The Home Tour thing was a real strange thing for me, because I'm not one to go touring homes in order to see what the Smith's have as decorations in their house for the holidays... but the church throws one every year, and this year the folks that normally do it just were so worn out that they handed off to a new, much younger woman who revamped a LOT of stuff. Change is hard, especially on a more elderly population, and ever since summer, I've been doing my best to support the new lady in the things that I could do. She was really good about not pushing my people tolerance, but when push came to shove on the weekend of the tour itself and she had no one else to turn to, she called John and I to do shifts.
So I did. And I did fine. There are reasons I probably should never work retail for the rest of at least this life, but I did good and was pleasant and cheerful and sold stuff, and bought a single strand of Beads for Life beads for five dollars and put them on my wrist as a reminder to just deal. That they look a lot like Jin's prayer beads was all to the good, too.
Wearing them, I sold a couple dozen of the bangles, so that was cool, too.
I also worked the kitchen on Friday morning, just making coffee, loading cookie trays, washing dishes, and being nice to the vendors that needed stuff from the kitchen. There was a Middle Eastern lady selling baklava to die for, and she needed help with cleaning stuff up. And in the middle of her scurrying back and forth, one of the members of the church came in and told me how much she loved my sermon on Sunday and I saw the woman's eyes get all big. Scullery maid to something else in a hurry, I guess. Though it amused me that right after me, the pastor and his wife stepped into doing the kitchen job, too. It's a nice, relaxing job compared to being out front!
Saturday John was getting sick, but he managed to watch Jet while I went and worked with the Board of Worship on decorating the sanctuary. Most of the stuff we have is handmade, we've moved to LED lights, and it's still really beautiful. Bits and pieces this year, as this is actually the second week of Advent, and the poinsettias that are in memory of others won't be coming until the next week. We were all bundled up to start, as the heat wasn't on, but eventually the heat came on and we got all the stuff up. Wrestling trees, swags, lights, and stuff warmed me up pretty well, too.
On Sunday John was just dying. So I took Jet to church and got him situated into his Sunday School class and sat by the windows working on a pair of Not-Christmas present gloves as the result of one of the dreams I'd had. gogoangelgunboy was kind enough to let me knit him a pair of gloves and he gave me the really wonderful colorway of "Korean Temple" colors. I pulled out 80% merino and 20% silk KnitPick's Bare fingering yarn, reskeined it into two skeins as I wasn't quite sure how well the turquoise and RED would do. And the skeins were nearly random in length as I just made 'em big enough to just get off my massive wooden skein winder. I applied the colors by what I felt like, just random repeats, and his turned out to have five repeats of red and blue with gold in the middle because I just didn't hit it evenly, and normally on a skein four or six repeats is about right. It's interesting now thinking that odd numbers are lucky in Korean tradition. His is the first of the two skeins, the second was patterned on a "Sunny Day Up" colorway I'd been thinking of as well.
After all that random 'just by feel' decision making on the skein length and color length repeats, I got the measurements from him on what his hands were like and did my usual "pattern, what pattern?" method of making gloves. I expected the gloves to look like the ball of yarn, predominately red, but with streaks of blue and the occasional dot of gold, green, or orange. But then the colors *pooled*.
Okay, I know... most people won't get it, even most knitters might not get it, but ... in order for the colors on a glove or sock to line up, in a line that goes up the item, the colors have to *match* on every row. The colors have to line up, which means that the length of yarn has to be exactly right for the colors to meet every time I go around on the tube of the glove, sock, sleeve, sweater, whatever... which means that the yarn length between repeats on the color has to be fairly even and pretty much the same as the length of yarn needed to knit, at that gauge, the circumference of the tube. Note, I planned nothing when I did the dye job. I thought, even, that I'd deliberately made the color lengths lopsided in order to make the primary color predominate and have a secondary and tertiary color content.
But guess what?
They lined up. When, by all other means, they really shouldn't have... I still get goosebumps when I look at the finished glove.
ESPECIALLY at the palm. Right under the thumb is what it "should" have been like. Just random... but you can see the candystriping along the cuff and on the thumb, and then the near ikat design on the palm and my brain is just still rebelling at the fact that this is happening. Ahem...
And then Sunday morning, while I was out knitting in the sunshine by the windows and listening to the choir practice, a new lady to the church came up and I found out that her husband had had a stroke the previous day, and while he was mostly okay, he was having headaches and the hospital needed her there, and could I take her kids into the sanctuary for church as her sister-in-law was going to show up and take them home with her after... and I said sure, even though I wasn't quite sure what her kids looked like. Still, I knew one of them was in Jet's class, and the other was smaller, and sure enough, when Sunday School was over, there was a little, four-year-old girl hanging onto the pre-school teacher's hand looking around for Momma and I said that I would take care of her, and miracle of miracles, she believed me.
Believed me so much that she hung onto my hand as we went to find Brother and Jet and the two boys took care of her until Children's Time and she refused to leave me. She leaned up against me and refused to leave when all the kids went to Children's Worship.
It's... odd to remember how much faith a four-year-old has in adults when one has a very independent seven-year-old. She leaned up against me. When the Children's Pastor came to find me when the sister-in-law showed up, the little girl refused to go with her. Said she wanted me, so I abandoned all my stuff, took her hand and went out with her to her Aunt. When she recognized her aunt she relaxed and All Was Good again. I helped the aunt with the pile of car seats and Stuff and watched the kids while she got everything straightened out and then went back in. I had missed the sermon and was just in time for Jet to jump me before communion.
It was a good thing too, as I was supposed to be making coffee for the coffee hour after, too. And I got that all done as well.
I napped that afternoon. And we had an unexpected dinner party invitation. So I got my social face on again, and ended up in the basement with the kids watching "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" and hearing the father swear a blue streak in "A Christmas Story" as I knit.
But I also got to learn about a transgendered ordained minister in the UCC in the Minnesota conference (see, this is why I think same sex marriage is more likely to be legal in Minnesota, first) who has kept her wife, kids, job, and many of her friends as well. The amusing thing is finding that she has more of a fifties idea of what it means to be feminine. And I can kind of understand why, too, I mean, I *can* wear a dress, put on makeup, do something to my hair every morning, but I haven't for years because they're just impractical for my daily life. But she hasn't been able to. So good for her to do what she wants. But it's also interesting in some ways as it really brings to light just how unfeminine I might be considered by many.
On Monday, we had another fifteen pound turkey thawing in the fridge and our next door neighbor had had to work for Thanksgiving night. He's an air traffic controller, but he missed the big Thanksgiving party with his kid and so last night, we had it all over again, minus the pumpkin pie. I roasted the turkey during the day and also made mashed potatoes, stuffing, the gravy, a green bean casserole, and, at the last minute, buttermilk biscuits using the White Lily flour I'd bought in Biloxi. Good thing too, as that's mostly what the kids ate, the biscuits slathered in the Niwot honey packaged and sold by my beekeeping mentor. Dean came with his daughter Mikala, and the neighbor kids Tanner and Macy, so the four kids had their little party while we got to talk for a while and he got some information on beer brewing from John, who had napped for most of the day and was good for a little party.
That was worth it.
While I was sitting watching "How It's Made" with Jet before his bedtime, my celphone buzzed, and it was stark_black wanting help with her Very Last Chapter of "I Come To You in Pieces". It's been more than a year in the making. So I took the time last night and worked through as much of the editing as I could, and she posted. Done. That was cool to be able to help with.
I hope I can do that with Twin Souls, some day. *laughs*
But, yeah, I'm tired and I want a little time for my writing, soon... though the knitting has been good, and I need to watch a few things and get my aerobic exercises going again... I'm having mild troubles breathing at night, again.