Mmmmm, can’t decide if this was how I felt before Thanksgiving…or after!

Meant to get a blog post out before Thanksgiving and had taken this picture of our Halloween pumpkin which my DH had kindly moved to the wooded part of our back yard (I think he was trying to see just what our little Aussie pup would think of it!) It was rather entertaining to see the face slowly collapsing, resulting in some interesting expressions! It seems no matter how hard I try to prepare and think ahead, the days before a holiday are always a bit crazy and exhausting as I try to ‘get things ready’!

I envy those of you who have figured out just how to ‘let it all go.’ The fact remains, however, that for 25 years we have celebrated Thanksgiving with my DH’s family in a wonderful secluded ‘cabin’ up north – it is a large, active, and quite often boisterous crew (20-30 people as well as assorted dogs) that gathers there… and I wouldn’t miss it for all the world. (My family was very small and Thanksgiving was almost always just the 5 of us!)

Meal planning is done in the weeks before via a family email thread. We never know just what the weather will be so a range of clothing must be considered in order to enjoy the beautiful outdoor setting. And in the last few years, we have had to remember that my oldest grand daughter’s birthday is only a few days after Thanksgiving: and at four years of age, celebrating one’s birthday is very important! (Should I mention that my own wedding anniversary is the 26th!) All this to say that there is(was) plenty to prepare and remember! As I worked to get things done (the intended pre-Thankgiving blog post never had a chance), I humorously realized I felt like the pumpkin looked!! Wait till you see what I had been working on…

I love books and enjoyed making sure my own children always had lots of books. Having grandchildren has allowed me to continue indulging in this practice and I am continually looking for wonderful children’s books. (I must admit that I probably am feeding my own child within – I loved reading!) A couple of years ago I picked up a book called The Mitten, by Jan Brett – a Ukranian folk story about a boy who convinces his grandmother to knit him white mittens, despite her concerns that they would be easily lost in the snow. Needless to say, he loses his mitten and it becomes a warm refuge for various woodland animals: each of whom must learn to share with the next animal despite various reservations about what each animal brings to the mitten! The story was wonderful by itself, and I don’t know when ‘it’ happened, but it occured to me that it would wonderful to ‘illustrate’ the story by creating a knit mitten and all the animals…so the child could place the animals in the mitten as the story was read! A year ago I bought a book of patterns that while it didn’t have all the animals I needed, at least gave me some place to start in creating patterns I could use. A week before Thankgiving I decided that this needed to be the year as my grand daughter was turning 4 and it seemed to be ‘the right time.’ Mind you, I’ve had the book/pattern book for over a year.

The book and the whole menagerie that it inspired!

1/2 the menagerie – mole, field mouse, badger, hedgehog and owl

other 1/2 menagerie – bear, snowshoe hare, and fox

To make this long story short, here’s the result of 3 days of drafting, sewing, stuffing, etc. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember to take a picture of the mitten which (since there was no way it was going to get knit in time!) ended up being a knit sweater I found at a local Goodwill – cut, sewed and redesigned into a mitten big enough to hold all the animals. DONE!! My granddaughter seemed to enjoy her gift and the fun of ‘stuffing the mitten.’ Now…remind me next time to start a bit earlier if I want to be so creative!!


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