Count down to 2017

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end. ~ Ernest Hemingway

It’s the final hours of 2016. Plenty of time to finish a few wips and recap my knitting year. When I started this blog, I had around 75 wips (I suspect this number was probably too low). My goal was to finish or frog eight projects every month. While I’ve met my monthly goals, casting on new projects remains my arch nemesis. I did manage to finish 40 projects in 2016 making my grand total of wips at 50! Considering finishing projects is not my forte, I’m calling this a success.

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Here’s a recap on my liberated orphan projects of December. Half of the December wips have already gone to their recipients. Projects seven and eight are my Instant Gratification (that really wasn’t so instant) and La Cumparsita. Project seven is a Rainbow Twist out of Malabrigo Caracol in Indiecita. Project eight is a frogged project from Malabrigo March 2016. I lost my knitting mojo on this one. I might try it again during Malabrigo March 2017. I still find the pattern, pfeilraupe, interesting.

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I also had a chance to make on of our all time favorite family recipes, gum drop cookies. This is an old family recipe that has been handed down through several generations.

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This week Burt, Ernie & Gracie had some excitement. They received some pressies from their Auntie in the Midwest.

Ernie tried to out run the jingle bells. Gracie decided to hide while Burt thought it was best not to move at all.

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I leave you with a photo from our most recent hike. Have a safe and joyous new year!

Spectacular Snowshoeing

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. ~ John Muir

Since the British Hubby and I had some extra time off together this week, we thought we would make the most of our days off by getting a few extra hikes in on our 52 hike challenge. Yesterday, we snowshoed almost six miles (yes, it really was uphill the entire first half).

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When we arrived at the trail head, there was one other car parked. The hike started with a few inches of slushy snow. We didn’t have to go far for stunning views (see above) and a wintry friend to greet us.

Snowshoeing uphill was grueling on the body, but the views were worth it!

While we followed our fellow hiker’s foot prints in the snow, this makes the third hike we had the trail all to ourselves.

Yuletide Hike

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. ~ Thomas S. Monson

Today the British Hubby and I stared a new Christmas Day tradition, our yuletide hike. My Christmas gifts to you dear readers will be a plethora of photos. Hike number two in our 52 hike challenge was a hike of contrasts. We started with green foliage with numerous water crossings and finished with snow.

 

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This was our second hike in a row we had the trail completely to ourselves.

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Here’s the British Hubby sporting one of his Christmas gifts, a Gramps Slouch (that’s really a beanie) in Malabrigo Rios color Hojas.

Cranberry Christmas

“Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

“Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”

Two quotes from my favorite holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. The British Hubby and I watch it every year on Christmas Eve. This year, we’re watching it while having our cranberry feast. The menu includes cranberry glazed meatballs, broccoli cranberry salad and cranberry upside down cake.

Did I mention the baked brie with spiced cranberry sauce and cranberry cocktails?

Happy Christmas from Burt, Ernie and Gracie.

May your holidays be filled with good food and good company!

 

Winter Solstice

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. ~ Victor Hugo

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice marks the darkest day. Many holiday traditions and celebrations can be traced back to ancient cultures. According to Sarah Pruitt, many of our Christmas traditions can be traced back to a Roman celebration honoring Saturn, the god of agriculture and time. Check out the fascinating article here.

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Here’s another snow covered bridge from hike #1.

Do you have any Winter Solstice traditions?  I usually like to start my holiday cooking/baking on the solstice. This year I’m doing a theme. Can you guess what it is?

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I know cranberries are traditionally associated with Thanksgiving. Who says these little berries can’t dominate the yuletide season too? Here’s my first cranberry recipe, spiced cranberry sauce recipe.

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Update on other wips:

  • Frank in Pairs: 12 rows completed towards stripe number 11.
  • Dewberry Dancer: Continuing slow and steady on this one. I’ve completed row 46 on section two.
  • Project Peace: The official peace along kal is over, and I’m on row eight of at least 80.
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Can you feel Burt’s excitement for Father Christmas to arrive?

Wee Hats

Every time you smile at someone it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Peace begins with a smile. ~ Mother Teresa

What if we gave everyone we meet a smile? How would that change our outlook on life? These are guaranteed to make you smile. Wee Christmas Hat and Pint Sized Trees! I made a mini forest of these as gifts for my coworkers. I like to pair it with a nice bar of chocolate. These hats also make great toppers on your favorite bottle of adult beverage. I laughed the entire time I made these mini pom poms. It was the first time my knitting bag has required the use of a fork.

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Since I made around 15 of these, I’m counting these as my liberated wip number six for December!

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Here’s another stunning view from our hike on Sunday.

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I leave you with a funny photo of Burt. I hope it brings you a smile. I’m off to make some more mini pom poms!

The Beginning of a Journey

If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking. ~ Buddhist saying

Hike 1: Bridges & Frozen Waterfalls

Today, the British Hubby and I started our 52 hike challenge. I discovered this website after our Black Friday Opt-Out hike. Then I joined the Peace-Along Kal (okay my knitting isn’t coming along that fast, but I am enjoying the daily meditations). As I continued to read these daily meditations, I kept coming back to the 52 hike challenge. How would my life change if I committed to hiking once a week for a year?

Winter is the British Hubby’s favorite hiking season. The scenery is simply stunning. Today’s hike contained several bridges and frozen waterfalls.  Here’s a couple of photos from the trail head.

It didn’t take us long to find our first snow covered bridge and frozen waterfall.

Father Christmas brought me an early gift, a proper ladies backpack with a flower! I think maybe he got word of the 52 hike challenge. It holds more and some how manages to feel lighter on my back! Here’s an action shot with that awesome potato leek soup on our snow picnic.

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My Dewberry Delight from Malabrigo March 2016 kept my head nice and toasty.

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I’m pretty sure this is how the kitties spent the day:

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We meet one person on the trail the entire day. It felt like our own personal winter wonderland. Peaceful and rejuvenating.