so she and my grandfather were a constant in my childhood from regular sleepovers, shopping trips and just being together. I learned to crochet from her fingers, I think she taught me the summer I was 16 and helped my grandpa take care of her after she had a fall and broken bones. Working with yarn is fun on its face but it's also always connected me to her.

Gran was not just part of my history but also a part of my weekly routine and life now. I would call her two or three times a week, usually in the afternoons when her helper had gone home but before her supper was delivered. She could chat and listen to whatever was on my mind and heart. I'm already feeling adrift without those calls or the possibility of them. And oh, how she loved Jane. Jane loves her too, and navigating this conversation with her is possibly the hardest part for me.

Gran was a teacher with a 30+ year career. So she touched countless lives through her classroom and interactions with children. Her work in her church, from Sunday school teacher to church board secretary and beyond, was critical to its functioning. And these are only the things I, as a child in her life, know about. I know her life was rich and full of love.

I selfishly would have liked more time. But I know she has moved on, that she was ready to go to the Lord. And I pray that her reward for a life so well lived is more than she ever dreamed of. I miss her so much and am so grateful she loved me.

09 December 2014

08 December 2014

Santa is Not my Tradition

I am kind of a Grinch about Christmas Christmas, I think. We don't "do" Santa at our house. It's just not my tradition or something I feel the need to do. The miracle of Christmas is far greater than a funny, magical character.

But this year it is hard to be different.

Jane is three, so an age where she is putting things together and excited about Santa. It doesn't help that he's shoved down her throat at every turn. From strangers asking her "What did you ask Santy Claus for?" (and receiving a blank look until I translated "What do you want for Christmas?") to a visit from Santa during our church's Advent Festival (Advent and Santa do not compute).

At the festival, too, the single craft for kids was "Reindeer Food," a brown bag that you filled with oats, glitter (which I hate for non-Grinchy reasons), sprinkles, etc. and then they stapled on a poem about sprinkling the mess on the lawn so the reindeer see your house and Santa will be sure to find you. Cute concept, I guess, but at church?! We let Jane make a glitter-free version, but I am not carting it to Virginia. In fact, I think it's already in the trash.

Aren't I the Grinchiest?!

We do read a lot of Christmas books, and Santa is featured in some. I don't want Jane to be ignorant of anything, including the Santa myth. I know it's confusing, but I just keep telling her that Santa is a funny, pretend character. I don't want her to go around and tell other kids "he's not real" (I never say those words). Childhood friends are still a little touchy about me ruining the magic for them in Kindergarten. But I will never pretend he's more than just a fictional character. I just hope we don't piss off anyone!

06 December 2014

Sunrise Senior Living Center Holiday Fair

Today I was at the Sunrise Senior Living Center holiday market. If you stopped by my booth and are checking out my website, welcome!

silvermari crochet booth at Jingle Mingle 2014 (major bust, saleswise)

03 December 2014

Jingle Mingle: Crochet Hats

Hats made in June because I haven't taken a picture today (!)
Thursday, December 4, is the Jingle Mingle at Jane's preschool. So I'm going to have a crochet hat booth. I'm excited and nervous. I have 47 hats ready.

I also have another sale for Saturday at a retirement community, so I've also made four thread starched ornaments. I'd like to make more, but we'll see about time and how long it takes these first four to dry. I don't expect every hat to sell tomorrow, but I might be running low for Saturday and need to spend all day Friday crocheting. Good thing I like crochet.

If you're visiting my site after seeing my work at the Jingle Mingle, welcome! If you'd like to order a custom hat, see my Want to Order a Crochet Hat? post for details on what measurements I need. I can probably still make a few hats before Christmas, so contact me if you have that deadline.

30 November 2014

Ending with the beginning in mind

Oh November, you were so full of promise.

But I'm ready to see you go.

We've had wonderful weather on this trip -- not too hot, not too cold. Sunny, gorgeous. This evening it's turned cold. Brrrr. It will be a tough start in the morning when we're leaving in the wee hours of the morning. I'm sleepy just thinking about it.

Today begins Advent, and I'm looking to embrace the season in new ways. I got Ann Voskamp's.  Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas for my birthday, so we will be going through that book this season together. And at church we're doing Simply Wait: Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent so I need to start reading that. (Affiliate links, because why not.)

 I don't know what to do with this blog. But I will post later this week to get a crochet-related post on the top for the craft sales I'm doing. Until then...

29 November 2014

Screen Time Update: Three Years Old

'365:32 - Television' photo (c) 2009, Sarah Reid - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/What a difference a year makes.

As Jane grows up her exposure to technology and media is increasing. It's still limited, but I'm much less strict (see media use decisions post from last year). She's watching a Thomas video with Aunt B as I type this. Also at Thanksgiving I didn't keep her away from the TV playing football. And on the drive she gets to watch a couple PBS Kids shows on the Kindle with her headphones (we do the same on airplanes). And there's a Lego Duplo train game on my Kindle that she can play sometimes. I'd say we usually limit it to 30 minutes/day total screen time, and some days there's none. Usually we don't watch on the weekends, and school days are structured so that there really isn't a good time to watch.

My aunt sent me this HuffPo article with the extreme headline 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12. It's typical Huffington Post extremism (and I'm certainly a target HuffPo liberal reader), but I much prefer the links to posts at the end of the original article: This post has elicited a number of responses from other bloggers. You can read some of those here and here.

In any case Jane doesn't get a handheld device of her own or unsupervised use of any technology. Her exposure is certainly all non-violent (although we went to a birthday party that had a Captain American movie playing so there was some violence there, but I didn't know what to say without being totally rude!).

We're doing our best, and Jane is developing and happy. So we'll just keep going. Meh. Meh. Meh.