clean counters

This Sunday night is the beginning of Hanukkah and I am hosting a family dinner so I have been trying to motivate myself all week to clean my counter off in my dining area. It is the hottest clutter hotspot in my house, honestly. So much clutter. Yesterday, a friend of mine came over and bullied motivated me into working on it. She even tested every pen in my three (THREE) pen cups that were there.

Of course, I didn’t take a before picture but here is the after.

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Yes, I have done the dishes over by the sink and cleaned that up since this photo was taken. I always feel so much better when this space is clear and yet I always let it get insanely cluttered again before I clean it off. Maybe some day I will learn. Maybe.

This post wraps up another NaBloPoMo! I missed many days (oops) but enjoyed sharing bits of my knitting and life and knitting life with you. See you sooner than next November, I hope!

give blood, give life

Today was a blood donation day.

blood donation

This was my 29th blood donation since starting regular donations again in July 2013 at the Stanford Blood Center. 29 pints is 3.625 gallons of blood. That is a lot of blood! A friend of mine posted about doing a double red blood cell donation recently and I am wondering if I should switch to that. I am somewhat intimidated by the longer (more painful?) process, but the person doing my health check-in today told me that each time a person receives a transfusion, there is a chance that their body will react badly and that it is a benefit to them to get two sets of packed cells from one person. I also learned that they never use my plasma because I have been pregnant in the past, so donating just the packed cells sort of makes sense.

Food for thought! But today, I gave one pint of blood and got one chocolate cookie out of the deal.

hiking!!

I hiked today for the first time in a long while. It may have been overcast and threatening to rain on us but it was still wonderful to be out.

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views from the trail

My dog appreciated the chance to be out and to stick his head in many many ground squirrel holes. Sadly, I did not get a picture of that. You’ll have to take my word for it that it was adorable.

sleeve and garden

Leading with actual knitting content: I am making good progress on the second sleeve.

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second sleeve! (and my bullet journal peeking through)

That is nine of the 15 sets of decreases done. I would like to get the sleeve done and then start on the hats I mentioned. After the sleeves, I will have to do a lot of picking up of stitches to knit the front bands and the collars, and that is no fun at all.

I also moved my garden today.

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garden plotting (ha ha)

Last year in the early spring I got a spot in the community garden in our city which happens to be very close to my house. When you first get a spot, you get one back against the fence which might not get great sun so at renewal time I asked if I could move up, and I got a spot! I know this photo isn’t exciting but I am quite excited about moving up. I’m less excited that there are only two of my tomato cages in this photo, because the other two I had went missing somehow. (“Somehow.”) I sent an email to the gardener email list asking for them back so I am hoping someone returns them.

I’m not holding my breath, though.

thanksgiving and toe doctors

I didn’t manage to post yesterday, which I think is a testament to the fun-filled day we had. My friend Linda hosted us and did a wonderful job, as usual. She even made adorable little place settings with a place for us to note what we were thankful for. What I wrote will probably not surprise anyone.

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always

Today I took my son to the foot doctor. He was highly entertained that there is a doctor just for feet. He is still wearing the “boot” the urgent care doctor gave him and now I have learned the proper way to buddy tape his toes.

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his boot, my boot

The doctor opted not to reset his toe, which sounds less painful all around. We still have to tape it for about 6 weeks. I suspect that will get old fast! Wish me luck.

hats for paradise

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Niels modelling a Habitat

I have decided to start a charity knitting project and I would like to invite local knitters to join me! A woman who taught at my sons’ elementary school has family in Paradise (both her parents, I believe, and siblings with small children) and she organized a collection through our school community to collect stuff for her to drive up to Chico and distribute to people she knows who have been displaced by the fire. Somewhere in the midst of all of that I saw that someone had knit hats for people in Paradise and I thought I should make some for the next time she drives up from our area.

If you would also like to knit some hats and get them to me then I will get them to her to transport up there. It has gotten cold and rainy, which is helpful in clearing the air and controlling the fire but not helpful in that a lot of people are living in tents in the Walmart parking lot currently.

Here are some hat resources if you would like to participate:

Local knitters, let me know if you can make some! Scarves and cowls might also be welcome!

bedrooms, toes, and ice cream

We have been working on rearranging the whole house since June or so and today was the beginning of the final step: switching my younger son back into the small bedroom and my husband and I back into the larger one.

His loft bed went away first, it is the end of an era.

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bye bye loft bed

This photo is a bit dark, but his bed is now in the small room! (It just needs a new frame.)

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at last!

Unfortunately, in all the hubbub of cleaning up today, my younger son stubbed his toe on one of the many air filters we currently have going, which resulted a trip to urgent care and probably podiatry tomorrow.

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sad pinky toe

In between all of that excitement, I made ginger ice cream for Thanksgiving. It doesn’t look like much, but it smells amazing and I hope it tastes as good as it smelled!

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ginger ice cream to be

cookies and my favorite author

I spent a bunch of time today making mini corn muffins and The WORST Chocolate Chip Cookies for my sons’ pot lucks at school tomorrow.

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look at these cookies
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aren’t they terrible looking?

As you can guess, they’re actually very delicious. That is fortunate, because school has been canceled tomorrow due to the impending apocalypse.

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i live in that purple blobby bit over San Jose

To escape from thinking about the apocalypse, I went to see Neil Gaiman speak at Stanford.

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my fave

Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. I have been to many of his readings, signings, and speaking engagements since 2001 when I saw him read from American Gods. He never fails to delight and entertain. He read us a story about wildfires, read a section of Good Omens, answered some audience questions, and let us all know that what he believes in is empathy and leaving the world a better place than when you turned up.

Also, he compared writing Norse Mythology to knitting. He said writing it was his knitting, like how knitters knit between things and in the end they have a sweater.

Funny he should mention knitting, because that was what I was doing while I listened. I got a couple inches of sleeve done. I am making good progress.

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just the sleeve, but the rest of the sweater was there on my lap

Maybe that can be my project for our “smoke day” tomorrow: finishing this sleeve!